Brother Paul walked through the courtyard of the abbey. The moon was full tonight, and he pulled his robes around him to shut out the bitter winter winds. Behind him, he left a trail of footprints in the snow, leading back towards the wine cellar.

Sir John, a knight training to be a paladin of this sacred order, came upon those footprints later that night. Suspicious, he followed them back into the wine cellar, where damp spots still sat on the cold stone floors. He grabbed a torch from the sconce on the wall and held it in front of him, but high so that he might not disturb the trail he was following. He did his best attempt at sneaking in his heavy chain mail, but his boots still clanked solidly on the stone floor no matter how lightly he stepped. His footsteps echoed in the East side of the wine cellar, long gone into disuse except for a few casks of brandy that were worth their weight in gold. One of the casks was overturned, but seemed to be undamaged. Sir John grunted set his torch down so that he might heave the barrel back up upon its dais where it would sit for another century or so, but instead of the gentle sloshing of a full cask of brandy, he heard nothing. A gentle shake revealed a thump of something on the inside. Sir John drew the dirk from his belt and began to pry the lid off of the ancient cask. A few minutes of work and he lifted his torch from the damp cold granite to see Brother James, staring lifelessly back up at him. So shocked was Sir John, that he did not hear the footsteps as Brother Paul came back to finish cleaning up the evidence.

Sir John's screams were buried in the stifling air of the frozen wine cellar, but even if they weren't, no one would be the wiser, as no Brother or Knight or Paladin could hear anything else but the bells in the tower as they struck midnight together.

This was a nodeshell. Now it isn't.

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