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Bronheim was a small town, located in the forest west of Carroburg, situated close to the river Reik. Life there was great, it's inhabitants all went about their buisness, lived with their famlies, it was a good life.
There was a problem though, there had been a large pack of wolves killing stock and pestering the farmers who lived in or around Bronheim, so one day you gathered up your weapons, and formed a group intent on hunting down and killing the wolves once and for all. All of the able men from Bronheim and it's surrounds took up arms, and set about hunting these wolves.
You set out at dawn, and it took half of the day to even find their tracks. Once that was done, it was a matter of following the tracks back to their lair, and disposing of the pests. Finally, nearing sundown, you arrived at the lair, and went about taking care of the problem. But something was wrong. A large pillar of smoke arose on the horizon, in the direction of the town.
In a panic, the men of the town rushed back to Bronheim, fearing for their families lives. 'It was probably those damn orcs again, why don't thet just leave us in peace!' you all thought to yourselves. When you arrived back though, it was a different story.
The town had been utterly ransacked. Not one villager was left alive. And in the middle of it all, fresh dripping with gore, were the most disgusting horrifying beasts you had ever layed eyes upon.
Strange, beast-like being, sprouting long curved horns form their crowns, savage men from the north, wielding axes twice their size, and darkly regal knights, dedicated to chaos, heavily clad in forskaen armour, carrying out sacrifices to the dark gods.
Filled with rage, whether it be rage for the destruction of the church (Flanders), rage for the murder of your family (Gerheart), or for the murder of your best friend ( Dorek), you lashed out against those that took all that you had from you, and you came out on top.
You fought like wild men, killing fierce warriors like they were mere babes. You drove them out, but not without taking significant losses yourself. For every one of them you killed, they took two of yours, but in the end, you still outnumbered them when they cut their losses and fled like weaklings.
Sifting through the rubble, all that there was to be found were charred and mutilated bodies, and the cinders that were once your most precious belongings.
Flanders- You found your churched razed to the ground, but not before it was desecrated with unholy markings, and those who sought refuge inside were slaughtered mercilessly. You were filled with chagrin though,when you discovered that the 'Sacred sword of Sigmar', the artifact that hung above your shrine to Sigmar had beem stolen, as there was no trace of it, and such an enchanted item could not easily be destroyed.
That sword was given to you by the priest who came before you, your mentor, and it was said that in one battle, when Sigmar was disarmed of his iconic hammer whilst fighting a lord of chaos, he took up a sword from the ground and thrust it through the unholy fiend's heart, ending the battle. Now it has been taken, the holiest of items, and you must retrieve it lest it fall into the hands of chaos to be besmirched.
Gerheart- You found only the charred remains of what was once your home, and the mutilated bodies of your wife and 2 children. You wept, but only for a short while, for the desire for revenge blocked out all other emotions.
Dorek- Alden had not come with you on the hunt becuase of his old war injury - he had lost a leg to an orc cheiftains mighty waraxe- instead he stayed home to look after the women and children of the town. He still had a whisp of life left in him when you found him, pinned to the ground with a barbaric spear, his life forces seepingout of him.
He told you this, "I...did the best I could Dorek...I swear...there were..*cough*..*cough*..too many of them...I couldn't stop them...I...*cough*...I'm sorry man...I'm sorry...".
Those were his last words, as he slipped into the grasp of cold, hard death. 'Those b*stards will pay for what they did to him', you thought to yourself as you picked up your polearm, ready to take revenge.
You pursued the chaos fiends for 2 days straight without rest, but you were overwhelmed with lethargy, and had to rest. They had managed to get the lead, but you were still close behind, it was anyone's game.
You stopped at a small farmhouse some way North-east of the remains of Bronheim, in 'The Midden Moors'. You guessed that the warband went this way in an attempt to avoid the pass directly inbetween Carroburg and Altdorf, two of the largest cities in the empire.
Your ragtag group of survivors shows up to this small farm estate, weary and looking for rest. It is the middle of the night, and the farmer and his two sons make their way out from the farmhouse and down the path to where you all stand at the gates.
They are bearing swords, and one of the sons had a crossbow pointed at one of you.
"What brings you to my farm at this hour, in blood-stained clothes, wielding weapons!?" the farmer questioned.
"If your looking for trouble, we don't want anything to do with you, and I suggest you leave before I release the dogs." he threatened.
Gerhearts head was swimming. The grief and anger had been building up for the 2 long days of this traking, and only the thought of finding the beasts that did this kept him from collapsing. They had come this route because of a sensing spell of his, and now this farmer wished to stop them.
Gerheart stepped forward confidently, raised his right hand and spoke forcefully. "My name is Gerheart Flamebond and we are the survivors of the village of Bronheim. We have been on the trail of a group of tainted beings for 2 days and are in need of rest and nourishment. Is that possible here?"
Gerheart had already cycled the best offensive and defensive spells into the fore of his mind, just in case this turned nasty.
"Tainted beings!? What the darn are you talking about? How do I know what you are saying is true? Hang on a second....Bronheim? That's that town south-west of here isn't it? Whaddya mean survivors? If don't start talkin' sense boy, there's gonna be trouble!" the old farmer rasped.
One of the son's tightened his grip on the crossbow, a bead of sweat rolling down his forehead.
Flanders slowed as the farmer and his sons approached. He nodded at Dorek of the militia to halt the mob, thankful that the warrior survived to aid him in his quest to find vengeance, and more importantly and secretly his lost sword, lest his Order be ashamed of him.
Dorek he could use, he was well respected by the townsmen, but this mage he was not so sure about. He had never trusted the tricksy art of using the winds of chaos, but he could not deny the usefullness of a man such as he in these trying times. However he should make his place known before the farmer think this trickster was in charge. He stepped forward.
"Greetings loyal citizens of Sigmar, which i assume you are. We ask only for a night's rest here, with any food you can spare. This is not for us, as by this test of faith you shall acrue yourself favor in the eyes of Sigmar, for we are about his holy work. My name is Father Flanders, and we are fortunate to come to the house of such good folk as we pursue the foul Chaos taint that took our loved ones from us. Yes, Bronheim is gone, we are all that is left after the attack.
Last edited by iamspartacus; March 16th, 2006 at 09:35.
"Bronheim...gone?", the old man questioned.
"I had a brother in Bronheim, Boris, the barkeep, did ye know him? Is he okay? Oh, were are me manners; Father, forgive me, these are dangerous times, ye can't trust any old mob of people ye meet on the road. Please, come inside, ye can stay in the barn till mornin'. I'll see what I can do about the food, it's been a harsh winter, and suppplies are low." the farmer said.
He took the lock off the gate, and opened it up, motioning for the survivors to go inside.
Gerheart moved forwards, passing by the two sons and moving toward the farmer. He motioned him to come towards them.
Gerheart leaned in and whispered "Is there a private chamber in which I may meditate. Due to my grief my channelling skills are a little disrupted. I would be willing to cast anti curses and protection spells on your farm in exchange for this favour"
The farmer whispered back, "I never did trust them magicks, or the like, but you've had a rough week, and I'll take whatever protection I can get for my farm, especially if it's free. There's a cellar beneath the house, mostly filled with what little supplies we have left, I'll take you there."
The farmer leads Gerheart off to the house, while the two sons herd the survivors into the barn.
As the farmer arrives at the door to the cellar at the side of the farmhouse, he opens them up, lights a torch hanging in a bracket in the wall, and leads Gerheart into the depths of the cellar, lighting the way with the torch.
The cellar is dank and musty, cobwebs hang from the walls, and jars covered in litter the shelves, filled with questionable materials, all seemingly pickled.
The farmer reaches the farthest end of the cellar, where there apears to be a break in the shelves, and an empty space of the cobblestone floor. There is a desk in the corner, covered in scrawlings on parchment and a half-filled inkpot and a quill.
"Ye can meditate here if ye wish, I'll leave the cellar doors unlocked, and I'll bring down some food later on." the farmer explained.
He hung the torch up in an empty bracket , and headed for the cellar doors.
The farmer's sons lead the rest of the survivors into the barn, the oaken doors swinging open with a groan like that of an old man.
"You can all rest here tonight, we'll bring some food in soon," one of the sons said, then turned and left the barn, closing the doors on the way out, the other son following him.
The barn was old and run-down, it was weatherbeaten on the outside, and tarnished on the inside, it was filled with cobwebs, and there was not an animal, or a non-rusted up piece of farm-equipment in sight.
It was as if the farm hadn't operated in years, which may well have been the case.
There were many hay bales scattered across the barn, and a few dimly-lit lanterns casting their pale light over the barn's interior, spawning unfriendly shadows in the corners.
The majority of the survivors threw down their weapons, and collapsed onto the hay bales, faling into a deep sleep, shedding the lethargy brought on by 2 days of non-stop chase, and the trauma of the horrors thathad unfolded several days earlier.
Gerheart sat down in a cross legged position on the floor and lay out what limited materials he had. He began to meditate, focusing his mind on the task in hand. He brought his tracking spell into focus. He had used the blood of some of the victims of his town to find those that had taken part in the attrocities that had happened.
The spell was still working. Those that had done this where still a day or two away, but well within reach. With that he ceased the spell and began creating some basic enchantments for the buildings of the farmer as he promised. He sent basic enchantments to protect for plague and death spells around some small rings which he was carrying (OOC: up to you if these work). The buildings where now also protected with fortification enchantments and a small magical shield would allow this cellar to be used as a hidey hole by those who wore the rings. (OOC: again your decision on the effectiveness of this).
Gerheart thought of his family and let a tear roll down his face. Now he needed rest. He would sleep for a few hours here and then finish his meditation and eat. "for tomorrow we begin this hunt anew", he thought.
Gerheart, during your meditation on the tracking spell, a multitide of images flash through your mind:
You sit in a deep meditational trance, and place a drop of the victim's blood on your tongue for the spell to have effect. Gruesome, yes, but effective.
Suddenly a burst of images, a violent montague sears through your mind like a burning dagger being thrust into your skull.
You see the villagers of Bronheim going about their buisness - women, children playing happily. Suddenly, one of the women drops a bucket, water spills everywhere, another women goes to help her, but they both freeze and look at the horizon. You see an image through the woman's eyes, a gang of murderous men, sinister, hefting blood-stained weapons, advancing on the town.
The image seems to flash white, and suddenly there are armoured black knights, riding through the village, cutting down villagers as they go. The woman screams, and turns to flee, but still through her eyes you see a horned beast in front of her, it's shaggy fur matted and blood-stained. It lifts up it's axe, and with a final scream, she is cleft in two.
You feel a sharp, horrendous pain sear through your chest, like you had just been cut in half by thee brute's axe. You scream in agony, but the visions continue.
You are standing behind a bar, polishing a glass, when you hear noises outside, the screams of a woman. You look down at the glass and see muscular arms, not your own, as they put down the glass and reach under the counter for a short, jagged sword. The vision flashs white again, and you are outside of the tavern, swinging the sword wildly at a wild man who is holding a two-handed axe.
He is dancing about it a frenzy, he seems to be enjoying the struggle to fend him off. A malicious grin spreads across his face as he stares behind you, and nods. You turn around just in time to see a small beast-man pulling back the string of a bow, and the next thing you see is the arrow shaft protruding from your neck.
You feel a force behind you, it's hands around your neck, choking the air from your lungs, as you gasp for air, and collapse in a heap, barely alive. Looking up you see a small child run from the inn, tears streaming down his face. "Uncle Boris!" the child screams. The wild man sees the child and advances toward him, axe above his head. You roar in anger, "No!".
Another flash of white.
You are still laying on the ground, and above you is perched the strangest creature you have ever seen. He is hideously mutated, he has two heads, both seemingly of goats, without fur or skin, the muscle showing through easily. He seems to be surrounded by a swarm of bright blue moths that float around him, and he is bearing a rune-sword, marked with strange glowing symbols.
He looks at you, and both horrifying goat heads smile, baring their sharp teeth. He raises his sword above his head and brings it down upon you, leaving you wracked with pain as the vision of the man goes black.
You see then goat-creature again, but this time in a forest, with the remnants of his warband, weary, standing around what appears to be an abandoned camp site deep in a forest, the very forest you have been travelling in for the past 2 days...
You awake from your meditation, scared, sweat rolling down your forehead, and gasping for breath.
You attempt to cast the minor enchantments on the rings and buildings, trying to get your mind off the terrifying visions you had just recieved. You believe they work, and pocket the rings, have a final thought about your family, and the horrors they must have endured, letting a tear flow freely down your face, and try and get some rest.
Flanders thanks the farmer for his kindness and retires with the rest of his group to the barn.
He looks about at his group retiring to different parts of the barn, and feels a since of pride in his men, the last of his village. They were his flock now, and he would lead them into the purifying fires of vengeance. They were his ragtag children, his family, brought together in blood and horror. He prayed ferevently for nearly an hour before falling to sleep with pleas of vengeance and the recovery of his artifact on his lips. He also says a quick prayer for Sigmar to bless the kind farmers, and wonders about the man's brother. His dreams are not peaceful,
filled with painful visions brought on by the previous week's events.