On August 15th, I sent The Slayers (a group made up of Magnus, Nazarov, Parolles, and Halian) to the Slabi settlement of Hillfoot. Their mission was to help a Scout known by the name of Darven Skerrel to identify and eliminate a Doppelganger. Over the course of their journey, they fought a group of Spirit-mutated wolves (in which Halian almost lost his horse), faced against a storm, and crossed the plains. I received reports of two near threats. At first, there was a point where the Slayers’ vision was completely blocked out, and they heard strange murmuring. Another was when the ground began to rumble strangely, and The Slayers prepared for combat thinking that something was beneath them, but nothing emerged. These signs are troubling. Summer must be coming near its end. It seems shorter every year.
They came to the village at approximately the 17th, arriving at the door of a couple of Slabí farmers. Halian, Parolles, and Nazarov demanded food, while Magnus wandered into the village. The farmers were hesitant, but then realized they were dealing with Slayers, and provided. After the meal, Nazarov strangely gave the farmers some of his rations, and two gold.
Meanwhile, Magnus met up with Darven, the Scout, in the village. Darven was apparently paranoid, and in a rush to speak to Magnus, but Magnus, ever the quiet type, demanded that he not speak to him, but instead the other Slayers. They went to where he had last seen the others, and met them coming back from the farm. Darven informed them that the Doppelganger had been killing Slabi every few nights. The villagers had been smart at first, and had sent someone to watch, but the entire night watch had ended up dead, and ever since then they had been terrified to attempt it again. At the time, there were three main suspects the villagers spoke a about: “Weird-Eye” Mosht, Senna Arven, and Berret Kren. The Slayers decided that their best method of investigation would be to take each of these characters, tie them up, and interrogate them. (Not that bad in comparison to most Slayer methods, I hate to admit) This went very well for the most part, and the Slayers found information about their suspects, particularly that Senna was only hated by the other villagers because she could not support a healthy child. Unfortunately, these suspects were only down to two. Berret Kren was missing, and could not be found.
The plan was suggested that they wait out the night, watching for the doppelganger. If anyone died, it was not either of the suspects. Halian and Nazarov patrolled the village while Magnus and Parolles slept in the house with Darven. Unfortunately, at sometime during the night, Darven was apparently killed, and found on the doorstep of the house. Magnus and Parolles did not seem to notice anything…other than Parolles having a strange dream and suddenly waking from his sleep. Strangely enough, the Slayers looted Darven’s body and (for reasons I cannot quite grasp) chopped his head off.
In the morning, Ceredine (who had previously been ill) arrived, having been sent from the Citadel, the first thing greeting her the headless body of a scout. She met up with the group just as they were continuing to interrogate their suspects. After a series of grueling interrogation methods, it was revealed that Mosht was not the doppelganger, but had in fact killed (and eaten) several members of the village. The Slayers chose not to do anything about this, but did not release Senna or Mosht, as they had heard rumors that doppelgangers could teleport through walls and ropes.
For a while after this, The Slayers were stuck on exactly what to do. They rounded up the villagers, and had them each come to a meeting every day, where they would check to see if any of them were missing. They waited by night to see if anyone died, and when this didn’t happen they eventually released Senna and Mosht. Strangely, most of these plans were thought up by Magnus, who was usually quiet.
Meanwhile, Ceredine wandered out into the forest and found a locket, one that she learned from Senna had previously belonged to the missing Berret. Alone, Ceredine wandered out into the forest to find out where it had come from. She was not attacked, miraculously, but did not find anything.
Several days passed, and no one was killed. It looked like the Slayers’ trail had run dry. Another village was east of them, and they suspected that the Doppelganger had gone there. Magnus decided that they had already lost they mission, and went to The Citadel to give up. Halian, in some kind of hopeless protest, proceeded to go into the scout’s house and meditate. The other three left for the village.
On the way there, however, they ran into a small den. Not fully knowing what they had run into, they decided to investigate. It was a bizarre area obscured by fallen and hunched over trees, and rocks. Going down into it, they discovered that there was a door. Strangely enough, it opened fairly easily. However, as soon as it was opened, they heard a loud thumping sound. They were cautious, and not willing to enter at first. However, when they finally did, they found Magnus and Berret Kren, tied up and gagged. The thumping had been Magnus beating his foot against the wall.
For the past few days, Magnus had been a doppelganger. And it was going to The Citadel, looking exactly like a Slayer.
The Slayers quickly released Magnus and Berret and left, speeding off through the forest and the village, picking up Halian on the way. Thankfully, the Doppelganger had overworked its horse, and they caught up to it fairly easily. Beating it down, they captured it alive, and brought it into The Citadel’s gates.
The Slayers were given extra gold for delivering the monster alive, but were warned severely. If the creature had gotten within our walls, there is no telling what it could have done. It is likely that the blood of Citadel dwellers would have been on their hands. I can only be thankful that they realized their mistake soon enough to catch the creature.
I do not believe that The Slayers are worthy of a rank upgrade yet, however, I would like to request an end to espionage missions for now. They have succeeded at their last two missions, but with a lot of brute force and mistakes. For their next mission, I will request something with a clearer and more easily determinable goal. Clearly, they need experience with the dumber monsters before they move on to intelligent ones.
-High Priest, Nový Poradie