3rdwardwarhammer

4b - Blood God Rising

Next morning everyone (all 8: four humans, two elves and two dwarves) were having lunch at the Rusty Wheelbarrow, when a young man with an official attire entered. He had white wolf embroided on his tunic and carried a longsword on his side. He approached Dietfried. Waldor whispered to others that he was from the temple of Ulric.

The messenger politely asked Dietfried to follow him to the temple of Ulric and take his companions with him. Dietfried said: “All right, let’s go! Yes that’s all of you – or us, as that now is”.

At the temple Teth-Ro noted that acolytes and priests there looked more like stern warriors with their weapons and armor than reverent monks she was expecting. “Well, Ulric is the god of battle valor”, Dietrich commented very briefly.

They were taken to Father Ranolf. He looked the large group in front of him and his lips moved as if counting silently. Then he looked with obvious question on his face at the messenger who had brought them, but this just shrugged and then left.

- “We have a problem in our hands”, Father Ranolf began. “When I brought up the issue at a meeting I had with Commander Schulzmann, he said that we could ask your assistance. He seems to regard you rather highly.”

He seemed to focus his words on Dietfried, who no doubt looked the most trust worthy of the lot, even if he was a servant of Sigmar (very evident by the silver hammer jewelry he was wearing around his neck).

Father Odo, whom you’ll meet shortly, has had dreadful visions last little while. Well, nightmares no less.” Father Ranolf paused and looked carefully at the faces of the group. Even Rudel was probably without his usual smirk, because the priest seemed pleased to continue. “His eyes have bled during these visions and now he is completely blind. I have no idea if that will be permanent or not. I’ll let you hear the visions from himself.”

He led his guests to a small chamber where a balding elderly looking priest was sitting on a simple chair. The priest had his eyes closed and hands clasped on his lap. After group had been introduced to Father Odo – and he had been asserted of their trustworthiness, he began: “About the time of the chaos invasion here my eyes started bleeding blood during nights. My thoughts on who might this be a sign about were confirmed when the vision started soon after. First I had them only during nights, not really sleep because I wouldn’t really sleep because of the bleeding, but now it has started happening during days too.”

Father Ranolf interjected that through some priestly powers they had been able help Father Odo get some fitful sleep.

- “In the vision I am standing right by a small hill, there is a small tower covered in runes standing on top of the hill. The hill is covered with white and grey skulls, nothing but skulls. Then a person covered in deep black armor stands on the hill. He shouts ‘I shall be free’ with a powerful voice and the hill trembles and blood starts to flow where he is standing, covering skulls and the whole mound of bones.” Father Odo stops.

- “Do you know what that means? Who is that man?” Dietfried queried.

Father Ranolf quickly answered: “Well obviously that is the blood god Khorne. But more interestingly, well, go on Father Odo.”

- “The place had certain familiarity to me in the vision and I think it is located within a week’s journey from here in the Drakwald forest. And among the many minor details that were revealed to me in this vision, one that probably holds the most meaning at this time was a horned brass skull that Khorne was holding in his hand. That is an evil artifact, that I hope could be retreaved from the place shown to me.”

- “So shouldn’t we then start on this trek if it’s several days away? That’s what you want us to do, right?” Teth-Ro spoke up. That was too much irreverence for Dietfried’s liking and he coughed apologetically.

- “I must accompany you, my friends. I will lead you”, Father Odo said quietly.

-

The arrangements for the trek were started, with Rudel Eisenhauer very excited about leaving the city and Gimgund about the search for an ancient artifact even if that would take him to skull covered mounts with fountains of blood.

The temple provided them a wagon with two sturdy horses to draw them. But that wouldn’t be enough to seat everyone, even with the elves riding their horses. So a cart with a horse was included with provisions for the journey. According to Heth that should be good place the dwarves, they being so small that they could be hidden under a small rock. For some reason neither Skora Gin nor Gimgund took offense. Dietfried took upon himself to see to the needs of their blind guide when they travelled in the wagon.

They were able to follow roads as they moved in the direction Father Odo directed them. After almost two full days worth of journey, they were stopped by an troop of a dozen or so Empire’s soldiers. They were not happy to see that large of a group on travel, and set out to escort them back to the city.

The elves got off their horses and Father Odo was helped down the wagon. Father Odo was directed to the captain of the unit.

“I am Father Odo from the temple of Ulric. We are on special mission sent by God Ulric himself,” Father Odo was speaking with deep conviction, and continued with more power with hint of threat in his voice: “Please let us pass and fulfill the purpose of our God.”

The captain stood silent for a second and then quietly directed his men to get going.

Rudel was sneaking around Teth-Ro, who watched Father Odo intently. Then Teth-Ro spat through the air in front of Father Odo. Dietfried got furious: “What are spitting him for?”

Teth tried to explain that she was just testing if the father was really blind. But Dietfried went on about how she should be treating her betters with some dignity at some length. It didn’t seem to have any impact on Teth-Ro though.

Fortunately those two were able to avoid each other when camp was made that night. Teth-Ro was then glad to take the point with Heth to find the best route for the wagon and cart that followed. Every night Father Odo woke up screaming, and it took Dietfried’s best efforts and several minutes to finally calm him. Others kept their distance and everyone seemed always a bit shaken up by the screams and when seeing the blood oozing from Father Odo’s eyes after these nightmares.

-

It was later in the afternoon on the fifth day or so when Father Odo said that they were getting very close to their target. Eckhardt, Rudel or Gimgund had been the most impatient to get to the mound, and they took the lead when the group finally got of the wagon, cart and horses. Skora Gin said that they were eager to get there only so that the nightmares they had conjured up in their heads on what was ahead would cease.

When they could see that there was a clearing a head Father Odo said that it is the tomb of a chaos champion who possessed the brass artifact shown to him. The elves went ahead of the rest, scouting. Heth swerved to the right and Teth-Ro to the left along the edge of the clearing. The clearing was a large mound. The mound was covered in bones, skulls and all other kinds of bones. The bones didn’t quite reach to the edge of the forest, however. There was a large monolith covered in dark writing standing near the top of the mound and a large darkened fire pit close to it. And a huge creature wielding a giant battle axe in between the pit and the obelisk.

Waldor came where Heth was crouched near the edge of the forest. Others went past were Teth-Ro was and actually entered the clearing. Heth was desperately trying to signal them to stay back in the forest.

The 8-foot-tall creature was standing with his horns pointing high, its flesh was brandished with strips of brass nailed to it. Rudel could hear the minotaur snorting, maybe it was smelling them. Heth knocked an arrow and let it fly. Waldor send his magical dart. The minotaur grasped something on his side and put it on his snout – the horn sounded a booming echo through the surrounding woods.

As the echo of the horn blow vanished the hulking creature started taking long steps – towards the exposed crowd on the other side of the clearing. Suddenly there was a loud bang. A small cloud appeared around Eckhardt’s musket. An arrow was flying from the bow of Teth-Ro. Rudel was mostly interested in searching the bones and skulls for any treasure or maybe a gold tooth, but still managed to make the appearance of taking part in the battle. Waldor tried to use his spells to cause minotaur to drop his axe – but his spells couldn’t loosen the iron-like grip on his means of destruction and death. Heth and others kept pommelling the minotaur with their missiles, but many of those missed it entirely.

Father Odo who was standing behind Skora Gin, Dietfried and Gimgund. He pronounced a priestly blessing on the dwarves and Dietfried giving them increased battle vigor and agility. The blessed warriors then stepped forward to meet their opponent. The minotaur continued towards the two dwarves, two priestly characters and the woman with the stick that made very loud bangs.

Skora Gin and Dietfried had their halberd and warhammer raised just waiting for the minotaur to reach them. Gimgund seemed less certain how to exactly make a stand against the closing monstrosity.

Skora Gin made a nice slice at the minotaurs torso. The minotaur managed a few swings with his axe, but Skora Gin and Dietfried were very lucky to not get any part of them in the way of that massive blade. Dietfried give the minotaur then two strokes from his hammer, but one of them went wide. Skora Gin stepped in again an gave the minotaur two swift strokes with his halberd, one to an arm and another to his skull right between the horns. The halberd was wedged in the bones of the skull and as the minotaur fell backwards that pulled Skora, who most defiantly refused to let go of his halbeld, on top of the monster. As the monstrosity was drawing its final breath, Skora Gin performed one extraordinary and hilarious combination of dwarven dancing and a balancing act on top of the giant corpse.

Others who had relied on their missile weapons were drawing closer now. Teth-Ro was the closest to Father Odo, who was still at the edge of the clearing. She offered him an arm to lead him, but she got in return a stinging strike from the blind man’s short staff. The old man then started on his own across the mound of bones.

Rudel, who hadn’t found anything worth collecting so far, had made it to the towering rock covered in dark carvings – probably runes or writing. He made an effort to climb the side of the rock, but quickly stopped. He stepped back from the obelisk terrified with his hands covered in blood. He gave a loud sigh of relief when he realized that it wasn’t his hands that were bleeding but the stone – however, he was no less terrified.

Nobody got very far before there was loud rustling from the farther side of the clearing. Four beastmen crossed into the clearing and a beastman’s torso combined to a horses body also came into view. The beastman-centaur, a centigore was farthest to the left and headed towards Gimgund and Skora Gin.

Rudel, Heth and Waldor were near the standing rock, while most others were closer to the minotaur body. Teth-Ro feeling like showing off, took a sprint and lifted his hands to do a cart wheel and probably some flips. But just when she jumped to get the first cart wheel of, she slipped on a large flat skull with tusks. Bone shards scattered and dust covered the elf.

Eckhardt ran along the edge of the clearing where piles of bones didn’t hinder her towards the beastmen with a sword now in hand. The dwarves felt the effects of the blessing waning so they took a charge towards the centigore to make the most of the blessing of haste while it lasted.

Heth and Waldor were busy targeting the closest beastmen, and Rudel made a stand right next to the rune stone. While Father Odo made his way to the top of the mound and to the standing stone, Teth-Ro got up and made a new run for a show of her athletic skills: after a running start she jumped on breast of the minotaur and made a beautiful flip with a perfect landing on crumbling bones right behind the acolyte of Sigmar and the dwarves engaged with the chaos centaur.

The centigore fell quickly and his nasty halberd hadn’t managed to strike on anyone. Dietfried climbed the centigore’s body to reach the two beastmen that were standing right behind the body. She quickly knocked and send an arrow flying piercing a beastman’s thigh. The fight was soon over. Everyone remained unscathed.

Father Odo demanded that they start searching an entrance to the tomb that was to be here. It took circling the large and wide monolith twice before a hidden door half-way hidden under the bones was discovered. Behind the doorway was a narrow descending staircase.

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4a - New friends

It seemed that to Commander Olrich Schulzmann the murders were solved, but not all of us felt that way. Well, we did know the culprits, the skaven and that there were probably many, many of them in the sewers below the city and maybe elsewhere too. But maybe it would be foolish to go that path further and come a cross hundreds of those giant rodents and just become chow for them.

Now we knew where to reach them, through one easy access point to the sewers. Informing the guard and asking them to collapse that entrance wouldn’t do much good for the safety of the city – there must be dozens of entry points like that throughout the city – assuming that there really is a larger colony of skavens below the city as Schulzmann believes (but he is obviously unwilling to take his men down there because of the size of the threat there – and the panic that would then ensue throughout the city if the truth came out). Also those rodents would probably make easily enough more openings if they needed to. But we can now have the benefit of having an entry point if and when we want to use it.


Dietfried, Skora Gin, Heth-Los and Waldor spent three days getting to know Middenheim (well Waldor knew it already so he was studying what he could find about the skaven at the mages guild). In the case of Skora, this ment familiarizing himself especially with the products of local breweries.

Skora took Heth and Dietfried to the barracks. He was very good at making friends with the guards – though the dwarven ale he usually had with him – and didn’t mind sharing – might have played a part there. They enjoyed hearing about the battle of with the chaos hordes and the guards were very willing to go to gory detail.

Dietfried got bored more quickly than others – he was interested in learning about what was happening elsewhere in the countryside. As there was other people hanging around the barracks that had come to listen in on the battle description, he started with them. Many of the people loitering around were servants that were using the storytelling as an excuse for a break from their toiling. But there was also others. Hans was there talking with an elf rider that didn’t seem local. And there was a well-dressed lady carrying a musket by a strap on her shoulder and a longsword by her side.

As Dietfried got closer to Hans, the rider elf spoke up – a female Dietried finally noticed “all those blasted elves look the same with that unhealthily-slender build and overly long hair”, Dietfried thought. She asked if he was with the elf listening with the roudy dwarf there. “I think I have seen him someplace before”, she said. Dietfried was surprised on the directness of the elf girl, “they look rediculously young too”, his thoughts went on.

Well he decided to be properly polite and said with an outreached hand that the elf took a bit hesitantly: “well hello, I am Dietfried a humble servant of mighty Sigmar – and yes those are my friends Heth-Los and Skora …” The elf didn’t let him finish, but interupted him: “Ok, thanks.” and then she was striding towards Heth who was still enjoying the entertaining stories by guardsmen not on duty.

-

Dietfried was just standing there mouth open, until Hans started laughing aloud. “So you haven’t met many young elves, have you!”

- “Heth is old then – he is pretty well-behaved you know?”

- “Well more grown-up at least, probably 100 years or close to it. I’ve been with elves enough, so I can tell you that it takes several decades for these elves to learn common courtesy expected by other races. But mostly the young ones don’t venture far from their forest cities and settlements. Her name is Teth-Ro, by the way, and she was part of a trading company that got raided on the way here.”

- “Death Row?? What in the world are these elves thinking when they name their rascals?” And Hans just laughed again.

-

Heth thought many of the guards started exaggerating even blatantly when more people started garthering. Many of the servants were laughing openly when the same story was told for the third time and the vicious enemy that earlier had been just a few mutants was now replaced with giant mutants in hordes.

All of a sudden his shoulder was grapped and a fair elf woman stood in front of him. “Heth! Do you remember me?”

Heth stood startled for two seconds and finally his face lit up: “Te-Ro, is it really you, my little cousin! It must have have been twenty years ago that I last saw you.”

- “I never got to say you good-bye, when you just suddenly left” Teth said pretending to be angry “And don’t use my kid name, ok!” she added little embarrassed.

- “Teth then it is, yes you have grown I see. So who did you come here with?”

First part seemed to calm Teth a little, but the question made her seriously angry: “You think I couldn’t come here on my own?” she almost shouted. She paced a few steps and finally admitted: “Well, I was with my elder brother and uncle Carmil. About a days trip east of here we ran into a groups mutants, like a dozen of them, le-led by this mutant ce-centaur” Now she was stammering and near to tears.

- “What happened?” Heth said very worried.

- “Colen, my brother was very brave and stood up to fight them, but Carmil immediately made me run as fast as I could. I heard they crying in pain as I was running.”

- “I am so sorry, Teth-Ro. How long have you been here? How have you managed?”

- “I got here just yesterday. What a strange place this is. So big and so many humans and dwarves.” She stopped suddenly realizing she sounded like a country pumpkin.

- “Hey, I’m new here too, but I have made some friends. I will look after you.”

Boy, was she furious again! “And you will do no such thing! I will be just fine all by myself, is that clear, cousin?!” She started to storm her way through the crowd, but Heth could see her shoulders quivering.

- “Teth, I am sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you. Come join me and my friends in the corner tavern tonight, ok?” But Teth didn’t reply.

-

Dietfried decided to approach the musketeer woman. After proper introductions (“This soldier woman Eckhardt is much more pleasant than the elf girl,” he thought immediately), she asked whether he was part of the group that had solved the recent murders. Admitting that he indeed had some part in that, through grace of Sigmar, Dietfried jumped to ask if she knew what came of the hunt of the chaos horde.

She said that she had arrived from Arenburg, located north of the city, just when the pursuers had organized with the mages and other troops and were leaving in lines out the city gates. It had actually become a sort of a parade and celebration for the city inspite of the tragic circumstances.

Arenburg hadn’t been hit by the attacks but the rumors had sounded bad. She was not from Arenburg but had been hired by the town when the rumors of serious trouble started. Eckhardt had been part of the small troop sent to find out what was happening in the city, and had decided to stay in the city when others left back to report.

Then Eckhardt changed topic and got more serious: “I think there might be a purpose in us meeting, you being a servant of Sigmar. I have been impressed by thought that there is something that Sigmar would like to do for him. I am not sure yet what exactly it will be. It could be some part that I must have in the war with Chaos that seems to be spreading but I think me meeting you here is part of the bigger plan, if you will.”

- “I would like to introduce you to others in our group, would you please join us at Luka’s Tavern later this evening”, Dietfried offered.

- “Does this mean I can join your group of crime solvers or is that what you specialize in?”

- “I guess it does. Well, I guess how I would put it is that we do good where ever the mighty hand of Sigmar takes us.”

- “That’s just perfect.”


When the four friends where spending early evening together in a local tavern (Skora well ahead of others in the number of pints consumed), Agis Shwalb stepped in the door of the tavern, hurriedly he looked around the room and spotting the group walked right up to them:

“Hello friends! The town is all abuzz on the murders that you have solved – though no one I have talked about it seems to have a good idea who the murderer or murderers really were.. It seems to have everybody guessing” he said with a smirk.

Skora Gin was still feeling grateful for the bottles Agis provided from his wares during the trip to the city. Heth queried being obviously agitated: “I thought you were with us, and all of a sudden our merchant friend is just gone, how come?”

“Well I am thankful for the company on the trip here, but really I don’t think I am much of a fighter or really an adventurer either – or into solving crimes committed by very dangerous people for that matter.” More quietly Agis continued: “But I have two new-made friends who would be. Come and meet them on the alley behind the potter’s shop down the street in a half-hour, and I will provide the drinks for courage on your next adventure, ok?”

Without a moments hesitation Skora, having fond memories of Agis’ merchandise, agreed: “That is a done deal then.” Others gave each other looks of a suspicious sort, but Agis was out the door before anyone got anything else said on the matter.

Dietrich was wary: “I still don’t know if I trust that fellow much, it could be a trap you know”. Heth disagreed and said something to the effect that the friendship they forged with him is something worth believing in, while Waldor just kept quiet and observed the reactions of others. “Well, I for one am not going to miss having more samples from Agis extraordinary stock,” Skora said and that seemed to settle the matter for now.

-

So soon after finishing their drinks they went out to meet the adventurer candidates. There was Agis with a sneakily-behaving man and a scavenger-looking dwarf.

“Why couldn’t you just bring them in?” Dietrich asked right away, obviously uncomfortable with dark alley ways in a big city he was suspecious of (after all it was the city of Ulric, a rival of sorts of Sigmar).

“Some of us really prefer privacy. And we are in better safe here than in there if that’s what you are worried about.” Dietrich just scoffed. Heth was marginally less confrontational: “So you do most of your business in the alleys after dark?”

“I know what you imply, but not all of us have the luxury of being very picky with our business contacts.” Agis gave that smirk again that seemed to evoke clear signs of irritation on Dietrich’s face.

Agis got a more serious tone and said: “Enough with the courtesies. Here are Gimgund and Rudel.”

The human introduced as Rudel seemed to be nervous with incessant fidgeting while standing only on his toes and his eyes never staying on one spot more than a blink. The dwarf though dirty seemed to have some inherent sophistication as he introduced himself more properly as one excavateur Gimgund of the Stonehammer clan. This showed also in his posture and his gaze that had the cordiality of a court gentleman.

“So you are looking for some adventure, eh?” Skora began.

Agis had evidently met these two through a business action and had promised to help these fellows along. The dwarf seemed to be genuinely into adventuring, while the group got the impression that the roguish man was more interested just getting out of the city – maybe someone was after him or a ‘business’ had gone sour or the city guard had gotten too interested in his person. Many possibilities seemed all just as likely with Rudel – he was a jovial fellow but didn’t ever seem to reveal anything about himself.

Eckhardt and Teth-Ro Seagleam joined the ever-enlarging group at their regular tavern later that night. The spirits were high and acquintances were forged into friendships. However, Waldor seemed a little suspecious about Rudel, and Dietfried probably too, but he was more focused on eyeing Teth-Ro very coldly. If she noticed she didn’t show it. The haughty elves and the ale-liking dwarves had constant racial banter between them, but that was light-hearted and everyone was really enjoying themselves in the end.

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3c - Trail leads to sewers

What now? The college of theology is located close to the magicians guild which was considered possibly significant. Maybe these were some knowledge gathering or scouting attemps by the skaven and the people who sighted them were quickly killed. The killed watchman hadn’t even cried for help – there had been other guardmen fairly close by at the time. Someone wanted to examine the bodies. Another wanted to investigate all the murder sights. They went to the college of theology and tried to find out if anything of value had become missing since the killing of the door keep. No one could give any clues on that and they were not allowed to search the building either. The results were the exactly the same at the engineering guild.

Heth was mostly interested in solving the mystery of the unidentified stranger. The group headed to the cemetery by the temple of Moor. There it was found out that the stranger had had a proper burial after all. A group of three men that wheren’t much for conversation, showed up soon after the stranger’s body was brought in. Their leader had been dark and tall with a scarred face and blue eyes. The men had named the stranger Gerthard Kroen, a follower of Sigmar. They had paid for a proper funeral for the stranger that had been held yesterday. They had even gotten him a simple tombstone, where the group was led. Someone asked about his belongings, but the three men had taken all that – not that there had been much anything of apparent value.

The tombstone was clearly freshly chiseled and it simply stated the name of the deceased and it also had the twin comet symbol of Sigmar. A more careful eye caught also small lettering on the bottom of the stone: “OxF”. After pondering if it had any meaning to anyone, Waldor recalled it coming from Order Fedilis, a mysterious, and dangerous group of witch hunters.

Now the group wanted to see the place where this Gerthard Kroen had been when he had met his fate. The people of the temple were able to instruct the investigators there. The group was also told that man had been found laying on the alley with an empty crossbow in his hands. The alleyway was in a damaged section of the city district, probably because of some hell cannon salvos.

In the alley a trail of blood drops was spotted and it followed an open sewer and led to the outer wall of the city. At this point there was an undamaged iron mesh covering the sewer through the wall. Stepping on the bottom of the open sewer revealed, however, an opening that lead to a tunnel leading back to into the city. The opening seemed carefully concealed.

Dietfried thought that we should get some men to join us before we head into the tunnel or go and report to Commander Olrich. Others felt that they really didn’t have much anything yet to report and that this was what they had set out to find out by themselves in the first place. So they entered the tunnel with one torch lit. The tunnel soon connected to a sewer main line. This was slightly nauseating to some. Supprisingly the elf in his finery didn’t seem worse off.

The came to a crossing, the main line continued strait on, but there was a side tunnel to the right. The tunnel to the right was taken. It seemed constructed by skavens. All of a sudden a rat person was seen in the tunnel just sitting with its back towards the direction from which the group was approaching from. Skora Gin and Heth-Los knock arrows to their bows and let them fly. The dwarf hits the skaven squarely on the head, and Heth’s arrow slices its belly open. It’s very dead by the time its body thuds to the ground. This skaven seemed to have some sort of mutation as there was a big horn protruding from its forehead.

The side tunnel came to stop as it ran into a collapse (the city watch had sealed off and collapsed some of the tunnels dug by the skaven). There was a large opening to the left, however, and some flickering light coming from there. Heth and Skora stepped forward carefully and saw that there was a larger area there with three skaven creatures on the far side sitting on separate piles of filth and whatever what preferred to make their beds from. These skaven were focusing on ‘grooming’ themselves or just laying there. On the left side of the area there was apparently a fire burning but still not visible.

As arrows start hitting the skaven, they are first surprised but then start their attack. Waldor casts magical bolts and Dietfried readies his hammer. There two more skaves by the fire and they too enter the fray. Soon two skaven lie dead, but a clearly larger type of skaven enters the area illuminated by the fire. Waldor uses his magic and makes a large roar sound from behind the large skaven startling it and also the rest of the skaven. Arrows continue to fly from Heth’s bow, hitting some and missing some. Dietrich and Skora Gin approach the large skaven as the smaller skaven are now dead with the exception of one that fled to the back where large skaven had come from. After others have soften it, Dietrich makes a charge and strikes the skaven down with a mighty blow from his hammer while shouting Sigmar. There is a small separate area behind the area with the fire and on its way there the fleeing skaven had tripped trap wire and was quickly finished by one or two blows when it was reached be the group.

The back area had also a or two bed made of a pile rubbish and filth. There is also a staglamite that Skora Gin recognizes to be a concealed altar to a dwarven god. Apprently the skaven have not realized this. The bed piles are search and the surroundings of the fire, maybe less carefully or more thoroughly by Heth who ends up being bitten by bugs found in the beds. He becomes infected, but later washes himself carefully and takes a bath and is cured. Most of the skaven had leather armor that is not suitable for human use because of odd shapes they are made into – and maybe more importantly the stench of filth that probably even powerful magic can’t remove. Neither do the bed piles contain anything that anyone wants to take – well, that is until the golden frame is discovered in a trash pile in the back. It is from the stolen icon, but no trace of the actual icon is found.

The group return to surface, clean up and then go report to Olrich. The commander rewards each of the investigators with 10 gp for recovering the frame.

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3b - Ratmen, do they exist?

The group of four was led quickly (after the letter of recommendation had been shown) to the back of Sigmar’s temple and into father Morten’s chamber on the third floor with his body still sprawled on the floor. The window was open and it led to a three-inch ledge on the outer wall. On the window sill it was noticed that there were some scratches, probably from claws. A careful search of the body revealed a tiny black dart on the back of the neck. It was carefully wrapped in a cloth by Dietfried.

When killed father Morten had been in the process of writing a letter or a note on the icon of Sigmar that had disappeared with the murderer. He was assessing that this was indeed a genuine artifact that might have been drawn from a living model some millenia ago while the frame was workmanship of a later era.

A quick search was conducted on the ally below the open window of father Morten’s room. There was a water spout in the corner of the wall and maybe five yards along the ledge from the window. Someone spotted claw marks on the spout and on the grown. No one in the group was skilled in tracking and the few trail marks quickly vanished on the ally.

Dietfried knew that there were rumors of ratmen, but all that believed any of it were taken as fools and any that spread them rightout loonies. So they were not to draw any conclusions on their findings publicly. The investigations decided after a lengthy discussion to take their findings (without making any conclusions themselves) to Commander Olrich.

Commander was slightly troubled to learn about the dart and scratch marks. “I know that no one believes that there are rat people at all. But these skavens are real, let me assure you. The vile ratmen have been a scourge on the city of Middenheim for centuries. Now, there have been three other killings in last few days by a dart like this one. Let me show you.” Olrich had a watchman bring him a small box and opening it, he showed his investigators three similar black darts side by side on the soft lining of that box. He carefully placed the fourth one there too and handed the box back to the guard.

“There seems little common with these three – well now four – killings. One was the door keeper at the college of theology. One was a city watchman on patrol by the dwarven engineers’ guildhouse. And the last of the three some unknown stranger on an alleyway. I think they all have had their funerals – or just buried like that unfortunate unidentified fellow in the public cemetery by the people from the temple of Moor.

“I thank you, thought the news are grave. I hope you can find out more.” And the group was led out by a member of the city guard.

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3a - Waldor the Wizard

While Dietfried, Heth and Skora Gin are meeting with Commander Schulzmann (Agis is now taking care of his businesses in the market district, and may not be seen again), a watchman enters the room and hands the commander a gold-leafed envelope sealed with purple wax.

Commander scans the letter slowly and finally the watchman gets a nod and he leads a peculiar man in. The man has a scruffy dark hair and very dark eyes. He is fairly young (in his 20s) but even then he is carrying a sturdy looking staff.

Commander Schulzmann says: “Meet Waldor Gebaur. Lord Riese from the Celestial Order wants him to join you in your investigations. And no – I do not know the reason, nor do I think Mr. Gebaur here knows much better, but I am sure the Celestial Order has it reasons – and they are not to be trifled with. You are to report to me directly on whatever it is that you find out. Now go.”

While on the way to the Sigmar’s temple, Waldor tells a little about his background to others: “When the Chaos started its attack on the city there was a massive panic in the streets. I and other of the Celestial Order were called to defend the city and we eventually beat them back—well the city guard did some of it, that’s true. But it didn’t happen without significant losses and damage—as you can see.” Waldor points to a crumbled corner of a building and a scorched section of the city wall that they happen to be passing.

“When the Chaos was on retreat all of the Order set to pursuit and they are yet to return.” Waldor explains to others that pursuits of anything but the Celestial discipline is a capital offence and thus the practioners of the Magical Arts usually refer to themselves as the Celestial Order. —There is a hint in his voice that the official truth might not be the real truth of the matter, maybe there is something very illegal about his own studies, too.)

For several weeks Waldor had carried that sealed letter from Lord Riese. The letter mentioned the murder of father Morten, which had now happened only hours ago, and it assigned Waldor to participate in the investigation of the murder.

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2c - Murder in Middenheim

Refuges from Undergard arrive at Middenheim. There are massgraves outside the walls and buildings and wall have suffered some obvious damage. On the outer walls there are some dead invaders hanging from their hooked arms they must have used to scale the walls.

Members of the ragtag company disband after entering the gates of the City of the White Wolf each taking care of his own.

The group of four head to Sigmar’s temple to deliver the precious icon of Sigmar. Agis and Heth stay outside with Heth’s horse and Agis’ cart. Dietfried and Skora Gin are received by father Morten. He is exceedingly greatful of the artifact and rewards the initiate and the dwarf with two small silver hammers on chains, which they were around their necks when stepping finally out of the temple and onto the street where Heth and Agis were waiting.

Soon the group is stopped by the city guard – and lead to a fancy admistrative building. The reason seems to be that some refugees from Undergard have been talking about the large group of beastmen that were roaming the region south of Middenheim. The group is met by Olrich Schulzmann, who is the commander of the city guard – and in the current absence of the city Graff the highest city official.

The group is accused of killing father Morten, who was found dead in the temple shortly after the artifact was delivered to him. Also, the artifact icon is now missing. The group is able to convince Olrich of their innocense and they are in fact asked to assist in finding the guilty. The group, or more exactly Dietfried, is given a letter of recommendation from the commander so that the bearer of the letter is to be given all appropriate aid in their investigation.

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2b - Granny goes missing - twice

When the party of four from the Grimmenhagen caught up with the Undergard company of refugees, it was noticed that Granny was missing. People quickly noticed this from the crying of the orphans travelling in Granny’s cart.

Hans helps the group track Granny’s trail. Eventually the group meets some elven kithband warriors, which are sort of guardians of the woods. They have Granny. Heth as an elf leads discussion and explains that the company is just passing through. The kithband are informed of the approaching beastmen, which information they take seriously. Granny is then returned to the Undergard company.

Next little bit the company moves without incident towards Middenheim. Then another trail crosses the trail the company travels. Around the crossing and in woods are more than a dozen bodies lying. There has been a battle – a devastating one, but by estimation it took place more than a week ago. Four dead horses and overturned carriage are also on the trail. The group and Hans search the surrounding. There are goblin arrows on the ground and on the bodies. No goblin bodies are found. There is however on the bodies a symbol recognized as signifying a merchant from Albres. Dietfried, Skora Gin and Agis obtain better body armor from the fallen, while Heth finds a genuine elven bow.

Father Dietrich also comes to the scene and goes to check an apparent place with a good view to the crossing where a group of goblin archers might have stood. All of a sudden there is big crash! Father Dietrich has fallen into a pit trap. It’s bad. There tens of sharp stakes. Many have pierced him. Dietfried Notchman and rest of the group come to Dietrich. He won’t survive this. Father talks to Dietfried and gives him an old artifact that is a gold-framed icon of Sigmar while vowing him to take it to the temple of Sigmar in Middenheim.

The able-bodied men clear the corpses and the wreckage before the company continues or any children are allowed near the crossing. The crossing path has a sign pointing east and saying “Farndorf”. This causes great stress for Granny – her father was killed there when the village still stood. He had kept food from the men of the Graff of Grimmenhagen so that he could feed his family in the coming winter.

The company makes a camp for the night good distance from the crossing. In the middle of night crying of the children wake up the company. Children are crying because Granny has vanished and there is no one to comfort them. No body has seen Granny leave.

The group sets out to find Granny – they head back to the crossing passed earlier and head towards Farndorf. After a mile or two they come to a clearing with the ruins of the village of Farndorn where there is a bonfire with several figures moving around it. As the group approach, they recognize Granny chanting from a tome by the bonfire. She is accompanied by four wolves. In the fire there appears momentarily a horned figure.

The group moves in to stop the ritual. The wolves react by attacking. The group is able to kill the wolves and Granny before the ritual is completed – no one is seriously hurt either. Granny was much older than she let on – her life was probably prolonged by some sort of magic. Dietfried finds her tome to be very evil and the ritual would have summoned a vengeful spirit – that she would have caused to attack the Chaos forces that caused all this devastation of lives in the Empire and in Undergard. The book is burned though Agis was a little sad to see something so valuable (in monetary value) go unsalvaged. Heth skins the four wolves and four nice pelts are taken back to the Agis’ cart.

Rest of the trip to Middenheim goes more peacefully.

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2a - Attempt at saving Grimmenhagen

The ragtag band of refugees from Undergard consisted of 80 some people, including dozen or so children – many of whom were orphans cared by Granny Mavis. Granny was leading one cart or wagon that was filled with the orphans. The company included also two other carts that carried the small amount of possessions the townfolks were able to take along. Besides the people in the carts Heth-Los was the only one riding a horse.

On the second day, as the company was using a trail leading towards Middenheim they needed to pass by a small town by the name of Grimmenhagen. There had existed a great resentment between Undergard and Grimmenhagen since the time that Undergard was build – actually by people who left Grimmenhagen as they felt oppressed by the Graff Sturnhauer ruling there. The resentment build up as the Undergarders did in fact fare well by themselves.

The people in the company, including captain Schiffer, took a path to go around the town without stopping there. Especially Dietfried, but also Heth and Skora Gin took upon them to inform the town people of the new approaching threat of beastmen.

The town of Grimmenhagen had suffered almost as much as Undergart in recent attacks by chaotic forces. However, they were now in the process of rebuilding, replanting and restoring the town. There were two people standing apart and apparently doing nothing – a scruffy-looking merchant with a cart of covered wares and a bailiff for the Graff. The merchant didn’t have luck finding potential customers – but on the other hand he wasn’t very open what exactly he was offering or making a big number of himself. The bailiff Gunter seemed to have some official errand or business to take -care of with the townspeople, but was very apprehensive to actually get to it.

Dietfried came to the main opening of the town and called everyone to come and harken. He warned the people in the name of Sigmar of the approaching beastmen, and called them to leave the town as the people from another town nearby had already done (the name of the town was wisely withheld). Townspeople didn’t take the threat seriously – or felt that they could deal with another raiding band that Chaos would throw their way as they had before. Finally, the town promises to send scouts southward were the beastmen would be coming from.

The merchant, whose name was Agis Shwalb, was eventually the only one willing to leave at the behest of a servant of Sigmar, a horse-riding elf and a dangerous-looking dwarf. These four caught up with the Undergard company soon after it had circumvent the town and got back on the main trail towards Middenheim.

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1 - In Untergard

There are forces of Chaos roaming about the lands of the Empire causing much devastation. An army was mustered and sent to fight them.

Heth-Los and Skora Gin fought with the army and were seriously wounded in a big battle at Undergard and were left behind to recooperate. Dietfried just came to town a week or more after the battle took place. That previous big battle left this town Undergard all but ruins, but the forces of Chaos were repelled and the army moved on. Keeping the Undergard under the control of the Empire was significant as it as its one of the places with bridge over an important river that starts near Middenheim in northern Empire and connects with river Talabec near Altdorf.

The survivors numbered less than a hundred and were hungry and clothed in rags. Granny, old lady of significance in the town, was taking care of the numerous ophans and had became in a way their new mother. There was also a newly arrived priest of Sigmar, father Dietrich, who was still a stranger to most in town, but respected though the town more revered Ulric.

Scora Gin, Heth and Dietfried made aquintance in the town square were a gathering was taking place. Local graff was delighted of the bravery of the town people in keeping the river crossing and had send a few bottles of wine and dozen or two loaves of bread to the struggling people. Before any food was delivered a bottle was blasted in pieces in captain Schiffer’s hand. The cause was an arrow shot from the other side of the river deviding the town. Across the main bridge, that was next to the town square, were four hideous mutants coming toward the now terrified and panicking town folk.

The dwarf, the elf and Sigmar’s initiate (who knows no divine magic as of yet) stepped up to defend the ragged survivors including women and orphans. Dietfried and Skora Gin took a stand in the bridge and Heth stepped a few yard along the river bank to have a clear shot with his bow to the mutants behind the first two, who were engaged in close combat with his fellows on the bridge.

Skora Gin was frenzied having an opportunity to give it back to the Chaos creatures the death of his brother. He scored hits on the mutants bodies on a steady rate, while the elf on the bank had a few good hits too. Dietfrief seemed to be aiming for the air around the mutants rather than anything else. He was also wounded severly in his thigh. The mutants were defeated, but also Skora Gin bleeding after the battle. Father Dietrich provided some healing.

Hans was a woodsman and a scout for the town. He came to town with news that around 200 beastmen were headed towards the town. The captain of the city guard (Schiffer) decided – with the support of Granny in convincing the town folk – to evacuate the town and all its 80 already malnourished and very ragged survivors. Schiffer asked us to help them on their way to Middenheim. Even though he was in no way pretending that anyone could reward us for doing so, we readily agreed to accompany them.

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0 - Intro

Synapsis: Heth and Skora Gin meet in the army hospital. Dietfried is wandering the country side in the name of Sigmar

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