(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.)
Death on the Reik
- Wilfried [Fence]
- Larry [Bodyguard]
- Martin [Scout]
- Othmar [Charlatan]
- Wilhelm [Wizard’s Apprentice]
- Gottlieb [Bounty Hunter]
The group departs from Altdorf, concealing the strange mark on Wilfried’s hand. They set sail up the Talabec aiming for the Delb and their destination in Delberz.
Shortly outside of Altdorf they travel past the town of Grossbad, where a showboat is coming to port and seems to have the whole town up in arms. For none other than Philipe Descartes, the Bretonian gambler from the very first act of the campaign is among the showpeople… and he had previously swindled away the life savings, and all landholdings, of herr Volker Hoehmann. Now a lynch mob is forming to welcome him to Grossbad, and it doesn’t seem that the authorities nor the regular show folk on the boat are willing to raise a finger to protect the poor bastard.
And thus the party jumps into action – with stern threats, impersonation of authority, and not a small amount of sheer physical intimidation. In under a minute they’ve landed, absconded with Monsieur Descartes, and returned to the river – running upstream from Grossbad towards Werder.
Where the Delb meets the Talabec, the group waits for the arrival of the showboat so Philipe can recover what he can from his luggage. An encounter with another river boat coming down the Talabec towards Altdorf gives them some additional information about the area and current political climate.
- Crown Prince Wolfgang Holswig-Abenauer (heir to the throne) is being held prisoner in his own castle at the orders of the Emperor.
- There are multiple stories as to why he is locked away in Castle Reiksguard, but most either involve some horrible disease, or that he is being held for his own protection against assassins sent by his brothers… because…
- Emperor Karl-Franz has fallen ill with some unknown disease. All hell could break loose if he dies, because it’s well known that his heir (Prince Wolfgang) is a complete imbecile and the other Electors are unlikely to accept his accession.
- Meanwhile, riots have broken out in some towns of Middenland, where followers of Sigmar are rebelling against what they claim to be persecution at the hands of the Knights Panther – Templars of Ulric.
- In fact, a former cleric of Sigmar turned Witch Hunter has been lynched in Schoppendorf (home of one of the party members, Martin).
With all this in mind, the group changes course from Delberz and instead heads further up the Talabec to Schoppendorf to see what’s going on first hand and to make sure that Martin’s wife and family haven’t been caught up in the recent excitement.
In Schoppendorf they determine that the witch hunter Schmetterling was indeed hastily killed (or as the few locals who are willing to discuss it, he drowned while drunk) and buried in places unknown in revenge for his burning out of the Braunstein farm because the widow Linde Braunstein was hosting the meetings of a local cult of Ulric.
Shaking down the local temple of Morr, they find that Schmetterling was indeed buried at farm once the townfolk had smuggled Linde out of town to Langwiese.
At the Braunstein farm, they found evidence of the cult of Ulric, but no strange chaos cults or similar. In the shallow grave of Schmetterling, they find what you would expect of a Sigmarite witch hunter – holy symbols of Sigmar, dirty and bloodstained liturgical texts, and so on. And a bullet hole.
In the end, everything seems to check out that Schmetterling was an asshole with a chip on his shoulder against the cult of Ulric and who died for pushing it too far.
Unfortunately for the party, the story doesn’t end there. As they are leaving Schoppendorf, Gottlieb (who absconded with Schmetterling’s breastplate) is struck down by some horrible grave-robbing disease. Instead of returning to Schoppendorf (where people may know exactly why Gottlieb is ill), the party heads to Volgen seeking a doctor or healer.
What they get, instead, is the Sigmarite priest Landrick Steitz who freaks out upon seeing the feverish state of Gottlieb and wants to quarantine the boat (or burn it to the waterline). Some heavy handed intimidation and imitation of the faithful of Sigmar turns things around, and the priest is convinced to bring him to Helmtro, a priest of Shallya, who heals Gottlieb of the grave illness.
As the party leaves Volgen to head once again to Delberz, they each receive 50 XP for the session.