Sergei s notes
Schnuffleberg I, Sergei Todjavostov, commit these records on the struggle my fellow Kislevites have waged against the forces of darkness to paper in order to preserve any knowledge that might be gained through hindsight and to record the heroism of these few brave men who have left their native Kislev in order to protect their brethren within the Empire.
It has been a long and tiring trip south and we have seen barely a living soul on the road. Our mighty bear grew sick an died soon after we left it's native climes, Andrei is despondent, he raised that animal from a cub. The rest of the Watch is dispirited, the loss makes them feel the distance from their homelands all the stronger. Ivan insists we can just buy a new bear once we come across a busy market town. The boy is an idiot.
Today we made camp in a seemingly abandoned building, expecting a quiet night as we had the past several weeks. All was not well however and no sooner had Boris sparked the cooking fire then we were besieged by a great number of rat-like mutants. The ferocity of these monstrosities forced us to pull back, dragging our wounded members with us. We assume they were after the strange rocks we found that stink of Chaos. Naturally we will return to hunt down these mutants once we have taken stock of the situation. Josef acquitted himself well, putting a bolt into the largest of the rat-men. Ivan threw himself into the fray and was cut down in short order. Later that night he returned to our camp, apparently safe and uninjured. The boy might be stupid, but he has the luck of the gods.
We have been tracking the rat-men for the last two days, but seem to have lost all trace of them. We thought we had found them tonight, when Boris spotted some furred man-beast in a ruined building. They charged out at us as we opened fire and it soon became evident this was not the rat-men, but rather a chaos warband much like those that blight out own homeland. Jan acquitted himself well, being the first to engage in combat when the enemy mage used foul magicks to leap an impossible distance, however Jan refused to be shocked, simply clubbing the man over then
head and taking him prisoner. The rest of us did less well, unable as we were to stand up to the seemingly inummerable hordes. One creature took my eye on his blade, but more worrying than that is the mental impact these creatures have had on my men. Vladimir has been talking darkly about what he intends to do to the creature that assualted him in graphic detail for hours now, and Andrei has retreated into himself, I fear the loss of his bear and the realisation that our fight has barely begun has broken his spririt.
We were prepared to execute the foul mage when Ivan spotted an intruder on the edges of our camp, we succesfully chased it off but it the confusion the mage escaped. In his place was a large pile of coins, seemingly left in tribute or exchange. We will never understand the ways of Chaos, they make no sense at all.
Njel is starting to worry me. Today he stole the money earmarked for recruitment and disappeared, later to reappear in finely wrought elven armour, but without the money. No-one bar myself and Vladimir even questioned his right to do this. Josef tells me Njel has been spreading the idea he would better lead this expedition than I. I must nip this in the bud as soon as possible, when fighting the hordes of Chaos we cannot afford division in the ranks.
I was right to worry about Njel, soon after returning with his new armour he began parading it around in front of a group of dwarves we came across. He so angered them that we were forced to fight them, lest they cut him and every other man of mine down. Little were we aware that the bulk of the dwarven party was out of sight, ready to strike us in the rear. The whole affair was a shambles of epic proportions. Alexi, Josef and Boris were all cut down by dwarven axes, as was Andrei, although his death might have been a mercy, the man was a shadow of his former self. My leg is broken and my men refuse to follow anyone apart from Njel until I am healed again, if I didn't know better I'd suspect he'd planned this.
We fled before affairs grew worse, and Vladimir was sent to apologise to the dwarves, hoping to appeal to the shared history we have, recalling how dwarf and kislevite fought side by side on the walls of Praag. The dwarven leader was not unreasonable and advised us to travel east, out of the territory he had claimed for himself. We did as was asked only to find a travelling kislevite merchant not far down the road, he gladly joined us, having missed the company of his countrymen.
I hope, in time, we can build an alliance with this Thorin and his dwarves to stand against the growing darkness.
While I have been recuperating Njel lead my men on some fools errand, searching for this 'wyrdstone'. Vladimir stayed close to him while the others spread out in a search. Maximov proved his worth, finding some quickly and returning to me. I swear that man grows bigger every time I see him. Njel and Vladimir however were assaulted from a distance, an arrow going straight through Njel's hand, punishment for his impudence maybe, but I cannot afford to lose men at a time like this. Vladimir caught a glimpse of the enemy before another arrow grazed his skull, knocking him out. He says he saw tall, lithe figures moving through the shadows. He and I both suspect these must have been members of some 'dark' elven slaving gang, capitalising on the Empire's moment of weakness. Hopefully they have what they came for and have left.
The news of our plight must be spreading however. While Njel was out 'leading' my men, a young kislevite man strolled into our camp, a crossbow slung across his back. He says he has been hunting beasts in these parts for the last decade, but can barely be a day over 20. I will not quibble with him over this however, the man is competent and seemingly free of the taint of Chaos so I welcome him with open arms.
Today I fear not for my own party, but for that of another man. We had finally narrowed the location of the rat-men to a small area and were preparing to enter and destroy them when a large rucus interrupted us. Figures charged out of the gloom and my men and myself immediately took cover. The figures quickly resolved into those of men, normal, untainted men. At first I was overjoyed, surely this fellows would aid me, then, to my horror I realised they were shouting about some great treasure that lay beyond us, and they claimed they would slaughter anyone in their way. I had no choice.
My men drew up a line against them, and we shot them down as they came. We hoped not to kill anyone but I would not have been ashamed if we had. A clean death on a Kislevites blade is surely better than whatever those rat-monsters would have in store for them. We slowed their assault, bringing a goodly number of them to the ground, our finely made weapons proving their worth, but eventually their numbers told and several broke through our line.
For the first time I hope I am wrong and the rat-men were not in that location. Tonight Maximov lead us in prayers for the souls of those other men. Yeltzi was not present for this, neither was Njel. I worry about both of them. Njel is yet to explain his absence, Yeltzi however returned later with a young lady armed much like himself. He introduced her as Sylva, his wife. I welcomed her aboard, but I fear such a woman will have a detrimental influence on the discipline of my men.