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The Quest for the Sirna-Ha (standard:fantasy, 6214 words)
Author: AcekillerAdded: Sep 13 2000Views/Reads: 3337/1684Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
This story is set in the Warhammer Universe. A group of adventurers goes pyramid-raiding in Arabia, the realm of the Undead...but they are alone in their quest, and strange things await them on their quest!
 



Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

the Lord of the Necromants. Well, he too was one of these kings. It is 
rumoured that the king that lies in Harni was a disguised Undead 
Necromancer!” “That would explain why the rat-men are so wild at 
getting there before us!” interjected Sigfried Dreizack, a Dwarf in 
shining mitrhil armour, probably the only in the party that didn`t 
suffer from the heat because of his southern origins. “Er, yes, but 
that would also mean that we`re running straight into something that is 
bristling with traps that were conceived by human and by Undead minds, 
and I don`t know which one of these races has the most wicked ones!” 
The others grinned grimly, and no one made a comment. “It`s behind that 
dune!”, shouted Abdul, an Arabian that was guiding them to Harni, and 
pointed at a dune that was seeming much higher than the other ones. 
After two hours of climbing, they were finally at the top of the dune. 
In front of them streched a crater of sand, and in its middle stood the 
Harni Pyramid. Everyone`s jaw dropped to the ground. No one had ever 
seen anything like that before, not even Fridolin. The pyramid was 
taller than everything they had ever seen before, higher even than the 
Emperor`s Palace. It was made of dark stones, and around its top flew 
huge, dark carrions. Evil radiated from the pyramid, and it seemed to 
pulse. It had the form of a pyramid, but there was some disturbing 
element, something undefinable that made this construction seem unreal. 
A putrescent, rotten smell emanated from the pyramid, making breathing 
uneasy. Overpowering the horror and their fear, the “Shadow Fighters” 
made their way down into the crater. The temperature was slowly but 
surely falling, and Lianu, the Elven Rangeress even began to shudder. A 
small village of abandoned huts lay around the pyramid. As they 
approached them, the croaking of the carrions became audible. The wind 
whistled a strange tune as he was blowing through the small streets. 
The warriors drew their swords, and the magicians readied a few spells. 
Everyone was getting very nervous. Amanda, a human */*warrioress, saw 
something move in one of the huts. She slowly approached it, and jumped 
inside, ready to hack at anything she would encounter. But there was 
nothing, except a skeleton that stood leaned against the opposite 
wall,the whistling of the wind and the croaking of the carrions. Amanda 
looked at it, breathing heavily. She had heard tales of dead people 
returning from their graves, and she had already seen a few ghouls. The 
wind blew her hair into her face and the sound it made froze her bones. 
She raised her sword to strike at the skeleton, but it suddenly fell 
forward, crashed into her and turned to dust. As she wore nothing but a 
simple leather armour, she could feel the dust slide down her body. The 
dust was burning hot and her skin began to fume. She screamed and ran 
out of the hut and fell to the ground. Everybody turned around to see 
what was happening. The two magicians smothered the hut with fireballs, 
the other ones precipitated to Amanda`s help. She lay on the floor, 
shaking from the shock. Lianu waved away the thin smoke and examined 
her skin. There was nothing except small red marks. After Amanda had 
recovered from the shock, the party set forth, guessing what could have 
caused human skin to smoke like. They finally stood in front of the 
pyramid`s entrance, two heavy metallic doors, of which one stood open, 
as if to invite them inside. The gargoyles and faces sculpted in the 
rock around the doors looked at them menacingly or mockingly. Kane 
looked at his men, everyone nodding that he or she was ready to go, 
then he turned around and stepped inside. He was followed by Beli the 
Archer, Antamatar, the party`s second magician, and Amanda. Behind them 
came Abdul and Mekku, carrying spare torches and bandages, followed by 
Lianu, Fridolin and Sigfried, who was not to unhappy to have a roof 
above his head, even if he didn`t know what awaited him below that 
roof. */*He trusted Antamatar`s maps. They had always proved to be 
accurate. Only this time, the map didn`t show what lay in the middle of 
the pyramid, that part had been strangely burned away long ago. 

They travelled for hours through small, dark corridors, stopping at
every sound they heard. Their way was twisted and difficult because of 
the */*rubble lying everywhere. They had soon left the areas covered by 
Antamatar`s map behind them. Luckily the way hadn`t forked yet. 
Skeletons and cobwebs were their only companions, and the cryptic 
writings on the walls were very disturbing. They showed humans with 
animal heads and beasts that could not really exist. The worst thing 
was the strange music the wind made while blowing out of small tunnels 
in the walls. It was impossible for a human to crawl into these 
tunnels, and the torches didn`t reach to their other end. The wind blew 
out of most of these tunnels, but not out of all of them. Its wailing, 
plaintive sound accompanied them everywhere they went. 

Suddenly Kane stopped. “There`s light ahead!” Beli looked over the
warrior`s shoulder. “At last! That has to be the throne room!” “I would 
expect another colour than this blue one out of a throne room! No, it 
can`t be it!” “Ah, I wouldn`t be so sure, back in Breto...” “Do you two 
always have to squabble? Can`t we just proceed and you`ll be set on who 
is right?”came a trembling voice from behind. Kane sighed, shook his 
head and moved on. The party entered a room so tall it was impossible 
to see its roof, and so large it was impossible to see the other end of 
it. An impressive number of strangely carved pillars stretched towards 
the roof. On the floor was painted a way that lead right to a large 
pool, which was the source of the light. Ten huge statues of armoured 
men stood at either side of that way, looming over the party. Everyone 
of it had a rat`s tail and the blades of their weapons were curved in 
typical Undead manner. The shadows were moving and shifting because of 
the waves on the pool`s surface. The wind didn`t blow in this room, and 
its wailing could only be heard very faintly now. Everyone drew a 
weapon. Kane ordered his men to form a circle around the magicians and 
the guides, to protect them as they would move towards the pools, just 
in case the statues were more than just mere statues. They moved very 
slowly , focusing totally on the statues and their shifting shadows, 
still remembering what had happened to Amanda outside the pyramid. They 
were at the height of the fifth statues when suddenly Lianu cried in 
horror. They all looked around quickly, ready to strike at anything. 
There was nothing. “What`s wrong?”asked the Dwarf “There...there`s 
something out there in the darkness, I saw it looking at us from behind 
that statue! It had red eyes and was glowing blue”she answered, her 
voice trembling as much as her knees and the finger she pointed at one 
of the statues. “Fridolin, light that area up please!” ordered Kane. 
The magician stepped out of the circle the warriors were forming and 
sent three fire-balls flying in the indicated area, before quickly 
jumping back into the circle. The globes lit up the area and made it as 
visible as if the sun had been shining on it. Half-rotten corpses 
littered the ground. Small rats fled into the shadows. */*Everyone 
looked at his neighbour to try to find support in them, but they were 
all as desperate as the other one. All except Sigfried. He had seen all 
his friends die as the Orcs had invaded a Dwarven fortress. He began to 
speak. “My friends, do not despair. Maybe a battle took place here some 
time ago. Maybe our Elven companion has just seen the reflection of the 
pool`s light on an armour or a diamond.” “Do you think I`m beginning to 
*/*see things?” “No, I would never insinuate such a thing, but you are 
not used to be in such dark places, and you...don`t feel safe...which 
is very understandable. This could cause your mind to summon old fears 
of yours which you could think were here but are not!” A horrible 
laughter suddenly erupted, shaking the room. Everyone looked around 
again. Sigfried screamed. Some ethereal, blue form had jumped in front 
of him and was flying into his open mouth and into his nose. When it 
totally inside, the Dwarf stopped screaming. Everyone looked at him. 
“How do you feel?” asked Antamatar The Dwarf was beginning to formulate 
an answer as the thing came out of every pore of his body, surrounding 
him with a blue aura. His eyes went red. He began to scream as if he 
were mad. The thing lifted him from the ground and quickly dissapeared 
in direction of the roof. The screaming fainted away and finally 
dissapeared totally. No one said a thing at first or moved, they were 
all too shocked and surprised. Everything was quiet now. Amanda`s knees 
gave way under her, and she collapsed to the floor. Her red marks had 
begun to fume again. She began to whisper words in an unknown tongue, 
and her eyes spinned around like she was possessed by some demon. Her 
body shook spasmodically and she began to sweat terribly. Antamatar, 
Fridolin and Lianu kneeled beside her, trying everything to get Amanda 
back to normal. Kane looked over to the blonde fighter, worry in his 
eyes. She had always been a good fighter, and a good companion in hard 
times. He would hate to lose her to an unknown foe. He walked over to 
Beli, who was trying to calm down their guides who were gesticulating 
madly and shouting in their native tongue. “Any idea what that was, 
Abdul?” “What that was?”, shouted the Arabian,“what that was? I`ll tell 
you what that was. That was Girnah, the Blood-Drinker.” “We`re dead, 
we`re dead!” cried Mekku. Abdul slapped him. “Stop saying that, you saw 
the signs, we`ve still got a chance!” “Explain, damn it, Arabian, what 
are you talking about? What signs” shouted Kane, gripping Abdul by the 
collar, fear and anger in his eyes “Well, well, calm down, I`ll tell 
you everything, Northman. Girnah, by all the moons, I had thought it 
was only a legend, er, well, Girnah is the guardian of the Pool of 
Life. He kills everyone who tries to approach the pool. It is said...” 
“We`re dead, we`re dead!” “...erm, it is said that no one who saw him 
ever survived it. We can only escape him if we step outside of his 
territory, which is marked...” “Aaahhh, the pain!” screamed Amanda 
“We`re dead, we`re dead!” “...damn, I hate this place. His territory 
ends at the signs carved in the door at the entrance of this room. They 
are in every pyramid, so I`ve not suspected anything this time, I`ve 
never seen the Blood-Drinker before. The only other solution to survive 
this is to destroy him, which is impossible, or drink out of the Pool 
of Life. He`ll spare us then. But we`ll never make it there alive!” 
“We`ll see about that. Lianu, Beli, Abdul and Mekku, you`ll carry 
Amanda to the pool. Quick, we have no time to lose. Antamatar, you and 
Fridolin, you`ll cover us if that Girnah shows up again. I doubt it has 
met a properly trained wizard yet! Alright, everyone, move!” They all 
*/*what they had been told. Suddenly, a guttural voice echoed through 
the room. “More!” Fridolin suddenly stopped running and began to make 
an incantation. Two electric bolts erupted from his hand and flew 
towards Girnah, who had just appeared out of the darkness. The thing 
screamed horribly, sending shivers down everyone`s spine. Then it was 
upon Fridolin. It began to enter his nose and his mouth, but the 
magician somehow managed to hold it with his hands. The thing shouted, 
and ripped of the man`s hands, turning them to dust. It was now 
completely inside of him. Fridolin fell to his knees, holding his 
stomach with both his arms. “Not with me!” he shouted. A blue vapour 
began to flow out of his ears, then he exploded into thousands many 
pieces. There was nothing left of him except a bloody patch on the 
floor and the nearest statue, but there was no trace either of the 
Blood-Drinker. Antamatar and Kane looked at each other. “It`s gone, I 
can`t feel it anymore. Whereever he is, Fridolin took the thing with 
him.” said the magician. Kane nodded, looked around himself, then at 
the rest of the party who had now reached the pool. “Come on, they may 
be gone, but I`ll feel safer when I`ve drunk out of that pool!” They 
both ran to the pool. It was filled with pure water, and radiated a 
light but warm blue glow. Its interior was covered with strange images 
of giant beasts that seemed to fly among the stars. */*The were huge, 
fish-like beings with tentacles hanging from their mouths. The rest of 
the images were mainly skulls of unrecognisable creatures, of small 
children and of rats. The pool was so deep it was impossible to see its 
bottom. The others had already drunk out of it. They did too, and then 
they gave Amanda some of the water too. She immediately stopped shaking 
and fuming, her skin turning back to normal. She held her head with one 
hand. “Damn, what happened?” 

After having checked their equipement, they had set forth their journey.
There had been an exit on the other side of the room, and Girnah didn`t 
show up again. They were now making their way slowly through tunnels 
looking exactly like those before. The wind had also begun to make his 
noises again. The only difference was the absence of two of their most 
experienced fighters and a disgusting stench that had appeared out of 
nowhere and that made breathing nearly impossible. Everyone was getting 
more and more nervous the more they advanced. No one said a word. After 
a few hours of walking, they had found a room that did not contain any 
skeletons or menacing carvings in its walls. Kane decided they would 
stop there and get a little rest. “Good, we`ll stay here a moment or 
two, just the time we need to get our energy back! Where`s Beli?” “I 
don`t know! He was closing the march! He should be here!” “Beli, 
answer, Beli, where are you?” No one answered, except the wind. They 
all looked at each other. Mekku began to cry silently, muttering things 
about their doom. They settled down for half an hour, waiting for Beli 
to catch up with them, but he never came. 

The wind was still blowing through the tunnels, chilling everyone to his
bones not only because of its temperature. The walls were carved with 
scenes of obscene rituals where men, women and children alike were 
sacrificed to alien creatures. The carvings seemed to move 
imperceptibly, and it hurt the eye to take a prolonged look at them. 
The walls themselves seemed to be pulsing, and were strangely warm, 
*/*(strangely contrasting with the cold air). Lianu hid her hands 
behind her. They were shaking from what they had just been through, and 
they had not even reached their goal. She had already been in a lot of 
deadly places, but she had always known what she had to kill to get out 
alive. This time it was different. She didn`t know what had hit them, 
and she had no idea what awaited them deeper down in the pyramid. All 
she knew was that they would probably face a Undead Necromancer with 
the power of a half-god. With that she could cope, but what if it 
wasn`t that what lay before them. She looked down the corridor they 
would go down soon. Four pairs of red eyes looked at them. “At least 
there is no blue shimmer!” she thought, jumped up and drew her sword. 
“Alert, we have visitors! That way, four, red eyes!” As everybody 
jumped up, a shrill voice squeaked further down the corridor. The four 
pairs of eyes were moving closer quickly. “Undead-scum”murmured 
Antamatar and jumped into the tunnel and launched. He let four 
fireballs fly towards the enemy. They had no hope of evading them in 
this confined space. As he shooted his fireball fly, he felt something 
scratch his right ear, then he heard someone cry out in pain behind him 
and the thump of a body falling to the ground. “Antamatar, Lianu, with 
me!”yelled Kane and run into the tunnel that was now stinking of 
scorched flesh. “Amanda, watch our backs!” Amanda turned around. The 
tunnel where they had come from seemed empty. She looked at her guides. 
Mekku was curled up in one corner of the room, his whole body 
trembling. He was sobbing loudly.Beside him lay Abdul, a shuriken 
planted between his eyes. She kneeled down beside Mekku and lay her arm 
around his shoulder. “Come on, we don`t have time for mourning now! We 
will do that later, when we`re out of here!” Mekku looked at her, 
visibly under shock, nodded, stood up, and walked off in the tunnel the 
others had dissapeared into. Amanda followed him quickly. A bit further 
down, they found the trio inspecting some smoking Undead corpses. 
“Look, these wear the same uniforms as those that we`ve met before!” 
said Antamatar. “Hmm, I wonder how they arrived here before us. This 
place must be full of hidden passages!” remarked Kane. “Then maybe they 
already have the Sirna-ha. I hope we still have a chance to find it!” 
sighed Lianu, holding a hand before her nose because of the stench of 
the dead rat-men. Kane looked at his comrades. “The throne room can`t 
be far away now! Everyone ready to go on? Good!” The party continued to 
venture further down into the darkness of the pyramid. They were all 
paying attention to the others, so that no one would dissapear like 
Beli did. The minutes seemed to stretch into hours, and walking within 
these seemingly alive tunnels wasn`t very reassuring. At a certain 
point appeared strange markings in the dust, small, flat, clawed feet, 
*/*two on all side, and a large line in the middle. In the trail was a 
slimy, green substance, which did hurt the fingers of those who touched 
it, because it was far colder as if it had been merely frozen. There 
were no more skeletons littering the ground or cobwebs hanging down 
from the roof. Cautiously the party moved on, ready to react */*at any 
noise or movement. They could only hear the mournful tune of the wind. 
The strange tracks dissapeared as suddenly as they had appeared. 
Antamatar tried to detect a hidden passage with his magics, or the 
trace left by some spell used in this place, but he could find nothing. 
There was no explaining to the trails in the dust. Kane sighed, then 
shrugged. He wondered what could still happen to them after they had 
survived Girnah. He didn`t care, the only thing he cared was the loss 
of three of his men and that of their guide. At least Abdul had been 
killed by an Undead. He knew Undead, he had already fought and 
vanquished them. If there wasn`t */*a too large number of them, or a 
Grey Seer, he knew his party could handle them. But Undead did not 
leave slimy, green trails in the ground. He sighed again, then stopped. 
Ahead of him, he could see a faint golden light. “Lianu, you`re the Elf 
here, do you see anything special in front of us?” “No, it looks like 
there is a room there. The light doesn`t move, I doubt it is coming 
from a lamp.” “Antamatar, you sense anything?” “Yes, but I can`t see 
what it is! My senses are somehow blocked by an unknown power. I`ve 
never seen something that powerful, but I do not detect anything 
hostile.” “Well, let`s go, then!” Lianu gulped. They all drew their 
weapons and went on towards the light. Amanda felt a knot in her 
stomach. Every inch in her body warned her not to take another step, 
yet an unknown force seemed to force her to advance. She made a warding 
sign and wondered if the others felt the same way. As they approached 
of the light, they were able to see that it came from a large room. 
They saw an ochre wall at the opposite end of that room, but they did 
*/*neither see the roof or the floor. Surely it was a large room. They 
suddenly heard squeaks and someone shout orders in a typical Skaven 
way. The “Shadow Fighters” stopped and looked at each other, as if to 
take courage in their comrades. The wind was suddenly rising, and 
pushed them in direction of the room. Its tune never had been as alien 
as it was now. Cautiously, the party stepped into the room, which had 
the shape of an inverted pyramid, and ducked instantly. The bottom was 
filled with sand, and a number of Skaven was scuttling around a huge 
statue that stood in the middle of the room. The tunnel from which the 
party had emerged was at the top of a large stairway that led to the 
statue, some fifty meters below. The statue looked like the paintings 
on the pool`s walls, a huge, upright-standing fish with tentacles 
hanging from its mouth. The face was disturbingly human in many 
aspects. 

The Skaven hadn`t remarked the arrivals of the party, they were too busy
setting up two jezzails in firing position, directed against the 
statue. There was a Grey Seer gesticulating and reading the same time 
from a book. He was looking at the statue, and was clearly preparing a 
spell. There were only twenty Stormvermin there. They were bigger than 
normal ratmen, and one of them was wearing a green chainmail under a 
red cloak. It was clearly a Warlord. Antamatar quickly turned around 
and checked if nobody was following them. He knew that there was 
something in this room, even with his senses blocked, but he hadn`t 
thought it might be anything like this. If there was a Grey Seer in 
this room, how came it that there was only such a small army here with 
him? Where was the rest of it? Had they run into a trap? Antamatar 
looked at his companions. Every one of them had the same puzzled look 
in his eyes. “We should wait until we know what they are doing!” 
proposed Lianu. “Mmm, if we attack now, we don`t have a chance of 
surviving this in one piece. No, as long as these jezzails and that 
Grey Seer are not neutralized, I think we should wait here. They 
haven`t spotted us yet, and it seems they`re too busy to look up here. 
I say we wait here until some...” Kane was interrupted by an inhuman 
scream erupting from the statue. The Grey Seer stood now in front of 
the statue, hissing with satisfaction. Pink, blinding ray of lights 
began to burst out of the statue that began to move, still screaming. 
The stone on its surface crippled and fell off. The jezzails 
immediately began firing their deadly loads of warpstone into the 
statue, or whatever it was transforming into. The creature unleashed a 
blue energy lightning upon the Grey Seer and sent him crashing into the 
next wall. “Now or never!” shouted Kane, and ran off in direction of 
the Stormvermin leader. Amanda was just behind him, as always she would 
try to protect his back. Antamatar was unleashing a firestorm on a 
group of Skaven who were running to help the Grey Seer, while Lianu was 
headed straight for a jezzail`s crew. Mekku covered in the tunnel, 
waiting for the fight to end. Kane stepped in front of the warlord and 
struck. His blow was barely parried by the ratman. Two Skaven ran to 
the help of their leader, but Amanda and her blade were in their way. 
Happy to finally fight an enemy that she understood, she smiled and 
began cutting her opponents into pieces. Meanwhile Lianu was crossing 
blades with the Grey Seer, and Antamatar picked off Skaven that were 
not too close to his friends with lightning bolts. The creature in the 
middle of the room jumped onto one of the jezzails and began to fight 
the crew with some strange magic. Small spirals of an unknown colour 
began to wrap themselves around both the Skaven and cut through them, 
ripping them apart. Then the creature jumped off in direction of the 
Grey Seer and Lianu. “Foolz, you don`t know what you`re doing!” hissed 
the warlord and swung his sword at Kane`s head. The fighter ducked, 
thrust his sword into the Skaven`s belly, pulled it free and ran to the 
next enemy, without waiting for the warlord to hit the floor. The Grey 
Seer was heavily pressed by Lianu`s incredibly fast swordplay, the 
creature`s magic and Antamatar, who was now focusing his attention on 
the ratman, having no other target at hand. The surviving jezzail was 
still pounding warpstone into the creature`s back. The impacts left 
green fuming holes in the grey scales. The thing shouted and jumped on 
the Grey Seer, crushing him below its imposing mass. The remaining 
Skaven panicked and ran off screaming and squeaking into every 
direction. Kane and Amanda cut them down like wheat before scythes. “I 
don`t know if you understand me, but your combat skills, though 
strange, are very efficient!” said Lianu to the creature, who was now 
standing beside her. The thing tilted its head to one side. “I 
understand you” it muttered and jumped towards Lianu. The last thing 
the elf saw were the tentacles in her face, before her head was bitten 
off. Amanda`s eyes bulged, then tears began to fill them. “Nooo!” she 
cried and ran off towards the creature. It turned around and ignored 
the fireballs Antamatar was invoking. It spit out a small globe of the 
same unknown colour as before, which hit Amanda square in the stomach 
and exploded. The fighter was projected into the wall behind her, blood 
spraying into every direction as she crashed, but she still moved, if 
only with her jaw. “Pool of Life, I see!” said the thing. It turned 
towards Antamatar who was launching an acid rain on it. Even though its 
skin began to fume, it didn`t seem disturbed by the attack and launched 
several small explosive globes into the magician`s direction. He rolled 
down the stairs, dodging the globes. Mekku was less lucky. As the first 
globe exploded, he was looking out of the tunnel to see what was 
happening. He was lifted of the ground straight into the trajectory of 
the other globes. His body was quickly reduced to pulp by the quickly 
succeeding explosions. Suddenly, the creature`s firing stopped. Kane 
had broken the warpstone storing chamber off the jezzail, and had 
slammed it onto the thing`s head. The stone was slowly burning away the 
creature, and it screamed in a bone chilling way. Kane struck at it 
with his sword, but he didn`t manage to pierce the scales. The thing 
gesticulated wildly, then it fell face forward into the sand, a large 
green trail of smoke elevating from what was left of its head. Kane 
plunged his sword into the now vulnerable head. The creature curled its 
body into a spiral, then the pyramid began to shake, stones and dust 
falling from the roof. The creature evaporated into a cloud of black 
dust, leaving only a strange object behind. It was a twisted cone that 
was hollow on the inside. It was ochre-white with some redder flecks. 
“That`s the Sirna-ha?” asked Kane and looked at the roof. “I think so, 
it looks like the thing we have been told to look after” replied 
Antamatar. “Good, get it, I`ll pick up Amanda and then we`re out of 
here!” “As ordered!” Antamatar grabbed the artefact, put it in one of 
his many pouches and ran to the tunnel. Kane lifted the heavily wounded 
Amanda on his shoulder and tried to run as fast as possible towards the 
exit. The pyramid began shaking more and more, and they had to pay 
attention not to be crushed by falling stones. They had been running 
for about five minutes when the core of the pyramid exploded. The three 
adventurers were lifted off the ground and projected in the nearest 
wall. 

Kane didn`t remember much of what had happened afterwards. He had some
vague images in his mind where he was crawling in the darkness, still 
holding Amanda. Everywhere lay rubble and stones. He fainted, but he 
didn`t know when and where. The next thing he remembered was waking up 
near the Pool of Life, a soldier in Miraglianian uniform bending over 
him. Antamatar and Amanda lay beside him. They were brought back to 
Duke Antonelli, who explained to them that his spies had spotted a 
large group of Skaven pursuing the */*“Shadow Fighter”. Consequently, 
he dispatched his best knights to stop the ratmen. Their pursuit of 
this most evasive quarry had brought them to Harni. They had entered 
the pyramid the moment it blew up. Having lost no one of his men, their 
commander decided to investigate what had happened, and they found the 
three adventurers and the Sirna-ha. 

The “Shadow Fighters” had spent nearly a month in the Duke`s
*/*hospital, recovering from the many wounds they had suffered. During 
that time, the Duke`s magician had performed the ritual that should 
have broken the Waagh. Instead of bringing the desired effect, the 
whole area exploded and people who looked at it said that the scorched 
crater looked alive. It was as if something was pulsating on its 
bottom, they said, though none of the local magicians was able to find 
out anything. 

Kane looked in his empty tankard. Now he and both his surviving
companions had completely recovered from their adventure. His mouth 
thinned. He didn`t understand why Skaven had been working together with 
Orks. Had they? Why had their Warlord said they didn`t know what they 
were doing? Kane let himself sink back in his chair and sighed. So many 
questions, and so little answers. Even Antamatar`s best guesses were 
unlikely to be true. */*And if Antamatar didn`t know it, no one did. 
And Amanda who was much more quiet than before. Before this adventure, 
she had always been cheering up the others with her laughter. Somehow 
something had died along with her friends. The spark in her blue eyes 
had vanished. It was rare to see her smile these days. Antamatar was a 
special case. He had been mourning his friends, but he had come over it 
very quickly. Kane wondered if it had something to do with him being a 
magician. Kane himself had regularly nightmares, in which he saw his 
friends die over and over again. He didn`t look too well. His face was 
very pale, and his eyes looked very tired. He stood up and threw a coin 
to the barkeeper. Amanda looked at him, but said nothing. Antamatar 
looked like he wasn`t aware of what was happening around him. Too much 
ale, probably. That happens ever more often these days, thought Kane as 
he walked out into the dark streets of Miragliano and took a deep 
breath. Life had to go on, even if he didn`t have the slightest idea of 
what would happen in the future. 


   


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