It has been a fun wild journey that has taken over a year. The game started in 2015, in the month of February, and looks to continue onwards with new fresh faces who are eager to die… i mean, experience a world of grim perilous adventure.
While the party is changing, the faces behind those characters remain as the core group of players that consist of Kieran (Kall Horst), Darren (Liliana/Taf/Johann), Ricky (Ulrico), Harbl (Eckhardt/Kaster), Cortez (Durgin, Wilfred) and Adriel (Borri) continue to put up with my awful accents.
It is rather fitting that the end of this party has come at the end of the campaign book. While the campaign is not over, the arc of this particular story is, and it is the perfect time to bring in a new set of faces.
So this blog post will be looking at the rather large footprint the party has left behind on the world, the decisions they made and the result of those decisions.
The party are attacked by a bounty hunter who is really after Kaster Lieberung, aka, Eckhardt Konrad. Things don’t go well with the watch, and they are told to leave the town. No real impact is left here other than pissing the local watch off, but this would soon come back to bite them in the future…
Bogenhafen represents major changes that the party brought upon the fair town, and upon themselves.
- Liliana loses her mind in public and gains the attention of darker forces… Gideon, a lesser Daemon of Tzeentch, has set his eyes upon her. She is kidnapped from the local Temple of Sigmar, a consequence of her own decision to go there. Such a ‘high profile’ exit (rather than say, being kidnapped from an inn) means that she has immediately gained the suspicion of the witch hunters, who are out looking for her. This singular traumatic event would soon spell Liliana’s doom and eventful fall to darker powers, much much later on. Tzeentch works in mysterious ways… Her kidnapping sets off a sequence of events that drive the players further into a darker plot as they attempt to rescue her.
- Liliana’s decision to poison Godfrey de Montfort’s horse leads to watch interference, and then the local magistrate. Despite this, the results are short-term as the magistrate, not wanting an incident like this to shadow the Schaffenfest, releases Godfrey.
- Godfrey wins the tournament, but makes a few enemies in doing so. One of them is a member of the Red Crown, the Wittgenstein cultists, Castrum Schultz.
- Kall Horst’s decision to steal some noble clothes from a local bathhouse leads to dire consequences for himself. He escapes the watch house, but is now a wanted man. The noble he stole from, Thanatheous Sapnatheim (and covered in shit, literally) comes back much later on to get his revenge. As a result of this, the party have to lay low in Bogenhafen while making discreet inquiries about Liliana.
- The party seek the aid of Franz Baumann, the head of the Bogenhafen thieves guild. Finja finds out Baumann is in possession of a magical artifact called Ranald’s Mask. It’s wearer can ‘recall’ the image of anyone they’ve met, and adopt that person’s looks along with even sounding like them.
- The party spy on Johann Teugeon’s mansion in Bogenhafen and discover a dark plot. However, lots of blood is spilled as Kall Horst goes rambo on the local stevedores guarding the mansion, killing many and in the process gaining infamy. The watch are now out in full force after this event and the party don’t dare poke their heads out.
- Kall Horst and Eckhardt get trapped at the Crosspikes tavern. The watch burst in just as Eckhardt and Franz make their escape via a trapdoor. Kall stays behind, sets the place on fire and rides out, but is severely injured. Kall rides out of the city with the watch hot on his tails in pursuit. As a direct consequence of this, he falls unconscious, and is left on the side of the road for easy capture.
- Liliana however has broken out of her prison and escapes, after discovering that she has magical potential. She finds herself outside of the city. Liliana finds Kall on the side of the road and pulls him off into the forest just as the watch show up on mounts. The two become fast lovers… (in my fanfiction at least)
- As a consequence of Liliana breaking out, and Kall riding out of the city, the two try and find a way to sneak back into the city. They run into a local cut-wife who lives on the outskirts of Bogenhafen. She turns out to be a witch, and provides valuable assistance to both Kall and Gertrude.
- Back in the city, Kall drinks a potion that was meant to ‘heal’ him but instead makes him a raving mad lunatic. Kall starts chasing invisible rats, but this has a side effect of making his presence known to Finja, who was nearby. All three meet up and head down to the sewers to regroup with Baumann and friends.
- The party debate whether or not to disrupt this cult in Bogenhafen. They decide to interfere with the sacrificial cult gathering, apparently playing in the hands of Gideon who knew they would. Gideon plans to kill them all as sacrifices. But the party prevail. However, much bloodshed is spilled. In the end they save Bogenhafen, but the consequences of interfering has doomed the party as now the witch hunters are investigating this high profile incident.
Aftermath: Bogenhafen is saved. Teugeons and the Steinhager’s that used to control unlimited power as the two most powerful merchant houses in the town have been brought low by the party. As a result, the Haagen family, a family with Marienburger roots has taken over and now rule the city. Fairer deals all round, but the loss of the Teugeons and Steinhager’s has resulted in a lot lost trade deals. Bogenhafen may have been saved from destruction, but it will be poorer as a result. Franz Baumann is hunted by the witch hunters after gaining intelligence that he was involved. He’s found in his sewer hole in a den that used to be used by Slaanesh worshipers. Not a good spot to be found at…
However, Baumann protected his sister, and now his sister, Brinda, runs the remnants of the thieves guild in Bogenhafen. Baumann’s capture leads to a lot of ‘finger pointing’ later directed at the party. Eckhardt’s foolish decision to give a single crown to a group of street urchins had single handily changed street politics in Bogenhafen forever. Well, sorta. A new gang of misfits have risen, wearing fancier dregs who now walk with a certain confident stride roam the east-side of Bogenhafen, courtesy of Eckhardt’s generosity.
Graf Wilhelm von Sapnotheim & The Vampire
The party leave Bogenhafen, but are wanted by the authorities of the town and the witch hunters. Ernst Steurmann mentions that he received word from the Graf, in which he requests his aid in hunting down his missing daughter, who has recently been rumored to have reappeared. The party make a choice, and decide to aid Ernst, who suggests that the authorities will not suspect to look for them under the nose of the Graf.
- On the river, the party encounter a vampire. Godfrey de Montfort and Liliana make a fateful decision that will set off a chain of events that will continue to haunt the party for sometime. That decision is to board the Maria Borger, which leads Liliana in a near-death state and minus one arm. Her mental state deteriorates rapidly because of this, edging her closer to a darker power. Godfrey de Montfort becomes a thrall of the vampire. The party don’t know it yet, but their inability to kill the vampire (and the consequence of waking it up) will impact more than they know.
- The party make their way to the Graf’s castle. But Kall Horst’s little ‘scouting’ mission to scout ahead of them on the banks turns into a full fledged “I want to meet with the Graf” meeting. But this has dire consequences for the party. Kall spills all the details to the Graf about what happened in Bogenhafen. The Graf is naturally shocked and says that this matter will be thoroughly investigated, and Horst tells him that he will be back with his companions. This decision leads to the party being arrested upon their arrival to see the Graf and accused of crimes against a town under the Graf’s jurisdiction.
- The party are given a choice; be handed over to the authorities or be protected under the Graf’s banner and sworn in to aid him in finding his daughter. Ernst Steurmann had a hand in ensuring that the Graf would consider the latter request. If they succeed, they will be considered for a full pardon. Kall Horst’s decision has forced the party into this servitude.
- Ernst Steurmann is requested by the Graf’s wife, Countess Frieda to head out and investigate a report of a bandit camp in the south camp. Kall Horsts persuades the party in aiding Ernst Steurmann. This decision effectively keeps Ernst Steurmann alive as this was a trap set by Countess Frieda to remove her husbands loyal friend. The ‘corrupt’ men that went with Ernst were powerless to act.
- The party leave and make their way to Weissbruck to begin the search for the Graf’s missing daughter there. Along the way, they stop at the Greedy Demon. Resting up, a pair of witch hunters burst in, hunting the party. Finja gets confronted by them and she is questioned. She loses her resolve under the heavy questioning and admits to knowing Kall Horst. As a consequence of this, Kall’s presence is revealed and he hides from them in the nick of time. The party have to make a quick escape and continue on without their rest. They pull off into the side of the road and camp for the night. Because of Finja’s actions, the party had to pull out and Eckhardt had to leave Sam behind, his pet pig. In doing so, he sealed Sam’s fate, as the vampire that they encounted on the Maria Borger is now hunting them, and taunts them during the night. Finja has a rather up close and startling encounter with the vampire that night, but it spares her life.
- The party get to Weissbruck. That night, the vampire attacks. Eckhardt kills it swifty in his room. But to everyone else, it just looks like an ordinary woman that he hacked to death. The watch show up and courtesy of Ulrico, think Eckhardt murdered the woman who was trying to flee. As a consequence of Ulrico (and waking up the vampire), the party have to come up with a plan to rescue Eckhardt who now faces being hanged. They manage to do it, by the skin of their teeth, but are banished from the town forever.
- Eckhardt becomes a follower of Morr after the events of Weissbruck, feeling that it is his calling.
- The party’s continued delay in finding the Graf’s daughter leads to a terrible consequence later on as they are faced with a decision; follow up a lead to a nearby town where the Graf’s daughter was believed to be, or head to Altdorf and deposit Liliana at the temple of Shallya, as Ulrico reports she’s not getting any better.
- The party’s decision to bring the unconscious Liliana with them on their journey is bearing fruit as they decide to delay and head to Altdorf. There, they bring Liliana to the temple of Shallya for healing. Meanwhile, rumors of a plague coming from the town that they need to go to investigate is coming in. The party are at odds what to do, but most agree going there now will be a bad idea. Finja leaves in the morning in secret and seals her fate by leaving, as the Necrach is out for vengeance and ‘watching’.
- Ernst Steurmann shows up and alerts the party that the Graf is dead, possibly murdered by the Countess. Not only that, but he has discovered evidence that suggests she’s part of the Purple Hand cult and a conspiracy to infiltrate the noble courts. The party’s delay and subsequent decision to go to Altdorf (and not to Reichlict, following the lead) cost them precious time as the Countess found the Graf’s daughter before they did. Now the Purple Hand have a powerful ally in a position of great trust and she remains unchallenged.
- The party decide to take up Ernst Steurmann’s advice and seek out the Palisades. They do, and take up the Palisade offer. Pardon and aid in exchange for investigating cult activities down at Wittgendorf, governed by the Wittgenstein family.
- Liliana wakes up from her coma, but is not the same woman. She decides to head home to Marienburg with Ernst.
Aftermath: The Graf’s death is a serious blow to regional stability, and in its place, is a powerful Purple Hand agent, and not just any agent, a sorcerers with great power and in league with Tzeentch. Her rule is absolute, cruel and she has gained a very powerful position. Only the Palisades are aware of her true nature, and they will not sit idly by… Yet the Palisades power is waning with each passing day that the Emperor remains in absence.
Liliana’s actions in Marienburg is still having far-reaching consequences, not all of which have fully settled.
- After getting trapped in a reality-warping orb of Tzeentch, Liliana begins to indirectly make changes, and in some cases, directly.
- Her brother, Johann, who was a PC and had joined the party for sometime is snuffed out into non-existence as a result of her actions. Johann died on the road to Altdorf in search of his sister, a noble self sacrifice that resulted in his crew (who had previously died) being alive. Johann’s death was the final linchpin in Liliana’s dark turn.
- After escaping the orb; Torendil murders her father in secret (a consequence of Liliana’s attitude to Torendil, making him loath her family all the more and her fathers betrayal) and Johann no longer met up with the party.
- Liliana murders her brother, Heinz, in secret. This accelerates her madness. Wilfred is suspicious. He finds out later what happened. Ernst and Johann’s former crew (who are now alive) assist in bringing Liliana to justice. Ernst motivations are somewhat different as he feels she’s no longer the woman he knew. This action leads to Liliana beseeching upon Tzeentch, which in turn changes her into a bird-like monstrosity with wings.
- Liliana the bird-woman escapes, a new terror released upon the world.
Aftermath: Marienburg can’t stop talking about the bird woman. With the noble line of the de sato now extinct courtesy of Liliana de Karling Sato, Jaan van Kuyper, Marienburgs governing ruler upon the council and possibly the richest man in the Old World, seizes all of the Sato assets, their estate and ranch and has full jurisdiction to do so. Nothing remains of the Sato line, and any mention of them is erased from history.
Kuyper plans to build a luxury embassy on the outskirts of the city on the spot of the former estate, blissfully unaware of the elven ruins that lay beneath it. Wilfred, Liliana’s trusty butler, heads back to his family, hoping that things will quieten down. Affected by the death of his master, the betrayal of liliana, and nightmares every night of a birdcreature swooping from the sky, Wilfred was never the same man.
- As a result of the Maria Borger incident, Durgin Gromundsson meets up with the party as he is made aware that they are being hunted by the very same thing that he hunts.
- Gutz Ironside is slain by Durgin, and Borri loses his arm after necrotic rot sets in.
- The party pass by a signal tower. Unknown to them, it is the Necrach’s lair. The party decide to help the dwarfs out and soon discover the lair beneath the tower. There, they slay the Necrach after a fierce fight. They discover a Grey Wizard turned necromancer and slay him.
- Eckhardt wonders whether the life of a vampire hunter is for him after meeting one on the road. Kall Horst nearly kills Eckhardt as a consequence of the party bringing the Necrach’s ashes with it.
Aftermath: The Necrach was slain under the signal tower, and then its ashes ritually disposed off by Barrick Mane, an experienced hunter of the dead. The dwarfs are free to finish their tower, although the party’s decision to use the gunpowder causes a delay of up to a month, and a very very angry guild master who chides Borri later on. Tafwick gets the credit for dispatching the fiend. The news makes its rounds in Altdorf.
Nobody really believes it was a vampire. Others think it was an evil spirit of some sort. Others regard it as a tall tale, but an amusing one at that. However the story reaches the ears of quite a few halflings in Altdorf who spread the story around. Bards pick it up, and the song called ‘The Triumph of Tafwick Jones’ makes the rounds on A Street of a Hundred Taverns in Altdorf. Soon the tale reaches the Moot from fellow halflings, and Tafwick becomes an almost mythical hero as nobody really knows who he is except for a few tight-lipped dwarfs.
The Wittgenstein Incident
Wittgenstein’s were a cult that called themselves the Red Crown, their symbol was a blood drenched crown. They were in league with the Purple Hand, creating dopplegangers and conducting vile experiments on their behalf using the expertise of Alric Eisenhaurer, Ulrico’s father. The party’s actions there have far reaching consequences…
- The party arrive at Wittgenstein. Eckhardt makes the fateful decision that will end his life, and that decision is to accompany Brother Rufus, the local priest of Morr, to the castle. This decision also puts Heinrich Kemmler’s book in the hands of Rufus, an apprentice necromancer who has just been handed the holy grail of necromancy.
- As a result of this, the party go looking for their missing comrade. Eckhardt manages to buy them time by casting suspicion away from them.
- The party make a fateful decision not to go down the well, and instead, go via the sewers. This decision alone is the more riskier route, and one they’ll soon regret.
- Eckhardt has a brief but terrifying encounter with the Skaven at the castle. His mention of ‘Warpstone’ sealed his fate there and then, and made the party’s job of rescuing him all the more difficult. Now the skaven plan to return to Castle Wittgenstein in search, believing that more warpstone lays hidden within its walls. Thanks Eckhardt!
- The party venture down the sewers to rescue their comrade, but get swamped by ghouls and skaven who are about to launch their assault on the castle. The skaven are beaten back by the ferocious slayer, Durgin, but many remain and now they have taken a do or die mentality, deciding to launch an assault on castle wittgenstein.
- Eckhardt goes to stabby town on the Kemmler’s book which has the unfortunate side affect of making it raise the undead in the local vicinity. This has dire consequences and spells the end for the town.
- Eckhardt escapes but is slain in the process. His body is tossed into the river, yet the book resurrects him. Eckhardt wakes up on a rowboat, not aware that he has the book to thank for that.
- Eckhardt’s rescue doesn’t go according to plan. The party, heavily injured, retreat and try to rest up as much as they can before they try again.
- The next day the party leave – Eckhardt is not the ‘same man’ after a revelation, and Durgin and Tafwick depart the barge separately.
- Durgin fights his way to the castle to go toe-to-toe with a chaos troll. It doesn’t end well for Durgin. With his spine broken, Durgin is ready to embrace the death he so much craves for at the hands of this troll, when arrow comes flying in, hits the troll and cheats Durgin out of his death. Tafwick Jones lures the troll away, but above, Durgin see’s a hundred red beady eye’s staring down at him. They jump, and only seconds pass as a horde of fur wielding cleavers and daggers get their revenge upon Durgin Gromrundsson. Tafwick meets his end at the hands of the peasantry who hang him, blaming all the recent troubles upon him.
Aftermath: The Wittgenstein line is extinguished. Facing an onslaught of undead rising from the grave, and skaven who greedily ransack the castle for any signs of warpstone, there is nothing left of the cursed Wittgenstein family. Wittgendorf, the town under their jurisdiction, faces its greatest test, and one that it may not survive as Mathias Thulmann, a highly skilled experienced witch hunter, leads a retinue of hunters to Wittgendorf a mere month after the events that transpired there.
Fate will not be kind to those who remain in Wittgendorf. As a result of Tafwick’s final words to the residents, that they should leave the town at once, many did just that, but many also stayed, unwilling to leave their homes. Those who chose to stay will meet the purifying flames of Sigmar, and Wittgendorf will be a cursed place that few will ever have reason to visit. Tales of what happened at Wittgenstein will spread. Nobody will get to know the truth of the matter. Nobody will believe the tales of ratmen or the rotting corpses. Nobody will be left of the original townsfolk to tell the tale, and those who do survive, will be too afraid to even reminisce it.
Altdorf: Final Resting Place
The party arrive in Altdorf, a one-way journey…
- Eckhardt finds himself a dead man, quite literally, and is burned at the Temple of Morr. Heinrich Kemmler’s book is destroyed through a ritual process that prevents the dark magic from being unleashed upon the city. Somewhere, far away, perhaps in Bretonnia… a certain necromancer is startled by a sudden realization… “Those c**ts! Krell!!!! Fetch me my staff!!!!”… “O wait, it was only the abridged version… Never mind, back to sleep!”
- Borri heads to the guild and gets chided, but he gets on the guild’s good side by handing them a powerful ring. This in turn allows him to travel to Karak-Norn.
- Ulrico perhaps plays the biggest part here and what he does has consequences for everyone involved. His decision to go to the witch hunters and ‘confess’ essentially puts the whole party in jeopardy. The hunters are now aware that Horst is in the city and are hunting for him. Borri was captured and had his beard nearly scorched as a result. Ulrico’s fate is sealed, destined to suffer months and months of painful torture. No questions will be asked, except, “What is your name,” over and over again. Borri has a slim chance, but his fate rests on the Arch-Lector.
- The party failed to inform the Palisade’s about what happened. While the Palisade will eventually get a good picture of what took place, they will have to work harder to fill in the gaps. This will result in precious time spent finding out what happened, rather than time spent trying to deal with the purple hand.
Aftermath: Ulrico’s arrival, confession and the subsequent reveal of Heinrich Kemmler’s book (along with being told that Eckhardt was a dead dead man, and the temple of morr confirming this) has galvanized the hunters into a fearsome force of torch bearing fanatics as they believe that Horst and his group of friends are far more dangerous than they’ve originally comprehended. Borri’s fate is tied to his level of cooperation, but ironically having his beard nearly burnt off has created a diplomatic incident with the dwarfs that could go in Borri’s favor.
The High King will be sent a formal protest from the guild leader Higmar Hammerfist concerning Borri Rognisson’s treatment at the hands of the witch hunters. The High King, once word has been received, will send a strongly worded protest at this abhorent treatment of a dwarf to the Emperor. With the Emperor’s mysterious absence, Volkmar the Grim will take this up and apply pressure to the Witch-Hunter General, who in turn may force the release of Borri Rognisson to appease the dwarfs over this very delicate and serious matter.
While Borri may miss his opportunity to go to Karak-Norn, his life may indeed hang in the balance of how fast that courier bird can reach the High King, and vice versa. Tensions are already high, with the recent ‘Mutants are now legal’ edict still painfully stuck in the memories of the empire’s citizens, despite being repealed, has put a big fat target on Karl-Franz and the increasing rumors about his mental health have not lessened. Now, with this incident concerning Borri’s beard, this is just more mounting pressure upon the throne of the Empire, and folk are now starting to become increasingly concerned about the absence of the Emperor, despite the assurances given by Volkmar the Grim that the Emperor is merely recovering from an illness.
Kall Horst kills Thanateous Sapnotheim, steals his signet ring and then poses as him when he’s captured by some bandits. The bandits decide that he’s actually worth more to them alive than dead, and their intent to ransom him allows Kall to give them the slip.
Liliana changing the timeline in the Orb.
Eckhardt’s escape from the noose at Weissbruck is put down to divine interference courtesy of Borri and Kall.
Tafwick’s smokebomb inadvertently created a legend…
Kall Horst gave the rest of Gertrudes potion to a unnamed beggar. That beggar would later that night go to drink said potion, only to go completely nuts, attacking anyone near him. He killed a young woman and a elderly gent who were only minding their own business. The beggar would be struck down in his tracks by the local watch. Finding the bottle and label, it would be a month later until a savvy watch sergeant, going over old cases, discovers the bottle and realizes that it belongs to a crazy old woman who lives out in the woods. Gertrude. A witch hunt would soon develop, but when they get there, they find Gertrudes hut empty. They burn it down, hoping that she’s gone for good.