Today’s recap is brought to us by Tim O.’s Sunday Fantastic Heroes & Witchery Sessions.
This was my second session with the group, third overall (if I am not mistaken), taking place in the city of Zhao Shu on the eve of the transition of power from one Emperor to another. Last session, the group launched their efforts to recover a magical tome that could heal Urnst (played by Anthony F.) of his withering affliction from the library of Fen Wu.
Welcome to Our Band of Misfits
Participating in this grand boondoggle (we’ll get there) was Alex P. as Ashtok, the warlock on the run from a powerful lord in Zhao Shu; Anders L. as Klaus Ritter the foreign monster hunter and the sensible one in the Ritter & Fiddlestein partnership; and Albrecht Fiddlestein, played by myself, the alchemist from the same foreign land (or thereabouts) as Klaus and the person voted most likely to take the piss at a funeral.
Anthony F. was also there for a bit as Urnst, the withered husk of a man out to regain his vitality. Due to complications, Anthony did not complete the session with the rest of us. I’m looking forward to seeing what becomes of Urnst next session, given the conclusion of this one which I shall discuss shortly.
The Consecution of an Emperor
Twas the eve before the Consecution and all through Zhao Shu, everybody was stirring…especially:
The Cockroaches, the Dead Bodies, and the Giant Spiders…Oh My!
Having survived the ambush from last session by what appeared to be cockroach-men whose objective seemed to be to kidnap poor old Albrecht, the session picked up where we left off previously: licking minor wounds and wishing for the laundress. This was especially true of Albrecht who, at the start, found himself with the leaking corpse of one of their attackers on top of him.
After being helped back onto his feet by Ashtok, Albrecht joined the others in regrouping. Cleaning the viscera and ichor of their dead foes from themselves, the group was surprised yet again by a second arrival: the arrival of Klaus Ritter, Albrecht’s friend and partner upon whom’s sword-arm the half-gnome often relied.
After a quick round of introductions, and with Albrecht’s spirits lifted, the now strengthened party cleaned themselves of cockroach viscera and ichor as they approached the abode of Slick Rick (one of Albrecht and Klaus’ main contacts in Zhao Shu). They found the doors to Rick’s establishment disturbingly ajar, the lights within dimmed. Approaching cautiously, the group slowly began to explore within.
They found the warehouse in disarray and Rick’s office ransacked. Exploring there provided no sign of Rick, though it did provide Albrecht the opportunity to pilfer a sack of quality silverware. Moving on, the party quickly discovered the makeshift casino ran by the Slickster and stumbled upon the scene of a massacre.
Bodies lay strewn everywhere, the floor boards covered in blood and other fluids. Carefully they moved, attempting to secure the room and find any sign of Rick. The moans of a burnt and badly wounded man was that sign, the group finding Slick rick collapsed in the corner of the room. The man was able to mummer about being betrayed by a woman before slipping into unconsciousness.
The situation was bad and it became worse when Urnst, who had been guarding the door connecting the warehouse and the casino, was suddenly entangled in webbing. A spider, about the size of a mastiff, was attacking! The group found themselves in the second fight for their lives that evening, but this time they had Klaus who quickly took the lead and charged into the fray.
Albrecht, for his part, made his way through the bodies and blood to free Urnst from the snare he found himself him. As blade clashed with claw and dark sorcery flew, Albrecht managed to free Urnst…only to draw the ire of the spider beast. Leaping through the air, the creature landed atop of Albrecht’s back and shoulders, biting deeply into his pasty half-gnomish flesh.
Luck again proved to be with Albrecht that evening. Though bleeding badly, the creatures toxins had found no purchase within his body. Survival seemed ever more likely.
The others, not sitting idly as Albrecht was savaged, wasted no time in renewing their attacks against the creature. Albrecht and the creature tumbled: Albrecht ended up against one of the tables while the creature launched itself against its other multiple foes. As the group battled the giant spider, Albrecht (muttering in a strange tongue) cast a defensive spell. The battle was fierce but the creature, outnumbered as it was, could not stand against the groups final blow delivered by Albrecht and his alchemist’s fire.
With the casino now burning as a result of Albrecht’s actions, the party grabbed the wounded Rick and hobbled Urnst before beating a hasty retreat. Wounded, filthy, and worn out the party decided to regroup at the hideout. A healer was summoned for Rick and Albrecht collapsed from his wounds once safely within the hideout.
Good Plan…Questionable Execution
The next morning, and with the Consecution occurring that evening, set out to get their plan back on track. They still needed coin to finance their distraction which they then hoped would allow them to penetrate what remained of Fen Wu’s security. Fortunately, Albrecht still had the silver gained from Slick Rick’s office. He left to hock it with a local dealer and to purchase fresh clothing.
After Albrecht returned, he got about making a poison to incapacitate the guards with at the group’s request. He also suggested a method of delivery: brandy. Only problem was getting the guards to drink it. The alchemist, again, had another brilliant idea and ran off to secure prostitutes to join their endeavor while the group prepared for the assault.
While Albrecht was gone, Jura (played by Tim for this session) was sent out to secure the services of the bouncer of the Bathory & Cage, with whom he was aqcuainted. He haggled well, better than Albrecht as it would soon be revealed, as he returned with the musclebound warrior-woman in tow. Albrecht returned without the ladies of the night, having found the price beyond the groups meager funds.
In his final master stroke of deranged genius, Albrecht suggested that he play the part of the prostitute. The group seemed to agree to this, after a fashion, and Albrecht charged up the stairs of their hovel to change into something with more a bit more air flow. Thus it was that the group left their hideout disguised as a troupe of ill-repute and headed to the estate of Fen Wu.
Things Get Bloody…Again
At first, things went well at the estate. The guards, already intoxicated from their celebration of the Consecution, bought the story of a pimp (Klaus) with his offering of whore (Albrecht) and brandy. With Klaus and Albrecht providing a distraction, Ashtok and the bouncer sneaked into the estate.
Unfortunately, Ashtok was recognized almost immediately by the houses steward. After a brief chase and failed attempted to murder the steward, the old man managed to escape Ashtok behind a heavy locked door. Undeterred, but now in a rush. Ashtok lead his muscle to the library in haste.
Holding the scribes at ax-point, Ashtok demanded the book in question. One scribe, a boy, decided to aid them. At this point, the steward arrived with a guard. A brief battle ensued, with Ashtok and the bouncer emerging victorious. With the steward held down by the bouncer, Ashtok decided to gain a small measure of revenge for threats against him made by the steward and slit his throat (to the horror of his bodyguard).
It was at this time, having finally dispatched the final guard, that Albrecht and Klaus caught up. Seeing the situation growing increasingly out of control, Albrecht immediately set about stealing any tomes he thought might have value to him. The scene was tense, and grower tenser when red sails could be seen approaching the city from the harbor.
Their situation was about to become so much worse…but that was for another session!
I had a blast in this session. Albrecht is the most fun I’ve had playing a character in a long time. Is he a zany mess or an eccentric genius? Only time and roleplaying will tell!
Once again, Tim GMed an excellent session. The feedback from myself and the other participants was all positive. I look forward to playing with them all again at the next scheduled session which will take place Sunday, January 17th.
Will Albrecht and company escape the library unscathed? Will the tomes they stole hold the secrets of Urnst’s restoration and their own fortunes or will they prove to be a dark albatross hung around their necks as they sink into an endless sea of troubles? We’ll all have to wait till next week and the next recap!