Sham's The Enemy Within

Dying of the Light, Chapter 1: The Book in the Library

Session 1
Attended: Alex, Nali, Scot & Vanja
Venue: My place

Covers events on 18 Kaldezeit 2511.

GM’s Summary:
Norovir and Ziegfried Roysen are tasked with finding a book in the library basement of the University of Altdorf, and have to deal with ghosts and skaven to get it. Once collected, they’re told that this is to be traded for a book in Marienburg and will be given a bonus payment when they return successfully with it.

Meanwhile, Peter Peters and Magnus Richardt play cat and mouse around the city, before being convinced to escort the academics to Marienburg.

GM’s Commentary:
A GM-written scenario, The Book in the Library, by Chris Sham, 2010

This was a basic tutorial scenario I threw together quite quickly, sometime during the last week before we started playing, with one A5 page for the map of H Cellar (a play on H Cell, the name of the player group from our preceding Delta Green game) and another A5 page of notes. For comparison, most of the official published chapters had dozens of A4 pages to them and I still added 4 or 5 pages of notes in my own notebook too.

The idea had been to send the party down there to have a really tame little dungeon bash, so that everyone could get a grip on the system before they faced any real risks. This went wrong the second players controlling Peters and Richardt said, “Oh, they’re just fetching a book from the library. That’s not a four-man job. Let’s go explore the city instead.” Which was fair enough, and I figured they’d learn just as much from passive watching, possibly providing some extra lessons on other stuff at the same time.

Ziegfried Roysen is – surprise, surprise – a play on Siegfried & Roy. It probably began with a random generation of the name Ziegfried. Peter Peters was briefly Peter Peterson, and also frequently informally called Peter Peter Pumpkin-Eater by the players. Professor Alberic Unterwasser was the name of the leader of my first Mordheim warband, the Univerity of Altdorf Mordheim Survey. In that context, he was Chair of the Department of Mutant Studies and died a grizzly death at the paws of Scot’s skaven.

Out of interest, the map of the cellar was just a random collection of rectangular rooms, hardly worth reproducing here. But the names of those rooms (or the collections within them, rather) were:

  1. University of Aldorf Records 2279-2436
  2. Astrology
  3. Elf History
  4. Nauticalia
  5. Library Records
  6. Estalian History
  7. Altdorf City Planning
  8. Agriculture in Kislev
  9. Norscan Folklore
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Dying of the Light, Chapter 2: Pearls & Swine

Session 2
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & Vanja
Venue: ?

Covers events on 19 to 21 Kaldezeit.

GM’s Summary:
The party sails down the Reik on a barge carrying pigs, but something is killing and stealing pigs in the middle of the night. As a large ferry, the Emperor Magnus catches up to them from behind, it turns out they’ve had similar problems, with horrible screaching sounds at night and quite a lot of jewelry going missing. Helped by the elves Mormacar and Imhol, an investigation of the ferry reveals that a harpy has nested in it. The party manage to kill it and are rewarded with speedier and more comfortable passage on the ferry.

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Dying of the Light, Chapter 3: Error of the Moon

and

March 29, 2010 19:00

Sessions 2 & 3
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & Vanja
Venue: Alex’s place

Covers events on 2 Ulriczeit.

GM’s Summary:
The party arrive at the ferry docks in Marienburg. They all go to different parts of the city, do assorted random things, then get attacked by ninjas!

Eventually they find a guy who reckons he can help them all, but tells them they have to find something called the Moon’s Egg, or the eclipse will herald the end of everything. So they set off West into the Wasteland.

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Dying of the Light, Chapter 4: A Watery Grave

Session 4
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & Vanja
Venue: Alex’s

Covers events on 3 to 7 Ulriczeit.

GM’s Summary:
The party makes its way along and then a dam bursts on top of them. Once on top of the dam, they camp in an abandoned inn and get attacked by a lake monster! Then they travel upstream and pass a watery ghost town.

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Dying of the Light, Chapter 5: Wherever You May Be

Session 4
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & Vanja
Venue: Alex’s

Covers events on 8 and 9 Ulriczeit.

GM’s Summary:
The party finds a recently abandoned town, then a procession of dancing people and animals, following a strange man. He chats with them, then everything returns to normal.

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Dying of the Light, Chapter 6: Burn Them! Burn Them!

Session 5
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & Vanja
Venue: Alex’s

Covers events on 10 and 11 Ulriczeit.

GM’s Summary:
The party get caught in a conflict between a human town and a bunch of Fimir marauders. Norovir kills the fimir leader and the rest retreat. A witch hunter in town gives them some trouble and the Tooth changes hands and hiding places a lot.

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Dying of the Light, Chapter 7: Back to the Egg

Session 6
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & Vanja
Venue: Alex’s

Covers events on 12 to 16 Ulriczeit.

GM’s Summary:
The party find the Moon’s Egg at the Gunthenhauser farm and realise it’s actually a little girl and/or the massive warp stone shell she fell to earth in almost 7 years ago. After some conflict and discomfort, they arrange to take her with them back to Marienburg.

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Dying of the Light, Chapter 8: The Place of Testing

Session 7
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & Vanja
Venue: Either Alex’s or Scot & my place

Covers events on 17 and 19 Ulriczeit.

GM’s Summary:
The party have to pass through a horrible, Chaos-tainted region, full of Daemons and Fimir. The surviving fimir are trying to use the ecclipse to claim Zahnarzt for themselves, but fail when the party drops a monolith on their high priestess. Several party members are badly injured.

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Dying of the Light, Chapter 9: Manor of the Marsh

Session 8
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali & Scot
Venue: Scot & my place

Covers events on 20 to 24 Ulriczeit.

From an email I sent to Vanja:

Ziegfried’s translation raised all sorts of inconclusive questions about why Klaus was really sent out here. I have no idea what anyone really thinks the situation was, which suggests that nobody actually has any firm opinion on the matter.

Still on the road through the Demon Swamp, they encountered a group of more conventional Beastmen, emerging from the woods ahead. Norovir had some sort of major seizure when he tried to cast his first spell. So Ziegfried had to drag him and Moon’s Egg away from the fight, while the rest engaged the beasties. They killed the bestigor and captured the standard they were carrying, and most of the rest fled. When he came to again, Norovir had no feeling in his legs for several minutes. At this point, a major storm started up.

Not too deep into the woods (which also look Chaos-tainted), they came across an old, abandoned house, very large and still in pretty good condition. Everyone went in, except Imhol who didn’t want to at first. But he didn’t trust the trees either, so he just sat out in the open, until the heavy rain and the cold and some weird animal cries forced him inside.

Inside was a pretty abandoned sort of manor, obviously once very nice, but apparently untouched for over a century. People got funny feelings in some rooms, and Egg refused to sleep in one or two. An exploration of everything revealed a basement door that Peter couldn’t get anywhere near picking open, and that nobody else could break (though nobody tried as hard as Peter). They also found the master’s bedroom, which was filled with astrology books and charts, and one book about the Dark Tongue, which seems very similar, but not identical to what was carved on the monolith.

At some point, someone noticed that they couldn’t open any of the doors or windows to get out of the house. Peter tried sleeping alone in the master’s bed, but was attacked by some sort of blue, furry imp.

Eventually, a bunch of mattresses were dragged down to the entrance hall and a camp was set up there. Peter (who had been acting mysteriously religious since you left the monolith and talking about one true god) brought Ziegfried a book to translate, which Ziegfried has only partly deciphered so far, even with the help of the Dark Tongue book. It appears to be some sort of history of… something that Ziegfried hasn’t translated for certain yet. The one clear thing is the symbol of Khorne. I played Ziegfried as being cautious about this, not wanting to challenge Peter directly or telling anyone else exactly what it is, in case he really doesn’t know.

Everyone had some sort of nightmares while they slept, except for Ziegfried and Egg (I’ll leave it to the others to describe exactly what they dreamed). A deeper search of the house revealed a hidden room next to the master bedroom, where a shrine to Tzeentch was set up. It also had a key for the basement, which turned out to be be just a big cave with a stone altar, a sacrificial dagger and a system of little channels leading from the altar out to the floor of the cave, forming the pattern of a Chaos 8-pointed star.

There was an awful lot of fucking about at this point.

They pulled out the Ouija Board, but couldn’t seem to follow its advice. They got Ziegfried to try and read a Dark Tongue book with Tzeentch‘s symbol that they found in the master’s shrine, and the best Ziegfried could get out of this was something about how the “altar is the heart of the home”. They tried burning the altar in the basement, they bashed it with everything they could find (especially random bits of iron), they tried blowing it up with a little bit of black powder. I can’t even remember all their schemes for this altar, but it just stayed in one piece.

Eventually, Peter reached for the sacrificial dagger, so Norovir blasted his arm right off with a lightning bolt. At this point, Peter starts openly praying to Muuthauwg for relief, and everyone is completely fucking confused. After a little more debate, Peter gets the dagger again and stabs Imhol, throwing him on the altar. Imhol seems pretty pleased about this, but Magnus quickly drags him off it again and Norovir blasts Peter’s other arm, not quite off, but still in horrible condition.

At this point, I had to throw them a big clue, and Ziegfried bursts in saying, “Hey, maybe this isn’t the right altar referred to in this book of Tzeentch. Remember how there’s that other altar, upstairs in the shrine to Tzeentch, with the symbol of Tzeentch actually on it and shit?” So they easily smash that one, and the storm outside finally ends. They rush outside (because the door is now open) and it’s a bright, clear morning. They set fire to the house and carry on down the road, Peter hanging back to try and beg Muuthauwg to heal him.

(Also, through this whole thing, Norovir keeps having brief attacks of either numb limbs or hyper-sensitive limbs that are horribly painful to touch.)

GM’s Summary:
The weary party find an ancient manor house on the edge of a forest blocking their path and, as a storm starts brewing, they opt to spend the night there. Imhol initially opts not to, but is eventually driven inside too. But the house is haunted! A bad evil Chaos wossname must be destroyed and then they’re free. In the confusion, Peter Peters calls on Muuthauwg for help and is eventually forced to confess he’s been worshipping him.

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Dying of the Light, Chapter 10: The Colony

Session 9
Attended: Alex, Francois, Nali, Scot, Stef & Vanja
Venue: Scot’s & my place

Covers events on 24 Ulriczeit.

GM’s Summary:
Taking a moment to judge Peters on his recent actions and declarations, the rest of the party decides to execute him (specifically, it was Magnus Richardt who fired the shot). Travelling on, the party find a colony of non-evil Chaos Mutants in the forest and must protect them from the witch hunter they met in chapter 6.

Norovir leaves the party to head for Ulthuan, to warn them of the impending doom the eclipse will bring. Brother Alric Reiss and Alric Konrad join the party.

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