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
- Wilhelm [Wizard] – I 55
- Wilfried [Forger] – I 53
- Larry [Mercenary] – I 48
- Gottlieb [Bounty Hunter] – I 43
Collecting themselves after the battle at the doctor’s house, they search the place. The guards from the castle are horribly decayed mutants, putrescent and foul.
Both the doctor and lady Margritte appear to have run off towards the castle at this point.
They collect rotgut from the still (10 bottles of which seem mildly magical, the rest are then used to clean the armour from the slain guards), letters between lady Margritte and the doctor regarding a special powder that she gave him which he uses to heal the citizens of their bizarre affliction, and eventually find themselves in the basement where they find locked door to the ghoul tunnels, a human corpse with its four arms cut off, and more rotgut as well as a vial of very magical black powder.
Trying to decide between walking up to the front gates pretending to be guards (appropriately suited up), or trying to use Sigrid’s secret tunnel, they decide to make one middle of the night fly-over of the castle using the wizard’s fly spell.
While the outer bailey and the central gatehouse appear well defended, he sees no sign of guards in the inner bailey. Dropping a rope over the wall, the group climbs up the cliffs and the inner bailey walls – alerting some of the guards in the central gatehouse but not before Wilfried and Wilhelm manage to secure and bolt the inner bailey gatehouse gates and drop the portcullis.
Five of the bandits join them in defending the inner gatehouse, and the guards quickly give up the assault (it seems they truly believe the castle’s defenses to be impregnable and are not willing to die to test them).
Within the inner bailey are a number of structures.
• The Solarium – whitewashed and filthy, with massive glass pane windows and a cracked dome overhead. Birdsong can be heard from within, and all that can be seen through the filthy windows is massive ferns and other oversized potted plants.
• The Kitchen Garden – A walled off plot who’s 8 foot walls are covered in strange green tendrils. Each tendril ends in a splayed green hand gripping the wall with sucker-like growths.
• The Pit – a 15 x 10 yard pit dug into the middle of the courtyard, the edges are lines with downward-angled spikes and 10 feet down there is a massive caged floor with a single door in the middle of it leading deeper into the pit.
• The Tower – a gloomy dark tower looms over the chapel beside it, threatening and ominous.
• The Chapel – a two-storey chapel to Sigmar carved with friezes depicting events in Sigmar’s life, now defaced. The doors are slightly ajar, allowing a purple haze and discordant music to extend into the courtyard.
• The Servant’s Hall – a low structure attached to and dominated by the great hall.
• The Great Hall – A three or four storey structure dominates this end of the bailey. Mounted to it and the servant’s hall is a three-storey tower suspended by these neighbouring structures and not touching the ground floor of the building.
After securing the gatehouse and avoiding the garden, they climb the stairs to the upper portion of the courtyard and the open doors to the Sigmarite chapel. The strange discordant music takes hold and Larry and Wilfried are unable to keep themselves from dancing along with it.
The chapel has been violated, and instead of Sigmarite iconography, a massive wooden statue of some foul chaos being (a portrayal of the Chaos god Slaanesh). The air is full of a lavender smoke, and a dozen or so cultists cavort and frolic below the Sigmarite altar.
Taking full advantage of their excellent dancing skills, Wilhelm and Gottlieb head upstairs where they find a self-playing pipe organ, where the top of each pipe is capped by a human head that “sings” the music.
They promptly cover it in flaming rotgut.
The organ’s screams stun them, but also breaks the spell on Larry and Wilfried who come running up just in time as the organ extends its tentacles and begins trying to assimilate Wilhelm and Gottlieb into the pipes before it expires messily from the flames.
The smouldering corpse of the organ is thrown down from the balcony onto the cultists below, and Wilhelm takes Barakul, the sword of Siegfried von Kesselring and begins to slaughter the unresisting (and very high) cultists of slaanesh until he is interrupted by a deamonette of slaanesh – a lithe creature with crab claws for hands and a long lashing tail. As everyone pauses at the appearance of this supernatural demon, two of Larry’s mercenaries show remarkable aplomb and step forward to defend the party. Pushing the demon back until the rest of the party breaks free of the fear effect, they make short work of this foul chaos spawn before continuing with the slaughter of the remaining cultists.
Having established a foothold in the inner bailey, and completely skipping the outer bailey, they pause until the next session…
Simon Landmine said:
That is an inspired way to avoid all of the ‘fun’ in the outer bailey!
Dyson Logos said:
Flight really changes the way a lot of classic adventures play out – in fantasy games that don’t focus on dungeons it is a HUGE game changer.
Simon Landmine said:
Yep. I remember reading something somewhere about how it should really impact on the design of high-fantasy fortifications. With WFRP being lower fantasy, there would be fewer airborne folks to guard against in the usual course of things.
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