Justice in Pembrooktonshire was under the charge of Tiberius, Brother of the Knights of the Conduit. He decreed the guilt of the gypsy caravan in the death of Jessica Reuter. In two days time they were to be all burned at the stake.
The town was quite eager for justice to be served and for Tiberius to move on, for then the somewhat religiously unorthodox Spirit Festival could begin. The Diamond Dogs set out investigating the crime which involved drunken interrogation, invisible burglary, lakeside trysts, copious spitting, bribes, and much examination of erotic literature. They eventually discovered the true culprit was the Knight’s squire, Faustius. The Knight Tiberius was convinced of the squire’s guilt and beheaded him in front of the entire village.
Pembrooktonshire has no walls, and has never suffered even the smallest invasion. The residents all claim this is due to the protection of the mountain spirits, whom they repay by choosing a Spirit Bride every ten years through the week-long games.
The young couples of highest standing send the hopeful grooms to compete, with the winner being the first to die. His bride is then sent off into the mountains laden with gold to be the Spirit Bride, never to return to Pembrooktonshire. This year’s games were extra special in that two men died in the second day. Two deaths is an extremely good omen, bringing tidings of great harvests to come for the ensuing decade! To complete the games in such a year would require the death of all husbands but one to give thanks for such great tidings. Unluckily for the local lads, the barbarian Kunal competed in seven days of deadly games, coming out on top with the surreptitious help of the cleric Ash and their blood god Macinfex.
It turns out that the maidens were not sacrificed to appease any spirits – nor did it seem the spirits existed at all. The Dungeon Dogs witnessed throats being cut by dopplegangers in a steam-filled cave, filled with baroque machinery meant to mimic a dragon’s breath. After leaving the surviving brides outside with King Billy, the group descended into broiling steam filled tunnels, getting deeply lost in the mountain caverns.
They came upon many signs indicating the passage of the Geological Expedtion, complete with bodies bearing violent wounds. Many hours later in the twisting darkness the group discovered the entrance to the Clockwork Sanctuary, guarded by arcane machines of brass and steam….
7 Grooms of Pembrooktonshire
5 Sacrificial Brides
3 Clockwork Automatons
Faustius, Squire of the Conduit