(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 [Explorer]
- Wilfried [Fence]
- Larry [Mercenary]
- Othmar [Charlatan]
- Wilhelm [Wizard]
- Gottlieb [Bounty Hunter]
The trip back down to Unterbaum and Kemperbad started somberly as the group assessed their options, the grave state of a few of them, and the death of their guide. Once they were back in their canoes, the fevers began taking hold of Wilfried and Martin – the wounds of the ratmen quickly becoming infected and debilitating.
Early on the second day, with the fevers now dangerously high, the group overtook a solitary huntress walking along the riverbank. Emmaretta joined them in their canoes, seeking the fastest passage she could manage to Kemperbad where she had to bail her brother out of jail before next Festag. She had little else to say during the journey, keeping to herself except to help row.
At least one other (possibly more) things also kept pace with the group on this leg of their journey – followers potentially on both sides of the Narn. At one point the sharp eyes of Gottlieb spotted something large like a mountain lion on the western bank, but nothing specific was spotted on the eastern side.
Avoiding the town of Unterbaum entirely, they immediately descended to the Bawdy Countess and informed the two townfolk down at the dock of the brave death of Corrobreth, loaded their injured companions aboard, and set off. Larry piloted for the full 6 day trip down the Stir, lashed to the helm as his companions slowly recovered from their debilitating wounds.
In Kemperbad, Emmaretta immediately departed to bail out her brother. Convalescing for a few days in town, they made inquiries about Etelka and the weaselly man – and confirmed that she had probably been through town a day before the group, never coming into the town proper, but sticking to the east bank of the stir and the small part of Kemperbad on that side. Where she travelled from there they could not ascertain.
While in town and now recovered from the rat-fever, Wilfried took advantage of the training available from the Miragliano crime family to take on the career of forger.
Based on their clues from the cave where the astronomer Dagmar’s expedition members were slain and left behind, they set back down the Reik to the black observatory with the sixth key.
But with several weeks having past since construction was completed on the dwarven signalling tower, the site was now overrun with Imperial infantry and signals corps. Parking the Bawdy Countess a mile upriver of the tower (hidden by the woods), they waited until nightfall and slipped up to the tower, using the five-pointed key to open the secret door at the base of the tower.
Within, nothing had been disturbed since their last visit. Setting all six keys into the central shaft’s keyholes in the floor didn’t open a magical portal as they expected, but instead the floor just fell open beneath them, sending them tumbling into the secret library below.
Said secret library was stuffed full of books on a variety on topics (mostly in classical, some in the various arcane languages). Hidden among the books (and found after an hour of scouring the shelves) as a false book hiding a green viscous potion smelling of almonds (later determined to be a potion of healing).
A table in the centre of the library bore three large books – each open to pages reproduced in the handouts (not included in this blog version of the report); “Sternschau’s Astronomical Records – Being a Guide of the Mysterious Phenomena of the Nighte Sky” and “Omens and Prophecies of the Seer Unserfrau”. The third volume (in the Magickal Arcane Language) is “The Journal of the Wizard Dagmar von Wittgenstein – 2405”.
The final entry in the Journal indicates that Dagmar von Wittgenstein had prepared a lead-lined case to carry the warpstone from the Barren Hills to a magically-reinforced chamber in “the castle”.
Based on his name and their previous experiences at Wittgendorf, it is decided that this means Dagmar was referring to castle Wittgenstein, hereditary home of his family, now fallen on very hard times.
Unfortunately for the group, escaping from the observatory with a whole pile of books wasn’t as quick and quiet as sneaking in, and they attracted the attention of Imperial troops who chased them through the forest. In the run back to the Bawdy Countess, Gottlieb was separated from the group and led the troops on a merry run through the woods. He finally caught up with the Countess further upriver, and as Larry pulled in to pick him up, an errant root breached the side of the boat beneath the water line.
Bailing desperately, they continued upriver as far as they could until Larry spotted a sand bar he could beach the Countess on to get the hole above water and allow for them to fix her before she sank.
If anyone had any carpentry or shipbuilding skills.
“Fortunately” another (smaller) craft, the Maria Borger, came up the river an hour later, just after sunrise. The crews of both boats hailed one another – the Bawdy Countess looking for carpenters and assistance unbeaching afterwards, and the Maria Borger seeking medical help – two of the crew have taken ill and are deathly pale with a cold sheen of sweat.
Neither appear to have any known illness or infection, but Larry immediately asked if there was a vampire on board. And sure enough, Hans (one of the two) has puncture marks on his neck that were supposedly not there yesterday when he initially took ill.
With a bit of wrangling and arguing, the group isolated the cargo of the Maria Borger, a sealed wooden crate with the coat of arms of one Graf Orlok. By this point everyone had figured out they were interrupting the whole Dracula storyline, collected hawthorn stakes, and broke the case open in broad daylight, exposing a pair of coffins. Opening the second coffin immediately destroyed the vampire resting within – the last of the dead Orlock family.