Friday, March 11, 2011

The Enemy Within Session 6 Report (WFRP)

After an unexpected delay of a week, the group was able to get together to play out session 6.

Action picked up immediately where session 5 left off. Having discovered a secret door behind a book shelf, the characters - plus Rudolf the Protagonist - entered the secret door and followed a trail of blood they presumed was left by the head of Emilo Valantina, the now headless former leader of the Valantina Gang.

A short off topic bit here, one of the things I like about the Old World setting of WFRP is that there is no "Thieves Guild" like that found in most D&D settings; instead, a community will have one or more gangs, how many depends upon the size of the community. These gangs sometimes work in unison, dividing the vices so to speak, in an attempt not to step on each others' toes. Some are not so civil and are often at odds with each other. Many of these "gangs" are guilds in disguise. One common "guild" that is in reality a "gang" are stevedores and teamsters. Often both guilds are legally recognized by the community they operate in, but in reality, they are strong armed gangs making just as much, often more, from smuggling and racketeering operations. My last campaign was based in Marienburg, and I made heavy use of this theme, as all of the characters worked for the Stevedore "Guild".

Back on topic, the secret passage opened onto a roughly cut set of stairs which, as could be told from smell before sight, led into a sewer passage. They were not long in the sewers before a vague humanoid shape was seen bearing a whip. This vague shape was hunched and from its silhouette a snout and tail could be made out. The thing seemed to be driving a swarm of rats towards the party.

Another aside here. The players immediately thought "Skaven" when they saw the rat-like silhouette. In the Old World, there are rumors that a race of rat-men called Skaven live beneath the cities and towns. Some even believe that their lairs connect into a giant underworld. In this underworld, the Skaven worship their dark god - the Horned Rat - and plot to enslave mankind and rise up as the dominate race. Of course many do not believe that the Skaven exist; even though it is written in history that they once nearly overthrew the Empire. Many believe the tales of a secret race of rat-men are exaggerations. While it is believed that a horde of chaos nearly once destroyed the Empire, many scholars are now of the opinion that it was a horde of Beastmen that just happened to appear "rattish".

Back on topic, the swarm of rats soon overtook them and it was obvious that they had to escape quickly or die a slow death of numerous rat bites. A handy abandoned, but operational, mine cart served as an expedient escape. After making their escape, they discovered that they were not alone in the mine cart. There was a rat chewed body, covered in plague like boils. Also in the cart was an equally disfigured head. Upon the body, they discovered the item that Alphonse Oldenhaller had dispatched them to find.

The mine cart landed them in the Huyderman Gangs' base within the Asylum. They Huydermans' were also under attack, but not from the Valantina Gang. The Huydermans were under attack from some strange cultists and some sort of hideous beast. One of the cultists was a Warlock in league with the Ruinous Powers. The remaining four Huydermans joined forces with them.

The players were nervous about this combat, but in the end, they made some lucky rolls and escaped with a pretty easy win.

Suspecting that they would not get paid, they sent Rudolf - who seemed as baffled by the evenings' events as the player characters - to arrange things with Three Fingered Willy and Alphonse Oldenhaller. A meeting was set up at a ware house belonging to the Oldenhaller Mercantile Family.

At the ware house, they were greeted by Three Fingered Willy and four thugs in either his employ or Alphonse's. When Alphonse entered the room, he looked quizzically at Bartolf and uttered in the form of a question a single world: "Kastor?" Immediately after he did this, he was stabbed from behind by one of the thugs wielding a wicked looking dagger shaped as a tooth. Three Fingered Willy and the other thugs, but not Rudolf, raised similar daggers as Willy shouted "FOR THE YELLOW FANGS!"

Before Willy and his thugs could attack the characters, if they ever were going to, they in turn were attacked from a hidden enemy concealed in the rafters. The "assassin" was never revealed; however, he attacked with weapons of a strange nature. The PCs escaped the ware house as it burned, but aside from recovering a lock box containing 30 GC's, they were never paid.

The PC's spent a few more days in Nuln. They were eventually approached by Rudolf. He told them that things were getting hot in Nuln as the Schatzenheimer Gang were busily trying to find anyone involved in the events of their night at the Asylum, plus Albrecht Oldenhaller was seeking out those responsible for his brother's death. He strongly suggested that they all get out of Nuln.

He has a plan. He has a cousin in Mittlesdorf that is running a gang of outlaws and he is sure he can get the characters on, if they wish.

This adventure is not my own. It is "The Oldenhaller Contract", an adventure that originally appeared in the first edition WFRP rule book. Having never run it before, I decided to give it a go. It was fun, lots of twists and turns. It was later updated for 2nd edition and is available here as a free download.

We will be playing next Tuesday the 15th of March, but work will force me to take a two week break after that.

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