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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
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In Warhammer, life is brutal and short. On the cusp of the renaissance and recovering from the Storm of Chaos, the Old World sees threats on all sides. From within armies clash against one another over resources and the hope to prevail against this threat. Humans, dwarves, elves and halflings make alliances or war depending on the whims of the state and occasionally plots of ruinous intent. The very ground seems to breed division and malcontent, intrigue and corruption.
Danger lurks in the dark of the forest and the stink of the cities. Orcs, Beastmen, and other, blasphemous things stalk the wild places, attacking the weak and unwary. By far the greatest of these is the threat of the ruinous powers in command of rampaging hordes of demons threatening to burst forth anytime anywhere their cults may be found. Ordinary people are lured with promises of power, knowledge, pleasure and riches only to find themselves as mere pawns to the ruin of all. Each soul so touched becomes part of the eternal war that Chaos wages upon the world — each seeking to remake it in its own image.
Life in the small town of Obelheim is simple and quiet. Tucked away in the forests of Talabecland along the Old Forest Road, news of the wider world filters in slowly, brought by the occasional trader on their way north to the coast. The dangers of the outside world are even more rare, so the townsfolk are generally content with life in their idyllic little village, kept tidy and clean thanks to ancient sewers that run beneath the city, a remnant of the long-forgotten Reman Empire whose borders stretched just this far north. A tall marble statue (presumably either the town's founder or some emperor) stands in the center of town. The pillars that would have surrounded it have long since become the foundation stones and hearths of the few dozen buildings that make up the town.
The mood in Obelheim is brighter even than usual for most residents. Emily the mayor's daughter is marrying Shane the blacksmith's son the next day. The union of the two wealthiest families in town promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. All of the town has turned out for the fore-parties; the men have taken over the common room at The Stone Road Inn for the groomsparty while the women gather at the mayor's house under the watchful eye of his wife Deborah for the bridesparty. The only unfortunates missing out are a pair of charcoal burners who live far outside of town, the unlucky four who have drawn guard duty for the evening, and Father Maurice spending the night in prayer at the shrine of Sigmar for the soon-to-be-couple's mortal souls.
The imminent wedding is not the only town gossip this evening. Travelers have come to Obelheim. A pair of Roadwardens passing through on their way to Talabheim have taken rooms at the inn, choosing to keep to themselves for the evening. The same cannot be said of the dwarf who arrived just before sundown and immediately threw himself into the celebration. Initial nervousness about the dwarf's endless appetite for alcohol and propensity for property damage were mitigated by a handful of gold lumps produced from a belt pouch. At the end of the evening they left him where he lay, finally sated, asleep in a corner beside the cooling fireplace. As the parties drew to a close, men and women alike stumbled back to their beds, dreaming of the even grander festivities to come.
It was not to be.
The whole town is roused by an ear-piercing scream. Everyone leaps from their beds to find Deborah, the mayor's wife and mother of the bride-to-be, standing in the doorway of the butcher's house, screaming and tearing at her face. A rivulet of blood creeps slowly across the threshold, perhaps not so out of place for a butcher's shop except for the headless torso of a young woman just inside.
The wedding is off, and the search for a murderer begins.
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