Reviewing his notes, the GM realises the party has gathered about 10% of the clues they should have done by this point. He resolves to rectify this imbalance with some subtle hints. The party have one final discussion with Curd Weiss on their mission to find the missing Red Arrow coach and it’s contents. Curd: “You need to walk the route the coach will have…” Ichabod: “Can we have a coach?” Troll Slayer: “Yeah, my imaginary legs get really tired when I have to roleplay walking 12 miles” Curd: “Well, the clues to finding out where the coach was dragged off the road and into the trees will be… err, I mean, hypothetically speaking, if the coach was dragged off the road you’d need to…” Ichabod: “We can look for clues even quicker from the back of the coach” GM thinks to himself, “What would a real GM do at this point?” Curd: “Erm, we don’t have any spare coaches…” The party seem satisfied by this solid gold explanation and proceed to walk the route.
The weather seems intermittently drizzly and then rainy and back again. It can’t seem to make up its mind. This appears to amuse Ichabod and GM laughs along, but he can’t remember what the joke was. He resolves to have Ichabod killed later on. After several miles the party spy a toll house by the side of the road. Soldier: “Ho there! You’ve reached Plot House and I’m here to furnish you with some campaign background. Passing this point will cost you 5 brass pennies. EACH. That’s right, we’re talking big money. Now, you’re probably wondering why you have to pay…” Ichabod: “Not really, here’s the money. Come on lads, run before you hear anything!” The party run down the road with their fingers in their ears yelling, “WAA WAA WAA CAN’T HEAR YOU!” General: “Now listen up, my name is General George Uidance and I guess you’re wondering why soldiers are manning this Toll House instead of…” Soldier: “They’ve gone” General: “Shit” GM: “Shit” The soldier quickly unshoulders his bow and fires an arrow at the retreating party, hitting Waldemar in the backpack. Around the arrow is a message: “Captain Bauerfast has ordered that a toll be collected…” Fortunately the party destroy the message before any damage can be done and continue on. The GM wonders if he’s really cut out for this gamemastery lark. The party reach a crossroads. Not having asked for a map they pause momentarily before deciding why way to go. Everyone decides to head straight on except for Jochen who states confidentally, “Right! We turn right”. Realising that anything less than a straight line away from the Plot House may lead them back to the story, the party press on.
After a further half dozen miles or so, the Troll Slayer spots some tracks heading off road and into the forest. Searching the immediate area with some excellent rolls they determine CSI: Averheim style that this is indeed the ambush spot for the Red Arrow coach. As the rest of the party searches, Albrecht volunteers to scout ahead alone. Pleased with this excellent plan the GM awards the party a Fortune Point. He will regret this. Moving through the trees like smoke, and invisible smoke at that, Albrecht finds a small clearing with the contraband and 5 mutants. One of whom is badly wounded, drinking heavily from a wine bottle whilst lying on the ground AND IS NO THREAT. To make sure the party understand this, the GM hangs a note around the mutant which states ‘plucky comic relief villain’. Having warned the players that they wouldn’t be facing henchmen from now on, Albrecht wisely decides to take them on alone. Hang on, did I just read that right? Alone? Did you tell him that the rest of the party are 3 rounds away? Yep. And he still went ahead single-handed against 5 mutants? Yep. For real? Yeah, but you should’ve seen it man, it was beautiful! There were Rapid Fire’s and Sniper Shots and all manner of shoot, change position, shoot magic going on. In 3 rounds Albrecht had taken care of all the mutants and had gone off for a quick fag.
Bursting onto the scene Jochen is bristling with raw magic power, which if he doesn’t expend is going to start dealing him damage. He sees the wounded mutant on the ground. The wounded mutant sees him back. Jochen takes aim. Wounded Mutant: “Whoa, whoa, whoa! I surrender! I’ve got vital plot informa…” BOOM! The mutant decorates the surrounding trees with his insides. Having finally spent himself, Jochen joins Albrecht for a fag. They compare scores. The wounded mutant’s corpse looks angrily at the GM. Corpse: “You said if I didn’t fight, was wounded and drinking heavily they wouldn’t kill me before I’d imparted some vital clues” GM: “Sorry mate, but you have as much control over these mentaloid nutbags as I do” Fortunately, Albrecht (aka The Devil’s Longbow) managed to critically wound one of the mutants which knocked him out. With just one hit point, he could be revived to be tortured of all information and… Troll Slayer: “I’m stamping on this mutant’s head” GM: “Is that so you can beat the information out of his brain?” Troll Slayer: “Do I look like your fucking plot pony?” The GM considers a career change. Maybe dentistry. On himself. Without anaesthetic. The party find the missing Cathay silks, a few bottles of unopened wine and a broken keg of black sludge. Albrecht correctly assumes the sludge used to be Black Powder, a particularly devastating substance when set to fire. They then spend half an hour deciding whether to carry the bolts of silk to the inn for safekeeping. Realising this isn’t key to the plot Albrecht refuses to get involved and the rest of the party stagger under the weight of the silks for the next 3 miles in darkening conditions. The GM briefly considers ambushing the party whilst they’re weighed down, but refuses to get involved with petty revenge. Later on he will come to rue this decision and if he had a time machine would have Beastmen in Tiger Tanks landing on the party from Valkyrie Dropships whilst on fire.
Reaching the Welcome Rest inn the Troll Slayer asks if any ‘women’ are at the bar. Suddenly the GM has a brainstorm! He puts a female mutant at the bar. This mutant’s power is that she looks gorgeous and in no way mutanty. Her curse is that she can’t keep secrets and can impart information telepathically into the head of nearby Dwarves. She also has 2,000 hit points so cannot be killed by Albrecht. Well, not in one complete round anyway. GM: “At the bar you see…” Party: “We’ve all gone to bed”
FESTAG Thanks to some non-Chaos Star rolling, Waldemar manages to rustle up 2 horses (see what I did there!?!). The party head back to the camp site and find that although some Beastman sniffed around during the night, trying on the silks left behind, discussing fashion and eventually having a dance off, they didn’t take them away. The party collect the coach, goods and a mutant head and return to Averheim. Passing the Toll House, the soldier shouts out that they need to pay not just brass pennies this time, but silver for the coach as well. The party speed by after throwing the money out of the window, careful not to overhear any plot threads. The soldier spends the next hour picking coins out of his face. Once back in Averheim, Curd congratulates them on a job well done. He pays them all 10 silver each (5 for each day’s work) as well as a bonus payment of 20 shillings for the returned Cathay silks. Ichabod kindly shares this bonus payment out to everyone.
Captain Gunther of the Averheim watch then bursts in and demands the party come with him at once to see Captain Bauerfast. Bizarrely the party decide to do just that. As they leave Curd asks the party to return to him tomorrow morning for another job he has. The party chat convivially to the watchmen. Watchmen: “You’re probably wondering why there aren’t many of us about” Party: “Not really” Watchmen: “Oh…” Party: “We’re the Defiant Scoundrels, not the D&D Plot Whores.” Arriving at The Sword of Sigismund Inn, the party skip over the Captain Bauerfast introductory information and cut straight to the meat of the story: Jochen: “Who is Sigismund? Do we know him?” Waldemar: “Wasn’t he a heroic figure from past times?” Bauerfast: “Ahh, hello gentlemen! Please, take a…” Waldemar: “Err, we’re talking here. Rude.” Jochen: “Was he around during Sigmar’s time?” GM: “According to the book The Sword of Sigismund is…