Sunday, 14 March 2010

Their Fated Travels...(Chapter Eight) - Rats In The Walls

The group have found themselves in Middenheim, but there's no rest for them! They are brought directly more adventure, even though they haven't had a chance to stop for the last week or so.
Little do they realise the scope of the quest they are truly undertaking. All they can do is follow Maestro, for he is the anchor of fate, an anchor that is raised and moving for the first time in his life.

Their Fated Travels…

RPG Party events as told By Robert James Freemantle

Based on the 2nd edition WHFRP game chapter of the same name

This story contains spoilers for that book’s (Ashes of Middenheim) adventure

Chapter Eight

Rats In The Walls

Extracts from the diaries of Rissandrea:

Day 27

It is heartening that our first stop is the holy temple. Perhaps we can meditate on the weeks that have passed and take stock, to better understand what has happened to this country.

The refugees are safe. The orphans have been delivered. All is well. Our mission was a success.

The temple of Sigmar was smaller than I expected for a city of this size. Not so surprising perhaps, with the deity of most worship being Ulric in this city.

Extract from the diaries of Tobias:

Day 27

We delivered the holy icon to a Father Morten at the Temple of Sigmar. He believes the likeness to their God in the picture is unusual enough to have been drawn from life, based on the costume Sigmar is wearing.

Well, if it keeps them happy, that is a good thing.

We were paid a reward for the find. Though my coin purse is fit to burst anyway. I can’t imagine why, but for some strange reason my personal wealth, that which I carry on my person is increasing by the day…

It would be foolish to complain I suppose.

Diary of Maestro:

Day 27

I’m not one for all this religious malarkey, but I kept a lid on it, for the sake of the others…well even for the sake of myself. They would call me blasphemous! Just because I don’t want to worship a load of Gods that they tell me to worship.

People have been telling me what to do all my life and look where that got me?

The thing that bothers me most about these Gods is that they used to be alive, they used to be us. That cannot be a God! That’s like saying I could do some great deed and be remembered as a God afterwards. It’s a memory, of an ideal or an inspirational lesson.

The politicians will bend anything into a cause, if it means uniting in faith…or perhaps that should be - controlling the people. It is perhaps more like a stealthy martial law. Especially when you look at the witch hunters...

But no, even the dwarf Gods were once living amongst us. Powerful heroes of no doubt, but they have passed from this world and it is surely only their memory that people worship.

I do not think mortals should be bestowed with such veneration.

Next thing you know, you are revering them before they are dead. Then you have a dictator on your hands…

Still, I cannot explain the miracles of Shallyan faith for example. Just what are they harnessing I wonder?

This will require some further investigation at any rate.

Oh, I also handed the magical tome that Granny Moescher used to make the dark ritual, into the Priest at the Temple. When he asked why I brought it there, I said that they can burn it in whatever holy fire they wish to…all I knew was that I did not want to throw it into the flames of that great fire, or what was left of it. I would perhaps only then be giving back the ancient knowledge to the ones who probably created it and “inspired” it to a follower somewhere who would write it.

Dieter’s diary:

Day 27

I was glad to get away from the Temple. It was sickening to my stomach to have to stare at idols that draw so much worship. So much wasted time.

At last we were free and about the city, then my heart sunk when I saw the city watch approach us…

Diary of Tordrad:

Day 27

All the guards want to do is talk. Take us away and talk. Better I not understand what they say. Better I think of mead and meat meal next to warm tavern fire soon.

Soon I rest. Long trip.

From the diary of Rissandrea:

Day 27

The city watch commander, one Ulrich Schutzmann wanted to ask us some questions about the beastmen we encountered in the forest.

Then there was a knock at the door and a note was handed to the commander…

Dieter’s diary:

Day 27

I bloody knew it! I think I’m part of some sick joke of fate.

It turns out that while we were being de-briefed, news came through of Father Morten’s murder.

We were the last ones to see him alive. Oh, that looks wonderful for us!

Thank you very bloody much, Morr. I know it’s you doing this. What next? Will you send countless assassins at the group to kill them off too?

What stokes my fire even more is that they asked if they could take our weapons from us. I was about ready to give him my machete in a way he would not have liked, but I wouldn’t have gotten away with that anyway.

As it turned out, the others negotiated another play.

It was agreed that we would “assist with enquiries.”


From the diary of Tobias:

Day 27

Here we go again. There’s no rest for the wicked. Or Maestro. Or those who keep company with him. Unfortunately I am the latter and am now embroiled in this new mess.

We have been issued with warrants to conduct investigations into this case.

We gained entry to Father Morten’s quarters and there saw his body slumped over the desk.

Dieter managed to identify the cause of death. A poison tipped dart in the back of the man’s neck.

The icon was of course missing.

We brought the evidence back to the commander. When we told of the strange scratches we saw on the window sill, he confessed to us that there had been other murders too. There is nothing to easily tie them together of course, the three other victims. The commander did tell us of the ratmen however, the skaven. He believes them to be more than just a myth. He believes they are behind this.

Extracts from the diary of Dieter:

Day 27

The cause of death in each case was a poison tipped dart. On closer inspection, I believe the green substance coating the darts is a warpstone derivative.

Again, this is perhaps more proof of skaven involvement.

Somehow I know I have encountered the ratmen before, but I can’t…I can’t remember. Like so many of my memories, so much of my past is unknown to me.

Travelling with this group is at least stimulating my mind enough to help me remember some things.

Extract from the diary of Maestro:

Day 27

One of the murdered fellows had a grave for us to visit. The gravestone bore the same mark upon it that I saw on Malvanius’s signet ring.

Dieter’s diary:

Day 27

From the scene of the third murder we found blood that trailed towards the sewer. Of course we went in…

Tordrad’s diary:

Day 27

Sewer smelly. No room to stand.

Tobias’s diary:

Day 27

After pressing further into the sewer, we saw a shape ahead of us in the gloom. It became aware of our presence as we did of its. It was a skaven, dressed in black.

I cannot remember who, but one of us shouted the potential danger of more poison tipped darts in such a confined space.

Maestro did something quite interesting. He cast a ‘sound’ spell, to imitate splashing feet all the way along the sewer tunnel, thus throwing the would be assassin off guard. The group managed to close the gap and silence the foul creature. At once, its body began dissolving into liquid.

As we pressed on, we came into a common area where six very surprised rat people stared at us in terror. They did not seem as astute as the creature we killed in the tunnel before. Nor did their bodies dissolve when they died.

We made very easy work of them. One of them fallen from a pebble I slung into its mouth. It had swallowed it and choked to death.

Amidst the fighting, a cloaked assassin type skaven set about us. Tordrad was very fast on the uptake, luckily, cutting the creature off from the rest of us before cutting the creature to bits as well.

Truly that Kislevite is a skilled fighter. He tore through the skaven like they were paper. Even the leader of them, the assassin one looked like a child fighting a man.

Maestro managed to blast one’s leg off with a magical dart. Rather impressive. It fell over and bled out.

Extract from the diary of Dieter:

Day 27

Ulger got a good meal from the rat people. He is learning fast. My training with him is paying off already.

Following that room, now piled with bodies, we a small quarters ahead. I got a terrible gut feeling about entering the room however and noticed a trap. A crossbow had been rigged up amongst the rubble opposite the rough hewn opening, with a tripwire across it to activate its mechanism. A nasty surprise for any intruders not canny enough to avoid it.

I notified the group and the Kislevite cut through the wire to force activate the bolt to fire. It still almost hit the halfling…

Oh and I hate Tobias. I hate all short people at any rate. I even say so aloud. What can he do about it? Nothing. There’s something about the halfling that just winds me up wrong.

Every time I think dark thoughts about him though, the damned marking on my chest feels as if it burns a little. It is probably only psychosomatic.

When we stepped into the chamber beyond, we saw an ancient shrine to the dwarf God Grungni. He is apparently their God of mining and construction. How ridiculous! Yet more short people. Luckily I don’t have to put up with one of those in the group as well.

Rissandrea’s diary:

Day 27

An eventful day. My powerful blessed gun ‘redemption’ spoke aloud to the skaven of the sewer. It had reduced one of them to a smouldering pile of ash atop a pair of crude shoes.

Again, skaven are beings of chaos. Beyond saving. I did redeem their sins with a fair trade, their lives.

When we left the sewer, we brought back to the commander the only evidence we could find, the gold frame that the icon had been in. The picture part itself was nowhere to be seen.

There are many unanswered questions at this point, but for now, some well deserved rest. After the journey we just endured through the forest getting here!

Tordrad’s diary:

Day 28

Head hurts. Drunk lots. Ate lots. Woke up middle of day. Happy.