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The Mystery of the Bloody Red Specter

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"Where...where did you get that?" His eyes went wide, his heart rate speeding up as he gazed upon the picture. "Oh Julia..."

 

Getting up, he wiped his forehead with the back of his sleeve, now wet with perspiration. "I...I think its time for you to leave. That thing is still out there and can hurt someone!" his breathing was getting ragged, the memories torturing him with their damning reality.

 

The scene was beginning to shift, and the shopkeeper began to feel like he was being cornered in by the good doctor. He had no idea how much Silas knew, but he knew that it was time to go on the offensive. Justice came swiftly for those who could not keep a secret, and he refused to end up in the gallows. "I...I won't say anymore until the investigators arrive, they should be informed the Specter was in my house for goodness sake."

 

The walls were closing in, and if not for his initial inebriation, he would have actually acted to try and contact the authorities. Now his adrenaline was beginning to pump hard in his veins, the fear running wild in his mind.

 

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Silent steps and agile moves put the Specter close to the gatehouse. Performing the task would be easy for a creature so skilled in stealth, the Cloaked Figure having already proven itself a greater match against the Hyperion police. However, when it came closer to the entrance, there were frustrated rumblings between the guards stationed there. Stopping around the corner, the Bloody Red Specter listened in on a conversation between too guards.

 

"Damn that masked freak. Its bad enough we have to deal with that Bloody Specter, now we have one of those outsiders stumbling into us. We could have already caught the damned thing if our captains didn't have their heads up their asses."

 

"Yeah, I could have had a solid shot at that freak once when I saw it crossing into an alley, but our orders are to take it alive for questioning." He shook his head and spat. "Damn beuracrats."

 

Backing out, it understood just what had transpired moments earlier. Clearly there was another hunter in the equation, and it was setting a trap for the Specter. Turning around towards the south, it would find a different route out of the city. Ducking underneath a bridge, the Specter understood that it needed to escape and quickly. After spotting a sewer drain, it knew its opportunity had arrived.

 

With its small and compact frame, the Specter was able to slide its way through after some effort. Having entered into the subterranean world of Hyperion, the Specter would begin its trek towards one of the various drains leading out into the wilds. From the intricate levels and design of the sewer system, it would be difficult to know where it would exit from, making its escape almost assured. 

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As the shopkeeper sputtered and struggled to catch his breath, Silas knew that he had found the right button to push. Given the way the man had spoken the name, and the fact that the girl in the locket bore some resemblance to him, It seemed that the doctor was correct in assuming the two were related; father and daughter most likely. The desperation with which the man insisted he leave only further convinced Silas that the man was trying to hide something. Though he was fairly certain what had happened to the girl, he wanted to hear it from the shopkeeper himself. If he was to damn this man, he would hear the truth from his own lips.

"It's fine if you don't want to talk," Silas pointed behind the man, "I can simply ask Julia herself."

For a moment confused silence hung in the air before a little girls voice spoke, "Daddy?

When the Matreyan man turned to face the source of the voice, he would find the girl from the locket standing in front of him, wearing the same garb she wore in the photo. She would walk forward hesitantly never breaking eye contact with the shopkeeper.

"What did you do daddy?"

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Ferris sensed the specter's movement for a few moments but then...the entity's trail was becoming cold. Could it have maybe find out that ferris was hot on it's trail, it doesn't matter if in ferris's mind if the entity knows or escapes this time, afterall ferris was in it's territory, it's home turf and as such ferris was at the disadvantage in figuring out where the specter could have gone if not through this gatehouse. 

Ferris growled to himself and decided to go back and retrace the scent of the specter, to the guard on the route that ferris was taking now it would look like he's starring at the ground as if there were was an ant crawling by, but of course with the mask on they wouldn't be able to tell that ferris's eyes are actually closed. He was focusing on sensing the lingering magic of the entity, locking onto it as he walked. 

Under a bridge....

An open sewer hatch....

"Damn thing went into the sewer..." ferris looked at the sewer entrance but he would not enter for now, he would let the specter escape for tonight, ferris learned plenty of it. He reached into his back pouch and poured an orange liquid drop on his finger to write out a rune along the edge of the hatch, a smell that mimicked salt and ginger, the symbols themselves glowed before fading away. Won't get through this spot again, ferris remarked in his head as he then went back to walking around the town wondering if the other man from before was making progress.  

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In the long dark tunnels of the Hyperion sewer system, the Bloody Red Specter escaped into the outside world. Incomplete structures of a utility still being put together allowed the Cloaked Figure to make its exodus possible. The chill of the night air had no effect on it as it made its way through the forest, heading south towards Ursa Madeum. For a moment it stopped, taking out the locket and examining it for a moment.

"Secrets seeking secrets..."

Happiness was not an emotion allowed to the Bloody Red Specter, for there could be no happiness in what it was. For a moment though, the overwhelming despair that plagued it began to relieve itself for the smallest amount of time. Hope was a wretched thing, one that preyed upon the weakness of those without the means of making their own way in the world. The Specter had lost its autonomy, its will, and was the puppet to forces it could not understand, but knew at least that they were evil. This time though, at the very least, it could find some peace in the knowledge it would soon no longer be alone in its misery. 

In this journey of solitude and secrets, the Bloody Red Specter had found its respite. So long as the secret stays buried, it would have the friend it has longed for since it was forced to exist in this cruel and darkened world.

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"No! Please I beg you!" The image of his deceased daughter brought on howls of despair and misery. Clutching at his chest, his skin began to turn white and clammy, sweat poring out of him like a river. "Julia...I am so sorry...I never meant for you to..."

He began to go quiet, his eyes glazing over, as his heart began to give out. It was an inevitable thing, a heart attack, as the shopkeeper did not live his life in a healthy manner. Heavy drinking, low activity and the weight of his sins for weeks on end weakened the once vibrant life into the shadow seen today. Guilt and justice held no meaning now, for the shadow of death loomed eerily over the Matreyan soul, waiting for his last breath. Soon now, only a matter of moments, he would slip away into the next life.

"Julia...Julia..." he whispered, the sadness clear in his eyes "forgive me...Julia..."

His breathing became shallow, each breath taking longer than the next to come. Ebbing and flowing into the cold void of oblivion, his life had come to an end, reaching the tragic conclusion of this sad tale. Secrets, madness and death were all that could be found in this tangled web of intrigue. 

Could the truth be discovered still beneath the bones of the deceased? What is there to gain at this time? Truth? Justice? Perhaps, but the cost is dear to those who search for the decrepit truth to sins perpetrated by now dying offenders.

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"Oh dear," Silas sighed, "How unfortunate."

Of course he had known that pushing the shopkeeper like he had might cause more stress than the man could handle. His physical shape was less than healthy, and he was obviously suffering from extreme distress. Silas had hoped to hear the truth from the man himself, but it would appear that was no longer possible. Regardless, he was fairly certain that he knew what had happened. There was more than enough information for those who knew to look for it.

The first clue had been the shopkeep's reaction to seeing Silas holding the pendant of the little girl. He had readily known the girls name, but more than that was the fact that he reacted to seeing Silas with the trinket with barely contained terror. Not anger, not indignation at a stranger holding a prized possession; but fear, mixed with guilt. As though the locket held some kind of terrible secret. When he had begged the illusion of the girl for forgiveness, Silas had been sure that his theory was correct. 

The doctor might not know why the man had killed his daughter, but he no longer had any doubt about the fact that he did. That the Specter was after something related to this murder was also not in doubt in his mind. So he had accomplished two things tonight; he'd taken revenge for a murdered child, and he'd learned something about the Specter. Satisfied with a nights work, he quietly left the shop, and walked out into the night.

 

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As with all tales, this one comes to its end, the performers returning to their positions as the last of the somber music plays out. This night was one of questions, both answered and unanswered, with many more questions waiting in the wings to present themselves. While unsuccessful in their attempts to capture the Bloody Red Specter, some measure of justice was brought to the slowly burgeoning city of Hyperion.

With the shopkeeper now deceased, the little girl known as Julia has been avenged for her bloody end. Though the finer details are perhaps lost to the annals of time, her spirit can now rest easy knowing that the one who betrayed her will meet just desserts. In the end, perhaps that is all that matters, for the city would not have been safe if the pitiful shopkeeper decided to drown his heartache in another killing. Yet not all of our players received such a bloody end, some go on to lead very different lives than before this tragedy began.

The investigators charged with catching the Specter were relieved of their duties shortly after the disappearance of the Cloaked Figure. It was decided they were not fit for service, and so now they act as ordinary citizens of the city they once served. Marcus is a banker in the market district, working with numbers and doing his best to forget his nightmares. Lisa however did not recover as well, and moved it Ignatz where she could seek enlightenment and healing from her nervous breakdown.

Silas and Ferris were not compensated for their work, as the Bloody Red Specter was never apprehended. While they took on separate paths, they never stopped looking for that illusive entity. The allure of forbidden knowledge is tantalizing for even the sharpest of minds.

What has become of the Bloody Red Specter? After so many nights of searching, so much effort into obtaining its prize, it vanished without a trace. Rumors vary on its exact location, but one source believes they nearly came face to face with the silent creature. What was different about all the other reported sightings is that this man claimed the Bloody Red Specter had a companion, an unsettling twin dressed all in yellow, who invoked feelings of great shame and disgust when gazed upon. A name has been given to this ghastly creature, for which it will be known as simply:

The Golden Wraith

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Full Summary: In the dead of night in the city of Hyperion, a mysterious figure is on the loose. It is not a natural creature, nor is it a creature easily understood. All that is known about this strange entity is its proficiency in stealth and its enigmatic red cloak. This creature has since been dubbed the Bloody Red Specter.

In its quest to obtain the materials it needs for the creation of another of its kind, it attracts the attention of the local authorities. With them constantly on the Specters trail, it finds difficulty in acquiring what it needs, but is able to elude their attempts to capture it. Frustrated by their failed attempts, the investigators in charge of the case reach out to find outside help. It is here that we are introduced to the characters Silas and Ferris, who answer the call to catch the Bloody Red Specter.

It is not long before they do discover the Cloaked Figure, finding it inside the home of a local shopkeeper, where it makes off with a locket of a little girl. As Ferris went into pursuit, Silas stayed behind with the startled shopkeeper, discovering an even darker secret beneath the surface.

Though Ferris fails in his attempt at catching the Specter, Silas begins interrogating the shopkeeper over the locket of the little girl. In his questioning, the shopkeeper dies due to a heart attack, but he learns all that he needs to about what he had done. Silas knew the truth, that the little girl was the shopkeepers daughter, and that somehow he had killed her. While the details were lost and the Specter escaped into the night to make a new companion, Silas felt the girl was avenged, and so he let the matter die.

Short Summary: The hunt is on for a mysterious figure on the search for secrets. In this pursuit, secrets will be uncovered, some will stay hidden, and an eldritch force will grow stronger in the background.

Notable Consequences: With the Bloody Red Specter gone, the people of Hyperion can live in relative safety. Relations between the authorities and the public are strained, as they feel their protectors had failed them.

Opportunities: In the aftermath of the Bloody Red Specter, a gang of similar red cloak wearing thieves have sprouted up. Stealing more valuable items than the junk the Specter collected, these menaces openly mock the authorities, who struggle to get public cooperation in apprehending the thieves.

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