A Clash At Midnight…

Continued From Last Campaign Blog…

The party are aware that a ritual is taking place at midnight, and decide to head out a couple of hours before. It’s very hard to judge time down in the sewers, so Baumann isn’t taking any chances as he wakes them earlier, giving them only 30 minutes of rest.

They make their way out of the sewers, heading above to see that Morrslieb is still hanging low over the town, casting its menacing glare upon the unsuspecting townsfolk. The cloud cover is heavy, and the stars are not visible tonight. The air is cold and a feeling of dread accompanies them every step of the way towards the warehouse.

They’ve established already that the ritual is taking place at Warehouse 13, a Warehouse belonging to the Teugen family. Along the route, they try their best to avoid the watch patrols, as the watch are very much on edge right now due to all the recent murders taking place, and the arson attack on Maug Street.

Borri plays the drunk and fool as he has a brief run-in with a Watchman on night patrol, but he manages to steer away any suspicion, although it cost him a few silver.

They soon reach and discover the warehouse is guarded. At least two heavily armed mercenaries are out in front. They expected more, but Teugen is likely wanting to keep a low profile, and a contingent of armed guards sitting outside a warehouse is likely to draw unwanted attention.

Kall whispers to Baumann that “He’s got this” and Baumann is rather unconvinced as he watches Kall step forward, full cloak over him as he plays the ‘Old Man with a limp’ routine, not hard to do considering the extent of his injuries.

Ulrico, Finja and Liliana head around the back of the warehouse. Ulrico stays back as Finja and Lil scout ahead.

Meanwhile, Kall drops a few brass on the ground, “O deary me… I’m such a clumsy fool,” and bends down warily to pick them up, while requesting the aid of one of the guards. It takes some doing, but one of the guards, rather hesitantly and clearly annoyed, heads over to help him out. During this, Baumann’s men have been sneaking up behind the remaining guard.

Kall tosses his net over the guard that came over to help him, and Baumann’s men strike from behind, knocking the other guard out. Kall has trouble with his, but Baumann’s men come over and knock him silly, dragging his body along with the other one behind some barrels.

Kall hears more footsteps approach from a side alley, and hides. Another guard comes out, a woman clad in chainmail. Kall jumps behind her, but he  fumbles and she turns around. She hesitantly draws her sword, and a short fight starts but she is overpowered by a couple of Baumann’s men.

Satisfied, they hide the bodies, but Kall reckons it be quicker to cut their throats, less they wake up. Baumann is not particularly fond of spilling blood right outside the meeting place for the ritual, as it would be a dead give-away, and opts instead to dump their bodies in the river.

They step into the warehouse and discover that its empty, empty of anyone other than themselves of course. Other than that, the warehouse is stacked full of barrels and assortments, various stock and Borri particularly takes a keen eye towards a wagon in the corner, gathering dust. A forge wagon no doubt, and he reckons he could pull such a device. He heads over to it and opts to hide behind it, while caressing it and whispering sweet tunes to it…

Liliana follows suit and the rest take up hiding positions. Baumann did state earlier down in the sewers that they were not to act until his sister was present… Unfortunately for him, they didn’t quite listen.

A couple of hours pass, and it’s around 11:15pm when a carriage pulls up. 3 men step into the warehouse, one of them Finja recognizes as Franz Steinhager.

franz_steinhager

He looks around, checking that the coast is clear. Once satisfied, he begins pouring the contents of a small sack, to which looks like it contains some kind of black salt.

Finja at this stage decides to put on the mask, and pictures herself as Magirius. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work… She is puzzled somewhat as to why, but perhaps the deceased cannot be used as a disguise?

She decides then to take the form of Teugen, and satisfied once that Godfrey informs her she does indeed appear to be Teugen, she steps out.

She tries at first to sneak out, cause it be weird if Teugen suddenly appeared out behind some barrels… Unfortunately she knocks over a barrel, underestimating the wide girth that Teugen’s form possesses. They all turn around, puzzled and surprised.

“Herr Teugen? But… How? How did you get here? What are you doing?”

Finja, disguised as Teugen, tries to bluff her way out, stating that Teugen’s life is in danger and that he had no choice but to take extra precautions. There are a few slip-ups, including Steinhager puzzled as to the contradicting orders given by Teugen, cause he just spoke to the man less than 30 minutes ago!

Of course, Steinhager is not going to assume that someone has the ability to morph into Teugen’s body, so he waves it off as oddball behavior on the part of Teugen.

Finja excuses herself, fearing that the mask could crack any moment, and leaves making her excuses stating that she’ll wait for Gideon.

She heads out and then ducks behind a nearby wagon of barrels, removing the mask and waiting in position.

Once Steinhager is ready and finalized the preparations, a strange ritualistic pentagram has formed on the ground.

The Ritual

Now they just wait…

It isn’t long until another carriage shows up, this time Teugen steps out along with the final member of the Inner Council.

He is somewhat puzzled as to why there are no guards, and cautiously steps into the warehouse. There, he demands to know where the guards have gone, and Steinhager, again puzzled by this odd behavior, says, “But… you’ve already asked me that? Less than a minute ago.”

“No I haven’t! I’ve just arrived you fool!”

Steinhager is about to protest to this rather clear contradiction, but Teugen’s irate and strange behavior, from Steinhager’s perspective, is best left to its own devices less he face his ire.

The council members prepare themselves around the circle, as Teugen steps up onto a podium situated at the head of the pentagram, and lays down a heavy sturdy looking book.

Yet he has only barely opened it when a bolt comes flying out! Borri, being the impatient dwarf that he is, decides enough is enough and lets loose, as does Liliana. Liliana strikes Teugen in the side, and Borri lands a terrible blow slicing off half of Teugen’s ear!

The council members see this and reacts in stunned silence, and now the entire party jumps out and prepares for a fight. Kall fires a bolt up from a loft in the warehouse, hidden in a dark recess. His bolt lands true, and finishes off Teugen. Baumann secretly curses under his breath and is glaring towards Borri and Liliana, although they do not notice his anger.

The rest of the council are retreating, but Godfrey has blocked off some of their path as he kicked a heavy full barrel towards the door. A couple managed to get out, and as they do, another carriage arrives, and stops….

Gideon – Gideon

Baumann's Sister – Brinda, Baumann’s Sister

Gideon steps out confidently, and eyes the scene. He can hear the struggle going onside. The two frightened council members approach him, “Gideon! We’ve been ambushed! They are in there now! They…-” Gideon cuts them off, “Ah good, good. I did hope that they would arrive in time, now, begone with you. Your usefulness is at an end.”

Not even taking the time to register what was said to them, the two council members retreat to the upper docks, but are intercepted by one of Baumann’s men waiting in the shadows, and are efficiently and quickly dispatched.

Gideon makes his way up to the steps leading to the warehouse, and Brinda follows, somewhat seemingly dazed, as her eyes stare blankly ahead.

Finja steps out to confront them, but Gideon just smiles, “Ah, the deceiver. Good.”

“Let Brinda go Gideon, she is no longer of use to you…” Finja shouts.

Gideon casts Brinda a look, and then replies, “I think not…” and opens the door, pushing the barrel aside that was blocking the entry with ease and without effort. Brinda follows, just as Finja reaches out to grab her, but she grasp falls short.

Gideon looks around…

Warehouse13

He see’s the remaining dead council members, then eyes the party who await him. His rather confident and somewhat charming smile at this carnage and with the odds clearly stacked against him, is enough to give the party a sense of dread about what this ‘man’ represents.

Without a care in the world, he steps forward and strides past Eckhardt, to which Eckhardt takes a swipe at him and lands a blow with his halberd. A wound opens up on Gideon’s side, but Gideon seems unfazed by it, and strides into the middle of the pentagram.

Brinda is grabbed by Godfrey, but she resists and they struggle as Gideon shouts, “I’m glad you could all make it. This ruse was beginning to get tiresome, and now the moment is at hand. Witness your destiny, here and now!”

Gideon raises his arms as skin begins to peel off him, and the party look on in horror as Gideon transforms in front of them. His feet grow grotesque in the shape of goat-like hooves, and he gets taller and taller as his height almost reaches 8 foot. Great wings sprout from his back, and a sword of shadow forms in his hand, now and again, screaming skulls can be seen on it.

Gideon2 – Gideon’s True Form

The party react in horror at the sight of this abomination… Finja, Ulrico and Eckhardt run out in pure terror, and Baumann, whose words regarding Gideon were “He’s just a man,” to Kall Horst back in the sewer certainly sting him as he too runs out, terrified. The realization that such horrors exist is too much for some. Kall Horst is also fearful at the sight, but the realization that something was ‘odd’ about Gideon, considering his first sight of him back at Gertrude’s hut, is enough to steel his resolve.

Borri too holds firm, gripping his axe tightly, readying himself. Godfrey too buries his fear. Liliana however runs out, and starts shivering and muttering to herself outside.

They move in as Kall strikes out with a bolt, it lands true but is only a flea bit to Gideon. One of Baumann’s remaining men up above in the loft where Kall is also shoots but his nerves get the better of him as he misses most of his shots.

Godfrey and Borri surround Gideon, and standing landing blows upon blow upon him. Gideon doesn’t go on the offensive first, instead, he summons a ring of fire around him. Strangely enough, the fire is translucent, and doesn’t harm Borri or Godfrey, but it does make Gideon all the more powerful.

Eckhardt, Ulrico and Finja steel their resolve and join the fight, laying blow after blow into Gideon, Liliana joins them late into the fight, but is unable to contribute much as a single swing from Gideon’s blade would likely end her.

The rest of them do what they can, chipping away at Gideon bit by bit. Kall fires another bolt, but this one jams his crossbow. Borri lays it in thick for Gideon, smashing away with blunt force at Gideon’s knee’s, the only part that he can really reach. He does a good job at forcing Gideon off his balance, its enough that Gideon is now swinging wildly, and missing. Borri doesn’t relent, landing another blow on Gideon’s other knee! [GM Note: Borri landed 3 criticals, 2 of which was in a row. All of which was the knee. And on both legs, resulting in Gideon suffering a very nasty 20WS% penalty that stacks up to 40%!]

Gideon now forced on his knee’s, literally, the party rain in blow after blow. Ulrico and Liliana don’t have much luck, but Godfrey and Borri do the most hurt to him. Gideon doesn’t throw in the towel just yet, as he casts a powerful spell directly at Borri. Pink Fire surges from Gideon’s hands towards Borri, who has been relatively untouched at this point. That changes as the fire engulfs the dwarf, bringing him close to Morr as the singed dwarf is barely on his feet after that blow.

Finja lashes out with her sword, and Gideon, already on his last legs, feels the blow and falls to the ground. Finja continues to slash at the body which is now evaporating into the air, vanishing and leaving no trace of Gideon.

The fight’s over, but Gideon departs with one final gift… Liliana could hear him just as Gideon was struck down, she could hear her name being spoken… She’s not sure what he did, or said, but her bones tell her that Gideon departed with a gift for her, and not a kindly gift either.

Realization soon kicks in at what they did, and where they are. They don’t spend too long looting the place, as Borri grabs his wagon and makes his escape, albeit, heavily injured and fatigued. Kall gets ‘something’ from Teugen’s body, and Liliana picks up the book that Teugen had placed on the podium, but is unable to understand its language.

Liliana has a few words with Baumann, but Baumann is in no mood. He has been dealing with his sister during the whole fight, trying to calm her down. She has been resisting and fighting Baumann, even to the point of trying to kill him with a dagger. She gets knocked out by Liliana, and Baumann looks like he’s about to kill her, but it dawns on him that it was for the best. Picking up his sister, cradling her, he looks towards Kall Horst who offers to help.

“I believe you got your own problems… I suspect I will not be seeing your kind again.”

Baumann leaves with his sister, as the sounds of a large crowd make their way to the docks. The party waste no time in leaving the scene…

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