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(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.)

Session 63

Something Rotten in Kislev

  • Gottlieb [Witch Hunter] – I 63
  • Larry [Mercenary Captain] – I 58
  • Othmar [Assassin] – I 56
  • Nate [Witch Hunter] – I 64
  • Wilfried [Templar] – I 53
  • Karl [Artillerist] – I 45

Once in his tent, Dafa drops a lot of the mumbo-jumbo big-spirit talk and fills in the crew – for the last 20 years the Dolgans have been trying to rid Chernozavtra of the dead-who-walk. Seems the city is crawling with the undead since it was wiped out by plague, and the keep in the centre of town is their unassailable stronghold.

The dead-who-walk are nigh invulnerable according to him – fire doesn’t work on them nor the town – wood and thatch burn only for a moment before smouldering out. Further, the zombies don’t “die” even when cut apart – they keep moving and sometimes even attacking when reduced down to their component limbs. On the upside they don’t bear arms, and instead just grab people and drag them off. The next year the ranks of the dead-who-walk are swollen with those who were taken away.

Spirits are uneasy on the island – none of the traditional spirits will respond to summons here and for Dafa to deal with them directly involves travelling several miles from the cursed colony, something he cannot do currently as they are besieged by the greenskins.

The party settles in with the Dolgan camp, never mentioning the offer from Habblo. They set up lookouts over the central keep and spot both human zombies and a pair of hobgoblin zombies in ill-fitting “necromancer” outfits who seem to be commanders of the wall forces.

Finally… Nathandar and Wilfried knock on the doors and are admitted into the central keep. There zombies “invite” them to the guard barracks and watch tower. Inside the watch tower, the ground floor has been dug away in a deep pit of frozen mud and they are sent down to wait for the master to come speak to them.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Gurthgano Gorthaudh is a dwarf who goes by the elven name of Annandil. He seems happy for the company, especially of a priest of Morr. He invites the whole party in (although Karl remains outside the walls with rifle at the ready) and they exchange stories.

Annandil is willing to teach them his secrets of necromancy if they are willing to make a curse-bound oath to not use these new skills without first ascertaining if the necromancers they plan to use them against are actually evil or are just the victims of prejudice.

He teaches them much about the three main varieties of animated dead – the summoned, the bound, and the animated. The vast majority of the undead in Chernozavtra are the latter – frozen corpses animated by a bound water elemental. This explains their incredible toughness and fire-proofing.

He also goes on at length about his own life and desire to spend time alone with his one true love, the zombie of the elven princess Lady Amrunmiriel. But mixed in with this is information on Sulring Durgul – an even more potent necromancer that Annandil used to exchange correspondence with in the early days of his necromantic experiments. By then Sulring Durgul was already ancient (well over 5,000 years old), and was researching ways to change from life extension to true immortality. Sulring maintains his ancient life force thanks to a totemic Slann artifact he found in darkest Lustria.

To help make peace with this perverse necromancer (and to get him to help them escape the island… or even to just let them escape at all, he seems to miss having guests…) Nathandar marries the dwarf to his corpse bride in a late night ceremony. As thanks, Annandil offers the party a selection of necromantic items as well as mounts to escape the siege of Chernozavtra.

– A sword with a pommel of jet and a guard set with carnelian and chalcedony. When drawn, the wielder is immune to all psychological effects caused by undead, as well as any ability that relies on sight such as the hypnotic stare of a lich or vampire. This is because the wielder is completely unable to see or hear any undead creature while the sword is drawn (giving a -20 penalty on attack rolls against the undead). Unknown to the party, any blow landed by the sword against undead deals double damage.

– A wand of black wood, carved to resemble a crow sitting atop a stake or post. Any corpse touched with the wand becomes useless for necromantic purposes, including being broken up for necromantic spell components.

– A carved jet ankh with a silver chain. The wearer gains a +20 bonus to all tests made as a result of undead abilities (except for spells cast by undead spellcasters). The bearer also gains an unmodified WP save to avoid Strength drain from Wights, Wraiths, and similar undead.

– A quiver of six arrows that have been dipped in silver and then inlaid with a strange symbol in gold. Any undead struck by one of these arrows must immediately make an instability check regardless of protections. Further a check of 5-6 doesn’t increase the strength of the undead, but instead does normal damage.