Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Investigators - A Light in the Darkness

The sharp, flat end of the pry bar bit deeply into the seam between the two slabs, sending chips of red-flecked stone flying in all directions. With a grunt, Malakai heaved on the pry bar, the muscles in his shoulders and arms straining against his coat. With all of his considerable might, the big golem pulled, gritting his teeth and willing the massive slab to move. As they watched, Dmitri and Karan saw the pry bar, a stout piece of iron some two inches thick, bow under the incredible strain, and they both took a step back. After a seemingly endless moment in which Malakai, the slab, and the pry bar were all balanced at their breaking points, there was a loud crack like a musket shot and the slab inched forward.

“It moves.” Breathed Karan.

Malakai shifted his weight and heaved again. The slab ground a few more inches from its frame, swinging on hidden pivots in the wall. He heaved again, the slab moved another inch, and another, and suddenly it was free. The quick release of the tension on the pry bar caused Malakai to stumble, but he quickly regained his composure.

“The light!” He hissed, holding his hand out for the lantern Dmitri held. The Vargr passed over the lantern without a word, and Malakai shined it into the space behind the slab. It was small, just big enough for a man, and every surface was covered with eldritch, arcane inscriptions carved into the stone. In the floor was a black opening from which came the faint sound of chanting and the far-off thunder of flowing water.

“This is the place.” Said Malakai, turning a beaming face to his companions. “Shall we?”

Every Morden who fights against the creeping terror of the Witches does so in his own fashion. The alchemist has his potions, the soldier her sword arm, the witch hunter his wits and experience. There are those whose gifts lie elsewhere, however. Instead of swords and potions, some Accursed fight with intellect, knowledge, and deductive skill. These warrior-scholars are known as investigators, and they are the keepers of much of the knowledge needed to defeat the Witches once and for all.

Investigators are particularly learned individuals blessed with an abundance of curiosity and a quick, analytical mind. A typical investigator can read a room as easily as a child's book, can tell when an individual is lying at a glance, and can speak a dozen languages fluently. They know the name of every bane that ever walked, crawled, or flew in the service of the Witch Armies and are formidable opponents both physically and intellectually. Much of an investigator's time is taken up with research, scouring Morden for information regarding the Witches and their creations. Many also wander the land searching for ancient artifacts, lost libraries, and hidden tombs. In addition, most investigators work diligently to ferret out banes, hunt down the hidden remainders of the Witch Armies, and expose deadly conspiracies of all kinds.

Whether combing through moldy stacks of books in an ancient library or breaking into the hidden lair of a fanatical cult, and Investigator makes a fine addition to any group.

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