Location: Starkville, Mississippi
Real date: April 25, 2007
The ogre is ranting that all this (?) has got to stop. If no one was going to do anything a bout this then they will. The population is starting to panic, a few folk look like they know what he’s talking about, but I sure don’t. Someone shouts out to David (the ogre) to let her go; but he doesn’t. The sheriff of the town steps forward (late 20s, lanky, male, sword on hip with an oddly attractive walk). The ogre calls him Michael.
Robert tries to negotiate with David (the ogre) and the man standing near him (Nellee – a mage). But combat quickly ensues as one of David’s friends gets twitchy. David drops the girl when Peter puts his sword through the muscles of his forearm; David’s friends try to attack us, but we either subdue and arrest or knock them out. Robert turned the ground to mud, quickly trapping most of them.
Robert then takes the sheriff aside to talk. We call for the cart and load and bind all the prisonners and take them to the Sheriff’s office.
Shannon talks to the victim. The folk surrounding the girl are bakers of the incredible smelling bread. They are all dressed similarly and are all members of the same religious movement. They were perturbed by Shannon’s healing as they try not to deal with magic much. They were not offended. The group claimed to have no knowledge of the cause of the incident. They are all members of the Church of the fallen man. The man who speaks for the group is named Christian, the victim is named Essence.
Matt steps forward and thanks Shannon. He offers us bread for our assistance. Our questions are politely deflected as Matt is worried about Essence. They start packing up. They are mildly concerned and perplexed, but far calmer than the situation warrants. Matt also didn’t ogle Shannon.
Eventually we learn from Nellee that people who join the Church of the Fallen Man change in subtle ways. David and his friends think the church is somehow controlling them; and they want it stopped.
The team meets back up outside of the Sheriff’s office and organizes. We get the supplies (our original intent for stopping here) to the Inn and meet back at the hotel for dinner. Ray takes first watch at the sheriff’s office while the rest of us head down to the church.
Shannon doesn’t see much magic on the way there. There’s some minor magic in the field; but she’s not sure what’s causing it. The church is in a nice area; it’s a two-story building with glass int he windows. It’s solid but not particularly ornate. There’s a cross on the steeple and a small bell.
Inside are a fair number of folk. The room is lit by torches along the side and candles in the middle. Matt meets us. The place smells strongly of freshly baked bread. There are lots of images of Christ on the cross in the main room. A group os socializing at hte raised dias near the pews. We get bread for free from them.
Shannon starts to feel odd – her necklace is bothering her. I’m also uncomfortable as I’m surrounded by very calm and accommodating people who keep trying to engage me in small-talk. We talk to them for about 45 minutes and get a tour of the kitchens and common rooms. Robert “felt” something coming from downstairs but the tour did not include the “private sleeping areas” and we saw nothing that would give us reason to investigate further. Mike says there’s something wrong with these people; considering that he doesn’t see the same way we do — it’s made me curious, but he can’t explain it further.
We learn that Matt founded this branch of the church. He’s considered the smartest in his family. He brought in a speaker during one visit and it was founded shortly after. No one lives in the church, but three people take turns staying here. All the members are locals of Starksville.
Later, after the sun’s gone down and most of the team is in the hotel, Shannon, Markus and I take a walk around town. Shannon detects nothing about the church but Markus can hear a hymn being sung by a female voice.