Actual Play, Death on the Reik, Fantasy, OSR, RPG, Shadows of the Ruinous Powers, The Enemy Within, Warhammer Fantasy, WHFRP, WHFRP1e
(Being a series of quick game notes trying to account for the events of many sessions of playing through The Enemy Within using the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1e rules.)
Death on the Reik
- Martin [Explorer] – I 58
- Wilhelm [Wizard] – I 55
- Wilfried [Forger] – I 53
- Larry [Mercenary] – I 48
- Othmar [Charlatan] – I 46
- Gottlieb [Bounty Hunter] – I 43
After using their healing potions on the stricken crew of the Maria Borger, the crew immediately started making repairs to the Bawdy Countess. Back at Kemperbad, the Maria Borger pulled in, and the Bawdy Countess continued on to Wittgendorf.
As expected, the rickety wharf was overrun with beggars. Working their way through the crowd (and keeping their distance to avoid the foul lice and other things living upon these dregs of humanity), they climbed into the town proper for the first time.
From the top of the hill they could see the dilapidated town from abandoned church and across a number of collapsing hovels and houses. In the distance on the south side of town there was a commotion as townfolk and beggars gathered around a woman dressed in dark blue on a massive horse surrounded by men in full plate and mail.
As they watched, there was a scream and then an unconscious villager was thrown up behind the woman’s saddle and she rode away from town, towards castle Wittgenstein. Left in her wake is a crowd of villagers and beggars – the beggars immediately pulling something red and bloody into one of the houses here.
Investigating the scene finds that the beggars are fighting over the body of a man slain by the guards of “Lady Magritte von Wittgenstein”. Another beggar has run off with the man’s severed arm. This theme is repeated again later when they encounter a beggar fighting with a dog over a bone – killing the dog allowed the beggar his bone, but also fed another five beggars who immediately grabbed the dog’s corpse.
Watching them as they check out the town is a smartly-dressed man – Jean Rousseaux, the village physician. He apologizes for not coming to greet them, but he is busy alleviating the suffering of these poor folk, and asks them to call on him at his home the next evening for dinner.
At the Shooting Star Inn, they get rooms and baths and hire the local girl to clean their gear of lice from their interactions with the beggars. It seems they are the first guests of the inn in the last three years – although a number of locals still drink here. They get stories about the failed harvests and horrible luck of the town – and the sense that the town is at a final crossroads… that this year’s failed growth season will spell the end for the town as they have no more livestock nor reserves to return to for future years. Most of the farmers are now among the beggars, and there is a general dislike for the Innkeeper and the Miller because it is assumed they are hoarding the last of the food in town.
They discuss how they will deal with the town, as well as how to get into Castle Wittgenstein. They are told that the castle has no visitors except those “chosen” by Lady Magritte. Then it turns out that the woman cleaning their gear is the grand-daughter of the miller, and she informs them as secretively as possible that there is a bandit camp west of town in the woods that can help them if they are planning to go against the Wittgensteins – and that she can guide them there after dinner that evening.
Waiting for sunset, they head across town (still under the eye of the physician) to the old temple of Sigmar. There are signs of people coming and going here, but no signs of life currently within.
Inside they find a quiet temple lit by magical lanterns. Under the scriptures of the cult of Sigmar they find a parchment written in the Magickal Arcane Language. When read aloud by Wilhelm, he hears a voice asking if he will be ready when the forces of chaos battle at the end of the world. When he asks for help or a sign, the voice replies “I shall give you a sign. Go now, and find the source of the chaos which warps my lands.” (He also gains a +10 bonus on Fear tests for the next 48 hours).
Other stories in the main temple discuss the founding of the temple by Siegfried von Kesselring who defended it against an assault of beastmen with his sword Barrakul. He was buried together with his sword in the temple crypts by the Grand Theogonist himself.
Heading downstairs, they discover where the people here have been hiding. Ghoul-like and desperate, a number of people hide within the crypts and cry that they “cannot spare any more food”. When confronted and convinced, these ghoulish townfolk (who are almost certainly surviving by digging up bodies and eating them) explain how Lady Magritte has been coming here and removing bodies from the graveyard and mausoleum over the last six months since the death of the Sigmarite priest. “She keeps taking our food!… errr… also…”
Through intimidation, they convince the ghouls to break open the still-sealed crypt of Siegfried von Kesselring, and they collect the magical dwarven blade Barrakul from his corpse.
Now evening is upon us, it is time to meet the miller’s grand-daughter, and from there find the bandits who may be a necessary ally to get into the seemingly impenetrable fortress of Castle Wittgenstein.
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