Warhammer - The Depths of Corruption

Noblesse Oblige - Chapter Three
The difference between truth and justice...

Summary of Events

  • Arena confesses that Erasmus was blackmailing her, but denies killing him. She is dismissed from service
  • Search of the cart reveals a set of poison. Jakob says that Grethe was an assassin sent to protect him. She denies using poison, and puts herself to sleep as proof
  • Friedrich and Ruprecht get into a brawl, Ruprecht is outed as conspiring against his sister. Banished from hosuehold
  • Valanduil steals from coaches, uses it to bribe Everd into confessing that Darathee was previously suspected of poisoning her husband.
  • Darathee confesses to crime, says she was also being blackmailed
  • Brigita offers substantial bribe to pin blame for crime on Everd.
  • Party refuses to take bribe, but allows Darathee to go
  • Aschaffenberg very upset at confession.
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Noblesse Oblige - Chapter Two
Interrogating all of the NPCs!

Summary of Events

  • Inspection of Erasmus’s body reveals he appears to have been poisoned from close range. Other priests did not know what happened
  • Jakob Creutzfeld believes it must have been Beastmen, and wants conference to continue
  • Friederich Creutzfeld blames the Durrenbach, insinuates that he had an affair with Brigita
  • Grethe Rozenow claims to have seen nothing, was hiding with the troops
  • Arena Stretstorpe was coordinating the defense, can’t see Everd
  • Brigita Durrenbach believes that Friederich was responsible. Denies affair.
  • Ruprecht Durrenbach accuses his sister of orchestrating events
  • Darathee Durrenbach revales she is engaged to Jakob, but was not near the attack
  • Everd Setzingen asks for a bribe to reveal more information
  • Only lead presented was Arena and Erasmus had a history of bad blood
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Noblesse Oblige - Chapter 1
Two houses, both alike in dignity, torn apart by tragedy...

Summary of Events

  • Party dispatched to escort Priest of Sigmar to negotiations between two noble families.
  • Basic research into two families reveal history of feud and whispers of violence
  • At first coaching in, Bissil notices that Priest is praying for “forgiveness” for his sins. Unable to obtain more information
  • Arrival at vonAschaffenberg lodge, Creutzfelds and Durrenbachs refuse to talk to each other
  • Erasmus, Brigita and Jakob led inside for introduction of conference – Bissil accompanies
  • Valanduil talks to Durrenbach mercenary leader, who hopes talks fail for employment
  • Halion talks to Cruetzfeld mercenary leader, who is suspicious of an attack
  • During meeting of key players, mutants attack drawing party’s attention
  • In the aftermath, Erasmus is found killed.
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The Restless Dead - Chapter 3
A heretic is uncovered, and a battle is fought

Summary of Events

  • Zombie attacks, Bissil and Priestess quell her spirit and put her to rest
  • Other mysterious murders exhumed – found to be zombies and laid to rest
  • Next day, confirmation that the spirit does not reappear
  • Valanduil and Halion track body through sewer to near her place of work
  • Halion detects Necromatic magic leading to the sewers from a nearby shopkeeper
  • Rigor interrogates the nearby businessman, finds a suspicious one
  • Valanduil breaks into the basement, finds unresponsive zombies.
  • Shopkeeper flees into his basement. Pursued by party
  • Zombies inside of emerge from basement. Party flees basement
  • Valanduil sneaks back around to other side. Sneaks open door. Sneakily shoots necromancer.
  • Cake is had.
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The Restless Dead - Chapter 2
Investigations into a murder lead many places

Summary of Events

  • Second appearance of ghost in the morning, indication that body had been moved.
  • Search broadened outside of immediate area. Interview with Kaspar Knapp as to how the body was discovered
  • Name given to possible corpse: Annabella Hutten. Question of why she was killed, then moved
  • Family confirms she was missing for three days before body was discovered. She’d had no complaints so far.
  • Priestess of Morr will not allow exhumation without extenuating circumstances
  • Interview around Annabella’s job indicated several people had gone missing
  • During the night, Esmerelde Claus and Bissil enter the garden. Esmerelde convinces the Priestess through methods unknown to permit exhumation.
  • Annabella revealed to now be a buried zombie.
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The Restless Dead - Chapter 1
A merry day of shopping is interrupted by a grim spectre

With the injuries suffered by Valanduil tended to by time, he was on hand for the return of Bissil Dingson, and Halion Balfour, as well as to meet Rigor Klaus with whom their paths had never crossed despite their mutual association with Lord Rickard Aschaffenberg. The rescue of the town of Schlagenhugel had preceded the trio’s return to Ubersreik, and the group once again found themselves the talk of the town. They celebrated the way that they knew best: shopping in the mercantile quarter of the city.

Their purses were reasonably heavy as Lord Aschaffenberg had been appropriately generous with their success, but Valanduil had his eyes set on a much higher prize: a Hochland Long Rifle. An expensive piece of equipment to be sure, but with Rigor’s silver tongue, and the exceptional successes of Halion and Bissil backing him up, Lord Aschaffenberg was convinced to finance the weapon for the adventurer, and with great ceremony located, purchased and presented it to the Wood Elf – while also making sure to highlight his own profile in doing so of course.

Their escapades were put on hold together as the murmurings of the crowd gave way to screams. Off in the distance, a pale shape moved through the crowds, whining and moaning as it came. A spectre of a dead woman, hair streaming through the wind, came down the concourse and people scattered in nits wake. Naturally, Lord Aschaffenberg moved to calm the people, and his adventurers came with him. Confronted by the horrifying sight, Bissil and Valanduil both staggered and could not confront it, but Halion and Rigor stood their ground. All though drew close enough to the ghost to see a vision of death – a young woman, suddenly and brutally killed in an alley by an unseen assailant. As Halion asked if the spirit was that woman, it let out one last howl, and vanished.

Lord Aschaffenberg wasted no time in calming the populace that by the right of Sigmar he would see this shade cleansed. He, taking the form of his four trusted servants naturally. The group wasted little time in trying to track down the source of their vision, through a mixture of interrogation of where the spirit came from and investigation of the city, they located the alley that matched their vision, and where the ghost was said to have come from. There was no sign of any recent violence there, and as it had last rained two nights ago, it seemed unlikely that the death had occurred any time recently.

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Many Happy Returns - Chapter 3
The true enemy is revealed, and the new battle begins

The trip to the standing stones was laden with a sense of urgency. If the Priestess’s words were true, the disruption of the ancient circle of stones was responsible for the disappearance of the village in the first place, and it may well happen again if left unchecked. A quick glance by Halion into the magical realm confirmed that the Wind of Azyr was still rising, and so with Bissil, Rigor and Carmella at her side the group set off to try to save the village, as well as themselves, from becoming unstuck in time.

Upon reaching the great circle, Halion was able to confirm that they were ancient Ulthuan Waystones, usually built to harness powerful confluences of magic in the world. More disturbingly, Rigor realised that some of the trees that had grown in the centre were moving, and the spirits of the forests seemed to stand ready to defend this area. Though Rigor insisted that he had prevented the villagers from venting their ire on the overgrowth, his companions all insisted that the treemen be dealt with before they proceeded onwards.

Initially, Bissil and Halion were planning on using magic and raw savagery to draw the treemen out from the ruins, buying time for the ritual to be completed. A brief discussion on the relative speed of a walking tree concluded that the best plan was simply to begin the ritual, and then deal with the trees as they approach. Halion suggested a plan of lighting the ground on fire as a warning to the trees, but both Rigor and Bissil pointed out the obvious dangers in such a plan, not the least of which would be further enraging the spirits of the forest.

Priestess Farber moved forward to carve the first rune shown to her in her vision on the stone, and upon completion the treemen did indeed become aware of their presence and moved to charge. Bissil and the Captain stayed with the the Priestess as she moved to draw the next rune, while Halion, Rigor and Carmella began lighting torches with which to frighten or threaten the treemen into charging them. Bissil attempted to block one of the approaching trees from reaching the Priestess as she finished her latest rune, only to be completely bowled over by the strength of the creature.

As they called out for their fallen friend, Rigor realised that the treeman, though merciless in shoving Bissil aside, did not actually show signs of wishing harm onto the dwarf, and was instead proceeding towards the Priestess and Captain Baldrich, seemingly intent on stopping the ritual. Though they themselves had a treeman lumbering towards them, and both Halion and Carmella seemed ready to attack the creature, Rigor insisted that they wait for the tree to take the first murderous action against them before acting. With torches and weapons drawn, they watched as the treeman charged into the midst of them… and ignored them, continuing straight into the forest.

Now convinced there was more going on here than appeared, Bissil recovered his senses and charged the Priestess to make her stop the ritual. The Captain had already engaged the treeman that had charged him and, though not a match for the creature, was able to hold it off for the third stone to be ritually marked. Rigor began roaring at the man to drop his weapons and fall in submission to the treeman, and despite his clear misgivings he did as he was instructed and the treeman stopped attacking. Bissil knocked the Priestess over to disrupt her ritual, only to find that her appearance seemed to melt away with her leaving a cruelly dressed elven witch in her place. Pretense dropped, more elven raiders began emerging from the forest, some engaging the treeman that had charged into their midst and began to surround the group – their foe was chillingly known to Halion as the Druchii, or Dark Elves.

The Witch leader of the Elves drove a dagger deep into Bissil’s breastplate, drawing a savage wound and poisoning the dwarf, which may have muted his return blow – damaging her surely but not dropping the nimble, lightly armoued creature in front of him. As Bissil, Halion and Carmella turned their fury on the Elves that surrounded them, they were saved by the treeman that had previously engaged the Captain charging to aid Bissil, and in one contemptuous blow slaying the Witch where she stood. With their deception revealed and their leader slain, the remaining Dark Elves seemed not to fight the entire forest plus an angry mob of adventurers, and faded into the darkness.

The aftermath saw the rescue of many that the Dark Elves had taken prisoner, as well as a revelation of their plans. With more time to study them, Halion confirmed that the stones were an ancient Ulthuan method of travel, and that the Druchii were attempting to modify them to reactivate and link up to Naggaroth, their blasted homeland. A mistake in their ritual initially caused the surrounding area to move through time, rather than space, but had they succeeded this time a Dark Elf raiding party could have opened up in the heart of the Reikland, and launched an invasion on the unsuspecting populace. Hopefully with their leader dead, the survivors would not know the exact nature of the ritual, but the Captain pledged to keep a closer watch on the stone circle and prevent anything like this from happening again.

With the day most definitely saved, the group set out to return to Ubersreik, with no doubt the most successful Vigil of Schlagenhügel to date accomplished by Rigor in Roadwarden History. Despite their success, all quietly reflected that they could only hope that the Dark Elves that had escaped would have better things to do than seek vengeance on them for thwarting their plans…

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Many Happy Returns - Chapter 2
A Five-Year-Old Murder Mystery begins!

The reappearance of the villagers of Schlagenhügel was a troubling prospect, but Rigor resolved to settle it in a calm, logical manner. First, he attempted to rule out that these were ghosts or apparitions by finding a nearby cow – which had appeared along with its owners – and patting it to confirm that it was indeed solid. Mistaking his intent for interest, he was approached by a woman politely inquiring if the Warden was looking for resupplies for his journey. Engaging the farmer in conversation for a few minutes, Rigor was able to confirm that for this woman, it was as though no time had passed: to her, the forest appears to had suddenly and instantly encroached on her homestead.

Unwilling to put off her growing panic any further, she made her excuses to the Warden, and headed for the Town Centre, where much of the village had already gathered and was haranguing the mayor for an explanation as to what was happening to their town. Initially blaming the events on the perfidious nature of Elves, she promised that their town would not yield, and that Schlagenhügel would begin removing this marauding wildlife without delay. Remembering the warnings of Yarandir, Rigor quickly made an impassioned speech that, as a Roadwarden, he would be investigating this issue but urged everyone restraint and not to act without knowing the true nature of what had occurred. Fortunately he was soon joined by Bissil and Halion from the forest, and together they made a direct appeal to the mayor.

Though the mayor was relentlessly disinclined to believe them, she nonetheless could not refute that something unusual had happened, and as the town guard was needed to keep the village from falling into panic requested the adventurers to consult with a local Priest of Taal and Priestess of Rhya who lived in the forest, as well as to check in on a pair of nearby Dwarven lumberjack sisters who kept a small logging camp a short distance from town. Bissil felt that the task of talking to some isolationist Dwarven sisters who may not have seen another dwarf in years was best handled by him alone, so Rigor, Halion and Carmella went to find the Initiates. Bissil’s journey to the lumber camp was swift by war pony, but upon arrival he found the sawmill was in even poorer repair than the town, but worse one of the Dwarves lay dead in the ground, apparently stabbed from behind. An inspection failed to turn up the other sister, leading to him to race back to town to try and intercept his friends.

The trio who had set off for the small woodland shrine also arrived unmolested, but to find their destination empty. The shrine was in quite good repair, doubtless from the intervention of Yarandir, but there was no sign of either the Priest or Priestess. Faintly, Rigor thought he heard a cry for help in the woods, and beckoning his companions they set off silently in search of it. Though they lost track of the calls for a moment, Halion’s keen hearing eventually picked up a renewed call, and they stumbled upon the bloodied Priestess of Rhya. In shock, she said that she and her husband had set off in the woods sensing a disturbance, but had been ambushed by a mighty troll which had killed her husband and she had only barely escaped from. Urgently heading back to the village, the group filled her in on the events that had happened, and were met with the same disbelief they had found up to this date.

The debrief with the mayor and town guard was a troubling affair. A follow-up inspection by Halion confirmed that the Dwarven sister was dead by a sword point to the back, but any other clues were washed away in the intervening time. The mayor had accumulated enough evidence that she was prepared to believe their story, as not only was their town in disrepair, but it appeared to have been thoroughly looted seemingly in the blink of an eye. As the captain increased the guard, the Mayor and Priestess appealed to the people for calm, and to wait for further developments. The Priestess left for her shrine to pray for guidance, and the group turned in for the evening.

Come the morning, Bissil and Halion set off into the woods in search of more evidence, while Rigor and Carmella interrogated the townsfolk, certain that someone would share something of note. The Elf and Dwarf attempted to find the Priestess, but discovered her shrine showed no evidence that anyone had been at it since Halion’s visit yesterday. A further investigation by the river did reveal the horrible sight of a troll, devouring a freshly dead deer with its bare, bloody hands. Not wishing to tangle with such a beast, nor wish a confrontation, they circumvented the thing and moved deeper into the woods to try and find more evidence, but failed to find Yarandir, the Priestess or any sign of what had happened – though Halion worryingly noticed the Wind of Azyr was picking up again.

Back in the town, Rigor and Carmella were relentless in interrogating the town, and hit upon asking not for anything recently unusual, but anything of note. The villagers dredged up the memory of some odd standing stones that hunters would pray at for guidance sometimes, but those had been there since the founding of the village, and surely they couldn’t be important could they? Managing to resist the urge to kill them, Rigor ran to meet up with his friends to share the intimation that this was the location they sought, just as the Priestess emerged from the woods, saying that she had received a vision of these stones, and was convinced they were the key to this whole affair.

And so, united in the mystery of this standing circle, the group set out to either save, or doom, the townsfolk…

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Many Happy Returns - Chapter 1
A happy reunion is undercut by the whim of destiny.

The village of Schlagenhügel was not the ideal place for reunions: An Empire village abandoned after its people mysteriously vanished from its environs five years ago under unexplained circumstances. As the story was told to Halion Balfour and Bissil Dingson, when the coach arrived that evening it was to a town whose walls were unmanned, whose market stalls were uninhabited, and even the livestock were nowhere to be found – yet the town was pristine and untouched, with no sign of an attack or disaster to explain the disappearances. Investigators, Wizards and Priests all searched the town without effect, and over the years the mystery was replaced with urban legend, and the town remained abandoned. They would have no reason to go at all were it not a requirement for aspiring Road Wardens to spend a night there in reflection on the importance of vigilance outside of the Empire, and thus a perfect opportunity to get meet up with their old friend and ally, Rigor Klaus.

It was the last test for any hopeful Roadwarden to stay overnight in the empty town, and then in the morning wake renewed with purpose for their task. By request, the pair were joined by Lord Aschaffenberg’s retainer Carmella Ostwald to serve as companion and guard, and the trio set off to the village – Valanduil still requiring a lot of hospitalization after his previous adventures. The journey to the town was peaceful, as they were moving deeper into the heart of the Empire, where there were fewer border threats against their security which could harass them on the road.

Rigor was waiting for them in the village, and a pleasant reunion of tales of Imperial education mingled with the life-threatening terror that he had missed were exchanged, before Halion noticed through her magical sight that the Wind of Azyr was slightly stronger in this area. Convinced that this meant there was to be some new calamity that had followed, she insisted that they set out in search of the Wood Elf Waywatcher who was said to guard over these woods. Fortunately in the fading light, the camp was easy to find and the group met with the Elven Yarandir who had taken up residence inside of the forest.

The Wood Elf reacted poorly to Halion’s almost immediate questioning, but was won over by the fantastical charm of Rigor, letting the Warden know that he was there to watch over the woods of the forest to ensure that they grew in properly through the abandoned village, and negotiate with the wild spirits. Bissil believed him to be referring to the ghosts of the villagers, but Halion knew he meant the actual spirits of nature around here, herself being the victim of a rather mischievous one who tormented her when she began to magically peer around the camp. Promising to heed the Waywatcher’s warning not to interfere unduly with the forest, Rigor and Carmella headed back to the village, but Halion and Bissil – strangely unnerved by the events so far, elected to stay the night at the Wood Elf’s camp.

So split up, Rigor and Carmella made their camp in the stables at the run-down inn, while Bissil and Halion bivouacked in the forest. Despite Halion’s insistence that Bissil stay up on watch, once the High Elf was asleep, Bissil too passed into slumber once confirming there was no Elven food secreted away to steal. Thankfully the night passed without incident, and as the humans woke in the village and appreciated its charm in the early morning fog, the forest pair bade farewell to Yarandir and set off to meet up and leave this place.

En route to the village however, a bright flash of light seemed to pass over them, and both Bissil and Halion were shocked to find themselves face-to-face with an equally surprised deer, who definitely had not been standing in their way a moment ago. The deer swiftly fled, despite Bissil’s attempts to chase it down, and Halion again peered into the winds of magic only to find that the strange accretion of Azyr magic appeared to have moved on from the surroundings, leading her to believe that the destined event had now passed.

Their surprise was nothing compared to Rigor’s though, for as he patrolled the empty town, a flash of light again came over him, and both he and Carmella now found themselves surrounded by hundreds of villagers, seemingly going about their day suddenly complaining about the unexpected appearance of vast growths of foliage in their path. As they inspected the area, they saw that people were starting to panic over what was, to them, the immediate transformation and degradation of their town.

Silently, both groups of adventurers resolved not to leave until they could get to the bottom of this mystery…

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Edge of Night - Chapter 3
Wherein a joyous respite from talking and politics is had

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…

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