WFRP: Help wanted (18)

“My neighbour is a vampire! Will pay handsomely for someone to dispose of him before he sucks my blood! Priests of Morr won’t do anything, so you are my only hope! Also, premium paid to those who can remove the rats in the walls.”

– Curious note stuck on the Dead Tree at the North Gate.

One of my traits as a Game Master is that I set up situations that never are what they seem to be. Unfortunately, my players have become very skilled in figuring this out, so half the time they are still way ahead of me figuring out who to burn and who to suck up to.

The help wanted ad above could very well concern a real vampire. It could also be a clue into something else entirely, a drug ring, a lone blunderbuss man planning to assassinate the Emperor, or just someone who’s afraid of sunlight.


Is there a scholar in the house?

I soon realised that I had to find another way of earning money. Since Professor Gutbelesen would not pay me until my I took up my position, which he himself had postponed for over a week, I’d have to put some Karls in my purse to pay for food and other necessities. So I went to the North gate and crowded with adventurers, vagrants and other riffraff, trying to find a job on the Dead Tree. I was temporarily distracted as a fight broke out by the gate, evidently a group of refugees had desperately tried to storm into the city, hoping to overrun the North Gate Guards. As most people moved to investigate or just gawk at the spectacle, I got a closer look at the offerings. One in particular caught my eye.

“If you can read this you might fit the bill! The Ratchett Lines needs a scribe or a scholar to help expand its services! Apply at the Ratchett Stables in the Bankbezirk!”

I vaguely remembered the Ratchett Lines as one of the smaller coaching companies that had routes to Middenheim. I had ended up travelling with Cartak Lines, but it seemed to me that both of them was the same kind of company. I tore down the paper, and made my way towards the Bankbezirk, which conveniently was the neighbourhood district. As I left I saw the North Gate Guards subdue the last of the desperate refugees, and the reinforcements were moving out among the tents to deal out some preventive violence. I remembered the bribe I had to pay to enter Altdorf, a sum none of the people living just outside the walls could afford.

Adolphus Altdorfer
Aubentag, Nachexen 6, 2522 IC

The Ratchett Line and the Cartak Line were first mentioned in The Enemy Within, if my sources are correct. They are listed as operating out of Altdorf, and as being in competition with the dominant WFRP coaching line; Four Seasons Coaches. No other information was given, so it will be interesting to see what Adolphus finds out.

I have placed the coaching companies in the Bankbezirk, all fairly close to each other. I hope to establish a running rivalry between the lines, which should give ample opportunity for work for adventurers. The most obvious job is hiring on as a guard for one of the coaches, or even as a driver if you posses the appropriate skill. This works well if you want the characters to leave Altdorf, and for such occasions they might just get paid to do a one way trip, if that suits your needs.

But I feel that there are plenty of other venues for adventures associated with coaching lines, and not all of them means that the characters have to leave Altdorf. I’ll look into those opportunities later.


The North Gate

I scribble these words hastily before my stump of candle burns out. I have found a place to stay for a couple of days and I’ll write more on that tomorrow. I’m disappointed to say that my arrival at the gates of the Imperial capital was less than grand. One of the wheels of our coach shattered some miles outside the city, and we hade to trudge through mud and ice cold puddles of slush, as we watched the sun hang lower and lower in the sky. At six it was almost dark and I imagined I could hear the rustle of leaves and the snapping of branches as beastmen and mutants prepared to slaughter us all. But my prayers to Verena was answered and we happened upon a small contingent of mercenaries heading for Altdorf looking for employment in the wake of the Storm of Chaos. Among ourselves we collected enough gold to hire the sellswords as protectors for the rest of the journey. I am grateful for this even though my funds were sorely depleted as a result. It was late when we finally spied the imposing walls of the city, and the multitude of tents erected just outside the walls, their canvas weighted down with ice cold water from the sleet and the winter rains we have suffered during the last of the year. The tents belonged to refugees from the Storm of Chaos, too poor or too dishevelled to gain admittance to the city within. They came from all over the Empire, and many had grevious wounds or racking coughs. I stayed as far from them as I could, but the road was lined with beggars, harlots, thieves and ruffians. I’m sure they would have made short order of me had we not been in the company of the mercenaries. Still we were dirty and tired after the trip and was rudely pushed to the end of a long line of peasants and commoners waiting to be admitted. No amount of protests from me or my travelling companions impressed the guards at the gate. After waiting for over an hour we were brought before a bored and unkempt guard captain who casually glanced at our papers and docked us each four gold crowns before he let us in. I’m sure the gate tax is set a one crown per leg, but I was in no condition to offer any opposition to his larcenous ways. And finally, I was in Altdorf.

Adolphus Altdorfer

Bezahltag, Nachexen 1, 2522 IC