Episode 9: Mistaken Heresies, Synopsis

The Inquisition made its presence known as you rose to the sight of half a dozen Altamirans burned at the stake just south of town. Worse, you couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a personal message as each of the six had worked (and failed) the Inquisition recently in dealings involving you. Several witnesses begged for answers, even Carlos Palomo de Soldano, whose cousin Bruno Palomo de Soldano was among the victims.

After Corporal Dañela Blanco de Ojeda showed up to deal with the matter, you returned to Altamira. Once there you overheard a fight going on, and went to investigate. That’s when things got really strange. You found Gabino Colón de Soldano in a back alley beating a man (you later learned his name was Poncio Obando) nearly to death.

There were a few tense moments, but eventually you got Gabino calmed down and learned that his rage had been prompted by further abductions. In addition to the six victims you saw earlier, there were another five including: Primo Chavarría de la Verde, Audra Drake, Lt. Alexis Valroux du Martise, and Marline Von Schneck and Teresa Campos de Ramirez. His anger stemmed from his two conflicting duties, staying near Arciniega University in case any of the professors were abducted, and owing his life to the other five.

Your arrival solved his problem. He would stay behind and care for those at the university, while you went looking for those still in the Inquisition’s clutches. Fortunately for you, Gabino had an idea where to start. When he was abducted by the Inquisition while protecting the University’s library, several of his captors mentioned bringing him to a wayhouse at the foot of Montaña Bloques. He was certain it was the new hideout for The Black Bishop, Yago Ximinez de Rivera.

Just before sunset, you arrived. The place was quiet and dark, and showed no signs of habitation, the perfect cover. So you crept in and had a look around. Sure enough down below you found the victims in a secret torture chamber. And as a bonus, the Black Bishop as well. The fight was short and fast and decidedly in your favor.

Then everything went wrong. For unknown reasons, the floor gave way beneath you plunging everyone into the darkness below. Somewhere along the way you were knocked unconscious.

When you finally woke, you were in complete darkness. Fortunately you’d all ended up in the same place, wherever that was. And the sounds of the injured eventually lead you to reunite with your comrades and the victims. But some needed medical attention, more than you could provide. And that’s when you heard his voice.

The Black Bishop, it seemed, had also survived. But he was trapped. So a deal was struck. You’d get him free, and he’d care for the injured. Over time your eyes adjusted a bit, allowing you to see the barest hints of your surroundings. So once you’d gotten everyone free, or at least those conscious enough to let you know they needed help, you started moving.

Despite the cold, and the dark, and the wet, you were making progress, even finding several odd items on the ground. And that’s when you found the bridge. Well really more of a crossing over a bottomless chasm. No more than a foot wide with no handrails, you started across.

Tragedy struck when one of your comrades fell into darkness. And then, the bishop, who’d taken one of the items you found, apparently used it to find the exit. In his arrogance, he’d let slip that you’d passed it earlier, but said you wouldn’t be able to make use of that information. And as if to punctuate his comment, you heard the roar of a creature you’d defeated before you even arrived in Altamira.

What followed was a mad dash back across the bridge with a Shadow Beast hot on your tails. You eventually determined the exit was above your heads and, with your strength ebbing, made the arduous climb. The beast wasn’t about to let you go that easily and followed. But fortunately, it was hampered by the suddenly tight quarters.

At last you arrived in the final room, only to find the bishop at death’s door, all of his men, slain. There was no exit, he’d told you. While he’d gotten the map, they also needed a key he didn’t have. That’s when your fallen comrade, whom you didn’t realize was standing next to you, offered up the key.

So another deal was struck, neither party would attempt to kill the other for one day. In exchange the Bishop would tell you how to get out, and you’d supply the key. In the end you found yourselves on a hill overlooking the remains of the wayhouse. You (not so) briefly considered killing the Bishop, but in the end, you let the deal stand. After all, there would be another day.