Warhammer: Chaos Rises

Chapter 16
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Chapter 15: Signs

Hasling raids devastate the Imperial signal towers along the coast, preventing word from reaching the major garrisons and settlements. Hargendorf repels an attack at no small cost just as the party returns. Deciding it’s time to take sides (and get regular lodgings and money) they swear an oath to serve Werner Von Gausser in his capacity as commander of the Hagendorf Free Company.

After helping secure the nearest signal tower and spending a tiring night escorting critical parts needed to get the signal system working again they learn that the capital of Nordland, Salzenmund is under siege by a Greenskin army whilst the Haslings continue to raid. If Saleznmund fails there is nothing between the combined Greenskin and Hasling forces and the Imperial heartlands except the city of Middenheim.

With the Elector Count Theodoric Von Gausser and most of Nordland’s forces in the Wasteland laying siege to Marienburg, and a series of damaged towers in the south there is no quick means to warn the Imperial heartlands and call for the aid of the mighty armies of the Emperor and the other Elector Counts.

Word of large numbers of greenskins moving through the forest of shadows reaches them, and the adventurers convince their Lord to head south into Laurelorn forest to warn the Wood Elves and seek their aid in the absence of any great forces in Nordland at this time. Heading south by boat they hope to cut right into the heart of Laurelorn and mention the name of the elf maiden Uliana as she aided them before.

After coming across evidence of a large force of Orcs marching towards Hargendorf they stumble over goblin scouts in large number and try to engage them as they cross from the east banks of the river Demst but they begin to be overwhelmed as they try to escape by boat just as a force of elves appear on the West bank and unleash a frightening volley of arrows which scatters the goblins back into the forest….

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Chapter 14: "Reise, Reise"

A journey to find and save the soon to be executed former handmaiden of the mistress of the Count of Nordland takes a an unexpected twist when old friends and enemies arrive from Norsca.

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Chapter 13: Descent Into Mystery

Beloche Meergeboren returned in the morning with tales of an ancient fortress next to a lake deep in the Forest of Shadows, of unnaturally fast and quiet figures in black robes and of strange smells and music emanating from the fortress.

Deciding the Count needed to be advised his paramour was involved in black arts, or at least members of his court the party went to the Temple of Sigmar as a credible witness would be needed to provide testimony to those in authority who could listen. Sigmar seemed to smile upon them as Karl Sydow, the Abbot of Sigmar’s temple in Salzenmund agreed to help them by sending a familiar face to join them in exploring the forest – Griselda, Priestess of Sigmar!

Exploring the forest they came upon the ruined fort, it’s walls still intact they had to climb to get inside and open the gates…signs someone was indeed using it. The upper floors of the main keep were a ruined den of decay, filth and drugged prisoners and an extremely offbeat young, filthy overseer.

Below, a nightmare descent down into the earth for many hundreds of feet. A large chamber giving off a seductive purple light, with slow thumping music dancing in the incensed air. Below this, an ornate pit with a small water fall flanked by dozens of men and women in various states of ecstasy.

Behind the waterfall was a lavish chamber. Finding many jewels and items of interest they were interrupted by the presence of a woman of incredible but unearthly beauty. Failing to negotiate they tried to gain the upper hand but fell under her spell. The spell was broken when Griselda, who was guarding the entrance to the waterfall arrived and charged the attack, breaking her spell. The creature’s visage changed to a nightmare that held several of the party in shock. Her large, crab like claw dropped Griselda with one blow to the head but the party prevailed after a short, but brutal fight that saw the creature vanish in agony rather than die.
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With Griselda seriously injured and some of the party needing a physician things turned from bad to worse as 11 more of these ‘women’, robed in dark purple with a curious symbol etched into the cloth filled the edges of the room, effectively surrounding them.

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Chapter 12: The Plot Thickens

The ‘crow’ necromancer melted back the way he came and shortly after the sounds of shuffling, pained footsteeps came down the tunnel. Quickly trying to bar the way into the chamber with a heavy, empty bookshelf the party realised the walking dead were coming for them….

Despite their efforts to funnel the rotting zombies in a few at a time the case fell and a disorderly slow rush pushed through – this worked to their advantage as the dead at the front fell causing a slow drive and they were easier to deal with. Despite this the party fought hard to secure the area and ended up drawing many into a fire they set.

Going outside the barrow they saw the necromancer and were, with some effort and a brilliant shot able to dispatch him, recovering the book also looting his cloak.

The long journey back to Salzenmund was uneventful and they reported first to Gertrude, who suggesting setting a meeting with Beatke.

To divert possible attention they made contact with the Thieves Guild, including their leader, the mysterious Kirstin, hid party members in safe houses and generally caused a fair amount of confusion to try and confuse any who might be watching.

Eventually they exchanged the book for information from Beatke, who told them the Count’s paramour was Brunhilde Ulke Von Schönhausen. She also informed them Lady was seen to leave the city for an unknown destination to the south every full moon. With a few days to go the party arranged for a reliable scout with the Thieves guild to tail her carriage, with Beloche Meergeboren going along with the scout they set off into the night…

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Chapter 11: Darkness Unbound

Exploring the still smouldering ruins of the Shrine Library the party find all are dead. A patrolling priestess of Sigmar passes and leaves after they explain they are not the people responsible for the sacking of the Shrine Library.

Finding many rough tracks leading away cross country towards Lowitz the party heads there to find a well fortified settlement. The tracks seem to bypass it and head off to the forboding hills to the south.

Taking time to rest and resupply in Lowitz, they encountered unfriendly administrators and a mysterious ‘cartographer’ named Anna Brozek, who was injured from a trip to the hills where the many footsteps led. She told them not to go.

So the next day they headed off to the hills, which seemed to be a long and ever more complex system of hill-barrows. The place reeked of old death, and the trail of many footsteps continued deeper within the hills.

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Spending a cold and miserable night on a hill, they witnessed a mysterious crow flying low at night heading north. In the morning they continued to follow the trail of many footsteps and came to a large, central barrow. Proceeding inside they quickly discovered why Brozek warned them away….for the dead walked as the living.

Dispatching many of these fell creatures they explored the barrows rooms and discovered signs of habitation. Coming across a central room with an altar they were surprised to discover the master of the unholy place had returned. A black-clad, faceless figure covered in a cloak of crow feathers stood between them and the only way out….

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Chapter 10: A year later

Beloche Meergeboren, survivor of a massacre of Jarl Bjorg’s chosen band of bear skins or ‘berserkers’ was sent south to Salzenmund to warn Hanna Schneider of increased war bands of Haslings and other far north tribes from the Northern Wastes.

Meanwhile Hannah, with a new companion Emmrich Schelman headed back to the Temple of Shallya outside Salzenmund after months of adventuring around Middenheim and the foothills of the Middle Mountains in Hochland.

While this was going on, as if by fate a Dwarven runebear; Aura Grimfire on an errand of aid and information from the mighty Dwarven stronghold of Karak Kadrin arrived on the same day as the others. Priestess Gurtrude, sensing a converging of powers and fate invited them to further aid the cause of Light. Knowing the pacifist stance of Shallya prevents her from direct action she has tasked the companions to approach Beatke Priestess of Verena at the Temple University in Salzenmund in order to form an alliance.

Beatke however proved comfortable and unwilling to directly go against the Elector Count, despite having a small army of scribe-monks who take care of almost all the records and dealings of the Von Gausser family. However, after some persuasion she agreed on the condition that the companions recover a tome which will act as insurance should the Count or his family discover her actions and move against her.

The tome, called ‘The Celebrated Ambitions of the Gaussers of Nordland’ is a book supposedly written in duplicate by a celebrated monk of Verena. This book has an official copy kept by the scribes of Verena in the University of Salzenmund, but the duplicate, a larger work, contains what is rumoured to be a true history of the Von Gaussers, and is rumoured to be kept current. Clearly the existence of such a book that may contain damaging secrets of the rulers of Nordland is going to be valuable as leverage. The fact Beatke wants this tome suggest she suspects or even knows something is amiss in the high halls of the Elector Count’s castle.

After some serious fast talking (to enter) and research in the University Library Emmrich Schelman was able to find out the last location of the supposedly lost book was at a Shrine Library in the province of Ostland between the towns of Rossin and Birkewiese.

After several weeks of travel they arrived in the mist shrouded forests of Ostland and found their way to the Shrine Library and what appeared to be the aftermath of a brutal attack, leaving the monks dead or dying. Schelman immediately tried to save the lives of those he could as the others looked around the scene of carnage and destruction…

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Chapter 9: The Oldenlitz Connection

Whilst investigating a missing diplomatic caravan near the mining town of Oldenlitz the party discover a band of ruthless mercenaries led by Cassandra, Tyutchev and Thaum, hunting one of the survivors of the Caravan…an Elf woman badly injured, who they claimed was a witch.

Wanting to help they bring her to edge of Laurelorn Forest so her kin can care for her. There they find evidence of a brutal slaughter against both men and elf by the mercenaries they managed to avoid thus far (with the aid of some talking birds)

Waking, the Elf woman reveals she is an envoy called Uliana, knowing it is just a matter of time before the mercenaries arrive to finish the job the party prepared for the worst.

Sure enough the attack came and a brutally swift melee saw Cassandra, Tyutchev and Thaum mortally wounded (a mage who turned into a bear helped somewhat) and their followers dispursed.

Thanking them for their aid Uliana headed into the forest to warn her kin – the party left knowing that there is something foul afoot in the court of the Elector Count that could have a destabilising effect on the rest of the empire and beyond…

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Chapter 8: Stopover in Salzenmund

WIth Magnus Schmitt off finding his official magic guild representative to pay his fees and properly register; Hanna Schneider & Leichbrecht Crowson spent a few days shopping, ordering new gear and speaking with Gurtrude about current events.

Whilst out in the city of Salzenmund they were able to catch some of the local gossip which included:

  • Wood imports from Kislev have risen over the last two years, likely as despite being Lord of Laurelorn Forest no sane human would start serious tree felling so close to the realm of the woodland elves.
  • The Elector Count has a new but unknown mistress, and as a result of this his housebound wife has been rumoured to have turned to older and darker gods. On top of this the Count himself seems to be backing her.

Upon their return Gurtrude informed them than a Diplomatic envoy working on behalf of the Laurelorn Elves left Salzenmund three days ago after speaking to the count and his wife. The Envoy caravan seems to have vanished without a trace shortly after leaving Oldenlitz.

The adventurers decide to go and investigate this as they are keen to find out from people with access to the Count what exactly is going on, hoping that if a fell plot is at hand they can gather enough evidence to present it to the Cults of Sigmar and Ulrich so that action may be taken.

They spent the last night wining and dining their men before what could be a short but likely hard journey ahead…

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Chapter 7: A Blast From The Past

The forces led by Ragnar, Bob, Hanna & Magnus return victoriously to Ulfsland to celebrate their decisive defeat over the forces of Jarl Hafdan.

News travels fast in Norsca and other Jarls and interested parties will be planning their visit to Ulfsland to meet this formerly minor Jarl and his Reiklander Huscarls who have led his forces to victory…

A trade ship from Finnsholm arrives a few weeks later carrying leichbrecht Crowson – who has been tasked with bringing Magnus Schmitt to Salzenmund in secret to meet with Gurtrude, a priestess of Shallya.

Deciding to leave, the adventurers are given a smaller ship and five Norsemen to see them return to Nordland safely. They are followed and whilst staying at Neues Emskrank they manage to disable and imprison (in an empty herring barrel!) a shady character they caught disabling their mask. Having no means to sail they set off the next day up the river Salz, rowing against the thankfully peaceful flow of the river.

Ultimately they arrived at the small chapel compound dedicated to Shallya just outside the city of Salzenmund and were promptly hidden in an unused barn by one of the priests until Gurtrude arrived.

It seems the idleness that comes with peace has turned into potentially damaging events. Gurtrude upon her return explained how the Elector Count has been acting erratically, rumours he is dedicating chapels in his castle to older gods without names abound. He locks himself in his tower for days on end and sees few people.

Whilst speculating what could be the cause of this one of the initiates arrives to inform them Elector Count Theodoric Gausser has annouced his intentions to raise an army and march on the Free City of Marienburg to retake it and bring the Wasteland back under Nordland’s control…

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