Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Marauding in Middenheim (The Enemy Within)

We left our heroes struggling to get to Middenheim with the clapper of a bell forged by evil Skaven magic. For those seeking a more detailed account of their exploits, please refer to our GM's blog, which includes artwork(!) For the sake of completeness, I will recount their ongoing adventures here.

Following an attempt by the Skaven to recover the clapper in a raid on a roadside inn, our heroes pressed on to Middenheim, and were ambushed by mounted marauders led by a Chaos Warrior. This led to a short, sharp skirmish in which the two elves, Drandruel and Aelric, performed particularly well, combining magic and archery to fatal effect on the attackers.

While novice WFRP PCs in second edition are vulnerable (and up until now I've only played the game with first or second career PCs), once they move onto the Advanced careers, they become quite a bit tougher. This encounter was the first in which we began to see some of the additional muscle they could bring to the party once once they had all or most of the advances from their second career under their belt.

Take Rudiger, for example. While he started as a Thief (ex-Outlaw), by this stage in the campaign he had already migrated to Tomb Robber and was quickly picking up the advances from that career. His Dodge Blow ability was already north of 50%. Some of Aleric's magic was also becoming more lethal, as he demonstrated in this ambush.

The bodies were duly looted, and Magnar took, IIRC, the Chaos Warrior's armour, to have it re-forged later in Middenheim for his own use. Upon reaching the city, we were charged an entire Gold Crown - EACH - for entry. Those who have played WFRP, with its imperial currency system, will know that this is a far from insignificant sum. This quickly became a drain on the party's cash reserves, as they moved in and out of the city, and was a precursor to many more expenses within its walls.

We hooked up with Robertus von Oppenheim, the university academic which the white wizard Luminary Mauer had said could destroy the evil bell clapper. The good professor was also able to advise Aelric on the iron ring he found in the barrow we raided in Stirland, which has something to do with death magic, again IIRC, but not a surprise really.

A side-quest we had undertaken, from Captain Bauerfaust (?) of the City Watch in Middenheim, was to locate the witch hunter Adele Ketzenblum in Middenheim, and as far as Rudiger could tell, send her his regards. Rudiger thinks the Captain has the hots for Ketzenblum, but seems to be too busy saving the life of the Emperor on the battlefield to come and do his wooing in Middenheim. Ketzenbloom seemed a bit of a cold fish, and we were keen not to spend too much time with her, as we have a mutating wizard in our midst.

To destroy the clapper, an elaborate ritual had to be staged in the temple of Ulric in Middenheim, which would also require some powdered minotaur horn. Luckily, the forests around Middenheim are infested with Chaos beastmen, some of whom also have minotaurs in their midst. We also needed to kill and skin some wolves, something all participants in the ritual would need to do. As the bookish professor von Oppenheim would be taking part in the ritual, this would require him to kill and skin a wolf as well. It was going to be interesting.

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