Awakened Boston - Shadows of the New World

In the Wood of Empty Houses - Pt. 2

Dead and Gone

The cabal of Wintere’s Thorn and it’s guests trek their way back to the strange hut where Sheela Little was held captive and follows one of the two paths into the cornfield. There are no signs of any spirits at the mound there, but three toed prints that may have been made by the strange bird you saw (and which Desmond shot) are visible in its soft soil.

With the ‘discovery’ of a few shovels by Mr. Blackthorn and Aurigae, and perhaps a little magical aid, you make short work of the shallow graves (work which would have gone faster had Desmond put a little more back into it) and discover a dozen bodies in various stages of decay. Trisiphone backs off from the dig as soon as some of the more pungent remains are unearthed, and Sheela stays as far away from the affair as possible, babbling incoherently all the while.

Trsiophone quickly identifies the missing member of her cabal mate, Aganippe, and Aurigae likewise points out the body of his student, Etamin. Both of them, and all of the other bodies that still have flesh enough to hold the evidence, have large gashes beneath their sternums through which, it seems, their hearts were withdrawn.

The 10 other bodies unearthed have clearly been dead for longer than these two, as each one revealed is more decomposed than the last. To the forensic eye of Desmond, it’s clear that the oldest body has been dead for well over a year, perhaps two. Magical examination agrees with his assessment.

In most cases the bodies were buried with at least some of their personal belongings. Half of them have wallets or bags buried with them, but a search of these reveals nothing about their bearers. Every drivers license is blank; there is no name, no picture, no date of birth, or anything else beyond a hologram of the state seal and other marks indicating where the information would go. Credit cards and other items are likewise missing names and the like. Even the electric bill of one of the victims (who seems to have been somewhat behind in her payments) has an address printed on it, but only empty space on the line above this.

The cornfield is as still as a painting. Crestfallen looks abound, and Blackthorn’s flask makes the rounds in a series of toasts to the dead


daniel_reardon daniel_reardon

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