Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Their Fated Travels...(Chapter Thirteen) Panic In The Streets

Author's Note:



From chapter 14 I won't be writing the story, Lory Cozens will be. This should be at least until the end of the Middenheim story arc. I will probably return so don't panic, but I'll likely give someone else a chance to write as well. These are the other players of the RPG game that inspires this storyline.


You can read all about it and why here -

http://robert-james-freemantle.blogspot.com/2010/04/planned-writer-change.html






Thanks for all your support so far. See you soon and please keep reading to find out what I'm doing, because Maestro is played at the table by me, so you can find out what I did through the story.



As always, the story is below or you can read it at deviantart here - http://robafett.deviantart.com/art/Their-Fated-Travels-Chapter-13-161358400



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 Thirteen


Panic In The Streets




Extract from the diary of Rissandrea:

Day 40

The deed was done. Our mission was a success but we began to grow suspicious in our journey back to the temple, of the large amounts of watch running to and fro across the city.



We quickly discovered that a number of mutants had come about due to the poisoned water. There were too many for me to save and besides, I am not yet a priestess. Who listens to me? Really?





Extract from the diary of Tobias:

Day 40

Stupid people of the stupid city! Running rampant and causing widespread chaos all around.





Extract from the diary of Rissandrea:

Day 40

Then we came upon a poor man who had been tied to a post. It was clear that something was wrong with the situation.

A group of citizens were crowded around him, jeering and throwing insults. His house was being prepared for burning. Anarchy!

Upon an even closer inspection I could see he had a sign on his chest, a crudely painted on warning that read – beestman.

Not even spelt correctly. Several of the city watch were nearby, but it turned out that they were not even who they said they were…

As for the accused man – the horns on his head were tied on with string! I was having none of it. I pushed through the crowd. The others followed me. I began addressing them and discovered that they cruelly labelled this man as a beastman. Even when we removed the fake horns, still they jeered and kept to their purpose.





Extract from the diary of Maestro:

Day 40

Quite frankly, I didn't want to get involved. I was more curious about our chances of faring against so large a crowd if things turned ugly. From looking at some of the faces present, I think it already had.





Extract from the diary of Dieter:

Day 40

We later found out that the man being tied up was a money lender. The crowd were simply borrowers who were trying to use the opportunity of the city being in a state of upheaval to get rid of him, and hence their debts.

Not that I care about these people, not any of them. Not the man who was tied up, nor the crowd, nor the group I even travel with, but something about this situation, the supreme stupidity of it, so alarmingly ignorant, foolish to try and get away with – I couldn't let it stand. I could have cut each and every one of them down where they stood for the act they were about to commit.



I kept it simple. The time for words was over. We'd tried it the Shallyan's way and that hadn't worked. I noticed the main speaker, the ringleader amongst them was a dwarf. I told him to back down. He laughed at me and the crowd laughed too.

I grabbed the bastard by his beard and started to lift.

I hate short people and idiot crowds.

I have a new friend, I think.





Extract from the diary of Tordrad:

Day 40

Somehow Dieter so strong, when he wants to be. He picked up dwarf by beard! Lifted him a little off ground. Impressive!

Dieter shouted words at dwarf. Dwarf looked concerned suddenly. Crowd too. Got more than they bargained for with him. He started poking dwarf hard in the face.

Ends up kicking up the ass as city watch arrive. Crowd disburse before the pretend city watch could do anything about it.





Extract from the diary of Rissandrea:

Day 40

Terrible, city watch chased a little girl down an alleyway. Yes she had a mutation, but of course it was curable. I tried to explain this to the watchmen.

Tordrad became very defensive of the girl, seeing that they had drawn their weapons and cornered her as they had. He drew his weapon and stood in their way.

I've never seen the man do anything outside of his bodyguard duty. This had riled him.





Extract from the diary of Tordrad:

Day 40

She remind me so of my little sister…I called her that. She was like a sister to me…back in Kislev – another I was forced to leave…she was reason I leave.





Extract from the diary of Rissandrea:

Day 40

I explained that while I am a Shallyan devotee and am unable to partake of serious violence, my Kislevite friend has no such restrictions. I pointed out that he was evidently taking the violent threat towards this girl seriously. I begged that they let us take her to the church for healing.

Dieter was also strangely defensive of her. I saw his machete ready in hand. He was prepared to strike those men if need be. I've never seen this side of him either.



We were then invited back to the watch headquarters to give a report. I again insisted that we take the girl to the church first. They seemed to accept this eventually, after much looking at one another. This made me suspicious.





Extract from the diary of Tobias:

Day 40

On the way back to the watch HQ, we saw Deputy High Priest Claus Liebnitz and a group of heavily armed Teutogen guard step out in front of us. He asked us what was going on.

Rissandrea tried to answer and one of the guards promptly struck her to the face. Tordrad went to move in for the attack but the guards were upon him in moments. His strength was so great he almost threw them off of him. Had Rissandrea not shot him a looking to appeal for calm, he might well have succeeded!



The watchmen told the Deputy High Priest that we were suspects in a chaos scheme.

Maestro tried to argue, pointing out that the group did indeed have permits to investigate the situation as they saw fit. A mission to protect the wells, as directed by the witch hunters.



One of Liebnitz's men pointed out that a group of witch hunters had indeed just been arrested.

Liebnitz told the men to stand down, that he would handle it from here. He satisfied the watchmen that they would be duly paid for their capture.



Things were looking up when we were escorted to the Temple. At last it seemed like we could get the investigation moving again and get out of this city. Alas that was not to be…The bastards.





Tordrad's diary:

Day 40

They escorted us to jail area, want to show us something there, he say. Witch hunter prisoner there. It is Matthias Hoffer.

Liebnitz say something in smarmy voice. Voice sound so different now. I not know what he say, some words like "yoo outlivved yoosefull-ness". Something like these words. Others get tense, this made me tense. I see fight soon. Liebnitz leaves. He spoke this through closed door.

Wizard become angry all of sudden. Interesting to see him stand up for himself. Maybe he is true man yet. He say something with wagging finger, trying to look threatening. Finger and voice ruin effect – I can tell from guard. Guard grabs him. He speak mage tongue and touch guard's forehead. Guard fall asleep. I not be jailed for crime I did not commit.

I make sure I even not be jailed for crime I do do. So especially not be jailed for crime I do not.

Liebnitz, he is bad man.

I cut down two more guards. More attack. We end up bringing down six guards. Some dead, some asleep.

Then I see jailer and some guards still alive. We throw them in jail. Ironic outcome. Dieter notice rope on ground – look on his face tells me, this not to be good for jailer he eyeballing.

Dieter thread rope through cell bars – around jailer's neck – he squeeze hard. Strange man up against bars, from outside. Man's head look like maybe it become bigger. Maybe not. Haha! I think this way though. It funny.

Jailer then still asleep. Dieter angry now – he give kick to jailer's spine. I hear satisfying crack. Reminds me of when I prepare animal to eat. Jailer scream now. Must be awake.

Dieter say word to wizard. Word like In-tare-row-gate.



He tell them he not know much I think, as Dieter got angry again.

When I look back to jailer, he had extra pool of blood coming from him – he lying on floor. Not know what happened.



They make plan now. Take guards clothes and put on. Take jailer key to escape. Release witch hunter man in cell.





From the diary of Maestro:

Day 40

Mathias Hoffer was in the holding cells and we released him too, but he was badly injured. He had managed to tell us that Bauer had been taken while searching for the poisoners of the wells.

He had uncovered a cultist den within a tavern basement called 'The Sword and Flail'.





Extract from the diary of Rissandrea:

Day 40

We arrived at the Temple of Sigmar only to find it practically under siege! They were getting ready to burn the man inside, with cries of "heretic". Religion is such a dangerous thing to perceive wrong.

I have been challenged about my beliefs before. Rather than getting into something heated like many do over this topic, I simply answer that if I am wrong in my belief, if what I believe in turns out to be incorrect, at least I have spent my time healing and doing good - unlike some others who have been on more morally ambiguous "righteous quests".







Tobias's diary:

Day 40

Hoffer showed us a secret entrance into the Temple. Bah, I could have found it myself!







From the diary of Rissandrea:

Day 40

The watch apparently arrested witch hunter Jakob Bauer with a copy of the highly forbidden 'Liber Chaotis' on his person. He will apparently be put on trial.



There had obviously been a political play put in motion, to destabilize the region.



It turns out the mob outside of the Temple were there for Ulrich Fischer, who managed to escape when Bauer was captured.



We all know that Bauer is innocent at least. I can tell that those who believe it, know it to be so. They had revealed their hand too early when they tried to imprison us as they had.













Dieter sat and waited by an upstairs window, while the others discussed what to do next. A mission was afoot, for the adventurers to search the tavern that had the cultist base within it. Dieter stared at the angry mob who erected their makeshift pyre to burn the witch hunter who was hiding inside with them. Nearby houses were being looted for any scraps that could feed the fire.

As he stared, Dieter's eyes fixed on the licking flames – losing focus to reality around him, he closed his eyes and the darkness of nothingness swallowed him whole. He opened his eyes again, or…or at least he thought he had. Still he was surrounded by darkness. His thoughts were low and hard to access, as if he was busy doing something else, something he wasn't aware of.

There was no breath, yes he wasn't breathing. He knew this as he realised he was in some sort of liquid, yet no bubbles came from his mouth as he exhaled…yet he had exhaled, so surely he was breathing. This thought alone was enough to take up his entire concentration. He could focus on very little else. Soon he couldn't even focus on that fact when his eyes had began to adjust to the darkness around him – when he saw a shape begin to become apparent in the blackness of the liquid before him.

What he saw took him by surprise, yet it seemed like it was the most natural thing he had ever seen as well. A baby, not fully developed yet floated before him – its body in a foetal position – as he came to the realisation that there was no way it could possibly be born yet. So how was this? It was before him now. He looked down and saw his own hand. It looked different. Like that of a growing baby.

A strange anger began to take hold of him. He suddenly felt defensive and aware of threat. The baby in front of him floated up a little. Its umbilical cord came into view from below. Its hands flexed a little, fingers outwards then into fists as they had been previously. The anger was so intense now, worse than anything he had ever felt before.

Suddenly the baby in front of him opened its eyes and glared at him. Its stare was horrific. Malice was clear upon its expression suddenly and its eyes glared a terrible red colour.

There was a blur as a surge of water whooshed around him.

Next thing Dieter knew, the baby before him was struggling, its umbilical cord had been severed. Its hands were around Dieter's throat and he was being choked.

Dieter responded in kind.

The baby before him was first to go motionless. Dieter felt satisfaction suddenly well up inside him. He had earned the right to life. He had wanted life more than the other.

Crimson clouds floated through the liquid, filling the dark space around him. He began suckling on the nutrients of the dead meat before him. His first meal tasted wonderful. He didn't know what was waiting outside for him, but he knew he would find his way there, somehow.

The blood surrounded him and red gave way to orange as Dieter's eyes were back on the pyre's flames outside. The red haze coming up from the smoke made his past vision still hang in front of his eyes as he shivered at the realisation of another old memory.

This one explained a lot for him. Everything made sense now…