Monday, May 16, 2016

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 29

My PC
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Duellist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Artisan/Mercenary
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Pistoleer/Engineer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Physician

(Previous Notes)

They have led Tankred into the Prince's White Moon for a bit of field surgery. Vaervenshyael sneaks in while they are distracted, closes herself in a privacy cubby, and sets her finds out before her.

The smaller rectangular object is covered by multiple layers of old oil cloth. The oil treatments have long faded, and she has to peel the cloths away gently. Inside are a number of journals banded together.

Flipping through the journals, she finds notes written in an older form of Reikspiel. She also notices a crude drawing of the pillar, before it broke and was repaired with the metal poles. The journals apparently belonged to one Ludwig Stolzer, probably an earlier form of the name Sulzer. There were notes about him training under an Estelian wizard named Toccio Zaretti.

Zaretti and Stolzer mentioned using a ritual to move large armies of men many miles unnoticed. They would enter castles to steal items to finance their explorations.

After a while, the journals described Stolzer calling Zaretti a "greedy Estelian" and then having to kill Toccio "for the love of Abdul and his reign."

The map case held a set of maps detailing some underground caverns or fortifications. There are notes on the maps in the same aged dialect as the journals. These maps show underground rivers, underground lakes, and islands. They may correspond with the stories the party had heard about where the pillar originated.

Vaervenshyael wrapped up her find and ducked out the back door of the Moon. She secured the items in her room at the Drunken Donkey, hoping one of the mercenaries would soon arrive to guard it. She returned to the Moon to see if her assistance was needed with Tankred.

The entire party returned to the Donkey and secured themselves in their room. Wilhelm slept off a prodigious night's drinking. The rest of the party examined the journals and maps more closely for further clues.

All signs pointed to the island in the middle of a lake to the north. The only things that might be standing in the way were an army of greenskins, orcs, and Rosehilda's own personal expedition.

Friday, May 13, 2016

[WFRP 2e] Princeps Interlude 28.5

My PC
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Duellist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Artisan
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Pistoleer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Physician

(Previous Notes)

GM: Each of you feel a chill from the west blow though the common. Tankred groans slightly as his muscles ache; Willhelm blinks as his eyes blur; Vaervanshyael grows nauseous; Johann presses his temples as a headache rises.

As quick as the feelings came, they disappear with on the chill breeze.

Then there's a loud snap and pop.

Johann looks in the direction of the sound.

Tankred's hand moves deliberately towards his sword and he begins to worry about his brother back at the Drunken Donkey. This talk of chaos moons and raising dead kings is putting him on edge. 

GM:  Johann looks up and for that instant, Johann sees the iron runners that hold the pillar, where it had once split, buckle and the rivet pop, but then grit falls into his eyes. Johann's eyes water and the grit is scratching.

The two "cavaliers" of Rosehilda react differently. One screams, "I can't see!" and starts coughing and spitting. The other grabs Wilhelm by his collar and starts a move away from the bill wall.

 
Tankred shouts "Move!" and goes to pull Johann and the other cavalier away from the pillar.

Wilhelm locks up, unsure of which way to run.

GM: There is a loud crash as the fence is crushed by the falling pillar. Then a reverberation in your feet. A shout cut short and a deep groan.

Then quiet for a long moment. Then a horse neighing somewhere on the common and a woman screams.

Tankred looks down and sees a large wooden splinter protruding mid torso. Right through the mail and leather. Blood. It's going to hurt.

Tankred grits his teeth and steels himself. Did the others make it? Did the doctor get clear? "Leech, I need you."

Vaervenshyael draws her weapons (only a dagger and main gauche on her), preparing in case this is the start of an attack. As (if) the dust settles and nobody attacks, she is prepared to lend first aid or assist the doctor in doing so.

Then a new idea flashes through Vaervenshyael's mind[1]. She turns to see the Doktor rushing to Tankred's aid. She turns in the other direction to see that the tower is now laying on its side, having crashed through the gate. In the mayhem, she rushes to the top of the tower[2] where the cow motif is carved, searching for the next talisman[3].

Relevant Skills/Talents:
[1] Coolheaded (trying to make the most of this opportunity)
[2] Concealment, Silent Move, Alley Cat (getting to the top of the tower without attracting undue notice)
[3] Perception, Excellent Vision, Night Vision, Search, Trapfinder (searching for the likely location of the next item in this light, event)

Johann: "Oh my, Tankred. That looks painful!" The doctor goes to Tankred's side and begins helping him up and over to a place that he can work on the wound. He asks the knights, "Is there a place where I can rest my friend and tend to his wound?"

GM: Varvenshayael kneels in front of the fallen pillar. 

On the ground, the size and weight of the pillar is punctuated by the splinter in Tankred's ribs.

Imerltrud, a "knight" with twice the muscle mass as Johann, immediately comes to Johann's side. Gertie, Imerltrud's "wing girl," looks to Wilhelm and points to a building: two stories and clearly a tavern and hostel. "The common room there in the Prince's White Moon. We can treat him there."

Wilhelm: "He's a giant! I'm not strong enough to carry him. Although... there may be something in there I could use..."

Tankred: "I'm not dying, and I don't need to be carried," gasps Tankred, gritting his teeth through the pain. "I just need this thing out, and a drink, I need a drink."

Johann: "No no no my stout friend, that rather large splinter must stay in your side for the time being. Removing it just this moment will exacerbate the wound."  Johann does not remove his support, and continues in the direction of the tavern.

Vervenshyael kneels at the top of the massive pillar. The shattered menagerie of cattle litters the ground. The top of the pillar has cracked open revealing a deep hollow space.

Varvenshyael reaches in and pulls out a square-ish object that is wrapped in a thick cloth that at first might be oil cloth but with age has lost whatever finish it once had. A longer object is also in the space.

She tucks the cloth with its contents deep within her leathers. Then she explores the longer object, breaking pieces off to get inside, if need be. She finds a map case.

Friday, April 29, 2016

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 28

My PC
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Duellist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Artisan
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Pistoleer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Physician

(Previous Notes)

The days had been filled with light, yet incessant, rain.

The road to Sulzerberg was lined with gibbets. Tens of gibbets. Probably 100 gibbets, in all.  Beggars and Bone Pickers crowded about the "freshest" ones, scavenging what they could and discarding the rest.


If this was all meant to intimidate, it did the job. Vaervenshyael pulled the cap covering her ears, ears which marked her as a foreigner in this land, even further down her head. She was confident in her one-on-one fighting ability, but she had no desire to take on an entire town.

From the outside, the town looked well fortified. She was glad the gates were open, though the two armored figures inspecting those entering did not look too inviting. 

Tankred managed to talk the party's way through the gates, relying on his blacksmithing background to provide cover. Vaervenshyael kept her face deep in the shadows of her hooded cloak. It hid her features, as well as her scowl.

The object of their trip, the tower with the dancing cows, was visible from everywhere in the city. Still, the party chose an inn near the tower, an inn by the name of the Drunken Donkey. Interestingly enough, the script on the sign contained a fair amount of Eltharin flourish. 

After Tankred checked the party in, Vaervenshyael asked the innkeeper if there were any elves about town. He offhandedly mentioned a couple, the most notable one keeping to the temple of Verena. Vaervenshyael made a mental note to visit the temple, after inspecting the tower.



The tower/pillar/whathaveyou had seen better days. It had apparently toppled at some point and had been righted by use of large metal nails. It also had a high, iron fence around it's perimeter. From what she could see, the tower would be easy enough to scale, if the goal was access to the line of dancing cows at the top.

While she scouted the tower, Wilhelm and Johann spoke with two female knight. The two knights seemed very favorably inclined toward the men. They were open with information about recent events in the city, including an allegiance Rothilda had made with greenskins to the north.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 27

My PC
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Duellist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Artisan
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Pistoleer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Physician

(Previous Notes)

Brauzeit 1st. Weather: "Indian" Summer

Smoke still rose above the gates of Lauterberg. The only thing heard beyond the gates was the occasional shifting of timber. The gates were closed, and nobody manned the gatehouse. The party split to walk the walls, looking for a way in.

At a particularly low spot, Tankred lifted Vaervenshyael up over his head. She could peer over the wall to the destruction on the other side. She lifted herself up and over, heading for the gate.

The bar to the gate was hefty, but she eventually dislodged it and let the party in. The town was burnt. There was no movement.

A dog barked toward the center of town. At the same time, Johann saw a small shape out of the corner of his eye, darting in the shadows. The party split again.

Vaervenshyael went with the doctor and Wilhelm to try to find the child. The trail led to a lone standing house in the middle of town. A little girl slipped in through a door. In the doorway, an old lady beckoned the party inside.

The older lady introduced herself as Zaria Modica. He accents betrayed a Kislev heritage.  She spoke of greenskins (and blackskins) descending on the town as Morrslieb last rose. She spoke of a delusional fog, making people see things in skewed ways. She also, amazingly, spoke of women in armor who disposed the northern ruler. "Sulzer is dead. His guard killed him."

The little girl, Althea, headed toward the front door. "Doggy!" Zaria warned her off, fearful of remaining greenskins. Vaervenshyael opened a shutter to look for the other half of the party. They were directly outside the house, unexpectedly tense and alert. She called them inside.

Zaria spoke further of a brutish woman, Rosehilda, who had recently visited the town, asking about heifers or bulls. She was looking into a pillar decorated with cows dancing around a pole. She apparently had the same lead on a magical item as the party had. She also, reportedly, was interested in awakening the long-dead Abdul Al'Shar.

Zaria mysteriously spoke of a waterfall north of Sulzerberg (now renamed Rosehildenberg). Near to the waterfall was a lake. In the lake was an island. It was possible the statue came from the island.

The party talked Zaria into leaving her ruined home. They led the woman and the girl back toward Padua. The woman packed her many books and alchemal brewings. On the way, she crudely added to the party's map of the area, pointing out the location of Rosehildenberg for the party.

Friday, April 22, 2016

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 26

My PC
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Duellist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Artisan
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Pistoleer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Physician
Roderic - NPC Priest of Verena
Cosetta - NPC Wife of the owner of the tavern, Katerina's Rest

(Previous Notes)

Vaervenshyael found the rest of the party still in Katerina's Rest. Wilhelm had quite a collection of tavern glasses on his lap, and Tankred looked about to leave. The elf summoned them all to the manor immediately. Tankred insisted on returning to his forge first. Wilhelm looked about to leave with half the tavern's glassware in his possession. Vaervenshyael wasn't sure what was going on, but a summons was a summons, so she paid Cosetta for the glasses and ushered Wilhelm and Johann out of the tavern.

The party arrived at the manor, preceded by the priest Roderic and followed by the warehouse owner Azmir. Roderic had prepared a casting circle, but Azmir was the one to cast a spell (much to the surprise of the party). The spell revealed the true nature of the Slaan skin: it was a casting stone of the Gold College of Magic.

The casting stone was used to augur the location of the next item in the party's search: a cow part located somewhere in a plinth, central in the city of Sulzer. Ludovic, the Princeps of Padua, and Maximillian, the Master of the Horse, instructed the party to head north to where glowing skies suggested Lauterberg had burned. From there, the party was to head to the heart of enemy territory: the City of Sulzer.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps Interlude 24.5

In Padua, many go unnamed. Florey knows almost everyone, or everyone that sends someone to his store. The Baptisa's too, and there are few that don't visit the Rest at least daily; sometimes twice or more. To a person though, many just associate by trade or need.

When people leave and return, they may first get nods. When someone is seen walking to the manor, the nod becomes a smile. When someone is paid a visit by the Master of the Horse, whispers for a name become common. Smiles become greetings and beer at the Rest. When this happens with in an observable pattern, people start counting and notice when the favored of the Princeps do not return.

Padua feeds on news anywhere else would call just gossip. Each of you are plied with drinks. Roderic has even said donations of the collect box have been up, especially those that conspicuously seem to drop a half-Max as he opens the doors each morning. Your whispers about town are noted and escalated beyond any reality by a fragment you recall becomes something untrue, even if all too common: a zombie army of Abdul Al'Shar marches to the Avon!

You learn that Freibald was simply burned as the mutation became apparent. Van slit Freibald's throat as he whispered a battle prayer, tossed the disgusting knife into the cart with his body and set it alight. The cart had leeched some of the corruption from Friebald. Van simply wanted it all burned. They walked and rode the horses, just hours ahead of you, back to Padua.


Morrslieb rose the night of the party's return. Strange things were afoot. Domestic dogs rose against their owners, many slain the in the end by Tankred's blade. Fish rotted immediately all over town, for no other reason than the chaos moon's presence. Vaervenshyael missed it all due to a visit to the Master of the Horse. 

"We have retrieved the second artifact. Wilhelm is quite overprotective of it and keeps it guarded in his possession. I'm not confident how much longer this particular party can remain cohesive and continue your quests. Wilhelm's mind sinks with each new challenge faced, and Tankred sinks into further depression and aloofness as one of his sleuth has met his end this trip. The doctor...well, he was quite crazed, even for a human, before we ever began."

***

The following morning as the rain clears for a moment doors and windows open, locked and shuttered against the barks and howls of dogs or the brief screams of someone with the thunder and lightening.

Varvenshyael sees the normal runners of Padua on the way to the manor. It's no secret they keep the Princeps and his Master of Horse informed of the gossip in the corners of Padua. Sloshing through the mud in the street is Schultz, one of the Princeps personal guard.

"Guten Morgen. The Princeps wants to see you again. Looks like they were up all night. Morrslieb will do that to you. You have any fish?" Schlutz doesn't wait. "Throw it away. All spoiled. Morrslieb will do that."

You ponder that for a moment. Padua is going to stink.

***
At the manor the urchins are saying Katerina's Rest was beset by dogs. Several dead. Fish spoiled all over Padua. Maximillian issues his first order looking at you as you walk in:

"Make sure carts are available and the fish go into the river. Tell everyone you pass not to just throw the fish into the gutters and street."

And with that he dismisses Schultz and the boy and invites you to a side room with a wave.

"We've contemplated you're candid observations. I think it's time to get stop getting drunk and time for action."

"While everyone was hiding from manifest superstitions, we watched the clouds glow from a fire in the north. Our guess is Lauterberg burned. And that means the road is open to all the way to Sulzerbe.. berg? ville? dorf? all the way to Sulzer. If there's an artifact under his nose, we want it."

"But first we'll have that frogskin from Wilhelm. Find him and bring him back. I've already sent for Otto Roderick. If that piece of leather has a hold on him, we'll get it to let go. And bring the "tooth." I want to see them both. Hmmm... we think we'll need Azmir too."

"Indeed. At once. All I need to do is fetch Wilhelm. Where he goes, the skin follows."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 24

My PC
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Duellist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Veteran
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Pistoleer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Physician
Roderick - NPC Priest of Verena
Otto - His scribe
Friebald - NPC Mercenary working for Tankred
Van Duster - NPC Mercenary working for Tankred

(Previous Notes)

Vaervenshyael charged the zombie mass while they were distracted by Van Duster. She pierced and dodged her way through five of the undead, with Tankred and Van taking out the others. With the above ground threat out of the way, she returned underground with Wilhelm and Tankred to find the Slaan skin. All others headed back to Padua with Friebald's quick-spreading Nurglish Rot.

The party followed unexplored corridors to the circular center of the megalith. The journey was dangerous but to the mind rather than the body. Vaervenshyael saw carvings and depictions of mutating processes that raged against her stalwart elvish mind.

The center of the megalith was a maze, with walls covered in plates of steel...metal that Tankred had been searching for to re-equip Padua. In the center of the maze was a Slaan statue. Hanging off the statue was the skin for which the party searched.

Wilhelm, in his tall walking boots, grabbed the skin. The central maze of the tower began to rise. The party raced out of the maze before they were cut off from the exits. The metal Tankred coveted was left behind.

The party made haste to catch up with the others on the way back to Padua. Wilhelm selfishly keeping the "toad" skin away from the others and oddly close to his own body.