Averland Adventures: The Blue Reach Delta

Two heads may be better than one, but four arms will ruin your whole day.

The panicked cries of the innocent surrounded me as they attempted to flee from the advancing undead. My companions were doing what they could to help. I, however, had another goal. Someone would be coordinating this attack, so I moved unseen through the enemy ranks to try and find the wizard responsible. Creeping past another hovel, a scream within froze me in my tracks. My mission would have to wait. Slipping in a window, I walked in on a woman cowering in the corner from an advancing zombie. Needing to attract its attention, I took some inspiration from Pieter and bounced a half eaten chicken leg off its head. It lunged towards me leaving the woman for a tastier morsel. I would have preferred to end this quickly and be on my way, but the woman was too scared to move. I was also having difficulty hitting my target. I suspect the unnatural jerky movements were throwing my timing off. Fortunately, it was having similar difficulties taking a bite out of me. It took several moments, and broken pieces of furniture before the woman finally realized she should flee. Just in time to, as a second monster had just shambled in to check out the commotion. Time to go. Diving back through the open window, I continued down the alley. Lucky for me that zombies aren’t very good with windows.

….Thooom! The ground shook with another tremor. Whatever it was, it was getting closer. The shanty was well behind me now, but the two armoured skeletons I currently faced were causing new problems. The strikes that were not evaded were being harmlessly deflected by their armour. I needed to get moving, I still hadn’t located their creator…Thooom!…but I had an idea of where to look. THOOOM!! Whatever monstrosity was coming, it sounded awesome…I had to see it. Disengaging from my malnourished opponents, I ran down the street and around the corner in time to witness a massive four armed…ogre??, erupting from the sewers. Resembling some kind of grotesque humanoid insect, it lunged towards the melee and my friends. The horde was already threatening to overwhelm them with shear numbers. This would definitely tip the scales. This beast needed to be delayed, but how? I’d better think of something quickly, since my feet seemed to already be racing towards it. Rounding the corner, It hadn’t noticed me yet, so I closed on the beast and landed a vicious slash across its calf. Its hideous face swung towards me…okay, that did it. I hope it’s as clumsy as it looks. Ducking under its massive arm, I intercepted another with my shield, the force driving me to my knees and into the mud…”Guess not” I grunted as its other arms swung in…“Okay…getting less awesome“. The sensation of spinning uncontrollably through the air might have been fun if not for the successive bone crushing impacts that came with it. Rolling with the landing, I slid to a halt and struggled to my feet, ready to face my oversized opponent. Clutching my shield tightly to my aching torso, and wiping the mud from my eyes, I hoped Ranalds Luck would save me one more time. A rattle behind warned me a split second before intense agony ripped through my shoulder. “Ranald, you miserable bastard!” I cursed under my breath. The skellies had followed me.

.…I hope the others are ready. I can’t keep this up much longer. I’d led the Uber-zombie on a merry chase, but was rapidly running out of alleys and buildings to hide in. The beast took another swing narrowly missing me before smashing through the wall beside me. Debris rained down on my back and shoulder, now sticky with blood. I bolted for the street before my foe dropped a roof on me. Bursting out of the alley, I located Dolwen and Pieter. They were currently busy with two large and armoured baddies. I wonder if they’re the same two from earlier? An explosion overhead reminded me of the greater threat as the giant smashed through another wall to get me. Making sure I still had his attention, I led him down yet another alley. As I continued to evade, I couldn’t help wondering where Pieter was going in such a hurry, and why did he leave poor Dolwen to fight their two opponents alone? If I live through this, I’ll have to ask him.

….Now that the horde was defeated, we regrouped to bind wounds and discuss our impending inspection of the local sewers. “Ow!”…”Sorry guys. I tried…Ow!” ”Tried to keep him away as long…Ngh…long as possible. OUCH! Hey!” turning to Eckhardt “How am I supposed to keep talking when you keep jabbing me with that thing?” “You know” Eckhardt responded with a hint of amusement “I was just wondering the same thing.” again stabbing the needle into the torn flesh of my shoulder. “Tell me again, the difference between reckless and stupid?” pulling the thread “What were you thinking?” “I was thinking that he was too big and clumsy to lay a finger on me.” “And?” he asked. Shrugging painfully “I forgot about all the extra fingers.” “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Eckhardt muttered "Stupid” as he continued. “Yes” I winced “but also necessary” “How’s Dolwen doing?” “About as good as anyone could be after being thrown through a building.” “He’ll be sore for awhile, but he’ll live.” “Now hold still, I’m almost done.”

We said our farewells to Adam, wished him well (hope he doesn‘t eat the poor pie lady out of business), then headed for the sewers. The path was remarkably easy to follow, but given the immense size of bug boy, that wasn’t really surprising. A quiet splash alerted me that we weren’t alone. Cautioning the others, I crept forward to check it out. A couple of skaven where quietly arguing, so I went back to get the others. “What were they saying?” Erik asked. I responded with a straight face “Chitter, chirp, squeaker, squeaker.” Herod looking confused asked “What’s that mean?” Incredulously I replied “How the f*%# should I know?” A voice interrupted from the tunnel ahead “Humans…Know you there” “No fight, we help.” We negotiated for a bit before reluctantly deciding their offer could work. The skaven had until now, been working for the necromancer, but it appears their alliance has run its course. No more bodies meant no more warpstone, or whatever else they were receiving in payment. Now they wanted us to fight their battle for them. “Since we’re here anyway, okay. Take us to the dead thing maker.”

The skaven led the way deeper into the maze of tunnels staying well ahead of bow range. They were smarter than they looked. Given the chance, my companions would definitely turn on our furry allies. The tunnels started getting older as we neared the asylum. The old criminal warrens were long since abandoned…by the living anyway. Hearing a disturbing sound ahead, I took a peek around the corner to witness a zombie gnawing on the corpse of a skaven. The others quickly dispatched the creature and we continued through the tunnels. After a series of rooms and skirmishes, we finally reached the laboratory. Urging us on, the skaven pointed to a large door “Dead thing maker..you kill.” before vanishing into the darkness. The lab was littered with body parts, two zombies who were rapidly converted into more body parts, and one completed corpse strapped to the table. I poked it to be sure, but nothing happened…sigh. Barring the door to prevent our “allies” from following, we moved to the inner chamber to confront the Dead thing maker. We immediately noticed several wanted posters decorating the walls, including one for “Axel the Slayer”…awesome. I’ll save this for later, carefully rolling the parchment.

Moving to the next chamber we were greeted by a menacing voice “I wondered when you were going to get hear.” I wasn’t really interested in the rest of his monologue and immediately charged. The arrows whizzing past me seeking our foe indicated the others shared the sentiment. Recovering from our sudden attack, he countered with a dark spell of his own, sending an icy bolt arcing from his hands, striking each of us. Pieter and Dolwen appeared off-balance as two large behemoths leapt off the walls to aid their master. Since these beasts only had two arms, I focussed instead, on their master. Evading one of their clumsy swings, I continued to press the attack. A snap..hiss was the only warning I had that Pieter was back in action. This was followed shortly by an explosion and the whiz of a lead ball as it narrowly missed me, embedding itself in the desk beyond. The arrow which followed, however didn’t miss, grazing my shoulder. From the fletching, I was pretty sure it belonged to Dolwen. I really wish they’d learn to aim higher. I mean, seriously, the beast is easily four times my size. At least Eckhardt knows how to hit his target, as evidenced by the fiery ball striking the necromancer in the chest. Launching a flurry of blows at the mages outstretched arm, I was rewarded with a satisfying crunch as it now hung useless at his side. Collapsing before me while cradling his ruined arm, he pleaded “Kill me please…I have nothing left to live for.” figuring he was no longer the immediate threat, I replied “I have to deal with your pet first…but I’ll be happy to kill you later.” In hindsight, I probably should have done as he asked. Turning to face the Uber-zombie as Pieter moved in to flank it, a blood curdling scream erupted from my throat as my entire body was wracked with pain. Dropping to one knee, it felt as if my soul were being ripped from my body, which Eckhardt later revealed was kinda what happened. The pain stopped as suddenly as it had began, but I remained noticeably weakened. Breathing heavily as I struggled to regain my feet, I noticed the necromancers arm was no longer hanging uselessly by his side. Backhanding him across the face before he could hit me with another spell, I followed up by stabbing him in the gut. His eyes suddenly widened in shock, most likely because of the two arrows which suddenly sprouted from his throat and chest. As the spark of life left his eyes, he collapsed into oblivion taking his two fleshy constructs with him. His body flashed briefly with light as he perished. Eckhardt was sure it was some sort of magical signal triggered by his death. Probably notifying Venek that he’s lost another henchman.

The journals identified the necromancer as Cole Herzog. He’d killed his family and raised them so he could be with them forever, and receive all the hugs he didn’t get as a child. I heard Pieter mutter under his breath “Bat $#!% crazy.” Kinda hard to argue, especially after reading the rest of his journals. Once the healing, looting and reading was completed we did indeed confirm that he was in fact “Bat $#!% crazy” and that this was part of whatever scheme Venek was working on. Dolwen suggested torching the lab which I thought was an excellent idea…“Why is everyone looking at me?’ Noticing the torch in my hand “How did that get there?” Pieter arched an eyebrow and nodded at my hand “Okay, but only because you guys asked.”

The smoke was starting to seep under the door from the inner chambers as we unbarred the door leading back to the tunnels. Opening the door, we were confronted by a large group of skaven including one very large rat-ogre. The pack leader stepped forward threatening “Good. One dead, now you turn.” It made one serious mistake trapping us in the laboratory. With the rooms behind engulfed in flames, we had nowhere to go and nothing to lose. Plus, we had just defeated the guy they couldn’t…I guess that’s two mistakes. We stormed out as one…except for Dolwen who was having a negative reaction to the rat-ogre. Somehow I ended up pairing off against both a night-runner and the rat-ogre. Awesome. The night runner and I traded blows and we each easily evaded both. This could take awhile. Eckhardt shouted “Now!” which was our queue to shut our eyes. Once the following flash of light subsided, I engaged my now partially blinded opponents. Focussing on the larger and slower rat-ogre, I started to chip away at his thickened hide. The back and forth continued with our side dealing more than receiving, but as the effects of Eckhardt’s spell gradually faded, the tide started to shift. The night runner bounced a strike off my shield before following with a rapid slice across my ribs. The rat-ogre was also proving to be more nimble than I first thought as the bastard started to dodge my incoming blows. A sharp pain in my thigh revealed another of the elf’s arrows. That’s twice…I think he’s trying to kill me…I started to wonder who was gonna succeed first…the rat-ogre, the night-runner, or Dolwen. Thanks to Herod, I’ll not have to find out, as he rushed in and nutted the ogre. The beast howled before doubling over in agony. Now that Herod had its undivided attention, I turned to his stealthy friend. The ogre eventually recovered, catching Herod by the arm, crushing it in retribution for his earlier low blow…Seemed fair. Casting him aside like a rag doll, he again tried to get a hold of me. The prolonged triple team of ogre, runner, and elf was starting to take its toll, making my blows clumsy and slow. Fortunately Erik stepped in to help with the rat-ogre. I guess he’s forgiven me for pushing him out of that shanty. With the odds now evened, we quickly dispatched my two opponents, then went to aid Pieter with the lone remaining brute. Outnumbered and outflanked, it couldn’t avoid my slash which severed its spine, leaving it twitching on the floor until Pieter put it out of its misery. The fight now over, I limped over to Dolwen, yanked the arrow from my leg and handed it to him “Look familiar?” Sheepishly accepting the proffered arrow, he mumbled “Sorry” before turning to help Eckhardt tend the wounded.

We returned to the palace for medical attention and more importantly…baths. Emmanuelle summoned us during dinner to thank us, and to tell us of a big celebration to launch the big gun with its inaugural firing. I dunno, but that seems like a really bad idea to me. I mean it’s not like Venek has any unaccounted for explosive devices out there somewhere or anything. I could tell the others were having similar thoughts. Pieter and Eckhardt tried to share their concerns with Emmanuelle, but she dismissed them, claiming that they would have increased security. Since Adam was currently enjoying retirement…and pie, I offered in his place “What could possibly go wrong?”

Sometimes dead-dead is better...

To: Berholt Eisenhauser, Captain, Imperial Roadwardens

From: Pieter Konrad


I certainly hope that Axel hasn’t sent you any new reports recently. I’m afraid that while his style of reporting is more entertaining than mine, he can be less than factual at times. I can hear him now complaining that he always tell the truth, to which I can only reply yes – just not all of it…

After slaying the assassins that we had managed to trap in Shantytown amongst the building, we heard screams coming from down what passed as streets in this area of Nuln. Axel took a quick look and I heard him say “Awesome!” My heart immediately sank. I figured that I may as well get it over with and charged out into the street to see what we had landed ourselves into this time. I remember a time when a shambling horde of undead would have filled me with terror – alas, those days are far behind me. I am indeed a long way from chasing bandits along the byways of the empire.

My companions opened fire with a deadly barrage of shafts, stones, and darts. I got a little closer and added some fire and brimstone to the mix. Our shots began to tell and we could see that we were having some success in winnowing their ranks. It was at this time that the mob broke up and began moving into the shacks of Shantytown and began attacking the inhabitants within. Picking the nearest building, I burst through the flimsy wall and smashed a skeleton to the ground. All around me I could hear a variety of yelps, groans, and screams as the other members of my party had accountings of their own with the lurching horrors.

I heard a screech of pure, undistilled rage and then the pattering sound of halfling feet followed by a meaty thud. Apparently, Adam had spied a zombie get hit in the face with a pie and the site had enraged him to such a degree that he engaged the offender in hand-to-hand combat. Axel later told me that he had heroically leapt through a window and saved a young girl from the zombie that had been about to attack her.

As I made way out of the building I was in, using the door this time, I was attacked by another skeleton. I managed to get a solid hit on it, driving it backwards. My next two swings took it high and then low, exploding it into a cloud of dust and brittle bone. Hacking, spitting, and partially blinded I charged through the debris and ran face first into another one. My instinctive stroke upwards caught it under the chin and launched its head off of its shoulders and sent it rolling out of sight into an alley. Kicking the body out of my way, I charged around the nearest corner.

I should have looked first.

I don’t know the proper name of the thing I ran into, but I do know that it was plenty nasty. I took a swing anyway and managed a solid hit. That was a good thing because my next where dodge with appalling ease. I could hear the sound of combat all around me, but I had no idea what was going on or how we were doing. It was right at that point that I realized that there were two of the creatures, not just one. Dolwen must have heard my yelp of dismay because he came pelting around the corner to my aid.

I distinctly heard “Thaaaattt’s AWESOME!!” coming from my right and again, I had huge sense of impending doom. The next thing I heard was large, heavy footfalls – the source of the awesome-ness no doubt. I looked up and immediately began running – away from the fight as fast as I could. I remember hearing a hiss of frustration from Dolwen as I left him to the tender mercies of the two nasties we were engaged with. I don’t know what happened, I only know that I have never been so terrified in my entire life. Honestly, I had almost cleared Shantytown entirely before I managed to stop myself and go back.

As soon as I rounded the corner, I was almost overcome with common sense and turned back around. In the middle of the street was a monstrous undead creature. It was about the same size as the Doombull we had fought back in the Delta. Clad in rags, wielding fists the size of hams and bellowing in rage, no wonder my body had decided to beat feet regardless of what my mind was telling. Axel was scampering around taunting it for some reason.

I ran towards Dolwen and re-engaged the nasties. I wasn’t much help as my first two swings missed badly. It was either my shaking hands or knocking knees – not too sure. I got my feet under me and my next two cuts drove it to the ground and out of the fight. Dolwen dispatched his with his customary ease. Looking up, I noticed that the large creature was now chasing Axel – I almost sympathized, as he has that effect on me sometimes. I drew my remaining pistol and took a shot. I saw the ball hit dead center – puff of dust and everything but it did nothing. Joy.

It did, however, get his attention and both he and a large armored skeleton moved forward to attack Dolwen and I. The skeleton moved towards me and the monsterous beast lumbered towards Dolwen. I took a swing at the skeleton and scored a solid hit. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Dolwen struck by blow that took him off of his feet and through the side of the closest shack. How very, very good…The skeleton struck at me, but I parried the blow off of my shield and took a moment to take a look at the situation.

I could see that most of my friends were almost finished with their opponents, so I took a final swing at the skeleton and then disengaged. Both of the beasts followed after me. I took some minor lumps, but managed to get clear of melee. In one and twos, the rest of the party weighed in and started peppering the monster with arrows, sling stones, and magic darts. As I tried to withdraw further, the skeleton hammered a blow past my guard that almost took me out, but I stayed in the fight. I could almost smell victory past the graveyard reek of our foes. Eventually our superior numbers won the day and our final foe fell. Looking about and breathing heavily, I realized that I was almost getting used to this sort of thing and what a sorry state of affairs that was.

Until next time, may Sigmar guard your steps and the Lady of Justice guide your hand.

Something awesome this way comes

We slipped through the dimly lit streets in quiet contemplation, each of us processing what we just learned and trying to determine our next move. I have to admit, I may have misjudged Lord Albrecht. I was almost sure he was somehow involved, but the news of the extermination of the Herzog household was clearly a shock to the man. My subsequent revelation that the family was also now most likely a shambling part of a growing legion of undead did little to improve his mood. Lord Rothjager was another matter however. His reaction, or lack of one, seemed to indicate he was either under the influence of some drug or a spell. Either way he was, at least for now, not an immediate threat…maybe in the morning. Until then, I was free to ponder what kinds of undead we were likely to soon meet…I hope it’s something awesome. “Hey guys! Do you think any of the bodies from Shantytown walked off on their own?” The looks thrown at me froze me in my tracks, ranging between surprise, annoyance and disgust. Whoa…not the reaction I was expecting…maybe I shouldn’t have sounded so eager. I’m not exactly sure if it was because of what I said, how I said it or that I was the first to say it. In any case, it was quickly decided that Shantytown was our next destination.

We found ourselves once again at the “Flying Pig” where we found our old friend…Ummm…I’m gonna call him “Bob” since he was to drunk to remember, let alone tell us his name last time. Anyway “Bob” was even more inebriated this time. At the request of the barkeep we agreed, for some reason I don’t quite understand, to escort “Bob” home. Honestly, I don’t think the barman even cared if he made it or not as long as he didn’t have to deal with him anymore. Part way down the street, as “Bob” took a short break to empty his insides, Adam sensed something and raced ahead up the street…It’s probably a discarded pie crust. While wondering what he was chasing, I noticed Pieter and Erik peering suspiciously down one of the alleys. Pulling my cloak up, I stalked quietly into the alley to see what had caught their attention. I nearly jumped out of my skin when Dolwen, who had decided to follow, kicked a can behind me. To be fair, I don’t think he encounters much trash in the wilderness, so I‘ll forgive him this time. Freezing in the shadows, I attempted to listen to something other than my pounding heart. I was able to pick up a quiet conversation from ahead. It was little more than some whispered, although familiar chittering. Cautioning the others, I crept further ahead until I came to the two skaven struggling with a large item wrapped in rags. They were talking quickly about something I didn‘t understand…I unfortunately don’t speak rat…and suddenly dropped their prize before fleeing down the alley. I fired a quick shot from my sling which was followed by the twang of several bows around me. The fleeing skaven perished, sliding to a crumpled heap in the shadows. Dragging them back to our comrades and “Bob” we dumped them unceremoniously at his feet. “Bob” obviously had never seen skaven before and passed out from fright…at least I think it was fright. The stench from his breath and clothing did offer another possibility. Dolwen bent down to try and revive him while the rest of us examined the package. It was of little surprise to discover it to be an overripe corpse. This clearly indicated that the skaven were somehow involved with the necromancer. “Bob” continued moaning and muttering incoherently. I was barely able to make out some of his semi conscious ramblings, only catching “Noo…Get away…No…Ah!…Giant Mice! Nooooo!…unnn….leggo…That’s my cheese…” Eventually getting him back to his feet, we escorted him home and quickly returned to the scene only to find both the corpse and skaven missing. A brief search revealed additional rat prints leaving little doubt about what happened. Opting not to pursue them down into the sewers…(yet)…we instead followed their tracks back to their source, to investigate where the body had been taken from. Our inspection revealed that the blood of the victim had been collected for some nefarious reason, although there was nothing to indicate whether it was collected by the skaven…which I doubt…or by someone else. We were unable to learn anything else so we returned to the palace for the evening before Adam collapsed from exhaustion forcing us to…shudder… carry him.

After breakfast, we made our way to the watch at the request of the Countess Emanuelle. The morning mist was just starting to burn off as we arrived. Pulling my hood up further, I elected to remain outside while the others spoke to the watch captain. Sinking deep into my cowl, I pondered how I should deal with Lord Rothjager. It was only a matter of time before he made a move. I’m confident we’re more than capable of dealing with him when he does, but why leave it to chance. If possible, I’d like to try and keep the others out of it this time, but our current tasks are preventing me from doing so. A half hour later, the others emerged and we proceeded to the University for one last stop before returning to Shantytown.

Agnet was once again very happy to see us…well…Pieter anyway. We inquired whether she’d been able to find anything in her research. She learned very little regarding Venek, only a mention of the name from the Border Princes. Unfortunately, she’d only learned a little more about the “Blood of the Binder” Apparently it was a large demonic dragon like beast that was defeated but not destroyed about three to four centuries ago. The demon dragon was then bound under a mountain never to be heard from again…unfortunately. I was a little disappointed. A rampaging demon dragon sounded awesome…maybe even bigger than the dragon ogre. We thanked her for her continued assistance and turned our discussions back to Shantytown. Agnet told us of an old woman named “Grannie Ester”, a long time resident and gossip monger. We were encouraged to bring a gift to smooth introductions. Pieter seemed extremely anxious for us to be on our way. He either shared my desire to see something amazing or just wanted to get away from Agnets smouldering and appraising glances…probably the latter.

After presenting the gift basket we picked up at a bakery en route, Grannie Ester agreed to help by introducing us to some of the local street urchins, who in turn agreed to show us to the homes of some of the missing. I suspect we probably could have got more information if someone hadn’t pilfered the pie from the basket. Adam, of course, denied everything. Probably wasn’t a good idea to let him carry it. We spent the remainder of the afternoon and early evening going from hovel to hovel looking for clues. It was while examining the remains of another ritual chalk circle, that Erik suggested we set a trap. Hunching over the floor, he proceeding to draw a map of the area in the dirt, laying out a plan where one of us would pose as a drunk. The volunteer, henceforth known as “The Bait” would have to leave his armour behind and dress as a local while pretending to get drunk. At mention of “leave his armour behind” Pieter laid his finger along side his nose. I’d made up my mind at “Bait” and followed Pieters lead. Erik continued to point at the map as I threw a wink towards Eckhardt tipping him off and allowing him to play along. Erik proceeded to explain that the “Bait” would then stagger drunk and alone to one of the shanties. Dolwen and Adam surreptitiously scratched their noses. Erik went on to point out some of the neighbouring shanties where we should divide our remaining forces. The thought was that the abductors would come for the “Bait” at which time we would spring the trap and surround them closing the net. It was a serviceable plan. Just as Herod touched his nose, Erik straightened up from his drawing, beaming proudly to himself before asking “Any volunteers?” Looking at each of us I could see comprehension slowly dawn on him, before finally blurting out “Aww crap!” Smiling at him while giving him a pat on the back, I offered “Don’t worry buddy. I’ll be your back up! It‘ll be awesome.” A horrified look briefly crossed his face before his shoulders slumped in resignation. My grin grew even wider as I overhead him repeat while turning away ”Aww crap!”.

While the evening mist started to thicken, the others split themselves between two nearby hovels, I proceeded solo to the shanty Erik would eventually stagger his way to…I hope he makes it. Right about now, he should be pretending to get liquored up…at least I hope he’s pretending. Entering the building unseen, I found a good vantage point in the shadows which allowed me to see the street clearly. Awaiting my comrade in the darkness, I quietly practised my bird calls to keep myself occupied. About an hour later, I was in desperate need for something to happen or I was gonna burst. You have no idea the tremendous amount of willpower it took on my part to remain quiet in the dark with nothing to keep me occupied but my thoughts. I have no doubt that Pieter and Eckhardt will not approve of some of my plans…probably better if I don’t tell them then. Grinning to myself, besides, who doesn’t like a good surprise. Another hour later, Erik finally, and noisily, staggered and sang his way towards the shanty. I’m not sure whether or not he was deliberately off key but Wow. Stepping through the darkened threshold he whispered “Axel?” to which I responded “Bird! Bird!“ just loud enough for him to hear. His answering scowl indicated he was not amused…I thought it was funny. Snuffing out his candle, he proceeded to put on his armour while I returned to the window. It wasn’t long before I could see them. Shadowy figures skirting from one building to the next. I warned “They’re coming” before losing sight of them. A few minutes later, I watched as Dolwen and Herod left their position, heading for another dwelling. Erik motioned to stay put so I reluctantly agreed. Out in the street, Herod positioned himself at the door and ripped it open as Dolwen fired a flurry of missiles into the darkened building. Across the way Pieter and Adam stormed out and joined the others, leaving Eckhardt alone in his hovel. Erik and I continued to hold our position and watched, only now I was also forced to watch Eckhardt’s location in case he got into trouble. I was reeeally starting to get antsy at this point…Erik probably thought I needed to pee. Eventually the commotion subsided and Eckhardt left his position…probably to tend the wounds of the others. His timing couldn’t have been better as my keen hearing suddenly picked up a scream in the distance. Informing Erik, I could now hear moaning from the mists followed by another scream. Erik insisted we hold our position so what could I do? If Erik was able to restrain himself, the least I could do was follow suit. I did say that I’d be his backup after all…..(dammit). Of course, that WAS before I knew something awesome was about to happen. The screams were louder now, and I could now see approximately a dozen shadows slowly shambling down the street towards us, confirming my earlier assessment of impending awesomeness. Looking at Erik, then the zombie horde, then back to Erik…I’m so conflicted. Enough of this sitting on the fence, the others needed to be warned. Looking to Erik, I wonder what he‘d do if I pushed him out? Grinning to myself as I snuck over behind him…Lets find out.


To: Berholt Eisenhauser, Captain, Imperial Roadwardens

From: Pieter Konrad


Axel informed me that he had submitted a report on my behalf. I’m sorry about that. He was so pleased with himself I just didn’t have the heart to get mad at him. Nothing is quite as pathetic as an emotionally crushed halfling, although actually crushed would seem to have its benefits at certain times…

In any event, after we had recuperated somewhat from the events of the rookery, we began to go through the reams of evidence that we had collected. We started by culling names that warranted a closer look based on the research being done by the cult. Anyone they found interesting, we were certainly interested in. We engaged the help of the Countess who filled us in on who these people were and what their positions in the city were.

We decided our first visit would be to Randalf Vogt, an ex-Marshal of the city who had been discharged by Emmanuelle upon her ascension to power. We got directions to his house and showed up at his door. We were told that he would be back in three hours, so we split up and staked out both of the exits to his house to see if our unannounced visit had shaken something loose. After three uneventful hours, nothing much had happened beyond a young man watching us watch the house from an upper floor window.

Finally, Randalf arrived. We introduced ourselves and after being singularly underwhelmed by meeting us, we began to get some information about his past duties in the city of Nuln. Of particular interest was his involvement in weapon development during the Storm of Chaos. His failure to produce the weapon on time and on budget, in spite of the rampant graft and general incompetence of the city’s bureaucracy, was the largest contributing factor to his fall from grace as the Marshal of Nuln. My feeling is that while bitter and resentful, he remains loyal to the city.

His opinions of the new Marshal on Nuln were likewise enlightening as he considers Wolfhart to be a sniveling sycophant who says the right things to the right people, but who is utterly clueless as to what the job actually entails. With his background in weapons design, we decided to let him take a look at the plans we had discovered for the suitcase bomb. He was impressed and made the comment that the designer was very talented and that this device would make quite a bang. We thanked him for his time and moved on to the next name on the list as we all figured that he had no involvement in any of the cult activity happening in Nuln.

Our next stop was the university to talk to the Dean, Agnet Krebs. After a short wait, we were ushered into her office. She was a very attractive mature woman who greeted us warmly as we sat down to discuss the reasons for our visit. We spent a significant time discussing her background and asking her impressions of some of the people that were on our list, as she had contact with most of them due to her position at the university. She couldn’t think of anyone that she knew who was acting oddly or that she felt strange around. I found it interesting that she recognized the name Vehnyk and we asked her to see if she could remember where she had come across the name. We also put her and archivists to work researching “The Blood of the Binder” to see if they could find out exactly what that was and what it was likely to be used for. My answer for both questions is “something nasty”, but I guess we need to be a little more specific. We made our farewells and moved onto our next name. She was a nice lady, but she seemed a little too predatory for my liking.

Katarina Bronn had been described in the notes as an Altdorf noble in Nuln seeking a husband. We went to the home she was staying at and waited for her to meet with us. Katarina turned out to be a very young and stunningly beautiful young woman. She was very intelligent and well-spoken and painfully aware of the dangers that surround the nobility. She was concerned about being a person of interest with the Cults operating in Nuln and assured us that she would take every precaution she could. As we left, I passed on a warning to her head bodyguard. He again assured us that he had sufficient manpower to ensure the young lady’s safety and that he was aware of the dangers in Nuln. That being said, I noticed that a meaningful glance was passed between Katarina and her security head as we exited the building.

After a short stop to put an end to Adam’s incredibly loud belly growls, we headed out to visit Otwin Herzog. His position as a former advisor on the small council of the previous elector count made him a powerful and influential person in Nuln. When we got to his estate, we found both of the gates locked, the lights off, and no guards. “Too quiet”, said Dolwen. Axel muttered about a Captain something as he twitched the lock open. He’s getting a little too proficient at this kind of thing – it’s probably just as well I’m not a roadwarden any longer.

We cautiously approached the manor house. Axel crept up to the door and managed to massage it open as well. As he opened the door and we stepped in, the first thing we noticed was the smell of decay wafting throughout the entire area. Dolwen waved us forward and we started out search in the kitchen at Adam’s insistence. I think his appetite diminished, as in the light of Ekhart’s staff, we found evidence of two murders, prolific blood spatters, and bloody footprints leading out the door.

A thorough search of the house yielded five more murder scenes with similar evidence – spatters of blood from the attack, blood pooling from where a dead body lay, and bloody footprints in the room. Ekhart managed to pick up faint traces of necromantic magic. We proceeded to search the outbuildings and found more of the same – two murder scenes in the caretaker’s house and two dead horses in the stables. Ekhart theorized that someone had killed the first victim and then raised them as some kind of undead. He then used them to slay everyone in the house. I can only imagine the horror of being attacked by monsters that wear the forms of those you love and fearing that you will end up sharing their fate. We cannot find the monstrous individuals behind this soon enough for my liking.

We left the estate to report these grisly murders to Countess Emmanuelle. She wasn’t at the palace, but was attending a party off the grounds. We got directions and proceeded there with all haste. We managed to make our urgency plain to the guards at the party residence, and after a small delay, were granted an audience with the countess. We filled her in on the details and asked her if it would be possible to talk to people that knew the Herzog family so we could determine how many people lived in the house. It was confirmed that there were five residents and four servants living at the estate by both Lords Albrecht and Rothjager. They both appeared very surprised at the news of the demise of the Herzog family.

Emmanuelle had someone bring the watch captain to her. We got some food while we waited and when the captain arrived, we escorted him to the estate. We walked him through, explaining what we had seen and what conclusions we had reached. We went back to the party to report to Emmanuelle. Lord Albrecht was shaken and furious at the deaths of people that he had known so well. He told us to find who was responsible, and bring them to justice. A task for which we would be richly rewarded.

We made our way back to the palace, trying to think of what our next step would be. I think it was Axel who remembered that the only other place that bodies were disappearing was Shantytown. We decided it made sense to investigate there next and made plans to go the next morning.

That’s all for now Bernholt. I’ll keep filling you in as circumstances permit. As always, may Sigmar guide you and keep you well.

Disturbing Behaviours

To: Berholt Eisenhauser, Captain, Imperial Roadwardens
From: Axel Phineous Tallfoot, General-ly awesome halfling
Re: The Rookery


How’s my favorite Roadwarden? Still awesome? It’s been awhile since I last wrote, mainly because Pieter has mastered how to do it for himself. This is Axel by the way. Hope you haven’t stumbled into anymore ambushes since we last met. I read Pieter’s last report, and although very thorough, I felt it was missing an ending. Now I hate unfinished stories so I thought I’d fill you in on the events at the Rookery since Pieter and the others are currently busy being tended by the Shalyan Priestesses, leaving me alone with my thoughts…I know, I know, what were they thinking? You no doubt want to hear more about the Priestesses, but I’ll get to that later.

As I recall, Pieter mentioned our findings in the basement of the Rookery. Needless to say, it was a virtual orgy of evidence on the activities and possible members of the different cults currently active in Nuln. Judging from the footsteps above, we were about to have company, so Pieter knowing the evidence was too important to risk losing, joined Adam and I in gathering it off of the walls. While the others prepared to welcome our unwelcome guests, Pieter grabbed notes on the Crimson Circle since I’d had more than my fill of the followers of Khorne. Adam concentrated on the Skaven and Cult of Tzeentch separately, leaving me to the wall dedicated to the Cult of Ecstasy and its Slaaneshi followers, who I must add are very disturbed individuals.

The first wave of the assault was easily pinned down and annihilated by the combined efforts of Dolwen, Erik, and Eckhardt. The second group, however, demanded to be taken more seriously, advancing accompanied by two daemonettes and a large doglike creature with a barbed tongue, flailed tail, and four breasts on its back. Not really sure what purpose they served…aesthetics maybe?…like I said before, disturbed individuals. Hefting his halberd, Herod waded in and joined the fray supported by our archers. The dogbeast tweaked something I’d just read amongst the collected evidence. I think the Slaaneshi called it…what was it…a demented doggie?..nope, that’s not it…a pound hound??…still not it. I can’t quite remember at the moment , but I’m sure it’ll come to me. Regardless of its name, it decided to acquaint itself with Erik…you remember him…the moody archer with the colourful vocabulary? Advancing on him as he switched to sword and shield, its barbed tongue snaked out in search of its new plaything. Reluctantly, I turned away from the impending awesomeness and returned to the wall and the task at hand. The sounds of combat surrounded us as we ensured the evidence was safe from destruction. Erik shouted out “Get this F@#%ing thing off of me!” He must of meant the…mammary mongrel?…nope, that’s not it either.…I wonder if he meant literally? Resisting the urge to check, I completed my task just as Dolwen warned “They’ve got reinforcements!” Turning to aide our comrades, my blood froze momentarily at the scene before me. Judging from the smell, so did Adams. Erik was almost indistinguishable as the…PLEASURE PUPPY!!…I new I’d remember…as the pleasure puppy’s barbed tongue wrapped several times around the struggling Erik, dragging him towards it, in what I assume was an attempt to rob him of his virginity. Pieter, keeping his cool, drew his pistols and fired managing to hit what little of Erik was still visible. Given the size of the target, it was a rather impressive shot…I probably shouldn’t have told you that…I won’t tell Pieter if you don’t. Fortunately, Erik’s following commentary was muffled through gritted teeth as the beast’s tongue seemed to be trying to force its way down his throat. A yellowish ray struck Eckhardt from nearby, identifying the presence of the enemy mage. Snapping out of my momentary shock, I quickly loaded and fired on the puppy who seemed determined to have his way with Erik. Herod faced the remaining daemonette, stepping over the twitching form of her sister, while Pieter found himself facing off against a rather large and well armoured cultist. Erik, unfortunately, was still unsuccessfully attempting to break free. Grabbing my sword, I charged the dogbeast to help my trapped ally. Narrowly dodging another twelve foot tongue as it flew from the enemy sorcerer seeking Eckhardt, I swung at the hounds flank. Erik used the momentary distraction to again try and struggle free, but ended up presenting himself instead, which I thought was an unfortunate choice. Erik had apparently come to the same conclusion and once again yelled “Get this F@#%ING THING OFFA ME!!!” Okay, this time he meant literally. Slashing the beasts tongue, it finally relaxed it’s grip on Erik enough to allow him to break free. Getting to his feet, Erik prepared to enact bloody vengeance on the pleasure puppy. Glancing to my comrades, Pieter was having the most difficulty with his oversized opponent and clearly needed help before the cultist gained the upper hand. Leaving Erik alone with his special friend, I moved to lend Pieter a hand. If nothing else, perhaps I can annoy his opponent enough to draw some of the attacks my way. En route, I saw Dolwen moving to help Eckhardt who was wrestling with his own twelve foot appendage which had wrapped itself around his neck and head. Bleeding from several wounds and bravely holding his ground, Pieter deflected several incoming blows as I arrived to help. Bouncing a couple of ineffective blows off of his armour, the cultist glared at me, snorting in disdain which I thought was extremely rude. While circling our opponent, I could see Herod slay the remaining Daemonette and move to help Erik who had once again found himself ensnared by the pleasure puppy.

The chaos continued with neither side gaining a decisive advantage. The large cultist before me continued to act like I wasn’t even there, to the point where he didn’t even attempt to avoid my attacks. Instead he focused his attention entirely on Pieter, a decision he would soon regret. Seizing the opportunity when it presented itself, I drove my blade through a gap between the shoulder and breast plates, slashing him just shy of being fatal. Staggered by the unanticipated severity of my strike, he finally perceived me as a threat and turned on me just as Herod felled the pleasure puppy. Erik struggled to his feet and proceeded to make sure the dogbeast was dead. Herod quickly made his way towards us, probably to avoid the spray of blood and gore which was sure to follow. Defending against the blind fury of the cultists attack, I dodged and parried giving both Pieter and Herod time to manoeuvre to his flanks. He finally managed to sneak one minor hit past my defenses just before the combined attack of Herod and Pieter finished him off. The lone surviving cultist then turned to flee, getting an arrow in the back from Dolwen as a parting gift. Erik staggered over to us awkwardly, trying to simultaneously brush the blood and drool off himself with one hand while tugging his drawers out of his crack with the other. In no condition to join the others in pursuit of the last cultist, Erik stayed with Adam and I to search the attackers and surroundings for anything we may have missed before they attacked. Adam located a secret door to the sewers, although to be fair, I think the stench helped a little. Finding nothing else of value other than the presence of chalk under the finger nails of a cultist of Khorne, we awaited the return of our companions.

The others returned a short while later dumping the body of the cultist with the others before informing us that he died…….sigh, Really?…never mind. They admitted that they didn’t actually kill him…they intended to of course, but couldn’t actually take credit for it. Erik seemed disappointed. They tracked him to an alley, a feat made easier by the trail of blood from Dolwen’s parting gift. As they approached, he mumbled something and just died. With nothing else to gain by lingering here, we gathered our gear and returned to the palace to report our findings.

The Countess ordered the Rookery locked down and as I mentioned before summoned the Shalyan Priestesses to tend to the wounded. The pending plots of the Cult of Ecstasy were disrupted and the cultists who weren’t dead, fled to keep it that way. She suggested reporting the events and evidence to the watch…no thanks, tried that once before…didn’t like it. It looks like the others are almost done so I better wrap this up. The others are actually considering going to the watch despite my reservations. I think I’ll pass, the last time I went to the watch here, I ended up known as “Axel the Slayer”….long story. Maybe Pieter will tell you about it someday. Anyway, take care of yourself, and stay away from ambushes. If something permanent were to happen to his mentor, Pieter’s likely to need to shoot something and I’d prefer it wasn’t one of us by mistake…so does Erik. Please give my regards to Wilhelm if your paths cross.

May Ranald’s luck shine on you.


High Society

To: Berholt Eisenhauser, Captain, Imperial Roadwardens

From: Pieter Konrad


I figured I’d fill you in from where the last letter left off with us beginning to wade through the introductions to the pompous asses that form the core of the nobility here in Nuln. I faintly heard the Countess introduce us to some lord, but then I clearly heard Axel say “Aww, crap”. Since this is the response most people seem to have when the meet Axel, I was immediately on guard. I looked at Axel and he seemed extremely uncomfortable being near Lord Rothjager who, oddly enough, seemed very pleased to see Axel. I just knew there had to be quite the tale to this reversal of normal events and I awaited the explanation with a great deal of dread.

We made some awkward small talk and exchanged meaningless pleasantries while we waited for dinner to be served. The meal was incredibly extravagant and Adam was gazing around with an expression of sheer bliss. As everyone was taking their seats, a group of the countess’ guard approached her and began to give a report. We casually sidled over to overhear what was being said. Apparently they had found four more bodies and a burnt building. I glared at Axel but he shook his head vigorously. I guess there’s a limit to how much pyro-maniacal mayhem one halfling can cause. In any event, the countess dismissed the men after scheduling a meeting with the watch captain for the next morning.

During the feast, Axel filled us in on exactly who Lord Rothjager was as well as the myriad other rumors he had picked up about the underworld gang war, missing bodies, and increased activity in the tunnels beneath the city. It was just as the dessert carts were being rolled out that Dolwen and Ekhart both noticed that the servants were different than those that had served all the previous courses. It was a good thing that they didn’t use their inside voices, because no sooner were the words out of their mouths than chaos erupted. The servers drew weapons from underneath the carts and leapt towards the high table. Some of the guards stationed around the room pulled their own weapons and attacked some of the guards nearest to them.

As Dolwen leapt in the direction of the servers, my hands flashed down to my weapons to find…nothing! Did I mention that bringing anything other than a dagger is frowned on in Nuln high society? Likewise with armor. I’ve rarely felt as naked as I did at that particular moment. Dolwen was keeping his adversary occupied and Axel managed to wound his with an upwards stroke of his dagger. Adam was hurling plates to great effect and I jumped over to one of the fallen guards and grabbed up his weapon. It’s amazing how 36” of sharp steel in your fist can improve your outlook at times like that.

I turned back to face the fray just in time to see Dolwen’s foe hit him with some sort of spell. Spellcasters…wonderful. As I engaged the foe closest to me, I saw Axel take a glancing blow for a blade that made him yelp and then curse imaginatively at his enemy while Ekhart brought his magic to the party by blasting magical missiles at the group approaching the head table. My own concerns were more immediate however, as combat waged back and forth with both Adam and I scoring solid hits on our opponents.

Ekhart and the enemy spellcaster were engaged in an arcane duel, flinging magical darts at each other that were impacting with great force. They were both beginning to look a little worn down. Herod managed to drop my foe, so I turned in the general direction of the melee to seek another opponent. I noticed that the group heading towards the noble’s table had again begun to make progress now that Ekhart was no longer flaying them with his magic missiles. Taking a firmer grip on my appropriated weapon, I charged towards the head table and engaged the two guards trying to kill the nobility of Nuln. This turned out to be a less than optimal decision as they both turned towards me and began testing my defenses. Fortunately, Dolwen rushed to my aid before I could be spitted like coney. Just out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of light as one of Ekhart’s missiles bore into the enemy magister. The impact in the middle of his forehead snapped his neck with a sodden crunch and blew the top of his head into gruesome paste.

My opponent was obviously no common thug as we traded blows back and forth. All around me I could hear the clash of steel and cries of anger or anguish. I got hit a couple of times pretty good. Blows that would have been turned by armor marked my hide and I knew I’d have a whole new collection of scars to show Adelle – I’m sure she would have no comments for me, demure and soft-spoken as she is…

In any event, we traded a couple of more blows and then a powerful strike broke past my guard and slammed into my shoulder. I remember the floor hitting me in the face and wondering what wizardry had caused THAT to happen. It did however give me a good view of the rest of the combat.

I watched Erik trading blows with his opponent. They both seemed to be working hard, but there didn’t seem too much happening as they were both either evenly matched, or really sloppy. For the sake of friendship I have to go with the former, but knowing Erik, I couldn’t rule out the latter. More combat ensued with our group dishing out minor damage and eventually whittling them down. Ekhart kept up a constant barrage of magical darts and missiles and did more than anyone else to reduce the enemy numbers. Although in all fairness, Adam did a surprising amount of damage with cutlery and crockery.

We managed to keep one of the attackers alive and performed a thorough search of the attacker’s bodies. It seemed a little surreal to be looting and poking and prodding amidst the shattered remains of an opulent dinner, but compared to some of the other things we’d seen and done over the previous few months it was minor. Adam was most distraught when he discovered that the majority of the desserts had been spoiled by arcane energies being bandied about. He managed to find something edible though, and glared at Ekhart while mumbling into his pastry.

We had the bodies stretched out on the floor and were examining them when some of the guests approached and pointed out different people that they recognized. One of the servers was recognized as Stephan, a page at the courts of law. Another was identified as Hans, a third year student at the imperial gunnery school. Yet another was name Otto, and worked as a baker. The individual who led the attack, and incidentally hit me in the face with the floor, was named Albrecht and had worked in the palace as a helper for over a year. A couple of the bodies were marked with tattoos – there was one with a purple hand tattooed on his right pectoral muscle and another had a red ring on his scalp, right at the hair line. Ekhart noticed that there was a chalky residue in a circle in the dining room. He though it might be components of a ritual and wasn’t THAT a happy thought.

Emmanuelle thanked us and asked us to hunt down the Purple Hand and bring peace to her city with the understanding that our efforts would go a long way towards securing the support of the city of Nuln for Matthias. We retired to our rooms to lick our wounds, and prepared to begin our investigations the next day. Thanks to the helpful diners, we had no shortage of leads to follow up on – for once.

The next morning, we struck out for the bakery on Axel and Adam’s insistence. “After all”, they said, “where is there a better place to investigate first thing in the morning?” Unable to refute their logic, off we went. A thorough search of the bakery and interviews of the staff led to absolutely nothing. Otto was a quiet, hard-working kid that nobody knew particularly well. Pastries in hand, we then went to the Imperial Gunnery School. We met the Dean of the school and he expressed his shock about what happened. Apparently, Hans was a quiet, hard-working kid that nobody knew particularly well. My keen intellect was beginning to detect a pattern. We requested to see his room, which we promptly tore apart looking for evidence. We found a vague note that seemed to be the trigger for the attack on the palace and Axel found a notebook with some drawings in it. The Dean told us that they were plans for a bomb small enough to fit into suitcase, yet with significant explosive power. Another happy thought to brew on as we headed to the law courts.

There we met with the judicar that Stephan had paged for. Apparently he was very detail oriented and hard-working…go figure. A search of his workplace yielded nothing incriminating so we proceeded to his apartment. Right away we could see that Stephan had obviously been planning something – there were notes and sketches pinned to the wall. The notes had details on some of the more prominent citizens of Nuln and were annotated with “x”, “Venyk”, “Slaanesh”, or “Horned Rat”. This was just getting better and better, being as we all recognized the name Venyk and were only too well aware what Slaanesh and Horned Rat indicated. Chaos cults seemed to be thick on the ground in Nuln these days…

Moving on the palace, we went to investigate Albrecht. We were given an escort through the palace to Albrecht’s rooms. Another toss job yielded nothing, although there were several pictures of ravens on the walls. Our escort told us that there was a rookery here in Nuln that housed ravens. Thinking that this was as good of a place as any to continue our investigations, we headed into the core of the city.

When we got to the rookery, the first thing that we noted was that there was no one around. We all looked at each other and began to check weapons, tighten straps, prepare spells, and generally get ready for the worst as those things seem to happen to us with alarming regularity. We cautiously entered the rookery and began to poke around. In one of the cages we found a body. An examination of the course revealed that it was still warm and that there was a tattoo of the Purple Hand on his chest. It seemed like we were on the right track.

We continued our search by moving into the office space and giving it thorough going-over. We turned up a trap door leading downwards below the rookery. We also found a rolled up message asking about knowledge of “the blood of the binder”, whatever the hell THAT was. Something dark and nasty no doubt. We pulled up the trap door and began our descent into the blackness below.

What we discovered was a quite comfortable set of rooms, well concealed and obviously used as a safe house of some kind. In one of the larger offices we found evidence of a larger investigation similar to the one we found in Stephan’s apartment. We noticed that some of the information had been tampered with, but there was still volumes of information on Slaanesh, Khorne, and the Skaven – possible members of the cults, goals, motivations, etc. A true treasure trove of intelligence, and one that we had absolutely no idea what to do with.

It was at that moment that Ekhart noticed the same powdery residue around the perimeter of the room we were in as he had noticed at the attack on the palace. A few seconds after that, we began to hear footsteps above us. I doubted that whoever was up there was here to send a raven-gram somewhere, so we prepared for battle.

I’ll fill you in on what happened next in my next letter. I have no idea how many of these actually get to you, but it does me good to recap these events if for no other reason than to improve my grammar and penmanship!

Verena guide and protect you.

Dark Reunions

The streets below were deserted. The late night air crisp, the chill gradually seeping into my bones. Perched motionless like a gargoyle on the adjacent building, I slowed my breathing to avoid giving away my position as the moon appeared from behind a cloud in an otherwise clear sky. Retreating deeper into the shadows, I watched the mansion of my former employer, just as I’d done the three nights previous. Judging from the people sneaking about under cover of darkness, he was still up to his evil machinations. My former master had a lot to answer for. In addition to his cult activities, he was also responsible for the murders of my halfling brethren at the hands of the psychopath Helmet. If I’d known then what he was, I could have prevented the deaths of dozens of my kinfolk. Haunted by the guilt, my thoughts once again drifted to that night six years earlier…

The rain was still falling when I left the tavern. I needed some time to plan my next actions. I obviously couldn’t continue working for my master, it was only a matter of time before he learned that I had naively tried to turn him in. Unfortunately, no one would take the word of a halfling servant over that of a noble. I continued to ponder this as I walked. The streets quickly becoming deserted as people headed for the safety of home. I adjusted the hood of my cloak and continued my sojourn. They were still there of course, keeping to the shadows. The two had been following me ever since I left the watch, and they were starting to close in. I turned down an alley to see if I could throw off pursuit. Dead end…Ranalds luck, hope it didn’t end up being mine. Quickly turning, I found the alley now blocked by my foes. Attempting a feint, I slipped by the smaller man only to be answered by a heavy blow to the ribs. Off balance and winded, I was hoisted up into a choke hold. Advancing as I struggled, the little man threatened “So you like poking your nose into others business. Maybe we should cut it off.” drawing a sinister looking blade. “I rather like my nose where it is thank-you.” I grunted, “But I have something in my pants that might make a better prize.” , “Just try not to be jealous.” He brought the blade up to my face, the moonlight reflecting along its edge, revealing a viscous substance on the lower half of the blade, the other end having already been cleaned by its previous victim. The little man traced the tip along my nose smiling evilly “Maybe we should start with your tongue.” stabbing the point into my cheek. A commotion from the end of the alley temporarily distracted my opponents. My focus, however, remained on the dagger. As he looked away, the tip dug deeper. Wincing from the pain, I decided it was time to act. As my assailant turned back to face me, my foot was already angling upwards. My boot connecting with a satisfying crunch, shattering his nose, driving bone into his skull. I watched as his arm fell, the dagger slashing me to the bone and dropping from his lifeless fingers. Surprised by this sudden assault, my now lone assailant slightly loosened his grip around my neck as his former partner collapsed. Dropping my chin, I bit into his forearm, tearing flesh. His blood flooded into my mouth, mixing with mine. Crying in pain, he released me and grabbed for his sword. Tumbling clear, I retrieved the dagger, narrowly evading his downward thrust. Rolling back to my feet while crouching low, I parried and dodged his initial onslaught while looking for an opening. I needed to end this quickly. He was bigger than me, and stronger, but I was quicker and the darkness favoured me. “You’ll pay for that halfling” he hissed, circling. Spitting out flesh and blood “Pfaagh…you’re probably right, that taste will be tough to get rid of.” forcing a bloody grin that would make Moor himself proud, I added “Do you have anything to wash it down?”. Enraged, he charged. Easily sliding around his clumsy attack, I dove forward, thrusting the dagger up into his tender regions with what remained of my strength. He stiffened with a look of shock, and fell with the dagger buried to the hilt. The poison must have been some kind of paralytic…Ranalds luck. Leaving my opponent to bleed to death, a decision I would probably regret later, I headed back to the street and hoped I could find a healer before passing out from pain and blood loss.

…A noise from the alley returned me to the present. Absently tracing a finger along the scar running across my face, I refocused on my target below. One day soon, I intended to make him pay for his crimes. Now was not the time however. My skills needed to be honed further before the inevitable confrontation. For now, I’ll let him continue to sleep soundly believing himself safe from prosecution. When I next return, however, I plan to bring his world burning down around his ears. Maybe literally. Grinning to myself at the mental image of Pieter groaning to the heavens in resignation before shaking his head and muttering to himself “Not again.”, I silently dropped down to the alley below and proceeded unseen towards my inn. I wonder how the wedding went anyway. It’d been a little over two weeks since I’d left. The others should be bored enough to pursue Red Thorns superiors by now. I should probably think about returning to the Delta. Besides, people takes things way to seriously when I’m not around. One thing I’d learned in my time away, was that I was actually starting to miss everyone’s personality quirks…well maybe not Adams.

My return to the delta went without incident. I’d managed to keep a low profile while in Nuln, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that people were watching me. Probably just my imagination. Hope I’m not getting paranoid, one obsessive halfling in the group is more than enough. Once reunited with my crew, I was told of the events of the wedding. I wish someone had informed me that they’d arranged special entertainment, I’d assumed it was going to be another typically boring wedding. A demon and a beheading!!…I can’t believe I missed all the fun. Eventually I informed them of my whereabouts for the last month, but kept the reasons to myself. Eckhardt interrupted with “Is Nuln still there?” throwing a wink and a grin I answered “It was when I left.” Talk continued, and we discussed the recent assassination of Kastor as well as the rumours that armies of chaos dwarves have been reported battling in the pass. Mattias had every reason to be concerned. Summoning us to his palace, he requested our services as escorts to Nuln for a meeting with the Countess Emanuelle. I was of mixed feelings with this request. On the one hand, it was sure to relieve the current boredom. His family does seem to attract the most interesting enemies…and demons. On the other hand, I was hesitant to return to Nuln as part of his entourage as it would surely attract some unwanted attention. I’d really prefer they didn’t know I was coming. Obviously I decided to relieve the boredom.

Our journey was for the most part uneventful. I joined Mattias and Eckhardt in the comfort of the carriage, spending the bulk of my time regaling Mattias with tales of our exploits. Eckhardt, for his part, spent most of the trip pretending to be asleep. Just outside of Streissan, a commotion outside interrupted my latest tale, and “woke” Eckhardt. Peering out the window we saw a solitary figure on horseback being pursued by two others. They were clearly annoyed with him for some reason, as they kept firing arrows at him. As they came into range, Pieter recognized Bernolt, riding hard. Seeing they were soon going to be outnumbered, the archers turned to flee. Eckhardt had other ideas however, and leaned out of the carriage and blasted one of them right out of his saddle. Unfortunately for the poor fellow, he failed to get his foot free from the stirrup, and he bounced down the road as his horse dragged him out of sight. Bernolt was greeted by his former protégé and explained why he was suddenly so popular. He had been tracking an outlaw band called the “Faceless” and they apparently noticed and tried to ambush him. I was impressed. I now see where Pieter’s occasional lapses in judgment come from. Not that I’m complaining of course. Those lapses are usually pretty awesome, but trying to take on an entire outlaw band solo? That’s a whole new level of awesome. We agreed to help him as a favour to Pieter who felt it was the least he could do, but really, it was because we were bored and were heading that direction anyway. We eventually tracked them to a clearing, but seeing they had women and children with them, decided against a frontal assault. The outlaws politely asked us to leave, and we countered with “Surrender or else.” Six of the more noble ones, including the leader, wisely gave themselves up. The rest fled into the woods, abandoning their women and children. Bernolt arrested the six, and we directed the remaining women to seek refuge in the delta region at one of the camps.

We reached the gates of Nuln just before noon of the third day. Mattias presented papers to the guards and then we sat back and waited for our escort. The Countess Emanuelle herself arrived with her personal guards. Forced to leave the safety of the carriage, I joined my comrades for the formal greetings. The increased scrutiny we were now attracting made me wish I’d planned a proper disguise. I couldn’t help noticing some of the gate guards looking my way, then whispering to each other. Expecting to be arrested at any moment, I eagerly re-entered the carriage for the final leg to the palace.

Our suite was immense, easily the largest room I’d ever stayed in. I was examining one of the tapestries when a maid entered bearing a platter of food. Turning towards her to see what was for lunch, I smiled and said “Hello.” The colour immediately drained from her face and I thought she was going to faint. Luckily she’d already put down the tray or we’d be eating off the floor…Adam might anyway. Staring at me wide-eyed she blurted out “Are you him?” Confused, I responded “Him who?” “Axel the Slayer?” I roared with laughter while Pieter choked on his lunch and Eckhardt spewed whatever he was drinking all over Herod. “Slayer?” I chuckled “My name is Axel, but I doubt anyone would consider me a slayer.” At this, the maid squeaked and ran from the suite as quick as Adam inhales a slice of Butter Pecan. Still confused, I pondered how the killing of one corrupt watchman qualifies one as a slayer. I was starting to get a really bad feeling…hope it’s not food poisoning. Pieter looked at me sternly as he wiped his lunch off of his cloak and demanded “What exactly did you do?” sheepishly I responded “I, uh, might have done something which could be considered in some circles as illegal.” Arching an eyebrow he repeated “What..Did..You..Do?” thinking it wise to not make him ask a third time I answered “I sort of, kinda, maybe killed a watchman six years ago.” Erik snorted “That’s it?” “I thought maybe you’d burned down the entire tavern district or something” Filling them in on the events of my past, we decided to find out more about the slayer rumours and see just how far they ran.

A little later some tailors arrived to take measurements to fit us with proper outfits for the upcoming banquet. Attempting not to attract any additional attention, I let the others question them about the rumours. Apparently “Axel the Slayer” was a psychotic and kinda awesome halfling who murdered a half dozen or so watchmen about six years ago. He then went on to murder several innocent bystanders (less awesome) who were unfortunate enough to get in his way. Rumoured captured and presumed dead, the wanted posters were all eventually removed. That’s a shame as I would’ve liked one as a souvenir. Judging from the reactions so far, the artist was very talented. “I wonder how much of a reward was offered?” I muttered. Some of the others were looking towards me with concerned expressions “I swear it was only one.” I decided it wise to limit my public exposure as “Axel” to a minimum, so I created a disguise and when finished, “Phineous” joined his friends to track down the current residence of my old master.

The old manor house was still well guarded, so we took turns watching discreetly in the hopes that we would be able to follow someone to the Lord’s new residence. During this time the rest of us tracked down rumours, and restocked our supplies, equipment, and armaments. We learned of a gang war between several gangs including one called the “Crimson ring” and another called the “Teluci gang” We also met an interesting drunk who, between swigs, sobbed about how “She killed him.” Pressing him further, he slurringly explained that he and his buddy had picked up a couple of girls and had taken them back to their place. He stepped out to use the bushes, and returned to discover one of the girls had become a daemonette with a giant claw that snipped his buddies head clean off. This clearly being the most awesome thing we’d heard today (besides me being a Slayer of course) we were led to the shack to check the validity of his drunken claims. The giant bloodstain seemed to indicate we were in the right place and that there was at least some truth to his storey. However, we were unable to find any other evidence or even a body. We questioned others around the neighbourhood, and learned that bodies had also gone missing throughout the impoverished neighbourhoods. Unable to learn anything else at this time, we agreed that more meddling was required. For now, we needed to head back to the palace to prepare for the party.

We arrived with Mattias as part of his retinue and were introduced as “The Defenders of the Delta.” we were surrounded immediately by minor nobles and sycophants attempting to curry favour by association and asking about our adventures. I can only imagine what they must have thought talking to Adam only to have him reply “Pleased to meet you. Where’s the pie?” Eventually the Countess came and escorted us around the room, introducing us to one noble after another. None, however, lived up to the puffed up stature of the late “Theodothiuth”. I was only half aware of the conversations and politely extended greetings to each of them every time Dolwen gave me a kick in the shins. I was, however, a little distracted as I was actively trying to see if my old boss was here. This task was made even more difficult as only Adam was shorter in stature than I was. It was then, while fully distracted and on tip-toes that the countess announced “Now, may I present to you, Lord Rothjager.” My blood froze as a too familiar voice answered ”It is a pleasure to finally meet the famed Defenders of the Delta.” Slowly turning to face him, I locked eyes with my former master, his knowing half smile screaming volumes. Delving deep into my verbal repertoire for a witty reply, I responded “Aww crap!”


I feel the blood of innocents flowing into my veins. From around the city, hatred begets violence which begets power.

I revel in it.

Blood will be spilled in Nuln. Blood will be spilled in Averland. Blood will be spilled in Blackfire Pass. Blood will be spilled in the World’s Edge Mountains. The land will be awash in it. The time of ascension grows closer. The avatar’s unshackling is imminent. My destiny will not be denied.

The Long Awaited Epilogue Story

Its been three weeks since the Battle at Southern Sun Keep and life is slowly returning to normal in the Blue Reach Delta. Supplies slowly trickle in to help rebuild damaged areas and the few Iron Circle stragglers are rooted out and disposed of by zealous hunters.

Dressed in fine new outfits, the group leaves the Delta once more. Stopping to pick up the Widow Vogel, they make their way to Averheim for a momentous wedding, a wedding which will hopefully bring unity to Averland at a time when it is threatened by multiple marching armies.

The week before the wedding is taken up with parties and fittings, for the group is being accorded a special place of honour for their great service to Averland. Two days before the wedding, a ceremony is held in the Plenterplatz to bestow honours on each of you. A recovering Viggo Cavindel comes forward on a cane and presents you with medals and knights you all. He also offers each a place in the Knights of the Southern Sun if any desire it. A moment of silence for those lost precedes a loud cheer for the newest heroes of Averland. More than one of you feels the effects the next day of the subsequent feast in honour of the Defenders of the Delta.

While nursing the hangover, Pieter receives his letter of discharge.

The day of the wedding dawns a crisp fall morning with nary a cloud in the sky. The townsfolk call it a blessing from Sigmar or whatever god they worship.

The wedding is grand and extravagant, befitting the joining of two great noble families. The future Elector Count, Kastor Lietdorf, serves as emcee and the mood is joyoud. Countess Ludmilla also speaks of unity and years of strife is forgotten, at least for the moment.

The reception is a more laid back affair as the nobles let their hair down a little. At one point, Kastor and a woman stop and say hello on their way to a rendezvous. Another time, Matthias comes by looking for his wayward brother. People stop to meet the Defenders of the Delta and a few eligible ladies ask to dance with the single men of the group.

Its at a lull in the music that everything changes.

“Defenders of the Delta!! Show yourselves! I bring a message from Lord Vhennyk! He wants you to know that the Iron Circle is not done with the Blue Reach Delta or Averland. Before we’re through, you will all bathe in blood!”

With that, he tosses the sack he’s holding to the ground and Kastor’s head rolls out.

Greater Things Ahead

To: Pieter Konrad, Sergeant, Imperial Roadwardens

From: Bernolt Eisenhauser, Captain, Imperial Roadwardens


It is with great reluctance, but great pride also, that I accept your resignation from your position of an Imperial Roadwarden. In a service that is sometimes known for its lack of character, you have held yourself to an exemplary standard of duty and honour. It has been my pleasure to have you under my command and future replacements will have a very difficult time living up to your standards.

I am sure this letter will take you by surprise, since you did not in fact tender your resignation, but after correspondence with Kastor Lietdorf, I have been made aware that you have greater things ahead of you. I can not, in good conscience, expect you to keep up with the obligations of your position while being concerned with larger threats to the land.

Know that I will continue to welcome your correspondence with regards to the matters and threats that you are dealing with on behalf of Averland and the Blue Reach Delta. I will help you in any way that I am able should you need the assistance of myself or the Roadwarden service in your efforts.

It has been an honour serving with you. Take care of and give my regards to your lovely lady, Miss Vogel. May Sigmar guide you.



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