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 Reaping The Whirlwind

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Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Reaping The Whirlwind   Tue 8 Nov - 17:57:21

Reaping The Whirlwind

We left the somewhat ungrateful village having delivered it of its unwelcome vampire and resumed our pursuit of the crusade. Once more we travelled amongst the mass of daemon husks that crowded the roadways, looming threateningly over these vital arteries of communication. Like so many, my companions seemed oblivious of the obvious danger these leafy creatures posed, but I was in no condition to protest, as my wounds remained serious and untreated.

The crusade had trampled its way onward likewise careless of the greater menace: Everywhere the evidence screamed of a huge host moving through the forest, their tracks, their cast offs, waste and even casualties littered the landscape. An incompetent bunch of novice inquisitors with no tracking skills of any sort could have followed them.*

*Ironically enough

We came across few on the road, but a bunch of flagellant Sigmarite pilgrims were the only group of note. We struggled to find much sustenance from the landscape, plucked as it had been of much that could have helped sustain us. As it was our living off the land skills were typified by the measly scrawny ferret that was one of our few successes: Pretty scrawny and definitely second rate cuisine.

At last we came upon a coaching inn, understandably fortified amongst so many deadly trees. It seemed unnaturally quiet; what mysterious happening could account for this?* Gizbert of Scousenburg, AKA Gizbert the Expendable scouted forward. The inn had impressive walls and a heavy gate, but all was quiet, unguarded and deserted as our thief slipped in.

*Fans of M Night Shaylaman may appreciate this pun

The Reaper’s Bounty had an appropriately Morr like scythe on its sign, just how appropriate this was would become apparent later. Gizbert searched the tavern rooms systematically,* however, it seemed that the crusade had already stripped anything worth taking, especially much to Borri’s regret the ale kegs from the bar.

*In the hope of some systematic looting no doubt.

Interestingly, the hearth still had faint signs of warmth so it had not been abandoned long, but there was no evidence of current occupation. Until that is, he checked upstairs, and whilst admiring a fine pipe discovered an injured wood elf. The elf was a kithband warrior and Gizbert managed to lay the foundations of an uneasy alliance, skipping over our unfortunate association with a representative of dwarf kind.

Then matters began to get more complicated: A coach approached from the east, a fine one with the insignia of Sigmar adorning it. It drew up at the heavy gate that we had closed only with some difficulty as we took possession of the building, glad for a place of shelter from an increasingly threatening sky, pregnant with powerful stormclouds.

We admitted the coach to discover that it bore one Father Johannes, his aide and a pair of bodyguards. The father was a trifle overweight,* and also was blessed with an overblown sense of his own importance. He quickly realised that our main purpose in life was to act as his servants, meet his every need, prepare his bath, provide him with a banquet and generally bow and scrape to him.

*Approximately 60 pounds worth of trifle by our best estimate

We identified ourselves as General Neuman’s Inquisitorial team of witch hunters which appeared to barely improve his perception of us though he did recognise the name. He seemed ignorant of the child’s crusade and appeared to be a generally useless article, however, he did agree to heal me, and his youthful aide assisted too leaving me feeling much improved. With the sleeplessness engendered in me by being forced to overnight amongst the horrors of the woods I retired to sleep at last, however the night was not to pass peacefully.

For we had unexpected guests: Beastmen teeming amongst the trees, clearly brought there and encouraged by their malign influence. They swarmed around our little citadel, but our perimeter was already breached; mutants were already amongst us within the compound: Timid creatures who had hidden below in a tunnel that pierced the walls to allow access via the well. They were as much in fear of the beastmen as us, though not it seemed as much as the cowardly Father.

We stood to the defence, initially sealing off the well head. Our wood elf friend took to the tower and began sowing his arrows amongst the arch enemy’s servants, starting with a remarkable fluke head shot against their leader. However, even the first wave of attackers racing to scale the walls outnumbered us, despite the emergence of a number of mutants who also manned our suddenly puny looking battlements.

I opened fire with my bow too and even hit a couple during the ensuing combat, whilst Larry did better work with his magic darts. But though we felled a dozen attackers it was obvious that we could not hold; Beatrix was toppled from the battlements by a grappling beast, the mutants were being torn to pieces and Borri and Gizbert could do little against the onslaught. One of the priest’s bodyguards fell dead and running low on arrows, we withdrew strategically, or as Borri put it so succinctly, ‘ran like hell.’

Our only chance of escape as the beastmen breasted the parapets all around and moved to unbar the main gate, lay in the mutants’ tunnel, indeed their survivors were already scampering down the hatch. We followed, several of us tumbling down in our haste. Beatrix suffered particular indignity as the priest managed to fall and land on top of her.*

*Bea seems to have picked up the late Digger’s propensity for falling incidents

We legged it, Larry and I tail-end Charlies, dragging the fat oaf with us. Borri heroically took rearguard and the party emerged at last into the horror that was the tree horde. It was clear that the beasts were everywhere, but our elf guide unerringly led off, gesturing us urgently to follow. This we did, evading the clutches of the creatures and the far more deadly trees that seemed at every turn to try and bar our way and ensnare us.

Then we burst into a clearing, only to find that our the chaos carrion had cut us off: We braced for a final stand, if only we could get our breath back for a moment, but our ambushers were suddenly cut down by a volley of well placed arrows, sent amongst them by our elf’s comrades. We set off again, escorted now by ten kithband warriors, heading away from the scene of our near rout. We succeeded in losing our foes, hoist on their own petard as their own allies the trees hid our escape. Now we head east again, our Elven escorts hooded against recognition…

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