Out of Ostland

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While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

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One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Festag, 4 Nachexen, 2522

It is the morning of the fourth day following the formal dinner.

8:00 a.m.

A lone vulture circles the sky as the bells of Lubrecht, Ostland, began ringing at sunrise this morning – all of them – yet only one of the free-chartered town’s many temples were open today. The bells of the Sigmarite Temple pealed with might, yet its doors were locked. The solid clong of Morr’s bell rang too, yet no one would be buried today in Lubrecht. Today, all eyes were focused on the humble Temple of Shallya, a simple whitewashed box shaped building on the north side of the town square in between the much more elaborate Temple of Sigmar and the Shallyan Infirmary.

Today, all Lubrecht was anticipating an event that had not happened in a generation – Lubrecht would be producing a holy priest from among one of its own – a priest capable of channeling divine powers. All the better, it was to be a Shallyan Priestess, and this was seen as a good omen for the coming year, for although the people of Lubrecht were free to worship whichever gods they chose – there wasn’t a soul in town that hadn’t cried to Shallya in time of need or sickness.

On this clear, cold morning, it was Cilicia von der Vogelweide’s turn to appeal to the Empire’s most beloved goddess for Shallya’s most beloved gift. Not one of Lubrecht’s 650 residents was going to miss this show – for this day either the self-important Initiate of Shallya would get her comeuppance and fail to attract the Goddess’ favor, or a true miracle would unfold before their eyes as the girl received Shallya’s blessing.

By 8:30 the small temple was filled except for the front row of pews, and people were standing in the aisles and outside in the cold craning to see what might happen. At 8:45, the von der Vogelweide family arrived: Willem, the town’s leading merchant, was supporting his wild-eyed wife Rosa, who had not been seen in public in three years. The older son, Reiner, supported his mother from her left and Dirk, the youngest son trailed behind nervously. Reiner tried without success to quiet his mother as she quietly chanted “Cilicia… Cilicia… Cilicia” in between phrases of jibberish. The crowd made a path for the family as they entered the temple and took the front pew to the left. Minutes later, the entirety of the town’s clergy followed in their finest robes: the priests of Sigmar, Myrmidia, Verena, Taal, Ulric, and Morr and the Priestess of Rhya nobly took the front pew to the right.

At exactly one minute before nine the crowd was hushed as old Priestess Beatrice, the town’s only Shallyan Priestess, emerged holding the hand of Cilicia from a room at the front of the chapel and stopped at the large font of holy water in front of the main altar. Only Rosa von der Vogelweide spoke: “Cilicia kin kemathom succorom munes intudoray… Cilicia kin kemathom succorom munes intudoray… Cilicia kin kemathom succorom munes intudoray…” louder and louder despite her family’s attempts to quiet her and sharp looks from the clergy seated opposite her.

9:00 a.m.

Priestess Beatrice and Cilicia stood before the marble font, when, without warning, Beatrice grasped the pixie-like girl by her mane of golden hair and thrust her face into the holy water, forcibly holding her down under the holy water for five seconds, then ten. The crowd began to murmur as they saw Cilicia squirm under the old nun’s surprisingly strong grasp. Genuine cries of concern could be heard by the thirty second mark— when Cilicia stood bolt upright and threw off the older nun, water running down onto her white gown.

Even Rosa was now quiet – as two rays of sunlight – one from each of the two windows of the temple – crossed and focused intensely on the face of Cilicia von der Vogelweide, though the girl did not blink from the intense sunlight. The crowd erupted into an immediate cheer of praise to Shallya. The crowd stood on its feet and applauded – this was certainly a sign that Shallya’s favor was present in Lubrecht.

Cilicia gasped as she caught her breath and stepped back from the font. (The sunbeams followed her face.) “Thank you,” she said, “In the name of Shallya I thank you all.”

And at that moment, though she knew not why, Cilicia began to leak large tears from the corners of her eyes – tears so large they could be seen even against her already soaked face. Priestess Beatrice backed away in awe as Cilicia’s tears began to turn a rusty shade of pink. Within 20 seconds it was unmistakeable – Sister Cilicia von der Vogelweide was shedding tears of crimson blood – blood that spotted and began to completely overwhelm the bodice of her white gown as they dripped from her cheeks.

“The Bloody Show!” cried the Sigmarite Priest, as he lay prostrate before Cilicia. All of the clergy followed suit. The crowd’s enthusiasm, however, turned to horror, as they had never seen a human woman crying blood tears. Most ran for the exits, though a group of men, murmurring something about Chaos, began to move toward Cilicia.

From out of the squealing crowd came a muscular man who grabbed Cilicia. “Haggis!” she cried, “What is happening?”

“It’s a blessing Cilicia – these peasants just don’t know it,” he said as he drew his halberd and forced his way out of the rear of the temple with Cilicia in tow. As they passed through the alleys, no one dared challenge the imposing soldier with the prominent scar down the left side of his face who had been the von der Vogelweide’s manservant for the past five years. Soon, they were safely back at her father’s home.

Maggie, the oldest son’s “lady guest for the winter,” had beaten them back to the house and was already trying to bar the doors, and Willem and Reiner followed about five minutes later—literally dragging a screaming Rosa back to the manse. Dirk, the youngest son, was nowhere to be seen. With each passing minute, Rosa began to become more hysterical about his disappearance and began to scream, “Voyaner es in cathartum Dirk!” over and over again.

Outside, perhaps a half a dozen armed men began to encircle the von der Vogelweide home. After another ten minutes, their number had doubled.

Rosa shrieked at her husband, “Don’t worry about those guttersnipes outside – it was Dirk they were after – Dirk – not Cilicia! I failed!” Cilicia, too was bawling (this time real tears – though her gown looked as if she had been in a swordfight.)

Haggis burst in through the back door in the kitchen, his arms laden with bags of weapons, armor, and ammunition. He himself had put on a full set of leather armor and a chain shirt and had a firearm tucked in his belt. “Reiner,” he said, “get ready for trouble – you too Willem, as he threw him a broadsword. Looking at Maggie, Haggis says, “You know how to use this?” glancing down at the crossbow in his hand.

“Yep,” answered Maggie grimly.

“I figured,” said Haggis, “this looks like it might be your size,” he said as he threw her a set of leather armor and a tied bundle of bolts. “Go cover the upstairs front window from your bedroom. Cilicia – get your quarterstaff and take your mother up to Maggie’s room. Take this crossbow and reload for Maggie,” he said as he threw her a bundle of bolts. “And bar the bedroom door behind you – do not open it for anyone except one of us.”

“Wait!” said Willem to Cilicia, “you might as well use the real thing.” Willem rushed to the hall closet and unwrapped a long box, producing an exquisitely carved walking stick. “I knew you Shallyans have that thing about killing and all, but I had this quarterstaff specifically crafted to look like a Shallyan’s walking stick,” he said as he pulled out the staff, “Remember that being a Shallyan will not protect you from harm – indeed – it could attract it. Use it wisely.”

“Hate to break up the party – but GO! Get a move on!” yelled Haggis. Reiner returned with his leathers, a blunderbuss, and a crossbow. Willem picked up a sword and the women went upstairs. Outside, it was apparent that two or three of the townsfolk had lit torches even though it was the middle of the morning.

Haggis had barely finished bellowing his orders when an even louder noise startled them all. A clap of thunder boomed less than 20 yards from the house – near where the townsfolk were gathering. Reiner, Haggis, Maggie, and Willem all saw a beautiful young blond woman clad in a thin white dress standing barefoot in the snow – an aura of light surrounded her and a dove was perched on her shoulder.

“Put down your arms.  All is well.  Today should be a day for celebration.  Fear not the priestess who weeps tears of blood, for she weeps them on your behalf.  She is my chosen – molest her not and return to your homes, “ commanded the woman in a soft voice that seemed to carry for a mile.   “Molest her not and return to your homes,” she repeated as many of the townsfolk began to kneel before the maiden.  “Molest her not and return to your homes.” She said a third time as the crowd began to disperse.  The crowd was gone by the time she said it a fifth time, and then the maiden disappeared.

“Today has truly been a blessed day,” said Willem as he knelt to pray, but his moment of silence was interrupted when the back door was kicked in and two youths clad in cloaks seemed to have been blown in by the wind as they landed rolling on the kitchen floor. Behind them, an imposing male figure in a heavy hooded cloak the color of charcoal stepped into the doorway carrying a very large birdcage. He pulled back his hood to reveal a countenance of noble mien.

Haggis aimed his firearm at the man and Rainer aimed his blunderbuss at the youths – until he recognized that one of the youths was Dirk.

“Haggis! Reiner! Stop!” yelled Willem.

“Harbrand!” exclaimed Rosa in what was perhaps the most coherent voice they had heard from her in a decade. Cilicia and Maggie chased her down the stairs.

“I see that the Priestess is safe,” said the dark clad man. Rosa gathered herself and ran across the kitchen, jumping into the arms of the Stranger. “Harbrand, you have come to save my babies! I knew you would come! I knew I could protect them until you got here!” cried Rosa.

“Hush my little Rosalie. Hush. Your babies are safe. I will protect them. You must go and rest now,” he said to Rosa. “You women put her to bed – she is overstimulated,” said the stranger. Willem nodded in agreement and Cilicia and Maggie took Rosa upstairs. “May I sit, Willem?” asked the stranger, “we have much to discuss.”

“Of course, of course. Reiner, Dirk … this is your uncle Harbrand. Harbrand Steiner. Haggis, all is well, thank you for your prompt attention to everything – one step ahead as usual.” (By this time, Maggie had left Rosa with Cilicia and crouched at the top of the stairs listening in on the conversation below. The newly minted Priestess joined her perhaps thirty seconds later.) “And this,” gesturing toward the youth who had stumbled in the door with Dirk, “this would be?”

“He’s with me,” said Harbrand.

“It’s the Marx boy,” said Haggis, “Josef Marx’s boy.”

“Good morning Mr. von der Vogelweide, I’m Eber Marx,” said Eber Marx, “I was a year ahead of Dirk in school.”

“Very well Eber – nice to meet you, but as you can see we are having a few problems and I think it’s time you run along home now – everything seems to have calmed down,” directed Willem.

“He’s staying. He’s with me,” said Harbrand, “and you’ve got more problems than you can imagine. You women can come down from crouching in the stairs – what I have to say is no secret.” Cilicia and Maggie came down into the kitchen and everyone gathered around the table. “Willem, I am surprised and disappointed that you have let things get this far.”

“How was I to know what would happen with Cilicia? It was a miracle! I’m not the one who can predict the future!” argued Willem.

“I swear this town is filled with dung brained imbeciles – why you landed here I’ll never know,” said Harbrand, but I need to start at the beginning – and everyone else needs to shut up while I speak.” Everyone in the room is intimidated, except Cilicia, who does not choose this moment to speak.

“First of all, let me appropriately introduce myself. My name is Harbrand Steiner. I am Mrs. von der Vogelweide’s older brother and therefore the uncle of Reiner, Cilicia, and Dirk – it is nice to finally meet you all. I am a Magister Vigilant of the Grey Order of Imperial Magisters. You have probably not met a Magister Vigilant before. To put it bluntly, that means I am a wizard of considerable experience charged with defending the Empire. You have probably never met a wizard of the Grey Order before – that is not an accident. Grey wizards specialize in shadowmancy and the manipulation of the grey winds of magic. We prefer to keep a low profile. However, once in a while we are called upon to put on a grand spectacle to avert catastrophe – which is what that vision of the goddess Shallya was – an illusion created by me to stop those backwater yokels from burning you all alive. Grey wizards do not have a reputation for being warm and accommodating, but we do what we have to do. Part of what I had to do was to come to Lubrecht on a mission of some importance for the Empire. However, I must admit that I couldn’t resist peeking in on my younger sister and her family, whom I have not seen in 25 years, particularly with Cilicia’s ordination occurring. Well done girl, by the way.”

“Thank you,” said Cilicia.

“Yes, what are we going to do about Cilicia?” asked Willem.

“You’re interrupting,” said Harbrand, “but since you clearly don’t understand what just went on I will tell you. Cilicia exhibited The Bloody Show this morning during her ordination. It is a rare occurrence, admittedly, but not a unique one. Perhaps 1 in 50 girls experience this feat when they are ordained into the Shallyan Church. It is considered an auspicous occurrence and portends a great future for the Priestess. Most of the members of the Shallyan Council exhibited The Bloody Show when they were first ordained, and you my dear would do very well for yourself to wrap and store that blood stained garment securely. It is considered a religious relic. I would strongly recommend that TODAY, not tomorrow, you visit each of the head clergy in this town and obtain from them a written and sealed affidavit attesting to the fact that they personally saw you shed tears of crimson blood after being held under Shallyan holy water for more than 30 seconds during your ordination, and that no arcane magic was detected at the ceremony. Since it is critical to your future in the Order that you get this done today, I suggest you start at once, and take this brave fellow Haggis with you in case trouble breaks out again. Go. Now. Get as many signatures as you can. I saw eight priests with magical ability in the chapel this morning – you need to get them all to sign an affidavit, though I seriously doubt you will have a problem getting an audience with any of them today. By the way, Cilicia, it is quite likely that you have the full ability to perform magical blessings – please use them judiciously – even though divine magic is infinitely more stable than arcane – it is never something that should be used carelessly.”

“Well, I’m glad that problem is solved,” heaved Willem with a sigh of relief. “Cilicia was never a problem – have you not been listening? The Bloody Show is a blessing that perhaps even a Shallyan would kill for. Your problem is not Cilicia, but rather Dirk. Willem, you surely must know that you have a boy with considerable and absolutely uncontrolled arcane magical powers running around and the grave dangers that can cause.

“He’s going to Altdorf this Spr…”

“A boy with his abilities will not make it to Altdorf. His magical aura screams and is extremely unstable, which is why I need to do this.”

[Cilicia and Haggis have gone. Everyone else in the room is intimidated. Harbrand stands and instructs Dirk to do the same, facing him. Harbrand places his palm on Dirk’s forehead and locks his gaze directly with Dirk’s – Dirk begins to quiver.]

“You see the colors, boy? Don’t lie – I will know if you do,” commands Harbrand.

“Yes,” says Dirk flatly.

“Name the colors you see.”

“Green, red, yellow, grey, blue, purple, white, and brown.”

“Correct boy. Now imagine yourself on the edge of a cliff above a stormy sea filled with nothing but the colors. You are an inch from falling off of the cliff. You fear the sea – don’t you boy?” asks Harbrand.

“Yes,” says Dirk flatly.

“You should,” says Harbrand, “if you fall the winds of magic will rend your very psyche. To master the colors you alone must take the initiative and jump into the color that calls you. This is not a decision you can make by deduction, you must just believe. When I remove my hand, you must jump. Do you understand?”

“Yes.”

Harbrand removes his hand. Immediately, Dirk falls forward, unconscious. Harbrand catches him.

“What did you do to him!” cry Willem and Reiner.

“I just saved his life. Dirk, like me, is a Wizard of the Grey Order. It is now my duty to train him as my apprentice. It is the only way he can survive. I will take him to the Grey Order’s Imperial College in Altdorf.”

Dirk revives looking dazed.

“Do I give you the money?” asks Willem.

“Keep your money. Unlike most orders, the Grey is not interested in gold. Finding a mind like this that is attuned to Ulgu is worth a hundred thousand crowns. We will be leaving in the morning.”

“Is this why you came here – to lay claim to Dirk?” asks Willem.

“No – Dirk’s attunement and Cilicia’s ordination are coincidences – something I typically don’t believe in. Indeed, Lubrecht today has produced pronounced magical disturbances that are bound to attract unwanted attention – all the more reason to leave. I will need to take Cilicia with me as well. It is not safe here for her. Father Nurgle will have taken notice of a Bloody Show, and unfortunately, his forces are less than 100 miles away in Kislev. Actually it is Master Marx that brought me to Lubrecht – he shall be coming with me as well. How many horses do you have Willem, I didn’t realize I was going to have to babysit a caravan out of eastern Ostland.”

“I have a coach and two good horses. The coach is painted to look like it belongs to a Shallyan priestess – that’s how we were going to get Dirk to Altdorf,” boasts Reiner.

“An interesting plan – might have even worked, but I doubt it. The coach will do nicely. We shall leave tomorrow at sunrise. Everyone needs to prepare themselves for a long journey tomorrow. Reiner, stock up on whatever provisions you think we will need for at least ten days – I suppose your woman is coming with us?

“I am,” says Maggie.

“Not so fast, the roads are in no condition for a coach – we’ll break an axle before we make it five miles out of town,” says Reiner.

“You are no doubt correct – you’re just going to have to trust that I have another trick or two up my sleeve,” says Harbrand. “Willem, there is no need for you to stay for the spell to work.”

“I will not leave my wife, but I want Haggis to go to protect Cilicia” says Willem indignantly.

“I didn’t think so – do they even know about Essen?” says Harbrand.

“Reiner knows,” says Willem.

“Another thing better left alone. Everyone needs to prepare to leave at dawn. Take whatever you need but we can’t be loaded down. Reiner, you and Maggie make sure everyone is outfitted appropriately.”

At that moment, a vulture raps its beak on the window, and Harbrand lets it in. It walks directly into its cage and begins to nap.

“All is well for the moment. Everyone knows what they need to do and Viggo tells me all is calm in town again. Willem, you and I have further matters to discuss – shall we have a pint at The Ruffled Rooster to talk things over?”

With that – Harbrand and Willem leave the house. Rosa enjoys the quietest sleep anyone can remember in years, and everyone else goes about doing what their duties.

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