The Interrogation of Adele LeBeau

(This story takes place after “Captain Todd Makes an Offer.”)

Captain Todd had been convinced that the Surveyors should formally interrogate the two cultists they had captured and brought back to Riverbend.  When Shade said he would personally be handling the interrogation, and that it was better no one from the army was present, Captain Todd agreed to this as well.  The cultists were being kept in separate empty houses, and under constant guard.  Their injuries had mostly been healed, but beyond this their treatment had been harsh.  Water and stale bread their meals.  The hard wooden chair each was tied to, serving as their bed.  

One of the two cultists was a younger woman, about 25.  She was very plain to look at.  Borderline ugly.  He had thin dark hair, that hung straight to her shoulders.  The other cultists was a woman of about 45 years old.  She had lighter hair, and she was a bit frumpy.  Though it was clear she had once been beautiful.  

Adele LeBeau

Sympos asked Shade if he could help with the interrogations.  Shade agreed, as he had a plan in mind for which Sympos would be handy.  Shade had army soldiers drag the younger woman, still tied to her chair, from her house and place her next to the older woman.  Shade then dismissed the soldiers, and only he and Sympos were present.  Neither woman was gagged, but they said nothing.  They just sat there, tied to their respective chairs, defiant looks on their faces.  

Shade turned first to the younger woman.  He drew a small dirk from his belt. "Tell me if this hurts. I'm new at this. I'm better at dispatching to tell the truth. Speaking of truth, why don't you tell me how many of your brethren are out there?"

You ugly young woman spat at Shade, just missing him as he shifted slightly to his right.  The dirk flashed, and the young woman’s throat opened up a little, like a second mouth.  She began to gurgle a bit, as blood and air were pulled in and out of this new hole in her throat.  Shade smiled at the older woman who was not screaming.  “Oops.  I guess I am really bad at this.”

Shade wiped the young woman’s blood from his dirk, using the older woman’s tunic.  She was breathing heavily now, staring at her fellow conspirator, as the young woman bled out down the front of her dress.  The gurgling and grunting becoming more pronounced as she drowned in her own blood.  The life left her eyes.  Shade shook his head.  “Oh, no.  I guess that leaves just you.  Sympos, would you take care of that mess for me.”

Sympos walked over to the young woman’s corpse, still tied to the hard wooden chair.  With a few words and a touch, her body decayed at an accelerated rate.  Blackening, splitting open in places, releasing gasses, and becoming nearly unrecognizable as having once been human.  Eventually it fell to pieces, and then to dust.  The old woman struggled at her ropes, staring at the disposal of the young woman.  She was sobbing and moaning a bit, and crying out randomly.

Shade leaned in, the point of his dirk running across the skin of his next victim's throat.  “Welcome to paradise, Adele.”

She screamed out, “I’ll tell you what you want to know.  I’ll talk…I’m through!  I’ll happily answer anything you ask!”

Shade shook his head.  “No, not yet you won’t.”  Shade shoved a rag into the woman’s mouth.  “I think I need a bit of practice first.  Don’t worry.  I’ll leave enough of you intact that you’ll be able to tell me all I want to know….”

Shade went to work, and the hours of Adele LeBeau’s screams gave many of the soldiers nightmares for weeks and months to come.


Sympos repeated the process of decomposition, but this time on what was left of Adele’s corpse, and the many pieces lying about in a puddle of crimson on the floor.

Shade knelt on one knee nearby.  “14 devil children.  14 fucking changlings…and we fed them and swaddled them…and gave them to the army.  They've been gone for days...headed off for adoption.”


Sympos looked sad.  “I chewed up their food.  You’d think I would have noticed.”

Shade stood up.  “Don’t blame yourself.  None of us noticed.  That Al-Ana demon is a master at hiding her handy work.  Nearly undetectable in every way.  Until the changeling starts to grow up too quickly.  Pets and siblings start to disappear.  The adults of the family are either converted to worshipping Al-Ana, or in most cases are horribly murdered.  It is all a game to her…she wants her tithing in blood and souls.”

Sympos shrugged.  “Do you believe her that she was the last of the cultists?  Do you believe the 14 babies were demonspawn?  Can we trust it?”

Shade frowned.  “I believe she believed it.  I think I cut away the flesh, and exposed her true self.  And there is no lying after that.  I believe her.  The real question, is where are the babies now…and what do we do about this?"

As soon as possible, the entire group of surveyors was briefed on what was learned during the interrogation.


<<<What do you guy’s do next?  Captain Todd may have a record of where the babies were taken?  Do you tell him what you have learned?  Do you follow up on all this?  Give me the low down on what happens next.  🙂


    • Mark Stinson

      I could share this with you guys through storyline (meaning Captain Todd or some other NPC tells you this stuff).  But, I think based on the background on Al-Ana you received back at the library in the palace, and the information that's been sprinkled throughout the interludes (like the information from the 5 teenage survivors you met up with), your characters either know or strongly suspect the following information:


      First, Al-Ana the water demon replaces some babies with demonspawn changelings (not the D&D race, but actual baby demons).  These demon spawn look like the replaced baby, but they are "off."  They act strangely, look slightly different, and grow into malformed incredibly evil creatures over time.  To prevent these baby-switches from happening, traditionally mothers put a red ribbon on their babys' wrists.  This for some reason keeps the demon away, and keeps the switch from happening.

      Second, the changed and growing babies begin killing pets and siblings, and working on their parents' souls and sanity.  Eventually, they either kill the parent or convert them to worshipping and serving Al-Ana.  There is a higher conversion rate among the women, leading to more moms living on as Al-Ana worshippers, and more of the dads being murdered.  Often by the moms.

      Third, the cult summons Al-Ana, and Al-Ana summons her hoards of monsters, and you have a full-on infestation of devils on your hands.  People are corrupted or consumed.  The community is utterly destroyed.  The changeling babies begin merging with other people, forming huge fleshy monstrosities made up of multiple people.  etc.

      So, the demonspawn babies are like seeds.  I feel like you would not really have put that together until Adele confessed in her interrogation that the 14 babies were demonspawn.  She would have alluded to the victory of her cult, despite you killing her.  Every one of those babies is the beginning of a full on Al-Ana infestation, and the destruction of another community.  Potentially, the destruction of Bassot-Garmon even, since a number of the babies were sent there.

      My apologies if this information was a little too obscure and spread out over a few too many stories.  I usually have a better read on that, but I think I could have driven the point home a little more directly.  But, there is a pretty grave risk here.  You can leave it to the military if you choose.  I run a sandbox.  The game on Sunday will go any direction you choose to take your characters.  I'm good no matter what you choose or where things go.  :-)


      • Marcus Auerilius

        Timm will have something to say or contribute on this. Mark, sent you a DM on discord.

        • Mark Stinson

          After talking to Major Avis Moore's scribe, Captain Todd returns with the records of what was done with the babies. 

          "Let's see, three were sent to Fontaine, a large farming community, with a traveling merchant and his wife.  They promised to find them good homes.  Um, merchant's name was Stephan.  Well, that's less than complete information."

          "Two were sent to Pessac.  Mining town.  Thought we were sending them a couple of future miners...that's not going to work out so well.  Appears the soldiers dropped the babies off at the general store.  Owner was a Mr. Raslaad.  Said he knew a couple of families that recently lost infants.  Might be interested in adopting them.  Soldiers probably stopped by the local whore-house, rather than following up about the the babies, as that's where that record ends."

          Still reading from the record.  "One was sent to Vezelay.  Soldier said he was from there, and the Mayor's family was quite wealthy and had recently lost a child.  Um...let's see.  Yes, dropped off with Mayor Claude Maleau and his wife, Elisa."

          "Five were taken to the city of Murs d'Fer in the North.  Iron Walls, some call it.  They record says they took them to the Temple of Po, in the city's center and they took them in.  Murs d'Fer began as a large fortress on our Northern border, and an important stop on trade routes headed north.  During the Great Isolation, the city had less value to Othamar, and declined somewhat." 

          "The remaining three were sent to the Temple of Mishkin, in Bassot-Garmon.  The temple runs orphanages and adoption services in the capital and surrounding region.  Cute little babies like that should adopt out quickly."

          Timm shook his head.  "Cute little demon babies, you mean."

          Captain Todd sighed.  "Yes.  Indeed."  He looked up from the record.  "If you gentlemen are done with all this, and want to move on...I'd understand.  But, I think we'd stand a better chance of containing this thing with your help.  I don't want to see another Riverbend happen."

          • Chris Snevets

            At one point in the interrogation, Sympos sends his infestation all over the woman. It totally creeps her out. Shade would report all of the findings to the Captain. Have the army locate the changelings and stop any adoptions. It should be a civil matter now.