Erntezeit 1st in Kleinsdorf:
In the morning, Otto bargains with Ernst Fallenstaffer for guide services. Between his curiosity about these travellers, Otto’s charms and realizing “hmm, it’s Pie Week and the Waldenschmidts have a Halfling cook – smacking lips” Fallenstaffer offers to guide them for free.
Erasmus is the only party member to purchase some of Richter’s Cure-All for What Ails Ye (wounded, tired, afraid – Richter’s Cure-All is for you!), managing to bargain the village apothecary with “family secrets handed down from Ancient Nehekhara” down to 4 shillings from the requested 5.
It is still raining heavily for second day in row (random weather draw).
Having slept in a bit after their exertions the previous day, the investigators heads up the Hochstrom. Around noon they reach the abandoned village of Schrobenheim – wiped out by plague 20 years earlier. Otto will not enter, taking them around but they want to see if anyone has been using the site.
Matthias shifts to wolf-form (Ernst having been told about it) and noses about the site to see if it is being used as a hide out. It is actually a peaceful site nature is reclaiming. Only a few stone foundations and the weathered remains of charred uprights show where homes once stood (it appears the village was burned). Trees are growing throughout the site and there are signs of wildlife. Matthias found signs of a dozen or so travellers having camped here without a fire recently. They are messy (poor latrine hygiene) but didn’t leave any other traces. The heavy rains (2nd day now) have washed away any trails they left coming or going.
The group continues on to Waldenschmidt Farm, it being about 3 o’clock in the afternoon when they come in sight of the hill-top fortified farmstead with its fields and pigs, a small shrine down by stream bank to Abnoba Maid of the Bursting Waters (a local spirit – do not wash us away in spring or leave us too thirsty in fall maid of the mountain-fed stream).
Ernst hails the farmstead and introduces the travellers to the Waldenschmidts, who are rural farm folk (like the Kleinsdorfers) wary of outsiders (two misfortune dice to all social with them). They are met by the three able-bodied men of the arm – Eustasius (sword sheathed), brother Hugo (pitchfork) and hired man from Kleinsdorf Kasimir (scythe), and their wolf hound – though eventually meet the grandparents, wife, kids.
The investigators explain they come from Streissen University in search of missing students. The farmers don’t recall seeing any students. Two days ago eight riders, well-armed, came by also looking for them – said they were “Gentlemen” but Eustasius says they weren’t. These searchers road off south (presumably to Kleinsdorf or Grubers Farm).
They know of the dwarf mine but don’t deal with it. Though Eustasius appears put off by the travellers (insight/observation failing to see any reason why, an extra two misfortune dice with him), with Ernst’s help, investigators are allowed to sleep in the barn for a penny each (please check you paid).
Erasmus helps out in the kitchen and the travellers end up being fed. However, whether it’s Erasmus trying to talk up Eloise Broadleaf the cook (used to cook for mercenaries but when Eustasius decided to come back to the family farm she came with him) – “I’m just the cook” or Brun with Grandpa Gobel in the morning the investigators find themselves failing to induce any of the farm folk be more chatty or forthcoming.
Sleep in the Barn (misfortune die to recovery) – Episode End.
Erntezeit 2 comes and the rain eases off to a light rain.
Act 1 – to the Mine!
Ernst takes the investigators south-east from the farmstead, into hillier and hillier terrain as they approach a spur of the World’s Edge Mountains. It’s 10 miles or so but there is no trail and the terrain is rougher and it’s past mid-afternoon by the time the canyon mouth comes into sight. This is where Ernst once saw the dwarfs come out with their packtrain taking silver ingots to Grenzstadt.
Ernst declines to go into the canyon. He will make a lean-to shelter in the trees here near the entry and sleep here tonight. If the investigators show up by morning they can go back together, otherwise he will head back on his own.
Harek goes into the canyon with Erasmus and wolf-Matthias. He is hailed by a lookout and introduces himself. Being a dwarf he manages to get welcomed and the rest of investigators join.
They meet mine-owner Dargo Morekson who says the dwarfs have seen no students. His cousin Yadri is a bit of a zaki, wandering, ahem prospecting, in the region with his pet, well trained, well mostly behaved bear. He recalls Yadri talking about the silver ring he found in some ruins. It wasn’t a big deal, Yadri just mentioned he found a human ruin built in an old dwarf mine but the mine had been played out so it was of no interest. Dargo doesn’t know where this was (dwarfs have been mining these mountains and hills on and off since before Sigmar).
Yadri doesn’t come to the mine much – lately he’s been working out of Waldenschmidt farm.
— Waldenschmidt?! The investigators realize though they asked about students at the farm they didn’t ask about Yadri.
(Meta-game – that’s sort of reason I reminded earlier that you were going to the dwarf mine to ask about Yadri, the mine only being a means to find him).
It is evening, Harek speaks with the mine’s engineer Goddi Skalderson, though Goddi doesn’t take well to hearing about the problem with the still he improved in Kleinsdorf. (failed charm).
While the evening is getting on, a horn starts blowing and a voice bellows ‘GROBI!’ A greenskin attack! A mixed group of wolf-riders, spearmen, cleaver-wielders, snotlings and crossbow-armed goblins has scaled the dwarf wall.
The dwarves grab their arms and rush to defend themselves. Melee ensues with goblin and dwarf dice pools rolled to inflict injury on each other. Goblins the heroes occupy don’t contribute to the goblin dice pool. Some dwarfs are hardier and can ‘take 2 narrative hits before falling’ and one dwarf, Ulfar, is skilled with first aid and can mitigate dwarf losses.
Early in the confrontation, the dwarf engineer Goddi uses some sort of flare to illuminate the scene and remove darkness penalties (the canyon otherwise being quite dark at night).
The dwarfs and investigators are victorious but the goblins kill three dwarfs before they are overwhelmed (Dargo’s Mine 11 years with
0 3 fatalities, it’s all good till the greenskins show up). Brun and Matthias bore the worst brunt of the goblin fighting.
Mopping up and assessing situation, the dwarfs are concerned because the goblins are from two different tribes. One is the local Gut Rippers, but the other is the Stumpnose which is usually found in the mountains south of Black Fire Pass (which they recognize because they are from Karak Angazhar which is south of Black Fire Pass).
Two goblin tribes cooperating is a bad sign meaning some powerful gobo has forced them to work together. These were only a few gobbo’s, there must be more and the dwarfs are not willing to wait it out here for whatever might be coming.
The dwarfs also note that the crossbows two goblins had were in better condition than typical, they must have looted them recently. The investigators wonder if the goblins “looted them” or got them otherwise and Harek notes that both have the same maker’s mark (the investigators don’t recognize the maker’s mark but that is not surprising).
The dwarfs plan to bury their dead tonight and will evacuate the site tomorrow (heading to Waldenschmidt farm and then downriver).
The dwarfs are stoic but as the names of the dead are recited in Kazalid, Harek realizes one of them was named Kragg Morekson – likely Dargo’s brother and the youngest was the son of another miner, Yanni. Dargo and Yanni both declare grudges against the greenskins.
The dwarfs are grateful the investigators were here to help deal with the grobi (Brun keeps to himself and his comrades his suspicion that maybe the greenskins came here because of/following the investigators).
Harek offers that the dwarfs can make use of the comrade’s mules if they need help evacuating.
The comrades go to check on Ernst Fallenstaffer, where he had camped in woods beyond canyon mouth. Poor Ernst appears to have been the first to meet the goblins. They bury him with a few words, using some rocks to secure his remains. Brun declares that “it was Ernst who had the medallion” (e.g., if anyone connects the medallion they took from the tinker with the missing tinker they will say they found it with Ernst – gee you might almost think Brun was used to this sort of thing).
Trying to track the goblins, Harek’s observation finds their path and an hour through the darkness a camp is located. There were more goblins here (and just goblins it seems, no horse tracks for example) but the others, roughly same number, moved off south into the mountains. The Gruber farm is about 2 days through mountain paths south of here (not as far as Waldenschmidt as crow flies but much slower going) and the comrades are worried that the goblins are heading there (where Lady Julianne’s party was going, she would have arrived last night).
After a brief debate, the comrades decide though they want to go to Waldenschmidt farm to ask about Yadri, their immediate concern is those greenskins and the Gruber farm. Brun points out that if they are going to try to make a difference they have to “go all out” and push themselves – so just as well they don’t take the mules. Greenskins mostly travel at night so perhaps over the course of two days of travel they can catch up.
Ulfar provides first said to investigators . They sleep that night, and Brun recovers his “pulled muscle” critical.
Rally Step (Act 2 begins)
3rd Erntezeit, the skies clear. It’s the kind of day Rhya met Taal.
The investigators follow the other goblin party south through the mountainous terrain (a great Observation tracking success earlier carrying through).
In the afternoon, they hear a bestial growl and roar (thinking “bear?”) the comrades come upon five goblins and a shaman with a drum which have “treed” (or “rocked”) a dwarf and a bear – the dwarf and bear being cornered atop a rocky outcropping but no goblin wanting the honour of going first.
The comrades attack the goblins, wounding the shaman with a shot first, and then square off. The dwarf and bear come down and join the fray adding 3 fortune die and 1 success/boon result to a pool.
Numbers are even which makes the goblins a bit skittish (misfortune all attacks) as they really prefer to out-number foes.
The goblins are all slain, managing to inflict some self-injury at times reminding why it’s so dishonourable to be killed by the pathetic things, without serious injury to any PC.
Rally Step (Act 3 begins).
We break with introductions to Yadri, and the bear, to come.
Note – since you’re slugging it on foot, whether any of you are carrying >3xStr will be important for some Fatigue end of day.