We’re going through regular old Brandt’s Landing, now, the Materium version. As with some of the Chaos Landing entries, a content warning here that Brandt’s Landing is under the influence of a Slaanesh cult and it’s not shy about the fact. People in this post are described as both naked and grotesquely maimed. You have been warned.
Wrenwrick Crik is a one-street neighborhood, just a handful of houses with a church and a general store and that’s it. It’s connected by bridge to the Winter Estates and the population is primarily employed to do things that the nobles of Winter Estates don’t want to do for themselves. The people here are poor, but not starving, and generally pious and loyal. The houses don’t have any holes in them and the doors don’t hang on their hinges.
Wrenwrick Smuggler’s Den
Discovery TN: -20
Lead: The players have made an odd discovery. The Wrenwrick Inn just across the bridge…exists. Wrenwrick Crik has a church, a general store, and about a hundred inhabitants and it is located on an island with one bridge. Wrenwrick Crik is not on the way to anywhere else and there’s no reason to go there unless you live there. How is an inn staying in business?
Investigation: There’s a hidden door behind the bar in the ground floor pub that can be detected with a Challenging (+0) Awareness check. A Fireside Downs smuggler is in one of the rooms upstairs, and he knows where the smuggler’s den is. A Difficult (-10) Inquiry check will reveal from the townspeople that they saw him entering, and with at least 3 DoS that he’s been here before, but the players can also find him rather automatically by just looking through the rooms upstairs. There’s only six of them, and his is the only one occupied. If the players follow him, he’ll go down to the den at night, and if they capture him and pass a Difficult (-10) Interrogation check, he can tell them where it is. Finally, if the players interrogate the innkeeper, he is also aware of the existence of the hidden backroom, although not of what goes on back there, and will give the players the location if they pass a Routine (+10) Interrogation check or a Challenging (+0) Charm check.
Confrontation: In the backroom is a smuggler and two thugs guarding a cache of illegal drugs. If the characters followed the smuggler from upstairs down here, then he is here in addition to the other smuggler (the smuggler waiting in the den is selling while the one in the room above is buying). There’s about fifty kilos of obscura here along with a half-dozen different solid projectile firearms (in addition to the guards’ weapons), mostly stub automatics but also one shotgun and one autogun. The smuggler(s) and thugs might make use of these if the battle goes on for more than one or two rounds, but since this is merchandise it won’t be the first thing they reach for.
The mission is complete when the players have defeated the selling smuggler (the one who is always in the den), and is worth one point of Influence for recovering the drugs. If the selling smuggler is recruited, the characters gain 1d5 Influence for continued access to the smuggling ring. If recruited or successfully interrogated with a Difficult(-10) Interrogation check, the selling smuggler can tell the players about a random Fireside Downs smuggling den. The buying smuggler (the one who is initially in one of the guest rooms above) is not necessary, but knows the location of the Winter Harbour Den. If he is captured alive and the acolytes succeed on a Challenging(+0) Interrogation check, he will give them the location directly. No need for any lead or investigation.
Discovery TN: +0
Lead: People have been disappearing in Wrenwrick Crik. Four young women have disappeared in the last week. While the disappearances are common knowledge, after asking around the characters have begun to develop a pool of evidence about times and locations. No one ever sees the abductees, but sometimes they’ll vanish without a trace while the lone potential witness has their back turned for just a moment. The abductions always happen between the hours of 2 and 3 AM and it is always young women abducted.
Investigation: A Difficult(-10) Scholastic Lore(Occult) check will let the characters know of a ritual they can perform, with a white candle lit at both ends clutched in their left hand while each stands outside the view of all the others, which will cause the mysterious abductor to take all of them at once during her witching hour. An Ordinary(+10) Forbidden Lore(Psykers) check will reveal that this is the work of a psyker, while a Forbidden Lore(the Warp) check at the same difficulty will reveal that the victims must have been taken to a Warp pocket. In both cases, a ritual involving a detailed series of glyphs drawn around a circle will allow a character to pull themselves into the Warp pocket temporarily and return so long as they reach the glyph again before the energies of the Warp cause it to decay a few hours after being drawn. Finally, a Challenging(+0) Awareness test while searching the area in the appropriate hour will reveal a puppet moving at the edge of vision, taking quick but uncanny, jerking steps around a corner, and following it will take the acolytes into the abandoned puppet shop and through its backdoor into a nearly identical, but not at all abandoned puppet shop in the Warp.
Confrontation: When the characters enter the Warp puppet shop, they must each test against Willpower or take 1d5 Corruption. The Warp shop is a store full of puppets and mannequins, many the size of fully-grown adults. Hidden amongst the wooden puppets, spotted in advance with an Ordinary(+10) Awareness test, are two of the three missing girls, rings pierced through the tops of their hands and their knees, with thin strings connecting them to the darkness above. They’re dressed in lewdly cut ballerina outfits, nothing at all below the tutu but the shoes, the tops torn open to expose their breasts, with eyes that are completely filmed over and shot with blood from where they’ve been stabbed by a needle. They additionally have their nipples pierced for a total of six rings. Whether they are made aware of the puppets immediately or not until they begin moving, when the acolytes see the puppets they must make a Disturbing(+0) Fear test. This is from the way they’re jerked about on strings, and while the ritual to make that happen was supernatural, the uncanny motion itself is mundane, so Jaded will auto-succeed.
A man works, nervous and harried, on the third girl, laid naked and limp on a workbench, painting her face and body, trying on different rings for her piercings, going through a rack of different torn ballerina outfits and occasionally pulling one off to lay it against her at the neck and see how it would look. A Challenging(+0) Psyniscience test or a Very Hard(-30) Awareness test will alert the acolytes to the presence of the faceless woman at the back of the shop. If spotted, the faceless woman (stats of a spook witch with Telepathic Link/Hallucination) will attack with the puppets.
Upon being alerted to the presence of the characters, the man will just back away into the shadows of the shop (he is a citizen with no special powers at all) and the puppets will attack. The faceless woman will use her Hallucination powers while hidden for as long as possible. If the avatar of the witch is killed or incapacitated, it, being a Warp entity created by the actual witch and not the witch herself, will dissipate into the aether and the puppets, now freed from the witch’s control, will cease to be hostile, instead becoming terrified (they have the submissive personality if the party decides to interact with them). The characters can choose for themselves what to do with the freed puppets if any have survived.
The puppet maker will crack under a Routine(+20) Interrogation check and say that he was stalked by the witch for weeks before being abducted by her and protesting that she forced him with her powers to do as she commanded. He will beg for mercy from the characters if they show any interest in him at all after the defeat of the witch’s avatar. He’ll also give them the needle used to blind and dominate the puppets. The puppets remain blinded, although the domination effect has worn off.
The needle is a minor Chaos artifact. If you have the puppet master psyker power and you or someone you’re influencing/controlling stabs someone (including themselves) through the eye with it, they can be controlled by your puppet master power at any range. The rings (the puppet maker has a stack of twelve and the other twenty-four can be taken from the first four puppets without any more harm than usual for removing piercings) also have Chaos properties. If a needle-eyed puppet is properly prepared in a laborious ritual puppetification, the puppet master power can be ongoing without having to be sustained by the psyker themselves. This preparation requires an extended Trade(Artist) test requiring twelve successes, each attempt taking 1d10 hours at a difficulty of Very Hard(-30) and requires the victim to be pierced with six rings exactly in the proper locations (top of the hands, top and base of the spine, kneecaps). The victim does not necessarily have to be female. Making bare-skin contact with either the needles or the ring inflicts 1d5 Corruption the first time any character does so. Using the profane artifact to blind someone and thus extend the range of the Puppet Master power does not inflict any further Corruption, but using it to create a permanent puppet causes 1d5-1 Corruption each time you do so.
Defeating the witch avatar is worth 1d10 Influence if the characters take credit with the authorities. If the puppets aren’t silenced, the characters lose 1d5 subtlety per surviving puppet.
The characters are actually in Wrenwrick Crik Chaos Landing when they enter the shop, and can, if they like, remain in the Warp by exiting the shop through the main door and explore Chaos Landing rather than exit through the back door back to the Materium.
Wrenwrick Default Encounter
A girl pushing a street cart full of pastries offering to sell them to various passers by. She doesn’t recognize the acolytes, though she recognizes most of her customers. Her wares require an Average(+0) Influence roll to purchase.
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