(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] – I 68
- Wilhelm [Wizard] – I 55
- Wilfried [Forger] – I 53
- Larry [Mercenary] – I 48
- Gottlieb [Bounty Hunter] – I 43
From the door of the chapel, the party looked around the inner bailey. Martin climbed up the ropes along with one more bandit – the bandit went to join his fellows in the gatehouse, and Martin immediately headed across the bailey to the old glass-walled solarium.
Within they found a dozen or two human-bird “crossbreeds” – Human heads and bodies (although beaked and feathered) with bird wings and legs. The birdfolk were excited about their new visitors, and the boldest of the bunch flapped down from one of the potted trees in the structure and then over to a locked cabinet at the back of the room. Breaking the lock off (and fearing they would find human body parts used as bird food), they were happily surprised to discover that these bizarre mutants actually subsist on a diet of totally normal bird seed (albeit in significant quantities).
Leaving the mutant bird things for now (figuring that slaughtering them might be loud enough to draw some attention from the residents of the inner bailey, although so far none have made themselves apparent) – they returned to the north side of the bailey and to the black tower there, seeking stairs down to the watergate and their stolen boat.
The black tower contained a nightmarish quantity of cockroaches coating nearly every surface, and evidently being fed to encourage them to gather here. The stairs did not lead down, but instead up to the upper reaches where they could hear harpsichord music. At the top of the tower they met the king of the roaches, the friendly and impeccably polite head of the Wittgenstein household, Ludwig von Wittgenstein. He explained that his headstrong daughter Margritte had been digging into things best left buried dating back to the time of Dagmar von Wittgenstein. She and her mother had run of the family estates now while Ludwig, in his new form, locked himself up in this tower because he could no longer entertain guests or really commit to his noble duties. His son Gotthard fortunately had escaped this life and had moved to Middenheim.
Ludwig seems to regret the actions carried out by the rest of the family, but he accredits it to the Wittgenstein curse. “It all started when Dagmar von Wittgenstein – my great-grandfather, built that observatory up near Kemperbad. He became obsessed with a shooting star. Couldn’t rest until he found it. Well he did, and things have never quite gone right for us since. Most strange, most strange indeed.”
Ludwig also told them that the watergate stairs lead up to the dungeons beneath the great hall of the castle.
Leaving the old cockroach unmolested, the group beelined for the great hall, avoiding the massive pit in the centre (amid a sequence of Sarlacc references). At the great hall, they were immediately greeted by a mutated butler who tried to have them sit down for a meal (from a table that was covered in mouldy food with a lovely grey fuzz over it all) and once they were done he would show them to their rooms. The butler then wandered off and fell back to sleep on his chair behind the grand stairs of the hall.
Ignoring the foul feast, they proceeded down the stairs beneath the hall and followed the most used path through the dusty halls – straight into the home of an ogre. The ogre seemed to be the castle’s torturer in residence, and he just chatted with the group passing through, helping them along their way to the water gate.
Following the ogre’s directions, they found a set of stone stairs spiralling down into the darkness. But beside the stairs was a secret door, slightly ajar – held open by some rocks and debris from the rough tunnel beyond it.
The tunnel lead to a larger space containing the lead case written about in Dagmar’s logs – home to the shooting star that had fallen at the Devil’s Bowl.
But the chamber also included another passage – one dug in from beneath. And a number of skaven were around the case, obviously figuring out how they would manage to get such an unwieldly and heavy object out of here in their possession.
With numbers on their side, the party rushed the skaven… and discovered that once again, where you see a few skaven, there are many more. Together Gottlieb and Larry pushed the lead case into the tunnel, crushing at least one of the foul ratmen beneath it. But still more kept coming A foul miasma of warpstone-infused magic came out of the hole and several of the group lost control of their actions in the ensuing battle… Driven to wild acts of violence they attacked the walls, each other, and in the case of Gottlieb, a mad rush down the deeper passage to kill more skaven.