So, continuing with the report of the Enemy Within campaign for WFRP, after The Ritual we moved onto the first proper adventure, Mistaken Identity.
The players and characters were;
Ed – Thorgrim – Dwarf Scholar
Amy – Llewellyn – Wood Elf Warrior
Andy – Thorn – Wood Elf Scholar (wizard’s apprentice)
James – Deem – Dwarf Warrior
Alan – Yvette – Human Ranger
The Coach and Horses Inn
Armed with a pamphlet promising great adventure and riches if they could get to Altdorf (the capital of the Empire), the players’ first port of call was getting to the nearest coaching inn and then paying to ride all the way to the capital. Simple, right, bit like catching a bus.
Oh, it so did not work out that way.
They get to the Coach and Horses Inn late in the evening, just in time for dinner. The innkeeper, Gustav, greeted them and served up the food while they eyed the other patrons of the inn. Phillipe Descartes, a Bretonnian fop, approached the players and offered a game of cards. Alan (playing the human ranger Yvette) was the only one who accepted and was delighted when he won the first couple of rounds, gaining a Gold Crown every time. He started to suspect not everything was as it should be when the stakes got boosted to ten Gold Crowns a time and he started losing…
Meanwhile, the others had located the coachmen who were heading to Altdorf and paid for the trip – the money for which the coachmen promptly passed on to the innkeeper in exchange for vast quantities of alcohol.
Believing everything had been done properly, the players retired to their rooms.
They got up early and had breakfast with the other passengers but, come time for departure, there was no sign of the coachmen – the coach and horses had not even been made ready for the journey.
Figuring out what was wrong, James went upstairs to drag the very hungover coachmen from their rooms. They took an inordinate amount of time to hook everything up but, finally, everything was ready. The passengers got on board, with James choosing to ride on the roof. However, when Alan tried to get inside, he was stopped short by the bodyguard of a lady who refused to ride with peasants.
Perhaps figuring that a bodyguard of a mousey noblewoman could not be all that, decided to call her out. The bodyguard stepped out of the coach, prepared for a fist fight, while Alan decided to pull a sword on her. Following the Law of Barfights (where you never, ever draw steel), I decided the dice would fall where they may.
The fight was short, and ended up with Alan unconscious and down a Fate Point. A good start, this early on in the adventure. Needless to say, the first grudge of the campaign had appeared.
The others decided that the roof of the coach would not be so bad after all and, pulling Alan’s limp body on top with them, the coach (finally) set off. Very slowly – it seemed the coachmen were not too keen on making any great speed, nursing bad headaches as they were. James suggested they might want to pick up the pace and they did. For a few minutes, before going back to their slow plodding. Remembering he had the Drive Cart skill, James suggested he took over, an offer the coachmen were only too willing to accept (what did they care, they had already been paid, and now someone else was doing their job for them!).
It then started raining. This woke Alan up but, after a few miles, everyone on top of the coach was thoroughly wet and, on top of that, a wheel fell off while under James’ control. It was at that point the coachmen felt they had better get back in charge of the vehicle.
A few miles on, they came across a dead body lying in the middle of the road, with a figure hunched over it. As they got closer, it leaps up at them, and it was revealed to be a hideous mutant. Alan, meanwhile, recognised the mutant as Rolf, an old roguish friend of his. The horses broke free of the coach, dragging one of the coachmen with them, while the players dealt with the mutant.
This was quickly done, but then they heard a terrible cry from further up the road, followed by a crashing through the trees alongside the road, but held their fire as the coachman returned. Meanwhile, Amy jumped off the coach to cut through the trees and see what was up ahead.
She spied another coach, overturned, with bodies strewn all about. There were more mutants, one hacking away at the horses of that coach and another eating a baby (seriously). Making her way back to the others, the players quickly came up with an ambush plan of their own and saw the mutants off.
Picking their way through the carnage, they quickly assessed what had happened. However, James noticed the body of a Dwarf half-hidden in shrubbery and, turning the corpse over, was shocked to discover the Dwarf looked exactly like him. Furthermore, a quick search revealed an official looking letter that stated the Dwarf had been on his way to Bogenhafen to collect a rather sizeable inheritance. With this, there was another letter with some notables swearing as to the identity of the Dwarf.
It took James exactly two seconds to figure out what he was going to do next, but at that point a squad of Roadwardens arrived, demanding to know what had happened. While Alan and Amy explained the battle, backed up by the coachmen, James was surreptitiously trying to nudge the body of the Dwarf further into the shrubs.
The Roadwardens believed the players’ story (it did have the benefit of being true, not always the obvious trait of player stories) and allowed them to continue. Once the horses had been located and hitched back up to the coach, the journey continued.
It should be pointed out that, throughout this little episode, Alan was constantly suggesting he stay at the coach to ‘protect’ the passengers, while the other players would, under no circumstances, let him…
The Inn of the Seven Spokes
As night fell, the coach reached the main Altdorf-Middenheim road, and the coaching inn that was at the junction. The end was almost in sight!
Only one incident of real note happened here.
Alan decided to get up really early and, well, there is no delicate way to put this, he went to the coach and took a dump inside it, intending to teach the noblewoman and her bodyguard a lesson.
Unfortunately for him, the noblewoman embarked on a different coach – not my choice, it is right there on page 46 of the adventure! Still, a little frustrated revenge rarely goes amiss, and it just happened to work out well.
The other players were looking forward to a more comfortable journey to Altdorf but after seeing what Alan had done inside the coach, decided they did not really fancy it and so took to the roof again…
In Part Two of Mistaken Identity, the players get to Altdorf and find their lives will be taking a new turn…