Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Great North Road Report Volume Two by Nicodemus Krebs

Backertag, 20 Vorgeheim, 2522

A hard rain last night, it dawned clear and cool today.

Much debate in the stench filled camp today as to how to best ambush the greenskin scum. Finally we determined that Oldric and Pippa should conceal themselves in the wood near the lodge and signal the rest of us with his magick when he or Pippa observed some Goblins or Orcs.

We spent the rest of the morning clearing the corpses of our foes from yesterday, burning them in the pit the goblins used to eat their betters, then set about placing some braces at certain points in the high fence that surrounds the camp.

We have set ourselves a half-mile from the camp and await Oldric's signal. The weather remains mild for summer.

Bezahltag, 21 Vorgeheim, 2522

I saw the signal from Oldric just as the night was closing in. Andric, Roland, and I immediately began to rush to Oldric and Pippa's location. Oldric told me later what transpired:

Oldric and Pippa were hidden within sight of the camp when Oldric spotted a goblin peering into the camp from the treeline. As he watched, he soon saw more of the foul little bastards looking at the camp. Over a period of time several left back the way they had apparantly come.

When there was but one left, Oldric cast one of the Magicks he has, assuming the likeness of the spellcasting Greenskin we had come across two days before.

Bravely, Oldric marched out from the tree line and stomped around a bare dozen yards from the goblin. When he heard the greenskin natter at him its tongue, Oldric grunted, turned away from the gobblin and called upon his magick to strike at a tree as if in a fit of pique. This seemed to mislead the goblin into thinking that Oldric was the Shaman he pretended to be, as the goblin called out to its compatriots and soon after a party of some ten wolf-mounted goblins came into Pippa's view and milled around in front of the gate to the camp.

Oldric doubled back behind the lone goblin that followed him into the wood, and cast his signal to us. As Oldric approached the edge of the wood one of the filthy grobi made him out and loosed an arrow at him, screaming a warning in their foul language.

Unbeknownst to us all, Throngor and Imrak had made good time in their march to us, and came upon the goblins just as they focussed their attention on and loosed at Oldric. Taking in the scene, they looked at one another, smiled, and charged forward.

Throngor pulled up short, and we could all hear the thunderous bark of his blunderbuss as he fired, injuring many of the goblins and their giant wolf steeds, causing a great yipping and yapping of wounded cries.

Imrak continued the charge, that great axe of his cleaving the head of a wolf in half lengthwise and robbing a grobi of his mount.

A wild melee punctuated by a ringing blast of one of Throngor's pistols ensued as we charged through the wood to the aid our companions.

One of the foul greenskins sounded a horn before being ripped from his mount by a swing of Imrak's axe. Pippa and Oldric, meanwhile, engaged the filthy greenskins to their front, Oldric attracting the attention of their archers after using another of his sorceries and taking on the substance of shadow. As we ran forward I saw him standing in the open shouting challenges at the greenskins. Great are his magicks, as I saw an arrow penetrate his chest, only to pass through and strike the tree behind him and root there, like an obscene flower.

The leader of the foul goblins, mounted on the largest of the giant wolves, tried to rally his fellows, shouting and gesturing, only to have most of his underlings killed or disabled in moments.

As I came ino the clearing, Andric beside me, Throngor shot again, a great plume of smoke with a spark of red connecting the pistol in his hand with the face of one of the goblins, tearing it's enormous nose from its sneering face.

Disappointing Imrak greatly, the goblins quickly broke and fled if they were able.

Free of the wood, myself, Andric, and the Bretonnian, Roland on his great destrier charged, slamming into those goblins too slow in escaping. Their leader and his great wolf escaped.

The noseless goblin abondoned its desperate and comical search for its missing nose and fled on foot as Roland gave chase on his great destrier, thundering out of our view.

We were collecting ourselves and greeting Throngor and Imrak inside the camp. I had closed the gate to ensure our safety from any possible goblin arrows when we heard the thunder of hooves returning from the direction Roland had pursued the noseless goblin.

I looked to the south and saw him as he rode at a full gallop at us, his eyes wide with terror and shouting at the top of his lungs in his language. To my shame, none of us understood what he desired, and the only sop to my remorse over what happened next is that I do not believe that he would have made it into the camp regardless.

As I tried to make sense of his shouted words, a winged terror of nightmare swept down on him from behind and bit his head from his shoulders. The horror of that moment will live forever in my memory. The Bretonnian was a stout companion and though we were separted by the lack of a common tongue, well will I remember him.

The monstrous beast which took him had a large and heavy head with two horns, though one of this specimen's had been broken in some old fight. The jaws and teeth within that head tore effortlessly through the steel gorget protecting Roland's neck and into the flesh and gristle beneath. The rest of its body was like that of a lizard, though the forelegs were replaced with mighty pinions that stretched a great distance to either side. In length it was some seven times a man's hieght and armored scales lined its tough skin.

I stood rooted in place as that terrifying creature flew over the camp, it's great muscled neck and gorge working to swallow the armored head of our erstwhile companion. I shall always remember the power and awe that I felt in the shadow of that beast. Power and awe which made my manhood shrink and withdraw.

As the terror receded with the beast's flight away from us and I mastered my fear, I made out a huge armored Orc mounted on the creature's back, a massive axe in one deep green hand.

I was told later by Oldric, most educated of us, that the creature was a Wyvern, a beast of limited intelligence and great ferocity that some orcs, braver than most or more insane, manage to train as mounts.

I have heard stories of Dragons and the terror they cause, and to my limited experience, I cannot see how any creature could be more terrifying than that which we faced as night fell on that lonely camp deep in the Drakwald west of Middenheim.

Andric sprang into action, pushing his way oout into the clearing before the pallisade and singing prayers to Sigmar in preparation for the fight he believed the wyvern would soon bring. Imrak stood with him, his great axe held at the ready.

Oldric, that man of magick who hides a true sensitivity behind a brash mask of impropriety and foul-mouthed comments, was right behind Andric, approaching the great destrier with Roland's headless corpse still upright in the saddle. With a skill I would not have believed him to possess, he managed to soothe the great war-steed and settle it enough that he began to lead it back to camp.

As he turned to do so, he was struck by an arrow in the thigh. He screamed out that he had been struck and hobbled back towards the gate as more arrows fell amongst those outside the pallisade.

Seeking out the sneaking greenskin scum, Andric and Imrak both charged at the one that had shot Oldric. The goblin who led the initial group we had already caused to flee was in the deeper darkness below on of the trees, sitting astride his wolf and drawing back on his bowstring to loose another arrow.

Throngor, standing next to me at the gate, was struck by an arrow loosed by another goblin. Thankfully the arrow was deflected harmlessly by his dwarfish breast plate.

Throngor then led me forward into the darkness on a wild charge, attacking another goblin that stood its ground before us.

Pippa felled a goblin from the window of one of the blockhouses, her vision unimpaired by the darkness.

The one that had been facing Andric and Imrak's charge turned and fled.

Quickly Throngor and I felled the goblin and its wolf mount that had tried the mettle of Throngor's plate. Seeking further foes, we were inhibited by the darkness and the willingness of our foe to flee us.

Oldric managed to guide the charger inside the pallisade. We eventually all collapsed on the gate and inside, as we humans were at to great a disadvantage in the darkness of the moonless night.

Fatigue is a crushing weight as I write this, as the we have spent the last few hour in preparation for action. Throngor is still bent over his blunderbuss and tinkering with its mechanisms, a length of rope and a grapnel from our stores. Imrak and Andric were whirlwinds of activity, setting other ropes across the camp to entangle the Wyvern should it attempt to fly in at us. Pippa is serving as our look-out. I am in one of the blockhouses and my fatigue is such that I shall soon fall asleep. The Morrslieb has made its appearance this night, its appearance low and in the eastern sky, shedding a loathsome mulberry light on the clearing outside.

Pre-Dawn of Konistag, 22 Vorgeheim, 2522

Great portents in the night! I know not how to express in full the pride and the glory that sings through my heart, for I have felt the very breath of Ulric on my soul!

Last night, our preparations made, Andric was sleeping in the camp, his back to stout Imrak when he began to writhe and shout. We looked about, thinking he was trying to alert us to some new danger, only slowly realizing that Andric was in the throes of some vision.

He shouted and cried out, eventually uttering a lengthy narrative, despite our attempts to quiet him. Imrak and I struggled to restrain Andric as his body arced. From his shouted screams and cries during his vision, Andric was alone and facing a great Greenskin horde, calling out for his companions. Calling for Oldric, for Throngor. I called out to him, seeing my own breath on the air, though I would swear it was a hot night just a few moments before as I appraoched my friend.

Imrak and I tried to aid him, but our ministrations were ineffective. Soon a great wolf's howl went up from the wood around us. Different from the cries of the malignant giant wolves the golblins use as mounts, this cry seared the soul. At the end of the wolf's howl, Andric collapsed quiet, and I took his hand in mine. My friend and fighting companion, Andric Vogel, had hands colder than the snow from deepest Ulriczeit. The chill spread from his frozen hand and through my body, chilling me to my bones and comforting my heart with icy, furious resolve.

At that moment Imrak saw a great white wolf standing amongst the forest boles at the edge of the clearing that surrounded the camp just to the southwest. When he pointed to The Child Of Ulric, I saw but a flash of white racing through the forest beofre disappearing southward. Returning my gaze to Andric, I saw a miracle of Father Winter before my own eyes: The grass and stone, earth and mud around us in in a perfect circle was covered in hoar-frost and ice. The icy fire in my breast sang a song of winter and battle in my veins and I knew comfort and strength.

Too soon Ulric's regard left us, though it left a mark upon me, changing the hair of the cloak of the giant Wolf I wear to match that of one of His Children, making it white and mending the rents put there by the tooth and claw of my enemies.

In the far distance to the South we heard a great baying as of a wolf in battle. Long it lasted, but it ended in a howling cry cut short I feel bodes ill for the Child Of Ulric.

I write this now, dawn having broken. Imrak has seen the Wyvern in the western sky, circling the camp from a distance. I do not know great fear now as I feel the hand of Ulric on my heart and guiding my hands. My breath shows the smoke of His never-ending fire in the cold morning air.

Andric needs water, and I shall get it for him.

Great things shall pass this day, and I know that we shall, if we act with the instinct and strength of a pack of Ulric's Children, overcome.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Recorded Sessions

One of our players has recorded our sessions in order to help out those who missed sessions and allow us all to review what transpired in the last event due to the length of time that passes between between.

Special thanks to Rob for spending his time and energy in doing this.

The files are located at the site below:

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Great North Road Report, Volume One by Nicodemus Krebs


I have been commissioned to make a report to the Undersecretary of the Interior Ministry of Trade for Middenheim and Middenland regarding the state of The Great North Road from Middenland to Deinste. As Captain Schutzman can attest, my reports tend to be terse things, and I will attempt to write this in a more narrative fashion, as I need to practise my letters in any case.

Several of the rest of my boon companions have also determined that they wish to assist in this scouting mission, we have been collectively called the Seven by some... but among one another we are but friends:

Nicodemus Krebs, Sergeant of the Watch of Middenheim, 18 Years of Age
Andric Vogel, Priest of Sigmar, 19 Years of Age
Oldric Mannheim-Oberholzer, Journeyman Wizard of the Grey Order, Aged 18 Years
Rudiger Kuhn, Protagonist, Aged Approximately 16 Years
Throngor Snorlikson, Engineer 31 Years of Age
Imrak, Trollslayer 71 Years of Age
Luther Mohr, Scout 20 Years of Age

Bezahltag, 13 Vorgeheim 2522

The Seven are now joined by Pippa Darkwater, a Halfling Hunter of 28 years from Averland on the border with Mootland. Pippa came with four mules, provisions for the 300 Mile trip to Deitme, and a recommendation from Silas Greentree. We presume her presence is due to Lady Hornblower's influence.

Andric Vogel has been preaching in the Morrspark at Sir Diebold's grave. I followed him today as he walked through the streets with the banner used to drap Diebold's coffin. A crowd of several hundred gathered to hear his message in the Morrspark. I must admit I find it hard to ignore Andric's words. The message is one of unity between Ulric and Sigmar, of Middenlander and Reiklander.

I fear for his safety at times, as I am sure there are some, fearing for their positions, who would do him harm.

Konistag, 14 Vorgeheim 2522

We travelled West towards Marienburg today. Travel uneventful, road companions sparse. The group overnighted in a recently reclaimed village just west of Middenheim, called Elsterweld. A Garrison of soldiers of the Army of Middenheim are posted here but do not patrol westward aggressively beyond a few miles. Trade is non-existent, rumours of a Orcs, goblins and worse on the road westward. I was approached by an old soldier who knew my father before his death and saw my brother early in the seige of the Brass Keep, but had not had word of his regiment or his condition. I was asked to write letters for a few of the soldiers to their wives and loved ones, which I did.

I watched as Andric performed a small mercy for a bereaved mother who had lost her child in a acribs death, giving it last rites and performing a solemn and serene memorial for the child. His energy seems boundless, as he then walked among the small congregation of Sigmarites in the town, healng them of their ills, listening to their woes, writing their letters and speaking to the Ulrican Initiate, Johann about cooperation between a caretaker selected by him and the other shrines.

The village was once a small town, and was sacked at least twice, first by creatures of fell Chaos, then by the depradations of Orcs and goblins that swept through during the storm. Still the populance was rebuilding, almost content, as if they were purified by the war and destruction that had tried to sweep them all away.

Pippa hit on by human groom loooking for a roll in the hay. Pippa flatly refused the oafish man. She seems a Halfling of quiet competence.

Angestag, 15 Vorgeheim 2522

We decided last night that to best observe and determine the threats the North Road holds, we shall divide our group into two seperate parties, one paralleling the North side of the road at about five miles distance and one paralleling the road on the South at a similar distance. I was somewhat concerned that Pippa was to be our wilderness guide, with Luther, Throngor and Imrak comprising the other party that would travel to the South of the road. We arranged several meeting areas and signs for one another as well.

Pippa awed her travelling companions once it came time to make camp, preparing an incredible meal of such quality relative to the burnt meat and tater slop that Luther usually provides us. I nearly felt that I was sitting at the Cockerel and Cane with fine linen and silver to eat from.

The light fades and I must cease my writing.

Festag, 16 Vorgeheim 2522

Pippa located a large number of boar tracks heading south to the Old North Road. While I could see the tracks and follow them as well as she, I did not know what they meant, as she did: Pippa said that the boar were not acting as they should, rooting in the undergrowth for food. Instead, they were moving together and purposefully. Darkwater called it a sure sign they were ridden by Orcs.

We followed the trail some distance, deciding to pursue them rather than track them back to their source. Eventually we saw Orc droppings and some discarded cloth on the trail, sure indicators that the boar are being used as cavalry mounts.

Night falls and we are encamped on a low rise within bowshot of the tracks left by the Orcs. Some debate is on about whether we should have a cold camp, but the thought of more of Pippa's cooking has overcome our collective caution, I think.

Wellentag, 17 Vorgeheim 2522

About midmorning we located an abandoned encampment about a mile from the road. The wind was strong out of the east all day, and we could not smell the place until we were on top of it. Once we could, we wished we could not.

Foul does not begin to describe the stench greenskins leave behind. I know sewers and Sewer Jacks that smell prettier. Seriously, after a short time, the nose becomes numb to the stench of a sewer. Not so this camp.

Pippa and I tracked an Orc who left the campsite, he went west a few hundred yards before he met what must be a goblin with one of the giant wolves like the one I had my cloak made of. Oldric was concerned they serve as scouts for the warband. Pippa and I confirmed that worry when we tried to track the wolf prints, and were stymied by some good woodcraft on the part of the goblin. The Orc returned to the camp by a different route.

All the tracks appear to be about a day old, perhaps a bit more. We followed the track for the remainder of the day and encamped again. Another fine meal.

Aubentag, 18 Vorgeheim 2522

Followed the tracks much closer to the road today, locating what looked like an ambush site from which the Orcs might strike. None present. Rudiger climbed a tree on an outcrop to look down the road. He took his time, but eventually came down and told us there was a man on horseback approaching who looked as if he'd seen better days.

To make a long and difficult story short, the man's name is Sir Roland, and he suffers from some strange curse which makes him twitch and shout at odd times. Complicating this is his complete lack of skill with Reiklandish. He speaks Breton only, it seems, and none of us have any facility with that tongue.

As Andric saw to his wounds, I drew a picture of an Orc, which elicited more curses I am glad I cannot understand and crazy gesticulating I could only take to mean he wanted to kill some.

Oldric was able to piece together that he was one of the knights providing an escort to Shallyan priests from their mother temple in Bretonnia to Middenheim. Apparantly the afflicted do this often in the hopes that the White Goddess will heal their woes.

At any rate, Roland was in sad shape and we camped, taking our time in trying to understand what he had to say. Andric saw to his wounds as Roland gestured and repeated himself many times in order to make us understand his story:

It seems he and the caravan of some thirty souls he had been protecting had been ambushed three days earlier on the road. Roland had been knocked out as he fought the greenskins. His horse had carried him some distance before he came to his senses and returned to the place of the attack. All of the knights and men-at-arms were slain and the Shallyans carried off.

Roland carries missives he says he must deliver to Middenheim, and seems conflicted about whether to seek vengeance or complete the task he says he must. At any rate, our goal remains the same. Search out the threats to the North Road and report their locations and strength.

Marktag, 19 Vorgeheim 2522

Today... was an interesting day. I have never faced their kind before and I think if I can ever avoid it in the future, I shall...

I get ahead of myself. At about 3 bells after noon, Pippa stopped returned from her position well ahead of us and stopped our progress, reporting she had found a burned and damaged trapper's lodge or bandit's hideout. She could tell it had been recently occupied by the Orcs we had been tracking.

Sure enough, we managed to sneak up on the group of goblins passed out in the rough huts. We slew the vermin with ease. Pippa, who had held back in case more of the greenskins fell on us from the rear, saw the trolls first. The rest of us were searching about inside the camp when Pippa saw the enormous forms crunching though the wood toward the camp, one behind the other.

Andric shouted to the beasts, attracting their moronic attention and probably saving us, as the massive creatures charged the pallisade surrounding the camp in order to rend Andric limb from limb instead of coming through the open gate. I can still hear the sound of splintering wood.
Roland and Andric attacked the massive beasts from inside the fence as I hurled a goblin spear into one beast's chest. Oldric muttered out spell after spell, stunning the beasts and leaving them helpless for a few seconds at a time. I charged to help Andric and the Breton.

Rudiger, outside the camp with Pippa before the combat, showed great bravery as he charged one of the creatures.

It is terribly unnerving to strike a blow and see the wound and the black blood flow, only to have the wound seal itself in moments. Long moments passed in brutal combat, the warbling cries of the trolls, the grunts of our exertion and Oldric' spell casting the only sounds.

Surely my companions are beloved of the Gods, as each has the proper skills for each terror that befalls us. Oldric stunned the Trolls repeatedly, and I doubt we would have been able to overcome the foul creatures had he not been present and acted as he did.

Pippa shouted to us that there was an orc gibbering and capering outside the camp, just as Roland felled one of the Trolls.

A moment later and all of us at the pallisade were struck by a terrifying series of dirty green fireballs. Andric's body smoked and my great cloak was singed.

Rudiger acted with exactly the right instinct, charging the massive orc, who was standing in the wood line a few yards from the pallisade behind the Trolls.

Another few moments passed in combat, with the remaining Troll nearly laying Roland, Andric and myself low with a single swing of his massive stone axe.

Rudiger engaged in a duel with the Black Orc Shaman, each cut and thrust parried and countered by Orc's massive bone staff. Struck by several stones from Pippa's sling, and seeing me strike down the last Troll, the Orc fled in fear, running at great speed.

We gave chase, Andric and Rudiger right behind the tough bastard. Oldric sent some of the magical knives he conjures into its back, but the vitality of hte thingto no avail.

For long minutes the creature led us a bloody chase. Sol ong was the chase that Rudiger fell behind, winded. Andric finally commited to a diving tackle, tripping the Orc. As it struggled to rise, Rudiger fell on it, stabbing it through the neck and ending it's life in a welter of black blood.

We returned to the noisome camp and began cleaning up the evidence of our combat, preparing to ambush the next set of goblins or Orcs that might return.

A more thorough search of the camp revealed the goblins and lone orc in the camp had all been wounded prior to our arrival. The large central area had obviously been an encampment for more then the half-dozen goblins we slew.

Several barrels and shattered crates revealed that some portion of the Shallyan caravan had been brought here. We also found evidence that at least some humans had been eaten at the fires. It always confirms my faith in Ulric that He provides us with so many opponents in need of slaying.

Andric set about healing us all, before he acted to heal himself. Still, we remain sore and stiff, and it should take a few days before we are ourselves.

Rudiger, the least wounded and most stealthy of us aside from Pippa, offered to make his way to the others and tell them where to meet us.

Pippa set a fire as Rudiger communicated with Roland, convincing him to give over the missives he had for the temple. Soon after that he set out on foot. We hope that the other party will be able to meet us in two days.

Roland has communicated to us that he speaks some Goblin Tongue, and will call out to the creatures in their foul language, should some come calling.

A summer thunderstorm is building in the west, and so it looks as if I shall be standing a wet watch. I have been writing for some time here by the fire, and I need to rest if I am to remain alert. I thank Ulric for my fine companions.

Andric's Sermon

The relative quiet of the city is disrupted by religious tensions once again, the rising tensions between the cults of Ulric and Sigmar boiling over into shouted comments between red-faced Middenheimers and the immigrants and refugees from other places.

The recent death of Diebold has stirred the pot, with many calling him a favored son of Ulric, though he was truly a tithing member of the Sigmarite cult. Even though the man has been buried some time, Andric Vogel, a priest of Sigmar, has been preaching what some call a heresy.

Prevented from preaching in the temple of Sigmar for fear of reprisals in this city of Ulricans, he has taken his fiery sermons to the Morrspark and the common folk have consistently come to listen to him...

The crowd parts as Andric walks to the grave of his companion. With reverence he unfurls a banner with a wolf rampant bearing a hammer surrounded by seven stars picked out on it.

The crowd shouts, "Diebold! Sir Diebold and the Seven! Diebold! Diebold! Diebold!…”

The unified shout descends into shouted comments as Andric bows his head in silent prayer, “Servant to the Great Founder! Exalted Sigmar!”

“Not he!!! Diebold was a servant of Ulric!”

“You fool! It is the strength of the Wolf who carries Sigmar Heldenhammer into battle!”


“Sigmar is a mere man in the guise of a god!”


Andric steps quietly up onto a weathered stone, his white robes bearing the twin-tailed comet cresting through the seven stars, wolf and hammer. Eyes turn and the mob slowly quiets. Andric waits head bowed until there is silence.

Slowly the shouting stops as all eyes are drawn to his presence before they drop in shame for their behavior.

When silence rules, Andric begins, his tenor strong and pure, “People of Middenheim and the Empire! Know ye that you are people of the Exalted Founder who first rose up and banished the darkness from the lands you call home. Know ye also that he was a Child of the Wolf who it was that bestowed upon our beloved Sigmar Heldenhammer the courage, strength and fortitude to carry forth. It was Ulric himself through the great Ar-Ulric who crowned Sigmar as the first Emperor!

Is there anyone here who will question the wisdom of the Ar-Ulric and thereby Ulric himself? Is there anyone here who will question the greatness of the Founder's dreams and their realization in the Empire? Surely not I! Perhaps you?!”, Andric points to a great gray haired bear of a man and the one-eyed Knight of the Torch lowers his head.

“I have felt the power of Sigmar pass through my body and know with every breath that he made of himself a God. I am blessed because I have the faith to know Him in my every action. He is at my side always, for I hear his breath at my ear. Hearken unto my words: There is corruption among us! It is called division, power madness, greed and tyranny. This aggression toward each other is exactly what the Lords of Chaos want. I say that any degradation and division between the Wolf and the Hammer sets the Dark Lords capering with glee at our idiocy!”

Andric points at the crowd, who lean forward as if straining to hear his words or leaning into a gale, “Be not the one who divides us. Be not the one who gives strength to the Vile Ones.

We have not far to look for proud examples of how to serve the Empire! Was it not the Emperor and the Knights of Sigmar who raised shield and sword beside the hammers and helms of the people of this very bastion of Ulric?!"

Andric's fiery gaze caressed the crowd before lighting on two veterans, their recent recovery from wounds evident. He saluted them with a solemn nod, "Here are two great brother-in-arms: one a great and noble knight of the wolf stands broken and cleaved leaning on the arm of a blood-stained and crippled warrior for Sigmar.”

Looking into the eyes of his companions – “Together we are invincible but divided we will surely perish.”

“Put aside your fear and turn to your brothers and sisters for solace and comfort! We need one another! We all need both Wolf and Hammer!”

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Sir Diebold's Wake, Part III

"Throngor, where are you going?" Thordrin Snorlickson said between pulls on his ale.

"The humans are having a wake for Diebold." Throngor said as he pulled his fur-lined cloak down from the beautifully wrought iron cloakstand.

"Oh." Thordrin said, his very expression questioning Throngor’s very sanity at associating so closely with humanity.

"I know. Human frivolity, to allow those not of the family or Clan to be present for burial rites," Throngor said as he checked the load of his pistol and slipped it back in the scabbard at his hip.

"Aye brother, they do engage in some strange activities." Thordrin said diplomatically.

Throngor shrugged, "I said I would be there, and that is that, though it turns my stomach like watching a shaved Dwarf cavort with a river troll."

Thordrin snorted into his ale, "Like you’ve ever seen that!"

Throngor grinned, "No, but I probably will, given the company I’ve been keeping." Throngor looked thoughtful for a moment, his cloak draped over his arm, "On another subject: what do you know about that messenger from Marienburg?"

Thordrin’s normally open expression closed tight, his brow furrowing, "The messenger."

Throngor smiled at his younger brother’s reaction to his question, "I’m not asking for guild secrets, brother."

"No, I don’t suppose you are. We did receive special instruction not to speak of it yet though."

"Special instruction, eh?"


Throngor shrugged into his rich cloak, securing the cloth-of-gold braids to the front of his shining plate before replying, "I see. Well, I cannot delay further."

"Take care, brother, and when my esteemed guildmaster tells me I may, I will tell you what The Fooger Consortium wanted with the Brotherhood Of Artisan-Merchants of Middenheim."

Throngor nodded to his younger brother, his heavy beard swaying as he absorbed that little tidbit.

"Good day."

"And to you."

Throngor left his family’s small hold, his head held high as the young Dwarf made his way to the surface. As he passed others in Grungi’s Tower, he was greeted with respect and even some small affection. His humble beginnings as a miner without great prospects had been greatly changed by his association with the recovery of the ancestral goods from the ancient Dwarf hold to the south.

He almost hummed to himself as he thought of his progression within the Engineer’s Guild. Humbly he had approached the current Guild Masters. More humbly than he had to, in fact. They had recognized this act as honoring his ancestors, even the recent ancestor who could no longer be called by his name, having taken the Slayer’s Oath. The young Dwarf took pains to act humbly among his own kind, quiet different from his father’s outspoken pride before his fall from grace.

Throngor’s thoughts of humbled Dwarfs naturally led to the Fooger Consortium and their messenger. The Fooger Consortium was a very powerful Dwarf and Human merchant’s association run by the Fooger Clan. Based in the trading capital of the Old World, Marienburg, the Foogers controlled nearly all of the trade overland into Marienburg. In order to do so, they had controlling interests in many of the Teamster’s guilds in The Empire and Bretonnia, and had representatives in many of the towns and cities of the North.

Their messenger had arrived at Grungi's Tower in poor shape, his clothing rent and torn and his entourage sporting many bandages and splints.

Nearly all of the overland trade between the Empire and Marienburg, and thence the wider world, passed along the Great North Road. As far as Throngor knew, that route was still overrun with brigands, greenskins, and beastmen. Most trade was now south along the Middenheim-Altdorf road, where it was loaded on boats at Delberz and floated down river. Even that route was not as safe as it was before the Storm.

The Foogers were rumored to be rich as Dragons, but Throngor wondered at their fortunes since trade had been so thoroughly disrupted in the North and especially overland. Throngor himself had been forced to pay a premium for some of the materials for his current project. It did not take a genius to figure that the Foogers were hurting from the disruption in trade on the road and had sent the messenger to somehow remedy that.

Warm thoughts of his current project carried the Dwarf through the streets of the City of the White Wolf, to The Little Moot, to the Happy Hearth, and to the wake of his dead companion.

Sir Diebold's Wake Part II

The Happy Hearth was quiet when Rudiger returned from The Last Drop, the brief afternoon storm had proved no discouragement to the long line of people come to pay their respects to Sir Diebold.

Getting caught in the freezing spring downpour had not done Rudiger’s mood any good. The long lines and grumbling he heard as he passed to the head of the line just served to fuel his temper. Rudiger swore that if he heard one more, "’E was one of us, was Sir Diebold!" He’d throw up on the offending jackass, then pummel him within an inch of his life.

Nobles were just another type of boss, and just cause they had a title, didn’t make them shit gold or any less an ass when you were talking to them. Of course, they made a good focus for the attentions of others. Rudiger preferred the shadows.

Shaking the last of the rain from his cloak, Rudiger looked about, seeing Nicodemus and his lackeys at one table, Andric at the top of the stairs staring at some mother and her blonde brats as they left the area set aside for Diebold’s remains. Rudiger gave them a wave as he walked to the bar to order.

Oldric was seated at another table, the weasel-like scribe that had attached himself to The Seven like a leech sitting beside him, writing something. Oldric was silent, reading from a sheaf of parchment on the table before him. Rudiger knew the magician had recently been making a few ripples in the limited pond of back alleys and knocking shops of Middenheim, setting up a ring of informants. Rudiger thought he was wise to most of them, having made a few introductions, but he was sure that Oldric had a few more up his sleeve. The guild was interested in such things of course, and was making sure they received their price from each of the members that happened to put a few nuggets in Oldric’s path.

A few merchants had also been seen speaking to the magician, and Rudiger felt a twinge of personal interest in what that could be about.

Silas’ son Hartwick came in through the Halfling-sized door and rushed up to his father, whispering in his ear. Silas nodded calmly as Hartwick quickly told him something, then his head shot up and he looked into his son’s face.

Hartwick nodded, once, sharply, as if to emphasize his statement.

Silas wrung his hands together, then jumped to his feet, looking about in panic.

Hartwick asked in a voice that cracked, "What do we --?"

The question seemed to bring Silas back to his senses, and he quelled his son with a look before visibly getting a hold of himself. He gestured imperiously to Leticia and Olga, the two serving girls that worked the place for his family. Both obediently filed into the kitchen, the two Halflings hard on their heels.

Rudiger thought about seeing what drove Silas from his lunch when both humans came out in a rush, cleaning cloths and buckets in hand. As they set about cleaning the already spotless tavern area, Hartwick followed after, a brace of candles in his arms. A clatter from the kitchen and Silas came out, a ladder across his shoulder.

Rudiger waited as the two Halflings set about placing and lighting fresh candles in the chandelier that hung on the Halfling side of the tavern. Catching Leticia’s eye, Rudiger shrugged and mouthed, "What's going on?"

Leticia shrugged helplessly in return, and continued to clean the bar.

Rudiger approached Silas just as the latter was lighting the last of the candles, "No time to talk, Rud."

"What’s going on, Silas?"

"Never you mind," Silas said, flipping Rudiger an empty tankard and gesturing to the taps as he darted back into the kitchen, Hartwick on his heels. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Rudiger filled his tankard to the brim with the Halfling’s finest ale and settled with his back to the shining wood of the bar.

For the next half-turn of the glass there came a great clattering and banging of pots from within the kitchen. Rudiger knew better than to intrude on that domain, having been scolded to within an inch of taking his own life the last time he entered that kitchen on his own, so he waited without, ale in hand.

Hartwick rushed out just as there was a knocking at the Halfling doors to The Happy Hearth. Not just a common knock, it sounded like a wooden rod was being used. Hartwick swallowed audibly and rushed over to the door. Hartwick gave his clothes a quick once over, then opened the double doors wide and bowed deeply from one side of the entrance.

Outside, four stout Halfling males carried a richly dressed female, grey-haired and wrinkled like a date with age on an ornately carved and gilded litter. As Rudiger watched, the young males stepped forward in unison, smoothly carrying their burden to the bier where Diebold lay in state. Silas entered from the kitchen carrying a large tray piled with his best cuisine, efficiently setting a place at a table built to Halfling scale.

The human commoners in the doorway looked on in hushed silence, as they could immediately see that here was a person of quality. Rudiger assumed that some might have heard of The Halfling Hag of The Greentrees, she was known in some bitter circles, but most would never have seen her.

Rudiger felt a twinge of something out of place in the Happy Hearth and looked around at his companions. After a moment, his eyes fell on Oldric and for a moment he saw a weird double image. In one image Oldric to be continuing his study of the parchment in front of him, but in another Oldric seemed to be watching the Halfling entourage very closely. Rudiger blinked and half-raised a hand to his eyes. Immediately, the double image disappeared, and Rudiger gave himself a mental shake as Oldric settled into one image.

Lady Hornblower had no right to a real noble title, and she had insisted on resuming her maiden name after the death of her husband, Halodoc Greentree. It was rumored amongst the human merchants that in her rise to power she had sucked the lifesblood from Halodoc, a prosperous, but not wealthy merchant who was also leader of the Greentree Clan.

Regardless of rumor, she was a shrewd merchant and tough-as-nails negotiator. During her thirty year reign over the clan’s interests the Greentrees had grown from minor pie sellers and innkeepers to merchants and business owners involved in some small way with almost every aspect of Middenheim life, even, some whispered, carrying out some of the more masterful crimes in the city’s history. If so, the guild was tight-lipped about it.

Rudiger watched the elderly Halfling carefully arrange herself, then stand with the aid of an ornate ivory-handled cane that cost more than Rudiger’s whole wardrobe. With the slow grace of the aged, she took a few steps forward and knelt before the bier.

Just enough time she spent in front of the bier, showing her respect without presuming to claim too close a relationship to the Man she had never met. Rudiger admired her deft grasp of etiquette and sense of timing.

The old Halfling retired to the table Silas had set for her with the same slow grace she had earlier shown. Rudiger watched their interaction closely, noting the deference with which Silas treated the elder Halfling and the indifference to his low voiced comments and the food he presented she showed.

After a few minutes of Silas’ speech, Lady Hornblower gestured him to silence and asked a single question. Silas nodded meekly and responded in the same low voice he’d used throughout. Hornblower gestured in the direction of the table where Oldric was seated. Silas nodded once and walked over to the magician, standing on tip-toe to whisper into Oldric’s ear. Oldric nodded and stood up, sliding the parchment into his sling bag and walking to the Halfling side of the Tavern.

'Oldric will tell me what’s up or he won’t, either way some version of that they talked about will be all over The Little Moot in a day or two,' Rudiger thought as he pulled a bit more ale for his tankard, his gaze, attracted like metal filings to a loadstone, went back to Diebold’s bier and the banner draping the closed casket. Respectfully, he quietly tipped some ale to the floor for his dead companion.

Sir Diebold's Wake

Andric turned from the now-resting form of the Slayer, his ink-stained fingers finding the small silver hammer that hung from the chain at his neck.

Such strength of will these Dwarfs have, to stand against the tide of Chaos. A sure sign of Sigmar’s wisdom that his will should unite Dwarf and Man together against our natural enemies, Andric thought as he quietly left the Dwarf’s room.

Andric looked out from the top of the stair, taking in the sober quiet that had descended on The Happy Hearth since the Seven had returned with Diebold’s remains. Silas Greenrtee was sitting down at one of the tables made for one of his size, his manner properly respectful and somber. His son was outside hawking pies to the line of people outside the Inn.

Even Oldric seemed subdued, his energies focussed inward on some inner plane. The bespectacled scribe he seemed to have inherited was scratching away with quill to paper.

Rudiger was nowhere to be found. Nicodemus was quietly drinking with the two Watchmen of his squad. Throngor had checked on Imrak’s health and then quickly left, muttering something about work on a project going slowly. Luther had gone down the mountain to check on his hunters.

It seemed to Andric that Diebold was never the favorite of his companions, perhaps because of his natural station in life. Surely Diebold had never done much to ingratiate himself. It said much about the quality of his companions that while the group had little beyond his prowess as a fighter to praise Diebold for that they would rather be away than utter platitudes and falsehoods in his name.

Almost against his will, Andric’s eyes went once more to the front of the tavern, to the area Silas had asked the High Priest of Morr, Allenstag Breur, to allow to be set up in the tavern for the viewing and wake.

Diebold’s finely crafted closed casket lay in state upon a low bier. Draping it was a plain silken banner with seven golden stars surrounding Ulric’s Wolf rampant, The Hammer of Sigmar in its paws, symbol of his short-lived house.

Two black-robed Initiates of Morr watched over the long line of commoners and other folk paying homage to the fallen Knight of Middenheim. For two days the common folk had waited patiently as each in turn was given the opportunity, "To see good and brave Sir Diebold off."

As Andric watched a woman dressed in threadbare rags with two young sons in tow knelt before the bier. At her gentle urging, the older of the boys, a blond-haired child of about twelve years, stepped forward a pace and touched his forehead to the one edge of the banner, his manner reverent. The mother offered a silent prayer, and then took her sons by the hand and walked out to whatever fate Sigmar and Ulric might have in store for them, their heads held higher than when they came in.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Imrak Holds The Line

Imrak’s heavily muscled form sweated under the thin sheet of the cot.

The howling and baying of the foul hounds of chaos as they closed in for the kill filled Imrak’s ears. Taking a deep breath and nodding with contentment, Imrak stood alone against the tide of hounds, beastmen, and their massive leader as his companions fled into the stone manor.

Imrak set his feet and gave his massive axe an experimental sweep, smiling with broad teeth as the snapping hounds grew closer and he heard the thump of the door to the fortified manor closing and the bar thrown into its brackets.

An arrow felled one of the beasts just as it topped the slight rise the manor was built upon. The giant minotaur leading the creatures bellowed its rage as a cloth-yard shaft penetrated the thick hide between neck and shoulder, but still the beast came on.

Another flight of arrows and Throngor’s pistol cracked. Another of the dogs fell before the pack of mutated dogs came within reach of Imrak’s axe. Imrak struck, the axe light in his hands. His axe crunched through flesh and bone, sending the hound backward into the following dog, knocking them both down the slope.

Grunting in pain as the remaining hounds closed and began to tear and snap at him, Imrak slammed another hound from its feet, his eyes on the Minotaur as it drew closer.

Again arrows flew from the manor into the milling hounds. The Minotaur grunted something in its foul tongue as it came to tower over Imrak, the fetid body odor of its massively muscled and twisted form stronger even than that of the foul hounds that tore at Imrak. One of the hounds, luckier or smarter than the rest, locked its jaws around Imrak’s arm, hindering his next blow, which the Minotuar shrugged off with a guttural laugh.

The Minotaur struck, the enormous axe so quick in its hands that it was nearly impossible to see, slicing past Imrak’s attempt to parry.

Grungi was with Imrak in that moment, and the axe struck the hound that had retarded Imrak’s blow, cleaving that beast’s skull with ease. A welter of blood, brains and gore exploded from the corpse as the axe travelled on after killing the hound. Slowed enough by the flesh and bone of the hound that the blow that should have chopped Imrak in twain merely tore into the muscles and bone of his chest, felling him, but not killing him outright.

The last he heard as the darkness overcame him was the victorious bellow of the Minotaur as the rest of its warband charged for the manor.

Imrak cried out and tried to sit up as the last of the fevered dream that was more memory than dream faded. The room at the Happy Hearth came slowly into focus, as did the smiling face of Andric, the human priest of Sigmar, "The fever has broken. You will live."

House Rules

These are a partial collection of the house rules we have been using. I will be adding additional sets as and when the situations call for it.



  • Heal Skill: Heals D5 Wounds to the lightly wounded or 1 wound to the heavily wounded. Once only per combat engagement. May be combined with Spell and Draught.
  • Surgery Talent: Required for usable limb or organ after critical damage. The blow which caused the critical cannot be healed unless treated by a character with this talent. Successful Heal tests will prevent infection only, not heal the wounds which were the mechanism of injury.

    For example: A character with 13 Wounds total takes a hit for 7 wounds, leaving him with 6 Wounds. He then takes another blow which does 10 wounds, giving him a +4 Crit and taking off his hand. The character must receive successful surgery before he can recover the 10 wounds caused by the removal of his hand. Also, he may not use a prosthetic until surgery is performed and will have to be treated continuously by someone with the heal skill to insure the wound does not become infected. He can, however, be healed of the initial 7 wounds done to him through normal means.

  • Healing Draught: As Heal Skill, may be combined with Heal skill and Spell effects.
  • Petty Magic Healing: As core rulebook, and may be combined with Heal skill and Healing Draught. Not a substitute for Surgery Talent.
  • Sigmar's Healing Hand: Dwarfs and Humans brought up in and faithful to the basic tenets of Sigmarite worship (Eg who strive to defend the Empire in word and deed) gain the full benefit of this spell. Others gain only D5 wounds in healing. Scars remain in either case and this spell is not a substitute for Surgery Talent.
  • Healing Hysh: As core rulebook. Not a substitute for Surgery Talent in any way.
  • Shallya's Cure Wounds: As core rulebook. All Wounds healed by this spell do not scar and ignore the Surgery Talent rules above. If a prosthetic is neccesary, the limb is perfectly formed and ready to accept the articificial limb.


The day that the combat occurred and any Heal tests have been made at that time do not count for the purposes of healing over time. All healing over time tests and results begin the day after the combat or mechanism of injury.

Wound Recovery Period: an abstraction of 10 Days minus the character's Toughness which tells the healer how often he must make tests. During each recovery period, the PC must make a Toughness test before the healer makes their skill check. This is in addition to any other tests from moving a wounded person, etc.

For example: Imrak has a Toughness of 5, and therefore his wound recovery period is 5. Every 5 days, Imrak regains a Wound if heavily wounded, and a Healer need only test every five days to assist him in healing.

Modifiers to the Heal Test:

+5 if Healer is of same race as wounded character

+10 per degree of success on the Toughness test made by the character for each wound recovery period

+10 for calm and clean environment

+20 for hospital environment

-5 Race of healer different from wounded character

-10 per degree of success on the Toughness test failed by the character for each wound recovery peroid

-10 for shelterless/dirty/distracting/no bandages environment

-20 for filthy/without water or alcohol environment

  • A Greviously Wounded Player Character: It is only possible for player characters to be greviously wounded. This state is reached by characters who reach critical values and spend fate points to avoid the critical results. They may not heal at all until treated by a character with Heal skill. They only heal at a rate of 1 wound per Wound Recovery Period, and the Healer must make a heal test each day of the period or no healing takes place. If they are unconscious for more than a week, they must make a Toughness test or loose 1d10% from a random characteristic. Each week they must make another test. These rules assume the character is not moved, if they are, the rules for heavily wounded characters who exert themselves take effect.
  • Heavily Wounded Characters: A heavily wounded character does not heal without a person with Heal skill present. If a healer is present, they heal one wound per Wound Recovery Period with a successful Heal test. If the character insists on moving or being moved, he must make an additional Toughness test for every movement or exertion period, failure meaning that the week is wasted and no healing occurs.
  • Lightly Wounded Characters: A lightly wounded character heals one wound per day without a healer assuming they rest completely. A successful toughness test gains an additional wound each day. A healer who makes his skill check improves that by one wound per day. Every Wound Recovery Period, the character regains an additional Wound. If a lightly wounded character is exerting himself beyond moderate effort, then a Toughness test must be made in order to recover the otherwise naturally recovered wound. A healer may still make an unmodified test to allow the character to heal an additional wound and the character automatically gains the Wound REovery Period Wound as well.
  • Spells & Ointments: are outside these rules in that if the caster has not already healed the wounded person via that spell or ointment, they may do so (Most likely elevating them to lightly wounded and out of danger. Characters with healing magics or ointments must wait until the character heals without magic and enters the next wound state before casting the same healing spell on them.

Damn Lengthy Example:

Imrak has lost 22 Wounds when he only has 17 Wounds. His injuries have put him into a Critical Value of +5 . Imrak spent a Fate Point to avoid a critical result, and was knocked out, counting as greviously wounded.

Andric successfully Heals the poor dwarf, restoring one wound. Andric also attempts Petty Magic (Divine): Heal, restoring another wound and bringing Imrak to -3 Wounds. Imrak is still unconscious and counts as greviously wounded.

The party decides they must move him over the next two days. Imrak makes his toughness test with no degree of success ot spare, and thus Andric suffers no penalty or bonus to his heal rolls on either day.

Once at the Coaching Inn, Andric makes his heal tests daily, succeeding at them all. At the end of 7th day after Imrak was wounded (Wound Recovery Period of 5 plus 2 days wasted from movement ) he has -2 Wounds and is still unconscious. Andric may not cast his Heal spell on Imrak again yet, as Imrak hasn't gained a better wound state yet. Imrak makes a Toughness test as he remains in a coma. Imrak makes it by three degrees, does not lose stats and modifies all of Andric's heal tests by +30.

The next Wound Recovery Period, Andric gets his hands on a healing ointment and applies it to Imrak's wound, raising Imrak to -1 wounds.

Andric then makes his heal tests for the Wound Recovery Period, raising Imrak to 0 Wounds and improving his wound state to heavily wounded! As his wound state has changed, Andric can and does cast his heal spell, giving Imrak 1 wound.

Imrak and the party are thrown out of the Inn for nonpayment of rent and disturbing the peace of the other patrons. Imrak must make a Toughness test as he exerts himself pounding the face of the innkeep in. He fails by one degree. Andric then makes his Heal test at the end of the Wound Recovery Period at a -10. Andric succeeds in his test and Imrak rises to 2 Wounds!

Imrak has been unable to walk around for 15 days so far. At the end of the next five days, Imrak makes his toughness test by four degrees of success, and Andric succeeds with his Heal test. Imrak now has 3 wounds after 20 days and Andric is getting impatient to be on his way, so he splurges on another healing ointment, raising Imrak's Wounds to 4 and raising his Wound State to lightly wounded.

Now Imrak starts to heal much faster on his own, let alone with assistance. Andric then casts his heal spell and makes his heal skill (5 on a D5) test, and slathers some more ointment on the Dwarf. The ointment is getting weak now, and only gives Imrak (1 on a D5) Wound. Imrak makes his toughness test and lies still all day. He therefore gains 8 wounds, giving him a total of 12 wounds after 21 days!

Hurrah! The next day he rests completely and makes his Toughness test, and Andric makes his heal test (1 on a D5), but cannot use the ointment or spell. Now Imrak has 14 wounds.

Out of money, the party has to leave their lodgings and walk all day. Imrak makes his toughness test and regains one wound, but Andric fails to Heal him.

Imrak manages to find a place to rest all the next day, makes his toughness test, and Andric heals him (2 on a D5) of all the remaining damage.

Just 24 days after nearly being killed, Imrak is fully healed! Dwarfish constituition is something else. An average human would take much longer to recover, especially without skilled medical or magical assistance.



We use the Original Critical Charts from WFRP 1st Ed as they cover more ground than those in the 2nd Ed book and more mechanism of injury specific. To arrive at the expanded numbers we have a chart giving results from one to fifteen derived from an index between D100 and Critical Value of +1 through +10 ( Chart provided by Tom).

Critical Value: In order to speed up combat and make it a wee bit more brutal, once a person get a critical value, any successive wounds add to that value.

For example: Andric pounds a goblin which only has 7 wounds for 9 wounds after toughness, resulting in a +2 Critical. The +1 Critical roll does not kill the goblin, merely making him drop his shield. The next round, Luther punches an arrow into the greenskin, doing 6 wounds after toughness and armor. This attack results in a +8 Critical, not a +6 as the rules would have it.


Spell Ingredients:

General Rules: All ingredients are consumed in their use. However, spell ingredients that confer more than a one point bonus can be split up.

For example: Andric has water from The Reik he wishes to use to insure he casts his heal spell on poor Imrak. He has an ounce of water from the River Reik (+3), the lifesblood of the Empire, but he knows that he also has to heal Luther when Imrak is restored. He decides to use a (+1) for Imrak and a (+1) for Luther. Most of the water is used up, leaving only a +1 bonus to be used later.

Arcane: The arcane spell list ingredients are not at all complete, nor do I wish to complete them here, as it is Magic we are talking about and there should be some mystery to them. Suffice to say a that a closer look at the theme of the spell vs the ingredient is in order.

Divine: The religious spell ingredients are not as satifactory: First, I prefer the term Offering, rather than ingredient. The priest is making an Offering to his or her God in exchange for bolstering his faith to cast the spell. Careful attention to themes should be made here, perhaps more careful than those in the Arcane spell lists.

For Example: Andric is a priest of Sigmar, who is the The God of the Empire. The things that make the Empire and therefore Sigmar great are its people, their prayers, the creatures that walk its earth, and the rivers that provide its lifeblood. Thus the Petty Divine Offerings for a Sigmarite priest might be:

Offerings to Sigmar for courage: Fur from a Dog (+1), Fur from a Wolf (+2)

Offerings to Sigmar for Speed: An arrow (+1), Fire (+2)

Offering to Sigmar for Fortitude: Blood of a Dog +1, Blood of a Wolf +2, Blood of a Dwarf, willingly given (+3)

Offerings to Sigmar for Healing: Waters from an Imperial Stream(+1), Waters of an Imperial River (+2), Waters of the Reik (+3)

Offerings to Sigmar for Strength: Blood of an Ox (+1), Blood of the Sigmarite faithful (+2), Blood of an Imperial Hero (+3)

Offerings to Sigmar for Protection: Prayer stone (+1), Prayer Paper(+2), Sanctified Seal (+3)



Armor Penalties: Medium armor induces a -10 Agility penalty. Heavy armor induces a -20 Agility penalty.

Encumberance Values: There is a slight problem with the encumberance rules, which we addressed like this:

Encumberance values affect movement only. For every fifty encumberance over base encumberance value, you lose one point from M.

Encumberance Tolerance:

Humans, halflings, and Elves keep their original encumberance rates (Str x10).

Dwarfs lose the Sturdy Talent and gain Dwarfish Build Talent.

The Sturdy Talent: is modified in that it allows a person to carry Str X15 in Encumberance before suffering a move penalty. This does not modify the Agility penalty for medium and heavy armor.

Dwarfish Build Talent: gives the Dwarf Str x20 before suffering encumberance penalties, and halves the Agility penalty for medium and heavy armors.


We have several categories of XP award:

Play: Showing up for the session and participating.

Best Roleplay: The person the group collectively believes to have best played their role and contributed most to the fun factor.

Best Quote: The person who said or did the most memorable or funny thing.

Game Support: Those who, even if they are unable to play, have written material in support of the players and the game in the downtime between games have the opportunity to gain up to a third of the XP earned in the adventure.

Additional Useful Rules Prepared by Others for Which We Take no Credit:

Liber Fanatica Rules: All the published Volumes are useful, but we have focused mostly on the skills:

Tradesmen Rules: These are great, as the Tradesman career path is far too underrepresented in the standard rules.

The Death of Diebold

Sir Diebold, Sigmar bless his memory, sent his servant, the humble scribe who writes this short record of what passed there, Edgar Strauss to invite Sir Diebold's companions to the tiny fief and manor south of the city which Sir Diebold was granted in recognition for the services he rendered unto the City of The White Wolf.

At loose ends, most agreed to attend, though Andric could not attend, as he was engaged in learning the arts needed to best channel the powers of blessed Sigmar through his mortal frame.
Imrak, a Dwarf with a large crest of orange hair, did attach himself to the the group, saying he wished to meet this Diebold Daemonslayer. The rest of the seven hastened to meet their old companion. Traveling with the Seven were Ralf and Max Bunsen, a pair of watchmen-in-training under Sergeant Krebs' command.

Upon their arrival at the tiny demense, they quickly learned that something was amiss. The small village which sheltered beneath the hill upon which sat the fortified manor was a burnt out shell and the manor itself had no fires nor other signs of life.

Doughty souls concerned for the safety of their friend, the companions pressed on and entered the manor with caution.

Inside we found signs of a fight in the kitchen, broken tables and scattered cookery. Upstairs. Upstairs there was a horror I cannot repeat. The study where Sir Diebold had practiced his letters and dictated his invitation... That study was drenched in blood and foul magick. Sir Diebold was nearly unrecognizable in death, his body hacked and brutalized, used, I later learned from Oldric, in some foul ritualistic fashion. His mother and other retainers were also dead, their bodies ripped and torn in the servants quarters. Quarters that were turned into an antechamber of the Hells. I and many of Sir Diebold's companions became sickened at the sight of the foul depredations visited on the corpses of the slain.

Luther Mohr discovered tracks of a man, whom he claimed to be large in stature and heavy, leading from room to room upstairs, then picked up the trail outside the manor. Luther was following the tracks when he became aware that he was being watched from the wood. Slowly he returned to the manor, fearful with every step that the beastmen and the massive Minotaur, Kroot leading them would attack.

Once within the door, he told us all that a warherd was coming. Quickly Diebold's Seven leapt into action, trying to bring the horses within the manor proper.

I saw that crazed Dwarf Imrak, him that took from me my spectacles before ever we left the City of the White Wolf, stand in the narrow notch that gave access to the yard and begin to laugh as the massive Kroot bore down on him, so it seemed he was wading through the hounds whihc he released to fell the Dwarf... I could not watch, and the next half-hour of blood and mayhem was too much for me try and write it here. Suffice it to say that Nicodemus and the stout Dwarf, Throngor put paid to that Minotaur, slaying him. We all thought Imrak dead, but he survived, no doubt due to the prodigious resilience of his race.

We gave Sir Diebold's family and his other servants a proper burial, but had no Priest or Initiate to say the words over them. Sir Diebold's remains were collected and carried out with us in order that he be buried in Middenheim, the city that loved him. I admit I was at loose ends as to what to do, until Oldric, one of Diebold's Seven and a Journeyman Wizard of the Grey Order of Imperial Magisters asked me to perform some small services for him. He says that he shall pay my way and provide me stimulating conversation, but forebear to ask me to join him on any expeditions.

A Long Conversation in the Snug at The Happy Hearth

Nico numbers points on his hands:

* Drive the Skaven out of the 'Shlag.
* Fortify the wall.
* Get some extra defenders (mercenaries maybe?)
* Find a continuous source of food.
* End the bickering in the guilds. (completed?)
* Drive the Beastmen out of the forests below.
* Check the 'Shlag's defenses and seal up any breaches.
* Discover what the connections and the chain of command (if any) of the Skaven/Chaos forces in the city. Lets make it a point of capturing and interrogating at least one human baddie each encounter to make sure we've tied up any loose end.

Nicodemus says, "Did I miss anything?

Oldric finishes writing the list Nico cannot and looks at it for a few moments.

* Drive the Skaven out of the 'Shlag.
* Fortify the wall.
* Get some extra defenders (mercenaries maybe?)
* Find a continuous source of food.
* End the bickering in the guilds. (completed?)
* Drive the Beastmen out of the forests below.
* Check the 'Shag's defenses and seal up any breaches.
* Discover what the connections and the chain of command (if any) of the Chaos forces within the city.

Oldric takes one of the deep breaths everyone his freinds know will lead to a long diatribe, "You forgot to add get ourselves killed. Gods! If we could do but one of these things we would be lucky my idealistic friend. Let us take them one by one. Fortifying the wall, well I think we moved on step closer to that today.Yeah? So we have accomplished one.

First, Drive the Skaven out of the 'Schlag. That will require killing hundreds if not thousands of of those rat bastards. An admirable goal but deadly no doubt. On the other hand checking the 'Shag's defenses and sealing up any breaches now that makes some sense to me."

Next, drive the Beastmen out of the forests below. Again seemingly an impossible goal. I think that our last run-in with forty beastmen showed us that. Let us set to killing all the flies at an out house first. The job might stink but at least we won't die.

In general both of these are grand ideas but we seven, no matter how great we are.." Oldric laughs " ... we must either find allies or followers. That brings us to getting some extra defenders for the cities. You suggest mercenaries perhaps but I would guess they bring as much trouble as they relieve since any mercenary company worth its salt is in the Field with the Emperor. Instead I suggest we look to the militia, the city is full of able bodied men that ! could be trained to better defend the walls. This is not work for us, though perhaps you and Diebold might be suited to it. You might want to offer the contents of our purses to arm them. These militia should be quite able to aid the cities defense even if green. "

Next we get to the economics of the city. First, ending the bickering in the guilds. Sooner we shall slay every beastman and skaven than finish that job. It is the nature of merchants and guildsman to bicker. Just look at how much trouble we went through to get the Manual Laborers Guild to do an honest days work.My purse is nearly empty for gods sake."

Finally finding a continuous source of food. This is the one that I find most interesting. I think we have seen that our fame has begun to get in the way here in Middenheim. We have begun to skulk about just to avoid our enemies .. hell we can't even drink in peace. Perhaps if we truly want to aid the cit! y of Middenhiem and do our best to drive chaos from the Empire we could consider adding freeing Untergard from the clutches of the foul mutants that have overrun it. Here such a list as yours Niko is in our grasp. Here we could free the city from the chaos creatures that have over run it. We could rebuild and improve its defenses. Most importantly we could secure an important bridge and access to an important river port. It is at least as crazy as some of your ideas." Oldric says with a wink.

Andric smiles and then becomes more serious again, "After our last dealings within the city I realize even moreso that we are needed here in the City of the Wolf. Each of the tasks mentioned by Nicodemus is a near impossible task I agree. However, I believe that were we to make even small inroads in the areas he mentions the Empire will be made more secure. Unterguard will be re-populated when the people want to return to their homes. As it stands they are here. We are not only protecting the people of Untergaurd. Middenheim is the primary target of the servants of Chaos. While the Emperor is at the Brass Keep fighting the forces directly we must remain here and protect the city. Were we not here, the great Temple of Ulric would have been overrun and the walls of the city would not be being completed. I say: one thing at a time. First, protect the City of the Wolf by driving the servents of Chaos out of the Schlag. Check the 'Shag's defenses and seal up any breaches. Speed the repairs. Drive the Beastmen out of the forests below. We have already begun our research and it appears that Throngor has requested aid from the Dwarves. The Skaven are just a start. There are other more horrific creatures which fester and rot within the walls of Middenheim. Rather than getting more defenders maybe we should look at improving the quality of the defenders we have. Diebold is looking for a squire now he has been elevated to knighthood. Regarding food for the city, this is important but the city's security is more so. There is no way to stop the bickering of the guilds. That is what guilds do. If they stand in the way of the security of the City of the White Wolf, then we step in."

Oldric shakes his head and draws in another deep breath, "Yah well, Andric, my greatest worry is that our fame here is getting in our way. I think all the skulking around we have been doing gets in the way. In Untergard there is no need for such nonsense but given your desire to remain here how do we intend to deal with this issue of fame and enemies?

If we are going to go down in the sewers again I suggest we find a few more warriors, preferably a dwarf or two. It would seem that the Dwarven Engineer's Guild would be interested in such an endeavor perhaps they might know of some dwarf keen to die as we all seem to be. As for Diebold's squire if he can find someone .. hell why not the more the merrier.

We also might want to think about what kind of supplies might help us in such an expedition. Perhaps the Engineers might have some bombs for Throngor .. some thing that will close a tunnel orsomething. My last thought is do we want to seal it and wipe out those trapped within or try to wipe them out and then seal it? Either way seems like madness but we should have a strategy."

Andric shakes his head, "Oldric, I truly do understand your concerns but I cannot leave this city when I feel that it is still so vulnerable to the enemy. I do not only concern myself with the Skaven but all of the followers of the Chaos lords who hide here. I am not delusional in any way that the task seems insurmountable. I realize that it is. But until I see another more important enemy I cannot leave this city. I will understand I you or the others wish to look elsewhere for your calling but mine is here until I feel I have done everything I can.I still say we gather our strength and enter the darkness under the rock. It is here that we will find the source of chaos in the city."

Odric nods, "Fine... as I said we will stay. However I think we must concider less obvious means to protect Middenhiem and her people. We do not yet have any of our own in positions powerful enough to make a real difference. I think we must add to the list the goal of aiding one another in gaining power andf responsibility here in the city. If we are going to stay let us attempt to make a real difference and not throw away our lives attempting to battle impossible odds."

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Throngor Requests the Aid of His Guild

Guildmaster Thrain Hammersen
Engineer's Guild of Middenheim
and Dwarfen Clan Elder

My Lord Elder,

As a recently initiated member of the Engineer's Guild, I, Throngor Snorlikson do hereby call upon the your great personages in order to request those maps and knowledge pertaining to the threat posed by the Skaven beneath the city of Middenheim and our great Hold.

As you may know, a human knight of Middenheim, one Sir Diebold, has acquired a reputation in the city as a hero of the Empire and of the common humans. He has several like-reputed companions, one of whom is a headstrong, though good-intentioned priest of Sigmar. Along with these two and several others, including this humble Dwarf, our group managed to cow the leadership of the striking laborers and persuad them to send the people back to work with a minimum of bloodshed. Most importantly, our lauded guild cleaved to the agreed on schedule and contract, despite the human puling regarding the wages and time. Indeed, we did so without sullying our hands in human brains. These human companions of Diebold have earned the right to call me ally.

Essentially, my intention is to lead an expedition, or series of expeditions, into the regions threatened and occupied by the Skaven and deal them as much damage as I and my human companions are able to the rats neath our feet.

Any knowledge or equipment you see fit in your wisdom to grant me in this endeavor will be greatly appreciated. Mayhaps with such coordination of resources and those willing to use them we may be able to add new entries into and address further indifnities that exist within the Book of Grudges.

Humbly submitted,

Throngor Snorlikson
5th Degree Guildsman of the Ordo Mechanicus of Grungi's Tower

The Watch Grows

"Pardon the boy, Sergeant, he's more enthusiastic than sensible," The most promising of the potential recruits said as he pulled the teenager back into line by the ear, then went back to leaning on the hard-used but serviceable great sword he'd brought with him to the headquarters of the Watch. The four potential recruits stood in the small courtyard behind Watch Headquarters, a wolfshead fountain spitting water in the center of the yard behind them.

Nicodemus nodded at the speaker, looking over the slim pickings his request for men to join the Watch had produced: a man old enough to be his father, another old enough to be his grandfather, a man nearly to drunk to stand, and a summer-green boy barely old enough to know his cock from a hole in the ground.

Commander Schutzmann had given him a warrant of equipment and pay for two more watchmen, to be recruited and trained by Nicodemus. Nicodemus' chest had swollen with pride when he received the warrant, a sign of Schutzmann's increased trust in him. The city was undermanned, the watch spread too thin and the Graf's coffers drawn low by the war. To be given the opportunity to recruit, train, and lead even a few men of the watch was a great sign of approval for one so young as he.

Nicodemus called out to them, "Why join the watch?"

The sober ones quickly responded with a chorus of "To serve the People of Middenhiem." The drunken fool drooled and then started as he realized where he was. Nicodemus gestured to Markus, one of the watchmen responsible for training.

Markus walked over and slammed a right into the belly of the drunkard, following it with a thunderous left uppercut to the chin when the man folded around the first punch. Markus stepped back behind Nicodemus as vomit spewed from the man's mouth and the other recruits shuffled their feet momentarily to avoid the reeking mess.

Nicodemus ignored the man's moans as he paced back and forth in front of the three remaining men, "We cannot afford drunkards in our brother watchmen. When the Storm of Chaos broke against these walls the Men of the Watch were weak and riddled with such men. Men who jeapordized our great city with their inability to stand watch through the long cold nights. Thieves who took the bread and salt of the citizens and then slept through their duty to the same people who gave them the keys to their city and their safety. Now The City of the White Wolf teeters on the brink, with only the Watch to protect her sacred places and people!"

Nicodemus stopped in front of the mewling drunkard, pointing down at him, "A man this besotted with wine cannot do his duty to his brothers in the watch, let alone the Graf and the people of the City. Officer of the Watch, remove him!"

As Markus dragged the man out of the postern gate to the rear of the courtyard, Nicodemus walked over to stand in front of the eldest of the men, looking hard at him as he said, "You have all come to me professing to bear a desire to be Men of the Watch, to don the blue and orange and carry the light of Ulric into the dark places, to enforce the laws of the Graf, Guilds and Empire."

A chorus of, "Aye," from the men

Nicodemus noticed a single, small bead of sweat pop out on the old man's bare scalp. Nicodemus reached back and snapped his fingers. The Captain's Clark, Ursula, stepped forward and slapped a roll of thick parchment into his palm before heading back through the door to the main building.

Nicodemus unrolled the parchment, checking the faded drawing once more against the face of the man before him. He smiled a wolf's smile as he saw several more beads of sweat sprout on the old man's hairless pate.

"Your body betrays you, Bergold." Nicodemus said as several men of the watch came out into the courtyard from the headquarters building.

"Wh-" the old man said, swallowing, his eyes locked with those of the young man in front of him.

Nicodemus shook his head slowly, keeping his eyes on the man in front of him, "Bergold of Southgate, better known to his old comrades as Bergold Tarrif-Breaker or Sly Bergold." The man tried to back away, shaking his head in denial, only to sit heavily on the rim of the fountain.

Nicodemus continued reading, his voice loud in the silence of the courtyard, "Bergold of Southgate, also known as Bergold Tarriff-Breaker and Sly Bergold, who was accused, tried, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Middenhiem Mining Colony and Penitentiary for the mauling of a Man of the Watch, Gregor Altman. When said Man of the Watch chased the prisoner through the sewers and lost an eye at the hands of the prisoner, who attempted escape with goods smuggled into the city. Bergold of Southgate, leader of the Southgate Nine, a gang which collectively were responsible for the murder of three excisemen, the mauling of said watchman and other, more minor crimes, etc etc."

Nicodemus allowed the parchment to roll up as he stared down at the old man, "If you had merely stayed in town and gone about some form of ligitimate business, you could have avoided us for forever. Ulric knows how you could escape the forces of Chaos that over-ran the Mine.... But rather than thank Ranald for delivering you from that place, you return here."


"And attempt to infiltrate the Watch."


"And get caught by the god's-son of the man whose eye you gouged out!"


The wolf-smile returned, "Don't get me wrong, I am happy you did so, as I get to order you into irons. You do know the penalty for escaping The Middenhiem Mining Colony and Penitentiary, don't you?"

The old man shivered and nodded.

"I see that you do. I know a good Priest of Sigmar who might consent to grant you confession before your execution, I know no Ulrican will."

The old man tried to run for the postern gate, but ran directly into Markus' fists... repeatedly. Nicodemus nodded in satsifaction as he surveyed the boy and the man that Andric, Oldric and Diebold had recommended to him as prospective members. All was right in the world. His informants were coming through well, and Luther's discovery that the old Southgate gang was back in business 'neath the city was the confirmation he needed that there were more than one kind of rat beneath the walls.

Standing in front of the father and son recruits and drawing a deep breath, Nicodemus shouted the words his father had taught him, "To protect the citizens of the City of Middenhiem is the call."

The remaining recruits responded, "We hear the White Wolf's Howl!"

"To search out the dark places for those that prey on the City of the White Wolf, that is the call."

The recruits shouted, "We carry Ulric's fire to light our way!"

"The Graf has need of our hearts and strong arms!"

"For Winter is Coming!"

Luther at the Base of the Fauschlag

"So ya see, boss, me lads an me we'uns r tellin t'truth 'bout dis, and as 'e came runnin up all crazed, we towt dat 'e otta be laid low afore e attracted more a'them beasts we's been beein attackered by." Nat said, his thick city-bred accent difficult for Luther to understand, even after several weeks employing the old teamster. Luther spat off the side of the cliff before replying, the act a placeholder to give him time to make sure he had interpreted the older man's rough accent correctly.

"'E was screamin sometin' aful, beggin Ulric t'deliver 'im." Nat continued, nervous that his boss was angry with him over the death, and that was the reason for his silence. Igor stood sullen by the second wagon, looking ready to flee.

"Let me think a moment, Ol' Nat. You and your boy did right, the man put you all at risk and needed to be silenced." Luther lifted a hand to silence the old man before he could respond, thinking hard as he looked at the body for the second time since Nat and Igor had driven Luther's wagons into camp.

Nat said he and his sons had been coming north on the hunter's road, as it was quickly becoming known and had seen a few beastmen. They were quickly driven off by Igor and Wat, who loosed a few crossbow bolts at them.

A few hours later and the man had staggered out of a thicket at the base of the Fauschlag screaming that he was pursued and would die if Luther's men did not protect him. Nat and his boys had tried to calm the shouting, distraught man down, but could not. Soon Nat had heard a horn in the distance, and knew that he had to get the wagons to camp and silence the man or more beastmen than he could handle would fall on them. He'd told Igor to quiet the man, and Igor had tried to, finally having to resort to the cudgel he carried. They had loaded the man they'd thought unconcious at the time into the wagon and driven on in silence, avoiding contact with the warherd. Luther himself had heard the lowing of a great warhorn audible for miles here at the base of the Fauschlag.

'Would that Igor was less... strong in his efforts to silence the lunatic.' thought Luther as he surveyed the body. The man lay at the bottom of the lead wagon. A brown-haired, bearded fellow wearing common clothing. Short the massive lump on his forehead from where Igor, Nat's elder boy, had struck him with his cudgel, he could have been any commoner from Middenhiem. City bred for sure, the soles of his boots were good for nothing but paved areas, not a true wilderness. His clothes were a bit torn, but not severely damaged. He had a few marks on him as well, bruises and a fading scar, but no immediate indications of his profession. A faint shit smell emanated from him, but that could be the head injury. Luther had seen that before.

Luther climbed into the back of the wagon, thoroughly searching the man from head to toe as he learned from watching Rudiger. No earrings, no necklaces, a belt with an empty dagger scabbard and a coin pouch. Luther removed those. Searching the arms, Luther grunted as he found a dagger strapped to the inside of the man's left forearm. Under the man's tunic, Luther found a tatoo on the front of his left shoulder depicting a gate, the portal open. Luther gazed at it a moment. It did not look much like any of the gates he had seen. Nor did it look like the stylized gates found at the entrance to the Morrsparks Luther had seen.

Taking a deep breath, Luther began searching the man below his waist, only to let it out when he realised the man's leather breeches were not full of shit, as he had feared. The smell came from where the man's boots had partially dried shit on them, up to points well above the ankles. Luther felt a pang in his chest as he remembered the last place he had slogged through such, then looked up the stone slopes of the Faushlag above him, calculating distances. Had this man climbed down the side of the mountain from the sewer outlets, or exited someplace from someplace lower in the great mountain? The man's fingers were not mauled as Luther's own were when he climbed stone for more than a few yards.

Picking up the belt, Luther opened the pouch. Inside were fourteen gold crowns from the Middenhiem mint, a small crystal, and a note written in a tongue Luther could not understand. Sitting on the sideboard of the wagon, Luther made up his mind to tell the watch they had found a dead man. He replaced the coin, stone, and note in the pouch, putting them inside his tunic, then called Wat and Igor over. Luther told the two brothers to bury the body deep below the rocky promontory he had chosen as the base camp. When they had staggered off with the corpse, he called his hunters and Nat over, setting them to loading the game from this last trip. It would be a long ride up to the City of the White Wolf, and his friend Nicodemus, of that City's Watch.

Snorlikson's home

The stein hits the stone table heavily, like so many times before on this evening. Throngor Snorlikson wipes the foam of the ale off his full black beard, "Aye, now that is real ale."

Another dwarf, younger, but not by much, enters the room, two more sturdy dwarven steins in his hands, "To the dwarves, brother. May we all die while purging this world of the greenskin scum."

"Too many have died already," answers Throngor, downing yet another of the rich dwarven ales, "and in the end what does it serve? The humans are near as bad. Then there are the ratlings crawling through man's excrement, their foulness poisoning everything that they touch."

Thordrin Snorlikson pulls out a pipe, packing it with rich dwarven pipeweed, "You are just bitter because your mule died," he says as he smiles and lights his pipe.

Throngor lights his own pipe, inhaling the sweet smoke of the dwarven mix, "It was a damn good mule," he says, smiling, relaxed and at home in his brother's presence.

"And your human friends. What of them?"

Throngor smiles, "Not as good as my mule," he laughs a short bit, then scowls, tamping down the pipeweed in his pipe, "No, really, they are a decent lot, if a bit exciteable. Of all I feel most at home around the thief, Rudiger. He is a quiet one and fairly honest about his intentions. The knight and the priest, both growing in might, seem too full of hubris. I fear one day a wedge will drive them and us all apart. Humans."

Thordrin nods as if he understands.

"It is funny, you know," Throngor says, thinking of their last foray into the sewers of Middenheim, "the bravest of the humans seem to be the thief and the wizard. Neither has good, solid dwarven armor, yet neither will hesitate to jump to the front line of combat. I trust them both. Our knight, however, I have my doubts about. It may be a human weakness, but warriors should never fear a fight and hang in the rear. As if dwarven armor could fail him. Maybe he should indulge in some riding lessons."

Thordrin breaks out in long, deep laughing, joined quickly by his brother as both think about the story Throngor has already told, and probably embellished.

"I am giving up mining, brother."

Thordrin gives Throngor a deep look, "Good. It is about time you followed in Father's footsteps."

"All I do is fight now anyway. I may as well train in the Dwarven tradition."

Thordrin rises, returning to the table quickly with two more steins full of foaming ale, "Father, were he alive, would be proud," he states, offering a toast to their dead father, Snorlik Ironskull, Giantslayer, "and the blessings of Grimnir upon you, brother."

Throngor downs what turns out to be the last of the dwarven ale that night. As his eyes roll back up into his head and he passes out his last thoughts are of his father, and how he prays he never must follow in those dark and tortured footprints.

The Rewards of Recovering the History of the Dwarfs

The cart groaned as Luther hefted the dressed boar carcass onto the three deer stacked in its narrow confines.

Pious, the tough old mule, turned its head to look over one skinny shoulder and blew a great gusting sigh through its lips, as if disgusted by the size of the load it had to drag to Middenhiem.

Luther chuckled and gave the long-eared mule a handful of grain from a pouch.

"You'll make him good for nothing but the knackers, Luther." Said Throngor from the driver's bench, thick fingers laced delicately through the reins.

"Maybe. Maybe." Luther responded with a smile for the Dwarf's gruff manner. Throngor made a good show of being the same Dwarf he was when first Luther and the others met him, but he had changed nearly as much as the rest of them. Certainly he had as many if not more fresh scars to prove it, but the Dwarf seemed to carry himself more proudly. Perhaps it was the new clothes he wore, which were fine, but to Luther there was something more.

He'd first noticed it last night as Throngor had made his weekly drive down the long road to the foot of the Fauschlag. As Throngor made camp last night he'd carried himself differently. When Luther had asked Throngor about his new attitude, he'd shrugged and simply said, "I have repaid debts owed clan and hold."

Surveying his camp for items he had forgotten, Luther tamped more earth over the logs of the keeping-pit he'd dug and picked up the beastman's head he'd taken while hunting the boar. Throngor smiled as Luther dragged the goatish head by one horn to the cart, "I see you've had some fun as well."

Luther grunted as he hefted the head up onto the wagon. "Yes. Foul creature thought it was hunting the boar alone. Focused on it for too long. Last thing to go through it's mind was the shaft of one of my arrows."

Throngor grinned wider, showing the broad teeth of his race, "Indeed? I have to say I was suprised you'd not had more trouble with them. Or bears for that matter."

"I keep my camps spare and move quite a bit. Bears around here have been hunted out, and the beastmen are on the run. I did lose one deer last week to a pack of wolves. I dug the keeping-pit after that," Luther said, gesturing with one thumb over his shoulder at the covered pit.

"Seems you've done well for yourself. Ale?" Throngor asked, one hand pulling a small cask from beneath the running board.

"Aye!" Luther replied as he clambered up beside Throngor.

Their tankards filled, Throngor and Luther left the forest glade empty behind them, the creaking sound of the wooden axle lingering after them.

Three frothing tankards of Dwarfen ale later and a few miles up the road had Throngor was in a fine mood, even forgetting to scowl at the trees.

Luther, seeing an opportunity, asked, "What has changed your mood so, Throngor?"

Throngor remembered himself and scowled a moment before shrugging and answering, "I am not sure how much you know of the armor we recovered."

Luther shook his head and shrugged, the ungreased axle moaning in the silence.

He grinned through his luxuriant black beard and quaffed more ale before continuing, "It meant much to the clan that owned it. Indeed, to the clan whose craftsmen made it. Grungi's perfect beard, boy, you already knew it to be worth a great manling lord's ransom just for its quality. And we Dwarfs are not known for out lack of... sentiment for our history."

Luther thought he saw a tear in Throngor's eye before the Dwarf looked away.

Several minutes passed. Quietly, Throngor continued, "That armor was once Borlok Olladilsson's. Borlok was a great captain of the Old Empire, who settled many grudges against the greenskins and kept the roads free of offal. His actions were a credit to his clan, who commissioned a suit of armor from the best armorer of the day. Borlok and his forty dwarfs were given the rights to a small mine along the road and tasked with defending trade on the road for the Dwarf Kings of old.

Many were the threats to the Old Empire, and so much of what happened at the fort that they built over the road was lost, indeed, even its location was forgotten as the books of grudges were lost and our ancestors perished before writing all that they remembered into new books. We knew though that Borlok was slain at the fort with all his Dwarfs by an Orc warlord we called Menace. Menace was eventually run to ground and killed in turn, but Borlok's armor was not recovered until now."

Throngor smiled and touched the fine axe thrust through his belt, "My clansmen have honored me greatly. The living ancestors allowed me to place my mark in our great Book of Grudges in Grungi's Tower. They allowed me to place my mark in that book, sealing a grudge forever with my rune."

"I doubt you could understand, manling, what that means to me and my clan, but suffice to say it is a huge honor, and has opened many doors for this young Dwarf," Throngor said, pointing one thick thumb to his chest.

Throngor snorted and continued, "My mother didn't raise me to seek after fool's gold, so I struck while the iron was hot and set up the contracts with my guild members for mining the old fort. The guildsmen shall pay us 1/10 of the gross proceeds from the mine beginning next year. I am sure it will not be huge sums of money, but it will supplement anything else we make in the meantime.

The Skallamin clansmen are proud to have their ancestor's armor returned to them and an old grudge satisfied, and they will show their gratitude to all of us.

By now Diebold and Nicodemus have been visited by Dwarfs wishing to take their measurements for a new suit of Dwarf plate. Mine shall be delivered shortly. They, being manlings, will have to wait a bit longer as the armor was not on hand. Andric will have access to the records of my people. Oldric will have a craftsman come calling, someone who will provide him skilled labor without expense for some time. Rudiger will be getting something he will find most valuable."

Throngor sipped at his ale, sucking on his moustache as he shot a sidelong glance at Luther, "Which leaves you, my young friend. Perhaps a fine chain shirt, a companion mule for Pious, and a true wagon?"

Luther nodded, mouth open as he tried to hide his astonishment at the torrent of words his question had elicited from the Dwarf.

"Close your mouth, young manling, you'll invite flies to feast." Throngor said. Taken aback at his own verbose response, Throngor drained the last of his ale and tied the empty tankard to his belt, visibly schooling himself to silence for the rest of the drive to Middenhiem.