Friday, April 18, 2014

[WFRP 2e] Morrslieb's Shadow 28

My PC
Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Agitator
Magnus the Pony (Safely stabled through the sitting)

My companions
Gustav Jaeger - Human Priest of Verena
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer

From Maximillian's journal:

(Previous update)

Maximillian and Ludovic crowded together in a secluded corner of the temple to read the letters they acquired in the frantic, bloody business of the last hour or so. One letter cautioned to "watch for elves working with whores." The second letter was a retelling of the suspicious activities taking place at the printer's workshop this night. The third was a collection of Brother Ulric's observations as he sat at Osric's Star. This letter was just a few random things he had noticed or some rumors he overheard. None of the letters were full of intrigue, and we had no hesitation giving them to Gustav to forward to the temple leader.

The high priest convinced Gustav that his divine future lay in investigating the events at the printer's shop. At that moment, a runner from Udrin arrived to request our assistance in packing the elf's books. One way or another, we are again pulled out into the cursed night...against our better judgement.

We raced to the inn, barely arriving before a coach rumbling from the other direction. Before we could reunite with Udrin, an armed Halfling descended from the coach's driver's seat and opened the coach's door for a confident human. The human announced himself as Wolfgang Ostman, of the Temple of Sigmar. The Witch Hunter started interrogating our party, with Maximillain excitedly offering answers.

Ostman heard about the evils at the printer's, notably the broken salt circle. He deputized the group to explore with him. They found an eviscerated body in the back alley behind the shop. Inside, there was another dead body on the stairs. Upstairs, Frau Aschauffenberg hovered over the dead body of the printer Unterbaum.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

South Lands and Wild Dwarves

I'm always thinking about my Warhammer game, even if it's not currently in progress. I think I came up with a fun little idea, but let me provide some background.

I keep talking about the South Lands. They were an area that 1st edition didn't really flesh out, at least not in any of the products I had. They are located south of the Old World.


And this is all the description I ever had:


Now if that's not an almost blank slate, I don't know what is.

I have said before that I can put the Wild Dwarves from the D&D 2e Monstrous Compendium, Volume 2 into those sub-tropical South Land forests:


My next idea is to have these dwarves be the ones who create the Barrowmaze! I just added Wild Dwarves and Barrowmaze to my Warhammer game, and I'm pretty sure it's a good fit! I don't want to force high magic concepts into low magic warhammer, but nothing about either of these seems to go against the Warhammer concept. I'm sure I'll want to add and subtract a few things to give it the 1) Warhammer, and 2) South Lands feel. It's an exciting prospect, though.

The sandbox gets more locations. Cool.

Monday, April 14, 2014

[WFRP 2e] Morrslieb's Shadow 27

My PC
Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Agitator
Magnus the Pony (Safely stabled through the sitting)

My companion
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer

Absent Players/NPCs
Gustav Jaeger - Human Priest of Verena (Became GMPC)
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard

From Maximillian's journal:

(Previous update)

Our previous attempt to leave the sanctuary was met with resistance from some dark elves. After the experience, Udrin and Gustav secluded themselves in their rooms to prepare for a journey out of the city. The entertainer and Maximillian decided to explore the tavern that was brave enough to be open this night.

Osric's Star is a tavern that had some troubles last year at this time. It's patrons were gaining mutations after drinking the ale. This year the tavern was putting a halt to that nonsense by having the ale blessed by priests of Valaya. They were going to take their blessed ale, burn every light in the tavern, and leave the doors open wide on the night that most people lock themselves in their houses.

A young Acolyte, Hiendrick, exited the temple as we were leaving, found out where we were headed, and asked to go with us for protection in numbers. It seems the acolytes were commissioned this dangerous night to relay chronicles of the night's events back-and-forth from priests stationed throughout the city. He had a missive for a priest stationed in the Star.  We wondered what could be so important that a helpless acolyte would be sent out this night, but he would not share the contents of his missive no matter how we pressed.

Along our way, Maximillian noticed they were being followed by his friends/co-workers Alepuddle and Willowand. They came with a tale of our employer, the printer Unterbaum, working with Chaos! They heard him speaking with a "judge" and assumed it to be Richter von Rieklander, however, the voice that replied was a female. Also, when they snuck in to check things out further, there was nobody in the room. There was only a salt circle with strange symbols on the floor.

We took them and their information with us to the Star. There we made sure Hiendrick met up with the priest of Verena, Brother Ulric.  Hiendrick gave Ulric the missive, and Ulric gave him one to take back to the temple. We told Ulric of the strange circumstances in the printer's workshop, and he agreed it needed looking into. He suggested we might do this, but we decided that Hiendrick might need protection on the return trip to the temple. We followed shortly after his enthusiastic departure (read: dead run).

It was fortunate in one aspect that we followed Hiendrick. While we were not able to save his life from the massive, shadowy creature that sprang from the alleyway to rend and eviscerate his defenseless body, Maximillian was able to retrieve the message he was carrying, though slightly bloodstained. He did this on his own, slinking through alleys to follow the carnage while Ludovic, who had previously volunteered to act at the halfling's bodyguard, ran in terror back to the temple.

Maximillan quit following the creature after he retrieved the message, though he heard it continue to bang around in further parts of the town. Instead he headed back to the safety of the temple. He met up with Ludovic outside the gates and apprised him of his find, but the human did not seem to be paying full attention. Maximillian also told Ludovic that he would not be hiring his as a bodyguard.

The two made it safely within the protective influence of the temple. Ludovic was exhausted, and Maximillian was covered in blood. Fortunately none of it was his own. The acolytes who gave them entrance took one look and started spreading word that the Angel of Justice was loose this Geheimnisnacht.

Friday, April 11, 2014

[WFRP2e] Morrslieb's Shadow 26

My PC
Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Agitator
Magnus the Pony

My companions
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer

Absent Players/NPCs
Gustav Jaeger - Human Priest of Verena (Became GMPC)

From Maximillian's journal:

(Previous update)

We were huddled in the church of Verena, safe from scrying and, hopefully, from the murder Udrin had committed (without my knowledge or express consent, I might add...I am no conspirator in this crime). We were warm and provided for, when I happened to mention wanting to find a bodyguard at some point and Gustav mentioned that Lady Auschaffenberg might be a cultist. That set everyone off, and suddenly we were heading out the door to visit Lord Auschaffenberg (via stopping in to look for a bodyguard...via my friends Willowwand and Alepuddle). I stopped for a holy symbol of Verena before leaving (seriously, they are just handed out for a shilling donation).

Maybe I should switch to footnotes instead of parenthetical asides. I'm not sure. I'm relatively new to this journaling thing.

As soon as we descended the steps and reached the gate, two elves accosted us[1]. Udrin thought they might be trouble, so he gave me some instruction before we reached the bottom of the stairs[2].  Gregarious Ludovic stepped out to meet them, thinking he recognized them from his previous travels. Apparently it was not an elf Ludovic knew and was instead some grump who wanted something Udrin has[3].  A fight broke out[4].

Luckily I had positioned myself near a lantern, as Udrin requested, and I was able to pull it down and cast a long shadow over the elves[5].  My shadow must have done the trick, as the near elf fell down screaming for help and the other elf ran off. Udrin and Gustav went after the fleeing elf, while Ludovic and I tried to tie up the first one. The elf just wouldn't hold still, and we didn't have any rope, so I whacked him over the head with my club. It was lights out for the frail creature.

We hurried off the streets, again seeking the safety of the church. The dark elf[6] wasn't talking, so I offered to intimidate him a bit. Nobody took me up on the offer. Instead they requested the high priest of the church to come interrogate him. The dark elf didn't answer many questions, and he started to get mouthy, but the high priest wouldn't let me rough the prisoner up[7].  I've seen what creatures devoted to chaos can do, and I'm not willing to give any of them any leeway. The priest is a naive fool[8].

I am not sure where we will go from here. Geheimnisnacht is only a few hours away. Things are getting increasingly violent, and I still don't have a bodyguard.

[1] So, what do you think of footnotes? They have their charm, I guess. We'll see how it goes. 

[2] I listened real good and was at least 50% sure I understood what he wanted before things started happening.

[3] OK, it was the amulet I saw them discussing in the barn, but I'm trying to forget I ever saw it. It seems to be causing a lot of trouble. I need to maintain plausible deniability. 

[4] Which is exactly what I had wanted a bodyguard for. These dark elves sure have horrible timing.

[5] I didn't know what kind of shadow he wanted, but it seemed he was going to protect us with the shadow. So I hunkered over the lantern and held my hands up, growling like I was a bear. 

[6] Apparently they have a term for dark elves: Druchii. I hate to say it, though, as it seems somehow to violate my mouth. Also whenever I say it I feel like something evil is looking over my 
shoulder.

[7]  I offered to pray to Verena myself, as nobody else was having much luck and I, too, had a holy symbol. Again, nobody took me up on my offer.

[8] But very likable. He's the good kind of fool.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Dungeon Dozen Book is Now Available!

What to do with the new Dungeon Dozen book?

d12
1. Order the gastropod servant to stock it in the back, the far back, of the library.
2. Bury it in a time capsule with a Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black CDs to prove to future people what was really popular in the early 2000s.
3. Bludgeon the Dungeon Overlord and take his stuff.
4. Plant it on the body of the dead ogre.
5. Swap it out with the Liche's spellbook and watch hilarity ensue.
6. Eschew sleep and read it cover to cover in one night.
7. Get a job as a university professor and use it as a textbook.
8. Color all the pictures with crayons.
9. Breathe new life into stagnating campaigns.
10. Become a Sholtis fanboy, camp outside his house with a high-powered zoom camera, and go to conventions asking him to sign copies of prints of him retrieving his newspaper in his bathrobe.
11. Taunt your FLGS owner with the new gaming purchase you got online.
12. Give it away and buy another one.


Monday, April 7, 2014

[WFRP 2e] Morrslieb's Shadow 25

My PC
Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Agitator
Magnus the Pony

My companions
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer
Gustav Jaeger - Human Priest of Verena (Became GMPC)

From Maximillian's journal:

(Previous update)

Maximillian was distracted from the problem of Ludovic in gaol by wondrous-smelling meats in the nearby market. That is where the others find him. He told them the entire story of following Ludovic under arrest, and the strange cloaked man that was following as well.

The party went into the gaol to see about getting Ludovic released into Gustav's custody...after all, he is a priest of Verena. They were unwilling to cooperate, so Udrin disappeared for a bit and then returned wearing the form of the watch sergeant and with Ludovic in tow. The party beat a hasty retreat to Udrin's inn to formulate follow-up plans.

(This sitting was cut short due to internet connectivity problems.)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

[WFRP 2e] Maximillian Interlude 1

My PC
Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Agitator
Magnus the Pony

My companions
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer
Gustav Jaeger - Human Priest of Verena

From Maximillian's Play-by-Post:

(Previous updates)

Ubersreik is a river town of about 3500. They see a large river warehouse district and a crowded thoroughfare. Maximillian soon recognized that there were opportunities for "barking" on any street. He was soon approached by a tall man, "6d a day for 50 sheets barker." The man introduced himself as Matthis Maselhoffer, a printer's apprentice. 

"Come to my master's shingle, Unterbaum's Paper and Ink on Alt Strasse in the Alt quarter no later than when the bells toll once past Abendessen for payment." Matthis thrust a bundle of broadsheets at Maximillian, bound by a hemp string.

Maximillian looked it over:

The Sins of the Common Bürger authored by the Richter von Reiklander (Judge von Reiklander)
I judge the common man sinful and dishonorable in all activities…

"Ah, for all Shallya's Mercy, I'm not paying you to read it. Just hit the high points! Man is corrupt. Man is tainted. Only Sigmar cleanses and cleansing is only by sword and flame, blah blah blah.

"Mind you, Master Unterbaum just prints it, but The Judge," Matthis rolled his eyes and said the name with a drawl, "pays well and has his specific instructions: short half-ones, penniless dwarves, or begger elves. Pays is double for dwarves and elves if you know any."

Matthis shoved the broadsheets into the halfling's arms.

"And don't just think you can throw them in the tavern hearth for heat and a pint of apple beer. I have ways of finding out. Ah, blast it, quit reading it."

"How am I supposed to know what to tell people if I don't read it?" Maximillian wondered if he could get Ludovic to dress up like a dwarf... "Yet I'm already very familiar with Sigmar's tenants. My friend Magnus keeps me up to date. As a matter of fact, he would probably like one of these.

"I shall do as you request. Unfortunately my elf friend is neither a beggar nor prone to join me..."

Maximillian set to handing out tracts in his spare time, listening closely at the gossip of the big city:

"Brauzeit is the month after next, I worry for the braumeisters with Geheimnisnacht nigh. Remember last year?"
"The spoilt beer! Agh, do not remind me."
"The spoilt beer AND the forked tongues! all the forked tongues!"
"Ja! I almost drank that last pint."
"Osric is paying priests and wizard alike to ward his stocks this year. I hear he's even sent for a priestess of Valaya to bless the barrels!"
That night, Maximillian asked his traveling companions where they were expecting to be on Geheimnisnacht. Udrin admitted they would likely be in Ubersreik, unlikely to book passage on a ship from there to Altdorf until the Night had passed.

***

Unterbaum paid each evening as promised, and the 12d earned have been welcome. Maximillian saw a number of halflings at the print shop, all collecting a day's earning. Still the outsider, the others quietly reviewed him. He was pretty sure he'd seen them watching from afar. At Unterbaum's, Masselhoffer had broadsheets for all of them this pay day:

"The Coven's Reckoning," he said as he handed them to each halfling. "You know the Judge! 'Geheimnisnacht will purge the guilty. The fornicators shall be paid in blood.' Be sure to bark a lot about the flayed whore in the slums. Say something that the Coven arrives earlier each year. Whatever gets the sheet in a worried citizen's hands. A bonus to be paid for the next three days all the way to the night of 'mystery. Oh, one more thing, make sure to play up any rumor about Der Bär you want to add or are asked about."

Later that day, there was finally an exchange with the other halflings under Unterbaum's employ:

"Max Willowand and Thomas Alepuddle at your side!" exclaimed the tallest of the two Halflings, as they both tossed two or three dozen broadsheets into an alley fire stand. "You're an honest one to be sure. Watched you pass out all your broadsheets!"

"Time for a pint or two I think before Unterbaum's, what say Maximillian?"

"Max, do you want to tell him about those haughty elves following his rakish friend?"

Max shoved Thomas. "Of course, but we don't want Maximillian here to think we're spying on him. We're not spying on you of course."

Naturally Maximillian wanted to hear about the haughty elves following his rakish friend. It sounded absolutely fascinating!  They spoke of discrete, cloaked elves that followed Ludovic with no one seemingly noticing them. Maximillian started to keep a watch for these elves.

***

Ubersreik's Three Days of Geheimnisnacht started at midnight.

Osric's Alten Schule tavern started getting crowded at noon the first day. The rumors of Osric's warded ale and wine stocks were well known in the town. A general call had gone out in the rumors that he was seeking all blessed priests and studied arcanists to aid in warding new stocks lest he run out before Geheimnisnacht. What he was paying was wildly reported.

Unterbaum paid 8d for 50 broadsheets each day in the run-up to Geheimnisnacht. The alarming headline one day: Judgement to the Flayers of Die Huren Strasse.

Women of questionable reputation were found flayed in an alley near the "red light" quarter. No sounds, no screaming, only masterful dissections of whores were found by the watch.

Fear that Ubersreik was to be given over to Slaanesh on Geheimnisnacht was whispered over pints.

Max Willowwand and Thomas Alepuddle pressed broadsheets to chests, male or female. They demonstrated that the subject's reaction, with quick reflexes, left a broadsheet in a tangle of a clothes and arms. The shouted curses and missed punches kept them both dodging and seeking the next recipient. A crumpled, tossed, or thrown back at the halflings, broadsheet still counted as "offered and taken."

Thomas ran across the street to meet Maximillian. "There! Max II." Subtlety was not a virtue of Alepuddle. Maximillian followed the arm pointing to the tall, but hooded and cloaked figure, across the street. The figure turned into the market crowd abruptly and with purpose to disappear behind a palanquin with four broad, naked-chested porters, and into the crowd.

Maximillian and Thomas were suddenly yanked back by their collars. Masselhoffer knocked both of them on the collar. "Too close together. The broadsheets, halflings, need to be all over the city, not just the market! Unterbaum is not paying you to stand around gossiping about pie or smoking pipes."

Maximillian headed in the direction of the cloaked figure instead.

"Yes!" Masselhoffer pushed the back of Maximillian's head. Maximilian was sure Masselhoffer pulled on his hair intentionally as he shoved him. Turning around, Maximillian saw Masselhoffer stuffing one hand in a pocket and pushing Alepuddle with the other. "Off you go back across the street!" Masselhoffer looked at Maximilian.

"What?!"

Maximillian zipped off after the hooded and cloaked figure.

He dashed across the street in the direction of the cloaked figure and ran headlong into the street crowd of the market, all standing two or more feet over him.

After what seemed like minutes, the crowd cleared for a moment in front of a tavern. Pushed into the crowd and followed closely by two watchmen was Ludovic.

The crowd folded around Maximillian again.

He followed the watch and Ludovic to the north gate watch gaol. The gaol and watch tower were stone, crowded by tall tenements and shops capturing the attention of many entering Ubersreik. A third watchman, ranking Maximillian assessed, caught up to Ludovic and his captor from behind.

Ludovic was passed to guards at the tower and shoved roughly though the door. The two original watchmen stood with their sergeant and accept something from him. The sergeant dismissed them both, and they departed across the street. Then to Maximillian's delight the tall cloaked individual he initially sought to follow approached the watch sergeant from the alley along the quarter wall.

A brief exchange took place that Maximillian couldn't quite see, and the watch sergeant let the cloaked figure into the tower. 

Outside, Maximillian assessed the watch house and gaol. It was two stories above ground with three chimneys, two on the north wall and one on the south. Iron grates covered a set of windows on the north side that opened below street level. An unhealthy air drifted from the south from an open sewer ditch fed from almost all quarters of Ubersreik into the River Teufel downstream of the pool. Two watchmen sat next to each other at the entrance.

Maximillian wasn't exactly sure what to do...He searched for windows to talk to Ludovic through. He presumed the window set into the street might provide a view into the gaol house.

Sneaking through the street to the window was possible; the guards were oblivious. Through the window, Maximillian saw Ludovic being shoved into a chair. A watchman counted coins on the table, and the tall cloaked figure stood behind in the corner.  Someone was paid to arrest Ludovic, and Maximillian had no idea why.