Marktag 10 Erntezeit
Andred charged into the attack . Reuben, in his haste to join the battle, slipped on the edge of the hole and fell on his head, taking a grievous wound. Kadfina carefully climbed down the ladder, and joined Andred, who had been sorely wounded by the mutant’s claws, but had fortunately avoided the poison they contained.
The heroes finally overcame the two mutants, and Durcia, returning downstairs from her conversations with the tavernkeeper heard the last blows of the battle. The tavernkeeper, supposedly running upstairs for his weapons, instead cleaned out his room of all valuables and fled into the street. Durcia joined her companions in the basement, waiting to ambush the tavernkeeper, to no avail.
The heroes could see that the room held an altar, a book and two candelabra. Fearing a network of mutant filled tunnels, and with Kadfina, Andred and Reuben injured, they decided to notify the watch of their discoveries.
When Commander Schutzmann arrived at the Sword and Flail he strode down to the basement and stepped into the room. The heroes waited, expecting something horrible to happen. When, after half a minute, nothing did happen they gingerly entered the room to find it didn’t contain a network of tunnels, but was instead a single room, with a short corridor that held a cage at one end.
Commander Schutzmann took one look at the book (the Liber Chaotis) and ordered them from the room, and the tavern sealed up. A few minutes later the heroes saw him march off with a sack which looked as though it contained the book.
Stuck, with no clear idea of what to do next, Kadfina decided that she might be better off exploring the job offer that Vilmar had made, and leaving the others behind. When they heard she was going to the Blue Swallow, they decided that a trip to the pub was probably a good idea and tagged along.
There they found Vilmar and Uto. After a few awkward moments, Uto let slip that they were currently working for the Cult of Sigmar, trying to find out why a number of Sigmarite initiates and lay priests had been murdered and stripped of their clothing over the past few nights. Andred hypothesised that perhaps people were trying to sneak into the Temple of Sigmar, perhaps to steal the Brass Skull. It was also considered that perhaps the priests at the Sword and Flail weren’t really Priests of Sigmar at all.
Deciding they didn’t have all the answers, they all went back to the Sword and Flail, except Enallas who was sent to watch the Temple of Sigmar. Failing to secure entry to the Sword and Flail, they then went to see Commander Schutzmann. The pieces began to fall into place, particularly when they told him about the Brass Skull. Schutzmann, fearing the heroes were right that the Brass Skull was somehow linked to the mutations, decided to speak to the High Capitular (Sigmarite High Priest) after speaking to Deputy High Priest Liebnitz.
Vilmar and Uto led a small troupe of watchmen to the Temple of Sigmar, while the heroes and Schutzmann took a coach to the Temple of Ulric. On the way there, the cannons on the west gate opened fire.
At the Temple, Schutzmann cornered Liebnitz in his office and demanded to know what was going on. Liebnitz spoke about how his concerns had been raised as a result of the thefts of relics from the Collegium Theologica and he had asked the Heroes to investigate. This had led them to the Brass Skull, which the Sigmarites had secured, but failed to announce to the Cult of Ulric as was required. Without strong evidence, it was not clear what he could do about this, so he asked the heroes to search for evidence of Sigmarite corruption.
Schutzmann, unhappy that he had been kept in the dark for so long, lashed them all with his tongue but told Liebnitz that he was sending men into the Temple of Sigmar to confiscate the Brass Skull and any other chaos artefacts they may hold, but first he had to find out what was happening at the west gate. Liebnitz offered the use of his Brothers of the Axe – an elite Ulrican military unit. Schutzmann, distracted, gratefully agreed and rushed off to the west gate.
Unbeknownst to the heroes, a riot had broken out in the Sudgarten, caused by a number of horrific mutations. The residents attempted to flee the city, and the guards, spotting numerous mutants within the scared civilians opened fire with firearms and cannons, killing many.
The heroes travelled in style, in Liebnitz’s coach, followed by 30 plate-mail clad Brothers of the Axe (wielding huge great axes). Once they arrived at the temple, the few watchmen and the Brothers entered the temple behind Liebnitz. A few minutes later screaming and swordplay was heard. Andred and Durcia took the opportunity to try and loot the temple (Andred making off with a painting of Sigmar and some fashionable clothing).
A Brother of the Axe returned and told them that Liebnitz had requested their presence. Vilmar guided them through the Temple, where it became apparent something was horribly wrong – unarmed worshippers and functionaries had been cut down, in some cases from behind. Then they came across bodies of the watch and Brothers of the Axe. The Skull was gone, but five high ranking Priests of Sigmar were found slain in the room. They rushed back to the entrance, where a shocked Brother of the Axe was standing. He told them of his Brothers suddenly turning mad and slaughtering everyone. He said Liebnitz had fled with some of the remaining Brothers, but refused to go with them as there were people who still needed to be saved in the Temple of Sigmar. Enallas and Vilmar joined him and Uto went with the heroes to the Temple of Ulric.
Two Brothers of the Axe guarded the entrance to the temple. They seemed to be happy to let the heroes in, but as they passed, the Brothers swung at Reuben who was able to leap out of the way thanks to Andred’s warning. They fought outside the temple doors, and finally, after a difficult battle, one of the Brothers fell. The other, seeing he was outnumbered, agreed to let them enter (where he knew he would be able to call on others for support.) Reuben pridefully thinking he had managed to secure them entrance due to his connections with Liebnitz.
Inside the temple, things were not looking good. The windows had been covered. Liebnitz, wearing the brass skull around his neck, had marked out a circle in the temple hall and a fire in a censer was spreading a dirty red smoke over the floor. The Sacred Flame was the only other source of light in the room. Five Brothers of the Axe stood around the circle, seemingly trapped by the red smoke.
Liebnitz welcomed them, particularly Andred and Reuben and exhorted them to help him finish the ritual and restore the strength of Ulric. Andred and Durcia attacked. The Brother who had led them inside turned back to fight them. Kadfina charged towards Liebnitz to try and stop the ritual.
Reuben, Durcia, Uto and Andred fought the Brother, failing to make any great headway against him – his armour too strong for most of their blows. The Brother killed Durcia (double Khorne’s fury, 29 damage) and then half a minute later, after Uto and Reuben responded to Kadfina’s call, slew Reuben by cutting his body in twain.
Kadfina attempted to disrupt the ritual by kicking the flame out of the circle. It hit an invisible barrier as it passed over the chalk circle and fell back in. Kadfina then broke the circle, hoping that would break the spell but nothing happened. Meanwhile Liebnitz ignored the dwarf and slowly began sacrificing the Brothers standing around the circle. Kadfina called for help and Uto and Andred ran to the circle to try and slow Liebnitz down.
Liebnitz managed to sacrifice three of the five Brothers before Kadfina snapped his ankle. He fell to the ground, and upon realising there was no more he could do, he cried out one last prayer to Ulric and stabbed himself in the throat.
The remaining heroes and Uto were thrown out of the chalk circle. The Brother who had killed Reuben and Durcia then exploded into bloody chunks, and in his place stood a tall red skinned, horned daemon with a giant, jagged red steel blade. Blood poured off the Daemon and fell hissing and bubbling onto the floor. There was something peculiar about it, Andred noticed, in that it didn’t seem to be completely substantial. It appeared to fade in and out.
Andred and Kadfina, having had enough, turned and ran. Uto, failing to see them flee, ran in and attacked it. With a casual ease, it spitted him on its sword and threw him across the room. Unfortunately for Kadfina, she had broken the chalk circle, and the Daemon easily stepped across the circle and slowly followed them out into the street. The remaining heroes continued to run. The Daemon caused significant death and destruction in and around the Ulricsmund before a large unit of watchmen and the heroes managed to bring it down. It collapsed in on itself in a screech of metal leaving the dead and dying in its wake.
Middenheim, it appeared, was saved.