IC [WFRP] Strange Thunder

Rangdo

I used to be Ovid.
Validated User
It was supposed to be a simple job: travel to a border village and have a woman hanged, then accompany some Kislevite soldiers in rooting out some bandits.

The Black Kaiser had been harassing merchants, travellers and communities on the Kislev-Ostermark border for several years, although, in fact, most of the attacks happened in Kislev. The boyars there insisted that the Kaiser came from across the imperial border, but the local imperial ruler, Margrave Röntgen, prevaricated in his base at Fortenhaf, and the Elector of Ostermark did not have the authority to force him to act more.

That was until the Kislevites managed to capture one of the Kaiser's people, a woman called Olga Ferderov, from the village of Rheden, most definitely within the Empire and the Margrave's territory. The Kislevites insisted the Imperials take responsibility for Ferderov and try her on her home turf, but did not trust the Margrave to do justice properly. They demanded instead that she be tried by imperial justice, specifically by the famously honourable Imperial Roadwardens, and that they then be allowed to take care of the bandits themselves. The Elector agreed, frustrated with his Margrave and perfectly happy to see him humiliated by the Kislevites' interference so long as they were under imperial supervision. And so you were sent out from your base to Rheden to do the honours.

You arrived, but Ferderov never did, at least not alive, and nor did her Kislevite escort of feared Kossar soldiers.

Now you stand in an overcrowded barn, looking at the ruined armoured sled Ferderov had been brought in. It makes a strange sight: covered in holes, as if attacked by an entire battalion of Nulner light gunners at once.

There are five others in the barn with you:

Hans Amboss
, the bull-like 'burgomaster' of Rheden, but in fact the appointed bailiff of the Margrave;

Heiko Räucherschinken
, the bulbous and purple-faced local priest of Sigmar;

Mira, the slight, young trapper girl who heard what she calls 'strange thunder' on a freezing, clear-blue day and discovered the remains of the sled and its escort;

Lotte Nix, the margrave's Riverwarden for this stretch of the river, sullen and resentful at the presence of the Roadwardens in what ought to be her jurisdiction; and finally:

Frau Stasz
, the owner of the barn, who has just passed around small glasses of spiced Ostermarker tea, which every Ostermaker will swear is definitely completely different to and nothing even remotely at all like Kislevite tea.

"So I had the villagers pull the sled in here for when you got here," says Amboss, "And Olga's on ice outside. The Kossars, we burnt, so as to stop them turning into draugr or the like."

He glances at Räucherschinken, who nods in approval and pats his ample stomach.

"Sorry you came all this way for nothing", Amboss finishes, with an obvious sneer at the chance to send imperial authority away empty-handed. Nix sniggers.

Räucherschinken frowns, "Now, now Hans, not so quick. The Emperor's justice must still be done. What do you think the Elector will say when he hears some of Kislev's best have been murdered on the Margrave's soil? So, honoured gentlemen," he turns to you, "What shall we do?"
 

Starcrash

Registered User
Validated User
The flavour is sharp, but lacks the true bite of proper tea. Bland. Sevhim finishes his glass with a slurp, and his face flushes as the sound causes the gaggle of officials and onlookers turn in his direction. Ducking his head, his hair falling across his face, he mutters to Maggie, "Gon' check ded'uns, Sarr." The colder outside air gusts in as he heads out of the barn.

A moment later the chill returns as Sevhim returns his glass to the tray in Frau Stasz's hands. "Dzie- ahh, thank-you," he says to the woman, taking greater care with his language this time. The company are then chilled a third and final time as he makes his way out to inspect the various remains in more detail. Sevhim may not be the best at social interactions, but he has no qualms about digging through corpses for clues, whether frozen or burnt.
 
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MonsterMash

Are you mochrieing me?
Validated User
"Lets not be hasty in deciding what has happened, firstly we must examine what remains here to see if it can give us any signs to lead us to the culprit."

Otto sips from his tea then bends close to the sled to examine the holes. He keeps his gloves on while he inspects them.
 

Walkie Talkie Noise Decoder

There are monkey boys in the facility
Validated User
"Ladies and gentlemen, if you please priest...."

Maggie nods at Sevhim and then gets close and personal with Nix "You find this funny do you Lotte? Happened on your watch so I'd be careful if I were you..."

"Should have been left where it was" continues the large woman, referring to the armoured sled. "Clues and so forth."

She begins circling it with Otto and then starts to examine the interior once she finishes with the outside.

"Mira, come here and tell me how you found it. Describe the scene...What you saw....What you smelt."

OOC: Perception 63 search 53: 1d100 96 1d100 36
Perception on the hunter. Search on the sled
 
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Mitch

Flying high
Validated User
The flavour is sharp, but lacks the true bite of proper tea. Bland. Sevhim finishes his glass with a slurp, and his face flushes as the sound causes the gaggle of officials and onlookers turn in his direction. Ducking his head, his hair falling across his face, he mutters to Maggie, "Gon' check ded'uns, Sarr." The colder outside air gusts in as he heads out of the barn.

A moment later the chill returns as Sevhim returns his glass to the tray in Frau Stasz's hands. "Dzie- ahh, thank-you," he says to the woman, taking greater care with his language this time. The company are then chilled a third and final time as he makes his way out to inspect the various remains in more detail. Sevhim may not be the best at social interactions, but he has no qualms about digging through corpses for clues, whether frozen or burnt.
Doktor Feiertag quickly sets down his half-finished tea. “Allow me to join you”, he says to Sevhim. He nods to the gathered civilians, touching the brim of his hat. “Pardon me”, he says, following his erstwhile companion outside on his second attempt.

When they are out of earshot, he pats Sevhim on the back. “A wise decision”, he says. “It’s much warmer out here.”
 

Starcrash

Registered User
Validated User
Sevhim nods to Feiertag, thankful to have his educated eye although his comment about the temperature passes over his head. He leads the way to the smouldering heap that contains the remains of the Kossars, pulling off his leather gloves and tucking them into his belt. He takes a pinch of salt from a pouch and rubs it over his fingers, murmuring a prayer to Dahz for insight, and starts poking at the pile.

OOC: We're searching for Clues(TM)! Sevhim is doing the search, Dr Feiertag is providing directions and commentary.
 

praeternaturam

Registered User
Validated User
Albrecht gives Frau Stasz his best winning smile. "This tea is lovely, just what I needed. Brewed to perfection as well. Tell me Frau Stasz this occurence must have been a shock to you and the other townsfolk. Anything unusual been happening around here recently?"

OOC: Albrecht will try to Gossip with her to see if he can find out any other information. Gossip Test: Fel+10 for Gossip skill: 41
 

MonsterMash

Are you mochrieing me?
Validated User
OOC: Search on the sled otto search: 1d100 46
 

Rangdo

I used to be Ovid.
Validated User
Sevhim may not be the best at social interactions, but he has no qualms about digging through corpses for clues, whether frozen or burnt.
Doktor Feiertag quickly sets down his half-finished tea. “Allow me to join you”, he says to Sevhim
Sevhim nods to Feiertag, thankful to have his educated eye although his comment about the temperature passes over his head. He leads the way to the smouldering heap that contains the remains of the Kossars, pulling off his leather gloves and tucking them into his belt. He takes a pinch of salt from a pouch and rubs it over his fingers, murmuring a prayer to Dahz for insight, and starts poking at the pile.
Räucherschinken accompanies you to where Olga Ferderov's body is packed in snow. It is frozen blue, but even in this state you can see that giant single gash that plunges from her shoulder into the centre of her chest. She was clearly killed quickly by a single powerful blow, perhaps by an axe, the signature weapon of the Kossars.

Regarding the burned remains of the Kislevites, the priest looks a little abashed in Sevhim's presence, and tries to explain in exaggeratedly enunciated Old Worlder: "The locals think that northerners such as, uh, yourself, are born too close to the cursed Wastes in the north and so can come back if they die in a violent or unexplained way. They call these things draugr and claim the only thing that can destroy them is fire. This is all superstition, I know," he tries to reassure you, "But I could not stop them. The events have been distressing enough and it was all I could do to stop them burning Frau Ferderov as well."

OOC: I took the liberty of rolling Search for Sevhim: http://orokos.com/roll/713458


Sevhim pokes around in the remnants of the Kossar bodies but finds nothing unusual beyond cracked and blackened bones.

"Lets not be hasty in deciding what has happened, firstly we must examine what remains here to see if it can give us any signs to lead us to the culprit."

Otto sips from his tea then bends close to the sled to examine the holes. He keeps his gloves on while he inspects them.
The armoured sled is a fully-covered hard wooden sled with spiked metal plates attached to the outside. Even the box where the driver sits is covered. This one is covered in marks and holes, undoubtedly from gunfire. But a pistol or musket would need to be very close to the sled to be have the power to pierce the armour, and you can't imagine a dozen or more gunners standing within a few yards of the sled just firing away. The only gun you know that could do this sort of damage at range is the famed Hochland long rifle, but those are used by Hochlanders alone and never in these numbers.

Maggie nods at Sevhim and then gets close and personal with Nix "You find this funny do you Lotte? Happened on your watch so I'd be careful if I were you..."
Nix flushes in anger and her eyes look daggers at you, "Well, I'd better be getting back to that watch, then, hadn't I? Good luck with your work, Your Highness." And she storms out of the barn.

"Should have been left where it was" continues the large woman, referring to the armoured sled. "Clues and so forth."

She begins circling it with Otto and then starts to examine the interior once she finishes with the outside.
Inside, one set of manacles has been attached to the wall and the whole interior is soaked in blood: something or someone was chained up, then slaughtered.

"Mira, come here and tell me how you found it. Describe the scene...What you saw....What you smelt."
You can see from her hollow cheeks and sunken eyes that Mira is a slight girl beneath the bulk of her trapper's furs. You've met many of her kind over the years: kids who have grown up fast because the parents were dead, drunk or crippled, and who have to take responsibility for feeding and clothing themselves and any younger siblings. Country folk look down on the city as a den of poverty and depravity, but the forest has its ragged urchins as well. A girl like Mira might make a great Roadwarden in the future, if she's not hanged by one first, or eaten by Beastmen.

"I, I, was out ch- checking me traps for rabbit," she answers you, stuttering and clearly uncomfortable in the close confines of the crowded barn, "They're still around this time of year, the white ones at any rate. Then I heard this, well, like thunder, or like an 'undred blacksmiths working at once, down by the river. But the day was clear, so it weren't no storm. I knew it weren't natural. I 'id - buried meself in the snow, I did, 'til I could hear no more. Then I went looking. It were 'orrible, it were. Blood and dead men everywhere. From Kislev, they were. I could tell from the clothes. So I ran to the village here. People didn't believe me about the thunder, but they did about the Kislev men, so I led the burgomaster, here," she ducks a little bow towards Amboss, "To where it'd 'appened and 'im and 'is men sorted everythin' out. And, yes, all around smelt really bad. Like nothin' I'd ever smelt before. A bit like a big fire, but not really. There weren't nothin' burnt."

She lapses back into her usual silence, her lips pressed tight together. As far as you can tell, this is all she has to say.

Albrecht gives Frau Stasz his best winning smile. "This tea is lovely, just what I needed. Brewed to perfection as well. Tell me Frau Stasz this occurence must have been a shock to you and the other townsfolk. Anything unusual been happening around here recently?"
Frau Stasz looks at you demurely, "We're just simple country folk here, sir. Nothing strange going on here at all."

Spoiler: Show
But the moment Amboss is distracted or she gets you away from him, she becomes more talkative:

"Strange? well, don't know what you mean exactly but nothin's been really the same since Olga's Dieter died poor man drowned in the river even though he was a riverwarden who ever heard of that? she ran off instead of marrying his younger brother like she should have to keep the dowry in the family I know that sounds odd to you people from outside but it works for us round here widows marry the brother or the father of their husband but not Olga she didn't want to do that not that I blame her since her husband was a prince of a man and Fritz is a good-for-nothing make no mistake far too quick with his fists so she took off and the burgomaster was not happy and it's never been the same tween him and Fritz ever since and they used to be so close but what with the scandal I suppose it made his highness Herr Amboss there look like he didn't have his village in order and he blamed Fritz but official-like he tried to say Olga had gone mad with grief and run away to the Haunted Wood but I didn't believe that cos no one goes there and comes back and Olga knew that but then she didn't come back and I started to think maybe he had a point but then this I really don't know what to think I'm just worried for little Ivan her brother cos he's stuck with being Fritz's servant since the dowry went to the emperor which means of course it went to the priest who arranged the whole settlement after Olga took off and now the kid has to work off his sister's debt the poor thing would you like more tea?"
 

Walkie Talkie Noise Decoder

There are monkey boys in the facility
Validated User
"Good girl Mira. Do me a favour and bring me all the rabbits you got. I'll pay for them." The Roadwarden gives off a short groan as she straightens up from where she'd been examining the holes in the sled. Years out on the road now meant that her knees gave her grief at every opportunity.

"We'll need to see the ambush site, reckon we might find some spent shot and we'd better look for tracks. Otto! You got any idea what kinda guns would make holes like these? Looks like a whole bleeding regiment."

She's worried that out there in the forests is a large quantity of heavily armed bandits. Bandits that they'll have to hunt down. Bandits who would then use their guns on her and her companions.

"So...What we got on this Black Kaiser geezer?" she asks this of all present. "If it was his men who did this, why'd he want her dead? Why wouldn't he rescue her?

So perhaps it's someone else…. That means this Olga, knew sumfink."

Here she peers at Hans Ambross "You got any idea?....And what about the horses pulling the sled, what happened to them?"

OOC: Do we have any background on the Black Kaiser?
 
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