"They were sticky with the muck that filled the offal pit: a foul green ichor. These Wretched things were missing. . .parts of themselves, but still they lived. I watched in horror as they crawled towards us with what they had left for limbs, gnashing their teeth, flailing their tongues about. Not yet upon us, some horrible awareness occurred amongst these not-yet-dead things as their direction began towards one another. These Undead climbed upon one another, forming a moaning, pulsating mass. Out of the rotten pile,It rose on its mismatched, malformed limbs and wailed at us with a sound of many throats. We gripped our weapons tightly in defensive positions, but our companion-Pyromancer lunged to the front of us shouting the Full Incantation of The Baleful Pyre! The monstrosity lit up like a furnace as the column of flame rose from Its feet!"
-Unknown Accounting, taken from scraps of a journal found in The Last Stop Delver's Tavern.
From the Journal of Leonard, Get of Harold, Warrior-Deacon. . .
For three weeks I watched them and their so-called "Carnival of Delights" within the Free Market of Nein. May Sophia bless the Messiah, but I question the wisdom of allowing people to do as they please if it brings harm to none in the affairs of business. A result of this Law has created circumstances such as these -- that has taken me three weeks of gathering evidence to conclude what I already knew!
I knew the minute the Giantess from the desert-lands entered Nein with her troupe of female carnies -- a brothel -- a coven! The giantess did well to conceal her appearance as the Guardsmen would have been upon the Ogress at the city gates. Since entering the city the Hag has remained retired within the largest of their cabins while the children of Men that she has possesed do her bidding.
Donning my most stealthy attire and close-quarters arms I watched the men -- and women -- enter the small encampment the Coven rented for themselves within the Free Market. The drumming, singing, jeering and sighs told obvious tales of the fleshy delights within the curtained encampment. How the Mercer's Guild turns their eye away from such sin for silver! At the end of the first week the last of the customers each night -- normally waking the next day and stumbling (with a mouthful of apologies) back to their families and jobs -- were no where to be found.
As a Deacon I am afforded much less respect than a full Priest and I musn't ever represent myself otherwise to the Laity. I approached the Guardsmen who stand post at the Free Market entrance with the Mercers with my observations. "What is your evidence?" they asked. "You are not a Priest! How can we be certain if you lack the subtle powers of the full-clothed" Insulting, their words. "Half-cloth" is the word they use for us Deacons. Some of us serve in humility, not wishing to disturb the status-quo. Others, like myself, feel as if we can make a difference though we lack the strange powers Priests gain when they come back from the Hall of Souls.
I knew I was right, so I returned to my watch. The coven continued their ruse as more of the Laity entered the trap. Realizing that I would need evidence I decided to confront the Deceivers directly. I entered the encampment in the second week.
"Welcome, Deacon." whispered a voice in my mind as I parted the curtains. I looked forward past the curtains. Empty -- sorcery in my mind. "Show yourself, Witch." I cursed. There was a breeze in the air and the long figure of the Giantess, lounging upon a velvet couch, appeared before me.
"You're soo persistent, Deacon. Why don't you follow your own Law?" the Giantess lazily gazed at me.
"What have you done with the missing people, Witch?"
"We don't take those who don't wish to be had. You know that we can lift the Secrets from people's minds -- especially in the weakness of their ecstasy. We did not kill anyone -- the death we offer is a mercy compared the horrible ways that these ill would act out their despair. . ."
"The lives are not yours to take! How dare you!" I motioned for my blades.
The Giantess snapped her fingers and as another breeze moved through the air the rest of her troupe of human females appeared from out of the corners of my eye. Tsk-tsk, scolded the Giantess. She stood and her image shimmered like water, revealing her True Form. "I would suggest. . .that you. . ." -- the Giantess was upon me, holding me aloft by my throat in her ironclad fist, ". . .reconsider. . ." She threw me from the tent leading me to tumble down the dirt road in front of the encampment and her voice continued in my mind as she used the Secret Language, ". . .your position, Deacon. The Death Wish is not in you, but I will take your life anyway if you threaten us again. BEGONE!"