9.12.2517 – 10.12.2517
The Frozen Marsh
Klaus grabbed the screaming ghoul by it’s smashed leg and dragged it next to it’s panicked friend. The group demanded the ghoul spill what was it’s business with the Schiergen ghosts and to show that they met business Klaus raised his flail and splattered the ghoul’s mate’s brains all over the cold white snow.
The ghoul was suitably panicked and was not very brave and after some serious threats via Anierra and Klaus it caved in and told the group everything it knew. The ghouls were commanded by their master, gorash, to unearth the skulls of the Schiergen couple, swap their jaws and place their respective skulls in the farhoff manor and a physician’s house in Ubersreik.
Klaus asked was his master like him and the ghoul replied (who’s name was Malgar) that his master was so much more than he. Anierra didn’t like the sound of that and when Klaus asked does he eat corpses like a ghoul the ghoul simply replied he drinks their blood. The group went silent.
After a short delay they asked whereabouts of master’s abode and the ghoul replied about a half day north of here, satisfied with the answers given Klaus gave the ghoul a moment to repent for it’s sins before smashing it’s head apart with his flail and leaving it’s corpse beside it’s dead friends.
Anierra and Klaus discussed their options and based on what the ghoul told them they had a tough choice. Ricknar told the group they were probably dealing with some type of vampire and besides from general folklore they knew absolutely nothing about them. The group knew that they were supernatural and dangerous and to kill them you needed to put a stake through their heart but to be honest they weren’t even sure if that was the correct procedure.
In the end it boiled down to two choices, return to Ubersreik and get help and run the risk of the Vampire escaping, or chase it down and engage it while they could. During the course of the battle with the ghouls several of their number had escaped in the direction which the ghoul had pointed them to and the group was certain the ghoul’s were returning to warn their master as to what had transpired, could that have meant a trap would be waiting for them if they proceeded?
After a few short minutes of discussion they all agreed on that they had come to far to turn back and by the sounds of it the cave was closer to their current position then Ubersreik and they were loath to spend another night out in the freezing cold again.
The group set out with Ricknar as the guide, Klaus clearing a way for him through the knee deep snow, Anierra as the ever watchful scout and Friedrich as the party motivator and several hours later Ricknar turned around and said they were lost “that’s what you get if you get a guy who lives in the city to track” he said in an unapologetic tone.
The party were not impressed with each other as they went about collecting materials for a shelter and as the night settled in they hunkered down, (Anierra’s distressed state that she had to snuggle up to smelly human males lifted the mood somewhat) and they took turns throughout the night on hourly watches.
The night was brutal. The cold wind whipped up a fierce white haze and the night was riddled with bats, Anierra thought they were watching them, sinister dark eyes and black shapes flew overhead and coupled with the cold the party slept little. The morning after the group was a sorry sort, they had woken up freezing with early signs of frostbite and everyone except Klaus woke up with a viscous, raspy cough which felt like he sucked the life out of their very souls.
The party trudged onwards in the same roles as before but tensions were mounting. Anierra was certain that pervert Friedrich was rather liberal in his hand placements and the hopeless cold of the situation coupled with the situation of his missing friend Brieg consumed Klaus’s thoughts.
Eventually the group reached a clearing with dozens of ghoul foot prints and alert and ready the party advanced. The dark eyed sinister bats chittered overhead as the party advanced cautiously, troubled that the bats were still out despite the sun had risen well into mid morning.
The tracks appeared to come from all directions and the party surmised that they were in the middle of a crossroads of sort, perhaps the departure and arrival point for whatever ghouls this Gorash commanded and by the number of tracks, there were a lot of them. The group cautiously searched the area, picked up the trail and continued on.
The group entered the ominous cave with weapons ready. The cave was huge and extended well into the earth and Friedrich’s torch, the only one they had, provided a warm glow which lifted the group’s spirits. The cave was eerily silent too and they felt like their footfalls echoed for miles down the dark interiors of this gigantic hole in the ground.
Suddenly from overhead a bat swooped the party, screeching loudly and startling the group. After the party composed themselves another bat did the same thing and then another. Suddenly the cave erupted in an explosion of deafening noise as thousands of bats awoke from their slumber and descended upon the group.
The party swung, sliced shot and burnt their way through the seething mass of swarming tiny bodies. The swarms were doing little damage but were tiring the group out fast, both mentally and physically.
After what seemed like an age the swarms dispersed and began to fly out of the cave and the party rested on it’s haunches, surrounded by the bodies of hundreds of the fiendish creatures. Now, with the advantage of surprise completely lost they gathered their wits and continued down into the depths of the earth, even more cautious then before.
Eventually the group reached a large flat open plateau, Anierra warned the group to be careful and as they set out onto it Anierra’s warrior instincts alerted her that they were being watched. Anierra called out to this mystery observer and demanded that they show themselves but their was no response, whoever was there did not wish to play their hand as yet.
The group continued out into the middle of the cavern where they began to catch glimpses of ghouls darting about at the edge of their vision and as they readied there weapons a dark and sinister voice called out to them, it was the vampire Gorash the Magnificent. Gorash told the party that they were fools and they were doing out of order to his plan, the party (especially Klaus) was in no mood to converse with a vile fiend such as this and taunted the creature, daring him to attack. Gorash simply laughed and complied in earnest.
There was a pause and Anierra readied her weapon and suddenly she was reeling, dozens of years of study at the tower of Hoeth had given her an almost supernatural combat sense and before she even realised what she was doing she raised her weapon and hurled her body backwards with cat like reflexes as viscous black claws, as long as a man forearm racked across her Ithilmar scale.
Anierra’s eyes widened as she was suddenly eye to eye with the most hideous creature she had seen in her entire life. The creature was broader than Klaus and as tall as her, it’s hunched yet athletic frame was covered in dank grey skin and instead of fingers it had long twisted claws. The vampires face was perhaps worse of all with large bat like ears, red eyes, a canine snout and viscous fangs.
Anierra was about to ready her weapon in response when as quick as Gorash came he shot off like lightning, Klaus immediately broke ranks and charged off into the dark after the vampire, his party calling after him to stand firm and not to fall for the vampires trap of separating the group.
Anierra moved to recover the enraged zealot but was interrupted as several ghouls charged the party, the elf made the decision to provide muscle for Ricknar and Friedrich rather than save Klaus, not one week prior she had ran to Klaus’s assistance to the detriment of the rest of the group and she vowed not to fail them again and with a quick step she moved to engage the closest pinkish creature.
Klaus’s blood was pumping, he would bring Sigmar’s light to this foul beast and send it back to the hell in whence it came. The zealot spotted movement in the corner of his eye and swung his flail in response, feeling it’s iron spikes drive into the vampires flesh. Klaus stepped aside expecting the vampires response but quicker then he could see the heavy claws of the beast crashed into his chest and Klaus’s breath exploded out of him, it was as if had been ran over by a carriage and the zealot’s knees buckled.
Klaus could feel blood welling from his lacerated Skin beneath his chain mail, he had never been hit so hard in his life, finally he had found a foe worthy enough for his hatred. Klaus swung up and felt his flail connect and with smug satisfaction he moved forward to prepare for the finishing blow, no creature, man or beast had survived the second purification of his flail and Klaus was certain of his impending victory.
The Vampires dark clawed hands reached out and grasped Klaus hands, wrenching his flail away from him and with supernatural strength forced the zealot to his knees. Klaus could not believe it, the vampire lived and was forcing him down, nothing had done this before, ghosts, necromancers, goblins Klaus had defeated them all, had Sigmar abandoned him?
The Vampire grinned and bared it’s fangs, Klaus’s eyes widened, it was going to tear his throat out! This was it, the Von Meyer family would extinguish in a dark forgotten cave, food for an undead fiend. Sigmar had left him and soon his soul would be ripped from his body as the vampire would gorge on his flesh.
Sigmar would never leave him, faith in Sigmar was the source of his true power, his strength and light in times of darkness. Klaus gritted his teeth and with a rising shout of frustration and fury he fought against the vampires death grip. Klaus could feel the blood of Sigmar coursing through his veins and despite all odds he rose from his knees and locked arms with the vampire in a wrestlers grapple, his face inches from the startled and furious creature as the two combatants screamed at each other.
Anierra rushed the vampire as it grappled with Klaus and with an artful slice ran Bondbreaker across Gorash’s side and as the great sword bit into the creatures, a blue spark ran down the wound and with a unearthly howl Gorash caught alight in a hailstrom of blue flame. Klaus released his grip on the creature and fell back, dusting his arms off lest he caught alight as well.
Anierra looked back at her blade, the elven sigil’s inscribed into the it glowed an iridescent blue. The elf had never seen bondbreaker do that before in her fifty years plus in possession of the blade. The vampire howled and flailed about and the party kept a shocked distance, the sudden and strange occurrence stunned them into inaction.
A gurgled war cry resounded over Gorash’s screams and out of the dark rushed a poorly dressed, grubby looking man wielding a broom. The party’s jaws dropped as their missing member Brieg leapt into the air and impaled his “weapon” through the vampires heart sending the burning creature toppling spread eagle to the ground, dead.
The party were stunned at Brieg’s return and informed him of Gunther Emming’s decision. Brieg was troubled at this as he was not looking forward to be executed but Klaus said he would do everything within his power to prevent this from occurring. The party searched the giant cave and found quarters for over forty ghouls, fortunately for them most of them were not present and were most likely out on various underhanded tasks or six feet under courtesy of the party’s previous meetings.
The group ransacked the vampires substantial horde of priceless artifacts and texts, cut of it’s head and made the long trip back into Ubersreik. The party showed Schadrach Burke the vampire head and asked the priest of the proper disposal method for vampires. Schadrach Burke was alarmed that a vampire was found so close to Ubersreik and was grateful that the PC’s dealt with it, Schadrach said he would lead a party to recover the vampires body and conduct the appropriate ritual to make sure the undead fiend did not rise again.
The party told Schadrach of the situation with Brieg and Schadrach said he was no friend of Gunther Emming. The party asked if they could leave Brieg’s broomstick in his possession and return for it later, when Schadrach asked why the explained that the guard would be looking for a man who carried a broom as that was Brieg’s only distinguishing feature, Schadrach agreed and when he took the broom from Brieg’s hand a small jolt of energy leapt between the two men.
The group didn’t know what to make of that and swiftly ignored it, asking Schadrach if he knew the address of the physicians house in which Uwe the male ghost was haunting. Schadrach gave the address and named the owner of the premises to be Klex Narscabber.