Liliana and Wilfred find themselves back in Marienburg.
Stepping into the Fisherman’s tavern, they immediately look around to see if Torendil is also here. Indeed, he is. Liliana spots him leaning over the counter in a rather depressed state.
She heads over to him and drags him outside. He doesn’t resist as he’s pulled into the alleyway with Wilfred in toe.
He’s called all manner of things by Liliana, being a ‘bitch’ is possibly more prominent than anything else, possibly mentioned 32 times in total. Wilfred does not approve.
However, Wilfred soon loses his cool altogether trying to get the elf to man-up, and threatens him.
“Look!” he shouts as he pushes him against a wall, “I have had enough! All I ever wanted to do was serve my master loyally! And now I find myself trapped reliving a nightmare over and over again! I have been all over the place! I have been from one place to another. I have been to a foul desert set under a dark sky! I have fallen from a great height only to land on a dragon! that up until now I didn’t know existed! I have had enough! And I want out of here just as much as you, so bloody man-up or I’ll shove this knife so far up your ass you’ll be tap-dancing with your teeth!”
That seemed to do the trick…
Torendil composed himself, “Your right… this is not becoming of me.”
Liliana, for some strange reason, decides to cast a spell in the alleyway, a spell of glow upon Torendil. Unfortunately, the commotion with Wilfred had gained some interest from a passerby and saw what Liliana did.
“Witch! There’s a witch!” came the shouts from a surprised man looking down the alleyway from the street.
“She’s a witch! I saw it! She cast a spell!”
Another face appears, and then another. Soon a whole crowd is looking down at them, and at the forefront of this, a watchman. Yet even flanked with his common man, he is cautiously taking steps into the alleyway. A few of the Marienburgers throw bottles down at them, narrowly missing. Then two of them at the forefront of this cautious approach, pick up bin lids and use them as a sort of shield against any curse the witch might cast upon them.
Liliana calls out to Torendil to be useful for once, and do something!
Lil and Wilfred start heading out the other way towards the other end of the street as Torendil uses his magic to conjure up some kind of barrier to slow them down.
*Now – for the uneducated to the WFRP 2nd Edition system, its important to note that magic in warhammer carries risk. Even the powerful high elven magic has its own risks. So when you roll a doubles, triples or quads, you trigger Tzeentch’s curse. A sort of chaos miscast. However, of all the rolls you can possibly roll, rolling all 1’s is perhaps the worse. Torendil had rolled double 1’s, which meant he failed and failed quite badly at that. And for his efforts, he was given a sweet glimpse of the realm of chaos, at least from the version that is within this orb.
Torendil proceeded to scream, tearing his eyes out, while shouting, “I see it! By all the gods!”
He collapses on the ground in a writhing mess. Wilfred quickly went back as the mob approached him and picked up Torendil, then promptly legged it with the elf on his back.
The next part will be glossed over briefly: Wilfred had remembered an old friend who lives nearby, or at least his house, the friend is long deceased now. However when he got to Dieter’s house, he was surprised to see Dieter, indicating that this is a distant memory in the past.
They shacked up at Dieter’s place while forming up a plan. Wilfred enjoyed some Bretonnian brandy while Liliana discussed things with Torendil, once he came around.
The high elf didn’t like Liliana, and Liliana didn’t like Torendil, but they discussed their options regardless. Torendil mentioned a theory that he had. He suggested that if one were to merely ‘think’ of a past memory and think of it quite clearly, they would be able to visit this place. In theory, but it might be the only way to find Johann.
Discussion was also had about the ‘entity’ that they encountered earlier. Torendil said that he was aware of its true nature; a Daemon. Although of what alignment, he was not sure. As to the purpose of the orb, its very origin, Torendil was now beginning to doubt the scholary text which led him to the orb in the first place.
Once they were ready, and Wilfred had enough of his share of Bretonnian brandy that was not real, together they began to think of Johann. Liliana had described Johann to Torendil as best as she could, and only hoped it would be enough.
A rift soon opened up, and swallowed them whole. It was while entering this rift that Liliana became acutely aware of something that disturbed her greatly. A memory that did not belong to her was racing across her mind. A strand of thought that shouldn’t be there, a distant memory that shouldn’t belong. It was one of Gideon. Bogenhafen to be precise. She recalled the ritual that they foiled back then, and recalled it roughly in the same manner as before… except, no Gideon. Gideon did not show. And yet she did not escape as before, not in this memory. Instead she recalls that she was the one tied up and sent to be slaughter for the lamb, while Gideon remained hidden in the shadows, unseen.
She knew then that her interference in an earlier memory had changed things drastically, and if she were to escape this orb, the new reality, the one she was remembering, would take fold. She would have to journey back to that strand of memory and change it. But now she needed to get her brother.
As the rift closed, they found themselves tasting salt air. Looking around, they were on the docks. Marienburg docks. Liliana spotted Johann’s ship up ahead, and after a brief discussion with Knives, Johann’s right-hand ‘woman’ who led his crew in his absence, they discovered Johann was across the street, just outside the local brothel. He was sitting on a barrel, his head in his hands.
Johann looked up, “Lil? I don’t recall you being here?”
Liliana had asked Torendil if he could tell the difference between Johann and memory Johann, and said that this would appear to be the real one.
“I’m real, Johann. I’m here to get you out.”
What follows is a very confused Johann trying to come to reason with the facts Liliana was telling him. In the end, he just gave up and accepted it for what they were. Johann had thought he was being punished by some divine god, perhaps even Shallya, his new-found deity.
The two have a heart-to-heart chat. Liliana is also concerned that if her brother has been experiencing the same traveling between memories as her, then he may have changed things. If they are to get out, and not mess with reality, they need to know what these things are. Johann spoke about an ambush from bandits that he and his men suffered on the road heading to Altdorf, all before he had found Liliana. His entire crew with exception to one had died that fateful day. Johann, experiencing this memory again, changed the outcome. He warned his crew about the ambush, and sought to save as many as he could.
Knives was one of them that he desperately tried to save, and he succeeded. But at what cost? He recalls feeling something from the side, and then the memory vanishes. Liliana is concerned, and says that they will need to correct this. Johann tries to argue against it, but is persuaded in doing so should they relive the memory. However, he wishes to talk to Knives one more time, and does so before they leave.
There was still the matter of Gideon however.
Lil described the distant memory to the others, while herself and Wilfred tried to remember the exact memory that they had interfered with.
A rift started opening, and they went through it. *WP tests are done for each respective PC/NPC going through these rifts/portals and if enough fails are made, the destination becomes randomized. Fun!*
Thankfully they ended up exactly where they were, except… well, now there was two Liliana’s, and two Wilfreds.
Liliana did not beat about the bush, “Right! Gideon is upstairs! No time to explain! Use the door and get out! Go now!”
After passing their reactionary tests to this odd scene, old Liliana and old Wilfred ran out the door and into the portal.
Unable to stop to think about their next destination, with Gideon about to come down anytime, the rest of them follow suit and run through the portal.
Unfortunately for Liliana, she found herself on the Berebelli. A great sense of dread took over… The Maria Borger incident.
The fateful, and rather, foolish endeavor of an overconfident naive girl that was Liliana boarded the Maria Borger and had an encounter with a young vampire that led to her losing her arm. And here she was again, experiencing that memory once more. Liliana was greatly concerned about affecting anything here, and the realization that she would have to literally relive this memory in the same manner as before greatly disturbed her. She did not relish the thought of going through this traumatizing event again.
Liliana tells the others to stay down below deck as a voice calls her name, a voice belonging to Ernst Steurmann.
She makes her way up on deck but Torendil is not in agreement with this. “Should a rift open and we become separated, who knows where we’ll all end up.”
Torendil casts a powerful invisibility spell (that’s high elf magic for you) and makes them invisible to the naked eye. They proceed up on deck and observe.
To keep this next part brief as possible, Liliana mostly, ‘mostly’ avoids changing the outcome of this. However, Ernst Steurmann ends up making his way onto the barge (he never did this originally) and aiding Liliana, and even traded blows with the vampire. However he managed to escape as they fled back onto the Berebelli. This was the only major change, and the other one being that the Maria Borger was not frozen this time round in an outburst of Liliana’s magic blooming.
A rift starts to form, and they are about to travel to their next destination. However Liliana is mentally exhausted from having to experience that traumatizing event again, and is unable to think of a memory.
Through sheer luck, they found themselves back before this mess ever happened. They were at the Karling estate. Torendil was in the master bedroom, the orb in his hand. Liliana was also in the room, as was her father, now alive in this distant memory. Wilfred and Johann were outside behind the closed doors.
Torendil was confused for a moment, until Emmerich reached out towards the orb. He instinctively pulled back from him, clutching the orb protectively.
“Torendil, we had a deal, remember…” said Liliana.
Both Liliana and Torendil’s previous deal was that should this memory surface, it would need to continue unchanged as before.
But Torendil was hesitating.
Outside, Wilfred and Johann are talking. Johann is concerned about changing the outcome of the bandit ambush, but Wilfred says that his sister has this well in hand. That it has to play out as it did. Johann asks whats going on behind the door. Wilfred does not lie to him. He tells him that his father will die as a result of what happens in that room, but that the outcome must not differ, as they do not know what sort of effect it will have. The entity that they met had warned them, as did the Cathayian Qin Taoi.
Yet the speech Wilfred gave was for naught, as Liliana decided against playing the same outcome. With Torendil resisting the urge to hand over the orb again, Liliana decided to, well, just ‘leave’ the room. Torendil followed suit, while Emmerich shouted from behind, “We had a deal Torendil!”
“Yes, we did Emmerich. And one of us was going to betray the other. You know who that is,” Torendil replied as he left the master bedroom.
Wilfred is in complete shock, and chastises Liliana, as does Johann who had received the whole “But you mustn’t mess or interfere with these past memories, Johann,” speech.
But what was done was done, and they begin to try and focus on the body of her father. Unfortunately, they fail at doing so.
*A randomized set of destinations is given, as they could not stop and think about their next destination. What they ended up getting was an infusion of several memories all rolled into one…*
They soon found themselves in a bleak foreboding desert under a depressing sky of constant darkness. This was the darklands.
Yet, to their east, they saw further along Liliana’s father, and her natural mother, who seemed to be… giving birth. Beyond that, twisted daemonic shapes converging forward in the distance. And beyond that, cold snow-topped mountains.
To her west, she saw Marienburg. Or at least, a part of it. Infused with different streets and houses that are conjoined together but clearly do not belong as one. Yet, what she next witnessed was a sight that could only come out of an old nightmare shared by many children of the Old World.
She saw ratmen… giant rats, dozens, nay, hundreds, pouring out of a sewer wielding warped twisted weaponry, rusted spears wrapped with dirty rags and large cleavers dripping with some vile underbelly substance. They poured out of the sewers on the twisted streets of Marienburg and started waging war with the Marienburgers.
Her mind already badly warped by this sight, Liliana slowly glanced southwards to witness another oddity. Cathay, yet, again, infused with other memories, and not all there. Yet the ratmen seemed to pour from east to west to south and had flooded the Cathay memory, pouring in and waging war with the Cathayian’s who, unsurprisingly, put up a much better fight than the Marienburgers.
“We need to find my father’s body! Lets get through this mess and end this nightmare!”
“Yes ma’am…” came the somewhat sheepish reply of a butler far out of his depth and now possibly contemplating a new line of work. The life of a butler is far too exciting these days.
They waded through the ragged fur of ratmen as Torendil cast a spell, a useful one this time that created a magical barrier around them. A Skaven had tried to pounce upon this barrier, snarling with its spear raised downwards, alas the barrier said no, and sent it flying away. While they knew that they could not be ‘harmed’ as explained earlier by the keeper of memories, they could certainly be delayed, and hoped to avoid that if at all possible.
They spotted the Cathayian barracks some way off further down the street, the same barracks that they were brought too when first brought here.
They tried to make a run for it, but there was simply too many Skaven and Cathayians duking it out between them.
Then, a bright flash is permeates the air and Liliana see’s a spark of lightning shoot through the Skaven flanks, killing dozens at a time. She looks towards the source…
A Cathay sorcerer, and the one she had met briefly when they first arrived. Liliana shouted towards him, “Where’s cold eyes! Where’s Qin Taoi!”
He looked at her, and pointed behind him, and sure enough, she saw cold eyes, or rather, dead eyes, making his way over from the barracks, gesturing with his hand for them to approach.
As they did, he shouted out, “Duck!”
They wasted no time as Qin forged to hands together towards an advancing Skaven. Green searing flame shooted out from his hands at the head of a dragons mouth as it scorched the Skaven, sending him 20 feet across the way, leaving a gaping hole in his chest. Liliana, probably wanting to show off or feeling the need to put the half-dead rat out of its misery, sent a magic dart its way. If her aim was to impress, it didn’t.
“You did this! I told you not to interfere with the past memories!” Qin shouts at Liliana.
“I did no such thing! This is not my doing! We need to find my fathers body, I know how we can escape.”
“The damage is done. I can only hope when you leave, this will return to normal as it was. Come, your fathers body is in the barracks.”
They made their way towards the barracks past a flank of spear wielding Cathayian guards who formed a protective barrier around the entrance.
Inside, Liliana saw her fathers body lying on the slab.
With everything in place, with the original orb, Johann and now her fathers body, they were ready. They concentrated on the precise moment that this had all happened. Wilfred notices something just before the rift starts to form, and he spots that the body of Emmerich Karling is starting to fade, but doesn’t know what to make of it.
A void takes them, and they are surrounded by darkness. Then, a bright flash. Liliana and Wilfred find themselves downstairs in the Karling estate manor. There is no Torendil, and no Johann in sight.
She hugs Wilfred out of sheer mental exhaustion and relief. He tells her that she should go lie down for a bit, and he will head upstairs, to make sure that there’s nothing out of the ordinary.
Wilfred heads upstairs and knocks on the master bedroom. No response.
He opens it, and see’s Torendil standing there. On the ground at his feet. lies the shattered remains of the orb.
“… Have you seen Emmerich?”
“No. I haven’t.”
“What about Johann?”
“Who?” asks Torendil.
“Johann? Liliana’s brother?”
“I’m afraid I don’t know who you mean. As for… well, all of this, if you excuse me, I’d very much like to forget this entire week as if it never happened. I suspect we will not meet again.”
Torendil arrogantly walks past him and makes his leave, leaving the estate.
Wilfred is concerned about his statement that he doesn’t remember Johann, yet he seems to remember everything else that went on. He takes a moment to sit on the master bed, and takes a moment to… breath.
After a few moments of peace, a knock is heard at the main door. Liliana’s peace is momentarily broken as she goes to answer it. Standing there, in the rain, is Knives. A great sadness seems to have gripped her, and Liliana’s heart skips a few beats suddenly remembering Johann.
“Knives?” she says sheepishly.
“Ma’am. I heard you were back in Marienburg. I… thought I’d pay you a visit, to offer you my sympathies and my heartfelt sorrow.”
Liliana looks confused, as Knives continues, “I… thought you knew? I’m sorry…”
“Johann, ma’am. He’s dead.”
A look of disbelief takes Liliana, “You truly did not know after all this time? Apologies. I thought your father would have told you. It happened over a month ago. Emmerich sent him along with his crew, that being myself and the boys, to seek you out and to return you safely to your father. But… we were waylaid on the roads by a vicious group of bandits as we set camp. Johann had warned us before hand. You know how he is, that instinct of his. He was spot on, and we were ready for them. The fight was fierce, and we lost some good friends, but ma’am… Johann had saved my life. He had took a blow that by right should have been mine. I cursed him when he fell, and then I grieved him… and I still do.”
Wilfred is making his way down the stairs as Liliana flies into a rage, knocking things over, cursing and crying as she storms off.
“What’s going on?” asks Wilfred.
Knives breaks the news to him, but Wilfred had his suspicions already, and was ready for the shock. They bid their farewells and Knives left the grounds as Wilfred shut the door, and went to comfort Liliana.
“He did it Wilfred… my brother, he got what he wanted. He went out saving his crew. Why do I hate him for that? Is that selfish?”
“He sacrificed himself, and he did what he thought was right. That’s what matters.”