The Shadow of Elterwig Manor (7th Sea 2nd Ed)

This is the first game of 7th Sea’s newest incarnation that I ran at a convention.  Overall, the game went pretty well, given that I had only GMed the system twice before then…

Scene 1 – A Town in Need

The Heroes have been on the road for several days when they arrive in the town of Pratchig in Northern Eisen.  The Posen region of Eisen saw the least amount of conflict in the Thirty Years War, so travelling across the Northern portions of the country allowed them to see the best Eisen had to offer.  After visiting Posen, the road turned south and took them into the forest town they now look upon.

Pratchig is a small town, that still shows signs of the past war, but is getting back onto its feet.  The surrounding forest has been pushed back, cleared for supplies in the repairs and to cultivate additional farmland to help meet national demand.  Despite the harsh landscape and the post-war conditions, the Heroes are greeted warmly by those in town.

The Heroes are free to walk around town, get some warm food (albeit simple) and a dry place to rest their heads.  Unless they actively alienate the townsfolk by antagonising them or preaching the Vatacine faith, the people here are kind but tired.  As they talk to the townspeople, they hear tales of the city’s young adults disappearing in the night.  If they inquire, they are told to talk to the mayor about the situation, if they are interested in helping.

The Mayor is no nobleman, but rather a retired soldier who saw fit to try and make an attempt to undo the damage he had had a part in during the war.  When asked about the missing people, he is saddened that many of their young people have disappeared over the past several weeks.  They have searched the woods for them, but there is never a trace left behind.  Repair efforts on the city have stalled without the strongest, most able-bodied people to help out.  He offers the Heroes a reward if they could lend a hand and try to locate their people.

The villagers talk about a village to the south, where the woods have grown dark and its people reclusive.  While they have few dealings with the people of Elterwig, it is the first place the villagers recommend they check.

Scene 2 – Town of Shadows

The road south from Pratchig is clear and well worn, showing signs that armies used this road to try to cover their movements under the forest canopy.  As they continue down the road, the trees get thicker and loom over the road.  Evidence of graves of fallen soldiers are present along the road and the air noticeably chills as a fog creeps in.

Depending on what time of day the Heroes arrive, the town is quite different.  During the day, the townsfolk are out and attempting to reinforce their homes, rather than trying to rebuild the village.  They are extremely suspicious of outsiders and their reactions range from dismissive to outright hostile.  Public spaces, such as inns and taverns have all but fallen into disrepair and the innkeeper of the village will need to be persuaded to even rent them a room for the night.  The town has a general tone of fear and people will be extremely reluctant to tell them anything for fear of what might happen to their loved ones.

At night, the town is practically boarded up in the face of some undescribed horror.  If the Heroes arrive in the middle of the night, they can find the plague that hunts the villagers in the streets, but if they showed up in the day and either camped outside the village or stayed in the inn, they will quickly discover what the village of Elterwig fears; the bodies of the fallen soldiers from the war sweep into the village and attempt to drag away any who had not defended themselves adequately.

There is one Strength six Brute Squad per player of undead men and women who move more agilely than one might expect.  They have the traits of Nocturnal and Unliving.

Once the Heroes have defeated the undead hordes, the villagers, who watched from their windows, praying for the Heroes to win, will emerge and thank them for saving them from the scourge, but warn that there are always more to come.  They will be far more supportive to the Heroes, once they’ve proved their mettle.

Scene 3 – The Darkness on the Hill

The village of Elterwig don’t know exactly what is going on and what has brought the dead back to haunt their village, but they suspect that it has something to do with the reclusive mayor of the town, Dirk Volker von Maier.

Mayor von Maier saw much of his family killed in the war and after the war ended, the stark conditions left behind saw his wife fall ill and eventually succumb to her poor health.  After his wife died, he was almost never seen in town again.  But sightings of the dead started to occur and increase in frequency.  The mayoral residence is a manor on top of the hill on the village’s east side.  No one has successfully visited the house since the dead started stealing away the villagers.

A cold rain begins to fall as the Heroes near the manor.  The house is dark without signs of movement on the property.  Nearing the house reveals the truth… the dead guard the grounds as newer victims of the mayor burst out of the flower beds around the property.  These are similar to the ones the Heroes faced in the village.

Inside the house, they find the place to be devoid of presence.  Dust has not settled in, however, and they are confronted by abominations created as part of a twisted experiment, where human and animal have been blended (humans with wolf’s head, bipedal insect people and other chimeras).  All chimeras are Villains with Strength 5 and the quality Fearsome.  The insectoid men also possess the quality Chitinous.

The exception to this is the body of von Maier’s wife, who looks as she once did, but with pale skin and sunken eyes.  She is guarded by one of the chimeras, but she acts cheerful and asks them if they will be staying for dinner.

With the chimeras under control, the Heroes will need to head to the basement to meet the mayor.

Scene 4 – The Man Behind the Madness

The basement of the mayor’s manor is a stark contrast to the main level.  Where the main part of the house is upkept to maintain a normal appearance, the basement does little to mask the downward spiral the man has taken.  Part of the basement has been converted to a prison where the captured villagers are held until they are needed or die from starvation, at which point they are used for parts for experiments or drafted into his collection staff.

Books outlining insane magics litter the room, demonstrating that the man is experimenting in the darkest side of Hexenwerk.  The central part of the basement is the mayor’s lab, where he is found grinding up body parts for his next round of experiments.

“You!  You are not supposed to be here.  Bewachen!  Deal with them!”

A mountain of flesh and bone staggers out of a hidden room to the side of the lab.  An amalgam of several human bodies, the creature turns what might be a merge of face and torso to the Heroes and lets out a guttural roar before lurching towards the Heroes.

Dirk von Maier – Strength 3, Influence 5
The mayor is not a fighter.  He has a slight build and appears malnourished.  Wearing a bloody smock, he has no armor to speak of.  If any of the Heroes avoid Bewachen and come for him, he has several prepared Unguents on his work space.  He coats poison on his blade that causes severe hallucinations to any he strikes.  He will also snatch up a dose of Black Broth and gulp it down, retching slightly before his body ripples in rapid muscle expansion.  Confident in his new power, he will forgo the sword and attack hand to hand, if he is allowed to consume the potion.

Bewachen – Strength 10
Forged from several victims being spliced together, Bewachen (German for Guard) is a lumbering beast of pure damage.  Unintelligent, it unleashes its anger on whatever it is instructed to or anything that causes it pain.  Has the Monstrous Qualities of Fearsome and Powerful.

With both Bewachen and von Maier defeated, the Heroes can free the prisoners and receive their reward for rescuing people (Wealth 2 per Hero).

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~ by 1nsomniac on July 4, 2017.

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