Recently some friends and I ran an Innistrad based DnD game. Innistrad has always been one of my favorite planes from the Magic the Gathering Universe and to be able to run a game within the world was a lot of fun. Below is the first part of the story, I plan to write and tell the rest soon. As always, please share any comments or feedback, and please share with your friends! Thank you to Garson, Zack and Maggie for letting me use their characters.
Franz and Jack were used to traversing the woods of Kessig, they had grown up in these woods, and there was no one Franz would rather have at his back than his little sister. Franz wasn’t a large man, but his posture and poise made him look the part. An Inquisitor of renown, he was proud of his sister for taking the first steps down the same path. Despite being siblings, the two carried themselves very differently. Franz was well kept, with his hair pulled back and clean shaven, somewhat of an abnormality for the people of Kessig. He wore the iconography of the Cathar’s proudly and did little to hide his position. Jack, on the other hand, hid her appearance under a dark cloak, all but obscuring her face. Though an inquisitor as well, she kept the title well-hidden, the only sign of her position was a chain wrapped symbol of Avacyn that hung from her wrist. With the light of the sun fighting to give its light through the thick mid-day clouds, the two made their way towards Lambholt. They had been summoned by the Inquisitor Lucius, but for what reason, they did not know.
“Do you hear that brother?” Jack’s words broke what had been a long silence. Franz was well known for his ability to stand toe to toe with the fiercest of beasts, but his sister had natural senses that nearly rivaled that of even an ancient blood sucker.
“No, I didn’t hear anything,” Franz slowed his pace and began to listen to the woods around him.
“Warning Bells!” Jack was suddenly in full sprint with Franz close at her heels. The warning bells of Lambholt were usually saved for when werewolves attacked, but for them to be so brazen to attack a well defended city in the day seemed even madder than their usual tactics.
The two closed on the city, soon having the gates within sight. There were not wolves attacking the city, but instead a horde of the undead. The two ran forth, seeing the cities defenders already pressed by those who had been denied the blessed sleep. A thunderous crack erupted from one of the defenders as bits of ghoul were sent flying.
Wielding the Heirloom Blade of her father’s father, Lady Britta, engaged the horde in front of her. With a single swing, thunder exploded from her sword, dismantling one of the shambling corpses. Without a moment’s hesitation she swung at another, cutting it clean and spilling its rotting entrails to the ground. In a vain attempt, the risen creature swiped and clawed at her armor, leaving little more than a thick smattering of its own blood. Before it could grasp her, Britta brought the sword down on the creature’s head “May the blessed sleep find you.” Her words soft and controlled. Around her the Parish-Blades engaged the dead, attempting to return them to their slumber. The Ballista on the gate towers began to fire, felling and splicing limbs from walking corpses.
“My lady look, in the sky!” One of the warriors announced. His voice filled with excitement. Britta was too focused on her task to look up. As she swung into another of the foul creatures a silvered bolt landed in its neck, splattering her armor in its unholy ichor. As the creature fell she saw the siblings rushing forth from the woods. Jack, loosing arrow after arrow from her short bow as Franz fired and reloaded his crossbow. Jack moved in swiftly, cutting the hamstring out of one of the creatures, giving Britta the opening to remove its head.
Above him Franz saw a winged shadow. “The Goldnight is upon us!” Franz proclaimed and the warriors of Lambholt began to withdraw towards the city. As Jack watched, an angel, clad in a glimmering breastplate and wielding a spear that glowed with radiant light, landed and hewered four of the creatures in two with a single blow. The holy reaper then took to the air again, moving to assist with another group of awoken dead. Franz raised his blades as a cluster of walking flesh shambled towards him. Before he could strike, the creatures were concaved under the weight of another angle’s armored boots. Franz gave a nod of acknowledgment, which the white eyed angel returned in kind before taking to the air again. As the last of the dead were mopped up, a horn sounded in the heavens, and the flight of the Goldnight withdrew, their aide no longer being needed.
“Well fought.” Franz said as he checked his quiver and counted his bolts, “My name is Franz, this is Jack,” he gestured to his sister, who was bent down inspecting one of the corpses. Jack barely looked up and raised a hand in a slight wave before going back to her investigation.
“I am Britta, acolyte of our lady Avacyn, it is good to meet you.” Franz had heard of those blessed with the purifying light of Avacyn, but had yet to witness such power in person, though his face would never show it, it left him impressed.
“Hail, Franz, it is good you have come.” Lucius signaled from atop the walls. “The three of you can meet me at the Mayor’s estate, I will give you details of your summons there.” Lucius was still coordinating the defenders as they swept the fields outside the city to ensure the re-dead were truly so.
“Sir is it alright if I get my armor cleaned first?” Britta spoke up.
“Of course, Britta, we wouldn’t want to have the Mayor put off by the smell.” Lucius said with a chuckle.
After getting cleaned up, Britta lead the siblings to the Mayor’s home. A few Parish-Blades guarded the entrance but allowed them entry. Inside the greeting room sat the Mayor, an older man, whose fighting days seemed behind him. His fine clothes covered what was a grizzled and tough exterior. Standing across the room at the small fireplace was Lucius, still in full battle dress.
“Thank you for coming,” The mayor said, hurriedly, “Please sit, please sit.” The three entered the room but remained standing.
“To business it is then,” Lucius begins, “A few nights ago there was an attack on the city. No, not like the one we just experienced, that seems to be the work of some miscreant ghoulcaller. One who will be dealt with soon enough. The attack I speak of came at the hands of the wolves. One managed to get over the wall and killed two towns folk.” Franz was confused. Surely, they were not asked to come for a simple wolf hunt. There were soldiers here already that were plenty capable of that.
“It is not the wolves that you were summoned for however,” Lucius continued, as if he had plucked the thought from Franz’s head. “You were summoned for the sake of the one the lived.” The Mayor became visibly upset as the words left the inquisitor’s mouth.
“It’s my daughter,” The Mayor manages to get out.
“Yes, the lady of the town was bitten, we believe she may have contracted the foul curse. You are being charged with taking her to Thraben, where the Lunarch can hopefully remove said curse.” Lucius begins to walk towards Franz. “You have two nights before the New Moon, she must reach Thraben by then.” Lucius puts his hand on Franz’s shoulder and in a voice so faint only Franz can hear, says “If you do not make it, do what you must.” Lucius then signals out the door and a covered carriage is brought up. The carriage has been repurposed to transport a potential lycanthrope and has iron bars added to its exterior. A think fabric sheet is slung over the top to conceal the passenger. As one of the guards lifts the material, a teenage girl can be seen. She sits with manacles around her wrists and a chain running from the manacles to an iron loop in the floor.
“Please bring her back to me safely.” The Mayor begs, trying to keep his tone professional.
“Have no fear sir,” Franzs steps forward, “We will get her there with time to spare.”
Franz looks to Britta and exchanges a quick glance, it is enough to know that she understands what must be done if they are too late.
Franz and Britta begin preparing the cart. As they do, Franz asks the young lady’s name.
“My name is Helana.” She says in a proud but perturbed voice. “I am fine, I don’t feel any different.” She speaks as if she is the Lunarch himself. Despite the disrespect, Franz reassures her in kind words, that they will make it in time, and that if nothing is wrong, there is nothing to fear.
As her brother and Britta reassure the young poppet, Jack sees her father signaling from the door. She walks over to find the old man holding a shield and a few other items.
“I wish I could go with you lass, but my old bones would only slow you down. I would trade places with her if I could.” The Mayor held the items out to Jack. Jack could read people like books, their eyes always told her a story. The Mayor was being truthful. He would give his life for his daughter and Jack knew in that moment, Lucius probably had to talk him out of insisting to come along. “Please take these,” he continued. “My adventuring days are over, but if they can aid you getting my daughter to those that can help her, perhaps they may still be of some use.”
Jack inspected the shield. It was a fine armament, made of sturdy iron. Upon the shield lay a mask and dagger. The dagger was inlaid with silver and the mask bore a resemblance to Avacyn herself.
“That shield there, saved me more than once and the dagger is great for sneaking in on the wolf folk, however the mask,” he gestured to the visage of Avacyn. “The mask can deflect even an ancient vampire’s glamour.
“We will get her to the temple in Thraben sir, we will not let her join the ranks of the howl packs.” Jack’s voice was confident and strong. She didn’t speak much, but when she did, she meant the words she spoke.
“Jack, lets go, we don’t want to waste any time.” Franz hollered while climbing into the driving position of the carriage. Jack spun around and jogged down the steps two at a time. Reaching the carriage, she for the first time, set eyes upon their young prisoner. Helena was not much younger than her, and though she looked proud and proper, Jack could see through her veiled expression that she was terrified.
“Hey, were going to get this all sorted, I promise,” Jack says through the caged walls of the carriage.
“You better.” Helena says with an air of authority. Jack smirks at the comment, appreciating the young women’s refusal to be a damsel.
“You can probably use this better than my brother or I can.” Jack assumes, handing the shield to Britta who had pulled herself up to sit on a small ledge on the back of the carriage. Britta taking the shield, looks at Jack and nods. Jack then climbs up to take a spot next to her brother and hands him the silvered dagger.
“Werewolves are your specialty, right?” Franz looks down and takes the dagger before nodding and responding.
“Keep those perceptive eyes astute Jack, this will be no regular trip,” he says, as he snaps the reigns.