Monday, 9 December 2013

WFRP - the Road to Middenheim

Okay, so I'll admit it - I'm going to try to beat 51 posts on this blog, which was what I achieved in 2012, and which would equate to one post per week, which seems respectable to me. We don't have much time left in 2013, so I had better get my skates on. Today, we return to the topic of our ongoing Warhammer FRP campaign, namely The Enemy Within, but the more recent version published by Fantasy Flight Games. What follows is chock full of spoilers, so please don't read it if you think there is any danger of playing in this campaign.

Readers of this blog may remember we had uncovered a Skaven conspiracy in Averheim to create the clapper for a magical bell, but if not, you can read about that here. Since then, rather more has happened in the campaign. I suggest you go over to our GM Kelvin's blog and read the next installment there, before returning here for the update below.

So, we resume the tale with our stalwart adventurers leaving Averheim on the trail of the witch hunter Adele Ketzenblum, who may be able to help us find the mysterious Black Hood. We are also carrying two boxes, one containing the magical clapper Rudiger stole from the Skaven, and one empty, really just a decoy. We were headed for Middenheim, where we hoped to meet the academic Robert von Oppenheimer, who the white wizard Konrad Mauer felt would aid us in destroying the foul chaos artefact.

Around this time, Rudiger graduated from mere Thief to Tomb Robber, and Magnar was muttering about raiding some barrows in the vicinity of our journey in his efforts to loot some plate mail armour. We decided to take a couple of days out to do some grave robbing, targeting the barrows of an ancient tribal people whose name escapes me, but who did a so-so job of protecting their tombs with traps. Luckily, Rudiger had Trap Finding as a talent, and those traps we did trigger fell on top of hard-headed dwarves, so no problems there. The undead, now, that was a bit more of a challenge.

Despite our best efforts to destroy the bones of the dead warriors we found in the tombs, some had been concealed behind false panels, and came to life. Although they were frightening, our collective team now has higher WP scores than when they fought the Skaven and were able to cope admirably. We also had Podo, our halfling surgeon, with us to patch up characters that were wounded in the affray. While victorious over the undead, we sadly found less loot than we hoped for, and no plate mail to speak of. Only Aelric was happy, having discovered a strange iron ring, which he caressed in an unwholesome manner as we trundled off in our cart.

It was decided that sticking around in the highlands was asking for trouble from the local tribes, especially as we were plundering their ancestral tombs. There was also the question of the witch hunter we were pursuing. We continued our journey into the Great Forest, where we were ambushed by a giant spider, literally dropping onto the cart out of a tree. Poor old Podo was poisoned and fell out of the cart, but the two elves, who had been riding ahead, dispatched the spider shortly thereafter, with Aelric demonstrating that his magic is becoming more lethal all the time. Podo recovered. Eventually.

We found the city of Talabheim closed against us, and the chaos horde that we knew was sweeping south. We were forced therefore to ask around at a local village about Ketzenblum, and they had indeed seen someone matching her description pass through. It seems she may not have entered Talabheim at all. We set off in hot pursuit, or as hot as you can with a cart drawn by an ancient nag, loaded to the gills with weapons, supplies and heavily muscled dwarf killing machines. Stopping at a coaching inn, Rudiger decided to have a quiet cider and watch the world go by, while Magnar and Torek had a drinking competition. Torek lost, but by this stage both dwarves were paralytic with booze. Which would have been fine had the Skaven not decided to try to steal the bell clapper from us in the night.

Luckily, there is a magical alarm on the clapper, and the Skaven thief only made it to the inn's courtyard wall before we were awake and armed and suitably alarumed - apart from the drunken dwarves of course. While Rudiger climbed out the window, Drandruel took a running jump out the window, somersaulting through the air to land on the wall. Someone needs to sign her up for the War Dancers if you ask me. The astonished Skaven fled cross country as quick as he could, but was hit by a quarrel from Drandruel's crossbow, and was nuked shortly afterwards by Aelric, who had managed to run around to the main gate to intercept him (hiding his face in his cloak, as he forgot his mask in the bedroom). The boxes were duly retrieved, with the ratman obligingly melting away to conceal knowledge of his presence.

Thus it was that we slipped away from the inn at dawn, before anyone could dream up any interesting questions about the night's events, and before the dwarves could get at the beer again. We knew we were not far from Middenheim, but we also knew there was a chaos army not far from us too. Needless to say, they obligingly decided to put in an appeareance...

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