Mordheim: Lodge of the Damned

Game 3: Undead (Jake) vs Reiklanders (Gideon)
A new plaything...

We'd known for a while that there were Reiklanders picking through the ruins of Mordheim; if nothing else, it was made apparent by the quantity of crossbow-bolt-festooned corpses we came upon in the streets.  Natassja decided that rather than waiting to encounter them by chance, it would be worth an attempt to quietly gauge their strength, so when dusk came, Streicher did his skull-gazing thing again, and finally told Ludovic and I to head to the northwest to find our foes.  So off we went.

We hadn't been out more than an hour before Ludovic, having climbed a few of the more structurally sound buildings, spotted the flickering light of their campfire.  We took our time and crept close, getting into positions where we could see without being seen.  There was a close call when I dislodged a bit of debris and one of the Reiklanders, a bald fellow with a crossbow, looked straight in my direction.  I froze, but a fortunately-timed gust of wind knocked some more debris free, and the crossbowman's curiosity was apparently satisfied… he turned around and walked away.

A short time later, the leader of the Reiklanders — a strutting, pompous sort, it appeared — called his men to him, and told them about his plan.  I couldn't hear much from where I was, but I could just see the darker patch under the eaves of an old brewery where Ludovic was hiding, and he was almost directly above the Reiklander captain.  Once he got done, and they all started rolling up bedrolls and getting weapons ready, we lit out for our mistress' townhouse.

Ludovic repeated the Reiklander captain's plan to spread out and sweep through the Clothmaker's District.  Our mistress seemed pleased at this, and soon we were on the move.

By the time we arrived at the Clothmaker's District, the Reiklanders' search was already underway.  Casimir spotted a couple of Reiklanders in the ruins to the southeast of us, and it looks like they spotted us as well.

Nimble as rats, the Reiklanders scampered up a ladder to the top of the remaining tower of the Cathedral of Sigmar, but they were armed for hand-to-hand combat, not for a ranged fight — which was good news for us, because if they'd had missile weapons, we'd have been sitting ducks.

Our mistress didn't waste any time; she growled, deep in her throat, and was soon leaping from handhold to toehold on her way up the tower, hot on the heels of the Reiklanders.

Streicher tried to follow, but had some trouble navigating the rubble.  Still, he raised his arms, and his shadow seemed to grow larger, more terrible, and he uttered syllables of some long-dead language… and nothing happened.  Ludovic caught my eye, smirking at the old necromancer, but I noticed that he dropped the smirk with all haste when Streicher turned to face him.

One of the Ladies was on her way to chase down something I couldn't see on the other side of the Cathedral.  Since I'm not particularly good at climbing, I went into the ruins of the northeast transept with Casimir and a few of the Bridegrooms, and we were soon on the receiving end of a couple of crossbow bolts.  A pair of Reiklander marksmen had appeared to the east, and they were apparently amusing themselves by taking potshots at us.

Getting behind better cover, I caught a glimpse of the tower just in time to see one of the Reiklanders fire a pistol down at our mistress.  There was a flash of sparks as the pistol ball ricocheted off her cuirass.  So close thereafter as to almost be the same sound, there was a noise like someone slapping a steak as the rebounding pistol ball sank into Streicher's thigh.

As the necromancer fell onto the rubble, clutching his leg, Natassja swarmed up the ladder and leapt into combat with one of the Reiklanders waiting at the top.  The other Reiklander visibly hesitated, but manfully charged into combat anyway, even as our mistress dispatched the first of them.

Casimir and I started moving toward the marksmen to the east, keeping to cover to avoid becoming impromptu pincushions.  One of them, seeing us coming, broke and ran, which can't have done the morale of the remaining Reiklander any good at all.

Back atop the tower, Natassja was crossing swords with the Reiklander with the pistol, a young fellow who Ludovic believes was called Dieter Goatwind or something like that.  He was apparently a better swordsman than his age would suggest, because he appeared to be holding his own against our mistress.

About that time, I heard a sound of a horn from the west, sounding what was apparently a retreat.  The other marksman to the east turned and ran, and we all figured that the youngblood on the tower was going to feed the ghouls.  The ghouls obviously thought so too, by the way they were capering about the base of the tower, waiting for his body to be flung down.

But instead, Natassja caught his sword arm, leaned close, and whispered something to him.  Even at that distance — and by moonlight — Ludovic swears he could see her run a finger along his jawline, like a coquettish village girl.  It seems she has a new favorite.

Poor kid.

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Game 2: Undead (Jake) vs. Skaven (Jason)
Over Before It Began

Old Streicher sometimes spends hours muttering and staring into the empty eye sockets of that skull he carries around.  Last night was no exception.  This time, though, when he finished whatever he was doing, he announced that a pack of those rat-things were guarding a wyrdstone find in the coppersmiths' district.

Well, our mistress wasted no time, and soon enough we were working our way through the ruined city, spread out into a few groups in a plan to outmaneuver the rat-things.

As it turns out, the wyrdstone was in the old Temple of Verena, a relatively solid and well-defensible building.  Our mistress sent two zombies with me to creep up from the rear of the building.  Normally, I'd be a little uneasy at the isolation, as zombies are poor fighters and worse company.  But I was heartened, at least, by the fact that she'd placed me as far away as I could be from those horrible corpse-eaters.

It may at first seem odd that I would carry an aversion to ghouls.  After all, I follow the commands of a vampire.  I fight alongside zombies and a dark magician, and I often turn around to find that the rotting corpse of a gigantic wolf has silently crept up behind me.  But the creatures three streets to the south — the beasts that live in the catacombs beneath our mistress' manor house — fill me with horror.

Generations ago, these depraved men and women descended into cannibalism; raiding graveyards and charnel houses, and devouring whatever putrid meat could be found therein.  Their offspring, marked with the forbidden hungers of their ancestors, evolved into twisted and terrifying creatures of raw hunger.  I'm often kept awake at night by their endless scratching from underneath the floorboards.

At least the wolf and the zombies don't do anything without a command from our mistress or Streicher, and so far, those two are satisfied with my performance.  The ghouls, on the other hand… they have an unsettling tendency toward independent action.  I'm terrified of them catching me alone; I know full well that they wouldn't hesitate for a moment to fall upon me and tear the meat from my bones… if our mistress weren't watching, anyway.

As it turns out, though, I never saw a single one of the rat-things.  We waited for the signal from Ludovic — he was with Streicher and Casimir and the rest of the zombies) — in the building across the street from me.  Finally, the signal came, and we started forward.

The wolf, Omen, flashed past, and then, just for a moment, I caught a glimpse of our mistress moving silently — and swiftly — through the city to the southwest.  There was a glint of her sword, and a gasping screech as she ran through some unseen foe.  Around that same time, I heard a shriek of rage and pain coming from somewhere among the rooftops that could only have come from the throat of one of those accursed ghouls, but I couldn't see what happened.  Whatever it was, it must not have been fatal, as both ghouls returned with us as dawn approached.

By the time I got to the Temple, the rat-things had apparently fled.  We searched the deserted structure, but we found nothing but for a long-forgotten entrance to a stretch of the Mordheim catacombs.  Streicher maintains that the rat-things must have cleaned the place out before we got there, but Ludovic says that he thinks the necromancer is just a fraud. After all, it doesn't take magical power to stare at a skull, and as far as Ludovic, Casimir, and I go, nobody's ever seen him actually cast a spell (Ludovic says that Streicher spent some time peering out of concealment at a rat-thing while mumbling harsh syllables and waving his fingers in the air, but nothing happened).  At least we found a few shards of wyrdstone on our way back to our mistress' "townhouse", so the excursion wasn't a total loss.

I don't really know if Streicher is a fraud or not.  If he is, though, he's playing an awfully dangerous game… our mistress isn't exactly known for her forgiving nature.

— Excerpt from "The Black Diary of Rüdiger Holtz"

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Game 1: Undead (Jake) vs. Marienburgers (Harry)
A Sole Survivor...

"Look at those fools," Natassja murmured, gazing out from our place of concealment near the ruins of a stone chapel.  "They're taking positions in the graveyard."

I wanted to point out that the Marienburgers were almost certainly moving into the graveyard for the long, mostly open sight lines; the fact that their warband boasted a significant number of archers was not lost on me.  But then I remembered what happened to Detlef — poor, talkative Detlef — and held my tongue.  Our mistress did not appreciate unsolicited comment.

"My preparations are complete, my lady," rasped Streicher from his position across the alley.  He was a necromancer, skilled at calling forth the dead to walk — and kill — again.  The peculiar strains of his chosen vocation showed clearly upon the dark sorcerer; his gaunt face was cadaverous; his face more skull-like with the passing of every season.  I avoided him whenever possible; I didn't like the way he looked at me.  Like I had… potential.

"Excellent," she replied, with a wicked smile.  "Wait until I give you the word to bring them forth."

There was a long pause as the mercenaries picked their way forward, still in battle line, among the headstones and sepulchres.  Natassja's eyes narrowed.  "Now!"

The earth in the cemetery, just yards in front of the startled line of Marienburg men, was rent asunder by the emergence of mud-smeared corpses as Streicher's dark magics took hold.  At the same moment, more zombies and a pair of ghouls emerged from a ruined smithy along the east side of the graveyard and closed with the Marienburgers.  Natassja leapt forward with unearthly speed, followed closely by her pet — the gristly remains of one of the massive dire wolves that haunt the forests and fens of Sylvania.  The Marienburger leader only had a moment to see them coming, and then they were upon him.  Ludovic and Casimir started forward once the zombies engaged the mercenaries, so I started working my way around the back of the chapel, hoping to catch our foes from behind.

The battle was heated.  The Marienburgers were trying to get at least some of their forces past us, no doubt in order to loot the wyrdstone from the collapsed brothel three streets over.  Despite our all-out assault on the mercenary line, several of their marksmen made a break for it, scurrying toward a nearby alley and abandoning their comrades.

Natassja and the wolf had reduced the Marienburgers' leader to ghoul fodder, and Casimir had just crushed the skull of a swordsman with his mace when I entered the fray.  One of the Marienburger warriors managed to turn at the last moment and catch my mace with the flat of his sword, but he lost his footing in the process, and fell to the ground.  While he was down, one of the zombies managed to get its rotting teeth into the throat of the swordsman.  The man's screams lasted for a surprisingly long time, before being replaced with desperate gurgling noises, and then, finally, silence.

By this point, the thick of the battle had swept to the east, as our forces pursued the fleeing archers into the alley, and our bloodlust was running hot.  Even Streicher stepped from the shadows to sink his blade between the shoulderblades of a downed marksman.  The rest of us just kept up as best we could as our mistress and her pet ran down and ripped apart the doomed men, one at a time.

I lost track of how many men we killed, but by the time it was over, but a single Marienburg archer remained standing.  Casimir was prepared to go after him, but our mistress called him back. "Let him go," she commanded.  "The sun will rise soon, so we must take what we can carry and depart."

Following her instructions, we made off with three good-sized chunks of wyrdstone, and we found a fourth one down a well.  I'm not sure what our mistress does with the wyrdstone, but whatever it is, she looked pleased.

May she continue to be pleased.

— Excerpt from "The Black Diary of Rüdiger Holtz"

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Game 1: Skaven vs. Reiklanders
Chance Encounter

It was supposed to be a simple exploratory mission.  Check out a new neighborhood we are expanding into and find where choice loot might be hiding.  We were not expecting to find a group of Reiklanders snooping about.

We set out to chase them off by sneaking into sling range.  Unfortunately, one of the scrubs fell from the second floor and landed on his head, rendering himself unconscious.  Gutrip, Snitch, and the Pikrats ducked and weaved among the headsones and crypts in the cemetery to avoid gunfire.  Sneetch led the Slashers around the far side of a ruined building filled with piles of rubble completely unnoticed.  Skritchit charged across the plaza, with the remaining Bonebreaker slinking along behind, briefly stopping behind a plinth to avoid gunfire and assess the situation.  Gutrip, Snitch and the Pikrats huddled behind the last wall of the cemetery to ready their assault.

Most of the Reiklanders had barricaded themselves on a second-floor balcony of a large building and were doing their best to keep us pinned down.  A small group was running forward to set up a second snipers nest in another corner of the building.  We had to stop them from catching us in a crossfire!  Skritchit fired his warplock pistol into a window and scored a lucky hit to the marksmans head, stunning him, and giving the Slashers a chance to charge the pikeman guarding the senseless handgunner.

Skritchit and Snitch Charged up the ladder to support the Slashers in melee combat and together succeeded in downing the pikeman and handgunner, Snitch used this opportunity to stab the pikeman dead.  Gutrip and the Pikrats charged up the other ladder leading to the balcony where the Reiklanders were taking potshots and knocked one of the gunmen down, Gutrip himself was stunned by a pikeman in the counter attack.  The lone Bonebreaker began to advance and sling stones at a window where the last marksman was hiding in a effort to keep him pinned down.  

The Pikrats kept Gutrip safe from harm as he gathered his wits, succeeding in knocking the marksman back down as well as the pikeman next to him.  Gutrip stabbed the unconscious gunner and pikeman to clear a path to the melee while the enemy commander and remaining pikeman charged into the chaos and cut one of the Pikrats down.  Snitch and the Slashers reached the balcony and lent their strength to the fight between Gutrip and the Reiklander leader.   The last pikeman and the warbands leader were brought down under the shear weight of attacks.  The lone Reiklander marksman leapt from the balcony and fled in fear at the sight of his commander going down beneath the squeaking pile of fur and glinting steel.

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