Taking the bull by the horns
Having eventually sobered up from their crazy drinking session, (in which Ilsa tried to drink Gromm under the table) the entire party was now at Heironymus Blitzen’s house in Delbertz. They were filled in on the fact that while they were in a sleepy, drunken haze, the rest of us were, among other things, fighting zombie pirates, and that now we’re heading off on a Minotaur hunt.
Heironymus told us he needs the Minotaur’s horns, as well as its heart ( or “The Heart of Chaos” which is actually a piece of warpstone) and that we should be careful not to touch the stone. The beast is referred to as “One Eye” because of a mutation that caused him to form a single eye in the centre of his forehead. He is very strong, but not particularly intelligence. The Heart of Chaos will be between his horns, and is the source of his mutations. If we succeed in bringing these things back to him, he will make us something, which although small, will be very powerful.
The group considered taking a small contingent of sniper-archers with them, but figured they wouldn’t lend themselves to a stealthy party, and opted not to hire them (their hiring fee may also have played a small part in this decision). They did, however, stock up on some more specialised weapons aka Minotaur hunting gear; Johann got a spear; Ludo got a short bow, and we all stocked up on arrows. Priscilla told us about a plant called Mad Cap that can act as a tranquilizer, and that 4-5 doses of it would be enough to knock out the Minotaur, so we all bought 3 doses each, just to be safe. Ludo wanted to get some meat from the butcher to act as bait, but Priscilla firmly put her foot down and told him that we weren’t carrying anything with us that would leave a nice bloody trail for anything to follow.
After travelling some way into the wood we made camp and settled down for the night while Ludo took watch. At some point during the night a group of shadowy figures passed through our campsite, but, being a coward, Ludo didn’t tell us until the next morning. Ilsa used her amazing ranger skills and examined the tracks. She told us that there were 8 figures, Skaven actually, and 7 of them were significantly heavier than one of them. We deduced this probably meant the heavier ones were wearing armour. Being aware that the Skaven use warpstone to create their weapons, we figured it was a good bet that they were heading for the same place as us. Tyra suggested approaching them and attempting to form a temporary alliance, whereby they could help us fight the Minotaur and then we kill them, but this idea was vetoed by the rest of the group. In an amazing feat of tracking, Ludo picked up their trail and we began to follow them through the wood, until, that is, we became aware that they were zigzagging through the wood, and that the trails signs Ludo was following were far to obvious, i.e. we were being led into a trap. We debated for a while about whether to go after them and kill them, or ignore them and head on towards the Minotaur, eventually settling on the latter. It was at that point we noticed the big empty clearing in front of us; fearing an ambush, we refused to go through the clearing and started walking round the side of it. All of a sudden, there was a strangled yelp from Gromm as Priscilla yanked him backwards, and pointed to a trip wire. It was connected to a sapling filled with bits of metal that would’ve ripped through the abdomen of a human, or in Gromm’s case, obliterated his face. The whole area we were in was riddled with these booby traps, but thankfully Priscilla managed to pick us a path through them.
As we travelled further into the wood, the ground began to get rather uneven. Johann and Tyra slipped at some point and fell down a 20ft hole into a cavern, he was a little bruised, but her foot was now stuck in a crevice and she couldn’t get out. Then they heard rattling noises. Tyra looked up and saw a 6ft long sandy brown diamond-backed snake on a ledge directly above the right-side of her head, and it was preparing to strike. Johann was looking around for hand and foot holds to climb out, when Tyra squeaked that he get her foot out; he managed to free it, and she darted out of the way, narrowly missing the snake’s jaws. Looking around, they saw that the cavern was full of sluggish, but slowly waking up, snakes. A rope was thrown down to them and they both climbed up. A tiny baby snake slithered its way out of Tyra’s boot, an she shrieked and danced around a bit before calming down.
While setting up camp a little later we noticed that Priscilla was wandering awfully close to the quicksand, we called to her, but she didn’t answer. She seemed to be in some sort of trance-like state, so Johann tackled her to the ground and she snapped out of it, but kept muttering something about lights and us all being blind.
Going deeper into the wood, it started to become boggy and marsh-like. Priscilla led the way, prodding the ground with her staff as she went. We had to travel single file on a very narrow path, surrounded by quicksand. Night fell, and through necessity, rather than choice, we continued on through the marsh, in the hopes of reaching solid land to camp on. Then Johann fell again, this time into quicksand, wearing his chainmail armour he began to sink fast. Priscilla tried to pull him out using her staff, but she started to slide forward. Ludo jumped on her back and provided enough leverage for both her and Johann to get back onto the path.
The next day we ended up wading through a swamp, where Johann, Ludo and Tyra were attacked by giant leeches. Ludo pulled his off of his foot, ripping a chunk of flesh with it. Johann and Tyra, being a little more sensible decided to wait until they could be burnt off. Using some alcohol from Gromm we managed to get a small fire going and the leeches were burnt off of Tyra’s leg and Johann’s rear end. Priscilla did her best to heal all three of them, but was unsuccessful with Ludo and his wound got all infected and icky. He ended up running a fever and got a little delirious for a while before passing out.
That night under the light of the moon, the silhouette of the Minotaur is visble and we hear its roar, as it’s about 2 miles away, we set up a rope perimeter around camp, Priscilla and Gromm took first watch. The little warning bell we set up went off suddenly and Gromm went to investigate, there was a yelp and thud and then silence. Priscilla went to investigate, and found that Gromm had walked into a tree branch and was now lying unconscious. The she saw two sets of yellow eyes looking back at her, giant rats wearing collars charged at her. She ran back to the camp, waking all of us up by shouting about giant rats. One leapt at Ludo and narrowly missed sinking its teeth into his jugular. Ilsa tried to shoot it, but was so worried about hitting Ludo, she aimed to high. Johann swung his mace at one of them but it got stuck in tree trunk, upon freeing it he hit the rat so hard it was almost cleaved in two and went flying through the air. Tyra shot the other one in the leg, which did absolutely nothing, but she was glad she hit something. Priscilla took aim and shot it through the eye and its head exploded.
Now that they were dead we got a good look at the collars they’d been wearing. They were etched with a crude fly design. The leather looked a little odd, and Priscilla pointed out it was human skin. No-one wanted to touch it after that, but, wanting to take it back to Heironymus for identification, Tyra put them in her backpack. The rest of the group are now starting to get a little worried about Tyra.
When morning comes, it’s time to head off in the direction of the Minotaur. On the way, we pass by a lake full of bloated beastmen corpses, all were branded with the same fly motif as the rat collars. A little further ahead of us we see the Minotaur’s cave. Now, is he inside the cave? What are we going to do next? -- The gang were travelling through the forest towards One Eye when they noticed movement in the clearing. It was a Chaos Knight and his beastmen. We were going to back up and hide but he taunted us out. To our surprise he offered us food and wine, most of the group thought this was very odd but Tyra was happy to oblige. She proposed they form an alliance, which is what he was also planning to do. It was decided that if we could kill One Eye then he would take care of the minotaur's followers in exchange for the warpstone and we would be highly rewarded.
Upon reaching one eye's cave we ran into him and to smaller minotaurs. We all took up defensive positions around the rocks where we could get off a few shots at them. One of the smaller ones got wounded and ran away! Ilsa killed the other one, and Johann successfully speared One Eye and we took both his and the other minotaur's horns. A group of Skaven appeared on the scene and took the warpstone for themselves but the Chaos Knight took care of them. Our reward was a bag of gold which he threw in the lake before galloping off at high speed.
The lake water began to ripple and hordes of zombie beastmen began to rise. We all started running away. Priscilla couldn't keep up and eventually we noticed she was missing so Gromm went back to look for her. Ludo ran straight of the edge of a small cliff and landed in a thorn bush. Once we were all back together we noticed strange writing on signs and decided to follow it. Worryingly this writing seemed to stop the zombie beastmen in their tracks.
We came to a tomb of the Dark Brothers according to Gromm a bunch of Chaos worshipping dwarves. We decided to go inside despite having a really bad feeling. Johann stayed topside and made tea. Insidewas a bbig hole in the centre of the room that Tyra went down. She found a found a man fly statue holding a cool looking sword which she wanted. She smashed the statues fingers and took the sword and the other hauled her back up. But something weird happened, the sword didn't look so cool now it was rusty and old, and her right hand and arm were covered in pustules. Then she saw weird things in her head and managed to drop the sword. She came out of the hole jabbering nonsense and the group freaked out when they saw her arm.
They travelled back to Heironymus' house with no-one going near Tyra. They made her wrap her arm inBblankets so nobody would see it. It was now crawling with maggots and bone was visible. We gave Heironymus the minotaur horns and he has sent for a healer and priest for Tyra! The rest for the group got some well deserved rest while Heironymus set about making our reward for bringing him the horns.