Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Their Fated Travels...(Chapter Fourteen) - Trial of Fire

Pete and I have been hard at work to bring you chapter 14.
Read it at DA here -
or directly below this writing.

Editorial Note:

Lory Cozens was unable to fulfil the request (that he had accepted) to become temp writer for TFT, so the baton passed to another player at the table, Peter Davis-Parker, who plays Dieter in the story.

He needed a lot of guidance so I gave his work a revision and edited it as much as I could, without re-writing all of it, hehe.

My hope is that I can train Peter to become an understudy of sorts. So here we have it, chapter 14 of TFT.

Their Fated Travels…

RPG Party events as told By Peter Davis-Parker

Rephrasing, plot co-ordinating, editing 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 Fourteen

Trial of Fire

Extract from the diary of Dieter:

Day 40:

The others discussed the best way to get into the tavern, I decided to stay out of the conversation since they are smart enough to handle that low a task. Most of them anyway.

Head hurts for some strange reason.

“Right! So Tobias you will sneak in through the upstairs window and check the rooms, while the rest of us will improvise an excuse to get to the cellar where you can join us” piped Maestro before continuing, “Dieter you have been rather quiet, even for you. Is something perhaps the matter?”

Dieter looked up glaring at the wizard and after a moment replied, “I am fine and so is the plan. Let's just get there already, before the halfling changes its mind…before he tries to steal my wallet - not for the first time this evening.”

With that the four left the temple, avoiding the gaze of people who scurried in the darkness like the rat men they had previously fought.

From the Diary of Rissandrea:

Day 40:

This city is so full of sickness both of the body and of the spirit. It disheartens me to know I alone could not heal it. Even with my sisters and the temple, the city remains like this. I know how hard they must try and how they feel.

I find Dieter hard to figure out. One minute he seems to struggle to barely contain some darkness within but then he fought like a maddened thing to protect the false beast man and the poor girl with the mutation.”

From the Diary of Tobias:

Day 40:

Finally they gave me a job to do - a pitifully easy one given my skills, better than having to follow that idiotic wizard around tonight at least.

Tordrad's Diary:

Day 40

I tire of sneaking and lying.

Why does wizard not let me cut, kill, enjoy?

Dieter is funny even his dog has warrior heart.

Saw Dieter feed it to him.


Helped me perfect shashlik recipe.

Needed more heart.

They watched as the Halfling Tobias ran deftly around the corner and as they saw his shadow climb up the wall they entered the tavern.

The sudden smoky interior, created from the patron’s cheap cigarettes and hefty pipes stung their eyes. Once they had recovered, they made straight for the bar.

Tordrad ordered two vodkas for himself, clutching them closely to his chest like a protective mother bird. The others began to acquaint themselves with the barman.

The halfling slowly pulled the window up and entered silently into the small room. As his eyes adjusted to the gloom, he saw he was standing in a small alchemy lab although he knew that this couldn’t be possible. His mind took him back to a time long before now…

As the halfling sneaked forward, he saw that in the corner of the laboratory stood a small stove that had some strange green liquid bubbling away inside it. The room was empty but he knew how quickly that could change - better than any other. The halfling crept silently across the room searching for the notes he knew to be there. He knew instinctively that what he had come for was more important than what THEY had sent him here to find.

After a few moments of furious searching he found them, he found the paper work with the recipe for the elixir to crystallise crushed plant matter into diamonds. With what he came for tucked in his leather tunic he began to creep back towards the window and the freedom of the outside air when the door opened!

“What are you doing here? You know dad will tan your hide if he finds you in his laboratory” came a high-pitched query in a distinctly pompous tone. As the thief looked around he saw the silhouette of a person of similar height. Before he could respond, the blood in their chests froze when they heard the front door being unlocked and the sound of muffled voices beyond became more apparent.

Downstairs in the ‘Sword and Flail’ Maestro propped his arms up on the bar and leaned over catching the attention of the barkeep. “I know this might sound cliché my good man but they have reason to believe you have rats in your cellar. Maybe even of the talking kind – if you know what I mean?”

The ruddy-faced barman glanced around the room nervously, worried that this skinny but well dressed eccentric may harm the tavern’s reputation.

Pointing a plump finger at the man, almost as if to see him better, the man defended the honour of his establishment, “Now I can asshure you, whoever you are --Hicc-- there are no rats here. Talking or otherwise --Hiccup--.”

The man had the good sense to speak in a hushed tone but clearly he had sampled some of his own produce. Sensing this could be a problem Maestro subtly gave the winds of magic a jolt, casting a spell under his breath, as he weaved his hand under the counter he directed it into his staff. He firmly brought his staff down onto the wooden floor. There was then a series of squeaking sounds along with sudden scratching, as if from tiny claws. “Oh my word! Did you just hear that?” started Maestro, “we could deal with your little --cough-- problem here barkeep, discreetly of course. It seems to be a staple of adventurers to kill rats in basements anyway, or so I have heard.”

Dieter aided Maestro’s ploy, “Great idea Maestro, but I am sure the barkeep would be…” Dieter looked straight into the barman’s somewhat glazed over eyes, “… grateful enough to offer us a drink - on the house.” Dieter could sometimes have a convincing manner and there was something about his eyes this time that registered a tussle of willpower in the barman’s subconscious mind – a tussle that he had no chance of winning.

Although he understood little of the conversation, the Kislevite understood the word “drink” and cheered. Without argument the barman led them past the bar and through the door to the back, past the staircase leading up to the rooms and stopped at the cellar door.

Dieter spotted a shadow at the top of the stairs and realised that Tobias was waiting up there for the opportune moment to rejoin the group.

After the landlord left to go back to his post, the halfling did indeed return to them carrying a number of artefacts - items that could only be for chaos worship. He was also attempting to conceal a very large pouch of money.

Dieter grinned like a shark, “So this man definitely knows what is going on here. From the looks of that pouch, he is being paid to keep quiet about it. What took you so long Tobias?”

Without waiting for a reply Dieter began to search the cellar, finding little of any real interest. Then they spotted Ulger pawing at a barrel and they realised the floor around it was cleaner than the rest of the rough hewn room.

“Dog good” said Tordrad.

Dieter walked over to the dog patting it gently. “Good work Ulger, here you go.”

He gave the dog a strip of Beastman flavoured jerky to chew on while they moved the barrels out of the way.

As a group they moved down to the floor below via the iron runged ladder set in place to the wall. There they found themselves in a narrow corridor wide enough for only two. Dieter ordered the dog to remain above to safeguard against a rear ambush. They set off down the passageway.

After a minute or so of walking they spotted a light coming from an opening that suggested a room may be only a few yards ahead.

From Tordrad's Diary:

Day 40:

Doctor brave.

He approach clearing up front with me.

Something felt wrong.

Tunnel barely wide enough for me.

Good thing Dieter small.

Big presence for man so small.

Extract from the diary of Maestro:

Day 40:

Something about the clearing felt wrong. Like the winds of magic were being affected – persuaded almost, away from this place.

Good thing Tordrad was up front. I would get extra warning that something might try to kill me soon - especially if something killed him first.

I kept getting a feeling about Dieter. It was as though he was and yet was not there. I swear I even saw his shadow move a little before he did.

I must talk to Tobias if it continues. Perhaps I am becoming attuned to something going on with Dieter, something perhaps Dieter isn’t even aware of yet.

Extract from the diary of Tobias:

Day 40:

Dieter and Tordrad were always up the front together. Spoiling my fun like they feel I need to be protected. De'ath especially. The only upside is no foe will see me coming from behind their wide backs.

Extract from Rissandrea's diary:

Day 40:

Over Dieter's shoulders I could make out two robed figures with horrific mutations. They stood near an altar of bloody skulls and a side passage containing a caged man. I realised it had to be Johann Opfer who we had been tasked with finding. I need not have notified them as they ran headlong into battle as soon as they saw the saw the figures.

Extract from the diary of Dieter:

Day 40:

The time for action was again upon us. The robed pair was alerted to our presence by Tordrad's battle cry. Even as I rushed headlong towards the squat one with extended claws, I saw the Kislevite swinging his scimitar with the precision and accuracy of a surgeon. As good as his swings and thrusts were, my chest burned and does so again recalling it for this journal, with apprehension as the beast of a thousand teeth shot some thing from his body like a porcupine might shoot spines from its back. The spines gouged their way into the flesh of my comrade.

Extract from the diary of Rissandrea:

Day 40:

The Kislevite was in trouble and while I hesitated to approach any of the men before me, Shallya commands me so.

Extract for Tordrad's diary:

Day 40:

Strange crocodile man bite me with flying teeth.

Is weak fighter I think.

Have had hangovers with more pain but the holy girl rushed to me.

I let her do her job.

Dieter had already carved up claw man's arm. Their fight is over.

He is smart. Know to leave crocodile man to me.

Extract from the diary of Maestro:

Day 40:

While Tordrad and Dieter fought the mutants so well, I with Tobias snuck around to the antechamber and released the prisoner. By the time Johann Opfer stepped fearfully from the cage, the group had again joined us. I told them we should all leave before anything else happened and the group agreed.

We draped Tobias's cape around the injured man and let the halfling leave through the upper floor again. We got back to the cellar where Ulger greeted us warmly.

It was rather strange actually, when we entered the bar Dieter uttered something in his ear and the barman looked straight through the injured man with us as though he were not there. We left to head back to the trial while there was still time.

As they approached the temple, they were joined by Tobias once more.

The trial outside had already begun...