Witch Hunter: Dark Paths

It came from the Woods

It was the start of June when Khald and Josh arived in New London. For the past week that had been haunted by dreams of a farm house on fire and children screaming. The dream ended with a scene of a costal town. There was no doubt that New London was the place they were meant to go. As they neared the town they encountered a man waiting by a road sign. They recognized him as a fellow Witch Hunter. He introduced himself as Krugar, a Stalker of the Unseen Hunt from Germania. He too had the same dream that had led them to New London.

After a brief lunch at The King’s Arms Tavern they were able to gather rummors and discovered that there had indeed been a fire three nights ago. The whole Baker family had been killed when their house caught fire. They also learned about tensions with the local indian tribes. Colonists and Mohegans had massacred the Perquot tribe with fire. Some people belive that this was revenge from the indians, though most of them had been integrated into the Mohegans. The final piece of news that they learned was that the Baker funeral would be held in just a few hours.

The cadre headed to the First Church of Christ, but waited outside during the sermon. As people headed out, the three spoke with Reverend Channing. He was able to explain to them that the Bakers neighbors, the Caulkins and Miners, awoke in the night and saw the blaze. They raced over, but were unable to stop the inferno. The next morning they searched ruined house and were able to find the chared remains of Mr and Mrs Baker were found, though the bodies of both children were missing. Nathan Danniel, brother of Mary Caulkinses, found small, hoved tracks behind the house and believed that a goat might have somehow knocked over a lamp or something to start the fire. Just as they were about to leave, Krugar inquired if there had been any other children missing recently. Reverend Channing said yes. He had taken in a small foriegn boy that had stowed away on a ship. No one knew where he was from nor spoke his language. He only stayed four days before leaving without a word, but that was three weeks back.

The cadre determined that the best course was to investigate the fire for themselves. Directions were not hard to acquire and the three rented horses to speed up their trip. Along the way they encountered a group of Indian braves that were drunk and itching for a fight, calling them murders and child stealers. While Krugar was quick to draw his sword, Khald was able to talk the braves down. His careless manner seemed to put them at ease. The braves told them of an incident simililar to what had happened to the Bakers. A Mohegan family had been burned to death on their farm in the night, and their son’s body was missing. The braves were suppose to be taking a message to Reverend Channing on behalf of Uncas, their elder. Shamed, the braves said they would return to their camp.

The Witch Hunters traveled on. Only a short time later they came across an elderly Indian man who had set up a camp and fire beside the road. He introduced himself as Uncas. They recognized him as a Witch Hunter and set down to have dinner with him and spend the night at his camp. Uncas was able to tell them more details about the fire that killed the Indian family and how it was to cover up the taking of their son. He was sad to hear that the braves had caused trouble and would go to New London himself to talk with the English leaders. He offered a warning to the cadre to beware when they neared the farm. A place of bad magic was near the farm, called Chapman Falls by the English.

The next morning the cadre continued on and soon reached the three homesteads. They questioned Harold Caulkins and George Miner about the fire and what they thought had happened. Neither of the men could offer more than their horror from the fire and having to root through the remains to find the bodies. The Witch Hunters thought that they might be at a dead end until Krugar questioned James Miner, the youngest boy, about Chapman Falls. James told them that the children liked to play there, but stayed away because of the “ugly faries.” The last time he was there, there was a strange boy that did not speak english playing a fiddle. He also told them that the path to Chapman Falls was behind the Baker house.

The three went to investigate the Baker farm. Searching around they found hoof tracks leading towards the woods. Krugar noted that they seemed like they were made by a two legged creature. Khald led the way, fallowing the tracks down the path towards Chapman Falls. Evening had come and the full moon had rose for the third night in a row by the time they arrived. From the woods they could see a clearing where they could see children with redcaps dancing around a boy playing a fiddle.

They drew their weapons and approached. They realized the dancers were not children, but dangerous fey and opened fire. The red caps attacked, but found themselves cut down quick, particularly by Josh’s blunderbuss and eldritch blast. The sirens call of the fiddle player tried to slow the three. Krugar had put wax in his ears while Khald and Josh had far to strong resolve for such a trap. They quickly cut down the boy who was revealed to have horns and goat like legs.

The three searched the area and found Gayle Baker in a cave behind the falls. She told them that the ugly faries had taken her brother and an Indian boy and she did not know what had happened to them. They were forced to tell the poor girl of the death of her parents and that her home was now gone. Before leaving, the three discovered that some of the white flowers had turned red, the blood roots had been absorbing the blood of the two sacrificed boys. They rung the blood onto the body of the fiddler and watched as it dissolved into nothing. They then headed back to the homesteads where they left the girl in the care of the Miner family.

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