Tales of the Old World
I pen this hastily as I rest from a most unsettling encounter. I had feared discovery, and I suspect my indiscretions in openly using Hysh the other day down at the docks has undone me; cultists have come for the painting, and done so in a most blatant and brazen manner. As my companions settled for the night in Her Deuter’s cottage, I noticed that there was something amiss with the relic. Investigating, I discovered that it has been replaced by a blank canvas! I cannot explain to you my dismay at that moment, the thought of this ancient artifact of evil once more unsecured in the world brought to me a nearly throat closing fear. I panicked and was uncertain of what to do, long have I suspected that something was not right in this city, but I had not thought to look to chaos cults as the answer. No, indeed I thought this city to be clean, I was a fool. No habitation of man is safe from the tendrils of the Lords of Chaos. I didn’t have time to dwell upon this disaster however, for immediately upon discovering the loss, I heard Otto messing about in Deuter’s bedroom. Assuming the young man was into that which he ought not to be, and already stricken with emotion, I flung open the door with a scolding upon my tongue, only to find the lad encircled by chaos tentacles growing from the floor and being tossed about! Two massive lengths of purple flesh extended from the flooring from under Deuter’s bed. I immediately cast a glamour of defense upon the lad and ducked back into the main room to seek help and summon the winds of magic. I began to center myself, and seek to balance my emotions. As Hysh coalesced about me and I wrestled with it to conform to my will, I could hear poor Otto desperately fighting for his life. Octavius emerged from the guest wing armed with his mace and shield and rushed to Otto’s aid. I tried to gain his attention for I have a glamor specific to combating the spawn of chaos, but he ignored me and charged the beast. I was set to follow, to do what I could to help, but then from the loft I heard the scream of Lady Lise and the sounds of deep gurgling that could certainly not come from either of the ladies above. Leaping upon the oak table in the center of the room to get a view of the loft I discovered the two ladies in a desperate fight with a demon of some kind, flailing at them with long rubberlike tentacles of its own. I unleashed Hysh into the beast and it screamed and flailed about itself with abandon. Suddenly the partition broke and all three fell from the loft to the hardwood floor beneath. Lady Eisa, with the grace of her kind, danced across the body of the demon while they fell together, recovering her bow and alighting upon her feet. Lady Lise however was not so fortunate and fell hard injuring herself. The Demon however received the worst of it, bursting as it hit the ground and releasing a nauseating mass of viscera all across the floor. By this time smoke was filling the house, pouring out of the kitchen hall, and the sounds of an armored battle could be heard from within. Jaymin’s voice was yelling the battle challenges of his race, and he was likely engaged with yet another armored horror no doubt. I could also still hear the sound of Otto and Brother Octavius battling in the bedroom, but my ears picked out the sound of chanting under the din, and the front shutters were leaking the minutest amount of green light from between them. This is when I knew we were dealing with a deliberate attack, originating from outside the cabin, not from within. Lady Lise was dressed in her small clothes and covered in the demon’s body fluids. Choking upon the thickening smoke I grabbed my cloak for her, and then ran for the cabin door, preparing Hysh to strike down those outside. Throwing open the door I found a small cabal of four standing around the painting which was the source of the green emanations! I threw darts of Hysh at one of them and dodged back inside, throwing myself to the floor to avoid the certain return attacks from the cultists, as well as the fumes within, and cried a warning to Lady Lise to do the same. As I gathered Hysh to myself once again to continue my attack against the cultists, Jaymin came charging out through the smoke directly at me, rage in his eyes. I thought for a moment that he was bent upon killing me, but rather he lept over my prone form and smashed the entrance mirror with his hammer, which had been ensorcelled by the cultists as a scrying device. He then continued his charge out the door and into the group scattering them. One had folded the painting and clutched it tight to his chest as the four began to run from the enraged dwarf. As I regained my feet and hurried outside the whole lot of them were fleeing across the storm swept streets of Avernheim. Summoning Hysh, I blinded the lead figure carrying the painting, while Jaymin made quick work of the wounded cultist. From behind me darted the lithe form of Eisa, crossbow in hand and in the blink of an eye another cultist crumpled. I was spent, there was nothing left in me after this desperately paced fight and I began to hobble after the fleeing forms with no hope to catch them. The blinded cultist had a great lead and though he was not steady, he dodged behind an alley and I could see him no more. My gorge rose. Jaymin did not give up pursuit. Dodging past the last cultist who was doing what he could to cut the dwarf with a sinister looking blade, he followed the bearer of the relic around that same corner where he was once again forced to face his assailant. Jaymin made quick work of him. Praise Sigmar that once I arrived we found the relic on the ground, in the rain, next to the unconscious body of the cultist who had carried it. The man had run into the gabled wall of a two story townhouse and knocked himself cold. Cover of the storm or not, this was an unlikely assault, using such visible and blatant black magic within the city. Never mind that Dueter’s abode is a bit off the beaten track, it is still within the city limits and easily seen by hundreds of sleepy eyes. This is madness, and only increases my determination to find a way to destroy this terrible conduit between our world and the chaos warp. We are beaten, tired, and wounded, and I face a long night of cleanup. We also have at least once cultist among the living, and I also imagine that I will have to explain myself now that the painting has been revealed. Sigmar help me, and save your servant.