Saturday, February 18, 2017

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 43

My PC
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Assassin

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Artisan/Mercenary/Champion
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Pistoleer/Engineer/???
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Physician
Van Duster - Mercenary NPC
Imeltrud - Knight, liason to Mathilda NPC
Gertie - Knight, liason to Mathilda NPC

(Previous Notes)

Vaervenshyael stared into the room. There were three pale female dressed in antiquated clothing, sitting around two long tables drinking dark wine out of goblets. In the back of the room was a seductive tapestry. Under the tapestry was a 2 inch slit in the floor. The room slanted slightly toward the slit.

The females looked up from their cups and smiled invitingly. Vaervenshyael got straight to business. “What is this place?” The women answered with an invitation into the room.

From behind, Imultrude warned the party of nefarious emanations coming from the room. Tankred charged. Before she could react further, one of the ladies cast a spell. A large, fleshy, muscular pseudopod erupted from the ceiling, wrapped itself around Vaervenshyael, and shocked her with a jolt of writhing pain.

Vaervenshyael followed up with a missed gunshot toward one of the ladies. The room echoed with a BOOM! Smoke filled the air. The shot went wide. One of the ladies started casting again. Cockroaches filled the room, skittering away from the light and into the slit in the floor. Vaervenshyael charged, slashing one of the ladies in the arm.

Another spell was cast, and Vaervenshyael felt a mind invade her own. “Kill the tall one.” Then she remembered nothing.

*Vaervenshyael’s eyes turned from blue to brown. She turned around and attacked Tankred with everything she had in her. She was able to slash his face before he knocked the wind out of her with his greataxe.*

Vaervenshyael come to sitting on the floor and short of breath. The doctor tended to her wounds and then gave her a healing draught. Once she caught her breath, she was ready to carry on.

The corridor continued to double doors in the south. The corridor continued past the doors and ended in a thin fissure. Something had been through the fissure recently, but it was too small for an elf or a human. Imultrude sensed multiple colors of magic being drawn from the hallway and through the double doors. There was no place to go but through.

Beyond the double doors was a circular room, with a circular pit, and a runed orb floating above the pit. There was nothing the party could do about the floating orb or the magic in the room, so Tankred continued on while the rest of the party discussed the situation.

Tankred shouted from the next room. Vaervenshyael followed to find Tankred chasing someone down another hallway. She followed him to another circular room with a large crack running through it. There were 7 robed, bearded cultist in the room. Tankred started attacking the men, and the rest of the party joined in. Shortly, all the cultists were dispatched. The party then saw that the was a man hanging from manacles in the room. Was he, perhaps, one of the missing Verenans?

Monday, February 13, 2017

[D&D 2e] The Sword Coast Adventures (Setup)

Brielle the Academician and Ulric the Loremaster met in a library in Waterdeep. They were both looking to access the same historical archive and soon learned of their common interests. Through research, they soon learned of long forgotten historical sites of yore and set about investigating them in person.

Early on, they hired common mercenaries to accompany them to remote sites. It didn't take long, however, before they realized the need for a trustworthy (wo)man at arms to coordinate these escapades. They did some research (naturally) and found a warrior in Candlekeep who came highly recommended: Nora.

On one of the remote explorations, the party came across a minotaur in an underground complex. After a rough initial impression, the party came to realize the minotaur was not a menace but instead a Ranger named Kolot. Brielle and Ulric were happy to offer such a unique creature a place in their exploratory band. This caused some dissention amongst the hirelings, and Nora was forced to replace many of them once the party returned to civilization.

For a while now, the group has been exploring long forgotten sites around the Sword Coast and slowly making a name for themselves.

----------------------

Nora is a human fighter. She grew up in slums of Baldur's Gate. As a teenager, she stepped up to defend herself and others against the local gangs who would shake them down for money. She became a sort of peasant hero. After this, she was approached to be a bodyguard for a scholar during his trip to Candlekeep.  That's when she realized she could make a living doing this. She met the Brielle and Ulric at Candlekeep and hired on with them from there.

Ulric is a human specialty priest of Oghma. He was raised in a small village near The Crags. When The Crags suffered a terrible earthquake, the villagers who remained were forced to move to the nearest city, Neverwinter. Ulric's family had trouble making ends meet, and they ended up pledging Ulric to the Church of Oghma in Neverwinter. From there he had a bed and food to eat and all the information he could wrap his little head around. The rest is history.

Brielle is a human Academician.

Kolot is a minotaur ranger who was raised by humans. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 42

My PC
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Assassin

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Artisan/Mercenary/Champion
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Pistoleer/Engineer/???
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Physician
Van Duster - Mercenary NPC
Imeltrud - Knight, liason to Mathilda NPC
Gertie - Knight, liason to Mathilda NPC

(Previous Notes)

Kaldezeit 13th: Chilly. Fires lit around Barak Varr. Less than 1 week until the 1st day of winter.

Vaervenshyael engages in a conversation with the head of the Cult of the Practicing Owl (Verena). The conversation is in regards to her party accepting the mission from the priest. The priest states the mission is of utmost secrecy. Vaervenshyael tells him in no uncertain terms that half of the party can not be depended on for secrecy. His wish is for her to bring the rest of the party to the temple so he can impart the dire need for secrecy.

Kaldezeit 14th.

The entire party heads to the temple. After a talk with Doctor Woeller, Vaervenshyael is not so sure she should blindly trust the Priest. She discreetly scouts out the meeting area and finds that all is secure.

The priest led the party to the rear of the temple, down a spiral staircase, and into a cavernous room. He reported that members of the Cult of Ormazd crashed through one of the walls in this room looking to escape from something. He sent 3 Verenans, at various times, through this new corridor, and none of them have returned. The party decided they needed to equip before heading into the tunnels.

In the tunnels, Doctor Woeller and Vaervenshyael initiate a conversation about the Verenan's loyalties. To whom does the cult answer? To Empire Verenans? To Emporer Karl Franz? To the dwarves of Barak Varr?

Van Duster finds a secret door at the end of the tunnel. He pulls it open to reveal a room in a basement with a black sphere spinning in the middle of the room. In Eltharin, the disc speaks, "Please state your query." A number of queries are spoken in Reikspiel to no avail. In Eltharin, Vaervenshyael asks the disc, "Where is the item we seek?" Amazingly the disc answers.

"Beyond this door, across the bridge, down, down, down, beyond the pool, in the castle, guarded by the horseman and his love."

Beyond the door the party found a hallway which continued beyond the line of sight. There were doors on the right and left, within view. On the left was a room with a severed, but still moving, large cat head hanging from a rope and hook. (It was about as strange as it sounds). Finding nothing worth entering the room for, the party shut the door.

Beyond the door on the right came the sound of clanking chains and female voices speaking quietly. The door was opened to find 3 women sitting around a stone slab, drinking. One woman had very white teeth when she smiled, and seemed very happy to see the party.

Friday, February 3, 2017

13 Fun Things to Do When You're Bored in Barak Varr

Your recent travels have brought you to Barak Varr. If you're lucky, you have some time to yourself but have no idea what to do on a day off in a dwarf hold. Here are some ideas to keep you busy (but not necessarily out of trouble).
  1. Indoor Treasure Hunt: Barak Varr is filled with dwarven riches!

    Dwarves have so much gold that they can't even contain it in their massive treasure vaults. Check every nook and cranny of the hold. Don't forget to look under the throne cushions!
  2. Scrub Last Year's Filth Off!

    Slip into a soothing bath laced with your own moisturizing soap blend. In a clean container, mix together ½ cup lye, 1 tablespoon beef tallow or pig fat, and 1 tablespoon of honey. Pour the entire mixture under the running water as you draw your bath. Honey is a natural humectant, which will attract and retain moisture in your skin.
  3. Create a Recipe Book

    You won't be in Barak Varr forever, and who knows when you'll have access to these wonderful recipes again. Travel tavern-to-tavern, collecting recipes of the most mouth-watering meals you find!
  4. Camp in the Great Indoors

    Some of these dwarven caverns are the size of small forests. Grab your tent and your bedroll and set out for a night under the stalactites. If you forgot to bring your own camp wood, try some fallen fungi.
  5. Invent a Game

    One-word story: Starting with “Once upon a time,” go around the room and have each person add a single word to the story. Tip: Decide on an historical event in advance―The Great Betrayal, The Legend of Sigmar, Tyrion & Teclis, etc.―and go from there.

    Improvised poetry: One person says a line of poetry, and the next must say a line that rhymes with it, and so on. Each patron gets to say a line first, and the tavern's entertainer must come up with the rhyming line.

    Yes, and…monster! List a monster from deep beneath Barak Varr or its environs, with each person adding a new characteristic to the first person’s monster description. Every new idea has to start with an enthusiastic, “Yes, and…” and build on what has already been described. The last person gets to say, "And you kill it with _____!"
  6. Comb Out Your Hair/Beard
    Your hair gets more tangled with each successive adventure, and you just haven’t been able to get to the apothecary or barber-surgeon. Combine this idea with #2, and comb it out while you soak. (Note: Do not offer beeswax to a dwarf when he is oiling his beard. Only the rankest pigfat will do.)

  7. Bake Up Some Fresh Bread
    Nothing cures boredom like baking. Sop your bread chunks in milk or eat it warm right out of the oven. Now, if you and your traveling companions fancy other varieties, that’s no problem: Look to idea #3 and collect bread recipes from all over the hold.

  8. Enjoy the Street Entertainers
    There's always a knife-thrower or fire-eater somewhere in the big city. Actively seek them out and check out their shows instead of just walking by.
  9. Host a “Tea” Party

    Dress up in fanciest clothes, ask for the best cutlery, and put on your most formal manners (remember, extend your pinkie and sip politely). On the menu: tea, juice elvish wine (skip the more alcoholic dwarf ales), and easy egg or chicken salad Ludowiches in fun shapes, courtesy of an imaginative halfling. Try to invite mostly elves and halflings for a proper, fancy tea!
  10. Pamper Yourself With a Skin-Softening Salve
    Separate yourself from the orcs! It's going to be a long time before you find yourself in a location when you can properly bathe again. Prepare for those long days on the road: make a soothing salve. Grind about two cups of oatmeal (a natural skin soother); add a few handfuls each of tea grinds and molasses sugar. Then stir in three or four spoonfuls of skin-nourishing honey, ginger, and hag apple (from the local apothecary). Before storing the batch in the root cellar, scoop out enough for a week into a jar, which you'll keep with your bedroll, using it daily.

  11. Map Out the  City on Paper

    Get as large a piece of vellum as you can afford. Roll a long piece across your room floor, use cutlery, your hand weapon, a pewter tankard (or heavy books if you have an academic in the party) to secure the corners and edges, and start mapping the hold. Dutifully recreate roads, bridges, cul de sacs, and neighborhoods. Include lakes/ponds/water repositories, empty yards, schools, hospitals, shops, and taverns. This map could prove a valuable sale item when visiting human or elves! Also, with everything mapped out, you may notice areas conspicuously lacking representation. Those would be the most interesting to explore the next time you're bored.

  12. Brush up on Your Brewing Skills
    Is your signature drink a tankard of locale ale? Are you intimidated by halfling bartenders? Use a lazy afternoon to master the art of the classic drink—we’re talking Bugman quality ale here—that you can serve at your next Pie Week. Once you know the basics, you can alter the recipes to suit your taste. So grab some snacks—no one needs to drink signature ales on an empty stomach—let the miller tell you the difference between wheat and rye, and try your hand at your own brew.

  13. Plan a Vacation! For Real!

    Look, we know you're not at Barak Varr by choice. However, you can still dream of a warm, Estalian resort or gorgeous Karak Eight Peaks escape. Even better: you can make a game out of it. One that’s even a tiny bit educational (shhh, don’t tell the swordarms). Look at a map—of the Old World, if you can actually swing an international vacation, or of the Empire—and pick a location you'd like to visit. Research how to get there, where to stay, and what to do. You can create a budget based on the payout of your last adventure, make a plan of what sites to hit or local foods to try, and then sell your ideas to the rest of the party. At the very least, everyone will learn a little bit about a new city or country. At best, you may figure out your next exciting adventure.
We'd love to hear what you did in Barak Varr during your downtime. Please pepper our comment section with your dwarf-hold doldrums designs!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 41

My PC
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Assassin

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Artisan/Mercenary/Champion
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Pistoleer/Engineer/???
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Physician
Van Duster - Mercenary NPC
Imeltrud - Knight, liason to Mathilda NPC
Gertie - Knight, liason to Mathilda NPC

(Previous Notes)

The party followed the Verenean apprentice, Acolyte Jervais Duchez, through the clogged streets of Barak Varr and into the temple quarter.  The party was concerned with lodgings, so they were shown to The Stonecutter's Thumb (Den Daumen des Steinbrechers). The proprieter was a short, old halfling woman.

Those interested enjoyed a warm bath. The party then met downstairs, where the boys started drinking all the Bugman's they could get their hands on...and for quite a hefty price.

GM: Aubentag, Kaldezeit 13, 2531

The party settles near the hearth of The Stonecutter's Thumb. The weeks of trail riding and constant alertness takes a physical toll. Having bathed, eaten, and relaxed with pints of Bugman's Best, the tension seems to be dropping quickly, aided by a promise of a round of beers to shortly be delivered.

The "Thumb" as it's called by the denizen's of the Barak Varr Hold, is lightly populated and the common room is being enjoyed by locals, all humans.

Van, standing near the table, listens to the conversation, but is caught eyeing the bartender on more than a single occasion. Imeltrud and Gertie have departed for the Temple to Myrmidia to pay respects as they are wont to do.

The Verenan temple, often called a Bibliothek, or library, is a few blocks away, but easily walked to.

But there are several immediate matters that need to be attended too that are being discussed:

The matter of waiting messages from Paduda with the Verenans. The large coop and perch can been seen atop the Bibliothek when approaching from the right street. It not uncommon to believe a bird overhead is coming or going from the Verenan perch.

The matter of informing the Dwarven watch of your lodging. The mention of greenskins gets Van into the conversation, "Not a bad idea for us to send some pigeons south I think.

Lastly the matters of the next talisman, the not so subtle interest of the Verenans, and the bearded fellow in the crowd. Van has a thought on that too: "Too many beards in this place to be sure..."

Vaervenshyael, tired of the party's foolish beer guzzling, spits out, "We can address two of these matters by returning to the temple, if you are just about finished with your Dwarven ale bravado."

Before they finish up, a trio of hardened dwarves walked in and started questioning Tankred about the WAAAGH! the party witnessed on the way up. The Trio was led by Sergeant Orthradin Skalldinson of the watch. He seemed to like Vaervenshyael's grit, and actually laughed when she reported she was originally from the Wasteland. The dwarf gave her a script from the watch in case we are ever in trouble.

Vaervenshyael finally headed to the temple of Verena to retrieve the party's messages.  She asked Wilhelm to come along, in case the streets of Barak Varr at night were not too friendly to a solitary elf.

Letter 1: Twelve men left from Padua to head to the tower in the west in hopes of mining iron.
Letter 2: Increased activity noted in Ubain and their leader 9-10-11. Does the leader have renewed interest in annexing Padua?
Letter 3: Please reply ASAP
Letter 4: There has been no word from the twelve men who headed west for several days.

Vaervenshyael was asked to have her party visit the high priest of Verena the next day after 10 AM.

The high priest, Heinke Holstein, and his initiate Gervais, explained to the party that they knew the reason they were in Barak Varr. The priests knew of the talismans of Abdul Al Shar. They were also aware of a local cult associated with Ormazd, a god worshipped by Arabyans. The priest noted that this cult may be in possession of a talisman. The initiates they sent to investigate the cult have not been heard from. The priest would like the party to investigate. The cult worships beneath the hold, accessed through the sewers.

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 40

My PC
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Assassin

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Artisan/Mercenary/Champion
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Pistoleer/Engineer/???
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Physician

(Previous Notes)

Mathilda had promised to resupply the party if they helped the town clean up after the Morrslieb rat attack. Vaervenshyael had no desire to sully herself with the dead of the town, so she used a long (long) handled broom to sweep up debris...both organic and inorganic.

Resupplying included a trip to an old Myrmidian temple and finding a supply of gunpowder for both Vaervenshyael and Wilhelm to take advantage of.

The next day there was excessive consideration of trade between Mathildaburg and Padua. The Doctor seemed to think that Padua could supply its excess alcohol and Mathildaburn could supply its excess armaments, many of which were seen in the bowels of the temple.

Considering the time of year and the temperature thus far, Vaervenshyael bought a scarf and overcoat before leaving the town.

On the trail to Barak Varr, the party noticed a large encampment of orcs (well over 100 of the nasty creatures) to the east. The party had no trouble avoiding them and continuing on to the dwarven hold.

Once inside the gates of Barak Varr, Tankred was immediately recognized. The party was summoned to the Temple of Verena where messages from Padua awaited. Before finishing the sitting, Vaervenshyael noticed a man with a full black beard, in the style of Abdul Al Shar, pulling his cloak up over his head and disappearing into the crowd. It seemed the Sheik's followers were everywhere.

Monday, November 14, 2016

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 39

My PC
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Assassin

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Artisan/Mercenary/Champion
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Pistoleer/Engineer/???
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Physician

Key NPCs

(Previous Notes)

Vaervenshyael noticed Wilhelm asking around town about where the witch had lived. He was not having any luck, so she offered to show him where she had purchased the poison from the witch. It was a hovel set into an alleyway. Behind the hovel was an old, burnt building with barely discernible owl reliefs. Word on the street was a temple to Verena had burned down a few months ago.

The witch burning was a success. Each member of the party was off doing their own thing. Vaervenshyael was mingling when she heard Tankred yelling from the dock area. She caught something about the water rising and rats in the streets.

At the same time, the burning witch on the pyre looked up and gasped. She looked directly at Vaervenshyael and mouthed something. The rats entered the common area. Up overhead, a grey, fiery ring surrounded Morrslieb.

Vaervenshyael drew her secreted daggers and leaped upon the fallen pillar to view the chaos. She saw Tankred in a chase after...Wilhelm? Vaervenshyael ran after the champion.

The two found Wilhelm burning the witch's home. They talked him into returning to the inn to fetch their belongings, including the horses tied up in a stable with the waters rising.

With their belongings and horses, but without being able to find their retainers, the party headed toward the burning pyre, which was slowly being snuffed out by the waters. They were ambushed by a ghoulish beast. Vaervenshyael was surprised and barely able to rake it across the head with her rapier. Tankred was better prepared and sliced the beast from groin to clavicle. Wilhelm shot the beast through its gut and out its back, felling the monstrous form of the burned witch.