• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[WFRP 1e] The Middenheim Six

DJChallix

Gygaxian Gen-Xer
Validated User
Episode 13: Into the Black

Our reluctant vigilante PCs:

Barthas Klump (Human male student)
Shal Shem Shirestockings (Halfling male footpad)
Elya the Orphan (Human female entertainer-fire eater)
Grundog Hammerstine (Dwarf male builder’s apprentice)
Sonja Bargerian (Human female outrider)
Grundy Smithson (Human male soldier)


“Get him!” Hammerstine yells. He runs into the house without even thinking, brandishing his axe.

Sonja crouches beside the young man and carefully checks his throat, and confirms that he is well and truly dead. Then she follows, as does Elya.

Grundy draws his sword, and yells at Barthas and Shal the halfling. “Come on you two!” He runs into the house.

There is nothing Barthas wants to do less than run into that house. He clutches his satchel and he and Shal look at each other uncertainly. Shal sighs. “Ah, shit,” he says, and runs into the house.

Barthas, alone in the dark, narrow street, stands there miserably. He hears a voice from somewhere above and beyond him: “MURDER! CALL THE WATCH!” and a second voice, further down the street, echoes the cry: “THE WATCH! WE NEED THE WATCH!”

Barthas sighs with despair. He runs into the house.

The PCs find themselves in a beautiful, ornate hallway with high ceilings. Exotic tapestries line the walls. A balcony looks down on them from above. A winding staircase stands in the immediate corner of the hallway to their left; the murderer is running up the stairs. He is a tall, skinny man with greasy black hair. He wears a wide-brimmed hat and a dark blue bandanna across his face as a mask, so the PCs can’t get a sense of what he looks like. But he is almost certainly human.

“Bastard!” Hammerstine screams, running to the staircase with Sonja close behind. Just as he and Sonja ascend the stairs, the murderer, now near the top of the staircase, pushes a large wine cask from the landing. It rolls down the stairs, bouncing loudly, picking up momentum.

[Both Hammerstine and Sonja must test Initiative at -10% to avoid the barrel. Sonja fails! Hammerstine fails! Both take a ST 3 hit and suffer 1 W from the barrel’s impact and their subsequent falls.]

The barrel crashes into Hammerstine and Sonja, knocking them to the railing and sending them staggering back down the stairs to the ground floor; they land heavily on the ornate carpeting at the base of the stairs as the other PCs quickly help them get back up.

“There he goes!” Shal yells, wishing he had time to load his crossbow, which is strapped to his back. The tall man has run back down the stairs to the mid-landing and leapt over the railing, then dashes through the door in the NW corner of the room. He is fast, but Elya is faster. The skinny teen catches up to the tall man, racing through the door right behind him. She tries to stab him in the back, but misses! [WS=38/Roll=67]

“Wait, kid!” Hammerstine yells at Elya. He runs after her and the other PCs follow, even Barthas, who reluctantly shambles behind the others.

The door leads to a plain, stone-walled corridor which runs N to S. Sparing the PCs a quick glance over his shoulder, the tall man runs down the corridor to the door at the end of the hall. Elya again tries to stab him but can’t connect! [WS=38/Roll=54] He pushes through the far door and slams it shut in Elya’s face.

“Son of a bitch!” Hammerstine growls. The door is firmly shut. “Help me!” he yells at no one in particular. Grundy steps up and he and Hammerstine begin pounding their shoulders against the door. It doesn’t appear locked or bolted shut; rather, it seems as if something is pressing against it from the other side. The PCs hear a crashing sound beyond the door as if something has been pushed over.

It takes a few tries, but Hammerstine and Grundy finally kick open the door, knocking out the small wooden beam that the tall man had propped under the handle on the other side.

The PCs find themselves in a kitchen. A flight of stone stairs leads down into darkness, presumably to a cellar. A small door stands ajar beside the door they just entered through.

In the middle of the floor, two clubs lie in a puddle of thick, sticky blood. In addition to that, Hammerstine and Elya both notice something strange. [Success on Observe test] “What’s this?” Elya says, picking up a small item that had fallen behind the kitchen table. It is a silver, ornamental cloak clasp with a strange symbol: three crossed bones forming an inverted triangle. None of the PCs recognize this symbol.

[It is, in fact, the symbol of the cult of the horned rat, the chaos god worshipped by the evil rat-men, the Skaven.]

Breathing heavily from the sprint, Shal says, “Okay, everybody just wait. Be careful.” The PCs look around. There is no sign of the tall man; he may have run down the stone steps or stepped through the small ajar door adjacent to the larger door to the hallway that they just kicked open.

Carefully, with her sword, Sonja pushes open the small door. It creaks loudly but opens without trouble, revealing a long, narrow storeroom that runs parallel to the hallway.

The storeroom is not stocked so heavily that someone could conceivably be hiding within. There are bags of grain lining one wall and several jars of preserved food on a shelf. A wooden crate marked DANGER! EXPLOSIVES! sits in one corner.

“Jackpot!” Hammerstine says, opening the crate. Inside are four small metal cylinders, each sized to fit in the palm of one’s hand. Each cylinder has a fuse on one end. “Oh baby,” Hammerstine says, putting the bombs in his pack.

In addition, the PCs find two lanterns, three flasks of oil, and a tinderbox.

“He obviously went down the stairs,” Sonja says. “We need to go after him.” She takes one of the lanterns and lights it.

Hammerstine’s initial enthusiasm is waning. “I don’t know,” he says. “It’s not really our problem.”

“What do you mean, not our problem? You were the one who charged in here first!” Grundy says, annoyed.

Hammerstine shrugs. “I know I did. That asshole could’ve killed us with that crossbow bolt. I lost my temper. But now he’s gone.”

“And I couldn’t help but notice some extremely valuable tapestries in that entry hall,” Shal says, grinning. The halfling footpad strums his fingers together in anticipation. “I say we get a few of those before we clear out.”

“What the hell is wrong with you both?” Sonja snaps. “This guy murdered that young man in cold blood! And he was asking for help for his father, whoever or wherever he is.”

“Look, it’s very sad, but there’s only so much we can do. The guy got away. I’m not too keen on going down into that dark cellar. Could be a death trap down there,” Shal says with a shrug. He crosses his arms and leans against the wall.

“Listen, maybe it would be best just to get back to Madam Lefear’s,” Barthas says, relieved that Hammerstine and Shal are seeing reason.

“I’m not so sure,” Elya says.

“Look, you all can do what you want, but I’m going down there,” Sonja says. She starts towards the cellar stairs, then descends into the darkness below, holding her lantern out in front of her.

“I’m coming, sister! Wait up!” Elya grabs the second lantern and the tinderbox, then follows Sonja into the darkness.

“You’re both crazy! Stupid broads,” Hammerstine says, shaking his head in amazement.

Grundy glares at Hammerstine, Shal, and Barthas, then grips his sword tightly and descends into the cellar.

“WE DON’T CARE!” Hammerstine yells. “It’s over! He got away!” He looks at Shal and Barthas with disbelief, then nervously strokes his huge red beard. “Ah hell,” he says after a moment, and descends.

Shal turns to Barthas. “Look professor, you can—” but he is cut off by a loud voice echoing down the corridor from somewhere else in the house.

“THIS IS THE NIGHT’S WATCH! COME OUT NOW, MURDERERS!”

Then a loud voice, an old woman’s. “THEY’RE IN THERE, THEY ARE! SAW THEM RUN IN AFTER THEY GANGED UP ON THAT POOR MAN!”

Shal looks at Barthas and sighs. “I guess we should help the others out.” The halfling unstraps his crossbow and descends.

Feeling more miserable than he ever has in his life, but also terrified at the thought of being dragged to jail and tortured into a confession for a crime he did not commit, Barthas stomps awkwardly down the smooth stone stairs to the dank and musty cellar below.

In the cellar, Barthas and Shal inform the others that the Night’s Watch are in the house and time is of the essence.

The cellar is filled with barrels and casks. The floor is made of smooth, polished stone, and in one corner the PCs see an opening in the floor, about 3’x3’ square, with an iron-runged ladder that leads down into darkness. A chill breeze and a foul stench waft up from the black. Beside the entrance is a floor panel that has been tossed haphazardly to one side.

“At least we know where he disappeared to,” Grundy says simply.

Elya stands over the hole and lowers her glowing lantern below the level of the floor. The ladder descends about 10 yards and ends in a rough-hewn corridor floor. [Lantern light has a radius of 15 yards.]

A voice echoes through the house: “CAREFUL BOYS! THEY’VE KILLED THREE MEN ALREADY!”

“Three men?” Sonja says. The PCs look at each other in confusion.

[Unbeknownst to the PCs, the Night’s Watch found two dead men in the dining room, just north of the main entrance of the house, a room the PCs did not enter.]

“Let’s figure it out later,” Hammerstine hisses. “Right now, we better get our asses down there.” The others agree, and one by one they descend, carefully climbing down the rusty iron ladder. Shal the halfling goes last, and as he does, he carefully replaces the secret floor panel in place above his head.

The PCs are in a cold, dank, rock corridor. A foul stench is in the air. The walls glisten with moisture and are coated with disgusting green-and-yellow slime.

The tunnel leads north. The floor is covered with a thin layer of mud, and footprints, presumably from the tall man, are easily visible.

“He went thataway,” Shal says, trying to be funny. No one laughs.

Elya has one lantern and Sonja has the other. Both are lit and provide steady illumination in the darkness.

“Let’s go,” Sonja says. She walks north, slowly and carefully due to the slippery mud, and the others follow.

The tunnel with the tall man’s tracks winds steadily north for 40 or 50 yards. There are several smaller openings leading to side passages but the PCs ignore them, not wanting to get lost and deciding to stay on the trail of the murderer. Strange, ghostly sounds echo from the side tunnels.

The tracks eventually lead to a dead end, disappearing into a wall of moist, smooth stone.

“This has to open somehow,” Sonja says.

Barthas, who has acute hearing, lingers at the back of the group, listening desperately to see if the PCs have been followed by the Night’s Watch, or something more sinister. But from the tunnel behind them there is only an uneasy silence.

Elya holds the lantern for Shal as the halfling footpad crouches and examines the wall, feeling for any possible notch, groove, or loose stone that would denote a mechanism. Finally, he finds a stone near the muddy floor marked with a barely discernable line of chalk. He presses the stone and it CLICKS into the wall, causing the entire wall to unlatch and swing outwards.

“Nice!” Hammerstine says. “I knew you’d come in handy, ya little bugger.”

“I kick ass,” Shal says.

“Well done,” Sonja says. She pulls the wall panel open as the foul smell now bathes over the party in full force—the rotten, fetid odor of sewage.

Hammerstine grimaces. “Sigmar’s cock, it’s the sewer. Shoulda known.”

Grundy sighs. “I suppose we don’t have much choice, unless any of you want to try one of those side tunnels.”

“I’m going to find this guy and turn him into the Night’s Watch. I know the rest of you don’t give a shit, but it actually bothers me to see an innocent man get murdered right before my eyes,” Sonja says. “I’m seeing this through.”

“You don’t know that he was innocent,” Barthas says in a meek voice. The statement is true enough, but Sonja glares at Barthas and he blushes and looks away.

One by one, the PCs file through the secret door and into the sewer.

They find themselves on a narrow walkway overlooking the sewer tunnel. Just below the walkway is the source of the horrid odor, a river of raw sewage running east to west. The walkway is a narrow stone platform, only allowing the PCs to move single file. A rusted iron railing, waist high, runs along the length of the walkway. To the left (west) the walkway ends at a stone wall as the sewage tunnel disappears into the earth. The only option is to shuffle along the walkway to the right (east). Or to jump into the sewage itself.

“Look,” Sonja says, lowering her lantern to the stone floor of the walkway. Faint muddy footprints follow the walkway to the east.

“I guess he didn’t go for a swim,” Grundy says, covering his mouth and nose from the horrific smell. “There’s that, at least.”

The PCs decide to follow the tracks. They shuffle slowly and carefully along the walkway, moving single file (there is only room for single file) in the following order: Sonja (with lantern) leads the way, followed Hammerstine, Grundy, Shal, Elya (with the second lantern), and finally Barthas, who is almost on the verge of tears. He wants to be in the Drakwald with the mysterious Dasha learning the forbidden secrets of magic, not chasing some mystery man down a godforsaken sewer tunnel.

The muddy tracks continue for about 10 feet, getting smaller and smaller, until they disappear as the mud, presumably, wore off the tall man’s boots. The PCs continue to shuffle along the walkway, trying not to choke on the smell of the sewage below them, Sonja holding her lantern before her and squinting in the lantern light into the dark tunnel ahead.

Hammerstine speaks up. “Look, at a certain point, we need to—”

“Wait!” Sonja hisses. “I see something!” About 15 yards ahead, slumped down in the walkway, is a figure, a humanoid body lying face down on the walkway with one arm dangling over the edge.

“Is that him?” Hammerstine whispers.

“Must be,” Sonja says, though she isn’t certain. “Back me up.” She hands the lantern back to Hammerstine, then shuffles forward carefully, brandishing her sword.

The figure is dressed in ragged clothing and is twitching ever so slightly, as if suffering the after-effects of a seizure. Sonja is pretty sure this isn’t the tall man, but perhaps it is another of his victims. She carefully presses the tip of her sword against the being’s back, firmly enough to make an impression but not hard enough to pierce the clothing or flesh.

With a fearful shriek, the figure spins around on the walkway floor and swings at Sonja! It is a ghoul, its rotted face glaring with mindless hate! It claws at Sonja and slashes at her stomach for a hit! [WS=25-10%/Roll=06] Fortunately, the filthy claws rake her chainmail shirt and don’t penetrate. [The ghoul is badly wounded for reasons unknown to the PCs, and has a 10% penalty to its attacks, and it cannot stand or walk.]

“Gods!” she cries, lurching back. On instinct alone, she thrusts her sword, but she is off-balance and the sword scrapes against the stone wall. [WS=32/Roll=96]

“Back up!” Hammerstine yells to the others behind him. They begin to back up carefully, giving Sonja and the dwarf some room. “Sonja, come on!” Hammerstine yells, still brandishing the lantern to allow the outrider to see what she is doing.

The ghoul appears injured, as it cannot seem to stand. Instead, it crawls forward and claws at Sonja again from the walkway floor. It misses, swiping ineffectively at the heavy, odorous air. [WS=25-10%/Roll=44]

Sonja brings her sword down hard on the ghoul, screaming in anger and fear! [WS=32/Roll=28] Her sword cuts into the creature’s leg, which sticks out awkwardly on the walkway floor. [The ghoul takes 4W!]

“Sonja!” Hammerstine yells, not wanting to pull at her for fear of pulling her off balance, but also not wanting her to fight on this dangerous, narrow walkway.

The ghoul lunges up and claws at Sonja for a successful hit! [WS=25-10%/Roll=12] Its claws bite into Sonja’s right arm, her sword arm! [Sonja takes 3 wounds and is now down to 1W! She must also make a Poison test (Toughnessx10) T=40/Roll=50!]

The ghoul’s poison seeps into Sonja’s sword arm and it goes numb, paralyzed. Her sword slips from her hand and clatters to the walkway floor.

“NOW WOMAN!” Hammerstine screams. Deciding to risk it, he pulls her back. Wincing in pain and shock, she acquiesces and shuffles back with the other PCs.

As Sonja, Hammerstine, and the others shuffle back out of range, the ghoul simply collapses to the walkway floor, as if from exhaustion.

“Gods! Gods! Gods!” Sonja cries out, gritting her teeth at the numbness in her arm. She can feel nothing from the shoulder down and ugly black venom seeps from the wound. [Fortunately, the poison won’t last long; her arm will be poisoned for 1d8+4 rounds (Secret roll results in 7 rounds)]

“I’m pretty sure he didn’t go that way,” Shal says unhappily.


TO BE CONTINUED . . .
 

bazhsw

Registered User
Validated User
I am really enjoying this and look forward to your updates!

You have the vibe down well. The PCs go to help someone, end up likely fitted up for a murder and end up in the sewers!

Facing a ghoul in the sewers is rough considering the beating they took off the liche! I love the wiffle factor to with characters unable to take out a prone ghoul (maybe the WS test was harsh).

(My character in a wfrp 1e game is suffering from a disorder due to ghouls, and in the game I run a single ghoul caused critical hits galore so maybe I just have ghoul-aversion!)

If you were being really mean you could make them fight at -10 due to the stench. I shouldn't suggest things like that - your characters are in a bad enough bind as it is!
 

DJChallix

Gygaxian Gen-Xer
Validated User
I am really enjoying this and look forward to your updates!
Thank-you! To be honest, I didn't think the game would last this long, but it just keeps going lol.

Facing a ghoul in the sewers is rough considering the beating they took off the liche! I love the wiffle factor to with characters unable to take out a prone ghoul (maybe the WS test was harsh).
It was a tough call. Although BTB characters are supposed to be able to auto-hit a prone target, I ruled that wasn't feasible due to the precarious circumstances: standing on a narrow, slippery stone ledge with a river of sewage on one side and a smooth rock wall on the other made it difficult to attack with a sword. Plus the ghoul, by being injured (it had been attacked by Skaven), was already at a disadvantage: -10% to its WS and only one attack per round instead of the usual two. But it got a pretty nasty hit in on Sonja's sword arm.

If you were being really mean you could make them fight at -10 due to the stench. I shouldn't suggest things like that - your characters are in a bad enough bind as it is!
Lol. The adventure suggests that while they're in the sewer the PCs should be at 1/2 WP and 1/2 Cool for that reason, but I waived that. As you say, it's tough enough as it is. Thanks for commenting and I'm glad you're enjoying the game.
 

Walkie Talkie Noise Decoder

There are monkey boys in the facility
Validated User
Awesome as always!
Prone means unable to fight back (sleeping or unconscious), I'd have probably given them a +10ws for advantage of ground.

I always think Warhammer would make a great animated cartoon and your gangs' adventures especially.
 

DJChallix

Gygaxian Gen-Xer
Validated User
Episode 14: The Ambush

Our sewer-delving PCs:

Barthas Klump (Human male student)
Shal Shem Shirestockings (Halfling male footpad)
Elya the Orphan (Human female entertainer-fire eater)
Grundog Hammerstine (Dwarf male builder’s apprentice)
Sonja Bargerian (Human female outrider)
Grundy Smithson (Human male soldier)


[For your reference, here is the map of the sewers.]

After retrieving her sword (being careful not to get too close to the once-again still and slumped form of the ghoul), Sonja says, “We’re missing something.”

Grundy agrees. “He didn’t go past that ghoul. But hell, even if he did, the walkway ends in a solid wall just around that corner.”

“There’s gotta be another secret door,” Shal says. “Gimme that.” He gestures to Elya’s lantern. She hands it to him and the halfling walks carefully back the way the party came, holding the lantern up to the side, facing the tunnel wall.

“What are you lookin’ for?” Hammerstine says.

As if speaking to himself, the halfling footpad mutters, “There has to be—” And then he sees it: A discolored brick set in the tunnel wall. “Ah ha!” He carefully places the lantern on the walkway and traces the outline of the brick.

“What do you—” Sonja says, but she is interrupted by Shal pressing the brick. It slides into the tunnel wall. A loud CLICK is heard and another secret door opens inward in the tunnel wall, revealing a rock corridor branching off to the right. [#3 on the map.]

“You clever little bastard,” Hammerstine says wonderingly.

“Not too loud,” Sonja says, stepping carefully into the entrance to the hidden passage.

“When we get out of here everyone owes me a round,” Shal says proudly, picking up the lantern and handing it back to Elya.

“When? You mean ‘if’ we get out,” Barthas says unhappily.

“Don’t be such a sad sack,” Shal says, glaring back at the nervous student.

“Both of you shut up,” Sonja whispers with a sharp hiss. She is crouching at the hidden tunnel entrance, staring into dark passageway. Elya is right beside her, holding up the lantern.

“What do you think?” Elya says quietly to Sonja.

“He almost certainly went here,” Sonja says. “Let’s go.”

Shal, stepping easily between the two women (Sonja towers over the halfling but even Elya, the skinny teenager, is taller than he is) grabs Sonja’s arm. “Wait!” he says. “Look.” He points into the secret passageway. “A tripwire.”

[Sonja and Elya both failed Observe tests, but Shal succeeded at his.]

Sure enough, once pointed out, they see it: a glistening wire stretched across the corridor, just before the passage bends slightly to the right. The tripwire is a few inches from the stone floor.

“Well, I guess that’s it then,” Barthas says, relieved. “It’s boobytrapped. We should—”

“Step carefully,” Sonja says to the others, and starts down the corridor. Elya follows, holding the lantern.

“You’re welcome,” Shal says irritably.

Grundy gives the halfling a pat on the shoulder as he too enters the secret corridor. Hammerstine chuckles with amusement and follows. Shal and Barthas bring up the rear. Barthas is expecting the secret door to close shut behind him, forever sealing him in a cursed tomb where he will die slowly from hunger but to his relief, it stays open.

The PCs make their way slowly and quietly down the secret corridor, each stepping carefully over the tripwire.

After about 15 yards, the corridor turns sharply to the left. Sonja, in the lead, notices the soft orange flicker of torchlight ahead.

“Stop,” she whispers to the others. “Dim the lamps.” Elya and Grundy, who are carrying the lanterns, quickly extinguish them.

With the lamp light extinguished, the flickering torchlight ahead is more clearly visible. The faint sound of voices can be heard but it’s hard to know what they are saying.

[Barthas, who has Acute Hearing, succeeds at his Listen test.]

Barthas shuffles forward, listening intently. He hears several voices, which sound like human men. He can barely make out the murmuring of the men playing cards, bidding their hands.

He tells the others. Shal steps forward. “Wait here,” he whispers to the other PCs. He walks silently down the tunnel, scouting ahead, his bare, furry feet silent on the cold, dry, stone floor.

[Shal has the skill Silent Move (Urban).]

“Be careful,” Sonja hisses as the halfling vanishes into the darkness ahead of them.

The corridor slopes ahead for another 10 yards. As Shal, alone now, creeps closer to the torchlight, he hears the voices more clearly. As Barthas has said, it is the sound of men playing cards, their voices low and business-like. He sneaks closer until he comes around the corridor and sees the chamber [#4 on the map]. It is a large room with tunnels to the north and east, and an oak door set in the south wall. Shal, unseen, crouches in the darkness of the west tunnel. At a small table in the center of the room, four men are playing cards. The men are clearly human; unshaven, scruffy, unsavory types. Although bereft of his bandana mask, one of the men is almost certainly the man the PCs chased into the rowhouse. Shal recognizes his clothing, and his large hooked nose is a telling feature.

On the SW wall is a crudely stitched black banner with the symbol of three interconnected white bones forming an upside-down triangle—the same symbol on the clasp Elya sound in the cellar.

There is another table in one corner of the room, and two additional chairs. The room is illuminated by four torches bolted to the walls.

Retreating slowly, Shal retraces his steps, not taking his eyes off the men. They seem absorbed in their game and are oblivious to the halfling footpad sneaking in the darkness of the west tunnel.

Shal rejoins the other PCs and informs them of what lies ahead.

In hushed, nervous tones, the PCs debate what to do next. Hammerstine wants to throw one of the bombs he found in the house into the chamber, but the others talk him out of it, urging him to use the bombs only as a last resort. Elya suggests trying to bluff the men by wearing the clasp she found and pretending she belongs here but the other PCs dismiss the idea as far too risky and dangerous. “How fuckin’ stupid do you think they are?” Hammerstine says irritably.

Barthas suggests giving up and going back home but the others silence him with dirty looks.

Finally, Shal suggests trying to lure the men out of the room for an ambush. Sonja likes the idea. “It’s dangerous, but it’s our best shot,” she says. The others agree and the PCs make a quick plan.

“I’ll use my helpless little girl routine,” Elya says. She will try to lure the men into the tunnel elbow [halfway between points #3 and #4 on the map] where the other PCs will wait in the darkness.

“When the fighting starts, turn the lamp on,” Grundy says to Barthas, handing him one of the lanterns. “Don’t worry, the lantern won’t hurt you.”

“Oh gods, oh gods, oh gods,” Barthas moans, ignoring the insult. But he takes the lantern.

“This is going to be some crazy shit,” Hammerstine says, brandishing his axe and grinning. “Don’t hit each other.”

“We have to strike them fast and hard,” Sonja says, taking up position at the bend of the corridor. The others position themselves behind and alongside her, ready to strike as Elya slips off ahead to try and lure the men.

[A rough sketch of the PCs positions in the tunnel]

Elya sneaks up the corridor. At this point it is worth remembering that before she took up with the other PCs, Elya eked out a meagre living as an entertainer with the skill of fire-eating. She plans to use this skill now, and removes a small flask of an alcohol-based mouthwash used in her trade. She takes a swig, swishes it around, and spits it out. She then produces a small box of matches and readies one to strike.

Creeping closer until she is just within sight of the room, she begins to cry, softly at first, then increasing in volume.

“What the HELL?” says one of the men. Elya can’t quite see them from her position but she can hear them easily enough.

“What is it?” says another.

“Help, help, help,” Elya says loudly, her voice wracked with sobs.

Within seconds, two of the men come towards her out of the darkness, barely visible in the flickering torchlight behind them.

[Elya has the Luck skill and plans to use it now.]

“It’s a girl!” one man says, his rough voice sound surprised and confused.

“Come ‘ere luv. I got somethin’ for ya,” the other man says lecherously.

Elya is hunched over, sobbing. As the man reaches for her, she strikes a match. [Because she does this all the time, she does not need to roll to determine if the match ignites successfully.] She jerks her head up and breathes fire at the man as he reaches for her. [Fire breathing functions as either a WS or a BS attack; in addition to a 10% luck bonus she receives an additional 10% bonus due to the completely unexpected nature of her attack. Sonja’s WS=38% + 10% luck + 10% surprise / Roll=86%. She misses!]

The gods are not smiling on Elya. She breathes a burst of flame up at the man but his reflexes are fast. He jerks back in shock and horror, the fire singing his greasy beard but not harming him.

“Hell!” he screams in shock.

[The men must pass Initiative checks to act; otherwise Elya can flee. Their Init=33% / Rolls=13%, 05%. Both men react!]

The man swings at Elya with a clenched fist (he is unarmed). [WS=34%-20% for an unarmed strike. Roll=08%! Elya can’t catch a break.] The man’s fist smashes into Elya’s chest! [She takes 4W]

The second man yells, “Got a fighter here!” He too lunges at Elya (and he too is unarmed). [WS=34%-20%/Roll=99% Due to the extremity of the man’s failure, things go nightmarishly wrong for him!]

The second man misses Elya with his swing! The force of his swing causes him to shove his partner head-first into the stone wall of the tunnel. [Critical hit!] As the thug watches in horror, his partner’s head is smashes against the wall and he slumps to the floor, bleeding profusely from his cracked skull. He is dead!

“You little bitch!” the man screams. More voices echo from the room beyond and the other two men come running.

Elya bolts. Limping slightly after taking that nasty punch to the chest, she runs back to the others, who are hiding in the darkness just ahead. Everything has happened in the span of less than 10 seconds.

The first man, furious at having accidentally smashed his companion’s head into the stone tunnel wall, charges after Elya, followed closely by his two arriving companions, their card game forgotten.

[Because of their ambush, Shal, Sonja, Grundy, and Hammerstine will each get a free attack at +10%.]

Frantically, Barthas lights the lantern as Shal fires his crossbow. [BS=33%+10%/Roll=30%!] He hits! The crossbow bolt pierces one of the men the eye! He screams and staggers backwards as blood squirts from the wound! [Critical hit!]

Shal, now out of crossbow bolts, drops his weapon and draws the short, heavy club he uses for close encounters.

Sonja steps forward and swings at one of the men newly arrived from the chamber ahead. [WS=32%+10%/Roll=73%] She misses and the man knocks her sword from her hand as he crashes into her in the darkness! [She failed her roll by 30%+]

Hammerstine charges, screaming a dwarven battle cry (it roughly translates into the Old Worlder tongue as “Fuck you, you pricks!”). He swings at the third man! [WS=39%+10% surprise +10% charge/ Roll=82%!] In the crowded confines of the tunnel, he trips and crashes heavily to the ground!

Grundy attacks next. He tries to attack the same man as Hammerstine but trips over the dwarf! [WS=44%+10%/Roll=98%!] He, too, crashes to the stone floor!

As the first man screams and clutches at his ruined eye, blood running through his fingers, the second man yells out, “It’s a fuckin’ ambush!” He draws a knife.

[We are now at regular initiative. Shal can act before the two thugs; the other PCs act after the thugs.]

Shal attacks one of the men with his club! [WS=35% +10% charge/Roll=36%!] He strikes the man solidly in the chest with a satisfying crunch! [Thug takes 2W and has 1W left.]

The thug tries to stab the halfling with his blade. [WS=34%/Roll=59%] He misses! The knife slices through the air, inches from Shal’s face!

The second thug also draws a knife. He tries to stab Sonja, who lies in a heap at his feet. [WS=34% +10% higher ground/Roll=63%!] He misses!

The third thug slides to the ground, shaking and trembling, wheezing horribly as he clutches at his ruined eye with bloody hands.

Sonja grabs her sword and scrambles to her feet, then strikes at the thug who attacked her. [WS=32%/Roll=09%!] Her sword slashes his right leg and he screams, staggering backwards!

Hammerstine too gets to his feet. He attacks! [WS=39%/Roll=33%!] He buries his axe in one of the men’s shoulders. With a sickening THUNK, the axe blade slices through to the bone as the man screams! He staggers back, his arm now useless, blood gushing out as Hammerstine pulls out his axe! [Critical hit!]

Elya runs up to the man with the ruined arm, her own knife drawn. [WS=38%/Roll=38%!] She slides her knife into the man’s stomach, twists it once, and pulls it out as blood and fluid gush out of the wound like a gyser, covering Elya’s face and arms. The man’s knees buckle and he collapses, dead. [Critical hit!]

There is one thug left on his feet. Grundy jumps to his feet and attacks! [WS=44%/Roll=19%!] His sword slices the man’s leg! [The thug is now at 0W.]

“HALP! HALP!” the man yells, turning to flee.

Grundy strikes again! [Free attack vs. fleeing opponent. WS=44% +10%/Roll=65%] He misses, his sword sparking as it hits the tunnel wall.

Hammerstine attacks the fleeing thug! [WS=39% +10%/Roll=71%] He, too, misses, as the thug stumbles awkwardly down the corridor, favoring his wounded leg.

Sonja and Elya also get free attacks before the thug can make it back to the torchlit chamber ahead. Sonja swings her sword, stepping past Hammerstine. [WS=32%+10%/Roll=03%!] Her sword strikes the man’s hand, cutting it open. He howls in pain. [Critical hit]

Finally Elya attacks. She rushes at the man with her knife! [WS=38% +10%/Roll=74%] She misses, and the thug stumbles out of reach, heading for the chamber.

“Murder! Murder!” he yells, limping.

[Elya can catch the man next round; his move is 4 and hers is 5. Because of the injury to his leg, he won’t make it much further than the chamber.] Brandishing her knife, she chases the man into the chamber where the four men had originally been playing cards [#4 on the map].

The other PCs, except Barthas, follow.

Alone now in the tunnel, Barthas stops at the thug with the ruined eye, who is now slumped against the tunnel wall, weeping, holding his mangled eye socket in his blood-drenched hands. The man is big and burley, with a scraggly beard and long, greasy hair. In that moment, he looks to Barthas like every large, powerful boy who had ever bullied him growing up—and there were many.

Barthas puts down the lantern and draws his knife, then without a second thought, cuts the thug’s throat from ear to ear. Black blood sprays from the arterial wound and the thug slumps over, dead. Barthas wipes the blood off his blade and sheaths it, then picks up the lantern again. He steps over the dead man’s body and the body of his companion.

In the chamber, Elya jumps on the table and attacks the fleeing thug as he staggers into the chairs. [WS=38%+10% ground +10% luck/Roll=77%] She’s probably trying to be too fancy, because she stumbles and falls from the table, unhurt, but missing her target.

“Murder!” the man cries.

Hammerstine and Grundy have now caught up to the man as well [Sonja is slower, with Move 3]. Hammerstine attacks! [WS=39%/Roll=81%] He misses completely and his axe smashes into the overturned table, barely missing Elya. His blade is now embedded deeply in the table and he’ll need a round to pull it out.

Grundy attacks! [WS=44% +10%/Roll=32%] His sword cuts through one of the man’s arms, severing the limb and continuing into the torso, cutting deep through the man’s ribcage. The stump and the torso wound spray blood all over Grundy and the man collapses, dying instantly.

And then it is over.

The PCs stand there, stunned and silent, breathing heavily as Barthas enters the room to join them.

But before anyone can even speak, the door set in the south wall swings open, revealing a huge, ugly man with dozens of keys dangling from rings in his belt. “The bloody hell?” he says in confusion and amazement. The PCs smell the thick odor of vomit and alcohol wafting off the man.


TO BE CONTINUED
 
Last edited:

DJChallix

Gygaxian Gen-Xer
Validated User
Episode 15: The Real Enemy

Our hack-n-slash PCs:

Barthas Klump (Human male student)
Shal Shem Shirestockings (Halfling male footpad)
Elya the Orphan (Human female entertainer-fire eater)
Grundog Hammerstine (Dwarf male builder’s apprentice)
Sonja Bargerian (Human female outrider)
Grundy Smithson (Human male soldier)


Before anyone can act, Shal speaks. “They attacked us!” he cries, pleading with the dull-looking, filthy stranger. “Ashkon sent us! But these brutes tried to kill us! They’re traitors! You must tell the master at once!”

[Shal attempts to Bluff. His Fel is 45%, and he gains a +10% bonus since the text of the adventure describes the man—the jailer, Tigrati—as “immensely stupid and easy to trick.” Roll=14%!]

The big man blinks stupidly, scratching his head. To their disgust, the PCs can clearly see fleas jumping in the man’s thinning hair. His body odor, mingled with the smell of vomit and stale wine, is almost worse than the stench of the sewers.

“Who Ashkon?” he says, his voice thick and heavy.

Shal’s eyes widen as if he is terrified. “Don’t speak the name!” he says, his voice rising with alarm. He runs up to the man, who towers over him, and grabs the man’s arms, imploring him. “Please, you must get the master at once!”

The man seems confused, but nervous. He says, “I…I…get him, he yell at me.”

“Just try, my friend. I have the jewel! I’ll show him! The jewel of Alexa!”

The other PCs are amazed at the rubbish flowing from Shal’s mouth and the effectiveness of his acting.

The big man shrugs. “Okay. I try.” And he turns and begins to walk towards the tunnel to the north.

Hammerstine strikes! As soon as the big man turns around and starts to shuffle away, the dwarf swings his axe for a mighty blow. [WS=39%+10%/Roll=06%]. He hits! His axe cuts into the man’s back. The big man gasps and lurches forward.

Grundy attacks the man as well, connecting with a solid blow from his sword. He hits! [WS=44%+10%/Roll=26%] His blade slashes at the big man’s back, opening a gash in the filthy, ragged tunic.

Sonja swings but misses, as the big man falls forward against the stone wall. [WS=32%+10%/Roll=82%]

[This was, essentially, a surprise round in which the three PCs closest to the big man were able to strike him. Now a normal round begins.]

Shal attacks the big man with his club. He hits! [WS=35%/Roll=23%] His blow connects with the big man’s elbow, smashing it painfully. [The big man is now at 0W]

Sonja attacks! She misses, her sword thrust glancing off the man’s thick, befouled tunic. [WS=32%/Roll=73%]

Elya attacks! [WS=38%/Roll=83%] She can’t connect with her knife, as she trips over Shal.

Grundy attacks! [WS=44%/Roll=44%!] His sword connects solidly with the big man. His sword slices through the man’s shoulder, almost severing it completely. The big man howls in pain like an animal as blood gushes from the wound, the arm literally dangling loosely by a strip of ragged flesh, the bone completely severed. The big man’s knees crumple beneath him and he falls to the stone floor, dead from shock and blood loss. [Critical hit!]

The PCs don’t even have time to speak before a loud sound echoes towards them from the north tunnel—an answering cry of rage, a cry not remotely human. It squeals on and on, filling the dark, blood-spattered chamber. Then, from the darkness ahead, the sound of thumping, the echo of steel.

“I think that’s the cavalry,” Shal says nervously.

“Retreat. Now!” Sonja says, stepping quickly over the bodies of the two men the PCs killed earlier. She now recognizes one of them as the assassin they had originally chased into the sewers.

The others follow her without question as she runs back up the west tunnel (the tunnel they originally entered through). All, that is, except for one. Shal Shem Shirestockings, halfling footpad, scurries into the east tunnel (room #5 on the map).

The party and Shal will now be described separately (until—or if—they are reunited).

THE PARTY:

They run halfway up the original tunnel, stepping over the other two dead bodies, Sonja in the lead. At the tunnel elbow she calls a halt, and motions for the others to be silent. From the chamber to the east, site of the recent carnage, they hear a loud crash, a table flipped over, and the chittering of strange, inhuman voices, chattering excitedly in an alien tongue. Sonja and the others wait in the darkened tunnel, tense, bloodied weapons drawn, ready to attack or flee as the situation requires. They listen to see if the strange chittering voices will grow louder and closer.

SHAL:

The room he runs into is dark, but from the flickering torches in the main chamber to the west he can barely make out weapons and armor, lining the walls in various wooden racks and shelves. Some sort of armory, then. He crouches behind a large trunk, peering into the main chamber, watching from the shadows to see what arrives.

[Shal is attempting to Hide. Hide=Init.+Cool-Opponent’s Init. We’ll see what happens in a moment.]

Within seconds, two man-shaped, furry creatures lurch into the chamber from the north tunnel. They are heavy, with large mid-sections. They walk hunched over, making it hard to determine their height. Though wearing long, black robes with hoods, Shal can clearly see their faces. They have the heads of rats, long filthy snouts protruding from under the hoods, red eyes shining fiendishly in the dim lighting. Each beast holds a long, razor-sharp spear, its blade glistening with some greasy coating.

Skaven!

THE PARTY:

It takes the others a moment to realize Shal is not with them. “Where is that little maniac?” Hammerstine hisses to the others.

“Maybe he hid,” Grundy suggests.

“I’m going back for him,” Hammerstine says, and starts to walk back to the chamber. Sonja grabs his arm.

“Stay where you are,” she orders. Hammerstine hesitates, then stands still, crouching in the dark. The chittering sounds continue in the chamber, but don’t seem to come closer. Not yet.

SHAL:

The stories are true! Mutant rat-men living in the sewers! These, apparently, with human servants! His mind reeling, Shal realizes his crossbow is lying on the chamber floor; not that it matters, for he is out of quarrels. He clutches his club tightly and stays motionless, peering over the large trunk in the dark room.

The two Skaven begin to examine the carnage in the chamber, poking each of the dead bodies with their glistening spears, occasionally lifting their heads, their black noses twitching in the air.

[Shal must now made a Hide check. His Init.+Cool=59%; The Skaven Init.=40%. He must thus roll 19% or less. Because he is hiding in the dark weapons storage room and the Skaven are in the torch-lit main chamber adjacent, he gets a 20% bonus (i.e. he is not trying to hide in the same room as his adversary.) He must thus beat 39%/Roll=31%!!!]

One of the Skaven shuffles awkwardly into the dark weapons chamber, sniffs the air, hisses in irritation, then returns to the main chamber. Shal nearly shits himself.

THE PARTY:

Elya says, “I’m taking a look.” She moves back up the tunnel as quietly as she can, hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever is making those strange chattering noises. It is pitch black in the tunnel—the PCs left their lanterns in the chamber—but she doesn’t mind the dark. It keeps her safe.

“Be careful,” Sonja whispers. “Come right back.”

Elya nods and slinks up the tunnel until she can just make out the main chamber, lit by flickering mounted torches.

Then she sees them from her vantage point in the dark tunnel, just visible in the main chamber ahead. Skaven. Like Shal, she is horrified that the stories are all true. She had heard of the evil, sadistic rat-men as a girl in the orphanage, but always dismissed the stories as tales meant to frighten naughty children.

[If Elya is close enough to see the Skaven from her vantage point in the dark tunnel, they are close enough to potentially detect an intruder moving in the darkness to the west. They make an Observe test. Init.=40%/Roll=99%,43%] One of the Skaven is oblivious to Elya, too overcome with rage to notice any movement. He stabs his spear angrily into the large man with the key ring at his belt, again and again, cursing the man in a strange, alien tongue. The other Skaven hesitates, thinking for an instant that someone is watching from the west tunnel, but then shakes his head. The intruders, he thinks, are gone.

The two Skaven turn and scurry back up through the north exit into the darkness of the north tunnel.

SHAL:

Breathing a massive sigh of relief, Shal runs out of his hiding place into the main chamber. Grabbing his crossbow and a lantern, he goes back into the weapons chamber with the lantern, and finds a small leather pouch of 15 crossbow quarrels. He loads his crossbow.

THE PARTY:

Elya, having no idea how close she came to being spotted, runs back to the other PCs and tells them about the Skaven and seeing Shal emerge and return to the far room. The others take the news in amazement (all except Sonja, who had heard too many stories about the Skaven to dismiss them as a myth).

The other PCs quickly return to the main chamber where they run into Shal, emerging from the armory with his newly-loaded crossbow.

“Did you see that shit?” he says, breathless.

“I did,” Elya says. “The Skaven. They’re real.”

“Apparently,” Shal agrees.

“They’ll be back,” Sonja says. “And in greater numbers.”

“I’ve got a surprise for them,” Hammerstine says. He removes two of the fist-sized bombs from his satchel.


TO BE CONTINUED
 

bazhsw

Registered User
Validated User
I feel sorry for the jailer! Enjoying these updates, and some good rolls by the party.
 

DJChallix

Gygaxian Gen-Xer
Validated User
I feel sorry for the jailer! Enjoying these updates, and some good rolls by the party.
Thanks for following along! Stay tuned for sessions tomorrow and Sunday! :devilish: And yes, the rolls were awesome. The best one was Shal's hide success in the weapons room. Scary stuff. :eek:
 

DJChallix

Gygaxian Gen-Xer
Validated User
Episode 16: War

Our Skaven-fighting PCs:

Barthas Klump (Human male student)
Shal Shem Shirestockings (Halfling male footpad)
Elya the Orphan (Human female entertainer-fire eater)
Grundog Hammerstine (Dwarf male builder’s apprentice)
Sonja Bargerian (Human female outrider)
Grundy Smithson (Human male soldier)



“How many of those things do you have?” Grundy asks.

“Four,” Hammerstine says with a grin.

“What exactly are you proposing?” Sonja says.

“I say we follow ‘em, then bomb the shit out of them,” Hammerstine says.

“Look, you didn’t see them,” Shal says nervously. “These things are big, they’re like a man, they’re huge.”

“Not so big that I can’t blow them up, though,” Hammerstine says.

Shal rubs his hands nervously. The rat-men have really creeped him out.

“We don’t know how many there are,” Elya points out.

“I think we need to leave here, immediately,” Barthas says nervously.

“You would,” Hammerstine says with contempt.

“Listen,” Barthas says angrily. “This one is dead.” He points to the bloody corpse of the assassin, crumpled against the wall, lying on it side after being kicked by the Skaven. “And that guy’s father, you can be sure he’s dead too.”

“You don’t know that,” Sonja says stubbornly. “I’m with Hammerstine. I’m not quitting. We’ll find him.”

“Huh? Oh yeah, sure,” says Hammerstine, who had completely forgotten about the young man’s dying plea to save his father.

“Whatever we do, let’s do it quickly,” Grundy says quietly. “They’ll soon be back.”

Hammerstine nods. “Let’s hide in there,” he says, pointing to the weapons storage room to the east. “We wait. When they come back with reinforcements, we throw a couple of these babies in here and boom. Nowhere for them to hide. Their brains will be all over the walls.”

“I don’t like the idea of getting trapped in there,” Sonja says.

“We won’t,” Hammerstine says simply. “It’s a bottleneck—easy to defend.”

“There’s weapons in there too,” Shal says. “Maybe something of use.”

At that moment, from the north tunnel, the sound of an alien, enraged squealing, many voices this time, echoing through the darkness.

“They’re coming!” Barthas says in terror. He runs through the narrow entrance to the weapons room to the east.

“For once in his life, he’s doing the smart thing,” Hammerstine says, and follows.

The others run into the storage room as well. Elya and Shal bring the lanterns as everyone crowds into the small room to the east, which, as Shal had discovered earlier, is a weapon storage area, although none of the weapons are of interest to the PCs, being of fairly poor quality. One exception is Shal, who, in addition to the crossbow bolts he took earlier, grabs a long, sharp dagger in a sheath which he straps to his belt.

Drawing his own knife, Hammerstine quickly begins to shorten the fuses on the bombs. Sonja tells Elya and Shal to extinguish the lanterns so that the Skaven will not see any light coming from the small weapons cave.

The sound of many footsteps in the main chamber to the west, and the loud squealing sound of many Skaven voices. Crouching in the dark of the small weapons cave, weapon drawn, the PCs try to make out how many of the rat-men have arrived. Since the entrance is narrow and they are all crowded in, only Hammerstine has a clear view out into the main chamber. He counts six hunched, robed figures lurching into the main chamber, shuffling with a strange, inhuman gait. All carry spears.

Not hesitating, Hammerstine lights the first bomb. [The bombs have a blast radius of 8 yards, which is slightly larger than the entire main chamber. Thus no attack roll is necessary since accuracy is irrelevant; everything in the main chamber will take damage.]

From his hiding place in the dark weapons cave, he tosses the bomb underhanded into the torch-lit main chamber, the fuse sizzling with angry orange fire.

A clank as the bomb bounces on the stone floor in the next room, and an explosion so loud the PCs feel it in their skulls, in every bone in their bodies. It sets their ears ringing painfully.

Not hesitating, Hammerstine lights the second bomb fuse, tosses it in after the first.

A second deafening explosion. Then silence.

For several seconds the only sound is the PCs’ own heavy breathing. They listen for squeals of anger or pain from the Skaven but there is only silence.

“Go,” Sonja says to the others. One by one, they shuffle carefully from the weapons storage room into the main chamber.

The sight is almost indescribable. Every wall of the chamber is covered in black blood and thick clumps of greasy black fur. Sliding down one wall is a looping rope of some kind of organ. In the SW corner of the chamber three of the Skaven lie in pieces, their bodies twisted and smashed beyond recognition. Limbs have been blown off, bones and organs pulped and splattered over the floor and walls, and shredded cloth from their robes is everywhere.

In the center of the chamber are the other three Skaven, their bodies equally demolished. Thick, black blood clumped with glistening pieces of flesh, bone, and fur coats the floor of the chamber.

Grundy, the soldier, and Sonja, the outrider, have seen carnage before. But each of the other PCs must test Cool or take an Insanity point. Elya and Barthas fail their tests and each gains an Insanity point.

The air is thick with the smell of blood and gunpowder.

“Sigmar’s rotted cock, that was beautiful,” Hammerstine says in wonder. He still has two more bombs in his satchel and pats the leather bag with new-found respect. As a (former) builder’s apprentice he has use explosives before for demolition, but never seen the horror of bombs exploded in close quarters.

“I was thinking we might loot the bodies,” Shal says unhappily, “but I wouldn’t know where to start.” Indeed, the corpses of the Skaven and the two humans are so shattered and grisly that searching the bodies would be dirty work indeed.

“What now?” Barthas asks no one in particular, his stomach queasy.

“We check out what’s behind that door,” Sonja says, pointing to the only door in the chamber, the oak door set in the south wall, through which the heavy-set stupid man had come. Without waiting for anyone, she takes one of the torches off its bracket on the wall and gently pushes the door open, grimacing slightly at the blood, gristle and gore now covering its surface.

“Be careful, Sonya,” Elya says irritably. She runs up beside the tall woman, her boots squishing in the Skaven blood on the floor of the chamber.

The door leads to a long E-W corridor of prison cells (#6 on the map). The corridor is lit by a battered lamp hanging from the ceiling. There are nine cells in total, all of them filthy, foul hell-holes with straw and rat droppings scattered on the floors. All the cells are empty, much to Sonja’s disappointment, who had been hoping the find the young man’s father.

“I guess it can’t be that easy,” she says unhappily.

One of the cells seems to have been used as a living space, presumably by the jailer the PCs killed earlier. It contains a small table, a filthy cot, a cheap bottle of Estalian wine, and a puddle of dried vomit on the floor. A chamber pot in one corner is filled with human feces laced with blood.

“Gods,” Elya says with revulsion.

She and Sonja return to the main chamber. The other PCs are carefully poking at the shredded corpses of the six Skaven and their two human servants. In total, they recover 6 Gold Crowns from the various mangled bodies.

“Wonderful,” Hammerstine says dryly. “Come on, let’s keep looking. If these guys are some kind of criminal gang, they might have a decent stash of loot somewhere.”

“And we need to find that young man’s father,” Sonja says. “He may still be alive.”

“Sure, that too,” Hammerstine says dismissively.

Gripping their weapons, carrying lanterns and torches, and steeling themselves against further horrors, the PCs leave the chamber, moving into the as-yet unexplored tunnel to the north.


TO BE CONTINUED
 
Top Bottom