I don’t promise to keep doing this, but I thought I’d share:
The legionnaires have reached the western front and decide to focus on recon to get their bearings. Rumors from the locals report cinder king forces moving up the west bank of the Tigeria and the commander is worried that the undead are preparing to cut off their retreat to Plainsworth. Meanwhile a scout lost in the battle of Ettenmark appears in the camp with mortal wounds and horribly corrupted. He came from behind enemy lines where a small group of legion survivors have holed up. The commander prioritizes the recon but still sends the Ember Wolves to rescue the trapped legionnaires.
The rescue mission is successful but two rookies die in the attempt to save the 5 pinned down. The loss is palpable in the camp but the recovery of the lost squad makes up for it. The survivors are shaken by their time trapped but steeled by the words of the lorekeeper (TBD) and the sacrifices of the fallen.
While this is going on the Silver Stags reach an unmapped village on the east bank of the Tigeria. The local villagers are not welcoming of armed visitors and greet them in force with their pitchforks, knives, and other dangerous tools (tablesaw?). The officer Viscount Elrik, greets the apparent leader but his efforts to deescalate the situation fall on deaf ears. The Rookie Chaz Skellan makes some brazen moves hoping that his down-to-earth demeanor softens the situation. Unfortunately a couple of the villagers were waiting for any opportunity for open violence and attack Chaz. The scene collapses into violence and Elrik marshals the squad to end the conflict by any means necessary. At the end of the skirmish several villagers lie dead or wounded on the ground. The sniper Manat Dewa catches glimpse of the leader running to the church. Manat manages to get a shot off but he suffers major frame drops and misses the leader’s head by inches. Two of the rookies took major injuries in the scrap and are in a bad state.
Elrik interrogates one of the survivors and learns of shadowy figures moving along the banks of the Tigeria, but the survivor is too preoccupied with his wounds to give good answers. Chaz takes the opportunity to brutally finish off the villager that starting the brawl, while Manat scans the area with his alchemical eye. Manat senses strong malevolent forces and turns just in time to see a woman in white robes walk over to one of the injured villagers. Before he realizes what’s happening the woman heals some of the villager’s grievous wounds. She then turns to the Rookie Frash Enzo and wounds burst open in his chest. He dies on the spot. The rookie Pisifle Eevuski responds first, shooting the strange reverse-mercy but she just laughs and pushes the wound into one of the fallen villagers.
The Stags attack en masse, steeled by the loss of Frash, they cut and bash the woman back towards another wounded villager. They try to give a shot to Manat but the mercy moves with inhuman speed and the shot misses. The Stags maneuver works against them as the wounded villager gives the mercy new ammunition for her dark powers which she expends on the skirmishing legionnaires, wounding 3 of them.
At that moment, Elrik remembers the momento of home that Frash had given to him, and old reliquary passed down in the Enzo family. He promised to bring it back to Frash’s family but it could be the silver bullet to this corrupted mercy. Elrik yells, “Cut her open!”. Pisifle and Chaz charge, slashing and stabbing with fury. The mercy gives them back some of her injuries but a nice big stab wound remains in her stomach. Just the opportunity Elrik needs. He dives in jamming his fist up to the wrist in her stomach. The mercy smiles wide and says, “You’re going to enjoy this one—” Sudden shock shows on her face as the officer withdraws his hand, Frash’s momento no longer present. The mercy’s blood turns black and foam pours from her mouth. She falls to the ground and decays within minutes.
The stags scout out the area for the next couple days, long enough to learn of the Binder’s advancement. Strangely the forces seem at first blush to be predominantly human, but strange supernatural forces work among the ranks. Unfortunately the Stags camp is discovered and the Stags have to beat out a hasty retreat. They caught having to make a choice of which of their wounded to bring back. The rookie Aeniopath Froievich, low on blood and blinded from her wounds, volunteers to stay behind. She loads her musket as the Stags race away. The Stags only hope is that the knowledge they recovered will be worth the sacrifice.
The other injured rook, Xomi is particularly affected. She knows that it could just as easily been her left behind to face Binder’s forces alone.
The mercy’s black blood still taints the skin of Pisifle, Chaz, and Elrik. They wonder if it’ll ever wash off.