The Gathering Storm

A Friend in Need
Session 17

SigmarTide 17 2522 – Stromdorf

After a shopping trip for Luka (including a donkey to carry it all), the intrepid party were approached by a young lad who had a request to meet the inn keep of the Tanners Arms an inn close to the tannery yards near the Aldorf gate. Once there they are approched by the Inn keeper Otto who makes a plea,
“You see, its Jennel, our apothecary. She hasn’t been seen for three days, and we’re getting
worried about her. Nobody saw her leave her house, but it’s locked up tight. Only thing is, we’ve
seen lights on in some of the rooms, and Gertie Henkelmauer swears she heard shouting coming
from upstairs last night. We’ve tried banging on the doors and shouting, but no one answers. We’re worried someone might have hurt Jennel and be hiding inside, and we don’t know what to do. We were wondering, you see, if maybe you – with all your weapons, you see – maybe you could help
us?”

There seems to be some form of divide in the town between North and South. The towns folk her feel that Kessler and the militia will not help. The party agree to investigate.

They find the house and all is quite. The window shutters closed and the door locked. Jennel’s house is a small, two-story building. There is a small vegetable garden towards the back,
around which there is a 6-foot high wooden fence.

The party make entry through one of the windows. The room takes up most of the ground floor of the building. The window shutters are closed, and none of the three lanterns scattered around the room are lit, so much of the room lies in darkness.

They observe muddy prints on the floor, which appear to wander around the room as if searching for something. On investigating the rest of the ground floor they find a set of stairs ascending and another descending. Also they find Jennels herbs and medicinal lab. They also see a ferret that watches them then escapes upstairs.

Luka and Johann descend to the basement and explore whilst Caeless and Zilvia start upstairs. Though more muddy foot prints are seen in the basement Luka and Johan cannot see anything else even though the prints stop at the west wall. They join the others upstairs in the kitchen on the first floor. This is also a mess with food and vomit strewn about the floor.

The party then enter a back bedroom and Johann sees the feret under the bed which he tries to entice out. He is bitten in the nose for his troubles.

Moving onto the balcony the only way to get to the other two rooms. Luka enters the first room which is dark and in a mess. As he approches one of the beds emerging behind him and taking him by surprise is a large wild looking man….!
Zealot02 03s

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Back From the Dead
Session 16

SigmarTide 16 2522 – Stromdorf

Mourn is finally trapped in the Necklace, which is place into a flask of Holy Water blessed by the Priest of Morr, Brother Grabbe. Grabbe will write to his elders in Aldorf and Ubersreik for advice on its destruction or containment.The party then decide to return to town as Grabbe and then need medical attention urgently. They take a wheelbarrow for the Marble Headstone. Waltrout is dressed in some of Grabbes robes to hide the blasphemious tattoo onto his flesh.

On the parties arrival to town they are wisked to Adlers office and with Captain Kessler the events of the last day are gone through. Adler is releaved by the end of the undead menace and the party are rewarded. It is agreed that Waltrout is imprisioned until Grabbe contacts his superiors for advice. Grabbe and the party are escorted to Dr. Hartlieb Schneider’s infirmary.

The doctor is informed that the party and priest are to be healed at the towns expense. For the next week the party are healed to full health and cured of their diseases. Zilvia working tirelessly to assist the Doctor.

Whilst ensconsed they are first visited by Lector Magnus Gottschalk the priest of Sigmar and then by Niklas Schulmann during that week. Magnus believes that Waltrout should be put to death for his crime. Stupidity should not save him. It is agreed by the party. Niklas has come for the Marble Headstone, so that he can continue his studies, he leaves promptly.

When they finally leave the infirmary they go to the Thunderwater Inn, and given a solid round of applause by the Inns regulars. Whilst eating a hearty (and free) breakfast they are approched by an urchin, and asked if they would see the Innkeeper, Otto Lidst, of the Tanners Arms near the Altdorf gate. They agree after they have spoken to Niklas about the marble elf stones.

Niklas has the room in the attic. He has cleared a space on the floor for the stones and has drawn the outline of the completed stone with chalk. Niklas requests that they conyinue their search for the other stones. Zilvia grows suspicious of Niklas’s attitude and causes a ‘scene’ by trying to grab the wizards staff. For a brief moment Zilvia sees that Niklas is badly injured but the visage is quickly gone. No one else saw this and the rest of the party believe that Zilvia is just stressed. Zilvia however is convinced that the Celestial Wizard is not as he seems.

The party then leave and go on their way to the Tanners Arms to see what awaits them there…

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Letter to Mirinda de Sorbo
Session 15

SigmarTide 9th 2522 – Stromdorf

Luka sends a letter to his Mother

Dear Mama
As I have these words written down I realize the deep regret I have for leaving Marienburg. Perhaps it would be better if I had been put in the shade fighting for the honour of the Bompensero family. The things I have seen would put the fear into all the henchman working for the Tilian families.

I was under contract to the bürgermeister of Stormdorf to go with a wizard called Jonas, a healing woman named Silvia and Caeless the woodelf to find out why the dead have risen. These are questions that normal people do not persue. We found out that a long dead necromancer had risen again. We caught him while he was in possession of a dead noble womans body, trying to steal the body of the priest of Morr. There was this walking skeleton who protected him and as I fought my way past it to confront the necromancer he grabbed at my soul and I fell into darkness. From what I hear Jonas the wizard and Caeless defeated the necromancer as his wicked soul jumped from body to body. I still wonder about that arrow hole in my leg.

Mama I miss our house, the good food and I regret having tread the wrong path, for now it seems that the gates of Hades have opened and the minions of darkness are trying to take me. I have no more fear and discovery of my location by the the other families is of no more consequence, I actually pity those that find me.

Keep healthy and give my respect and regards to Papa

Luka de Sorbo

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In Morrs Garden and Beyond...
Session 14

SigmarTide 9th 2522 – Stromdorf

The party leave the crypt and go up the stairs into the storm and daylight. Surrounded by its high walls, the Garden consists of haphazard rows of modest gravestones, almost overgrown with bushes of black roses. The rain is heavy, turning the ground into thick mud, the sky heavy and the occasional flashes of lightning.

At the far end of the Garden is a Mausoleum. They start heading towards it. In the centre of the Garden stands a low tomb of grey stone carved with the Stichelm’s dragon crest. The front of the tomb has been split asunder, shards of stone scattered across the rain sodden mud. The bones are gone!

Also in a niche there are shards of marble, where a headstone rescided but is also missing. As the party investigate the tomb earth a hand suddenly shoots up from one of the graves nearby. Then another, and another. The dead burst from the sodden earth in a wave of rotting flesh. Within moments a shambling horde of decaying men and women, old and young have dragged themselves from their graves, groaning in hunger. The party are surrounded.

Caeless rushes to the Mausoleum using is agility to move swiftly through the horde. The other three start to battle their way through the clawing hands. Caeless starts to provide some effective fire with his bow and partially clears a path through for the others who become inspired by this display. Jonas tries to caste a spell but is too shocked and stunned to concentrate. Luka with his halberd swing left and right cleves his way through, with Zilva and Jonas staying close and almost hanging off him. Clawed and chewed upon they finally get to the Mausoleum as caeless opens the door.

They slam the door behind them, bracing it with Luka’s crowbar. The Undead begin pounding on the door as thunder rumbles in the distance. A candle is lit, when Luka stands and cracks a human thigh bone, and the party are confronted by a bizzare site. Every conceivable space has been decorated with human bones. The centre of the room is dominated by a pyramid of skulls, eight feet tall, almost reaching the ceiling beams. In each corner stand elegant candelabra, crafted from hundreds of small bones, creating a beautiful spiral pattern. To the right of the skull pyramid a stone stairs circle down into darkness.

With Caeless taking the lead the pary descend the stairs, eventually a light can be seen ahead. The stairs end in an open doorway, through which streams yellow light. The party enter the crypt with a low ceiling. Around the walls, lit oil-lamps are set into small recesses. On the left side of the chamber is a large elm table, on which lies open a large leather-bound book, displaying its beautifully illuminated pages. Also on the table is a complete human skull. Four black curtains hang on the walls. Two doors on the north wall stand ajar.

Waltrout is cowering near the table. He scrambles to his feet, brandishing a silver knife, beads of sweat trailing down his face. Faint chanting can be heard from the room beyond the left most door. Waltrout tells the party to leave and not hurt his friends.

Luka intimidiates Waltrout who cowers again near the table, Zilvia looks behind one of the black curtains and is frightened by a large skeletal statue. Luka approches the table and the skulls mouth begins to open and close in mockery. Luka swings his halberd at the skull and last an almighty blow on the skull, which shatters the halberd!

Coming through the open door is the corpse of Olaus Stichelm, blocking entrance to the room beyond. The corpse is wearing a breastplate and helm, green with age and weilds a greatsword in one hand with ease. Strapped to its arm is a chunk of white marble carved with the words “Olaus Stichelm, the Saviour of Our Town” This is the headstone of his tomb, and looks similar to the Lightening Stone.

The four heroes look at each other and with determination prepare for the coming fight….

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Under Morrs Garden
Session 13

SigmarTide 9th 2522 – Stromdorf

With the miscast of one of his spells, Jonas is confronted by a Nurgle Imp, that seems to be determined to bring the unluck young wizard to papa Nurgle. In a determined effort the Nurgle chases the wizard around the chamber and finally clambers up his body to deliver a full putrid tongue kiss and vomits maggots and filth all over him. Caeless tries to hit it with some arrows but its so fast and acrobatic they all miss. Meanwhile luka wades through the zombies and protects Zilvia his lady lust.

Jonas casts the Shielding Winds of Aqshy to give himself some protection from the energetic Imp and Zilvia comes to assist. As The Imp summons more power it seems to expand and then shrink to a small ball and says 2goodbye2 with a wave and disapeers with a pop. Luka gets clombered in the face by the remaining zombie and is left spitting teeth. Finally Jonas despatches the zombie with a flameblast sending it across the chamber as a flaming husk.

The party catch their breathes.

Luka wants out. He is badly hurt and stumbles down the passage way with the taunts of Zilvia ringing in his ears. The reamining three search the rest of the chamber. Jonas is of the font but Zilvia takes a drink and feels much better. Caeless goes and gets Luka so that he can drink from the wonderous font.

After all imbibe of the healing holy waters, they are left with the problem of the door.

Luka and Caeless charge the wall near the door with the brazzier and after several efforts the plaster and brickwork begins to crumble. Then Luka using his crowbar and halberd exposes the hinges and finally breaks them. The door gives way, revealing a stairway ascending and gloomy daylight can be seen at the top.

Looking at each other nervously, but with determination the party goes up the steps to find out what has happened here and to locate Brother Grabbe….

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The Inn and The Garden
Session 12

In the midst of the fight at the inn a sweating Luka strike at the leading zombie, who appear to have once been Otto who is attempting to attack Jonas. Jonas quickly evades the attack. Caeless is hard pressed out side so he quickly gives himself some space, before pinning a zombie to the door. As the fight progresses Caeless sees an old man hobbling towards the Inn. The fight is soon over and Zilvia lends the party her healing skills, providing more of a comfort than any real benefit. Captain Kessler arrives with four guards to investigate, and after listening to a excited innkeeper explain the recent events ,the old man explains that a Skeleton recently “came Alive” whilst the party take a short breather. Kessler leaves to ensure the town is protected from the wall, delegating the Skeleton problem to the intrepid heros. The old man, Hieronymus Kopfchen, a retired lecturer in anatomy and medicine, asks that the party rid his home of the bothersome Skeleton.

The party leave and walk through an alarmed town, before reaching the scholars house. After one look Jonas decerns that the Skeleton is indeed animated, but confined and not really a problem. Ziliva borrows some medical texts and a battered leather satchel, before enjoying a relaxing herbal tea made by Heirmionus. The heros return to the inn and retire for the night. The following day the inn keeper delivers a message that Capt Kessler requests a meeting in the Market Square. The name Olaus Stichelm is mentioned again. The party head to the town hall to meet the Captain who talks about the suicide on a young lady. Niklas Schulmann emerges muttering about vile necromancy. The town Burgomeister Phillip Adler, moans about the events of last night, whilst Captain Kessler maintains that Lazarus Mourn burnt at the stake last year for his vile practices – to find him you would have to go the the Garden of Morr. Also Adler wants his dreams interpreted by Brother Grabbe, the Priest of Morr. They find out that the dead girl, who recently committed suicide was call Madriga. The party look at the statue of Olaus Stichelm, before deciding to investigate at the Garden.

On the way to the Garden, Caeless feels that the party is being tracked. The party quickly make the accaintance of Waltrout Glockner and take him with them as a guide. They can’t cross the river as there is no barge. Waltrout guides them to a tunnel which they edge through. About half way they notice that their intrepid guide has slipped away. They eventually reach the temple and are confronted by a zombie. After the brief fight the party is on tenter hooks waiting to see what awaits …..

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Fear & Loathing in Stromdorf
Session 11

SigmarTide 8th 2522 – Stromdorf
Thoughts of Luka – ‘The Witchhunter should have listened to me. It is bad luck to kill a halfling.
I now stand here on these stairs, pissing my pants having to kill the Holtz over again because they could not stay dead….’

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The Trial...
Session 10

SigmarTide 6th 2522 – Stromdorf

Captain Kessler with the aid of Lector Magnus Gottschalk sent a letter to the authorities in Ubersreik that they need a judge to try and execute the Holtz’s family and Keila Cobblepot. They receive a reply that a judge witch hunter will attend on the 6th and the Trial will be on the 7th the execution will be on the same day.

The characters meet Niklas Schulmann a Celestial wizard from Altdorf and he is very interested in the Lightning Stone. He takes it to his rooms to investigate it further and after a week, during which the characters recover from their wounds, he summons them to his room.

Schulmann is convinced that this is a part of a whole stone and that once complete it will be some form of map. He would like the characters help him locate the other fragments. Luke is sceptical.

It was during this week that Jonas Hollefeuer a Bright wizard also from the colleges of Aldorf, joins the party.

Schulman appeals to the party for their help and once money is mentioned, Luka agrees.

SigmarTide 7th 2522 – Stromdorf

A Witch Hunter, Tobias Dolmetscher is sent up from Ubersreik to act as judge and executioner. The entire town converges onto the town hall even in the heavy downpour. There is barly any room to move in the public area, with people pushing to get a beter view of the dock, where the accuse stand in chains. The Court is made of Tobias and two town elders, Marcel Gerber and Sebastien Brenner.

Captain Kessler is the prosecuter and there appears to be no one defending the accused. The evidence is damning and there appears to be no doubt in their guilt. Luka is brought up to give evidence and this seals the accused fate. Tobias quickly consults the other elders and then passes judgement of hanging for all.

Luka appeals to Tobias that its bad luck to hang a halfling, maybe in the faint hope of saving Keila’s life. With a scowl Tobias agrees. So then passes sentence for Keila to be burnt at the stake. Tobias watches Luka’s reaction intently, and Luka relucantly agrees its for the best. The execution is to occur immediatly on the field of Verena, just outside the West Gate.

After the execution many of the locals go to the Thunderwater and though many enjoyed the trial and execution their is a feeling that it seems to keep happening here and the question on many minds is why. Only last year a Necromancer was caught and burnt on the field of Verena. The grass has not grown back on the spot of the pyre. He was Lazarus Mourn and Tobias was involved his capture and trial and final execution.

At about 9 bells a cold chill passes through everyone in the inn. All look at each other and some give the sign of Sigmar for protection against evil. A nervous chatter begins again. Jonas feels sick to the pit of his stomach. The other characters look uneasy, but all appears to returns to normal….

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The Story So Far....
Session 1 to 9

PloughTide 24th 2522 – Ubersreik

Luka de Sorbo and Herman Kruistmann meet in the Red Moon Inn and agree to take on the task of looking into the mysterious staff of the Grunwald Lodge. A young Bright Wizard called Maria Anhalt also agrees to join them. This task is given to them by Vern Hendrick, Lord Aschaffenberg’s manservant.

PloughTide 25th 2522 – Grunwald Lodge

Luka, Herman and Maria travel to the Grunwald Lodge with Vern Hendrick on a wagon loaded with goods for the estate. Just outside the lodge they are attacked by a group of Beastmen. Maria exhausts herself casting a fireball spell. The attack is beaten off.

The Party is introduced to Rickard Aschaffenberg and they begin to investigate the staff at the lodge discreetly. Maria rests after the fight with the Beastmen too exhausted to continue.

Many of the staff are members of The Eldritch Order of the Unblinking Eye a Chaos Cult. The Leader of the cult being the Lodge Steward Gregor Pierson. That very night the cult is to perform a ritual to raise Demon trapped in a painting of an eye.

Maria is drugged to be used as a sacrifice, but Luka and Herman in a blood fight to the death in the crypt of the house twart the cult and kill many of its members. Meanwhile outside Beastmen attack the lodge drawn by the presence of Chaos caused by the ritual. This attack is beaten back with the assistance of a Wood Elf Bounty Hunter called Caeless, who arrived on the scene at the nick of time.

Caeless had been hired to find one of the cult members.

PloughTide 26th 2522 – Grunwald Lodge

In the aftermath of the failed ritual, it is discovered that Doctor Stefan Siegar the Lodges physician and also a cult member has escaped. To aid in the healing of the staff, Lord Aschaffenberg summons the Apothecary from Geissbach, who sends his daughter, Ziliva Hitzkopt as he is too unwell to travel to the lodge.

Ziliva informs the Lord that Doctor Siegar called at the Apothecary last night requesting aid for the Lodge in the form of drugs. He then rode off in the direction of Ubersreik.

Lord Rickard requests that the party now made up of Herman, Luka, Caeless and Ziliva track this doctor down and offers a reward of ten crowns for his head and expenses of six shillings a day each plus reasonable expenses.

Vern Hendrick thanks the characters personally and he informs them that they can always count on his support.

They set off for Ubersreik straight away and arrive late in the evening.

PloughTide 27th 2522 – Ubersreik

In Ubersreik the party quickly determine that the doctor sold his horse and used the funds to gain passage on a boat on the Teufel River. They discover that the boat is on its way to Stromdorf and the next boat to that Sigmar forsaken town is on the morrow. The party seek passage on this boat, the Earindel owned and captained by Berndolt Mier.He grants them passage for the following day. The characters then rest in Ubersreik, for the rest of the day.

PloughTide 28th 2522 – Teufel River

Whilst awaiting the finishing of the loading of the Earindel, the characters are approached by a representative of the town council. They would like them to investigate the whereabouts of Florian Wechsler, a merchant that travelled to Stromdorf some weeks past and has not been seen or heard from since. The representative is from the Karstadt family, Otto Liebstein. A fee of fifty shillings is agreed for the information.

The boat journey is uneventful and the crew and characters rest up on the east bank of the Teufel at a mooring point.

PloughTide 29th 2522 – Teufel River and Stromdorf

As the Earindel drew close to Stromdorf the weather deteriorated dramatically. Rain lashed the boat and the river lapped over its banks. The boat hurtles towards the ruined West Bridge and Berndolt is struke by a beam and knocked overboard. The crew freeze, but Herman and Ziliva motivate the crew and force the boat to the east bank where it crashes. There is no sign of the captain.

Wet and bedraggled the crew and characters enter Stromdorf, and begin their investigations.

They take up lodgings in the Stewpot Hostelry run by Keila Cobblepot a halfling. They seekout Captain Arno Kessler for information and to inform him of the bridge.

PloughTide 30th 2522 – Stromdorf

The Investigation continues with the characters going through most of the town and asking questions. Evidence is pointing to the Holtz family. This is taken from the facts that Florian’s pony was white and Reiner Holtz was seen to lead a white pony drawing a cart, out of the town late on the night that Florian went missing. The characters decide to go to the farm. On the horizen to the east of the town a blaze can be seen.

This turns out to be the Eigel farm which is next to the Holtz farm. Its in ruins, and on investigation it looks like Beastmen have attacked the farm. The characters push onto the Holtz farm.

What a strange encounter they had there. The Holtz are inbred, deranged, insular and just plain wicked. When the characters arrive an argument between Tristan Eigel and Fritz Holtz is nearly coming to blows. Tristan is blaming the Holtz for the Beastmen attack on their farm. Tristan draws a knife and wounds Fritz. The rest of the Holtz family subdue Tristan and take him to the barn. The characters have been observing all this activity.

The characters approch the farm and intially are greeted with hostility. The characters start asking awkward questions about Florian. Which the Holtz deny. It appears that a fight will ensue, but Marie Holtz, the matriarch of the clan, decides to try and trust the characters and tells them part of the truth.

The Holtz and Eigels have been making saccrifices to the beastmen for years, and its this thats been keeping the herd from destroying Stromdorf. However the beastmen herd, since this latest storm started seem to have gone completely out of control. However Marie has a plan and she wants the characters to meet someone.

This turns out to be a beastman Shaman, Foaldeath, who wants to take control of the herd as the current Wargor Izka Madtooth is bent on wiping out mankind from the land. The plan is to steal a stone that is resting on top of the beastmen Herdstone which seems to be attracting all the lightning and bringing the beastmen to frenzy. The plan is executed, but fails, though Caeless managed to kill the Wargor, the rest of the herd was to large to deal with, and the characters flee back to Stromdorf and alert the authorities.

PloughTide 31th 2522 – Stromdorf and the Oberslecht

In the early hours the roused citizens and militia of Stromdorf led by the characters, Captain Kessler and the Priest of Sigmar, Lector Magnus Gottschalk, attack the beastmen, who have been fighting amongst themselves to be in charge of the herd. The fight is brutal, and Herman falls heroically defending Ziliva. The herd is dispersed and many of the Gors killed. This is known as The Battle of the Oberslecht.

The Holtz are arrested, though Marie has disappeared. The dead body of Doctor Stefan Siegar is also found in the Holtz barn. The stone on top of the herd stone is made of marble and appears to be a fragment of something larger. This is brought back to town. This is The Lightning Stone.

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