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Pedro Lunaris

The Five Scoundrels Game Report - The Gathering Storm

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Background story
 
 
This campaign started with the Three Scoundrels from Altdorf: brothers Hanz, Karl and Sven Sontag. All three were born in one of the poorest parts of the big city, sons of a competent (but also drunk and too much of a game enthusiast) smuggler. Having different relationships with their father, who gained and lost money in equal speed, each of the brothers chose a different path: Hanz, the oldest and strongest, became a Thug, expanding his abilities as a child and teenage bully. Karl, the middle brother, started to take his father place when the old man was too drunk for a job, and from there learned the tricks of the trade of being a Smuggler.
 


As for Sven, his had a different nature altogether. From birth Sven was the strangest. Sometimes he saw things that weren’t there. Quiet and shy, he was amazingly intelligent and had an affinity to secrets and mysteries. One day when he was nine a man with a strange presence came to the house of the Sontags and talked with the father for something close to an hour. Finally they came to the bedroom the three children shared and told Sven to get his things ready and go with he man. He was to become a magician of the Grey Order.
 
The two brothers only saw Sven in rare occasions after that. Until their father died.
 
After the burial, Hanz and Karl went to get drunk together, and then went to their homes - now separate, but still in the same neighborhood. The next day, at predawn, both brothers received a visit: hired thugs entered each of their homes, both sleeping heavily, gave them a beating and opened the doors. And then they met Von Holthausen.
 
A rich merchant, Von Holthausen was known in the worse parts of Altdorf as a moneylender and a gangster. He had ties with a lot of gang leaders, and apparently had a finger in almost every great roguery that happened around.
 
He informed the Sontag brothers, each in a space of half an hour from the other, that their father still owned him a loan of 100 gold pieces. And that now that he was dead, that loan was their responsibility.
 
Hanz, the first to be visited, got to Karl’s place in time to see Von Holthausen leave with his thugs and an Imperial Ogre bodyguard. He found his brother in a worse shape than himself, but half of it seemed the hangover. They accounted for what they had: some brass penies, a dagger each, the clothes in their bodies. And that was that.
 
They couldn’t stay where they were. With no money they couldn’t afford the weekly rent of their houses. They hadn’t much to try any job, even dirty ones. Having Von Holthausen on their backs wouldn’t help either.
 
So they made the round. Karl looked for some contacts. Hanz asked some colleagues of trade, and even intimidated some usual targets. In the end, Karl remembered a job one of his friends told him about some days earlier. The man was a coachman, one that dealt with stolen goods. He said there was a fancy man in Auerswald desperate to find hired hands outside his own city.

The brothers decided to give it a try. When they started to walk to Altdorf’s gate, they almost hit Sven. He was standing right there, looking at them with a face that seemed to resent some inconvenience. Hanz laughed aloud ad gave him a hug.
 
He told them he had came to help in paying their father’s debt. He didn’t tell them how he came to know about it, but his master had simply ordered him to go, saying it was important to him to break any tie that could put him in a position of having any common weight o carry. But he also didn’t had anything but a few pennies and a dagger.
 
Ranald seemed to be laughing.

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Nice start. Did the players create the with you? When did dice start hitting table or is it all pre-play?

 

Thanks!

The players decided their careers freely. I guess one of them took the three career cards because he wasn't sure what to choose. It was the Thug, if I'm not mistaken.

They also decided to be brothers, and as everyone of them chose to spend 0 points in wealth, I came up with the story of their father's debt.

All of the described above is background story. We start throwing dice in the next entrance, that will be coming shortly. I was aiming to give a brief background description to The Gathering Storm, which we just recently started, but I was completely carried away by narrative... I'll try to be more objective, resuming the background in two more posts and then moving to one post per session describing our developments with TGS.

Feedback about anything is very much appreciated, including questions about how we managed something mechanically, because I think I'll keep description in story mode.

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Thanks. Perhaps you can note mechanics where they were critical to the story or you used a variant?

 

Alright, I'll try. But if something gets your attention that I hadn't described, please ask.

 

Another thing is that I adapt the adventures a lot, getting them to the spirit of the group and sometimes using ideas that I get from this forum. I won't explain the details, but I'll try to point them, and if something let you curious, do ask me about it!

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The adventure begins...

 

They mostly walked for seven days, managing a ride in hay filled wagons for a couple of miles in some points and getting something to eat at road taverns and when the rare friendly farmer could spare some bread. They preferred to sleep alongside the road because, even though it was much more dangerous than any Inn’s common room, it was also cheaper. They were walking outside of main roads since they passed through Grunburg, which increased the danger a lot. But it was only after they passed Rottfurt, in the eighth day, that they encountered trouble. Of the worse sort: they were ambushed by beastmen.

Even though they were poorly equipped, the Three Scoundrels weren’t an easy catch. None of them had ever even seen a beastman, but luckily these were mostly ungors and the travellers weren’t caught completely unawares. Hanz, being the strongest, managed most of the attention, while Karl used a more snaky approach. And Sven… Well, Sven had magic.

So they managed to kill most of the horrible creatures, chasing two away. But, as the savage chaos followers disappeared in the woods, they realized Karl had passed out from his wounds, and Sven and Hanz weren’t so far away.

But Ranald was still smiling.

A wagon appeared on the road in time to see the creatures that had caused the trouble. And even though the driver wanted to turn around and leave the strangers to their fate, his mother-in-law, that was with him, didn’t allow him. They took the strangers to their home and there the old lady looked after each one, thanking Sigmar for people that managed to kill a bunch of the evil creatures. The man went away with his children and wife for the days the strangers stayed in his house, afraid they could kill everyone if they decided to rob the farm.

That didn’t happen, and three days later the Three Scoundrels were leaving again to Auerswald, this time with some provisions to last the trip. Jumping at every shadow, they managed to get to the city safe. From it’s gates they just had to ask direction to the known inn.

There they found Herr Hendrick, and, as the manservant was a couple of weeks late with his mission, he agreed to hire the brothers. He had already went to Auerswald to try and find someone that could pass as a simple servant and didn’t know the resident servants of the Grunewald Lodge, his Lord’s rural manor. They left the city the next morning with an empty wagon, to load it with Lord Aschaffenberg’s belongings in Ubersreik. Three days later, they were there.

The three brothers had then the money from this days of contract, and also some shillings they earned with small trade from things acquired in Auerswald (almost an adventure on it’s own). They negotiated payment in advance with Herr Hendrick and bought some equipment for the tasks ahead. Not to say, clothes fit to wear – their own weren’t anymore.

The events of Grunewald Lodge certainly was something that changed their lives forever. The Lord wanted them to investigate the staff, they discovered attacking beastmen, a missing noble since one year before, a really annoying librarian (that they scarred), some rivalry between the Lord and another Lord that visited unexpectedly, drugged staff, a dwarven hammer, drugged patrolling soldiers (that they waked and putted in alarm) and finally a cult led by the manor’s steward in the middle of a ritual, happening in the Manor’s cellar, to sacrifice the visiting Lord (what they did) to conjure a daemon (what also happened).

The three brothers emerged from the basement to discover the grounds were attacked by a large number of beastmen, repelled after a vicious battle by the drugged but awake human defences, the ex-soldier now dog handler, and the dogs. Oh, the dogs.

Lord Aschaffenberg himself, previously warned but also drugged, came to the defense of the walls and was injured with a cut in the belly that managed to bypass the plates of his armour. Luckily it was superficial and he was out of danger, if disease didn’t catch him. Sister Sonja, after surviving the ritual as a possible next victim, made a commitment to work her own trauma by making the best job to tend Lord Sigmar’s flock. Two thirds of the soldiers and staff had died, all of the remaining in need of some care, and only one dog remained, but to be taken care of for at least one month. The handler was there with extra cuts to become scars. And the dwarf had been killed in his bed. He was the one that directed the brothers attention when only Sven was at the basement. The shouts he gave before being killed did that.

From the cultists, the annoying librarian Otto Geizhals had survived. He was all the evidence they needed, but the head of the steward, with his mutated eye, was also taken, with the head of two beastmen to add to it. And Sven had four forbidden books, including the two the cultists had used for the summoning. Herr Hendrick and the brothers left the Manor with it all and a letter from Lord Aschanffenberg begging the help of Ubersreik.

The four of them, with the bound librarian, got to the city in time to be able to enter. The next day it was closed in quarantine, since a plague had emerged inside the city five days before, getting serious the day before they got there. The only exception to the quarantine was the departure, in the following morning, of a group of Reikland’s Guard and a witch hunter leaving for Grunewald Lodge with Vern Hendrick. To them, Herr Hendrick and the Sontag brothers had delivered, the night before, the panicked librarian, the heads and two of the books Sven carried. The apprendice wizard kept the two that were used in the invocation to take to his Order, if he could find a way to do that safely without being caught and mistaken for a cultist himself...

With Ranald’s luck, he would manage.

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