WFRP 4e The Enemy Within Campaign Book 1: Enemy in Shadows Session #08 My Face Painting Days Are Over.

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Entry 27:02:2512 Fergus McClean's Notebook.

Fergus 2.1.jpg
 
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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
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 #08 My Face Painting Days Are Over.

The PCs

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.

Hmmm…

It was a cracker, or else two crackers- what follows (in this here write-up) is in fact the work of two very short sessions, the first was only an hour or so long- it was always going to be a short session because Kev (Lothar) wasn’t going to be in-game until 9 PM but then we also spent the first hour talking about the previous session’s shenanigans. The second session, well- it was only ninety or so minutes long, we didn’t have much left to play out.

Sorry, rambling unnecessary explanation over.

And so…

Here we go again.

JAHRDRUNG, 2512.
Weissbruck, then onto the Bogen.

SCENE 1. The Bounty Hunter (and friends).


So, we’re on the Berebeli, it’s just gone midnight and the boat is under attack, or else the PCs- who were discussing the new info garnered in the last session were mid-meeting when movement was heard outside- on the main deck, and on the deck above. Olek went to investigate only to discover an interloper armed with a bucket of burning pitch, alas the fool intruder managed only to pour said burning pitch all over himself, and thus a battle of epic proportions begins.

Kidding, it’s a scrambling mess of a fight, this is WFRP.

So, in the next few seconds the following occurs-

The intruder, still aflame and screaming, clambers up onto the top of the stacked cargo on the deck and there prevaricates- attempting (and failing) to put the flames on his clothing out, and yet reluctant to throw himself into the dock- the ultimate cure for the flames.

Then a second bucket of burning pitch looms out of the dark and slams into Olek, and the big man is very quickly badly injured and on fire too.

Moments later, a third burning bucket of pitch clatters down the stairs and into the cabin in which the remainder of the PCs are still sitting.

Then, well… lots more things happen.

Olek ducks back into the cabin, wraps himself in a rug- there are a dozen or more of these on the floor here, and then by rolling around on the floor he manages to put the fire on him out.

Clever- the rugs.

The still very drunk Fergus attempts to put the fire in the cabin out- the dwarf, at present, can either take an action or else move, but not do both- so intoxicated is he. He does however supply an astute commentary for his companions.

“I’ll jus… I’ll jus… Get this, jus’ get this. Fiiiire. A mean. Fire-‘ere, Tha fire. ‘Ere. I’ll jus…”, and on it goes, like a litany.

8.01.jpg

A fiery encounter.

Lothar meantime grabs out his new weapon, a bow, and goes hunting through the portholes, windows, and doorways of the cabin for a potential target. Alas he cannot find one immediately.

This mainly because the still burning intruder, having failed repeatedly to put the fire on his clothes out, flings himself into the River Bogen just as Lothar was about to shoot the screeching fool.

The second intruder- the fellow that flung the pot of burning pitch (very accurately) at Olek, rushes to help his companion- and to get into cover.

A little later this same fellow will pass before a porthole through which Lothar just happens to be aiming his bow, the Boatman doesn’t miss (and it’s a hard shot), and a Crit- moments later this badly wounded fellow also flees the fight, one arm clutched close to his chest- broken and beyond.

Where’s Fred in all of this?

The Witch Hunter manages to leap over the fire in the cabin, which is at the base of the ladder leading up to the deck above, he scoots up the steps and there confronts the third intruder, the guy that dropped the bucket of burning pitch into the cabin earlier.

8.03.jpg

Frederich gets into the fight. Olek extinguishes the fire on his clothes. Lothar is looking for targets. Josef comes screaming and shouting out of his cabin. And… Fergus staggers towards the fire, pointing and shouting.

Back to Fred and the third intruder.

The two swing heartily at each other for a short while, remarkably neither of the pair manage to land a hit (with Fortune Points being spent by Fred). At which point Olek, now no longer on fire, makes his way up and to his brother’s side.

Note, Fergus is still trying and very mainly failing to put the fire in the cabin out.

Anyway, Olek has an idea, he’s a clever fellow.

“Your comrades are abandoning their attack- they flee. Here, here’s a few shillings- take them and retreat. Remember we are all beloved of Sigmar, we should not suffer to bring harm and injury to each other.”

More remarkably, after a Fortune Point and a great ‘04’ roll, the third ruffian doffs his cap, grabs the proffered coin and then scarpers the scene.

Frederich is a little put out, of course.

Remember to repeat the statement below in a slow, husky- whispered, drawl (with menace).

“I had him in my aura brother, I would have…”

The interruption comes courtesy of a crossbow bolt that rips through the leather and chain of the Witch Hunter’s armour, at his shoulder. The bolt protrudes from the spot, right in Frederich’s eye-line.

“I would have…”, the big man ponders.

That was a big hit, Frederich goes from full (16 Wounds, I think) to something like five, note- Olek is at about the same spot wounds-wise, after his burning pitch hit.

Olek and Frederich scramble for cover, the Witch Hunter takes his frustration out on the fellow that Lothar shot- who was fleeing the scene, kicking the second intruder off the barge and into the river.

At which point Olek seizes his opportunity…

“We wish you no malice Adolphus. That’s right… We know who you are Adolphus Kuftsos, and your business (aside- ‘I think’). In Sigmar’s name- let us speak of these things, and cease trying to kill each other, even if only for a short while.”

And so, after another great roll, a strained chat of sorts takes place, although the chat is all shouting, and the PCs have still not spotted where Adophus is, only he’s up on the docks/harbour proper.

Olek does most (all) of the talking, with the other PCs whispering and advising him what to say next.

Note the three other attackers, at this point, are either flailing in the docks or else are in the process of fleeing the scene.

The shouted chatter continues…

The adventurers tell the truth- Lothar is Lothar, he isn’t Kastor whateverhisnameis. Kastor whateverhisnameis was killed by mutants on the Altdorf Road… etc.

I call for one more roll from Olek, but it’s a terror ‘88’- and then a Fortune Point spent (the Artisan’s last one) and it’s an even worse roll (and Olek will not beseech the Dark Gods), the second roll a 90-something.

Then whistles and shouts as the Weissbruck Watch arrive (both of them), it quickly becomes clear- as the authorities get about their business, that Adolphus has already cleared off.

Lothar and Frederich get away from the Berebeli and go in hot pursuit but, alas, while they glimpse Adolphus once- he’s a long way off, and… then he’s gone. The Bounty Hunter has got away.

Back at the boat and Olek has charmed the Watch over to the adventurer’s side, and two of the three intruders have been fished out of the docks.

The PCs get an opportunity (after the gift of a few bottles of Josef’s stock) to interrogate the soggy pair, but they have little to add to the story- save that Adolphus was heading to Bogenhafen next, but the PCs already know this. The thugs here (dockhands) are just the hired help- out to make a gold crown each for just a few hours’ work.

Josef & Wolmar, while all of this is going on, have- of course, made sure all the fires are out, with Fergus’ help naturally.

And that was all we got done in the first, very short, session.

SCENE 2. Josef’s Not Happy.

Skip forward to the next morning, this after a good night’s sleep, and yet there are still ructions.

The Berebeli gets underway, next stop Bogenhafen in four days’ time. However, Josef has had as much as he can take, he’s been frosty with the PCs all morning, and so we get to this-

“What in Sigmar’s name is going on? You are accused of murder in Altdorf! We’re hassled by Roadwardens on the way here! And now last night- attacked by thugs and an assassin! Sit down. Take your time. Explain to me- what’s going on here?”

And this, of course, is just an excuse for me (the DM) to get the players to tell me what they know, or else think, what’s going on with the plot. Obviously, for Josef, this is his reputation- his livelihood that the PCs are messing with.

The PCs tell their story, unexpurgated, because they really have no reason to lie, and besides- Josef is family for the Hass brothers. The Bargemaster has, however, more questions- ultimately, we get to a summary of what’s happening, and why…

The PCs conclude, or else speculate, here’s their story, and conclusion(s).

Lothar looks exactly like Kastor Lieberung- who was killed by mutants on the Altdorf Road.

Kastor Lieberung was heading to Bogenhafen to collect a massive inheritance.

Lothar is heading to Bogenhafen to maybe collect the massive inheritance.

However, Kastor may have been a cultist!

Two strange fellows tried to contact Lothar/Kastor in Altdorf, the PCs tried to grab these guys, but they got away, with the help- perhaps, of a big man with a crossbow.

The big man with the crossbow was the assassin (actually Bounty Hunter) from last evening- Adolphus Kuftsos.

Then, and Josef was there for this, the two cultists try again to contact Lothar/Kastor and are shot and killed by Adolphus.

Then on to Weissbruck and the events of last eve.

That’s the ‘What?’, here’s the ‘Why?’

Why is this happening to the PCs?

“Because Sigmar wills it!” According to Olek and Fred.

“Because I look like a dead guy.” According to Lothar.

“Becoz ah face-painted tha’ lufferly youngling, an ah haf magik in me ‘ands- I shall nefer face-paint anywun agin.” Is Fergus’ take on things.

Note, nobody expected this conclusion- there was much laughter, it’s the most emotional (and garrulous) that Fergus has been so far. The now miserable dwarf vows ‘nefer to face paint anywun agin’. Too dangerous.

I know which explanation of events my money is on.

Next question.

Why is Adolphus trying to kill the guys.

“Because he thinks that Lothar is Kastor, and Kastor was a bad’un, a cultist!” According to Lothar.

“Becoz ah face-painted tha’ lufferly youngling, an ah haf magik in me ‘ands- I shall nefer face-paint anywun agin.” Is still Fergus’ take on things.

“Because Adolphus wants the inheritance for himself, or for someone else that he has been hired by that is next in-line to the fortune.” According to Olek and Fred.

What are you going to do next?

Head to Bogenhafen, check out the inheritance situation- locate Adophus (maybe he’ll find us) and then head to the Schaffenfest for tax-free sheep-related fun and frolics.

Oh, but just to remind the PCs, and very specifically to remind Olek, you are carrying the remains of Johan Baumann, you may want to put this lost soul to rest at some point.

That’s that done.

SCENE 3. Slow Barge to Bogenhafen.

It’s more of the same really-

8.04.jpg

The PCs are trying to learn how to sail the barge, five successes and they get one free point in the Skill Sail, that’s nice.

As you can see from the sheet above. All of the PCs got into it (again)- it became a sort of race to see who could make it first… and keep in mind that at this point, after the trip from Altdorf to Weissbruck, Fred and Lothar have already got four successes each, just one more needed for the pair.

Frederich and Lothar tend to end up in competition with each other a lot. Fred thrives in these moments; he lets Lothar know. The ex-Witch Hunter is much more sanguine during these ‘events’.

Olek and Fergus however are struggling a little, with only two successes garnered (each) so far.

Frederich, of course, wins the race, he’s the first to be given his Certificate of Sailing-worthy-ness by Josef, it’s a moving ceremony*.

Olek, remarkably, gets past the post second, that’s quite a run up the rails.

Lothar is next, and then even Fergus gets the hang of things- the adventurers can all safely handle the Berebeli, as Frederich and Olek said at the time-

“Blessings be to Mighty Sigmar, for lo- I have done it! In your face ruinous powers, I am barge-proficient!” I think Frederich’s little speech was better aimed at his companions.

“I think it is a good transferable skill to have brother, it will stand us in good stead when we face down the wrath and ruin of beastly corruption. Blessings be to Mighty Sigmar!”

The pair shout “Sigmar!” for a while longer.

The pair are awful show-offs.

Then, a miracle… Fred has accumulated exactly 0 XP rumour-finding so far, I don’t know what it is that makes people unwilling to share gossip with the thick-set, angry-looking, heavily armed and armoured, brooding, whispering menace that is the Witch Hunter.

It’s a mystery.

Anyway, Fred picks up the last rumour on the list- full house.

And then… we get to Bogenhafen.

More of this when we get back to it, D&D next time- back to the Dark Squad. Sorry, Dark Squad!

Oh, but just to say that Fergus is now a Scout (not a Guide), Lothar is a Boatman- of course, Frederich is a Witch Hunter (not an Interrogator) and Olek, well… his ‘level up’ will happen sometime soon… you’ll see.

That’s all for a bit.

*No such certificate exists, there was no ceremony- although Frederich would have preferred this option. He loves being the winningest.

The final XP table for this session is below.

PC
Dock Attack​
Title​
Learning to Sail​
Rumours​
Session XP​
Total​
Fred (Jim)
10​
0​
5​
2​
40​
57​
Fergus (Ben)
8​
1​
5​
1​
35​
50​
Olek (George)
13​
0​
5​
1​
45​
64​
Lothar (Kev)
9​
0​
5​
1​
40​
55​

Stay safe and well.

Cheers goonalan et al.
 

mikeawmids1

Explorer
POSSIBLY SPOILERS BELOW, but probably not if you have read the thread up to this point.

Hey! Loving the write-ups thus far, hope the campaign is still going. I am soon to be starting TEW (converted to Warlock! for GM ease). I have a question! I am considering simplifying the jouney from Coaching Inn > Altdorf > Weissbruck > Bogenhafen to just Coaching Inn > Bogenhafen (players are heading there for the festival, or other personal reasons). Going to Altdorf first seems to provide little value to the story (foreshadowing a plot twist in book 4 that the players won't recall anyway, and introducing Joseph as connecting tissue between books 1 & 2, which is weak any way you slice it), and a lot of risk for players to derail the campaign very early on, unless they are railroaded onward, which is what the book seems to demand. Also, if AK has set trap for KL in BH, why is he hanging around in Altdorf?

So having run most of the campaign as written up untl the Bogenhafen chapters, do you feel there was anything essential there that cannot feasibly be cut out, for the sake of brevity, pacing and getting to the good stuff? :D
 

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