Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Session Two

Our session began with only one player bringing back a surviving Warrior – his lone and battered Barbarian.  The other three players had been decimated by Goblin Fanatics last game, so we would have three new Warriors this session.  We wound up with another Wizard, a Dwarf, and an Elf Wardancer to join the surviving Barbarian.
The new party had a choice of pursuing their original failed Quest, or to take a new mission offered by a mid-level noble to investigate a plague in the Altdorf slums that was centered around a particular sewer entrance.  So, looking for something different, the band of Warriors decided to take the noble’s offer.  None of the players spoke any Reikspiel, otherwise they may have had second thoughts accepting a Quest from one Baron Lieder von Keingelt.
We got right into the action with the Warriors descending into the twisted maze of partially flooded tunnels deep under the city, fighting off a group of Giant Frogs, swimming through flooded sections, and discovering a shanty town that was home to impoverished sewer dwellers.   These wretched folk sold the Warriors a few helpful items, and let them know about strange robed figures they’d seen roaming around the tunnels.
The first sign of trouble came when the haughty Wardancer pranced alone into an abandoned Smuggler’s Den.  He was immediately ambushed by seven Nurglings who ganged up and quickly reduced the brazen Elf to zero wounds before he could even strike back.  The Wizard, still one board section away, had to use reserve Power to cast Lifebringer and heal the Wardancer.  But the Nurglings’ Plague resulted in a permanent loss of 1 Toughness for the Elf.
Before venturing into the sewers, the Warriors had been given an item by the Temple of Sigmar to aid them in this Quest – The Decanter of Purity.  A drink from this holy relic would cure any disease or poison (including the Nurglings’ Plague effect.)  I created this custom item to introduce another tough decision for the players.  Each time a Warrior drank from the Decanter, they would roll 1D6.  On a 1, 2, or 3 they would have consumed the last drop.  The players would need to choose carefully which affliction they would heal.  With the sewers able to deliver a variety of disease effects of varying severity, a bad choice could see one of the Warriors end up with Nurgle’s Rot!  The Wardancer took little time to weigh this decision however, and hastily drained the Decanter down to its last drop.  His Plague was cured, and Toughness restored, but only time would tell if it was the right decision.
An amusing moment came with the Wizard found a Short Bow in the Smugglers’ Den.   Earlier in their explorations, the Wizard had succumbed to a Sewer Fever Event, where he had to choose two of his Stats to reduce by 1 for the remainder of the Quest.  Thinking himself clever, he chose to have the Fever afflict his Initiative and his Ballistic Skill Stats.  This brought his Ballistic Skill to 7+, making it impossible for him to fire any ranged weapons successfully during this Quest!  His joy at finding the Short Bow quickly dematerialized when this realization sunk in.
Next, the Warriors faced their first serious battle.  In a partially flooded sewer section they were beset upon by 10 Giant Spiders.  Soon afterward, about a dozen Chaos Cultists appeared from the other end of the room.  Surrounded by two groups of enemies, the Warriors fought a brutal and grim battle.  The Dwarf had earlier bought a Corrugated Metal Shield from the shanty town, which increased his Toughness.  He was feeling quite confident as a result.  However, he had forgotten about the Giant Spiders’ ability to Web their opponents!  Any webbed Warrior suffers automatic damage from future Giant Spider bites, with no regard to Toughness.  Sadly, the struggling Dwarf could not break free from the sticky webbing, and was quickly bitten to death by a swarm of Giant Spiders.
After the surviving three Warriors finally managed to clear the room, they beat a hasty retreat back up to the surface.  There, the Barbarian trained and reached Battle Level 2, gaining an Ignore Wounds ability that meant he had a chance of surviving a fatal blow.  The group also recruited the son of their fallen Dwarf companion.  The young Dwarf would enter the game with a Hatred of Giant Spiders, granting him an additional Attack against these creatures, albeit at -1 to hit in his fury.
During the second expedition into the sewers the Warriors had to double back after reaching a dead end, but then came upon the bulk of the Cult of Nurgle.  A Chaos Warlock was chanting a ritual in a Summoning Room, surrounded by Cultists and Demagogues who spewed hate-filled rhetoric at the heroes.  Here I rolled the minimum number of Chaos Cultists, so the Warriors were lucky.  The Wizard also managed to swallow the Warlock in a Pit of Despair in the first turn of the battle.  This prevented him from summoning who knows what kind of atrocity, and resulted in a final battle much easier than it could have been!
After mopping up the final few Cultists, the Warriors located both a steel ladder leading to the surface, and a large iron-bound door with Skaven markings that was barricaded shut from the inside.  The players speculated that a treasure room might lie beyond.   Or, was the door was barricaded to keep something out?  Skipping the chance for a quick exit, the Warriors decided to investigate the door, but Nurgle had other ideas.  A large group of Nurglings swarmed the Warriors, and at this very moment the Wardancer was hit with a severe bout of dysentery with left him squatting in a corner unable to fight for a couple of turns!  After this setback, the ashen-faced Elf waded back into battle, executing his Dance of Death ability perfectly, and slaying one foul Nurgling after another, leaving a trail of blood and slime.
Not wanting to push fate any longer, the Warriors ascended the ladder.  They cleaned themselves off, and presented their findings to Baron von Keingelt.  The distracted noble had to be reminded about the Gold payment he had promised, but as it turns out he did pay the Warriors in full, and seemed quite pleased that the operations of the Cult of Nurgle were so severely disrupted.  In the shopping spree that followed the Barbarian spent his last wealth on a 1,000 Gold Warhelm that would increase his Toughness by 2!
Having finally succeeded in a Quest, the Warriors are ready for whatever adventures present themselves next time.

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