WFRP - The Blood Relic - Part 2
We were both a bit rusty with our RP skills, but we played on, picking up the action form last session. A cup of tea helped the session, and Beck had much better luck with dice this time!
Blackhart and Lightfoot finally had a chance to talk after fighting off the brigands. After some thanks and other exchanges, Blackhart revealed that she was travelling the forest as the scout for an expedition party led by Otto Manfred, a noble merchant, who was searching for an old battleground, in the hopes of looting some treasures from an age gone by. Blackhart had decided to take the map and escape the party during the night, and make a faster approach on the battlefield herself. She had long heard of rumours in smokey taverns about the place, holding a much more valuable secret than just old antiques of war - and she had hoped to find an old warriors tomb. A day later she was ambushed in the forest by the brigands. After much talk, the two decided to join forces, and make haste to find the tomb themselves.
Now aquainted, the two made their way directly south through the forest, and they came a small road, that lead from the mountains and went east, possibly towards Bogenhafen and the main north south Bogenhafen/Grunberg road. They made their way along the road for a number of hours, finally spotting a wayside temple of Sigmar, nestled amongst the trees on the roadside. Finally a place to rest their bones and maybe get a warm meal after all these days out in the horrible weather. They were greeted and ushered out of the cold by some Sisters of Sigmar, and offered some hot broth and fresh crusty bread. In the small bunkhouse in the temple, there were two gruff, unshaven and tired road wardens, resting after a long ride on the road. They also met an old scholar,travelling all the way from Nuln to Bogenhafen with his grandson, whose parents had recently died.
After talking with the sisters, who inquired about the pair's travels, they were directed to the existence of an old hunter's path that travelled directly south through the forest, along the edge of the Grey Mountains. Many hunters have passed by the temple, after hunting treks into the Reikwald. The road must be dangerous though, since the hunters don't really pass this way anymore. Blackhart and Lightfoot also learn that the roadwardens passed Otto Manfred's party on the road south towards Ubersreik or Grunburg, moving quickly. The pair decided that despite the added danger, the old hunter's path could be quicker, and they may yet get to the battlefield before Manfred and his now angry companions.
The two head off early the next morning, pushing directly south into the woods behind the temple. After a while, they emerge into a clearing, where they find a small cairn of stones, that marks the old hunters path. Following the old disused and snow covered trail through the woods is hard, but they manage to piece together animal tracks and use their intuition to make their way south. As night approaches, the two come across an old hunter cottage, worn and in disrepair. A whistle of wind can be heard as they approach, as a cold draught swirls through the broken windows. The thatch and wood roof is heavy with snow and rotting, but the place could prove good enough shelter from the elements. The two cautiously approach the hut, only to discover that a large bear was now the sole occupant! After much thought, they decided to let the sleeping giant be, and continue into the dark, deviating form the woods slightly into the rocky hills to find any shelter they can.
The next day they press on to the south, following the edge of the Grey Mountains, until they find themselves in the area of the forest marked on their map as the ancient battlefield. Deep in this part of the woods, the first thing they stumble across is an old ruined fort watch tower, brokenly climbing out of the overgrown forest like a crooked claw. The remains of old stone steps offers Lightfoot the chance to clamber up to what remains of the old battlements to afford her a better view of the surrounding area. From the top, she could see the vast snowy forest below. Way off in the mountains to the west, a thin trail of smoke swims up, maybe from some camp or settlement, while in the distance over the forest, she can see what must be dotted farmsteads and the river Teufel. Nearby, Lightfoot notices a small clearing, and the snow covered ruins of a small stone structure. She quickly clambers down and they both investigate the new find.
The small grove hid a shrine under the snow. They found an elven stature, with broken arms that may have once held a fine carved sword. They discover an old carving, which Lightfoot reads as she brushes away mud and snow. In the hands of Kharnos is helf Ellardin, vanquisher of the abomination Arkhul, bearer of the Axe of The Blood God. They notice that the statue is slightly sunken, and further cleaning and searching around the base of the stature,reveals some buckling flagstones. Blackhart busts through one of them, and the stones fall away to reveal a dark hole, and cut steps leading into the darkness. Fashioning a firebrand with a branch and some rags and oil, the two descended into the small tunnel.
The small corridor slants down for a few metres, then travels flat for a few more. In the carved panels flanking the tunnel are carved some ancient elven symbols and images of Kharnos. The two emerge into a small square chamber, a small statue of Kharnos sits on a block of stone in the centre, surrounded in piles of dusty herbs, which could have been offerings at one time in the past. Cautiously moving closer to investigate, the stones beneath Blackhart's feet sink a inch or so, and there is the sound of cracking! A trap! They both leap out the way to the edge of the chamber just in time, to the flagstones and the statue in the centre of the room, fall away into a dark and deep hole in a cloud of dust an clattering rocks!
On the other side of the chamber, they find an ornate wrought gate, which breaking through, leads them to another chamber, this time with a stone sarcophagus in the middle - the lid slid off, and cracked slightly beside it. In the far corner, leading into the dark earth is a roughly hewn tunnel! In the muddy earth and rubble around the chamber, the two find heavy large cloven hoof prints. Searching the tomb, they find the skeleton remains of an old warrior, which has been disrupted smashed, and obviously had a sword taken from its resting place. They knew danger was close before them, but this was the quarry they had been seeking! They extinguished the firebrand, and guided by the elf's night vision, they made their way into the hewn tunnel, prepared for what lay ahead.
They emerged into a cave, and immediately found the remnants of a camp. Old coals, stinking rags and the smell of animal and filth was in the air. Beastman - it had to be. Creeping past piles of gnawed bones, they made their way through some short tunnels, cautiously into the light of day just ahead. They emerged into a steep sided ravine in the Grey Mountains, rocky and snowy, the ground covered in countless hoof tracks leading down the length of the gorge. Their eyes tracked up and around them, noticing many small warren like holes of caves dotting the walls of the ravine. Blackhart was uneasy, and out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw a dark shape move in one of the caves above her. They decided to move, quickly, but the air was suddenly cut by the guttural howl of a Beastman as it burst from the darkness of its cave, charging down the ravine wall towards them. With loud grunts, another two beastmen appeared form the opposite side fo the ravine, form another tunnel, and followed their bellowing leader into battle!
Lightfoot managed to loose a couple of arrows as the beasts approached, hitting well both times, but doing nothing to stop the barreling monster! The leader engaged first, clashing with Lightfoot, but I rolled awfully for a few rounds, doing little but scratching her, until the other beastmen arrived into battle. Blackhart hit well and hard as usual, dealing soem serious damage to the largest beast. Lightfoot dropped her bow, drawing her sword and began to cut into the second beastman that had charged her flank. Like true adventurers, the pair fought well, taking small damage in the furious fray, but cutting down the leader in the snow! One beastman fled, only to be brutally hacked down by Lightfoot - who scored her first CRIT - and sent the poor creature's head flying a few feet into the air! The remaining beast was soon bested by Blackhart, and as it was forced to flee, it too was cut down.
Before they had much time to gather their thoughts, they could sense more creatures would be gathering in those dark caves, and decided to move off in a hurry, following the ravine. After a while, the track rose up the side fo the ravine, becoming a treacherously thin clifftop track, which the pair followed until they could hear a deep growling up ahead. As they edged around a large rocky fall on the path, they came to a thundering waterfall, pouring over a rocky lip above them, and tumbling into the river below, that ate its way back through the mountains towards the forest to the east. The track continued and became dangerously wet and slippery steps that climbed towards the lip of the waterfall above. In the waterspray and snow, Lightfoot lost her footing! She slipped off soemr ocks, falling towards the edge fo the fals, onyl to grab onto some rocks for her very life! Blackhart struggled to haul her back up, and they lost grip, Lightfoot falling a couple of rocky yards to a small ledge that was between her and the furious cold water below. After some wrangling of a staff and blanket 'rope' Blackhart managed to help the elf clamber back up ontot he slippery ledge, and they continued upwards.
They emerged over the crest of the falls, to find a grisly scene. Dozens of beastmen lay dead in the rocky waters, chopped up and cut down, lying brokenly over rocks, their blood darkening the icy waters. Waving the crows away, Blackhart finds someone she knows, the decapitated body of one of Otto Manfred's mercenaries! Another human body is found, another of Otto's men, and many horse tracks were found on the other side of the river, leading down a thin mountain trail. How had Otto found the beastmen host? Where was the sword form the tomb? The pair began to think there was something more to this ordeal than first imagined. The two followed the trail through a rough mountain pass, through rocky cuttings, until dusk, when they emerged from the mountains onto the side of a rocky hill, the expansive view of the Reikwald laid out before them. In the dusk, the glinting lights of what should be Ubersreik could be seen, standing guard over the infamous Grey Lady Pass just to the south. Maybe in town, they could find more answers. They gripped their weapons tightly and wrapped themselves in their woollen cloaks, and made their way down through hills, towards the farms, and the road that would take them to Ubersreik...