Our heroes search for what's hidden behind the mask.
February 09, 2013 06:30
The heroes rock out with their frocks out.
January 10, 2013 06:00
From Kvothe’s quill pen:
Having dealt with some ruffians who mistook me for the Shallyan, my comrades and I handled the local constabulary who were understandably upset about the immolated citizens and/or their carriage. That said, you’d think they’d be used to us and the destruction we cause in the name of Sigmar. Having the patronage of a Lord will hopefully change that.
On that note, we stopped off at the Von Bruner mansion on our way to the Ball. We received an update from Lord Aschaffenberg about the political climate of Ubersreik and heard some disturbing news: Von Saponatheim’s treacherous rumour mongering has hurt our standing with the Sigmarites, who luckily are still siding with us, presumably because we saved that priest from imps.
It has also – due, in part, to the lack of tact of Lord Heissman von Bruner – lost us the support of the City Watch and their stalwart Commander,Andrea Pfeffer. She’s thrown her lot in with Lord Holzenhauer, more’s the shame.
In attempt to save face, Aschaffenberg admitted that he sent us to investigate the Library of Verena – which of course lost us their support, too. A bit foolish of them, I’d say. They assume we were the ones who stole their chaotic papers – seems like we’re in a great position to do a lot of damage to their reputation, and they know it. Why they’d risk so publically opposing us is beyond me.
Vern got onto Bigby Blayse, but was turned down, as I guessed he would be. Further more, we learnt that the Dwarven community is split. Grundi Surehammer seems to be giving us his support, (apparently someone has his ear) although Lord Rickard seemed dubious that the leader of this Dwarven Community actually exists. However, the other two nobles have their own Dwarven supporters, and nothing has been heard from Karak Azgaraz- at least not since their gold was stolen back at Grunewald Lodge.
Still it was not all bad news. Apparently my advice was heeded, and although Aschaffenberg’s repute as a military leader is still in question, and his prestine piety now looks dubious as well, his standing with the merchant class has taken a jump, with Vern Hendricks having succesfully garnered the support of almost all the various Guilds in town, bar the Metalworkers, Physicians and Boatmen’s guilds. I suspect our show at the town meeting yesterday may have helped in the convincing.
Our conversation was cut short by the arrival of an angry mob, spurred on by none other than Von Saponatheim’s valet, Lurch. Arminius went out to deal with them head-on, while Sigmund Wurst tried to influence them from within, and the rest of us did our best to help Arminius play for time while we waited on the Watch to arrive. Unfortunately the rabble set fire to the house, and in an effort to stem the flames I unwittingly caused it to rain frogs on the protesting filth. Serves ‘em right, but by the same token, not the best way of convincing the rabble that the von Bruners aren’t Chaos sympathisers. To be honest, I can see their point – Lord von Bruner strikes me as a very suspicious indeed. Or maybe he’s just a jerk.
The mob dispersed, we set off to the Ball. Murk still hadn’t turned up after slipping away sometime earlier. His absence was beginning to dismay the rest of our group, but as always, there’s not much we can do when the Dwarf has his mind set on something. I chose not to mention the fact I saw him shimming around the outside of the mansion’s third floor windows when we arrived. Wouldn’t want them worrying.
We entered the Ball with no difficulties, and began doing our best to garner support for Lord Aschaffenberg. In the process of doing so, we also heard disturbing rumours that not only had a Skaven been spotted at Borgun’s Brewery a few nights ago, but a band of the vile creatures had attacked the brewer’s wagon on his way to the Ball. Luckily they were able to chase the cowardly monsters away, but it has me concerned. They are getting bolder.
Meanwhile, I was able to enchant Lord Aschaffenberg with a glamour when he entered, to impressive effect, and was able to convince the only other wizard in attendance (Grey Order, name of Engels) that Aschaffenberg was good news. I also chased off Lord Aschaffenberg’s idiotic nephew before he could blacken the family name any further. Arminius managed to smooth things over with Andrea Pfeiffer a bit, and Arianna flashed a bit of thigh at the Leader of the Boat-Guild, which definitely got his attention, but it was grubby little Murk that definitely stole the show. The Dwarf had spotted Lurch slipping a little something into Lord Aschaffenberg’s drink – what exactly it was, we shall never know – and with a bit of quick-thinking Murk was able to not only foil Lurch’s plan, but also slip his own poison into the drink and force the crafty valet to drink it himself, simultaneously damaging von Sapponatheim’s reputation and costing him the life of a valuable servant.
Still, after that little fiasco the guards here seem even more on edge. With their watchful eyes open, I’m sure nothing else could possibly go wrong tonight.
Now where did Murk go?
When our heroes stand on the brink, between darkness and light
December 10, 2012 01:00
From Arminius’ Pocket Notebook:
The day before the ball, our party split up to get some personal things done, and continue in our attempts to discover the nature of the chaotic menace at the heart of the city, as well as secure our position as favourites in the city’s hearts and minds. After accompanying Murk and Kvothe to the Metalworkers’ Guild, and fighting off a slew of chaotic imps while en route, I decided to refresh myself and leave my companions to their armouring. I rejoined Ariana and Graille on the way to the Shallyan hospice, where Graille was hoping to uncover more about the occupants of its attic.
Whilst he spoke with Priestess Kueper, Ariana and I spoke with two rat-catchers about an encounter they had had with one of the Skaven creatures we seem to be beset with. They had followed the creature through the sewer network to a disused warehouse, where they found hundreds upon hundreds of rats, injuring themselves in their attempts to escape. These men were harmless and confused – it seems Hendrick and Commander Pfeiffer are not taking any chances of letting knowledge of chaotic activity in the city reach the general public.
Deciding that this warehouse could potentially provide us a lead, we made our way towards the docks, by way of the Boatmans’ Guild to see if we could ascertain any useful information. Here, as with several times before, I used my guard-seargent breastplate to bypass a usually barred entrance – I feel I cannot continue abusing my uniform in this way, as it is becoming clear that the methods that my companions and I use to further our aims do not see legality as a consideration. For the dignity of my former office, and so that my companions and I might move without attracting as much watch attention, I fear I shall soon have to cast off my armour in favour of another garb.
I should hope that garb is armoured likewise, however, for from the Boatmans’ Guild, Graille was led into an ambush set by men whose signage he had drunkenly stolen. It had pained me to see the noble priest stoop to such levels, but, sensing trouble, I followed him out, and promptly suggested that Graille simply return their property. Graille did so, and the men left – but not before smashing my face for good measure. We rejoined Ariana and headed for the warehouse.
Once inside, we found nothing of any value. Approaching a large grain silo at the far end of the warehouse, I made the foolish mistake of checking for movement by hitting the silo with my blade. Movement there was – the rat-catchers had not exaggerated, and a torrent of rats exploded into the warehouse, quickly finding their prey. We climbed to higher ground, and Ariana tied cloth to my sword and lit it to make a firebrand. Holding the rats off, my friends and I bolted for the door. On the way, I noticed lanterns. I reasoned that the greatest cure for rats is a purge, I lit a lantern and ignited the wall, gesturing to Graille to do the same. My caution and restraint have deserted me these past three years, it seems.
Thinking quickly, I realised that we could turn our arson to our favour. We quickly marshalled a fire-fighting effort. I rallied the nearby workers to retrieve water from the river, and the blaze was controlled before it spread. Downplaying our role in the fire’s origin, we made much of our continued dedication to the protection of the city, in the name of our chosen patron, Lord Aschaffenberg. We appear to have earned even Commander Pfeiffer’s begrudging respect. Finding ourselves accosted once again, we were whisked off by cart to the Emperor’s Rest Hostel, in the rich district, to hear an offer from Graf von Saponatheim.
The Graf did not mince words – he offered us a highly lucrative patronage, wherein we would be agents in his organisation. I did not, and do not rate the man on any kind of scale of honour, and had no desire to accept his offer, tempting though it was. Ariana, finally growing impatient with non-elven political machinations, was less steadfast in her resolve. Graille refused to divulge the identities of those behind the quarantined patients in the Shallyan hospice, and thus von Suponatheim brazenly threatened to kill Sigmund Wurst in front of us. Not wishing death on the man, we relented – and gave our chosen patron’s chief rival valuable and damaging information about his doings.
Rushing to keep control of the political situation, we reconvened with our companions and Wurst, and devised a plan to keep Saponatheim occupied before he had a chance to use his information against us, long enough for us to frame him with the chaotic documents Murk found in the Temple of Verena. Kvothe attempted to visit Commander Pfeiffer, and left her an encrypted message in case of interception. The rest of us visited Vern Hendrick at Lord Aschaffenberg‘s lodgings, that he might prepare a defense of his lord. Hendrick revealed that Wurst had been identifying Saponatheim’s spies in Aschaffenberg’s operations, including their head chef. Demanding midnight nourishment, we loudly discussed misleading information in his presence, hopefully halting Saponatheim’s operations long enough for us to plant the documents at the ball.
The next morning, we witnessed a procession of flagellants making trouble in the city. I can’t stand these men – I believe that to live one’s life to its fullest, bravest and noblest extent is to please Sigmar, and not to spread discord and despair. Graille marshalled his words and turned the crowd against them – but we could not shake the feeling that the mood of the people was not too different from those insane fools. My resolve to defeat the chaotic menace in the city was hardened – I feel tonight will be the night.
Being summoned once more, we met briefly with the third of the viable candidates for leadership of Ubersreik, the military man von Holzenauer. He impressed us, and appreciated our uses as a special-operations unit, but his quest for power is primarily motivated by that for wealth and lands. Lord Aschaffenberg wishes to destroy chaotic forces, as I do – and so he must be my choice.
We attended the town council meeting at the Lord Mayor’s request, but decided to leverage our influence and popularity as heroes to the general populace to advance the cause of Lord Aschaffenberg, who, it transpires, has also offered us patronage. Our rabble-rousing had its intended effect, as we exposed von Suponatheim’s bribing practices and associated our own achievements with Aschaffenbergs. I felt bad for betraying the mayor – but Aschaffenberg’s leadership is the best outcome, for my party, and for this city.
Our business concluded, we journeyed again to the Hill to don our costumes for the ball. I felt very smart and noble in my Bretonnian armour – though it could’ve been a bit more practical. I shall have to keep my shield with me. While we changed, a group of assassins ambushed Kvothe, whom they thought to be Graille on account of his changed dress, and he dispatched them with ease and great theatrics. Though we did not discover their identities, we suppose them to be Suponatheim’s men – for we have declared openly against him now, and must weather the storm of his wrath. But I am not worried – for though three years of my life are gone, I know that it is these people who have kept me alive. I have no fear – only a desire to see right done in the world. Tonight, we play some role in the fortunes of this city – and I know that with these people, I will perform it well.
Where our heroes gain reknown
November 24, 2012 07:00
From Kvothe’s quill pen.
Having just been invited to Holzenhauer’s big ball, I began discussing Lord Aschaffenberg’s political campaign in greater detail with the lord and his manservant, Vern Hendrick. I was surprised to discover that both of them weren’t quite as incompetent as I had feared, and already had many plans and strategies in place. Still, they seemed impressed with the connections I and my comrades brought with us, especially when I mentioned Bigby Blayse’s name. I know not what fate is in store for me should I ever return to the College in Altdorf, but scoring some major political connections for the Bright Order with an Elector Count should go a long way towards clearing my name and/or scoring advancement within the order. Still, Vern Hendrick maintains that wizards aren’t viewed too kindly in Ubersreik – something to do with their history, or some such – and stressed that if a Bright Order wizard – me – were to end a major chaos threat – The Chemist – that would go a long way towards increasing the goodwill towards wizards in Ubersreik. It might even allow for the possibility of opening up a Bright Order chapter house in Ubersreik, or allowing the Order to become the personal adviser of Lord Aschaffenberg.
But enough of the intrigue! While the rest of retired to our lodging at Rugger’s Boarding House, the Dwarf snuck off to break into the Temple of Verena. A brilliant plan with little to no foreseeable consequences – typical of the Dwarf – I’d have cautioned the little ankle-biter against it had I known about it. Still, I can’t argue that his methods were effective, because, low and behold, he came back with the personal diary of the head priest of Verena (boring), an itemized list of books (very boring) and a sheaf of chaos-tainted pages (very terrifying). Apparently the Verenans had only just discovered it in their basement, hidden inside a book. Very suspicious. Carrying the papers ourselves is very risky, but for better or worse, they are now our problem to deal with. I’m tempted to use them to frame Sapponatheim and take him out of the political running, but I’m equally tempted to simply ship them off to the temple of Sigmar by proxy and have them destroyed. We’ll see what the rest of our little gang say.
While this was going down, the rest of us had gone to sleep – except for the Priest, who made a lot of noise downstairs before staggering up the stairs, flopping into bed and crying himself to sleep. Not sure what that was about. The rest of the evening was fairly uneventful, aside from a trio of Skaven assassins whom we dispatched without taking even a single wound ourselves (Wurst got poisoned, cos he’s the worst, but I think he’s ok now. Also I accidentally kicked the Priest in the face, but it’s unfair to blame the Skaven for that one). The Lawman went off to summon the Watch (a novel experience, it’s the first time we’ve called the Watch rather than have the Watch called on us). We produced three Skaven bodies as proof of our dedication in the fight to chaos to a pair of dull watchmen who promptly summoned Andrea Pfeiffer herself to the crime scene in short order. Simultaneously I sent the Dwarf to bring in Vern Hendricks as a witness, because I was tired of people not believing in our struggles against the filthy little rat-creatures.
The Priest did a bit of sleuthing on his own (is it just me or does he seem a bit worse for wear tonight? He seems more melancholy than usual. Also much, much drunker) and figured out what exactly was going down with the ‘captives’ in the Shallyan hospice. Apparently they were all victims (or corroborators?) of Chaotic activity, and Vern Hendrick and Captain Pfeiffer – who are in cahoots, apparently – decided to hide them all in the hospice so as to not arouse suspicion and panic amongst the general populace. Also it’d look bad for Lord Aschaffenberg if we’d let a cultist like the Chemist slip away from Grunwald Lodge. Too bad the Priest got Sapponatheim onto the whole conspiracy. Only time will tell if that causes problems. Perhaps the Priest and the Dwarf can feed that slippery bastard some bad information and send him on a wild goose chase? Maybe we’ll have to frame him after all…
Bright and early the next day we went to some dumb costume shop to get our dumb costumes for Holzenhauer’s dumb ball. I had originally intended to settle on a Bright Order costume (naturally) before I realized it would be much funnier to dress up as a Shallyan. Too bad that means I’ll probably have to leave my staff behind, but oh well, it’s worth the comedy factor. Might confuse any potential assassins as well.
Speaking of my staff, the Dwarf hooked me up with the metalworkers and he and I – and the Lawman – proceeded down there to meet Bigby Blaze when, lo behold, we bumped into our old friend and ally…that, uh, that elderly Sigmarite priest guy. We were all set to say hello and ask him about the weather when five imp-demons materialized in Morrslieb’s glare and started attacking the priest. Is nowhere safe anymore? The answer to that is: only if you’re not in the company of awe-inspiring heroes like us. We made quick work of the demons and saved the priest – in broad daylight, in the middle of the street, amongst a crowd of people, and then set about our business. I made sure to tell everyone that we were working for Lord Aschaffenberg while we were at it.
The Dwarf spent all day tinkering away at something – he even used warpstone to augment some lenses, which I cannot approve of, but by the same token, the Dwarf’s penchant for using warpstone-enhanced shot in his pistols has always resulted in hilarious results. I myself set about the laborious process of augmenting my own staff with Bigby Blaze. I can’t wait til it’s completely finished – it will be a weapon to be feared.
As we left the metalworkers guild at the end of the day we were surprised to see Lord Aschaffenberg’s carriage pulling up! He invited us inside and, lo and behold, offered us a patronage on the spot. Apparently our heroics with the implets had impressed him considerably. Looks like everything’s turning up Kvothe!
Our heroes look for the word on the street.
November 16, 2012 07:00
Where our heoes are suspended in disbelief
November 02, 2012 08:00
Where our heroes fight in a circle of death
October 23, 2012 07:00
Where our heroes jump ship
October 01, 2012 08:00
From Kvothe’s quill pen:
I thought we’d bought it when Commander Rupert Julbach caught us in that Skaven-infested mansion that was burning to the ground around us. Sure, the fire was technically my doing, but what kind of moron walks into a house with a scores of dead rat-men and assumes the surviving humans are the bad guys?
Still, a bit of fast talking got him to escort us to Witch Hunter Lucas Hazelman. From what I’d heard of the guy – having never actually been introduced to him, on account of having been hiding in a backroom with the Dwarf at the time – he seemed pretty trustworthy. At least, as trustworthy as a Witchhunter can be, in theory. I figured the odds of there being two corrupt Witchhunters in one city was as likely as, well…one corrupt Witchhunter in a city. But it’s not like we had much choice. It was Hazelman, or gaol.
I thought we’d bought it a second time when the Commander took the Dwarf aside for a bit of one-on-one. To my – and everyone else’s – surprise, Rupert didn’t have us all executed on the spot on account of the Dwarf’s manners. It must have been our lucky day.
I was thanking my lucky stars right up until the point were we got jumped by another group of Skaven at the supposed meeting place with Hazelman. My companions readied themselves for a fight – and I readied myself for us getting blamed for luring the City Watch into a Skaven trap – when Hazelman showed up and slaughtered most of the vermin in one fell swoop. After having seen Amir completely roast Hazelman’s corrupt partner, I had sort of mentally relegated the Witchhunters – along with most everything else – into the category of ‘Something A Bright Order Wizard Can Easily Deal With’. I’m beginning to see why they are the objects of such intense fear and respect throughout the Empire. I wonder – are they all like Hazelman?
Having just been saved from another Skaven assault, my luck once again flipped and Hazelman had me arrested. How many times has it been, now? Still, I let the Priest do the talking, and the Witchhunter soon saw sense. A good move on his part – the last Witchhunter who tried to arrest me is now lying well-done in a gutter somewhere.
We were about to start making plans with the Commander and the Witchhunter vis-à-vis the massive Chaos ritual going down tonight when I noticed the Dwarf was greedily picking something off the ground. Julbach noticed too, and immediately yelled for everyone to hit the ground, which is a military term for ‘don’t be where you currently are’. A skaven wielding a torch leapt up from the docks and set fire to the massive trail of warp-stone infused gunpowder we were all standing on.
I briefly contemplated trying to snuff out the flames but I had not reckoned on the warp-stone; it burnt like the very blazes and within mere seconds most of the street was on fire and the warehouse we’d been held in by the Chemist detonated with an almighty bang.
Having survived the explosion mostly intact, we were joined by the Captain of the Greedy Bitch, and we made our plans quickly and efficiently, with minimum squabbling. Using my magical sights on the river revealed that there was a whole lot of Amethyst Wind flying about – Death magic – as well as a lot of Celestial stuff as well. I deduced that the ritual was powered by death, and that a multitude of ships on the harbor – the Captain of the Greedy Bitch mentioned that they were all ships that had gone missing over the last few weeks – held prisoners who would be executed en masse at midnight, which would release a whole lot of death energy in the giant magical circle they had constructed, which they would use for some unholy ritual of unimaginable power. In another interesting side-note, it turns out that the Sigmar Priest, Father Whathisname is an old friend and ally of the Witchhunter Lucas Hazelman. The plot thickens! Someone who is shown such levels of respect by a Witchhunter is someone to look out for indeed. After a quick discussion, we decided to split up – Franz, myself, and the rest of my comrades would attempt to board a nearby ship and use it to break the Skaven-blockade that had been set up around the central vessel on which the ritual was going to happen. The Witchhunter, Julbach and the Captain of the Greedy Bitch would all do their best to liberate and evacuate as many ships on the river whilst simultaneously doing their best to distract the Skaven patrolling the waters and protecting the ritual-ship.
Without further ado, we started leaping from ship to ship – some of us with more success than others (I don’t mean to brag, but I seem to have discovered a way of blasting myself through the air using magical fire; I am keen to see if I can replicate my feat!). Without hesitation, we began our assault on one of the prisoner ships, and found our enemies were these Kislev mercenaries we’d heard so much about. After a brisk battle, in which the Elf fell into the drink a bunch of times, the Dwarf almost lost his hand (and a prized pistol) due to some interesting use of warp-stone as gunpowder (note to self: keep an eye on the Dwarf), and I blasted a few nicely satisfying chunks off the ship.
We boarded, got rid of the last Kislev dog, liberated the prisoners, and were jumped by an eye-patched cultist who had apparently been directing the merceneries for his Chaotic masters and had previously been seen kidnapping the people of Franz’s village. We interrogated him, discovered little we didn’t know, and then squabbled about whether or not to kill him while the prisoners were evacuated. Too late, we realized that our squabbling had distracted us from the real threat – a Skaven ship was heading straight for us. While Franz, the Guard, the Priest and the Elf secured us a get-away rowboat, the Dwarf and I hatched a plan to burn the entire (now empty) boat down to the water while the incoming Skaven boarded it. To our surprise we found the hold to be full of gunpowder and warpstone. We quickly took this information in our stride and incorporated it in our plan. A few minutes and a gunpowder trail later, we lowered ourselves into the rowboat and desperately put as much distance between ourselves, the recently liberated prison boat, and the rapidly approaching Skaven mauraders as possible before the ship detonated in a huge fireball I doubt even the Wizard-Lords of the Bright Order could have managed.
The Skaven died, that much is certain – but their deaths only served to power up the approaching ritual. Even worse, as our one-eyed captive informed us after we’d lit the fuse, was that all the ships were full of gunpowder as well, and were supposed to detonate all together. Sure enough, across the harbor, the dim-witted Skaven took our explosion as the signal to blow, and blew another prisoner-laden ship to Kingdom Come. We’ve kicked off the detonation chain early, and a lot of people have died as a result. We’re all a bit rattled, the Priest especially. There will be time for mourning and guilt later; all this means is that we have to stop the ritual at all cost, lest this sacrifice be in vain!"
Where our heroes find themselves between a rat and a hard place.
September 21, 2012 08:00
From Ariana’s stylus:
“Tonight, trapped in a burning waterfront mansion, we fought more skaven scum. I was worried at first about the sheer number of them, but it turned out they were all mucus and no grunt. None the less, we came out barely unscathed. Although it appears some of the men are still injured from a previous battle.
The wizard miscast a spell again. It worries me that he keeps doing that. This time I think he scared that poor priest half to death.
I’m so sick of cleaning up other peoples messes. I’m not even sure how I got stuck with this bunch of misfits. They seem nice enough but I’m not sure if I can really trust them yet… especially that arrogant little dwarf.
The guards conveniently showed up just after we finished dealing with the scaven and wanted to arrest us all. It sounded like half of this mess was caused by the dwarf in the first place. I would’ve been quite happy if they had just taken him and left the rest of us alone. They’re now accompanying us to a witch hunter so we can stop this chaos ritual before time runs out.
I have a bad feeling about all of this."
Where our heroes' pasts come back to bite them.
August 24, 2012 07:00
Awaiting Franz Bieber’s recounting in full:
- Ariana finds herself awoken by a small child.
- Franz, Karl and Initiate Hammlin are arguing.
- Father Barthelm is leading refugees in prayer.
- The Boat is trying to navigate crowded waters & smoke. Sailors with barge poles slowly push away vessels in their path, while a lookout searches for specific ships.
- The city is an inferno. All around is fire and dying people!
- Ariana and Franz jump from boat to boat to get to the shore.
- They follow the party’s trail of destructio to the playhouse.
- At the theatre Franz spots Arminius in the company of a witchhunter. Unsure weather he has been arrested, and terrified of the Templars of Sigmar, Franz leads the way in trailing Arminius, first to the holding cells near the warf, then on to Crazy Hassans.
- Once they meet up and disentange themselves from Hassans suggestive selling, they head to Uncommon Goods, Amir Hassana’s burnt down shop front.
- They fight and apparently defeat Amir Hassana after witnessing his murder of Witchhunter Andric Lutzen.
- Before they go far however, they get waylaid by a patrol of soldiers. A runner leaves to bring back their C.O. to question their captives.
- Fortuitously, The Professor, Murk’s employer and Garen Eich’s grandfather, chooes that moment to turn up. He sends Murk and his compatriates on what sounds like a pointless errand, but the party happily follow the noble’s orders before the soldiers have a chance to fetch Rupert Julbach.
- At the Eich mansion they stumble across skaven looking for Garen Eich, and kidnapping his servants. Dun. Dun. Dun.