After the Storm

Unexpected Revelations

All present

We first go back and settle something in last session (updated there).

We affirm that all are here to support each other’s fun and everyone has a responsibility to pursue their own fun through that lens – what may make an interesting character in a story is not always a welcome part of a “group of characters supposed to be working together on solving problems and advancing interests”.

The coach reaches its last stop-over before Grenzstadt. At the Old Dwarf Road’s intersection with the Hochsleben trail lies the small village of Ziegenhausen (Grenzstadt demesne) and the Baron’s Feast Coach House.

- Rolls are made to see how passengers fared in their coach trip. Erasmus’s efforts to cheer passengers and overcome the effects of travelling with less than average Fellowship companions fail. Both Brunhart Katzlmacher and Matthias Hofmeister are less than the most charming of men (Fel 2) and everyone knows what it can be like stuck on a long trip in a confined space with “one of those” – which both will be if they fail a Charm check. Failures raise Party Tension +2 (Fortune stands at +1).

- The coachman does a much better job and not only passes (meaning the difficulty check of trip leg for passengers is reduced by one challenge die – there’s a reason people take coaches) but has managed coach so well everyone gets one success added into their outcome pool of the Resilience check. Those who wore armour (Brun and Harek) suffer misfortune dice = soak value on this check for the discomfort. Brun and Erasmus fail their check and each gets one Travel Fatigue.

On Nachgeheim 27th, late in the day the coach reaches Grenzstadt. The travellers decide to stay an extra night here, at the Rover’s Hearth (the last point where their way is paid for by their patrons), in order to recovery from Travel Fatigue (it taking at least two nights in a good bed for that) and pursue various inquiries.

Over the two days they acquire mules, bedrolls, a week of preserved rations for each of them at Friedrich’s, a outfitter near the main gate. He remembered the students and Vilmar when pressed by Brun. Some picks and shovels and rope was also obtained.

Otto hears about the public executions that were high point of day they arrived, a forger drawn and quartered and a famed highwayman Tancred Radische. He “always robbed in women’s apparel, which disguise was the means of his reigning so long in his villainy.” Tales circulate that “he was so abominably wicked that this very morning of the day he would die, a woman of trade came to visit him and he had the unparalleled audaciousness to act carnally with her, and gloried in the sin as he was going to execution – taunting that he would rather live 20 years as he has than 40 years toiling to pay taxes to fat burghers and nobles who keep their wealth in dust-collecting silver and gold decorations for their homes – we’re all the same wormfood." He gave the “crossed fingers” salute before he knelt for the axe. Talk is all about where he hid his ill-got gains since he couldn’t possibly have drunk and whored through it all (could he?)

Brun and others conceive a plan to find the “woman of trade” hoping to find the treasure (or wondering about a cross-dressing criminal visited by a woman..) but don’t get a chance to do this before leaving.

Harek located the dwarf silversmith who had obtained the silver ring. From him the name of the prospector, Yadri Dorinson, was learned and the fact he works in a region near his cousin Dargo’s silver mine “up the Hochback”. Harek also buys a nicely made cloak pin fashioned with the Ancestor God Morgrim’s face and bearing his rune.

Brun visits taverns mercenaries favour (there being many of those in town) but finds no one who recalls seeing Vilmar (it was a couple of months ago and it’s a busy town with lots of people coming and going).

On their second day, on the chance Vilmar visited a Sigmarite temple, he tries temples and is successful, though not in the way he expected. Vilmar is known to the Sigmarite temples in Grenzstadt but not because they saw him recently (in fact they ask Brun and Erasmus for news of him and how he is doing). First the older Catechist Stafke Roban who taught him as a youth and then Father Ossman who oversee a local temple paint a picture of Vilmar’s past.

Brun had known Vilmar to be a devout Sigmarite who disliked the church (and knew a lot about it) and now understands why.

As a youth Vilmar was trained in the temple school in Grenzstadt and eventually became an initiate of Sigmar. However, like many, he got caught up in the debates that raged in every seminary and other place Sigmarites gathered in the 2510’s about the right response to Ulrican persecution of Sigmarites in Middenland and the hotly debated Eimar Accord (under which the policy of cult self-regulation was to be firmed up with some specific expectations relating to persecution of Sigmarites, though the ‘need for parity’ and demand for expectations on Sigmarites were part of what angered Sigmarites who viewed all fault to be on the Ulrican side).

Vilmar was strongly in the “Middenland Lector Manfred von Hindenstern camp” advocating a duty to intervene with military force to protect Sigmarites from persecution and that the Elector Count of Middenland and the Ar Ulric were abrogating their responsibilities and had lost claim to their legal authority. Like all Sigmarites he mourned when Yorri the XV was assassinated in 2514 (at a meeting with the leading proponents and critics of the Eimar Accord where he was moving towards an official position) but the “very silver lining” was Lector von Hindenstern becoming Grand Theogonist Volkmar the Grim, instead of the “conciliatory, long game” Esmer of Wurtbad.

When Volkmar himself signed the Eimar Accord in 2516, many of his earlier admirers had difficulty coming to terms with his apparent about-face (the public explanation was Sigmar’s inspiration of the need for cult unity in facing the greater threat of chaos – which in retrospect now sounds much better than it did in 2516).

Vilmar took his grievances to an extreme and left the clergy, saying he could no longer accept the articles of faith (Article 2 Grand Theogonist is always right {that’s the short version}). He is remembered as a strong, devout man but no “friends” remain remembered nor do the clergy talked to admit to knowing anyone of similar views. (Vilmar is in his late 30’s so there was time for all of this to have happened).

On the 29th, the travellers leave with their mules and supplies.

It’s 3 days walk to Hammelfels, first along the Waldbach River then up into hills. The trail is well marked and there are wayshrines along the way (simple shelters dedicated to Sigmar). One village is passed on the first day, Bad Ehrlech. One the second day a troop of well-armed riders with mules and not wearing any colours ride by – hearing them, the party moved their own mules off the trail.

By the second day the terrain is becoming hilly, wooded with rocky outcroppings and streams.

(By Hammelfels, of the 8 days food the PC’s had 2 have been used as some fresh food was purchased and eaten on way).

Reaching Hammelfels it is seen to be a stone-walled monastery, with a stone watchtower beside it and small collection of thatch-roofed huts around it. Fields and grazing sheep complete the picture.

At the gate, a cheerful monk greets the travellers who introduce themselves as investigating the vanishing students who came through earlier. An invitation to join the monks for dinner ensues.

There are two tables, one for monks and men-at-arms, which brass tier Brun and Erasmus join and one for the monastery’s leading members and key others which silver Matthias, Harek and Otto join.

At the silver table, Abbot Droevig, the abbey librarian, cellarer, medicus sit along with an elderly noblewoman Julianne von Leitdorf and an almost equally elderly knight Quintus von Ulbricht. Two younger knights are also seated here – Franz von Ehrard and Holger von Harden.

- Tracks are created for ‘how much can be accomplished’ with the length being the lowest Fellowship score of the PCs at each table – 2 (with some possibility to extend). So each PC gets to make 2 forays/rolls etc in interactions.

At the “brass table” no actions have been taken yet.

At the “silver table” so far Matthias and Otto have acted once, Harek has yet to act.

Matthias impresses with his education and is told by the Abbot about the monastery’s collection of records about Black Fire Pass and Sigmarite visions, its respected maps.

Otto manages to insult the Abbot (chaos star on attempt to spot anything ‘off’ about the Abbot).

I will do the NPC’s (they get a turn too!) – speeding table time by posting this.

The Abbot invites the visitors to stay overnight and offers to let them see the monastery’s trail-map of the region (by which he means they do not have a nice cartographer imaginary ‘aerial view’ style map), they have what is actually much more common – itinerary style maps: from Hammelfels by trail 10 miles to Three Stones Ford over the Hochstrom, from ford 2 miles downstream to Kleinsdorf, from ford 12 miles upstream to Waldenschmidt Farm, from ford 8 miles through hills to Gruber Farm. From Kleinsdorf it is 10 miles down river to where Hochstrom meets Waldbach. From where Hochstrom meets Waldbach it is 25 miles up the Waldbach to Schlupfwinkel (Bergjaegar outpost).

Dargo’s mine is not part of their trail map.

Franz von Ehrard asks if they have the Abbot’s permission to enlist some villagers in their patrol to hunt down this band of goblins the villagers of Borkenchen claim passed through. They want to call up some men from Borkenchen and Gelbhorst, the Abbot looks over at the monk introduced as Cellarer Groger who pauses and says that “each village can be required to provide five militia, but in both cases they must be released back within 8 days or they are entitled to remittance on their tithes, in any event they should be released within 10 days for the harvest. It’s a bad time of year to call men away for extended time.”

The Abbot authorizes calling up five militia from each village for eight days, longer only if greenskins are actually sighted. Any villager injured in an engagement is promised a remittance of tithes. The knights appear pleased.

- Note a “knight” is at least a 2nd career character, at least Wpn Skilled once, or perhaps twice – they are the “tank” with a squire and couple of men-at-arms to back them up so they don’t get “mired” or “swamped”.

Lady Julianne asks if she should be concerned going to see the Grubers and Sir Holger responds that there have been no reports of greenskins anywhere around here or east of the monastery. It’s a small band likely are sticking to hills and woods and away from the valley land. “We need to ferret out the little green slime before they kill any more sheep or some hapless woodsman.”

Harek, Erasmus and Brun still to go “round one”. No NPC at the brass table has acted.

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valvorik

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