Sunday, 22 April 2007

Gossip (5)

"Haven't you heard? The Emperor is going to Middenheim to fight the Storm of Chaos! Only he can stem the tide of evil, they say! But you know what that means, don't you? Yeah ... that'll leave Altdorf wide open to people like Fengsel and Waffenkammer!"

- Two soldiers sharing a flagon of Altdorfer Weisse at The Breasts of Myrmidia tavern, in the Niederhafen Bezirk

Few things have as much potential for trouble and therefore adventure as a sudden power vacuum. If for example the Emperor would leave Altdorf there would be many nobles and influential people trying to profit from his absence. Given the fact that communications are fairly slow and unreliable in the Old World, many plots can be hatched based on wild rumours as to the health of the Emperor as he campaigns against the Storm of Chaos.

But not every power vacuum needs to involve the Emperor or nobles and generals. Crime lords are notorious for warring amongst themselves when their ... betters ... are laid to rest or, erm ... disappears. There are always room for backstabbing in the Guilds, the Merchant Guild being a prime candidate. But don't underestimate the petty power-hungry fishmonger, rat catcher, City Watchman or lowly stable boy. Even the worst tyrant has to start somewhere after all ...

Currrently in my own campaign, there is a riot running through Altdorf after news that the Emperor has been slain by traitorous generals allied with the forces of Chaos. This has provided some interesting twists to the lives of the characters, as well as given one of them an opportunity to prove his loyalty to the Emperor.

Whether this is a good idea remains to be seen.


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