- We met the young Baron of Brumwich (John Marnham), his sister Isabel and his Steward Walter, as well as Father Nolan in Brumwich.
- We heard from Nolan and Henry Mason that the priory was haunted by shadowy monks and anguished screaming.
- We found out that Hawise, the town’s healing lady, had congressed with Asmodeus and he had come to take her soul – slaying her innocent children (both in the church) to do so.
- We were able to inform Father Nolan who will help put their spirits to rest.
- Hawise, claimed by Asmodeus, may still be around – as may others of the Tamsete.
- Tristan has been entangled by Isobel.
- Theo dabbles in Witchcraft.
- Jules is scholarly and sisterly.
- Simon both displays his cleverness and over-organizes.
- Arthur is judgy and pious.
We come to Bromwich; a town which was devastated by the plague three years ago and had not recovered. We stop to pay our respects at a plague monument which bears the names of the 97 victims it had claimed. It holds a high presence of Dominion and it appears to have been built on the site of the pyre where the bodies were disposed of. We take down their names. Many brothers and sisters of the Abbey are among the deceased.
We then go to Bromwich Manor where we understand Father Nolan to be expecting us. We are initially greeted by him and Master Walter, the Steward. Before dinner we quickly learn that the entire village had been wiped out except for those lucky enough to escape – Walter and the young heirs of Bromwich among them. (As soon as Walter reported the sudden sickness in town, the old Baron had sent his children to a country house with Walter. He and his wife remained in Bromwich and perished with the rest.) Lady Isabel and Baron John had only recently returned to resume occupation of the Manor – at the strong urging of the Lord Stafford.
Dinner is prepared by Emma the Cook, and served by her and Isabel.The young lord is uncertain and wary of his manners. Isobel flirts with Tristan and persuades him to view the stars with her later in the night. Simon tries to one-up Tristan in terms of academic dinner conversation and bores Jules. Arthur casts castigating looks at Tristan. Theo chats with John, and though he had had established some camaraderie with Walter by helping him in the stables, he maybe over-ingratiates himself with John.
We find out a few more tidbits. The Baron keeps a census that goes back the last 50 years, and will show it to us tomorrow. Father Nolan experienced the following in the knave: all of the candles blew out and there was a horrible screaming. He also thought he saw someone who looked like a monk. It occurred between between 9.00pm and Midnight. The workmen Nolan had hired to repair the abbey also thought it was haunted. We’d need to talk to Henry Mason to hear his story.
We also learn that Lord Stafford sent some people through to clean up the bodies and a previous group of monks had erected the monument to help ‘soothe’ the poor souls. Also, the onset of the plague was faster than it should have been. Also, it was February 12th when Walter and the children left.
Isabel and Tristan meet in the night and look at the stars. Tristan divines, through astrological indicators, that Feb 12th three years ago was a very bad time for Bromwich. A time of horrible tragedy, and February is the month of Asmodeus, Demon of Lust and Desire. It is currently Jan 16th.
During the morning of the next day we split up. Simon and Jules go to comb the censuses (censes? censi?) Despite Simon’s unorthodox re-filing of the papers, they discover that many of the local individuals converted to monkhood/sisterhood. Meanwhile, Tristan, Theo and Arthur go to speak with Mason. (Arthur preaches to Tristan about sins of the flesh on the way.) Mason’s wife, and he, are initially truculent – but Theo and Arthur eventually win him over and he grudgingly explains what happened to him and his men. At first it just seemed like people were jumping at shadows, but at one point, near dark, he was lifting a stone when he also noticed a dark figure approaching. It appeared to be a monk who looked like he wanted to speak to him. But when Mason spoke to the figure, it was only shadow and darkness. When he left, he found a crowd outide, all with similar experiences. Further, one worker, Davey even saw a monk and a nun together, standing in a chapel, holding hands – then they turned and cried out in anguish.
As a group, we then head to the priory. We find the doors fallen in and the windows smashed. Tristan and Simon discover that the doors had actually been forced in and bear burns as well as the gouges of horse shoes. Theo, while investigating the dormitories with Jules and Simon, thinks he feels a presence, as though Tristan were close behind him – but he is not. Arthur looks for Dominion at the center of the transept, and is deeply troubled when he finds it lacking. Jules and Tristan help him recover. Simon? and Tristan? discover that a lay-lines has been almost pulled maybe eight paces forward, toward the chapel, with the scorch marks. Theo then uses witchcraft to open himself to the spirits and see what they want. He has the feeling of the loss of a parent passing, and sees a monk and a nun, standing over a coffin wrapped in chains. When their eyes meet, the coffin bursts into flames. We know that a coffin wrapped in flames is how you stop someone coming for your soul.
Before we leave, Simon spies a recess at the point where the lay-line has been displaced. It is a hollow with a bible wrapped in cloth, a rolled scroll of vellum, and a rosary and crucifix. The scroll is wrapped with a gold- and gray-hair-twined thread. Arthur places himself in a circle of protection to open it, with the help of his friends at the four cardinal points, and reveals…
Returning to the Manse, we discover that Hawise Preste was the village healer. And we learn from the census that Matteus and Yvette Preste become a monk and a nun in 1322 and 1323 respectively. Also, Theo and Tristan’s souls are burdeoned and each must do penance. Theo for allowing spirits to enter his body. His penance is to complete the mission – make the monastery sacred again. Tristan, for whatever he believes might have happened when he was star-gazing with Isabel. He feels he has wronged the family and must do his best to be of service to them in the future.
We now have enough information for Theo to call to their spirits and find out what happened. We send word to Wycliffe of our findings and our plan. We go back to the priory at midnight and Jules, Tristan and Simon support Theo while Arthur waits in the wings in case things go poorly. Theo (or we all?) sees the door break down, a handsome man riding a black steed trailing ???s come in, demanding the soul of Hawise, with whom he had had many dealings when she was younger. It is Asmodeus. Matteus and Yvetee try to stop him. He incinerates them. He demands Hawise come forth from her coffin, and though she tries not to – his request that she join him again and be young and beautiful as she once was, moves her. And the hooks of his ??? sink into her as he carries her off. We suspect she may still represent a threat in some way, but we feel that Matteus and Yvette will be more at peace. We also learn that Asmodeus has had dealings with others in the region: the women of Tamswich, the Tamsete.
After sharing what we learn with Father Nolan, he will be able to perform the rituals that will once again restore Dominion!