|Fred (Jim)|| |
|Fergus (Bear)|| |
|Olek (George)|| |
|Lothar (Kev)|| |
Lady Isolde & the Coach
|PC||Vs Rolf||Lothar's Friend||Mutant Ambush||Dead Mutants||Session XP||Total|
|PC||Looting & Documents||Janna is a Great Cat||Title||Rumours||Session XP||Total|
Great account once again.LETTERS FROM THE OLD WORLD.
The continuing adventures of the usual bunch of miscreants this time playing Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 4th edition, and The Enemy Within Campaign, of course.
SESSION #04 A Non-Consensual Face Tigering.
Fergus McClean, Dwarf Scout (Guide) played by Bear.
Looks Like: Rough and ready-for-anything Dawi- a bit unkempt; constantly muttering and grumbling at Seamus his imaginary dog.
Sounds Like: Northern 'I wur down t'mine', although taciturn, and always grumpy.
Fergus is a short embittered (divorced) Dawi from the mining village of Schwartzstein in the foothills of the Grey Mountains. That is until he discovered his best friend Seamus with his wife Cherrie. Fergus left his village and his old life behind and set off in search of adventure, eventually taking up Scouting as a living. He has business in Altdorf, and is at present journeying with three Manlings he has come to trust who are also on their way to the capital.
Frederich Hass, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Jim.
Looks Like: Thick-set, tall with a resting angry face, never too far away from a snarl, otherwise well turned out.
Sounds Like: Whispering menace, accusatory- probing, but charming when he wants to be. Accent is brooding (intelligent) cod-Russian (like a clever but menacing Daktari). Note he sees the hand of the Ruinous Powers behind every untoward event.
Frederich and his brother Olek watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through-and-through, Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.
Lothar Jurgen Muller, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Kev.
Looks Like: Neat, tidy, clean-cut, perhaps even a little dashing- the boy next door, but doable- and always with a smile on his face, and often in his eyes. Lothar carries his own embroidered place mat with matching knife and fork. Manners and civility are so important.
Sounds Like: Civil, polite, formal, caring- and entirely without menace. He's a Paladin doing Witch Hunter, which may yet prove amusing.
Lothar is a baker's son from Ubersreik that just happened to become a Witch Hunter, he didn't just drift into it, he has a plan (perhaps). Lothar however came to Witch Hunting with the thought that he could perhaps be of help- to the Empire, to his family, to the poor wretches that have fallen into corruption, and possibly to help himself (a little) along the way. He is resolutely nice in a world full of foetid stink and terror.
Olek Hass, Human Artisan- Blacksmith (Apprentice) played by George.
Looks Like: Seven (plus) feet tall, and not too skinny with it- lithe and muscled, he's a giant- with wild eyes.
Sounds Like: A camp Nazi constantly unfolding, expounding and explaining the mystery of ongoing events, and seeing the presence of Sigmar everywhere.
Olek and his brother Frederich watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through and-through- Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.
Here we go again.
It’s over 24 hours later and I’m still laughing about what went on in this session.
Oh, but there are only two pictures here, there was a lot going on (and wrong)- at times, a good chunk of it of the PCs own making.
A BIT FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD TO ALTDORF.
SCENE 4. Spell Kastor.
To Altdorf, still.
Last session the PCs coach was attacked by mutant Rolf, Lothar’s ex-best-friend and drinking buddy from Ubersreik, and then the adventurers ambushed, stoned and then hacked apart a bunch more mutant scum.
So, this week we start with the spoils…
And let me just take a moment, the following section represents over ninety minutes of play.
At one point the PCs were dicing off to see who gets the spare pair of woollen socks that one of the dead coach travellers had in his backpack.
And so, when it comes to the Crossbow, and the Blunderbuss, and the armour… well, there were no actual shouty arguments but there were several attempts by a variety of PCs to try to hide things that they have found (looted) away.
Away from the prying eyes of the other PCs.
Which, as it turns out, is difficult to do with a Blunderbuss.
Or a Crossbow.
So, there are ten bodies in total- five mutants, four passengers from the coach and the last coachman. The PCs pick corpses at random, and rifle ‘em, and gather lots of stuff- right down to socks, and gloves, and rations, and bags of charcoal, and… well, several of the dead folk now look like they were involved in some sort of dark ritual. There’s been an awful lot of blood spilled here, and after the looting stops several of the corpses are well on the way to being naked.
Then… eventually, after (some of, see later) the clamour over the spoils of war is over, the two Witch Hunters discover a blood trail, heading into the woods, into the deep dark Drakwald.
The PCs tool up to head on in.
Note, at this point Frederich grabs up the crossbow and loads it- this causes more arguments to start up, and the trip into the Drakwald is postponed for a while. That is until Frederich points out that although the arguments have not yet run their course regarding who is going to keep the Crossbow. It would however be better, as they are about to enter the Drakwald, for one of them to be carrying the best missile weapon that any one of them can use, or else we’ll just leave it in the road…
He has a point.
We enter the Drakwald, Fergus- the Scout/Guide, leading the way…
Only, the body at the end of the blood trail is less than twenty feet or so into the woods, so that was a lot of kerfuffle for nothing.
But then it gets interesting…
Fergus turns the body over- it’s face down initially, and the gathered crowd discover, the dead fellow with two crossbow bolts in his back here… looks (looked) exactly like Lothar.
I mean… exactly.
This guy could be Lothar’s twin.
Fergus spots a piece of paper, and a purse, in the dead fellow’s top pocket- he’s also wearing a very nice coat, and clothes, and shoes, and is also toting a hefty-looking backpack.
The PCs eyes light up- more loot to snaffle.
Anyway, the piece of paper seems to be some sort of legal document- Fergus reads it out to his friends- this itself (he roleplays all the while does Ben) involves much stopping and starting, and the slow stumbling over the difficult words.
Basically, the document states that the two signed witnesses to this statement- the head of the Merchant’s Guild & a Priestess of Sigmar (both in Nuln) attest that the bearer of this document is Kastor Alyiosus Lieberung. The document was written, and is also signed, by a lawyer from Nuln.
Note the PCs attempt various checks to try to figure out the exact purpose, or else the name, of this sort of document. Their dice are alas broken.
Note, none of the players could remember the real-world name of such a document either.
The adventurers discuss this find, while Fergus continues to go through this fellow’s gear, some of which is high end, see above, including- woollen socks, a pewter hip flask full of booze (Fergus grabs this), some very nice-looking rations- salt pork, fresh bread, apples etc.
They really are a pack of wolves.
Anyway, eventually hidden away at the bottom of Kastor’s rucksack is a second pouch full of money- there are over thirty shillings in here.
And keep in mind these guys are/were all dirt poor.
Their dice failed them (all of ‘em) when it came to rolling up their silver and brass at the start.
Although they found two gold crowns and a bit of jewellery on the mutants they slaughtered in the road last session, so… they’re starting to think about things that they want to buy when they eventually get to Altdorf.
But that’s not the showstopper, the thirty shillings are soon forgotten, because hidden away in the money pouch, folded up real small, is yet another document.
Another legal document.
View attachment 282481
The second document, also written by a lawyer- this one in Bogenhafen, is addressed to Herr Lieberung. There follows a sea of legalese- and keep in mind that it’s Fergus stumbling through the text again. But the gist of the document is this- Kastor Alyiosus Lieberung is the ‘sole beneficiary’ to the ‘Title and all Lands and Estates’ of the late Baronet Lieberung of Ubersreik.
And is also due to inherit twenty thousand gold crowns.
All Kastor needs to do is to turn up at the lawyer’s offices in Bogenhafen with a signed affidavit confirming his identity.
It’s a funny Old World.
Do you see what I did, I put the documents the other way around.
There is some whooping, a modicum of doubt, and then… Frederich goes all glassy eyed for a moment.
Remember to inject a fair amount of menace into the following speech-
“With this money, Lothar. Think what we could do… We could build an army. An army for Sigmar!”
Lothar looks much less certain.
“I can’t even spell Kastor.”
The discussions rumble on.
And then the final winner-takes-all main-event for the dicing off for the spoils, Lothar gets the Crossbow- he suggested the dice off, and then rolled first, and… rolled- ‘100’. Which, oddly enough, remained unbeaten.
Fergus gets the Blunderbuss, he’s a very happy Dawi.
All he has to do now is to learn how to use it.
Kastor, I mean Lothar, is made- after much cajoling, to dress just like… well, Kastor.
But then Olek has a thought- what happens if someone else finds this body…
Frederich is all for a pyre, but Olek points out that citizens of the Empire need to be buried within the precincts of Morr. That was the lesson learned in Session One of this adventure- Johann Baumann, remember.
Frederich however is not to be dissuaded, he starts work on a pyre for the mutants, and soon seems very content, he even takes to humming a happy tune as he works.
But back to dead Kastor…
Lothar cannot bring himself to further mark the face of dead Kastor (as he puts it- ‘it’s my face’), and so… he defiles the corpse, by shaving off its moustache.
A little later Fergus begins to harbour doubts, even without a moustache dead Kastor looks a lot like living Kastor (Lothar).
The Dawi therefore decides to make sure, he grabs out one of his handy rocks- he keeps a couple in his pockets these days (after the last session), and caves dead Kastor’s face-in.
That’s settled it.
Then… just as Fergus is about to get the blaze started…
The sound of horses on the road- approaching at speed.
Then, and inevitably, the shouting and the waving of guns.
That’s the end of the first scene for the session, and 5 XP (the max) for every PC. I had tears in my eyes for a good chunk of it.
Particularly when one of the players said- “are we really arguing over socks?”
And their reply- “Yes, they’re really nice, and woollen, and besides (back in character)- I’ve never owned a pair of socks.”
SCENE 5. The Po-Po.
The title refers to the fact that about five minutes before we got to the end of the scene above Jim (who plays Frederich) said OOC, ‘you know what’s going to happen next? The Po-Po are going to turn up.’
The Po-Po, for those not down with the kids (which oddly enough was just Kev/Lothar at the VTT), are the Po-Lease. The 5-0.
And sure enough clattering in to the adventurers lives come six heavily armoured, and armed, mounted members of the Road Wardens, led by Sgt. Magnus Pflaster, who has a pistol and is not afraid to wave it in folk’s faces.
Note, back at the Coach & Horses Inn Philipe Descrates made clear to the PCs- the Roadwardens are trouble, all of them worse than bandits.
The word trepidation springs to mind.
Back to the action…
Where were we?
Oh yes, Sgt Pflaster is waving his gun around.
While shouting at the PCs.
“GET INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD- DROP YOUR WEAPONS, MOVE! NOW!”
View attachment 282482
And when men and women on big horses with halberds are herding you- well, you do as your told. This is the last picture for the evening.
Sgt Pflaster takes it in turns to shout at various PCs- to get them to tell their story, from the beginning. Getting each new PC to pick up the tale.
“YOU, WHAT IN SIGMAR’S NAME IS GOING ON HERE- START FROM THE BEGINNING, COME ON- SPEAK. NOW!”
That kind of thing.
And the Mrs had to come in from the room next door to tell me off for shouting so loud, so…
I enjoyed myself.
And the PCs have to tell their story and answer a variety of other questions.
With a few checks thrown in to see if Sgt Pflaster is buying their spiel.
The last question, of course, is-
“HOW, IN SIGMAR’S HOLY NAME, DID IT COME TO PASS THAT ALL OF THE TRAVELLERS IN THE COACH WERE LEFT LYING IN THE ROAD IN THEIR UNDERCRACKERS?”
“The mutants.” Olek states- quickly, and confidently, “they were looting the bodies when we ambushed them.”
And that’s just one example of George in action this evening, Olek is a smart fellow, he always has an answer and quite often that answer is great, because it takes the sting out of things. And it’s an easy lie because it accounts for reality, and no-one is to blame, certainly not the PCs.
Great play Olek/George.
The other PCs rely (mostly, not Fergus) on simpering, and sucking up to the men and women on horses with big pointy weapons.
Then there are more dice rolls, and it’s all okay in the end.
One of the Roadwardens, Baldwin, has already been sent up the road to locate the Ratchet Lines coach, and Lady Isolde.
Meantime, after a bit of blather with Sgt Pflaster, Frederich gets his mutant corpse pyre burning- the Witch Hunter is on cloud nine, his first ever mutant pyre.
The rest of the PCs are tasked to clear up the scene, right the coach, and…
Then, the thunder of hooves and Baldwin is back.
Sgt Pflaster and Baldwin whisper and confer, Fergus tries to get close enough to hear what’s going on, but…
Seconds later and the gun is out and being waved about again, and soon after and the other Roadwarden’s are back on their mounts- and suitably armed and back to being shouty too, and once again the PCs are lined up in the road, their weapons cast aside, etc.
Oh, and the sarge is back to shouting.
Although that doesn’t last long, next each PC is made to step forward for close inspection, by Baldwin and Pflaster.
The PCs, all of them, pass this somewhat odd close inspection- the Roadwarden pair spend a good minute staring hard at each PC in turn, particularly looking at their faces.
Although at this point none of the PCs have the first clue as to what is going on here, and when they ask someone shuts them up by digging them in the back with a halberd, or else shouting and pistol waving some more.
I’m having a hoot.
But then it gets serious. Pflaster apologises, a little, for his last tirade- and then explains,
“One of the citizens in the coach on which you were travelling has all the signs of a deadly contagion. A disease we are very familiar with…”
The PCs, of course, are concerned, they have questions, particularly as they have just spent the last Sigmar knows how many hours in the company of the other travellers.
Pflaster further explains that he and his patrol are new to the Altdorf Road, their previous ‘patch’ was on and about the roads near the village of Blutroch.
At which point several of the PCs remember that Philipe Descartes, back at the Coach & Horses Inn, also told them that Blutroch was wiped out by a virulent disease. And the signs of the disease? Bright red blotches on the victim’s face.
Sgt Pflaster, sombrely, states-
“It’s the young girl, Janna- Baldwin here has no doubt, she’s got the Red Pox. Even as we speak Trooper Willirun is taking her into the woods to give her a swift and merciful death. Sigmar have mercy on her soul. We cannot allow the contagion to spread.”
It’s a touching moment.
Well, save for the laughter, as first one, and then two, and then… well, the PCs work it out.
Fergus’ Tiger face paint has still not worn off.
The dwarf tries to explain, but he’s very northern, very plain speaking, and with all the that’s going on, and all that he’s trying to say- well, he doesn’t really make any sense.
“I jus’ painted ‘er Tiger.”
“It’s the paint!”
“On ‘er face!”
It’s at this point that Frederich saves the day.
“If I may Sgt Pflaster, Janna does not have the Red Pox, she was- last night- subject to a non-consensual face Tigering. By this dwarf.”
Five minutes later, when Frederich has explained further, well… all heck breaks loose, all of the Roadwardens spur their mounts and charge off down the road- back towards the Ratchet Lines coach.
All of them screaming and shouting as they go- “No, Willi- NO! Don’t kill her! NO!” and variants on this theme.
The PCs are suddenly left alone again.
“It seems they have ordered Janna slaughtered because Fergus painted her face like a Tiger last eve.”
Which works for me.
Frederich goes back to his pyre, Fergus shrugs and then mooches about a bit, checking the bodies some more- just in case he missed anything.
Lothar and Olek however remember that they took a short cut through the woods to this point, and if they run…
This pair therefore arrive at the next scene, which is chaos, far in advance of Frederich and Fergus.
SCENE 6. She’s a Wytch.
Back at the Ratchet Lines coach, well… there’s a lot of shouting, and as it turns out Lady Isolde is even louder then Sgt Pflaster.
Olek and Lothar get to the scene and start making sense of things.
However, it seems Trooper Willirun has already the woods with Janna a while ago, Lady Isolde’s maid may in fact already be dead.
There’s lots of shouting.
But the Drakwald is… dark.
Very dark, and there’s no sign which way the Trooper and Janna went in.
Lady Isolde takes charge, although she is helpfully advised to a course of action by both Olek and Lothar, basically they know which side of the road Willirun and Janna entered the woods, and so all able bodies should move forward into the woods in a line- shouting for Willirun and Janna, while also staying in contact with each other.
It works, but only slightly, at which point- at last, Frederich and Fergus make it to the scene, and the Guide, with a little help from his friends, has a much easier time of it.
He finds a trail. Or else- it’s the same trail as they followed last session to recover the horses, to a clearing- the same clearing.
And there they find the body of…
But no Janna.
Note, it’s only the PCs that are in this scene, they are (initially) the only ones to find this spot- funny that.
Frederich ascertains that Willirun is just stunned, or else out cold, and using an item from his torturer’s kit inflicts (with a pinch) enough pain to instantly wake the Trooper.
Who is groggy, then flustered, and finally very wary.
Frederich tries to explain the situation- Fergus and his Tiger face-painting.
Somewhere along the way it all goes very wrong- I think, from memory, it started to go bad when Fergus began trying to explain himself, let me illuminate. Fergus said something like this-
“I turned ‘er into a Tiger, a great big cat. I used paint on ‘er face so that she wud become the Tiger. I don’t mean a real Tiger. She’d not changed, not really- just become the Tiger. You get me? She were a Tiger. I painted her a Tiger. But not a real Tiger. Jus’ a painted one.”
Then, as usual, he rolls something beginning with ninety.
Willirun is suddenly screaming, she believes that Fergus has the ability to turn people into Tigers by painting on their faces.
To make clear- Willirun doesn’t really know what a Tiger is, or what it looks like, she knows what a great cat is however…
Anyway, Willirun’s confusion is somewhat understandable because, that was pretty much exactly what Fergus told her.
The PCs scramble to come up with some other explanation of events.
Olek gets to it first.
“It is clear that this Janna is a witch! A practitioner of the Dark Arts!”
And the accompanying dice roll is an astounding success (+6 SL).
Willirun goes with it.
As do the other PCs.
“She was a wytch. She was a wytch.” The Trooper murmurs over and over as she relives the events in the clearing, which she of course imparts to the PCs.
Which culminates in the following line from Trooper Willirun…
“She was a wytch, that’s why she turned into a Great Cat.” Willirun is certain, she even nods several times to confirm this.
But now the PCs are on much less firm ground.
Frederich gets to the line first-
“What do you mean ‘she turned into a Great Cat’?”
Willirun further explains that just as she got Janna to the clearing, and her sword drawn- the young woman suddenly spun around to face her, and “her face, her body, it was shaping and changing… into a Great Cat.” Overcome by the sight of the transformation Willirun continues somewhat sheepishly, she leapt back and… hit her head on a branch of a tree.
The last thing she saw was Janna the Great Cat bounding away into the Drakwald.
Which takes a bit of time to recover from.
For the PCs.
Fergus doesn’t recover from this revelation for a good long while, I think he was still confused initially, believing that Willirun was seeing things, or else addled, or else…
It’s at this point, while Fergus is floundering “I jus’ painted ‘er, I never, I… jus’, I jus’, I mainly jus’ do Tigers”, that Frederich steps close to the dwarf and lets him (and everyone else) know-
“I will be watching you Fergus, I will be watching you for further signs of the taint.”
Which made everyone laugh at the time, well- everyone except Fergus.
It’s at this point, of course, that Sgt Pflaster and the rest of the troop make it to the spot, further explanations ensue.
Another twenty minutes RP and explanation for Lady Isolde.
But soon after, we are on the road again- the coaches and horses are all hooked up, the dead bodies of the coachmen and the other travelers bundled into the second (previously rolled) coach.
To the Seven Spokes Inn.
SCENE 7. Mainly admin.
The Seven Spokes is a lot like the Coach & Horses, except it’s busy here, but we are blasting through this bit, it’s admin- mostly.
The following events occur-
The PCs have to complete their individual statements/interviews with Sgt Pflaster, note I sent each PC a note in Fantasy Grounds with eight questions on that they had to answer, as if in interview.
These may surface sometime later in the narrative.
Then, after a few tense moments in the Haggle- the PCs are still not sure how much to trust the Roadwardens, the adventurers receive their reward, for the slaughter of the six mutants. Another thirty shillings, although the PCs very quickly agree that 10 shillings should go to the Roadwardens, for their aid in this matter.
Then, an hour drinking in the Seven Spokes barroom, this time guest of Sgt Pflaster- three of the PCs learn new rumours about the road ahead.
Then. The Roadwardens head off, they have business it seems at the next inn down the road- this after the PCs let them know all about their encounter with the Bretonnian card cheat- Philipe Descartes, at the Coach & Horses. Sgt Pflaster is keen to meet this fellow.
And now the PCs (I think it was Olek again) are learning how to deal with folk that piss them off- grass them up to the authorities.
Frederich meantime is looking for someone to help him with his torn muscle, and as at turns out there’s a doctor staying at the inn, she’s called Anika Pflaster, and sure enough she is related to the good Sgt, although she’s happy to have missed him. The good Sgt, according to his sister, is a ‘loud-mouthed bore’.
Frederich gets some healing; he will be 23 more days with -10 to any skills that involve the use of his left hand. This after an Oopsie with a torn muscle outcome when he was throwing rocks at the mutants.
Then, more drinking- and eating, and a room for the night. Two more of the PCs manage to learn a new rumour each. They only have four more to find in this section of the adventure.
Note, there’s 1 XP for each new rumour learned, Lothar has earned 5 XP this way, Olek 4, Fergus 2 and Frederich- zilch. That’s not a slight on any PCs, Fergus isn’t a Gossip (his skill is real low) and Frederich keeps rolling rumours that have already been heard- he’s done this at least three times to date. Twice tonight.
I’m not sure who used what with regard to Fortune Points this session.
Lots more laughter in this one.
The final XP table is below.
PC Looting & Documents Janna is a Great Cat Title Rumours Session XP Total Fred (Jim) 5 4 1 0 40 50 Fergus (Ben) 5 4 0 1 35 45 Olek (George) 5 5 0 2 45 57 Lothar (Kev) 5 3 0 2 35 45
I gave Frederich/Jim 1 XP for the line that became the title of this session and will again for the same in future sessions.
It's a cracking game, and very different from D&D, the players celebrated twenty-four hours (game time) and no deaths in the Old World yet, at the start of this session.
Stay safe and well.
Cheers goonalan et al.