We ask Weinstein if he has a safe place to hide the box (and its contents), he does, so we leave the box with him and head back to the palace to find Leibniz. As we near the dwarven district, the pavement explodes in front of us, and we see another Dwarf demanding to know who we are and why we’re passing through. Rugnar sighs, shows the explosives, and makes haste towards the sentinel. The dwarves converse amongst themselves and let us through the checkpoint. We do not dally so as to arouse the suspicion of the several Dwarves ready.
We arrive near the palace, and sneak in past the timing of the guards once more. Lily, Amendel, and Mal-ren sneak, but they spot Rugnar and Barholomaeus — they manage to convince the guards that they were actually stepping out of the palace, and they’re escorted back to our room. The guards come knocking on our door, look through our rooms for whoever snuck in. We accuse them of having chaos delusions about people sneaking in as we are the only people in the rooms, so they kind of freak out and leave us alone.
We saunter through the palace, mill about through the foyer and head near the opposite end where Liebniz and his people are quartered; though we’re not allowed in the opposite wing, it seems. We casually poke around for a secret passageway (since Fr. Randolph was able to find his way to us), but don’t come across anything. We weigh our options — bribery, fraud, frontal assault, or just plain barrelling past them — and decide to just run, bashing them out of the way with our shields as we pass. Rugnar and Amendel knock their two guards over, Lily and Barholomaeus knock theirs about a bit — Rugnar pulls a pistol and tells him to back off.
We kick open doors along our way looking for Leibniz, and find Father Randolph. He asks if we were able to destroy the skull, but we tell him that the skull was replaced with Johann Opfour’s severed head. We tell him we’re looking for Leibniz, who we are told has left the palace to “pray,” and the guards were unwilling to detain him. Clearly, this is the work of chaos taking Leibniz over. We need to make haste to the church, because there’s probably some chaos being summoned — but we first pay a visit to commander Schutzmann. We tell him, to his alarm, that Leibniz has left the premises, and our theory that Chaos has a grip on his mind. We may need to act fast, as at any moment he could bring into existence something that could drive the enitre world into hell.
Schutzmann summons the palace captain and assembles a team to head towards the church — but he’s taking his sweet time in doing so, so we just up and leave, totally humming the Mission Impossible theme.
Things seem quiet in the temple, some light flickering from the ever-burning spark. According to legend, those highly favored by Ulrich shall not be burned by the flame. Rugnar senses a shift in the wind and hears a faint sound of chanting, and a massive flare of red light coming out of the great hall. We rock it straight through the wide-open gates, ready to rock.
Two men in full plate armor, brothers of the axe, in wolf-plate clothes, but with a red skull painted over with a red skull, stand in our path. We dispatch them with a barrage of missiles, and run full-steam ahead.
We come upon the fire of Ulrich, and find it surrounded by five more brothers of the axe (with the same red skull painted over the wolf) — Liebniz stands, in red and black robes, with the skull around his neck and a red light beaming forth from it, with a red skull painted on his face. We enter the room just as he’s drawing a jagged blade across the throat of one of the brothers. As we open fire on Liebniz, he moves to slit the throat of the next of the five brothers of the axe. Liebniz falls, and at that point the brothers of the axe awaken, pick up their weapons, and attack us. They start banging their chests and biting their axes while we attack them — eventually, we dispatch them, though we notice that their blood is being sucked into Liebniz, and we see a reddish glowing outline faintly appearing around him, and then a giant demon bursts forth from the once sacred fire of Ulrich.
Rugnar and Thorgrim bolt at the sight of this thing, but Mal-ren stands resolute and fells the beast with an arrow after it levels Amendel. The skull emits a high-pitched wail, and the demon dissolves into a red mist, as the skull falls to the ground and cracks. We return to a choking Leibniz in the fire, who cackles ant tells us that we are fools, and have emancipated the blood god from his mortal form and he can now return to the heart of chaos. “Zathradox, the red flayer, shall return to this world in his full strength and drink the blood of the weak and the mortal! Blood for the blood god!”
The flame erupts in a silver-white light, and we feel it all over our bodies, the bodies of Leibniz and the brothers of the axe are gone. We feel powerful, and hear a voice in the back of our heads: “You have protected my temple and my people, let strife be put aside as the enemy is confronted, let this mark be a sign for all.” We feel an intense pain on our right hand, looking down, we see a pure white mark of a wolf standing on two legs and holding a war hammer. This sensation subsides, though our spirits are still lifted.
As this subsides, Schutzmann storms in and asks what happens; Father Randolph looks at us, strangely, pointing to the marks on our hands: the Symbol of Unity, it would appear. We are taken back to the temple and our wounds treated, as we discuss what to do from this point forward. We agree to keep the specific events secret from the general public to avoid the strife it might cause. Father Randolph is elevated to position of Deputy High Priest; puts together a statement with the watch commander and the priest of Sigmar that the entire thing was a plot by Chaos to sow discord between the two factions.
Thus ends Act I.