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Altdorf Chronicles, The
System: War Hammer
Thousands of years ago, when the human tribes were first starting to consolidate, Morr sent his messenger. The highest practitioner of the faith among the elves on Ulthuan, was Evan Ethandril. Taken with her mission she traversed the ocean and found followers with the human tribe known as the Uberungens. There she spent many years teaching the humans the rites and ceremonies of Morr as the God of Death. Before she completed her instruction, however, she felt a great surge of dark power to the south moving north. She left to investigate with her underprepared initiates, for none of the humans truly understood the core principles yet.
The Altdorf Chronicles
Thousands of years ago, when the human tribes were first starting to consolidate, Morr sent his messenger. The highest practitioner of the faith among the elves on Ulthuan, was Evan Ethandril. Taken with her mission she traversed the ocean and found followers with the human tribe known as the Uberungens. There she spent many years teaching the humans the rites and ceremonies of Morr as the God of Death. Before she completed her instruction, however, she felt a great surge of dark power to the south moving north. She left to investigate with her underprepared initiates, for none of the humans truly understood the core principles yet. When they were only a few miles south of the Uberungen camp they encountered the first of the undead scouts. Realizing that this was the vanguard of Nagash's army, Evan sent her initiates back to warn the Uberungen leader, Sigmar.
Alone Evan Evandril did battle with the horde of Nagash for seven hours, at which point Nagash's field marshal, the vampire Hathshepsut rode forward and struck Evan down. Evan slowly regained consciousness as Hathshepsut drained her and then brought her back to join the legions of the undead. The vampire general had drained her life, but underestimated her will. Evan, now undead herself, arose and attacked Hathshepsut with his own weapon decapitating him on top of the hill. With their leader, and controller, defeated the vanguard of Nagash, and their suprise attack were thwarted, but at the cost of the High Priestess of Morr.
Evan Evandril disappeared at that point, rumors say she went to gain entrance to the realm of the dead, where she could reside with her lord. What is known is that no other teacher ever came to replace the High Priestess, and that knowledge of Morr the humans now have, was discovered on their own, for Evan took her knowledge with her when she left.
The Truth:(GM's ONLY)
Elves thoroughly worship Morr differently than humans do.
Elves bury their dead in certain mausoleums where their souls are
harnessed for the good of all elves. (This is one of the reasons
that elves are so powerful) The souls of dead elves reside in
the realm of dreams, rather than the realm of the dead. This way
ancient knowledge can be retrieved even if all the holders of
such knowledge are dead.
Evan found her way to the realm of the dead, but could not cross the bridge to the realm of dreams. Normally, the undead can't dream. Morr, took pity on his greatest servant, and built a massive Hall for her to rest in. As long as Evan remains in her Tomb she sleeps, and dreams.
At present, Khaine, the god of murder, has found a way to invade the realm of the dead. The temple of Morr in Altdorf was built over a much older dwelling. All that remains of this original structure is part of the wall. This is the place where the battle between Evan Evandril and Hathshepsut occurred and where, after the battle, Evan's initiates built a mausoleum that would never be occupied in her memory.
Khaines followers have taken over the temple and completed the necessary rituals. Khaine has gained access to the realm of the dead. Even worse, Khaine has already won. The realm of the dead has been taken by Khaine, who is now preparing to invade the realm of dreams and finally destroy his brother.
This is the situation that the characters will be walking into;-).
From the Marienburg Chronicles To Now:
At the end of the last adventure the characters defeated some evil dark elf mages and the island they were on was sinking. The characters have to return to Marienburg to collect their pay. Here are a couple options that can be used to make returning home difficult.
1. There was a half-eaten carcass of an Orca whale by an inland lake that the characters passed on their way into the island. This lake was the home of a Kraken. Now that the island is sinking they PC's might run into a hungry Kraken who is also leaving.
2. The ship the PC's were on was a dark elf ship. They commanded it, because they defeated the dark elf captain. Three things could happen here.
- a. The dark elves are all dead and the PC's have to figure out how to run the ship without the crew.
- b. The dark Elves have mutinied and ambushthe characters when they return.
- c. The ship is gone.
Back in Marienburg:
When the PC's return they will have to wait until morning before the Merchant's Guild office is open. When they finally get to see their connection in the guild, he will tell them that there was a robbery the night before and the warehouse that contained the party's reward was looted along with two other warehouses. To make matters worse three guild barges were stolen. If the PC's would be so kind as to retrieve the stolen goods and barges, then the guild would be more than glad to double the PC's fee to 2000 GC's a piece.
This is a bit of an exaggeration. Three warehouses were looted and three barges stolen, but the reward was not there. The warehouses belonged to Franz, (see Marienburg Chronicles) and the guild is worried that something connecting their attempt to sneak their man in as an Elector will be uncovered. The guild also wanted to get the characters away as fast as possible while they, the guild, decide what they want to do. Franz (see Marienburg Chronicles) was the Guilds secret bid for an electoral position. As it turned out, not only do the PC's know that the Guild tried to get one of their people made an elector, but that that person was a chaos sorcerer.
The vampire did it. There was a vampire at Franz's estate studying with him. This vampire escaped death during the adventure, but returned to Marienburg and robbed the warehouses. She then stole the barges and sailed to Altdorf.
Arriving in Altdorf:
The characters should arrive in Altdorf at night. When they dock at a pier, they will see the Harbormaster's light go off, signaling the end of the day. It will be too late to conduct any business and only a few people will be in sight.
At the next pier, they will see a few, unhappy sailors painting a few ships. A character with sailing can have an Int. test to notice that these barges really don't need it. If the PC's talk to the men painting the ships they can find out that these men haven't been paid yet and are getting pissed off. Seems the person who hired them hasn't shown up with their payment. If asked any questions about cargo they will shrug and say that only the mate and the captain know what was in the holds. If asked where the mate and captain are, they'll point over to a nearby tavern.
The PC's if, through sneakiness or whatever, get to search the boats they will find only that the boats are empty. If they get into the Harbormaster's office at night without being caught, they can find that the three boats were unloaded into three warehouses under lease by the Temple of Morr.
At the Tavern on the Reik:
In the tavern there are a lot of drunk, angry, unpaid sailors. The PC's can get in good with the sailors by buying a round or two, or just sitting down and letting them cheat at poker. Eventually the character's should be able to find out who the mate is and that the captain is not here. After a couple more drinks, ( PC takes aT test or pass out now), the Mate will confirm that they came from Altdorf and have not been paid, he will also (another T test) tell them what warehouses they unloaded in (Int. test to understand a Drunk's directions). Anyone who has the Consume alcohol skill will be fine, as a matter of fact, anyone with that skill will still be awake and drinking when all of a sudden the mate stands up and says "Good Morning, Captain!"
It will be false dawn, and a couple of drunk characters will have to follow the Captain to find out who hired him and his crew. Make this as easy or tough as you want, but the PC's won't be able to catch up. Eventually the character's will see the Captain enter the Temple of Morr. If the PC's try to enter, an initiate will stop them and say the Temple will be open for services in a few hours. If they persist they will be escorted away by the town guard. If they ask about the Captain, the initiate will state that he was in a meeting with the High Priestess. If they demand to join the meeting, they will be told to make an appointment, later this afternoon will be fine. (Door Shuts)
There are a couple things to notice. One anyone with theology who makes an Int. test will realize that it is customary for Morr's temple to be open at all times. Any character who has completed an initiate or Priest career will realize with an Int test -20 normal, +10 Priest of Morr) that the title High Priest(ess) is not used in the Temple of Morr.
Fill the warehouses with whatever you want to. Coffins and crates of soil from Kislev are always good, as are certain cursed items of chaos. Whatever, but remember to have some of bear Franz's name or sail.
The Temple of Morr:
At the Temple of Morr the characters will be stopped at the entrance and told that they cannot enter with their weapons. If they PC's whine convincingly (fel. test) they will let them enter with the weapons, but will be insistent that the weapons are tied down;-) The characters, should they return to the Temple of Morr, will have to make an appointment then wait, then be let in, then wait, finally after a good long wait, A priest will enter as say, " The High Priestess is conducting a ceremony in the catacombs, she is pressed for time I'm afraid, but if you could follow me, she can spare you a few minutes." The PC's should follow the man down to the catacombs. He will walk as though he knows the whole area and eventually he will stop at an intersection.
"Ahhh, there she is, I see she's talking with someone, Your Worship, here are the people who wanted to speak with you". The High Priestess will turn and beckon the PC's down the hallway. As the PC's come nearer they will see a strange stone rising out of the floor covered with writing. At this point any character with identify undead, will notice that that man with the High Priestess is the Captain and that he is undead, (Int test to notice, Cool test if successful, insanity point is failed) The High Priestess will be recognized as the Vampire from Franz's estate. She will immediately turn to a cloudlike form and fly down to the end of the hallway, before any of the characters have a chance to react. ( If you want to make this seem fair, I suggest tell all the PC's to make an I test. Then finding out who made it by the highest amount and saying "Damn, you just missed it.") At the end of the Hallway the High Priestess vampire will do some quick magic stuff and then the end of the hallway, the only exit will collapse.
The characters will have time to examine the pillar at the end of the hallway. It contains the history of Evan Evandril, in a slightly distorted form. After a round or two tell the PC's that they hear shuffling sounds from the rubble area at the end of the hallway. From the smoke and dust a group of skeletons will emerge. The PC's will have to fight off this horde of skeletons while they search for a secret exit. Unfortunately for the PC's, there is no secret exit, they really are buried alive. The skeletons will keep coming and coming. Each time a wave is destroyed another wave of skeletons will emerge from the catacombs and spaces in the walls. If the characters have no light source, remember to keep the whole battle in the dark. If you haven't figured it out yet, the characters are supposed to die here. One you have killed them all the first part of the Altdorf Chronicles is completed.
Whats going on
The nosy PC's were killed for getting too close, and the Vampire has a grudge against them. Morr, even though he is greatly weakened, has put his hand in this. He doesn't have enough power to break back into the realm of the dead and awake his champion, but if a certain group of good adventurer's were to show up, they might be able to sneak in.
The characters awake.
The PC's will wake up one by one on a small hill. The whole area is shrouded in fog, but it appears to be false dawn. All the PC's are naked, and have no weapons. Any injuries they received in the battle with the skeletons will still be there, but they won't be affected by them. ("Yes, the bones sticking out of my arm, but I tell you it's fine, I can use it." Cool test) As the characters stumble around, have one of them make a Perception test. If they fail, they fall over a body. The fog will have cleared a little by now and the characters will realize they are on a battlefield. They can scavenge for items and armor. Be as kind or cruel as you want.
The first character to finish, will notice, I test, that there seems to be a large group in the distance. By the time all the PC's have equipped them selves, one of them, probably one will Excellent vision, will see that the group is carrying a banner(of Khaine, I test). At this time a small detachment will break off of the main group of Khaines army and start heading towards the PC's. They've been seen. There will be a large flying creature and a group of two skeletal champions and ten skeletal hounds. The PC's can run, but the fight will happen eventually.
Make this as long as you want, they can find other things on the way, but the only important thing is that they eventually see two elves guarding what seems to be a gate to nowhere. The PC's can make it to the elves before the hunting party arrives, if they're that weak. The guards are elven wardancers and will help the PC's, but not say anything. The PC's will not be allowed to pass through the gate with their weapons or armor, as it is tainted. One through the gate the PC's will cross into a fantastic realm that is beautiful as only a dream can be. Beings of all sorts will seemingly appear out of nowhere and do something and then fade away. Soon, a huge castle will rise out of the forested mountains. The PC's when the get to the castle, will be told that they were expected. ("its funny, no matter which way we turn we're headed towards that castle.") They will be taken to a room where they are told to bathe. When the bath is done they will be given clothing and armor if requested. (yes whatever they want, my PC's get very! nervous when I start lavishly rewarding them).
The characters will meet a beautiful elvish woman wearing some sort of priestly garments. She will appraise the characters of the situation and answer some questions.
1. Yes, you are dead.
2. Khaine now controls the realm of the dead and is on his way here.
3. This is the realm of dreams.
4. Morr needs your help, you must free his champion, she is in the realm of the dead.
5. You will have a guide.
6. I must go now, head back to the gate.
To the champions Crypt.
The PC's will leave then. When they get outside there will be a path in front of them. If they follow it they will come to an encampment. There is now a huge army of elves outside the gate preparing for battle. They will be shown to the gate and ushered through it. On the other side, they will see a cloud of dust rising. Int test -10, normal for scouts, to realize there is an army about 3 miles away headed in this direction. Suddenly a raven will fly over they're shoulders and head off to the right, or left, whatever is away from the undead army. The PC's should pursue, this is their guide.
The Characters will at some point be seen by a scouting party in the distance who will start a pursuit. The PC's may however, not pick up on this fact, so just make them take perception tests whenever its convenient. After a moderate journey, and passing a ruined castle, Morr's old castle of the dead, they see the raven fall out of the sky, but not what hit it.
As they crest the hill they will see the remains of the raven splattered across the door to an old crypt. As they start to descend the hill to the crypt they will see a huge boulder move. Out of the darkness beyond the boulder a huge clawed hand will grip the top of the boulder and a Dragon Ogre will appear. The Dragon Ogre will be noticeable( I test) chained to a huge rock. (The picture of the Dragon Ogre in Slaves to Darkness is where I got this scene) The PC's will do battle with the Dragon Ogre, for it's not chained to that huge rock, it is the beasts weapon. After they win, hopefully, they will have access to the crypt.
After clearing the raven off the door, they will see a riddle, this riddle should have something to do with death, dreams, the soul, the afterlife or whatever. But, since the riddle's I used in my game are copyrighted I'm not going to reprint them. There were two riddles, one to open the door to the crypt and one to open the coffin, or awake her. If you are running a campaign, I suggest using a key, word, or knowledge that the characters gained in a previous adventure. I love tie ins that PC's have forgotten about.
The PC's fail at opening the crypt. They can go back and get into the final battle. They will have to take on Khaines champion in place of the High Priestess of Morr. This will be a damn near impossible battle (expenditure of all fate points, and they have a chance.) The PC's will probably witness the death of a god, Morr that is, or his imprisonment and then have to escape.
The PC's if they succeed in waking the High Priestess Evan Evandril, she will wisk out of the crypt towards the battle. Perch. test to realize that the Lady who just left, looks exactly like the female elf they spoke to in the realm of dreams.
This is as far as the adventure was really planned. I had some extra time and added this events. The PC's chose to follow the High Priestess into the battle. I threw some minor skirmishes at them, and them let them notice the following events.
"As you kill the last of this group of skeletons, you see two figures, each astride a large hill. ( Any character with excellent vision can see that the figures are none other than the Evan Evandril and The Vampire.) Evan spreads her hand an a series of three circle of black appear. Out of the circles beams of bluish light streak across towards the Vampire. The Vampire, however, counters with three gates of her own. Out of them, come three giants all of whom take hits by the bluish light, two fall, but one keeps shambling forward."
The battle will go on like this for a bit, any time the PC's start to move towards the main confrontation, they will have to fight 8-20 skeletons. If any of the PC's cast any spells at the Vampire, the following event will occur.(this is the way it happened when I ran it, thetas all I have) "You see the surviving giant appear again, but behind Evan, without enough time to shout a warning, the giant hits Evan from behind. Evan falls to one knee, before she turns around and sends a bolt of lightning at the giant and its finally falls over. But while distracted two of her gates collapsed and the Vampire has just sent a huge swarm of flaming bats towards her.
The Vampire then turns towards the PC's and grins. Slowly she turns her hand palm up and raises it. In front of the characters a black circle starts to crawl over the ground. It stops when about 5 feet in diameter and two huge hands grip the edges and start pulling it wider from the inside. From the darkness, the PC's favorite friend, the dragon ogre returns, this time undead, that means stronger.
The dragon ogre will do battle with the PC's and if they win, the day is saved.
One group didn't cast spells at the Vampire, instead they noticed another dragon ogre and a troop of skeletons that are sneaking up behind Evan Evandril. They had to chase them down, get through the skeletons and kill the dragon ogre before it attacked the High Priestess.
The PC's if victorious, will encounter the High Priestess, Evan Evandril. She will thank the characters for Morr, and inform them that Morr has decided to grant them one boon, or wish if you will. The PC's will have to decide immediately though, Morr has a lot to do. I know this wish thing sounds DNDish, but wait, theres a catch. The PC's are still dead, if they don't use their wish very carefully they stay dead. Wishing to be alive should work, here are some other examples that I let work.
1. The Priest of Ulric wished to serve his god as best as possible.
2. The Troll Slayer was knocked unconscious by the skeletons, and then died on his back, he wished for an honorable death, so I let him return to find one.
M WS BS S T A W I Dex Int Cl Ld Fel
(3) (30) (20) (3) (3) (1) (5) (25) (25) (25) (25) (25) (25)
M WS BS S T A W I
(5) (35) (--) (4) (3) (1) (10) (35)
Can do anything, have fun
Dragon Ogre/Undead Dragon Ogre
M WS BS S T A W I Cl Fel
(5/5) (40/50) (40/30) (6/7) (6/7) (4/5) (40/50) (25/30) (89) (20/-)