Prophecy of Damnation

'Too much room at the Inn' : The Reapers Bounty
Day 11

Reapersbounty

The party escape Grunewald Lodge in Lord Aschaffenberg’s coach and flee into the forest with the beastman herd in pursuit.
With the party are the surviving members of the household :
Lord Rickard Aschaffenberg (Nobleman): Badly Injured
Hans Kurtz (Coachman) : Smashed Knee
Captain Anders von Witt (Guard Captain) : Critically Wounded
Hanna Dralst (Servant) : Lightly Wounded
Manage to outrun their pursuers.
Join the main road at dawn.
Observe a great number of footprints, hoof prints and wagon tracks. Broken pots, pans and rubbish strewn along the roadside.
Aedaris finds a crumpled pamphlet.
Catch sight of fortified coaching Inn, the Reaper’s Bounty.
The Inn is entirely deserted.
The group take refuge. Jakob and Aedaris keep watch while Hanna tends to the wounded as best she can. Those inside have occasional feeling of being watched.
Later that evening, a coach approaches. It’s occupant is Father Johannes Seibolt, an Inquisitor of the Sigmarite church. With him are :
Nils Freiborg (Initiate)
Hans Volkman (Hammer Bearer)
Ernst Rotlich (Hammer Bearer)

Aedaris steals Father Johannes holy hammer.
Mutants sneak into compound via the old well, claiming they are only looking for food.
Father Johannes calls for their death and the Hammer Bearers attack. The mutants fight back. Aedaris holds Father Johannes at knife point to try an halt the fighting.
An elf appears on the roof and uses an arrow to pin Hans to the now open gate.
At that moment the beastman herd charge braying from the forest, straight at the struggling Hans.

The remaining mutants outside the gate panic and push their way into the courtyard to escape the beastmen.
Bosse, with a healthy use of his fists, forces his way past them to get to the still open gate. Hans is struggling to free himself from the arrows pinning him in place. Scores of beastmen charge towards him through the trees, in their midst is Korska. The hulking Wargor’s eyes and open wounds burn with fierce crimson light. His movement is jerky and stiff.
Bosse wrenches Hans free from the door, breaking the hammer bearer’s arm in the process. The mercenary hauls the stricken man through the gate just as the ungor vanguard reach him. The foul beasts blows glance harmlessly from his lacquered armour. With a thunderous blow Bosse smashes the ungors aside. They mewl and shriek piteously as the great axe tears muscle, sinew and bone. His armour now drenched in gore and with his feet struggling to find purchase in the slick mud, Bosse hauls the gate closed. But before he can throw the bar across, more beastmen arrive and begin trying to force the gate open from outside.
Several beastmen scale the outer wall and charge at Aedaris. He kicks Father Johannes towards them, knocking one of the fell creatures off it’s feet as it collides with the rotund priest. The elf then hurls a knife at his remaining attackers with tremendous force. But his aim is blocked by the flailing Father Johann and it is he who screams out as he is struck a savage blow instead. The beastmen press their advantage, attacking the now unarmed Aedaris with visciously serrated swords. The elf receives many blood wounds as is forced back to the wall. But as the ungors move in for the kill against their helpless prey, Aedaris swiftly flicks a hidden blade from his sleeve, and with lightning speed rakes the knife across their throats and faces in a bloody whirl of death. The remaining beast, it’s attention on the floundering priest, is completely unaware of the advancing gore spattered elf until it is too late…
Bosse manages to force the beastmen back from the gate and bars it
*Hans, rushes to Father Johanne’s aid
*Aedaris retrieves his knife from the squealing priest’s back and slips into the inn before Hans arrives on the scene
*Jakob struggles to stop Nak and Klaus fighting with the mutants
*As Hans staggers up the steps to help Father Johann, a large goat headed Gor clambers onto the rampart and attacks him. They exchange fierce blows, the hammer bearer unable to use his broken arm. Calling upon Sigmar’s holy might, Hans smashes the Gor backwards with a mighty swing of his hammer. As the unbalanced Gor reels back against the rampart, Hans follows up with a kick to it’s chest, sending it shrieking over the wall to land in a crumpled, lifeless heap.
*Bosse asseses the situation, and seeing the wood elf firing at beastmen now scaling the west wall he takes to the battlements. He spares a glance into the dark woods to the south as he climbs onto the wall. The huge hideous form of Nishka, his eyes burning with baleful aethyric energy, smashes at the gate with his saw toothed greatsword. Oddly he bellows is broken reikspiel, “Fools, left me to die. Should have killed when had chance. Will have vengeance!”
Beyond the stinking mass of bestial bodies, further into the dark wood is a humanoid figure whose hand movements, which are strangely in time with nishka’s own motions, trace daemonic red energies in the air.
*Bosse shouts to the elf to shoot at the malevolent magister, and with the archers efforts now directed to the south, several Gors scale the wall and charge towards Bosse
*Hans peers over wall. A second grappling hook is thrown over, pinning the hammer bearer to the rampart by his broken arm. Hans is wracked with pain as a beastman begins climbing the rope, grinding the bones in his damaged limb.
*Aedaris reappears in the doorway, clearly amused by Hans’ predicament. He produces a knife, gestures towards the attached rope and asks ‘Whats it worth?’
*Despite being in agony, Hans spits at he elf “to the hells with you heathen”
*Aedaris glares at the man, then with a grin, tosses the knife just out of the hammer bearer’s reach
*The Gors howl with bestial rage as they charge along the battlement towards Bosse. The mercenary hefts his greataxe in the air, and with a deafening roar rushes to meet the oncoming foe. The beastmen, cowed by the onrushing berserk fury that is the gore spattered Bosse, falter in their advance and begin a hasty retreat back to their ropeladder.
*Bosse tears into the beastmen, taking advantage of their fear. He fells one with a mighty blow before it can even raise it’s maul in defense. The remaining beasts lash out wildly, their wicked blades piercing the mercenary’s patchwork armour. But Bosse is unflinchly and hacks his next opponent off at the knees. The remaining beastman is poised to strike when, with a loud bang, Jakob shoots it dead.
*Hans cries out in pain as he pulls against his broken arm in a desperate attempt to reach the knife but to no avail
*Nils hesitantly moves from doorway and retrieves knife for Hans.
*Hans hastily cuts rope, but before he can finish a beastman crests the rampart behind Nils
*Hans shouts a warning but the boy is frozen with fear
*As the stinking beast strikes, Feoder, the leader of the mutants, throws himself between the beast and the boy and is struck the fatal blow instead
*Hans, his arm now freed, pushes the beastman off the wall
*The hammer bearer stares down at the dying mutant, intrigued for a moment by the heretics act of selfless courage
*He makes the sign of the hammer over Feodor, and then brings his hammer crashing down upon his skull. Nils looks up at him, clearly shocked by Hans treatment of his saviour. “It is better to die for Sigmar, than to live without Faith, boy” the hammer bearer says gravely. “Now go tend to the Father, heresy grows from idleness!”
*Jakob, Bosse and Nak lead the mutants in defending the walls
*The fighting is fierce and bloody
*Scores of beastmen are slain, and many of the mutants killed. All are exhausted and suffering wounds, stress and fatigue
*The beastmen throw burning torches into the compound, setting fire to the stable.
*Albrecht, a mutant covered in gibbering mouths, spews bile and pus from his many stinking orifices to quench the flames
*Nishka, the hulking animated Wargor smashes at the gate. Bosse snaps Lena out of her grief at the deaths of Feodor and Piers with a harsh verbal reality check and gets her to help him reinforce the gate with one of the coaches and some of the corpses.
*Nak howls with glee as he builds a collection of beastmen gizzards in his beard
*Aedaris stealthily hides something bulky under the seat in the remaining coach before picking through the bodies of the dead for loot
*Dawn brings a reprieve in the siege and the beastmen withdraw deeper into the forest, but not without leaving a good dozen of their herd to keep watch on the inn
*Aedaris spies the wood elf now atop one of one of the towers. He approaches Lorinoc, who seems distrustful, and a guarded conversation is struck.
*Beastmen horns are heard in the distance as reinforcements join the herd
*Seeing the elves in the tower, Nak begins making disparaging remarks about them ‘spotting for pretty beastmen to rut with’, much to Bosse’ amusement
*Lena, now slumped against Bosse after fighting back to back with him, tells them to be quiet as the elves have obviously seen something important
*Aedaris and Lorinoc watch as several camouflaged wood elves rise wraith-like from the mist and silently slit the throats of the beastmen scouts. They signal to the inn that the way is clear
*Seizing their opportunity for escape, the besieged frantically load up the remaining coach
*Hans hastily tethers ropes to the outside of the coach to allow others to hang on the outside
*The injured are loaded into the coach
*Suddenly, Father Seibolt appears at the Inn doorway, shrieking with rage that his Holy Hammer has been stolen
*The beastmen hear his shouting and with a cacophony of bestial howling and snarling they charge back through the forest towards the inn
*Nak begins to drag the open the heavy gates, but Father Seibolt still refuses to get in the coach until the thief is found
*The bestial horde rushes forward
*Hans attempts to reason with the priest, but he will not listen. Bosse marches up to them, and punches the priest square in the face, rendering him unconcious. Bosse turns to Hans to gauge his reaction. The Hammer Bearer looks from the bleeding priest, to the open gate and the onrushing beastmen, then back to the mercenary. He glares at him for a moment, then grunts approval and shrugs, “To allow defeat is to blaspheme against Sigmar”. With the help of Nils they drag the bulky form of the stricken priest and load him unceremoniously into the coach
*Bosse dashes to help Nak open the other gate as the beastmen bear down upon them
*As soon as the gates are open wide enough, Kurtz lashes the horses and the coach rattles through the gateway
*Nak manages to grab one of the ropes lashed to the coach as it passes and hangs onto the side
*Bosse leaps for the coach, but loses his footing in the slick mud and becomes entangled in the trailing ends of a rope. As the coach picks up speed, the mercenary is pulled from his feet and dragged along behind
*The beastmen burst from the trees as the coach rattles past
*Bosse, being dragged along behind, is swung across the road, knocking the first beastmen from their feet as he tumbles past in a cloud of dirt and curses
*The crowded coach bumps along the heavily rutted road, dragging the mercenary with it, as the bestial horde howls in furious pursuit
*To be continued…

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'Should have chosen the Goose' : Grunewald Lodge
Days 9 and 10

Summoning

Meet Lord Aschaffenberg. Someone watches from upstairs window.
Household staff appear tired and lethargic.
Introduced to Piersson the butler who helps Berg to the makeshift infirmary.
Piersson was also injured in previous beastman attack and has a bandaged face and hand.
Lord Aschaffenberg speaks to the party in private and asks them to investigate why the staff are lethargic. He invites them to the evening banquet and heartily recommends the beef. Vern Hendrick caught eavesdropping at door. Jakob heads to the library to look for the tomes sought by Lord von Walder.
Aedaris returns to the stables and gambles with the coachmen. Learns that their blunderbuss has been stolen. One of the coachmen is very hostile, the other is friendly but has sustained a smashed knee in the previous beastman assault. The stableboy just wants to sleep all the time, and is making a poor job of washing the Lord’s coach.
Nak examines the now disused forge. Finds an empty wooden case that used to contain a warhammer of some kind, but the box has been forced open and is now empty.
Berg treated by doktor. Mad dwarf, Korden, and several critically injured guards being treated in infirmary. The infirmary reeks of a pungent vegetative smell. Aedaris and Nak sneak into the doktors room. They find nothing out of the ordinary but note that the odd smell of vegetatiom is very strong within the room. Blind priestess warns Bosse that treachery is afoot. Is overheard by the gardener, a simple lad.
Johann witmesses a servant dropping a note that read ‘Goose is good’. He then proceeded to examine the parlour. Has sinister and cold atmosphere. Discovers eldritch, daemonic painting obscured by curtain on wall. The evil image of a daemonic eye sears his brain and erodes his sanity somewhat. He shrieks with fright and lashes out at the painting with magical energy, knocking it to the floor. His shouts bring others running, and Bosse hacks frenziedly at the painting but it remains unscathed. Gathering his wits, Johann flings the curtain over the image, obscuring it from view. Everyone is shocked at the discovery, especially Lord Aschaffenberg. Piersson turns pale with fear. Johann places a magic alarm around the painting and the parlour is put under guard. Piersson offers to summon the witch hunters at first light as they will know how to dispose of the painting.
Meanwhile, Nak investigates a series of sheds from which loud barking can be heard. Several large Tilean hunting dogs are chained in one shed. Nak enters a small room that serves as lodging for the master of the hunt. He makes a grisly discovery in a cupboard, the flayed corpse of a beastman. At that moment the hunt master, Olver Gand, returns and isn’t pleased to find Nak rifling through his personal effects. After a heated exchange of words, a fight breaks out. The dwarf smashes the hulking man in the face with his shield, turning his nose into a pulpy mess. Gand lashes out with a huge fist, connecting with Naks jaw and relieving him several teeth. They punch and grapple one another, but neither can gain an advantage. Sensing the stalemate, they settle for a truce and are soon sharing strong liquor and tales of soldiering. Gand is uneasy about going-ons at the Lodge, and has noticed that his dogs have begun to bark ferociously whenever Piersson or the Doktor are around.
*Dinner is served
*Beef is drugged – eaten by Johann and Nak
*Gand’s hounds begin howling during the meal. He excuses himself and leaves.
*Those who ate the beef fall unconscious
*Aedaris finishes gambling with guards. Goes to investigate hounds barking
*sees Gand crouched over the dead body of the blind priestess. He then leads one of his hounds to the rear of the lodge.
*Aedaris enters now quiet dining hall. As he does so he startles someone who exits to the kitchen
*awakens johann and Nak and discovers Vern Hendrick murdered in his own pudding
*Nak heads to the chapel while the others check the lodge
*the drugged Jakob has barricaded himself and lord Aschaffenberg in one room. Fires pistol through door at Aedaris.
*Berg awakens in infirmary with doctor about to slit his throat. Berg grapples with the man, eventually managing to break his neck, but being stabbed in the process. Falls unconscious.
*berg left for dead by johann and Aedaris.
*Nak finds Korden’s dwarven hammer hidden in chapel
*guttural horns sound in the forest as the beastmen assault the lodge
*Nak rushes to the walls to help guards
*Aedaris and johann attacked by cook in kitchen. Johann blinds her with goose fat while Aedaris stabs her
*discover secret tunnels in wine cellar
*piersson revealed as mutant conducting a blasphemous ceremony using the painting. Many of the household staff are also cultists.
*Aedaris attacks while johann runs for help
*Aedaris kills many but is unable to stop Rudiger being sacrificed.
*Aedaris slays the gardener, who killed the priestess, but is overpowered by the guardsman. He is left dying amongst the corpses of the cultists.
*johann runs blindly through the house looking for the others. He bumps into the coachman with the blunderbuss. The might firearm tears johanns fragile body to shreds, knocking over a candelabra in the process. The lodge quickly catches fire.
*berg awakens in pain and goes in search of alcohol. He steps over the broken body of Johan and is oblivious to the fire as he heads for the kitchens. Meets Aedaris staggering out of the cellar.
*the pair overpower the coachman and pursue the remaining cultists through the burning building.
*Nak and the guards slay many beastmen but several break into the compound. Gands hounds kill some but several reach the burning lodge.
*the beastmen attack the cultists in an attempt to get the painting.
*Piersson flees to the roof with Aedaris and berg in pursuit.
*Jakob and the serving girl he was with drag lord Aschaffenberg out of the burning building, and are nearly overpowered by a beastman in doing so.
*Nak and the guard captain, Anders Von Witt, fight Nishka, a huge, terrifying wargor
*berg falls from the collapsing roof
*Aedaris confronts Piersson on the rooftop. Piersson has almost completed the ritual to summon a daemon
*The guard captain is critically wounded by Nishka. Nak is heavily wounded, but with his last blow manages to fell the beast. He drags the unconcious guard towards the gate and the coach being hurriedly prepared by the remaining coachman.
*Piersson, realising he cannot evade Aedaris before the summoning ritual can be completed, proposes a deal to the elf. If Aedaris let’s Piersson live, he will finish summoning the daemon and send it to kill the man who sentenced Aedaris to death, Lord Heissman. The elf, who by now has learned that loose ends often come back to bite you in the end, rejects the offer by unceremonially stabbing the cult leader in the gut, twisting the knife cruelly as he does so.
*The sudden disruption of the summoning ritual causes a backlash of chaotic energy that shoots forth from the painting in destructive waves, instantly shattering the entire roof in a cataclysmic blast that sends crimson flames lancing into the night sky.
*Aedaris only just manages to leap clear of the explosion, throwing himself from the roof. He catches hold of the branches of a nearby tree and agilely flips himself safely to the ground. He spies Jakob and Nak loading people into the coach and leaps onto it as it begins to pull away.
*Olver Gand and his remaining hounds fight a desperate last stand against the remaining beastmen, buying enough time for the coach to break through and away from the foul herd.

Grunewald burns

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'Ah bloody hates forests' : Ambush at Grunewald
Day 8

*Journey to Grunewald Lodge
*Stopover in village of Pfeifeldorf
*Enter Reikwald forest
*Aedaris spies shadowy figures in the depths of the forest. They appear to be following the party.
*Nak complains about ‘bloody forests’ and insults are exchanged between him and Aedaris.
*As Grunewald Lodge comes into view, a large group of beastmen, led by the ferocious Graktar, ambush the party
*Aedaris kills a score of the beasts with his whirling blades before ‘accidentally’ hitting Nak in the back with a throwing knife
*Graktar smashes headfirst into one of the wagons, badly injuring Johann. The wizard responds by hurling crackling energy into the mass of beasts, setting their hides alight
*Jakob shouts words of encouragement to the men as he shoots his pistol from atop his steed
*Vern shouts to the guards on the Lodge walls for assistance. They are seemingly dull-witted and slow to react. Their inaccurate crossbow fire does however slay one of the beasts.
*Bosse becomes separated from the wagons in the press of combat. Although sustaining multiple wounds he manages to hack the limbs from several Gors. His triumph is short lived though, for he is struck in the leg by a stray crossbow bolt
*Nak jumps from the damaged cart and engages Graktar in a bitter and ferocious fight. Graktar almost succeeds in disemboweling the armoured dwarf with his iron tipped horns, lifting the dwarf off the ground and pinning him to the side of the wagon. But the dwarf takes advantage of his elevated position, and with a series of savage headbutts cracks the beastman’s skull open.
*with Graktar dead, the beastmen flee and slink into the shadowy forest
*the Lodge gate is finally opened and the wagons are driven hastily to safety

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'A Painful Acquaintance' : Meeting in Ubersreik
9th Pflugzeit, Imperial Year 2521

*Arrive in Ubersreik
*Nak brawls with dwarves from other clan over accusation of his ‘dishonour’
*Meet with Vern Hendrick, the manservant of Lord Rickard Aschaffenberg at the Red Crescent Inn. Vern is visibly suffering from injuries resulting from a Beastman assault againt Grunewald Lodge
*Aedaris shakes Vern by his injured hand, causing him much pain
*Jakob reminds them they are here to do a job
*Vern puts the party in charge of Lord Aschaffenberg’s wagon under the guise of teamsters.
*Leave Ubersreik at dawn the next day

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'Fire in the Blood' : The Journey to Ubersreik
4th - 8th Pflugzeit, Imperial Year 2521

*Leave Altdorf, bound for Ubersreik
*Rudiger Heiko drives the wagon in which all the men travel except Jakob, who has his own horse
*Nak and Bosse decide to desert and hold Jakob at knife point
*Jakob reveals that the food the men consumed before their release was laced with a potent, magically imbued, poison. Otto taught Jakob the trigger word that will cause their blood to burn with fire as they writhe to death in inscruciating pain. If Otto does not receive word from Jakob each month then he will active the poison. Only Otto can dispell the effect.
*Nak and Bosse begrudgingly rejoin the others.
*Aedaris appears amused at Nak and Bosse’ discomfort__
*Hostile atmosphere the rest of the way to Ubersreik
*Pass through Bogenhafen

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'Out of the Frying Pan' : The Palace of Retribution
Aubentag, 3rd Pflugzeit, Imperial Year 2521

And so our story begins, in the mighty city of Altdorf, capital of the Empire, the greatest nation in the Old World. It is the seat of Emperor Karl Franz’ power. The glorious crown of the nation.
Yet we are not concerned with the majestic spires of the Imperial Palace or Colleges of Magic, nor the vaulted splendor of the High Temple of Sigmar. No, for we must delve deeper into the city, past it’s lavish opera houses and grand parade grounds, deeper yet than the opulent town houses and market plazzas, further yet than the crowded tenements, seedy backstreets and reeking dockyards. For we must mingle amidst the vile underbelly of this great city, amongst the stinking scum and villainy that lurk in the shadows and drinking dens. For it is here that fate, in its unfathomable way, found it’s unlikely few.

A relentless drizzle shrouded the austere stone buildings of the Courts of Justice, making them appear even more miserable and uninviting in the early morning light. Locals referred to them as the Palace of Retribution, for the judges there were well known for handing out harsh sentences for even the most petty of crimes.
The most imposing building, the Imperial Courthouse, sits astride the ‘Widows Plaza’, a public execution ground. It dominates it’s surrounding with tall, guard patrolled walls, giving it the appearance of an ugly, squat fortress. And it is beneath the Courthouse, in the small prison complex used to house the most dangerous of accused during trials that our tale begins in earnest…

Johann shifted his weight as he tried in vain to ease some of the cramp from his aching legs. The damp stone floor upon which he sat was cold and uncomfortable.
‘I do believe’, he said to Nak, ‘that were I to own the Palace of Retribution and the Chaos Wastes, I would live in the Wastes and rent out the Palace.’
The sullen dwarf grunted, belched, and kicked him in the head. This was not the sort of treatment usually accorded those of Johann’s genius.
The room in which he found himself confined was barely twice the size of the average privy and stank three times worse. He shared quarters with six others, none of whom he would have, given the choice, selected as companions, owing to their lack of both decorum and intellect.  Each had a tattered blanket, except Oswald, the smallest, who had, upon the application of some little force, generously given his away to Boose, the largest. Yet whilst Johann had quickly realized that the hulking Middenland brute was obviously not to be trifled with, it was the darkly brooding elf Aedaris that really set him on edge. Something in those calculating, alien eyes told him that were it not for their confinement, and the presence of one of the elf’s ancestral enemies, that Johann would already be laying dead in a gutter somewhere bereft of his personal possessions.
The sound of footsteps outside the cell door broke his revere. Everyone looks up apprehensively. A key turns in the lock, the door squeals open, and two guards enter followed by  the ever scowling Sergeant Himmel.
‘On yer feet scum!’ he bellows.
‘Taking us to our last meal?’ asks Johann.
‘Yer last meal’ll be my boot in yer gob if y’don’t move. Now file out!’
You shuffle out of the cell, the heavy chains around your ankles clanking noisily against the flagstone floor. Two more guards wait in the dimly lit corridor outside. They follow behind Sergeant Himmel as he leads the way. You stagger along behind them as a heavy door is thrown open and you are forcibly manhandled into the chilly morning air, your eyes struggling to adjust to the wan grey light. The hackles rise on your neck and your pulse quickens as you look upon the gallows standing ominously in the centre of the courtyard.
‘Keep moving you bastards!’ roars Himmel as you are marched across the slick cobbles towards your impending demise.

A dour faced priest of Morr stands patiently beside the gibbet, his dark robes and lank hair slick from the persistant rain. As the ragged column of condemned approaches he begins chanting one of his Order’s grave litanies. Beside him stands an ominously hooded figure, his hand resting on the lever that would soon plunge the men to their agonising demise.

The men are lead onto the wooden platform. Rough canvas hoods rank with the stench of stale vomit and blood are forced over their heads. The heavy fabric blocks the light and muffles all sound. Then the heavy, coarse ropes are pulled over their heads and pulled tight, making it difficult to breathe through the thick canvas.

The Morrite priest’s invocations grow in fervour and volume. Suddenly, they stop.

With an audible creak of wood the floor is pulled from beneath the men’s feet and they lurch downwards, the ropes jerking them upwards as they pull taught. Their lungs burst with fire as their throats are horrendously constricted. Their legs jig around uncontrollably and their bladders and bowels evacuate uncontrollably. Unbearable pain explodes behind their eyes as pressure builds within their heads and their life is choked from them.

Sudden sensation of falling, then an explosion of pain in their knees and a savage blow to the head as they hit the platfrom heavily. Gasp for breath as ropes pulled from around their necks. Tendrils of snot and vomit dripping from their faces as hoods are dragged off.

Guards sneering down at them.

‘You sure these are the ones?’
’That’s what he said. Lucky bastards.’
‘Not that lucky. When he’s through with them they’ll be wishin’ they’d had their necks stretched instead.’

Two men still hang from the gallows. Excrement drips from their still twitching bodies.

‘Up, up, on yer feet scum!’ yells the Sergeant.

You are dragged back towards the gaol, and through a small door. After descending many a twisting stair, you are ordered into a low ceilinged chamber that smells of wood smoke and hot iron. You swallow nervously as you look around. Manacles and cages line the walls, along with grim instruments of torture; racks, grid-irons, barbed hooks and metal masks to name but a few. In one corner a man in a leather apron tends brands that glow in a bed of hot coals.
‘Eyes front!’ bawls the sergeant, his rank breath blasting your face. ‘Dress ranks! Atten-shun!
You stand there for what feels like an age while the sergeant glares at you, his spittle drenched chin mere inches from your own. Then, just as you feel your knees can’t take it any longer, a door in the opposite wall opens, and three men enter, stooping beneath the low archway.

Jakob Fesseln
Otto Zeitmeister
Tybalt de Houghsteppe

The sergeant salutes them, ‘’The prisoners, my lords’.
The young man’s icy blue eyes survey you from beneath a fringe of shoulder length dirty blonde hair.

‘Gentlemen, I am glad you could join us’, he flashes a predatory smile. ‘I must apologize for my poor timing, it was not my intention to leave you hanging around in the cold. Indeed, were it not for the foresight of my esteemed companion, he gestures towards the younger man in the dark blue cape, I may not even have arrived in time to offer you something you did not have an hour ago. A choice.
I trust your hosts have treated you well, as befits your station?’, a malicious grin plays at the corners of his mouth.
‘Bin treated liked princes sah!’ Himmel barks.
The blonde man flashes that mirthless smile again.

‘Their names and crimes, sergeant?’ he asks, his authoritative tone marking him as a man used to being obeyed.
‘Gladly sah’ bawls Himmel, moving to stand eyeball to eyeball with the first ragged detainee.

‘Aedaris m’Lord’, he yells, spittle flying. ‘This one’s a right thievin’ toe-rag sah, one of them filthy, stinking Reavers. Cock-of-the-walk of them what likes a good jemmy sah, could steal cheese from a Breton says they. Right cunnin’ bastard he is, and quick with a shank, mark my words. Stick you in the back sooner’n look at you sah. But then what do you expect from one of his kind.
*Leupold Konig : noblemans son. killed fellow officer in duel
*Nak Grimjaw : Wanted in Nuln. Stole Imperial hanguns from the Gunnery School and sold ‘em to dirty foreigners sah.
*Bosse : fatally striking an officer
*Johann Kepler : The worst of the lot. A sorceror of the foulest kind. Wanted for the multiple murder of innocent folk sah. Women and children sah. The temple say he’s bin summonin’ up foul creatures. Don’t know as I’d recommend him m’lord. The other three are wicked men, but this one sah, he’s the enemy!’

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‘But where are my manners?’ he continues, ‘I am Jakob Fesseln, agent and vassal of Lord Frederick von Walder III of Talabheim. My Lord is an honourable and powerful man with influence throughout the Imperial courts and beyond. Yet he does not suffer fools, layabouts or poppinjays. But Otto here has scryed that you are not frivalous men, and that you possess attributes, however villainous, that could be of use in furthering my Lord’s cause.

‘So, I make you this generous offer on his behalf. You can swear fealty to my Lord’s household and serve him gratefully in resolving a matter of no small risk, or you can hang from the gallows again this very eve. You will learn the nature of this ‘mission’ only once you have volunteered for it. The choice, however, is entirely yours.’ he says, his evil grin widening with every word.
‘Now, ’sirs’, give me your answer.’

All prisoners except for Leupold agree reluctantly
Jakob draws his heavy blackpowder pistol and shoots Leupold dead

‘Sergeant, prepare them’
‘Aye sir, with pleasure’ Himmel says, sneering at the regged line. ‘Lets be ’avin ’ol Reaverheart first’. The man signals the guards.

All prosoners except for Aedaris are forced into a small, caged off area.

Two guards lead you to the far side of the room where the man in the leather apron stirs the coals.
The guards kick your legs until you kneel. Your hands are shackled to a stained wooden bench and your grubby tunic torn off. One of the guards puts a spear to your neck, ‘Just hold still you bastard, this won’t hurt a bit’ he laughs sardonically.
The man in the apron picks a brand out of the fire. The glowing tip is in the shape of a broken hammer, the sign of the deserter. The torturer presses the brand into the flesh of your shoulder-blade and your body explodes with waves of searing pain. Your cries of pain join with the audible horrific sizzle of your flesh. Lights dance before your eyes as unconsciousness engulfs you and you collapse heavily to the floor.

Now that we have you leashed we can proceed.

*Jakob offers them food and water which they devour greedily.

You have been chosen for a great honour, and offered a clemency which none of you deserve. So if any of you attempts to abuse this ‘kindness’ by trying to escape, by betraying our company to the enemy, by killing each other or sabotaging this mission, on my honour I guarantee you that I will make the rest of your very short life a living hell the likes of which would make the depredations of the Daemons of the ruinous powers be like a Mootland country fair in comparison.
Do I make myself clear?’

The mission
Lord von Walder has heard talk of a Sigmarite Priest who claims to have found Sigmar reborn in the form of a child. He preaches that his claims are backed by ancient prophecy.
The Priest’s claims are being rejected by the newly appointed head of the Sigmarite church as heresy(Volkmar has travelled to do battle in the north).
This is causing a violent schism within the Imperial cult.
Lord von Walder has had dealings with the priest, Luthor Huss, in the past and thinks him an honourable and pious man. While Lord von Walder does not believe all the claims made about the child, he does feel that if Huss thinks them important then there must be something to it.
My Lord wishes us to join with Huss’ growing band of followers and report back about the child, and the validity of the extraordinary claims about his divinity.
Lord von Walder has a cousin, Lord Aschaffenburg, who has recently married into the Heissman family and acquired property near to where Huss’ crusade is currently camped. Furthermore, the Library at Grunewald Lodge is well stocked and may contain documents relating to Huss’ prophecy. As Lord Aschaffenburg has been encountering some problems with his new staff, he has agreed that in return for investigating the malaise affecting his household, he will grant us full access to his library.
So in short, we must travel to Ubersreik to rendezvous with Lord Aschaffenburg’s man, Vern Hendricks, and investigate the strange goings-on at Grunewald Lodge. Whilst there, I will scour the library for the texts asked for by Lord von Walder.
We will then attempt to locate Huss and his followers and infiltrate their encampment to learn what we can about the child.
We leave at nightfall. Are there any questions?

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