(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
- Martin [Scout]
- Wilfried [Fence]
- Larry [Bodyguard]
- Othmar [Charlatan]
- Wilhelm [Wizard]
- Gottlieb [Bounty Hunter]
Kemperbad is an odd city – sitting atop the cliff-like eastern bank of the Reik, just north of the confluence with the Stir, and 500 feet above the river itself. Further, Kemperbad is not technically part of the Reikland, but an autonomous trading town (or Freistadt), thanks to an Imperial Charter granted by Emperor Boris the Incompetent.
As the group heads to get an elevator to the clifftop city on the bustling cargo docks, there is a commotion by the passenger lifts. A company of Imperial Infantry are escorting a rotund plenipotentiary up to the city. In the chaos surrounding this event, a young woman is knocked over and smashes her head on a barrel. A doctor pushes through the crowd and assists the group as they try to help her. He introduces himself as Dr. Maximillian Schnippmesser. In the end he takes the young woman back to the group’s boat to help her out, escorted by Gottlieb.
Finally on the elevator, they find themselves in the company of a jowly Tilean who introduces himself as Luigi Belladonna…
“I will get right to the point, my name is Luigi, I represent a group of investors from a nearby city-state who wish to acquire some goods from the Kemperbad dwarves. Our prices are fair, but things are going slowly and they are getting very restless. Would you be available to make this collection for us?“
Assuming they were off to collect nothing less than the Loc-Nar itself, the party soon found themselves picking up a small locked casket in the dwarven ghetto and transporting it to Luigi in a private dinning room at the Cat and Fiddle Inn. They were each paid 20 Crowns for the job and Luigi is interested in training party members as either Racketeers, or even a spy or two if they will operate as spies for his Miragliano crime family within the Empire.
After a bit of shopping and cargo transfers, they then returned to the river to travel to Grissenwald and hopefully the Black Peaks, home of one Etelka Herzen.
Along the Reik, about half way between Kemperbad and Grissenwald is Castle Wittgenstein and the small town of Wittgendorf. Just short of Wittgendorf they are intercepted by Captain Gertrude Grolsch and her riverboat. In a breathless wastelander accent she warns them to steer clear of Wittgendorf and to remain along the east bank while travelling past. She points to a tarp on her deck under which is the remains of a man they fished out of the river near Wittgendorf. Once human, he resembled a bloated fish with small tentacles growing from his armpits. She is taking the body to the authorities in Kemperbad. Warning them again against landing, she and her crew continued on their way downriver.
Not half an hour later the river boat pulls up to the village of Wittgendorf where they are immediately accosted by numerous beggars – potentially enough to account for most of the town’s inhabitants. After throwing a few dozen lizards to the crowd, they beat a retreat and continued up river.
Grissenwald (where the Grissen and the Reik meet) is a favourite stopping place for riverfolk and boasts quite a number of wharfside inns. Inquiring at these inns, they learn the following:
- Black Peaks isn’t a mountain or mountain range, but a disused coal min up in the hills about 5 miles south of town.
- The mine used to be run by dwarfs.
- The dwarfs in question are now a bunch of worthless alcoholics.
- They sold the mine to a noblewoman from Nuln about three years ago.
- They used to be one of Grissenwald’s primary suppliers of coal.
In the midst of the inquiries, a group of three drunken dwarfs enter the establishment and begin looking for a fight… “Hey, do you smell anything strange in here?” “Yeah, it’s coming from that dead tallfolk over there.” “It moved, it can’t be dead.” “Well… we could always fix that.”
Attempts to talk them down only lead to greater insults and the seemingly inevitable barroom brawl. Due to a number of improbable exploding 6s in damage rolls, two of the dwarfs were killed in the brawl (both actually the targets of Strike to Stun attacks that rolled too high). The town watch immediately arrested the third and suggested that the group get out as fast as possible as they were probably looking at a bloodfeud with the entire population of the dwarven shanty town of Khazid Slumbol.
They rushed back to the riverboat and worked their way south to Nuln and took the road back from Nuln to Grissenwald where they disguised themselves and proceeded into the hills to find Black Peaks. As they slip through town they meet a watchman at the town gate who warns them of the dwarfs again, and mentions that they’ve been rampaging and a number of human farms have been razed recently – it is only a matter of time before the dwarfs find themselves on the wrong side of a squad of Imperial Infantry, or worse…
Along the path they find the burned out remnants of a farm. Martin determines that the attackers were not dwarfs, but the foulest of creatures… goblins.
The next farm they find locks itself up at their approach. The farmers scream things about the killer dwarfs who are out to kill all the human farmers now. They know it was the dwarfs behind the destruction of the farms because they suddenly have a lot more money than they had before – they haven’t had coin enough for this much drink since they sold the coal mine.
Further into the forest they travel and then into the hills where they found the path up to the Black Hills Mine, and a squat dwarven tower at the base… the purported home of one Etelka Herzen.
The open space in front of the tower shows the tracks of many goblins and wolves leading both to the tower and to the mines. The front door of the tower is slightly ajar, but Martin instead slips around the back and climbs to a second-story solarium. The windows of the solarium have been smashed, and any furniture here was evidently used as firewood – the remains of the fire are visible in the centre of the room…