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The Enemy Within: Death on the Reik (S2E8)

(originally posted 3 Dec 2018) 

Captain's Log: Marktag, the 17th of Sigmarzeit, 2512.

We emerged from the forest, deciding to pursue the goblins to their foul lair. The Black Peaks were not too far by that point. Like grim spires they loomed over the land. Speaking of which, the land nearby had less vegetation but some small hills. I espied to the south west a large stone house, and quickly reached one of these hills for a better view and vantage point. Werner recognized the building to be the work of dwarfs, pointing out its distinctive round shape and other features. He wasn't wrong, it did indeed bear many similarities to that ghoul-haunted signal tower we cleared out a while back. Lying flat on my belly, I remained a sentinel on that knoll and waited for a goblin patrol to come rushing from the dwarf house. No such thing occurred.

It was suggested that we wait until night to see if any torches are lit but I decided that it would waste too much time. I volunteered to lend my familiarity with the wilds to this situation, sneak in and take a look around. Werner wanted to join me but I had to refuse. Our marine is loyal but he, eh, would probably break something and cause a lot of noise. I assume he can't kill THAT many goblins, despite his eagerness! Before departing, I glanced at Harbull and Wanda. Harbull stood there, dead still and silent, with no expression. I think our haunting experiences must have finally gotten to him. Wanda covered her mouth and impersonated his Mootland accent in a mock conversation, talking about his "love" for pacifism and peaceful baking. I blinked and stared for a good second before leaving them be.

Pairs of large hills and lowland bushes became my haven as I... actually, that sounded a bit rude. Let me try that again. Nature was my cloak like darkness to a burglar. With my prowess, and I have to admit a little bit of luck, I finally made my way to the door. I did not need to press my ear against it to listen, the snoring was loud enough. A sleeping goblin was keeping watch in the entryway. There was a large circular room behind him and doors to his left and right. I crept over to the left one and listened, hearing nothing. The one to the right greeted my ears with a humming that sounded like a little girl. They have kidnapped a child? Or maybe its one of their own spawn...

Thoroughly repulsed by the thought, I turned and made short work of the sentry. Blood spilled from his neck wound but thankfully he made no yell. In the circular room there was a spiral stair case to the north. Up above was a beautiful glass ceiling, and around me were doors covered with mirrors. I had again quietly listened at these doors and all I heard was the all too familiar snoring of greenskins. I wasn't sure of how many there were, but I did know that it was more than one and that sufficiently large numbers can make any force as strong as a ferocious wave. I have learned that from our encounter with a horde of rats, believe me.

So I rushed back to the group. We had a perfect opportunity to off these loathsome marauders and we couldn't miss it. So the party was gathered in the circular room and spoke of what to do. I was worried about engaging what could be ten or more goblins. Wanda asked if I had actually peeked inside and checked how many there were. Oh. I didn't. Slightly embarrassed, I concealed my blush, opened the door a crack and counted four sleeping goblins. They slept in what was once, and due to the wreckage I can only guess, was an office. There was a door to the west of the room, connecting it to the other goblin den. I checked and there were four more in that one. So a plan was hatched: kill the sleeping goblins, block the side door with a chair, and then kill the others. Wanda struck one with a pen to the brain, Harbull gleefully stabbed one, I blocked the other door and slashed mine in the nick of time and Werner's one let out a frightened yelp before it was slain. Wanda, on cue, called him an idiot. It seemed like just another day for the crew.

It was at this moment we realized that through the mirror on the door we couldn't see into the room, but from inside we could see through it. Really fancy stuff. I had a growing suspicion of who owned this place. We used this to allow Harbull to watch and act as bait at the other end of the room. As soon as those goblins ran in to skewer him with their swords, Werner and I leaped from beside the door and began to slay the bastards. I knocked one's head clean off with a swing, Werner destroyed limbs and lives, Harbull struck one in its eye and while it panicked on the floor Wanda shot the other eye out. There would have been one fleeing survivor if Werner's thrown axe did not sever its left arm. We brushed off the gory aftermath as soon as we heard more of them screaming upstairs. We opened the door in each den slightly and aimed towards the stairs. Wanda and I took the lower den, while Werner and Harbull took the other. That descending patrol was met with a nasty surprise. Harbull's sling did its work in cracking bones. Werner decapitated one with a well aimed through. I personally made sure with my arrows that one would never reproduce again. Our missiles were enough, all were dead except for one fleet-footed survivor. A goblin runner, if you will. The floor was slick with sickly green blood. The sort of carpet I'm sure ol' Nurgle would enjoy.

Wanda entered that room with the humming I heard earlier. After a few minutes she emerged not with a child but rather a distressed halfling maid. I barely caught the name. Dumpling I think? She was very interested in Harbull and he told her of why we were here. She in return told us that she was the maid of Lady Herzen and these goblins. I bloody knew that Chaos witch was behind this! Ahem, sorry. According to her, Lady Herzen and an associate mentioned that they were going to Kemperbad a few days ago. Shite, we must have missed them. She then mentioned that their planned course involved the River Norn.

Norn?

There's no Norn. It was just then that years of sailing on the rivers came back to me in a glorious instant: THE NARN, SHE'S TALKING ABOUT THE NARN!

We're going to find you Herzen, and when we do you'll be praying to Sigmar!

- Johann Dasbuut.

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