Mortui Vivos Docent

The Way of St. James, Part II which Crypta Venatus leads a small army to recover a missing heir

Having been understandably cowed by the fearsome Lady of the Hills and her consort, Bonebreaker, the magi pondered their next step. Determined to free the Montagrier lad, but wary of relying solely on their magics, they dispatched Gaston to the covenant to consult with their sodales and gather reinforcements. Fortis embraced the idea of giving battle, and suggested that bowmen and a cavalry charge were the best bet against a 14-foot-tall giant. Lord Commarque, Sir Jehans and the doughty Sir Etienne provided mounted knights to back Sir Gaidon, while the turb captain brought 5 longbowmen and even Giovani’s crossbowmen.

Leading this small army to rendezvous with the others, the magi decided to turn the mundane forces loose on the giant, while the magi focused their attentions on the lamia. Melita somewhat reluctantly agreed that she was needed to lead the force into the regio, being only partially reassured when Fortis stated he would be right behind her, and she was to get behind him as soon as they entered the regio. On the third pass around the stele, the group was surprised to have not been immediately set upon. Quickly, though, the giant Bonebreaker made himself known, roaring as he rushed the covenant forces.

However, this was a disciplined force, and the prowess of both Welsh longbowmen and the flower of English chivalry was on display. The longbowmen repeatedly found their target with their murderous shafts, and as the gravely wounded giant yet roared defiance, Fortis dropped him into a Pit of the Gaping Earth. Bonebreaker was able to make but one mighty attack, which Sir Jehans just dodged before losing his sword. The charging knights incapacitated the now pitiful creature, and Ivor mercilessly ordered his men to fell him with arrows.

A nearby hut seemed to be the Lady’s home, but she was nowhere to be seen. Melita hit upon the idea of using The Inexorable Search on a makeshift map of their surroundings, again using their Arcane Connection to young Antoine. Though still not visible, Melita discerned the lamia must be watching them from a nearby stand of trees, and subsequent spells from her gave her brief glimpses of their invisible adversary. The other magi joined in trying to subdue the creature: Fortis blindly (but ineffectually) throwing down more pits to try to hamper her, and William more effectively creating a swampy area to both slow her and allow her to be tracked. Finally seeing her tracks, Sir Gaidon tackled the invisible beast, and though the Lady assumed her terrible visage and menaced him with her claws, the great bear Griou charged into the fray and slew her in a single blow.

Melita carefully opened her gizzard, and found within a great many small stones. When these were arranged on the ground beside the corpse, they took on the form of children – children apparently turned into stones and swallowed over the course of hundreds of years. One was the Montagrier heir, while one girl claimed the date was almost 200 years prior. There were over 40 children so revived, and it was clear many would never be reunited with their families. Melita insisted she take charge of them, although Gaston and Fortis demurred at first. Count Archambaud II was ecstatic at the return of young Antoine, though he showed no real interest in the other children, so it seemed they would be left in the hands of the Bonisagus maga after all.

Cast: Melita of Bonisagus (Val), Sir Gaidon and William of Jerbiton (Bob), Gaston of Bjornaer and Griou (Guillaume), Fortis of Flambeau (Patrick).

Alpha Storyguide: Patrick

Source Quality: 8 (for both parts I & II), 6 (part II only)