- Kingdom goes into winter “hibernation”
- Players attempt various kingdom actions (see below)
Dik Chi-Nee’s Winter actions:
Dik spends the cold months gambling, drinking, and in a martial arts training montage. (Game mechanics: Make up to 3 Gambling House rolls, 1 Alehouse roll. Gain 1 Story Point.)
Josephine’s Winter actions:
The Warrior-Priestess wages grueling spiritual warfare against the evil spirits that continue to inhabit the ruins of the Stag Lord’s Fort. For many weeks, she prepares holy water, performs exorcisms and vigils, and fends off possession attempts. Josephine witnesses many horrors in these weeks: Walls bleed, terrible sounds rend the night air, poltergeists rattle the ruins, and terrifying hallucinations flood her mind. The townsfolk are terrified by the sights and sounds that emanate from the ruins. But ultimately she emerges triumphant – the presence of Chaos is purged.
The effort consumes 450 of her Gold in holy water, incense, etc. and worse, her effort has been noted by the Ruinous Powers. The demons Josephine battled were able to get into her head: Her name is known to them; Her fears, weaknesses, and doubts exposed; And the demons have sworn vengeance upon her. (Game mechanics: Once per adventure, when the power die comes up a ‘1’ and you are battling Demons, I will put you in a very tough spot.)
But Josephine can also feel Sigmar’s pride and favor. He is at her side. (Game mechanics: For the remainder of this adventure, choose to gain +1 WS, Strength, or Toughness.)
The superstitious townsfolk are in awe of Josephine when she emerges from the ruins after a tremendous climactic tumult, especially the religious faction. The very real battle for the souls of mankind had been forgotten amidst the rush for gold, furs, and timber, but it has now been brought back to the forefront. At least for now. (Game mechanics: The “Pride in Sigmar” tag is temporarily gained by the kingdom for one season. Kingdom checks involving Sovereignty and appeals to Sigmar/fear of Chaos will gain a +1 bonus until the end of Spring.)
Josephine is too wiped out from her trials and tribulations, and her ongoing duties as high priestess, to spend too much time exploring the possibilities for building mills.
Fillmore’s Winter actions:
Fillmore’s Winter activities were very character-focused and would have earned him a Story Point to spend on scripting narrative, but since he was just killed that’s a bit moot now.
Elronnie James Dio’s Winter actions:
Elronnie spends the winter learning as much as he can about the world, the region, the PCs, and Sigmar. The amount of culture shock he’s experiencing can’t be understated. But his keen intellect, outsider’s perspective, and many questions could turn up some interesting information beyond what he was looking for. (Game mechanics: Kingdom checks involving Influence related to domestic matters this season will gain a +1 bonus.)
Elronnie then identifies an intensely disliked gold miner and frames him as being the werewolf, hoping this will assuage the community. The man is forced into a trial by endurance, and Sigmar finds him wanting. The people of Hammerzeit are appeased. (Game mechanics: the Werewolf Murders tag is removed)
Verbot’s Winter actions:
The missionary spends the majority of the winter corralling work crews into the miserably cold, wet, and back-breaking labor of keeping the roads traversable during the winter, and ensuring that trade and support can move as needed. Undoubtedly such dangerous and unpleasant forced work would have turned the laborers mutinous had it been organized by anyone else, but Verbot led by such heroic example that none could speak ill of him. He worked ceaselessly, inhumanly, without complaint, not even when the skin tore back on his blistered hands and blood poured down the handle of his axe. The road between Hammerzeit and the Greening Hills is now called by locals “The Bloody Road” or “That Bloody Road”, depending on the amount of admiration or exasperation they have about it. (Game mechanics: A kingdom check made to improve Territory or Sovereignty this turn will be made at +1.)
As for the marriage, the Forstrops are amenable (not surprising, since they were the ones who hinted at it). Arrangements are being made for late spring, when one of Forstrops’s widowed nieces will arrive. The Forstrops are even providing a decent dowry that will more than cover a reasonable wedding. The only slight thing that didn’t go as Verbot hoped is that the family is insistent that the foreign gods of Brevoy be honored at the wedding. They’re not against Sigmar, but he and the Imperial Pantheon are not theirs.
Bjorn Jovi’s Winter actions:
The barbarian is not comfortable amidst the farms and log cabins and people of Hammerzeit, and ranges throughout the winter, returning only for ale, warmth, and to share the rewards of his hunting with those in need. He even is so daring as to try and scout the lizardman lair. Winter excursions like this, especially solo, are very, very dangerous things to do. But the hardy barbarian scoffs at such womanly concerns and forges into the wilderness.
By and large, the barbarian is right – compared to the winters in the Northern Wastes, this is nothing. Except the Northern Wastes aren’t inhabited with mischievous fey. In the legends of Bjorn’s homeland, all the fey want is to either fuck you or kill you. Now there’s a faerie for a barbarian! But the fey in the Greenbelt? These fuckers like music and pranks and shapeshifting and other bullshit. And there are many rules and weird transgressions with them.
And so it happened that, one day, Bjorn believed himself to be most fortunate to witness a gathering of dainty silvery faeries gilding the forest in frost, leaving behind stunningly intricate weaves of rime ice. When one shimmered to Bjorn’s side and began to decorate his bow with complex crystals, he smiled and said “No, little Frostdancer, I’m afraid I need that.” To Bjorn’s surprise, the little faerie was horrified. “Oj! Oj! A name I’ve gotten!” she cried. “’Tis Frostdancer they call me!” Her teeny face scrunched up in anger and she flew straight into Bjorn’s crotch, and vanished with a snowy pop. According to the Druid, Fillmore, apparently “it’s, like, taboo, man” for some fey to have a nickname.
Bjorn hasn’t told anyone yet, but since that day he hasn’t gotten an erection. (Game mechanics: Bjorn can’t get an erection. Also, you gain a Story Point.)
Bjorn’s attempts to scout the Lizardmen lair is stymied by weather, terrain, and misfortune. While Ol’ Crackjaw seems to hibernate in the winter, apparently the wyvern does not, leading to one very cold and wet near-death experience and the abandonment of the canoe/lake approach. Superstition got the better of Bjorn and, not wanting to lose more than his erection to the fey, he decided to avoid the Old Beldame’s swamps. Overland through the Narlmarches wasn’t any better: Bjorn called off the journey after losing supplies and a mule while fording the Skunk River and finding it arduous going in foul weather on the other side. (Game mechanics: Lost your mule, still can’t get an erection.)
Bjorn also travels to Olegton seeking material aid (horses, tackle, labor, etc.) to assist Verbot in his effort to keep the roads open through the winter. Oleg agrees as a personal favor to Bjorn. Bjorn tries to fantasize about Svetlana, but his tackle doesn’t tinkle.