WFRP3 - Darkness and Light in the Empire

Beastmen!
Deep in the Oberslecht

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Time Stamp -Contact with Beastman, Session Oct 4th, 2014

Birgitta paused in her story telling to signal to the serving girl. “Lauris? Your name is Lauris, right? Can you please get another round for my friends?”

“So, the confrontation between Fritz and the neighbor Tristan was over. The dark haired woman was clearly the matron of the family, and its queen. All she had to say was “Get back to work!” and the group of men quietly slunk away. That’s clearly a woman used to giving orders, and having them obeyed. I could definitely relate to her.

When they were gone she turned to us and said, with a suprising intensity, “I need your help….There is someone I want you to meet!”. Then she just turned, called “Otto, get a lantern and come!” and started walking away, clearly expecting us to follow.

Dietrich spoke up and told her to wait, that we needed to know more, like where we are going and who we were going to meet, but it was if he wasn’t even there. She just glanced back, said “You want to know about the feud, about the beastmen, why the Eigel homestead was burned to the ground. I’m going to take you where you will learn what you want to know. Now come!”

“We are going into the Obsersecht. Watch your step – keep to the firm ground. If you take a wrong step, you’ll lose your boots trying to get unstuck”

I’ll telll you, that place is foul. It was foggy and night had fallen, and we could barely see 10 feet in front of us. Marie clearly knew where she was going, It was good we had the lantern. The trees were twisted, like chaos spawn themselves – you could almost feel them reach out to you. We went over a small hill and hit a patch where the fog was thinner. There was a cart at the top of the hill, and we could see in front of us a huge but squat tree. It was pretty evil looking, with odd things hanging from the branches – fetishes charms, animal pelts. Clearly a place for some kind of hedge magic. There were bones everywhere too – a cow skull, a horse skeleton, and some remains that were more than just bones. But before I had a chance to look further, Marie said “Please stay calm…you’ll frighten him off” She called out into the dark, saying that we were friends. There was a crash of lightening and there he was. He was tall, but you couldn’t tell, as he was hunched over, leaning on a cane. He was like the tree – festooned with feathers, necklaces of teeth and bones. He told us that time was running out and that the beastman leader, who he called Izka the Madtooth, was going to raid the town and kill everyone they found. He told us that he had a source of power that if we could take away, would strip him of the favor of the Dark Gods. He called it a “Lighting Stone”

We decided to take the cart. Without a horse, Kurgi lifted up the rails and pulled it himself. I tell you, if that dwarf ever tires of killing and insulting humans, he has a future as a pack animal. But taking that cart complicated things. Foaldeath..did I tell you his name was Foaldeath? Well he lead the way and knew a foot path, but now we had to find a route that was wide enough and firm enough for the cart. We had to stop and go back a couple times and the cart even got stuck a couple times. One was pretty dicey…we got stuck, then heard a grunting in the distance in the fog. We all stayed quiet, till the drunk Estalian let out a cough. Have you ever fought beastmen? Not fun. First of all, they stink. LIke a cow, in the rain, smeared with dung. We heard them moving toward us. Fortunately the wind was blowing towards us, so they couldn’t smell us – but we sure smelled them. But we were able to keep quiet, even Eduardo, and they passed us in the fog.

The next time we weren’t so lucky, and had to kill 3 of them. I was expecting the noise to bring a whole herd upon us, but we made it the rest of the way without being attacked. When we got to where the lightning seemed to target…did I tell you about the lightning? It was raining hard and every few minutes a bolt of lightening would crash somewhere ahead of us. It always seemed to be the same place. Eventually we got to where it was hitting. Thats why we didn’t bring a herd to us – they were all focused on the lightning, I think. There was a big clearing, and this stone, like a monument, in the center. A huge beastman was kneeling in front of it, braying to the sky. It was pretty clear he was the pack leader – the other beasts were gathered around, snorting, bellowing. And then…they saw us….

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Session Time Stamp, Sat Sept 20th

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Hearing from the Gunnery Veterans on the East gate that a wagon with a white pony had left on a Wednesday morning two weeks ago ( but Reiner Holtz, as local farmer, driving) WITHOUT Florian, we felt that the trail was getting warmer. We learned that the Holtz family lived on a farm to the south, on the west edge of the Obserlecht, a foul swamp to the southeast of the town.

Going back to the Tavern, we decided that perhaps an extra sword might be useful and convinced the drunk Estalian Eduardo to join us. For a promise of a cask of Ale, he will do anything. He is good for comic relief, if nothing else. But given his stories, perhaps given some time to sober up, he might be useful.

Geared up, we headed out the gate and on a path to the south. As we walked, we noticed a red glow in the distance. Coming over a hill, we saw below us a disturbing site. A farmstead burned to the ground, fires still burning but little but a foundation remaining. A sign laying on the ground identified it as the Eigel Farm – not the Holtzes. There were no bodies, but clear sign of beastmen hoofs.

The chimney stack was still standing and among the soot and ash on those grey stones was an eight pointed star, dabbed in blood and dung. There were no corpses, animal or human. Knowing the habits of beastmen, they unfortunately were likely being feasted on as we stood there.

Over another was another farm with no sign of being attacked. Odd that two farms would stand so close, one attacked and its family taken away, the other untouched. As we got closer, we saw an altercation between two men. One was tall and gangly, with too long limp blond hair and a pug nose. His clothes were torn and smeared with soot, mud and blood. The other was shorter and darker, with close set eyes and a weak chin. The tall dirty blonde was yelling at the shorter one, yelling that it was all their fault that his family was dead. The other one was protesting, saying “I told you not to stop Tristan. I warned you, but you never listen!”
Surrounding them was a family. A remarkably ugly looking family. A shared ugliness that was often a sign of inbreeding. They watched silently as the argument got more and more heated. Knives were drawn, at which point we stepped in. Dietrich has such a talent for dealing with people! Just a few words and he was able to separate them. Tristan collapsed on the ground, sobbing, crying out his despair at his lost kin.

We started to question them, but the obvious matron of the family, a woman with dark hair with streaks of grey and a face lined with grief and worry, sternly told the others to go about their work, and they obeyed. She pulled us aside. It wasn’t hard to get her to reveal that the reason their family was spared was that they had a deal of sorts with the beastmen. They gave them sacrifices of animals and food, and they left them alone. At our look of horror over collaboratng with the beasts of chaos she protested “What is so wrong with what we did! If it weren’t for us, they would have gone for the town long ago. We’re the saviors of the town! You should thank us!”

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Session Time Stamp - Sat September 13

The highlight of the session was a humorous encounter with the gunnery veterans on the East Gate (Wissenland Gate). The old men practiced with the only working cannon, Screaming Gertie, exchanging insults and concocting images of attacking beastmen and goblins to fire at. For all the joking however, they were obviously skilled – just bored with the lack of any excitement and any real targets. After their drill was done, conversation revealed an important clue. Yes, they saw the cart with the white pony leave in a morning about two weeks ago.

Later, visiting the tannery in the north quarter of town, little new was learned. Yes, Florian had brought his usual load of coal and bought oiled leathers. But little else useful was learned.

Back to Wissenland Gate. Oh, you again? The cart with the white pony that morning? No, it wasn’t Florian driving. Who was it? Sven, you remember that morning? Yes, it was that farmer feller from the ugly family. One of the Holtzes. That Reiner fellow. Ugly family that. If you ask me, they are all each others mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, if you know what I mean.

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Session Time Stamp - Sat Aug 30th

Visit the North gate. No, haven’t seen the guy with the white pony for awhile, at least not at the gate. But about 2 weeks ago did see a couple of dwarves ride out. No, they were alone, no cart, Florian or white pony with them. Not many dwarves around here, so must have been Florian’s guards. But why would they leave without him?

Visit the Barracks, but the guard won’t let them in.

Check Cobblepots house again. No one there, and a sign says “Closed”.

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The Chronicles of Kurgi Balginson

The Grumbled Mutterings of a Dwarven Trollslayer as scribed by Diedrich Scheffler

So we enters the Slippery Eel alehouse. Our guide Eduardo (seems a bit of a vagrant but enjoys a beer so that’s fine by me) has led us here, on our insistence, and despite his obvious misgivings. He warned that it’s a bit rough. He he. He’s never set foot into the Angry Axeman’s Alehouse (where instead of searching you for weapons before entering they have a house selection of melee weapons for you to use for your entertainment while there) or spent a night in the Hafted Hammer where you’ll need to arm wrestle the doorman to gain entry (and that’s just the women).

So we enter the bar and get the silent treatment. The look on peoples faces as we enter is colder than an ice brewed ale. And one guy stands as Thorin and I enter and cannot hide the look of disdain on his face. As he spots Thorin and I enter, his disdainful look turns to revulsion as though some Dwarf has just shit in his beer with Thorin and I being the chief culprits. I smile as I consider that though not guilty of such a crime it could easily be arranged.

Reginald (hereunto referred to as shitbag) starts to throw insults. Oh I do love me some beer banter. Bring it on.

Dietrich attempts to flash his ‘winning smile’ across the bar. But fails. He’s ok for a long-arse but sometimes he needs to learn that a brilliant white toothy smile is not the only currency. So I flash my ‘winning snarl’ as I step up to defend the beanpole.

We’re in an angry alehouse and the only currency that counts here is beer and brawn. So I tell shitface to shut up and drink his lemonade while the ‘real men’ drink beer’. His face tells me he’s lost the verbals so his face suddenly changes to ‘I’m going to hit this dwarf’ The look on his face telegraphs the punch he plans, long before he summons up the courage to throw it. I duck under the slow right hook. As his fist sails over my head the uppercut I unleash is almost automatic. The resultant crack of his nose, though predictable, is no less satisfying. He makes a final groan before keeling over backwards with blood oozing out of a clearly broken nose.

“Why is it always the gobby ones that beg to be hit first? But fall over like dominoes when the fighting starts. All mouth and no britches.”

Well with the fighting over seemingly before it begun I guess that makes it beer o’clock.

Innkeeper!!!!!

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Session Time Stamp - Thur Aug 21st

The Slippery Eel – a tavern on the West side of town, only locals go there. But its right across from the Stewpot, maybe they saw something? But, they really, really, do not like strangers. Social combat as Dietrich and a local exchange insults. But sigmar’s comet smiles and the local backs off humiliated,…and the crowd cheers!

Across the way, the Stewpot is dark. No sign of the halfling cook Keila Cobblepot. Walk around back..no lights in the windows. Time to play cat burgler. Inside search and upstairs, find a chest of things, odd things for a halfling cook. Mens clothing, a bag of possessions. A letter…addressed to Florian. And a signet ring!!!

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I'm a Backdoor Dwarf
Kurgi's fruther ramblings on Burglary as scribed by Diedrich Scheffler

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Don’t know how I ended up rifling through hobbits drawers but, Good Grimnir I’d rather the Fearless Grimni stave my godforsaken skull in right this minute, if this is to be the way of my adventures from here on in…

And what brought us to this questionable behavior?

Och!! It’s Stromdorf I tell ye. A more miserable place you never cast your eyes on. And the rain, Good Grimnir it’d make the happiest and most bearded man alive turn to misery and glumness and a cutthroat razor. And it might not stop at just the whiskers ah tell thee.

And so it is we’ve turned t’ burgling (or investigating as Brigitta the Warden likes to call it). I’m pretty sure if we get caught while ‘investigating’ in this manner we’ll be thrown in the jail. But ah suppose when the alternative t’ burglary is traipsing around in the torrential rain while knee deep in festering mud then burgling suddenly seemed like it might be a barrel load of bearded bonnie lassies of fun by comparison.

And so it was that we decided ‘pon a spot ah burglary in the old Cobblepots place. I don’t recall who drew the short straw and found the open window to let us in but watching them I was reminded of not so much those famous Catburglars of Brittany. But more like those less successful elephant burglars that never ever took on. Anyway it might not have been pretty but at least they made it inside. But once the rest were let in things began to look a bit chaotic I don’t mind telling you. As the only one with Night Vision all I can say is i’ve not seen a more inept display of fumbling around in the dark. Since Helga Foamchest let me cop my first feel for a brass penny and a flagon of ale under the Dwarf Elm tree at the back of the Rusty Nail inn. Ahhh them were the days.

As it turned out there was nae need tee bother. The place was as empty as the space between an Elves ears. No sign of naebody. Not CobblePot, Not Florian, Naebody. And so it was the burgling proper commenced. But not for us hordes of treasure, jewels and swag. Oh no! A search of the obvious places revealed nothing of note save a merchants clothing.

And so it came to the ransacking of the drawers. Now ordinarily you’d not have to ask me twice to rifle through a ladies drawers but this was not those type of drawers and this poisoned wee stumpy of a hobbit was certainly not anything close to being a lady. Thank god old Stumpy Hammerfist and Thorgred Iron cannae see me now. Troll slayer?? Knicker Ransacker more like.

Thankfully…I think it proved a fruitful search. In a corner of the drawer and supposedly hidden out of sight from the eyes of depraved prying Trollslayers was a ring. A merchants guild ring no less. And I’d stake my beard and gold tankard full of Bugman’s best bitter that this is Florian’s ring. The question now is… where is Florian and how many more pairs of underwear are we going to have to rifle through before we find him?

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The Gathering Storm - Session 3

The session began with you waking at the Thunderwater Inn. Given the storm last night, the stress of the encounter, you were all tired and didn’t notice a lot of details as you entered town – you had went straight for the Tavern. Last night Dietrich had a couple of flagons of Ale and Birgitta a single. While both could typically handle that amount easily, Thunderwater is strong stuff and they both found themselves sleepy rather quickly and the whole party decided to turn in before they had really finished inquiries, deciding to get a fresh start the next day.

The next morning, Kurgi, Dietricht and Tharin were woken by Birgitta, literally kicking them out of bed. She is a lass who believes in “rising and shining” with the sun, and has little tolerance for layabouts.

Going down for breakfast, they found the inn full of townsfolk, having a fine breakfast and seemingly in a good mood. They learned that the inn was giving a free breakfast to anyone who would work on rebuilding the bridge this morning.

Soon, down the stairs came an ostentatious looking man – a Celestial Wizard. A young man with blue robes decorated with celestial symbols and an impressive staff topped with a clockwork of planets circling a sun. A long tube that Dietrich recognized as a telescope, an elegant dagger and a collection of scrolls hung off his belt. Niklas Schulmann was his name. A handsome man with a black forked beard and the smug self assurance of an eminent wizard. He had come to Stromdorf about a month ago, researching the wondrous confluence of winds of magic in the area. The townsfolk were very friendly to him and it appeared he had somehow gotten over their dislike of outsiders.

As the day proceeded, the stalwarts went here and there about town (man it stinks!) picking up details. Noticed how frequently lightening struck the temple of Sigmar across the town square from the Thunderwater Inn. Noticed how the townsfolk seemed completely accustomed to living in the rain – children played happily in the mud, wooden sidewalks gave a means to walk above the mud, streetside shops all had awnings to protect the patrons from rain. The center of the town square featured a well and a statue/shrine to Shallya.

The day ended at a fine eatery, The Stewpot. The owner and cook, Keila Cobblepot was a cute and charming hostess, and her pies were the best the stalwarts had ever eaten. Yes, Florian had come here as usual two weeks ago, had his dinner and turned in. He briefly chatted with the only other patron there that night, a local farmer named Reiner Holtz.

Also having dinner at the Stewpot was a group of Watchmen, who Brigitta immediately started conversation with. However after a time, Tharin broke the good cheer by intimidating the otherwise cheerful cook, forcing her to chug down a flaggon of ale, hoping it seemed to loosen her tongue with drink. Scared, she fled and the Watch decided enough was enough and put a stop to his brutish behavior.

The party is developing character. Thorian the dwarf bounty hunter, shrewd but very impatient with the exasperating activities of humans is skilled at detecting falsehood wherever he sees it. Birgitta, the female medieval version of a state trooper, complete with steely gaze. Dietrich the grey order accolyte who wishes he had the fancy robes of a celestial but who can turn on the charm when needed. And Kurgi, troll slayer, lover of ale and cleaver of the wicked.
(by D Greenwood – GM)

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Session Time Stamp, July 13

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Davy joins, takes over Dietrich and Tharin.

On the north shore of the river, pelted by driving rain, they surprised a Beastman sleeping in the only dry place around. Ferry into Stromdorf in the middle of the night. The smells! Wet and muddy.

The warmth of the Thunderwater Inn, and an ale that rivals Dwarven ale (really!). Learn about Florian and the town. Though the welcoming by the townsfolk inside was not as warm – they didn’t seem to have much like of strangers. But the barkeep, a Hans Brenner, son of the owner, was friendly and told them of Florian’s last visit, when he picked up a dozen kegs of ale.

A pretty young service wench is a wealth of information. Florian had a regular routine in town. Off load coal at the Barracks and at the Thunderwater Inn. Pick up a shipment of kegs of Ale – and have some for himself. Go to the Tannery and pick up oiled leathers. Go to the Ferry and pick up kegs of smoked eel. End the day at the Stewpot, for one of the fine dinners cooked by halfling cook Keila Cobblepot and then sleep at the Stewpot. Next morning, return to Ubersreicht.

Had indeed been in town about two weeks ago. He regularly came about every two weeks, and would be due just about now. Everyone knew him as the man with the white pony. As far as anyone knew, he came, did his usual rounds and left the next day. No one had seen him since.

When Dietricht told the girl that Florian was missing, she ran out crying…seems she might have known Florian a bit better than just as a serving girl !

They also were introduced to a drunk Estalian sitting near the fire, Eduardo. He told wondrous (and hard to believe tales) of a journey across the ocean to Lustria and battles with Lizardlike men, cities of gold and pirates. A great source of information, as long as ale was freely supplied in return.

Realizing it was late, the party turned in for the night. In the middle of the night they were woken by Lightning striking very close by. Looking out the window, they realized it was striking the Inn itself! Or more specifically, a strange contraption of scraps of metal extending from the window of a nearby room, up above the height of the roof. They made note to learn who stayed in that room the next day.

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The Gathering Storm - Session 1
The Churning River

After finding that no coach was available to take the party to Stromdorf, and hiring one was unusually expensive due to fear over the danger from Beastmen and Goblins on the way, the party decided to hire a barge. The trip initially was peaceful, with the slow passage along the river, blue sky, puffy clouds and the rolling hills and fields of the Empire. Soon however a dark clouds were seen in the distance and as they approached rain, then wind driven rain drenched them. The barge rocked as the water became rougher and rougher and lightning shattered the sky ahead. But the lights of Stromdorf were now visible ahead and the skipper shouted above the sound of the wind and rain “The West Bridge should be right ahead, then we will be there!”

Sudden the barge reared up, as it hit something large in the water. The skipper and Dietrich were immediately thrown overboard. Birgitta, Kurgi and Tharin rushed to find and throw a rope overboard, almost falling in themselves as the deck heaved and shook, as it was struck again and again. Torn timbers, some tied with scraps of rope passed by, some missing and some striking the barge. Looking ahead it was clear where there HAD been a bridge, but it was now a wreckage of wood, stone and rope.

Birgitta’s first throw of the rope to Dietrich missed, and it was then that they saw the form of a River Troll, enter the water downstream. Downstream…meaning the now tiller-less barge was drifting ever closer to its waiting arms. Drifting, as was Dietriech as well. Two more throws of the rope were required before Dietrich caught it, by which time another party member had also fallen in. As Dietrich struggled to pull back to the barge, they reached the troll. One swipe with his clawed hands left Dietrich bleeding profusely into the water, a large gash on his head. As he fell into unconsciousness and certain death at the bottom of the river, Kurgi struck at the Troll, barely keeping his balance on the deck. His massive blow connected, cutting deep into the Trolls flesh. As it recoiled, the barge drifted past, out of reach. The troll disappeared under the water, as the barge ran aground on the north shore of the river. Birgitta pulled Dietrich out of the water, gasping and coughing up bloody water.

Next to the edge of the forest, a forest known to be infested with Beastmen, a Troll somewhere near, the four exhausted travelers saw through the rain and the gloom the distant silhouette and lights of Stromdorf looming ahead…on the other side of the river, with the bridge across gone….

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