The Child of Marienburg


An ill-omened beginning…

Having misplaced Kazmir and Slyf during a misunderstanding in a bar, the rest of the party arrived in the City of Gold. Having some hours to spare before their companions caught up, the group made their way through the merchant's quarter to meet with a Lady Raeva. They met her harem, her monstrous bodyguard Thrugg, and took on a job at her order. They were to seek out information on a supposed "Child of Sigmar", a reincarnation of the Empire's neglected ruler-deity. Raeva was sure that the party possessed some "spark of fortune" which would twist fate around them to her advantage. Though aware of the likely collateral, she considered their presence a necessity in order to obtain the truth of the matter. One week later, they returned with a startling tale.

Once upon a time, a Witch Hunter named Falconheim was hunting mutants and chaos worshippers in the Wastes around Marienburg. Following a tip from a waster, he uncovered a temple deep in the marshes, and broke up a ceremony in which a baby was about to be drowned. In truth, the mutants had worshipped Stromfels, God of Sharks, Storms and Pirates. Their Alpha had begotten the boy with a female cultist, and noting his budding powers of influence, had sought to drown him as a sacrifice to their God. Their ritual was interrupted by Falconheim who slaughtered or scattered them all. He examined the boy, and finding no taint, he turned him over to an orphanage in the city.

The Abbess of the Orphanage of Our Martyred Lady quickly discovered the strange powers and habits of the wildborn boy. She ordered her attendant, Sister Ludwig, to turn the boy over to the Templars for burning. Instead, it seems she conspired with her brother, another Witch Hunter. Their purpose remains unclear, but the Child was returned to the orphanage and raised in secret in a hidden room. Some years later, when the boy was close to 10, a pair of men visited the Orphanage in search of the boy. When they could not find him, they returned in the night and broke in to search. It is likely that these men were Stromfelsians, cloaked in a spell of disguise, led by a Nurglish sorcerer named Jurgen. On Old Smithy Road, the boy broke free of his captors and slew one or more with a fallen smith's hammer. In the melee, a birthmark in the form of a twin-tailed comet was revealed upon his chest. The townsfolk rallied around him, many declaring him Sigmar Reborn. He was quickly taken into the protection of Witchfinder Ludwig, and became the object of worship in an out-city encampment. The Abbess of the Orphanage and the Witchunter Falconheim recognized the boy, and knowing that he had never borne the Mark before, denied his latent divinity. Both were subjugated by the Cult of Sigmar, Falconheim maimed and abandoned, the Abbess caged and charged as a Witch. Jurgen -the sorcerer who had sought to steal the boy - was driven mad and locked within his own underground sanctum. With all opposition silenced, Ludwig declared a Holy Pilgrimage to Altdorf, where the boy was to be acknowledged by the Grand Theogonist.

Upon hearing the tale, Lady Raeva entreated the companions further; they should follow the boy on his pilgrimage, and ascertain the truth behind the lie of his divinity. Many factions moved in support of the Child, but none among them had pure intentions. The comrades departed by ferry down the River Talabec, hoping to head off the penitents. Though coming to Marienburg in pursuit of easy gold, all were now aware of a greater and more terrible quest to which they were called to answer…

The Drakwald's due -

The companions are dropped by the banks of the Talabec, to begin their long pursuit of the Child's shuffling crusade. Loaded heavy with supplies for the road, they sink and struggle with the swampy mires, are afflicted by dreadful parasites and spring a Beastman ambush to reach the outermost town of the Imperial realm - Pfeiffeldorf. They are accosted on the road, not by brigands but bounty hunters in the employ of a local lord "Von Speire". News of their deadly brawl against dockland brigands has reached the Empire, and the party are charged in a hasty proceeding at the centre of the town. Valar steps forward to defend the party's action, though aware of the riotous injustice that characterizes the realm. Unexpectedly, the commander of a mercenary company has been appointed Bailiff, and offers a pardon to the group in exchange for a favor. They are confined to the town's borders and charged to investigate the ongoing disappearance of livestock from outlying farms. Baltar is near-incandescent with rage at the notion, advocating an immediate breakout. The threat of the stocks and hanging bounty win out however, leading the others to wearily accept the mission. The comrades begrudgingly surrender their weapons, though a few of them manage to retain a hidden blade. Slyf cloaks himself with magical shadows and spends a long night on the roof of Frau Gertrudt's barn. He hopes to catch sight of the thieves in the darkness, but is disappointed as none appear.

The others follow the rumor of a local miller's murderous breakdown, searching his house and lands. The party are discovered in the deed by his widow, who becomes hysterical and demands that they leave her property. Valar manages to slip out with a few papers relevant to the matter, notably an admission form for research in a Heraldric archive. Convinced that the miller was pursuing some claim against the nobles, Valar suggests a search of the Von Speire Mausoleum. Though the party uncovers no further clues on the matter of Schmidt, a more terrible discovery is made. Within the crypt they find the butchered bodies of the missing livestock, a soldier drained of blood and walls erupting with murderous undead. An armored figure appears and is immediately attacked by Baltar and Kazmir - he quickly evades them and attacks the ghoulish monsters instead. The ill-prepared party falls to brawling, and Valar succumbs to a terrible arcane trap; his divine powers are nullified by a curse laid over the tomb. Vikter unleashes a pyrotechnic display, scorching and wounding the creatures as they advance; with the rest of the party unarmed, he wields his magic in their defense. An expression of animalistic confusion crosses the face of the Thrall engaged by Baltar; the bellowing Mul shrugs off it's lashing claws and mercilessly pummels it's skull till it splinters and succumbs.

Yet their struggle is in vain, as a bat-like and muscular figure appears to engage the armored man. Their erstwhile ally is torn limb-from-limb, and the creatures quickly escape from the crypt. Though seemingly victorious, the party are seized by the sense that the monster had ignored them rather than fled. They hurry back to town, warning the bailiff and Lord Von Speire of the infestation. There they hear a dreaded word for the first time; Vampire. The party swiftly collect their weapons once more as they watch the mercenary company flee. They gather to debate their next move as Vikter sorcerously heals his injured arm with molten steel. A monster is on the loose, but their true business still presses; will they spare the critical time to defend Pfieffeldorf, or abandon the helpless peasants to their fate?

A Dark House Upon the Road

As Pfieffeldorf crumbles behind them, the bloodied travelers set off into the Drakwald. Though some among them are troubled by the decision, they know that more lives may be saved in the pursuit of their true goal. They press through the misted depths of the haunted forest, troubled by imagined phantoms and disturbing dreams. Quickly becoming lost, they wind up at the gates of an abandoned watch-tower, a waypoint upon the dangerous road. Deciding to take refuge for the night, they enter the foreboding structure as Sylf performs a hasty search. It appears abandoned, though showing signs of recent use; this is the Reaper's Bounty, emptied by the crusade's call.

Before long, a carriage carrying a sneering, pot-bellied priest arrives. Despite their best efforts, none among the party manage to gain his regard. He seconds himself within chambers with his retinue. Another unexpected guest is discovered in later in the evening - a wood-elf waywatcher named Alenath. Alenath is the last survivor on a mission for the local Woodland King - he keeps his business close to his chest, in the fashion of the Asrai Elves. He too, displays little courtesy.

As the sheeting rain drummed down upon his shoulders, vigilant Baltar caught sight of movement in the corner of his eye. A large band of mutants poured into the keep, viciously attacking as he challenged them. The party is roused to wakefulness by his call to arms, most leaping to battle in only trousers and shirts. The creatures are quickly slain, though a number escape the scrum to pillage the adventurers' unguarded gold. The priest and his retinue attempt to flee the scene, but are buttressed within the keep when a force of Beastmen arrive to lay seige. The party close in to hold the gate against their attackers, and blood runs thick to the mud-soaked stone. Vikter and Valar unleash a raging tornado cut through with sleeting ice. Many bestial attackers shatter into fragments, frozen solid by the sorcerous barrage, yet slowly the companions are forced to retreat. At a critical moment, allies of Alenath appear and cut down the frenzied monsters with fire from their bows. Despite their aid in the battle, they seem to bear only distain for the adventurers; they quickly gather up their kinsman and make plans to leave. Father [] discovers the thievery of the mutants and quickly accuse the Elves. An expedient display of violence by the accused deters his guards from pressing the matter. Kazmir tracks the mutants to a hidden tunnel in the courtyard well, enlisting Vikter and Slyf to search further. Valar's attempts at diplomacy with the Elves are rebuffed, but Baltar enjoys some success. He learns that the Elves know a secret path through the woods by which to avoid an encroaching Beastman horde. Galvanized by this new threat, the party agree to aid the Elves in discovering the true nature of the Child. They leave the Bounty in the dark distance, reaching the outskirts of the Crusade camp within a few short days. Even this short time in the company of the Asrai is enough to engender a genuine hatred of their kind in Baltar. Eventually, the time comes to part ways with courteous Valar. The party bids farewell to their impromptu comrade as he presses on towards Talabheim, seat of Taalite worship in the greater Imperial territories. Though sad to lose his talents, the companions are seized by a renewed vigor as they ready themselves for the trials to come. A great task lay ahead of them as they looked upon the rabble of the Crusade's encampment. But first, they would need to find some gold.

The Walking Church

Nursing aches, pains and bruised egos, the companions leave the company of the Asrai and enter the ramshackle encampment. The town is tiny, a mere dozen houses, but surrounded by a dense cloud of tents and filthy pilgrims. They immediately encounter the [templars of something], fetid flagellants who intentionally allow their wounds to fester. They are marked by a putrid, rotting "T". Sylf narrowly avoids forcible recruitment to their cause, and the party presses on to "Karl's Bounty". He and Vikter learn the names of several advisors close to Karl, heading into town to find out more. In the central square, the travelers witness the boys' power. His celestial oratory lays each of them firmly under a spell, and their motivations suddenly change; they become sure that the boy is truly of divine blood. Later, Vikter encounters a strange figure asking questions in the camp. He follows the man and learns that Korus - half-elf kensai - is on the same mission as the companions. They agree to work together, and Korus is introduced to the party.

Their new member comes armed with a plan, suggesting they join the local enforcers in order to get closer to Karl. They are directed to the militia captain Eisenbach, who agrees to put them through a trial the next day. That night however, events are accelerated. Near-penniless, the fellowship settles in to sleep in a nearby field. Sylf is on watch when a rotting figure shambles out of the nearby forrest and collapses. He rouses the party, who warily agree to drag the body back to the town for answers. They are immediately waylaid however, as a pack of howling Ghouls and Zombies explode out of a side-alley! The companions are hard pressed, their finely tuned prowess near-useless against the iron grips of the Undead tide. Baltar holds the front, repelling several creatures while his companions struggle to survive the ambush. Blood-soaked, they eventually break free of the melee and charge down the centre of the encampment in order to reach Karl. They find him embattled by armored Skeletons and a terrible bat-like monster! They rush to his aid, crashing through ranks of zombies to offer assistance to his knightly protectors. The warriors offer battle with the hulking Vampire, Baltar raining relentless blows with his flail, and Korus spinning and leaping to unleash blows from unexpected quarter. The others close in to support, and with great effort they succeed in driving off the creature; It shrieks in wounded wrath as Kazmir's pistol scores the final blow. At Karl's order the companions are inducted into Eisenbachs' unit, before collapsing into exhausted sleep to be healed by Vikter's magic.

The Welcome We Deserve - Part 1

The party are initiated into Krieger's guards and issued with vague instructions to protects the encampment. In truth, Karl's inner circle have little use for the band now calling themselves "the Swords". In a moment of bored frustration, the companions are approached by a messenger from Jahn, the personal adviser of Karl. He is suspicious of Krieger, naming him outright as a worshipper of the Plague God, Nurgle. He enlists the party to investigate the matter, hoping to prove his suspicions. Sylf employs his magical arts to gain entry to Krieger's tent, but is stopped at the last moment by a perceptive guard. The investigation is suspended until the next night, when both Krieger and Jan venture seperately into the forest. The party attempt to follow, yet loose track of them in the darkness. The next morning they are tipped off about a suspicious site by Jahn. It proves to be a ritual circle in which a mutant sheep has been sacrificed. Not knowing what to make of it, the party burn the remains and return to camp. Sylf spots Krieger wearing a mismatched glove later that day, an item that matches one found on the scene. With deepening suspicions, the party resolves to act the next day.

In the night, the camp is disturbed by a slew of rat-bites. Korus and Baltar rush through the camp to ensure Karl's safety, instead finding rabid mutants on a blood-fueled rampage. They quickly slaughter the vicious creatures, discovering that Krieger has been afflicted also. He is shortly slain by one of his own guards, though not before revealing that he'd been poisoned by rat-bite. The companions convene, and agree that their suspicions have shifted to Jahn, their erstwhile employer. Korus and Sylf attempt to contact the Wood Elves for advice, but no response is forthcoming. Before their arrival in the capital, Karl's circle is approached by Imperial outriders; they offer ten thousand crowns not to continue. The offer is dismissed, and the crusade settles in the mudflats just out of cannon-range of the city. All are denied entry as a sickness begins to spread among the faithful. Only Korus and Kazmir are spared, investigating the cause while Vikter seeks out help from the Shallyan temple. An infected child, a batch of spoiled meat and an overweight cook named Grumsh are discovered at the centre of the plot. Ludwig Helmet - long a suspect of corruption in the party's eyes - is somewhat redeemed when he questions and executes the culprits. A decision is made to smuggle Karl into the city before anything else can go wrong. Though a fair and rally had been planned, few citizens attend out of fear of the sickness. Finally, the comrades follow Karl in by hitching a ride on a vendor's wagon.

The Welcome We Deserve - Part 2

Though distracted by their awe of Altdorf, the companions eventually learn of a gristly event that has occurred in a nearby marketplace. Once the guard quarantine is raised, they investigate a scene in which several merchants had confronted a coffin salesman and his workers. There had been only one survivor, a sorcerer with supernatural physical powers. Suspecting the involvement of the Vampire, the Swords conduct a thorough search of the area, turning up a strange note; "Ansel in Altdorf/Contact Estleman/Necklace for Ceremony." With no sign or contact from Lady Raeva or the Wood Elves, the party make the decision to continue their mission, hoping to find answers in the Merchant's District. Estleman is known as a purveyor of rare books and curios; the party find his storefront in ruins at the hands of the Templars of Sigmar. They follow a lead to the nearby Shallyan hospital, where they find the man burned and blinded. He reveals that Jahn had come looking for a Wizard named Ansel, and that a list of clients lay hidden in the cellar of the burned shop. Before long, the Witch-hunters turn up to finish the job, but a little quick thinking and creative interpretation of the Temple's strictures allow the party to escape without a fight. By searching the ruin, the party turns up the list of clients, but the books they had ordered were gone. The Witch Hunters finally catch up to the party, ambushing them in the collapsed cellar. The Swords of Karl, enraged at the allegations of their accusers, leap into righteous battle with the sanctimonious heretics. They leave in a hurry as the building finally smolders into ash, a lone apostate surviving to flee the scene. The last sight caught by sharp-eyed Kazmir is a spectral crow with beady, glowing eyes. With growing concern at the mounting number of enemies in the city, the party bunkers down in their chambers for a restless night of disturbing dreams.

The Sinful Preist

Laying low to avoid the notice of any errant Witchunters loose in the city, the companions continue to press their investigation into the people named on Estleman's List. They quickly discover that an escalating number have been murdered by a masked crusader known as "the Vengeance", known to the populace as a 'mutant-hunter'. Seeing their list of leads being steadily whittled down, the party attempts to set a trap by posing as Ansel Vorrman. After several nights, it becomes apparent their ruse has failed. On the fourth night, Korus overhears word of a Brother Axel who has been investigating the victims of the killings. The party arrives to find the brother mortally wounded in his lodgings at the Temple of Sigmar. He reveals that he is the Vengeance, taking up the mantle of mutant hunter to atone for his sins as a Chaos worshipper. The 13th volume of his diary, holding the final peice of his puzzling tale, lays hidden in the Holy Library of Sigmar. Vikter finds it wedged within a 1st edition print of macabre play; Blood on the Riek.

Axel - whose true identity is Ansel Vorrman - fell in love with a girl as a young apprentice wizard. Spurred by his muse, he fled to the Colleges of Magic in search of a means to sorcerously inspire true love. Failing to do so, he finally turned to a man named Tobias, a warlock of Chaos. Together they conspired to create a necklace which would make the wearer love the caster. Tobias, whose true identity was none other than Jahn - confidant of Karl himself - eventually succeeded, and planned to use the device on the boy. Ansel stole the necklace and immediately returned to Wolfenburg, kidnapped his beloved and placed it on her. Horribly, it was her fate to die as a mewling spawn. Mad with sorrow, Ansel fled to Altdorf hoping to exact revenge upon Tobais.

The party were waylaid by black-coated brigands as they attempted to leave the library. A desperate swordfight breaks out in the courtyard, as the party battles to break free and pursue this dreadful artifact. Sure that the villain Tobias will attempt to use the necklace again, they make all speed to the North towards "Schoenstrasse", hot on the heels of their devious quarry.

Our Lady Employer

Rushing out of town in pursuit of Tobias, the party becomes entangled in the darkest Drakwald once more. battling off Goblin attacks, they arrive after several days in the quiet town of Ruhrhoff. Signs of a crusade's passage inform the adventurers that Karl may have escaped the clutches of his kidnappers, and is making his way north towards Volganof. Their suspicions are raised however, when the populace confess their strange and sudden immunity to a recent sickness. As the extinguishment of the plague seemed to coincide with a showing of "Blood on the Riek" for the local nobility, Vikter decides to visit the house of the esteemed Lord Han. Upon arriving, they are sure something is amiss. They find the doors unlocked, and the rooms filled with the stench of decaying bodies. To their shock, the corpse of Lady Raeva lays staked though the heart at the centre of the carnage. Slyf receives the greatest surprise of all, as the body leaps up and takes a bite from his arm. Slowly regenerating, Lady Raeva returns to her feet, rejuvenated by the fresh blood. She reveals that several Vampire Clans are fighting over the boy, convinced that he is a figure of necromantic prophecy. Bewitched, Sylf and Kazmir offer their blood to the newly risen creature. Vikter refuses to countenance their acts, urging them to aid him in slaying the creature. Baltar breaks the deadlock by offering his life in return for information on the Karl's whereabouts. Raeva agrees, but Vikter leaps in and impales her once more with a silver stake. He extracts the information by threatening a final death; he learns that the boy has begun a path into Kislev.

The next town is the ruin of Wolfenberg. Here lies the forgotten Necklace, and a large community of mutant brigands. In exchange for a large supply of trail rations, the party undertakes to slay the bandit Sorceror. They set up an ambush for a band of mutants who are looting a ruined Pub. Killing them and taking their clothes, the party gain entry to the citadel of Kord, waiting for the sentries to become drunk. In the darkness, the party sneak into the Sorcerers tower, overwhelm his protectors and escape with his bloodily severed heads. Re-stocked, re-equipped and marginally richer, the companions load their coach for a final press into the cold lands of Kislev.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License