Darkest Dungeon 21

Matron Thessia,

I have had some terrible wound inflicted upon me by foul creatures that live within the warrens. These creatures crept upon us while we took a brief rest, and I awoke to find that an awful slug-like creature had attached itself to my arm. It was as long as my forearm and thrice as thick around, and its mottled green skin was covered in the same repugnant slime that covered the walls of the tunnels. As I alerted the rest of the party to its presence, its one globular eye swiveled to meet mine as it feasted upon my person and I felt my entire body shudder with revulsion.

I could not feel the creature’s teeth as it gnawed upon my flesh, though I saw the rivulets of blood as they dripped from my arm. I began to swing at the creature with my cudgel, trying to dislodge it, until Benedict fired his pistol to assist me. It erupted in a fountain of blood, covering myself and the walls in its innards. The rest of the party had begun to attack the dozen or so others that had gathered around us, but none with more enthusiasm than the pagan. As we fought back against the creatures, they exploded in the same gory fashion upon their death, and while we all found it revolting Wolfswift seemed to revel in it. With every death to her credit, she swung her halberd with even more prejudice and howled like a wolf. The slugs proved to be surprisingly nimble, leaping at us with gaping maws encircled in razor-like teeth, clinging to exposed flesh when given a chance. I witnessed several of them attach to Wolfswift, though she ripped the creatures from her flesh while paying no heed to the ragged wound inflicted. The three of us had killed our fair share of the creatures, though Wolfswift’s rampage had destroyed the majority of them. When the last creature was slain and she was doused in blood, she fell to her knees and gave an inhuman, mournful scream. Every muscle of hers trembled with exhaustion, but her strange behavior made us too wary to approach her. It was impossible to tell which blood belonged to her and those of the slugs, though she made no indication she desired healing. With the battle done, she slunk off and began her strange worship of her totems, leaving me to see to the party’s wounds.

The slugs had bitten York, though the illness had ravaged his flesh so much that these attacks were ineffectual. Benedict was unharmed so I saw to my own wound, a ring of dagger-like incisions from the creature’s teeth. This was my first attempt to heal the wound and I was startled to discover that it resisted even my most fervent prayers. I am ashamed to admit that when I saw the flesh remained ragged and broken, I began to despair and believed that I had been forsaken by the Goddess in the dark of those tunnels. I tried over and over to heal my wound, to no effect, and I thought that my healing abilities had been stripped from me for losing faith. It simply continued to weep blood, and all I could do was bandage it so as to protect it from the foul air of those tunnels. Even now, as I write, it continues to soil bandage after bandage. I know now that my faith is strong, for I have performed my penance and even within the church the wound resists healing. I must seek out Morgan and perhaps see if she knows of a poultice that may help the wound, and I now know that there are some wounds I am incapable of healing.

Wolfswift’s wounds are of the same nature of mine, though she elected to rub some strange mud over them  in lieu of healing. Within the tunnels, she refused to clean the foul stuff off of her. Such a practice made it difficult to tolerate her during our moments of rest, and I was not alone in such a sentiment. She has cleaned herself since our return, but such a practice is unnerving to be alone with in that oppressive darkness.

As we left the site of the battle and pushed further into the dark of the sewers, it seemed that they had become much livelier since our last exploration. Strange sounds we could not account for echoed off the stone and throughout the tunnels, making it impossible to know what or where it came from. One sound in particular stood out to us, though, which was a strange swine-like grunting. We also found yet another one of those symbol, painted upon clean stone. As we examined it, Benedict noticed faint footprints pressed upon the mud around it. They were slight, and barely visible to me, but Benedict swore they were not the footprints of men, though they belonged to a creature that walked upon two feet. Morgan’s story of the satyr is still fresh in my mind, and I dread to think on what sort of devilish abominations walk within those foul tunnels.

I do apologize for my previous transgression, Matron. I should have known better than to transcribe such a symbol in a letter to the abbey, lest I draw unwanted eyes towards its location. I have performed my Mending in penance, as you have prescribed, though the bone still feels sore- it has been difficult to focus with my wound, and I worry the Mend may be incomplete. I take comfort in knowing it is not nearly as severe as those visited upon me by the undead, however. Raziq, that student of the occult, does not know what the symbol represents, though Cole of all people has possibly shed some light upon it. He has been in his cups since his return from the weald, and though it is difficult to trust a man who slurs his speech and sways upon his stool, he spoke with such gravity that it caused me to ignore the drunkenness. It is the symbol of a blood cult, he says, dark practitioners that manipulate the living flesh of other beings into their own heretic vision. He began to speak of a time in a far off land where he had dealings with such a cult, though his story was stopped short when he dropped his tankard and fell of his stool chasing it. Raziq is still consulting his scrolls and tomes, though I hope that Cole has perhaps given him enough of a lead to find what he needs within his veritable library.

If he is right, and there is such a group practicing in the tunnels, then it seems that nowhere upon Clarke’s estate has been spared some foul infestation. I trust that it is an act of the Goddess that this hamlet has been spared from such a fate, though these people may not realize it. The bodies of those that reside within the hamlet are twisted as a result of the corruption that grows under the earth, but it is nothing short of a Miracle that something similar has not taken root within the hamlet itself.

I must seek out Morgan, and see if she knows of an alchemical solution for this wound. She seems to have recovered well since her return from the weald though her eyes look colder than they did, as if some part of her soul has hardened as a result of her experiences. She has not spoken much to me since her return, though I hope that she is willing to help me.

Please pass on my greetings to Acolyte Abigail, Matron. May the Goddess grant me the Wisdom to know that I am always within her Light.

Sister Catherine

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