Friday, July 3, 2015

Renegade Princeps Introspection 10

Here are some thoughts from the players about the direction the characters are going. I had to mull over Vaervenshyael's reaction to seeing Roderic hanging and dying:

I still maintain that my actions were completely in character considering 1) the bloody Sigmarite zealots had been goading me since we first saved them from the beastmen. Then their friends did the same at the tower. 2) My background states I am "against injustice" and "take the law in my own hands". 3) the priest really is a resident of Padua, and I work for Prince Ludovic. 4) I did not attack them first. I drew my sword to cut down the priest and only defended myself once attacked. 5) It's a bit more meta, but: the tooth. Don't forget the tooth.

I just needed to write that out to convince myself I'm not still playing Mordrin. It seems valid to me.

The Doctor's player chimed in:

I don't disagree, and I think there are plenty of totally valid reasons why elves may do things that humans are confused by, especially when they defy the behaviors that humans would normally attribute to them.
Tankred's player:

Eh, Tankred, doesn't care. A little heads up if he needs to start killing, would be nice. But really, that is what he gets paid for, so he really has no qualms about it.
Tankred will slaughter the whole place for beer money, so it is all good. He is a bit morally grey, you might say. 
 And Wilhelm's player makes a good point:

Wilhelm might have reacted poorly to a perceived threat... but to be fair he was brutally beaten last combat.
All in all, I think the GM set us up for the perfect storm.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 10

Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Protagonist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Mercenary
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Engineer (Absent)
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Barber Surgeon

(Previous Notes)

The three Sigmarite zealots previously rescued from a pack of wild beastmen proceeded to ignore the female elf as much as possible during their travels. Instead they spoke of one "High Hammer" who will show the party "the works of their faith at the tower." They claim to have purged the Ruinous Powers from the tower. Which leads Vaervenshyael to presume that Chaos has been in the tower at some point.

She does not take kindly to the slurs from the zealots and points out, "Sigmar has no place here. You are far from home." They retaliate with a threat, "You are far from home *and* outnumbered, elf." Vaervenshyael admits to them that she is outnumbered, but not outmanned.

The final useful bit of information the Sigmarites share before the party rests for the night is that their "recent guest" is a learned man from Lauderberg [north of Padua]. The zealots then proceeded to somehow disappear from camp during Vaervenshyael's watch.  Howls were heard to the southwest during Tankred's watch, but nothing else of real significance occurred during the night.

The following morning was a chilly one. The party resumed their march as much for warmth as to get to any specific destination. Along the way, the bodies of the Sigmarite zealots were found mauled. The area was covered in the footprints of a large wolf (or two, the Doctor couldn't be precise). Considering their loss negligible, Tankred and Vaervenshyael kept the party moving. Wilhelm and Johann were left to their own ruminations of the value of the zealots' lives...or lives in general.

Finally, in the distance, the party spied a 200-foot tall tower. The tower let forth a continuous column of steam out of the top. Vaervenshyael was initially reminded of dwarf technology. High on a plank there was a lookout. Approaching the tower was a long thoroughfare with what were apparently more zealots.

The party approached the tower through a gathering group of Sigmarite zealots. The zealots were unarmed, but Vaervenshyael remembered the hostility of the others on the road. She did not take her eyes off these uncivilized beasts as she approached. Doctor Johann spoke with the Sigmarites upon the approach, but Vaervenshyael paid little attention, until the Doctor said "What did this one do to deserve his punishment?"

Vaervenshyael turned to see what the Doctor was talking about. She saw the Verenean priest Roderic hanging outside the tower, tied to a post, sunburned, and mostly dead. The elf steeled her gaze, drew her sword, and boldly proclaimed, "this man is a citizen of Padua, and under the protection of the Princeps and his Master of the Horse. He is coming with me!" She then rode for the post to cut the priest down.

The Sigmarite zealots began to surround the party in a manner much more threatening than they previously held. Tankred pulled his sword to defend himself. Wilhelm pulled his Robber-Reducing Hand Cannon, but had no intention of waiting to be attacked. He fired on the nearest Sigmarite.

Battle was joined. Vaervenshyael defended herself from the attacks of two zealots, killing them both. She ignored any others in favor of cutting the priest down. The battle fought on around them, but Vaervenshyael heard the priest say "I know the truth...I know the truth." She saw the magical tooth hanging from around his neck. It was obviously not safe in his possession, so she yanked it from his neck and stuffed it safely into an inner pocked of her clothing.

When the last zealot was dispatched, the Doctor thoroughly examined the Priest. Johann looked at Vaervenshyael and said "he vill live."

Monday, June 29, 2015

[D&D 2e] Eveningstar Campaign 31

My Character
Gairloch Ironheart - Svirfneblin Priest of Grumbar

Jemmabink - Gnome fighter
Nina - Human Paladin of Helm with her Dire Wolf mount
Vahael Corrolon - Human Cleric of Helm
Revoltac - Elf Ranger with raven and Kodiak bear companions
Kaiden - Half Elf Mage

(Previous notes)

The party spent a lot of time talking about upgrades to their new keep, assignment of rooms, and others to invite in to help run the place. There was a period of three days in which Gairloch did nothing but cleanup and repairs (made easier by using Dig, Soften Earth and Stone, and Stone Shape). It took 3 days to rid the keep of the bodies of the giants and bugbears that previously inhabited it.

On day 3, a tall, blue man in a magnificent cart arrived. It was an extravagantly long cart, pulled by 12 horses. Jemmabink reportedly knew the man driving the cart and called him Sereem. He apparently arrived at the whimsical summons of Jemma as a merchant to buy and sell some of the party's new-gotten gains. Gairloch had to pause working on the keep to unearth some of Jemma's hidden treasures buried beneath the inn in Eveningstar.

After much bartering, the party was able to rid themselves of items they didn't need, load up on gold for running the new keep and buying equipment, and provide the half-elf mage with a full laboratory. It was win-win, except Sereem who didn't exactly seem to find what he had come looking for.

Following the visit from the merchant, it was time to break and head back into Eveningstar to re-initiate alliances and spend some gold. The first stop was Dunman's tavern, where the party was apprised of the current xenophobic isolation of the city of Arabel. Nobody was currently allowed in or out after the attack on Eveningstar. Next was a visit to Dhurthal's smithy where Nina dropped off some armor to be fitted and altered. Then it was to the traveling merchants in Eveningstar (helped by the fact that they could not get into Arabel) for some outfitting of the keep. Old Meg found us there and banged on Nina's shinguard for allowing the "new ones" around after clearing out the "first ones." Nobody knew what to make of this, but figured she was talking about Pillar Rock. We made a mental note to check the place out on the way home.  Finally, Lord Tessaril met us on the road outside the market, upset that we had not come to see her first.

While trying to appease Tessaril's pride, the most singularly strange event occurred over the town. The form of Lathander appeared over the Temple of the Light. As if this was not amazing enough, the form of Eldath appeared over Pillar Rock, the site of her temple we recently cleansed. The two forms strode the sky toward each other until they met in the middle. The two forms made loving gestures toward each other, and then there was a loud breaking sound as if the cracking of a large tree (according to the ranger) or the breaking of the earth. The ground shook, and the two forms disappeared. Lord Tessaril looked at the party and told us we were up [to bat].

The party followed the clues toward Pillar Rock. On they way, they were stopped by a new stream that had appeared since they had come into town. It was located halfway between the two temples, and directly across the route both home and to Pillar Rock. It was too fast and deep to ford, so Gairloch and Vahael cast Water Walk to get the party across. 

Approaching the area of Pillar Rock, the party quickly noticed that the sizes of the trees had greatly increased since they were there last. An alluring elven female with green hair stepped out from behind a tree to examine the party.  When she was addressed, she ran into the tree and disappeared. The party mage was able to identify the creature as a dryad.

At Pillar Rock, the entrance was uncovered. An elf female and human male emerged to greet the party. They were both wearing the symbol of Eldath. They explained that followers of Eldath had come to repopulate the holy area inside the rock. They called themselves Peacemakers and Peacekeepers. As if to accentuate that fact, an orc in the same outfit stepped out of the entrance. 

The Peacekeepers stated they were there to preserve the area of nature surrounding Pillar Rock. They were also rather concerned of rumors they had heard of King Azoun liberally allowing deforestation in his kingdom. They party was not able to help in this regard, but they agreed to share the concern with Lord Tessaril.

The party asked if the priests were responsible for the fierce stream that cut off access from Eveningstar. They stated they weren't directly responsible, but they could take care of the inconvenience for us.

The party offered their services as allies to the north and then left to share the news with Lord Tessaril. On the return, the party found that trees on other side of the new stream had branched their roots over the new waterway to form a very sturdy bridge. They could come and go as necessary.

Lord Tessaril was glad for the news from Pillar Rock. The party was again in her good graces, and she asked them to be available for a future service she may need to ask of them. They, of course, agreed and then left to check on Nina's armor at Dhurthal's.

By the time the party arrived, the master smith had shaped Nina's armor to perfectly fit her torso. He had arranged certain gems and a holy symbol she had given him into a perfect pattern over the breastplate. He then became really serious and asked her how powerful she really wanted the armor.

Nina convinced Dhurthal of the justice she desired to meet out in Helm's name. He offered to imbue the armor with magical strength at great personal cost to himself. The paladin tried to decline, but an augury from Gairloch and a prayer to Helm convinced her it would be alright in the end.

Dhurthal asked Jemmabink to assist him and Gairloch to be at the ready while the smith dismissed his apprentices and started chanting. Nobody could recognize the language, but the deep gnome did recognize familiar terms in ancient, deep dwarvish dialect. As Gairloch watch, certain of the smith's features became more apparent than usual. The man was wide, rather hairy, and extremely dwarvish as he chanted power into the armor. It was almost like an illusion or a mirage, which ended when the smith stopped chanting and slumped to the floor. Gairloch was quick to help him, casting many healing spells of varying power to stabilize the exhausted man...for human he again appeared to be.

The three companions left the smithy, vowing to keep Dhurthal's secret.

Friday, June 26, 2015

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 9

Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Protagonist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Mercenary
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Engineer (Absent)
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Barber Surgeon

(Previous Notes)

Vaervenshyael went with the grave digger to exhume Downhill's grave. Dieter was kind enough to do all the work, presumably so the elf wouldn't mess anything up. He deferred to her, though, when it came time to crack open the casket.

The casket was much smaller than either of them expected. Vaervenshyael opened the casket to find absolutely no human remains. There was an oil cloth with two pistols wrapped inside, a blunderbuss, 16 gold crowns, and a scattering of other change. Since she was only offered the two pistols, she put those in her pockets and replaced the rest. She made a mental note to ask Downhill where his son was the next time she saw him.

Vaervenshyael spent the remainder of her time wondering where to get powder and shot for the pistols. She had a contact in town, Pieter, who was a miner, but he was away from town for the moment. Wilhelm may be able to provide it, but he was looking for his own supply as well. She met up with the others, who suggested they head out of town toward the Khemri ruins. There, it was suggested, they would find all the supplies, knowledge, whatever they needed.

First was a short detour through the sulfur springs to the west. The sulfur would provide a necessary component Wilhelm needed for gunpowder. Unfortunately, the springs were also populated with beastmen. One long fight later (Vaervenshyael was unable to use her pistols to shorten the fight), Wilhelm was quite injured, the party was exhausted, and the party swelled with the addition of Sigmarite zealot refugees which had been prisoner to the roving beastman band.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps Interlude 8.5

Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Protagonist

(Previous Notes)

Vaervenshyael sighs an almost rhetorical question, "Where in the Annwyn can one find a working powder weapon?" Bored with the rest of the conversation, Varevenshyael leaves the bar of Katherina's Rest.

A hand arrests her as she exits. The hand belongs to a nameless river fisherman with the breath of a stray cat. "I heard you. Looking for a powder weapon." The man pauses, looks at her feet, then stares into her eyes,"ask the Morrian to visit my drowned son's grave. You can have his pistols if they will kill Sulzer's men."

He turns to leave.

Before he can leave, Vaervenshyael steps close to him, "Pray, generous sir, what is your name?"

The man turns to her, his eyes suddenly alert and piercing blue, "Ask for Downhill."

He turns to leave again.

Dieter Braun, the peasant grave digger, stands up from the table where he was eating with the Watcher Weinrich, the priest of Morr. "Dieter will take you to the Downhill grave Fraulein elf. I ask that not forget Morr on the way out the door. He surely will remember you when you die, Elf, regardless."

Weinrich rubs his fingers together then returns to his stew.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Eveningstar 30 Introspection

In my last sitting, I learned that Gairloch (svirfneblin specialty priest of Grumbar) seemed of more use to the party as a buffer and a healer than as a fighter. Though he is well armored, there are others in the party who can take a hit better. Though he has a mean maul, there are others who do far more damage and attack more times per round.  However, the bonuses that Gairloch is able to give with a Recitation and a Prayer spells are nothing to scoff at. And when he is able to cast those spells on a gnome friend who is fighting giants...that is a huge bonus.

I think I'll stay away from the fighting (though it is fun when I have time to summon an earth elemental before battle). I'll continue to bolster, heal, cure, etc. When the time comes, I can always grab the maul and take a swipe or two, without worrying about dying the first time I'm hit.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

[D&D 2e] Eveningstar Campaign 30

My Character
Gairloch Ironheart - Svirfneblin Priest of Grumbar

Jemmabink - Gnome fighter
Nina - Human Paladin of Helm with her Dire Wolf mount
Vahael Corrolon - Human Cleric of Helm
Revoltac - Elf Ranger
Kaiden - Half Elf Mage

(Previous notes)

There was an immediate regrowth of vegetation around the town of Eveningstar after the cleansing of the temple to Eldath. Flora was restored at a miraculous rate, signaling the personal favor of the goddess.

When Gairloch next rejoined the party, they were all prepared to head north: the direction Old Meg had indicated the giants originated. During the walk, it was noted that something was spying on the party from the surrounding forest, but nobody, including the elf ranger, was able to identify the spies. 

The party came upon walls to a keep which was nestled into the side of a mountain. They expected to find giants inside the walls, so spells were prepped, arrows were nocked, and swords were drawn.

The ranger lead the party, checking out the walls prior to everyone else's advancement. She actually found two sets of parallel walls with a gap in between. There was no further time for scouting, as boulders rained on the party from the woods behind. 

The party filed in between the parallel walls, while the fighter and the paladin held the breech where a gate should have stood. The cleric summoned a Wall of Fog around the upper bodies and heads of the attacking giants, obscuring their vision.  Gairloch sang a gravelly Recitation, followed by a Prayer to bolster the defenders. The party planned a vicious raid of the giants' lower extremities, when the mage called out warning from behind.

The second wall also had a gaping gateway leading into the keep, and three more giants were attacking from inside. Gairloch and the cleric defended the rear breech while the mage summoned a Wall of Fire. The heat of the fire kept the three giants at bay until they realized they could throw rocks from a distance.

By the time the rear giants resumed their missile attack, one of the front giants was down and the other was badly bloodied. Out of nowhere, the paladin's dire wolf leaped from above onto the head of the remaining giant along with a large, heretofore unseen bear! The two animals took down the giant, leaving the rest of the party to focus their attack on the giants from the bailey. 

The mage dispelled his fire wall so the fighters could charge the giants. Without the distraction of fog, and with Gairloch's bolstering prayers fading, the fighters did not have such an easy time inside the keep. The fighter and the paladin both ended up losing their footing and needed the clerics to run into melee to help them out. Gairloch cast a Cure Serious Wounds on Jemma to get her back into fighting shape. He then swung his maul at the giant she was fighting and destroyed the beast's lower leg, causing him to fall, unconscious. The remaining giants were killed with help from the ranger's arrows, the mage's spells, and the steel and grit of the rest of the party. The courtyard was quiet, save for the heavy breathing of the party. 

The large, brown bear (which the ranger later identified as a Kodiak) entered side by side with Nina's dire wolf. The bear walked to the ranger and laid itself down at her feet. 

A quick search of the courtyard found a fireplace with a spit, surrounded by bugbear and other humanoid bodies in various states of...having been eaten. There was nothing else alive in the keep.

For all intents and purposes, the keep now belongs to the party.