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Library: The Cult of Mickleburg

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Author: vandris
Date:Apr 22 2013

This Tale if loosely set in the Warhammer world

Max lent on his halberd, rapping his threadbare cloak round in a vain attempt
to keep the wind at bay. Suddenly his reverie was broken by the sound of
voices approaching the gate. Gazing through the rain he saw 3 forms
approaching a man on a horse with a dwarf and child on ponies, he assumed it
was a dwarf anyway it being hard to tell under the armour and weapons.
 "HALT" max cried.
 "wh..di....y" came the reply barely heard through the wind
As they continued Max decided to forgive them for disobeying his command.
until they got closer.
 "HALT" he tried again.
This time he was mostly obeyed with the man and child reining up but with the
dwarf carrying on till his pony took a fancy to bush, oblivious to the
vehement & voluble shouting of his passenger. Getting a better look at the
horse and rider he decided being polite was probably for the best as he looked
like some kind of noble, not to mention the dwarf had more weapons than the
armoury.
 "Who are you and what reason have you for approaching Mickleburg in the
night?2
 "Dwimbar Chaosbane' announced the dwarf loudly 'Hero of the Hammer, Slayer of
Manfred, Hero of Castle Draco, Slayer of the Demon Grr'zztt'iiue'tt, Warden of
the Hold of Chaosbane, GrudgeBringer and.."
 "Dwimbar,' said the man 'I'm sure he's heard of you"
 "Oh yes, of course he has" said Dwimbar
 Max decided nodding was the best plan
 "And I am Count Bosch with my servant Sieg" continued the man
 At this the man glanced at the boy to see him for what he truly was, a
halfling.
 "As to my business that is my own to discuss with Count Henry" continued
Count Bosch
 Max nodded, "Of course my lord"
 "OPEN THE GATE" Max command with all the authority he could muster, a command
which he was relieved to see obeyed then watched them vanish into the town
before the gates once more closed

"So where are the cultists Sieg?" said Dwimbar in characteristic volume while
riding down the main road, the mud adding little to that already plastering
the horses.
"Keep your voice down. Have you ever heard of subtle?" replied Sieg
"I've heard of it" replied Dwimbar defensively
"And to answer your question I don't know yet as we've only just arrived, it
takes time to find them. You know them being a 'SECRET' cult and all"
"Just asking" grumbled Dwimbar
"Anyway I'd better introduce myself to Count Henry" interjected Bosch
tactfully, "lets get up to the keep"
"OK" agreed Sieg, "lets get on with the pleasantries so we can get to work"
"I'm wet" stated Dwimbar, "couldn't you dry me out before we go up?"
"I'd rather not reveal my more mystical talents for everyone to see" replied
Bosch
"I think you're fooling yourself if you think they wont be able to tell."
commented Sieg
"That maybe true of the cultists but I'd rather not have constant suspicious
stares from everyone else, I get enough of that in Altdorf. Besides maybe you
overestimate the cultists".
"Maybe" said Sieg doubtfully.
"Ah we're almost there let us announce ourselves" said Bosch, "but this time
let me do the introducing Dwimbar, after all this is a human noble meeting
another so there's human etiquette to consider"
"Fair enough, you humans have some odd habits, pity you don't follow the
dwarven ways"
"If they followed dwarven etiquette we'd still be discussing lineage next
week" commented Sieg
"But that?s important!" stated Dwimbar indignantly
"Lets forget the comparative anthropology and get up this hill & out of this
rain"
Dwimbar & Sieg agreed to the extent of riding up the hill to be challenged by
a guard in fine armour standing under the shelter of the gate's arch.
"HALT" commanded the guard
Sieg sighed tiredly
"Who are you & what business brings you to the keep at this hour?"
Dwimbar opened his mouth then closed it, giving Sieg a hurt look as he got a
swift kick.
"I am count Bosch & that this is the hour I have arrived accounts for it to
the full extent and my business is with Count Henry not you" said Bosch
imperiously
"That will be for the Count to decide not you." stated the guard.
"Then he'd best decide quickly as I'm fast running out of patience" replied
Bosch. "Now go get permission to open the gate from whoever you have to"
The guard (who's name was Hans but no one had bothered to ask) knocked on a
wooden hatch which opened to reveal a murky light inside.
"Count Bosch to see Count Henry" said Hans
The hatch slammed shut leaving Hans to bravely guard the gate under the rather
unnerving stares of the 3 'guests'.
Shortly the gate started to open
"Looks like the Count will see you after all my Lord" said Hans.
"Indeed, now see to stabling our horses" commanded Bosch as he leapt from his
horse in an astonishing display.
"Show off" muttered Sieg while dismounting,
Bosch moved to help Dwimbar up from his gravity assisted dismount.
"Now if we're all ready let us see Count Henry" said Bosch, fitting his words
by stepping across the threshold only to be met by a middle aged man in fine
clothing
"I am Johan, Count Henry's steward if you'd come with me please" the man
announced, turning and leading the way further in, seeing no better option he
was followed by all but Hans (and the horses).
"You are fortunate the Count was still up at this hour, my lord" said Johan,
"he will meet you in his private rooms"
"Good, while we talk with him could you arrange us accommodation. "My servant
and champion will be staying with me to see to my needs"
"I'm sure count Henry will make his own servants available to you and you have
nothing to fear while under his roof. I'm certain they'd be much happier with
their own kind" stated Johan obsequiously unaware of the evil looks he
received.
"I'm afraid I must insist, I have regular infusions which my servant knows how
to prepare & I take my bodyguard everywhere with me", Bosch insisted.
"As you say my lord" Johan replied in his best toadying manner, "ah here we
are"
Knocking then opening the door Johan revealed a room with a plush carpet and
tapestries. Sitting in a well cushioned chair was a athletic man in silks who
stood as the door opened. The guards by the door wore rather less silk but
quite a bit more armour.
"Count Bosch and companions", announced Johan, bowing obsequiously.
"Ah Count Bosch", stated the man in silk, "be welcome to my keep, come have a
seat"
"Thank Count Henry" stated Bosch taking advantage of the offer ignoring the
jealous looks from his companions.
"Wine?" offered Henry
"Yes, a red if you wouldn't mind" Bosch replied
Henry snapped his fingers summoning a servant from and alcove
"Wine for our distinguished guest" stated Henry. Bowing the servant made his
way to pour a glass for Bosch before handing it to him, "Now if I may ask what
brings you to my door at this hour?"
"There's been banditry on the Emperor?s roads. Roads you bear responsibility
for." stated Bosch bluntly
"Everyone has troubles from time to time, I've been sending patrols and can
assure his imperial majesty that the problem will soon be dealt with" assured
Henry
"That may normally be enough but one of his niece's has disappeared so I have
come to find her" informed Bosch
"Oh, that does rather change things. I'll give any help I can to you in your
search. I must admit I had wondered why a sorcerer had been sent" said Henry
worriedly
"I prefer the term mage and I also try not to advertise the fact" said Bosch,
all too aware of the smug look on Sieg's face. "All I require tonight is rest
for myself and my companions. Tomorrow however I'll require maps & to speak to
who ever is in charge of your wardens."
"Of course" said Henry, "Johan see to proper quarters for our distinguished
guests"
"Yes my lord" said Johan bowing. "I have already made arrangements if you will
follow me?"
Tiredly they followed Johan to their quarters.

"I don't see why you get the big bed" stated Dwimbar glancing round the room
especially the four poster bed.
"Because he's the count" replied Sieg condescendingly, "it'd look a bit odd if
you where in this room while he was next door in the servants quarters
wouldn't it?", pointing to the adjoining door
"Sorry about the beds Dwimbar" said Bosch, "but they've put us out a decent
supper at least" heading to a large table groaning under food
"Adequate at least", stated Dwimbar dismissively joining him
"It could be poisoned" warned Sieg
Bosch muttered eldritch words under his breath before stating, "I can't detect
anything, although while I'm at it..." he muttered some more words and drew
power from the warp in violation of all the laws of nature, quickly drying
himself and his companions.
"I wish you'd ask before doing that"  grumbled Sieg, deciding the food was
worth partaking of..
After much munching and chomping Bosch opinioned, "I think its time for bed"
"Maybe for you weakling humans, but there's still a couple of chickens with my
name on" replied Dwimbar
"Feel free to take them with you, I'm going to bed", stated Bosch
"Same here" agreed Sieg
"Alright I get the message" said Dwimbar, grabbing a couple of chickens

Bosch woke up to shouting then was hit in the head by something hard and
heavy,. A quick chant and light blazed in the room as Bosch dived from his
bed.
"Well done Dwimbar you've killed him" said Sieg sarcastically
"No problem" replied Dwimbar happily swinging his blood drenched axe, a
headless body at his feet
With grim inevitability Bosch gazed at his bed with a head on it.
"Oh" he commented
"Looks like someone's already tried to kill you and we haven't even been in
town a day yet. Well done. Now if he was alive we might be able to ask him
questions" Sieg stated glaring at Dwimbar while moving to examine the corpse
"Did you see the way his head flew of his body?" asked Dwimbar
enthusiastically
"No, I was asleep" noted Bosch
"Oh well, maybe next time you'll get to see" Dwimbar commented
"Nothing immediately identifiable, but he looks well fed, a  poisoned dagger &
the stigmata of mutation. Looks like its the cultist"
"Mutated? How?" enquired Bosch
"He has a vestigial tail" replied Sieg
"hmm, there maybe a way to get some answers from him"
"No Necromancy" stated Sieg emphatically
"No, I wasn't thinking of necromancy" lied Bosch, "I was thinking of cutting
him open and seeing what he's eaten recently. That'd at least give us some
clue as to his origin"
"You just want to see what effects the mutation has" replied Sieg, "one of
these days your going to get in trouble doing stuff like this."
"I'm the count here so clear that table and lets get looking" said Bosch
Dwimbar lifted the table depositing the remains of the food on the floor
before grabbing the body and putting it on the table
Sieg quickly and efficiently stripped him double checking everything.
"more poison" he noted
"Nice" commented Bosch, "Now hand me my doctor's bag and I'll get to work"
A little while later while extracting the stomach content the door opened to a
pair of guards
"We heard some..." he started "MURDER, CHAOS SORCERER!" he concluded, but not
much more as Dwimbar's axe separated head from body
"You saw that one didn't you?" questioned Dwimbar covered in blood
Sieg shouted "Dwimbar no.."  as the other guards life was ended with an axe in
his chest.
"oh fuck" opinioned Sieg & Bosch
More shouting could be heard and the clatter of armour.
"Quickly lets get to count Henry and see if we can explain!" said Bosch

Three figures galloped down the hill silhouetted by a burning keep
"Who'd have thought the count & his guards would show the signs of mutation"
said Dwimbar, "Lucky you examined the corpses so we knew"
"I'm more impressed he managed to 'accidentally' set fire to wet stone"
commented Sieg
"The cultists are dead so mission accomplished, that?s all that matters"
stated Bosch
"What about the niece?" asked Dwimbar
Sighing Sieg explained "There was never a niece it was a cover story. Now lets
get out of here so we can report our 'success'"


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