The Whisperer in Darkness

Day 12: Drayheist

The quiet ambiance of the countryside is little disturbed by the long horse-drawn carriage that travels lazily along the forest road. Though there are woodland creatures within earshot, they are not surprised by the rhythmic wooden trundle of the wagon’s axles. The two men sitting on the drivers bench have long since run out of idle conversation topics, and so the carriage passes along the road almost unnoticed, screened by thick barriers of trees on either side.

As the two freight horses continue along the road, there is a gradual volume drop in the chorus of birdsong. After thirty or forty seconds, the sound of the travelling carriage is the only noise still to be heard. The wagon driver takes another cigarette from his front pocket, so far unaware of the change. His partner on the bench stretches out against the carriage behind him, but jumps back into position when he suddenly hears the sound of frantic wood-sawing. Horses and drivers both do their best to face the noise, but its source is some way behind and concealed by the forest.

The pair on the passenger bench are so preoccupied that it is up to the horses to respond to the barrier that suddenly emerges in front – a thick web of rope, raised up from the ground in a flash to prevent any further forward progression. The wagon staggers to a halt. The drivers voice the first syllables of a discussion, but are drowned back into silence by a falling tree, a huge beech, which crashes onto the road behind the carriage. The drivers throw speedy glances in all directions, convinced that death is imminent.

One of the two jumps down from the high bench and skips forward hastily to cut down the rope web. An armoured man steps out of the forest. He is tall, cloaked and bearded. Dark hair spills out of the sides of his hood. Standing between the driver and the web, he draws a sword, leaps forward and swipes the air. The driver hops back. Though nervous, he is trained. He draws a short sword and confronts the taller man. The woods rustle with movement – the allies of Ignatious Moor draw near.

Encounter: Clotheswork

The defeated deliverymen are ordered to undress. Their uniforms are distributed amongst the party and soon the group look like deliverymen themselves. One of the stripped men is interrogated by Ignatious in his undergarments – the warlord desires to know the entry procedures at the wooden fortress ahead and isn’t afraid to use the scary Batman voice to get his way. Wistark has a look inside the carriage and discovers that is is lined with metal drums filled with an ancient, explosive liquid. It is just as The Boss said it would be.

The guards are thrown into the woods in their undergarments, then the Capital Punishers have a brief argument over who will sit on the driver’s bench – largely between Norman, who calls ‘shotgun’, and Wistark, who wants the foolish knight as far away from public scrutiny as possible. Norman climbs onto the bench, refuses to budge, and soon the wagon is on its way, driven by the troublesome dwarf and the seething wizard. Ignatious and Gravilla hide inside the carriage with a prisoner – the unfortunate driver with the smashed knees.

At the end of the road is the stone tower – another temporary stronghold for the group led by the rasping man. The Brotherhood have watched the traffic for some time, long enough to give the Punishers the intel they needed to launch this surprise attack. Stage 1 of the plan has now been achieved – the horse-drawn carriage and the uniforms should get the group through the checkpoint which lies ahead. Once beyond that, stage 2 and 3 come into play. Beneath the three storey tower there is a cellar – the final destination of the cargo in the carriage. Located somewhere within the tower itself… is Grimlock.



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