Carrion

Respect and protect the dead.
First Scripture of Morr

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Chapel of Morr

'Morr's Ghost'

"I'm no grave-robber! I'm a duly-appointed bone-picker, employed by the village council of Unterbaum."
-Hanno Hassler, Grave Robber

Wishing to leave the tumultuous ending to the trial of Tanja the mystic of Rangenhof with utmost speed, the party opted to take a river-barge eastwards, acting as barge-guards in lieu of paying the typically outrageous travel fees. In just a few short days they found themselves in Unterbaum, the first village with a right and proper Sigmarite monastery in which Dieter penned a letter to the Cult of Sigmar in Atldorf recording the trial of the mystic. The party did learn that Unterbaum had experienced a similar beastman problem as that which had befell Rangenhof, athough in the case of the former they had lost most all their military-aged males to the foul creatures of chaos. As such the village had enforced strict curfews and travel restrictions, halting any further progress eastward for the party. While enjoying the exorbitant prices at the only inn, the party were approached by a young, sandy-haired boy whose fingernails were caked under by dirt and grime who introduced himself as Hanno Hassler, a local grave-robber and bone-picker. It seems the village council had commissioned Hanno and some other wayward roughs to go out into the fields and hills and retrieve whatever weapons and armour they could from the failed militia attempt against the beastmen, a dangerous and piteously rewarding job for only the desperate or foolhardy. Hanno's compatriots had spoke at length of robbing a nearby shrine to Morr, much to the boy's protests. With all haste he had returned to the village to seek out those of good faith who might protect the shrine. Feeling it much to be their duty both Karl and William agreed to help, immediately heading north into the foothills.

Half a day's travel later they came to the lonely mausoleum of Morr, an overgrown graveyard centuries old encircled by a crumbling stone wall. The party discovered signs of entry on the rusted, wrought-iron door leading into the tombs below and quickly readied their torches and weapons. The darkened corridors concealed a trial of Morr in the form of an impossible wall of thorny black roses through which one must cross, leaving much blood and skin behind. Alas they were too late to prevent the grave-robbers from looting the burial chambers within, the fiendish fellows having already been and went. With nightfall soon the party chose to rest at the graveyard and seek out the looters on the morrow.

The next day they found their quarry not far from the graveyard, camping out along a creek between two dry and dusty hills. Karl suggested that Hanno should rejoin his fellows in order to ascertain what goods they had stolen, and despite the danger presented the pious Hanno agreed. After some clever sleuthing and signalling, Karl and William rode into the grave robber's camp on their steeds and demanded that they turn over the stolen artefacts of Morr. Craven as they were, the looters turned over what they had stolen, but not before spitting curses at the young Hanno for his betrayal. The party made haste to return the artefacts to the mausoleum, carefully placing arms, armour and trinkets in their respective coffins and pilling stonework high against the rusted door to prevent others from attempting such heresies. Returning to Unterbaum that evening they found great pyres alight near the village gates - diseased and rotten bodies smouldering in the flames. Dieter informed the party that in their absence a sudden plague of undead had welled up from the cemetery within the town walls and shambled into the village, although the sickly and slow creatures managed to only slay a few villagers before being taken down. Talks with the village priest concluded that perhaps Morr was punishing the people of Unterbaum for allowing his mausoleum to be desecrated, but with those wrongs now righted it was hoped Morr would be swift to forgive.

The next morning as the party made to leave Unterbaum young Hanno spotted a familiar face leaving the inn - another grave robber, this one decked in chain bearing the livery of Morr and wielding a rose-hilted longsword. With him were two fellows similarly equipped, and with a shout Hanno confronted the trio in the streets. The confrontation soon drew a small gaggle of onlookers, and soon steel was drawn and blood shed as the looters tried desperately to escape to the river with their ill-gotten gains. Were it not for the swift intervention of William and Karl they surely would have made it away, the cavalryman himself gruesomely riding down one of the offenders in a stampede of iron-shod hooves. The village assembly were quick to hang the worst offender of the surviving pair, while the second was strapped in redemptionist stocks and set to work for the monastery. With the additional relics piled into Hanno's push-cart the party made ready to return to Morr's mausoleum, and hopefully waylay the dead god's righteous wrath.


'Restless Dead'

Concerned that there might yet be more stolen artefacts buried at the grave-robber's campsite the party made for the valley once again, finding a freshly dug pit near the now-cold campfire. Suspicious that the hole seemed to have been dug from below rather than above, the adventurers drew they weapons and lightly padded into the underbrush, fearful they may come across one of the recently-deceased brought back to grim un-life. Following his nose and the wafting smell of decay, Hanno wandered into a small cave only to be confronted by a pack of seemingly plague-ridden dogs munching on a rotting corpse. With a panicked yelp he fled with all his speed, leading the baying hounds into the waiting hammer and sword of his more physically-adept companions. Finding no further ill-gotten gains the party began the journey over the foothills towards Morr's mausoleum.

Descending into the darkness they expected to once again pass the trials of Morr, and were surprised to find the wall of roses now barren and dry. William whispered that whatever power once resided here had perhaps moved towards a darker purpose, only adding further urgency to the party's actions. As if summoned by the warning a grinding of stone echoed throughout the chambers as four once-immobile sentinels bearing basalt scythes stepped from their sconces. Thrusting the artefacts into young-Hanno's hands Karl shouted "Go! We will hold them off! Restore the restless spirits of this place!". Without a word Hanno bolted for the crypts while William and Karl grimly stood side by side as the silent statues advanced, their eyes alight with black flames and their stone weapons held at the ready. The ensuring battle was fierce as both hammer and blade struggled to dismantle the black-stone statues, the two warriors pushed back ever deeper by the unyielding advance. Meanwhile Hanno put his skills to the task, levering heavy stone caskets open with his well-worn crowbar. As the last artefact fell into place the statues finally paused in their advance, slowly retreated back to the alcoves from whence they came. The trio watched with awe as the dead wall of roses once again bloomed into a brilliant panoply of black and red flowers, a small parting allowing their safe passage from the mausoleum.

Feeling their work done and Morr's curse lifted, the party stepped into the morning air, not yet knowing that their adventure would take them far from their intended destination of Ubersreik. But for now they simply enjoyed the first day of summer and the long walk back to Unterbaum with the sun on their backs.


Appendices

Map of the State of Talabecland

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