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Roselyn coughed, turning away from Elias's maiming of the dead creature's body. "Good tip," she said through a wrinkled face, "Really great." Some of the other members of the party announced an intention to go explore the manner - though heavens knew why they picked the destinations they did. If there was anything good, it would be in the living quarters, probably upstairs. Normally she wouldn't condone theft, of course, but there was no way the occupants of this house still needed their valuables, and scavenging was a valuable skill - a piece of jewelery or some old coins could go a long way towards keeping her supplied in this miserable backwater.

"I'm going to go check upstairs," she announced to nobody in particular, shrugging her pack and her musket off her shoulders and proceeding to the staircase. She hummed a jaunty tune as she walked, the floorboards creaking beneath her feet. She walked up the stairs and down the hall, her fingers tracing a line in the dust-covered wall. It wasn't hard to spot the door to the master bedroom, considering that it was large, ornate, and closed - rather curiously, the fine woodcarving of the door seemed to have held up much better than anything else she'd seen in the mansion. Rose threw it open with one hand, her pistol held out, ready to fire.

Nothing leaped out from the shadows baying for her blood, which was a good sign. Unfortunately, that was about where her luck ended.

Stepping into the master bedroom was like stepping into the past. Though the age of the place was still obvious, it seemed as though some care had been taken in maintaining the room's finery. The walls were a deep maroon, similar to the downstairs, and the curtains of the window were well-maintained, like someone had washed them recently; they wouldn't have looked out of place in her old home in Caracas, and people had lived there. The room wasn't entirely presentable, of course - the dressers were a complete mess, thrown open with half-folded clothes strewn about the place. It didn't look like looters, since quite a few obviously valuable garments had been left behind and some care had clearly been taken in not ransacking the place. It was more like someone had packed to leave, and done so in a hurry. In a corner of the room there was a large golden harp, further evidence that this room hadn't been ransacked, but none of that was what caught Rose's immediate attention.

That was the skeleton that had been tied to the bed, laying spread eagle with its hands cut off and its sternum crushed, obviously by some terrible brute force. Rose swore and stepped back towards the door when she saw it, her pistol raised, but when it failed to rise from the dead and attack her she lowered the weapon and stepped forward again. Something was written on the wall above the bed, barely legible but clearly in blood. My dear *illegible* our eternal home was all that she could make out. "Spooky," Rose said to herself, prodding the skeleton's ruined chest with the barrel of her gun. She picked up a fine gown from the floor and sniffed it - it was musty, but not nearly as ragged and moth-eaten as it should have been. There was a creak in the ceiling above her, and she darted her head around to face it. Out of the corner of her eye she glimpsed something on top of the dresser - an open book, still bound, pages slightly yellowed but seemingly readable. She reached up, thankful not for the first time that she came from tall stock, and pulled the book down to inspect it.

'Incomprehensible' was a good way of describing the page the book was open to, as was 'ominous'. Rose liked to consider herself a studious sort, but whatever this book was about was completely over her head; clearly it had something to do with magic, as evidenced by words like 'ritual' and 'binding' and the creepy patterns she glimpsed as she flipped through a few pages. She remembered that the noble, Heinrich, was supposed to be something of an occultist - maybe he'd know what this was about. She spared one last glance at the skeleton and turned to leave.
"That's great," Roselyn observed dryly, trying to ignore the shaking of her own hand as she took in the sight of the dead village and the manor looming through the fog. "That's the direction I want to be going."

Mechanically, without focusing, she drew her pistol from her belt and went through the steps of loading it, making it ready to fire. She paused short of affixing the match-cord to the firing mechanism - that could be done quickly enough, and it wouldn't do for the weapon to go off prematurely and alert... whatever their 'ward' was so nervous about.

She cast her gaze around the party as she did so. In a sense, they were the most disturbing detail about the hellish world she'd found herself in - without them, this forest would seem a surreal and shifting nightmare, the product of her terrified mind as she sat in the hold of the ship that brought her to her new life and tried not to think about the roiling abyss below. But these three did not belong - she would not have placed them here. It was real, then, and she had arrived.

Hadar, the mute, the Tiefling with the massive sword. Heinrich, the red-eyed nobleman. Anwyn, the girl with golden scales on her face - it must have been a disease, some kind of condition, but it was beautiful. And me. The girl in the mask.

She was shaken out of her ruminations by a loud thump and a groan from within one of the cottages, causing her to start involuntarily. "There's something in that one," she said. "Survivor, maybe? Should we check it out?" She couldn't imagine what had happened to this place, or that anyone could survive it, remain squatting, trapped in the remains of a ruined home.

But then, people could survive all sorts of things.

Woops, this was supposed to be the characters tab.
Hey guys, really excited to see what everyone comes up with! I've been communicating with the GM about this CS, but I figured I might as well post her here in case anyone wanted to see what characters other people came up with before picking their own, like I sometimes do.

Oh, also, I swear allegiance to Caracas.
I'll let you know if I have anything. Thinking about a Gunslinger-type from The Union, on Vallendale, but I may see what other people come up with.
Sounds great, looking forward to getting started!
Sure, that all sounds fine by me. Maybe D'Angello is also in hot water because the people he does deals with keep somehow getting busted, even if he doesn't know the cops are on to him?
@headintheclouds Well, I'm always fond of playing a good knight, particularly the nice, fairy-tale, not at all realistic sort. The Colonial America setting also struck me as interesting, as I don't think I've ever really explored that as a setting for RP before. Really, I'm alright with most of the stuff up there, if you have a preference.
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