Subsubsection: 11 November 2015 (to the White Rose) Up Subsection: High Lord of Earth Subsubsection: 2 December 2015 (fighting Kibos) 

25 November 2015 (in the White Rose)

The White Rose itself is a two-storey building surrounded by a six-foot wall; there’s a single wrought-iron gate in it, and Stephen shoots the lock. There’s a courtyard containing a pile of old and rusting furniture, and a shed in the far corner. Diamond spies through the slit windows upstairs; she sees a dark room containing a substantial library. Once the others catch up, Stephen and Diamond advance to the main door to the building. This is also locked, but a swift kick solves that.
Inside is what was clearly the main drinking area, though the furniture has been cleared out, and crude drawings in a brownish smear cover the walls. They depict suns, moons, and stick-figure humans, some of them with the heads of birds or cats. The only furniture in the room is a crude stone altar, surrounded by stains of dried blood and piles of bones; Thorfin reckons they’re probably from chickens and goats. An old and weathered stone tablet lies against the wall behind the altar, showing a man in robes and feathered head-dress tearing the heart from a man on an altar.
There’s a back bar area which seems to have been used as a vestry; it contains two stands, one of them with a robe and feathered head-dress, an empty dagger sheath, candles, and some bloodstained bowls with crude symbolic carvings.
More searching reveals a storeroom with stairs up and down. On the shelves are bottles of cheap liquor; in the middle of the floor is a pile of wallets, shoes, keys, knives, and other pocket contents.
The group heads down to the basement. This is a large open space, with six brick pillars holding up the building above. There are some piles of empty and broken crates, and three stone statues in a Toltec style. As the group’s turning to leave, the statues start to move to the attack.
Diamond, Stephen and David open fire, but their bullets don’t do much good; they chip away bits of stone, but don’t seem to be doing much damage. Thorfin has no more success with intimidating them. They switch to the troll-claw knives, but even those have difficulty making an impression on the solid, animated granite. Fortunately, while the statues move reasonably fast, they aren’t especially agile, and their blows can be dodged without too much effort.
In the end, Diamond grabs one and throws it to the ground, Stephen empties out his backpack and leaps to pull it over the head of the second, and David pulls out a small breaching charge and hangs it on the arm of the third. The explosion is substantial, reducing the statue to flying gravel; everyone’s deafened and banged about. They manage to retreat up the stairs, Thorfin taking rear-guard; the statues don’t leave the floor of the basement, and he’s able to concentrate his attacks with the troll-claw knife on a single spot on the blinded one he’s fighting. Meanwhile, the other three take multiple aimed shots at the other survivor, again concentrating on a particular spot. Some minutes later, the statues are destroyed.
After a pause for first aid, the team descends again. Thorfin can hear a faint sound of chanting, and follows it to a trap-door concealed in the floor. With Diamond hovering overhead, Stephen opens it and looks through. Heat and the smell of decaying flesh waft out. A ladder leads down into a crowd of… well, let’s call them zombies, who seem ready to attack anyone descending. Further back towards where the stairs would be, there’s a crowd surrounding another altar; a man in robes and feathered headdress, over what appears to be a dinner jacket, is leading them in a chant. On the altar is another man, who looks as if he’s trying to maintain his courage. The chanting stops, and the leader plunges his obsidian dagger into the victim’s chest, then neatly cuts out his heart and shows it to the crowd. After a few seconds, the victim rises, and starts to move clumsily towards the crowd at the foot of the ladder.
David passes Stephen a grenade, which he throws towards the leader; they slam the trapdoor shut, but no explosion follows.
 Subsubsection: 11 November 2015 (to the White Rose) Up Subsection: High Lord of Earth Subsubsection: 2 December 2015 (fighting Kibos)