The Thousand Thrones

Hello Darkness my old friend

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Badly wounded, Margat Chaoseater witnesses as the big bird lands on top of the tower, and a small pale face gazes down the shaft. He doesn’t move to give away his position and keeps Karl out of sight.

Luidolf Desfleuve and Carl Kell investigate noises from below the library and discover an older man straped to a table. His body cut with T shaped wounds. Also his body has sigils cut into it like the ones the group discovered in one of the cages. A metal mask, a bucket of red sap and a variety of torture tools are prepared next to the table.

They learn, that the man is a zealot from the crusade (follower of the Brothers of the Open Wound) who was taken here and experimented on.

They free the zealot and ascend up the ladder to the laboratory area. They can here faint whispers coming from above.

Lord de Trois is trying to convince the ogre to let the boy go but Margat is stubborn. As voices shout down from below, de Trois retreats into shadows and let necrotic powder rain down the shaft. Luidolf and the unnamed Zealot cry out in pain as it burns their skin and eats into their armor and clothing.

de Trois gets tired of the Ogre and fells him with a horrible spell. Karl refuses to join with the vampire and jumps down the shaft. The Zealot tries to catch him – succeeds, but dies from the impact. Also little Karl doesnt survive the jump.

Margat meets a gruesome end as de Trois covers his body in necrotic powder. His body disintegrates within seconds.

Luidolf and Carl flee downwards through a tunnelsystem that ends up in the ghoul cave. They decide to retrieve their horses to escape, but the vampire attacks them from his flying mount. In the last second, Coriael and the remaining elves try to help, but all of them fall to the rain of necrotic powder.

As their painful cries subside, an eerie peacefulness returns to the vale of the necromancer.

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We didn't start the fire ...

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Luidolf Desfleuve almost gets caught by the lurking shiners. Margat Chaoseater stomps off into the forest to get some trunks, so the expedition can cross the moat. He returns with one big trunk that bridges the moat. A rope helps to get across more securely, while oil, set aflame, keeps the shiners away.

They pass the moat safely and start a long climb up the tower. The strong vines even support the big ogre. At the top, they discover a black gaping hole leading into the interior of the tower. Animal sounds and screeching echos from below. On top they find a huge perch, surrounded by bones. A small hut, which was used as an observatory, looks abandoned and not used in a long time.

Luidolf Desfleuve volunteers to go down the hole into the tower. He discovers cages that host all kind of nasty creatures and corpses on his way down, among them an elf that has tattoos similar to the elves of Coriael kithband and some kind of experiment with human bodies.

Reaching the bottom, he discovers a laboratory filled with parchments, personal notes and books. Following brave Luidolf, the rest of the expedition descends to the laboratory.

Carl Kell discovers a griffon egg in one of the cages and Kite, a.k.a Markus Mudgeboren puts it in his backpack – to sell it later.

They start to search the place for Bob and discover a library – accessed by a ladder leading down an old well. About at the same time Kite, a.k.a Markus Mudgeboren gets curious about the metal lever – especially after a suddenly appearing spider-ogre tried to reach it, but Margat stopped it in time.

After some pondering, Markus pulls the lever – setting a self-destruct into motion that cannot be stopped. Luidolf Desfleuve and Carl Kell hide behind blast doors, that secure the library while the rest of the expedition tries to frantically escape the trap.

A huge explosion shakes the tower and a fireball shoots upwards through the tower. The flames engulf Markus who dies almost instantly. Margart shields Karl as good as he can and gets burned badly – same as Karl. The rest of the expedition is incinerated as they climbed the rope.

Margat bodyhair is gone – no hair or eyebrows remain. As he looks up towards the night sky he notices a huge shadow flying by – the master has returned and they are trapped inside.

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A lone tower

Ghoul_Cave.jpg The group awakes in the morning after having some weird dreams about things long passed or visions of a possible future. The group decides to join the Witchhunter and the 2 scholars to hunt down the Necrarch de Trois – for a pay of 5g per day.

Luidolf Desfleuve hopes to rescue his loyal servant Bob, who is missing. Margat Chaoseater teaches Karl how to swing a hammer properly but ceases as he notices that a peasant stopped and started to watch Karl with a familiar look.

They all get ready and leave town northeast. On the way they stop for spending the night at the very same half collapsed barn as they group did the night before. On the next day they pass a ford into the think forest and discover a ravine. Two paths lead down and they decide to take the left one.

After a while they discover a halfling thrall, Smoot, who was watching them. They take him hostage and he offers them to lead them to the “master”. On they way they discover a cave full of ghouls. Smoot says they gonna help but ogre-diplomacy fails and after a short battle the cave is purged. Luidolf Desfleuve kills the chained Smoot.

Margat Chaoseater finds a shrine with a skeleton at its center, it has a makeshift crown place on its skull and its left hand is replaced by a branch that looks like a claw. Margat retrieves the crown and places it on Karls head – the boy is delighted.

The witchhunter and the scholars decide to go directly to the tower – they group passes a forest that looks dead, the trunks are weeping red sap. A soldier touches it and gets sick.

They reach the tower – and impressive high building with vines covering its surface. There is a moat around it with crystal clear water – skeletal parts covering the sandy ground.

The group finds a damaged boat and 3 soldiers use it to get across. As they reach the middle of the moat, the boat starts rocking as something invisible starts to knock against the boat from below.

The amethyst wizard identifies the creatures as Shiners – translucent gelatinous monsters.

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Who's your daddy?

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The group leaves the temple and discovers Luidolfs dead horse next to the entrance. It throat had been slit. Carl Kell leads them out of the hedge maze. Back at the entrance, Kite, a.k.a Markus Mudgeboren and Luidolf Desfleuve hear the girl crying – as it seems the noise comes from the manor. They decide to investigate.

They enter the manor through the broken solarium at the back of the house. They use a curtain to produce a makeshift torch. They cries come from upstairs. They follow the sound and Markus peeks through the keyhole of the door through which they hear the girl crying.

Markus can see a girl, sitting on the floor with the back to him. Also there is someone else in the room with the girl. Luidolf and Markus open the door discover a chaos spawn – looking like a male and a femal body fused together. Also, a scavenger type figure is in the room, who gets slaughtered by the chaos spawn. Markus rushes in to fetch the girl and save her from the demon, but as he grabs her, she starts trying to bite him. Her dress is bloatsoaked, as are the walls of the room. Luidolf steps in and makes short work of the chaos spawn. They flee downstairs, the girl still trying to bite everyone around her – so Luidolf puts her out of her misery. Markus wants to torch the place and goes back in – setting the nearby library on fire. While Luidolf is watching, he notices a female ghost at the other side of the main hall. It doesnt looks aggressive, so he follows her into the dining room. She wails, “Kill the killer….”

The flames in the library start to consume the whole room, so they retreat and meet up with Margat Chaoseater, Karl and Carl Kell. In the meantime, they discovered that their horse from the cart are gone, so is Bob, Luidolfs loyal servant. They also found a half disintegrated body of a vampire thrall.

Tracks indicate that a huge coach with at least 6 horses was here and made a turn to go back towards Wolfenburg. The group decides to go back to Ristedt. They follow the road, and as further they get away from the Wolfenburg area, the weather gets again colder and colder. They notice, that the huge coach had taken the same route, but after a while the tracks lead on to the west into the forests, while the group continues south.

After a short night in a shack, they reach Ruhrhoff and later that day finally arrive at Ristedt.

At the tavern, they discover a witchhunter, accompanied by two scholars and men-at-arms. Kite, a.k.a Markus Mudgeboren learns that they are chasing a dangerous vampire, a necrarch. They are looking for people to hire. Fuchs Müller and Dina Scülli (amethyst wizard), the scholars explain that they are chasing this dangerous creature since they discovered him in Bretonnia.

During the conversation, Margat Chaoseater feels something is crawling under his skin and with a fart, he gives shits his pants. People look at him and stop eating as they see that Margat had the same as they did. Suddenly something moves in Margats pants and bites him. He rushes outside and pulls down his underpants to discover a nurgling. He tries to smash him but the nurgling gets away – giggling as he goes. Margat chases him but loses track. He goes to his sleeping place and calls it a night.

During the night, no one dares to leave the house – it is Hexennacht.

On the next morning, he wakes up – feeling something is cuddling up to him. The nurgling returned. Margat makes short work of him by rolling over and smashing the poor thing, only leaving a puddle of shit underneath him…

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Karls Rescue

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Luidolf Desfleuve charges the chanting cultists and kills one right away. Margat Chaoseater and Carl Kell follow into the fray and the battle begins.

The high-priest and Tobias unleash horrifying spells upon the attackers, inflicting massive critical damage – especially on Margat.

Before Kite, a.k.a Markus Mudgeboren joins the fight, he notices that they were followed by the Lahmian vampires. Suddenly Sophia, Baroness Theodora Margrave and a couple of thralls join the battle.

Carl Kell falls unconscious after he was hit by a devastating life draining spell.

The vampires attack both, the cultists and the group – they want Karl for themselves, but the group manages to free Karl. Once Karl is freed, they feel invigorated and the tide of battle turns.

As Tobias dies, Margat Chaoseater notices a small tentacle-like creature detaching from his body. It crawls towards a new sewer gutter and disappears into the dark.

As the fight is coming to an end, only Sophia and Margrave are left. They demand the boy, but the group refuses. Carl Kell, who joined the fight again after Markus used a healing potion on him, tries to trap the vampires with a warding spell, but the creatures are too strong to contain.

Finally, Sophia and Magrave fall under the relentless attacks and the group retreats upstairs to the entry hall of the temple. They block the door leading into the temple.

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Villa Hahn

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The group arrives at Wolfenburg and after a bit of gossiping with the locals they get directions to the house of Hahn. They follow the destroyed city wall of Wolfenburg to the west and end up at an old rusty iron gate. A plaque declares it as Villa Hahn.

The remains of the garden, stables and the manor do not look inviting (insects buzzing, ground is muddy and filthy), so they decide to enter the estate at a more discreet place. They quickly find a crack in the wall and send Margat Chaoseater in to spy. Even tho the ogre is quite big, the forest area covers him quite well. He identifies a roockery and an other building that looks like an accommodation of some kind.

They circle the manor in a wide arc and finally reach the walls of a hedge maze. Next to the entrance is a destroyed glasshouse that houses oddly looking plants. Kite, a.k.a Markus Mudgeboren scouts the entrance of the hedge maze but cannot make out any tracks. Carl Kell climbs up on Margat Chaoseater to look over the hedges but only discovers that the maze is huge.

They send Bob, the butler of Luidolf Desfleuve, back to the crack in the wall to wait there. After that they test if they can whack through the hedges, but the walls are thorny and heal itself while oddly looking flowers spray Margat with stinking liquids.

Morrslieb smiles down at them as it gets darker.

They decide to enter the maze and look for the Plague Temple. After a few hours of trying they find a black mound at a dead end. Several black tendrils or roots extend from the mound and dig into the nearby dirt. The mound occasionally pulses as if alive, and they
can see fluids of green and yellow racing through translucent veins just below the surface of its skin. As they approach, the mound opens from its centre with a wet tearing sound, its flesh pulled tight to the outer edge of the circle, like a sphincter. Several cultists climb out of the newly formed hole. The cultists are as surprised to see the intruders at their temple as much as the group is surprised to see someone walk out of a giant mound of bruised flesh.

The cultists attack the group at once with dark magic and infected blades, while the mound closes behind them. Carl Kell provides the group an advantage and they survive the fight almost unscathed.

The mound does not open to the group, so Margat decides to open it by force. This method is not pretty nor does it smell good. The skin of the mound is tough. Margat Chaoseater gets covered in pus and blood and other disgusting goo by the time he makes a large enough hole. The mound has no way of fighting back, but loud gurgling can be heard the entire time. This is so disturbing that the group gets really uneasy.

They slip through the hole into the Plague Temple and make their way down through deserted halls and rooms. As they reach the 2nd level, they clearly hear chanting coming from around the corner of the corridor that lies ahead of them. Passing hanging cages with corpses in them, they discover an alive prisoner. As he sees them he screams out loud to help him, but Luidolf Desfleuve, the angel of death, ends him quickly so they do not get discovered.

As they peek around the corner, they see a huge room with a stone altar. Bound to it lies little Karl. 10 cultists stand chanting in the middle of the room, while 2 better dressed cultists stand next to the altar and discuss something.

Margat Chaoseater belly grumbles madly.

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Journey to Wolfenburg

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The group prepares to leave Altdorf. Luidolf Desfleuve retrieves his repaired heirlooms from Lord Frederick. Luidolf asks for transportation towards Wolfenburg and the Lord offers passage on one of his trade vessels.

The group meets at the docks and leaves Altdorf by boat. The weather slows their journey but they reach Talabheim safe.

During the journey, Kite, a.k.a Markus Mudgeboren shows interest in a picture from the “Life of Sigmar” which Margat carries. He mentions the name of Lanfranchi. Carl Kell elaborates that Giovanni Lanfranchi was a tilean nobleman, crusader, artist, mystic and engineer in the 15th century. Based on his recent research, he recalls that Lanfranchi was a crusader in the invasion of Araby, that he founded a vampire-hunting order of some sort, the Priory of the Spear which established a branch on the borders of Sylvania at the town of Siegfriedhof.
Lanfranchi’s triptych, a lost piece of art, shows ascension to divinity – as seen in the “Life of Sigmar”.

In Talabheim, they continue to travel by horse/cart up to Ristedt, which is close to their travel destination of Ruhrhoff. The city is devasted and many people are sick. The heroes only have limited contact to the population. Margat Chaoseater invests some time in helping the struggling population while the others restock their rations. Margat hands out spare rations and earns much appreciation for it. After he held a short sermon, he is approached by Gerhard Dietrich. His son is missing and he thinks that he got taken by cultists. The group can identify him by a family ring that he should be wearing.

The group moves on to Ruhrhoff and finds the house of Ansel Vormann. The cellar holds the remains of Ansel love, but before they can check on the necklace they get ambushed by cultists. After a short fight, the group discovers that the necklace is gone.

A quick search of the bodies reveal a note and each cultist has a metal sigil showing flies burned into their skins. The note reads:

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The group stays for the night in a more safe area of Ruhrhoff. During the nights rest, Luidolf Desfleuve witnesses a black coach rushing by their place. Fear strikes deep as he notices that the coach is pulled by 6 skeletal horses.
He does not mention it to his fellow adventurers.

With Hexennacht just 2 days away, they reach Wolfenburg.

Most of the city is destroyed and the remaining population started to settle south east along the remaining city wall. As they enter the area, the group notices that the area is significantly warmer then it should be for this time of year.

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The Vengeance of Sigmar

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The group decides to explore Estlemanns special stock and gain access to it via the sewers. The room is empty, only broken shelves remain. On the shelves they find name tags – the list of special customers.

Lord Frederick helps them by identifying the names on the list – as it turns out, many of them turned up dead over the past year. Each and everyone was a mutant or chaos cultist of some sort. The so called “Vengeance of Sigmar” killed them and nailed a tin badge with the symbol of the twin-tailed comet on their forehead.

They ask Lord Frederick if he knows someone from the list and he tells them that one of the names, Dieter Wilke, ran errands for him early last year. The group decides to look him up and find a dead body – a twin tailed comet badge nailed to his head. Margat Chaoseater looks at his freshly acquired tin badge and notices that they look alike.

At this point, the group starts to think that Ansel Vorman could be the Vengeance since their timeline match. They decide to track him down and after a while of interviewing badge sellers in Altdorf, they get a lead to the Temple of Sigmar: Brother Axel.

Brother Hiltveld at the temple tells them that Brother Axel hasnt turned up in two days and gives them his address. They group finds Brother Axel, lying in pool of blood. With his last breath he relates “He knows where I left the necklace. He knows the incantation…”

They group finds the costume of the Vengeance and his journals – one is missing. As Carl Kell skips through the journals discovers a dark plot that involves a magic necklace that makes the wearer love whoever placed it upon them. The Nurgle cultists are after the necklace to bind Karl to them, but Brother Axel hid it.

They follow up a clue they find next to the body that leads them back to the library. The group gains access to the library and Brother Lundgrin helps them to find the right book. As they finally find the correct edition of the book they were looking for, they manage to secretly retrieve the missing journal.

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The group find an alcove in the garden next to the library and read through the journal which tells a grim story about a dark ritual that took place in Ruhrhoff. The necklace is still their – left behind by Brother Axel. Carl Kell, who grew up in Ostland, recognizes the name of the village – it is close to Wolfenburg.

As they debate about the next steps, the sky darkens and suddenly a slim beautiful woman leans next to a tree in the deserted garden. Her fangs give it away – she is a vampire. She demands the journal from them but the group refuses. The vampire tries to bribe them with gold and jewels but is not successful.

Margat Chaoseater gets tired of the vampires inquiries and simply eats the book in one piece. The vampire is furious and retreats to a nearby waiting coach – the black pigeon following her. As the coach dashes away the sky clears again.

The group put together all the pieces of the puzzle, the Nurgle cultists have a headstart of a few hours towards Ruhrhoff to retrieve the Necklace of Unfailing Loyalty to control Karl.

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Altdorf

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The group arrives at Altdorf and pass through the northern gate. Just a few steps into the city, they find the black coach standing at the side of the street. It is clear that they coach got assaulted – one of the doors got violently removed and the rest of the coach is badly damaged too.

Carl Kell, Luidolf Desfleuve and Margat Chaoseater ask people on the street what happened and learn that the coach got jumped by “a sorcerer who melted the faces off the guards of the coach”. An other tells them, that a little boy got pushed into a coffin, which was then dragged away by some guy looking like a Marienburger merchant. Lastly one curses at the militia because they weren’t there when needed and tells them about a mysterious mutant killer, the Vengeance of Sigmar, who will surly hunt down and make short work of this sorcerer.

The group moves deeper into the city and decide to meet later that day at the tavern “The Knights Hovel” near Königsplatz. Margat buys a tin badge with a sigmars comet off some old woman.

Sister Helena stays at the Shallyan temple/hospice next to Königsplatz.

Carl Kell heads off to the college of light to meet with his superiors. They are pleased to hear about the progress of the investigation. Carl stays the night and on the next morning faces trials to advance within the ranks of the college. He passes and gets awarded an attunded staff of the college.

Luidolf Desfleuve and his servant Bob look up an old friend of Luidolfs father – Lord Frederick. He is pleased to meet Luidolf and promises assistance while he is in town. They have a pleasant lunch at Fredericks town house. Lord Frederick happens to be a customer of an antiquarian named Estlemann.

Margat Chaoseater, Roderick Schreck and Kite, a.k.a Markus Mudgeboren walk to the Temple of Sigmar to speak with an representative about the current situation. After the ongoing mass is finished, they get approached by one of the head-priests. Schreck and Margat report what happened and learn that the black coach belongs to Lady Margrave, a respected citizen of Altdorf. The priest is not happy to hear that the child is within the city walls and got abducted by cultists. When mentioning Estlemann, he gives them directions to a book store in the University district.

Luidolf Desfleuve and Margat Chaoseater meet that night for drinks and decide to have a good nights rest before visiting Estlemann.

Next morning, Margat is already restless and waiting for his friends to arrive. It takes a while before Luidolf shows up which doesnt help his mood. As they walk through the University District towards Estlemann shop, they notice a column of smoke rising into the sky. As they come closer, they learn it is Estlemanns bookstore that is burning. The fire started about half an hour ago and the people are trying to fight the flames and keep them from jumping over to other houses.

They learn Estlemann suffered heavy burns and barely survived. He was transported to the shallyan hospice. As they are about to leave, a group of witchhunters arrive and forcefully break up the people who try to save the house and their homes. “Let it burn”, their leader says while he watches the flames with a satisfactorily grin.

At the hospice, Luidolf and Margat ask to see Estlemann. Since they are not kin, the matron in the entry hall denies them to see Janus Estlemann. Margat is not pleased and starts to make threats. The alarmed temple guards intervene, but the ogre stays his course. At some point he successfully intimidates the matron which causes the guards of Altdorf to be summoned – the situation is close to escalate into a fight as the ogre finally gives in and leaves the hospice. Also attracted by the commotion, Sister Helena spots Luidolf and sneaks him into the hospice.

She leads him to Estlemann, who tells him about the men who did this to him. Their description fits to Jan Vandepeer. They were looking for a man called Ansel Vormann, a loyal customer of Estlemann. Ansel left for Marienburg quite some time ago and returned to Altdorf about a year ago. He had a huge scar on his forehead and was sickly thin. He demanded a list of Estlemanns special customers at sword tip – after that he disappeared and was never been seen again. Luidolf notices a black pigeon with beady red eyes sitting at a window among other pigeons.

Estlemann refuses to help them any further, but his tune changes quickly as loud voices arise from downstairs. The witchhunters arrived to arrest him. He begs Luidolf to kill him – in exchange he will give him the location of his secret stash where he has a last copy of the list of names he gave to Ansel and Jan. Luidolf agrees and retrieves a key from Estlemann. Sister Helena tries to stop the witchhunters while Luidolf sneaks out of the injury ward. He fails and gets chased through the hospice but manages to disappear in the busy streets around Königsplatz.

The group meets up at “The Knights Hovel” to discuss what to do next – again, they are watched by a black pigeon with red eyes.

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Hot Pursuit

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Margat Chaoseater outsmarts (!) the blond hand maidens and uses the stairs on the other side of the boat to rush Selena Reiva. He manages to prey Karl out of her grapple and runs off with him.

The hand maidens and the boat crew start to encircle the adventurers on the upper deck, while Roderick Schreck and Kite, a.k.a Markus Mudgeboren kill off the remaining thrall downstairs.

Selena Reiva casts a spell and teleports Margat into the ice-cold Reik and Karl out of sight. Margat resists the freezing water and makes it to the river bank, where he notices a big black coach.

In the meantime, Roderick fought his way up to the deck and stands over knocked-out Carl Kell, who fell due to the attack of crew and hand maidens. Luidolf Desfleuve sneaks up on 2 boatmen and kills them to reach his frends which are encircled by enemies. They witness Sister Helena disappearing into thin air and Lady Reiva also fades out of sight.

Margat gets up on the road and sees Reiva handing Karl to an other female vampire. Invigorated by Karls presence, he runs in, grabs Karl off Reiva again and flees into the near forest. Lady Reiva keeps up with him easily and uses her teleport spell to separate Margat and Karl once more, but due to a misscast, Luidolf is relocated next to her – wielding a sword and shield but being in his undergarments. He attacks her immediately and Margat joins in with a quickly picked-up treetrunk. They easily kill her and Margat finishes her off by impaling her with the tree trunk.

The black coach drives off toward Carroburg. Sister Helena also made it alive to the shore – shivering from the cold water.

Meantime on the upper deck, the two remaining adventurers get outnumbered by the crew and, although bravely fought, Roderick also falls unconscious to their attacks. Kite, a.k.a Markus Mudgeboren flees downstairs to escape certain death, but the captain follows him. He is almost gets caught but Carl Kell gets up again and deals major damage with his Magic Dart spell.

Margat and Luidolf kill the fleeing hand maidens, but keep one alive for questioning. To get out of the bad influence of Morrslieb, they retreat into the body of ship and start interogating the girl. They find out that Karl, the Scion, will be taken to Altdorf and beyond. After she is no more use to them, she gets killed. Margat retreats to gather the corpses and starts feasting.

Kite, a.k.a Markus Mudgeboren and Carl Kell discover a dead nurgle cultist, which they identify as bodyguard of Jan Vanderpeer, in one of the rooms in the cargo hold. They find a note next to them which has the name of an Altdorfer antiquarian on it – Estelmann. Also a necklace is mentioned for a ceremony. Luidolf Desfleuve found a necklace in the chambers of Reiva and keeps it.

Roderick Schreck sets the ship on fire as they leave by foot and horse towards a nearby village. They find shelter and are able to buy 2 horses and a cart to move on towards Carroburg. After spending one night there and moving on to an inn near Altdorf, they learn that a black coach came through here this very morning. They stay for the night and leave the next day towards Altdorf, which they reach just before sunset.

Who is Ansel? How is Estelmann involved and what ceremony were they talking about?

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