Dawn of Darkness

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The shadows are deepening. Disappearances along the Paravel border have troubled the Resistance.

Defenceless, the peasants wait for the evil to come.
It is only a matter of time before they will be consumed.
Night falls, but the peasants dare not sleep.
Something lurks in the shadows of the forest.
Is it the Scathach?
Or is it something much worse?

The Inquisition are up to something. Whispers breed fear among the peasantry as the Adventurers Guild seek the source of evil. Will they find what they are looking for?

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Extract:

The Wizard’s Particular did not live up to everyone’s expectation. Gerard was less than impressed by the building and its surroundings. This particular wizard had been hoping for a fashionable coaching inn in the better end of town. He had been hoping for some of the world-famous Gelyndorf duck, good wine and a fine vintage brandy. He’d fancied that he might even shell out a few extra gold for a private room with an enamel bath and a feather bed. Disappointed didn’t really cover it.

The Wizard’s Particular was in actual fact a flee-bitten watering hole not far from the town’s Trade Gate. The name on the front of the building was missing all three cast iron ‘a’s. A metal sign cut in to the crude shape of the silhouette of a point-hatted wizard hung creaking in the wind above the main entrance. The blue paint on the rickety door was curling away from the wood and the door itself had dry rot. It seemed to be clinging onto its hinges by willpower alone.

Derek opened it gingerly concerned that he might be charged if it came off in his hands. The pervading odour of animals, grain liquor and pipe smoke spilled out into the street, followed by a ruckus of raucous laughter. Even before they had stepped through the entrance, Gerard had tutted and tucked all his pouches into his over-robe for safe keeping.

Inside, the tavern was no better. A cloud of yellowish smoke mixed from rough local tobaccos swirled around the low ceiling. The all-pervading smell of cheap alcohol clung to everything. The murky room was bursting with activity, most of the patrons were traders relaxing after the market. Many of them had been drinking their profits for most of the day and the rest seemed to be gambling them on various games of cards and dice. A grubby wench with a plate of steaming stew in each hand pushed her way through the crowd towards them.

I’ll be wit’ you in a moment dux,” she said cheerfully to Derek who was standing in front of the others as she glided by with the plates. Pondering for a moment, Derek wondered if he recognised the wench, well aware that they were meeting Tollie and Sylas here shortly. He decided that it was probably not Sylas because even under a magical disguise he wouldn’t be able to manage quite such an impressive flaking rash. When the wench returned, Derek tried not to stare at the unsightly skin complaint all over her neck and arms as she led them through the crush of bodies to the private room at the back.

Gerard let out a very feminine squeal as a pig pushed passed him. This had only served to blacken his already foul mood as the Jaegars and Iona continued to cackle about it far longer than was strictly speaking necessary. By the time he had taken his seat at the table he was glaring daggers at the four of them and anyone who he thought might be responsible for either the number of livestock or the choice of pub.

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This and all the other images are supplied by Torange.us – with thanks

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