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Chapter 1: Dire Moon

Fighting Lycans is always tricky for a number of reasons. Reason number one, you don’t want to get bit as their disease passes through the blood, and after a few days, you become a homicidal maniac. Reason number two, is they are annoyingly both fast and strong which is an equally dangerous combination especially if they work in packs and surround you quickly. Reason number three, perhaps the most important reason, their danger level is tripled under the light of a full moon and should be avoided at all costs. Naturally, you can guess what I chose to do.



 



“Hello! Enough with the self-narration knight! We’re in the middle of trying not to die out here,” Johnathan yells at you ducking a wolf's claw swipe. He parry’s the next claw swipe with his dagger slicing the hungry Lycan's paw clean off sending it howling in pain.



     



Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed you internally sigh. Being one of only two Knights of the Phoenix to watch over the colonies of the new world has been a daunting task. You’ve had to contend with new threats cropping up that the settlers are only vaguely aware of as well as the usual suspects who’ve made the journey from Europe to America and decided to start making a mess of things over here as well. On this particular occasion, a band of Lycans got together and creatively named themselves “The Wilders” and have been attacking settlers as well as natives on the roads leading between Boston and Providence. You empty your revolver into two of the charging beasts before yelling over to your other partner in this endeavor to lend you a hand. “Quinn! Sure could use that magic sword of yours!” you yell deflecting a devastating bite with your rapier. 



 



“Get down Marcus!” Quinn yells slamming her shoulder into one Lycan dislocating its jaw before bringing her giant claymore down on top of its head. Being a knight has some perks since your prestige attracts the more venturous types looking to get in the Knighthood's good graces. You’re so captivated by the crusader’s display of raw strength that you fail to notice one of the Lycans sneak up behind you and rake its claws into your back. You cry out in pain falling to the ground in shock and the beasts begin dragging you off into the woods probably to be a shish-kebab. Quinn roars and tries to reach you but her massive frame isn’t agile enough to pursue the cunning speed of the Monsters. Jonathan however who you’d forgotten about in all the chaos easily tracks you as you struggle to break free of the wolf’s death-like grip and hurls two daggers at both the Lycan’s wrists striking them dead on. Seizing the moment, you begin sprinting in the opposite direction and desperately trying to reload your revolver as the other creatures turn to chase you down. Jonathan follows you along the tree branches and tosses down a rope to hoist you up, so you unleash a spread of silver bullets in the direction of the Lycans sending them scattering.



 



“Phew, that was way too close,” Jonathan says. “You knights are absolutely mad, I expect a hefty payment for this job boyo.” Even though Johnathan looks relieved you can tell he enjoys the adrenaline rush this line of work brings though not necessarily the almost getting eaten part.



 



“Don’t you worry John,” you reply, “The settlers may not have enough coin on them, but I usually get a decent tip from the Puritan priesthood, for my discretion and skills in handling various warlocks and magic fuckery.” All true statements. Though Puritan you may well be, the priesthood is far more paranoid than yourself about witches overthrowing their control over the Massachusetts Bay area. You aren’t exactly the model member of Puritan society anyhow, but it is acknowledged that your skills in non-conventional settings such as these are paramount to keeping civilization safe and the pay you get is enough to get by with some savings to spare. Officially, you are the church’s consultant on the supernatural and the occult which is true in some regard but mostly they just keep you around whenever strange disappearances happen or unnatural deaths start showing up that they’d like kept quiet. Wouldn’t want an overabundance of pagan religions in the new world now, would we?



 



     “Hey, hey,” Johnathan snaps his fingers in your face. “Don’t let your mind wander too far we’re not out of these woods yet and the village we started out from is a solid hour's journey, but I should be able to lead us back safely. Ugh damn wrist,” he rubs his sore wrist. Johnathan’s brown eyes quickly readjust under the starlight to map out the direction we needed to go. One benefit of his Amerindian heritage was that Johnathan knew the right direction he was heading usually and could expertly move around unnoticed. No, he did not wear moccasin skins, and as a matter of fact, had gotten quite used to wearing loose woolen shirts and pants that most settlers wore in Boston. "Quinn," He shouted. "you alright? Our knight friend needs some help his back is pretty messed up."



 



     "Yeah, yeah I'm coming," Quincy says cracking her neck while trying to massage his bruised shoulder. The woman is an imposing figure with rough hands but her warm touch when she draws on her faith to seal your cuts and gashes is a comfort, so you breathe a sigh of relief.  



Once the three of you have recovered from your wounds you begin the short trek back to the nearest village Stillwater. As you all head in that direction the three of you pass by an old cemetery and a dilapidated church covered in roots and vines. This was once a village that was raided and burned by the Pequot natives before an expedition by the settlers wiped most of them out according to Johnathan. Your keen eyesight peers through the dark and you notice a young boy digging up one of the graves to remove jewelry or other valuables from the corpses.



“Hey!” Quinn shouts running up to the boy pinning him to the ground before he can get away. Close up you now notice the boy has dirty brown clothing and doesn’t seem to be too well off. “Grave robbery is a capital offense of the gravest consequences to be carried out by death you filthy Lycan,” Quinn says drawing her claymore.



The boy’s eyes go wide with fear and he begins to cry protesting he is no Lycan, yet has no effect on Quinn. “Dammit Quinn, There’s been enough killing for one day,” Johnathan growls grabbing Quinn’s arm. “The boy’s rail-thin and looks like he could use a warm meal just let him go”



Quincy shakes his head at Johnathan. “We’re all bound by rules ranger. This boy has violated hallowed ground and must be punished”



“You flaming idiot,” Johnathan spits. “There’s no call for this, the boy wasn’t bothering anyone and you wouldn’t have even noticed him if the knight here hadn’t had found him in the first place.”



Well, you’ve found yourself in a bit of a dilemma. You certainly don’t want the boy to die regardless of wrongdoing or not. You could intervene on Johnathan’s behalf and try to convince Quinn to drop the issue despite her bullheadedness. Or perhaps you could suggest an alternative punishment for the child where he doesn’t have to necessarily die but could work off his crime for Quinn.