Maximilian Morningglory

Contents

Details

Size:100 lbs
Height:3'8"
Age:40
Eye Color:Dark Brown
Hair color:Corn
Distinguishing Features:Missing nail on left pinky finger
Birthday:
Astrology:The Gloaming
Dooming:A terrible stench precedes thy fall
Religion:Esmeralda, Verena, Sigmar, Morr

Titles and Notable Awards

Fieldwarden of Birnbaum (The Moot)
Slayed the Angel of Justice
Eternally dispatched the Dwarven Wight Necromancer, Skargul Grokinsson

Background

The tranquil lives of the Morningglory family were shattered one day as the restless dead from Sylvania crossed the land on some mysterious task for their undead master. Maximillian was out on patrol and wasn't around as his hometown was raided. When he arrived, he found his home destroyed and both his parents dead. His siblings were all missing. (A little GM fodder.)

Maximillian was left with no posessions and nothing to fall back on beside what was on him and his horse, Magnus. He now holds a burning hatred for chaos (he doesn't distinguish between chaos and undead).

Family

Parents killed by undead
Siblings (5) missing after undead attack.

Friends

Magnus the pony

 Note: As pure as Ulric's driven snows.

Bettino Bernoldi the Tilean at the Friendship House south of Stimmigan.

 Note: Pretty sure him and his wife are clean, but his son may tend toward Chaos.

Ludovic Hasselhoff Good for drink, a gamble, and an alley fight.

 Note: Clear of the taint of Chaos. Saw him in a Halfling bath.

Udrin Sor-Valdir Aloof, but secretly considers us friends. Some kind of magician

 Note: Should be clean. I'm confident elves can't be effected by Chaos.

Gustav Jaeger Priest. Always up for a good story or teaching me something new.

 Note: I was never able to visually confirm he was free from Chaos, and now he's gone.

Durak Brokkson Amiable, for a dwarf

 Note: I'm pretty sure dwarves can't be effected by Chaos, either. Unless they are undead dwarves.

Enemies

Undead
Chaos (mutants)
Druchii
Witches

Character

Maximillian Morningglory's Character Sheet

Journal

Maximillian Morningglory was hiding in the woods under an outcropping. He had agitated the wrong community.

The halfling had only been trying to be helpful. Everyone needed to know about the dangers of chaos and mutants. The fact that Dunkelburg had been intolerant to his speeches indicated it may harbor an evil secret. Maximillian wouldn't have felt comfortable remaining anyway.

He had been a simple Fieldwarden of the moot before an undead attack had left his parents dead and his five siblings missing. Since that time he had roamed the land to teach people that chaos was real and that no one was safe. Some towns didn't appreciate the warning.

It was raining in the woods, and the halfling had a small fire smouldering under the outcropping. His pony, Magnus, was tied up nearby, munching on grass. He was just weighing the benefits of a drier locale vs the risk of getting soaked and catching a cold when he began to hear scraping and voices from the rocks behind him. He stood up and moved to the other side of the fire as a sinkhole appeared and a humanoid creature pulled itself up out of the ground.

Maximillian gathered his courage and challenged the creature. "Back, Mudbeast!" The figure did not halt. Instead, others began to emerge from the hole. The halfling scrambled for his sling. A muddy elf pulled himself up from the hole, and Maximillian began to relax. Everyone knew that elves couldn't be affected by chaos.

The rain washed away the mud from the party who had emerged from the sinkhole. There were two elves and three humans. One human, the first who had emerged, was some sort of Imperial knight and had not taken too kindly to being called a chaos "mudbeast." Another was an affable human in fancy traveling clothes. He politely asked Maximillian where, and when, they were. The third human immediately stood by the fire and began writing. The elves talked amongst themelves and also spoke to the writer about a dwarf they recently left behind.

Maximillian offered to lead them to another nearby town, Stimmigen. He suggested that they not travel to the chaos-loving town of Dunkelburg, though the place seemed to pique the knight's interest.

The travelers exited the forest camp and headed down the path toward Stimmigen. At times they were encouraged to hurry by barks and howls that came from the forest. For the most part, it wasn't a bad trip. Maximillian was able to ride his pony and keep abreast of the party.

Around the time they were considering camping for the night, they came upon a post along the road that indicated a house set into the woods. They decided to follow this trail and see if they might find lodging for the night. Upon setting sight of the house, they could see a large Tilean sign roughly translated as "Friendship House." After proving they weren't imperial tax collectors, the party was allowed to spend the night in the tack house.

The owner of the home was encouraged by the party's interest in wine, and Maximillian offered to help in the kitchen. The owner's son was not impressed by the party, but did admit to a fondness for cherry turnovers. The group tasted wine and told stories, while the halfling made pastries good enough to win over the most hardened soul.

When the party retired to the tackhouse for the night, the scholarly members pored over some books and trinkets they had brought with them. The halfling listened on, amazed at the conversation that developed. This group was on some kind of serious chaos hunt. Maximillian sobered from his cheerful attitude, remembered the tragedy at his home, and decided to aid these travelers in their plight against the ruinous powers.

It turns out he might not have been the only one hearing these tales for the first time, as there was suddenly the sound of someone on the roof over their heads. They had an eavesdropper, and Maximillian thought he knew exactly who it was.


The Verenean priestesses are teaching me how to read and write! Let me tell of the amazing turn my life has taken in the past few days.

The group I had started guiding turned out to be a party of chaos hunters. They had a map and an amulet that overlaid it, showing the locations of pockets of evil. They spoke of these secret plans very openly to me, and I determined to join them in their quest.

The elf, Udrin, seemed to be the spiritual adviser of the group, while the knight seemed to be the voice...which is too bad, because he was quite overbearing. It seemed to me that Ludovic would have made a better speaker for the group, but when you are new, you keep these opinions to yourself. Gustav was the chronicler, and Farnoth was some kind of hanger-on to Udrin. It was difficult to tell their official relationship, as they often spoke their mellifluous elven language.

We were on the road early after our night in the Tilean tack-house. My companions were early risers, and didn't wish to be a further burden on the charity of the Friendship House. I guided them to the town of Stimmigan

We were welcomed into the temple of Verena, thanks to our human priest. They treated us with every courtesy due a group of heroes (which I'm not sure they were). The priestesses were very eager to take down our stories "for posterity," though I have no idea what the stories had to do with our backsides. They were also excited when I asked them to teach me to read.

Before the schooling, however, I took to the streets to gauge the local attitude against chaos. There were some who listened to my earnest warnings, and even threw me money, which I presume was meant to pay for leaflets to distribute. Others were less welcoming of the message, shouting insults to my parentage and my height.

Ludovic and I decided to get dinner at a place called the Tilted Gate. Inside, we were told they had a splendid halfling bath and cider shipped every day from the Moot. I had to try the bath, and I made Ludovic try the cider. I have to admit they were both great.

Ludovic initiated some games of chance, in which we both won significant amounts of silver. Not being a gambler, I was both surprised and joyous...until we left.

On our way back to the temple we were accosted by two ruffians who had lost money to us at the Gate. Ludovic distracted them, and then attacked before they could pull weapons on us. I ducked into a shadow and leapt out dagger first.

My weak strikes we ineffective and the bawds were vicious, kicking me in the shin. I backed off to use the weapon my kind are known for: the sling. Two stones later and both ruffians fled with cracked bones. I wished to chase the attackers down and expose the markings of chaos I was certain existed below their jerkins. Ludovic, however, seeing my injured state, picked me up and carried me back to the temple. He seemed unconcerned with allowing our enemies to live. I can only rationalize that unconcerned with allowing our enemies to live. I can only rationalize that he has never fought creatures like the ones of Sylvania for his very life.

In the morning, I explained our altercation to Udrin, who seemed unconcerned. Ludovic must be better protection than was evidenced in the prior night's fight. I checked my shin, looking for any sign of infection left by the mutant who kicked me. Thankfully I do not seem to have contracted his disease.

The elves discussed which direction they wished to go from here. It seemed like the conversation might continue for a while, so I asked the priestesses for that reading/writing lesson.

The passage above has been heavily edited by temple priests at Stimmigan for spelling and grammar. All effort was maintained to keep the details of events as related by the halfling.

Also, when this illustrious party left town, the church of Verena did make inquiries into the identities of the men who attacked the human and the halfling. The men were easily found due to the nature and description of the injuries. Neither man shows evidence of chaos mutations.


Our time as guests at the Verenean temple was soon to come to an end. They had wrung from us all the knowledge they thought we were worth (or that we were willing to relinquish), and the temple was excited to lodge some new guests from Bögenhafen. Ludovic and I decided on one last trip to the tavern known as the Bucket for some parting games of chance.

We were having a dandy time playing cards and making friends when the cultist scum from our previous tavern (and subsequent back alley) encounter entered with a grim patsy in tow. The two took a seat at the bar and sent their patsy to our table to join our game. It was at this point that I started assessing escape routes.

Ludovic charmed our newcomer with his glib tongue and free ale. I tried to emulate him, but my halfling has not yet wrapped itself around the complexities of non-pastry small-talk. Ludovic soon left me to the cards and went to the bar to join our foes.

Well into the night, the humans were quite drunk, and it was obvious that someone at our table had made out very well in our games of cards....and it wasn't Ludovic or I. Accusations started flying and weapons were drawn. Ludovic made his escape with a barmaid he had been wooing in his off time, and I slipped out a window I had scouted earlier. We left to obvious sounds of violence and death.

When the ruckus had settled, and Ludovic had taken off with is barmaid, I peeked back into the Bucket to see how things had shaken out. The evening's winner stalked past me out into the town proper. Inside lie three dead or dying bodies.

I entered to check out the bodies of our foes, to find the guilty marks of chaos on their evil bodies. I found no such marks, but there was some extra silver and brass they would never make use of again. That went into my pocket right before the barkeep sent me to fetch the watch.

Apparently theirs was a more insidious evil which left its marks on this inside rather than the outside.

On the morrow, the others rented a coach and began our travels to Ubersreik. They were in a hurry to get to the next destination and were none too sympathetic when I told them Magnus insisted on stopping at each shrine to Sigmar along they way. They made me untie Magnus from the coach, lead him over to the shrine, and catch up to the coach when he was finished.

The city of Ubersreik is very large, with stone walls. There were many other concerned citizens such as myself who were on the streets warning the ignorant throngs of approaching Chaos. I could learn a lot, and maybe make some money, by learning their oratory skills.

A couple things have come to my attention after the time I have spent with this group. 1) I may be in need of a bodyguard. 2) I have no idea how they make money. However, since I have had to pay for neither shelter nor food to this point, it is of little worry. If I am to pay for a bodyguard, though, I must find a steady source of income. This may be difficult with the group always on the go as they are. We'll see what the future holds.


Ubersreik is a river town of about 3500. They see a large river warehouse district and a crowded thoroughfare. Maximillian soon recognized that there were opportunities for "barking" on any street. He was soon approached by a tall man, "6d a day for 50 sheets barker." The man introduced himself as Matthis Maselhoffer, a printer's apprentice.

"Come to my master's shingle, Unterbaum's Paper and Ink on Alt Strasse in the Alt quarter no later than when the bells toll once past Abendessen for payment." Matthis thrust a bundle of broadsheets at Maximillian, bound by a hemp string.

Maximillian looked it over:

The Sins of the Common Bürger authored by the Richter von Reiklander (Judge von Reiklander) I judge the common man sinful and dishonorable in all activities…

"Ah, for all Shallya's Mercy, I'm not paying you to read it. Just hit the high points! Man is corrupt. Man is tainted. Only Sigmar cleanses and cleansing is only by sword and flame, blah blah blah.

"Mind you, Master Unterbaum just prints it, but The Judge," Matthis rolled his eyes and said the name with a drawl, "pays well and has his specific instructions: short half-ones, penniless dwarves, or begger elves. Pays is double for dwarves and elves if you know any."

Matthis shoved the broadsheets into the halfling's arms.

"And don't just think you can throw them in the tavern hearth for heat and a pint of apple beer. I have ways of finding out. Ah, blast it, quit reading it."

"How am I supposed to know what to tell people if I don't read it?" Maximillian wondered if he could get Ludovic to dress up like a dwarf... "Yet I'm already very familiar with Sigmar's tenants. My friend Magnus keeps me up to date. As a matter of fact, he would probably like one of these.

"I shall do as you request. Unfortunately my elf friend is neither a beggar nor prone to join me..."

Maximillian set to handing out tracts in his spare time, listening closely at the gossip of the big city:

"Brauzeit is the month after next, I worry for the braumeisters with Geheimnisnacht nigh. Remember last year?" "The spoilt beer! Agh, do not remind me." "The spoilt beer AND the forked tongues! all the forked tongues!" "Ja! I almost drank that last pint." "Osric is paying priests and wizard alike to ward his stocks this year. I hear he's even sent for a priestess of Valaya to bless the barrels!"

That night, Maximillian asked his traveling companions where they were expecting to be on Geheimnisnacht. Udrin admitted they would likely be in Ubersreik, unlikely to book passage on a ship from there to Altdorf until the Night had passed.

(Time lapse)

Unterbaum paid each evening as promised, and the 12d earned have been welcome. Maximillian saw a number of halflings at the print shop, all collecting a day's earning. Still the outsider, the others quietly reviewed him. He was pretty sure he'd seen them watching from afar. At Unterbaum's, Masselhoffer had broadsheets for all of them this pay day:

"The Coven's Reckoning," he said as he handed them to each halfling. "You know the Judge! 'Geheimnisnacht will purge the guilty. The fornicators shall be paid in blood.' Be sure to bark a lot about the flayed whore in the slums. Say something that the Coven arrives earlier each year. Whatever gets the sheet in a worried citizen's hands. A bonus to be paid for the next three days all the way to the night of 'mystery. Oh, one more thing, make sure to play up any rumor about Der Bär you want to add or are asked about."

Later that day, there was finally an exchange with the other halflings under Unterbaum's employ:

"Max Willowand and Thomas Alepuddle at your side!" exclaimed the tallest of the two Halflings, as they both tossed two or three dozen broadsheets into an alley fire stand. "You're an honest one to be sure. Watched you pass out all your broadsheets!"

"Time for a pint or two I think before Unterbaum's, what say Maximillian?"

"Max, do you want to tell him about those haughty elves following his rakish friend?"

Max shoved Thomas. "Of course, but we don't want Maximillian here to think we're spying on him. We're not spying on you of course."

Naturally Maximillian wanted to hear about the haughty elves following his rakish friend. It sounded absolutely fascinating! They spoke of discrete, cloaked elves that followed Ludovic with no one seemingly noticing them. Maximillian started to keep a watch for these elves.

(Time lapse)

Ubersreik's Three Days of Geheimnisnacht started at midnight.

Osric's Alten Schule tavern started getting crowded at noon the first day. The rumors of Osric's warded ale and wine stocks were well known in the town. A general call had gone out in the rumors that he was seeking all blessed priests and studied arcanists to aid in warding new stocks lest he run out before Geheimnisnacht. What he was paying was wildly reported.

Unterbaum paid 8d for 50 broadsheets each day in the run-up to Geheimnisnacht. The alarming headline one day: Judgement to the Flayers of Die Huren Strasse.

Women of questionable reputation were found flayed in an alley near the "red light" quarter. No sounds, no screaming, only masterful dissections of whores were found by the watch.

Fear that Ubersreik was to be given over to Slaanesh on Geheimnisnacht was whispered over pints.

Max Willowwand and Thomas Alepuddle pressed broadsheets to chests, male or female. They demonstrated that the subject's reaction, with quick reflexes, left a broadsheet in a tangle of a clothes and arms. The shouted curses and missed punches kept them both dodging and seeking the next recipient. A crumpled, tossed, or thrown back at the halflings, broadsheet still counted as "offered and taken."

Thomas ran across the street to meet Maximillian. "There! Max II." Subtlety was not a virtue of Alepuddle. Maximillian followed the arm pointing to the tall, but hooded and cloaked figure, across the street. The figure turned into the market crowd abruptly and with purpose to disappear behind a palanquin with four broad, naked-chested porters, and into the crowd.

Maximillian and Thomas were suddenly yanked back by their collars. Masselhoffer knocked both of them on the collar. "Too close together. The broadsheets, halflings, need to be all over the city, not just the market! Unterbaum is not paying you to stand around gossiping about pie or smoking pipes."

Maximillian headed in the direction of the cloaked figure instead.

"Yes!" Masselhoffer pushed the back of Maximillian's head. Maximilian was sure Masselhoffer pulled on his hair intentionally as he shoved him. Turning around, Maximillian saw Masselhoffer stuffing one hand in a pocket and pushing Alepuddle with the other. "Off you go back across the street!" Masselhoffer looked at Maximilian.

"What?!"

Maximillian zipped off after the hooded and cloaked figure.

He dashed across the street in the direction of the cloaked figure and ran headlong into the street crowd of the market, all standing two or more feet over him.

After what seemed like minutes, the crowd cleared for a moment in front of a tavern. Pushed into the crowd and followed closely by two watchmen was Ludovic.

The crowd folded around Maximillian again.

He followed the watch and Ludovic to the north gate watch gaol. The gaol and watch tower were stone, crowded by tall tenements and shops capturing the attention of many entering Ubersreik. A third watchman, ranking Maximillian assessed, caught up to Ludovic and his captor from behind.

Ludovic was passed to guards at the tower and shoved roughly though the door. The two original watchmen stood with their sergeant and accept something from him. The sergeant dismissed them both, and they departed across the street. Then to Maximillian's delight the tall cloaked individual he initially sought to follow approached the watch sergeant from the alley along the quarter wall.

A brief exchange took place that Maximillian couldn't quite see, and the watch sergeant let the cloaked figure into the tower. 

Outside, Maximillian assessed the watch house and gaol. It was two stories above ground with three chimneys, two on the north wall and one on the south. Iron grates covered a set of windows on the north side that opened below street level. An unhealthy air drifted from the south from an open sewer ditch fed from almost all quarters of Ubersreik into the River Teufel downstream of the pool. Two watchmen sat next to each other at the entrance.

Maximillian wasn't exactly sure what to do...He searched for windows to talk to Ludovic through. He presumed the window set into the street might provide a view into the gaol house.

Sneaking through the street to the window was possible; the guards were oblivious. Through the window, Maximillian saw Ludovic being shoved into a chair. A watchman counted coins on the table, and the tall cloaked figure stood behind in the corner. Someone was paid to arrest Ludovic, and Maximillian had no idea why.


Maximillian was distracted from the problem of Ludovic in gaol by wondrous-smelling meats in the nearby market. That is where the others find him. He told them the entire story of following Ludovic under arrest, and the strange cloaked man that was following as well.

The party went into the gaol to see about getting Ludovic released into Gustav's custody...after all, he is a priest of Verena. They were unwilling to cooperate, so Udrin disappeared for a bit and then returned wearing the form of the watch sergeant and with Ludovic in tow. The party beat a hasty retreat to Udrin's inn to formulate follow-up plans.

(This sitting was cut short due to internet connectivity problems.)


We were huddled in the church of Verena, safe from scrying and, hopefully, from the murder Udrin had committed (without my knowledge or express consent, I might add...I am no conspirator in this crime). We were warm and provided for, when I happened to mention wanting to find a bodyguard at some point and Gustav mentioned that Lady Auschaffenberg might be a cultist. That set everyone off, and suddenly we were heading out the door to visit Lord Auschaffenberg (via stopping in to look for a bodyguard...via my friends Willowwand and Alepuddle). I stopped for a holy symbol of Verena before leaving (seriously, they are just handed out for a shilling donation).

Maybe I should switch to footnotes instead of parenthetical asides. I'm not sure. I'm relatively new to this journaling thing.

As soon as we descended the steps and reached the gate, two elves accosted us[1]. Udrin thought they might be trouble, so he gave me some instruction before we reached the bottom of the stairs[2]. Gregarious Ludovic stepped out to meet them, thinking he recognized them from his previous travels. Apparently it was not an elf Ludovic knew and was instead some grump who wanted something Udrin has[3]. A fight broke out[4].

Luckily I had positioned myself near a lantern, as Udrin requested, and I was able to pull it down and cast a long shadow over the elves[5]. My shadow must have done the trick, as the near elf fell down screaming for help and the other elf ran off. Udrin and Gustav went after the fleeing elf, while Ludovic and I tried to tie up the first one. The elf just wouldn't hold still, and we didn't have any rope, so I whacked him over the head with my club. It was lights out for the frail creature.

We hurried off the streets, again seeking the safety of the church. The dark elf[6] wasn't talking, so I offered to intimidate him a bit. Nobody took me up on the offer. Instead they requested the high priest of the church to come interrogate him. The dark elf didn't answer many questions, and he started to get mouthy, but the high priest wouldn't let me rough the prisoner up[7]. I've seen what creatures devoted to chaos can do, and I'm not willing to give any of them any leeway. The priest is a naive fool[8].

I am not sure where we will go from here. Geheimnisnacht is only a few hours away. Things are getting increasingly violent, and I still don't have a bodyguard.

[1] So, what do you think of footnotes? They have their charm, I guess. We'll see how it goes.

[2] I listened real good and was at least 50% sure I understood what he wanted before things started happening.

[3] OK, it was the amulet I saw them discussing in the barn, but I'm trying to forget I ever saw it. It seems to be causing a lot of trouble. I need to maintain plausible deniability.

[4] Which is exactly what I had wanted a bodyguard for. These dark elves sure have horrible timing.

[5] I didn't know what kind of shadow he wanted, but it seemed he was going to protect us with the shadow. So I hunkered over the lantern and held my hands up, growling like I was a bear.

[6] Apparently they have a term for dark elves: Druchii. I hate to say it, though, as it seems somehow to violate my mouth. Also whenever I say it I feel like something evil is looking over my shoulder.

[7] I offered to pray to Verena myself, as nobody else was having much luck and I, too, had a holy symbol. Again, nobody took me up on my offer.

[8] But very likable. He's the good kind of fool.


Our previous attempt to leave the sanctuary was met with resistance from some dark elves. After the experience, Udrin and Gustav secluded themselves in their rooms to prepare for a journey out of the city. The entertainer and Maximillian decided to explore the tavern that was brave enough to be open this night.

Osric's Star is a tavern that had some troubles last year at this time. It's patrons were gaining mutations after drinking the ale. This year the tavern was putting a halt to that nonsense by having the ale blessed by priests of Valaya. They were going to take their blessed ale, burn every light in the tavern, and leave the doors open wide on the night that most people lock themselves in their houses.

A young Acolyte, Hiendrick, exited the temple as we were leaving, found out where we were headed, and asked to go with us for protection in numbers. It seems the acolytes were commissioned this dangerous night to relay chronicles of the night's events back-and-forth from priests stationed throughout the city. He had a missive for a priest stationed in the Star. We wondered what could be so important that a helpless acolyte would be sent out this night, but he would not share the contents of his missive no matter how we pressed.

Along our way, Maximillian noticed they were being followed by his friends/co-workers Alepuddle and Willowand. They came with a tale of our employer, the printer Unterbaum, working with Chaos! They heard him speaking with a "judge" and assumed it to be Richter von Rieklander, however, the voice that replied was a female. Also, when they snuck in to check things out further, there was nobody in the room. There was only a salt circle with strange symbols on the floor.

We took them and their information with us to the Star. There we made sure Hiendrick met up with the priest of Verena, Brother Ulric. Hiendrick gave Ulric the missive, and Ulric gave him one to take back to the temple. We told Ulric of the strange circumstances in the printer's workshop, and he agreed it needed looking into. He suggested we might do this, but we decided that Hiendrick might need protection on the return trip to the temple. We followed shortly after his enthusiastic departure (read: dead run).

It was fortunate in one aspect that we followed Hiendrick. While we were not able to save his life from the massive, shadowy creature that sprang from the alleyway to rend and eviscerate his defenseless body, Maximillian was able to retrieve the message he was carrying, though slightly bloodstained. He did this on his own, slinking through alleys to follow the carnage while Ludovic, who had previously volunteered to act at the halfling's bodyguard, ran in terror back to the temple.

Maximillan quit following the creature after he retrieved the message, though he heard it continue to bang around in further parts of the town. Instead he headed back to the safety of the temple. He met up with Ludovic outside the gates and apprised him of his find, but the human did not seem to be paying full attention. Maximillian also told Ludovic that he would not be hiring his as a bodyguard.

The two made it safely within the protective influence of the temple. Ludovic was exhausted, and Maximillian was covered in blood. Fortunately none of it was his own. The acolytes who gave them entrance took one look and started spreading word that the Angel of Justice was loose this Geheimnisnacht.


Maximillian and Ludovic crowd together in a secluded corner of the temple to read the letters they acquired in the frantic, bloody business of the last hour or so. One letter cautions to "watch for elves working with whores." The second letter is a retelling of the suspicious activities taking place at the printer's workshop this night. The third is a collection of Brother Ulric's observations as he sits at Osric's Star. This letter is just a few random things he has noticed or some rumors he overheard. None of the letters are full of intrigue, and we had no hesitation giving them to Gustav to forward to the temple leader.

The high priest convinced Gustav that his divine future lay in investigating the events at the printer's shop. At that moment, a runner from Udrin arrived to request our assistance in packing the elf's books. One way or another, we are again pulled out into the cursed night...against our better judgement.

We raced to the inn, barely arriving before a coach rumbling from the other direction. Before we can reunite with Udrin, an armed Halfling descends from the coach's driver's seat and opens the coach's door for a confident human. The human announces himself as Wolfgang Ostman, of the Temple of Sigmar. The Witch Hunter starts interrogating our party, with Maximillain excitedly offering answers.

Ostman hears about the evils at the printer's, notably the broken salt circle. He deputizes the group to explore with him. They find an eviscerated body in the back alley behind the shop. Inside, there is another dead body on the stairs. Upstairs, Frau Aschauffenberg hovers over the dead body of the printer Unterbaum.


While we were staring at the dead body of the printer and the witch who killed him, we heard a noise like a rock hitting the room's window. I looked outside to see Alepuddle waving frantically at me. He said someone was coming in the front door. I moved quietly down the hall and peeked down the stairs. There was a woman looking over the dead bodies below. I pointed the blunderbuss and told her to hold still, but she took off running. She paid no heed to my call, "Stop, witch! Running is proof of your guilt!"

I followed here outside in time to see the Angel of Justice (daemon) make another appearance, this time with Willowwand's upper body in its grasp. Ludovic appeared out of nowhere (note: He had enthusiastically jumped out the upstairs window), got one look at the daemon, and ran off again. I aimed the blunderbuss and pulled the trigger. At first nothing happened (note: I failed my BS check...however, on fortune point later...). Then the weapon erupted in an echoing "BOOM." Whatever shot Jaswick kept inside the gun tore the daemon to pieces. It even hit the nearby witch, though she ultimately ran off and we couldn't find her.

The daemon melted into a colorful goo, which Udrin warned us to back away from. I sadly turned to the mauled body of Willowwand. "Alas, poor Willowwand. I knew him, Alepuddle. A halfling of infinite jest." But Alepuddle had long since fled the scene.

The next day was a blur as the church of Verena questioned me mercilessly about the killing of the daemon. Gustav and Wolfgang paid Lord Aschaffenberg a visit and found him to be guilty of collusion with his wife (or at least not stopping her). The next day we watched as him mansion was burned to the ground.

The Witch Hunter gave us each a script worth 230 GC in his name for our work on the case. I cashed mine out for 50 GCs, 5 gems, a necklace, and a bracelet (150 GC total). I took my gold and hired an ogre bodyguard at the docks. This monster hunting was getting to be serious business, and Ludovic had a habit of running when trouble arose. That and Jaswick wouldn't let me keep his blunderbuss.

The ogre, Tegort, was unarmed. That is not acceptable in a bodyguard, so I had to buy him a warhammer. That's 28 gold spent on a bodyguard so far....for only 1 month. This ogre is sure to bankrupt me on our barge trip to Altdorf. I believe we plan to leave tomorrow.


My ogre was a genius hire, but he ate all my profits. When we arrived in Altdorf, I had to set him free to find his family, if for no other reason than I couldn't afford to feed him any more. All I have left of my coin is 19 silver and a large collection of brass pennies. And the letter of recommendation Tegort signed in case I ever want to pursue a job as a cook (I'll never know how he talked Udrin into writing it for him).

Gustav blessed the three vials of water I bought. I can't afford a blunderbuss, so I think a crossbow would be my next-best choice in my new role hunting chaos. I probably also need some armor. I saw what happened to Willowwand. That was freaky.

Anyway...Altdorf. It is a humongous, writing, grumpy sea of humanity, and I'm not prone to like it...at least not from first impressions. The dock master was grumpy. He made me pay extra for my pony and told me I'd have to keep him in a stable. Gustav and Ludovic ran off ahead of me and wouldn't wait up. Udrin kept to himself, as always. I had to find my own way to the Temple of Verena, after finding a place for Magnus for the night.

At least the temple accepted us like wandering heroes. I'll never get tired of telling these priests about killing the daemon of Ubersreik. Well, I say I'll never get tired, however I fell asleep telling them about our journeys to Altdorf.

The next morning Udrin started accusing Gustav of something or other over breakfast. He wouldn't come out and say what it was, but it got Gustav frustrated enough to bid us farewell. It is as shame. Gustav was a friendly fellow. He taught Ludovic and I Tilean on the way down the river. He's always provided a place for us to stay during our travels. I'll miss the priest as he heads off on his own to Helmgart. Ludovic tried to talk him out of it, but Gustav was resolute.

One thing I wish to look into while I'm in the temple is a book Gustav mentioned. It's called Tiermann's Treaty, and apparently it speaks of elven vampires. To this point, I had assumed that elves were unable to be affected by chaos. This could change everything.

I'm not sure, exactly, what we're doing here, how long we'll be here, or where we're going afterward. All I know is that you can buy anything in this city, and I have some shopping to do. The Verenans say the best place to buy equipment is on the Three Toll Bridge. I plan to head there after discussing the future with the rest of the party.


Maximilian was overwhelmed initially by the size of the city. Halflings seemed to have a certain amount of respect in the capital of the Empire. The barkers on every corner handed out flyers of every imaginable cause or doom. The scents of Halfling cooking seemed to come from every restaurant, tavern or hostel he passed. And magic seemed to be everywhere, or magic users at very least, and not the spiritual kind, but secular practitioners of the "Winds of Chaos"! Never had Maximilian seen so many openly wearing robes that identify them as being touched by Chaos itself! Where were the Templars of Sigmar? This out in the open practice or study made the honest Halfling barker appear crazy (and those screaming messages he was most sympathetic too looked the poorest and most crazed). But opportunity landed right in his grasp at the mention of Druchii in Bretonnia. Maximilian knew these elves and the Imperial Army needed barkers to muster new recruits.

Now, where was the garrison?

Maximillian grabbed the nearest military-looking passerby and asked where the garrison was. On his way there, he practiced a new spiel on the milling populace: "Evil elves attack in Brettonia! Loyal citizen are needed to bolster the ranks of our neighbors! You can't count on a Brettonian to protect your borders! Chaos is on its way here frome the west! Sign up for the Imperial Infantry! This way! With me! Citizens will be duly compensated for their heroic deeds in these perilous times!"

With similar encouraging words, Maximillian led 45 people to the garrison to sign up for the army on his first day of barking. The next two days would not prove so lucrative, but he was paid 3 gold for his three day effort.

On the third day, Maximillian spotted Ludovic heading toward the Three Toll Bridge. Eager for a change of scenery, he caught up with the human and followed him to the elf quarter where he was to meet with Udrin. First the two were reuinted with Harrond the elf. The elf suggested that his friend Farnoth was still alive, if captive on a druchii black ark. Maximillian found these tidings notable, though he didn't know Farnoth or anything about black arks.

It was comforting to once again be reunited with Ludovic and Udrin. It can be overwhelming for a halfling in Altdorf with no acquaintances. Udrin had serious tidings to tell the rest of the party. Maximillian was confused about much of the tale, but was led to understand that a fight against chaos for the survival of the very world was imminent.

(What follows is a rare translation of a journal by High Elves once thought to have built great cities in the Old World and crafted magnificent machines and weaved powerful rituals to understand the heavens. The journal may impart some wisdom to Astromancers studying the heavens and mastering Azyr.

The journal is thought to have been written by Geslaer Lightwing, a peer to the greatest elven magisters studying the Heavens. It also provides an often interesting perspective of dwarven craftsmen that worked closely with High Elven kind before the War of the Beard.)

Our journey across the northern plains from the cliffs was not without significant peril. Avfin Oldtower perished on the cliffs on the instant the ritual imploded around the armillary connecting us briefly to the space between the worlds.

The cliff was barely the width of our soles. Avfin pitched forward in shock and into the crashing surf far below. Torhir and Aelfisa say he did not scream; I meditated on this claim on the journey to the tower and temple. Know this: Avfin was dead materializing on the cliff face. … There are a few collected communities of primitives in this land on the plains. They are worshiping daemons and gods alike. I was able to trade a tribe in the foothills of the mountains west of the tower for crude inks and papers. Thesemenschen worship a god that could well be an aspect of Hoeth. The elders of the tribe record everything in an unintelligible script that seems to mock the spoken words.

Maximillian asked about Hoeth and was told he was the elven god of knowledge. From this he was led to understand that the journal spoke of early human followers of Verena, the human Goddess of Knowledge, Science, Law and Justice.

The group was somewhat at a loss where to go from here, when Ludovic regaled them with a tale of a place he had just heard of. Suderberg was said to house Dark Dwarves, as well as ancient barrows. The dwarven term for the place was "Grimdol Und," or Artefact Keep, and it was located to the north of Altdorf.


We were followed for two days by people in blue robes. It was like Ubersreik all over again, only this time it didn't end with an attack outside the church of Verena. Instead, they were priest from the Celestial College who eventually insisted we follow them to their college. We were given rooms and fed breakfast in the morning. However, for a magical college, the place looked depressingly...average.

At breakfast we were met by a haughty wizard who introduced himself as Master Ableheart Mullburger. What he was master of I do not know, as he followed orders from another, older wizard. He also did not seem to be master of his own temper. He did not wish to answer a few reasonable questions, and instead directed us immediately to his master.

The real master was an Astromancer named Ortolf Eiche. He was an old man with white hair and shaking blue eyes. I initiated small talk, but the old man only seemed to want to talk with Udrin about a place called Cairnmere or Tor Taigia. It is apparently an old elf village with an extensive library. These Celestial Wizards are almost as fanatical about books as the Verenans.

Ortolf did give me and odd look, and asked about my past association with mudbeasts. He also, disconcertingly, told me to beware sewers. This matches closely to my dooming, but I did not let on that I knew what he meant. He is a strange fellow, indeed; however, he has offered to fund our expedition if he is allowed to journey with us. I feel there is much to learn from the man, and many ways to torment his pupil, so I agreed to the offer.

I needed little in the way of supplies. Normally I can subside on whatever the trail will provide for me and Magnus. However, I did allow the good wizard to purchase me a set of halfling-sized chain mail as a show of good faith. Ableheart showed some initiative by trading in my large repeating crossbow for one more my size as well. There may be hope for him...after a few good practical jokes straighten him out.

Lastly, I asked for a reading copy of Tierman's Treaty to ride on the trail, and then stopped by the docks to re-recruit our old friend Tegort. I can't wait to be back on the open road instead of this stuffy city!


To call the craft a barge would be both dishonest to anyone that saw it and an insult to the captain, the barge owner and your host. With an 80ft keel, the single masted craft is almost a floating inn. A decent kitchen that seems to have been sized for a Halfling and quarters for everyone to pair, save Tegort. But even Tegort, in his last adventure with you is afforded cover from rain and sun by the canvased deck.

Maximilian spends the day cooking/prepping another meal for the crew (and Tegort). A meal is never passed without a bellow and a compliment from Tegort on deck as he checks his girth (aided by Udrin's plate barely eaten). Tegort loosens a knot (in a strap passing for a belt) and exclaims, "If only there was a barrel of ale to sun with Herr Morningglory!"

The day draws to a close and a cool breeze presses the Kristena forward, welcomely forward, to the confluence of the River Delb and Tablec. Just north of this meeting is Delb's Ferry.

Talk of Delb's Ferry is excited as the wind will bring you early, maybe before sunset. The ferry inn is a well known and fortified respite on the River Delb from the Howling Hills. A waypoint to and from Suderberg and points north.

The afternoon wanes and Delb's Ferry appears off the starboard bow as the clouds, long pregnant with water, burst with rain. The sky darkened by the clouds and rain add to the welcoming warmth of the inn at the end of the pier.

Everyone is soon soaked running for the inn.

Maximillian is happy to be somewhere that has their own chef. He wants to check the place out, and assumes Ludovic might want to join him. "This will be a good night for Ludovic to practice with that mandolin! These people need to hear a story or two about heroes."

Each of you are quickly soaked by the heavy rain dashing toward the Delb's Ferry heavy timber walls. A lantern waves over the wall and a shout can be heard over the din of the rain. The late afternoon has quickly darkened by the clouds and is briefly lit by lightning and then immediate thunder.

The eight-foot high gate swings wide to let you in and you are visually inspected by the heavyset guards and receive a grunt and a nod to continue. Ahead three men hold a lantern over a pit in the courtyard . They are laughing as one relieves himself over the pit:

"Me hopes it doesn't drown!" "Ha! I think it likes tak'n a bath"

As you approach the front door, boots, robes, cloaks, and leggings, soaked and now splashed with mud from the dash, the three men fall silent, looking each of you over.

Maximillian tips his hood, "Gentlemen."

Inside he removes his soaked cloak. "Rooms, sir, and accommodations for an ogre."

As Maximilian dashes in, Udrin and Ludovich pass by the men as they turn to the sounds of splashing behind them. Tegort's heavy footfalls are punctuated by splashes. He ignores the guards, each looking up at him, and equally pays little attention to the three ruffs over oubliette and moves to the front door and stands under the eve.

Behind Tegort, Sir Eiche and Mullberger dash toward the door.

Inside a large fire burns in the hearth, warming each of you as enter. There are nine others in the bar room. Four men sit together at a table near the fire. A woman stands over them putting cups on the table with a loaf of bread.

The innkeeper and a barback stand behind the bar. A solitary woman sits at the bar and stands as all of you finally enter. Rain and mud form puddles at your feet. A single man in riding boots sits at a table where tankards for three others sit with scraps of a meal on plates. He watches all of you.

"Ah... Ogre? Here... ah... yes, the stables. Few horses through here. The stables will have to do. They don't eat horses do they?"

He barely has a moment to wait for your answer before Mullberger interrupts. "No, they don't eat horses, woodsman. My master requires accommodations, as we all do. However, I must ask that the best and first be provided to Sir Ortolf Eiche, Magister and Wizard Lord of the Azyr Wind, Professor of Antiquities of the Celestial College, First Adviser to Baron Valken of Reikland."

Sir Eiche is looking about the room, surveying each of the occupants briefly.

"We have no... more... rooms to let...m'lord. The road wardens outside took the last."

A solitary woman stands at the bar, pushing a plate and a tankard away. "They can have my room. I ride for Altdorf tonight. Ready the ferryman keeper, I'll fetch my horse." Coins are pressed to the bar and pushed toward the barback.

The woman stands and passes by Maximilian. Maximilian gets an unwelcome feeling from her and steps away from her to be certain as not to be in her way.

"There... is one room m'lord. I'll have it freshened immediately."

Maximillian is taken aback, "I don't recall 'best and first' rooms going to Ike as part of the deal." Maximillian eyes the lady as she leaves the room, always wary of people who would ride alone at night.

Mullberger turns to Maximilian and offers a perfunctory apology then simply states, "Sir Eiche is your sponsor and your elder, allow him this luxury."

The woman exits the barroom without a further word and into the rain pulling a hood over her head.

The four men, dressed in pitch black robes, jerkins and boots, having been served by the maid, survey each of you. One finally calls to Ludovic.

"Hymnody! Do you play that mandolin? Sing us a song of the undead being reclaimed by Morr. For a shilling of course." The speaker slams a shilling on the table.

Udrin whispers to anyone paying attention, "Morrians."

Outside cat calls can be heard over the din of the rain on the roof and through the still cracked door. The lone rider in boots stands, disgust on his face as much as frustration, walks over to the door, hesitates on his exit, looking up at the unseen Tegort still under the eave and out of the rain. He exits quickly after assessing no immediate danger.

Ludovic replies, "Alas friends... I'm out of strings to play you a song tonight, but I'll gladly tell you a tale! But not about Morr tonight. Tonight is a night to warm yourselves with tales of glory!' Ludovic then proceeds to make something up about the Tibalt, Paragon of Paravon, Hero of Helmgart, who along with his trusty sidekick Mordrin slayed 3 dragons and was personally thanked by the Emperor.

During Ludovic's tale, the four road wardens, sodden to varied degrees, re-enter, tracking in mud and water. Maximilian, bringing Tegort a stein of ale and salted ham hock, allows them to pass at the door, but overhears the road warden sergeant say, "...foolish girl. She saw the creature in the pit. There are certain to be more in the woods this night!"

At the table, the sergeant quiets them to hear the tale of Tibalt.

The Morrians seem quite entertained by the tale of Tibalt as well as the bar maid.

Maximillian gets Tegort's attention and whispers, "Keep an ear out in case I need you." He then slips out the front door to check out what was in the pit. He almost checked it out on the way in but was turned off by urinating humans.

The rain continues unabated.

Outside, Maximilian pulls his tattered cloak over his head and heads to the oubliette. Max is taken aback by what he sees in the fading evening light (darkened by the clouds and blurred by the rain). A tentacle uncurls from the steel bars that serve as the roof. A regular hand grips the bar next to the rain slick and shiny appendage. In the blackness of the pit muddy rain water pours and a splash follows the hand and tentacle releasing the bars.


Maximillian used all of his bravado to insist that the roadwardens allow him to kill the creature in the pit:

"I am an agent of Sigmar, trained by the witch hunter Wolfgang Ostman. Allow me to cleanse the creature's soul and have my bodyguard dispatch it." The roadwardens stifled a laugh and insisted on taking care of the creature themselves once the storm let up. Maximillian threatened to not lend a hand if the creature escaped before then.

In the opposite corner of the inn, the Morrians had caught Ludovic's attention, asking him about the determined halfling. The leader, Brother Dieter, required an introduction. It seems he belonged to a cult of Dreamwalkers and had visions of a halfling in a place like this who would kill many vampires with blessed stakes.

Maximillian did the only reasonable thing and asked Brother Dieter to bless his stakes.

Eiche let out a scream, muttering frantic ravings about everyone in the room dying and the room being filled with blood. Mullberger did his best to calm the magister down.

Outside, from the direction of the stables, Tegort let out a battle roar.

The priests of Morr cast a spell to protect the room from unwanted intruders.

Maximillian rushed to the door, unwilling to leave his bodyguard to unknown danger.

Outside were elf crossbowmen shooting at Tegort and the inn guards. An evil looking female elf in a very uncomfortable looking outfit peered into the inn and cast a spell. Maximillian started loosing sling stones at the three elves surrounding Tegort.

The ogre soon dispatched the elves, and Maximillian focused on the female. He slung a stone that must have fractured her leg, yet she ignored him in favor of what she saw through the doorway. In a battle frenzy, spells were cast, Tegort smashed through elf crossbowmen and, Udrin and Ludovic appeared at Maximillian's side. The attacking elves, most of the roadwardens, and the innkeeper were dead.

While others tried to piece together what happened and cleaned up the mess, Maximillian grabbed a crossbow from a fallen elf and headed toward the oubliette. Tegort followed.

The creature inside was howling and shaking at the bars of his prison. Maximillian gave him one chance to calm down and leave the gate alone. The creature ignored his warning, so the halfling shot him with bolts until he moved no more.

In the aftermath it was found that the female who left the room to Eiche had headed down to our barge to kill our captain and his crew. Udrin's books had been pawed through, but apparently the woman did not find what she wanted. The party was left stranded at an inn with no innkeeper and a boat with no captain or crew.


A quiet mood hangs over the tavern known as Delb's Ferry. Attacked by a Druchii in the late evening, the morning brings the survivor's task of cleaning up the mess.

A pyre is prepared for bodies of the Druchii and a mutant, while a cell of Morrian Dreamwalkers give last rites to the rest: a fallen Roadwarden, the inn keep, the inn's ferryman and guards and the party's brutally murdered river hires.

Suderberg is days away over land on the thinly patrolled River Delb wagon trail and the party contemplates their travel plans.

The kindling is dry, but the sodden bodies of the mutants and druchii suppress the attempts to light the pyre.

The Morrians, having completed the last rites of the fallen seem to be equally frustrated by something. at the far side of the pyre. The Reverend Brother Dieter of Morr's Dreamwalkers in Middenland (as he took some length to explain after the dirty task of cleaning up had begun, but only after he assured Sir Eiche that he was indeed "first an ordained Priest of Morr, as are my companions, and a Dreamwalker by calling!").

The frustration seems to come from his initiates and they appear, animated, and suggesting something Dieter disagrees with, yet Dieter relents.

"Master Maximillian, may I have a word with you for a moment? My companions have suggested I discuss with you an opportunity, one not directly related to my aforementioned dreams of a halfling bearing a stake of power..., I'm sorry, it's just that we must return to the conversation of you joining us...but that is not my ask at the moment." Pausing to collect his thoughts.

"If I don't discuss this with you, and though you, maybe you may help me address the Magisters Eiche and Sol-Valdir, lest my companions broach the idea less...politically. And I must say, they have a good idea.

"So much is unknown about the dark elves and so far inside the Empire. If I had not witnessed it myself, would say that the witch was sent to assassinate the Celestial Wizards, instantly mutating as she did to strike him down.

"Do you know of the miracle of Ansprache von Morr (Speech of Morr)," asks the priest, looking down at Maximillan with the contemplative face of a grief counselor.

"Sounds familiar, but perhaps you should refresh my memory."

"Ansprache von Morr is a blessing of Morr that allows his servants to speak to those that have crossed over to Morr's embrace.

"The prayer is a long one, but with the proper components and the aid of my brother's prayers, I think Morr will allow us to speak to the vile witch before we destroy her body. We may also learn more about the death of your boat men.

"We just need the mirror in the snug and the one over the bar.

"Can you trust the groß Ohren Sol-Valdir? I fear if we ask Morr to speak to the dead witch we'll need to speak 'elf.'

"I think you will find Morr's blessings and the charge of the Dreamwalkers to your liking Master Maximilian."

"Wait...are you going to make a ghost?"

"Well, "a ghost" is a complicated matter of theology in the cult. Maybe we should discuss this with Udrin?

"Trust me though that Morr will take back what is his. He allows us only a brief visit.

"Ha! I just thought of what a powerful story Ludovic shall tell of the Dreamwalkers!" Dieter beams and pats Maximilian on the back, looking up and around for Udrin. 

"No, no. I'm the group's contact for questions regarding the undead. I was just verifying. Go right ahead. I'll stick around with my crossbow and my holy water...just in case."

Sometime during our talks: "A lot of rough stuff happens on the road, and sometimes my friends don't make it," Maximillian thinks of Willowwand's mutilated body. "I think, well, I should like to have a holy symbol of Morr with me. For when my friends don't make it and there is no priest around to send them on their way."

Dieter, the priest of Morr, sees Udrin and, practically pulling Maximilian along side, calls out.

Dieter turns for a moment to Maximilian and says, "Return to the pyre and have the witch's body set aside. We don't want it destroyed, yet. Wait for us though if the wardens give you trouble, but my companions will aid you."

Maximillian walks over to the roadwardens: "We're to spare her body from the flames until the priests can delve her mind for whatever information might remain." He starts checking over her armor/costume, trying to figure out how it works.


Brother Dieter went through his preparations (and a few drinks) but had no luck speaking to the dead dark elf. He retreated to an empty room in dismay. The other priests confided to Maximillian that there was the possibility Dieter may be delusional. When pressed, they backtracked, saying he may just be misinterpreting his dreams.

Later, Maximillian and Ludovic sat down with Dieter and talked him back into his faith. Because elves do not follow Morr, the Morrian should not have expected to be able to contact the dead elf. The priest brightened and went off to confer with the others.

The party spoke to the roadwardens and (for a small fee) came to the decision that the party now owned the boat and the goods the dead captain was taking upriver. Luckily, these goods involved gunpowder. Unluckily, the party did not have anyone who knew how to power this boat upriver.

There were a couple other boats coming down the river. One stopped and talked the captain into allowing us to hire a boatman (they don't need as many when travelling downriver as when traveling upriver). The boatman is called Pellensteiner, and it seems he's a raging drunk.

At some point, the Wizard Lord and/or the High Elf may come straighten everything out. Until then, Maximillian and Ludovic are working their hardest to keep moving in the right direction.


The barge was hastily rechristened "Bianca" after Ludovic's recent amore from Stimmigen. He, Tegort, Udrin, and Oswin were left to get the ship ready for sailing. Maximillian went after the absentminded wizards.

The tavern was on fire. The funeral pyre to burn dark elves and other chaos spawn had spread. It was heading from the pyre to the tavern, in the direction of Ike's room. Maximillian and Mullberger rushed to find the magister.

Ike was found and hurried out of harm's way. Passing back through the tavern gate, Maximillian found the priests of Morr milling about. His attempts to recruit them were in vain, and they begged off to further study the lead priest's dreams. However, a dwarf traveler chose that moment to round the corner and approach the group.

Maximillian cordially introduced himself and responded to the dwarf's desire for passage upriver. Maximillian was willing to offer a discount to the dwarf if he was an able boatsman (you can offer discounts when you're the Purser), but the dwarf had no experience in such matters. He did insist, however, that he was full able to pay fair passage price on the barge.

Maximillian properly introduced the dwarf, Durak Braksson, to Captain Ludovic and headed off to the galley to prepare for departure. He also hid the ship's alcohol supply, hoping to keep the sole skilled sailor sober for the duration of the trip.

Captain Ludovic charged Boatman Oswin to show his worth and get our ship moving up river. The process started haltingly and jerkingly, however, after a few rough hours, smoothed out nicely. Tegort settled mid-stern and took the rudder. Ludovic and Oswin took turns tacking the sail. We made modest progress before weighing anchor mid-river (the safest spot) for the night.

The night was quickly interrupted by wretched rat-men (I believe they are called Skaven) who had swam to the ship unnoticed and attacked the ogre. Why they focused on the ogre, nobody could tell, however, the swarm of rat-men overpowered the crew and capsized the ogre. During the battle, the vicious rats also cut the anchor line, and our ship spun out of control to the western bank of the Delb. Due to some mighty axe-wielding by the dwarf and Maximillian's sharp shooting, the ratmen were chased off.

We find ourselves beached on the western shore with a scratched up ogre and a half-conscious captain (the ratmen were mean to him also). We are without anchor and who-knows-what else after the brief attack. At least the Bianca is still seaworthy (or the proper word for rivers).

I am concerned at what tomorrow may bring.


(Meta: I was on vacation for sitting 36, but essentially Maximillian cleaned out the bilge, the crew got the ship riverworthy again, and we sailed upriver to Eldagsberg. There we had to stop because there was to be a witch burning in the morning.)

The night in Eldagsen's one traveller's inn proves to be very interesting for each of you.

The vodka, weak, pours cheaply and freely. Most staying in the inn are here to see the witch burn in the morning, it is the casual and oft raised to another minion of the Ruinous Powers brought to heel, by Sigmar's hand and hammer.

Udrin is getting curious looks. Whether the staff, wrapped and bound in leather, or the elven clothes and colors of wizardry that get frowns or stares turned away quickly on being noticed.

As tongues loosen Ludovic and Durak are finally held at the bar by stern gaze and the keeps large hands that do not release mugs paid for.

"The elf wizard is disturbing the guests. Tomorrow, they burn an Elf wizard with the witch. Caught him trying to steal a mule from Ott's." The keep releases the mugs. Maximillian can see his mug pressed forward with the others by the keep, but the clatter of chains outside catches his ears, denying his thrist.

The inn's door opens and a tall Sigmar priest fills the door and surveys the tavern. The silence finally falls in the tavern. A watchmen pushes past the priest. Dressed in clothes that have seen better days, yet pass for probably better clothes than many in the inn have seen in a long time walks slowly toward the bar. Keys and a heavy set of manacles rattle in the quiet tavern as each heavy foot lands.

Maximillian hops off the barstool and heads toward the priest, very glad to see him. "Are you the one purging the soul of the chaos worshipper in the morning? It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance, honored...?"

Maximillian bows to the gentlemen.

Udrin does not find being in the tavern to be enjoyable. The drinks are unpleasant and the company more so. He rises and seeks to return to the barge. 

Ludovic regards Udrin's departure with a shrug and begins moving about the room trying to lighten the mood and improve town/Bianca relations. Don't want them thinking bad of us because of an elf.

Durok continues to drink down the weak ale, remaining quiet, letting his eyes wander the room looking for other examples of dwarf crafted items.

After another hour or so he pushes back from the table, announcing "Well fellows, I am off to bed for the evening."

He retires to the dorm room, once again taking the time to look for signs of other dwarf craft items.

Durak passes the tall, broad shouldered, Sigmar priest, receiving only the briefest look on a stern visage that is scanning the room. Passing the priest, a curious relief, carved in heavy, old forest wood, catches Durak's attention. The relief is the newly minted icon of the Clan Kargin in Helmgart. Runes can be read on either side of the relief.

Durak is distracted by Maximillian's gleeful greeting of the priest as it carries over the quiet common room, only just returning to normal.

The priest looks down at the bowing Maximillan, regarding him with a stare. "Kleinerman, greetings to you as...," the priest abruptly stops, snapping his attention to Udrin as he stands to leave. The watch "captain" pounds his mug, splashing the contents over his hand and forearm, on the heavy wood of the dwarven bar. The room falls quiet again.

Ludovic, his back turned to the bar and talking to two barmaids, is startled by the pounding mug. The two girls look over his shoulder, wide eyed for a moment, the color draining from their faces and turn to the customers at tables immediately at hand to look busy.

Udrin is uncomfortable, and fears that the a mob may form. However, he gives the appearance of paying the humans no mind. He leaves coins on the table to pay for his fare, then turns to depart.

On nearing the priest, he gives a curt would nod, and in formal Altdorf Reikspiel says, "Good evening to you, Most Honorable Reverend of the Blessed Lord Sigmar." He then makes as if to depart. 

Maximillian presses the priest. "Sir? You were introducing yourself and about to tell me about the witch, before you were interrupted?"


Maximillian defused the tense situation in the bar by being forthright and friendly with the priest of Sigmar. Udrin also remained calm and as non-threatening as he could manage. In the end, the priest asked Udrin to translate for their captured "elf wizard."

Everyone in the party went with Udrin, but nobody could understand the conversation. The two were speaking a dialect of Elvish. The party watched as the conversation ended with light flashing out of Udrin's eyes and into the elf prisoner, who was thrown back against his cage. Udrin told the rest of us that the elf was searching for victims and that he would be no further trouble to the town.

  • Meta:* The dark elf captive activated some sort of magical alert that told others our location.

After the captive elf was questioned, the Sigmarite priest was more congenial to the party. On the return to the inn, Maximillian told the priest all about his friend Magnus, his devoutness, and his wisdom.

Maximillian also asked about the witch they were to burn. When did they find her? How did they know she was a witch? What was she doing in the house previously occupied by a local hedge wizard before he, too, was burned? Did they find anything of interest while searching the house? Why didn't they search the house for more clues? The priest had few answers and brushed the line of questioning off.

In the morning, the party watched the witch burning. Her last words were directed at the party, stating "My sister doesn't forget." She was obviously related to the witch in Ubersreik who had been following the party since Maximillian killed her pet daemon.

The remainder of the day was spent sailing the last leg of the party's river trip, from Eldagsen to Suderberg. Along the way, Maximillian shared his genius plan to remove the bilge from the boat: point the drains into the river and open up the bilge to use for more merchandise storage. Oswin also argued that any leaks drain to the bilge, but Maximillian suggested just getting rid of all leaks. Nobody wants a leaking boat.

At Suderberg, Maximillian headed to an inn to find a decent room. He and Durak noticed Mullberger hastily renting a room and then helping the weak Magister to it. The Magister seemed much weaker than he was previously, and the two thought they should point this out to Udrin. Maximillian was pretty sure that wizards had spells they could use to help such problems.

Udrin was above deck on the boat, washing his hands when they found him. The elf looked around, saw only party members about, and confided he had just found warpdust in Ike's room aboard the boat.


"Udrin, don't you think we should call Ike out on his warpstone use? I mean...that's kind of a chaos-lover thing to do, and I'm opposed to such horrific people. I'd feel perfectly fine walking up to him and demanding his surrender. Well...with Tegort...and you...and maybe Ludovic. Do you think we could get Durak to come with us? What about the town watch?"

Durak agreed that warpstone should not be played with and that we should confront the Magister before it spreads. However, Udrin was only concerned about Ike's usefulness to the party. As the part still had need of the Wizard Lord, Udrin wished to delay confrontation.

A short while later, Durak returned from above deck to mention to Maximillian and Udrin that Oswin was limping and it was due to one of his feet being a cloven hoof. As the dwarf and the elf discuss this issue, Maximillian headed off to get his repeating crossbow. He would not suffer a mutant to live on the boat!

The elf and the dwarf paid no heed as Maximillian walked by them, armed, and up to the main deck. He pointed the cross bow at Oswin and demanded to see the affected extremity. Ludovic, who was already talking to Oswin, took a step to the side.

Oswin retreated, jibbering cowardly, and Ludovic tried to diffuse the situation with calming words. Maximillian warned Oswin that retreating was proof of guilt, and shot the sailor in the arm.

The elf and the dwarf arrived on deck at that moment, and Udrin began casting a spell. Ludovic continued to try to talk Maximillian down, as Oswin cowered near the rail.

Udrin walked up to Oswin and touched him. The boatman fell unconscious, the crossbow bolt slipping out of his arm. Udrin revealed the foot in question to be fully normal. Maximillian retreated to the galley, contemplating the horrendous turn of events aboard the Bianca.

That night, Maximillian was beset by nightmares. He tossed and turned, sweat rolling off his diminutive frame.

Creatures of grotesque composition burst into the Morningglory homestead while the family was seated around the dinner table. Shambling monstrosities overran the room, destroying anything in their path. A lamp fell to the floor and lit the curtain. Father jumped onto the table and slammed his dinner plate aside a creature's head. The wall was on fire. The children scattered. Flames licked the ceiling. Mother exited the kitchen, butcher knife in hand. Smoke billowed, choking the fearful halflings. An inhuman beast grabbed father's head in one hand. A wall of fire obscured the entire view of the dream

Maximillian awoke, famished by the energy lost tossing and turning throughout the night. Tegort and the rest would be hungry, too. He wondered if mutating and returning to normal gave Oswin an appetite....

While Maximillian was cooking breakfast, Udrin packed his belongings for their long overland journey. The remainder of the crew was above deck, securing the barge for a prolonged berth. Maximillian was chopping leeks into scrambled eggs when the vision hit him.

The Magister's cabin glowed an eerie green light. The cabin door cracked open and a two-tailed rat ran out. The door opened fully and there stood Oswin, his right arm a tentacle large enough to wrap around a halfling's head. The tentacle popped open a jug of whiskey, and Oswin upended the bottle in his mouth. The liquid filled his mouth and overflowed onto the bed and the floor. He swallowed and looked at the halfling. 'Just looking for some spirits, master Maximillian.' The boatman walked out, and suddenly Maximillian was looking at Sir Eiche. The Magister sniffed green powder into his nose. 'I see your past, halfling. I see your family...burning!' Sparks shot from the top of his staff. The room went up in flames.

Maximillian came to on the hallway floor outside the Magister's cabin. As the vision faded, a voice echoed in his head, "My sister doesn't forget." Smoke seeped out from under the cabin door.

Maximillian ran to his quarters, grabbed his belongings, and headed up the stairs. Everyone but Udrin was above deck. "Fire! Fire! The Magister's room is on fire!" Ludovic and Durak rushed past the halfling and down the stairs. Maximillian turned to Tegort. "I guess you better help put it out." He then walked past Oswin to bring his belongings to safety. "See what your actions have brought to us, boatman. If this is the cleansing fire of Sigmar, we may not be able to stop it."

Maximillian filled a small bucket, while Tegort filled a large one. They headed to the companionway, and Maximillian started down. Tegort found he was too small to fit, so he threw his water down from the top. The large quantity of water hit Maximillian from behind and knocked him from his feet, spilling his bucket, and washing him to the feet of Udrin. The elf was standing outside the Magister's room, clothing and skin heavily burnt. Ludovic was inside, smothering the last of the flames.

"What did you do, halfling?" The floor, the Magister's bed, the wall, and the ceiling were charred. The porthole had been violently smashed open, as had the cabin's door. "You almost burned down the ship, with invaluable maps and tomes in the adjoining cabin!" The slightest indication that Maximillian may be the cause of the fire was enough of a focus for Ludovic's anger. The human glared at Maximillian, though he too was burnt, flesh and clothes, and exhausted from beating out flames.

Maximillian stuttered, "This...this was the work, the cleansing fire of Sigmar! He is ridding us of the tainted stone the evil wizard brought aboard! That foul magic that affected Oswin. He probably seeks to spare the rest of us."

"Stone does not burn, halfling." The elf gestured into the room with one hand and upon his person with the other, "wood burns. Clothing burns. Flesh burns. Stone does not burn."

Mullberger crashed down the companionway. "I heard the Bianca was on fire! Have you seen Master Eiche? When I woke up this morning, he was gone."


Two days travel brought us to the outskirts of the barrens in the Howling Hills. Sleep was rough. The howling is rather persistent. Indistinct voices call out as you try to fall asleep. I'm pretty sure it was undead. Udrin told me I have an overactive imagination.

Dark clouds were rolling in when we heard fighting up ahead. We were pretty far away, but there were figures on horseback fighting shorter figures on the ground. Nobody wanted to get in the middle of a fight, so we moved cautiously forward until we could get a better look.

Tegort was the first to identify a shape. He said the figures on the ground were dwarves risen from the dead. I ordered his attack. I cannot, will not tolerate the walking dead. The figures on horseback must be friendly.

The dwarves were undead, skeletal husks. However, the mounted figures were those evil elves! Tegort went after a dwarf, but an elf charged down an intercepted him. I took he dwarf out instead with a well-placed crossbow bolt. Ludovic gallantly defended Mullberger.

Tegort punched a horse in the head. I could see that the undead were controlled by another dwarf in gleaming armor. His eyes glowed an eerie blue. The only thing worse than the living dead are those that raise and control them. I took aim and started shooting.

Around us the fighting ceased. Durak had shown up at some point in the battle and dispatched a dark elf or two. The undead dwarves had fallen. Udrin threw some kind of magic at the dwarf necromancer before Durak walked over and started speaking to the creature. My mouth fell open in shock. I couldn't tell what they were saying, but Udrin could. He joined in the conversation. I shook my head. I still had three bolts left. I raised my crossbow, and killed the necromancer. His body disappeared.

I gave a shout of triumph at my latest great for vanquished. Thunder sounded overhead, and it started to rain. I ran up to the closest ruin to build a fire. Tegort started skinning horses in the rain.

The ruin had a door in the back and young Fickuld opened it. He has a curious mind, much like my own. I would have opened the door if Tegort hadn't had me cooking horse steaks at the time. He found a sarcophagus. Inside was the burial place of the dwarf I killed outside, which Durak and Udrin are calling a wight not a necromancer. Either way, a corrupt enemy fell to my skillful aim.

I told Fickuld to be cautious back there. I had warned of undead just last night, though Udrin had ignored me.

We looked around the burial chamber and found a trap door leading downward. Durak explored it and found it opened to a small chamber with a pit in the back. Discussion ensued on whether to try the pit or keep marching overland.

Tegort called me to finish the steaks (one side was getting too well done while I was gone). Udrin told me to leave while they decided how we were to proceed.

Back out in the other room, Mullberger was studying his spells, mumbling about being out of practice. Apparently he had tried to cast some spells during the fight, though none of us noticed.

If he was having trouble, I thought he might be able to practice until we got to where we were going. I asked what kind of magic he practiced. He said that Azyr magic was about looking into the future and reading the stars. It seemed a bad night to read the stars, with all the rainclouds and all, but I suggested he might want to look into the future to see which route we should take to our goal.

He got excited, and used a liver Tegort had claimed from a horse to cast his spell. He stated that the overland route seemed promising. I thought on what I had learned about wights, especially dwarf wights and agreed with his spell. While the supposed leaders were in the other room debating how to proceed, Mullberger and I decided we'd be going overland.


We attacked the front gate.

True to Mullberger's vision, we had no problem navigating through the remainder of the barrows, and the necromantic dwarf wights did not bother us in the least. There were four evil elves and a twisted female daemon of some sort (I will have to look more into these things when the time permits) guarding the gate. It seems the battle prowess of elves is overstated, as I'm not sure any of us were even injured getting into the keep.

I was going to kill another daemon, but Udrin banished her back to the infernal realms. Sometimes he's a killjoy.

Behind unlocked iron doors stretched an extremely long hallway. An evil elf was running up the hall, most likely to give warning of our appearance, but I swiftly took him down with my crossbow. We could hear chanting and see multiple shapes milling around a room at the end of the hall.

We headed up the hall until a large evil elf with a hefty looking warhammer came to the doorway of the room ahead and told us we were too late to stop his evil machinations (or something like that). Udrin recognized a prisoner chained the in room behind the large elf. It was a dwarf by the name of Mordrin, someone Udrin had told us was dead.

Though the dwarf didn't look very good, it didn't look like he was dead. From what I could see, he had metal attached to his head, his ribs, and one of his hands. Otherwise, he was completely unarmed and unarmored. He didn't look like he was really paying attention, so I don't know what's going on. We'll have to head up the hall and find out.


The party battled in the halls of Grimdold Und. The large, evil elf sent his minions to deal with the party in a most violent manner. Maximillian wielded his repeating crossbow expertly and felled two druchii and a daemonette. Tegort blocked reinforcements from an entire corridor just by standing in it. The minions were all killed, but not before the evil elf ushered his prisoners out of the back of the room.

It was found that a daemonette killed young Fickuld while Abelhardt watched helplessly.

The evil elf and his prisoners escaped down a hole we found out back of the previous room. Maximillian scouted out the scene before the party went down. There was a large room with another chaos orb. The prisoners surrounded the orb, apparently drugged into submission. The elf chanted.

Tegort volunteered to be the first down the hole, jumping because the ladder couldn't hold his weight. He landed less than gracefully. The rest of us followed. Epic battle was commenced.

Maximillian ran into the orb room, shooting his crossbow and ducking behind a fallen pillar. When he ran out of bolt, he pulled his club and charged a daemonette. Battle was bloody, but he dodged a critical blow and kept the daemonette busy until Durak could arrive and dispatch her. Maximillian proceeded to free slaves, starting with the dwarf everyone else was so intent on.

The evil elf was in the midst of a spell he could not stop. He was easily killed. Udrin began some kind of spell of his own...that took 24 hours to cast. The rest of the party healed, ate, and explored the complex.

The party returned to Suderberg. Not all the freed prisoners made it. Rations were scarce, and their body emaciated. The freed dwarf, Mordrin, was too stubborn to die on the trek back. The party returned to the Bianca and headed downriver.

There was a stopped at the burned-down inn, and Abelhardt seemed to have a vision. He may be an apprentice, but it was no secret his mind was befuddled in the fight. Nobody really believed anything he said. The party sailed to Altdorf.


Insanity

1 - Parents killed by Undead forces from Sylvania. Siblings missing after attack.
2 - Warpstone on Bianca/Oswin mutating/Nightmares/Burning the Bianca.
3 - Critical hit by chaos manifestation imps in leg.
4 - Critical hit by Skaven in my left arm.
5 - Critical hit by Udrin casting Pool of Radiance. Needed Fate Point to survive.

Kills

Angel of Justice - The Daemon of Ubersreik: 1
Chaos Mutant at Delb's Ferry: 1
Daemonette: 1
Druchii: 2
Skaven: 2
Zombie Dwarf: 1
Zombie Wight (Skargul Grokinsson): 1