Amsterdam plays The Gathering Storm

How we met
Dice, dice, baby!

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The weather is insane. Of course, I am tough as nails, but I see my newly acquired companions suffering. Never quite certain with humans if it is their youth and inexperience or just some racial flaw, but both Belros and Max look exhausted. It seems that only Felix’ upbeat spirit is keeping them from falling over.

I met Belros and Max in Ubersreik. We stayed in the same inn: Brash Bob’s Bed & Breakfast. They’d only met eachother there an hour before I arrived and it was because of Felix that we got into a conversation. He’s a funny little dog. Quick and ferocious. Makes me think of Kazan.
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A difference of at least 120 pounds, but with the same resolve. Grimnir, how I miss that hund! Max told me he had used Felix for his ratcatching practices. Being in the sewers for most of his days, Max had decided that he wanted his life to be more of an adventure. The World Edge Mountains have a reputation of being a wondrous place with lots of hidden treasure, so that was what he was headed for. Belros told a similar story. He started out as a scholar in the Bright College, got bored sitting in dank rooms, and now is looking for knowledge in the outside world of perilous adventure. I don’t care much for human wizardry. Most of my problems can be solved with a solid nudge of the spiked mace. But Belros is into magic that has its uses in battle. Calls himself a Fire Wizard. Has a full head of hair, so it looks as though there’s at least one element he has some semblance of control over :-)
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When I arrived, Belros and Max were discussing where to enter the mountains. Somehow they looked so inexperienced to me that I felt the need to protect them. I told them what I had gone through over the last few months to persuade them to help me on my quest.

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My Story
To Protect and Persuade

Stuff of Grudges

My name is Trum. It means: firm, fixed, secure, strong, sound, vigorous, active and trustworthy. I am from Karak Azul, also known as Iron Peak.

Karak Azul is located in the south of the World Edge Mountains, and is the only southern hold still ruled by Dwarfs. Within its lands lie the richest deposits of iron ore in the whole mountain range, as well as other minerals and gemstones. It’s known as a centre of metalworking and for its weaponsmiths. Most famous is Thorek Ironbrow. He is a dwarf Runelord and master of the weapon workshops of Karak Azul. Thorek Ironbrow is one of the few runelords that use the power of the anvil of doom, forging the most powerful weapons made by Dwarfs, and supplying them to many of the other holds.

In Karak Azul I was born as a noble’s son. Kazrik, son of King Kazador Thunderhorn, is my best friend. About a year ago, the dispicable Orc Warlord Gorfang of Black Crag dab962cb-0405-47ec-a95b-49fe6357cb7b.jpgthought it a good idea to raid our hold. The fighting went on for weeks, with greenskins pouring in and desecrating our halls.
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We eventually won that battle, but the losses were almost unbearable: Both my parents lost their lives, Queen Morgana was abducted with Kazrik forced to witness it all whilst being tied to the throne, and my brother Grundi went missing. Kazrik snuck away from Karak Azul in shame within a day after the fighting ended, looking to fulfil his newly sworn Slayer’s Oath to find his mother. With him also gone, all I had left was Kazan.

As Kazan was Grundi’s dog I told him to find his master. Strangely enough, Kazan didn’t head towards the Dark Lands, but instead went to the Empire side of our mountain range. After two weeks of searching we ran into a group of Chaos Thugs. I killed them all. But not before they mortally wounded my last priced possession: I buried Kazan just over 10 miles from Ubersreik. Kazan.jpgWith no real reason to go back to Karak Azul, I’ve been looking for clues that could lead me to my brother Grundi or Crown Prince Kazrik for the past year. All the while I have been supporting myself by winning pitfighting tournaments at night, while investigating during the day. Last week I won a fight that I was told to lose by the pit boss. Just couldn’t let that arrogant elf beat me in front of that many people! So I needed a change of scenery and I decided to visit Ubersreik.

On my way to Ubersreik I ran into a traveller that told me about there being interesting centuries old treasure in some ruins south of the town of Stromdorf. Those ruins are thought to be haunted by something, so nobody has tried anything for at least a century. We might as well join forces and see if this adventuring stuff is something for the three of us. I haven’t been in that area, so for me it’s also a chance to search for clues about my brother and friend in a whole new region.

What do you say?

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BYF to Stromdorf then...
Max goes for a swim

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Because we met in Brash Bob’s Bed & Breakfast, we have decided to call ourselves the ‘Brash Young Fools’. At 74 I am a Fullbeard but that doesn’t mean I am not still young :-) . While getting closer to Stromdorf we are thinking about changing our name to ‘Soaked Young Fools’: I’ve heard of the climate in this region but this is really ridiculous. Even darker clouds are gathering up ahead so we try to move as quickly as possible to get there before all hell breaks loose.

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Being in a hurry has put our guard down. A huge boar crosses our path. We must have taken it by surprise and scared it, because normally boars only fight when they are cornered. Lucky for us, I manage to scare it into leaving us alone. That would have been a cool story: being skewered by a boar on your first adventure. Stuff of legends, straight out of the chronicles of Got, indeed!

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Next our progress gets halted by a foaming river. Not surprising the river is this swollen with all the rain in the area. Fortunately there’s a wooden bridge about half a mile upstream. It looks solid, but the water is so high it touches the timber. With Belros and me safely on the other side, the bridge collapses when Max and Felix give it a try. Both are swept away. Stromdorf lies downstream so this only helps :-). Still some scary moments as it turns out Max can’t swim. He’s lucky to be caught in the nets of the local miller. When Belros and I arrive at the mill, miller Friedrich Ulfson and Max are exchanging stories about the perils each has been through in their lives. This Friedrich turns out to be an allround great guy: ale & eels, soft beds and a hearthy breakfast, all in exchange for listening to his stories from when he lived in Norsca, about using that great weapon hanging on the wall just above the door. We weren’t complaining! Mustn’t forget to go back and thank him one day.

Finally there!
First things first so we asked people in the streets for what would be a descent place to stay. They all said it had to be the Thunderwater Inn, where we rented a room for three (+dog). The owner is called Sebastian Brenner. He’s got two sons, Friedrich & Hans (20&18yo), who both help him during peak hours. The boys don’t seem to have a mother, but I am afraid to ask about that this soon. Son Hans pranked me when I ordered a Marshwater beer. He told me that they use Reik eels to give the beer its specific taste. Then he gave me the beer and when I took a big gulp I ended up spitting out a tadpole: I almost threw up!
Whole incident gave me an excellent excuse to try their Thunderwater Ale. The price is quite steep but the taste is divine! I only had a couple, but if I’d had the money I wouldn’t have ended the night standing up straight: never knew humans were such great brewers.

Mingling we met some nice folks and one of the locals told a story about a certain coalmerchant called Florian Wexler gone missing. He seems to have disappeared without a trace. Coal cart and all. Local guild seems to be sadder about Florian’s signet ring gone missing. Okay, it gives the bearer the right to free food and lodging throughout the Empire, but surely someone must be sad about the prospect of the guy no longer being alive?

With no pressing other matters we took it upon us to give finding Florian a go. During our first days in Stromdorf we had become acquainted with Franz Bieber, the local Ranger, Eduardo Rodriquez, an imperial noble kind of guy with a taste for the alcoholic beverage, and the local Priest of Sigmar called Magnus Gottschalk. We heard a rumor that Wexler came in with a white pony and a local farmer named Rainer Holtz had been seen leaving town with a white pony.
With this being our only lead, we decided to visit the Holtz’ farm. So that’s where Franz, Eduardo, Magnus and the three of us went. And of course we took Felix with us……

The Holtzes

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The Holtzes
Beesten weer

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Marie Holtz and her family

The six of us left for the Holtz farm. On the way we saw that the neighbouring farm, owned by the Eigels, had been burnt to the ground. Upon reaching the Holtzes’ we heard one of the Eigels screaming at Rainer at the top of his lungs….

After we confronted the Holtzes with what we knew, Marie took over the conversation from her denying husband. We felt she wasn’t telling us everything, but was sincere in her reaching out for help anyway. Marie took us away from the farm and into the woods. Here we met Foaldeath.
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This half beastman half human asked us for help. He needed the leader of the local beastmen clan, that was terrorizing the area, to die. That way he could take control over the clan and persuade them to stop wreaking havoc on the Holtzes’ and neighboring farms. Foaldeath himself was unable to attempt a coup, because assassinating the current leader, Madtooth, would disqualify him automatically from becoming the next leader. All we had to do was kill Madtooth and steal his source of power; The Lightning Stone.

Beastie Boys

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Beastie Boys
Fight for your Right

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How we managed to defeat the beastmen and escape with the stone, I still don’t know. Maybe we were just lucky? The fact that we asked Franz, Eduardo and Magnus to join us on this trip was a very wise decision. Trying to steal something from a beastmen village sounded hard, but would have sounded ridiculous if it would have been just the three (+1) of us. We got as close as possible without being noticed and then all of us tried to attack Madtooth first. This worked out pretty well as we killed him fairly quickly. An added bonus was that once Madtooth had left this world, the beastmen started fighting amongst themselves. Thus giving us the opportunity to put the stone on our cart and head back to town almost unchallenged.

Nomen est Omen

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Nomen est Omen
The shattered amulet

The Lightning Stone turned out to be properly named. Benjamin Franklin would have been very interested as this strange piece of marble attracted lightning really well. It made our trip back to Stromdorf a tough one, but we managed to arrive without being struck by lightning.
The story of our adventure attracted a lot of attention. A young wizard that also stayed in our Inn was extremely interested in the stone. He asked if he could take it to his room to study the text that was inscribed on it. I felt a lttle strange around him, but I believe the others trusted him enough to hand him the stone. We figured that with the thing being that heavy this Schulmann fellow wouldn’t be able to run off with it.
Captain Kessler immediately arrested the Holtz family (excluding Maria) and Kila Gobblepot. They were sentenced to hanging for their part in the murder of Florian Wexler.
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The night after the trial our Highwater Inn was attacked by a bunch of zombies. A real treat for this TWD fan :-) . We disposed of them and the following morning we were invited to the Adler residence.

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Good Mourning at Adler's
I Have A Dream

Burgomeister Adler explained to us that, after last night’s zombie attack, he is in dire need of people that want to protect his city. Captain Kessler has his guards working around the clock, so there is no one available to run an important errant.
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Adler had a dream last night. In it Madriga asked to save her, whilst holding onto the silver pendant that Adler gave her when she was still alive. Madriga drowned herself in the town well.
Adler wants us to fetch Brother Grabbe from the Garden of Morr. He knows a lot about explaining dreams and the walking dead. Captain Kessler is afraid his town will be attacked by hordes of the Undead, just like the time when local hero Olaus Stichhelm was able to save Stromdorf. Kessler expects Lazarus Mourn, a necromancer burned at the stake a year ago, to be involved.
With 50 silver per person as a reward, we gladly accept the job; the cemetery is only a mile away from the town!

The Coffin Track

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The Coffin Track
Rafting

On our way to the Garden of Morr we met Waltrout Glöckinger. What a creep! He didn’t seem to be the sharpest tool in the shed but after Max spoke some nice words to him, Waltrout turned out to be of help by telling us that after ringing the bell near the riverside, Brother Grabbe would come and transport us across the river on his raft. So we rang the bell, but Brother Grabbe didn’t show up. That made Waltrout a little anxious. We decided that one of us had to swim across and get the raft. And that’s what we did. I didn’t want to take Waltrout across with us, but my gullible human companions felt sorry for him and didn’t want to leave him alone in the pouring rain.
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The terrible weather persisted when we went into the subterranean entrance of the cemetery. Waltrout disappeared from sight the moment we entered the first dark hallway. I couldn’t help saying “I told you so” to my fellow young fools :-). Within the next minute we had our first encounter with some undead.
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Quite easy when your opponent is moving really slow. I felt like being in the Matrix the way I could position myself to do maximum damage. Still, I hope they don’t show up by the hundreds as we’re about to enter the cemetery proper.

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Garden of More

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Garden of More
Experience of a Deadtime

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Our feeling of confidence got a bad hit when we got out of the entrance hall and into the cemetery proper. We started to think we were zombie magnets. Everywhere we walked zombies came out of the ground by the half a dozen.
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Pretty soon we were overwhelmed and the only likely place of refuge seemed the mausoleum. Once inside we found out, to our relieve, that zombies have no clue as to how to open a door. Their numbers kept on swelling but we were safe inside.
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The Ossuary

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The Ossuary
Bad to the Bone

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So we got into the mausoleum to get away from the zombies in the graveyard. And we were very happy the zombies didn’t understand how to open a door. But once inside we got welcomed by some skeletal nasties. The entire entrance hall to the mausoleum was decorated as an ossuary. Everywhere you looked you saw bones. There even was a chandelier made of bones! Unfortunately for us the magic in this room was quite strong: for every skeleton we put down, another seemed to rise from the piles of bones scattered around!
When we finally got rid of all of them, it was time to descend into the crypt.
Here we met my good buddy Waltrout again.

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