The Pig, The Witch and her Lover – Session 1
Episode 1 – Hard Times Befell Krote
Act 1: Welcome to Krote
As they enter the little hamlet of Krote, our adventurers notice its weathered, rundown state and the oppressive air of decay that hangs about the place. The villagers give them suspicious looks. [WFRP3 note: For the duration of the adventure in the village, the “Rural Settlement” location is in place]. The adventurers realize most of the villagers are either women, of varying age, or older men. Where are the younger men?
Arriving at the center of town they see the Fettered Fox, the local watering hole where they were told Vosgart, a priest of Taal who requested the help of the League, would be waiting. Vosgart is an elderly priest of Taal. He wears a coarse woolen robe caught with brambles and bits of weeds and stained with pollen. He has a faraway look in his eyes like he is imagining better times and places.
The adventurers settle down at Vosgart’s table and he orders them drinks before beginning his tale:
“Once again thank you all for coming. This is indeed an odd situation and one that I am afraid we here in Krote are ill equipped to deal with. It seems one of our prominent citizens; a man by the name of Konrad Lankdorf has vanished. Two nights ago a local woman, Greta Kummel, heard what sounded like an argument coming from Konrad’s home. When she went to investigate she witnessed the widow Ilsa Mohr, Konrad’s longtime lover, coming out of the house pursued by a rather irate pig. When the people arrived, there was no sign of Konrad except a few rags of clothing. Word quickly spread and Ilsa was arrested, though she claims to know nothing of where Konrad has gone or how a pig came to be in his home. Many in the village have long suspected Ilsa of witchery, though I think this is more because of her knowledge of herbs and healing ways than any kind of unnatural abilities. However it seems these suspicions combined with this event have been enough for Greta and the other villagers to accuse her of being a witch and transforming Konrad into a pig. With no sign of a body or the errant beast, Otto, the town mayor, has caved into the pressure of the villagers and holds Ilsa in his cellar pending a trial to determine if she is indeed a witch. I am convinced however there is more going on here than is apparent and have gained Otto’s consent to stage an investigation, which is where you come in.”
Discussing further with Vosgart, they learn the following:
- Greta is an angry old woman. Her and her husband, Victor, were very good friend of Konrad, so she may be resentful against Ilsa.
- Konrad’s farm is outside the village, to the North. It is a well to do farm as Konrad owns a lot of land, almost as much at Otto, the mayor of the town.
- Greta and Victor hamlet is just south of Konrad’s farm. They have a clear view of its front entrance.
- Otto’s farm is inside the village, with a huge pen, containing lots of pigs, sheep and cows.
- The young men in this town have been marched off to war by the local Baron against Greenskins activities happening in the East.
- A small militia is remaining in the village, but most are just farmers. They are little needed in the peaceful village of Krote, except for protection against beastmen.
- Otto is the highest authority in the village. He would be the judge at the trial. The execution would be carried by the militia, or the priest of Taal.
- There is a small shrine to Taal outside the village, to the South. All gods are worshipped, but Taal is first and foremost.
It is dusk by the time the adventurers finish their discussion with Vosgart, and they decide to spend the night at the inn before to start their investigation in the morning. Vosgart ask them to meet him back at the inn for lunch tomorrow.
Oleg, feeling generous, spends 3s to buy lodging, meals and drinks for his companions. He also buys drinks for all patrons. The dwarf, Lokgrund, drinks his fair share, socializing with the locals. While Oleg and Lokgrund are drinking, Max sits down in the corner, and scrutinizes the patrons while oiling his pistol. As for Gustav, his first duty is to inspect the local graveyard to make sure it is well kept. Apparently it is, Vosgart, the only priest of the town, do it all.
Throughout the evening, our adventurers learn the following from the villagers:
- Ilsa is a witch and has turned that good man Konrad into a pig.
- Otto is going to burn Ilsa for her crimes to save the whole village
- Just a few weeks ago Victor and Konrad killed a giant Beastman on the edge of the woods. Victor has fallen ill since that encounter
Max scrutinizing the villagers realizes that they are more fearful than angry. Yet it wouldn’t take much to enflame. They just don’t want a witch around… and who could blame them?
Act 2: The Landowner and the Witch
On the morning, our adventurers woke up early, get a good breakfast and were on their way to speak to with Ilsa, who is detained by Otto.
[WFRP3: A 12 spaces tracker with an event in the middle and at the end is set-up. Throughout the investigation, every time the adventurers speak to a different party (Ex: Ilsa, Otto, The Villagers, etc..), the tracker moves 1 space. If delays or chaos stars are rolled often, the GM may move the tracker additional spaces. The tracker symbolizes the time pressure the adventurers are under to prove Ilsa guilty or innocent of her crime before she is judged and burned by the Village.]
Otto’s house is the largest in the village and fields and pens holding pigs and sheep surround it. He lives here with his five daughters, of varying ages, his wife having died several years ago and his only son marched off to war. Otto is a tall lean but strong man with an impressive bear fur upon his shoulder. His good clothes and well-fed features clearly mark him as the wealthiest person in the village. He however comes across as a well-meaning soul who is just looking out for his livelihood and the town where he lives. The good man welcomes them in his home, but refuses to let them speak with Ilsa. He claims to be concerned that they be beguiled by the Witch.
To break the ice, they discuss his family ancestry, the founding of Krote, and how he got to own that massive bear fur. The adventurers also get to meet Otto five daughters: Alette (12 yo), Elise (10 yo), Karelia (8 yo), Rosamunde (5 yo) and Girlin (3 yo). Girlin, not the least shy, walk up straight to Lokgrund the Dwarf and state in her baby voice “You’re short and fat! Why are you so short and fat?” After an initial indignation from the dwarf, his feature softens and Girlin happily sat in his lap, playing with his beard. Oh oh oh!
The adventurer finally convinces Otto to let them speak to Ilsa. He warns them however not to look upon her least they be bewitched. As he leads them down into his cellar, warning his daughters not to follow, the adventurers can definitely feel that Otto is worried. Is he that afraid of the detained Witch? The adventurers get worried themselves [WFRP3: Party Tension increases of 1].
In the far corner of the dank room is an old rusted cage, of the like used for keeping large wild beasts. A heavy cloth has been draped over the crude prison, all but hiding its occupant. After Otto leaves the cellar, a soft calm voice welcomes the party. Our adventurers, worried about being bewitched, do not muster the courage to lift the cloth as they begin to speak with Ilsa.. [WFRP3: Party tension increases of 1]
After a few exchanges, and hearing such calm and soft voice from Ilsa, the adventurers ashamed finally remove the heavy cloth. Although she’s no longer a young woman, Ilsa is still strikingly beautiful, with long black hair and soft features out of place in the harshness of Krote. She is soft spoken, choosing her words carefully, giving her an air of wisdom and calm. She seems however despondent. Max and Oleg are instantly entranced [WFRP3: Shocked condition]. They stutter like teenage boys throughout the encounter with Ilsa, while the dwarf admonishes them for being weak of mind.
From Ilsa, they learn the following:
- She remember little of that night, only that she had scant knocked upon Konrad’s door before that pig rushed out, knocking her down and making for the woods. Of Konrad, she never saw a sign.
- Konrad and she were very much in love, and she would wish no harm upon him.
- She know in her heart that Konrad is dead, so she does not fear that she will soon join him in Morr’s keeping.
- The villagers are afraid of her skills with herbs, but she has no ills toward them. Vosgart however is a good friend of Ilsa.
- Victor, Greta’s husband, is such a nice man. He used to bring her herbs from the forest.
- The pig ran into the woods. He had some of Konrad’s clothes on him.
- No one in the village has been accused of witchcraft before. Although, there were rumors when her husband died strangely 10 years ago.
- There are people and things at work within the village, evil forces, which do not want the adventurers here.
After the discussion with Ilsa, quite nice actually when all was said, the adventurers go back upstairs to say goodbye to Otto. They observe that the door at the top of the stairs is cracked… Was someone listening?
Briefly they discuss with Otto, and learn:
- It is a shame the adventurers had to be summoned at all. Alas, Vosgart has not been doing his duty as village priest for some years. His advancing years may have dulled his wits.
- Ilsa’s husband died under odd circumstances and no one knows for sure what killed him. Of course, at the time the villagers just put him in the ground with a few questions out of respect for the grieving widow. Father Vosgart was the one who declared him dead.
- Ilsa often called Konrad a pig, sometimes in public, so it seems to make sense she would turn him into one.
As they leave, Gustav tries to intimidate Otto into not going down into the cellar, and not to do anything to Ilsa until they end their investigation. Otto didn’t seem convinced, and pointed out that he is not an evil man and take no pleasure in cleansing this town of Ilsa, but he must think of the other villagers.
Act 3: The Scene of the Crime
Konrad’s home is a modest single story four-room house surrounded by fields, on the outskirt of the village. [WFRP3: The “Isolated Farm” location is in play]
The interior of the house is dank and stale with a faint smell of decay. As they look around, the adventurers notice that most of the furniture has been moved about, some pieces tipped over with mud and dirt streaked across the floorboards. In the filth, they spot numerous boot prints as well as the impressions of quite sizable trotters.
Searching thoroughly the entire house, they find:
- There is evidence of large bloodstains in the center of the dining that have been cleaned up.
- There are small nicks in the wood floor near the stains, as if a knife or axe had been used there.
- Near the back door is the faint outline in dried blood of a man’s boots. It is a large boot print.
- There are few fragments of a clay bottle on the floor near the stains.
- In the fireplace, they discover the remains of clay glasses and bottle, all of which have baked bloody hand prints on them. (The adventurers keep that evidence)
- In the fireplace, they also discover some charred remains of good clothing with bloodstains
By the time they end their search, it is nearly noon time [The Progress Tracker is at space 5 out of 12] and the adventurers are looking to meet Vosgart again for lunch. They are eager to discuss with him what they found, and ask him questions about Ilsa and her husband strange death 10 years ago.
Episode 2 – O Piggy Where Are Thou?
Act 1: The Cripple and the Hag
However, the adventurers decide to stop by the hamlet of Victor and Greta which is on the way. Their house lies on the outskirts of the village and is next to Konrad’s home and lands. [WFRP3: The “Isolated Farm” location is in play]
As they approach this small aging home, they hear the screeching voice of a woman apparently cursing someone loudly. Suddenly, the racket stops and a rotund woman marches out of the house to confront them, a deep scowl on her face. Greta is a lovely kind woman… Just kidding! She is a mean old hag, who starts scolding the adventurers for their idiocy in not realizing that Ilsa is a witch. Greta is a short overweight woman who wears a permanent scowl upon her rough features. [WFRP3: 2 additional misfortune dice in any discussion with Greta. Party Tension increases of 1]
From the short and unpleasant discussion with her, they learn:
- I saw Ilsa come running out of Konrad’s house with that pig hot on her heels. It charged off into the night and she fainted dead away, no doubt exhausted from the hex she had just cast.
- At least Otto has the strength to do something about this situation, he is far better suited to guide this town than that old priest Vosgart.
- This village is full of fools and lazy bones who don’t know what’s good for them. Just like my poor Victor, Krote was once full of determination and hard toil, now it is nothing but a breeding ground for the likes of Ilsa Mohr.
- Victor was the best hunter around until his run with the giant Beastman, a couple weeks ago. Now he can’t even walk, though no one really knows what’s wrong with him.
- Konrad himself had been getting really rowdy lately, getting drink yelling at people, and he always used to be such a nice person. I blame Ilsa.
They convince her (with difficulty, her being so charming) to let them see her husband Victor: Oleg may have some first aid skills that might help him. At the back of the house, they see what at first looks like an old man curled up pitifully in a chair. Closer examination however reveals it to be a man of middle years, wasted to bone thinness. He shudders quietly within his loose-fitting clothes. It’s clear from his watering eyes that he’s in a great deal of pain.
Oleg looks at the poor man, but cannot find what is wrong. It could be an infection, yet Victor is not displaying any major cuts or wounds. The adventurers even go so far to pour him a sip of Lokgrund private Bugmann’s reserve. That seems to wake him up enough to start discussing with him. Later on, oh surprtise, Lokgrund even goes so far to pour him a healing draught. When doing so, Victor definitely wake up and describes in detail the battle against the giant black furred beastman.
From their entire discussion with Victor, they learn:
- Konrad was a good friend and they went hunting regularly and often patrolled the woods for beastmen, though seldom found any.
- Konrad and he killed a massive beastman somewhere at the edge of the woods just last week. Through afterwards I got sick, and ended up like this. It seems that big old beastman might be having his revenge on them after all.
- Konrad pried something from the giant beastman’s mouth after we killed it, though Victor couldn’t see what it was and Konrad wouldn’t tell him. It was strange as they were so close friends.
- He described where they left the beastman corpse is in the wood.
- Since they killed the beastman, Konrad had been acting strange, getting more short tempered and violent. It might have had something to do with Ilsa, cause they started arguing all the time just after. Greta confirms so, and blame Ilsa!
Victor even reveals to the adventurers, once Max takes one for the team and skillfully guiles Greta into following him to look at their pitiful farm animals:
- Just last week, Konrad killed one of Otto’s animals that strayed onto his land, which is very strange as he have never known Konrad (or anyone else in the village) to do anything like that before.
- Since Konrad’s disappearance, he has heard of sighting of a massive pig in the woods, which can only be the same one that ran out of Konrad’s house that night. Maybe the pig should be found…
Victor is so nice to speak to (Too bad he has such a wife), and the adventurers are really sad what happened to him. It is however time for our adventurers to meet Vosgart back at the inn as lunch time is upon them [Progress Tracker: 1st Event has been reached]
To be continued…
GM Final Notes
- Progress Tracker: 1st Event
- Party Tension: 3
- Session 1 was 3h of play time in FG2
- Adventurers gain 1 advance