The Altdorf Band make their way towards Karak Azgaraz. However it is not a trip without danger. The Grey Lady Pass road runs alongside Teufel through the Teufeltal valley. At Tallerhof the dwarf road splits from the Grey Lady Pass in the village and rises towards Karak Azgaraz. It is the key trading route between Ubersreik and the dwarf hold.
The main road continues from Tallerhof until it climbs high into the mountains. This is a route through to Bretonnia. Higher and more treacherous, and often closed in the coldest months, the Grey Lady Pass is not as busy or as famous as Axe Biter Pass further North. It has a reputation for attracting smugglers and other nefarious groups, but it is still an important trading route for the Reikland, and especially for Ubersreik.
As the Altdorf Band follow Teufel from Reikland and into the mountains, they notice signs of toll presence. Large webbed footprints by the river, gnawed bones and toll droppings. When they finally reach the Castle Schluesselschloss, it is with relief in their chest.
The Altdorf Band arrived safely at Schluesselschloss, their first stop within Teufeltal. Schluesselschloss is castle build in the middle of the fast flowing river. Guards seemed relaxed in their blue and white uniforms and well fed bellies. The group got to talk a bit with Martin Schatz, sergeant at the caste. They shared and learned that the caste was run by the Von Schluessels. Without too much delay the party ventured on towards Tallerhof and Karak Azgaraz. At Schluesselschloss they did pick up the following rumors:
- Baron von Schluessel was out with a host of his men to deal with greenskin in the area.
- There was lack of faith in the Empire, since reinforcements failed to arrive when the plague forces were blocking the pass.
“Hey!! Another round for the table, and some wine for me” Helmut called out. It was a conspicuous group. Opposed to Helmut sat Luigi de Formageo, the cheese merchant, and also the man with the money. Standing by the window was Richardo, dressed in black and with cross bow ready, he rarely said much. Different was Gorbad, the dwarf. He was already on his 3rd pint. The group had been drinking for a bit as the last of their party arrived. Gosbert von Grouenwald stepped in wearing his full plate armor. In fact most of the group kept their full battlegear at all times. Often it came in handy.
CRACK – BUMP! – CURSES All heads turned as the chair collapsed under the weight of Gosbert in his armor. “What in the realm of chaos.!?” He turned to his friends “Chairs in this time are made to be able to hold a knight in full armor at least. It is just not realistic that it would break!”. Continuing along that line Helmut flew up and pointed down at the broken chair while proclaiming loudly “WE HAVE BEEN SABOTAGED BY THE MISERABLE QUALITY OF FURNITURE IN THIS PATHETIC PIT!!! WE DEMAND FREE FOOD!!!”. Some people laughed, a few others shifted nerveously. The Champions of Cheese had not earned their name for their trade with the product. A deep rumbling voice came from the other end of the room as a huge Ogre approached them bending low “OY! If you have free food, Me want some now!”, then grabbing Luigi de Formageo’s half wheel of cheese and stuffind his head with it. Ricardo said nothing but leveled his crossbow at the Ogre.
Luigi de Formageo was about to speak up that he realized the pressence of another band of adventureres. He paled and tried to give sign to the others. That was the last they would want to get involved with. Another adventure!
In Tallerhoff, the party got to visit the smithy to get some silver bullets crafted, and the temple of Sigmar where they spoke a bit with Father Siegfried Steuer.
Lingering in the village for a days time, they enjoyed some food and ale at the Ruffled Feather. They got to talk a bit with another band called Champions of Cheese, lead by Luigi de Formageo. Later in the evening they hired an ogre bodyguard for the day by payment of 4 FULL meals at the Ruffled Feather, this came in handy when later meeting with Luigi de Formageo and they mayor Werner Smokkel.
Here they also picked up a bit of gossip and rumors:
- Uncertainty in Ubersreik military support with the Von Saponatheim control (and patrols failing to show up)
- The Ogre Bodyguard is part of a company called Gutbuster’s Gutbusters located in the valley.
- The Crusade of the Child is active in the Southern Reikland, basically the only force dealing with Dark Elf skirmishers.
On the dwarf road
Leaving Tallerhof next morning, the party passed some ruins and some winefields. Eventually making their way into more rocky terrain. It was here they discovered the battlefield and where they were ambushed by goblin spider riders of the Long Legs Tribe.
After a deadly combat, they manage to defeat the spider riders, and then proceeded to investigate the battlefield. Here they discovered the surviving knight. Andreas von Averbach – Badly wounded. And the corpse of Harald Von Schluessel and his battle standard. Further south they got a view of the Waaaagh!!. Thousands of goblins, savage orcs, black orcs, goblin spider riders, goblin wolf riders, boar boyz, war machines, trolls and giants all camped as far as they could see.
The party took the trip to a fortified mannor house 2 hours away. It turned out to be a school run by Philline de Blanc. Staying a night and tending to their wounds, they finally managed to convince Philline to join the defense of Schluesselschloss. The with the whole school of bretonian ladies trained in the Myrmidian ways, no doubt they would prove valuable.
The Altdorf Band then took a bold choice to trek around the waaagh! to reach the dwarfs of Karak Azgaraz. With some fortunate sneaking they arrived without further injuries. At the dwarf fortress they managed to convince the dwarf king to try break the siege in a few days and attack the waaagh in the rear. The party was also generously rewarded for completing their missions.
Karl Heinrich Weishaupt and Matthias Eichmann were about to head through the lost mines, a secret route through the mountains, when they heard someone running towards them “Hey wait!! I am comming along, You are gonna need me and my rangers if you are gonna hold that pile of rubble against the orcs!” Dundri Ulgarsson tried to catch his breath, and his host of rangers soon joined up. It seemed there would be just a bit of hope in holding the castle afteral.
Meanwhile at Tallerhof, Brother Maynard has been completing his holy rites to ready himself as a proper priest of shallay while Wolfgang Koommezzell was approached by his new apprentice Justin Oakstream. Enjoying their stay at the Ruffled Feather, they pick up a bit of rumors and gossip, and enjoy some good wine and cheese. Happily unaware of the doom approaching.