Sham's The Enemy Within

Enemy Within, Chapter 2: Mistaken Identity (part 2)
"...from the forests to slay and burn..."

Session 5
Attended: Alex, Brendon, Francois, Scot & Tam
Venue: Alex & Francois’s

Covers events on 19 and 20 Nachexen.

(Put Log Here.)

GM’s Summary:
In Altdorf, after learning that they’ve arrived too late to join Prince Hergard von Tasseninck’s expedition to the Grey Mountains, the party met up with an old friend of Adelyn’s who offered them a contract to ship his wine to Bögenhafen for him. But first, Alric and Adelyn broke into a dwarven weapons shop, killed the owner and took what they wanted. Then, at dinner with Josef, a pair of young nobles started causing trouble in the tavern, riling up some of the party. They left in a rush, only to be followed on the way home by men in robes. These were suddenly killed by a crossbowman up on a roof, who they recognised as the strange man who’d responded to the odd hand gestures aimed at them when they first arrived in the city. The next morning, Josef rushed to warn them that one of the young nobles had been murdered, and they were wanted for it. The party resolved to set sail immediately and arrived at Weissbruck some days later, passing at least one patrol of road wardens along the way.

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Enemy Within, Chapter 2: Mistaken Identity
"...from the forests to slay and burn..."

Session 4
Attended: Alex, Brendon, Francois, & Scot
Venue: Alex & Francois’s

Covers events on 15 to 18 Nachexen.

As told by Alric Konrad:
we left the ungrateful towns people and headed for the ruins , where we proceeded to track the chaos minions that had escaped earlier. after some tracking we lost the tracks the writing was on the wall so we followed the directions and found a room with a stone door which we opened easily and climbed down to explore. killed vampire and moved on to roadside inn.some of us decided to leave early and were attacked by bandits, some of our companions were left behind . the drunk and injured we helped on board . later that night we were attacked again we happily vanquished our chaos tainted enemies an old friend of mine was sadly killed in the battle but there was a silver lining it appears that the people who had been attacked before us had been on their way to meet me and deliver a letter from some lawyers informing me of an inheritance . we will look into that later. we got to another road inn where our injerd were healed. after which we left for altsdorf. we met a priest who told us how those of us who had been affected by daemon blood could be cured . we went to the pure spring that did in fat cure us . helping some injured folks on the way.
Alric Konrad days of raod travel

GM’s Summary:
The party tried to pursue the escaped mutants from the previous day up into the Hagercrybs, but failed to find them, instead stumbled across an old Elven vampire’s tomb. Returning to the Coach & Horses, Alric, Adelyn and Imhol hatched a scheme to steal the coach the rest of the party had hired to take them to Altdorf, but this turns instead into armed robbery as Gustav the Innkeeper is badly shot and at least one of the two coachmen are killed. Imhol also suffered massively from a horse hoof to the chest, and the very drunk Grombil winds up joining the coach-jackers without really understanding why. The rest of the party and the other legal passengers are left stranded. Along the way to Altdorf, the coach-jackers came across another coach that had just been attacked by mutants, and among the dead they found a well-dressed body that looked just like Alric, but with a beard, carrying a letter of inheritance.

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Enemy Within, Addendum 1.1: On the treatment of diseases and demons or a short treatise on yucky stuff
On a new member...

Session 3

Svorgen Gotgotland Medical Journal: New Demonic Disease – Dwarf borne?

In my search for medical knowledge on the human body my meanderings took me to a small inn some distance from Altdorf. Although the establishment was of suitable lodgings I found within the usual collection of disease and effluent that has become so common in our public spaces. Hereto I found an elf – for lack of a better description. The elf was missing his arm, medically, and I propose, his common senses, observational.

Subject was male-ish and seemed to have bonded with some kind of omnivorous animal to which he showed remarkable public affection. I suppose the lower races – which are known to carry numerous diseases and infections – can freely cavort with natural beasts safe in the knowledge that any animal borne disease is as likely to kill them as their own inherent ones, so why bother with precaution? Nonetheless I digress.

Subject then joined me as we journeyed towards some minor village with the intent of exploring a sausage-fest. Said fest would no doubt include various food poisonings and I was eager to try my hand at a forced rectal reclamation or at the very least an open stomach pump. Whilst I detest the fluids of others when not prepared for their reception, I felt I had taken sufficient quantities of my own aqua vitae to sufficiently ward myself against any accidental infections.

My limbless companion continued his public ‘bear-love’ although the poor creature seems stunted. Well not half as stunted as the poor creature that met us at the sausage-fest. It would seem that my companion had ‘friends’ or at the least mates of some kind. For no sooner had he alighted up a tree then his bevy of mutants arrived. In toto: A dwarf, another elf minus a hand, a halfling (such an appropriate term), and clearly a foolish human. Much to my relief, and to the reinforcement of current medical thinking the dwarf had contracted some contagion (according to patient he swallowed demon spew-age [typical of the lower {har har} races is this obsession with putting things in their mouths. I feel this exactly demonstrates their lack of evolution as they’re still stuck in the infant phase of their natural development]) which had now spread to the luckless human.

This once again demonstrates just how susceptible the human race is when it comes to picking up disease from the diminutive beings. Nonetheless I am convinced the disease – a remarkable skin rash – is eating away at their moral fiber. Not only did the group wonder into completely empty ruins in ‘search of gold and treasure’ (clearly their cognitive abilities have been compromised) but then too the human allowed himself to be hit repeatedly by an obvious contraption within said ruins. I fear this disease may be a new plague set to lower the standards of Humans to those of the sub-species.

Further adding weight to my belief that the disease causes a form of dementia, the group then proceeded to burn down the small village. One thing of note – a mutated human was encountered. Sadly before I could realize a conversation with him, and examine his cavities further, same said psychosis caused the group to kill him and his companions. A great blow for medical science. After that the towns folk seemed quite upset – as I was – and ordered our departure. I have resolved to stay with the subjects until I can learn more about this remarkable disease. I continue my daily regimental of self generated aqua vitae, Rosen berries, and Shakrat tea. Should I come to suffer the same disease I should hope a quick death. For now, I follow with a heavy heart, but an insatiable curiosity…

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Enemy Within, Chapter 1: Fear the Worst (part 2)
"Complete waste of time, from what I've heard."

Session 3
Attended: Alex, Brendon, Francois, Guy, Scot, Stef & Tam
Venue: Alex & Francois’s

Covers events on 13 to 15 Nachexen.

As told by Alric Konrad:
At the ruined fort we looked around and found some Chaos scum instead of bandits, after ridding the world of their taint (most of them) we decided to go back to the village and discuss our fee with the sausage man. we arrived back at the village and found that imhol and squirrels were there and had fount a healer of so kind apart from wanting to chop off our heads he seemed to know what he was doing. we negotiated our new fee slept and the next day went back to the ruins. while exploring the now empty ruins I was hurt and went back out side with the doctor (its what he said he was) he seemed to know what he was doing as I felt much better after he tried to heal me. the others came out of the ruins having found nothing (surprise surprise) we went back to the village where the sausage feast was still going strong. chaos things started happening, three people showed up with a taking head ,after killing the chaos tainted we were thrown out of town. Adelyn Zumwald and I may have chatted to the dying store owner who told us some interesting stories about the sausage king, he died after giving us all his money and some equipment from his store,such a nice and generous man .we then left for altdorf.
Alric Konrad some days into adventure at sausage town.

GM’s Summary:
The party enters the ruins and clears it of traps and the mutants living there, killing some and chasing a few more into the woods. Back in town, the festival proceeds as normal for a while, with Imhol and Mormacar arriving late with a new acquaintance, the barber-surgeon Svorgen Gotgottleson. Adelyn and Alric try robbing a few places, but achieve little more than stealing the silverware from the Schiller Sausagerie. Then things went crazy, as diners in the main festival tent started becoming violent and attacking each other. In the chaos, Ernst Gottlieb’s mutants entered the town, setting fires and hunting for Schiller. The party eventually gathered together to confront him outside the Dancing Dragon Inn, killing his band of mutants, before stomping the former gang lord to death. In all this, Gottlieb had revealed that Schiller’s sonderwurst was made with human flesh, taken from tricked mercenaries sent to clear the ruins. This was matched with records Adelyn and Alric took from Schiller’s home, confirming that he had secretly bought the Dancing Dragon from Karl Taunenbaum, and with a secret basement found under the inn with a second sausage factory, plus partial testimony beaten out of Schiller’s main co-conspirator, Wilf Schwarzhaus, owner of the village store. However, all of this simply served to spread fear and distrust among the townsfolk, and under the authority of the now-sober Witch-hunter Harwitt, they were told to leave town and never come back.

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Enemy Within, Chapter 1: Fear the Worst
"Complete waste of time, from what I've heard."

Session 2
Attended: Alex, Brendon, Scot & Tam
Venue: Alex & Francois’s

Covers events on 11 to 13 Nachexen.

(Put log here)

GM’s Summary:
The party travelled by land to Heideldorf, accepting mercenary work there to clear bandits out of some old ruins and helping to guard the village’s annual wurstfest. The village seemed full of visiting merchants and rich nobles, plus a small number of locals and an old drunkard of a witch-hunter. On the way to the ruins, they were accosted by a strange Dwarven slayer, who gave them an odd, meaningless warning about Heinz Schiller. Then, as they arrived at the ruins, a crossbow bolt landed near them, with a map of the ruins basement, showing several traps and hidden passages. No obvious source of the bolt was apparent.

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Enemy Within, Introduction: The Oldenhaller Contract (part 2)
So... This is Nuln

Session 2
Attended: Alex, Brendon, Scot & Tam (playing Stef’s character for this chapter)
Venue: Alex & Francois’s

Covers events on 1 Nachexen.

(Put log here)

GM’s Summary:
Exploring the complex further, the party finds members of other gangs, some killed, others frightened or hiding. Oldenhaller’s gem is found on a corpse that had apparently just assassinated one of the gang leaders. Eventually, they reach an exit into the river, where cultists of Nurgle have summoned a lesser daemon. Defeating all these, they return to Oldenhaller, who docks their pay for having stolen from his home. They sail down-river with a cargo of artillery gear for Altdorf.

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Enemy Within, Introduction: The Oldenhaller Contract
So... This is Nuln

Session 1
Attended: Alex, Brendon, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & (briefly) Tam
Venue: Alex & Francois’s

Covers events on Hexenstag, 2512.

As told by Grombil:
Hexenstag is not the best time to be out anywhere, but as it happened this was the first chance that Grombil had gotten since escorting the delivery to the engineers in the city, Grombil was a young dwarf from Barak Varr and had just escorted a small dwarf engineering team to help some local noble with making a better cannon. The hour was not late as he walked the streets, yet people were already locking themselves up away in their homes. The dwarf went around the city asking if there was work to be had; a kind man pointed him in the direction of the city centre where a great oak [GM: Elm, actually, but dwarves are excused from telling trees apart] was. This was where people came to look for workers or post ads on a bulletin board. However on the Witching Day it was empty. Seeing the board the dwarf asked a passer-by to help him read the ads. After going through a few ads he found three notices that peaked his interest. Grabbing them off the board he decided to make his way to an inn for the night. However on the witching night it was not easy to find an inn that had any room, Soon Grombil came to the Reaver’s Return.

Now coming in to the dock was the Sloop Maria. The crew was making her ready as Captain Mormacar steered her in. As they made dock Sergeant Magnus Richardt, Alric Konrad, Captain Mormacar and their newest addition to the crew Adelyn Zumwald all disembarked. As they set foot on the dock a young man came up, he looked as if this was the last place he wanted to be. He demanded a docking fee and a tax for each body coming to land. The group decided how best to divide the cost and paid the man who was gone so fast the hounds of chaos were after him! Magus had heard that there was a man in Nuln that was dealing in chaos artefacts and decided first thing first, they would find lodging then look to this man they were here to find. The group soon found that the streets grew more and more quiet as the hour grew late. They found a street urchin [GM: Grolsch van Eyck] that claimed he could get them to an inn for the night that had room. Magnus knew something was afoot and said he would pay the lad only upon arriving at the inn, the youth agreed and they set off. Soon after the lad lead them into a small street where they were accosted by a group of street thugs, the young lad had lead them into a trap! At this time Imhol, Caraidh Bruinn, and his pet bear cub Squirrels had disembarked in secret and had taken to fishing off one of the jetties. The rest of the group made quick work of the ruffians. They set back to looking for inns with rooms to spare, they could only find one, the Reaver’s Return. This was a rotten place, it was obvious why there was rooms open even before you entered the door, well mainly as the door was stuck! After gently trying to open the door Magnus splintered the door with his shoulder, not that hard as calling it a door was to insult doors! As soon as they barged in the inn keep could smell the gold that lined their pockets! He demanded they pay for the door and charged them huge rates for the room. Taking the offer as this was their last hope. They found there was but one other patron in this “establishment”. He introduced himself as Grombil and offered Magnus the 3 papers he took off the board earlier this day. The first one was from an Oldenhaller. They decided that it was one nights work and as this was night it was a good time to go do this job. After going to the dock to get Imhol and his pet the group set off to the Oldenhaller estate. They saw the city was not as run down as they first thought; just they were in the poor quarter. Soon they arrived at the Oldenhaller estate. Knocking on the door a groggy butler came to the door. They asked to speak to Oldenhaller and were allowed into the home, Imhol decided it best to stay outside. As they waited Magnus noticed Adelyn looking at a vase with just a little too much interest for his liking, he tried to impress on her the need not to steal from a client, and it was now that Grombil noticed that Alric was stuffing something into his jacket. He informed Magnus, before he could do anything the butler, now in proper dress, came back and asked them to follow. They were led to Oldenhaller’s study. Here Oldenhaller told them of the job he had for them. He wanted a Gem that a group of thieves had. It was a gem from one of the rings that adorn the pestilent fingers of Nurgle. There was a curse that also followed the object; he thought this was just fairytale. He had sent a group of thieves to go get it, the Schatzenheimer Gang, but they had proven to be incompetent. He gave them a box to house the fist size gem once they had retrieved it. With this the group set off into the poor quarter where this den was, being led by the butler. There was a peace treaty so there was no open gang warfare so getting there was easy enough. The bulter stopped at a stairway that led down claiming this is the place. Descending the stairs the group soon found a plain door in their way. There were thief marks on the door that said “observe the laws of asylum, knock and wait” as they did, but nobody answered the door. Upon trying to open the door a trap opened below Alaric’s feet, he was quick enough not to fall, they all went over the trap and reset it and locked the door. Now they were in the thief’s den. It seemed oddly quiet; soon they came upon a ring of dead bodies. Grombil tested how dead they were with his axe, very dead it seemed. As they pressed on it became apparent that this place had just been attacked. As Imhol entered a room a barely conscious thief let loose a crossbow bolt and landed deep into Imhol’s leg. The man soon lost consciousness after this, Adelyn wanted to try help him to question him but the rest had no interest in helping this man. They pressed on deeper into the den. Coming to a set of doors that were closed and from they could tell had some people behind it, as they were setting up to ambush the thieves the doors burst open and they began attacking the group, sadly for this motley group of thieves they found the group too much, Grombil and Mormacar even managed to keep one of them alive.

GM’s Summary:
The core of the party arrives in Nuln late in the evening of Hexenstag 2512, to find the city unusually dark and misty. Aboard the Maria are Adelyn Zumwald (a “trader”), Alric Konrad (a blatant thief), Imhol (an elven ranger), Magnus Richardt (sergeant in the Reikland road wardens), Mormacar (elven captain of the ship), and Wrayan Castlemilk (a halfling of little significance), as well as the ship’s crew of three Estalians.

Once ashore, they were led into a mugging by some locals, but quickly did away with them. Finding all the inns full, they settled for a terrible, ramshackle place, where they met Grombil, a dwarf adventurer looking for work, with a handful of employment notices he couldn’t read, and so he was naturally absorbed into the party. Having paid for a night at the Reaver’s Return, they all immediately rush out to take on the first job from Grombil’s collection, working for a local councillor. Disturbing him in the middle of the night (one of the most feared nights on the calendar), they are nonetheless allowed in and told that Oldenhaller needs them to complete a job originally entrusted to a small, local criminal gang, the Schatzenheimers, because the previously reliable, dominant gang, the Gottliebs, had disbanded after their patriach, Ernst had gone missing some time ago. The job was to retrieve a large gem, said to be from a ring belonging to Nurgle, that had been illicitly imported through the Schatzenheimers’ connections, but never delivered. The party were taken to the entrance to the underground complex known as the Asylum, where many of the city’s gangsters lived. Once down there, it was clear that a lot of violence had just taken place, with fresh corpses littering the dark tunnels.

(Note: I’ve prepared commentary for every session and chapter we’ve played, as a sort of “making of” record of the campaign. However, since these are full of spoilers, I will only be publicly publishing them all once the campaign concludes. As a sample, though, here is the commentary on this session, since it doesn’t really affect much else that’s still to come.)

GM’s Commentary:
Originally published as Section 8: The Oldenhaller Contract, by Richard Halliwell and Graeme Davis, in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 1st Edition, 1986

The Oldenhaller Contract, the surprisingly deep starting adventure at the back of the original WFRP1 rulebook, published from 1986 to 2002ish, and only formally replaced when the WFRP2 book came out in 2005. How many players must have cut their Warhammer teeth on this one?

First event of the campaign: The players refuse to get off their fucking boat because they don’t want to pay the docking and customs fees. Excellent start. Luckily, I had already filled the Maria with a commissioned cargo of lumber, partly to show that cargo carrying was an option for them now, partly because lumber is dirt cheap and it wouldn’t horribly unbalance things if they sold it off illegally (or just dumped it), and partly because it prevented more than one or two of them from deciding to sleep aboard, thus side-stepping the fun and adventure of Nuln by night.

Of course, then they decided to skip sleeping in the Reaver’s Return, what must have been a shared formative experience for hundreds of WFRP players over the years, and a great way of making the subsequent interaction with the Valentinas seem more significant (assuming they caught Bertoldo, the burglar who’s supposed to rob the inn that night). Sigh.

Once they went down into the Asylum, they engaged in exactly zero investigation, with barely any interest in the differences between the fighting gangs. It was a large group, me and 7 players, so we also had some discipline and focus problems, plus the usual first session buggery of having to re-learn the system and all the social dynamics. Plus, with several 2.5- and 3-career characters brought over from the Dying of the Light campaign, the puny local thugs didn’t stand a chance, as the PCs sliced through them in no time at all. This, at least, was expected, but I’d rather hoped they’d take more interest in the debris afterwards.

I also opted to make their arrival date Hexenstag, 2512, a little bit of a tight squeeze following on from the end date of the previous campaign, partly because it means none of the calendar will have to be wasted, partly because it puts the start of the year and the start of the campaign neatly together, and partly because the ominous quiet of Hexensnacht provided a good way to explain the full inns that the adventure demands. Since they never slept in an inn, this was instead turned into a way to allow them to move a fucking bear cub through the streets of Nuln without much trouble.

I had originally set this in the year 2523, because I’d set the previous Dying of the Light campaign in 2522, just because that’s what the 2nd ed. book suggested. I only realised later what a massive difference the 10 years between WFRP1 and WFRP2 meant for the setting, and decided I’d better realign everything so far (all written for WFRP1 anyway) with the 1st ed.‘s timeline. The players didn’t notice.

This was the only session in which Nali participated, bringing over his Dying of the Light character, Magnus Richardt for one last appearance, before failing to join us any further. A plan was made, at Nali’s request, to reintoduce him at the start of Death on the Reik, but he buggered me around on that too.

Amusing Names:
Grolsch van Eyck. Appears to be a combination of Grolsch beer and either Jan van Eyck the 15th century Flemish painter or Peter van Eyck the mid-20th century actor. My money’s on the painter.

Adelyn Zumwald’s hometown of Zundap. Appears to be named after the German motorcycle company, Zündapp

Juan Ramón Jiménez, Gabriel García Márquez and Jacinto Benavente. The three Estalians crewing the Maria. The party never took any interest in them at all, but I had names for them right from the start. They’re all named after Nobel Literature prize-winners: Jiménez, Márquez and Benavente.

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Dying of the Light, Chapter 13: When Darkness Falls

Session 13
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & Vanja
Venue: Scot & my place

Covers events on Monstille & 1 Vorgeheim.

GM’s Summary:
The party regroup in the largely abandoned city of Marienburg, figure out the last pieces of the puzzle (sort of) and commandeer an Estalian sloop, the Maria to reach Foyles Rock where the cultists are gathered. Eventually, they manage to save Moon’s Egg and Zahnarzt is defeated.

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Dying of the Light, Chapter 12: Trial and Error

Session 12
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & Vanja
Venue: Scot & my place

Covers events on 32 and 33 Ulriczeit.

GM’s Summary:
The party are divided and waylaid by a fake magistrate, in a town near Marienburg. When Moon’s Egg is kidnapped from them, they split up and make a rush for the city to get her back.

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Dying of the Light, Chapter 11: Transformation Moon

and

May 31, 2010 19:00

Session 10 & 11
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & Vanja
Venue: Scot & my place

Covers events on 25 and 31 Ulriczeit.

GM’s Summary:
Imhol gets a bear. The party end up travelling along with a theatre troupe from Bretonnia and bad things happen along the way. Ziegfried is especially eager to get Moon’s Egg away from them.

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