The Enemy Within

Session 23
Into the breach


Rain lashes down on the courtyard of the inner bailey. The adventurers stand and survey the scene as lightning flashes up brief glimpses of the castle buildings. The creepy birds watch their every move.

Ok, stick to the plan, there’s two things we need, the boat and the meteor.

After a brief discussion, it is decided that the large main castle building can wait till last and the party will make their way round the outside first, checking out what’s there, whilst avoiding the darkness of the large black pit in the centre of the courtyard.

Marching order is set, Durak at the front followed by Werner, then Wandy and Gnoblar in the middle, with Rowlocks covering the rear.
To the right hand side, opposite the main castle, they approach an area with 8 foot high walls. As they get closer, strange vines, tendrils and growths cover the walls, seeming to twitch and flex as they approach, at the end of the tendrils a splayed green hand grasps the walls.
Theres a wooden gate in the centre. Werner is good at climbing and considers jumping the wall, but the tendrils put him off.

As they get closer, the gate swings open of it’s own accord.

Inside, through the darkness they can see a mass of twisted and repulsive growths, mutated vegetables.

They stand and stare into the blackness of the garden through the darkness of the night storm.

No one’s keen to enter, and Wandy puts forward the case that there’s no boat or meteor chunk in there probably, and we should move on, and no one needs much convincing.

The next building around the perimeter castle walls is a 2 story old temple of Sigmar. As they get closer they can see the walls of the building are elaborately carved with scenes depicting the heroic adventures of Sigmar and moments from the empires history that he helped to forge.

Strange discordant music can be heard through the ajar door, and strange purple mist whisps through the gap.

Everyone pushes their way through and enters to a bizarre scene. It seems that this is no longer a temple of Sigmar.

A thick layer of acrid lavender smoke, two feet deep, covers the main floor of the temple area. Amongst the smoke, semi naked, writhing humans seem to be lost in an orgy of pleasure, moving to the strange discordant organ tunes.

Whilst taking in the scene, and much to everyone’s surprise, Rowlocks and Durak start dancing with abandon, as if no one at all is watching, lost in the music.

Wandy, Gnoblar and Werner try to shout them and snap them out of it, but it’s not happening.
At the far end of the room is a large dias, on top of which an altar stands. To either side are two silver censors from which the smoke pours. Behind the altar is a large statue, twice human size that appears to be both male and female.

Gnoblar, Wandy and Werner decide that the manic music is driving the dancing and they should try and stop it, they head up the stairs to the gallery.

Up on the gallery area, the source of the music can be seen. A large demonic looking organ is blasting out the bizarre sounds and music. They take a closer look.

The organ has multicolored keys and is fantastic carved from a variety of woods. The organ’s pipes have tiny heads at the top, which ‘sing’ out the notes from their tiny heads.
In true Werner style, he wants to smash it up and draws his axe. Gnoblar and Wandy tell him to hang on a minute, they’re not sure about this. If the organ stops, the music stops and maybe something bad will happen and they’ll then have to deal with the people downstairs maybe? We should probably look around first.
They head back downstairs to search around the altar.

With Rowlocks and Durak dancing, Gnoblar, Werner and Wandy push their way through the writhing bodies on the temple floor and head to the dias and the altar.

As soon as they’re about to step on the dias, to their surprise, piercing scream can be heard and a humanoid figure comes hurtling from near the statue behind and performs a double somersault and lands in a fighting crouch before them.

Werner and Wandy stand paralysed by fear. The creature is about 5ft, with white skin and deep green saucer like eyes. Its face and figure resemble a woman but its arms end in crab like claws which click together.

With everyone else either dancing to the manic tunes or petrified by fear, Gnoblar takes the lead..

“Why are you not dancing?” She says, “enjoy yourself”
“I think I might,” says Gnoblar.
She edges closer..
“You all look so grim and unhappy, surely life if about having fun.”

The creature slowly steps closer to Gnoblar, and Gnoblar starts dancing.

At this point, Rowlocks comes to, breaking out of the dance trance he’s been in, he looks round at the scene and heads to stand near Gnoblar.

“I think we could all have some fun here” she says and reaches out to touch Gnoblar with her claw. Gnoblar recoils, but she is determined and attempts to snatch at Gnoblar. She gets him.

For a split second Gnoblar feels a magical pull on his mind, but he is mentally strong and pushes back, not allowing the thing inside his head.

The creature is lightning quick and tries to strike again with its other claw and tail but Gnoblar manages to get out the way.

Rowlocks pulls along side, draws his sword from it’s scabbard and slashes out but he misses.
Gnoblar unsheathes Barrakul and attempts a hit from the other flank but he swings wildly past.

The creature focuses its attacks and Rowlocks and it’s claw cuts through his chain armor drawing blood.

The discordant organ plays on and the lavender smoke whirls round the melee fighters.
At this point, Wandy overcomes his fear, sees Rowlocks and Gnoblar fighting for their lives, and uses all his strength to ready his massive bastard sword, and heads into the fight. Werner stands staring at the creature, unable to move.

The creature is quick and rains blows down on Rowlocks. Rowlocks dodges one claw, parries the next but he’s not ready for the tail which slashes into his arm, blood spurts from the open wound.

Wandy heaves up his bastard sword with all his might and unleashes it’s full power at the monster. Sigmar shines down at the unlikeliest of wizards with a massive sword, and Wandy drives the blade straight into his foe, causing maximum damage.

The creature reels and turns to face Wandy. With blood running, Rowlocks sees his chance and lashes out with his sword. It hits into the monsters side, and in a split second the beast disappears with a puff of pink smoke.

Relief. Werner snaps out of it and takes in the scene as the music plays on. Gnoblar immediately grabs his medical bag and rushes to staunch Rowlocks wounds. Wandy looks at his sword. Durak continues to dance.

After a quick patch up, the general consensus is – we need to get out of here. Keen to leave the temple they leave the revellers and the organ playing and drag Durak out into the storm, leaving the madness behind.

Away from the temple and the sounds and back into the night and the storm, after a short distance, Durak comes round – what happened? What was that about?

The rain lashes down and the party continues round the the next building which is a tall circular tower.

Large black storm clouds move swiftly overhead as thunder rumbles. The group move through the darkness and the rain towards the tower.

The steps leading to the entrance are cracked and peeling. They take their usual order and Durak pushes open the door followed by Werner.

Inside the entrance hall, the black carpet seems to move and shift underfoot. Crunches can be heard and dark red stains appear under boots. Suddenly a stone floor is revealed as hundreds of cockroaches scamper for cover. Everyone is momentarily grossed out ad they decide to move swiftly into the next room. Durak brushes the roaches off the door handle and pushes it open.

This circular ground floor room is even worse, thousands of cockroaches cover every surface, three or four inches deep. They swarm around a trough in the middle of the room in which lots of small white eggs can be seen. Cockroaches drop from.the ceiling and everyone is keen to move on. They can hear music coming from above and move swiftly to the stairs.

Although the room contains more roaches there are considerably less. They find bookcases containing information on art and architecture, and around the walls there are portraits of the Wittgenstein family which they take the time to look over. The music is louder and now singing can be heard in accompaniment. Again, everyone moves swiftly to the stairs.

Upon entering the top floor, the adventurers are greeted by an unusual sight. A human sized cockroach sits upon a stool, playing a harpsichord with his fore legs. He wears a white powdered wig with spectacles on his head, he has a gold pocket watch and handkerchief.

Hands move to hilts, but stop immediately as the roach stops playing and jumps up.
“Ahh visitors! Please do come in and make yourselves at home! Please don’t disturbed off by my appearance, please, have a drink! It’s been so long since I’ve had visitors!”

Theres a slight bemused pause, but after a few seconds, and sensing no threat, everyone sits down, but no ones thirsty.

A welcome respite, and for the first time in what seems like days, everyone relaxes briefly and indulges in conversation.
They quickly learn that this is Ludwig Von Wittgenstein, the ex-head of the family. Now grossly mutated and retired to the tower with his ‘friends’. Converstation is chatty and pleasant. Ludwig asks about art and recent developments in the capital and the party ask about the Wittgensteins and the castle in general, ensuring the Lidwig doesn’t perceive them as a threat.
They learn that lady Ingrid, Ludwig’s wife, is now the head of the family and barony. Lady Magritte and Kurt Wittgenstein live in the castle and the brother, Gotthard, has moved away. Ludwig knows not about the location of any meteor, but does discuss the misfortune of the family has endured since Dagmar went after a fallen star.
They ask of their boat, which Ludwig says maybe in the water gate.
After a short while and further discussion, they give their apologies and explain that they must be going.
Werner tries to encourage Ludwig out of the tower but he assures him that he is perfectly happy where he is.

After polite goodbyes, they head off quickly back down the tower and into the night storm.

Across the courtyard, on the far side is a domed building and the last they wish to check before the main castle keep. So they head over avoiding the pit in the centre.

It turns out to be a glass building, but the glass has turned green over the years and it’s impossible to see in.

Once inside they find themselves amongst a vast collection of exotic fauna. After a few moments they quickly notice large bird like creatures. They have birds legs and wings, but human torsos and heads, feathered and beaked. They hop around furiously once they gain sight of the group and tweet and sing.

Wandy is again quick to point out that this isn’t going to help find the boat and it doesn’t look like the meteor would be in here, so they should leave before any hassle occurs. Everyone quickly agrees, leaves back through the door as the ‘birds’ start heading towards them.

The final step. With the perimeter building investigated, just the main castle remains. They can see the main castle doors or a smaller door in an annex on the north side. They opt to take the smaller door and after a quick gear check the head in.

Through entrance halls, store rooms  kitchens and dormitories, our heroes quickly deduce that they are in the servants wing of the castle. The servants they do encounter don’t seem that bothered by their presence and continue their duties. Whilst on the first floor, they decide to head towards the main part of the castle.
They start heading towards the more important looking double doors.
Now out on a patio/veranda area, outlooking the countryside below and the Reik, they are once more plunged into the storm. They head through the double doors on the other side and enter into a posh looking ladies bedroom.

The room is luxuriously furnished with gilt edgings to the furniture and bed. A dressing table holds various jars and creams and other bits. The room also contains dead bodies in states of mutilation and decay. They quickly deduce this is Magrittes room and everyone rifles through, stealing her jewellery.
A single door leads north, but the party stick to the plan of going for double doors and they head south into a long corridor with various doors along the sides.

They opt to enter through the closest door opposite.
Werner and Durak push open the door. They are greeted on the other side by a large warrior dressed in full black plate mail armor. His helm is decorated with the skin of a dire wolf and at his side are an axe and shield. He turns and faces the party as they barge into the room.

Theres a tense pause while both parties assess the situation.
“And who are you? What brings you to my room?”
“Who are you and what are you doing here?”
It’s a tense stand off while Werner and the Warrior size each other up.

“I am Ulfhednar, a guest of Magrittes, but you do not look like a guest?”

The adventures are battle worn, soaked to the bone, bloodied and some are wounded and bandaged- clearly not guests.

Gnoblar steps in and parley ensues. Before long the angles shift. It seems Ulfhednar and the party have a common goal.
He wants the castle for a base of operations for his warriors, and seeing an opportunity, offers to work with the party to kill the Wittgensteins, clear the castle, on the understanding that the party can take the meteor they’re after, and he can keep the castle. The party see an opportunity to gain help in achieving their goal, and also the long term benefit of gaining a powerful allie with a castle.
The deal is made.

Ulfhednar needs to head to the guest room next door to get his travelling companion and everyone follows.

Snoring can be heard from the room and Ulfhednar heads in. A roar of anger is heard followed by hushed talking and silence.
Ulfhednars companion, Crakatz, looks bad tempered and dangerous. He is enormous and has the head and legs of a bull. He follows Ulfhednars word.
With two new additional members to the party, the sweep of the castles first floor continues and they head down the corridor.

At the end they enter a large room which is rammed full of every type of clock imaginable, all ticking and chiming and set to different times. With Ulfhednar and Crakatz at the front they pick their way through. At one point to giant mechanical knights storm out of a clock when it strikes and Rowlocks find himself in the middle. Luckily his quick reactions don’t fail him and he dodges aside.

Through the other side, they push forward into the next room.
They are greeted with the scent of felines. The room is full of cats and they flock around the party as they enter, seeking attention.
In a high backed wooden chair sits an old ish woman dressed in expensive, yet dirty, clothing. She immediately begins to scold the adventurers…
HOW DARE YOU ENTER LADY INGRID’S CHAMBERS!! Peasants and commoners!!! IN HERE! You’re all the same you folk…”

As she continues her tirade, Ulfhednar looks back at Werner, and within seconds he and Crakatz have cleaved the old lady in two. Her cats are furious and attack, and although they are many, they are no match for the party and the room becomes a blood bath.

They take a moment to look at Ingrids stuffed trophies, various animals and roadwardens and tax collectors, and then then take her jewelry box and contents.

“Let’s fucking kill ’em all!” Says Ulfhednar, and Crakatz laughs.

The room next to Ingrids looks like a taxidermists workroom, but as they enter a vase flies through the air and smashes next to Gnoblar. Everyone stands guard and looks round, but nothing can be seen.
Although no one can see an adversary, Wandy can see, with his magical senses, a whirling apparition. More objects begin to rise and fly through the air and a few of the gang swipe the air with their weapons.
They quickly decide to leave and close the door behind them.

There are stairs in the corridor heading to the ground floor of the castle. They’ve been in the doors off the main corridor and through the other doors to the main rooms of the floor, but they realise they have missed one in Magrittes room, the single door at the back. They head back that way and try it out.

Getting their bearings right, they realise this door probably leads to the castle’s front tower, and push inside.

The tower itself has no ground floor and is supported by flying buttresses. The bottom of the tower is entered from Magrittes chamber. Once inside they see some womens clothes and what looks like lens grinding equipment and an old telescope. Stairs lead up.

On the next floor they enter into a library. Wandy is quick to pour over the books and finds various tomes connected with the the darker side of magic and necromancy. Dagmar’s diary is here, detailing his trip to the Barren Hills and various aspects of necromancy. There is much that can be learnt maybe, and Wandy takes the book.
Gnoblar finds a letter on the table. It’s from Gotthard Wittgenstein to Magritte and details his exploits in Middenheim. They take that as well. Ulfhednar is keen to move on and the take the stairs to the top floor.

The party reaches the top floor, a d quickly enter into the room. It resembles a mad scientists laboratory. Tubes, vials and bottles bubble and fizz and it’s a maze of multicolored pipes, vapours and brass rods.

The most dominant feature of the room is a large wooden platform and at each end stands a 10ft steel column. The four corners of the platform are attached by lengths of rope to a huge block and tackle, by which the whole thing can be raised to the roof. Another system of levers and rods is used to open the roof to the elements. The steel columns are connected both to a lightning rod from which trails a large kite, and to four wires connected to a skull cap.

Once inside the electrical storm is in full swing, roaring above them. Lightning arcs overhead as the rain and wind pound the top of the tower, with everyone exposed to the elements. The room momentarily floods with stark, white light. Rain falls through the roof and spits onto the equipment. Coloured tubes of glass pulsate with the energy of the storm above.

Lady Magritte stands on the platform raising the whole thing to the roof. Strapped onto the table is a monstrous caricature of a human being.

Before anyone can react, lightning strikes the aerial conductor, and, with a terrifying clap of thunder, a surge of electrical energy sets the metal columns quivering with raw power. A loud crackling sounds can be heard as the room fills with the stench of burnt flesh. Lady Magritte stares expectantly at the table.

Ulfhednar grabs his axe and shield and rushes to the platform. Rowlocks knocks an arrow and shoots up to Magritte on the far side of the room, but it’s a difficult shot and he misses.
Magrittes looks at the intruders with fury, she raises her hands to the sky and a moment later, smoke whirls and a large, armed skeleton appears right in front of the party.
Gnoblar peels off to the left hand side and begins to load his crossbow. Wandy considers his options, but it’s too compact for a fireball.
Durak and Crakatz close in on the skeleton fron either side and battle commences as the skeleton fights on two flanks.

At this moment, the grotesque monster grabs the edges of the table, pulls itself up and stands. It’s truly horrific, 8ft tall and stitched and melded from innumerable bodies and corpses.
It’s too much for Wandy and Werner. Upon seeing the creature they are overcome with fear, turn on their heels and flee as fast as possible.

Rowlocks reloads his elven bow and let’s fly but he’s not having much luck, Gnoblar fires his crossbow from the other side but misses. Crakatz and Durak trade blows with the skeleton smashing into it’s sides.
Ulfhednar is now on the platform heading for Magritte, but the monster blocks his path, he hits out but the monster doesn’t react.
Magritte sees Rowlocks firing up at her and focuses her attention on him. She tries to enter his mind and a battle of wills ensues, but Rowlocks is too focused and pushes her back.
Durak smashes into the skeleton with his axe and it clatters to the floor in pieces.

Rain lashes into the room as lightning lights the tower. Noise, flashes of light, claps of thunder and the sounds of battle make for a chaotic scene.

Gnoblar reloads his crossbow as Crakatz and Durak turn to the direction of Magritte.

No sooner have they begin to move when Magritte closes her eyes and looks to the sky. Within seconds and with a wisp of darkness, three more skeletons appear next to Magritte and Ulfhednar, and another in front of Durak.
Crakatz roars into a rage fueled by battle and bloodlust.

Home Page
Session 22
Session 24

Session 24
The destruction of Castle Wittgenstein


Ulfhednar stumbles. With skeletons to one side, the 8ft monster to the other and Lady Magritte behind, he staggers backwards, turns and jumps down from the raised platform and makes his way towards where Gnoblar stands at the edge of the room. Everyone’s not sure what’s happening, but the fight continues.

The open roof still let’s in the storm and flashes of electricity light up the laboratory.

With Werner and Wandy gone, fled in panic, Ulfhendar backed against the wall, Rowlocks surveys his options. Magritte, the skeletons and the monster stand on the raised platform at the far end of the room. Krakatz and Durak battle in the centre of the tower with one of Magrittes skeletons. He loads his elven bow and let’s one fly at Magritte, but it’s a chaotic situation and the arrow misses its mark. He’s not having much luck with his bow.

And neither is Gnoblar who fires his crossbow as the bolt hits the wall.

The skeletons next to Magritte head out into into the room, spreading out towards their targets. One heads for Rowlocks at one side, one goes forward towards Durak and two jump down the right hand side of the platform.
Magritte appears to be lost in concentration, incanting and gesturing with her hands, with eyes closed.
Ulfhednar seems to struggle, leaning on his axe and swaying. Krakatz, seeing his partner in trouble, heads over and stands guard in front of him, defending his position from incoming attackers.

Gnoblar heads closer to behind Ulfhednar and uses his bulk as protection as he sets about reloading his crossbow.

Rowlocks sees the approaching skeleton, drops his bow on the floor, unsheathes his sword and grabs his shield from his back.
He launches at the skeleton, smashing him with his blade edge, but missing on his return swing, chips of bone and armor fly off.

The monster, slowly lurches forward and heads off the platform and stands between the skeletons that Rowlocks and Durak are battling.

Magritte continues her dark magic, and focuses her gaze on Durak. After a split second, Durak drops to the floor, dribbling and cooing like a baby.

The monster roars into action throwing the might of his 8ft frame round in an arc hitting the skeleton next to Durak, smashing it to pieces.

Although taken aback by the monster’s kill – what is he doing? Rowlocks is locked into melee with his foe, but the skeleton is outmatched, Rowlocks’ sword comes down on the undead and slices through his femur, dropping him to the ground.

At this point, much to everyone’s relief, Werner bursts back into the room. He’s overcome his fear and he’s ready to kill.

He charges into the fray, heading towards the two skeletons to his left. He launches across the room into them but he misses.

The monster lurches towards where Werner is battling the skeletons. Rowlocks sees Werner outnumbered, and charges to Werners side and faces a skeleton, whilst the Wittgenstein abomination flails wildy at Werner and the skeleton he’s fighting.

Gnoblar shoots his crossbow again at Magritte, who is now exposed on the platform but the bolt goes wide. At this point, Magritte jumps down, hands aglow, and enters the melee and tries to grab Rowlocks with her hand, but he’s too quick and jumps back out the way.

Gnoblar sees Magritte enter the battle in the middle of the room and rummages in his backpack and pulls out a small bottle of purple powder. Gnoblar has been using his pharmaceutical skills and has tried to distill a useable format of the magic dulling fungus he found a while back. He pulls the cork and lobs it in front of Rowlocks, where Magritte is, hoping it has an effect. Rowlocks’ skill with a sword betters Magrittes magical defenses and he draws blood on her arm and leg.

Ulfednar is hobbling and resting on his axe, he has the look of someone who is struggling. Krakatz guards his front side.

Durak dribbles.

Werner has been battling and battling with the two skeletons and the monster, but he’s struggling to land any blows, despite the effort he’s putting in.

Rowlocks slashes his blade into Magritte with a skillful blow. It draws blood and she winces. She returns by grabbing Rowlocks’ hand as he withdraws his sword. Rowlocks gasps in pain as a green whisp travels up his arm to his body, seeping through his armor. He cries out and snatches his arm back.
Werner continues to fight the skeletons while dodging the monster’s swings, but the skeletons are battling hard and he can’t seem to get his axe in.

Gnoblar throws another of his dust bottles at Magritte.

Rowlocks is now heavily wounded and another hit like that from Magritte and it will be his last. She lashes out again, accompanied by a snarl of hate.
Rowlocks uses all his remaining energy to just dodge Magrittes hand of dust. This makes her over stretch, and he pulls back his sword arm and runs her through. He snaps his blood-covered sword back out of the torso and she drops to the floor in a pool of blood.
Rowlocks is on his last legs and sees his chance to exit the melee, pulls back and runs to the other side of the room to grab his bow.

The skeletons are wearing Werner down but neither him or the Monster are able to make contact.

“Right, Krakatz, NOW!” yells Ulfhendar, and stands tall and grabs his axe. He turns round and swings the axe with all his might at Gnoblar! What the hell!

Everyone is stunned at Ulfhednar’s act of betrayal. Ulfhendar’s axe slices into Gnoblar and blood spurts out from the wound.

" Mwhuhahaha," screams Krakatz and runs straight at the mindless dwarf on the floor, wounding him badly.

Gnoblar is backed into the edge of the room with Ulfednar in front of him.
There’s nowhere to run, he grabs Barrakul, his vorpal blade, from its sheath and swings at Ulfhednar with all of his might. The blade drifts in and out of reality as it passes through his armor and cuts into him.
The might warrior, towers over Gnoblar and raises his axe to reign blows down on the halfling. He slams it down straight at Gnoblar. He tries to dodge out of the way but he’s not quick enough. At the last minute, almost as if fate intervened on Gnoblar’s behalf, as his foot moves to dodge, he treads on a small metal cylinder- one of Magrittes scientific instruments. This causes him to fall and tumble towards the door and out of the way from Ulfhendar. Ulfhednar turns, assesses his immediate threats, and sees Werner with his back turned and charges at him.

Rowlocks grabs his bow and fires at the enormous frame of the monster but misses.

At that second, Wandy comes running back up the stairs and into the room. With his nerve steadied, he quickly evaluates the situation.

Gnoblar has crawled to where Rowlocks is on one side of room, and on the other Werner fights the skeletons, the monster and Ulfhednar.

In the middle of the room, Krakatz is about to smash the enfeebled Durak to pieces. Sensing the immediate danger, Wandy pulls back his sleeves and unleashes a powerful blast of wind straight at Krakatz but also creating a barrier across the room.

Werner has been unable to get into his rhythm, it’s been difficult, but then something clicks, and he roars into action. He smashes straight through one of the skeletons and the monster accidentally fells another. Empowered by his, kill he continues his momentum, wounding Ulfhendar in a flurry of blows.

Rowlocks and Gnoblar stand on the fire side of the room with their missile weapons loaded but unable to risk firing through the wind.

Wandy holds the blast as Krakatz struggles through the gust. Durak is blown onto the floor.

Axes are flying as Ulfhednar and Werner go toe to toe. Ulfhednar tries to catch Werner off balance, but he’s too quick. Werner has now found his groove and he slams into the armored warriors side with his first blow then opens a wound on his calf with the backswing.

Ulfhendar swings wildly in reply, but his blows clang off Werner’s magic shield. Werner has the momentum and plows into the warrior with his full power.
There’s nothing he can do as Werner’s axe cleaves into his side and he drops lifelessly to the floor.

Wandy holds his blast as Krakatz battles through the force of the wind, looking to hurt Durak.

Werner’s blood soaked axe now comes expertly at the enormous Wittgenstein monster. He’s in full flow as it chops some of the flesh from the creature. The monster retaliates in a blow that could take Werner’s head off, but he’s too quick and dodges out of the way.

Within seconds Werner’s axe hacks repeatedly into the beasts torso and he goes back to being dead.

Only Krakatz remains and seeing Werner now free and dropping bodies all over, Wandy drops his wind and Werner charges into him, eager for more kills.

Werner is too tough, too armored and too strong for even the mutant Krakatz, and he can’t seem to hurt him. Werner is in full battle mode and seems unstoppable. He smashes Krakatz with his axe and opens his chest up. Krakatz dies.

Everyone stops for a moment and looks round. Wow.
“What’s happening?” asks Durak.It’s clear that all the enemies are dead, and everyone slumps to the floor and catches their breath.
The party get themselves together. Gnoblar sets about applying any healing treatments he can to help, and everyone else searches the bodies and the room.

Werner kicks the body of Ulfhednar and starts to unattach his direwolf headpiece and trys it on for size.
Wandy picks over the body of Lady Magritte and recovers a jet black wand and a ring.

Onwards, they have to find the meteor.

Leaving the storm and the tower behind, the party head back into the main castle and down into the previously unexplored ground floor.

The main staircase leads them into the great hall of the castle. Once a grand dining hall for high-society events, now lays covered in grime and grease, with rotten food on the table.

The party hear whispers coming from different angles..
“Ohh look at them,”
“They’re going downstairs..”
They pay the voices no heed and look around the hall at the tapestries and objects.

Everyone turns quickly towards the stairs, and out from an area between the bottom of the staircases hobbles an ancient butler.

“Make yourselves at home gentlemen, you must be hungry after your journey, do help yourselves and then ill show you to your rooms.”

Before any of the bemused group replies, he nods and smiles and returns to his space under the stairs.

After a look at some of the wall paintings, Gnoblar sees a downward staircase just passed the snoozing butler.

They form their usual marching order and head down the staircase and under the castle.

Once downstairs they find themselves in a stone corridor in the castle dungeons.
The corridor has three doors and they take the one to their right.
This opens up into a massive wine cellar full of all types of alcohol from all over the empire. Werner makes a note of where all the booze is and they move over into the door opposite.

The smell the have been experiencing is getting stronger and stronger the closer they get to the door.

Durak pushes open the door and they see a small room in which sits a large ogre feasting on a human leg. He’s filthy and so is the room. He carries an enormous axe, while bright green and orange hairs protrude from his muscular arms.

Neither party is threatening and after some pointless smalltalk, Wandy and the others thank him, tell him they’ll see him later and close the door to the foul room.

In the next corridor, opposite them is a door which is crudely boarded over with a primitive skull painted on it. A debate occurs over the possibility of the room containing the chunk of warpstone or something deadly that might be worse. They decide to leave it for now and check it out later, heading down the corridor.

A door lays ahead, but to the left is some more stairs heading further down. They head for the stairs.

It’s pitch black and torches are lit for the descent.

The stair case seems to go down forever and they consider going back, but continue to persevere.
After about 200ft the shaft levels out and opens into a cavern.
Their torches light up the area and water can be seen. It’s a small lake, and seconds later, low and behold!

It’s the Jolly Nobber!!!

Yes!! Spirits rise as everyone is elated by the sight of home, but before they can celebrate, Rowlocks gives everyone a shhh, and voices can be heard coming from a door cut into the caveside right where the boat is moored. A portcullis hangs shut over a waterway leading out of the castle and onto the Reik outside.

Right. Werner, Rowlocks, Gnoblar, Wandy and Durak huddle together and make a plan. Now they’ve found the boat, they have an exit strategy. They decide to continue the search for the warpstone meteorite and head back up the stairs and into the unexplored part of the dungeon.

They head into the next room which appears to be a torture chamber, complete with iron maiden and instruments of pain. Also, suspended from a cage in the middle of the room is an emaciated, pale bearded man with a bizarre grin on his face.

Whoever the man is, he’s clearly mad and they leave him to it and push through the door on the other side.

The next area is dark, damp and dingy and it’s soon clear that these are cells.
The adventurers spread into the room. They find tortured and beaten villagers in one and an imperial tax collector in another. The inmates are incredibly frail and while they are explaining to them that they will be back to save them a voice calls out from the darkness of the corner.

“Gnoblar sir!! MR GNOBLAR SIR!!…Oh please, please be you!”

It’s Dumpling! And she’s in a bad way. Gnoblar unbolts the cell door and reassures Dumpling that everything’s going to be ok, but they’re not safe yet. She must stay here and they will return and get her!
As reluctant as she is, she agrees and cowers back into the corner.

There’s one cell left to check, and when they enter Rowlocks noticed an engraved engravement on the stones in the cell.

‘Way out to Herman’s Hermatige’ and a crudely drawn arrow.

At the back of the cell they find a loose stone. After some fiddling about, it clicks and can be pushed back revealing a passageway behind.
With torches at the ready they delve into the darkness beyond.

At the end of a roughly carved passage lays a dead end. Some more searching reveals more secret passageways. One leading to where the staircase is that leads down to the Watergate, and another on the other side.
They continue away from the stairs and it opens out into a chamber.

In the centre of the room is an open 3ft cube of lead. The cube is hollow and the lid lies on the floor next to the box. The walls and floor of the cabe are unnaturally black.

“It’s gone! We’re too late!”
Our heroes stomachs drop as they realise the warpstone is not there.

On the floor at the back wall is a freshly excavated small tunnel. Piles of dirt and rocks lay scattered next to the opening. From the tunnel comes a gust if fresh air.

“That’s a fresh tunnel!” yells Durak.
Quick! Everyone heads into the tunnel. Rowlocks notices large rat footprints around the entrance.

The tunnel meets a natural 12ft crack and opens out. At the other end is another freshly dug tunnel. Three skaven warriors stand at the tunnels entrance brandishing their weapons.

Everyone is stuck single file in the tunnel. Rowlocks peels to the side and fires and arrow and Wandy pushes forward into the opening. He sizes up the three skaven standing in the tunnel entrance and raises his hands.
They glow white hot and a split second later a fireball goes hurtling down the tunnel at the skaven. They scream and squirm, their fur now alight, they writhe and call out in pain, dropping to the floor in a smouldering heap.

A small crash can be heard coming from down the tunnel that skaven were guarding and, as everyone tentatively steps forward, a black swirling mist heads out of the gap and moves steadily towards the party.

Wandy once again launches into action and fires a wind blast at the mist, forcing it back down from where it came.

At that very second, a rumbling can be heard and a deep tremor runs through the castle rock.
“Whoah, that’s not good,” says Durak as he worriedly looks round.

“We have to get that meteorite, quick,” says Gnoblar, and as everyone shoots forward, another tremor shakes the tunnel and dust and rocks rattle down from above as the earth under their feet quakes.

“The whole things going to come down!” shouts Durak, as he draws upon his mining experience.
“But the meteor!” replies Werner.

There’s a brief pause of indecision as minds race with options. The crack above them grumbles and begins to shake. Dirt and earth begin to drop from above as deep tremors rock the floor.

“We’re all going to die in here!”

With that, the decision is made, and everyone turns on their heels, and heads as quickly as they possibly can back towards the dungeon.

It’s pure panic, the whole place is coming down around them. They sprint back through the tunnels and head towards the stairs to the watergate.
“Get Dumpling!” Cried Gnoblar and Werner rushes the other way to the cells, burst in, throws Dumpling over his shoulder and runs towards the stairs with Dumpling crying out in terror on his back.

Everyone throws themselves down the long staircase as fast as they possibly can without losing control.

The place is shaking and massive deep booms and vibrations can be felt from all around. They burst into the watergate and run onto the Jolly Nobber as chunks of masonary splash down into the water.

Rowlocks barks orders and everyone is all hands on deck, unmooring and grabbing oars.
Werner drops Dumpling on deck and looks around, the portcullis is closed!

He leaps off the boat and runs to the door where the guards were before. He’s guessed correctly and inside the room is a wheel and chains, the mechanism for the portcullis.

Rocks plunge into the water from the cave roof as the whole cavern shakes and rumbles. The pressure is on and Werner heaves the wheel with all his strength as it screeches and grinds into action.

Werner pushes hard until the metal gate clanks into place. He sprints as fast as possible as the Jolly Nobber slowly drifts away from the dock. Werner jumps the gap and lands on the deck.
Terrible noises can be heard coming from above, deep sounds and rumbles as the whole earth shakes, dust and debris continually fall from the roof accompanied by distant crashing sounds.

As Rowlocks drops the main sail, Wandy has a stroke of genius and conjures a windblast that fires directly into the sails. This shoots the river barge forward at pace lifting the nose of the boat and jolts everyone as they desperately cling on!

The Jolly Nobber lunges forward into the main flow of the Reik and out of the cavern. As it does the whole cave system collapses behind them in a cacophony of noise dust.

As Rowlocks guides the boat to the far bank of the river, everyone stands on deck looking up at the scene.

Its the first light of morning, and above them stands the remains of Castle Wittgenstein. The whole area is in ruins and rubble. The high cliffs that the castle once stood on have also collapsed creating a different landscape, like the aftermath of an earthquake.

The storm has passed and the morning sun shows thick dust in the air across the landscape, like a layer of fog. The cliffs continue to crash down into the Reik and nothing has settled yet.

Our heroes sit in silence on the deck of the Jolly Nobber, exhausted, wounded, in awe of what they have just experienced. They sit in quiet contemplation and stare up at the complete destruction of Castle Wittgenstein.

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Session 23
Session 25

Session 25


The dust hasn’t settled. In fact it hangs in the air as the morning sun shines over the trees. The landscape is unrecognisable. The cliffs have partially crumbled into the Reik and all kinds of debris litter the rivers surface, slowly drifting downstream. Where Castle Wittgenstein used to stand is an enormous pile of rubble and stone, and smoke rises from various places.

It’s a peaceful moment, with only the sounds of the birds and the ambience of the river.
On the deck of the Jolly Nobber everyone sits exhausted, looking at the scene in front of them. It’s been a long night.

The party are fatigued, battered, weather beaten and wounded and in all round need of rest. They discuss their next move.

The first thing is to get out of here and away from carnage they’ve been involved with before people start showing up.
Rowlocks gets everyone into gear and prepares the boat. Half a day’s sail downstream towards Kemperbad, then pitch up somewhere safe and get some rest. Everyone helps, despite the temptation to collapse, apart from Dumpling who is in bed downstairs, recovering from her traumatic ordeal. Gnoblar gives her something to help her sleep.

Shortly after lunchtime, a safe spot is found, near to the forests edge so Gnoblar can try to replenish some of his herb stocks. The boat is secured and after some lunch, everyone relaxes and rests.

The Jolly Nobber has been turned over, probably by Kratz and his friends, and anything laying around if immediate value has been taken – but they haven’t found the secret compartment built by Werner.

The next five days pass leisurely, its the end of the summer and everyone enjoys some well deserved downtime after chaos of the last week. Rowlocks spends his time fishing and chatting to Werner and Durak while the warriors spa on deck, perform weapons and armor maintenance and drink ale. In his cabin
Wandy is deep into his books, studying his latest find of Dagmar’s diary. Gnoblar has gathered some herbs which he begins processing into pills whilst reading his physician manuals.
During the evenings, laughs are had, stories are told and plans are made.

There’s been a few traders pass, and an increased number of river patrols heading towards the castle. The river patrol are fobbed off with tales of innocent traders who know nothing about the events up river.

Werner has been told to take the ransom he doesn’t have to Middenheim.
After finding a letter to Magritte, they know that there is one of the Wittgensteins remaining, who is enjoying the high life, in Middenheim.
These facts, combined with Rowlocks burning desire to find an archery competition, which they know there will be at the Middenheim carnival, the decision is made. The plan is to call in at Delberz so that Wandy can visit Heironymous, then head north to the City of the White Wolf.

Everyone is back to full strength apart from Dumpling, who is back on her feet pottering around, but still not quite herself.
But spirits are high and Rowlocks steers the barge down stream.

It’s pleasant sailing and a much needed change of pace. They opt to steer straight past Kemperbad and continue towards Altdorf.

The next day, as Rowlocks steers the Jolly Nobber downstream, he sees a trade barge up ahead. A man stands on the deck and waves as they approach.

The Maria Borger is a trade vessel, not too dissimilar to the Jolly Nobber, and as Rowlocks brings her closer he can see the captain is distressed.

“Hey there, I’ve got a couple of sick men on board, are any of you medical?”
Everyone looks at Gnoblar, whose just appeared on deck. Gnoblar sizes up the situation for a minute, then offers to help.

Once alongside, Gnoblar, Werner and Wandy jump aboard. Bernhardt introduces himself and the crew and explains that two of his men, Karl and Hans, have been taken ill. The sailors are cold, pale and deathly white with cold sweats.

No one knows what to think about the situation, alertness levels are high and the party are quite suspicious. Gnoblar agrees to go take a look at the patients and heads down the stairs.
Karl and Hans both have the same symptoms, and despite Gnoblar’s knowledge of common diseases, he can’t pinpoint the cause, and they don’t look good. Wandy spots two small puncture wounds on the neck of Karl, Gnoblar takes a look. Bernhardt says this is strange, they weren’t there yesterday? Further inspection finds them on Hans too. Bernhardt reassures his struggling mates that they’ll be ok and says the bite marks might have been from rats.

Werner spots a small pendant on the floor, a religious symbol to the god Taal, and picks it up. Immediately, Hans starts mumbling things about being made to take it off.

This makes everyone even more suspicious, is it Bernhardt doing this?

After some chat, Bernhardt reveals that he does have some special cargo on board, that he picked up from some large mercantile operation in Kemperbad. With two sick crew, he’s finding it hard to man the boat and make the journey on time. It seems he’s been paid very well to make a delivery. After some persuasion, he let’s the adventurers down into the hold to have a look.
It’s a large single crate with a large lead seal on one edge. The crate bares a coat of arms and Wandy takes a look. His time spent in academia and his knowledge of heraldry pays off, and he recognises it as the Orlock family that died out in the Age of the Three Emperors, hundreds of years ago. Hmmmm.

OK. Gnoblar reassures Bernhardt and says they’ll think of a way to help and they head back onto the Jolly Nobber.

It’s a funny situation. Back on the Nobber talks are held. What’s in the crate? Lead seal? Is it possible this could be something to do with the skaven and the warsptone? That would seem almost too good to be true. Whatever it is no one feels like opening it. How come Hans and Karl are sick but Bernhardt and his wife aren’t? We need to stay off the boat in case whatever it is is contagious.
Initially the plan is to offer to pay for the cargo, take it and deliver it, then Bernhardt can take his crew back to Kemperbad to get medical help.
They decide they don’t want the cargo on board and that they should tow the Maria Borger, and make it easier for the boat to make its deadline. It’s a long way to tow a boat, but really it’s a plan to stall for time and see what happens over the next few days.

Bernhardt is delighted with the offer of help and Rowlocks makes the necessary preparations. After a couple of hours they’re off and heading down the Reik.

It’s a slight setback but no real problem. Night sets in and everyone moors up and settles down for the evening. A watch is set up on the Nobber and everyone gets some rest.

The next morning, Rowlocks is up with the birds, checks the boat and shouts across to Bernhardt- no reply. He hollas again but nothing. He wakes everyone else up.

There’s clearly no signs from the Maria Borger as it floats lifelessly on the Reik. Werner, Gnoblar and Wandy decide to board and have a look, everyone else stays on the Nobber.

There’s nothing on deck so they head downstairs. Hans and Karl are still ill in bed, further searching locates Bernhardt and his Mrs. They are both sick, pale, weak and in their cabin in bed, they can barely move.
A medical inspection by Gnoblar reveals two small puncture marks on their necks. This is not good. There’s immediate talk of cutting the boat loose, torching it and heading to Altdorf, but after further talks they decide to go look at the mysterious cargo.

In the cargo hold, Werner grabs an iron bar and wedges it in the crate and levers it open.
Inside the crate, much to everyone’s surprise are two coffins. One lays open, surrounded by soil and earth. Inside the other lays a man, dressed in fashions from centuries ago, blood seeps from the corner of his mouth.
“If this is what I think it is,” says Wandy, “Then this is a very dangerous situation, vampires are very powerful, formidable adversaries.”
The instinct is to immediately run and get as far away as possible, but Gnoblar has other plans. If they leave the Maria Borger, then there is the possibility of multiple vampires running amok in the Reikland.

Gnoblar decides they must be killed. Wandy tells him he needs stakes of birchwood to run through their hearts to truly finish them off forever. Luck is on their side, as it’s daytime they currently pose no threat, but it won’t be long.
Gnoblar heads off into the forest with Werner to collect the necessary wood. Werner then uses his carpentry skills to carve stakes.

A couple of hours later, it’s time. Gnoblar takes his stakes and heads below.
First, the main cause of all these problems, the Orlock Vampire. He leans into the coffin, places the stake, aims a hammer and runs him through. The vampire wrenches upright, gasps, looks Gnoblar in the eye, smiles and drops down lifeless.
The next four prove to be more difficult. Although Bernhardt and his crew are weak, they are not unconscious, and they beg and plead for Gnoblar to stop, but he knows he has to put them out of their misery and save them from an endless nightmare.
He steels himself, fights through their sorrowful begging and kills them one at a time.

With the deed done, he returns to the Nobbar, leans into the Reik and washes his hands. Rowlocks cuts all ties with the Maria Borger and leaves it to drift. With that, they set off towards Altdorf.

A few days later the spires of Altdorf rise in the distance as the boat sails along. Having had a bad experience on their previous visit, and still concerned about the potential murder charges from a few months ago, they decide to head straight past to Delberz.

It’s easy sailing in the late summer sun. The waterways around Altdorf are busy as ever with trade boats, tourist ships and river patrols.
The boys reminisce of the last time they were home in Delberz, which seems like an age ago.

A few days later, they arrive back in Delberz, and it’s a welcome sight.
The first port of call is Heironymous. The wizards house is on the outskirts and on the river, which is convenient for mooring.

Everyone jumps off the boat, and Wandy leads them up the path to the stone tower house.
Hans Peter Schiller opens the door with his usual look of disdain. Always in Wandy’s shadow, Heironymous’ second favourite apprentice looks unhappy to see the adventurers..
“Oh, it’s you lot, you’re back. I suppose you want to come in…”

As they enter the study, Heironymous, who is usually always preoccupied, is overjoyed to see them and is off his odd-socked feet to greet them.
Schiller is ordered to bring refreshments, and everyone gets comfy and the debrief begins. The wizard is keen to hear the whole tale and talks go on into the night. The party indulge him with the whole adventure they’ve been on, the signal tower, Grissenwald, the Barren Hills, Kemperbad, Wittgendorf and Castle Wittgenstein.
He listens intently and the different possibilities and hypothesise are discussed. Who has the warpstone meteorite? Where is Etelka? What actually happened? Everyone speculates, but the only real lead from the affair, is the group know there is a living member of the Wittgensteins, Magritte’s brother, in Middenheim. Werner’s ransom also has something to do with Middenheim. Combined with Rowlocks’ archery obsession and the upcoming carnival, the course is set. Middenheim it is, and Heironymous also thinks this is the best course of action based on the circumstances.

But first things first, Wandy needs to study and train, which gives the party some further downtime. Werner heads back to his parents inn with Gnoblar, Durak and Rowlocks for a few days drinking and eating, and Dumpling begins to pull herself together and starts tidying and pottering on the boat.

A week or so later, everyone regroups and plans the journey. Middenheim is not reachable by boat, so they negotiate to leave the barge moored at Heironymous’s house and Dumpling will stay on board, and help Heironymous.

Plans are made and options are weighed up. In the end, they decide not to go by coach or cart, and they head into Delberz to buy a wagon and horses. Werner will drive the wagon up the main Altdorf to Middenheim road and hopefully be there before the carnival starts.

They need to travel light and everyone heads back to the barge to decide what to bring and what to leave on the boat.

After a while, the backpacks are ready and they say their goodbyes to Heironymous and Dumpling, jump on the wagon and Werner whips the reins – the journey to Middenheim begins.

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Session 24