Hi everyone, and welcome back to a new story! This time I bring you one of my favorite games of 2016 (even though I began to play it during the beta). Anyways, I thought it was a very good game but unfortunately, at least in this site it doesn't have many fanfics telling the story behind.
Recently, Red Hook published three more character background, and I thought I have enough material to get a story with some official sources (there are still 7 characters without their comic if you count The Musketeer).
I have to thank my good friend pyro-rocketeer here for making sure I didn't screw with the grammar, and for the useful advices too xD. You, my dear readers, may want to go and check the stories my friend has in store for you.
So, you know how this goes: you read it, enjoy it, and review if you're in the mood for it. This is TJMike, reading you till next time :)
-Stanford Hamlet, Sunset-
The old man was sitting in his favorite chair and thinking about the proposition in front of his desk. "I guess it's the only option. Whether I like it or not, I don't see any other way." he thought. Hesitantly, he took the document and read it once again.
"Dear Mr. Colt
As you know, I will be back in town in a few days. The reason for this letter is to remind you to send the letters of my desk to their respective recipients. I understand your disagreement with this decision, but you know better than anyone what my great-grandfather did to that damn place, to the once great and opulent mansion where we once lived without knowing what dwelled at their lowest basements.
We have been there, Mr. Colt, and we both saw the evil that lurks where my ancestor had his excavation sites. Inside it's walls there is an unspeakable horror that needs to be eradicated. Despite the fear of getting back there, we must face that darkness and try our best to contain it where it is before it spreads its tentacles to the villages near the hamlet, or worst." (...)
August Colt heard something outside, interrupting his reading. He stood up and went to check it out, only to find the sun setting in the horizon and a few villagers doing their last chores before the night came. The noise he'd heard was nothing more than the sound of steps of a few kids helping their mother carrying a bucket filled with water from the town's well.
August smiled at the sight, before returning to his desk.
"(...) We do not need to face it alone. There are others out there that can help us fight whatever my ancestor awakened, and I have been able to contact some of them in my journey. Each of them has their quirks, some more notable than others I dare to say, but I know we will manage to put these individuals together as a team, as an army against the Darkness. As I mentioned before, you will find a number of letters in my desk in the house at the hamlet. I need you to send them to their respective destinies and stay there until my arrival. Your opposition to bringing stranger to our lands is understandable, but, as father used to say, desperate times call for desperate measures.
Since I have already contact some of them, the first carriages and stagecoaches should arrive at the town a day or two before me. You shall offer them the old guild building as shelter for spend the night until everything is explained to them by me. After all, they should know what they getting into to begin with. In the meantime, treat them well, and since I know you will be watching every move they made, for God's sake August get to know them at least. You know you're getting old when your sense of humor vanishes from the mind.
Wishing the best for you, the hamlet and the people that live in it,
"The Light protect us." August said to himself as he put the letter back in the desk.
He rose from his seat, and walked around the office. His master had left him in charge, not only of the house in which Mr. Robert Stanford, himself, and the rest of the service that attended the building resided in, but also in charge of the small village near the cursed manor. With a long sigh, he went back to the long window to take a last sight of the quiet an peaceful hamlet.
"I'm gonna miss these peaceful days," he said. The last villagers retreated to their homes, as the last lights of the day were coming to an end. "I suppose it's a small sacrifice for a greater good, if this works out."
After meditating for a few minutes, he closed the curtains, leaving the room in the dark. He walked downstairs to the first floor, and found two of the maids awake in the living room.
"Kate? Sandra? Why aren't you sleep? You finished your duties two hours ago." The old man said. Both girls were in their early twenties, but while Sandra was Caucasian with a long brunette hair and gray eyes, Kate had ebony skin, short black hair and green eyes. Both of them, however, seemed strangely disturbed by something. They turned to the man.
"The Darkness has arrived, sir." Sandra said, a strange calm in her words. Kate tried to talk to her friend, but her words didn't appear to reach Sandra. "Do you think The Light can defeat it?" she asked.
"I'm so sorry, sir." Kate tried to excuse themselves with the chief butler. "She started to speak about the Darkness, and, and its battle against the Light, and-"
"It's okay, Kate." August said raising a hand to appease her. "I don't know the answer to that, Sandra my dear." he replied, taking a seat beside the girls. "We can only hope the Darkness stays until dawn, and the Light prevail until twilight. After all, it's a balance between the two of them," the man said. Both girls nodded in agreement. "Let's hope the master's plan works properly." With that said, he let the maids to stay for as long as they wished, and retired to bed.
The long night had arrived.
-A few hours later; Francfort, Germany-
"So, that concludes our business meeting." Robert said. The person in front of him was, for all purposes, a fine young woman in her mid twenties, whose attire hinted at some knife hilts protruding from her jacket. telling him that it was not a very good idea make this woman angry. She had shoulder-long blond hair, and deep brown eyes. She looked at him intently.
"I suppose so." she replied nonchalantly, still not buying what he just proposed to her. "Just to be sure: You're gonna pay me a full year for being part of this... little "project" of yours, PLUS living expenses AND I get to keep whatever I find in this place you mentioned?" She asked. "Mr. Robert... Do you realize how that sounds? I mean, do you even know what my line of work is?"
Robert sighed. He knew hiring the ones he'd chosen won't be easy to begin with, but the hardest part was to prove them he wasn't joking around. He pulled his black briefcase from beneath the table, and began to look for something within.
"All you just mentioned is correct, Ms. Gardner." he said as he got an envelope labeled with her name, Amelia Gardner, and put it in front of her.
She opened it slowly, and looked at the contents. It was a collection of several documents, like 'Wanted' posters, copies of police reports, sketches of a few known artifacts that went missing over the years, among other pieces of intel. In the poster, it said she was looked for the crimes of thief, pillage, grave robbing, assault, among others. She took her time to examine the papers and then looked back to the man.
"As you can see, I am very aware of your set of skills... and also that "Gardner" is not your real last name, am I right?" Robert said that last part almost as a whisper, only for her to listen.
That caught the attention of Amelia, whom all this time she'd been acting under the tough girl role.
"Who are you?" she asked, slowly pulling one of her knives from her jacket, pointing directly at the man's blue eyes.
"Someone with a job to be made, and the money to pay someone to do it." He replied unfazed. "This guy is serious. Most men of his age would already be trying to convince me to drop the knife, or offering more money to let them go. But he's different." Amelia thought. After a while, she lowered the dagger.
"Fine. Just let me get some stuff from my house." she said. "Where should I go, in case I decide to help you?"
"Just ask any coach to take you to the hamlet near the Stanford Manor, the one by the Old Road." Robert said as he got up. "They know where it is."
"The haunted one?" She asked with a smirk on her face. The man turned to see her, his stern expression looking right at her. "Please sir, everyone knows the legends. People talk, you know." Robert just nodded to her in silence, for he didn't dare to mention her the horrors of the manor he once lived in.
"Try to stay out of troubles if you decide to come with me." Robert said before turning to the door of the establishment. "I'd hate to see the law officers turning my town upside down because of you."
"You got it, potential-boss." Amelia said with a mock salute gesture.
Robert couldn't help but shake his head, and then he left the bar. Outside, his carriage was waiting for him, and once he got up the vehicle began its march throught the narrow street of the city.
"I'm gonna go wild and say the girl said 'yes', right?" the man at the right of Robert said. He turned to see a man about his same age, with a few scars on his face and very short black hair. The man was wearing a long grey overcoat on top of a brown shirt, and was using a pale yellow scarf around his neck.
"I wouldn't be surprised if she refused to partake in Lord Stanford's adventure. It is not for the faint of heart." Another male voice said from the seat in front of him. This individual was entirely covered in a full knight armor but the helmet, which was under his seat, with a fine blue cloth over his chest plate. The knight had his light brown hair in a short pony tail and piercing blue eyes.
"Actually Reynauld, Mr. Dismas is right once again. Ms. Amelia doubted me at first, but then I convince her of the gravity of the matter in question." Robert said.
"Ha! Told ya! Now you owe me 25 coins." Dismas proudly announced.
"Fine." Reynauld admitted, pulling a small sack of coins and handled it to Dismas. "I understand you have one more name in your list, sir?"
"Indeed." Robert replied, as he knocked behind him to attract the attention of the coach driver.
"Yes, sir?" The old man asked.
"Take us to this address, please." Robert said, handling the man a piece of paper.
"Of course, sir. But it'll take a while." the driver warned, before closing the small window of the carriage. "You may want to get some sleep till we get there."
"Who is it this time?" Dismas asked.
"Someone who may save our lives with her knowledge. The last name before we get to our destination." Robert said before leaning back and lower his hat to cover his eyes. "Dr. Isabella de la Croix."
-Meanwhile, At an Unknown Location-
Three figures stood before the large circular table in the center of a huge room. Their faces were covered in shadows, however, as the only light came from the table itself. One was a man in his forties wearing a most elegant attire. It was a black shirt under a red closed overcoat except the first two buttons. The coat had a single black stripe running on both sides, and dark gray pants.
The second figure was a woman in his late twenties; she wore a light green sleeveless dress with golden details around tiny emeralds adorning it.
The third presence was a young male clad in a steel armor set; the chest plate had a particular emblem carved in it, like an arrow pointing up and to the right.
"So, you are the one your father sent here after all." the older man said.
"That's right." the younger one replied. "He thought I could learn a few tricks in here rather than my usual post."
"I'm glad he saw it that way." the man said. He stared back at the table, which showed an image in it surface. It depicted the inside of a coach, where two men, one of them wearing a full on armor, where asleep sitting across each other while a third was still vigilant of the road.
"What do you think about this?" the man asked. "Do you think it's gonna work?"
"I'm not sure, uncle." the young in armor said. "I mean, he was rather insistent when he asked my father for help but..."
"It's okay." The woman spoke for the first time since they entered in that room. "I know they look week, but humans have the potential to accomplish great things given the right conditions."
The man smiled at her. He couldn't help but feel amazed by her faith in mankind. With an expectant look, he looked once again into the images on the table.
"But, what if the Darkness is stronger than them?" the young asked. "... What if they fail?"
"They won't." the woman replied. "But, if they do," she said, as a current of green energy came to her hand. "It will be our turn."