Tuesday, 27 August 2013
Gustav Jaeger, a fast initiate of Verena, stood over Atosass Leafpriest, an apprentice of Asrai magicks, in the long room. Atosass could not speak, but only babble and cough incoherently. His eyes were wide with a terror that suggested he had touched the very fabric of chaos trying to cast his last spell.
At the southern end of the room Tibalt DesRochers, Knight Errant of Bretonnia and the Paragon of Paravonn kicked over the bodies of two Druchii with Mordrin Skorkinson, a slayer of giants, daemons, and orcs, with Udrin Sol-Valdir, a runaway Asur.
Again the Druchii seemed more like obstacles to understanding the realm that the party found themselves wandering for the lastst 36 or more hours. They also appeared to be guards of ghosts. Ghosts that reacted when engaged, but disappeared when touched. These scholarly ghosts stood aghast with horror and fear seeing those they called daemons fight with other, oddly dressed, daemons. The new "daemons" seemed uninterested in the ghosts, which the ghosts didn't seem to mind. Soon after the fight, the ghosts collected the tomes they had been pouring over for the Druchii and left the room, carefully sidestepping Gustav and the coughing Atos.
Mordrin, bored with the searching of bodies, opened the southern most door of the room.
Something was amiss. Cold fresh air poured into the room, followed by a cacophony of crashing glass. Atos looked up, still racked by a foul guttural speech, and could only stare at the open door. Mordrin could see directly into the large room beyond the door. Tibalt and Udrin shuddered at the noise that followed.
Veeldbret opened one eye to watch the Druchii master wizard cross the room from the southwestern turret. The dark elf paused a moment hearing something beyond the heavy door to the "research room." Tanu Hailfinder, tapped his staff very lightly on the floor, distracted by the noise. A small clay gray and winged imp perched on Tanu's shoulder, Ussan Tridos. Ussan pulled Tanu's ear, then they both hurried out of the room through double doors leading to the tower proper of Tor Tagia.
Veeldbret heard another thud beyond the door. This time with a yell. He opened both eyes and inhaled deeply through his nose. Sea air. Magick. Tanu knew and said nothing. Veeldbret stood and stretched close to the floor, extending his long neck forward. Veeldbret whipped his tail around in a motion that pulled the tendons at the very tip and extended a claw over a gland that released powerful venom. Whatever came through that door would meet the black realms of Morr.
The door opened, spilling the warm light of too many candles and torches into Veeldbret's "quarters." A dwarf! Veeldbret stood tall, whipping his tail into the brightly colored glass wall behind him and opened his wings fully, smashing more glass. Veeldbret deftly leaped from the dais to the door to meet the dwarf.
The dwarf lifted a great warhammer over his head in a two handed grip and both met, set on the death of each other.
That's how we left Session 16 of my WFRP campaign, Morrslieb's Shadow, and opened Session 17. The heroes have been trapped, voluntarily for the most part, in a memory of a millennia lost Asrai settlement known to charcoal burners and hermits as Cairnmere in the Old World. Brought to the memory by powerful magicks, the party would soon learn they would be witness to world shaping events (more on this later).
Session 17 opened with Mordrin charging the wyvern, Veeldbret the Forager, true to his Slayer Oath. The party would offer little help and only distractions for Veeldbret. Udrin's bow ineffective, Gustav's sword blunt against the hide of Veeldbret, and Tibalt's sword cutting very little. Mordin would drop to zero wounds, along with Gustav soaking up a strike from Veeldbret's tail and venom, before striking two furious blows that, at the last possible moment, would crush the wyvern's skull, earning the hammer's new name: Smashing Death.
The party would soon have to face Tanu and his familiar without the help of their magician, Atos, cursed by the very magical winds he worked.
Following the death of Veeldbret, they would find one of their elven comrades from the real world, Farnoth, in the turret turned torture room, chained and barely alive, beaten to a bloody wreck. Rescuing Farnoth, the party turned to the double doors and climbing the tower to face down Tanu Hailfinder (a Druchii arcanist and architect of the memory world they walked).
The fight with Tanu was frantic. Tanu had masked himself with Ulgu, or Shadow magicks, and used his familiar, Ussan, to act as his hands for Slaanesh magicks. Tanu would attack Atosass with Cutting Wit, a tongue of barbed muscle that would wound Atos while he prepared greater magicks to transform another into a writhing mass of flesh with Fleshy Curse. The pitched fight had the heroes at first attacking Tanu's construct from casting Cloak Activity. As a Druchii, Tanu was a master of multiple winds.
The attacks turned against Tanu when the very powers of Chaos that he wielded misfired in casting Fleshy Curse and Tanu felt not the blessing of Slaanesh, but that of Nurgle, as he experienced an involuntary bowel movement. The heroes would bring Tanu down in flurry of blows as well as arrows. The fight would also unlock Udrin's latent magick and witch sight and reveal that the many amethyst and silver amulets they had been collecting from the bodies of dead Druchii revealed faint tendrils of gray connecting the amulets and Druchii, dead or alive. Tanu dead, Ussan died as well. Udrin would take possession of Tanu's staff that seemed to be made of shadow itself, save the fine details of the staff's head piece, a gaunt and grey fleshed skull with eyes of pitch and bleached teeth.
Two ghostly priests begged to leave the tower and explained that Tanu had been researching magicks that astrologers of Tor Tagia had been perfecting. For months, Tor Tagia's seers had been predicting a great star would fall and bring destruction far and wide. Tanu hoped that magicks the astrologers were working on to destroy the falling star could be used in other ways. Unfortunately, the astrologers had both created magicks capable of destroying the star, but had not predicted a "recoil." The recoil could actually draw the star back to the world. Tanu sought to perfect this recoil as a weapon. Fearful of the daemon like nature of Tanu, the astrologers were waylaid into service, while the residents of Tor Tagia abandoned the wooded city for Uthuan.
Soon the party would witness far on the horizon a great explosion, hundreds of miles away but so large it could only be the very creation of Black Water in the World's Edge Mountains. The ghosts immediately exited, knowing what was surely to come next, smaller meteors.
The party followed suit, inspecting the amulet lines and trying to understand how to use them, as it became apparent each was possibly an exit from the memory realm. On discovering the amulet use, a meteor smashed through the upper levels of the tower and great explosion blew out the windows of the tower and filled the city with dirt, fire and debris. The heroes immediately knew something was amiss: Atos was still in the tower, wracked with insanities from the cursed tongue and attacks of the familiar. Atosass Leafpriest was vaporized in the tower's destruction. Desperate, Udrin poured whatever magicks he possessed at the amulet and the party found themselves back in the ruins of tower of the present.
The experience in the memory of Tor Tagia would answer mysteries for the Asrai of the present as well as reveal the tome of Udrin's very distant relative beneath the long lost library of Tor Tagia.
What the future holds for the party is in development. I have introduced new macro events to the world that will drive new character development as well as set the stage for the next campaign arc.