The third of Nachgeheim was a day not very interested in waking up the people of Ubersreik with a picturesque rose sun...actually the third of Nachgeheim was a day which preferred clouds and drizzling rain...
Which wouldn't be that much of a problem if you had found a decent inn with clean rooms and comfortable beds...sadly, your purse was light and the night was dark yesterday, and so you took the first establishment you found - not the best choice since that led to the fact that you just woke-up in the Red Moon Inn...a run-down place located in the city's centry next to the river Teufel.
Your tries to contact Ricard Aschaffenberg, your distant relative, waren't very successful, but at least his loyal manservant Vern Hendrick had yesterday agreed to meet you here in the afternoon.
The smell of cooked eel had meanwhile reached your nostrils and within seconds driven away the last remains of sleepiness...urgh...the cult place of a sect of Nurgle followers couldn't smell worse...
Ubersreik's Garden of Morr was a sad sight...crumbled tombstones, lots of them toppled over and a chaotic thicket of black roses - normally one of the most well-kept things in a Garden of Morr...At once did you realise why your superiors had sent you here. There was a lot of work to do, much more than a single priest could dare to manage.
Maybe it was pure luck, but it was hard to believe in luck these days, that you met this Vern Hendrick at the city gates. A fragile looking man in an old-fashioned livery...but despite his rather sad appearance he made an offer you couldn't resist thinking about:
His master, a certain Ricard Aschaffenberg, was in need of men and women with certain qualities for a small "adventure"...that was the moment you stopped listening, but Hendrick was quick to explain that in return his master was more than willing to pay a nice sum of money for the renovation of the Garden of Morr - the task you had been entrusted to do by Meister Fabian Schwarzherz...
There wasn't much to think about, you accepted his invitation to the Red Moon Inn in the afternoon - you could at least spare some minutes and listen to the man and his plan...
Ubersreik...a town that claimed to be the birthplace of Sigmar himself...well, nothing special since more than two dozen cities scattered all over the Empire claimed the same thing, but still, maybe the myth proved to be true - and if not, the Reikswald was near and there had been lots of Beastmen sightings during the last weeks...something was stirring in the dark, of so much you were sure.
Your first stroll through the city brought you to the central markeptlace, a large square dominated by a massive cathedral consecrated to Sigmar and Verena...Verena...what good could come from a clergy who believed collecting all kinds of books would do a great deal of good to the Empire...
Once you had started to ask the people about the beastmen, most of them fell silent and tried to end the conversation as quickly as possible, only the servant of a certain Ricard Acshaffenberg was willing to talk to you - he even understood how urgent it was to fight the monsters. He had told you that his master was also one of Sigmar's most devout followers and that he possessed special knowledge about the beastmen's hiding places in the woods. He promised to meet you later at the Red Moon Inn...
For Fernis and Rangnir:
Axe and Hammer Inn...well, the place certainly didn't sound bad. The flat squat building looked a bit odd between the human framework houses, but odd meant good in this case. Without doubt was the stonework of dwarven making and the name plate was written in Khazalid...
As soon as you had entered, you found out that it wasn't only an inn but also a meeting place for humans and dwarves. Ubersreik, located at the river Teufel at the foot of the Grey Mountains was a city with a long history of human-dwarvish relationships.
Dwarves were a common sight here, especially in recent years with the upswing of Karak Azgaraz the nearest hold of the proud race. Still, you were more than a bit surprised when the human servant Vern Hendrick joined you at your table. He told you he was working for Lord Ricard Aschaffenberg, a noble of great reknown and a man looking for men and women with certain talents.
Normally the talk would have ended here, cut short by the next round of beer brought to your table, but when the man mentioned "gold" he had bought himself enough time to explain that whoever was interested in helping Ricard could earn a small share of the precious material.
If you were interested you could just come and meet him at the Red Moon Inn in the afternoon...
Did Rangnir see if he stopped at another table before? Rangnir is fairly puzzled by the humans behavior, but then he has not met many humans before. Still he watches if the man heads straight out or circles to other tables after delivering the strange invitation.
After a moment of thinking you realise that most of the other dwarves seem to be either frequent guests of Ubersreik or are even living here - maybe that is the reason why he hasn't stopped at their tables - he was looking for wandering mercenaries/adventurers?!
Zadlu entered the inn with a rictus of a combination of both pain and concentration upon his face. Before him was an opportunity that begat his full attention... but by Morr his back was screaming blue murder at him. A full day bent over pulling weeds and tending roses was catching up to him with unrelenting force.
He did not cut an impressive figure in the slightest, tattered robe clinging to his form like a malnourished child and his hands covered in a variety of tiny half-healed cuts courtesy of the roses. But come he must, for Morr must be honored and all beasts deserve their benediction as the pass into his realm.
He looked around the inn's taproom... eyes searching for the one that bade him attend.
Mareike pushed open the door to the inn and was hit by the smell of beer, sweat and.....corruption? Frowning, she peered into the unevenly lit taproom trying to find the servant Vern.
Her arrival caused a bit of a stir among the men sat nearest the food, a woman in the Red Moon was uncommon enough, excepting those working there, especially one wearing a dirty mail shirt and carrying an old woodland axe.
As men are wont to do, they appraised the girl standing st the door; would be halfway pretty is she were cleaned up a bit, muttered one to his mates, get a dress on her and grow out that hair another was opining when he met her gaze. Something glittered in those eyes, fervour? A singular purpose.... madness? Whatever It was each man upon meeting those eyes stopped their idle chatter and began a careful inspection of the bottom of their flagons.
Mareike's gaze had already passed on, dismissing the men for the cretins they were. Not finding the man she sought, she approached the bar and settled into a spot giving her good visibility of the room.
dmzz, noticed that the campaign tab bar is missing from the top of my page and that After posting this campaign hasn't appeared in my campaign list. Did you need to flip a switch or should I chalk it up to more forum wierdness?
I'm not sure myself - either I'm blind and can't see the switch or the forum is still crap...
The common room of the Red Moon Inn is smoky and dark and smells sharply of a mixture of fish (eel for those who know), smoke and sour beer. The bar is little more than a plank and the furnishings are shabby. Against one wall are a series of snug booths, many with curtains of tattered linen slung across them to offer some privacy. A csattering of candles and oil lamps lights the room, as the small and grimy windows offer very little illumination from outside.
The innkeeper a portly man nods and begins to draw a beer
You're new here. he remarks matter-of-factly and neither you nor Zadluzeny are sure who was addressed.
A curt nod is the only acknowledgement Mareike gives the barkeep, her gaze on him just as often sliding to look behind him or to the shadows under the bar than upon himself. Tossing a few coins on the bar in payment. not sure how much , she glances at Zadludzeny, then back out at the crowd....searching...searching
Looking for someone, Fräulein? Hope you're not in search of some company...there are better places to find a....companion...than the Red Moon Inn, heh.
Normal beer and food are so cheap in WH 3rd edition that I would recommend a rule like: Pay 1 silver per week and drink and eat as much normal food and drinks as you want.
The barkeep gets a derisive curl of the lip for his attempt at humour. Mareike studies the man, corrupt yes but only in the venal manner of most men, no taint of Chaos. Trusting that Sigmar guides her, Mareike decides to entrust the man with the reason for her presence. I look for a man, not as a companion... then proceeds to describe the man she met in the square, sliding another coin across the bar.
Before the less travelled dwarf can open his mouth, Stoutanvil saying in Khalzid,"Let me handle this, dawi. I doubt you can tell the difference between a manling and a greenskin, not that their is much, haha." Turning his attention to the man standing before him offering gold, the shrewd bounty hunter's eyes narrow as he sizes up this human and his offer. "This Ricard, how much is he lookin' to pay for fine dwarven quality, manling. You should know this is if you are in a place like this looking for assistance. But, yer gonna get more than he's paid for. That I can assure you." Sitting back,Fernis awaits his answer.
Vern Hendrick obvisously isn't very used to the hard accent that a native Khazalid speaker brings into Reikspiel
Well, we are surely talking about a considerable sum - but it depends, depends on how well you do and how quickly the problem will be solved. I take it you are interested? Then please, accompany me to the Red Moon Inn, a place of low quality,m but we will surely meet others there who are also interested in...earning some coins and winning some reputation.
Rangnirs eyes dart between his companion and the stranger. He seems to consider when the human mentions the possibility of gaining reputation, but for the moment he puts his trust in his well travelled companion, waiting for his reaction.
Thinking about the fact he has spent his last coin purchasing his fresh coat of mail from a cousin, Fernis grunts his approval and gestures for the to lead the way. "We'll see about this gold, but keep your eyes open, Gudrunson. These men are often as crafty as stinking grobi."
"Let's see yer boss about takin' care of his little, problem youngster.", hesays caring little for man's actual age.
Yup, was here, he nailed a parchment to one of the supporting beams...eh, ah yes, the one over there - can you read?
Mareike looks from the man to the note then back again. She then gets up and walks To where the note is hung.
Zadlu heard the words as the other arrival spake to the barkeep and saw it unnecessary to add his own. Instead he followed the other to the note, so he might discren it's contents. Muttering as he did so "Delays delays, much to do and little time"
The note, written in a very sophisticated handwriting reads
Looking for work? Resourceful and intrepid fellows required to assist in house move. Job involves discretion, danger, and some heavy lifting. Only honest applicants will be considered. No layabouts. Interested? Ask for Herr Hendrick, don't delay!
Calling from the bar, the barkeep barks
He said he would be here in the afternoon!
Vern Hendrick arches an eyebrow at the dwraf's behaviour, but doesn't dare to protest
You won't meet Lord Aschaffenberg now, I'm here as your contact person and I will also pay you. Please, now follow me to the Red Moon Inn where the other participants of our short trip are surely already waiting for us.
Leaning over the note, Mareike slowly reads; her brow furrowed in concentration, trying to remember her tutor's lessons from what seems like forever ago. Noticing the odd man from the bar had joined her, she straightened and looked at him.
"Delays? What are you talking about" she says as he mutters to himself, appraising him frankly. Feeling no threat from the man, in fact he's the only one in the room she wouldn't want to put to the flame on general principles.
Turning back to the note without waiting for an answer, she says "Can you read this bit... 'Job involves... distraction?....destruction?...I don't know this word."
Fernis' ire raises at the demanding tone in Hendrick's voice, but having travelled in human lands more than once the dwarf grunts again and hefts his shield onto his back. Taking up his hammer and pack, Stoutanvil nods his head for his companion to do the same. "Hope they are of stouter nature than the men known to live in this area."
"Discretion... a word with many meanings depending on the speaker. I would see the man who wrote it before comittance." before responding to the first query "Delays to my work... we are blessed with little time on this wretched soil so it does not pay to waste it."
Before Mareike is able to inquire what is meant with "wretched soil", the door opens and Vern Hendrick enters with an entourage of two dwarfs of which one is looking like a very hardy fellow...
The barkeep sighs as soon as he notices the dwarves and vanishes inside the kitchen, most of the customers prefer to fall silent and stare at the newcomers. An awkward silence fills the room from one moment to the other, only Vern seems not to notice anything; he strides over to his parchment and beams at Zadluzeny and Mareik
Wonderful that you made it here!
Zadlu turns to face the newcomer before recognizing the face. He offers but a nod, given that the man's words had not required any reply more extravagant.
Uh yeah... Vern seems a bit underwhelmed by the priest's greeting, but alas, what can you ask for from a priest of Morr.
We are nearly complete, just waiting for a distant relative of Lord Aschaffenberg, a graduate of the Imperial War Academy, a pistolier as far as I know.
Mareike scowls at Vern. She crosses her arm across her chest and waits, toe tapping.
Wringing hands Zadlu replies without any smile "Yes, yes... always waiting..."
Leaning over to Rangnir, Fernis says, "Manlings have no patience. So short lived are they that their entire life is spent running around like impetuous children."
With a glance a Zadluzeny, Mareike scowls at Fernis. Fernis scowls right back.
Her eyes flickering between the two dwarves and the shadows in the corner behind them, Mareike appraises the solid demeanour of the two dawi.
Coming to the decision that they'd also be spared from the pyre she'd like make of this hovel, her brow unfurrowed a small bit and she said "Mareike" with a nod to each dwarf and with a small turn to Zadluzeny as well.
Turning back to Vern, her full scowl reappeared as she regarded him in silence.
Sorry for the delay, should be better now.
A shadow of a man falls across the floor, followed by the figure himself. As he makes his way down from the private rooms above you see a young man dressed in fine maroon cloth with a stylish scarlet hat and black hose and riding boots, a pistol and rapier belted to his waist.
He blinks, his eyes surveying a dimly lit room with trashy peasants and some outlandish characters, a pair of stout dwarves, a man poorly dressed as a devotee of Morr, and a young woman in poorly kept warrior gear. They seemed to be with a man dressed in his "Uncle's" livery, oh yes, that's Vern Hendrick you were suppose to meet him here today.
Franz gives a lordly nod to Master Hendrick, then noticing the dwarves are dressed as warriors and not in Imperial Style, he gives a small diplomatic bow to them, he brings his fist to his chest in a warrior's salute, greeting them. "In the name of Sigmar and the Emperor, I bid you welcome to the Empire, may your time here fill your halls with gold. I am known as Franz of the House of Flechter."
He turns to the priest, "In spite of the wine, I'm sure I do not need your services yet, but I greet you cleric, may your days be uneventful as ordained."
He looks puzzled and a little uneasy at the girl. "Hello, girl, Uhm..." He trails off at a loss for words, then follows with, "May your days forward be better than those before." Franz thinks, What happened to her? I'm getting sure I don't want to know.
Franz looks at Vern and says, "Quite an unusual entourage, I believe there is a tale worth telling in it. Tell it on the way, I wish to off as soon as possible." Franz announces the last as though the world should stop and start revolving around him.
Mareike begins to respond to the stylish fop, but he had already turned away to Vern. Eyes narrowing, she bit her tongue, having dealt with men such as these in the past; sometimes better to allow them their sense of superiority, in this case allowing their journey to start sooner than later.
"At least one of them has the brains about him to recognise dwarven skill! Hahaha,well met, fancy man. A bit wordy, but we can forgive that,", he says adding as an after thought,"this time."
Surely, m'lord...but...as you surely know, the carts aren't completely packed yet. Tomorrow, with the vanishing of Mannslieb we will meet here again and set off to Lord Ricard's hunting lodge in the Reikswald.
Before going on, Vern looks around, just to make sure no one eavesdrops
Please come over here, before I go on. He leads you to one of the booths and pulls the curtain shut.
Lord Aschaffenberg is most concerned with the state of his new manor. He thinks there may be some kind of rebellionfomenting in the ranks of the staff, on the whole a shiftless and uncooperative crew to a man. He wanted me to hire some people to look into this matter and alas, you see how lucky I was to find you. Ostensibly you will be there to help unload the lord's coach and arrange his furniture, but really you are there to covertly spy upon the staff, learn what you can of any kind of insubordination, and report it to Lord Aschaffenberg.
A dwarf in full chain with an old fashioned dwarven tabard made of thick, warm wool, adorned with intricate embroidery, a proud yet not so long red beard and longer hair of the same color seems to follow Fernis, keeping close attention to what he is doing. For a dwarf he seems oddly curious as his eyes screen his surroundings, as if he was trying to somehow catch every little detail of the room and the people in it.
He nods in Herr Flechters direction
And may your ancestors smile upon you as your deeds honor your line. I am Rangnir Gugrunson born of the clan Morgrim
He acknowledges Zadlužený with a slight nod as he is unsure of the mans standing, but he ignores the young woman for now.
At the words of Vern he openly stares at the man, on one hand scandalized at the thought of the staff of a proud household rebelling against their rightful liege, on the othe hand shocked that one man that is clearly a servant expects him to do the work of a mere peon.
There must be a gene common among servants that makes them feel when a situation is close to getting out of hand
Not that you misunderstand me - of course I know that you are neither suited nor made for such simple tasks as carrying pieces of furniture - but the staff will otherwise quickly realize that you are more than mere guards if you refrain from doing such things.
"My kinsman and m'self are not laborurs, man. I handle things men want handled. If you are looking for the leader of this little problem and need himtaken carein a manner yer boss will find suitable then that is what we will be doin'. If ya need us to pose as consultants on shorin' up the defenses against beastmen we can do that too. I am sure that a peasent can find faith in dwarven steel watchin' 'here backs."
Zadlu shrugs "I have just come from tending one garden... it would not be a hardship to tend another... I am Zadlužený, one of Morr's faithful. If any of you fall it would be my honor to say the rites."
"Then I suggest ya be findin' us a suitable reason to be there. You reckon that little girl with the wild eyes over there isn't gonna be settin' any of them suspicious types on edge? It isn't all that uncommon in these parts to see fighting men wanderin' about bashing greenskins in the snoot, but these others tend to look the part of trouble ta me, Hendrick. I suggest you get ta thinkin' and bein' quick about it."
Mhm...I see what you mean...maybe miss Mareike could be a new kitchen help - we just need to hide her weapons...and you and Herr Gudrunson could maybe be wandering masons, checking the stonework...Herr Zadluzeny could be a worker and Herr Flechter...yeah...Herr Flechter...
Franz looks at Vern as though at a errant child, "Firstly, I hope you can arraign suitable accommodations, my purse is exhausted from the trip. Secondly, the Master Dwarf has the right of it, forget about if we are willing to play the part of menials, we cannot do so. The best would be if they act as something suitable, I as a kinsman invited to the hunt, as I thought I was, and well as I guess a gardener/laborer and his ward, perhaps, that might work."
I'm very sure, as a player, this group could NEVER fool servants into thinking they were one of their own. The Empire is a very socially stratified society, each social group behaves and even talks differently.
The above is retconn, you post so quick in the time I took to write a response gave you time to ninja me, my original post was to be what follows but is now useless.
Franz looks at Vern as though at a errant child, "Firstly, I hope you can arraign suitable accommodations, my purse is exhausted from the trip. Secondly, the Master Dwarf has the right of it, forget about if we are willing to play the part of menials, we cannot do so. The calluses on my hands are that of a swordsman and pistolier, not a manual laborer. Also should the armored folk go into danger naked? One look and the servants would know something was up; if we pretended to be something we are not, at least I have no knowledge of how to be a spy. I'm a graduate of the Imperal War College and dress and speak as such. Only a fool could mistake me for a common laborer. Aside from the humble servant of Morr, none of us could pass. It seems you should have aquired the services of a professional in the arts of deception, not warrior dwarves, Imperial Officers, and ... others. While I desire to serve my kinsman as I can, this is ridiculous, we could never fool anyone with an ounce of sense. The best would be if they act as household guards, I as a kinsman invited to the hunt, as I thought I was, and well as I guess a gardener and his ward, perhaps, that might work."
I'm not sure how you want to do this but I will use leadership on Vern with my default Fellowship of 4. You can roll it if you will for timeliness. Also I'm very sure, as a player, this group could NEVER fool servants into thinking they were one of their own. The Empire is a very socially stratified society, each social group behaves and even talks differently.
Herr Flechter, exactly my thoughts. We could introduce you as the new master of the hunt, scouting out the surrounding Reikswald for apropriate hunting grounds. Now that we have found a solution for that, are there any others questions you might still have, after all, such a rebellious act in an Imperial household is nothing very common and I can literally feel how agitated you are about it.
Mareike watches as the dwarf and the two men natter on about who can't or won't do what. Closing her eyes she silently prays Sigmar , hear my prayers, let me have the chance to strike against Chaos but don't allow my chance to be marred by fools such as this.. Opening her eyes she says "I care not what role I need to play, if these 'rebels' as you say have been corrupted by Chaos they must be expunged. "
"Bah! Look at the girl. She is obviously of that sort, Hendrick. Covered as she is with the tell-tale signs of excessive piety. We will play the roles you've asked mason is fine trade and one we excel at. Now I suspect that the rest will fall in where they belong."