1492 Serenissima

A Murder in the Dorsoduro
The son of an important family is murdered in the warehouse of an ally (July 1492)

July 11, 1492

Pugnis Nucis wakes during the night to a frantic pounding on the door to his flat. His caller turns out to be Varda Hacim, daughter of his friend Ibrahim, a Jewish moneylender who also underwrites much of the black market occult trade going through Venice. Varda reports that a dead man wearing the badge of a Harbor Inspector has been found in her father’s warehouse. She asks for help finding out what has happened before the authorities discover the death.

Pugnis fetches his companions from House D’Este: the sorcerer Giacomo and the Turkish artificier Osman. They accompany him to the warehouse with the madonna. The murder victim appears to have been suffocated, but some distance away, among a stack of crates, they find fresh blood spatter. Along with a purse richly laden with ducats, they find a silver locket on him. The locket contains a tiny painted likeness of a beautiful young woman.

Pugnis examines the crates and finds they contain artifacts from Aegypt, funerary urns and the headless remains of a mummy.

Giacomo summons the ghost of the victim, who appears as a richly dressed young man calling himself Emilio Dandolo, fourth son of Enrico, head of House Dandolo. He does not know he’s dead, and his manner is condescending. However, he explains he was walking through the district with his two guards when he saw an open door at the back of the warehouse. Venturing within, he discovered a robed figure rooting through crates. Upon demanding the man surrender and answer his questions, he suddenly experienced a great loss of breath. He remembered one of his guards flinging a knife before he lost consciousness.

There’s much discussion, but in the end, Giacomo orders the D’Este guards to pack Emilio’s body in the crate and remove it to a D’Este warehouse as discreetly as possible. Pugnis has discovered bloody tracks exiting the warehouse and proposes they lead to the culprit. The group decides to try tracking these, though the night is dark. Taking a torch, they carefully follow the prints until they reach the canal leading to the Grand Canal. Here they flag down a gondola and make their way across to the St. Marco sestiere. Taking up the trail again seems doubtful, but Osman has an experimental device that shines a strange light he has found causes blood to glow brightly. He had thought it a curiosity, but wonders if it would help. It does. They are able to find blood on a water landing on the fondamente and resume their tracking.

The trail leads to a brothel where the lights still shine and drunken laughter echoes. The group enters to ask after a wounded man who might be trying to find someone to stitch a wound. Giacomo goes upstairs after finding out where this man went. Pugnis, after leaning on the bouncer for information, takes up a post on the street outside the window.

Giacomo enters, finds a man sitting at a table, stripped to the waist with a woman sewing up his bloody shoulder. His body is covered with a myriad of complex Qabbalistic tattoos. Instantly, he leaps up and shouts a command, and the room is plunged into pitch darkness. Giacomo grasps his reliquary of St. Isadore and banishes the darkness spirit with such vigor that it shatters the other sorcerer’s binding. Reeling, the man staggers to the open window to escape, but Giacomo orders his Unseen Servant to seize him and hold him against the wall. The terrified whore cowers by the table, mumbling desperate prayers.

Downstairs, Osman climbs the stair to the room, his clockwork leg heavy on the wooden steps. Outside, Pugnis encounters a man approaching the window in jerky fashion, as if intoxicated. The man makes a stupendous leap and grabs the windowsill on the second story. Pugnis leaps and seizes the man’s ankles, then pulls him down hard enough to crack his skull on the paving stones of the calle. The man begins to rise anyway, and Pugnis produces his last bottle of good Dalmatian wine and whirls it overhead to knock the stranger out. He does so with such finesse that the bottle remains undamaged.

Above, in the hotel room, the mysterious tattooed sorcerer faints from blood loss.

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What Has Gone Before
Intrigue in the Veneto (April 1492)

The Scroll from Istanbul

The characters picked up a mysterious scroll in Istanbul, traveling incognito in the Ottoman city to meet their contact and infiltrate a Turkish library. However, they were discovered and had to flee through the cisterns with their terrified guide. Despite pursuit by an Ottoman sorcerer and his ghazi guards, they were able to escape the city.

Back in Venice, they consulted with the head of House D’Este, their patron Il Vecchio, who is secretly Uberto’s nephew, though he appears much older than the sorcerer. Questions arose regarding the guide and their near-capture by the Turk. Preliminary examination of the scroll indicated it containted a long, complex ritual in kabbalistic encryption. The scroll passed into the hands of a Greek sorcerer working with the Ten, and they sent for the guide to bring him to interrogation.

However, the guide had escaped, somehow slipping his bonds and out of the cramped galley space in a manner that suggested he was not fully human. They later recaptured him at the Greek sorcerer’s home, but discovered the Greek had fled the city to they knew not where.

The Kriegshund

Doctor Gregario ventured out one night and became drunk with his fellow and sometime rival Doctor Nazario. While venturing home alone through the dark streets of Venice, he was ambushed but spared by the arrival of a fearsome beast which bit him deeply but let him live. He blacked out and awoke the next morning in an inn under the care of a group of boisterous Germans. One of them apologized to him and offered a satchel of herbs he said would aid in the coming nights.

Gregario reported to the rest of the group but did not mention the herbs. On the next night of the full moon, he changed to a savage wolf-man while at Uberto’s house, and the party was obliged to hunt him through the city, aided by Otto’s company. Though the wolf Gregario killed a number of people in the Jewish ghetto, he was eventually captured in a heavy net. Later investigation determined he had truly been infected by the bite of a werewolf, and the indications were that he had been targeted by one of the Holy Roman Emperor’s Kriegshund, an elite order composed of werewolves.

The Turkish Sorcerer’s Spy

The captive Turkish guide was removed to Uberto’s house, where the sorcerer imprisoned the creature in a barrel of seawater, as it appeared to be able to take a boneless aquatic form. There he was able to discover the creature was linked to its master, the Turk sorcerer they had encountered in Istanbul. There was debate over whether they had been permitted to capture the scroll, and what possible schemes the Ottomans might have put in play. Uberto tried to turn the sorcerous link backward to cause damage to the Turkish sorcerer, and was (apparently) partly successful. However, the guide died as his body exploded from the arcane energies channeled through it.

A Journey into the Veneto

Il Vecchio, the head of House D’Este, informed the party that a D’Este caravan had been ambushed and destroyed on the mainland, the information coming from the minor house Da Scala, who held the city of Silviana Alba in the western extent of the Veneto, in a wild forest cut through by an ancient Roman road. The caravan had been returning from Prague, and advance word had said it was carrying items of occult significance. Il Vecchio charged the party with investigating the brigands whom the Da Scala accused of destroying the caravan, and interviewing the handful of survivors the Da Scala were harboring.

Feint to the North

Otto did some investigation through his contacts in the mercenary community, and found that a particular condottiere, Aldo Dragonetti, had been hiring within the last sixty days. Deciding it best to flush out the brigands, he sent his son and lieutenant Maximilian north with a small, well-armed force bolstered by wagon-mounted light cannon. He would follow a day later with the larger part of the company. Max left on the appointed day along with Camilla, who split with a small escort to arrive early at Silviana Alba to make discreet inquiry while Max continued up the northern road. A day later, Otto set out after Max, accompanied by Gregorio and Uberto.

As a precaution, Uberto had given Max a skull containing a ghost who would return to Uberto with a message when the holder of the skull so commanded.

One day out, Otto and Uberto were awakened when the ghost arrived bearing a desperate message from Max, about being under attack at night, by “hordes of nightwalkers.”

Battle Against the Undead

The City of Silviana Alba

Gregorio and the Defilement of the Forest Altar

The Forest Spirit and the Death of the Cardinal Sorcerer

Treachery in Silviana Alba

The Enslavement of Bardo Pisani

The Death of Otto Von Brandt

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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