11th Kaldezeit IC 2522
Robert Lacy d’Aghuillam duCourt, Lucidius Lavarar and Fatuus Fitzue cradle ales around a rickety side booth at the Drowned Rat, pondering their next move. In the corner, a booze-addled voice rises above the general din: “great wobbly mutated things they were! I’m not going down there again, not on your life!” The adventurers invite this drunken loser to their table, and soon discover he is one Wilmut Eckhardt, once city sewerjack, now professional drunk. He raves about ‘men the size of rats! Hold on, I mean rats the size of men!” and eventually agrees to draw the adventurers a map of where he encountered them during the recent siege.
In the meantime, a priest of Sigmar enters the bar. As a ragged toast of “to Sigmar” is raised in the tavern, he strides over to the adventurers table and introduces himself as Wolfgang Bierschtein, sent by the High Priest of the Temple of Sigmar and High Capitular of Nordland, none other than Werner Stoltz, to summon them to an interview. After a beer together, they all leave the Drowned Rat, leaving the sodden Echkhardt to his task.
Through the streets of Middenheim, through the crowds of old residents going about their lives and new refugees from the country side milling about in confusion, the adventurers walk until they come across a knot of people shouting and throwing stones at someone. A man has been tied up against a building with the crudely scrawled sign ‘BEESTMAN’ around his neck, and two fake horns tied onto his head with a piece of string. The adventurers rescue the hapless victim, who turns out to be a moneylender. Robert extorts some crowns out of the man for rescuing him and he is set on his way.
At the impressive Temple of Sigmar, the adventurers are shown into a library and meet Werner Stoltz, who asks them about their progress in tracking down the murderer of Father Dietrich and the stolen icon of Sigmar. The adventurers manage to negotiate 50 crowns out of him ‘for expenses’.
As they leave, they encounter Odo the Eyeless, a blind priest with a habit of lingering on the steps of the temple and raving about prophecies and religious scripture to passers by. He grabs the party and marks them as being watched by Sigmar.
Back to the Drowned Rat, Eckhardt has had no luck drawing a map and offers to take them roughly to the area where he saw the ratmen. In the lowering dusk the adventurers are led into a filthy back alley, where Eckhardt unlocks a sewer grating and they all descend into the disgusting, stinking, disease-infested world of Middenheim’s sewers.
Eckhardt takes them through a maze of passages and through a large intersection room, down rusty ladders to a lower level, then leaves them to their fate. Continuing on, the adventurers come across a man sitting on the sewer walkway catching his breath. This is Cylarus Lynx, a student now forced to fall back on his previous occupation of bodyguard while the city is in chaos after the Storm of Chaos. He was part of a group of thugs hired for some dirty work in the sewers, but at the last minute he decided to back out and has got himself lost. He joins the adventurers.
Eventually the group comes across an opening in the sewer wall covered by a dirty sheet. duCourt goes on ahead up a narrow ascending passageway, but sets off a tripwire alarm that rings a small bell. There are sounds up ahead. duCourt returns to the group and they all decide to continue up the passageway. In a small chamber at its end a table has been upended and three thugs wait for them behind it with crossbows. A melee ensues!
duCourt rushes the table and attempts to push it and the thugs back with no success, and is soon locked in combat. Fitzue sidles around the edge of the room, past a door, preparing to get in range for a spell. Bierschtein and Lynx rush forward to engage the other thugs. Another thug enters from the side door and shoots a crossbow bolt into Fitzue.
Eventually, after several wounds on both sides and several deaths on the thugs’ side, one thug is alive and questioned. It seems they were hired by one ‘Big Otto’ for some grunt work—digging and guard duty—within the sewers, but know little else of their situation. Recently they had cleared an area of the sewers and the sounds ahead had convinced them all that the work was becoming too dangerous. The adventurers get this information and let the hapless thug go.
Onwards, the adventurers search a couple of rooms and some cells, recognising to their surprise that this is the same set of rooms where they fought a nest of skaven some ten years ago. They find a rough altar to some skaven god and a sacrificial dagger in a niche in the wall of that room. Also from this room a low, narrow, rough passageway leads into the darkness.
duCourt again takes the lead and, at the end of the passage, finds himself on a ledge overlooking a large dark chamber. Suddenly he is hit by a dart in the neck and slumps into unconsciousness. Lavarar pulls him back out, thinking “that’ll teach the cocky Elven bugger”. The adventurers decide to rest for a time until duCourt wakes.
Eventually he does and the group continues down a side passage they passed earlier. This comes onto onto a rope bridge spanning a high sewer, and then to a long corridor where rubble has recently been cleared away. Following this they come into a large sewer junction where many pipes meet and water cascades down the walls to the floor below, where a ten foot high rat creature is chained to the wall. Across from them and higher up, a wiry man dressed in a rat costume—fake snout, claws attached to his feet and hands—raves at them about the huge creature’s beauty and magnificence.
“Isn’t he BEAUTIFUL!!!?” he cries repeatedly in a cracked, ratty voice.
While the rat ogre strains at its bonds and roars at the adventurers, they shoot missiles at the assassin, who eventually is pinned to the wall by an arrow from duCourt. At that moment the rat ogre breaks free and charges up a ramp towards the party. Bierschtein is frozen in fear and soils his britches. “You’re never gonna live down your first night on stage, Schteinie,” says Lucidius.
The other adventurers, after a desperate battle, manage to destroy the creature—the final ‘blow’, a sleep spell by Fitzue, who has been been having amusing difficulties touching his past victims to cast that particular spell during the entire venture. “I have the touch!” cries Fitzue, victorious at last.
The adventurers search the dead assassin and find the stolen icon of Sigmar. They also find it had a false back and also on the man’s body is a map; a map showing the location of ‘the honoured dead of Sigmar’.
Hacking off the head of the rat beast, they return through the sewers and eventually to the Temple of Sigmar.
12th Kaldezeit IC 2522
Dawn finds the adventurers shaking the bloody severed head out of a sack at the feet of the just-woken Stoltz at the Temple. It makes an impression.
The adventurers are tasked with entering the Drakwald and finding this lost tomb and what rests there. The urgency of the task is compounded by the fact that Odo the Eyeless had just yesterday had a vivid vision from Sigmar referring to a group of adventurers who would find such a place. That they would “find the path hidden behind Sigmar’s image” and “go into the darkness to find that which was lost”. Surely the adventurers are following Sigmar’s will?
12th – 19th Kaldezeit IC 2522
The adventurers stay at the Temple of Sigmar to rest and recuperate and heal their wounds. Some go off to complete their training to enter new careers. Lavarar wanders from one Middenheim brothel to the next trying to decide whether to spend his hard-earned crowns somewhere decent or risk yet another bout of the pox, until eventually, wracked with indecision—and perhaps with exhaustion—he returns to the monastic discipline of the Temple of Sigmar.