Savage Rome

Morning in the Foresters' Camp
Bath time and the trail goes cold

Quintus was the first to wake and left the hut to fetch water to bath his master. Whilst emerging from the hut he was halted by Marcus Didus, who demanded to know more about the murderous beast that headed towards the camp. Quintus explained that it was not so much a bear, wolf or boar as a gardener. Marcus was annoyed that he had been mislead by Lucius and demanded that Quintus let his master know that he wished to speak with him.

Quintus fetched a barrel of water, and planning to dowse his sleeping master, staggered into the hut. All but the hung-over Tribune Nerva awoke to see Quintus enter the hut with his barrel of water. Lucius leapt to his feet and congratulated Quintus, allowing his robe to fall to the ground. Anyaka, averting her eyes, decided it was best to leave the hut. Leandro turned his back on the scene and the Tribune slept on.

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Quintus chucked the chilled water over the naked form of his master who then demanded to be rubbed down with his favourite towel. Quintus had neglected to bring said towel on the impromptu jaunt into the woods, snatched up the Tribune’s cloak and roughly rubbed his master down before chucking the damp cloak back over the sleeping form of the Tribune.

Anyaka wandered around the settlement, looking for clues as to whether Felix had been seen. She spoke briefly with Titus Didus, Marcus Didus’ brother, who suggested she help the women prepare breakfast, as her slight frame wasn’t up to hauling timber. She took his advice and went to the hut where the settlements women and children were busy preparing a hearty gruel. Rumours of Lucius’ savage beast had reached them and they were relieved that the heroic young nobleman was there to protect them. Anyaka did nothing to dispel the perception of the hopeless noble. No one had heard anything about Felix or any other stranger arriving in the camp.

Lucius, clean and dressed, emerged from the hut accompanied by Quintus. To be met by a scowling Marcus Didus demanding to now the truth of the matter. Lucius, assisted by Quintus, managed to explain that in fact the beast was a slight German slave employed by Paulus as a gardener.

Various conversations revealed stories that the strange wailing came from the North where legend said there was a Black Hill, related to local German myths and legends.

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While the party continued their investigations, Marcus Didus, the headman, mounted a horse a rode for Magnus Major to alter the governor, Marcus Tullius Montanus.

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Arrival at the Foresters' Camp
Camp in the woods

The Romans of the group; Lucius, Gaius, Leandro, and Quintus hurried swiftly after Anyaka, leaving the gored remains of the unfortunate German slave.

The Romans soon caught up with Anyaka, who was slowed tracking the fleeing Felix in the darkness. Together they pushed on through the dark forest to the Foresters’ Camp.

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As they entered the forest clearing, a figure emerged from the darkness. He introduced himself as Marcus Didus, the headman of the Foresters. Lucius, explained, in rather confused manner, that the party were hunting a monstrous beast that had launched a horrendous attack at Paulus’ villa. This left Marcus with the impression that a savage beast, such as a bear or giant wolf was responsible and headed towards the camp. Marcus confirmed that no such beast had been seen.

Anyaka continued to look for signs of Felix’s tracks, but lost them among the churned earth of the camp.

Marcus cleared one of the families from their hut so that Lord Lucius could share a hut with his servants and slaves. Marcus confirmed that as any Roman settlement should, the camp had a bath, albeit a barrel of water. And so the weary party settled on the pallets in the humble hut.

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If you go down to the woods today...
Horror in the forest

Lucius, Quintus, Gaius, Leandro, and Anyaka decided to follow the tracks of Felix, Gaius dragging along a German slave to carry a torch.

In the absence of Ragnar, Anyaka proved an effect tracker, easily following Felix‘s trail. The tracks headed North towards the Roman Forrester’s Camp. As the group fought their way through the undergrowth, it became clear that they wouldn’t reach the camp before nightfall.

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Despite the poor light, Anyaka managed to follow the trail further North. As the Sun set in the West there was an unearthly wail from the East. Suddenly a white form swept out of the trees. Quintus reacted quickly, pushing his master, Lucius behind Gaius. The apparition swept back into the trees.

Gaius and Lucius drew their swords and prepared for action. Anyaka make an offering to the spirits of the forest walked charting down the trail and away. Leandro drew his dagger and stood with Gaius.

White forms swept past the party again, one seizing hold of the unfortunate German slave. Gaius and Lucius beat at the forms with their swords, occasionally landing blows on the far from incorporeal beings. Quintus recalling he had the strange black pebble, threw it at the form attacking the German Slave. The Pebble bounced to the ground.

The form holding the German soared into the air, carrying the wailing German slave. Another of the apparitions swept down on the Pebble. Brave young Leandro rolled to the Pebble scooping it up, while his fellow Romans set about the form. Leandro threw the Pebble at the spirit and it fell once more the the ground. Lucius landed a particularly effective blow. Screeching the spirit flew into the trees, Leandro catching a glimpse of an insect like form beneath the white shroud.

Suddenly the body of the German Slave fell to earth. Lucius observed that the slave’s head was missing. Taking the Pebble Lucius passed it back to Quintus to hold. The Romans decided that they had better hurry after Anyaka.

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Meanwhile in the library
Scrolls and scrolls

Meanwhile, Anaxagoras was busy reading scrolls in Paulus’ Library.

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Investigation at the homestead
Or send in the clowns

Lucius, Quintus, Anyaka, and Flavia arrived in the homestead to be met by a gang of angry looking Germans. Anyaka explained that Lucius was a famous clown form Rome and not an arrogant Roman nobleman. Lucius misunderstanding, launched into an inspiring speech. Quintus ‘translated’ confirming Lucius’ status as a comic genius, further confirmed as he fell from his horse. Unfortunately, this also gave the Germans the impression that Lucius was a male prostitute, drawing the attention of Fredriech.

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The investigators were shown to Theodric hovel. Theodric was still distraught but allowed them in. Peada lay on a table while his mother and sister, Eadhild, wept in a corner. Quintus, assisted by Anyaka examined Peada‘s body. Peada’s body showed no sign of trauma, he just stopped living. Anyaka and Quintus asked Eadhild what happened. She explained that Peada had found the body of the Roman in the moat. She had been scarred and not gone with him to the body. Later Peada had fallen ill with a fever.

At this point there was a disturbance outside and the heroes stepped forth to see what was happening. A rider from the villa had arrived with news of Abraham’s murder. Anyaka insisted Flavia return to Magnus Major and her father, with Ragnar as escort. Lucius, Quintus, and Anyaka rode for the villa, as Fredriech gazed longingly after Lucius.

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Death comes to the villa
Murder most horrid

It was decided that Gaius, with the boy Leandro, would head back to the villa to question Abraham.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party, apart from Ragnar whi was giving the slaughtered hounds due rites, would return to the homestead to examine the body of Peada, the dead boy.

Once back at the villa, Gaius questioned Paulus in his usual brusque manner regarding the whereabouts of Abraham. Paulus had not seen his trusted slave since the morning. Gaius sent Leandro to search the villa.

Leandro had no joy and asked amongst the slaves. The cook recalled seeing Abraham taking food to the imprisoned Felix earlier in the morning. As Leandro approached the shed where Felix had been locked he had a bad feeling when he noticed the door as open. Looking inside he saw the gore soaked body of Abraham, less his head.

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The alarm was raised but despite Gaius demands, Paulus refused to send his household slaves into the forest after the killer. Anaxagoras emerged from the library to see what the disturbance was. He explained to Paulus that Gaius had been dismissed from the legions for cowardice. Unfortunately Gaius overheard part of the conversation and flew into a rage, drawing his gladius. Further bloodshed was avoided however as the Roman was tripped byPaulus and restrained by his slaves.

Gaius stormed off to find a amphora of wine while a runner was sent to Magnus Major to summon help from Marcus Tullius Montanus. Leandro bravely sat on top of the shed keeping watch, despite the uneasy feeling he was being watched. Anaxagoras returned to his reading in the library.

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The Ancient German Graveyard
Return to the scene of the crime

As the sun tried to break through the overcast dawn skies, Anaxagoras shuffled into Paulus’ library, happy to escape his uncouth comrades.

Lucius and Gaius decided to head back to the homestead to gather their missing comrades, followed by Ragnar and Quintus.

Leandro, fearing the hostile reaction of local Germans, whined and pleaded until the two girls, Anyaka and Flavia agreed to make all haste back to the villa and their comrades.

The two parties met on the road and after a brief conference decided to return to the clearing and the scene of the previous nights horror. Arriving, they surveyed the scene of carnage, the four dogs having been literally torn apart. Ragnar and Anyaka picked up the trail and found that Abraham had been ahead of them as they chased the killer then doubled back to join them.

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The Killer is Captured
Or is he?

Anaxagoras having identified Felix the Gardener as the only member of the household missing sent Abraham to check the slave quarters. Shortly afterwards an ashen faced Abraham emerged. Anaxagoras the Greek pushed past him into the slave quarters.

Curled in a corner of the building lay Felix, his tunic soaked with blood. Anaxagoras helped Felix to his feet and removing his tunic, cleaned him up.

Lucius, Gaius, and Quintus arrived. Taking in the situation, Gaius set about brutally beating and ducking the hapless Felix demanding his confession to the hideous dog murders. The confused boy merely stated that he heard the disturbance at the house and passed out only to wake up in the slave quarters covered in blood.

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Lucius objected to Gaius’ increasingly aggressive assaults on the boy. Anaxagoras returned with Paulus who demanded that Gaius stop damaging his property. Abraham took Felix and locked him in a shed while everyone retired the what remained of the night, Felix indulging in a large nightcap.

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Uproar in the countryside

Abraham woke the household of the Villa. Paulus, Anaxagoras, and the rest of the household slaves gathered before the Villa with torches. Anaxagoras asked Abraham if anyone was missing; Felix the Gardener was unaccounted for…

Anyaka and Leandro Fino returned to the homestead with the mourning Germans. There were some anti-Roman mutterings, and Leandro became increasingly nervous. Fortunately Anyaka isn’t just attractive but is also very charismatic, and made an impassioned speech dispelling the growing anti-Roman sentiment. This may have been prompted by a concern for Flavia rather than Leandro.

Peada‘s mother offered accommodation to Anyaka, Flavia, and Leandro. Anyaka and Flavia spoke to Eadhild, Peada’s older sister, who was distressed that she had left her brother when he found the corpse in the moat…

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The Graveyard
Something evil this way comes

The parties relaxation was interrupted by a disturbance in the Villa’s courtyard. Flavia, clad in leather, had ridden in accompanied by a local German. Anyaka pushed the hapless Gardener into the roses before catching Flavia’s eye.

Flavia explained that Peada, a four-year old boy, had gone missing from the homestead just South of the German Graveyard. She had come to the Villa to ask for help, knowing Paulus’ had dogs and also it would be an opportunity to see Anyaka.

Anaxagoras elected to stay in the library, Tribune Nerva with the wine.

The rest of the group decided to head to the homestead, accompanied by Abraham and Horsa the Hound Master with his dogs.

They arrived at the homestead to see a group of Germans, including Theodric, the missing boy’s father had gathered in the increasing darkness. The dogs picked up Peada’s scent, heading North the the wooded graveyard of the Germans.

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Following hot on the tales of the dogs our heroes dived into the dark woods, hung with talismans and bones. The German farmers were less willing to rush into the dark woods. The dogs broke free and ran into the deep woods.

Suddenly there was a yelping and sound of dogs in distress. Anyaka restrained Flavia as Ragnar, Lucius, and Quintus pushed ahead, to be met by the shaken Horsa, supporting the weeping, broken Theodric.

Ragnar, Lucius, and Quintus advanced into a clearing, which was a scene of carnage. The lifeless body of Peadalay in the centre of the clearing. Ragnar grew incensed as he took in the scattered, broken remains of the dogs.

Anyaka and Leandro joined them and between them bore back the body of the dead child. Ragnar picked up the trail of a man-sized creature moving North through the woods. Following Ragnar, Lucius, and Quintus headed after the beast that committed these crimes.

They had only travelled a short distance when Abraham emerged behind them. He had heard the hounds and had headed to join the pursuers. They all followed the trail until it emerged, still heading North towards the villa. Abraham elected to hasten North to the Villa to warn his Master, while Ragnar, Lucius, and Quintus continued to follow the trail.

The trail petered out and Ragnar, Lucius, and Quintus headed on to the Villa.

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