Arcanum

Chapter 2: The Mirror Cracked, Part II: A Light Sea Breeze

A summary post for Part II of the second chapter of Book I, and all that happened within

[Derpina 18/06/2015]

Leaving Temesvar behind, the adventurers quarreled as to who should guide the group further, and brother Joachim decided to undertake the difficult task. Without delay, he aimed for the Carpathian mountains and towards the lands belonging to Count Vilmos… Few things were known about the lordling, other than his apparent unpopularity with his own clan and, as the team had learned prior to their departure, his strong desire to marry.

As expected, strange things happened along the way. First, the adventurers encountered a female wraith or perhaps a kindred of particularly ethereal countenance, who, for reasons unknown, was intent on collecting nettle on a peculiar forest clearing. Kind enough to share, she gifted a piece of her findings to brother Joachim and Runko, and the group moved forward, rather puzzled by the meeting.

Second, the team bumped into a man dressed in rags, who sat at the border of a village, surrounded by a circle of candles. Claiming to be a Malkavian seer, he offered to answer the travelers’ questions in exchange for their blood. Being quite skeptical, Marcus (as Jezebel) attempted to see into the man’s aura. Unfortunately, he regretted that quickly, as he went blind and in his blindness set his coat on fire, stumbling upon the candles. Once extinguished, he and Joachim decided to oblige the man, and received their answers. They were thus kindly asked to send the seer’s regards to the Prince of Vienna, whose hospitality he had abused in the past.

The last stop was the town of Debrecen, where Runko was taken for a Cappadocian reanimate and caused genuine enthusiasm among the locals. The group once again encountered the mercenary Anna, and spent a pleasant evening exchanging stories and drinking with the soldiers. Then, after a brief meeting with the Tzimisce prince of the town, the adventurers set off once more, this time with more precise hints how to reach Count Vilmos…

Crossing rivers and windy forests, the group at last arrived at the castle. Although there was no speaking furniture, and the host’s head did not look like the crown of a tree, the visit was far from usual. When the negotiations regarding the marriage contract stalled, Runko chose to speak up, insinuating that, perhaps, the lord’s performance failed to satisfy the lady she served. Before the rest of the group could button up their coats, the Nosferatu turned into a block of ice before their eyes. “Tomorrow, we are going to Vienna,” the Prince announced to the group’s utmost despair.

And go they did, engulfed in a gust of wind that carried them back, horses and all. A journey that had taken months was reduced to hours. Although nobody learned what happened behind closed doors, it would seem the matter was settled amicably. To the team, the visiting lord was both a source of surprise and inspiration for the nights to come.

Unfortunately, the realization dawned on them only after the man’s reputation had been damaged during their journey…

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