What do you get when a halfling, a dwarf and three men enter the sewers? Trouble, that’s what!
Our brave adventurers endure the foul smelling sludge that’s flowing along beneath the pavements of Wittgendorf as they descend into the sewers. Durgin, Tafwick, Kall Horst, Ulrico and Jean the local physician begin to head south at Jean’s instructions, although Kall has kindly relieved him of his amulet that he said protected him from the ghouls.
It’s dark, it stinks and the party are ever cautious not to slip into the sewage. Durgin is taking the lead as his dwarfen eyes can see better than the rest. It’s just as well, cause Durgin spots some loose stonework up ahead. He tells everyone to be careful with their footing as he crosses successfully. Next up is Tafwick, who tip-toes across without effort. The rest get across without any issue with exception to Kall who takes a quick dip into the sewage!
Continuing further on, Durgin spots a large sizeable gap. The path has literally washed away. “Something big has come through here recently,” Durgin remarks as he eyes his surroundings.
He says a prayer and is about to jump across when Jean points out that there is a pipe running along under the sludge to the otherside, although it’s about 2 and a half feet under the sludge.
Durgin decides to brave the pipe rather than jumping as he pretty much sucks at jumping and nobody wishes to toss the dwarf.
He gets across fine. Ulrico is next and he make sit across along with Jean. Kall Horst decides to ‘whip’ it rather than get his feet covered in sewage and whips across indiana jones style, catching his whip on a overhead sewage pipe.
Tafwick is left… and is somewhat hesitant. Kall sighs, whips back across, grabs Tafwick and then both of them jump across using Kall’s whip. The pipe nearly collapses from their combined weight but he makes it across without so much as a splash.
“Lets continue on moving, and be quick about it,” remarks Jean.
They do indeed continue on, until they get to the edge of a bank. “We need to cross here.”
They see another pipe under the sludge to the other side but Durgin notes that it doesn’t look particularly sturdy, and could collapse.
“Wait… what’s that…” Durgin see’s something out of the corner of his eyes.
Across the other side that they’re trying to get to, Durgin notices a long tail disappear into a tunnel.
He tells everyone to be on their guard, and Jean remarks that he doesn’t remember that tunnel.
They manage to cross, although Kall Horst had tried his luck with his whip again, unfortunately the pipe above didn’t held his weight and it collapses. Kall takes another dunk into the sewer, hitting his head off the pipe on the way down and injuring himself. (He crit failed.)
Durgin is keeping an eye on that tunnel. He has a really bad feeling about where it might lead.
In the end, he decides not to head down it despite the temptation, and continues on with the party, heading south.
– It’s probably just as well he didn’t go down that tunnel…
Unknown to the party, a skaven clan by the name of Clan Skeever were plotting to overrun Castle Wittgenstein. They had long suspected that the Wittgenstein’s were harboring Warpstone, and that had been the case. Courtesy of Eckhardt’s slip of the tongue, they now believed that the Wittgensteins have a much bigger reserve of the stuff, and were now putting their final plans into place.
As the party continued on and get nearer to where Jean says that the exit is to the castle courtyard’s well, they suddenly stop. Well, Jean does, who is now in lead.
“What’s… o no!”
Up ahead, Jean see’s this…
He tries to step back but Kall Horst’s pistol pressed into his back tells him that would be a very bad idea. And then, more ghouls, and more ghouls start racing around the corner at the sight of fresh meat. These ghouls however appear ‘different’ than the one they encountered at the signal tower. They seem more fragile, if anything, they look like ordinary village folk, but starving. Yet their fragile look is somewhat deceiving as they attack viciously and in numbers.
Kall forces Jean on his knee’s and then bends down as well to provide a makeshift ramp for Durgin who jumps across Kall’s back and into the foray!
Slicing and dicing, Durgin carves his way through these starving cannibalistic ghouls with ease. They are certainly not of the same caliber of ghoul he’d thought he’d fight, but in numbers they make a worthy foe, and indeed, they swarm over him. Durgin is hard pressed but still swinging his mighty great axe into the mess, hacking off limbs as he goes. Kall assists, shooting his repeater crossbow over Durgin and into the crowd. He can’t miss, there’s over a dozen or more now!
But because Kall is wearing Jean’s amulet, the ghouls leave him alone, even as he attacks them. Poor Jean however is not so lucky as a couple grab at his ankles and pull him into the sludge. They devour him in quick succession, before Durgin manages to dispatch them.
The ghouls basically decide, “fuck this!” and leg it with an angry slayer shouting out taunts and chasing them half-way as they disappear into the sewer.
Panting with joy at the conclusion of this fight, the rest of the party take a breather before moving on. Yet they don’t get far when Kall hears some ‘scratching’ coming from the other side of the wall up ahead.
Durgin’s worst fears come true as the wall literally bursts open and giant rats swarm out in the dozens out of the wall. Durgin is barely restraining himself to jump forward, as the party’s presence is not revealed as the skaven head in the opposite direction, presumably towards Castle Wittgenstein.
But alas that doesn’t last for long as Tafwick, seeing a nightmare come true loses his mind altogether and screams out!
The skaven stop as one, turn, and peer behind them… For the first time, Durgin is probably grateful towards his rememberer, and launches into the furry mess of rats. Yet as he launches into the battle, something big, something very big, bursts out of the hole that the skaven came through and making it an even larger gap.
– Rat Ogre!
Durgin has never been more happy, “Come here big boy! I’ve got an axe for ya!” he shouts as he charges right into the ogre. The rest of the party… are not so happy. In fact they are terrified.
Kall is filled with nothing but fear at the sight of this thing, never mind that giant rats wielding dirty rancid looking weapons have just literally climbed out of a wall… He steps back behind Ulrico. Ulrico has regained some composure but his hands are shaky as he tries to aim a shot at the rat ogre with his sling.
Tafwick is… gone. Giant rats? Ok, that’s pretty terrifying… Giant rat ogre? Ok, that’s me out guys! Tafwick scampers out of the sewers.
Durgin and the rat ogre goe toe-to-toe trading blows. Durgin’s axe is mighty indeed and cuts deep into the rat ogre, as the skaven watch on gleefully. Or rather, they would have, if Ulrico hadn’t missed the rat ogre and instead hit one of the skaven. They charge at him.
Kall and Ulrico find themselves covered in skaven hacking at them. It’s too much for Kall as he abandons Ulrico to his fate and decides that Tafwick’s idea of leaving the sewers was the right one. He runs.
Ulrico is getting hacked at, and is about to succumb to his injuries when a command is uttered from somewhere near the rat ogre. The skaven turn as one, and then pounce upon the slayer! (Ulrico had used his fate point as he was about to die, and as a result, the skaven have turned and gone after Durgin at the command of the Grey Seer nearby.)
As the skaven dig into Durgins back with claws and cleavers, Durgin gets a solid blow from the rat ogre, but he returns the gesture with a killing blow, hacking off the rat ogres arm and then proceeding to introduce the ogre’s face to his axe, killing the beast outright. But it’s not over for Durgin. Now with skaven all over him, and a couple of storm vermin join into the foray, Durgin is holding on for dear life as he engages this new threat.
“Kill! Kill the iron blood!” comes the command from the Grey Seer.
The couple of storm vermin that joined in (and the only storm vermin present) get hacked apart by Durgin’s impressive strikes although not before giving the dwarf a taste of his own medicine. Durgin cuts through the last storm vermin as he goes down, and the skaven pounce on him. He is quite literally covered in fur at this point as they proceed to stab him and cut him to ribbons.
But is that it for Durgin?
No… it seems not. (He uses his one and only fate point at this point)
As Durgin lays covered in fur, he see’s a vision… a shade of a dwarf approaches him.
Could it really be…. he thinks to himself as this shade approaches. Is that Grimnir?
Then a booming voice shouts, “Durgin Gromundson! Get off ya fat hairy ass and FIGHT! You call this a DOOMING! This ain’t a dooming worthy of me! Go and Fight in my name! Go and claim me a dooming worthy of my name! Get up and fight like a dwarf! GET UP!”
“For Grimnir!” Durgin shouts as he rises, an eery glow surrounds him as he swings his axe into anything with fur and a long snout. The skaven are utterly terrified and scamper as the tide of battle has suddenly turned against them. The grey seer has lost its confidence and flee’s into the tunnel.
Durgin gives chase.
He reaches the end of the tunnel and see’s the grey seer, steering at him, gloating. Behind him, there is at least two dozen more skaven looking up at this glowing dwarf.
Durgin shouts out a curse, “Prepare to die Thaggaraki!” as he jumps down and charges. The grey seer commands them to attack.
“You die now iron blood! Die, die!”
But the skaven do not charge forward. In fact, they flee into the tunnels. The grey seer is utterly oblivious to the skaven fleeing for their, and continues to taunt Durgin as Durgin approaches.
Then, he turns around…
An empty cavern is all that the grey seer sees. His confidence washes away as he desperately tries to cast a spell at Durgin. Holding out a piece of warpstone, gripping it in his hands, he speaks in a language incomprehensible to Durgin. He points his other hand at Durgin and flicker of energy begins to sprout from his fingers, but… fizzle out.
Durgin see’s his chance as the spell fails and pounces upon the grey seer. Grey seer’s may be extremely powerful… from range. But a great axe up close is a world of hurt and indeed the the grey seer goes down, his head removed from his shoulders.
His lifeless body drops the warpstone and Durgin smashes it. It cracks open and a pool of green ooze pours out. Green sporadic lightning, presumably the after effects of having magic flow through it very recently, shoot out of the liquid and one of them hits Durgin, giving him a few nasty wounds. Soon the lightning fizzles out and all is quiet…
Topside, the party are taking a much needed rest and are still in disbelief about what happened down below. Durgin soon comes up despite everyone having assumed he was dead. Ulrico is surprised above all, but Durgin shrugs it off. They call it a day in their attempt to rescue Eckhardt. Licking their many wounds, they limp off to the barge to find a drunken Borri having awoken and greets them with ale in hand.
Durgin is not happy. Words are exchanged.
As they collect themselves and prepare for another attempt tomorrow, they hear something coming from the town.
Is that… moaning?
Is that… lots of moaning?
Is that… screams?
As for Eckhardt, well, Eckhardt had an adventurer of his own which will be detailed in the next part of the blog.
GM Note* One explanation that I wanted to explain in the story, but never got the chance (on account of Jean dying at the hands of ghoulish villagers) was the reason why he was using the sewers in the first place to sneak into the castle. The party (rather strangely) never questioned him on this as to why he was sneaking off into the sewers instead of using the main entrance. The reason being was that Jean was having a secret love affair with Margarrite von Wittgenstein, the Baroness daughter. The dirty old goat (he was in his 40’s compared to the young 20-something Margarrite) was often sneaking off for a passionate affair. Margarrite however was just using Jean, and there was no real affection from her. She was using him to poison the town’s water supply and food storage. (She did this to make them weaker and less rebellious as she feared that the town’s folk were becoming far too rebellious for their own good lately)
Margarrite is actually engaged to Castrum von Schultz, and such, the need to keep it a secret.
– Castrum and the Lady Margarrite were very much in love.