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.
There is a place beyond the walls of Viqueria, free of Abomini.
A free zone, in the green of Valle Scuropasso, crossed by a dense and unnatural fog that protects men from beasts. A group of scouts under attack found refuge there, and the survivors brought their voices to the City: the Abominations on their heels were unable to cross it.
Spent the night, they found the animals on the ground, lifeless.
We Cacciatori have the task of reaching Valle Scuropasso, unraveling the mystery of the fog and understanding if it can be used to protect Viqueria.
"An official Hunt"- concluded the Siniscalco, dry. Standing among the other noble Cacciatori summoned to his presence in Piazza del Duomo, I observed the map worn between his fingers, a lump of dark blood marking the cottage inside which the explorers had found refuge. - "I got the Remembrants for you".
Before being discharged, the Siniscalco's voice reached us with one last warning. An abyss in so few words.
“Try not to disappoint me - and come back alive. I don't want more fires. "
Look at Gendorio, Cacciatori, look at the mercy he shows you. I I do not want other fires - can you say the same about the Inquisitor Alessandro?
I closed my eyes, trying to stop my thoughts from turning into further questions, into further suspicions.
Now is the time for the hunt.
The fog enveloped everything.
I could barely see Tersilio's profile next to me. We walked slowly, arms in hand, crushed by the anguished sensation of advancing without references - blind despite the map.
It was then that a scream - inhuman - ripped open air and fog.
A gigantic creature made of long slender legs, pointed beak and wings of flesh - an unclean Abomination thrown back to the earth by the black jaws of Death - descended on us in the blink of an eye. Although we were six Hunters, we were not able to be right: before anyone of us managed to inflict the coup de grace, the beast hovered in the air, disappearing from sight and leaving us alone again and panting in the fog.
I can't say how long it took us to reach the cottage marked on the map: we had already left Clastidium in the morning, but the sunlight never managed to penetrate beyond the foliage and pierce the fog. I squeezed the sword tightly, every nerve in my body ready to react to a new ambush.
After a last stretch of difficult climb, the path opened into a clearing. The fog ran across the plateau, but from our raised position I could see the huts where the explorers must have found refuge.
Reaching the huts was a long journey of death: Abomini corpses lying along the path, rotting - their bodies opened by the edge of the swords.
What could have been of help to Viqueria in those little huts?
I got my answer once I got around the farmhouses: the path continued, once again adorned with the dead bodies of Abomini of all kinds. Beyond, not far and no longer hidden by fog, a castle - no symbol on its walls, no sign on its towers.
Here's what we found. That it helps Viqueria, well, I'm not sure at all.
A man welcomed us hunters within the walls, inviting us to break the bread in accordance with the most ancient rituals of hospitality. Tall, slender - fine blonde hair around a sharp face and icy blue eyes. The inexplicable feeling of having already seen it was almost confusing for a moment.
Then he showed up, and it was at that moment - then I understood.
A cold shiver ran through my back. His gaze moved us one by one, attentive but of ice. I assume it's family.
Alessandro Sannazzaro - Supreme Inquisitor.
The Sannazzaro family has inhabited the Valle Scuropasso castle for a long time, hidden from the eyes of the world. Their druids protected its walls, exterminating any Abominations that came too close. They said they had no means of reaching Viqueria on their own - but they agreed to return to Viqueria with us.
Alessandro's name did not seem to say anything to our guest, and the doubts that I had managed to keep at bay during the Hunt now return to grip me, more than before.
In the city, the Siniscalco found itself welcoming in the Piazza del Duomo a much more nourished group than it had seen leaving - an unusual circumstance for a Hunt.
In the silence of the square, one of the windows of the Inquisitor's Palace has opened wide.
Alessandro looked down, and a flash of surprise ignited his icy gaze when his eyes met Filippo's - an instant, before his features were recomposed in a mask empty of all emotion.
Without taking my eyes off his figure, I saw him slowly caress his left arm.
I write these last lines late at night, with the hope that my pages will never be found.
My thirst for answers has the acrid smell of the pyre's flames, but - that the Unnamed will forgive me - our Supreme Inquisitor is not what he claims to be.
Petra Dal Verme