Game play began with the DM’s new character generation method. The entire party started out as 0 level characters (no class assignments, feats, and no skills, starting money, or possessions to speak of). All characters are 16 years of age and have been raised since toddlers in a monastery. Little is known of their heritages, and the Brothers of the monastery are not in the mood to share. The PC’s are as follows:
Virgil: Human. Virgil’s monastic apprenticeship is to Brother Elliott, the librarian.
Guy Fiftynames: Gnome (brother to Floyd). Guy is apprenticed to Brother Samarid, the farmer.
Brixmore: Dwarf. Brix is assigned to Doctor Ethan. Doctor Ethan is not a brother in the monastery (not all who reside within its walls are).
Abbott Teris is the chief executive officer of the monastery. The monastery’s primary source of income is as a producer and distributor of wine & select spirits.
As game play began, the characters had been assigned to locate a lesser Brother named Felix. After searching in a few places, they come across Brother Art and Brother Terry (the distiller), who suggest that they look for Brother Felix in the wine cellar. The characters go down to the wine cellar, where they find the body of Brother Felix, apparently somewhat chewed to death. They also find a secret door in one of the shelves that leads to a somewhat sizable hole.
The characters report the death to Brother Art & Brother Terry, who in turn summon Brother Samarind and Abbott Teris to the scene. After investigating the hole and discovering evidence of rats, the Brothers send the characters into the hole (being ideally suited for its size) to investigate / clear out the infestation. They equip the characters with clubs and leather armor.
The party quickly encounters a few rats which are easily dispensed with, plus two rats that are somewhat harder (Virgil and Floyd are both bitten by the larger rats during this encounter). A thorough investigation of the compartment reveals it to be a catacomb of some sort (several long dead skeletons line the walls) and a room is discovered with a somewhat fresher-seeming corpse. This corpse, however, attacks the characters, and they fight and dispatch the creature. The characters return to the Brothers and report their findings.
Brother Ethan cures Virgil and Floyd of the Filth Fever they contracted from the larger rats during the encounter. Shortly thereafter, a ranger-in-residence named Abel arrives, and it is decided that the four boys will accompany him into town to assist / observe an investigation in which he is taking part. The night before they are to leave, Doctor Ethan gives the party a package and asks it to be delivered to a man in town, whom the doctor describes, though he remains sketchy on details such as name and location. He requests that the party not open the package. Guy takes the package with his personal assurances that the materials will be delivered and Doctor Ethan’s instructions will be followed. After Doctor Ethan leaves, and Guy has determined that most of the dorm’s inhabitants are asleep, he opens the packaged. Inside, he finds three vials of a dark red liquid, which, after waking up the other party members, they determine to be blood. Rather unusually, the blood is ice cold. Guy tastes a bit on his finger, and Virgil goes so far as to drink a small portion of it, much to the consternation of Brix, whose loyalties to his mentor cause him distress over not following instructions.
Guy & Virgil determine that Abbott Teris should be informed of Doctor Ethan’s request, but Brix strongly disagrees. A scuffle ensues between Virgil and Brix that rouses the other boys in the dorm, one of whom calls it to the attention of Brother Elliott, who proceeds to confiscate the vial Virgil kept and behave in a generally creepy fashion while they wait for Guy to return from his visit to Teris.
Guy finds Teris in his quarters in the midst of a heated conversation with Doctor Ethan (luckily, he had stashed the vials he took with him before entering the Abbott’s room). Guy asks to speak with the Abbott alone, and Teris dismisses Doctor Ethan, who does not seem fooled by the situation in the least. After explaining the situation, the Abbott’s recommendation to Guy is that the party do as Doctor Ethan requests.
The next morning, the party rides blearily into town, where they take a moment to familiarize themselves with the inn (The Gilded Lily) before heading to the house that the ranger suspects is the home of Doctor Ethan’s contact, Viggio. Viggio, portly and slovenly, reveals himself to be the correct contact. He is also exceptionally objectionable and makes several off color and offensive remarks to the boys. The man confirms the party’s suspicion that the vials contain vampire blood, and that the man is a specialist in curing magical diseases. After finding out that Virgil drank some of the blood, he takes him (along with Guy & Brix) into a back room for treatment. Floyd stays behind to copy a globe onto a piece of paper.
Virgil’s treatment turns out to be a rather unpleasant needle full of a bile-like substance inserted directly into his abdomen. He is also given some medication to take with him. The man rather rudely ushers the boys out of his house (though the party had taken no great lengths to win the man’s favor, anyway), and Floyd promptly defecates on the man’s doorstep. The party then wanders back into town.
Upon arrival in town, the party comes across the scene of a murder of a woman by apparent strangulation / asphyxiation. She appears to have been garroted. The Sheriff, a man named Drooley, is investigating the scene of the crime, but he appears to be out of his element. Guy takes measures to assist / take over the investigation, while Floyd heads back to The Gilded Lily to find Abel and inform him of what’s occurred.
End of Session I