Here's the latest installment in our WFRP 2nd Ed. game.
First let me leave you with some more scenes drawn by J. Brisken from our last session.
|Lukas and Genaro being questioned by the Ironsides.|
|Sally fishing Vincent and Leopold out of the Reik.|
Rough Night at the Three Feathers:
Our heroes have been traveling North East toward Talabheim for two weeks now. Olesia's carriage is very comfortable and well stocked, but the supplies are running out. This necessitates more frequent stopping at Inns for meals and lodging.
A couple of days out from Talabheim and Olesia says “The dusk is coming fast, we need to stay at the Inn. I hope you are okay with that?” The “I hope you are okay with that?” appears to be a Kislevite colloquial expression. It doesn't matter if you are okay with that, that is what you are doing.
Before arriving at the Inn the group discusses an alias for Vincent, just in case Jubal Falk has sent people out from Nuln looking for “The Accursed Deriosh.” Vincent is now Walter, pronounced Valter, Listermann.
As we pull up to the two story Inn, we see a luxurious carriage being unloaded by servants in an unfamiliar livery. Outside the Innkeeper; a stocky, bald man with an impressive beard; is directing the men where to take the crates. The sign above the door has an image of three feathers. Olesia tells the group she knows the Inn well. “Good food and drink. Don't worry about the money, it's all paid for.”
Olesia drops the group in front and heads for the stables, she always sleeps with the coach. As they pass inside the group sees the Innkeeper speaking with a scribe, whose most notable feature is his large, fat, purse. Sally and Leopold quickly glance at one another, Leopold licks his lips. Once inside the group has to wait ten minutes before the Innkeeper gets to them, the place is bustling with activity.
He tells them that the Countess of Amberstein, Marie Ulrich von Liebowitz, is staying at the inn and it's going to be a busy night. He points the group to an empty table in the main room and tells us the cost of lodging. Because the Inn is so full we get two doubles and a single. 50 shillings per double, 10 shillings for the single. The group orders Brandy, beers and sausage. For some reason they all pass on the house broth.
The room is bustling, servants run around with platters of food and pitchers of drink. At ome of the tables a huge, muscular, man arm wrestles one of the coach guards. He reminds the group of the judicial champion they crossed paths with in Nuln, he is well armed and armored. He slams the guards arm down on the table and looks around the room for his next opponent.
Sally asks Genaro if he thinks he can take the big man. Genaro thinks so. Sally goes to the table and strikes up a conversation, offering the big man a swig from his bottle of Brettonian brandy. The man's name is Bruno Franke, the Countess' personal champion. Genaro “The Tilean Stallion” beats Bruno handily and earns his respect. Each member of the group had bet one crown each. Bruno makes some small talk, asking where the group is going. He says Talabheim is nice. He says the Countess is on her way to Kemperbad, where he will fight for her in holy judgement. Lukas tries to gossip more but gets no further information.
“Walter” decides to try his luck against the champion next. Only Lukas is brave enough to bet on his traveling companion. “Walter”wins and Bruno is now no longer interested in talking with the group. At a nearby table the group notices a Halfling, shuffling cards. The groups food is up, so they return to their table.
While the group stuffs themselves on sausage and beer the notice three men come into the Inn. They are soaked with rain. After about 10 minutes a servant comes down from upstairs and tells Bruno that the Countess wants him to stop arm wrestling. He berates the servant and tells him to “get lost!”
After eating, Sally decides to head over to the Halfling's table and introduce himself. Sally introduces himself as “Odo Rumpins” and learns that the Halfling is called Glimbrin Weirdfoot. He wears a leather jerkin, two daggers and carries a large purse. Glimbrin states that he's been waiting for a worthy opponent. Sally tells Glimbrin that the group are merchants, Glimbrin is skeptical.”Walter” comes over to see what's going on and join the game. Sally says he wants a clean game and they begin. Glimbrin wins the first hand.
Meanwhile the Countess herself comes downstairs to reprimand Bruno. She orders him upstairs, he follows orders. It appears that most of her soldiers and staff are staying in the common room, but she has one wing of the Inn to herself.
Leopold tries to chat up the three men who entered earlier. He is told to bugger off in no uncertain terms. He sheepishly goes back to the table with Lukas and Genaro. Meanwhile, Sally and “Walter” play another round of cards with Glimbrin. Sally slips and uses Vincent's real name, it doesn't appear to be a big deal, Vincent wins the hand. As they talk with Glimbrin they learn he is traveling to Nuln, or maybe Altdorf. He relays that there are many refugees in Talabheim and it is getting harder and harder to get into.
At that moment the door opens again and four more rain soaked people enter. A well dressed man and woman, and two boatmen. The couple are obviously love birds and can be heard telling the Innkeeper they need a room for Mr and Mrs Schmidt. They quickly go upstairs. The boatmen grab a table and order food and drink.
Determined to talk to someboby, Leopold makes his way over to the Boatmen and introduces himself as “Albrecht.” They are from Grisenwald and sail their boat up and down the river transporting people and goods. They relate that Talabheim is a mess, there is fighting between refugees from Hochland and Kislev in Talagaad. As they jovially chat, three more people enter from the rain. They are Priests of Morr in full robes, faces covered. The Innkeeper comes to them immediately. Words and gold are exchanged, but the group can see that he is unhappy. Two servants in another unknown livery come in bearing a body. The priests and body head upstairs to their room. As the hour gets later, Genaro gets more morose. His mood has improved somewhat as he has become more comfortable on his prosthetic foot. However the evenings are still difficult for him, perhaps he is still affected by the ordeal of their escape from Nuln.
Sally and Vincent are still playing cards with Glimbrin. Sally inquires about traveling alone, Glimbrin says it is easier to evade people you don't want to meet when traveling alone. As they play a woman enters the Inn. She is in full leather armor with a crossbow, sword, net, rope and manacles. She looks like she means business. She talks to the Innkeeper briefly and silver exchanges hands. She sits at an empty table and waits for her food and drink.
Vincent makes eye contact with her to see if there is any hint of recognition, there is none. He comments on the number of late travelers and is met with agreement. The chit chat turns to that of the danger on the roads. Glimbrin says he isn't too worried, when Sally brings up rumors of Beastmen Glimbrin says they are further North. Sally asks”Do you have any friends where you're headed?” To which Glimbrin replies “None in Nuln, but I do have a few in Altdorf.” A conversation about opening up a bakery and selling cookies ensues. Sally isn't sure if it is Thieves Cant for some enterprise, or if Glimbrin really wants to start a bakery. Sally tells Glimbrin he should try the dumplings at the Gallows Humor if he goes to Nuln. Vincent ends up winning the hand.
Leopold goes back to sit with Lukas and Genaro, they are both buzz kills. Leopold looks at the lady sitting alone, but is too apprehensive to chat her up, she looks like a bounty hunter. At 10pm one of the Countess' servants comes downstairs and rounds up all the servants and guards in the common room. The young lover, Schmidt comes down to order some red wine. As they pass, one of the Countess' servants says something to Schmidt, he looks mad while the servant looks smug. At this point the group decides to retire upstairs.
The group has three adjacent rooms, in the North wing. They decide to set a watch schedule. Lukas, in the single, will take first watch. In the double next door will be Sally and Genaro, with Vincent and Leopold sharing the room at the corner near the hall with the stairs. Most of Lukas' shift goes by uneventfully until about 10 minutes before midnight. A knock on Vincent and Leopold's door wakes them up. Lukas accosts the knocker before they can open the door. He startles one of the Countess' servants who has a parchment for Vincent and Leopold. Lukas takes it and sends the servant away. Leopold and Vincent open the door and let Lukas in. They read the letter, it is a request to meet Rechthander in his room.
Leopold and Vincent resolve to see what this is about. Vincent hangs back around the corner while Leopold is let past the guards to see Rechthander in the Countess' wing. Leopold knocks on the door and is let in by the man he recognizes as the scribe with the large purse they saw when they arrived. The purse is now nowhere in sight.
Gustaf Rechthander, lawyer for the Countess Amberstein, is visibly distraught. He is in his night shirt and explains how some men are threatening to expose him. He relates the story of how he joined a secret society while at university, Ordo Ultima. He originally thought it was a science fraternity, but it turned out they dabbled in the occult. After seeing their books and rituals he fled, but the have tracked him down and are blackmailing him. Gustaf says he has killed one already and dumped his body in the river. Leopold is skeptical but sees there is blood in the room. Rechthnder says he will pay the group 250 crowns if they dispose of the other two cultists. Leopold wants the money, but after the horrors of Nuln, he also wants to kill cultists. He agrees to do the job and heads back to the room.
Genaro refuses to wake up; Sally, Lukas, Vincent and Leopold discuss the turn of events. Sally and Lukas, in particular, are very suspicious that this is a set up. Sally goes downstairs and out the back to the outhouse to do a little reconnaissance. Only Glimbrin and the Boatmen remain in the main room, the lady is gone. Outside there is no visible exit from upstairs. Sally returns soaked from the rain. The group questions Rechthander's story, but he was slightly wet.
The group still can't decide what to do, but armor is donned and weapons readied. Sally and Vincent go back downstairs to look for more ways in and out of the Inn. As they come into the main room, four men burst in through the door. It is one obviously drunk noble and three goons. The noble loudly slurs “I'm looking for Friedrich von Friedhoffer, where is he?” The commotion rouses the Innkeeper and a few servants, who come out into the room. The Innkeeper tells the noble to stop making such a rukus. “I don't take orders from common swine!”, says the noble as he starts trying to push past and go upstairs. As the Innkeeper and his staff try to prevent the drunk from going up stairs and disturbing the guests the noble bellows “Out of my way you son of a swine!” Apparently he has something against pigs. A brawl ensues, catching Sally and Vincent in it's midst.
Hearing the commotion downstairs from their vantage point in the hall upstairs, Lukas says “Now's the time!” He and Leopold swing into action. Leopold goes to pick the lock, but it is open. He pushes open the door and Leopold crashes in, hatchet and dagger in hand. The two men inside are caught completely unawares as Lukas buries his hatchet into ones leg. Leopold rushes in, pulling out his club, to confront the second man. A grim dance ensues. Lukas is able to kill his opponent with a clean blow to the head. Leopold has more difficulty with his but dispatches him with heavy blows that make an audible cracking sound. (Actually the battle was quite a few misses on both sides and the use of a luck point each, this way sounds better.) Lukas and Leopold quickly turn over the room finding nothing but 10 silver and that the men each have the symbol O surrounded by a U tattooed on their left breast. They wipe as much gore as they can off themselves on the sheets and then close the door and head downstairs, hoping to get out in the rain.
Sally tries to stay out of the fight but is knocked down by one of the goons. Vincent manages to get himself between the brawlers and the stairs, but is first pushed up and then falls down them. At that moment the bounty hunter woman bursts in. She drops one goon with a single punch and then pulls another of Vincent. The drunk noble is still scrabbling on top of him and is summarily kicked in the head and tied up by her. Lukas and Leopold make their way downstairs to see the noble and his goons tied up and sitting at the table by the stairs while Sally, Vincent and the Innkeeper and his staff all look scratched and bruised. Lukas and Leopold don't pause and head outside to get washed off by the rain.
While the downstairs is quiet, a commotion starts upstairs. Sally and Vincent go to investigate. They can hear screams coming from a room near the top of the stairs. They knock on the door, a priest of Morr answers. They see two robed priests holding another man down on the floor while he screams. The priest at the door says, “One of the brothers has received a holy vision. He screams when he has them.” Vincent says “May Morr watch over you.” to which he replies, “And you as well.” As they walk away Sally and Vincent realize there are too many priests in the room. When they came in earlier there were only three. Sally knocks on the door again, this time weapons out. The priest opens the door again, very irritated. Sally accuses him of lying about the visions, now only three priests can be seen. They all are dressed in the robes of Morr and look legit. “Go away! You are interrupting our rituals!” shouts the priest as he shuts the door in Sally's face.
Not knowing what else to do Sally and Vincent return downstairs. Everyone else has gone back to the common room to sleep. Lukas and Leopold come back inside, soaked but clean of battle evidence. They are puzzled to see Vincent downstairs with his spear. They all head back to Leopold and Vincent's room. “It's done.” says Leopold. He takes off his armor and dries off. Leopold and Sally head off to see Rechthander and collect payment. Sally brings a dagger, Leopold is unarmed.
They are let past the guards again and into Gustaf's room. After confirming the deed is done he looks visibly relieved. He hands over the large purse, as advertised it is filled with 250 gold crowns. We part from him and divide the loot five ways, less 10% for the war chest, to try and disguise our payment. The group does not have much time to revel in their riches, however, as another scream rings out. Loud enough to wake Genaro.
All of the Countess' guards are out in the hall now and are rousting people out of their rooms. The group has been taken to the Countess' wing where the room across from Rechthander's is open. Inside, Bruno, lies dead with Vincent's dagger between his shoulder blades. As the guardsmen lock down the Inn and search all the rooms, the two dead cultists are found plus a third body in a small room near the stairs. One of the inn servants and the bounty hunter woman are missing. Vincent exclaims “My dagger must have been stolen during the brawl!” But no one believes him. The crowd wants to string him up.
The Countess Marie Ulrich von Liebowitz of Amberstein takes command. “I am the victim! I shall execute the Law!' she commands. “You shall be my champion!” she says pointing at Lukas. “You four will be stripped of your possessions and detained while evidence is collected.” she decreed, pointing at Leopold, Vincent, Sally and Genaro. Lukas is locked in Bruno's room and the other four members of the group are locked in Leopold and Vincent's room with two armed guards outside the door.
Will Vincent be able to exonerate himself? Are the missing woman and servant to blame? Are the priests of Morr more than what they seem? Has the party been double crossed by Gustaf Rechthander? Find out this and more, next time on WFRP 2nd edition A Rough Night at the Three Feathers!