Betrayal at Villawood Manor – Created by one of the players:
The sounds of steel on steel, steel on flesh and steel on bone echo out from the small tribe of Shoanti, but the sound that will forever bind to the soul of young Valentijn is the sound of his families cries before being slaughtered. His two brothers, mother and father struck down by Shoanti infantrymen during the “Civil takeover” of this part of Varisia. One by one each member of the family fell to the floor with the same wound across the necks as the chosen execution, as his mother the last to be executed hit the ground, Valentijn wept and now could not control how audible it was. An infantryman with a giant grip grabbed Valentijn from under the bed by his collar, and yanked the now weeping Valentijn to his feet. Instantly Valentijn fell to his knees as he knew that he too would meet the same fate as his family.
Suddenly the door to the room flung open and later Valentijn would know this man as Colonel Malino Villawood, hero of the Chelaxian army. “It was agreed we would leave the children! Report back to the barracks, I would have your heads myself but too much blood has already been spilt here”. The two infantry men quickly left, Vallentijn could not see them as his eyes remained shut. “Are you harmed my boy?” asked the now kneeling Colonel, Valentijn could not answer as his words were caught up in both grief and rage. With a hand on Valentijns shoulder “Let’s get out of here, this is no scene for a child”.
The Villawoods took Valentijn in; Malino was a very kind and a gentleman which was far different from his battlefield persona of a hardened Colonel. Valentijn grew up with two brothers and a sister, a mother in Vendena Villawood and a father figure and teacher in Malino Villawood. Educated in both combat but also in academics, Valentijn truly lived the life of an upper class Chelian. What set him apart was his inner rage and cruel intentions, hidden and kept from plain sight.
Valentijn pondered all this as he sat at the grand dining table in Villawood manor; he tapped the handle of his sword while looking upon his handy work. Seated was all the members of the Villawood family, all seated perfectly but with their heads on the platers all looking at Valentijn. Faces all with the same look of horror, shame and fear, eyes open and a gape this also drew a slight grin on the blood soaked face of Valentijn. He has waited until it was time for dinner, walked into the grand dining room and slaughtered each and every member of the Villawood. He then set upon each body and placed them into their current positions, even the house hands did not escape the wrath of Valentijn, as they sit in the corner slumped with their heads still on the ground. The room bloodied and painted wall to floor with red, Valentijn spoke softly “Well, it seems that diner tonight is taking far too long. May I be excused?” Valentijn stood up clutching at his ornate sword, a present from Malino. Valentijn walked around the table until reaching the bloodied corpse of Malino, Valentijn reaches out and puts his hand on the shoulder of Malino “I must go now; this is no scene for a child”. Valentijn walks out of the Villawood compound as the house to which he was brought up, educated and loved was now on fire and would soon burn to the ground. He now lands in stand point to hide himself from the eyes of Varisia… but for how long can this blood thirsty cold hearted killer stay hidden.
When returning to Sandpoint, after the stories shared by the party to the locals, you begin to settle in to your own Isolated comfort zone. You have become comfortable with the distance your silence and cold expression has created. The sandpoint guard have become accustomed to your leadership methods and as such, only come to you for the urgent or important decisions that no one wants to be responsible for.
You’ve had to intervene in a minor domestic disturbance (which was in fact a goblin, from the initial raid on sandpoint, who’d hidden itself in a small family home. Unfortunately, it had killed the father and terrorised the child before you were able to dispatch it. For the sake of the town, Father Zantus suggested to cover up the incident). You’ve been needed to put Das Korvut (red dog smithy) back in his place after one of his more violent drunken sessions.
Amieko has ensured yourself and the party have always felt welcome at the rusty dragon. Even though she has told you she has no interest in the political games of aristocrats, she has been quite diplomatic in her dealings with you. Smart enough to know, not to pry where people are not welcomed.
You’ve kept watch out for the Hellknight and his Shoanti travelling companion, for the most part they kept a low profile. However, rumours have come around town that they are asking about a man fitting your description, they claim Lord Hernando Villawood (Milano’s Brother) is interested in this man regarding his brothers estate and suspected murder, that the man they are looking for is considered very dangerous and should not be approached.
It is about a week after your return you are brought into direct conflict with these travellers. It is early afternoon and you were heading to the Red Dog smithy, as you’d been informed by a young guardsman Das was drunk again and threatening some young women. You come down the road toward the south gate to find the Hellknight, and the shoanti man all well-armed and armoured, along with their Halfling companion. They stand in the middle of the street, obviously waiting for you.
The Hellknight calls to you to “halt” with a tone of guarded authority, He is a young man, couldn’t be much older than yourself. The insignia, and well-made Halberd, confirms he is of the order of the rack, an order of the Hellknights you are familiar with. During your time with Lord Milano Villawood. You knew them to be very competent with their inquisitions, they were adept in the use of torture to get “their” Truth. Fortunately for you this young Hellknight looks to be an Enforcer, a low ranking officer. The Shoanti man looks at you intently, the way a dog eyes a cornered cat. A lesser man would be unnerved.
You, however, have played this game before.
“Are you Valentijn De’ Villawood, Ward of Milano Villawood?” announces the hellknight. You provide no response.
The scene is tense.
Their hands are on the Hilt of their weapons.
The few townsfolk near-by duck out of sight, a few casual observers find cover but continue to watch events unfold. The Hellknight continues “I am Lt Rydell of the Order of the Rack, this is Hyrtik, a representative of Lord Hernando Villawood. We have reason to believe a man matching your description, was involved in the Arson and suspected murder at the Villawood estate. I have the authority to detain any suspects for questioning. Can you explain why you are carrying that sword, Known to have been given to Milano Villawood’s Ward, Valentijn ?”
Again you remain silent, changing your stance to prepare for the inevitable conflict. You size up your opposition, The Halfling looks like nothing but a slave. Forget him. The Shoanti comes off like a angsty young boy, all show… no go. However, the Hellknight, for how young he looks, you can see he takes his training seriously…. He seems like he’ll be a challenge… Lt Rydell reads your body language loud and clear, you have no intention of answering his questions or co-operating. Instantly he raises his Halberd and drops into aggressive attack posture. Hyrtik, smiles drawing his heavy mace, the head crackles with arcane pink lighting. The Halfling leaps out of the way and heads for cover.
You take a few steps forward as the sound of over a dozen horses fills the air. Passing through the South gate behind your enemies, you see Sherriff Belor return with over a dozen armed soldiers from Magnimar, they kick up dust and rock as they enter the town gates. Sherriff Belor Recognizes the conflict about to erupt.
“Halt!” he yells, as the group of mounted soldiers pull up their horses, trotting them to encircle the 3 of you.
You all remain stationary, weapons drawn.
Sherriff Belor, dismounts and stands between you. “explain to me what is happening here?!” he addresses the Hellknight. “I am Lt Rydell, Enforcer from the order of the rack, I have the authority to detain anyone suspected of involvement in the Arson and Murder at the Villawood estate in Korvosa, over 2 weeks ago. I have it on good information that a person matching this mans’ description” pointing at you “is the Ward of Milano Villawood and was witnessed leaving the manor on the evening it was set aflame. Once the building had burnt out we investigated and discovered a horrific and gruesome murder had taken place. All of the Villawood family and staff were found decapitated in the main dining room, in what we assume was a ritualistic murder. I believe this man to be Valentijn De Villawood, as evidenced by his disposition and the weapon he carries known to be a gift to the Ward of Lord Milano Villawood himself.”
Belor looks you over. He turns to Lt Rydell, “you are well outside of you jurisdiction here. You know it, I know it, and these soldiers of Magnimar know it. You have no evidence other than the weapon this man carries. I recommend you sheath your weapons…. Go get your belongings and leave town immediately. I will not have a Chelaxian fanatical order take a citizen of Sandpoint to suffer your inquisition.” There is silence as Lt Rydell eyes Belor and the mounted soldiers. He concedes and puts his weapon away, ordering Hyrtik to do the same.
Hyrtik lunges forward, not willing to leave without taking you down. Instantly the mounted soldiers all draw their swords, Lt Rydell quickly grasps Hyrtiks shoulder turning him and shakes his head. Hyrtik spits at the ground whilst looking at you. “stay safe on the roads valentijn….”
With that he slings his heavy mace of his shoulder, both men turn and head for their lodgings, the Halfling joining them as they leave the circle of soldiers.
Sherriff Belor points out two men and tells them to escort them out of town, commanding the others to head to the barracks, stable their horse and organise lodgings. The atmosphere settles and many of the townsfolk eventually go about their business, as things return to normal.
Sherrif Belor approaches you, and looks you over, “hmmph……” stretching from the long ride, reaching up and staring into the afternoon sun. “you’ve done good by this town and its people. You’ve given me no reason to question your intentions.” Belor Pauses a moment. “I’d like to think a man isn’t defined by his past, whatever it may be, if given chance to start with a clean slate”. He stops and looks you dead in the eye “don’t give me reason to cut you down…” he pats you on the shoulder as he walks off toward the barracks….