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.

Friday, March 11, 2016

[D&D 2e] The Lost Mine of Phandelver 4 *SPOILERS*

Mist: Human Shadow Walker (Mage/Thief)
Jairus: Elven Mage/Thief
Kell: Human Ravager (Barbarian)
Sanaka: Human Windwalker (Priest)
Gunel: Human Fighter/Gladiator

(Previous notes)

Cragmaw Castle

Droop the Goblin wanted to get in good with his new masters. They were interested in finding Cragmaw Castle, and Droop led them straight there.

As soon as the party could see the castle through the forest, they stopped. They sent the mage/thieves ahead to scout the perimeter.

While circling the perimeter, the two noticed a concealed entrance on the far side of the castle. This entrance was quickly selected as their entry point, over the front and side doors which were heavily guarded.

The concealed entrance led to a ruined tower. There was an entryway to the south, covered by a heavy curtain. There was a door to the east and a crumbled ruin of a wall with a small hole at the top to the northeast.

The elf mage/thief slipped in through the east door. It was an oddly triangular room with another door directly east and an entryway covered by curtain to the south. Jairus snuck south, tripped on a protruding edge of the wall, and slid under the curtain. A hobgoblin guard turned to see what the noise was. Jairus ignobly crawled a retreat.

The gladiator and priest entered the triangular room to cover Jairus' retreat. They met the hobgoblin in armed battle, but not before the creature could bang on the wall to the east, alerting those in the next room something was wrong. A second hobgoblin turned from his lookout perch to fire arrows at the party.

The barbarian was aggravated at the sound of battle she could not reach. She parted the curtain in the original tower to look south. She saw a hallway of crumbled walls and a dangerous looking ceiling. She entered to find a door to the east, a back way into the room with the hobgoblins. She entered and joined the fray.

After the hobgoblins were dispatched, the party crowded the eastern door, behind which was whatever parties the hobgoblin had alerted. The adventurers heard growling. The gladiator and barbarian opened the door, ready for an attack.

They were met by a large wolf, which lunged into the doorway. Behind the wolf, a fierce old bugbear swung a long mace. In the background, the party could see a dark elf and a tied-up Gundren Rockseeker.

The fighters held the doorway. Jairus was greatly concerned by the dark elf and cast a Magic Missile. The priest wanted to get to the downed dwarf and cast Sanctuary upon himself. Mist, fearing she had no way to join the battle, decided to check out the opening at the top of the rubble in the tower room. From the direction it faced, it just might lead in behind the current battle.

The barbarian slew the wolf, and the gladiator pushed into the room to fight the bugbear. Jairus hit the dark elf with a thrown dagger, and the elf bolted for an exit to the northwest. The priest made sure Gundren was stable, and then he turned to fight the bugbear.

The bugbear was soon dispatched, but the dark elf was escaping. Fortunately, Mist chose to enter in the exact spot the dark elf chose to escape. Mist could not stop the dark elf, but she did slow the elf down. Jairus cast a Leaping spell to chase after the elf as she tumbled past Mist to exit the castle. Jairus caught the dark elf before she entered the forest. He killed the creature with another throwing dagger.  Upon her death, the dark elf reverted to her natural form...a doppleganger!

Back in the room, Gundren is healed and was grumbling about finding his map before he can leave. The party found the map under the bugbear's bed, along with some silver, some electrum, and three potions of healing. The party gathered the loot and the dwarf and headed out the same way they came in.

Conyberry and Agatha's Lair

The party was eager to head straight to Wave Echo Cave at this point, but Gundren was in no shape for travel. The party returned him to town to heal and gather provisions for the trip to the cave. In the meantime, they decided to explore some of the quests they were given in exchange for help fighting the Redbrands.

First they decided to head to Conyberry and Agatha's lair. This was the quest given them by Sister Garaele, the elf cleric of Tymora who aided the party with healing spells while fighting Redbrands. She wanted them to bribe Agatha, a banshee, with a jeweled comb in exchange for information.

The party traveled past the ruins of the old village of Conyberry and headed straight to Agatha's lair. They decided Jairus would be the spokesperson, since he is an elf as well and he is the smoothest talker of the group (highest Charisma). Jairus decided to wait until night to enter Agatha's hut. The barbarian spent her time circling the area. She noted that there was no fauna for miles around the lair.

When Agatha appeared, Jairus was polite, professional, and to the point. He did not stray from the goal or waste his question frivolously. He exchanged the jeweled comb for the information Garaele wanted and left in good standing with the banshee. In fact, she suggested he might visit her again in a hundred years or so.

The party decided to remove themselves as far as possible before camping, and made it back to the ruins of Conyberry before setting up camp. Other than a few stirges attracted to the fire, the night was uneventful.

Old Owl Well

The Old Owl Well was not too far out of the way on the party's return trip, and they were eager to complete the quest Daran Edermath had requested. They spied the well area on the approach, and saw the colorful tent set up in the middle. Mist, the Shadow Walker, used her special ability to raise an aura of darkness around herself and hid in shadows to examine the place. She came back to report a ring of 12 zombies around the camp and a stout, red-robed figure with sallow skin, a shaved scalp, and a black tattoo on his forehead inside the tent.

The party sent her walking amongst the darkness again, back to the tent, while they assaulted the camp from the entrance. Sanaka gave the "attack" order. The gladiator and the barbarian charged straight through camp to the colorful tent. The elf and the priest stopped to hold off zombies.

The red-robed figure stepped to the entrance of his tent, shot a Magic Missile at the charging barbarian out of self defense, and said "what is the meaning of this?!?"

Sanaka, feeling the red-robed man may wish to talk this over, yelled "Parlay!" Everyone stopped their attacks, except Mist. She tried to stab the man in the back from her hiding place in the tent. She got mostly robe, but did leave a cut in the man's flank. He turned and growled. The zombies starting moving again.

Sanaka called "Attack!" once more, and the red-robed man was beset upon by three vicious warrior women. He quickly feel to the overbearing attacks of the gladiator and barbarian. The zombies wandered the area mindlessly after the man was killed.

The party paused only a short time to deliberate on the ethics of their actions before they raided the dead man's supplies and took off once again for Phandalin.

They arrived to find Gundren healed, packed, and ready to ride for the caves.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 23

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)

The light of Tankred's lantern and Otto's triple-wicked candle illuminated the dead end.

There were new noises coming from behind the northern door, against which a pile of foul-smelling detritus lay. The noises accompanied a scratching, muted by the thick wood of the door and waste pile. Roderick jumped back from the pile, knocking into Johann, who was pushing what looked like a rotted fruit skin—maybe?—off the surface.

"Something—don't ask me what it was—was just pulled under the door...," spat Roderick, his eyes wide, and the light shifted as Otto tilted his head to get a better look. The light jumped, the shadows danced, and Otto cursed as wax poured onto his hand.
Each of he party had pondered out loud mystery of the clear liquid of the fountain on the north wall. The wall, fountain, and sparkling water in the fountain seemed untouched by the filth of the room, seemingly fastidiously kept or magical. Roderick pondered this for a moment, whispering a prayer or catechism to Verena.
"This fountain is pure. Hysh radiates from the spigot. It may be that it anathema to the Filth Lord and his servants. Otto please be sure to sketch this with care." Roderick turned to Tankred and Wilhelm, carefully listening at the southern-most door.
"I think that whoever, or whatever, is behind this door is trying to hide their presence by speaking when we speak." Tankred announced, as Roderick had before. The voices started and stopped with a fool-like timing that ended shortly after Tankred finished. Wilhelm nodded, still listening.
"Whatever they are saying, it is a foul language," Wilhelm added, "can't understand any of it." He smiled as the speakers behind the door started and stopped. It drew a smile from Tankred and Wilhelm. As quickly as the smile appeared, Wilhelm shuddered.

"I think that little shit demon--" Wilhelm started.
"Imp. Probably a Bubo,' Otto and Roderick interrupted, almost at the same time.
"is in there." Wilhelm finished. He countenance soured just a little in the light of candle and lantern as he stepped back from the door.
Varvenshyael pushed the ramrod back into the guide beneath the barrel of her pistol, checking and satisfied by the load. Her ears were adorned with pieces of cloth stuffed into them. Wilhelm saw this and remembered that he had an idea for ear cups stuffed with goose down on a wire spring...

"Well, what's behind middle door everyone?" Varvenshyael's question snapped everyone back to the present.
Not wanting to leave an enemy behind them, the party elected to open the southern-most door. Inside was one large, winged imp, with two smaller daemons. The imp raised its hands as if to ask the party to halt. "Which faction workest thou for?" The creature's question was cut short as Tankred charged. Vaervenshyael stepped into the room and fired one of her pistols. Johann charged the third daemon.

As Tankred handily dispatched of the large, winged creature, Vaervenshyael shot her second pistol again at the smaller daemon. This shot went straight through the daemon's head, dispelling it instantly. She tucked her pistols away, quickly drew her steel, and charged in to assist the doctor. The result of her charge was a second daemon dispelled, run through with her masterwork rapier. Otherworldly ectoplasm splashed her garments as she followed through her charge.

There were no other doors in this room, though the party did find a silver chest filled with ancient gold. There were now two doors to choose from in the main hallway. Vaervenshyael used the supernaturally clean fountain to wash daemon plasm off her garments as the party chose its next portal.

The middle door was opened and a lantern shined down to find a portcullis at the end of a hallway. On the other side of the portcullis was a room that Tankred recognized from their previous twists and turns underground. There was no need to pass that way, though Tankred could faintly hear the voice of one of his mercenaries calling for the heroes in the distance. It was time to quickly check the third door.

The elf nimbly stepped around the trash pile and threw the door open, causing the creature behind it to squeal in surprise. The party attacked a Hutt-ish monstrosity.



The daemon was surprisingly easy to kill. Tankred used the fountain to cleanse his sword while the party packed up to return to the surface.

Friebald met the party in the room with the statues. He reported zombies amassing from the north. Van was trying to distract the creatures away from camp until Friebald could retrieve the heroes.

The party returned above-ground in time for Friebald to complain that his feet hurt. His boots were covered in rot, and his feet were breaking out in a rash from walking through the slush of dead maggots the party had left behind. The doctor diagnosed it as Nurglish Rot.

Vaervenshyael and Tankred left the others behind, heading with weapons drawn to the spot Van Duster had led the zombies.