DISCLAIMER: Codex Venator is one shared campaign for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, created by Andrea Lucca, Alex Melluso and Enrico Romeo. The setting deals with issues such as racism; misogyny; explicit violence; religious extremism; experiments on living creatures; power abuse; limitations on personal freedom and occultism. This is not a setting with light themes and, for this reason, it is good that the reading is reserved for an adult audience.
In no case do the authors of these stories, of the adventures of Codex Venator or of other material derived from it intend to support or justify illegal behavior that is detrimental to the dignity of people.
Warning: what you are about to read is the Voghera Codex Venator campaign. There may be spoilers.
Too many times the hunters of Viqueria have returned to their city heavy with blood and death, but stripped of their memories. At the dawn of a warm winter morning, Petra Dal Verme decides to put her thoughts and adventures to herself, so as not to succumb to the curse of memory.
This is his diary.
My body on the hunt, my soul on the dogma, my heart on my family.
I write not to forget.
Codex Venator: Double Constraint
"What better perfume for a wedding than the flesh of burning heresy?"
The bells of the Duomo rang in celebration and the blue eyes of the Inquisitor Alessandro ran without escape on all of us present. Behind him, high on the pyre, Goffredo Dattili was burning.
I looked down, pitting an ancient voiceless prayer. A reckless, cheeky, immoderate man, but still a man. May he find peace.
But today, today is a day of celebration, because the noble families of Viqueria gather to celebrate promised spouses Amelia Dal Verme and Guglielmo Gregorio Dal Pozzo.
Since the last hunt they have returned changed, together. I never thought that my cousin, so wild and indomitable, could give in to a feeling, nor have I ever doubted, however immature and inexperienced in the world I can consider myself, of the most concrete reasons for a marriage bond. Command. I earn. Power. Even more clear is my opinion on this matter - as long as all the benefits are for the Dal Verme, Guglielmo Dal Pozzo will be welcome in my family.
"Petra" - the sure voice of Ludovico, my Head of the family, brought me back to the present: a large room full of noble guests, a rich banquet before celebrating the wedding vows. - "With me".
I spent a last moment watching Amelia and Guglielmo conversing with each other. A different light animates their eyes when their eyes meet. Tight in my long dress and with a glass of wine between my fingers, thinking about love made me feel uncomfortable. I suddenly missed my chainmail. Swallowing a long sip of red, I curled my lips, annoyed by the slightly acidic tip on the tongue - and felt even more the lack of a good beer.
Being the silent shadow of Ludovico allowed me once again to observe with wonder how my Head of family is a skilled conversationalist, capable of making the Dal Verme supremacy shine even in the difficult game of diplomacy.
We moved among the guests, exchanging a few words with some distant cousins who came to Viqueria for the happy occasion. We had the opportunity to congratulate Amelia and Guglielmo and observe the precious jewels given to them by the daughter of the Siniscalco, in the presence of the same ethereal lady - and for a long moment, I missed my sword.
I listened to Ludovico converse with the Consul of Viqueria, Goffredo Poggi and obtain from him the confirmation we were looking for: the Siniscalco does not want this union. The final detail that consolidates our suspicions. Divide and rule.
My householder gently pushed me towards one of the most illustrious guests, an emissary of the Dogma who arrived from Rome. "It's your time" Ludovico said to me, almost paternal. I nodded, while he nodded away to pour himself a glass of wine.
I promised Augusto Onofrio Mercalli, invited by the Bishop, that I will be an instrument of the justice of the Dogma, and that I will keep my promise, on my honor and on my sword. I swore. If I fail, I will pay with my life.
My thoughts ran in the morning, at the stake at the foot of the Duomo and those icy blue eyes. I remembered yet another pyre, some time ago, and the sudden movement that had revealed for a moment the forearm of the Supreme Inquisitor. The scars of a skin kissed by fire. Hallmarked. Sooner or later I will have to confess it to someone. Why aren't you at the wedding, Alessandro? I just wish I wasn't sure what I saw.
It was then that Hell broke loose.
Even now, writing about it, my memories are confused. Ludovico fell to the ground, suddenly pale and without strength. As he has slumped Eric Dal Pozzo, head of the groom's family. I remember cries, the desperate search for a cerusic, my attempt to reach the small circle of close guests next to my head of household. The blessed hands of one of our distant cousins managed to save Ludwig, but they couldn't do anything for Eric.
As I watched the color slowly return to my head of the family, I concentrated on the subtle rhythm of his breathing, which gradually became regular again. Who? Around us, someone has made accusations against the - newly appointed - Head of the family Dattili, guilty of having introduced a poisoned bottle of wine to the banquet. Poison and elven-crafted jewels were found in his pockets. Why? I believe that only the intervention of the Bishop, who with his divine arts has confirmed his innocence, has saved the Dactyls from the massacre. Slowly, the accusations shifted to the servants present at the party, who suddenly and conveniently disappeared. How? However, each hypothesis was expressed by increasingly confused, less and less secure mouths.
Today, today was supposed to be a day of celebration, but what we have left is a day of death.
A householder burned at the stake of sin.
A breadwinner murdered within the walls of his city.
A breadwinner who returned from the poisoned embrace of death, but forever marked by his touch.
No marriage has been celebrated.
I let my gaze flow over the still crowded room, looking for the figure of the Siniscalco.
Divide and rule.
Petra Dal Verme