Monday, 12 November 2012
We held Session 2 down one original player and +1 new player. The absent player's PC was GM played (more on this in a moment). Our new player, Doug, introduced Udrin, an Empire Elf trapped in Helmgart, but cleverly attached to the Markgraf's retinue.
We recapped the last session and picked up at the dinner table of the Markgraf as the mission to save Helmgart was explained.
Groz Zorn, or big meadow in Khazalid, once promised to become a holy place for the Cult of Valaya, the goddess of Hearth and Home to the dwarves. Unfortunately it was too poorly protected and fell to the greenskins. Much knowledge was lost and expeditions mainly focused on looting what treasures might have existed in the deep, not its library.
Granny Ella explained that she recalls a remedy for a plague, of the kind of "blood magic" afflicting Helmgart, being used by the priestess' of Groz Zorn. She also believes that the library of Groz Zorn still holds these secrets. Having convinced the younger Ella of this, she has pleaded with the Markgraf to assemble a mission to Groz Zorn of healthy volunteers. The Shallyan and Sigmar preists have allowed it, with proper screening, but appear to expect failure, or are silent on the success of the mission.
The final count of the party included NPCs Ella the Younger and Nunrun, the beardless dwarf. Udrin, the Elf Student agreed to accompany the party with Tibalt, the Knight Errant, and Udo1.
Tibalt made a deal with the Markgraf to stable his warhorse on the governor's estate. This saved Tibalt both angst about his steed becoming a meal to hungry Helmgart residents, but also the exorbitant livery fees he was paying the Brown Tankard's innkeeper to keep the horse safe.
The party was equipped reasonably by the Markgraf and over the cover of night the party went to the stoneyard of Durbermann and Sons. The stoneyard had been locked up by both business and family interests but Ella the Younger had a key to a pass-through in the large heavy wood doors shut and bolted in the tall stone walls that surrounded the yard. Once inside, the pass-through was barred by Tibalt and Ella. The yard was quiet and only the light of Mannslieb in waning 3rd quarter provided guidance. Large silhouettes of stone on pallets or in various piles of scree could be seen and buildings of various purposes were unlit. Ella explained the the humans would not travel safely up the route in to the mountains by Mannslieb, so she had planned on sleeping in the business offices of the stoneyard.
Breaking in the party found rugs or other places to sleep. Udo eyed some of the rugs and found a small keg of ale that several, including Tibalt, enjoyed.
Ella woke them all as dawn started, but before the sun rose so that the hike up the switchbacks into the mountains and to Durbermann's quarry would be safer.
The hike was uneventful if hard. The workings of hauling stone to the yard from the quarry were inspected and finally the party neared the gates of the quarry. The heavy wooden doors were found slight ajar and several heard the halting sounds of pipes on the wind.
Tibalt assisted Udrin with climbing to a roof that abutted the wall of the quarry, and after an embarrassing failure, Udrin couched on the roof looking into the quarry yard itself.
The music was played by a solitary man sitting on a stack of rocks in the center of the yard. Seeing no other danger he passed this on to the party and they slipped into the quarry. Ella approached the piper and he stopped playing. This immediately resulted in noise coming from one of the buildings in the center of the yard, a crane house used to lift rocks onto sleds. Pushing itself out of the door frame an Orc emerged. Covered in what appeared to be blood and viscera the Orc asked, "Now, who stopped me pipe player?" Seeing the party, it turned to the door and said forceibly, "Boys, I's got some knife work for you out 'ere."
The orc and Tibalt immediately charged into each other as two goblins came out of the crane house. As the orc and Tibalt began exchanging blows, Udrin started on the goblins with his bow. This lead to the goblins failing their "Elves is Scary" test and they started trying to both hide and dodge the arrows. Udo then started slingshoting the goblins as well. Nunrun charged into the melee, providing some flanking for Tibalt2. Ella stayed with the piper.
Nunrun and Tibalt fell the Orc after some tense exchanges, but not before the orc lost his grip on his choppa in a spectacular fumble3. The gobos were shortly dispatched after and never got to far from the door.
This ended the session. We wrapped up with the party kicking over the bodies of the greenskins looking at their dress and viscera covered clothing and armor. Ella tending to a mute and dumb human and Udrin collecting arrows.
 Initially I was going to have Udo back out of the mission with his player absent the helm, but Tibalt made a plea in character to Udo. I decided to play Udo and sandbag his actions to avoid a character death. Udo's sling did prove to be helpful in play later.↩
 Wherein I learned that the WFRP 2e Test Difficulty scale has a combat equivalent that mimics combat rules such as "flanking" in Pathfinder. Thomas asked about flanking and I stated there was not an equivalent rule, only to be corrected. Play always makes one a better GM.↩
 The orc rolled a 99 and shortly after was taking critical hits by the double teaming of Tibalt and Nunrun.↩