Cheap tickets

Missing links

cheap tickets (2)

Part 2 missing links
__
Cast
__
Detlev Kanst – Ratcatcher (and Fred-the-dog)
Grim Grimnirsson – Dwarf Troll Slayer
Petra Nunce – Gambler
__
__
_ The session starts with all three heroes in the Green Bottle Inn. Well, in the stables actually, as they have no money. Conrad Balck, one of the Roadwardens, kindly arranged for them to be fed and housed by the Innkeeper – no expense spared, eh? The three start the morning arguing about what they remembered about their drunken night (the clues from the previous session – see below)._
__
Sammy the guard didn’t buy a drink all night, the cheapskate!
the wine tasted funny
Benny disappeared with a tall blonde woman halfway through the night
didn’t the guard say we could ride for free?
how come the dog didn’t bark when we were robbed?.
Benny bought lots of the drinks last night
__
_ After much discussion they decide that it was a bit unusual that Benny bought lots of drinks (maybe he’s generous?), and that perhaps the funny taste was a drug; Grim claims no man-sop piss-ale could put him under the table. Petra points out it was unlikely that they’d all three climbed onto the stage to sleep, so someone, or somebodies, must have hoisted them up. They decide that they must speak to Sammy as soon as possible. Finally, Grim wonders why the dog didn’t bark when they were robbed; perhaps it knew the thief – a bit of shouting here, before Detlev points out that Fred also drinks beer – “I knew it!” cries the dwarf, “a bloody lush dog,” then mutters something about rabies. (Note, no-one mentions the woman Benny disappeared with, quite an important adventure link. Ah well)._
__
_ Petra, having failed her ‘I need a drink’ test the previous session, is still suffering from the effects of the Drunken Bums overlay, and gains a stress counter from the shouting. She leaves the two men arguing, and goes to find Sammy in the Inn – she uses all her charms on Maria, the Shallyan sister, to wangle fifteen minutes with the guard, on the proviso she is very quiet (“Yes please!”). She sits peacefully with Sammy, gently questioning him about the previous night, and discovers that he had helped Benny load them onto the stagecoach. He seems a bit guilty about something, giving a sob story about saving for a wedding, and what will he do now he can’t work. Petra guesses he was the one who robbed them; when pressed, he ‘remembers’ that the driver had offered a free ride and gives Petra a refund of three silvers from his pouch. Being a bit of a softy, Petra decides not to tell the rest of the group about the theft; also she’d only had five pennies left in her pouch. (One stress counter removed for the quiet time)._
__
_ The other two party members, in high dudgeon, split up. Grim goes to the blacksmiths, looking for the Roadwardens, whilst Detlev wanders into a few shops, just soaking up the atmosphere. Everyone seems happy to see him, a hero of the stagecoach ambush, and he gets a free pastie, as well as being pointed towards Josef Karlberg, a merchant who is looking for adventurers to deal with the goblin crisis. Grim, standing around in the blacksmiths, is far too bad tempered to be offered anything to eat, (gains a stress point due to hunger), but does meet with Conrad, the Roadwarden, who tells him about the goblin raids, and how they seem to have hit one merchant, Josef Karlberg, particularly hard. After mooching around the smithy complaining about poor craftsmanship, (extra fate point for roleplaying) he wanders back to the Green Bottle Inn._
__
_ There he finds Petra tucking into a huge breakfast – “Dig in, it’s on me”, she says, to avoid embarrassing questions and Grim tucks in. They are soon joined by Detlev and, whilst eating, they discuss their findings, and decide to meet with Josef the merchant (stress counter gone from Grim, fate point added for Petra’s quick thinking)._
__
_ Before they’ve finished, the merchant comes in, looking for them. He greets them effusively, and, pleasantries over, tells them of his troubles. His wagons are being robbed, his employees are being killed and he’s in danger of becoming bankrupt. He wants the goblins dealt with decisively and painfully and he’s prepared to pay them handsomely (“How handsomely?” asks Grim rather rudely, adding one misfortune dice to the haggling). Petra sends Grim off to get drinks, and dickers with the merchant, eventually being promised a whole gold crown, with an advance of five shillings providing she brings him the heads of the goblin leaders. They have killed his employees, he says, and wants revenge. Bloody revenge._
__
_ At this point the players could do a number of things. Firstly they could go out and try to hunt down the goblins alone – three of them with no mounts against a band of goblins armed with bows and riding wolves. Hopefully not. Secondly they could try and get some assistance to help hunt down and kill the bandits – not a bad idea, and the Roadwardens would be more than happy to help if the players can locate the goblins. Thirdly, (the preferred option) they could look a little more deeply into the attacks, before dealing with the guilty parties._
__
_ After some discussion, the group decides to speak to the Roadwardens and enlist their help. Petra, (being an old time wfrp player), suspects that there is something more to this than meets the eye, and volunteers to speak to some of the other merchants as well, to see if there may be a pattern to the attacks, to help them locate the goblins lair._
__
_ Detlev and Grim visit the smithy again, but are disappointed to find that the wardens are out on patrol. Grim decides to help the blacksmith with his work, pumping the bellows, and they chat about the robberies. “Funny thing is,” remarks the smith, “the wardens were never around when the attacks occurred.” Detlev, meanwhile, wanders back to the nearby shops, asking about the attacks, and collecting rumours. The lack of money and a scrawny dog don’t help him in the higher class shops (1 misfortune dice), but in the streets he talks to a couple of costermongers who Fred does tricks for, and they suggest the ambushes are, variously, i) the work of demons (of course!) – how else could they be lying in wait for the caravans? or ii) the work of the Roadwardens themselves! A third pedlar overhears, and disputes this, saying that Old John, one of the survivors of the last-but-one attack says they were definitely goblins. “In disguise!” retorts the other, much to everyones amusement. Detlev, amazed to hear of survivors, persists in the conversation, and discovers Old John will be in the Green Bottle that night._
__
_ Free of her two lower class companions, Petra tidies herself up and makes her way to the Golden Scales, a semi-exclusive lunching house where she had learned the local merchants ate. Bluffing her way into the establishment using the Karlsberg name, she soon ingratiates herself with two other merchants dining there, and on being informed that she and her fellows are investigating the robberies, is plied with drink and information. Josef Karlsberg is not the only trader to be losing goods, she hears, though he is thought to be one of the biggest losers. After some prying (a hard fellowship test) she learns that all of the wagons were carrying at least some arms – the merchants worry that the goblins are arming themselves ready for an attack on the town! When Petra wonders aloud how the goblins could have known about this, the two clam up and, finishing their lunch quickly, excuse themselves._
__
_ The three companions meet back at the Green Bottle Inn to discuss their findings. Grim is a little concerned about the Roadwardens – why exactly had they never been on hand to chase off the goblins? Petra suggests that if the goblins could somehow discover the contents of the wagons, finding out about the wardens patrols would be child’s play – an informer is her belief. When Detlev tells his companions about there being survivors of the attacks, Grim is disbelieving; goblins would never leave survivors, unless they were driven off. They all three decide to meet Old John that very evening, and, after hiring a room, go for a rest before the evenings carousing (“No!’ groans Petra). Lingering effects of ‘Drunken Bums’ leave her._
__
_ That evening the Inn is full, with many extra patrons present to see the heroes of the stagecoach, the goblins bane. They are bought drinks by a number of customers, anxious to bask in the adventures reflected glory, all willing to share their theories with hunters. These range from no-nonsense baseless accusations (“Mother Gert is involved. Her eyes are too close together!”) to rather interesting pondering (like “why was the stagecoach attacked?” and “if there is an informer, how do they communicate with the goblins?”). When Old John appears, he is quickly introduced to the heroes, and after Detlev buys a round of drinks, tells how his wagon was ambushed by the goblins. The first he knew about it was a flight of arrows from the woods that wounded two of the three guards, then a charge by wolf riding goblins. He and three others had turned and ran in terror at this point, making their way back to town on foot. (“Shouldn’t have happened,” muttered Grim. “They should have been hunted down and slaughtered.”). The goblins apparently ignored the survivors who fled, and just stole the wagons complete with goods, before riding off into the woods._
__
_ After so much free ale, the three companions must test for intoxication (a hard test for Detlev and Grim as they’d not eaten too well at lunch and there is so much free stuff about. A standard test for Petra as she’d been more careful. All three fail; perhaps we’re on the way to another Drunken Bums episode?). Whilst sitting in a booze-y haze, Conrad Balck appears, fresh from patrolling. After being bought a drink (! ), he quickly volunteers the Roadwardens assistance in dealing with the goblins. He then listens to the adventurers findings with interest, and adds a few theories the wardens have discussed – the goblins have some magical means of observing the wagons and themselves (has no-one heard of Occam’s razor?); one of the watchmen at the town gates is supplying details of the wagons as they leave (this still dosn’t explain how the goblins manage to arrange ambushes – no-one thinks of this). When being told of the weapons in each load, Conrad becomes genuinely concerned, and sits quiet for a time. (Conrad is desperately trying to work out how to throw the adventurers off the track). Once pressed, (various tests by each player – make sure they pass as Conrad wants to tell) Conrad pulls in his chair for secrecy, and asks how much the possible location of the goblins is worth. Consternation amongst the players, then they bargain him to three shillings. “The old mill outside town,” he whispers, “something has been seen lurking around there.” (Conrad knows the goblin leader will be there the next day, waiting for him, and intends to kill him to tidy up)._
__
_ The session ends here, (actually a lunch break) with the three heroes deciding to go to the old mill with Conrad the next day. I force a standard test on the players for a possible Drunken Bums effect (the amount of booze they drank – sheesh), which Detlev fails, but passes on a re-roll – fate point used. They retire to bed, Petra carefully hiding her money in her boot._
__
_ Well, that was interesting. There were lots of clues left about for the players to tease out about the informer, the Roadwardens, the weapons, and also the news about Benny being an Imperial agent (they seem to be ignoring it, just hoping it will go away!), but no-one really followed up. Perhaps the players will pick something up next session, (the drivers funeral, a tall good-looking woman throwing herself on the grave [the merchants wife] but I have my doubts – they seem to be moving post-haste to a possibly fatal showdown with the goblins. They haven’t even asked how many there are!). They all seem to be accepting Conrad and Josef’s story; no-one seems to have considered the whole concept of lying – a well earned reminder about just how brutal life in the Empire is on the cards, I feel._

Comments

reg

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.