WFRP3 - Darkness and Light in the Empire

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)

Session Time Stamp, July 13

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.

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….

Campaign Introduction - The Gathering Storm

Stromdorf – The Armpit of the Empire!
aka The Gathering Storm

ALERT: This campaign is based on the FFG published “The Gathering Storm” and contains spoilers. If you haven’t played this campaign but want to sometime in the future, stop reading now!

Sitting in the parlor of the Merchant’s Guild Hall, you listened to the Guildmaster as he described the work that he was offering you.

“If you can find Florian, the guild will make it worth your while”. The guild master leaned over the table between him and you. “He is an important member of the guild, not just a member. His signet ring is therefore particularly important and valuable. We are offering the goodly sum of 60 SP for each of the 4 if you can locate him….but will give 5 GP (gulp!) for the return of the ring. Hopefully the ring is still on his finger, and you can return them both safely to the guild. But if not, well, we want the ring back very much.”

As you questioned him further, you learned that members don’t necessarily keep the guild aware of their schedules, but it was known that Florian did a run to Stromdorf about every 2 weeks or so. But he is usually seen at the guild every few days. He does occasionally take longer trading trips, so the guild didn’t start getting concerned enough about the fact that he hadn’t been seen at the guild until about a week ago, when guild member Hagar Henley was assigned to make inquiries.

When Hagar started to ask around with other guild members, he learned that no one had seen him for two weeks. Same with the people that live near his small home in Ubersreicht. He did learn that Florian typically hired a couple guards from the Guardsmen’s Guild when going to Stromdorf, as the forests north of Stromdorf are considered to be dangerous. Beastmen are sometimes seen and attacks on travelers on the road are not uncommon. (Hence why river transit is the preferred transport for that area).

The Guardsmen’s Guild is an organization for swords for hire. Most of its members are former military or watch who are working for themselves rather than the military or city. Hagar’s inquiries there found that Florian had hired two Dwarven guards, .Garvis Stonecleaver and Larrot Ironfist two weeks ago. The guild members had not seen the two Dwarves since, but were not concerned because it was known that they planned to travel north after this one last job with Florian.

While the Guardsmen’s Guild weren’t concerned, putting all this information together had raised the concern level with the Merchant’s guild. "And that has led us to look to engage a group of strong, clever and talented ones as yourself. When Roadwarden Birgitta overheard us asking at the Guardsmen’s Guild, she approached us that you might be able to take this on, and we asked her to arrange this meeting " As he speaks he tips his hat to the tall blond looking at him with her usual intensity.

“My guess is that you are going to want to go to Stromdorf. Do you know Stromdorf? It has without doubt the worst climate in the region. Some say the worst climate in the whole of the Empire! So I would advise you to make sure you are well equipped with oilskins before you embark on a journey there. And be prepared for the smell. Between the rain and mud raising up all the smells of a city, it is home of a tannery. Many call Stromdorf “The Armpit of the Empire” … an epithet which, in my humble opinion, it richly deserves".

Hagar spoke up and gave you a description. Tall, thin with blond hair and a goatee. He makes trips with a wagon drawn by two ponies, one a distinctive white one. The Dwarves were..well Dwarves. Short, armored. Garvis had a red beard, Larrot black with tinges of grey. Garvis carried a war axe, Larrot a great sword. Each had his own small horse."

Hagar and the Guildmaster stood and motioned that the meeting was over. “I wish you luck, and remember, the ring is very important to us. Hagar will give you your stipend. We thank you for your attention to this matter.”


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