Chapter 5: Jaccob's Revenge

Tristan lunged at the massive northman, feinting with his shield before lashing at him with an overhead blow. He was rewarded with a howl of pain as the finely honed edge of his longsword bit through fur cloak and mail to the muscled flesh beneath. The second northman, one of the blond men who looked so similar as to be twins, lunged at him from the left, hoping to take Tristan in his blindspot. The young knight twisted his body and felt the attack grate harmlessly against his mailed shoulder.

The northmen were not without skill, but Tristan was a knight with long training on the practice yards and ample time in the field. He took a glance around the taproom of the tavern to survey how his companions were faring. Brandos, dressed in the mail and surcoat of Cardinal Guy de Valin was holding his own against the other two mercenaries. Moments before Ssibliss had darted past their enemies and was now at work to their rear, harrying them with hand axe and flail. As for Kaspar, he was outside of the tavern, launching arcane attacks through the open window.

As if on queue four glowing sparks of red energy came from Kaspar’s location, weaving through the combatants and slamming into the chest of the wild-haired northman with the enormous maul. Once more the man howled in rage. It was a deep, blood-curdling noise and for a split second Tristan hesitated behind his shield. His one-eye grew wide as the man called Tibett, The Vulture began to grow taller, his limbs popping and groaning, his face elongating and his teeth sharpening and growing larger. Course black hair sprouted from every bit of visible skin and deadly-looking claws grew from his thick fingers. Slaver dripped from his wolfish maw and he once more let forth a deep, dreadful howl.

“Great,” Tristan thought to himself as the other three northman let out similar howls and began their own transformations…


Sir Tristan, Brother Brandos, Ssibliss and Kaspar returned to Namaran village as the sun rose over the mountains to the east. They were exhausted from the long night’s activities and dispirited that they were unable to save Sir Darlow Colebrook, though Brandos was glad to have rescued the dead knight’s children.

Before heading for the inn and the reward of sleep they made arrangements to meet with the Bailiff Emil Krafton, and Richard Daughton and Henry Miller.

After a short sleep they emerged somewhat refreshed and headed to the taproom where they met with Emil.

Later at the Bailiff’s home they managed to sit down with Henry Miller. Richard Daughton was on the lake with his fishing boat and would not return until later.

Kaspar questioned the now compliant innkeeper and had the story of Jaccob’s death from him. Henry revealed that thirty years ago he had been part of a group of children that included Francis Bretton, Kella Brinewood, Darlow Colebrook, Richard Daughton and Olin Vars. Together they had been playmates, romping the countryside and even exploring the forbidding depths of the abandoned mines.

The boy Olin Vars had been their undeclared leader. He was a novice at the Monastery of the Redeemer but often managed to sneak away. Olin was a bully and a cruel boy. It was during one of their expeditions into the mines that the full extent of his wickedness was revealed. They found a cavern with a stone that they discovered to be the legendary Black Alter where Prince Kalavadus tormented so many to death. When they found that Henry’s younger brother, Jaccob, had followed them into the depths, Olin had the boy tied to the alter and forced the others to help him torture and eventually murder him.

The children were wracked with guilt but Olin made them swear to silence. In the following days, as searchers scoured the countryside and dared to plumb the depths for the missing Jaccob, Olin Vars himself vanished.

The whole affair slowly died down and in time was forgotten.

Armed with this new knowledge, the party surmised that Jaccob would be coming after Richard or Henry and that they could stop him by keeping them near. They kept to the inn taproom, dragging the roaring-drunk Richard Daughton to the tavern when he returned from fishing.

It was late in the evening when word came that four of the Iron Wolves were at the tavern and had stabbed to death a young member of the town’s watch. Brandos and Tristan went to the tavern and were soon embattled with the mercenary culprits. Emil Krafton was heavily injured and Ssibliss and Kaspar quickly entered the fray.

As the tide began to turn against the four northmen, they revealed themselves to be lycanthropes, taking hybrid form and renewing their attacks. After their leader, the barbarian Tibett was killed and another of the northmen besides, the remaining two attempted to flee the village but were felled in a flurry of magical attacks from Kaspar and Brandos.

The party quickly recovered the bodies and managed to keep one of the lycans alive. They secured them in the cells below Akkad’s Tower and returned to the tavern to maintain their vigil.

It was in the depths of night that Jaccob slipped unheard and unseen into the tavern and fell upon the sleeping form of Richard Daughton. A slight creature with bone white flesh that hung in ragged sheets from shrunken muscle and milky eyes, Jaccob was freakishly strong. He managed to crush the life from Richard Daughton before being repelled by Brother Brandos’ divine magic.

The party pursued Jaccob and managed to corner him. Kaspar used a spell to befriend the dead boy and sent the others away so that he could question him without further frightening him. Jaccob could not speak nor make any other noise as Kaspar questioned him. He could only nod or shake his shrunken, skull-like head.

Kaspar asked him if he lived in the mines, and Jaccob nodded yes.

He asked if he lived at the Black Alter, and Jaccob nodded yes.

He asked if Olin Vars was alive, and Jaccob nodded yes.

He asked if Olin Vars was in the mines, and Jaccob shook his head no.

He asked if Olin Vars was Bishop Tarduk, and Jaccob nodded yes.

Stunned by the revelation, Kaspar asked Jaccob to take him to the Black Alter. And Jaccob nodded that he would. Kaspar quickly relayed word to his companions and they made ready to enter the depths.

Chapter 5: Jaccob's Revenge

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