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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My little Old World: In the Sewers of Middenheim #2

Reports, retorts, and last resorts
Captain Ulrich Schutzmann, Midden Marshal of the Middenheim City Watch returned to his office after seeing off his erstwhile deputy watchmen. Knowing skaven as he did, he wondered about the identity of the ratman who had escaped back into the sewers. He told himself that ultimately this didn't matter one whit.

In the end, he reminded himself, he had stuck his neck out by bringing this ragtag bunch in to apply a good old fashioned dose of brute force and ignorance to old Morten's murder. He was going to miss the old man. Greimold was sound, to be sure, but he was, well... a bit unpredictable.

Schutzmann chuckled to himself as he characterised Middenheim's new Anointed Priest of Sigmar thus. Bringing in that motely bunch had hardly seen him living up to his own reputation. Good, he thought. That would keep Greimold on his toes in his new appointment.

These musings brought the veteran back to matters at hand. He had a watch platoon to inspect for the night's patrols, and then he had a rendezvous to keep with Greimold. Buckling on his sword-belt, Schutzmann wondered if Greimold had yet found old Morten's surviving stock of Estalian port. He needed something to clear the taste of shite from his palate.

**********

Reappearing in the streets of Middenheim in the alley in the Ulricsmund near the Morrspark from which they had made their original descent, our 5 adventurers stood for a moment, blinking as their eyes readjusted to the late afternoon's sunshine. They breathed deep of the city air, finding even its lingering whiff of death sweet after the stench of the sewers beneath their feet.

Reeking of ordure, and covered in blood and shit, the PC's decided that a bath was the first thing they needed. Siegfreid's local knowledge took the party quickly to the place they needed to go- which they reached without trouble because nobody in the street wanted to get within several yards of them. Once in the bathhouse, an aging babushka charged them a hefty price for a bath, laundry, and elementary repairs to their trail-worn and battle-torn clothing.

Thus refreshed, they decided that a report to Captain Schutzmann was their next priority. Quickly reaching the Watch headquarters at the South Gate, they gained rapid access to Schutzmann's office, where Siegfreid promptly and unceremoniously dumped his sack of skaven ears on the Midden Marshal's desk. Wrinkling his nose, Schutzmann paused to open his window and take a deep breath before sifting through Siegfreid's sack with the point of his dagger.

The party gave their report, and the 6 defenders of Middenheim talked.

After a while, Schutzmann began to look thoughtful, and the party began to realise that they still didn't know how news of the discovery of the precious icon had spread so wide: as far as they knew, only Berthold, Morten, and Athelus, a young initiate- and perhaps one or two others at the Temple of Sigmar- had known about it before the murder.

As the talk wound down Grundi returned to his desire to pursue the escaped skaven back down into the sewers. Schutzmann pointed out that some skaven nearly always escape, and even if they don't, well, there're always more where they came from. He concluded by telling the PC's that the Morten case was officially closed, although he and his associates would certainly be making what enquiries they could to pursue the loose ends.

Relieving the PC's of their now defunct warrant, he told them that they should be law-abiding and god-fearing subjects of the Empire, but that, if they should come across any information that might pertain, they shouldn't hesitate to contact him.

Mordrin asked if he could get his armour repaired. Schutzmann assented. He took the PC's to the Watch treasury, where they were rewarded with 10gc for their sterling efforts. Mordrin was taken to the armoury, where he stripped off his armour to leave it for repair, leaving him to walk the streets in naught but his underwear and cloak.

Leaving the Watch HQ, the immediate consensus was that they had to next to deliver the frame of the icon of Sigmar to Father Greimold. The dwarfs- Mordrin especially- were keen to take their news about the lost shrine to Grungni to their kin in the Wynd. But they saw the sense in the others' idea, not to mention the possibility of some small personal advantage.

As the party proceeded north up the main drag through the Merchant District, Alane noticed a familiar figure shadowing them: Beyer, first seen back in the Strutting Cock, and who had already been spotted following them once before in Middenheim. She immediately informed Siegfreid of this fact in a whisper.

Without a word Siegfreid fell behind the party and ducked into an alleyway. His absence was soon noticed by Berthold, but by this time, Siegfreid had stepped out behind Beyer, who was too wary to be caught napping.

Asking the man his business, Siegfreid was somewhat surprised when the reply came in a mixture of thieves' signs and argot: that it had fallen to Beyer- via the grapevine- to deliver a message of some import to Siegfreid and his companions.

Go on, said Siegfreid.

You know better than to ask me to speak out here in plain view about matters to be delivered like this, Beyer replied.

Over here in my office then suggested Siegfreid, indicating a nearby alleyway. This too was unsatisfactory to Beyer. Siegfreid suggested a neutral place.

The Wolf's Teeth Tavern, Southgate, this evening, replied Beyer.

Siegfreid was willing to accept this suggestion because it is the place where his old mum works. And with that Beyer turned his back and left, leaving Siegfreid to rejoin the others, where he filled them in on what had gone down.

Arriving at the temple, the players are quickly ushered into Greimold's new office- that of the late Morten, whose post Greimold now holds. Greimold too gets up to open the window and take a deep breath before sitting down again to address the party. Berthold explains what has happened, and proffers the icon's frame to Greimold, which the priest accepts gratefully.

As the conversation continues Greimold also shows a surprising degree of knowledge about certain matters for a priest of Sigmar. He tends to Mordrin's wound. In the process he discovers that the dwarf has contracted a dose of the Galloping Scumpox. He leads the party to the infirmary and leaves him to the care of young Athelus. His last words are to advise Mordrin to return on the morrow for another treatment to guarantee a cure.

By this time, hunger is the PC's main concern. Diverting only to collect some of their gear from the lodgings of the people of Untergard, they make for the Wolf's Teeth tavern. Settling in for the night they set to to a meal and a keg of ale. Meanwhile, Beyer not yet having arrived, Seigfried sits alone ready for his chat.

As the other PC's relax, Alane suddenly detects magick in the tavern room. Looking round, she sees a familiar face: one Jocelin Herzog, who Alane remembers from her magical studies back in Altdorf. Herzog is manifestly shocked and astonished to see the elf.

Shortly thereafter, Beyer arrives in the company of the rest of the crew the party remembers from their first night in the Strutting Cock. Beyer covertly signals to Siegfreid that he cannot talk just yet. Getting the message, Siegfreid heads out back to the privy. Beyer appears soon after.

Beyer passes on the message that an evil fate has befallen the Strutting Cock and the PC's friends there. His job done, the man departs, his pocket a little heavier thanks to Siegfreid. Hearing the news, the party resolve to make haste thence to save the day. They proceed to get pleasantly drunk.

Grundi rounds the night off by singing the wolf-hunting song inspired by his exploits in the Drakwald. Several of the party are impressed [as was the GM- it was highly plausible dwarfish plainsong, although thankfully Antony only recited it!] although Siegfreid notes that singing about killing wolves in the city of the White Wolf is perhaps not the best of ideas.

Related@RD/KA!
In the Sewers of Middenheim
- We strike a bum note
- #1 Fury, fear, and flying fur
- Index:- My little Old World: Ashes of Middenheim
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