Skellan's Enemy Within

Death at the Inn

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Lily said that a woman wearing full plate and carrying a greatsword told her to steal the clapper or she would release a warrant for Lily’s arrest that had been suppressed. Lily said that she crept into Luminary Konrad Mauer’s room through the servants door, took the clapper and delivered it to some men on a cart, just before she met Lambeth. Lambeth convinced Lily Foote that it would be safer for her to stay with them for the immediate future and she acquiesced to the halfling.

Next, the heroes made their way through the choked Altdorf streets towards the Cat and Fiddle, the base of operations for the Four Seasons Coaching line. Passing the docks on their way, everyone spotted a skinny man watching them. The man wore soiled finery and had a layer of dirt on his face that suggested he was once wealthy, but isn’t anymore. Mortelis Bloodbough followed the man into the Drunken Bastard Inn. After a brief but painful interrogation, the man revealed himself as Harald Peterssen and said he had been hired by a woman with dark hair and a scar on her cheek. Mortelis Bloodbough threatened the man to return to him should he get more information about the mysterious woman.

After picking up Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson and Robert Schalmer from The Mermaid, group set out through the busy streets once more to The Konigplatz to visit the Cat and Fiddle. Once there, Barlin used his coachman’s knowledge to talk to the staff and eloquently discussed matters such as gunpowder, smuggling on coaches and the theft of a cart the previous night from the Four Seasons compound. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson did not find anything unusual about the smuggling activities at the company.

Meanwhile Mortelis Bloodbough gave shiny coins to Fritz Unruh, teh Four Seasons secretary for information about the shipment of Pilsach Peculiar. Fritz said that some information was missing from the shipping papers. The shipment came from Averheim by the Red Arrow Coaching line but no sender was marked on the manifest. The Four Seasons Coaching company took the shipment and delivered it to location along the Street of a Hundred Taverns. For more shiny coins, Fritz gave the locations of the deliveries and the amount of kegs they received:

Pilsach Peculiar Deliveries

ª Mermaid – 5 kegs.
ª Temple of Drama – 30 kegs.
ª Mattheus II – 10 kegs.
ª Holy Hammer of Sigmar – 25 kegs.
ª One-Eyed Wolf – 5 kegs.
ª Bruno’s Brewhouse – 5 kegs

The party made their way back from The Konigplatz to the Street of a Hundred Taverns. As they passed the The Statue of Wilhelm II they are approached by a mousey girl called Carolina Neuber. Carolina said that she had a message from a large man with curly hair. The message was:

  • The man says he hopes you are getting on well in finding your friend.
  • He wonders if it would surprise them to learn that someone called Art Shaver is in
    town, and do they know that he or she is in cahoots with a man with a black cow?
  • She was seen walking up the Street of a Hundred Taverns heading in the direction of the Temple of Drama.
  • He says to tell you that you are a good bunch of snoops, but to watch your backs.

Lambeth was looking frustrated. Events seem to be happening to them all the time and it was difficult not to be pulled off course. Determined to take control, the heroes made their way to the The Holy Hammer of Sigmar Inn.
After a fruitless discussion with the tavern staff, where they admit to taking the kegs for someone at the Inn but are unwilling to give more information or look into the matter, Lambeth got angry. He forced the situation by taking a swing at a member of the tavern staff and after a brief stand-off with a band of thugs, the party got the information that the person who ordered the kegs was staying in room 23.

As the moved upstairs, the heroes were assaulted by men in full plate and wielding greatswords. During the fight, the woman with black hair and a scar on her cheek joined the fight saying ‘my pawns, it is time for you to die now…’

There followed a bloody, close quarters fight on the stairs. [[:mortelis-bloodbough | Mortelis Bloodbough] too a hard blow but managed to disengage and then leap up onto the balcony behind the men to run his blade through one of the attackers.

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Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson took a shot before finding a greatsword bearing down on him. He managed to retreat to a safer position to fire on the men. Robert Schalmer prayed to Mermidia as he stepped up to block the stairway. Lambeth showed a grim determination as he darted around the men, ruffling their hair, distracting them and nipping at them with his dagger.
Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson fired a nearly inescapable shot that struck blew the hand of one the greatswords on the stairs into a bloody pulp. His second shot punctured the man’s helm funneling grey brain matter from the front of his visor over Robert Schalmer.

Meanwhile. Mortelis Bloodbough disarmed the mysterious woman and she tried in vain to hit him with pistol shots.

Despite taking some heavy blows, the heroes eventually overcame their assailants with the woman being the last to fall to Robert Schalmer’s sword.

The party got a brief chance to rally as the Inn fell quiet. Daith Sharpeye was no where to be seen. He was left outside the door of the Inn to keep watch for the woman with the scar, but he did not respond to the sounds of fighting inside…

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A Farce in The Fog

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Gravin Clothilde von Alptraum spoke warmly of the charcters asking them about their exploits since she last saw the in Averheim. Since then, she has appointed a new bodyguard, a Tilean man named Michelangelo Angeletti

Gravin Clothilde von Alptraum spoke of her forgiveness towards Lambeth in light of his good behaviour and revelations about Adele Ketzenblum’s association with the Ruinous Powers.

Gravin Clothilde von Alptraum said that she wished to release both Mortelis Bloodbough and Lambeth from the bonds of their oath to her however, she first had a simple task for them. Apparently, the The Temple of Drama Theatre is having difficulty staging a production because of problems with props. The Gravin asked if the party could investigate.

After meeting Gravin Clothilde von Alptraum Daith Sharpeye and Lambeth headed back to the Laurel’s Rest to investigate Luminary Konrad Mauer who had acted suspiciously earlier paying a large sum of money to acquire the bell clapper.
The pair staked out the Inn. It was quiet and still in the The Palast District with little activity of note. A horse and cart arrived and made a delivery at the rear of the Inn. Lambeth. Moved around to the rear of the Inn and met Lily Foote a comely halfling servant. Understandably, Lily Foote was nervous in the presence of the dashing grey cowl Lambeth but his soft words won her over and the pair spent the evening eating fine food and enjoyed each others complany. meanwhile a cold, damp fog began to rise as Daith Sharpeye kept watch over the establishment while Lambeth investigated.

Back on the Street of a Hundred Taverns, Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson and Mortelis Bloodbough were treated to a show by the Great Oozelli, who used a combination of flatulence and an ear trumpet to play popular Riekland songs. Robert Schalmer went to his room. During the performance a keg of Pilsach Peculiar was opened but instead of ale black gunpowder spilled out of the large keg. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson was quick to recognise the powder and helped make it safe by looking after it. They noticed a red X marked on the bottom of the barrel and the serving staff said it was delivered to the Inn by The Four Seasons Coaching company.

Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson and Mortelis Bloodbough argued for the rest of the evening.

When Daith Sharpeye finally returned with Lambeth, he noticed a High Elf, leave the Inn. He tried to hail the Elf but he just snorted and ingnored Daith.

The next morning a sinister note was delivered to the group which read:

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Upon leaving the Inn, Mortelis Bloodbough questioned a group of dockers about a missing elf but he did not get any useful information from them.

The party moved along the Street of a Hundred Taverns and Daith spotted a dead bird at the foot of the The Heads of Traitors .
The group made their way to the Black bat tavern to investigate claims in the note that Frederick Grosz was staying at the Black Bat. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson created a diversion by starting a brawl with a thug in the bar. The brawl was a brutal one with Barlin emerging victorious but sustaining a broken nose. Meanwhile Lambeth search the room upstairs as best he could but found no sign of Frederick Grosz.

As the party headed to the The Temple of Drama to help with Clothilde’s task, Lambeth stopped to play dice with a smuggler on the street. After a few shillings and a few games of Cheater’s Bones Lambeth discovered that a man who matched Frederick Grosz’s description has visited the black bat and met with a man wearing a Black Cowl.

Meanwhile in the theatre, Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson, Mortelis Bloodbough, Robert Schalmer and Daith Sharpeye discovered that the play had been delayed because a giant spider was on the loose in the Theatre. Inside the Theatre were 9 members of the Miraculous Mummers of Miragliano troupe and 3 Altdorfian theatre staff. On searching the theatre they discovered the spider had been broken out of its cage and they eventually found it in a sack in the store room along with 3 kegs of gunpowder, all marked wit a red X. They subdued the spider so they play could continue. After searching more of the theatre, the leading man of the play, Nicolai di Fortessi, was found murdered and when Lambeth threatened to reveal the skeletons in the closet of understudy Carlo Spinezzi, Carlos confessed that he had murdered Nicolai to take his place in the play.

Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson went to fetch the watch. On his way he noticed an almost identical doppleganger of Mortelis Bloodbough. the look alike was identical apart from his weaponry.

When he found a patrol of the dock watch, they tried to fine Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson for his involvement in a brawl earlier in the morning. barlin refused to pay and the Watch gave chase and he took a few blows with a nightstick before fleeing into The Temple of Drama.

After this, Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson went back to the Inn to rest while Lambeth, Mortelis Bloodbough and Daith Sharpeye went to visit Captain Marcus Baerfaust.

After a long walk through the crowded streets of the capital, the heroes found Captain Marcus Baerfaust in the barrack in the The Palast District . they told Baerfaust of their concerns about the black powder and the Black Cowl. Conspiracy. Baerfaust agreed that the dock watch are nothing but a bunch of thugs and offered to send some of his Greatswords to the Street of a Hundred Taverns to search the Inns for more gunpowder kegs.

The group then headed back to the Laurel’s Rest where they broke in a searchedLuminary Konrad Mauer’s room. Inside they found the lead-lined box that housed the clapper was open and the clapper was missing.

Before leaving Lambeth questioned the smitten Lily Foote. Lambeth noticed that she appeared nervous when questioned about the late delivery of the previous night. Lambeth urged her to tell him the truth and stressed how important it was. Lilly succumbed to lambeth’s charm and finally broke down into tears saying, ’ I had no choice, they were going to tell everyone about the warrant. They only wanted me to take a bell clapper. What harm could that do? So I crept in Luminary Konrad Mauer‘s room and took the clapper. I gave it to the delivery men last night as asked…’

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Arrival In Altdorf

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The first port of call in Altdorf was to visit Luminary Konrad Mauer in the The Palast District at the Laurel’s Rest

Mauer was pleased to see that the party had arrived safely in Altdorf and was very interested in the bell clapper and the purification ritual. Mauer was saddened at the death of Robertus von Oppenheim during the ritual. Although having never met the man he was more sorry for the loss to academia than for the fate of Oppenheim. Not a generally sentimental man, Mauer focused on the productive questions: was the ritual a success? What do you remember about it? Where is the bell clapper? Can I see it?

When the party was reluctant to hand over the bell clapper, Mauer was so eager to study it that he offered them large payment of gold if they would hand it to him immediately. The party agreed to this and left the clapper in the company of Mauer.

During the meeting Mauer explained that Emperor Karl-Franz was still unconscious. “I’m doing my best," Mauer said, “but I think he would benefit from a proper physician. Not that ”/characters/ludwig-schwarzhelm" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ludwig Schwarzhelm would let one near his bedside unless he were Magnus the Pious himself. Still, the Emperor doesn’t appear to be in any serious danger at this point, and I think that with just a little more rest he’ll make a full recovery.”

The next stop for the adventurers was the Old Horse Tower to visit Graf Friedrich von Kaufman. Kaufman sounded a little disappointed that Graf Wolfgang von Aschenbeck was found innocent of all crimes and that his right-hand man Werner Markheim was behind the recent incidents in Middenheim. Fredrich did not seem concerned about the missing gunpowder, saying “My own men were undersupplied when we left Averheim, but Graf Tobias of Nuln was generous enough to dip into his personal stores for us when we reached the front. We should still do everything in our power to find and destroy these thieves, but no harm appears to have been done.”

Kaufman paid the party for their work and offered to get them an invite to the Prayer Service to the Emperor that is taking place the following evening at The Holy Temple of Sigmar.

The next stop was to speak with Gravin Clothilde von Alptraum. Kaufman said that she was staying at The Seven Stars Inn in the Street of a Hundred Taverns.

Gravin Clothilde von Alptraum was overjoyed to see the party return, especially her champion, Mortelis Bloodbough.

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The Journey To Altdorf
5th - 15th Pflugzeit

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The weather was pleasant for their journey south. Winter had finally given way to spring and the forest stirred with new life.

On the third day of travel, the coach rounded a bend to discover the route blocked by a Chaos Warrior clad in Black Full Plate Armour. “Who among you will face me and die?", a chilling voice called from behind a dark visor. The heroes paused for a moment, Daith listened for sounds in the undergrowth that may give away the Chaos Warriors allies, but he heard nothing.

The chaos warrior screamed a battle cry and drew his greatsword. Mortelis Bloodbough leaped from the coach and dealt the warrior several stinging blows chaos_warrior.jpgwith his new blades. The warrior returned a mighty cleave towards his neck, but Mortelis managed to arch away from the reach of the blow. Arrow shots from Daith Sharpeye punctured the dark knight’s armour before a thundering shot from Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson sent the warrior clattering to the ground in a widening pool of blood.

After checking that the chaos warrior was alone, the party continued onwards towards Delberz.

On reaching Delberz, the heroes found a dockside Inn called the Black Dog. During the night they were awoken by shrieks and screams from within the inn. Mortelis Bloodbough and Daith Sharpeye went to investigate and discovered a serving maid standing on a stool in the scullery trying to shoo away a large mutated rat. The rat had spines protruding from his back and bore two tails which flicked angrily around. Mortelis made short work of the rat and the pair looked for clues to where the rat came from but found none. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson arrived after a short while and his keen dwarven eyes spotted a shadowy figure flit away by the river outside. By the time the heroes got outside to investigate the mysterious figure had vanished.

Suspecting that they were being stalked once more by Skaven, the group fell into an uneasy sleep.

The night was uneventful though and the next day they continued on their journey to Altdorf. As they entered the heart of the Reikland the forest changed in character, becoming slightly less dark and dense. The closer to Altdorf, the more tamed and civilised the landscape became with breaks forest periodically to revealing a swathe of farmland or an orchard, often surrounded by a low stone wall and patrolled by farmers with crossbows. The coaching inns often form the centre of a small village, with blacksmith, market, and a shrine to Taal, Ulric, or Sigmar (or sometimes all three), rather than being a lone fortified building in the wilderness. Two days from Delberz, the party entered such village called Krankendorf.

As they approached they could see that Krankendorf ’s stone wall had a large breach on the north stretch. Workmen were erecting a wooden palisade to fill the gap, but they were only about half done and evening was upon them. Mortelis Bloodbough, asked the workmen what caused the breach and the the townsfolk explained that a monster from the Drakwald smashed down the wall and struck six strong men deaf, dumb, and blind with a glance when they came to chase it off. However, no two people could agree what it looked like, but everyone was glad it has gone and that no one had died.

The heroes found lodging for the night at The Red Empresses. The Red Empresses is the sole inn in Krankendorf and is a three-storey half-timbered affair with a red clay tile roof. The sign hanging in the courtyard depicted three stern and noble women in somewhat faded paint.

Inside, the taproom was busy with dockworkers, travelers, merchants and locals. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson, Daith Sharpeye and Mortelis Bloodbough sat down at a table to eat a meal of rough bean soup with rough brown bread. They had only been at the Inn for a moment when a large bull-necked labourer named Kaspar, took a seat next to Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson, grabbed Barlin’s tankard of ale and quaffed the lot, the ale spilling down his chin and chest. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson did not hesitate. He clenched his fist and socked the docker across the jaw sending him backwards and toppling his stool.

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The elves spotted other dockers moving to join the brawl. Mortelis grasped his blades and said calmly ‘Stay where you are or loose your fingers..’

Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson was quick to act and drew out his hammer and drove it into Kaspar’s ribs with a sickening crunch, staggering the man. At the sight of weapons the surrounding dockers drew knives and moved to help Kaspar. They mobbed Barlin and he received a few heavy blows and a blade bit deep into his arm.

A thug moved to strike Daith Sharpeye but he stepped to the side and tripped his assailant, sending him toppling down some steps. Meanwhile, Mortelis stepped forward and casually disarmed a thug, knocking his knife loose and then grabbing it with his free hand, taking it from the thug.

Kaspar took a mighty swing at Barlin but Barlin dodged the blow before returning a swing with his hammer, striking Kaspar in the face, sending him reeling and spitting teeth and blood.

Mortelis knocked another to the floor and Kaspar took another swing at Barlin just as the full realisation of Barlin’s previous hammer blow reached his dulled brain and Kaspar collapsed onto the table.

At this point a pistol shot rang out above the sound of the brawl halting the fight. The landlord threw out the thugs to the street. Daith Sharpeye followed them and caught up with Kaspar and questioned him about the odd events. Kaspar said he was paid to attack the heroes by a mysterious cloaked figure who paid with a sliver of gold. Daith Sharpeye recognised the sliver of gold as being very similar to the gold pieces that the plate stolen from the Averheim garden party was broken up into.

That night the heroes slept cautiously and Mortelis Bloodbough remained awake and vigilant. Their suspicions were confirmed when they heard a squeaky Krasskulk_picture.png voice angrily shriek ’“No! Is bad-wrong! All ruined-wrecked! You die-die, manthings!" Robert Schalmer awoke to find the Skaven Sorcerer Krasskulk standing above him, clasping the bell clapper. There was an overly loud sound of shattering glass as Skaven poured through the windows to attack.

There followed a desperate battle against the agile Skaven assassins and Krasskulk’s toxic magic. The prone Robert Schalmer was knocked unconscious and Mortelis Bloodbough was locked a deadly duel of flashing blades with the assassins. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson grabbed his rifle and shot the assassins in his room. The battle was ended by Daith Sharpeye who fired two deadly arrow shots into Krasskulk, striking him in the throat and mouth. Without their leader, the remaining Skaven fled into the night.

With Krasskulk dead, the heroes suspected they might finally be free from Skaven pursuers…

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A Brief Sojourn
4th - 5th Pflugzeit

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Once back in Middeneheim, the brave heroes took care of a few loose ends.

They took the severed head of The Four Horned Beast to the watch station and Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson threw down the Beast’s head on the counter and said, ‘I killed it, with assistance from this lot’.

At these words Mortelis Bloodbough’s eyes turn to fire and said, “Enough! You shall not trivialize the efforts taken here. This was the nemesis of my blood, killer of my brothers and my father and slaughterer of my kinband. We have been hunting it for many seasons. Take your bounty and be thankful you are being granted that much!”

The jubilant atmosphere in the room was immediately cut to silence. The watchmen’s hand fell to the hilts of their swords and there followed an awkward pause while everyone wondered what would happen next. Thankfully the tension was broken by the clerk who returned with a chest containing the bounty for the beast’s head. The incident was not mentioned again that day…

The death of The Four Horned Beast caused quite a stir in Middenheim that day. Everyone wanted to speak with the heroes and buy them drinks. Tankard__PSF_.pngRobert Schalmer got quite drunk. It did not take long for a crowd of jubilant onlookers to appear wanting to catch a glimpse of the head of the beast and the heroes that brought the creature to ruin.

They visited Gregor Helstrum to arrange the collection of Adele Ketzenblum’s body for transport to Altdorf. Unfortunately, Gregor Helstrum said that her body had been stolen from the temple two nights ago. An investigation is currently ongoing to find the thieves and the body.

Lambeth was suspiciously quiet throughout his stay in Middenheim. A complaint by the Landlord of the The Scholar’s about a terrible smell coming from his room was soon forgotten as a steady throng of people came to the bar looking for the heroes who killed the beast.

The next day Robert Schalmer, nursing a hangover, went to the Temple of Myrmidia. His vision of Myrmidia during the epic battle with the beast confirmed his status among the faithful. During the small service that followed Robert Schalmer was anointed as a full Disciple of Myrmidia and was given a sacred breastplate bearing Mymidia’s form.

After some shopping and preparations where Daith Sharpeye purchased some specialist arrows, the party was ready to travel to Altdorf where they plan to deliver the Bell Clapper to Luminary Konrad Mauer for further examination.

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Vengeance
30th Jahrdrung - 4th Pflugzeit

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Daith Sharpeye’s muscles bulged as he pulled the bow of Athel Loren taut. He looked down the shaft to the melee below. Mortelis Bloodbough and Robert Schalmer were in trouble. The remaining beastmen were closing around them and they were outnumbered, he must cut down the numbers if they were to survive. His arm blurred as he fired a flurry of shots into the beasts below. The Ungor fell and the Gor took and arrow to the gut as he rained destruction upon them.

The Wargor stepped back, moving towards the Wargor that Mortelis had cut down earlier. It reached down and grabbed the Great Axe from the Wargor’s dead fingers and held it aloft letting out a blood curdling roar that chilled the souls of the heroes. But Mortelis’ mind was filled with vengeance and there was no room for fear. He tensed and his body and leveled his spear at the beast, his tattooed arm gleamed with sweat as he called back, ‘Amin khiluva lle a’ gurtha ar’ thar!’

The Gor charged towards Robert Schalmer but he was prepared. He stepped to the side and ducked down beneath the Gor’s swinging blade. With the Gor off balance, he made a viscous counter-blow striking the Beastman between the ribs.

Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson and Lambeth concentrated fire upon The Four Horned Beast, both striking with solid shots but the beast stood strong.
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Mortelis focused on the Gor, his body writhed in a dance of whirling death as he spun towards the beastman. The death blow was too quick too see but when the elf came to a stop the Gor just fell to the ground, blood spurting from its chest.

The Four Horned Beast charged into Mortelis Bloodbough, swinging his huge axe towards his head looking for the killer blow but Mortelis arched his body backwards and the jagged blade only sliced the air before him.

Meanwhile, Robert Schalmer looked up to the sky and for a second the world faded out around him. For this second he was there alone, in serenity, talking to Myrimida. And in his hour of need Myrmidia answered for the first time, her power filling his armour, blessing it for the battle.

Daith Sharpeye calmed his breath and took his time with his next arrow, looking for chinks in The Four Horned Beast’s armour. After exhaling all the breath from his body and during that moment of stillness he released the shot . The beast saw the arrow fly and instinctively put up a hand. The arrow severed through his fingers and drove onward into his side, cracking a rib as it lodged in its body.

The Wargor swung for Mortelis but again the blow missed its mark.

Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson’s modified Hochland rifle rang out sending a plume of acrid blue smoke into the air. His shot struck the beasts skull, glancing across its forehead opening a large gash that poured blood into his eyes, turning the world red.

Lambeth let loose a crossbow bolt that also hit the four horned beasts head, shattering one of its horns and the beast’s red eyes glazed a little as concussion set in.

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Mortelis Bloodbough spat words at the four horned beast “You will fall this day beast.. The blood of my kin will burn your soul and you shall rot in agony” and he launched towards it with a tempestuous fury. The elf ducked low beneath the Beast’s reach and struck from low, the point of his spear driving upward into Four Horned Beast’s hip tearing muscle and snapping bone, the sheer force of the thrust breaking the spear in two as it found its resting place. The Beast twisted as it leg buckled, splitting his femoral artery and showering Mortelis in blood. As the creature fell it’s mind knew only one thing: death. With an undying ferocity it swung out at Mortlelis, catching him across the chest with terrible force. The blow opened up a garish wound and sent him reeling backwards before crashing to the ground.

Seeing his friend fall, Robert Schalmer struck the Wargor with a solid cleave as Daith finished it off with a well placed shot.

Mortelis’ head rolled to the side to view the ruin of his nemesis. His face faded to a look of calm as blackness engulfed him…

When he came to, his head was being cradled by Daith who was raising a healing poultice to his lips. Mortelis muttered a prayer to loec, Isha and the various elven gods. Each name of his kinband who fell in the battle and finally ending with the names of his fallen brothers and father. And with the final phrase. “Caemalleth I shall return to your side soon my love”

The others searched the cave and found many items of value that the beastman had acquired during the war. While the others ransacked the cave, Mortelis drew his dagger and proceeded to do two things. The first was to cut off the head of the four horned beast and the second was to throw it to one side. The necklace of elf fingers was removed and stowed. The bones to be returned to Athel Loren.

Back in the cave, Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson and Lambeth race each other to claim items of value/chaos.

Just as they are returning from the cave, the heroes hear a wheezy cough from the undergrowth. The Middenheim Deserters appear from out of the trees. Their leader Leon, a large barrel chested man with a thick beard and the self styled leader of the gang, waved a grubby hand at the party. ‘You are the ones looking worse for wear now, elf,’ he said, ‘Just hand over the beast’s head and there will be no trouble.’

Mortelis said, ‘And what will you do with the head?’

Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson‘s eyes rolled and he thought, ’These are the diseased people who the others encouraged me to let live. Now, they want my 1000 gold head. And there will be not shutting Mortelis up once he starts’

Leon smiled at Mortelis, ’That’s not your-’ his words cut short as an explosion drowned out his words. Barlin’s shot struck Leon in the shoulder, sending the others scattering for cover. Lambeth retreated to the safety of the cave while Daith fired an arrow into the deserters. The wounded Mortelis swooped in, striking a deserter before moving back to safety, Robert stood calm as gunshots and arrows whistled past him.

In the confusion Tobias grabbed the head and tried to make off with it but Daith, who was now out of arrows, moved to intercept. Finn shot an arrow at Daith, which stuck in his side. Wincing, Daith tugged the arrow out of his side and notched it to his bow, sending it back to Finn, striking him in the throat killing him instantly.

Robert moved to fight Horst. The man’s rotton smell had got worse. horst coughed and began to gag. His eyes bulged and watered as he vomited a stinking green bile at Robert. Robert dodged back avoiding the puke and counter attacked fatally wounding Horst.

The fight was over swiftly and Tobias was cut down as he tried to flee with the head. The rest of the gang were eventually hunted down and slain.

Nursing wounds from their time in The Forest Of Shadows and with their mission complete the party made their way back to the safety of civilisation.

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Nemesis
28th - 30th Jahrdrung

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An owl call broke the still of the night.

Daith’s eyes flicked open. He knew the call – it was a warning. He woke the camp and they all began donning armour and prepared themselves for battle. Lambeth’s decoy camp had bought valuable time.

Crawling_Beast.jpgAs the creature drew within sight of the camp, Mortelis Bloodbough sprung forward, driving his spear down across its back. Daith Sharpeye saw the danger and struck the creature with a stinging arrowshot before it flew towards with tooth and claw. The strange creature struck Daith with a deadly flurry of attacks, that tore into flesh and sinew. When it was over, Daith was left unconscious and bleeding on the ground.

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Steadfast Robert Schalmer once again stepped up to protect a fallen friend and stood over Daith Sharpeye protecting him from the creature. Robert’s armour protected him against the attacks while the heroes focused their attacks on the beast. Before the creature succumb to its wounds, it uttered a dark incantation in a foreign tongue and its body transformed into an eerie green mist, allowing it to escape into the forest.

Robert Schalmer told a tale of ancient magic users who’s will kept them from Morr’s realm and they were left to walk the earth as Vampires. Many vampires live side by side with humans but others devolved into a more bestial form and inhabited wild places where men dare not dwell.

Robert Schalmer‘s educational and highly interesting story was drowned out by a ’LALALALALA’ sound from someone trying not to think about the dark places of the world…

The next day the party moved North following Imelda Holtz’s directions. Mortelis Bloodbough found a good place to camp that was easily defensible. Robert Schalmer erected a rough palisade around the perimeter of the camp. The security of the camp gave Daith Sharpeye a secure place to rest and heal his wounds.

Meanwhile Lambeth and Mortelis Bloodbough
scouted ahead in search of their nemesis. Imelda Holtz’s directions proved true, and the pair reached a cliff face with two cave entrances guarded by beastmen. Mortlelis and Lambeth watched the caves until the sun began to set. They estimated about ten Beastmen were holed up in the caves and noted that regular Beastman patrols left the caves to keep watch over the surrounding area. They did not have sight of The Four Horned Beast.

Back at camp the heroes hatched a cunning plan to assault the caves and slay The Four Horned Beast. They would need the fight to be weighted in their favour if they were going to be victorious.

The next morning they put their plan into action. They found a gully with steep sides and Daith Sharpeye set a series of traps in the gully. The others, apart from Mortelis, took up ambush position on the sides of the embankment and waited…

Meanwhile Mortelis Bloodbough stalked through The Forest Of Shadows tracking a Beastman patrol. When the patrol was near to the ambush site Mortelis Bloodbough revealed himself and looked suprised, as if he had stumbled across the beastmen accidentally. The Beastmen took the bait and chased the elf. Mortelis used his woodland knowledge to pick his way through tangles of vines keeping the beastmen at a distance until they entered the ambush site baying for elf-blood. The baying for blood soon turned to howls of pain as they set off Daith Sharpeye’s traps.

ambush_map.pngThe front row of Beastmen fell to the floor, caught in the snares as Mortelis Bloodbough bounced back to attack with his spear. wanting to remain quiet Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson fired a crossbow and as Daith Sharpeye downed multiple beasts with a flurry of shots.

Lambeth fired his sling into the enemy patrol and charged down the embankment . Robert Schalmer moved down to support his friend.

It did not take long for the Beastmen to get cut down. The last Gor tried to flee up the embankment but Mortelis caught up with him and run him through, sending his body rolling back down the gully.

The heroes counted five dead beastmen. Five less to guard The Four Horned Beast. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson collected the horns from the dead for bounty and the group set off to the caves.

caves1.png The heroes managed to stealth up to the cave entrance without being seen. Mortelis Bloodbough and Robert Schalmer took positions South of the camp while Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson, Daith Sharpeye and Lambeth crept up above the cave entrance readying their ranged weapons. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson considered whether the cave could be collapsed, but it would be impossible without the proper equipment. Instead Lambeth created a make-shift trap from rocks to fall upon the cave entrance.

With surprise on their side, the heroes quickly dispatched the three Beastman guards. Mortelis Bloodbough and Robert Schalmer
moved to the Northern entrance to attack whatever comes out while the others remained readied above the main cave entrance.

There followed a surreal lull as they waited for the shouts from within the caves to emerge. The ground trembled as the herd burst into the daylight to attack. The Four Horned Beast stood head and shoulders above the Wargor who accompanied him. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson heart pounded in his chest as he fired a shot at the huge beast. Lambeth’s rock trap missed its mark and fell just to the side of the emerging Beastmen. Daith Sharpeye fired a flurry of arrows down onto the herd, slaying Ungor, dwindling their numbers.

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Meanwhile a Wargor struck Robert Schalmer‘s shield with such force that it sundered its Greatsword in two. Mortelis Bloodbough’s felt adrenaline course through his veins at the sight of the Beast who killed his brother’s warband. Clenching his teeth, Mortelis Bloodbough launched himself high into the air and plunged his spear into the chest of a Wargor, who collapsed to the ground from the blow.

Robert Schalmer concentrated on dwindling the number of Beastmen, knowing the situation is dire with just himself and Mortelis facing the herd on the ground. In the sky behind the advancing Wargor, a small red pin prick of light caught his eye. A star burning bright in the daylight, burning red and fierce, blessing him for the coming battle…

Mortelis Bloodbough righted himself after killing the Wargor to see The Four Horned Beast thundering towards him holding a massive greataxe above its head. Mortelis stretched every muscle in his body to arc away from the Four Horned Beast’s savage strike, catching sight of a row of elven finger bones on a necklace around the beasts neck. One for each member of the doomed warband…

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Foaldeath's Demise
27th - 28th Jahrdrung

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Foaldeath began to utter a terrible incantation. Crackling purple flames dances around his clawed hand before arcing toward Mortelis Bloodbough, who dodged to the side avoiding the full force of the dark spell.

Daith Sharpeye fired a rapid volley of shots into the approaching beastmen while Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson’s gunpowder thundered nearby. And Ungor fell under the assault. Lambeth fired his slingshot at a wounded Ungor strking it on the temple and sending it crashing to the floor. A Gor peeled off from the herd and charged Daith Sharpeye who avoided its blows by using a large tree for cover.

Robert Schalmer put aside a pair of sticks and rushed to Daith Sharpeye‘s defense, driving his spear into the Gor’s chest.

foaldeath.jpg Mortelis Bloodbough somersaulted into the fray, striking Foaldeath with a mortal blow. Foaldeath fell slowly, his lifeblood draining on the forest floor as Mortelis Bloodbough agilely moved back and watched Foaldeath die. However, Mortelis was in reach of the Wargor who made pursuit and caught the elf with a savage strike. The last thing Mortelis Bloodbough heard was a sharp ringing sound as the world faded to black.

Robert Schalmer moved quickly, to stand above his fallen friend, protecting Mortelis Bloodbough from the Wargor. Robert Schalmer stood valiantly against the huge beast, and the rest of the heroes circled the Wargor who eventually fell after attacks from Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson, Lambeth, Daith Sharpeye and Robert Schalmer

After the fight, Daith Sharpeye brought Mortelis back to consciousness with a healing salve while Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson made off to search the Beastman camp.

With Mortelis on his feet, Daith’s sharp eyes caught sight of a well hidden girl, lying on her belly beneath the over of a fallen tree. Daith tried to pretend that he had not noticed the girl and slowly moved towards her hide. Imelda Holtz sensed she had been spotted and leaped to her feet and darted off into the forest. Daith was already onto her and fired an arrow that pinned her to a tree by her already tattered dress.

Imelda_Holtz.pngThe group questioned her (except Barlin, who was searching the camp) and she began crying. Her brother Foaldeath now lay slain and the rest of the Holtz family were now all dead, leaving Imelda Holtz alone. Daith Sharpeye offered to take Imelda Holtz to a nearby town for safety but she refused, saying that ‘humans would kill her as they had done her family’. Imelda Holtz seemed more wiley since the group last saw her in Stromdorf, a trait that has probably kept her alive in the company of beasts.

Imelda Holtz told the party that Foaldeath had recently split from The Four Horned Beast‘s herd after an argument. Imelda offered to give the heroes directions to a cave where she believed that the beast was staying if she was allowed to go free. The party agreed to the terms and she said that the beast’s lair can be found a day to the East, before turning north for another day by a clearing with a fallen log. The clearing would make a good place to camp.

Daith Sharpeye gave the girl some food and she disappeared back into the forest…

The next morning the group set off following imelda’s directions and they reached the clearing with the fallen log before nightfall.

Suspecting something bad might happen, Lambeth made a fake camp in the clearing, using branches and twigs to make it appear that the group was staying in the clearing. Meanwhile, Daith Sharpeye found a nice place to make camp, away from the clearing.

Watches were set for the night and everyone tried to sleep. During the night Mortelis was disturbed by a shrieking sound coming from the clearing. Mortelis crept forward to an outcrop of rock overlooking the fake camp. Below he saw a hideous creature, human-like but with feral claws and fangs, ripping apart the fake camp. The creature looked about and pressed it nose to the cool earth, breathing deep, catching the scent of travelers in the forest. Slowly the creature moved south, towards the sleeping heroes. The dark silhouette of Mortelis dropped down from the outcrop of rock and began hunting the hunter….

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Into the Forest of Shadows
25th - 27th Jahrdrung

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Finishing their preparations the group headed out by coach to the The Forest Of Shadows. After several days journey they reached the town of Dorfmark where they make arrangements for stabling for the horses. Mortelis Bloodbough spoke to a local hunter who said that the hunters seldom venture far into the forest. He said there are many beastmen and other foul creatures in depths of the forest, particularly since the war broke out.

Guided by the tracking expertise of Daith Sharpeye the group made their way North East into the forest in the hope of picking up tracks of the retreating beastmen.

The first day of the journey was fairly uneventful. Daith Sharpeye encountered a wild bear during the night but made sure that the bear was not provoked and it moved off into the forest.

On the second day, the party met some Middenheim Deserters who had fled the battle with the four horned beast. The group was suffering the obvious signs of disease – probably Weevil Cough and the adventurers mostly kept their distance. Daith Sharpeye offered first aid to the injured men.

Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson looked troubled by the Middenheim Deserters, he did not like the idea of them being allowed to spread the disease further – plus they were deserters. A tense moment followed where Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson levelled his rifle at the men. Eventually an agreement was made that the heroes would leave the deserters if they took them to the location of some nearby beastman tracks.

Guided by Finn, the group found the tracks of around seven beastmen and the bare footprints of a human child headed east. Daith Sharpeye spent the rest of the day tracking the hoof prints while covering the party’s tracks from the deserters.

The group spend an eerily quiet night in the forest. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson saw a mutated rabbit with cloven hooves before dawn. He killed it with a deft throw of his dagger.

Just after noon, Daith Sharpeye spotted a group of beastman ahead – probably a patrol. He followed them undetected until he reached a camp. The beastman camp had seven beastmen including an old adversary – Foaldeath.

Unluckily for Daith, Foaldeath looked up as he circled the camp and he was spotted. With a terrible cry, Foaldeath called his herd to attack. Daith Sharpeye fired a spray of arrows across the beatsman, causing them to dodge for cover.

Foaldeath bellowed forth a terrible incantation and a cracking chaos arced over to strike Daith’s arm, burning his clothes and blistering his flesh.

Daith Sharpeye moved back toward his friends who were not far behind.

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Lambeth fired a volley of shots from his sling in an attempt to distract the advancing beastmen. Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson aimed his Hochland rifle at Foaldeath and fired, the shot ringing out through the forest. His aim was true and the bullet struck Foaldeath, shattering his hand and sending a spray of blood across his chest.

Mortelis Bloodbough lept forward into the beastmen, striking an Ungor in the shoulder and felling him. Mortellis deftly moved back, circling the enemy, posed for his next strike…

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Four Horns and a Forge
20th - 25th Jahrdrung

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With the ritual over, the heroes made their way back to The Scholar’s to rest.

In the morning, Mortelis Bloodbough rises early to visit a local weaponsmith. On the way, he notices priests of Morr and Shallya performing rites over the corpses of refugees and tending to the sick. Focused on his task Mortelis Bloodbough presses on to the weaponsmith. He strikes a deal with the smith to forge a deadly weapon of Elven design. A double bladed spear capable of being split in two to form dual weapons. Lambeth writes a guarantee from Gravin Clothilde von Alptraum for payment.

Once the rest of the party wakes up, the split up tie up some loose ends in the City. Lambeth, Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson and Robert Schalmer head to The Halfway House to meet Otto and Lambeth has a friendly chat with him. Nobody saw any money change hands.

Meanwhile, Daith Sharpeye, who was wounded and suffering from internal bleeding goes with Mortelis Bloodbough to the temple of Shallya in search of healing. Unfortunately, they find that the Shalyan priests are overstretched dealing with an outbreak of Weevil Cough. The priests suspect that the disease was brought into the city by refugees and they give a message of calm to the Elves.

The trial of Graf Wolfgang von Aschenbeck follows it course. The damning evidence presented by Mortelis Bloodbough and Robert Schalmer the previous day ( Slaves to Darkness ) led to Gregor Helstrum, who had taken over the trial following the death of Adele Ketzenblum, giving Von Aschenbeck a full pardon.

Graf Wolfgang von Aschenbeck and his daughter Margarete von Aschenbeck were overjoyed and offered a payment to the heroes as well as investigating the acquisition of holdings belonging to slain cultists of the Jade Sceptre Cult on behalf of Lambeth. Graf Wolfgang von Aschenbeck also agreed to investigate the disappearance of black powder and whether the crime was linked to Werner Markheim

Feeling the business of human courts are beneath him, Barlin “Grimbane” Duraksson decided to spend more time at the forge, tuning his weapon and making final adjustments. It was nearly ready…

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Meeting back up, the adventurers investigate a Wanted poster. The city watch explain that the beast on the poster is The Four Horned Beast, the leader of the Beastman horde, which was recently routed at great cost by the army of Middenheim in The Forest Of Shadows, in Ostland.

Reports from the battle say that the army of the Four Horns turned upon itself, Beastman killing Beastman. The army is now believed to have split into smaller herds.

There is a 1000gp reward on the head of the Beast with Four Horns, partly for revenge and partly to prevent it from mustering such a powerful host in future.

Deciding to track the Beast, the heroes begin to make careful preparations. Tracking the The Four Horned Beast under the twisted canopy of The Forest Of Shadows will likely be their most perilous expedition yet.

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