Wellentag 8 Erntezeit to Marktag 10 Erntezeit
The day started sadly with Durcia parting with her Crossbow (Bessie) which had done more damage to the party than the party’s foes. Due to very poor upkeep of the crossbow it was sold for a pittance. Durcia, slightly unencumbered, then bought herself more items to slow herself down and Reuben stepped in to help her carry some of them.
They decided to visit the Sword and Flail to scope out the clientele and get an idea of the floorplan. Whilst they argued about what to do next, Kadfina decided to find a room and get some rest. Being on her own, Fat Rudy’s henchmen saw their chance and menaced her, warning her to see Fat Rudy that afternoon. Although there were two of them, Kadfina put her head down and butted Burkhard in the crotch putting him out of the fight. Hugh couldn’t strike Kadfina and after receiving a few strong punches he withdrew, dragging “Big Burke” with him.
The Sword and Flail was a bare establishment. No tables or chairs. Just a bar and plenty of space to stand. That early in the morning it was mostly empty. Only a few sellswords and lean merchants. Hoping to find accommodation (and an easy way to search the establishment) they were surprised and perhaps slightly suspicious that there were no rooms for rent. The Bartender looked worn, with multiple scars on his face and arms. Some of them looked new.
They returned to the Sword and Flail later that afternoon. Andred searched around the alehouse and couldn’t find a back entrance. It seemed to back onto a house the next street over. Entering the alehouse and sampling some of its beer, they saw two Sigmarites come out of a door set slightly behind the bar, nod to the bartender and leave the establishment. Interest was piqued on what might be behind the door.
With Andred providing a loud ruckus, Durcia crept into the doorway and saw two stairways. She went up and peered under a door. Seeing nothing of interest, she went down and then down to the cellar. Unsurprisingly for an alehouse, there were full barrels stacked against a wall and empty barrels standing upright on the floor. Following footprints in the dirt she searched the full barrels for a secret entrance but was unable to find anything. She crept back up to the common room. Perhaps the sneaking about thrilled her as she immediately ordered and threw back a beer.
That night Schutzmann’s latest plan re: guarding the wells was put into effect. The city was cut in two by a thin line of Militia. All traffic between the north and the south of the city was halted and the small number of watch members not assigned to this “uncrossable line” were assigned guard duty at the wells in the North end of the city. The fact that this meant that the south of the city was unguarded and only the wealthy areas of the city now had assured access to clean water was irrelevant to his decision. It was all about maximising the number of wells the limited number of watchmen and women could guard. They also learnt that he had sent requests for aid to the Graf (Todbringer) and that apparently some Militia were being sent back from the front line as well as some stronger units of the Middenheim Army.
Schutzmann asked them to guard the Schwarzenpestplatz to ensure no-one snuck through and they joined a small unit of guards, who quickly bunked off and gave the job to the “high paid suckers”. Despite a run-in with a drunk noble, who Reuben refused to let back to his home, there was nothing of excitement that evening.
The next day saw Reuben briefly accosted by “Big Burke” and “Huge Hugh” where they threatened him with future violence if Kadfina didn’t report to Fat Rudy. Reuben, still heavily injured from his jaunt through the Drakwald, minimised his sharp responses.
That day they returned to the Sword and Flail after catching up on more sleep. They saw three Sigmarites leave the room behind the bar and Durcia tried to follow them. However she was easily seen (given the curfew in effect) and they threatened her. She turned and slunk back to the Sword and Flail. Interestingly when leaving the Sword and Flail the Sigmarites did not head towards the Temple of Sigmar but instead headed towards Westgate.
That night the heroes made merry, trying to become favoured by the patrons of the Sword and Flail. Over the course of the day throughout the city, and reflected strongly once multiplied by alcohol, it seems there are two main views of who is to cause for the rash of mutations.
1. The Sigmarites – The rumour for this seems to have been started in the south of the city in a number of drinking establishments that Andred would know; and
2. The Kislevite refugees who fled south from the Storm of Chaos. Who knows what witchery they brought with them.
And of course, Halflings, Bretonnians, Beastmen and Wizards. Everyone has an opportunity to be the culprit. It’s an equal opportunity blame culture in Middenheim.
Also of interest was that the war in the North has turned poorly again, with Archaon’s forces closings the North Road again. Unterguard has apparently been cleared of its ghoul menace, but its unclear whether anyone is living there. Either way, the river south is currently safe again it is reported.
The heroes drank the night away. The three Sigmarites returned and spoke to the bartender. They were overheard saying. “We’ll go down again”.
Durcia decided to trade wound tales with the barkeep and he showed some alarm when she began talking about hunting around chaos shrines. Reuben quickly covered up for her, but later the barkeep approached her, took her aside, and asked her to tell her story. He explained that he reacted as he did for whoever may be listening but that he wanted to hear her story. She told him how she was stabbed in the next by a spear trap whilst searching a shrine to Khorne. He failed to reciprocate and went back to serving customers. Later that evening, at Durcia’s pressing, he suggested she come back tomorrow in the morning to discuss.
The next morning the bartender told everyone he and the Halfling were going to see the drunk room (a room where tables and chairs have been stuck to the ceiling so that when a drunk wakes up, they think they themselves are stuck on the ceiling and then try there hardest to climb the walls to get back on the “ground”. It’s reportedly hilarious.
There Durcia span a tale about having tasted the power of chaos (through her visions given by the brass skull) she was curious to know more. The bartender let Durcia know that he was a possible avenue and suggested to her that she meet a friend of his. “The power is in your blood” he said enigmatically and Durcia failed to understand his meaning twice, he angrily said, “That’s what you say to him so that he knows that I’ve sent you”. He then accidentally let slip, in his frustration, that he “didn’t understand why he was so interested in you.”
Andred, Reuben and Kadfina waited a few minutes in the taproom before saying to the other customers that they might also go and see the drunk room. Once through the door, they instead went down to the cellar where Andred found a hole in the floor covered by empty ale barrels. He climbed down the hole and was immediately faced by two mutants, their faces either warped or tattooed with bloody skulls. One had long fangs and the other had long claws instead of hands. Andred and the two mutants charged into battle.