Warhammer Quest

Wuthering Heights

By Peter Haresnape - 23 June 2003

This is an adventure for BL 3 (ish) Warriors based extremely loosely on the marvellous story 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Brontė. Please don't get the idea that there are dwarfs or necromancers in her version, but it is still well worth the read.

 

The Warriors have come to the wild, windswept North, seeking employment. The people hereabouts are rough folk who trust to the strength of their axes to keep any evil away, and consequently there is little need for trained Warriors. However, they do hear of one problem that is beyond the scope of rampaging beastmen. Malignant spirits is haunting a nearby village, Gimmerton. No one has died, yet, but the village is desperate to get rid of the phantasms, and the Warriors are the next best things to proper exorcists or priests.

Gimmerton is a village like many others, and the Warriors start there. The will have to ask around to find out about the ghosts. Make necessary initiative tests (difficulty 7) and each time they succeed roll on the table below to see what they find out. Each Warrior can make two such attempts each day if they don't visit a Trader or Location, and one if they do.

 

Folk around here speak in an odd accent derived from a mixture of the dwarf accent and the tongue of the Old Norse settlement, Yorvik, now mainly abandoned. This can mean that it is difficult to understand their words, and the Gamesmaster should take full advantage of this fine opportunity to wind up players. An example follows. This is how one of the village men will describe the haunting.

That thur ghast be th'shade of maister Hathecliff, Sigmar-rest-iz-soul, what wuz caarght out in th'rain und the like. Folks say az 'e wuz a misrable so-and-so, but not oi, nosir, he knew 'is duty to hearth 'n home.

This is rendered in the standard Imperial tongue as;

The ghost is that of Master Heathcliff, Sigmar's-grace-on-him. He was killed when he was caught out in the rain and weather. Some people speak ill of him, but I sir do not. He knew his duty to the area and the land.

Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy come home
I'm so cold, let me in-a-your window

---Part of the song of Wuthering Heights
---Attributed to the Kislevite Oracle Katarine Bush

 

The information will be presented in the latter form, but feel free to ham it up.

Each successful Initiative Test allows one roll on the table. The warriors may well get repeat results.

Roll    Usefulness     Information about the ghosts.
1 5 I believe that the pair was local gentry in life, about 30 years ago. I should ask at Thrushcross Grange, where their kin still live.
2 1 What? I don't know anything about any ghost! I'm a tourist!
3 3 The ghost is that of Master Heathcliff, Sigmar's-grace-on-him. He was killed when he was caught out in the rain and weather. Some people speak ill of him, but I sir do not. He knew his duty to the area and the land.
4 2 As far as I know, there are two ghosts.
5 6 The male ghost is called Heathcliff, and the female is Catherine. We did have a priest attempt to lay them back to rest, but he claimed it was sorcery, and he went for help- we haven't seen him back yet. You should explore the old ruins of Wuthering Heights, where they are said to have lived.
6 4 Apparently the ghosts were lovers that were thwarted in life, but supposedly happily reunited in death. The legend says that they will roam the moors, content with each other. I suppose something must have gone wrong!

The Warriors may also try and find out about the ruins of Wuthering Heights. Follow the same procedure, but with a D3.

Roll    Usefulness   Information about Wuthering Heights
1 3 The Earnshaw family inhabited the building, until they moved to Thrushcross Grange. It has fallen into disrepair and no one likes going there.
2 2 All sorts of evil is said to lurk within, though no doubt its all children's tales. No one lives there now.
3 1 The house is high up, and subject to powerful winds, hence the name.

If they go to Thrushcross Grange (TCG) an elderly woman, sitting by the gate knitting will greet them. A park and a wall surround the Grange, and the weather hereabouts is milder than coming across the moors. The Warriors are invited in to meet Hareton Earnshaw. He and his wife Cathy know about the legends, but are loath to discuss it. The Warrior will discover that he is a Priest of Sigmar, and his faith has kept the ghosts from moving in on the Grange. Cathy is a spirited woman who wears a sword at all times. It is clear that they know more than they are letting on, but they don't say much. However, they do offer the Warriors assistance in slaying the ghost. Hareton will bless one weapon of each warrior so that it is magical. If there is a dwarf in the party, he will summon a servant; an ancient grumbling dwarf called Joseph, who despite his appearance is a skilled runesmith. He will carve a free Rune of Magic on any dwarf axe or hammer, or any weapon that Hareton refuses to bless. In this way, each warrior will have at least one weapon that is magical. The Earnshaws also give the warriors 2 provisions each, and open up their stores. The warriors may buy anything from the Traders, except things with a Stock of 9 or more. Joseph will also carve a rune (from the Common Table), but the recipient must still pay!

 

Wuthering Heights is played as a normal dungeon. In the long years since it was last inhabited it has become home to monsters too great for the locals to expel. In the Objective Room a necromancer awaits them, with 4 Zombies, 4 Skeletons with bows and 4 ghosts. The warriors must fight their way through this. Once it is clear that the Warriors are winning, the Necromancer will run through a hidden door, cackling in an evil fashion, and crying, "You have erred in attacking me, for I control the mighty!"

When he leaves the board, two new ghosts will appear. These are the shades of Catherine and Heathcliff, but they are weak from the newness of the summons, and the Warrior's newly blessed weapons will quickly overpower them. When they are within a few wounds of banishment, they will fade away as the absent necromancer, who doesn't want his main weapons to be lost, recalls them.

  Heathcliff (weak)    Catherine (weak)  
W 12 10
M 4 4
WS 5 3
BS - -
S 3 3
T 4 3
I 2 2
A 2 1
Armour - -
Damage   1D6 1D6
Gold 350 350

Opponents WS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Heathcliff (weak)                    
Catherine (weak)                    

Special Rules: Ethereal -1, Fear 7 Ethereal -1, Fear 7

 

Once the Warriors emerge, blinking into the sudden light, they must decide what to do. They know that the spectres have not been destroyed, and that the necromancer escaped. If they return to Gimmerton they can stock up, and decide what to do next.

 

The Warriors may also go to TCG. If they haven't been before they will have the same result. If they have been already, the Earnshaws will receive them, happy to hear that they have won a victory. They will insist that the Warriors go out and finish the job, offering rewards. If the Warriors ask why they do not do something, the pair will say that they cannot become involved personally. The Warriors will get nothing more from them.

They can discuss where the necromancer may be hiding. Cathy suggests Penistone crags, a cave system. Here lurks the necromancer.

As the Warriors are leaving, whether this is their first or second visit, they will be approached by the old woman they saw when they arrived. She announces herself as Ellen Dean, or Nelly. She offers to tell them the story. It is a long and complicated one, and the Warriors learn that Heathcliff was a mysterious landowner who took control using underhand methods, only to discover that all he really wanted was the love of his childhood friend, Cathy Earnshaw. She was married to another, and his reappearance led to her illness and death. Heathcliff followed her into death many years later and the two were reunited and at peace once again. A more complete version of the story is included at the end of this, but it isn't necessary to know it. In fact, it'll probably detract from the story.

Recently, an old acquaintance of Heathcliff appeared, asking about him. It transpired that he believed Heathcliff had hidden a great sum of money. He hired a necromancer to raise the spirit, but the necromancer claimed that there was no horde. The man went away, but the necromancer stayed. He saw great strength in Heathcliff's shade, and he tried to separate both Heathcliff and Cathy from the area, so that he could use them when he returned to the city.

And so the ghosts, neither alive or at rest, haunted the area. Nelly begs the Warriors to kill the necromancer and banish the ghosts, so that they can escape unlife and return to slumber. She gives them the Stone of Banishment to help them.

 

Stone of Banishment

This item of treasure can banish a ghost or Ethereal being who has been summoned from slumber. The Warrior must roll 1D6+ Willpower and score 7+. If he succeeds, remove the model from the board. Warriors gain gold as usual. This may only be attempted once per adventure. The Stone is worth 400 gold and can be used by the Wizard.

 

Penistone Crags

Play this as a normal dungeon, with the Idol Chamber as the objective room. The Necromancer will be waiting here, along with 1 Mummy, 1 Wraith, 2D6 Ghouls, 2D6 Zombies and Heathcliff and Catherine. The necromancer will not cast normal spells, unless Heathcliff and Catherine are killed. He is chanting to try and release their spirits fully into his control, and so every turn that he is alive, both shades receive Regenerate 2D6. In addition, he will summon further Ghosts. Roll 1D6 for each monster killed while the necromancer is alive. On a score of 1-3 it is immediately replaced with a Ghost.

 

  Heathcliff    Catherine   
W 22 20
M 4 4
WS 5 4
BS - -
S 4 (6) 4
T 4 4
I 4 6
A 2 3
Armour - -
Damage    2D6 Special
Gold 650 650

Opponents WS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Heathcliff                    
Catherine                    

Special Rules:Ethereal -2, Fear 8 (10), Frenzy 5+, Spiritblade, Strengthening, Soulmates (Catherine) Ethereal -2, Fear 8, Chill 2D6, Strengthening, Hypnotise 4+, Soulmates (Heathcliff)

Strengthening
While the necromancer is alive, both ghosts Regenerate 2D6 Wounds at the beginning of the Monsters Phase. If dead, only Cathy Regenerates, and only 1D6 Wounds.

Spiritblade
This weapon is a powerful device that gives +2 Fear to the wielder, and strikes at +1 to hit and +2 Strength. The Warriors cannot take this.

Soulmates
When one is banished, so is the other. The warriors need only defeat one, but don't tell them that!

 

  Necromancer (Summoner of Spirits)  
W 14
M 4
WS 4
BS 5+
S 3
T 4
I 4
A 1
Armour -
Damage    1D6
Gold 500

Opponents WS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Summoner                    

Special Rules:Regenerate 1D6, Summoner of Spirits, Magical Weapon, Necromantic Magic 2*, Magic Resistance 5+

Summoner of Spirits
The necromancer is trying to build a spirit army, and has developed his powers in that direction significantly. This means that when he is threatened he can defend his material body. This gives him Ethereal -1. In addition, whenever a monster (not a ghost) is killed, he summons a ghost to replace it on a roll of 1-3 on a D6. *The Summoner is busy supporting his most powerful ghosts, and will not cast any spells while Heathcliff and Catherine are present.

 

The Warrior-Priest stepped forward, his holy warhammer crushing the skull of a nearby Zombie. Holding the Stone of Banishment he recited the Liturgy of Rest, eroding at the core of the Necromancer's spells and breaking the ties that held the unhappy spirits captive.
"Be free!" cried the Priest "Return no more! Rest in peace!"
And sure enough, the incorporeal forms dwindled, to the rage of the Necromancer, and disappeared, back to their slumber.

 

Once the Warriors clear out Penistone Crags they find one item of Objective Room Treasure. They can return to Gimmerton and TCG. At Gimmerton the locals will reward the Warriors with a treasure card each.
At TCG Hareton will thank the Warriors for freeing the spirits of the area and restoring everything to equilibrium. He suggests that you make a visit to the graveyard in the ruined chapel.

 

The Ruined Chapel

In the graveyard lie the population of the past, but unlike many unsettled graveyards, there is here a sense of equilibrium and peace. The three graves of Edgar, Catherine and Heathcliff lie undisturbed. The peace works wonders on the Warriors, allowing them to recover any loss of stats in the last adventure, for example as a result of Poison. Each Warrior also gains +1 to a characteristic in the next adventure. Each Warrior may also roll once on the Temple Table (or Prayer Table for Warrior Priest) to see how the holy atmosphere affects them in the next adventure.

 

The End!

Design Notes

This adventure was written in part to help me revise for A level English Literature, believe it or not, but the main motive was to provide a new adventure. Those of you who would rather not borrow so heavily would be advised to change the names and the background story. Heathcliff would become Moorcrag, and Wuthering Heights Blustery Reach. As with so much, take it or leave it as you desire.

 

The Back Story- severely summarised!

Years ago, the mysterious Heathcliff arrived as a baby. He was wild and strange, but was brought up as the brother of Catherine Earnshaw at Wuthering Heights. They grew to love one another, but Catherine eventually married the rich Edgar Linton of Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff disappeared, and returned years later as a rich gentleman. He exacted revenge on his childhood tormentors, gaining the property held by the drunkard Hindley Earnshaw, Catherine's brother. He married Isabella Linton, and fathered a child, but she ran away from his brutality. Catherine was caught between her husband and her love, between civilisation and the brutal, raw Heathcliff. She was secretly pregnant with Edgar's child, and she locked herself away in her room, weakening, until she died on the night of her daughter's birth. Edgar, who raised her as best he could, called this daughter Cathy.

Later, Heathcliff continued his revenge by forcing Cathy to marry his son, after the demise of both Isabella and Edgar Linton. His son was sickly and weak, and died soon after, leaving all his property to Heathcliff, and none to his wife. Thus Heathcliff gained the whole estate. However, he was never happy. Eventually he died, having realised that all he wanted was to be with his true love, Catherine, in death.

The son of Hindley, Hareton, married Cathy, and they inherited both Wuthering Heights and the more luxurious TCG. The saga seemed to be at an end- the ghosts were happy to roam the moors evermore, and love had conquered all.