Chapter 2: Session 1
=== Cast: Dellin (Justin), Archibald (Nihad), Markus (Mark), Izzy (Izzy), Ranthin (Jacob), Ghoma (Chad), Cedric (Eric), and Bronan the Woodsman, a new character played by Nathan. ===
We spent nearly half the session converting characters from 1st to 2nd Edition rules, and Nathan rolled up his new character as well.
The cast of characters all meetup in Nuln. Now that they have some money, they are no longer staying in the worst part of town. Dellin has traveled with news from keeping an eye on the Vivisectionist. Two weeks ago, Dellin saw a large group of Empire soldiers arrive at Toltevsky’s hidden facility in the hills north west of Wattleburg. There were at least 50 total soldiers consisting of men at arms and a handful of mounted knights. Twelve of the soldiers entered the facility and a few days later twelve massive black knights exited. Then the black knights, escorted by the rest traveled north. Ghoma has also traveled from the Wattleburg area, having completed some studies with the Healer, and being politely asked to leave him alone for a while.
Bronan the Woodsman was from a hovel in Ostland, and figured Nuln is a much better place to be. With the departure of Choppy and Konrad, Markus feels that he needs a new axe-man for the team and Bronan fits the bill. Bronan is skilled with a 2-handed great axe, and mighty blows indeed it delivers.
Ghoma, shopping for reagents, finds a mysterious card in the bag containing one of his purchases. It bears a symbol of a sundial and a cloak. A handwritten note has the name of a town square in Nuln and a date and time (for the next day, mid afternoon). The card was not likely put in the bag by the shopkeeper, and it seems intended for Gohma in some way.
Markus is “invited” to a meeting with Heinrich Strussel (aka “Baron Strudel”). Strussel informs Markus of the “new order” in town. Grost Van Eyke was arrested by the inquisition and hasn’t been seen for weeks. Strudel is being named to the ruling council as the overseer of all mercantile interests in the lower quarter, with especial oversight on licensure of all previously untracked import/export businesses. As such, if Markus doesn’t play the game, Strussel has both the power and authority to make life miserable (read “working in the mines” or “waking up dead”). During the meeting, Strussel is accompanied by his henchmen “Lem” and “Knuckles”, and Owen, the man-mountain who used to work for Helga the Apothecary. Strussel makes a deal with Markus: Markus will provide Strussel with two things he wants: Nigel Sneed and the bronze statuette of Esmeralda. In return, Strussel will pay Markus 125 gold for delivering the statue within two days and another 125 gold for delivering Sneed within two weeks. After that’s been accomplished, Strussel will “permit” Markus to operate in Nuln and become part of the new order.
The complication is that Archibald, during the same time as the Markus/Strussel meeting, donates the statuette to Father Klaus at a local temple of the light. Cedric goes to the church and tries to use his charlatan skills to con the priest into giving up the statuette. He nearly accomplishes this feat, but alas, Father Klaus says he will only give it to one of his superiors. Cedric does determine that the statuette is stored in a locked desk drawer in Father Klaus’ office at the church.
Later that night, Markus decides to use his thieving talents to break into the church and “un-donate” the statuette. Things go very well, right up to the point where Markus leaves the office area with statuette in hand. Some sort of magical alarm sounds, and Markus high-tails it out of the church. As Markus and the accomplices (other party members) run away, the alarming noise follows. And apparently so does a group of five thugs. While Markus runs towards the river, several of the party members intercept the thugs and get into a brawl. Bronan, Dellin, Ranthin, and Izzy end up killing four of the five (in spectacularly gore-filled ways…Choppy would have been proud!). The fifth surrenders.
Markus, with Cedric in tow, chucks the statuette into the river and runs back towards the tavern, encountering Archibald on the way. About a minute later, the alarming noise stops. Watchmen have probably been drawn to the riverside by the noise, thus distracted from the quick 60 second street brawl that cost the lives of four thugs (and made a serious mess in the street).
This is where the session ended. 50xp were awarded.
Will the players be able to recover the statuette in time? What will Archibald think / what will they tell him? Who sent the mysterious card to Ghoma and what does it mean? And where’s Nigel Sneed? Can the players use the dim-witted Owen against Strussel in some way, knowing Helga Whoopknacker is quite put out at the loss of her helper and protector? Do they even want to? Maybe Strussel is good for business…