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A Feculent Gnarlmaw (see page 242) has corrupted this clearing. It erupted from a tree in close proximity to the city of Anvilgard and was able to affect a wide-enough area of the forest that its rot is now visible from the city’s walls. While unable to move itself, the Nurglings (see page 242) it has been producing from its own fetid mass have approached the city and are attacking a group of Ironweld engineers who were attempting to repair a set of defoliant cannons near the walls. The Point Guard makes a DN 4:3 Mind (Awareness) Test. Read aloud, or summarise the following information. Only include the third paragraph if the Point Guard succeeded.    
The jungle canopy overhead begins to thin slightly, the blazing sun beating on your face. As you press on, it becomes clear this is not due to you coming to the edge of the jungle, but that something is wrong with the trees here. The trees here droop under an unseen weight, their once-vibrant leaves a sickly yellow.   As you come out from the treeline, you see the source of the decay: a great, diseased tree stands in the middle of a blighted clearing. Before you can act, a large bloated form on the side of the tree bursts in a foul-smelling eruption of sap and meaty pus, depositing five small creatures at the base of the once-mighty plant. You can see it was not the only sac forming on the trunk of the deformed mass, and another may spew its horrible contents at any moment.   In the distance, you hear a thunderous crack, followed by another. Just beyond the treeline you see Anvilgard’s mighty walls, and in front of them a group defending themselves against Nurglings. Two imposing Duardin figures, each with Ironweld guns, fire shot after shot into the encroaching hoards as a company of Freeguild soldiers form a protective circle around them, fighting what gets close enough to pose a threat. The jungle is much closer to Anvilgard’s walls than you recall — something is amiss.
A Feculent Gnarlmaw (see page 242) has corrupted this clearing. It erupted from a tree in close proximity to the city of Anvilgard and was able to affect a wide-enough area of the forest that its rot is now visible from the city’s walls. While unable to move itself, the Nurglings (see page 242) it has been producing from its own fetid mass have approached the city and are attacking a group of Ironweld engineers who were attempting to repair a set of defoliant cannons near the walls.   High Architect Irina, her assistant Zadreh, and a small group of Freeguilders are currently holding back the tide of Nurglings, but the party are able to attack the Gnarlmaw itself as it continues to spew hideous spores and creatures of Nurgle.   The Feculent Gnarlmaw is surrounded by one swarm of five Nurglings per party member, which are beginning to make their way towards the city but turn around once the party approach. Each round after the characters see the Feculent Gnarlmaw, it belches forth 1d6 Nurglings per point of Doom until the party engage it in combat.     On defeating the Gnarlmaw and the surrounding Nurglings, the corruption begins to subside. The party can see the aggressive plant growth of the Crucible of Life is already causing the surrounding trees and plantlife to regrow. A character making a DN 4:2 Mind (Nature) Test knows that the area will be fully regrown within an hour and, without the defoliant, the nearby city walls will be overgrown within a day or so.   The characters are also able to notice a body, shaped roughly humanoid, who appears to have pierced themselves through the heart with a dagger at the tree’s base. The body is heavily corrupted with disease, and pus leaks from a three-pointed symbol etched into the person’s chest. A DN 5:1 Mind (Theology) Test reveals the symbol for what it is — the mark of Nurgle. Unbeknownst to the party, the individual was inflicted with the mark by Tibor’s cult, and under cover of night instructed to head into the forest and sacrifice themselves somewhere their body’s disease would spread to the plants.   Should the party attempt to pick up or move the body, it starts to break apart in their hands, releasing spores into the immediate area. Each character in the Zone must make a successful DN 5:1 Body (Fortitude) check or be infected with Corrosive Spores.  
Corrosive Spores These spores cause their host’s skin to break out in a disgusting rotting rash wherever they land. If the spores land on dead bodies, they quickly become vectors for the disease, spreading the spores into the air every few hours or when the body is moved. A creature that comes into contact with the spores must make a DN 5:1 Body (Fortitude) Test each morning. On a success, the character manages to resist the illness and is cured. On a failure, boils and lesions erupt on the host’s skin, inflicting a Minor Wound. The Complexity of the Test increases by 1 each day the disease goes untreated.   Another character can make a DN 4:3 Mind (Medicine) Test to treat the victim over the course of an hour, reducing the Difficulty of the next Test by 1. Consuming 100 drops of Aqua Ghyranis or receiving appropriate magical healing from spells or Miracles also removes the disease.
  THE CITY WALLS   As the party approach the city walls after disposing of the Feculent Gnarlmaw, read or summarise the following:    
As you approach the city walls, you become aware that the sound of gunshots has faded. Standing victorious over a pile of Nurglings are the two Duardin engineers and their Freeguild compatriots you saw as the battle broke out. Despite their victory, the Duardin are bitterly arguing with one another as they head back towards the city.   Spotting you, one of the Freeguilders motions to another, who wears the regalia of a Freeguild captain. She jogs over to your position. ‘I’m Ulvalla, Freeguild Captain assigned to these walls. Ye stopped the big horrid infected thing, did ye?’
The two Duardin are High Architect Irina Heiksdotr and her assistant Zadreh. Should the characters attempt to speak to them, the Duardin whirl on them, turning their ire and anger at the party. They angrily snap at the characters, growling that they are too busy for smalltalk and waving Ulvalla over to answer any questions before angrily stomping away — still sniping and accusing each other.   Ulvalla is a Freeguild captain in charge of defending this area of the wall. Her role includes ensuring the area is patrolled and keeping it safe from dangers from both outside of, as well as within, the city. Ulvalla is deeply disappointed at the Conclave’s handling of various problems within the city and, with the go-ahead from who she thought was High Architect Irina Heiksdotr in the Conclave, has consorted to ensure the defoliant cannons on the city’s edge do not function properly. Her hope was that with some upset in the Conclave, the Blackscale Coil would be able to enact some real change and empower the citizens to help themselves.   Unfortunately, the captain operated under a false premise. It was in fact Nurgle cultist Tibor Hallowgate who fed Ulvalla this information in an attempt to implicate Irina in a conspiracy. Regardless, Ulvalla fully expected the defoliant cannons to fail, but the last thing she expected was for the forces of Nurgle to use the opening to attack Anvilgard. As such, she is incredibly nervous, on the lookout for further Nurgle infestation, scared, and more than a little troubled by what has gone on. She gladly answers any questions the party has, examples of which are found below. Feel free to expand on these as necessary.  
What happened here?   ‘High Architect Irina and her assistant Zadreh were investigating the defoliant cannons. For some reason, they haven’t been working and the jungle has crept closer to the walls. It looks like something nasty hid in the forest and prung a trap for us. We’re just glad you were here to stop it.’
What’s wrong with the defoliant cannons?   ‘Irina’s checking ‘em now, but it sounds like the stuff in them, the chemicals, are just missing. Replaced with water or suchlike.’
Who’s responsible for damaging the defoliant cannons?   ‘No idea. Zadreh was telling Irina it was her fault but, when them two got to shouting, I just tried to stay away.’
What’re Nurgle’s forces doing this close to the city?   ‘I’ve got no idea, but — in Sigmar’s name — it terrifies me. If the jungle wasn’t so close, we’d have had more of a warning!’
We need to deal with this Nurgle infestation.   ‘I’ll get the Freeguilders on it. Don’t worry, it looks like you’ve dealt with whatever was the centre of it, and we’ll burn out the rest. After that, Irina wants me to look into the facility which produces the defoliant and investigate what’s been going wrong there.’
Are you equipped to deal with anything else to come out of the jungle?   ‘I think we are, at least for now. I think some of us could do with some encouragement, however…
  After talking to Ulvalla, have the characters make a DN 3:2Mind (Intuition) Test. Any party member who succeeds is able to tell the Freeguilders are nervous and concerned, regularly glancing at the treeline ahead of them as though anything could suddenly appear. If they try to bolster the troops, a successful DN 4:2 Mind (Guile) Test assuages most of their fears and leads them to treat the party with a greater level of respect, although they noticeably appear concerned once more as the characters leave.   SUMMONED BY THE GRAND CONCLAVE A few hours after the party return the city and have time to catch their breath, a messenger from the Conclave tracks them down and informs them their presence has been requested by Morgan Kassan at Dauntless Hall. Morgan wants to talk to them about what they saw at the walls, but also likely wants to know what happened during the events of Blood Tide.   When the party are ready to meet Morgan and the Conclave, head to Part 2: A Bad Seed.   Overview   In this section, the characters should have:
  • Survived the Charrwind Coast and returned to
  • Anvilgard.
  • Helped defend Anvilgard’s walls from Nurgle’s forces.
  • Discovered that the defoliant cannons are no longer
  • operational.

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