Lost in the Mists

Life #32 - The Hangman's Noose

After the pirates’ treachery, I found the people of Miredus more despairing than ever. Their hopes of escape and freedom have been dashed. But it has been a few days now and the people’s spirit seems to have quickly rebounded.

We returned to our duties and it was while we were on patrol that, once again, tragedy struck Miredus. We heard a scream and raced towards it. We found Joanas Rerkis, who used to work as the executioner, hanging from his second floor window. It looked as if he had tied the noose and then jumped out of the window.

I began by first trying to calm some of the scared people outside and urge them to leave us to our investigation. Saima didn’t hesitate to run in and get to the room Joanas had leapt out of, so I didn’t wait long to follow her. Our investigation of Joanas turned up some peculiar pieces of evidence that seemed to make this look like less and less of a suicide. The bruising on his body suggested that he was injured before going through the window. And there was some kind of faint necromantic energy lingering.

We tried to reason who could have done this to Joanas and what the motive could have been. Nathan DuRay came to mind. He was one of Vosk’s lieutenants. During Vosk’s coronation, when most of his other advisers and subordinates died or vanished, DuRay remained. He went into hiding and gathered a gang together. They tried to subvert the work that the Council was doing to organize the city. DuRay and his men were captured before long, and sentenced to death. Their executions are the only ones Miredus has had since coming to this Ravenloft.

We went to the graveyard to see if DuRay’s grave was intact, but found out that he and his men weren’t buried in the city’s cemetery. They were buried under the tree they were hanged from. We found the tree outside of the city, and our suspicions that DuRay was to blame proved true. The tree itself animated and ripped itself free from the ground. The corpses of DuRay’s men also animated. They all attacked us. The corpses proved to not be too much of a threat, but the tree was vicious. At one point it ensnared me in one of its nooses and began strangling me. With all of us working together, though, we were able to bring down all of our assailants.

Upon inspecting the graves, we found that DuRay’s bones had been desecrated. We aren’t sure who would have done that yet, but it’s fair to say that is probably the reason DuRay has risen. Since the first victim was Joanas, the one who executed him, we decided the next target would probably be Magistrate Rivers, the one who sentenced DuRay and his men to death.

We raced back to the city and to Rivers’ house, but we were too late. We found Rivers hanging from the rafters in the basement. It appeared that he had been dead for some time, at least several hours. Councilman Farley, who DuRay had tried to assassinate while he was still alive, was the next one we thought might be on the list.

We went to Farley and found him with the other council members. After explaining the situation to him he agreed to wait there with us guarding him. We didn’t have to wait long. Around midnight the ghost made its move. A chandelier came crashing down to the floor and the rope that had been holding it up coiled up into the shape of a person. It began attacking us and trying to strangle us. Thankfully, that was the only attacker and we were able to put it down handily before it became a threat to the Councilman’s life.
But questions still remain. Who desecrated DuRay’s corpse? And how do we stop these attacks?



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