The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Sieghard

    "Good," Sieghard replied. "It's a strong fortress. I doubt it will come under attack, but you should easily be able to hold it against any enemy so long as supplies last; Make sure they do. You'll have command of thirty men - half halberdiers and half crossbowmen. Is there anyone in particular you want?"

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    "Heinfried's a solid sort," said Oswald. "Tell you who I don't want, if you don't mind, sir - Roth, or any of his lot. Too big for their britches by half."
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
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    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
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    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Sieghard

    That was about the answer Sieghard had expected. "I don't think that'll be a problem," he replied. "Gods willing, the Captain will starve Alvarr out and it'll be ended without any more fighting. Show me that you can be counted on here - that you can do more than just shout orders, but actually lead and earn the respect of the men you command - and I'm sure there will be more chances for you once the war is done."

    "I don't suppose we have anyone other than Ingwald that knows how to write?" Sieghard asked Ludo after they had left. "I doubt there's any way for him to get into any trouble guarding a fortress, but I'd still rest easier if we were getting regular reports." As little as a year ago he had nothing but disdain for the written word, but after seeing how easily Morrslieb could deliver messages he was beginning to see how useful it could be.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    "Nat knows his letters, and apparently one of the Volunteers does too, a man called... Dio, Diel, something like that? Not as fluently, though. We could always hire a local, though, someone to do the numbers for the garrison. Might be useful to have someone who knows the town. Much as Oswald isn't a fan, a couple of Roth's men might keep them honest and know the area better."
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Sieghard

    Sieghard shook his head. "We'll need Nat as much as we'll need Ingwald. Hiring someone may be best... Diel is an option, but I already told him it would be halberdiers and crossbowmen garrisoning the fortress and I'd rather not send one of the Volunteers alone," he said. "None of Roth's lot either. The Thorns we send can keep them honest and half the reason I gave Oswald the job was to keep him and Heinfried away from them. Too much of Fischwillen's influence in those two... Not so much that we can't break them of it, but still something to be careful about."

    ~

    "So what's this errand all about," he asked Elsa once they had found her.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    "So what's this errand all about," he asked Elsa once they had found her.

    "It's about getting all the advantages we can for the next war," said Elsa at once, as if she had been mentally rehearsing this conversation. "I want to know what's down the pit of Harmugstahl. I bought us pickaxes."
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    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Sieghard

    "The pit," Sieghard said, unamused. "The one that screamed last time we were in that place? And you volunteered my men to go digging in it? What could possibly be down there that would offer any sort of advantage in anything?"
    Last edited by TheSummoner; 2019-01-29 at 12:51 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Four days was plenty of time.

    The somewhat old spear Astoria had picked up in Manaan’s Keep had served her reliably so far, though it hadn’t had a chance to be truly tested in the heat of combat. As such, Astoria spent some of her time running through drills with the weapon, trying to get a feel for the spear.

    She would have to try and find Abdul to see if he could wrangle up something in a little better condition than the one she’d currently had.

    Besides that, Astoria sought out Brother Adelbert.

    When she found him, she offered him a friendly smile.

    ”Brother, are you still tending to the wounded? Would you care for an extra set of hands, by chance? While I am by no means a skilled surgeon, I have experience with battlefield triage.”
    "Even in these chains, you can't stop me!" - In This Moment, Big Bad Wolf

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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    "The pit," Sieghard said, unamused. "The one that screamed last time we were in that place?"
    "Don't worry," Ludo deadpanned, "she bought us pickaxes."
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  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    "The pit," Sieghard said, unamused. "The one that screamed last time we were in that place? And you volunteered my men to go digging in it? What could possibly be down there that would offer any sort of advantage in anything?"
    "Look. If it's your men you're worried about," said Elsa, sounding increasingly vehement, "we'll let them stay upstairs. I'll let you stay upstairs, if you'd prefer. Also this isn't just a matter of gaining advantages, but also denying them to the enemy. You know as well as I do that manpower alone won't defeat a god. We need knowledge, we need magic. Our time's running out; we can't afford to wait until Alvarran has fallen before we start preparing for the actual war."
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    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    "I trust you on magic stuff." Ludo said, though he sounded dubious. "But... do you know if there's something specific down there, or do you just think there's something nasty?"
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Sieghard

    "What advantages?" Sieghard demanded. "If I can't change your mind then I'm not going to let you go alone and get yourself eaten by trolls or whatever's down there. But if you're going to drag us down some cursed hole and involve men who were unsettled enough just being near the thing, then I at least want to know what you think is down there."

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Elsa seemed at a loss for a moment. "I'm guessing something that the wizards of Harmugstahl drew power from," she said at last. "The tower had some sort of apparatus to focus the Winds. I want to see if I can somehow tap into their well of power. If not... well, we can just walk away. We're not taking anything that'll be a burden, like we did with the Book."

    Then again, with the Book, we didn't have a choice. It was that or remaining stuck in the Lost Library.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Sieghard

    "The wizards had a painting that looked a lot like the daemon of the Library," Sieghard pointed out. "For all we know, that's what they drew power from."

    "I'm not ordering anyone down the hole," he said after a long pause. "I'll go myself, but I still think this is a bad idea."
    Last edited by TheSummoner; 2019-01-30 at 03:49 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Adelbert

    Adelbert was still in his tent. The priest looked happy to see Astoria, though he shook his head when the templar offered her aid.

    'Thank you Caballera but there are no wounded, at least that I know and I'm not about to chance the Tilean's good graces by poking my nose around camp... to tell you the truth the quicker we are away the better.'

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    "I'm not ordering anyone down the hole," he said after a long pause. "I'll go myself, but I still think this is a bad idea."
    Elsa nodded. "Fair enough." She could understand his reluctance, following the Rivermouth disaster. "I've no more desire to die than you do. But we won't defeat Nahorek without taking a few leaps into the unknown."
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    ”Of course.” said Astoria with a smile as she listened to the Priest of Verena. ”I will admit that I am not entirely familiar with all the details of the conflict between yourself and the Capitano, but the tension between you both could be cut easier than butter. May I inquire as to what the problem stemmed from?”
    "Even in these chains, you can't stop me!" - In This Moment, Big Bad Wolf

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    Adelbert

    Adelbert frowned, and remained silent for a moment, obviously thinking through his reply. 'Have you sworn an oath of loyalty to the Tilean Astoria?'

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    "Not exactly, no." said Astoria with a shake of her head. "I am collecting a salary from Sforza by acting as a..well...a bodyguard for Elsa. But my oaths are to the Order of the Blazing Sun and the temple of Myrmidia. It serves my purpose while I assist in dealing with the Book and Nahorek."
    "Even in these chains, you can't stop me!" - In This Moment, Big Bad Wolf

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Ludo still suspected Elsa knew more than she was letting on. "Well, you know we're with you. Adelbert and Astoria too, I expect. When are we going?"
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    Adelbert

    Adelbert hesitated. 'Frankly while I do have personal scores against Sforza I think Elsa and the others were wrong to support Sforza. I thought then and still think we should have sided with the Duke. I believe the Tilean was involved with the greenskins and that he orchestrated the death of Commander Evatt - the poor mad fool who used to rule Mannan's Keep.'

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Sieghard was in no hurry. He spent the rest of the day making his arrangements to leave, hand-picking the men who would make up Oswald’s garrison – and the squad that would accompany them into the Karst.

    For the latter he chose two of the halberd militia and three of the Thorns. The halberdiers’ names were Hartmann and Durnhelm; the Thorns’ were Silas, Steffan and Thom, though the other crossbowmen called him Whispering Thom on account of his exceptionally loud voice. The last three were all men who had been with the company long enough to remember Adelbert as a friend, and they greeted him as such, full of curiosity about where the wizard’s mission was taking them.

    Ingwald watched all the planning with suspicion. Sieghard suspected he was merely put out at being left behind, but the canny crossbowman did his best to find an angle he could work. “I don’t like it, boss,” he said. “Splitting us up, sending us every which way... seems like counting our chickens to me.” He scratched the stubble on his chin. “You really going to give over good Thorns to that prat Oswald?”




    Backertag, 31st Sommerzeit

    The ten of them left camp the next morning, the Captain having been informed of their plans and Ludo having ensured they had plenty of provisions for the journey – particularly water. They were three days out from the summer solstice, and the sun was already hot on the back of their necks as they turned west into the rocks of the Karst.

    The Harmugstahl passage was much as they remembered it from the last time they had come this way. Choked with weeds, fallen boulders and gravel, it was slow going even for those on horseback. Morrslieb circled above the trail, riding the thermals that rose off the baking rocks to keep a beady eye out for trolls or bandits on the path ahead. Thankfully, he saw none.

    The day was dying when they finally came upon the ruins, tired from their long day’s march. A number of crows or ravens were perched on the broken wall that sealed off the overgrown courtyard of the tower, and flew up in agitation when the party approached. After a brief aerial altercation, Morrslieb dived down onto Elsa’s shoulder, croaking indignation at how rudely he had been received.

    The militiamen kept a tight grip on their weapons, not approaching the ruins until Sieghard led them closer. “Thought we’d seen the back of this place,” said Steffan, scanning the gravel-strewn courtyard with a wary eye. It looked deserted, empty but for fallen masonry and growths of spiny weeds.

    Still squawking and squabbling, the crows began to settle on the ravaged roof of the central tower, above that broken window that seemed to stare like an empty eye-socket across the Karst. The sun was sinking fast, lending the shadows within an inky blackness that put the birds’ coal-coloured feathers to shame.
    Spoiler: My Games
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Adelbert’s hesitation drew an arched brow from Astoria, curiosity plain upon her features as she listened to the priest speak.

    ”That is fair. We all do what we feel is right in this life.” said the knight. ”While I have no real love for the Capitano himself, I cannot say I feel much better for the Duke. When I arrived in the Reaches here at the behest of my Order and the church of the Eagle in Magritta, it was the Duke’s men who clapped me in irons and sought to deliver me for execution.”

    Astoria shrugged idly.

    ”But no respectable man should ally with something so monstrous as the Greenskins. May I ask what led you to this conclusion?”


    Backertag, 31st Sommerzeit

    Astoria hadn't seen this Harmugstahl herself before, but the strange structure in the heart of the Karst didn't do much to allay any creeping misgivings she may have had. With the torches and miner's pick that Elsa had given her securely strapped to Aminah, Astoria reigned in her horse at the head of their group and eyed the tower curiously.

    "Why anyone would want to live out here, I could not venture a guess."
    "Even in these chains, you can't stop me!" - In This Moment, Big Bad Wolf

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    Adelbert

    Adelbert looked like he would much rather be having a different conversation. 'It is complicated and, well, based on hunches. Look please forget I said anything. For the moment it seems we're stuck with the Tilean.'

    OOC:
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    I think Astoria will probably need to get Adelbert drunk to get the whole story - they are still strangers and even though she's made a good first impression on him he is trying to keep secrets that could see him executed stay secret.


    Backertag, 31st Sommerzeit

    Adelbert looked around the ruins with interests. Nothing obviously stood out to him, but presumably Elsa had brought them up here for something other than pure archaeology. He dismounted Bella and withdrew his writing kit and and a sheaf of parchment from his pack. If there was any inscriptions they'd come across he'd be ready.

    'Well... it has a certain lonely splendour,' Adelbert commented in answer to Astoria's question.

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    Sieghard

    "We don't have enough men to garrison the fortress from only one unit," Sieghard replied. "And if it does somehow come under attack, crossbows on the walls will do more to hold it than anything else. As for Oswald, not a lot of ways he can get into trouble stuck in Bunthafen."

    Backertag, 31st Sommerzeit

    “Thought we’d seen the back of this place,”

    "And if it was up to me, we would've," Sieghard said, not hiding his own distaste. "Captain's wizard wants to poke around some more so we've got to keep her from being a troll's dinner."
    Last edited by TheSummoner; 2019-02-03 at 05:56 PM.

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    30th Sommerzeit

    "Plenty of ways he can make trouble for the poor sods who get stuck with him," muttered Ingwald. "They come under attack with him in charge, they're going to have a whole lot more to worry about than how many bows they've got."

    If he had more to say, he didn't say it - he'd made his opinion clear enough.


    31st Sommerzeit

    "Right," said Steffan, obedient but far from enthusiastic. "Wizard business."

    The others looked to Elsa, curious to hear what she wanted from them. The light was going quickly - already the jagged rocks that surrounded the ruins had cast the whole of the courtyard into their lengthening shadows.
    Last edited by LCP; 2019-02-03 at 06:02 PM.
    Spoiler: My Games
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

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    31st Sommerzeit

    "Well, it's been a long day," said Elsa. "Let's get some rest."

    She knew most members of her escort were none too enthusiastic about this venture and she was not about to make herself unpopular by pushing them too far. Not to mention that if the sound of their picks attracted anything nasty from these mountains, it was best to see it coming and fight it by daylight, though she found it best not to voice this consideration.

    "I think I'll sleep in the courtyard. There's some residual magic inside this tower that's tickling the edge of my mind in an annoying way," she lied. She hoped the rest of the group would do the same as her and opt to sleep outside, as she suspected the pit might do another scary thing if they slept too close. Not that this would deter her, but it might make it harder to convince the others to stay the course.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Setting their camp in a sheltered corner between the rocks and the tumbledown outer wall, the soldiers tried to gather enough brushwood for a small fire. As the dusk dimmed into night, the crows atop the ruined tower croaked down at the glimmer of firelight below, as if concerned the humans would be taking their rooftop roost next.

    Elsa Only
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    As the last of the sunlight faded into darkness, Elsa could see the gossamer threads of Chamon and Azyr trailing from the latticework of the broken window, like a glittering spiderweb drifting in the wind. The magic was old, attenuated – but it was still here. It would probably linger over these stones long after she was dead.


    OOC:
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    Assuming here that waiting for tomorrow/camping in the courtyard is not too controversial - stop me if I'm going too fast.





    Bezahltag, 32nd Sommerzeit

    Adelbert woke with a dry throat and a sore back, the stony ground not having been conducive to a good night’s sleep. Memories of the Library that had troubled his dreams lingered for a minute or two in the waking world – though the sky was clear and blue, the squawking crows reminded him unpleasantly of another beast with a beak.

    Sieghard’s soldiers were already up and about, checking the rocks around the ruins to make sure nothing had crept up on them during the night. Sticking his head through the dark breach in the wall of the tower itself, Whispering Thom shouted the all-clear.
    Spoiler: My Games
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

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    32nd Sommerzeit

    Elsa was almost surprised to have gotten a peaceful night's sleep. Hopefully this was a good omen. She wolfed down a sizeable ration of nuts and dried meat while the Thorns scoured the area.

    "Let's get this started," she said, putting on her gloves and grabbing her pickaxe. "We'll start gently... see if we can chip the cement around the bars without making too much noise. We're not in any rush. If we've made no progress by mid-morning, we'll go harder at it. But I want eyes behind us at all times."

    She gave the first few tentative strikes just in case there was some spell in place against attempts to damage the well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    No magical retribution followed Elsa's first tentative strike, just the loud clink of metal on stone. Her hopes of doing this quietly looked to be on shaky ground - what the rubble-strewn central chamber of the tower lacked in home comforts, it made up for in acoustics. Echoes reverberated off the hard stone walls, filling the ruin with their fading sound.

    The Thorns took guard duty as Durnhelm and Hartmann took the other picks, setting about dislodging the rusted iron bars with rather more force than Elsa's thin wizard arms could muster. The bars were a later addition to the well, and their ends were not set in solid stone; still it took the best part of an hour's hard labour before they had dug out enough of it to give the rusted grille freedom to move. By the time they were done, the lip of the well looked like it had been chewed by a particularly determined troll.

    "Don't let it slip, now" said Durnhelm, gripping the bars of the grille as Hartmann and the others took positions to haul it out. There was no question of taking it out bar by bar - time and the moisture wafting from below had fused it into one rusted whole. "One, two - heave!"

    With a loud scrape of iron on stone, the bars pulled loose, a drizzle of ancient mortar falling into the darkness below. It teetered for a moment on the edge of the well, Sieghard's men digging in their heels against its awkward weight. Then, with a united pull, they dragged it clear and let it clatter to the floor.

    Stepping past the panting soldiers, Adelbert peered over the lip of the well. A slick set of steps led down into the darkness, carved into the limestone wall of the well shaft itself. Beyond them, he could see only shadow - and hear the dripping of water, far below.
    Spoiler: My Games
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

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