The moonlit streets were nearly empty, as the wise folk of the town had mostly retreated inside. The few brave souls that ventured out in the stinking darkness were guards, or those with business that was best conducted out of the light of day.
Down the middle of the street came a slow procession of monks, hunchbacked and ragged, faces bowed down to the filth in which they walked. At their head a priest who called out the lamentations, the words slurring through bruised lips, and the sickly glow of a censer he swung as his side.
“Come they will,” he called, “and none shall stop them. Cursed creatures that hate the realms of man. Come they will, and devour, and we will be their sup.”
He stumbled, and fell to one knee, but no monk rushed to his aid. Heads down they marched, deep in meditation.
“From the March they will come. From the earth below us. Through our windows, over the walls, under our beds. Tooth and claw, they will come. All is lost.”
He staggered, and rubbed his bleeding mouth. The sore bubbled with infection that had not been there only this morning. He swung the censer and the sickly sweet smoke bathed him in its corruption.
“‘Ey now, priest!”, guards approached, rude ones by the make of them. None of the deferential tone of their brethren in the company of a Brother. “Whatcher up too, this time o’ night, oer?”
“Aye, why you out and waving yer smoker? Get ye under roof.”
The two guards were common street thugs conscripted to the watch. That much was evident. There were no real soldiers left to hold the cities with the war on.
They’d all marched North. To fight the Chaos.
The monks’ robes rustled in the wind, and they remained silent.
“We merely sing our lamentations on this day of woe, good gentlemen. The tide is upon us. The end has come. The days of man are at an end.” He sighed heavily, and a bubble of pus dropped to the ground from the corner of his lip.
“Maybe you should get your howlin’ nonsense off the bloody street”, the better spoken of the two said, “before you rile up summin’ important!”
The guard gave the priest a hard shove forward, and he fell, but the chain around his neck pulled him up short. Choking, he fell sideways, and scrabbled at the ground.
“Ere now, wot dis?” the shorter guard said, and pulled at the chain.
One end was around the priest’s neck, but the other was in the hands of the monk that followed him. The monk straightened and looked the guard in the eye.
“Dis end of man” it hissed.
The guard shrieked as the monks lunged forward, claws and teeth of a dozen Skaven scouts seeking his flesh. He was dead in seconds.
The other, his back to the wall held his own for almost a full minute before falling to a dagger in the throat. His whispered cries for help swallowed by the sickening incense of the Plaguebearer.
“Please,” the Priest whispered, “let me die now. Don’t let the rot take me. The city is yours. Just… let me die.”
“You die. Just not yet. Killing make Skaven hungry. Still much killing to do. Need you fresh. For sacrifice.”
“Oh gods, save me”, the priest moaned, and began to sob heavily
“Only rat god here. Eat your monks. Eat your gods.”
The rat leaned in close, smelling the priest’s flesh. “Horned Rat always eat.”