Our tale starts, like all good tales start; the band of merry adventurers seek fame, fortune, and hobbit women.
They all come from the same village – Suderheim- rural town in Talabecland. They grew up together. Fast forward whatever number of years, and here they are – big, burly, and looking for love, I mean a fight. And boy do they find those.
‘Cursed we are. Cursed!’ – Reiner Wolfcastle
Prince Poncy-pants IV is looking for a bunch of brave souls to clean his boots, while he trapes off into the grey mountains in search of Sigmars Herald (a nut job fanatic who is claiming the return of Sigmar is nigh – that means ‘soon’). He garthers his men in Altdorf.
Tired of fishing for frogs and hassling the local ladies, the misguided mob decide that this could be their big break. ‘We must set off for Altdorf at once!’, cried Barrick Mane.
Before they left, they decided one last night on the town was in order. Having got beered up good and twisty-eyed aplenty, they staggered off home. Along the road they passed the village graveyard. Suddenly, a ghostly figure appeared, dressed like a roadwarden, and appearing to have a knife in his back. Fear struck some lesser members of the party, but Barrick was ever the stalwart presence.
‘Find my body…release me…avenge me. Find The Hooded Man.’, said the ghost.
Kissing their mothers goodbye, and packing enough beef jerky to fuel a blood bowl team for weeks, the hapless heroes set off. First stop, The Hooded Man coaching inn. It’s clear that Morr, the god of death, had sent this spirit to the adventurers, and no one wanted to defy Morr.
The journey there was mainly uneventful at least. They paid a bridge toll, and travelled along enjoying the scenery. Ah, the scenery. Dark ancient woods. A storm was brewing, and the rain was pelting down. They had still a ways to go, and strange monstrous cries could be heard from the ominous treeline. The long narrow road seemed to stretch before them…will they ever get there…
Wild things let themselves be heard from the gloom – beasts were hunting, and they sounded like they were getting closer. The party quickened pace.
Soon the welcome site of the coaching inn appeared up ahead. It’s walled exterior was no match for the parties ability to walk around it and enter by the open gateway into the courtyard. Strange…open gate, middle of the night! The ferry shack by the river side was investigated, no one was there, but blood could be seen. Something was amiss.
Garrett slinked off into the dark recesses of the coach inn grounds. Perhaps needing a place to relieve himself. Everyone else could hear sounds of merriment within. Seemed normal again…
Reiner knocked on the door, the rest waited anxiously. Garrett had vanished into the courtyard, somewhere near the stables. The door was opened by Otto, an overweight apron with a bulbous man inside it. A typical looking innkeep. Behind him, further inside, was Hanz, a roadwarden.
They entered, cautiously, and sat. Hanz and Otto talked about the night, asked the parties business, and offered soup. Reiner declined, while Thyrann ate his fill. Drink was offered, and all seemed pleasant, yet, still…something was amiss.
Hanz asked the rain soaked group if they had any more members, but Reiner was wary, and decided to keep the ace called Garrett up his sleeve. He said there was no one else.
A misshapen chap stood behind the bar, mop in hand. Slopping it across the floor. No other guests of the inn were up this late. Reiner wanted to check and see if Garrett had found anything worth knowing outside so he made an excuse and went outside. Garrett confirmed that he found a dead body, possibly the stable boy, in the stables. Things were looking dodgy again…
When Reiner returned, they negotiated the common room for the night. Together, for safety, they shacked up on the upper floor. A point was made to Otto not to lock our door, on pain of being given out to, he grumbled, and left. Reiner barricaded the door with a bed, and took another bed facing the door. Barrick checked the window…Thyrann was souped up to the eyeballs, and fell asleep. Later that night, Otto sneaked up to the door, and locked it. Hanz and Otto wondered where someone they knew had got to. Was it the stable boy they were talking about?
Outside, in the dark, Garrett was stalking. He realised he wasn’t alone…was there something else out there with him…