[WFRP 2e] Relics of Nehekhara Prologue

Erik Holt - Tomb Robber

My companions
Fyodor Gretchaninov - Human Badlander
Bungo Puddigirdle - Halfling Grave Robber
Lunn Ulterson - Dwarf Gaoler

(GM Setup)
Barak Varr, or Sea Gate, is the cosmopolitan home of the rare clans of Dwarves that make their home on the coast of the Black Gulf. Carved into the cliffs of the Varenka Hills above the Skull River delta basin, Barak Varr sees traffic from Tilea, Estalia, Araby, and many of the Border Princes themselves. It is home to an all ironclad navy; the only navy of Dwarven clans in all the Old World.

Barak Varr is a cliff side city. below the city walls extending to the river and harbor on the Black Gulf are the docks. Between the water and the city streets are catacombs. From the cliff side, drains dotting the city walls and cliffs. From the street, storm drains. And lastly just following the procession quietly until an opportunity opens to steal a ride in funerary coach.  Each of the four characters have reasons for being in Barak Varr: to eke out something more than poverty, but less than a shopkeep with a good reputation. After all, none of them have great reputations.

Tonight, Vorhexen 18, 2531, a Dwarf noble is being interred with great fanfare in the streets, but in private rituals by his surviving clan leaders.

An exhausted gaoler of the Sudengate slams the door on another overflowing cell of drunks celebrating the life of a rich and celebrated Noble of Barak Varr.

A grave-robber chews a piece of homemade jerky, spitting on the cobblestones as he nervously watches the preparations of the funeral possession outside the Noble's walled estate

A tomb-robber stands in the shade of shops across from an alley silhouetted in the midday sun against the bright side of the street, counting the paces from the wall to the storm drain cover beneath his feet. His stomach grumbles as he waits for the shade to cover the drain.

A Badlander stands in a dark narrow space between two shops on the wall, bracing himself over the smell of waste water pouring through a grate. The mortar loose and the bars rusted from a century of effluent. Metal clanks in his leather bag as he kicks the grate to test its resolve.

However, it is the death of the Dwarf noble that has piqued presently all their interests. For all, it is the tombs beneath Barak Varr, carved into the cliffs, that will be opened to receive the noble, his family, and the priests for the secretive burial rites. For one graverobber it is a fresh corpse. For a tomb robber and a Badlander it is the distraction of the honor parade and the tombs being opened. And for a gaoler, it is just more drunks.  Each of the four unaware of the other or their goals. Yet all about to be brought together by profession.

(Erik Holt)

Erik waits for the procession to pass by. He waits for the crowds to thin out. He waits for the shadows the moving sun will soon cast over the alleyway. He waits for the time when he'll be able to sneak down the storm drain and into the secret tunnels below. He waits, and he thinks on the dreams that have been recurring lately.

He dreams of doors. Of a great causeway, water, ships, all somehow pointing toward the door. Of gold. Of jewels. Of riches all somehow connected to these great doors. Riches for food. Food to stop the incessant growling of his ever-hungry stomach.

Back in the moment, everything finally lines up. No one is looking. Erik uses his crowbar to pry open the grate, which slips out of his hands and CLANGs loudly on a rock. He looks up as a separate CRASH sound is heard across the street. (Luck!) Nobody is paying attention to him. A waiter dropped a tray of ales onto a group of dwarves who are none too happy about the waste. Erik slips down into the darkness.

There are no man-made footholds or handholds. Erik must use the strength of his arms and legs to shimmy down the shaft. His arms give out first. His legs can't catch him. He falls down the shaft onto a ceiling grate which cannot support his fall. The grate gives way, and Erik crashes hard onto a tunnel floor. His back hurts. He feel like he pulled every muscle in his body. The job is over before it started. Erik can't hope to escape, let alone continue his task to rob a tomb. He lies on the floor in pain, waiting for pain to take his consciousness from him or for a guard to happen upon him. (Critical failure...rolled a 100.)

Erik opens his eyes to a sound from the north. A light shines in the darkness. He expects a dwarf patrol. "I give up!"  Instead, a human with dark features peers around a corner at him.

"Here! I have found ally, yes? Stand up. Stand up. We go!" The human helps Erik to his feet.

"It hurts. Everything hurts. Why am I standing? Ow! Leave me alone! Let me die...." The two stop as they suddenly notice they are surrounded by four dwarf guards. Erik mutters, "I surrender," and spits blood out of his mouth. The newcomer, Fyodor, slings Erik over his back and starts running through the tunnels.

"Come! We must escape!" Fyodor trips over a rock and slams hard into the floor, with Erik on top of him. Erik looks up to see two of the guards again standing over him.

"I give up. Don't hurt me. Gently...gently!"

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