Sturmgeist005Recap:Belly of the Beast pt 1
Else lies dead, the result of a shot from HM’s Colt 1911 and with her death ends the immediate Nazi threat. Or does it? There is still the stone to be found and protected or perhaps moved to another location. They spend the morning waiting for the promised assistance from the protectors, but as the day wears on HM in particular grows restless and our heroes decide to head off into the moors themselves.
Into the misty Scottish moors they trek. Taking the car as far as the roads will allow they finally abandon the vehicle and head off on foot picking their way amongst the fens and brush and trees, hopefully, in the direction of the castle. With night falling around them they begin to wonder if they have somehow missed the path when they come upon a familiar figure. The old woman bent over her washing by the water jars HM to action and he opens fire on the apparition but with no visible effect, though she does turn to regard them with her empty eye sockets. As she begins to move towards HM his companions try to prevent her, Michael by first throwing salt at her and then by trying to strike her with an iron poker, and Billie by interposing herself between the ghostly figure and HM. Nothing seems to deter her from her course and she “walks” up to HM and reaching out with one bony finger draws some kind of symbol on his forehead. Just as abruptly as she appeared she turns now with clothes other than HM’s and returns to her washing at the stream’s edge.
Somewhat shaken and confused by the exchange with the ghostly old woman, nonetheless, our heroes make their way to the top of the nearest hill to get their bearings. Once more oriented they return to making their way towards the ruined castle. As they paused for breath atop a hillock they looked down into the dell created between two hills and saw a great shaggy wolf of feeding on a stag it had managed to bring down. Evelyn never fond of the sight of blood quailed at the sight before her and so was spared the sight when the beast turned to regard them and stood on its hind legs revealed to be some horrifying hybrid of man and wolf, the stuff of legend sprung from the pages of cheap novels, a werewolf. Enraged and with fresh prey before it the shaggy hulking monster charged to the attack and nearly tore Micheal in half with its claws. Things looked dire indeed for our heroes when the night was torn by three gun shots from nearby which felled the ravening werewolf before he could do more harm. With mounting horror they watched as the wolf breathed its last and then sloughed off the wolfish form returning to that of just a man. No sign of the mysterious hunter has so far been found.
Lesser men and women would have turned back perhaps to seek out the stone on another day but not our heroes. Onward to the castle. Armed with intelligence from the Protectors Evelyn quickly found and opened the doorway leading down to the stone’s resting place by means of a narrow twisting tunnel that forged deep into the earth beneath the moors and lead finally to a sea cave.
With few choices but to press on HM, Billie, Evelyn and Michael began to explore the series of chambers. Evelyn noted the finely fitted stones and the well crafted doors that had stood in this place for perhaps a thousand years. The first room revealed nothing terribly useful or interesting, the second carpeted in thick shaggy moss. The third though had four mighty columns standing in the corners. The columns were revealed to be in fact thin stone sheeting over glass as HM stepped upon a shifting stone the four columns burst asunder showering the heroes with their crawling scrabbling contents. Thousands, tens of thousands, of insects of all kinds poured over them though no real harm was done as the swarm poured out of the door instinctively seeking freedom through the sea cave.
The next room seemed more a long wide corridor than a room and as they made their way across the floor a wall of spikes burst from the side to bar their path narrowly avoided by the quick reflexes of Michael. Billie examined the mechanism and found the way to release the wall and slide it back into place and most likely even how to rearm it in case of pursuit. Three more walls of spikes blocked their path though again no harm was done. At the end of the corridor room they found a tall stone statue of St. George who had stood in this place since the time of the crusades and at its feet a small metal box containing a finely crafted escutcheon of platinum and gold embossed with the symbol of St. George and bearing the legend of the dragon slaying saint engraved upon its surface in Latin. A discussion of what should be done with the token of St. George remains to be resolved.