Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Adventures of the Troublesome Trio!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

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Yesterday we had our second session of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay wherein our heroes got involved in a sinister plot at the Grünewald Lodge...


As you might remember Heinrich the Grey Wizard, Dieter the rat-catcher and Manfred the soldier had fought off a beastmen attack and were resting at the Red Moon Inn. Manfred in particular was in a bad way and was recovering from his wounds very slowly. The next day they were approached by Vern Hendrick, manservant to Rickard Aschaffenberg, who had heard about their heroics. He had a job offer for them and as both Manfred and Dieter are a couple of penniless bums they promtly accepted. The Grey Wizard decided to go along as well for... other reasons presumably.

After having geared up (as well as being seen to by a proper barber-surgeon) they were on their way, riding in the wagon hired by herr Hendrick. It was a pleasent enough trip at first as they were rolling through the farmlands of southern Reikland, but the atmosphere changed as the wagon entered the Reikwald. Dark, oppresive and silent the great forest doesn't invite to lively conversation. Hendrick was even more nervous though, constantly watching the treeline and jumping at every sound. However, his suspicions proved true when the wagon was ambushed by a beastmen war party just in front of the gate to the Grünewald lodge!

A great Gor and his Ungor henchmen burst through the forest unto the road very close to the wagon and another group was closing in from behind. Taken completely by surprised our heroes were slow to react and suffered a few blows because of it, but they had soon killed a couple of the ungors. The Gor proved more of a match though and Heinrich suffered a nasty blow from it's axe! In the end it was slain by a powerful but reckless blow from Manfred. By this time the second group of Beastmen had entered the fray and things were starting to look dire. Dieter barely held his own thanks to his desperate defensive maneuvers and trusty dog, Rex, and the wizard was a blow away from unconsciousness. But thanks to some covering crossbow fire from the gatehouse they managed to break the beastmen's nerve and drive them off.

Once inside the lodge they met with Lord Aschaffenberg who could tell them in more detail about what their actual job was here. The Lord had recently moved to the lodge and felt that there was something wrong with the servant folk taking care of the place. Many of them seemed just plain lazy but he had also heard mutterings about rebellion. So, under the guise of being hired hands with some time off our three heroes started snooping around the lodge...

This is an investigative adventure with quite a big cast of supporting characters but even so they soon decided to talk to all of them and look for anything out of place or general lazyness. They started out a little tentatively, but after discovering a horrible artifact of Chaos in the form of a painting in the sitting room things started to heat up! Some seemed more suspicious than others, (everyone that seemed the least sleepy ended up on Dieter's "death list" for example!) in particular Otto the librarian caugh the party's eye. They had seen him scribble unnatural hybrid creatures in one of his books and they wanted to take a closer look at the library. Alone.

After getting Otto out of the way with the help of Vern Hendrick and one of Heindrich's little cantrips they started searching through the library. Only one of them being able to read hampered their efforts somewhat but Dieter helped by accidentally toppling over one of the bookcases and discovering a hatch hidden under the carpet! Feeling right at home in festering, claustrophobic tunnels Dieter took point with Manfred behind him, while Heinrich stayed behind to clean up the broken bookcase.

The two subterranean explorers found a small network of tunnels with other exits leading to the wine cellar and Lord Aschaffenberg's bedroom. They also discovered what had to be a Chaos temple! As they were exploring the dinnerbell sounded and Heinrich was forced to leave the library to attend. Dieter and Manfred were afraid of being discovered if they used the library or wine cellar exit so they decided to use the one in Aschaffenberg's bedroom. As they were making their way down do the main hall they saw one of the servants dropping a paper note. Although being far from educated men, the two of them managed to spell out the words "Goose is good". By this time they had figured out that someone was drugging members of the household and that this was probably some kind of code, but they couldn't decide wheather it meant that the goose was or wasn't drugged!

Chancing on the latter Dieter and Manfred both ordered the goose and although they discretely tried to tell Heinrich about their suspicions he didn't get at all what they were getting at and promptly ordered the (poisoned) venison! After dinner they were supposed to meet with Lord Aschaffenberg and tell him about their progress but the lord fell asleep on top of his bed, and the wizard wasn't far behind. At this point, the beastmen launched their assault!

Rushing downstairs (or sleepily stumbling as the case might've been) they discovered that the corrupted painting was gone and they were just in time to see someone slink down through the secret hatch in the library. Fearing both the beastman attack and whatever the sinister cult might be up to our heroes decided to split up, with Dieter heading outside to warn/wake up the guards while Manfred and the Wizard headed into the catacombs.

Dieter at first ran out to the kennel only to find Olver, master of the hounds, already preparing the defence. He went on to the guardhouse where the situation was more dire; almost all of the guards were asleep or stumbling around groggily! He started to wake as many of them up as possible, but even when realizing the danger they were in the guards acted slowly and sluggishly.

In the meantime Manfred and Heinrich heard chanting voices in the catacombs. Sneaking slowly forward they could see a group of people in robes in the Chaos temple performing some obscene ritual! Ears aching painfully from the blasphemous litanies Manfred charged into the chamber and smashed in the head of Karla the cook with the dwarfen warhammer they'd found earlier! The impetuous soldier continued his advance into the chamber, flinging a crazed cultist away with his shield, aiming for the leader of the group. Heinrich, being a Grey Wizard, drew power from the shadows around him and flung bolts of magical energy the the remaining cultists, trying to cover Manfred. A couple of them charged him in return but as they didn't want to break off their chant they had a hard time focusing their attacks and when Heinrich retreated back into the tunnels the cultists didn't pursue. Instead they returned to their appointed positions around the temple.

Manfred now saw that the cult leader actually was the lodge's butler, Piersson, and attacked him with righteous fury. The hammerblow hit Piersson hard in the chest, who in return used his dark powers to open up a terrible wound across Manfred's left eye! With blood clouding his vision and the other cultists closing in on him Manfred felt hard pressed. Another litany of evil-sounding words from Piersson left his head ringing, but Heinrich had returned and felled two cultists with shadowy bolts of magic. This gave Manfred the chance he needed! He dispatched the last cultist and crashed Pierssons skull in with the hammer!

As silence settled over the chamber the two heroes could hear the noise of battle coming from upstairs. They had managed to stop the chaos cult, but at what cost...

We ended the session at this point, not knowing what had happened to Dieter and Rex. Time permitting me and Anders (Dieter's player) will have a short session before the next real session to see if he'll manage to stave off the beastmen assault. Keep reading in the next part!

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