Paths of the Damned
Cast of Characters
- Magister Zachary Crane, Human, Apprentice Wizard
- Urgrimm, Dwarf, Shieldbreaker
- Natil, Elven, Hunter
- Quiby, Halfling, Militiaman
- Eduardo D'Silva, Human, Estalinn Diestro
From the journal of Zachary Crane, Magister
The tale of Magnus the Pious and his victory over the armies of Chaos is well known. While there have been wars and threats in the 200 years since, there has been nothing on that scale. Until now. This year the Chaos Lord Archaon invaded the Empire with five mighty armies. They swept down from the Chaos Wastes, ranks filled with mutant warriors, nightmarish monsters, and power-mad sorcerers. Flagellants and other prophets of doom declared these the End Times. And as these armies pillaged and burned their way through the northern provinces of the Empire, it was easy to believe.
- They say that Sigmar once again walked the earth.
- They say an army of wolves attacked the Kislevian city of Erengrad.
- They say the dead rose from their graves to defend the Empire.
- They say a mighty victory was won at Middenheim.
- They say a plague has choked the streets of Talabheim with bloated corpses.
I am in the town of Untergard in the Drakwald Forest. A nine-day battle took place here, as Beastmen tried to force their way across the town's great bridge. They were rebuffed but the price was high, my mentor Gregor was slain!. The town is in ruins and its remaining citizens struggle to survive. The Imperial army has long since moved on from Untergard, leaving behind only its dead. The only other man od education here is Father Dietrich
I have been in Untergard for several days now, as rainstorms of utmost savagery lashed the Drakwald. I awaken to find two things - the rainstorm has broken and there is a commotion in the nearby Ackerplatz.
We make our way to the square. Most of the survivors are gathered here. Quiby speaks to some people nearby - apparently Captain Skyler has an important announcement to make. We wait. The Captain eventually appears and speaks. He has received a letter from the Count in Middenheim praising us for our success in the recent battle. He has sent 30 loaves of bread and some bottles of wine. Suddenly one of the bottles break and the crowd scatters. I look round, somewhat confused. We see four mutants approaching across the bridge. Natil and Quiby fire ranged weapons but miss. I cast a Magic Dart which sizzles one but it keeps coming. The mutants charge and attack Urgrimm, who parries. Urgrimm then strikes, taking the arm off one of the mutants. Blood sprays. Natil and Quiby both fire at one of the mutants, hitting and shattering it's left hand. I fire another Magic Dart into the head of another of the mutants. One attacks me! Not allowed! Fortunately it misses. I fire another Magic Dart into its head, causing it to explode. Hah! The remaining one charges me but misses. I disengage but it follows and attacks, landing a mighty blow in my body. Natil slays it. The crowd cheers and Granny heals me.
We retire to the inn to celebrate our victory. Hans Baumer enters. He's been scouting in the woods and found some survivors from other villages. He discovered fresh beastman tracks, over 200 strong, moving towards the town. I suggest heading for Middenheim. Eventually they acknowledge my wisdom and agree to retreat.
The following day we set out for Middenheim. A long caravan of hungry, despondent people. Progress is slow but for the first few days uneventful. We reach the ruins of Grimmenhagen. The townsfolk are starting to rebuild. Urgrimm rides down to warn them of the beastmen.
A little after dusk 2-days later we realize that Granny is missing. We find her trail and follow. We find Granny, surrounded by some elves. Nartil reassures the elves of our good intentions. Granny has been gathering healing herbs. We return to the camp.
2 days later the scouts return with grim news - the remains of an ambush block the path and need clearing. The carnage seems to have been caused by Goblins. There is a sign to Farndorth. Granny seems to have come from there. Father Diertrich falls into a pit and is impaled on spikes. He gives us the relic of Sigmar he found and I swear to take it to the Temple of Sigmar in Middenheim. Natil kills a stag.
Granny disappears soon after. I search and find a note. Granny has left to settle a debt with the Sternhaur family. She is returning to Farndorth. The townsfolk ask us to find Granny. We follow and find Granny dancing around a bonfire with some large wolves. Thankfully she's not naked! The ritual seems to be one of vengeance. The wolves sense us and attack. We fight. Quiby shoots granny. She drops and the wolves run off. Granny is dead.
The rest of the journey is uneventful
From the journal of Urgrim
We easily find our way to the temple to hand the Icon of Sigmar. The priest, father Morton, is very impressed as it is an ancient icon. We are given a hammer pendant and a pouch of coins each.
We are taken to see the head of the city watch, we have a chat about the beastmen attack from the south. Someone steps in and whispers in his ear. We hear "Morten" and "murder". The guard captain comes over - father morten was found murdered and the icon stolen just after we met him. As we were the last people to see him alive we are under suspicion. He wants to take our weapons but I convince him otherwise. We are to help them find the real killer or get locked up, we agree and are given a writ that we are working for the city watch.
We return to the temple and are taken back to father Mortons office. The father is slumped over his desk with blank parchment scattered everywhere. Some of us search the alley outside the open window the others search the room. The father was killed by a blowpipe dart, the dart has magical poison. There are 3 even rodent like scratches on the windowsill. Outside the window is a single rodent footprint - man size rodent. Skaven. By shading the parchments we can get some of the fathers notes on the icon, he thinks that the icon was made from life.
Zak goes looking for a fine inn, most of us are happy with the Drowned Rat. There are very few things for us to buy. the humans go to report in as the night closes up. The demihumans go looking in the ruined buildings and sewers. Quibby finds that the grate on one of the sewers is easy to move.
The humans report to the captain who is very interested in the dart. It turns out he has a blowgun and some other darts from 3 unsolved murders in the last few weeks that he locates for us. They know that the skaven are real - they live in the tunnels below the city and were a problem for the city during the invasion, most tunnels were sealed to prevent them.
We meet up in the drowned rat and get a nights sleep. Breakfast is surprisingly good, we just carefully avoid asking details on the fresh "meat".
We go investigate the first murder: outside the theological college. We notice that the man was killed close to the window to the library. It takes a bit of a work and flashing the warrant but Zak is let in to examine the library. It is entirely possible that it was forced by a dagger, but it could just be the old building. Zak notices that in the Sigmar section there might be a book missing - the books are slightly more spaced out - as if to mask the gap of one that was missing.
Next body is the doorman of the dwarven engineers guild. The dwarves give us a wall of silence. We get nothing useful. Zak vows eternal vengeance against the dwarfkind for the receptionists shirty attitude.
The Shrine of Moor is where the last victim was handed in. The young comely priestess is chatty and happy to talk with us. A group of 3 men identified the body of Gerhart Krohern who was a devout follower of Sigmar. They paid in gold for a full funeral and left after it. Their leader was an imposing man with a scar down the left side of his nose. When we are taken to see the grave there is a strange symbol under the name on the tombstone. Zak recognizes the symbol as that of a hidden group of inquisitors within the church - the Order Fidellis.
We find the location of the body and spot some blood that leads us to the sewer entrance, this has clearly been tampered with. We split up - some of us rest to stake out the place at night while the rest of us go looking in the bars for the inquisitors, but we can't find any trace of them, including when we ask in the temple for Sigmar.
The stakeout notices something with a tail slip out of the sewers and climb the side of a building, one of them goes and grabs us. While that happens the skaven comes back, Natil shoots him with an arrow but it doesn't seem to hurt. Seeing the elf the skaven attacks, and smashes Natils face in. The rest of us arrive just in time to see Natil fall with blood gushing from his face. The Skaven slits Natils throat and runs.
The next day we go hunting through the sewers and follow the trial of blood to where a tunnel has been hacked through the sewer walls. We follow the tunnel. There is a skaven there that sets of an alarm before Edward D'silver runs stabs him and Zak blasts the repulsive creature with a magic dart. We form a battle line as more of them come charging round the corner, after a short battle we hack them to pieces.
From the journal of Quiby
Part 2 of CSI Middenheim: "Rats in a Trap"
With severed limbs and the corpses of disemboweled skaven all around us, we seemed to have achieved the impossible - we have made the sewers smell even worse! I will never complain about Urgrim's BO again.
The sound of running feet behind us puts all on our guard as a lone bedraggled dwarf appears in the gloom. Before we can fire he halts and calls out in friendship. He introduces himself as Bralton and claims he has tracked us and came to our aid as we saved his life when Urgrim sent word of the attack to Grimmenhagen a few days ago. Urgrim belatedly recognizes the dwarf and we relax.
Investigating ahead the tunnel turns sharply to the right. Where the tunnel turns there is a cave-in blocking another tunnel going straight on. Around the curve are three rough beds - the skaven's dormitory. I guard the rear tunnel as the others search. Zachary picks up some coins then dances about and shakes his hand violently - the coins were probably too dirty for him. Investigating the walls several interesting wall paintings are examined including a striking crimson skull . Inadvertently Corcoran trips over a wire and lets out a cry as a crossbow bolt hits him in the back. From deeper in the tunnel a replying groan is heard - damn.
They head on and Urgrim slumps to the floor apparently hit by a dart. Damn that dwarf can sleep anywhere. A hooded skaven appears from the shadows and fires another dart that fortunately goes wide. Tearing down the tunnel I get into forward cover position as the mage fires an ineffectual magical bolt and Bralton charges in to close combat. Corcoran heads back up the tunnel into rear guard position.
I fire at the Skaven and then deliver several good kicks to Urgrim and he turns over still sleeping. Combat continues for a few more seconds with the skaven taking two severe wounds before going down dead - just as Urgrim wakes up.
Examining the chamber Urgrim notes that the chamber is an ancient dwarven temple to Grugni. Interesting but is it significant? The frame to the icon is discovered but not the icon itself. A blowpipe and accompanying pouch of eight darts are also found on this skaven - the assassin! We take his head to prove his death and to prove that ratmen exist to unbelievers.
Returning to the city guard we hand over the skaven's head, blowgun and darts as proof. They are satisfied that the case is closed, even though the icon is still missing, and we are well rewarded. Time to celebrate!
Back at the inn, after bathing, we loudly discuss our success and possible options. A stranger enters the inn and approaches us - he claims to be the envoy of Ranolph a priest of Ulric and invites us to the temple. After delivering his message he seems anxious to leave - the cheapskate wont buy a round. So after drinking up and in good spirits we head off.
At the temple, after partaking of a fine brandy, we are introduced to a man with a scarf covering his eyes - he is obviously blind. He introduces himself as Ranolph and then sets off on some cock and bull story about a vision that Father Odo had about talking skulls, an artifact of chaos, servants of chaos, Khorne the blood god and the drakwald. I get that old sinking feeling ... though suitable rewards are mentioned of the monetary kind. So there is a silver lining or more likely a gold one.
He offers some minor assistance of the equipment kind, specifically healing draughts, which we gratefully accept, before we head off to kit up and do general research on the drakwald. Dawn sees us well refreshed and we set off on our long journey. Several days later finds us entering the forest.
The drakwald is dark, foreboding and oppressive. Making our way as quietly as we can - which for us isn't particularly impressive - we come upon a clearing. A hulking horned figure, possibly a minotaur, stands in the centre, next to an obelisk and in front of a large mound. He is scraping the flesh from a human skull he is holding. We spread into firing positions and let loose a salvo just as he sniffs the air and looks in our direction. He bellows in rage and charges at Braltunn as the battle begins. Our practiced melee tactics apply with the dwarves engaging while the rest of us stand off and pepper it with missiles. The minotaur soon lies dead.
We become aware that there are many old and brittle bones underfoot as we crunch our way around the clearing. Searching the mound a pile of bones and skulls rattle down to reveal a doorway with chaos symbols all around it. Which sucker is going to open this? Urgrim steps forward.
Lighting our lamps we head in to discover hideous paintings, battle scenes and image of Khorne, the blood god, scrawled on the walls. The passageway is of well built stonework that soon terminates in a T junction. As we make our way down one branch Braltunn suddenly stops and points at small holes in the wall at chest height- pressing the slab ahead and spears thrust out of the holes! We head back and take the opposite direction where we discover the same trap again. How unimaginative. Searching carefully a hidden door is revealed by both traps. They really need to employ more creative architects.
Pressing on, lights spring into being from either side of the T junction ahead. Peering around the corner the dwarves see two crimson clouds forming into two blood red humanoids. They look horrified and let out the alert. I wait pensively for them to come into view. They are truly horrific and seem to be writhing in pain even as they press their attack. Their attacks are equally horrific bolts of blood that are impossible to parry and which seem to attack skin directly - bypassing armor. Our standard tactics once again kick in but this time the fight goes less well and our dwarves take serious damage. Braltunn takes a serious blow that leaves him stunned and unable to fight! Fortunately we finish off the horrors before they can press their advantage.
The dwarves quaff both their healing draughts to make good their wounds. Refreshed we decide it is safe to continue. Pushing open a stone door reveals a stone fountain in the centre of a triangular room with four equally spaced skulls pouring blood from their mouths into the fountain. As we look on the skulls begin to rotate spraying blood into all corners of the room. The dwarves size up the situation and step in. Braltunn reels from the contact and looks wounded. The dwarves set about the skulls and quickly smash them to stop their vile poisonous spray.
Through another secret door a large throne room is revealed, with a statue of Khorne in the throne and bones strewn around the floor. The bones form into six skeleton warriors that arise from the floor. We stay in the doorway to make best tactical use of terrain. The combat takes some time as we engage the skeletons two at at time. We finish them off and once again bone fragments are strewn around the floor.
The first side chambers is littered with old and rotted paraphernalia. Nothing seems to be usable but we persists and find some things that may have some historical value: a banner, a dwarven stone hammer and a helmet.
The second side chamber is obviously a burial chamber of a chaos champion, with a wooden sarcophagus in the centre of the room. The sarcophagus is surrounded by a pool of blood. A makeshift bridge is made and the sarcophagus lid is smashed. The skeleton of the dead warrior wears plate mail, with great sword and a shield laid across him. He has a brass skull pendant around his neck - the artifact! The dwarves try and smash the chaos armor to no avail. Deciding that haste is important now we have the artifact we leave the chaos armor, sword and shield and head off back to Middenheim.
From the journal of Zachary Crane, Magister
Outside it is dark and raining and we have a 2-day journey back to the closest inn. We trevel for a couple of hours and then make camp. I take a watch - on returning to my bed the skull is out of the sack and looking at me! Or at least it appears to be. I rebag it, looking around nervously. I sleep and awake to see the skull looking at me again! I don't like this. I pass the sack with the skull to Urgrimm.
The journey resumes but Urgrimm seems distracted and falls behind. We see him stop and open the sack and start to put the amulet on. Quiby shoots him - arrow in the head. Ouch! I take the sack back. We put the sack inside several other sacks, each tied off to make it more difficult to get to it.
Towards the end of the day we reach the inn - the Three Feathers. Relaxing with a drink at one of the tables someone spots bestial eyes looking at the inn from the trees outside. The bag with the skull in falls over.
We retire to our rooms and close the shutters. There is a bad feeling hanging over the inn. We set watches. Edfuardo falls asleep but Quiby kicks him awake. It happens again - 1 hour later. The atmosphere is oppressive. I take a watch and hear a muttering from my bag. I point this out to the others on watch. By the cadence it sounds as though the skull is uttering a prayer or ritual of some kind.
Urgrimm runs into the room and tries to wrench the bag from my hand. We fall to the ground. Quiby breaks a chair over the back of Urgrimm but it has no effect. I continue to struggle and Quiby kicks Urgrimm in the head to no effect. Urgrimm finally wrenches the sack free and starts to rip it open. Quiby runs him through with a sword and I cast sleep. I secure the skull in more sacks.
In the morning we enquire about horses. There are none that anyone is prepared to sell at a reasonable price. We resign ourselves to walking. Surprisingly the day passes uneventfully as does the night. Towards the middle of the next day there is a wrenching howl from the skull. Everything goes quiet. We hear a horn and then another. We pick up the pace, looking for somwehere to defend.
Beastmen rush from the trees. True to form Quiby releases an arrow and misses. The beastmen surround us. I cast a magic dart at one. Urgrimm strikes the same one twice, felling it. Quiby fires another arrow, wounding another. One attacks me but misses. Eduardo is hit. I let out my battle cry 'Urgrimm!' and cast another Magic Dart. Urgrimm runs to help me - 'Dwarves Good! I cast another dart, killing the one Urgrimm wounded. The battle continues... We hear the sound of something approaching - a Centigaur charges Urgrimm. More appear - not good!. 3 horses appear further down the road - help maybe at hand!. 2 of the Centigaurs disengage the other attacks Urgrimm who parries. The riders easily kill the two centigaurs.
The riders turn out to be witch huners from the Ordo Fidelis. One has a scar on his nose. They question us and then escort us back to Middenheim. Their leader is Matthius Hoffer. He is accompanied by Jacob Bauer and Ulric Fisher.. They can be contacted via the temple of Sigmar.
We take the skull to the temple. The priest propose a toast. Father Odo, Quiby and myself take water for the toast. Odo falls to the floor, poisoned. He transforms into something. My skin changes into scales and I develop a third eye. Odo attacks and is eventually slain. It seems the water supply was corrupted with warpstone. We meet with Deputy High Priest Liebnitz. I keep my hood up and stay towards the rear. Liebnitz asks us to find out who's behind the attack but to keep it secret - he doesn't want the local population panicking. We need to keep an eye on the citys wells.
I make my way to my guild and inform them of my condition (scales, third-eye...). I meet with one of my mentors old masters - Otto of the Bright Order. He asks me to return the following day.
That night we pair up and stake out the wells. Zachary and Braltunn see a cloaked figure approaching one of the wells..
From the journal of Braltunn (The Muscle)
As I and the mage sit patiently in wait near to the wells, boredom slowly creeps in. Flicking small pebbles at a lurking, probably rabid, cat frankly does nothing to alleiviate it. Luckily, a number of hours into our vigil a hooded shape tries to sneak from the darkness across the far side of the square toward the well.
Before I can do more than squint to get a better look at him a magical bolt streaks from Zachary's hiding place, taking the hooded figure in the chest. Starting to my feet I make a run for him, a second dart severing a leg from under the cloak as I do so. Amazingly he has the strength left to pull himself away so I trample over him, leaping onto his back and staunching the wound with his cloak.
Saved from death he begins to spout an unlikely story about the city guard asking him to 'decontaminate' the wells by pouring in the contents of the sack abandoned by the well. Zachary takes one look inside, identifying the expected substance: Warpstone.
A believable story of extra work to support is family spews forth, until Zachary spots him trying to hide his hands. Cloak removed, and unable to hide them anymore, its easy to see a tattoo of a purple hand on the back of one hand, and a tattoo of the sign of Zentec on the other. Snarling he changes his attitude. "You're too late we've poisoned them all." I punching him unconcious.
We have a chaos cultist in the city! I lift him onto my shoulders and we leave to hide in an ally, concious the watch will be approaching soon. Quibby heads off to look for the witch-hunters, while we interrogate the prisoner - which takes very little prodding. He's one of only a few cultist's in the city; they were riven from another city and have gone into hiding in Middenheim. Franz Heller is their leader (so we're lead to believe), immediately after which he spits "His power is greater than yours!", looking to Zachary alone.
I kill the vile man and Zachary suggests we sever the his hands, to keep proof of the cultist's involvement. Instead of returning and getting some sleep though, we follow directions on a map found in the cultists possession to a warehouse, which we beleive they are using as a headquarters.
Cochran walks up to the main doors, whistling a fun little ditty as he does so, but before he can listen for activity inside the door swings open of its own accord. Footprints lead out of the doors, through thick dust in the large room. Peering inside, over Quiby's head, I spot a metalic buckle in the light and a sallow face hiding behind some barrels and boxes. Charging the spot at the back of the warehouse Quiby spots a man trying to escape down a trapdoor, which we're unable to stop him from doing. Below the warehouse is a rough carved tunnel, with a barricade of boxes and barrels 15 feet from the trapdoor. Luck favours me, a crossbow bolt skipping past my ear as I drop to the ground and a second bounces off the wall.
Enraged I charge the barricade, smashing it to splinters with my sword. Quiby, Edwardo and Cochran appear behind me in support as someone shouts "Get Heller!". Zachary begins flinging magical darts over our heads as the cultists engage us. I swing at the cultist facing me, overpowering him and darting through the gap to chase after the third, now fleeing, cultist. Cochran gouges the cultist who faces him, ripping his groin apart as Edwardo skewers his opponent through the heart with his rapier.
Two more cultists, and the third that escaped from me, appear from further inside the complex. The leader, most likely Heller, speaks in a vile chaos language then spits at Edwardo and myself. The substance eats into me injuring me greatly, which forces me to hide behind a cultist - we spar and I score a minor hit. Cochran and Edwardo run my opponent through and Heller summons a demon! Cochran misses a parry, the demon raking him in the face. Only Edwardo, of all those in melee with the demon, manages to shake off the terror, the rest of us standing still unable to move.
Quiby and Zachary continue to pummel Heller from a distance, a magic dart slicing through his forehead to kill him. Fate shines on Cochran and he avoids death by the narrowest margin despite the demon clawing at him. We all stand in terror, watching Edwardo duel the demon, though it pays him little mind and continues flailing at the marine. Once more fate smiles at him, though the second claw still rips through Cochran's chest and he collapses to the floor dead.
The demon turns on the remaining cultist, which prompts him to escape back up the trapdoor by speeding past Quiby, the halfling stabbing him with an arrow as he does so. Edwardo attacks, a flurry of hits cutting an arm from the demon, and it thinks better of its stay here disappearing back into chaos.
Heller is carrying a Tome: 'The Liber Mutandis'. Zachary adds it to his growing collection of (very) illegal books while we search the cave. There's a barrel full of warpstone which we take to dispose of and the usual collection of dead things. We head back to Klaus Libernitz to explain and receive a paltry 250 Gold, though this distracts us all from mourning the loss of Cochran.
As we leave the temple a passing guard shouts out. "They poisoned the wells. The forces of Chaos are among us!". We begin the trek back to our beds. Down the street ahead we spot an angry mob, with a man tied up - fake horns on his head, preparing to burn him alive as they scream "Kill the beastman!". I charge into the crowd, Edwardo with me, and we disperse the crowd with fists and elbows. After ripping the fake horns from his head the man tells us he's a money lender - big surprise.
Minutes later we round a corner and see a small girl, surrounded by city guards. Edwardo and I rush to her air, showing the guard passes we were given days ago now. They calm down, but arrest us. I protect the girl from them and we're lead away. A few streets away Klaus Libernitz, with 6 Teuteogen Guards, rescues us from the watchmen and takes us to the temple of Ulrich. "You've outlived your usefulness. Where are your friends?". We stupidly tell him, not realising our mistake, and are thrown into a cell. Klaus leaves, closing the door behind him. The last words we hear are "Kill the girl." and a scream.
The next morning Quiby heads to the guards and is told of Klaus's interception. Zachary returns to the college as he was told to.
Inside the cells Mathius Hoffer calls out to us. He was caught while watching the wells the night before. We, along with another prisoner Bill, begin to plot our escape. Bill produces some gunpowder, tricks the guard into coming over to the cell, then sets light to the powder filled lock. It explodes, the door swinging open, and they set about each other. Edwardo and I rip the door froms its hinges, then charge into the fray. A series of punches to his back knocks the guard out and we recover our gear. A kindly old priest heals Mathius for us and we discover that Klaus has left with his guards, taking a prisoner to the Palace. The prisoner is believed to be a high up member of the Church of Sigmar.
Under Mathius's urgings we head for the Temple of Sigmar. We arrive to another mob, threatening to burn the temple. "Burn the heretic! Hand him over!". Edwardo speaks to some of crowd, learning that there is a suspected Chaos worshipper inside.
We sneak inside via a passage Mathius knows of. Inside we're shown to the High capitula, Werner Stoltz. Jacob Bauer was caught by the watch with the book "The Liber Chaotis" in his possession and has been taken to the Palace for trial by Klaus. Ulrich Fischer excaped and came here, but he is known to have done so. Stoltz explains that the Order of Fidelis is being framed by Klaus, and that would lead to a fight between Ulrich and Sigmar worshippers, causing a civil war. Jacob Bauer must be tried and acquitted, or the Order must be handed over to the authorities. We need to find some way to convince all of his innocence.
Werner asks us to go to The Sword and Flail to recover the evidence there, bringing it all back to the Temple of Sigmar or the Square of Marshalls if we cannot do it in time. We head inside, discovering its a dive inside. I buy a round of drinks for everyone inside. Waiting till they're all at the bar pushing for drinks I take the opportunity to start a fight, pushing the nearest guy into the man next to him. A brawl breaks out in seconds and we head below into the cellar. There's a hole in the floor, dropping ten or fifteen feet, a rough ladder against one wall. Faint noises come from below, speech amongst them.
Two chaos monstrosities are rebuilding an altar inside, while a weeping man cries on the floor in a corner, and we charge into combat. We swiftly dispatch both beasts, a combined and well orchestrated attack from all. The bodies drop to the floor as Bill shoots the lock off the prisoner pen, letting the man out. He explains that someone destroyed the altar the night before, promising to return and save him. We believe that was Jacob, obviously, and we leave through the brawl above escaping into the streets.
Outside in the streets we explain to Johan Opfer what has happened and he promises to say what is needed to set Jacob free. Unfortunately when we arrive the square is packed, a pyre erected already, Ulrich Shutzman the watch commander and others awaiting the trial. Bauer is there, chained but safe. We catch the eye of Stoltz, are let through into the compound and discuss tactics with him. We agree that Quiby should stand for Jacob in his defense as he wasn't arrested and isn't a filthy mage. Quiby is eloquent, for a pint size hobbit. Opfer says his story, followed by Klaus who produces the icon we found in Untergard, with a chaos symbol on the back.
The crowd erupts, calling for the Jacob to be burnt. We crowd through the palace gates to continue the trial...
From the journal of Quiby
The icon is sent off for verification while the high priests of Ulric and Sigmar argue and posture pointlessly. The city is placed under curfew and we are "invited" to stay in the palace until this has been resolved.
Later Ranolph a low priest of Ulric comes furtively to our room. He brings the chest containing the skull that we previously returned and which should have been destroyed by now by the Church. He is worried it hasn't been destroyed and asks us to take it the collegium theolgica and ask for professor Alberecht who can destroy the skull..
We seem to have no problem getting the chest to the collegium and getting to see the professor. When the chest is opened the skull is absent. Instead there is the head of Johann Opfer! We have been had. Quickly we decide to destory the head before we are accused of murder. We descend to the furnace room and incinerate the head.
As we discuss the situation professor Alberecht draws out attention ot a bright light over the temple of Ulric. He fears something terrible is happening. He heads off to the palace to summon the guards while we head off towards the temple. As we near the temple a bright red light flashes from within. The templre doors are ajar and we tentavely enter.
The sight before is obviously a ritual of chaos. A teutagen guard with wild matted hair is before us standing guard. Beyond a circle of teutagen guards are chanting headed by high priest Liebnitz. They are all dressed in the garb of Khorn the blood god. The teutagen guards stand with their throats presented to Liebnitz who is apparently completing some grotesque ritual.We charge and let loose at the nearest guard. City watch whistles are heard in the distance
Quiby provides covering fire as the others rush to and past the guard. Leibnitz casually slits the throat of the first guard as Zachary tries to touch him with some magical effect apparentl unsuccesfully. Ignoring Zachary he moves to the next guard ready to slit his throat. The fighting continues ineffectualy and it begins to look hopeless. Zachary seems to be considering a backup plan as he withdraws from the fight and approaches the skull on the altar. Hmm.
We all surround the final guard trying to prevent the completion of the ritual as Zachary holds the skull and looks contemplative. Oh frak, can it get any worse?
Liebnitz kills the final guard and an unholy shreik goes up. Zachary is thown across the floor as the skull explodes. A bloodletter of Khorn appears where the skull was. Leibnitz passes out and the other guard bows down before the demon. It got worse.
Eduardo runs in as we all stand rooted with fear. Zachary and Bral soon join in the attack. Quiby shakes off the fear and for good measure makes sure Leibnitz is dead. Seconds later the others drop the demon. Leibnitz makes a dying rant about two other artifacts and return of some chaos god.
As Zachary puts the skull in the chest, a cleansing flame of Ulric sweeps over the entire temple cleansing the taint of chaos. We are all left with a unified white symbol of Ulric and Sigmar burned on our hands, and the voice of Ulric thanks us in our heads.