After a long moment, the door is opened from the inside by a freindly looking bald priest wearing orange garments and carrying a book strapped to his belt.
Welcome to the temple of Verena, seekers of wisdom! What brings you to this home of knowledge and written words?
A cynical observer might be inclined to think that the Temple of Verena was just a parody of the grand cathedral of Sigmar. It only consists of one of the small side halls of the larger building and is located at its back end.
The portal is closed and locked, however, visitors are greeted by a polished brass sign
Knock if you seek wisdom and knowledge
No, child, you are no official member of the Church of Sigmar or my order. You cannot destroy it...but you could do me the favor to check whether my assumption is right and they really have that book there. I just need to be sure, before I will kick their door in.
Reiter says with a now rather fatherly voice.
A map?...well the houses have some, so much for sure...but I guess getiing one on the black market is a difficult thing...knowledge about the city, its pathways and architecture means power...so yeah, if you can afford one you'll find one I guess...but don't ask me. Ah, finally, there we are.
Gadak stops the wagon and looks to his right - seemingly grown from dark stone of this nighted abyss, a sinister place of unnatural beauty and deadly grace looms. Spires of web-like metal slice through the darkness, their heights illuminated by arcane flame, while the elegant curves of the structure's wall seem to flicker and shift in the dancing shadows. Around the compound, the barely perceptible silhouettes of dark armored shapes glide in soundless patrol upon an arcing barricade of bladed steel. Suddenly, from somewhere within rises an otherworldly shriek, a cry half scream, half bestial howl that slowly resonates and dies amid the gloom. A moment later comes the terrible noise's answer, a fluttering peal of mirthless, mocking laughter.
Because it is not Sigmar's cathedral alone...the back-portion of the building consists only of the Temple of Verena...a stupid decision if you ask me...and no, I haven't encountered the book before, but I have read about it...dangerous and seductive it is...and surely the home of these wisdom and knowledge-cravers is not a good place for such a thing to be.
A book...a very vile book and if my informants are to be trusted, they have the guts to present it openly! The book is bound in black leather, but in the corner of your eye, when you don't look directly at it, it shimmers in all the rainbow's colours. I will not tell you what is inside the book, but I give you my word that it could corrupt this city within few weeks...these ignorants in the temple claim that knowledge of all kinds is valuable and that they have an eye on whom wants to take a look at the book...but they are feeble and if there's really someone who wants to take the book I doubt they are able to hinder him.
Reiter explains angrily and every passerby who feels his glare quickly looks away and gives you a wide berth.
That you should...still you should visit the Temple of Verena, and walk through it with open eyes...you'll be my eyes for that matter since they didn't allow me to enter it...
Reiter audibly grinds his teeth and his knuckles turn white
I feel that they have something in there, something they have to keep away from prying eyes...I have to know what it is.
Reiter raises an eyebrow and eyes Mareike closely
A human adopted by dwarfs who calls herself Sigmar's Anvil?
while you can't say why or how, you suddenly feel that the witch hunter's whole aura has changed. Invisible but undeniable, there's something about his eyes, as if they were burning from within...but after a second the sensation is gone and Reiter smiles
A fitting name...in the future maybe.
then he turns to Franz and nods
Another Aschaffenberg? I heard your cousin has good chances to become new lord of Ubersreik...a position of great influence and wealth. And yes, I could really need some assistance.
his gaze hardens as he stares into the distance for a moment
Have you already visited the temple of Verena at the back of the cathedral?
you hear a deep bass voice from your right. The owner of the voice, a man wearing a dark-brown leather frock and wide leather hat leans in the shadows of a tavern's porch, next to an open window, close enough to hear the drunkards' talks. A witch hunter by his clothing and the hammer tattoos on the backs of his hands.
Markus Reiter's the name...you don't look like you're from Ubersreik, child.
while his voice is friendly by all means, the ice-grey eyes have a frightening cold in them.
At least the fundaments of the cathedral look like dwarven masonry was involved in there construction, very sturdy made from squat granite stones.
The Cathedral square is a rather wide place and on most day's of the week colourful market stands occupy it - just like today.
Citizens haggle with vendors, merchants discuss the influence of Morrslieb on their trades, Sigmarites collect alms - it looks like the perfectly typical Imperial city besides the green silhouette at the sky.
The cathedral itself is an impressive building, higher than any of the buildings surounding the square and easily overshadowing the burgomeister's residence.
It even takes one of Vaughn's thrusts until the first sentry finally goes down - covered with blood the colossus hits the ground and stops moving.
You lose no time though and continue your attacks - meanwhile, behind you, the pyramid head of the priestess glows like a small sun and you really start to worry that whatever this will do, it won't be good for you.
The guardian of the pyramid goes on to swing his deadly blade at Vaughn.
Greater Pyramid Sentry1d20 + 15 ⇒ (11) + 15 = 26
Greater Pyramid Sentry1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Well, actually, if someone wants to speak to Baron Manfred, now might be a good opportunity. Over there...
he points at a massive tower dominated by an obscenely large horn that is the Tower of Magnus and at its feet are the barracks, the place where Baron Manfred "resides" at the moment.
Oh yes, Baron Manfred von Holzenauer will be the host...and Lord Rikkard believes he only does it to impress the Burgher's council...actually Lord Rikkard says that von Holzenauer is as poor as a church mouse and that Ubersreik is his last and only chance to rise in the Empire's nobility again.
Vern explains while pushing through the crowd at Ubersreik's central square.
I know where you got your inspiration for that scene from :)
Vern seems shocked and simultaneously incredulous
Urgh...I doubt such thing can ever leave the darkness of the world underneath the world...and should they dare, men like Franz here or Lord Rikkard will show them that they rightly belong into the depths from which they came...Herr Flechter, we need a moment to coordinate, as far as I have understood you, you will now go to Lord Rikkard, but what about the rest of us? I still have all my hands full with preparations for the ball.
Borgun nods and smiles, obviously Franz has hit the right chord.
As soon as you have brought some distance between you and the brewery, Vern sighs audibly and scratches his head
Alas, Hadn't I seen the monstrous vermin, we wouldn't have to go through this ordeal...there's so much work to do...the ball you know, a fitting costume and...oh wait! Maybe it was just someone wearing a costume????
Borgun nods to Fernis and replies in Khalzid
It would make a big difference...a call to arms against the forces of Chaos is something that is easily followed boy the people of the Empire...Skaven on the other hand are made of the fabric of myth in their oyes...Oi will speak to this Rikkard Aschaffenberg...tell his cousin that Rikkard can find me here.
Vern protests and tries to shake Mareike off, but the girl's steely grip is too much for Vern to break. He nearly stumbles right into Borgun and is only able to regain his balance at the last possible moment
Ah...oh...Mr. Foambeard, what I saw looked like a mixture between man and rat, but you're right, I was so shocked by its appearance that I may have mixed up rat, with a different rodent, maybe it was just one of the Ruinous Powers' cruel jokes and it was a hamster beastman...
Borgun looks at Fernis and Vern and arches an eyebrow.
Borgun scratches his chin wih meaty fingers
'twas no dwarf who saw the skaven? Then we can't even be sure it was one of them g@&~~#n breed...humans sometoimes mix up beatmen and skaven...well, no...actually they think all skaven are beastmen...nevermoind...ye tellin' me yer cousin was Rikkard Aschaffenberg? Good...then Oi don't have te persuade him, ye can do that. Oi'll troy te help him become lord of Ubersroik...if you gimme yer word that the dwarfs of this city will not suffer under his rulership.
His name is just Borgun, typo on my side^^
The brewmaster's eyes narrow to slits and you hear a deep grumble coming from his stomach
That is bad news indeed...an' Oi doubt the humans will believe our words... he looks up at the leering visage at the sky and sighs There will be a ball soon...Oi heard the humans are looking for a new lord...Oi think Oi could speak about that matter on that evening...
Borgun will be most pleased to meet ye. Please, follow me....
the dwarf leads you inside the central workshop and while the noise was already impressive outside, in here it is just terrible...now you get an idea of how it must be like an Imperial steam tank...
Next to the biggest kettle a white-bearded dawrf stands and tastes beer from a magically iced tankard, he nods approvingly and hands the tankard to one of the brewers, then turns to you
is all you understand over the noise.
It takes only some moments until a bald, red-bearded dwarf with almost square body walks over to you.
Intricate tattoos of clockwork dragons run down his bare arms
Greetings! An' welcome te the Foambearrd Brrewery. I'm Grimbold Anvilheaver an' the foreman herre.
The Foambeard brewery, located closely to the city centre, consists of several large workshops in which massive brew kettles are tended by a small host of dwarven workers - at least fifty of them scurry around with lists, books, examples in small flasks, technical devices you have never seen before in their meaty hands.
Steam rises from the kettles and the noise coming from the depths of the halls is ear-defening.