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WFRP Theatre of the Damned

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    heatreof theDamnedis a short scenario best suited for characters in their first or second careers, but it canbe easily modified to suit any group. It takes a day of PCs time and can be finished in one session. Thescenario is placed in Nuln but with very minor modifications any larger Imperial, or Bretonnian, town

    could be used.Theatre of the Damned consists of three acts. First, some background to the scenario and a brief synopsis are given,

    followed by the actual adventure. These are followed by descriptions of all the key NPCs, and a map.

    Background

    The story of the Froila brothers is, like theirplaywright profession, full of drama. Arias and Alvarowere born as twins in Altdorf some thirty years ago.But to the horror of their Burgher parents, one of thebrothers was a Mutant; Alvaro, younger by fewminutes, was born with a tentacle for left hand. Thehorrified parents could not find it in their hearts to

    turn their baby over to the authorities. Instead, as soonas they learned that Witch Hunters were rummagingthrough the neighbourhood in search of mutantchildren, they fled to Nuln.

    The twins were raised by their parents until a redpox epidemic claimed them fifteen years ago. Sincethen, the twins have had to cope on their own. Thebrothers have always been close, even though theirdemeanours differ quite a bit. Arias has always been asocial and outgoing character, whereas Alvaroscondition meant that he had to live a concealed life,forced to hide in the shadows and seek the companyof his kind. While Arias was studying at the Universityof Nuln, Alvaro, skulking in the shadows and hideoutsof the old building, quickly learned to read and writeas well. And the brothers discovered that it was, infact, Alvaro who had true skill with the pen.

    During his days in the university, Arias learned ofthe prestige and fame playwrights like Detlef Sierckand Stefan Sphielburg had achieved. He soon decidedto become a famous playwright in his own right, onewho would one day get to meet the Countess herself.But, knowing that his skills were quite modest incomparison to his brothers talent, Arias convinced hisbrother to start writing plays in his name. He, in turn,

    used his social flair to promote the plays.Their first play, a satire called Sigmars Lost Pantaloons,

    was a huge success. Almost overnight Arias becamethe hottest new talent in Nuln, where fame andfortune come and go like nowhere else in the Empire.He was invited to lavish parties where he got to brushshoulders with the citys crme de la crme.

    Alvaro, cursed by his mutation, was unable to attendany of these events. But, with the help of his Mutant

    friends, he often slipped into the dark gardens andbalconies to sneak a peek at the festivities. And it wason one of those occasions when Alvaro saw LadyAnita von Liebeskummer. With her blond hair andbright blue eyes, she was an angelic apparition inAlvaros eyes. He fell in love with the girl on first sightand quickly became obsessed with her. He often snuck

    into the von Liebeskummer garden at night just toadmire her sleeping form.Intoxicated with the success of Sigmars Lost

    Pantaloons, Arias urged his twin to write more. Alvaro,wallowing head over heels in his denied love, agreed.But his following plays were all syrupy dramas of lovedenied and doomed affairs. The jaded theatre-goers ofNuln soon grew bored with these overtlymelodramatic performances. The agitated Ariaswatched his fame and new-found glory slip out of hisgrasp - he was becoming the laughingstock of thenobility! He scolded his brother for maintainingimpossible fantasies about the noblewoman and toldhim how people laughed at his melodramatic stories.Arias demanded that he write something else, perhapsa parody or a satire they were popular in Altdorf atthe moment.

    Being sensitive, Alvaro took all the criticism andmockery very personally, an attack against his onlylight in life. But he would have his revenge. Alvaro hadlearned many dark and dirty secrets while he had beenobserving the citys nobility from the shadows. Nowhe used that information to write a parody so dead-onand sharp-tongued that it caused a huge scandal on itsopening night, and was promptly cancelled. Many

    influential people found themselves disgraced, and thefinger of blame pointed at Arias Froila. The twinswere barely able to flee from the lynch-mobs. To finda place to hide, Arias sought the help of a localRacketeer, Anton Schopranus, who had provided himwith Mandrake Root every now and then.

    After the dust had settled and the matter seemed tobe forgotten, the embittered twins decided to open anunderground theatre where they could ridicule the

    T

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    rich, and make a few Karls on the side. With the helpof Alvaros Mutant friends, they secured old Dwarfenruins that had been reduced to a part of the cityssewer system. There they erected their undergroundstage. The thespians were mostly Mutants (indisguising costumes, of course). Arias started to

    promote his plays amongst the Burghers andMerchants of the city. Their enterprise was quick toattract attention, and the biting parodies of the

    Theatre of the Damned were soon the talk of thetown. It did not take long for the nobility to learn ofthis new entertainment. They conveyed their distastevocally and publicly, but a growing number of noblessought to attend the performances in disguise.

    The brothers took note of this, and realized thatthey could pluck more money out of the nobles whilemaking fun of them. It seemed almost too perfect tobe true. Anton Schopranus, the Racketeer, had a nose

    for an opportunity to make a few extra Karls, and hewas quick to offer the brothers protection. Arias cuta deal with him: in exchange for a share of the profitsSchopranus would sell tickets to their shows, and,using his men and the Mutants, he would screen thebuyers for Witch Hunters, certain Nobles, and otherunwanted attendees.

    The mystery of the hidden plays and the selectiveright to attend quickly made the Theatre of theDamned the hottest ticket in town. But all this timeAlvaro had upheld his fantasies of Anita vonLiebeskummer, and he still often sneaked into her rosegarden. The night before this scenario takes place

    Alvaro was seized in her garden by Ezekel Aichorn,Captain of the Knights Panther in Nuln, and thenumber one enemy of Mutants in the city.

    Arias is growing nervous; he is starting to suspectsomething has happened to his brother. Fearing theworst, he has decided that todays show will be the lastone. He will reveal everything, before absconding,with the money, to find his brother. But little does heknow that a group of adventurers will be in

    attendance

    Enter the Principals

    The scenario starts when the PCs see a crierpromoting a play. As they talk to the crier he suddenlyflees a procession of Knights Panther escorting thecaptured Alvaro to prison. The whole scene shouldpique the PCs interest, and they should try to findtickets to the play.

    The tickets are sold in Shantytown by a gang called

    Brotherhood of the Oiled Palm, and the PCs mustfind and convince their leader, Anton Schopranus, tosell them tickets.

    Then they will be escorted to the undergroundtheatre, with possible (optional) encounters in the darksewers. During the performance Arias Froila willreveal that his brother is a Mutant, before attemptingto flee. At that moment, the Knights, who havetortured the theatres location out of Alvaro, storm theplace. The PCs must decide if they side with theKnights or the Mutants. And what are they going todo with Arias?

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    ACT Ihe opening act sets the mood for the scenario and introduces our principals to the plot. The scenario startswith the PCs learning of the Theatre of the Damned. Soon after, they witness a procession of Mutantprisoners and possibly prevent one of them, Alvaro Froila, from escaping. After some enquiries, they learn

    from whom to get tickets to this exclusive show, and after convincing these thugs to sell, provide a piece of skin forthe tickets

    Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

    The scenario starts with the characters seeing a posterpromoting the Theatre of the Damned (use thescenario cover as a hand-out). They should see theposter in several places, plastered on fences, posts andwalls. The one that really should get their attention isplastered on the wall on a small market square. A crierdressed in rags of fading blue and green stands next toit, ringing a rusty bell and shouting:

    Hear ye, hear ye! Comeand seetheTheatreof theDamned!Tonight, for onelast time! Witness with your own eyes thismasterfullywitty parodystarringthecitys well-to-do! Seehowour skilful thespians recreatesuch moments as Baron von Luztsburningcodpiece!

    To assure the PCs attention you can includeembarrassing details about one of them in the salespitch (whether true or not). As the PCs approach the

    crier he suddenly turns white with fright and fleesdown the ally behind him. He flees down an openmanhole and disappears into the sewers where hequickly loses anyone trying to follow him.

    Feel free to allow the PCs to briefly assume that thecrier was fleeing from them.

    The Knights Panther and Their Prey

    The truth of the matter soon dawns on them though,as a procession of Knights Panther emerges.Frightened townspeople scramble to make way for the

    riders. The grim Knights slowly make their way acrossthe marketplace, their daunting Captain, EzekelAichorn, at the head (for description and stats, seep.17). The riders are followed by a line of shackledprisoners wearing head cages, hurried