*** Spoiler Alert – if you intend playing the WFRP Starter there may be spoilers below ***

6th Ulriczeit 2511 (Backertag) Late Evening – Meeting the Pechvogels and ‘Ubersreik in Flames’

The scene opens with Salundra talking to a young boy named Eugen in the Red Moon Inn. It’s late evening and the inn is bustling. Eugen tells of his father, Reikert, who didn’t return this morning. His father works at night collecting ‘night soil’. When he didn’t return, it raised immediate concern. Maglyn, Reikert’s wife and Eugen’s mother, confirms all of this. She is clearly very worried… people going missing rarely returned and, if they do, rarely unharmed. Dunkelfeucht, the area they live in, is a new slum that has grown up under the supports of the Teufelbrücke. Salundra decides to do some door-to-door investigations while Gunnar and Ferdinand check out the area when Reikert typically collects human waste, just east of the bridge on the southern side of the river. Salundra makes headway, despite the late hour, and discovers that other respectable folks have gone missing over the last few weeks. There are, however, no clues as to why they’ve gone missing. Gunnar and Ferdinand discover nothing despite trying to ‘following the shit’, but it’s impossible to discern if Reikert made it as far as collecting. The party come back together and reassure Maglyn that they’ll continue to investigate Reikert’s disappearance in the morning.

Back at the Red Moon Inn, there’s time for a couple of drinks. The party is approached by a well dressed, well groomed (and quite handsome) mad who introduces himself as Kurlass Meingott. He offers to teach them a new card game, ‘Ubersreik in Flames’. The party can see others in the inn playing cards, so they decide to indulge them. They all pick it up quickly. It’s a game of tricks that can be played in teams, with one side, the ‘locals’ trying to defeat the ‘interlopers’. Kurlass mentions that if they fancy giving it a go, there are games to be had at the Crooked Hammer, a nearby inn.

The party retire soon after and Salundra decides to keep watch, half-sleeping for most of the night on a chair before climbing into bed.

7th Ulriczeit 2511 (Bezahltag) – Gunnar’s Excursion, Fruitless Investigations, Rotten Rudi, ‘Quitting the Watch’, Hatching a Plan and the Hunt

The following morning the party are greeted by the usual fish stew, but Salundra isn’t satisfied by that and manages to scrounge some rye bread for toasting (which does little to improve it). Gunnar has had enough of human company, or at least non-Dwarfen company, and decides to spend the day in Dawihaven drinking. He skulks off grumbling under his breath and makes his way to the Axe and Hammer on the northern edge of that predominantly Dwarfen district.

The party are due to meet Rudi at 10am at the Raspy Raven, but since they have some time, they return to Dunkelfeucht. The people there are much more reluctant to talk this morning and Salundra and Ferdinand make no progress. The look around the docks, but spot nothing, not being sure quite what they’re looking for. They meet Rudi as planned and Salundra manages to get a bit of cheese in the Raspy Raven before doing the rounds along the river. Rudi starts to visit different businesses, coming out of each with a handful of coin each time. He shares some with them, but they quickly realise that this is some kind of shakedown or protection racket. They want no part of it and make this clear. Rudi said he thought they knew how this town worked and wasn’t going to take lessons in moral behaviour from some blow ins. Salundra and Ferdinand part company with Rudi, drop in on Maglyn to give her some of the ill-gotten money, which is a little upsetting for her, before making their way to the Watch Barracks in the Precinct district.

Meanwhile, Gunnar has started drinking in the basement of the Axe and Hammer, an exclusively Dwarfen part to this inn. There are several people drinking and eating, even at this time of the morning. The food there is pretty good. Gunnar drinks alone for a while, but manages to secure some company by challenging a merchant, named Svengeln, to an arm-wrestle. It’s a tough contest, but Gunnar manages to send it over the top, defeating Svengeln, who decides it warrants a couple of drinks on him. They get chatting and the merchant describes that he travels back to Karak Azgaraz every few months, mostly transporting jewellery and metal goods for trade. He’s been in this line of work for a few years. While Svengeln is at the bar ordering more drinks, a well dressed and bejewelled, white-bearded Dwarf with an entourage of heavies enter and take a table. They’re quickly served at the table and their order seems to be known. Svengeln returns and says that the main Dwarf is Barlin Silverbeard, a renowned criminal and definitely someone not to be crossed. After another couple of drinks Svengeln offers his apologies, but he has business to transact. Gunnar takes this as an opportunity to have a look around Dwaihaven.

Andrew and I played a through a solo-session for what Gunnar got up to next…

Gunnar left the Axe and Hammer with the intention of seeking access to the sewers. He had heard rumours of goblins down there and wanted to see for himself. He was in a bit of a pensive mood and hunting down some greenskins would be just the tonic. He found a manhole entrance to the sewer in the middle of the main thoroughfare from Dawihaven to the Marktplatz. Despite being the middle of the day, he decided to open it in plain view of all passersby. It opened easily and no one, Human or Dwarf, sought to stop a Slayer intent on entering the sewers. He partially climbed down the ladder below and attempted to pull the cover across the opening. It wouldn’t slide smoothly and created a loud echoing sound in the sewers. Gunnar’s night vision was sufficient to see a small distance in the sewers. He knew these sewers were close to Khazalgirt, the Dwarfen underground complex.

Gunnar proceeded through the sewers, wading through knee deep filth when there was no obvious route between walkways. An ominous clacking sound echoed around the stone walls. Just as he was about to climb back up to a path the goblins attacked. The first hacked down at him, but Gunnar blocked and turned his axe against its legs. The creature fell, its lower left leg having been hacked away. Gunnar scrambled up to the path, only to be set upon by two more creatures. He stepped to avoid being surrounded an swung his axe, felling a second. A goblin wearing a strange headdress appeared, chanting until green sparks could be seen in his mouth. Gunnar felt an incredible itch pass over all of his body, but this did little to slow him; he planted a kick in the chest of a third goblin, sending it flying into the sewerage. He then moved against the magic wielder, slicing the axe into its arm as it began to flee. Gunnar pursued it into the darkness, catching it just as another goblin appeared. Undaunted, he swung at the fleeing goblin, splitting its skull. This sight was too much for the remaining goblins, who all began to flee.

Gunnar retrieved a strange skull-topped staff the magic wielder had been carrying, reasoning that Salundra might make sense of it. He grabbed a goblin body as proof they were in the sewers and climbed the latter to leave the sewer. Just as he reached the manhole cover, a ferocious bellow resonated through the sewers. There is something more terrifying than goblins down there.

He made for quite a sight as he left the sewer; a red-haired Slayer with a dead goblin hefted over his shoulder emerging onto a mid-afternoon street. At least one bystander let out a scream.

Gunnar carried the dead goblin into Khazalgirt, remembering that it could be accessed from near the Axe and Hammer. There he dropped the body at the feet of an armoured, double-headed axe wielding Khazalwarden, explaining that the human sewers had a goblin, and possibly something bigger, problem. The warden, named Okri, promised to look into it. Gunnar went to pray at the Shrine to Grimnir, but he found no solace in his thoughts. When returning past Okri, he asked where he got the axe. The Khazalwarden informed him that it had been forged in Ubersreik by Skornin Morkrisson, who has a forge in Dwaihaven near the south-west section of perimeter wall. Okri offered Gunnar a chance to hold the weapon. He took him up on the offer and very much enjoyed how the weapon felt.

Gunnar decided to make his way to his Human companions.

In the meantime, Salundra and Ferdinand proceed to the Watch Barracks and attempt to get a meeting with Kaptain Pfeffer, but are blocked by her adjutant, who is thoroughly dismissive of them. Salundra drops the Watch armband on his desk in disgust. As they return to the centre of the city, she and Ferdinand formulate a plan. They’ll return the the bridge at night to see if they can see anything suspicious. If people are going missing at night, maybe they’ll get a lead. They return to the Red Moon Inn to rest up, again blocking the door. Gunnar returns in the night, about an hour before midnight, smelling of the sewers!

As planned they return to the bridge and patiently wait, observing the comings and goings until things quieten down. Their perseverance is rewarded when in the reflected glow from nearby lamps they spot something moving in the water…

It was moving east. Ferdinand offered to keep an eye on it from above, casting a subtle light to offer another perspective on the moving shape, while Gunnar and Salundra sped towards the docks. Gunnar strongly suspect he knew what it was. As they moved along the docks they could see that the movement was on an intercept course to a loan fisherman, who was casting lines into the dark water. Gunnar picked up speed, spotting the danger. He leapt with balletic fluidity onto the deck of the boat, charging to where the shape would emerge. Salundra followed closely, though not quite showing the same poise. With impeccable timing she reached the oblivious fisherman just in time to pull him from the path of a lunging river troll. Gunnar swung his axe as the beast landed on the deck where the fisherman had been standing. It was stunned for a moment, but soon reacted to its assailants, but its lunges were clumsy. Gunnar tried to push the monster from the boat’s edge, fearing it would retreat into the water. Salundra similarly tried to taunt the troll away from the rail, but it was unmoving. Thankfully its swings continued to be wild, a large metal weapon striking the deck beside Salundra. Ferdinand joined the fray and the three of them hacked at the creature. It seemed to think about fleeing, but was too dazed by the unrelenting blows. Salundra struck it down and a bit quick thinking on Ferdinand’s behalf separated its head from its shoulders.

A small crowd had gathered from the nearby tenements, a low applause coming from them as they realised what they had done. Ferdinand extinguished his ethereal light, hoping it had not been seen amongst the confused action. A quick thinking entrepreneur offered the party some coins for the body, but the party realised they had need of it…

8th Ulriczeit 2511 (Konistag) Early Hours – An Unusual Autopsy, the Hand and ‘Rejoining the Watch’

Midnight passed as they manoeuvred the heavy body onto a nearby cart, hoping its rickety wheels and axel would hold the trolls weight. They decided to seek out someone who could dissect the body, reasoning there would be someone in the morgue. The party were quite the sight as they pushed the creaking cart across the bridge towards the Barracks. They were covered in viscera, and sewerage in the case of Gunnar, pushing the beheaded body of a monster through the streets. Gunnar carried the severed head. There were few souls out to see them though.

At the Barracks, the previously unhelpful adjutant opened the door to him. He was stunned by the sight and when they asked for the entrance to the morgue, he directed and assisted them immediately. Inside he fetched Dr. Edgar Lichtmann, a sunken-eyed tall gaunt man in is mid to late fifties. He was slightly bewildered by the sight, but did not hesitate in the request to examine the troll’s stomach contents. He began dissecting it careful quickly identifying the stomach, but despite his care caustic bile splashed his leather apron and gloves. Some caught his unprotected upper arm, causing him to flinch. The stomach had been opened partially, showing what appeared to be a hand. Gunnar’s patience were at an end; he stepped forward and sunk his axe into the upper stomach, giving access and causing himself to be splashed with corrosive stomach juices. He nonchalantly washed the sizzling fluid away with some bloody water. The doctor stepped forward with some strange metal tools and lifted the hand, and attached forearm, from the body. He rinsed it in the same water and placed it on a surface. On one finger was a meagre and simple ring. A skull came next from the stomach, little flesh remaining on it. Gunnar stated that the troll must have captured this poor soul recently and had been feeding on him in pieces, the arm having been recently consumed.

Salundra asked to take the ring, but the doctor was reluctant, not clear whether they were affiliated with the Watch. Salundra responded that she guessed they were and the adjutant returned her armband, promising a meeting with Kaptain Pfeffer for anytime that suited. The party left with the simple ring in an envelope and the severed head of a river troll.

It was now about 5am and they returned to the Red Moon Inn, encountering the ‘chef’ (the culprit responsible for the fish stew) as he left to get ingredients. His astonishment was impossible for him to conceal – they were filthy, smelly (Gunnar specifically) and were carrying the head of the ‘Teufel Terror’. They were miraculously unhurt. The group retired for a few hours of well deserved rest.

… and we’ll pick things up from there the next time.

Until next time,