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.