The revelation that the monstrous Skaven had been attacking the party of Baron Manfred vonHolzenauer was worrying to say the least. Though Bissil had managed to slay one attacker before it could succeed in its plan to tamper with the ale of the party, it was doubtful that the creature was attacking alone. Valanduil performed a brief reconnaissance on the well of the mansion to confirm that the tracks had come out of there, but it seemed empty for the moment. To Halion’s horrorc, the “poison” that the Skaven sought to introduce to the unknowing nobility of Ubersreik was in fact powdered Warpstone, nothing less than raw Chaos-stuff itself. The effect on the nobility would have been catastrophic, with no doubt dozens in their number succumbing to the effects of mutation.
Clearly the Skaven had to be dealt with, and though guards could be posted around the well, no doubt the creatures would find another way to infiltrate the party. Captain Pfeffer had enough guards to shore up the numbers in the courtyard and the interior of the party, but none she trusted to go plumbing the sewers of the city alone – none except a group of ragtag adventurers with a habit of overcoming the odds. Fortunately there was no need to drop any further hint, as Halion was eager to cleanse the world of this filth, while Valanduil and Bissil were eager to find more artefacts to sell – Bissil having already secreted the Warpstone powder on his own person for later.
The forewarning of the attack gave the group enough time to arm and armour themselves, and they descended into the sewer in search of the Skaven. The close, foul-smelling tunnels were enough to trigger stress and madness among the party, and though their journey following the tracks was short, the minutes seemed to stretch into hours down there. A combination of Halion’s observatory nature and knowledge about the Skaven, as well as Valanduil’s ability to scout ahead and follow spoor led the party to the lair of the beasts in short order.
Inside they saw two ratmen clad similarly to the one that Bissil slew above, as well as a few apparently lesser rats attiring them for another attack. Quickly, Valanduil and Halion took one of the assassins out from range, and then managed to kill the other as it closed in throwing warp-tainted throwing stars and attempting to use smoke bombs to close the distance. Bissil assumed his normal stance of hewing through the lesser combatants with ease, when a great roar shook the underground sewer and a beast as large as an ogre, but in the form of a rat, emerged from the inner chamber and began bearing down on them.
Halion’s magics, effective against the lesser rat creatures, seemed to barely damage the Ogre, and with a mighty swing of its talons it nearly disemboweled Bissil where he stood. Valanduil tried to find a weakness for a counterattack, when another rat stormed into the chambers, this one clad in the garb of a wizard, albeit one fallen to the Chaos powers. Complete with two small horns, he declared himself the Great Grey Seer Rasknitt, under whose machinations the night’s machinations had malevolently materialized. He probably had more to say, except this was when Valanduil shot him.
With an indignant squeak and a puff of magic, the Grey Seer vanished, leaving Bissil to hew another piece out of the Rat Ogre, and as it roared in rage, Halion’s magical dart blew the back of its head out, slaying the creature. Badly wounded, they nonetheless pressed on to find the Grey Seer with a few Skaven thrown between him and the adventurers as a living shield. The Grey Seer’s magic struck down Valanduil, and then by ingesting raw warpstone began to unleash death on everyone in the room – his own men included. Both Bissil and Halion were badly wounded, but as the Dwarf fended off the last remaining Skaven, Halion again unleashed her magic on the Grey Seer, slaying him where he stood.
Valanduil was alive, though barely, and Halion quickly got him out of the Warpstone infested lair – leaving Bissil to sweep up the last Skaven attempting to flee. Nonetheless the day was won, and though future patrols failed to find the bodies of the Skaven, the one corpse that Bissil had slain was still on display, and the trio were lauded if not publicaly than effusively as heroes, and it seemed that Lord Aschaffenberg’s star was truly on the rise, as he was now the candidate to beat for Marshall.
And as Morrisleib’s light faded, its last dying Warpstone fueled rays glinted on the devices Bissil had stolen from the Skaven lair, during those few minutes from which he was not being watched…