The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #241
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Ludo etc
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    Ludo huffed bad-temperedly at that, but otherwise let it go. Today was proving to be a waste of time.

    "Adelbert's probably gone back to the inn." he said bitterly, and started leading the others in that direction. "He's not in a very good mood so-" avoid him? ask him how his day went? poke him with a stick? "-be nice. I suspect he wants to get out of here soon."

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    Requesting check on IC time, please.
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Sieghard

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    "Tell Klammenberg and tell Schreiber however you want to," Sieghard grumbled, "It's not my mess to clean up."

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    Fine with regrouping if that's Ludo's suggestion.
    Last edited by TheSummoner; 2015-02-06 at 05:50 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    It was past noon by the time Sieghard and the others caught up to Adelbert at the Haven. The scribe had evidently been out and about on errands on his own, and looked to have only just got back.
    Last edited by LCP; 2015-02-05 at 05:58 PM.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
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    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Adelbert Schreiber

    Adelbert's mood had improved a little and he quickly greeted them before dropping his copy of Savonne: The Greatest City In The Border Princes on the inn table. "It has a few items of interest, like the names of Savonne's ruler at the time of the war, and a few of his advisors who I suspect were among the founders of the Illuminated Order. I know this book was written recently so if we could somehow track the author, this Lena Knopf, she might be able to tell us more."

    The scribe paused, looking pained before reluctantly adding; "I'm almost out of money though. How has your sidejob gone?"

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    "Not well," Elsa growled. "The dragon tooth is real enough, but the seller is a smarmy little cheat. With an Ogre bodyguard."
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Viggo Hirtzel

    Frowning at Elsa's assessment Viggo also answered. "We've seen the tooth, pushed him in the direction of selling to Klammenberg, discovered he had other folk interested and were going to see if we could maybe track them down." Casting a guilty glance at Sieghard he quickly added in a sullen tone. "But it could have gone better I suppose."

    Viggo took in Adelberts morose demeanour, "Is that why you've been so bloody dour since we arrived in Savonne? Because you're short of a coin or two?" Viggo considered himself to be quite well off, despite having his purse lightened somewhat, Al-Makir was still holding onto a fortune for him back in Mirino. "If you need to borrow just ask. That's what friends are for." He reached for his purse, eager to put a smile back on Adelbert's face.

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Adelbert Schreiber

    Adelbert looked deeply uncomfortable at Viggo's gaucheness. While the loss of his gold still stung bitterly (and one day he'd see Sforza pay very dearly for that) and his current lack of funds was an issue, it was not really the cause of his discontent with Savonne. "Er... yes. Well there is another book seller, this Fulk. While he knew nothing of Knopf he did have plenty of books so we might want to have another look there in case. There is also a cartographer in the palace, presumably a member of the court."

    He frowned as he digested the information they'd given him. "These other buyers... Elsa this dragon tooth business smacks of magic does it not? Is it possible that some fragment of the Illuminated Order survived? From what we've heard they were magic in the Reaches."

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Sieghard

    "The only other buyer he mentioned was an impotent old man who thought it would help him please his wife," Sieghard scoffed, "Mighta been someone else he didn't mention, but if there is, I doubt he'd be willing to tell us," he said with an annoyed glance towards Viggo.

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossN View Post
    "These other buyers... Elsa this dragon tooth business smacks of magic does it not? Is it possible that some fragment of the Illuminated Order survived? From what we've heard they were magic in the Reaches."
    "Bit of a stretch if you ask me," said Elsa dubiously. "Many, many people would like to get their hands on a dragon tooth... not only wizards, but also fools who believe that anything sufficiently exotic must have whatever magical properties they wish."

    This was actually a source of frustration in the wizard community of Altdorf - whenever someone put a unicorn horn or warpstone crystal on sale, wizards would try to outbid one another to buy the item for legitimate arcane purposes, but were often beaten by some superstitious noble or merchant who thought he could brew an elixir of youth with it. For quite some time, the Colleges had been trying to petition the Emperor to outlaw the sale of some goods to anyone who did not hold a magic licence.
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    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Ludo checked the position of the sun. "I'm going to keep following leads. I heard about a drunk who thinks he's seen the library, so i'll talk to him, and maybe I can ask Al Khansr where the author lives. I'll meet you back here at sunset, shall we say?"

    He headed off in the direction of the bookshop, turning as he left. "You'll be okay to tell Klammenberg what happened, right? Great."
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  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Viggo Hirtzel

    "We'll go tell him, I'll try get that book out of him again!" Viggo confirmed to the retreating back of Ludo. "What was the drunks nam...." It was too late, the Halfling was already out of earshot.

    Viggo made to leave himself, "Either of you coming along?" he asked Elsa and Sieghard. I'm just glad neither of them have mentioned the Janey thing! He'd been sure Elsa was going to tear a strip off of his hide for that one.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Sieghard

    "Not a chance," Sieghard replied, "You explain why Greenapple raised the price."

    Turning to Elsa, he asked "Do you think there's any point in trying to scare off other buyers after how badly that went?" He was frustrated enough that he was tempted to just walk away from having to deal with the tooth, but he did feel some obligation to try to salvage things.

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Adelbert Schreiber

    Adelbert looked a bit disappointed none believed the Order might be still around and looking for the tooth but departed for the keep with Kaja in tow, hoping to find a cartographer.

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Lad View Post
    "Either of you coming along?" he asked Elsa and Sieghard.
    "I will," said Elsa without great enthusiasm.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    "Do you think there's any point in trying to scare off other buyers after how badly that went?"
    "We'd have to find them first," said Elsa, "and we don't even know how many there are. For all we know, Greenapple might be lying to justify the high price and force us to buy quickly. I've known enough halfling swindlers to distrust the whole race." She paused. "Present company excluded."

    One thing was sure - if anyone had placed a bid on a dragon tooth, they would not be advertising that fact.
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2015-02-09 at 06:49 PM.
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    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Each going about their separate tasks, the party headed back out into the bustling town.




    Adelbert

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    Heading back into town from the Haven, Adelbert began to question whether a base of operations outside the city walls had been such a wise choice. Or at least, his aching feet did.

    With Kaja in tow, he headed to what he'd taken as the castle's main entrance - the gatehouse facing onto the market square. There was a small crowd backed up outside the narrow portcullis, with menacing men in mail taking their time in deciding who to turn away. Adelbert was still far from sure on the various factions within Savonne, but the colours they wore made him think they belonged to some mercenary company.

    Surprisingly, when he explained what he was about they let him through without much fuss. Inside the curtain wall, the sheer scale of the crusader keep was impressive. Even after what he had seen in Alvarran, Adelbert doubted there was a fortification to match this in the Reaches, either in size or age. Subtle scars in the stonework and the marks of old repairs showed that it had not weathered the centuries in peace, either.

    From off to the north side of the castle yard, he could hear - and smell - a great many horses. Heading in that direction only brought him under the feet of soldiers and stable-hands, so instead he headed straight for the first entrance he could see to the great drum tower that dominated the centre of the compound.

    Once inside, he found himself headed off from what seemed the central hall by armed men, though whether they belonged to the same troop he had encountered at the gate he wasn't sure. Asking directions of servants, he managed to find his way through side passages to the chambers of Leufred the map-maker. The corridors and stairways of the keep were dark and winding, their unadorned stone walls giving a curious impression of impermanence to the ant-colony of humans inhabiting them.

    Knocking on a very solid door that a chambermaid had assured him belonged to the cartographer, Adelbert found it opened by a huge pair of eyes. Stepping back, he realised they were Leufred's - immensely magnified by the thick lenses of the spectacles that perched on the bridge of the man's beaky nose.

    Most likely older than Krucke, Leufred seemed suspicious of Adelbert at first, but soon let him in when he realised the young scribe had a genuine interest in his work. Inside, a busy work-desk and dusty collections of scroll-cases attested to the map-maker's trade. Leufred seemed to find his way through the clutter by memory, bumping into a couple of chairs and tables that Adelbert would have thought perfectly visible.

    "A map of the Reaches? For yourself?" said Leufred when Adelbert broached the subject, squinting at the younger man. "I am, mm, contracted to Duke Wulf, you know. I mean, mm, Prince... Belehir. The lord of Savonne." Gesturing with a veiny hand, he lowered himself creakily onto an equally creaky wooden stool. "These charts are, mm, precious, yes? Of great value to the enemies of the realm. I can't go... handing them out, mm, willy-nilly."

    "I suppose I have some, mm, older specimens... out of date, surely, but hills and rivers don't move so much, you know?" he continued without further prompting. From the state of the chambers, it looked to Adelbert as if the old cartographer was left to his own devices in here - no doubt he was thinking of the benefits of having a little money to spend on food and firewood. "I suppose it would not be too great an act of treason to part with one of those for say... five crowns?"

    He finished on a hopeful note, looking up into the middle distance slightly to the left of Adelbert's face. Meanwhile, Adelbert became aware of Kaja nudging him gently in the hip. Stealing a glance sideways, he saw the boy pointing to a nearby table where what looked like a very serviceable map of the Downlands was poking out from under a heap of parchment. If he kept Leufred talking, it seemed certain that Kaja could discreetly take it without attracting the old man's attention.

    OOC:
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    Buy or steal? If buy, don't forget to roll Haggle (unless you're feeling charitable).


    ~

    Leaving the castle behind, Adelbert used the last hours of the day to make his way back to the temple. Passing the timeworn pillars outside its gates, he couldn't help but spare a glance to make sure he wasn't about to run into Heironymus coming the other way.

    Enquiring after Brother Jakub, Adelbert was informed that the monk was down at the riverside. By showing due reverence and deference, however, he managed to wangle his way into the good graces of the young Morrite initiate he was speaking to, who said she would see if she could arrange an audience with one of the priesthood.

    At last Adelbert was introduced not to the Augur herself, but to a priestess named Mother Elinor. Dressed in the dark robes of her order and with a meticulously shaven head, she had a strangely ageless air - she could as easily have been twenty-five as forty-five, for all Adelbert could tell. Despite her Bretonnian manners and quiet, smiling air, Adelbert found her presence a little disconcerting.

    "Rosa tells me you have questions," she said softly. "How can the temple be of assistance?"

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    "Anything useful" is a bit too vague - could you give me a short list of questions please.





    Ludo

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    It was easy for Ludo to find his way back to Al-Khansa's bookshop; less easy to find his way back into the bookseller's good graces when she remembered him as Adelbert's companion. Employing the most shameless charm offensive to appease the woman's insulted pride, he eventually brought the topic round to the subject of Lena Knopf.

    "You're looking for Lena?" she asked, seeming surprised. "You might be the first person who's actually read that book of hers. She'll be delighted."

    Not seeing fit to mention that it was Adelbert who had actually read the book, Ludo let her continue.

    "She has a house on Sundial Street, down in the Rockshadow. It's easy to find." She paused, seeming to think twice about giving away the information. "This is just about the book, yes? Nothing else?"

    When Ludo had assuaged her doubts on that subject, Al-Khansa gave him a few more details that would allow him to find the house fairly easily. Thanking her, he went on his way.

    ~

    Before making any further enquiries after the illustrious Fraulein Knopf, Ludo headed out of the city again, through the east gate and down into the docks. Looking for an alehouse called the Rockside Tap, he found it easily enough - a ramshackle place clinging, as the name suggested, to the foot of the Rock. Finding Griswold the drunk however proved a little trickier.

    "Last saw him three days ago," said the proprietor, a frightening woman with a face like a tuber that had been in a few fights. "He owe you money too? You see him, you tell him it's time to pay his tab."

    Striking out into the surrounding streets, Ludo had little more luck. Griswold didn't seem to have many friends to trace him by, and Ludo had neglected to get a physical description from the woman at the Tap. At last, with dusk stealing in from the east, he abandoned the search and headed back inside the city walls.





    Viggo

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    Presenting himself at the Red Moon, Viggo endured Hayfa's disdainful looks as he waited downstairs for Klammenberg. At last, the scholar appeared, descending the stairs with a smile.

    "Herr..." he said, "...Schrieber's friend," he recovered, "is it not? Good to see you. Good news, I hope."

    Viggo conveyed what he'd come to say with as much economy of detail as he could.

    "He admits it's arrived? Well, that is good news," said Klammenberg. Viggo wasn't sure if the man could tell something was up, and stood there with the question gnawing at his nerves. "I suppose I'd best go speak to him as soon as possible."

    Asking after the book, all Viggo got was a polite nod.

    "As soon as I get the tooth, I think my research here will have run its course. I'll let you know as soon as I've returned it to the old priest."

    Despite Viggo's hints, there seemed to be no chance of getting his hands on the book right away. Saying his polite goodbyes, he headed out towards the market.

    ~

    Looking for caravans heading back south, Viggo had little luck at the North Market. Heading down to the similar-sized square behind the south gate, the sky was beginning to darken in the east before he made any progress with his enquiries.

    There were two caravans of reasonable size heading south in the next week. Both were headed for Manann's Keep. The first, leaving tomorrow, were heading back by the same route the party had come, crossing the river and going over by Arrow Heap. The second, bound to leave on Konigstag, was going via Ravenskird and the River Road.





    Sieghard & Elsa

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    Back down at the docks, Sieghard seated himself on a pier not far from the cluster of warehouses that surrounded Greenapple's home. Watching merchants and stevedores come and go, he and Elsa tried in vain to guess which of them looked like potential buyers for dragon's teeth. The honest answer was none, but it was mildly diverting to come up with stories justifying why each passing stranger might be in the market for such a thing.

    Running out of amusing conversation before too long, an awkward silence began to settle between the pair. The sun was sinking in the west, and dusk was creeping in from the eastern hills. As the last light reflecting off the water caught the windows of Greenapple's house, Sieghard made out an ogre-sized face looking back at them.

    Kragg pointed two fingers at his eyes, then back at Sieghard, then closed the shutters.





    As the day drew to a close, the five companions made their weary way back to the inn. Ludo met Adelbert at Fulk's establishment in the Warren, and marvelled for a few minutes at the dusty heaps of decaying books that the little Bretonnian called a shop. There was a remarkable resemblance between the wiry little bookseller and Herr Krucke, and Ludo was far from certain that this enterprising tradesman could actually read the titles he was selling.

    OOC:
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    Fulk's shop is stacked high with books, mostly in shameful states of disrepair. So as not to make me draw up a full inventory for the place, can you draw up a shortlist of things you're looking for and roll Search to find them amidst the mess.


    With their enquiries done for the day, the five of them gathered together again in the common room of the Haven to share what they'd found.

    OOC:
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    You don't have to play out reporting this stuff to each other - unless you want to withhold information, you can share information OOC and state things more briefly here.

    Tell me when you're ready to move onto the next day - and feel free to prepare your plans for tomorrow in advance.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Adelbert Schreiber

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    Face red, a scandalised Adelbert tried to talk Leufred into a more sensible price like three crowns. If the cartographer refused Adelbert was forced to promise Leufred he'd return to buy the map. Either way he quickly ushered Kaja out - and gave the boy a clip round the ear for good measure before ordering him back to the inn. "We do not steal Kaja. I am not Sforza."

    Part of him was secretly a little impressed though.

    Spoiler: Haggle Roll
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    (1d100)[3] vs 18.


    At the temple he asked Mother Elinor if she knew anything of Gilbertus, the Illuminated Order and Harmugstahl and Guldur. "I am a scribe researching local history," Adelbert explained, "and I heard something of the legends."


    Finally the footsore scribe made his way back to Fulk's to aid the halfling in the search. "You better have gold because I don't." he whispered to Ludo.

    OOC:
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    Adelbert only has four crowns on him so can't afford to pay full price; if he misses his Haggle roll he'll head back at the crack of dawn and buy the map after begging the others for a loan.

    He'll assist Ludo on his searches in Fulk's shop.
    Last edited by RossN; 2015-02-09 at 08:01 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Ludo
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    "How much is his tab?" Ludo asked the proprietor thoughtfully.

    OOC
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    If it's less than, say, three gold, Ludo will tell her that he'll pay it off in exchange for a meeting with Griswold.


    Fulk's
    "If we need to buy anything, I'll pay." Ludo said. He picked one dusty volume at random and a moth flew out. "Though I'm not sure there's anything here. I found Knopf, by the way- perhaps we can visit her tomorrow. How'd your day go?"

    For all his curmudgeonly tone, Ludo was really quite satisfied. He liked books, and had almost never seen more than a shelf at once. Savonne had more obvious riches, but there were few better markers of, not just wealth but refinement, than two whole buildings full of books, and at least two other libraries.
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  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Ludo

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    Griswold's tab came to thirteen schillings and a pfennig. Rather surprised to hear a stranger was willing to pay it off, the woman promised to let Griswold know about Ludo's offer if he came back. Ludo gave her instructions to make sure she could direct the man to him at the Haven.





    Adelbert

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    Still peering myopically in the general direction of Adelbert's face, Leufred completely failed to notice the interaction between the scribe and his apprentice, or Adelbert's reddening face. After a short period of bargaining, Adelbert managed to whittle him down to the price of four crowns - but unfortunately no futher.

    Once they had left, a shamefaced Kaja scuttled back to the inn, leaving Adelbert to his own devices.

    ~

    At the temple he asked Mother Elinor if she knew anything of Gilbertus, the Illuminated Order and Harmugstahl and Guldur. "I am a scribe researching local history," Adelbert explained, "and I heard something of the legends."
    Elinor seemed to know what Adelbert was talking about, although she either didn't have Heironymus' encyclopaedic knowledge or his propensity to ramble. She answered cautiously, as if suspicious of Adelbert's motives for digging up the past.

    About Gilbertus and the Illuminated Order he learned little he didn't already know. Gilbertus was obviously a sensitive topic for the Morrites, and Elinor took pains to stress that those things had happened a very long time ago. The moral of Gilbertus' story, she asserted, was that grief could undo even the wisest of men.

    About Harmugstahl and Guldun she was less well-informed, but also less guarded. Both were known to the Downlanders, she said, and generally avoided - the ruins were often a haunt of bandits and wild animals, and the roads that passed them were harder and more treacherous than the river route to Putbad. Harmugstahl was supposed to have an evil reputation, having been built by evil men - or so the peasant stories went. About Guldun she had heard nothing more than the occasional stories of orcs or bandits lairing in its ruined halls.





    At Fulk's

    Once he started poring through the mouldering heaps of books, Ludo got rather carried away. Before he knew it, it was getting dark outside, and he had found four books, each more intriguing and mistreated than the last.

    When he enquired about the price, his strange impression of the bookseller was strengthened. Fulk congratulated him on his fine choices but carefully skirted around mentioning the titles. Despite the fact that most of them had rather nondescript binding, he only opened a couple - and then to what seemed like a random page.

    OOC:
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    Fulk's asking price for any of his books is twenty-five crowns. As usual, a successful Haggle test will reduce this by 10%, +10% per DOS. If you like, you can also test Charm to deceive him about the book you're buying. A successful Charm test will drop the starting price to 15 crowns as you convince him the book is boring/worthless; a failure by more than 3 degrees will cause him to raise the base price to thirty-five crowns as he (perhaps mistakenly) infers that the book is actually much more valuable than he thought. Each book you try this on imposes a cumulative -10 penalty to trying the same trick on the next book.

    The titles of interest you found are:
    • My Travels in the Black Karst by Otto von Abich
    • Heathen Practices of the Broken Reaches by Gottlieb Sturn
    • The Black City of the Dead Hills - an extremely old and damaged text, written in Classical. Author illegible.
    • A ratty, leather-bound journal full of handwritten scrawls. Inside are some arcane-looking diagrams that look to Ludo like they might be related to the practice of magic. Fulk's starting price for this is only 5 crowns; he cannot be tricked with a Charm test to think it's worth less (although he can still be Haggled with).
    Last edited by LCP; 2015-02-10 at 08:49 AM.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Viggo Hirtzel

    Viggo's shoulders were visibly slumped when he finally trudged into The Haven. As far as he was concerned his day had been pretty much a huge waste of time. Except for the tooth, now that was something I could tell a story about!

    Listening to how the others had got on, he bemoaned Klammenbergs' reticence to part with the book and let them know he'd heard of a couple of caravans heading south towards Manaan's Keep, one due to leave on the following morning and another on Konigstag morning.

    Viggo didn't want to leave it too late before he left for The Duke, he'd become quite attached to its comfortable beds and fine dining. Best to make the most of it whilst I can, I'll be back on the floor of a shack eating turnip broth before I know it!

    OOC

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    I've deducted another 1gc for food / board / stables at the Duke to cover tomorrow (Aubentag), Viggo will now pay on a day by day basis until they leave Savonne.
    Last edited by Northern Lad; 2015-02-12 at 09:24 AM.

  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Adelbert Schreiber

    "Honestly they all look interesting," Adelbert admitted to Ludo quietly. "I suspect that the Dead City is the one we are looking for though."


    The scribe was beginning to seriously regret his adonishment of Kaja. The boy had shown a lot of cunning and iniative there and honesty or not Adelbert was feeling the loss of those four crowns.

    "The good news is that I bought a map and spoke with a Morrite priestess at the temple. The map is an old one and the priestess only knew Harmugstahl has evil reputation according to peasant stories and Guldun has been lair to bandits and Orcs. At the very least both will probably be home to wild animals and the like."
    Last edited by RossN; 2015-02-10 at 10:21 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Before split

    "On second thought, Viggo, I think I'll go with Sieghard and try to find the other buyers," said Elsa. "Not my fault we messed up the negotiations with the halfling."




    At the Haven

    Elsa was in a horrible mood when the party finally reunited. She was growing restless; they had already spent far too many days in this city, and time was running out.

    "Couldn't find any of the other buyers," she reported wearily, drinking from her flask of spirits. "And Greenapple knows we're up to something."

    She was tempted to just kick in the halfling's door, take the tooth by force, and deal with the Ogre if he tried to stop them. Between the five of them, they were certainly capable of it.
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    Playing:
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Sieghard

    "Wasn't expecting the ogre to be that watchful," Sieghard said, "The brute is more clever than he looks. Not that that's saying much. Didn't see anyone who looked likely to be the other buyers Klammenberg was worried about and don't have the time to keep watching for them. It's between him and Greenapple now."

    "Any luck tracking down that author you mentioned?" he asked Adelbert.

  23. - Top - End - #263
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    Adelbert Schreiber

    "Ludo found Knopf's address. If we have in fact given up on Klammenburg she might be worth talking to, but honestly I'm not sure it is worth it if her book is any indication. She only touched on the possible members of the Order and didn't seem to quite grasp the details."

    Adelbert nudged Ludo. "We found some interesting books at Fulk's, one of which might interest you Elsa. Ludo hand her the book."

    Presumably after the Halfling did so the scribe leaned back in his chair. "Right, I say we join that caravan in the morning and head south. We can investigate Ravenskird on route and more importantly Fassbender will be able to pay me. This trip is expensive stuff."

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Fulks
    After successfully haggling the old man down a little on the ratty journal, Ludo bought it and the Classical tome. Walking out on the other books after attempting to haggle for them would sting his salesman's pride if he had to return to them, but spending eighty gold on books in one sitting was a bit much.

    Later
    Ludo drew out the book for Elsa- a tattered journal, with handwritten scrawls and magic-looking symbols inside. He also plucked out his other new purchase and settled down to read it, before glancing up sharply. "What do you mean, leave now? We're not done here!"
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  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Viggo Hirtzel

    Viggo boggled at Adelberts' suggestion nearly as much as Ludo had. "Ranalds' Missing Knucklebones Adelbert!" Viggo admonished. "We've hardly learned anything yet and you want us to up sticks and leave already?! Where else in The Reaches do you think we can learn about this eh? Outside of Savonne you're probably the most bookish chap within a hundred leagues!"

    He pushed his peaked red cap to the back of his head. "I didn't think you'd be in such a bloody hurry to back to Mirino?!" Reaching into his purse he fished out some gold coins and pushed them in Adelberts direction. "Take it. I'll brook no argument mind!" Viggo was tiring of Adelberts claims to poverty and felt it was well worth investing a few coins in the hope that the scribe would relent in his dourness.

    Considering what the others had told him, Viggo scratched at his chin, before turning to Ludo. "Look, if you're going to have a chat with Knopf tomorrow, I'll have a poke around and see if this Griswald chap can be found. Chances are he'll resurface if you've paid off his bar tab? Then it'll just be a case of speaking to Heironymous to see if Klammenberg has returned the book yet?"

    OOC

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    Viggo has given Adelbert 5 Gold.

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Adelbert Schreiber

    Adelbert flushed scarlet but drew the coins towards him. "Thank you."

    With a sigh he nodded. "Alright, we speak with Knopf, Heironymous and this Griswald individual and leave the day after. I'll help read the books we already have." He looked thoughtful. "I'll go to the docks and see if there is a boat heading south the day after tomorrow - Ravenskird is a riverport I recall and we might be able to hear some useful gossip about it."
    Last edited by RossN; 2015-02-12 at 02:32 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Sieghard

    "I think I'd have better luck trying to get information from a drunk than an authorl," Sieghard said, "Buy him a few drinks and it'll probably loosen his lips a bit."

    The next morning, with the information Ludo had given him, Sieghard set out in search of Griswold.

    Hunting a Drunk
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    "You need to be more careful about the things tell people," he said to Viggo as they walked. "Not everyone needs to know what our business is. Say too much and sometimes it does more harm than good."

    "It's not just Greenapple and Klammenberg too," he added after a pause. "Fassbender as well. You're lucky she didn't turn the lot of us into statues like she did to Painford's old mayor after you opened your mouth about Sforza."

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    "If it helps, I've offered to pay off his tab." Ludo said.
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  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Aubentag, 15th Pflugzeit

    Ludo had stayed up late by candlelight the last night, leafing through the mouldering pages of the book he had rescued from Fulk's. Some of the pages had been lost to mildew and mistreatment, but what he managed to glean from the crumbling parchment was enough to convince him that his purchase had been worth far more than he'd paid for it.

    The Black City of the Dead Hills
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    Handwritten in faded ink, the text of the book was packed close, each letter formed with painstaking care. The pages were illuminated in a monastic style, but either the scribe had been too poor for colours or they had faded to nothing over time.

    Although the words were written in Classical, the way the language was used was unfamiliar to Ludo. The author often used what seemed to Ludo archaic or simply ungrammatical constructions, sometimes sending him hunting to the end of a paragraph-long sentence in search of its subject. There were occasional misspellings and differences in vocabulary that seemed to Ludo more Bretonnian than anything else. Perhaps Adelbert would be able to be make more sense of their meaning.

    Ludo soldiered on nonetheless. The account seemed to have been written in the immediate aftermath of the first crusade - which would make it a thousand years old. Despite the book's decrepit state, Ludo could not believe it was that ancient - it had to be a copy.

    The book began by laying out the bare bones of the story Ludo already knew. There was no mention of Mehmet Bey's audience with the sorcerers, only that the crusaders had found the city already destroyed by their hubris - punishment, the author contended, from the gods. There was some mention of the crusaders' efforts to raze the place, and the superstitious stories the men-at-arms given the duty had returned with.

    ...for this reason, therefore, on the instructions of the honoured lord von Teupitz, I have set out to gather all that is known by the people of these valleys about the black city and its construction. It is said sorcery is a snake that can lie long years before striking, and who but the gods can say what dangers might yet lie within the ruins of Nath?

    From there, the book began to go into detail about the stories the author had gathered from the local peasantry. The placenames had changed, but Ludo guessed that most of them were within the Lost Vale or the Karst. Most of the stories had been carefully framed as parables about the wickedness of sorcerers, and the virtue of the crusader armies in delivering the locals from their dominion.

    It was here in the centre of the book that the damage was worst, and Ludo had to skip over some pages for fear that prising them apart would destroy them in the process. Perhaps they could be restored, but it would be skilled work. Nevertheless, he managed to pick up the thread of two or three forgotten folktales the author had unearthed. A lake up in the high hills that the locals had worshipped for the wondrous properties of its waters, and which the sorcerers had taken for themselves when they first founded their stronghold. Peasant children being taken from the valley people, and sometimes returning as sorcerers in their own right. Strange sicknesses that had made the common people dependent on the witchcraft of their masters for the cure, and a thief who had been undone by the whispers of a captive spirit from inside the treasure he stole.

    As the account went on, it lost some of its pious tone. The author seemed tantalised by questions he believed his researches had raised.

    ...Although the sorcerers are dead, I am far from convinced that the threat Nath represents has died with them. The valley farmers tell stories of bound spirits and cursed treasure, and who can tell when human greed might bring such artefacts back into the world?

    What is more worrying is what the elders agree - that the Dead Hills earned their name long before the Sultan's conjurors laid the first stones of Nath. Nothing grows on the blasted heights, but the valleys below them are more fertile than anywhere in the Reaches. The people here are insular and I fear there is more they are concealing from me.

    These questions have unsettled my thoughts so much that I cannot sleep. When I do, I see the dead city in my dreams. I walk its streets and see its ruined houses, when in waking hours I have only ever looked upon it from a distance. More and more, I am convinced that the answers to my questions lie within. Whatever else they were, the Arabyans were scholars - they will have written more in their archives than I could hope to learn from a hundred superstitious peasants.

    With this in mind, I am preparing an expedition. I leave this record in the hands of my manservant, Artaud. With the blessing of the gods, the second volume will uncover much more.


    When he rose in the morning, he was half-hoping he could compare notes with whatever Elsa might have learned from the journal he had given her. As usual, however, Elsa was late to rise. Seeing Adelbert was ready to go, Ludo headed out with him in search of Lena Knopf, while Sieghard went to rouse out Viggo from his nest at the Duke - and then, to find a certain drunkard in the docks.




    Sieghard & Viggo

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    Working together, Sieghard and Viggo quickly narrowed down the search for Griswold. The pair of them seemed an effective combination - Sieghard got quick answers from most people who didn't like the look of his sword, and the flamboyantly unthreatening Viggo could speak freely to those grizzled dock-workers who didn't look too likely to be intimidated.

    They found their quarry at last, asleep in a corner near the waterside. Wrapped in a filthy blanket, he slept leaning against the dirty plaster of the wall, broken veins in his nose speaking of his fondness for drink. From his matted hair and beard, as well as the strong smell that was coming off him, Viggo suspected Griswold hadn't slept indoors for some time.

    After a few insistent nudges from the toe of Sieghard's boot, the man snorted awake. It took him a few seconds of blinking to make out the two figures standing over him - when he finally took in Sieghard's appearance, he scrabbled back against the wall, raising his arms defensively over his head.

    "I'm sorry!" he babbled, cringing away. Sieghard could see the man had the same red stains on his teeth that he had seen in other places around the city. "I didn't mean to take nothing! I was going to give it back, I swear!"

    OOC:
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    If you want to list your questions for Griswold, you can give me the list and a relevant check (Intimidate? Charm?) to get the information out of him without too much back-and-forth posting.





    Adelbert & Ludo

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    Following Al-Khansa's directions of the previous day, Ludo had no difficulty in finding the house of Lena Knopf. It was quite a large house, sitting on one of the broader streets of the Rockshadow district. With the sun recently risen in the east, and the shadow of the Rock of Savonne stretching out to brush the walls of the castle, it was easy to see where the neighbourhood got its name.

    When they knocked, it took some time for the door to be answered - not because no-one heard, but because it seemed the inside of the door had quite an array of bolts and locks that needed undoing first. At last it was opened by a broad-shouldered young man with a quilted jerkin and a scruffy attempt at a beard. He had a blackthorn stick at his belt, but Adelbert had been travelling long enough in the company of fighting men to see that this wasn't one.

    "...Yes?" he managed, at last.

    He squinted cautiously at them as they explained their business. Ludo wasn't certain whether the young man didn't like the look of them or just didn't know what to do next.

    "Well," he said, "you really should have made an appointment. Fraulein Knopf is a very... busy, important person and you need to have... appointments and things to see her." He drew himself up. "So you can't, because you don't."

    "Axel?" called a female voice from inside. "Who is it?"

    "It's just some strangers, Lena!" Axel shouted back. "I'm telling them to leave!"

    "What?" Lena Knopf scurried into view. She was younger than Adelbert had expected - maybe only five years or so older than Al-Khansa had been. With dirty blonde hair and blue eyes, however, she definitely didn't have the look of a local. "Why would you tell them that?"

    "But you said - that was my job..."

    "Only if they look like trouble, Axel. Do these men look like trouble?"

    Axel looked sideways at Adelbert and Ludo, weighing them up.

    "There's no telling what they're capable of," he said, after much deliberation.

    Fraulein Knopf only looked frustrated with her doorman for a moment before turning to her visitors with a smile. "What was it you were looking for?" she asked. When Ludo explained they had come about her book, she seemed positively delighted. "You've read it?" she asked, seeming inordinately excited by the idea. "But - of course! Please, come in."

    Axel leaned over, pointing to the scimitar at Ludo's belt. "Hold on a moment," he said, putting on his most serious voice again. "You're going to have to leave those weapons with me."

    "Do you mind?" said Lena, much more diplomatically. "Poor Axel's just doing his job."

    OOC:
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    As before, a list of questions + a relevant social skill test will get this resolved quickly.
    Last edited by LCP; 2015-02-14 at 09:41 AM.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
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    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown IV

    Sieghard

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    "Calm yourself, we're not here for whatever it is you stole. A halfling told us you might know a few things we'd be interested in hearing. There's a drink in it for you if you tell us what you know. More if you tell us something useful. You interested?"

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    Assuming he doesn't do anything unexpected, we'll take him back to the Harvester's Haven, find a seat in the back where his smell isn't likely to bother him, get his drink, and ask some questions. To start...

    I heard you've been to the Lost Library. Is this true?
    (assuming he doesn't deny it) Do you have any way of proving it?
    Where is the Lost Library?
    If we showed you one, could you point it out on a map?
    What did you see while you were there? Describe it in as much detail as you can.
    What did you steal, anyways?

    ...Anything more that I can think of depends on how he answers those.

    I'll leave the charming to Viggo, since he's far better at it and I see no need to intimidate the man, but I'm hoping the promise of alcohol and possibility of "more" should help to loosen his lips a bit.
    Last edited by TheSummoner; 2015-02-15 at 01:35 AM.

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