Dawn of Destruction – Corruption from Within

It was well past the witching hour when Alexander Schwarzmord arrived at the decrepit fortress that served as a reserve seat for the local garrisons. This night, however, its purpose was to contain a heretic so powerful that even when downed, all of Praag’s brightest and strongest warriors couldn’t devise a means to permanently kill it. Such were the grave tidings brought to the attention of the Lord Inquisitor Schwarzmord two nights ago. He had made all haste to resolve this matter with all his zeal and fury.

Two lone guards were patrolling the bulwarks of the fortress; having noticed his approach, sigils of the Inquisition displayed, they had immediately signaled the gatekeeper. By the time Schwarzmord had made the outer courtyard, a squire bearing a lantern and a knight in plate armor with a broad, heavily feathered hat, were awaiting him.

“Evening, my lord. I am Kalyan Mavro, captain of the battalion stationed here. We were expecting you with great anxiety.”

The inquisitor motioned for the squire to take away his steed and greeted the captain with a wordless nod. He avoided Kalyan’s attempt at a handshake and glided past him not even bothering to look him in the eye. He then spoke, as the knight was starting to follow his hurried pace into the fort, “Lord Schwarzmord of the Imperial Inquisition. Considering the severity of your report, I trust you will forgive my forfeiture of all pleasantries. I rode two nights and two days without pause to reach you as fast as possible. My horse is nearly half-dead. I do hope for your sake you do not intend to delay me any further from facing a matter as dire as described.”

“Of course not, m’lord, I will bring you straight to him” the captain replied and took point. He led the inquisitor through the inner courtyard and into the main building of the fortress. Even though not in its prime, the structure was monumental and none the less formidable. Inside they dove into the lower floors where a temporary dungeon had been set up in what would have been a cellar. They passed several guards on their way, none remaining indifferent at the sight of the inquisitor’s dark coat flowing around him. Some bore expressions of relief, others – fear, others still downright disdain. One could swear they were throwing imaginary daggers at Schwarzmord’s back. Noticing the inquisitor pausing for the briefest moment at a particularly blatant look of disdain from a soldier, the captain commented with a firm voice.