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Werewolf I - Game Thread

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Little town, what a quiet village.

Every day like the one before.

Little town, full of little people.

Waking up to say...

Nothing ever happened in Derulian. Nothing exciting, certainly. The sun rose and set each day, the seasons passed, the same people interacted with little variation barring the occasional traveler who must have lost their way from the main road. Some only used Derulian to pause and get their bearings before setting off again, others shrugged and settled down there if they thought they could find work for the season, but all in all nothing happened. Nothing changed.

 

It was just the way Father Augustine liked it. He was one of the few who had stumbled upon Derulian rather than been born there, and after years of travel and seeing the costs of violence and war had been all too happy to put down roots in the isolated town. For their part, the population had been in dire need of someone to fill both the positions of Healer and Priest, and had welcomed him gladly.

 

They even insisted on calling him Father - Augustine considered himself more of a Cleric than an out-and-out Priest, particularly given his contributions as a Healer - but if that was his only complaint about the town then he felt he could die happy.

 

Stretching in the warm morning sun as he exited his modest home, Augustine considered his surroundings with a fond smile before he set off to go about his business, hand already lifting in a wave as he saw others beginning to emerge from their houses for the day.

 

OOC: Non-lynching Day Phase! Get to know each other! :)

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John was not one of those Father Augustine waved to, the priest pointedly ignoring the young man. John did not care, the priest was welcome to his own damn opinion. He circled his arm around his wife's shapely waist and leaned in to give her a kiss.

 

Their mother, sitting in her rocking chair on the porch was already asleep again. She kept doing that a lot lately. John did not think she would make it through the year. Sue would take it especially hard...

 

He gave Sue another kiss accompanied by a squeeze on the behind and lifted his bundle of tools from the ground.

 

He meandered his way through the square towards the church. The priest made no secret of his disapproval, and the loss of divine favour the family's actions throughout the generations had brought on them. But still, John was handy with his tools, and the church did need repairs...

 

It seemed after all that the priest could be a practical man when he wanted to be.

 

John lifted his hat to him as he walked past, then spat out the wad of tobacco he had been chewing on.

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Abercrombe made his early morning rounds, pouring the contents of the chamberpot barrels into the filters atop his piss barrel, and then cleared the reed-woven filter into the "solids" barrel. Looked as if Old Woman Jose had been indulging in sweet corn again. Ah Lord Bartholomew needs more roughage I'm thinking. John needs to be drinking more water from that color. Slowly his little goat-drawn cart moved along the back street and alleys, such a familiar sight as to be rendered invisible.

 

It was still dark when he took the path to the Dumping spot, half a mile down river, and spilled the solids with a heave, using the leather handle bolted to the bottom to shake it in the waters, before a heave wrangled it back onto the car. The cart trundled its way back to town, then across the small wooden bridge to the other side. Down the hills on the other side, the constant breeze that kept the gnats and mosquitos away, and was one reason the town the existed, pushed at his back. The breeze was a reason he kept his tannery vats on the other side, downwind of the hamlet. He poured the contents of the piss barrels into the vat to set. The convection currents of the heat of day and cool of night, over time, would leave any remaining sludge at the bottom, where he'd draw it off in a week by opening a spigot located near the river-side of the vat. Other in the other vat, the scraped hides of goat, sheep, and three deer were soaking and softening; they'd be ready soon.

 

He left the cart there, unharnessing the four goats, and walking with them a short way to the field were they mingled with the sheep to graze. Other goats were at the far edge, munching on the thorn hedge flowers that the sheep couldn't reach. The hedge enclosed three sides of an acre of grass. The fourth side had a four pole fence from one corner, which ran to his small dugout-shack. In the break between the shack and where the fence continued to the far corner was a kennel.

 

Thunder stayed on sheep-watch, while Rain and Lightning came wiggling out to greet him, long-nosed doggie faces and waving flags evidence that they were not only happy to have him back, but that they had no guilt over anything done whilst he was away. He petted and praised the gals, cooing and scratching as he moved to the kennel, giving a lion's share of praise to the large male who'd stayed at his post. After feeding and watering them, he finally went down the dirt steps and, pushing aside the rough woolen blanket covering the door, into his shack.

 

With a weary sigh, he ate his bread, cheese, and cold mutton, washed it down with spring water from the bucket by the door, then went out to start the comforting rhythms of another day - spend the day caring for his flock and being available for any visitors or travelers with tanning, woollen, or mutton needs.

 

At day's end, he'd finally slump onto the pile of blankets on the floor. From the hole into the kennel, the dogs would take turns visiting, Thunder, then Rain and Lightning. Thunder would curl in satisfaction in his royal place at his master's feet, but the girls would each praised, then sent back - it was a warm spring and he'd need no extra fur.

 

Nothing changed in Derulian, and that was just the way that Abercrombe liked it.

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Augustine barely stopped in time to prevent the tobacco from splattering his trousers, and tried not to sigh too audibly as John passed. He did not understand that family at all. Far be it from him to judge what was tradition in a family, however strange, but Augustine did have to admit to himself that he was relieved the trend of incest in Derulian did appear to be a dying one. He was far from a scholar, but he knew enough about breeding to be sure it came with its costs.

 

Of course, if he tried to take John aside and explain that to him, he'd probably just be accused yet again of "revoking the gods' favours from the family." Truly, a strange family, and one that seemed under the opinion that he was far more opposed to them than he truly was.

 

Ah well. There was always at least one or two oddities in any town, and no one was without their secrets. Even he, he supposed...

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Tennison greeted Father Augustine with a smile and a nod as they crossed paths, the girl coming back from the Markets with fresh vegetables and fruits for the local inn's kitchen. Her father would be already supervising the maids in their cleaning and getting the mess room ready for the first patrons, while muttering under his breath that his late wife - Tennison's mother, god bless her - would have a fit with the carelessness of the current generation. His daughter being the exception, of course - Gary had such pride in his daughter, that nothing would make him even think unfavorably of her.

 

Once back to the Inn of Five Cats, Tennison proceeded to talk to the cook, planning what the meals served would be and how the best way to cook come exotic produce she had acquired at a good price in the Markets. It was her daily routine, and one that she went through with care and discipline; her father had trusted her common sense since her mother had passed away, and Tennison accepted the responsibility as part of her life.

 

Once done in the kitchen, at least for the early morning, she went to the common room and sat at the front desk, scanning the registry book to see who had come in or left the night before. The Five Cats was not a big inn, but it had about a dozen rooms in the second floor, half of which were usually occupied at any time. Settling in the comfortable chair, she started then to fill the accountancy book for the week.

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Graham had already been up for a while. Yes sir! If the hour was good enough for the sun to get up, it surely was good enough for him to get up! As he went past Father Augustine on his way to his usual spot under the tree, he jokingly teased the Healer about being up so late. Of course, it came out as "Wharbeldegeedop, Father, shouldn't the apple be in the weathervane?" Good enough, he supposed.

 

A little bit further he could hear the sound of tools being readied. When he looked, he could see John getting ready for a day's work. Graham waved cheerfully at him, yelling a friendly "top of the mountain, John! Not one bit lower!" before walking on.

 

Toc-step. Toc-step. Toc-step. Stop.

 

As the cart rattled past, he reached out to pet one of the goats pulling it. It briefly nibbled at his fingers, and Graham giggled. "Aww, you're too kind, Kaitlynn." He waved his slightly nibbled-upon hand at Abercrombe by way of good morning. "Sloshering ding-doo, Abercrombe. And don't you forget, slingering slosh-doo!"

 

On he went, and as he got closer to the tree, he saw Tennison making for the inn with a mighty fine-looking basket. He gave her a friendly wave as well, yelling, "Mean little buggers, those tomatoes! Don't let them start an activist group!" before sitting down with his back to the tree trunk.

 

Busy day today...

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Bartholomew yawned sleepily, stretching his fists towards the ceiling and lifting the hem of his deep lavender nightgown up off the floor. He walked over towards the small balcony of the second floor of his shop, paused for a moment thinking, then turned to first grab the hat that was sitting on top of his wardrobe. Placing the incredibly large headpiece over his disheveled hair, and being careful not to tip over the peacock feather stuck proudly into the brim, he then turned back to balcony and, taking one final deep breath, threw wide the heavy gold curtains and stepped out into the mid-day sun.

 

None of the people walking below seemed to take much notice, so Bartholomew gave another, much more exaggerated and unnecessarily loud yawn. Graham looked up towards the window curiously, squinted, and muttered something bright-sounding but incoherent and then continued on his way.

“And a good day to you too! Maybe I’ll buy everyone a another round later this evening!” Bartholomew beamed and raised his hands as he spoke, not so much as a wave but as if the townfolk might begin to lavish too much praise is his direction.

He stood on the narrow balcony for another minute or two, occasionally letting out a loud breath while gazing back and forth over the street to give ample opportunity for others to wish him a good morning.

 

 

 

 

<edit: Sorry for intruding, Azuran - I removed the formatting because it was rendering as black on the dark skins, making this impossible to read! Still trying to understand why it happens sometimes... ~Tanny>

Edited by Tanuchan
legibility in dark skins

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Curtis as much woke up as he regained consciousness, somewhere near the middle of his meager, dirt floored, house. Lucky for him, he did not have to purchase this abode, as it was passed down to him from his now deceased parents. Seeing sunlight with his still blurry, and definitely bloodshot eyes, he wondered if he truly did need to get up today. A glance over at the empty bottles on the table assured him that indeed he must, as he had to ensure he was able to purchase a few more bottles of his favorite whisky, which quite literally translated to whatever was on sale or the cheapest. With the alternative not available, he takes a drink of water from his stores before heading out to meet the day, however much it hurt his head.


Upon leaving his house, he hears something coming from the direction of Bartholomew's estate. Something about buying another round tonight. Curtis makes a mental note to hold that fellow to his word. Curtis decides that he could do a little work today, as only a means to an end, and head off to talk to Tennison and then if needed, Abercrombe, to see if there would be some work today that could line his pockets just a little.

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The day passed with very little variation in Augustine's routine. He was just busy enough to help the hours along, without being so busy that he felt at all harried or rushed. The work John was doing on the small church was going well, regardless of the constant attempts from the workman to find fault or vice in his actions. He got some interesting - if not particularly coherent - conversation out of Graham... Invariably, Augustine crossed paths with nearly every member of Derulian throughout the day to some degree, be it via idle conversation, a need for his skills, or an attempt to council.

 

He ended the day as he often did; tired, but satisfied with his lot in life, and he retired to his bed in good spirits. The only change to his usual routine was a series of strange, haunting dreams throughout the night. Did he hear a scream at one point?

 

Augustine awoke the next morning somewhat groggy, but otherwise no worse for wear, and set about to begin his routine anew. He didn't notice anything out of the ordinary until he passed by the Widow Katt's house, mentally doing a double-take when he saw that the front door had been smashed in.

 

"Ms. Katt?" Augustine asked uncertainly, rapping his knuckles on the door frame lightly as he tried to assess the damage. The door wasn't the only thing that had been destroyed, and as he took in the smashed furniture he blanched at the smell of blood. Not just the smell, either. Something had walked in the blood that had been shed, leaving impossibly large wolf prints about the room.

 

Werewolf prints.

 

Rounding on his heels, Augustine sprinted off to raise the alarm.

 

OOC: Night Phase happened while you weren't looking! The Wolf killed the hapless Widow Katt - but who will be next? Official Day Phase has begun!

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Tennison blanched as the news reached her, and she made a mental note to see if any of the Widow Katt's children - though they were actually young adults - needed some help. Werewolves were not unheard of in Derulian, but the last they had had to endure of that ancient curse was a generation or two past - she didn't quite remember, with the old stories being passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter. Her mother had never witnessed one, and her grandmother had died when Tennison was but a small child and, as such, unfit to hear those dark stories until much later in her life.

 

Her next thought was about her fellow villagers. If there was indeed a werewolf around, then it meant that the time had come for them to unite and try to protect each other. Maybe ancient lore would help - maybe Father Augustine had some knowledge that could help? The stories she'd heard also mentioned herbs and preparations that would - in theory - keep a werewolf away. If they are more than embellishments, that is... Part of her thought that it was more likely wistful thought, and that Curtis' drunken breath had as much chance to keep a werewolf (or anyone) at bay than any mysterious herb.

 

And the thought that came next to it was much more urgent - would that poor soul inflicted with the curse be one of their own? One of their neighbors, one who they talked to everyday? Or someone who had strayed into the village during the night, a traveler wandering the roads and paths that linked Derulian to neighbor towns?

 

No sense in suspect our own, I guess... After all, why would the curse manifest only now? More likely it was someone new in town. She glanced at the registry book, counting the visitors who had come in the last week.

 

Unfortunately, all of them were old acquaintances; the only one who was truly new to Derulian had left three days past. Oh well.

 

Tennison looked pensively at Curtis, who was currently busy cleaning the floor of the mess room - helping with the cleaning was a small task she gave him every now and then, whenever he needed the money. Would it that he used the coin for better purposes... However, when sober, Curtis was a rather agreeable man, and she didn't dislike him. Maybe he has seen or heard something interesting during his wanderings. Maybe she should talk to him, gather what information she could.

 

After all, sitting behind a closed door wondering if they'd be the next wouldn't help anyone to get rid of the curse.

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The cries from outside awoke Bartholomew earlier than he preferred, but he almost leapt out of bed despite his groggy state. There was no mistaking it--he had distinctly heard the word “werewolf”...

 

His mind was racing and he quickly dressed himself in a long light green tunic, tied with a bright yellow silk sash. This would be bad for business for sure. While he did occasionally venture off to nearby larger towns to sell to wealthier folk and acquire more rare goods, he did rely on outside visitors to Derulian, infrequent though they were, to keep his purse heavy enough to maintain his lordly appearances. A pair of soft yellow deerskin boots and a long red and gold cloak completed the hurried outfit and he rushed downstairs, almost tripping over a pile of rich crimson sheets that had fallen off one of the display tables overnight.

 

He walked towards the local inn where news and rumors always seemed to flow more freely. Forcing his expression into one of charming concern, Bartholomew did his best not to betray his inner feelings of unease and...suspicion...as he passed a few villagers on the way. He had heard plenty of stories of course, but only now did he truly understand the feeling of fear that grows deep inside, not knowing whether a terrible secret might lurk within one of the very townsfolk he glanced at as he passed. Hell, they might not even know it themselves! He suppressed a shiver at the thought and tried to put on a more heroic face as he pushed open the inn door and strode inside.

Edited by Tanuchan
legibility in dark skins

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Abercrombe was late making his rounds with the chamberpot cart. As he moved from house to house, emptying and moving on, Thunder paced along with him, always two paces to his rear, on the right. When Abercrombe stopped, Thunder stopped and sat. When he moved on, the dog paced after. Thunder looked at everything with bright interest, but carefully followed his training.

 

As he slowly filled the cart, Abercrombe nodded laconically to each person to meet his eyes; there was a fear and suspicion in the furtive glances. He was old, older than he looked, remembered when he was a yonker the white wild eyes in the night, the waving pitchforks and burning brands, the sound of the lynching rope. In a heartbeat, a placid village could change into a killing mob, just as fast a man into a wolf. He'd been three last time it happened, and it had been the social outcasts that had felt the hemp first, long before the beast in man's shape. Or woman's - it had been a young girl that time, who'd sipped from the wrong footprint in the heavy woods that surrounded the town.

 

He hoped no one had seen him outside Widow Katt's home, his normal first stop of the early morning. He'd caught the iron smell of fresh blood as he'd emptied her pot, and peered around the corner to the front. Seeing no one, he'd eased up a might to the door, and peered into an abattoir. He did the animal slaughters for the town, but he'd felt slightly sick at the sight. He'd immediately slipped from town and made a show of coming back later. He'd brought Thunder with him, and planned on having one of the dogs along until this ended - one way or another.

Edited by Peredhil
Removed my burial of Katt, to let Patrick's post be canon.

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"Splinters in the night make for a good fright."

 

Graham kept repeating it as he paced around the town square.

 

Toc - "Splinters" - step - "in the night"

Toc - "make for" - step - "a good fright."

Toc - "Splinters" - step - "in the night"

Toc - "make for" - step - "a good fright."

Toc - "Splinters" - step - "in the night"

Toc - "make for" - step - "a good fright."

 

He saw people heading into the tavern one by one, most of them fairly subdued, and he told the tree, "That's a furry RSVP you've got there. You going, too?" As usual, he didn't get a reply, but he didn't let it bother him. He was bothered enough by current events already. Bothered enough to head into the tavern as well, where he quietly sat down at a table without ordering a drink, instead preferring to talk to the unlit candle.

 

"Save me one of those kittens, will you? Don't go drinking all of them."

 

He seemed to listen to its response, then replied in turn: "No, with enough wood, any hole can be plugged, and then the silk turns red."

 

...

 

"Of course you can use a hammer to pull teeth! Just don't try it on a big furry animal. That's a goat's job."

Edited by Peredhil
fixed a minor spelling blemish in a beautiful post.

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Abercrombe worked the dogs with whistles and hand-signals, separating the sheep from the goats, then singling out the sheep, one-by-one, to be slathered with homemade flea and tick prevention salve. The dogs enjoyed the work, grinning and lolling as two kept the sheep in a tight group, while Thunder would cut out the designated sheep. In his eagerness, Thunder would occasionally run across the backs of the flock to save time.

 

It not being their turn yet, the goats watched with amusement in their slotted yellow eyes.

 

There was no amusement in Abercrombe's eyes, only the shadows of fear and memory.

 

(OoC: I vote to hang Curtis/Lord Panther.)

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It was already past lunch time, but the mess room had nothing of the usual bantering and laughter that was common at the midday break in the village's labors. Instead of harmless jokes and the telling of the morning's doings and finds, the conversation was mostly hushed, and Tennison could notice at least a couple of dark suspicious glances coming from the tables. Serving the meals and at the same time keeping an eye on the kitchen, she found herself brooding as well, though in her case she tried to avoid the purely panicked reasoning that seemed to abound in the village.

 

The curse of werewolves... is it really a curse, or is it something more? Something that comes down the line of a family for some reason? She had had her lessons in breeding a few years ago, when she had dated the son of a horse breeder - shame he had almost less sense than a newborn colt. Or maybe the colt had more sense, actually... Pushing the wandering memory aside, she glared at the chicken soup that was about to boil on the stove.

 

Breeding. And there are some who have very strange ways of doing so, really... who knows what can be lurking behind generations of inbreeding?

 

====

 

OOC: voting for John/Patrick...

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The candle turned out to be a great conversation partner: Graham kept talking to it most of the night.

 

"Of COURSE wolves don't eat vegetables."

 

"Nah, that'd just be weird.

...

 

"Yeah, right, as if they would even sail the same ocean. They have noses, you know. Sharp ones, like strawberries."

 

"Strawberry-red and blood yellow? Hmm... they might."

 

At that moment, Curtis came in and Graham perked up a little. He wasn't much of a conversationalist, but he made for a great drinking buddy. And if anything, he sure could use a drink now. He waved at Curtis and held the candle up for Tennison to see. It was a round candle, after all...

 

 

OOC: voting for Azuran / Lord Bartholomew M. Persius the Third. With that many names, at least one of them's bound to sink his teeth into someone. Plus, yay let's get votes for everyone! \o/

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“Not hungry really…” Bartholomew looked up and replied to Tennison’s question, quickly adding “but I will take another ale. Actually,” he paused for several long seconds while he loudly dug through his purse, glancing around to see if the other tables could in fact hear the clinking of many heavy coins, “I think maybe everyone could use another round!.”


His gesture was greeted with a couple mugs raised in genuine thanks while a few merely acknowledged him with wan half smiles. Bartholomew looked from face to face around the room, as if he were a king trying to gauge the overall state of his vast empire of citizens. He noted Curtis sitting in the corner, already with a couple overturned empty mugs next to him, and wondered what the poor man was always trying to drink away…


OOC: Voting for Curtis/Lord Panther

Hopefully my formatting isn't an issue this time! :P

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Upon seeing Graham wave him over, Curis thought to himself, Sure, why not?


Curtis sat down with Graham with a curt smile and began looking around. What a day it had been so far. Most of the town was abuzz with stories of the wolf murder and wondering who it was. The questions of why the werewolf had come here and what did they want with the town ran through his brain. It made it hurt.


An ale was set down in front of Curtis, who raised it in a silent toast to his drinking partner and took a hearty swig. Graham seemed to have taken the news quite hard as well. His ramblings were a little more discombobulated than usual. Perhaps after the ale, they should switch to something a little stronger.


His mind once again wandered and filled with questions that he would not be able to answer about this newcomer to town. After all, it had to be a relative newcomer, did it not? The ale could not work its magic fast enough...


OOC: vote for Azuran / Lord Bartholomew

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John slammed the shovel in the ground, gazing at the grave he had just filled in. Sweat streaming from his naked chest he murmured a silent prayer to the gods that they speed the poor widow on her way. He lifted the small packet his wife had prepared, gently lifting the folds of fabric to reveal the small yellow flower. He made a small hole at the head of the grave and planted the flower, pouring a trickle from his waterskin to set it on its way of growing. The rest of the water he poured on his own head.

 

No one else had come to the burial, they were all too busy accusing each other of having done the deed. No one but than John and his wife had even come out to the large willow tree under which stood a couple dozen headstones in various states of disrepair. The widow's was the best, a large flat stone that John had spent the whole morning to carve.

 

Here lies Katt Thom

Beloved Mother

He made no mention of her late husband, the bastard beat the poor woman for years before she had taken a knife to his back. John had disposed of the body years earlier, yet no grave marked his passage on this world.

 

Giving his wife a hug and a kiss, John turned towards the town. She indicated that she would stay for a while, the two of them had been friends, and Sue needed to say goodbye in her own way.

 

John skirted around the center of town, heading into the forest with his axe. The village was already tearing itself apart, but he would have no part of it. Ever since that priest had arrived nothing had been the same. Not being able to do the act, for he was not a man driven to murder, he drove his axe into Old Gnarly, a tree he had been looking at a while. With each blow he imagined that he was hitting that blasted priest in the neck.

 

The axe-blows echoed through the forest, but none came to investigate. They knew not to disturb John when he was in one of his moods.

 

 

OOC: If John would want to vote, he'd vote for the priest, but he doesn't feel the need to add to the calls for blood. So I'll abstain. ;)

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Augustine waited until both John and his wife had left the grave before he approached it and made what blessings he could. He'd tried to do so earlier, but the vehemence with which John had chased him off was nothing to be ignored, and so Augustine had waited to conduct what few rites he still held.

 

As he stood at the grave and prayed quietly, Augustine wondered what he was going to do. Already, the suspicion was building to dangerous levels, and he knew it was only a matter of time before someone was accused and lynched. Already, the sounds of raised voices were beginning to drift back to him, and the Cleric winced unconsciously as he made his way back to the Five Cats.

 

He arrived to find the room unevenly divided, with most of the crowd facing the table where Graham and Curtis sat. Despite the fact that both men - equally drunk at this point - were effectively cornered, Augustine could tell that it was Curtis who was bearing the brunt of the ire.

 

"Hey, now," Augustine tried to soothe. "What's going on here?"

 

"He did it!" Someone - he didn't see who - insisted. "Going around drunk all the time, probably to drown the memories of what he is! Who else could it be?"

 

"If you're going to base this accusation on drunkenness alone, that puts a number of the people in this room up for scrutiny," Augustine countered coolly. "Why not Graham, then?"

 

"Oh, sure, a werewolf with a wooden leg," Someone else said derisively, drawing a nervous laugh from the crowd.

 

"Woods need legs else how are they going to make it to the markets!" Graham offered cheerfully, apparently completely oblivious to the discussion taking place regarding his companion.

 

"We don't need to go immediately to lynching!" Augustine protested. "If you suspect Curtis, that's fine, but there are better ways to go about this, people!"

 

"You're right!" Again, Augustine didn't see who spoke. "Let's at least catch the bastard first!"

 

The crowd lurched forward, pushing Augustine out of the way, and almost as a single entity lunged towards Curtis. Too late, he realised what was happening, and scrambled to get his feet under him. It might have been better if he'd stayed sitting; someone slammed into him while he was still rising from his chair, and he fell back onto it awkwardly. Curtis' neck hit the back of the chair with a loud crack, and the crowd paused uncertainly as he slipped bonelessly to the floor.

 

Augustine was the first to move, and he had to fight an urge to throw punches of his own in his frustrated upset. Moving to Curtis' side, he tried to find a pulse. "Are you happy, now?!" He snapped at the villagers when he confirmed his fears. "An eye for an eye, is that really how we're going to play this game?"

 

Not waiting for an answer, Augustine closed Curtis' eyes and rested a hand on the dead man's brow, silently praying for - among many things - reason to return to Derulian.

 

OOC: Curtis is dead, though what is to become of his Spirit remains to be seen. Night Phase!

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The last thing Curtis could remember was a sharp pain in the back of his neck. Everything seemed to be ok as he stood back up. He did find it strange that his mind was so clear. Perhaps the ale had been watered down? No, that wasn't it, it had never been before.


He looked around at the crowd, and realized that most were still looking at the floor, where he had fallen. Some with sadness in their eyes, others with an odd look of satisfaction. He looked down to see what they were staring at. To his surprise, he saw himself laying there, motionless. He had the overwhelming urge for a drink, so he reached for the ale tankard on the table, only to have his hand pass right through it.


It struck him like a ton of bricks. He was dead. He had been killed. Mobs are so fickle...

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Augustine slept fitfully that night, unsure of whether the cries and howls he heard were in his dreams or taking place outside his window. His window which he kept shut for once, despite the clement weather. Not that it would really help me, he supposed when he woke up that morning, bleary and exhausted. His home was just as flimsy as the Widow Katt's had been, unless his nightly prayers truly did serve as wards against the evils of the world.

 

Would that it could be that simple.

 

The Cleric sat on the edge of his bed and scrubbed at his face, reluctant to go about his usual morning routine. He suspected he was going to have to face more than a few guilty souls who would try to apologise for their lynching behaviour or seek some form of redemption, and right now Augustine just didn't know if he had it in him to offer comfort.

 

It was very quiet that morning. Oddly quiet, really. Usually by now he'd be able to hear the cheerful woofs of Abercrombe's dogs as he went about his morning duties...

 

Oh. Oh, no.

 

Standing up on legs that did not quite feel as though they were going to support him, Augustine pulled some clothes on and hurried out to confirm what a part of him already knew.

 

OOC: Peredhil/Abercrombe was claimed by the Wolf! I wonder what his spirit thinks of this...

Day Phase! Happy lynching!

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Another day, two more graves.

 

John had said nothing to the mob in the tavern last night, drinking his mug of ale with a look on his face that mad everyone avoid him. But that had been last night...

 

Now it was a few more hours of digging.Two graves this time, one for Curtis and another for the sheepherder. His dogs kept watch from the nearby hillock. John hoped they wouldn't interfere, he'd put them down if he had to, but they were good dogs. From the corner of his eye he could see the priest hovering around in the copse of trees in the distance, biding his time in order to murmur his useless words. The dead were dead and that was that, nothing that priest said could help it. A last shovelful, and the first grave was ready. John gently lowered Curtis' body in the whole, thinking all the while how even a dead body could smell so much of drink.

 

He wiped sweat and smeared dirt across his bow with the same movement.

 

He lifted his gaze to the priest and beckoned him over as he started throwing shovelfuls of dirt over the drunkard's remains. He did not look up when he heard the shuffling steps of the priest behind him.

 

"So...", he started before taking a long pause. "Heard you actually did not want the drunkard dead despite all his sins." He shot a sly look at the old man. He made an effort not to show that he was poking a slight bit of fun at the priest. Despite his usual demeanor, the only problem he had with the priest was the man poking his nose into everyone else's business, especially his own.

 

"Now tell me old man...", he said as he threw the last shovel of dirt on Curtis' grave, patting it down with the flat back of the shovel, "how are we going to keep this village from tearing itself apart?"

 

Before the priest could register his surprise, John walked a few paces to the right, and stuck his shovel in the earth, marking out a corner of Abercrombe's grave.

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Abercrombe gazed mournfully at the sheep. Not that there was an issue with them, but he tended to worry. The goats would survive; that's what goats do.

 

Fortunately, his last gasped order had been obeyed, and the dogs had run instead of continuing to attack the beast that had claimed their master. It would've been futile and selfish to let them prove their love and devotion by letting them die for him. He'd sent them to the forest. By now they were probably herding deer.

 

He wondered who would pick up the piss pots?

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Graham was already too drunk at the time of the lynching to realize what had happened, but when it did hit him he was so shocked that he nearly uttered something coherent.

 

"Drinking's going to be much circusser now."

 

He spent the night in the tree, hoping that wolves really were unable to climb. He didn't get much sleep until he heard the howling just outside town - that's when he knew he'd probably be safe for another night. The next day, he wandered around town even more aimless than usual. He did get the feeling that there was something unusual happening in town, besides the wolf attacks. When he tried to mention this to anyone, though, it came out as "Ferbelde Potter is derbely doo. Neh?" He didn't think anyone quite got what he meant...

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