(Being a series of quick game notes trying to account for the events of many sessions of playing through The Enemy Within using the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1e rules.)
Shadows over Bogenhafen
- Martin [Scout]
- Wilhelm [Wizard’s Apprentice]
- Wilfried [Fence]
- Larry [Bodyguard]
- Othmar [Charlatan]
Following the lead presented to them by Franz Baumann of the thieves’ guild, the group heads to the merchant guild to speak with Friedrich Magirius. Herr Magirius was initially rushed, but quickly changed his mood when he understood that the group was dealing with serious conspiracies and strange evils. Although cordial, he seemed uncomfortable discussing things with the privacy required for Baumann’s interests at the guild itself, and suggested they meet for a late dinner an hour later at the Golden Trout Club.
On the streets of Bogenhafen, they hear some discussion about a crazy doomspeaker who has been freaking out in the main plaza and foretelling the doom and destruction of the city, but there is no such person there when they pass through.
In absolute paranoia, the group watched the guild as well as the club fearing a setup, trap, or other complications. Except for Othmar who went to find a fortune teller (using his own expertise as a bunko artist and charlatan to avoid those who follow those professions).
As the small moon (Morrslieb) rose in the sky that evening, it rose full instead of crescent as it should at that time of the month, and the “face of Morrslieb” (shadows of craters and such, like the “man in the moon”) was slightly more pronounced than typical.
Othmar’s fortune teller, in addition to pointing out that the eye of evil is upon them (pointing to the moon), pronounced
“I see seven men, and two. One of the two will destroy the others, and many more besides…”
but could provide no deeper meaning or fortunes. Although she did say that perhaps she could provide more when not under the light of the small moon.
At the Golden Trout, Magirius explains the presence of a small secret society in town called the Ordo Septinarius – a group of philanthropists who remain anonymous because they are most high ranking members of the various merchant families. The organization has quiet meetings once a month, and has a huge collection of fake rites and rituals that it uses to keep junior members interested and invested. The core of the group is 7 inner circle members, with a further 49 in the outer circle. They are the primary benefactors of the church of Shallya and run the soup kitchen in “the Pit”, the poorest part of town. Magirius seems eager to help explain things, and sincere in his explanations of the Ordo’s actions.
Later that night, at the church of Verena, they introduce themselves to the priestess in attendance, Greta Harbokka. She was in the middle of doing research about Morrslieb when they arrived. With a bit of help, the following was dug out of a book –
“When the moon both grow and grin unnaturally in the sky, a time of change and flux shall ensue. The Great Mutator shall then take his pleasure and mortals will feed his hunger.”
Int checks were failed attempting to figure out who this “Great Mutator” might be.
She has also had some experiences with the Ordo Septenarius, but also feels that it is a generally positive influence in town. She casually mentioned that she first became aware of it about two years ago.
You can see the groups’ eyes light up.
They immediately started quizzing her about the dead beggars and itinerants (also mostly in the last 18 months or so) and about Johannes Teugen, who came back to town when his brother Karl became ill and died… two years ago. She promised to keep researching (and asked if they could send any literate help over to the temple), and suggested they check in with the Physicians or Mourners’ guilds for more information on the deceased beggars.
But it is late, and Morrslieb almost looks like it is making fun of the group as both guilds are closed for the night. The group returns to the boat, the literate characters who missed this session ran off to help at the temple of Verena, and they moved the boat out of town to sleep away the night.
In the morning, en route to the Mourners’ guild, they come across a madman in the main plaza. He yells the typical “Doomed! We are all Doomed! Chaos is upon us! The signs are everywhere!” garbage that you expect from a doomspeaker, but then segues into material that feels familiar – “I see seven, and I see nine, all they had will be mine, mine, mine!” The similarities to Othmar’s earlier visit with the fortune teller gets their attention, and Othmar catches the doomspeaker’s eye. He points at Othmar and shouts “The Mark is upon you, beware the bringers of Chaos!” and then runs off into the crowd shouting “The star within the circle, is the sign of death!” and “Beware the man who is not a man!”. Unable to catch him, they last see him heading towards the west side of Bogenhafen, taking the ferry across the river to the neighbourhood known as The Pit.
When questioned, people in the crowd who recognized him confirmed that he lived somewhere in the Pit, and like most of the poorest of Bogenhafen, could probably be found there once businesses closed for the night.
At the Mourners’ Guild, they confirm that the large increase in paupers burials started just about two years ago. Many a beggar or itinerant has been buried missing various vital organs, almost always including their hearts. When asked about Karl Teugen, the previous head of the house of Teugen, the mortician got vaguely excited reciting what it was like… “A lovely rich purple he was when he came in, and his tongue was deep ‘n’ red and stuck right out of his mouth. And his eyes were huge, like eggs there were. It took us two days to make him respectable; we were lucky ’cause we had a dead beggar at the time so we weren’t short of bits to pretty ‘im up.” Unable to offer anything further (whether it was poison, or some strange and rare disease), they proceeded to the Physicians’ Guild to speak to their head, Reinhold, who is also the physician to several of the rich families of the city.
Reinhold was initially very dismissive and about to send them back to the street when they brought up the case of Karl Teugen. This freaked him out a bit as he had never seen those symptoms before Herr Teugen died… and never since. Until last night.
Because Magistrate Heinz Richter is dying of that same disease, even as we speak!