[WFRP 1e] The Enemy Within 1
Wilfried Neumann - One-eyed Bawd
I needed to get out of town after my last take, and I had just the place to go: Altdorf. The Crown Prince of Ostland was there, wishing to employ the services of "skilled adventurers" for an indefinite amount of time. I was sure I could convince him my skills were indispensable once I'd worked for him for a bit. And the pay was 20 gold a day!
I was traipsing south when, one by one, others started joining up. It turned out they had all heard the Prince's call for help. I wasn't sure how they all expected to be of service, especially the dwarf, considering the call specifically stated dwarves need not apply. Regardless, we all arrived at the Coach & Horses Inn in the evening looking for rooms and passage on a coach to the south.
One of the other chaps was in my line of work, if a bit more hoity-toity than me. He wasn't a bad chap, and we soon had an unspoken alliance. We paid for a room for the night with a couple other folk in our group. I headed to the bar to find out more about the place and the people, while this other guy, Larry, set off to see about a coach.
I found a Brettonian fop handing out free ale to any who wanted to join his card game. That being a quick way to gain information, I joined in for a bit. The Brettonian had plenty to say about the Emperor and the army and the roads and bandits and goblins and chaos, but it was nothing I hadn't heard dozens of times throughout the Empire. I gracefully accepted my winning and returned to scouting thing place out.
This dame, Lady Isolde von something-or-other floated down the stairs with a one-eyed bodyguard in tow. Well, that seemed like someone I wanted to meet (the bodyguard, not the Lady), and I set off across the bar to share a drink. Well, my depth-perception ain't what it used to be, after losing the eye and all, and I ended up spilling my drink onto the bodyguard. The only thing I got out of her all night was a colorful curse in a very Kislevian accent.
I accepted my winnings at cards and my losses with the lady and went to bed.
In the morning, the coachmen who were more than willing to take our gold last night were hungover and not getting out of bed. And they apparently overbooked the coach.
Those of us who weren't afraid of a little creative problem solving suggested taking the coach without the coachmen. I figured we were going to Altdorf, the coach was going to Altdorf, and certainly we wouldn't get in trouble taking the coach where it was supposed to go, especially since the two who were hired to do it were slacking. Anyway, we practically worked for the Empire, seeing how we were hiring on to the Prince of Ostland. What could go wrong?
Well, there were some who thought the hungover coachmen would cry foul once they sobered up, and the road wardens would be on us right quick. My suggestion was to make the two coachmen disappear (off them and bury them out back, for those who don't get my suggestion immediately). We had two folk in our party who could drive a coach right proper, so what did we or the coach company need the hungover coachmen for?
Our thoughtful points were made moot when fancy Lady Isolde stormed up stairs and had the coachmen dragged down to perform their duties. These coachmen weren't clever, but they weren't all dumb either, and they volunteered to allow our guys to drive the coach while the two slept it off in one of Lady Isolde's roomy hatboxes....after I threatened to knock them out with my club.
I tried to save a spot hanging onto the side of the coach where I could talk to the Lady's one-eyed bodyguard, but in the end I had to make sure I was on the right side of the coach to properly utilize my one good eye.
This coach ride was cursed from the get go. We finally got traveling a good speed, when one of the bloody wheels broke off! The cart tumbled fore-over-aft or some such, the people inside were shook up like a halfling in a barrel, and Lady Isolde's hats decorated the open field like blood on a battlefield. I was able to tumble through the grass for a bit without injury, but the guy who had lashed himself to the coach was not quite as lucky.
The coachmen sobered up a bit after that and were able to make the coach serviceable again. It was probably a good idea we didn't leave them at the inn.
When we set off again, it started to rain. We were all pretty familiar with each other at that point, and crammed ourselves into the coach to keep dry.
We blew by the Four Seasons Coaching Inn, on account of us riding in a competing company's coach. A bit later we were stopped by some sort of grotesque mutant in the road. The horses were somehow able to buck and escape from our earlier-damaged cart. I was nauseated at the very description of the beast, but one of the guys on the coach was able to blow the creature's head off with a very loud blunderbuss.
That noise ensured we weren't left undiscovered long, and some other mutants came running up the road to deliver vengeance for their comrade. The guys I'm traveling with made easy work of the mutant band...I guess they may all be a bit more serviceable than I initially gave them credit for. A short way down the road after the mutant attack was the scene of another coaching ambush, but these poor slobs hadn't made out as well as we had. We came upon an overturned Four Seasons coach and a few dead bodies.