Once Upon A Time In The Empire

Wake Up Murk

Our heroes discover why you should let sleeping Dwarves lie.

Murk’s having a late siesta, catching 40 winks
Alright technically he’s concussed, and had too much to drink.

A lot’s happened in his absence, while he’s been clowning around
Tension sure is high, even now that the party’s winding down.

So a recap, if you will: the ball started at seven.
Music, Gossip, feasting and dancing, high society heaven.

The Party hobnobbed with the best, and brought many guests around.
Allthough their cause was clearly slandered by knaves in the background.

The moon was hot, the guests were rowdy, there was a poisoning on the dance floor.
Everything got a bit fraught when they had to fight a boar.

Figures having been seen sneaking around the mansion with rat-like tread.
Handguns stolen, chimneys blocked, and the beer barrels have been bled.

Everyone’s convinced Aschaffenberg is more than a stuffed shirt.
The party swore him fealty finally, which probably didn’t hurt.

Yes indeed, the heroes of Grunewald lodge have been hard at work
But someone’s put it all at risk. Someone nudged murk.

SO, soon the party will discover EXACTLY what is meant by
The ancient Elven saying:
Let sleeping Dwarfs lie.

Murk Dwemer, amatuer thief, natural-born-engineer and experienced drunk awoke with a roar. He discovered the following:

-He’s got a massive hangover and is in NO MOOD.
-Someone had moved him from the bar. WTF? Where is the ale? Why is he in the Gallery?
-That someone was probably Sigmund Wurst, upon whose collapsed and struggling body Murk was lying.
-Also, ow! Murk’s face is covered in second degree burns and his mask smells strongly of coffee. Who did this!?
-And thats not the only injury. Murk’s got plenty of cuts and bruises, some rather obvious. Fortunatley the lump on his forhead is hidden behind the opaque lens of his goggles.
-His time spent abseiling outside in the hot light of Morrslieb has had an effect upon him. Murk’s hardy dwarven resilience was not enough to prevent him from receiving some mild curruption.
-Why is the Banqueting Hall on fire?
-And his wallet seems lighter! Where’s that 20 silver gone?
-Is that Borgun Foambeard swinging from the Chandalier, gnawing at the gold filigree?
-Why is everyone screaming? Why is there dead bodies everywhere? I fall asleep for one minute and…
-Why does Baron Manfred von Holzenaur have swords for hands!? By Grimnir his jaw is unhinged and filled with needle like fangs!
-Thats the unconscious body of Lorith Silverleaf at his feet. snort Stupid Elf.
-The towns Burgomeister, Erst Maler, has grown gills and spines and is currently spitting barbs at the guests.
-The Priest of Sigmar, Gunther Emming, and the Priest of Morr, Shadrach Burke, are currently squaring off against Madame Beumarteu, who’s mouth has grown extra wide and is filled with shark teeth. She splutteres demonic curses, and completely abandoned her brettonian accent.
-Baron Margrave Von Mackeson, ruler of Helmgart, who was dressed as a beastman, is now actually a beastman, and is coming up behind the two priests.
-There is a crush of guests at the front door, which is barred, resulting in the watch unable to get in.
-The severed head of Johann Brass, lies nearby, his iron mask soldered to his skull. Damn. He was a useful human.
-Kvothe and Ariana are fighting off two mutated guests in the doorway to the banqueting hall.
-Graille has been grabbed by Mariane Hertzliche, who was transformed into a harpy and borne him aloft. He’s at least 20 feet off the ground.
-Captain Erwin Blucher, Captain Andrea Pfeffer are on the stairs, back to back, fighting more mutants.
-Physician Otto Krupp is being attacked by his partner Bernardt Bayer, who’s throat has engorged into a froglike gullet. The melted body of his servant girlfriend and her husband lie nearby.
-The Duc du Grenouille is sitting, just staring at his feet as they transform into hooves.
-Most of the remaining guests, including Lord Heissman Von Bruner, Ludmilla von Bruner, Fritz Langenhorn, Alfred Karstat of the Merchants Guild, Vern Henrick and Rogni Deepdelve from Karak Azgaraz, are in the State Hall, where arminius is defedning them from several more mutants.

And as Murk’s bleary eyes registered the carnage and pandomonium around him, a feathered mutant approached; what remained of the Noble from Stimmengen; Wolfgang von Falkenheym. The fiend grabbed Murk’s sword arm and bit down on it with his sharp beak, breaking the arm in two! Murk, fire burning in his eyes, shattered a bottle of Bugman’s over the fethered fiends skull, and then from within the folds of his cloke, his REAL arm emerged, a loaded pistol grasped in his hand. The sparks from his gun, fired point blank into the fiends chest, ignited Wolfgang’s soaked feathers and turned him to a pillar of fire. His screams sounded as the smell of cooked flesh filled the ballroom.

And from then on the battle turned in favour of the PCs, although it was not without it’s tragedies. Madame Beumarteu blinded the good Sigmarite Priest Gunther Emming with two knitting needles in the eyes. Shadrake Burke’s arm was broken. Jean-Luc de Cadent, Duc de Grenouille escaped, smashing through the window at the rear of the State Hall. Graille crashed his once friend now Harpy, Mariane Hertliche, into the Chandelier, and then talked her into committing suicide. Murk went trigger happy and blew Margrave Von Mackessons beastman head clean off. Erwin Blucher was nearly killed by Von Holzenaur before Kvothe roasted him. Arriana killed the doctor, exploding his engorged gullet, but was then attacked by Madame Beumarteu, who screamed “you did this to me!” as she was stuck full of elven arrows. Borgun Foambeard rode Graille the 20 feet to the ballroom floor, but fortunetalty his fall was broken by Marriane’s corpse. Arminius lead the survivors well, and defended Ashaffenberg from the other mutants, along with Sigmund Wurst, who protected lady von Bruner from a long-tailed guest with a hidden dagger.

When the battle ceased, there were few left alive. Fewer still after the witchhunters arrived and executed anyone suspected of being tainted. Many innocents died. Steffan Hell’s name was written in the guestbook by someone. (A skaven assasin? Or was he in the crowd the whole time, hiding behind a masquerade mask?) Doctor Otto Krupp tended to wounds, but wasnt able to save the life of Gunther Emming, priest of Sigmar. Graille discovered he had completely and mysteriously forgotten how to tend a broken arm; fortunately Kvothe taught him again, but Shadrache Burke passed out in pain.

The war meeting:

After a vicious battle, an impromptu summit was called in the burned out husk of Von Holzenaur’s mansion. Present were Lord Heissman Von Bruner, Lord Rickard Aschaffenberg, his vassals; Vern Hendrick and Sigmund Wurst (Lady Ludmilla Von Bruner, at her wits end, had retired for the evening), Captain Erwin Blucher, commander of the Garrison, Captain Andrea Pfeffer, commander of the watch, Witch hunter Gelfradt Hadl, aka “Scarface”, and his 2 subordinates. Bigby Blaise, legendary hero, turned up aswell, his apprentice in tow. They had tried to raise Christophe Engle, but he was still sleeping off the booze. Bruno Gunther, the elderly priest of Sigmar was also present, on request of Lord Rickard.

Lord Rickard also summoned his newly appointed Liegemen (and woman), the motherfucking heroes of Grunwald Lodge and Holzenaur’s Ball; Kvothe, Murk, Ariana, Arminius and Graille.

Lord Rickard had promised justice, and so justice had to be done. A plan had to be formed.

Bigby Blaise pointed out there was an incoming storm, the clouds of which would hide the intense glare of Morrslieb. Whatever dark mind that was behind the attacks had not reckoned on Taal lending a hand to us. We will be able to move about on the streets freely in about an hour.

The witchhunters reported that they were still searching for The Duc de Grenouille and the Von Saponatheims, but neither had been found, and the Skaven Menace was the more immediate threat. The sewers would need to be cleansed.

Andrea Pfeffer reported that as soon as the guests had begun to mutate, there had been incursions all across the city by more rat things. Skaven cloaked in black rags had emerged from sewer gratings near the garrison, watch houses and guild halls. Clearly they had been sent to assassinate those second in command after their leaders had been dispatched at Holzenaur’s ball. But thanks to Kvothe’s warning, they had watchmen stationed at sewer entrances on high alert, ready to raise the alarm. Very few of those watchmen had survived. However, they did their job; had the assassinations succeeded, the chaos of the ball would no doubt have spread in the leaderless city, were it not for the fact that everyone at the ball was packing heat, and Lord Rickard had invited some total badasses.

The critically injured Erwin Blucher had put his forces towards instituting Marshall law across the city. This was agreed was for the best. Further attacks from the sewers could happen at any moment, and the citizens of Ubersreik needed to be kept safe and placated. Already news of the ball fiasco had spread and the city was at risk of mass hysteria. The entire garrison would be mobilised across the city to keep order.

However, the forces available to venture into the sewers were not so numerous. Most of the watch were farmers sons and ex-grocers, good in a scrap but no good in extended combat against creatures of chaos. However, Andrea Pfeffer did have two crack squads of 20 men each, and Blucher would send his first platoon of 50 halbierders into the sewers aswell.

However they had no map of the sewers. That was until Graille pulled out his, the one his rat-catcher friend (that he had organised a pardon for) had drawn for them. It’s rough, but it was enough to go by, and Graille got a pat on the back for producing it.

There was some talk of going and fetching the other sewerman as a guide (Noseless Brandt, from the Shallyan Hospice), but it was abandoned.

Rather than divide their forces too widely, it was decided the watch would enter the sewers from near the temple of Sigmar, where Skaven activity had been reported, and the garrison platoon would follow Bigby Blaise and the Lord Rickards cohort into the nearby well. The witchunters would split, two with Andrea Pfeffer, and one with Bigby, while Lord Rickard and Erwin Blucher kept order on the surface. Messengers were sent out from the city to gather help from allies.

With Ashaffenberg as their official patron, and with an important and dangerous mission to undertake, they were given aid and boons from the city. From the Dwarfs, thanks to Murk’s allegence and scheming, they were granted dwarf forged armour (discovered this set fits humans only, sorry Murk). From the temple of sigmar they were granted a sacred artifact, a prayer strip blessed by the grand theologist himself, and correctly secured by the Sigmarite Bruno (thanks to a healthy donation from the guilds on Aschaffenberg’s behalf). From Ashaffenberg himself, an impressive kite shield (sorry, not a tower shield yet) with Ashaffenberg’s blue and gold emblem. Ariana recieved a note from Lorith Silverleaf by way of one of her handmaidens: “Thankyou for your assistance at the ball lady Ariana. Come speak with me after you have killed every last Skaven. Keep the swords.”
Graille, from Shallyan Mariane Attenblum, got fuck all. Because thats how Shallya rolls.

So they set off, down into the darkeness. Ariana led the way, using her elf eyes to navigate the gloom. However.

It all started to go terribly wrong.

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