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Hrokka `Eadsplitter
28-07-2010, 19:08
Countess of Night
A Witch Hunter Tale

As Jaeger looked through the worn wooden wall in the tavern he spotted his prey. The old noble from Talabheim were outfitted in an armour worthy of an Emperor, but Marius knew such armours only where a fancy funeral-clothing.
Baron von Mecklen had been his target for two months, and during that time he had stalked the chaos worshipper everywhere.
And here, in a small town at the edge of Middenland, the baron would meet his doom. Jaeger loosed his dagger from his belt, looking over the surroundings. In the corner of the tavern a dark clad dwarf sat sleeping, at the disc the bartender where polishing a dirty goblet with an as dirty towel. Alongside his prey sat a greyhaired scribe along with a well-armoured halberdier sergeant.
Marius decided to wait, knowing that his prey would pass him on it's way out. The old noble had a scarf tied around his neck, accordingly to him to hide a hideous birth-mark. But Jaeger knew better. Under the scarf a Tzeentch rune was carved in the bare skin.
As his prey arose to leave, the scribe went first, the noble after, and last the sergeant.
While Jaeger tried to rise up a servant girl of the tavern came forward to him.
"Do milord wish anything?"
She blinked to him.
"To bad." She said and drew a dagger from her belt and stabbed towards the witch hunter. In the meanwhile the scribe and the noble quit the field, leaving Jaeger to fend off the sergeant and the girl.
He quickly drew his own dagger, parrying the girls blow and making a counter attack piercing her throat. The sergeant had in the meanwhile drawn a pistol, and pointed it at Jaeger piont blance. The bartender crouched cowardly in a corner, while the dwarf kept on sleeping. The sergeant grinned.
"My lord knew you're comin' fer him, Jaeger. To bad ya won't get him."
With those words the sergeant tried to pull the trigger, but stiffened and fell forward with a thrown knife pointing out of the neck. The dwarf in the corner jumped up.
"We can't let them escape! Get movin'!"
Jaeger did as told, pulling his loaded pistol from his belt as he and the dwarf bursted out of the tavern towards the horses.
The scribe where already mounted, waiting for the noble to mount up.
As they ran, the dwarf drew another throwing knife and threw it in the scribes neck. Jaeger ran fast towards the now mounted noble, who smiled cruely towards the witch hunter.
"Not even you, Jaeger, is a match for a mounted man. Die well!"
The noble spurred his horse forward, unprepared for Jaegers move.
A loud shot was heard, and smoke errupted from a hole in von Mecklens forehead.
"Blackpowder beats steel, your cultist bastard."
The nobles dead body tumbled from the saddle, and the dark clad dwarf pointed at the public gathered around the fight.
"You're comin' with me, Jaeger, and quick!"

Son of Sanguinius
28-07-2010, 20:39
Marius tried to make sense of the situation. When exactly had he been spotted? How did they know he was coming? Volkmar wasn't going to be happy about this. A very public assassination. Behind Marius, alarms rang and cultists scattered into the night. The armed guards of the baron roared in futility as the light of life fled their lord's eyes. They charged or shot at practically every sound around them in their anger, ironically killing a couple of their fellow worshipers.

With a thought and a step into the shadows, Marius disappeared from view. Since his brief stay at the colleges of magic, he had learned quite a few tricks that helped a man of his unique talents. Living darkness crept around him, rendering him functionally invisible and soundless.

There. It was the Dwarf who had followed him. He too was disappearing, though with the practiced ease of a trained operative, instead of through magical means. Within moments, you would need an expert tracker to find his trail. Considering the Dwarf's squat and bulky form, Marius was admittedly impressed.

In his travels, Marius had met and even traded with the occasional Dwarf. Their kind had never trusted him, but then why would they? He was a thing of subterfuge, and they were a people of direct loyalty. But this one was more than strange. Even if Marius ignored the disconcerting notion that the Dwarf had followed him without exposing itself, there was still the fact that it knew his name and worked with daggers.

Marius quickly caught up to the Dwarf's running form and cast a wall of shadow in front of him. The witch hunter leapt from the darkness and drew his twin tonfa blades, dropping one underneath the Dwarf's chin and pointing the other at the Dwarf's heart. The Dwarf froze but kept his cool.

"Talk fast, Dwarf, or prepare to meet your gods," Marius ordered. "Who are you? How do you know me? What are you doing here?"

"Calm down, lad," the Dwarf responded, as if speaking to an irate child. "Don't you think our employer would rather have us back in one piece? Besides..."

Marius' eyes narrowed as he felt and heard the point of a long knife against his stomach.

"If I don't go back, neither do you," the Dwarf said with a smile.

Marius lowered his weapons, more interested in information than mutual mutilation.

"You haven't answered my questions, short one," Marius said.

"You'll learn about me soon enough," the Dwarf replied. "As for my business here, it's you. Volkmar sent me to keep an eye on you."

Hrokka `Eadsplitter
29-07-2010, 19:27
Marius sheathed his drawn blades.
"Then we better get going, huh?"

Volkmar was furious. The Witch Hunter in front of him had screwed up.
Baron von Mecklen was... Had been a man with many and highly positioned friends. The fact that the man had been a cultist wouldn't ease Volkmars problems, since he hadn't known that for sure before, and why would he, a newly elected grand theogonist of humble birth been able to order the execution of a noble? The hippocrits would follow him like crows on a carcause, and the only way to redeem himself would be to execute the murderer, which he never really considered. The Witch Hunter was a gift from Sigmar, a puring fire sent to redeem the Empire. And Volkmar grinned.
He knew just how to use it.

Son of Sanguinius
29-07-2010, 20:32
“I suppose the two of you can explain your actions,” the Theogonist said, in the manner of an annoyed father berating his children.

“He’s dead, like you wanted,” Marius answered defiantly.

“No, he’s a corpse in the street,” Volkmar retorted, “publicly murdered in front of a score of cultists that not only escaped but can now fan the fires of dissent. This was supposed to be handled in the bowels of a cultist hideout. Do you see these letters on my desk? They were going to be the official report on the death of von Mecklen so that I could force the hands of several other cults. You have not only screwed this whole thing up- you have given these vermin an advantage.”

“Some advantage,” Marius replied disdainfully. “You point them out to me, and they die.”

Volkmar gestured to the Dwarf, who nodded curtly and stepped outside.

“I understand that politics are not your realm, Marius, but you do have to weigh your actions in the political arena,” Volkmar said. “I can’t have the Empire’s internal enemies warned of my attempts to find and destroy them. If they learn of my plans too quickly, they will mobilize and the ensuing fight will cause a lot more collateral damage than I can tolerate. Remember, Marius: if you work for me, you are no longer some fanatical hunter who makes too much of a mess. Forget that, and you can forget my side of the bargain. Without me, you’ve got no better chance of surviving than von Mecklen.”

“Straight to the point, I see,” Marius replied. “Well, then I will do the same. I think you need to keep a better eye on your attendants.”

“What are you talking about?” Volkmar questioned.

“Von Mecklen knew I was coming. I was set to follow him into one of his meetings when all hell broke loose. Someone tipped him off,” Marius answered.

“And you don’t think you were spotted along the way?” Volkmar asked skeptically.

“Nobody can keep my trail if I don’t want them to,” Marius answered stubbornly.

“You didn’t escape the attentions of my other agent,” Volkmar replied.

“You set him on me, though I do have to give him his due for not exposing himself,” Marius said. “Which also begs the question as to why you’re having me followed. What are you up to?”

“Just keeping an eye on you, Marius,” Volkmar answered. “Your talents make you very useful, but they also make you potentially extremely dangerous. I didn’t get here by taking chances without insurance.”

“What would happen if the person is tailing me gets spotted?” Marius said after a pause to consider Volkmar’s point.

“Then you’ll have to prove how good you really are,” came the reply.

Hrokka `Eadsplitter
02-08-2010, 17:51
"I have a new mission for you, Jaeger. See it as a chance to redeem yourself in the eyes of the church."
Jaeger nodded.
"What are the conditions?"
"That you won't mess it up. And to make that sure, I'll send others with you."
Volkmar paced impatiently around the room.
"Your mission is to investigate the wife of Count Ernst van Hürtz, Countess Thereza van Hürst. My agents have reported that the count have been pale ever since they married, and I'm fearing she's a vampire feeding on him and using his power for her own purposes."
Volkmar stared into his eyes.
"But we're not certain, so don't stake her upon your arrival!"
Jaeger nodded understanding.
"How will I learn the truth?"
The Grand Theogonist stared at him.
"Are you kidding?! Stalk her, interrogate staff and infiltrate the mansion! What ever you'll need to find out the truth!"
"Which will my companions be? Templars of our Order or simple sellswords?"
"You've already met three of them. The dwarf who helped you is Thardur Swiftblade, master assassin."
"A dwarven assassin?"
"Any issues with that, lad?" was heard from the room next doors.
The dwarf, a robed and hooded Grey wizard and a Warrior Priest in a heavy armour entered the room. Jaeger turned towards Volkmar.
"You said I already have met three of them, but I only recognise the dwarf."
Volkmar grinned.
"You have met them. In an earlier life."
The Grand Theogonist pointed towards the Grey Wizard.
"This is Dietrich Grau, who I think was a comrade of yours at the college of magic?"
"And this," said Volkmar, pointing at the Warrior Priest, "is Oskar Speer. A cousin of yours."
Jaeger faced the Theogonist with chill eyes.
"Why are you putting my friends and kin in the front line?"
Volkmar smiled as chill.
"It's to keep you in line, Jaeger."
"Is these all?"
"No. But these are the ones that are important. I'm sure Thardur will introduce you to the rest. Now get out of my sight!"

Hrokka `Eadsplitter
15-08-2010, 19:18
"Why so dull, Witch Hunter?" asked the grinning scoundrel in front of him.
"Ya don't like boats, do ya?"
"Stop smiling, ya scoundrel!" growled the darkclad Thardur.
"Your not well either, master dwarf?" The scoundrels evil grin got wider.
Jaeger looked aggressively towards the rascal.
"Get out of my way, Lachen, before you'll have to pick up your entrails from the deck." The youth swallowed then backed away.
"Why do we've him with us, Thardur?" The dwarf grunted.
"He's a ladies man. He can get out more information between the sheats than we can in questioning."
Jaeger raised an eyebrow.
"And our father the Church has allowed that?"
"Aye, as long as he'll someday repent his sins."
"You're a sigmarite?"
Marius stared at him.
"And your ancestors don't get offenced?"
The dwarfs stared back with angry eyes.
"I have no ancestors. Never mention them again."
The dwarf left Jaegers side. At the horizon the contures of the city of Nuln became visible, and Jaegers cold, iceblue eyes grew even colder as he remembered the day the vampires had catched him when he'd walked the citys streets. Soon he would have his revenge.

Hrokka `Eadsplitter
05-09-2010, 19:08
"So, what've we found out?" Jaegers' piercing gaze made most of the other turn away their heads.
"I've had some progress", said Lachen smiling. "One of the chambermaids talked quite much when she weren't screaming my name."
"Thank you fer that grouse image, ya scoundrel. Tell us what she said!" Thardur looked angry towards the youth, who smiled shameless back.
"Well, she said that I was her best lover ever, that she never had such a feeling in her..." Dietrich pointed his finger at the rascal and murmured low. The scoundrel silenced and stopped grinning.
"Please stop pointing at me!"
"Will you stop making fun of us and speak out?" The youth nodded in panic and started to talk immediatly.
"The maid said that the Count always have a scarf, he even sleeps with it, but that she've seen that he have two small wounds under it."
Oskar looked sceptical on him.
"That's it?" the Warrior Priest turned to Marius. "Why is he here now again?"
Jaeger shrugged and looked to the others.
"Anything else?"
The two Estalian brothers Manuel and Rafael looked on eachother before they said:
"While we were playing in the mansion. we saw that the Countess drank something else than the rest... Something thick and red..." The brothers faces had a shade of grey.
Jaeger looked surprised at them.
"She did that out in the open?"
The brothers nodded.
"And none saw it?"
"They noticed it, but didn't see anything odd with it..."
Marius arose and paced over the floor.
"And what have our friend messere Ravenscuore heard in the household?"
No response was heard.
"Where's the Tilean? Where's Ravenscuore?" Everybody present shrugged and looked through the room. Then the door burst up and a tall Tilean ran in.
"A body has been found in the river!"