Beyond the Storm

Casing the WHHCo

Next day a more cohesive plan emerges involving casing the WHHCo compound for 24hrs. Unfortunately, much drinking ensues in the Flute and (S)trumpet across the street and Reuben gets truly bladdered, eventually consuming a bottle of boil cream mixed with beer to much hilarity. Gunther does most of the watching until nightfall when Jacques leaps across to the compound roof, booby-trapping a spotlight with spilt oil in case of trouble. Gunther tries to break the lock of an empty Alchemists shop above the side gate but after Reuben drunkenly accosts a passing watch patrol with much incoherent ramblings and foul breath they are left alone to just crowbar the door open. Hagar stays behind to watch the road. The team head across various roofs until they spot some shuffling individuals shifting crates about the yard in the pitch dark. Upon investigation they discover they are zombies and Reuben can be barely restrained from wacking them. Gunther hears the muffled sounds of a child crying in a closed up barn and with more roof antics Jacques discovers an old church to Sigmar now re-consecrated to Tzeentch and protected by more axe wielding Zombies. Gunther meanwhile is spotted by a Stevedore out for a pee and in answer panics and blathers: “I was just checking on the chickens!” Totally confused since there are no chickens in the place, the guy lets him go and shuffles off to bed.

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Anya's Tale
where focus is drawn to the strange happenings of the WHHCo

Back in Middenheim, the group hand over the blood encrusted Chaos Champions sword to Father Ranulf at the Temple of Ulric, noticing that Father Odo has gone rather doolally and mumbles incoherrently. Reuben takes him back to the Shrine of Morr for much needed R&R while the team head to a reknowned arms dealer to sell all their loot and kitting Jacques out with a bright new super shiny suit of armour. Gunther is horrified at the price of pistols or even worse the bullets and leaves in a sulk.

Returning to the Templar’s Arms, the group hear of Anya Luger’s failure to find her nephew Kristof and Gunther promises to help investigate an orphanage called the Crossed Keys and the Wyndhund Haulage Company. However, Anya is shot with a crossbow before the group can find the Crossed Keys and while the Knight heroically rides her through the streets to the Temple of Shallya (waving all the way) and stays to pray by her bedside (?), the others chase the assassin onto the rooftops but lose her. Finding the Crossed Keys, they break in and find a scrawled message scratched in furniture mentioning a Frau Kenner but can’t do more as someone throws in a petrol bomb in through a window setting the place on fire. Gunther leaps to safety – forgetting the outside steps are against the wall and plunges into the street, slamming into the cobbles two floors below. Pulled to his feet by the Trollslayer they dash down the alley the wrong way and lose this assassin a second time.

Meeting with Jacques again, the group decide to continue investigating the WHHCo compound personally since Anya cannot help them. They then remember the crate with the boy Wilhelm in had the initials ‘WH’ on it, but with no better plan than marching up to the front door and accusing them bluntly of child kidnapping, they get nowhere and sit outside a pub opposite the main entrance waiting for a chance to get inside. The group typically fail to notice that it’s the side gate that is used for returning wagons at that time of day so nothing much happens. They give up and head home for the night, more than slightly drunk.

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Hunt through the Drakwald
where their steps are dogged by beastmen and worse

With their Scout dead, and Father Odo unhelpful and in a trance – clutching the recovered sword of Khazron, the group struggles home weighted down by so much metal gear and long poles, losing their way repeatedly in the depths of the forest and arguing a lot. Then sounds of horns blasting and pursuit forces them on but on the banks of a narrow river they get bogged down as the enemy gets closer. The group makes a stand by an abandoned hunting shelter as a huge Minotaur bursts from the forest and a Beastmen warband surrounds the ruin. Father Odo and Reuben’s horses bolt straight down the trail, forcing all but the Trollslayer to leg it after them. Wishing an honourable death, the Dwarf chooses to charges into the beastmen near the Minotaur who growls that their deaths will appease Khorne for their desecration. The Knight turns his horse to charge back to aid the badly outnumbered Dwarf. The Trollslayer disappears under a mass of flying limbs and slashing blades as he hacks away through the beastman guard while Jacques faces the Minotaur. The giant beast wields huge spiked chains that whip Jacques off his horse and slam him into a tree, stunned. The Trollslayer, amazingly fairly unscathed but covered in gore and blood challenges the Minotaur as Gunther loads his blunderbuss and charges back into the fray. Beastmen swarm everywhere, attacking everything including Reuben and Odo who have caught up with the horses further down the trail but fail to stop Gunther from returning and keep clear of the lethal Dwarf. They do attack the stunned Knight errant however just as the Minotaur is blasted in the side by the blunderbuss. The huge creature staggers in pain and the Trollslayer wacks it hard in the happy sacks as he himself gets knocked for six with a backward swipe of the chains. The creature bellows its death cry and crashes down causing the Beastmen to flee as three Witchunters from Middenheim charge into the second group, rescuing Father Odo and Reuben.

Regrouping and patching up wounds, the team is questioned thoroughly as to why they are carrying so much Chaos gear and in some cases wearing it. Jacques flippant response costs him a nasty crack on the jaw that knocks him unconscious from his horse (although for a second he thought the Witchunter had simply run him through with his sword) but the others recover well and explain their mission in detail. The Witchunters of the Ordo Fidelis are very interested in what they are told and offer to escort the group back to the city.

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Tomb of the Chaos Champion

Finding the Tomb of the Chaos Champion Khazron as they get closer is not so difficult as it shines like a beacon in the mind of the Doomsayer Father Odo. Jacques realises this is the place he was told about in his visitation by ‘The Lady’ and vaguely noting the piles of decaying offerings and bones littered about the group head inside. They swiftly find the catch that releases the secret door within the sculpted frieze but the Knight gets blasted with molten brass from multiple traps as they descend a ramp underground. They trigger further traps that release some sort of animated guardian statue of a Juggerkin which the Trollslayer gleefully bashes flat and digs out its ruby eyes before it can do much damage. Eventually reaching the inner sanctum, they realise its a tomb consecrated to Khorne but that doesn’t stop them from stripping everything and anything sellable from around the sarcophagus including Chaos Warrior armour, helmets, weapons, a Khornate medallion on its thick iron chain and Jacques finds a Bretonnian made dancing mask and various other battle trophies including pennants of some Knightly orders from over 300 years ago. The Knight also decides to replace his simple breastplate and greaves from the temple of Ulric with a full set of stolen Chaos platemail!

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Knife in the Dark
where a turncoat is discovered

The group, now including Reuben and Father Odo hire a Scout named Adolphus Kuftsos to take them north through Norderingen and into the wilds of the Drakwald Forest. One night, Gunther wakes to hear a whispered voice when Kuftsos is on watch and sees a figure creeping into Reuben and Odo’s tent. Typically he almost goes back to sleep but the name ‘ Lieberung’ hangs in the air and confused by sleep eventually gets up to investigate – receiving a crossbow bolt in the chest for his trouble when he calls out to Kuftsos. The Scout jumps him and nearly cuts his throat open. However, the gargling noise wakes the others and after kicking Kuftsos in the nadgers, Gunther collapses into the remains of the fire. Kuftsos dives into the tent to finish of Reuben/Lieberung but steps on Odo in the dark tent and falls over him, waking Reuben. A naked Jacques drags Gunther out of the fire then does his famous shield charge knocking the entire tent down on them all. In the ensuing melee of broken tent poles and sliced canvas, Reuben manages to crawl out and as Kuftsos tries to escape gets brained by the Trollslayer as everyone yells to only stun him! At least they find the notes from ‘Q.F’ MI – Adolphus Kuftsos about Lieberung and a picture-fit that looks like Reuben.

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Off the Hook?
where the group satisfy the watch but plunge into a more dangerous mission

Jacques Quasson deftly manages to dodge the expanding deadly cloud of dust but Hagar Skallhelm is covered from head to foot. Coughing badly, the group take him back to ground level and return to Watch Commander Schutzmann to report. A band of tunnel runners are immediately dispatched to the Skaven lair to follow Snikkit and Schutzmann agrees to let the group off the hook as he has further need of them and Skaven have been indeed spotted in the ruined areas of the city. Father Ranulf from the Temple of Ulric is introduced. The Temple is in need of a group of mercenaries to take a blind Seer ‘Father Odo’ (A Doomsayer from the Shrine of Morr) into the deep Drakwald Forest to retrieve something of great significance before the ‘dark tide’ retrieves it for themselves. Reuben Hurst has also been having foreboding dreams about an artifact that must be quickly recovered. Gunther meets Anya Luger, a sexy Bounty Hunter from Salzenmund, while Jacques annoys the Ulrician temple by begging for some decent plate armour.

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Snikkit's Lair

The trail of a crossbow wound leads the group to the sewers beneath the Altquartier and possible Skaven activity. Reuben (being a Priest) chickens out of getting filthy and meets with the Priests at the Shrine of Morr instead. Hagar, Gunthar and Jacques head down the slime covered tunnels, stinking not of human waste but of cheap Bretonnian cologne which they liberally splash on themselves nearly causes Gunther to retch and faint.

Soon the group spot moving shadows thrown upon a distant wall up ahead and thinking they are Skaven rush forward only to discover a pair of Mutant cultists carrying a litter with the body of a dead man, his leg partly chewed away by something. Any excuse for a fight, they pile in, the mutants dropping their meal? and running for their lives. Slipping and sliding in stinking muck, the Trollslayer brains one with an axe to the back of the head while the other is skewered by the Knight who slips off the brick companionway and slides through the muck to crunch him against the wall.

Planning to come back later for the corpses, the trio discover a recently dug hole nearby, breaking into the sewer from beneath and with some deft rope use they descend into an old Dwarven tunnel route and find the Skaven hideout. After setting off all alarms, The Clanrats attack but are swiftly wiped out with judicious use of Gunther’s blunderbus but Snikkit (the leader), escapes straight down an access well and in anger the Trollslayer smashes all the barrels in the room. One contains warpstone dust that engulfs both him and Jacques in a dangerous poison cloud.

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On a murderer's trail
a whiff of Skaven

A couple of ‘hooray Henrys’ cause trouble in the Templars Arms that evening causing a knife fight with their bodyguard Max Ernst. Enraged by racist comments, the Trollslayer wades in but finds Max a worthy opponent as he gets scored with a blade. The Henry’s continue to bait the group so the Knight tackles the other bodyguards while Gunther balances the odds by smacking Ernst over the head with a chair causing a full scale brawl to erupt and Reuben wastes a good bottle of brandy by smashing it over the protagonist and setting Max on fire!

The watch arrives and the barkeep puts out Max while the hooray henry’s stagger off miffed, bruised and swearing revenge.

As the group investigates the death of Father Morten, they discover a number of similar blowgun murders and a trail of blood into the sewers. Reuben notices some men watching him closely from a doorway but they move off as he approaches. Thinking Skaven, the group gear up to get filthy and after dodging a threatening local gang of thugs descend into the tubes beneath the city.

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Ticket to Middenheim

Elsevir the Envoy chooses to stay in Pritzstock after the business with the flaming skulls while Melion the Elven Mage heads out of town carrying the fourteen chunks of glowing warpstone to safety. Jacques’ a Knight Errant from distant Bretonnia (and friend of the local Militia captain) joins the remaining group claiming he must return a religious icon given to him on the battlefield as the group is offered a lift from a Castle Rock Postal Coach from Middenheim and its driver Gunther.

Passing by Grubentreich once more on the way to the Middenheim road they discover a corpse and a distressed horse by the side of the road. The body is one Kastor Lieberung (a well off looking fellow) and looks uncannily like Reuben. It appears his horse slipped into the ditch and threw its rider onto the broken branches of a fallen tree. He is quite succinctly dead! After discovering papers on the body that indicate he is heir to a fortune in Ubersreik, and with very little debate on the issue, Reuben is ‘persuaded’ to impersonate the deceased (for the good of the party) and summarily rolls the body into the undergrowth muttering a vague prayer to Morr.

The party arrives with waves of refugees to the City of the White Wolf, having to pay to get into the city and return the ‘crate boy’ Wilhelm to his parents before finding room at the Templars Arms. Jacques gives the Icon of Sigmar to father Morten at the Temple of Sigmar only to hear the next morning that he has been murdered as the entire group are arrested.

Ulric Schutzmann, Commander of the City Watch interviews the group as they are the obvious suspects but demands they hand over their weapons. Both the Trollslayer and the Knight Errant prepare to die foolishly instead even as they have multiple crossbows trained upon them. Some swift talking levels the situation as Schutzmann makes them a deal since he doesn’t honestly believe they would murder a priest of Sigmar after being seen with him, then retire to the pub as if nothing had happened.

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The Flaming Skulls

Next morning the group splits up in all directions to investigate local sightings of these flaming skulls. No one plans any coherent method of defense eg. Patrols and Mellion Fallander makes cake and sandwiches for all the villagers then scares the village idiot almost catatonic – although does discover he has found a piece of warpstone, which the Elf steals.

The group rush about with various sightings until Elsevir Devlin shoots a skull out of a tree. Rueben convinced the cause is an ancient battlefield somewhere north of the village so they march off into the forest without telling the rest of the group. Realising their error, the group light signal fires, effectively smoking out a few miles of forest as they leave them out of control. In the murk, they stumble upon a group of mercenaries also looking for the cause of the flaming skulls and after some tense negotiation decide to link up as they have discovered a cave hideout that needs investigating.

This group has a Dwarf Trollslayer who agrees to initiate Hagar Skallhelm.

The larger group head, coughing badly, to the cave hideout which turns out to be a partly filled in sinkhole leading to an underground stream. The bed of which is obviously an old burial site as it is covered in submerged bones. Once there they charge down the slippery steps and attack the occupants – a crazed Bright Mage and his bodyguard as many skulls take flight and sweep to the attack. The two Dwarves burst into the cave through a hastily conjured wall of fire, ignoring the scorching flames and put an axe through the crazy mage’s skull. The bodyguard swiftly surrenders. The Dwarves have a poke around while the others smash the remaining skulls and Mellion digs up 14 shards of warpstone in total – which he swiftly hides as bones start pulling free of the ground and coming together in a quivering mass not unlike a giant Golem. Hagar spots something shiny in the silt and finds an ancient Dwarven hammer shaped with a ram’s horns buried there. The team start whacking the bone golem to little or no effect as it takes massive swipes, knocking them aside as it climbs out of the sinkhole and heads off for the village smashing trees aside.

Reuben and Mellion fail to climb a rope out of the hole instead of using the stairs and waste time as the others give chase carrying the wizard’s bloodied head as proof that he was responsible. Following the trail of devestation the group descend to the village to find the massive Golem is trying to smash the mayor’s house. The Mayor’s wife screams seeing the wizard’s severed head and faints. Hagar charges the creature with his new hammer but gets knocked backwards fourteeen feet to lay crushed on the ground. Continuing to bash the creature’s legs, the Golum finally collapses into a pile of bones again which then flow into the basement. The group charges after, kicking down the front door, arresting the mayor and heading to the basement where they find it 4’ deep in bones and a skeleton boarded up behind a new section of wall.

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