(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
Carrion up the Reik
- Wilhelm [Wizard] – I 55
- Wilfried [Forger] – I 53
- Larry [Mercenary] – I 48
- Gottlieb [Bounty Hunter] – I 43
With the immediate threat taken care of, but the squeaking of many more skaven coming up the tunnels and the explosions of sapper charges taking out the foundations of the castle, Martin opened the lead case and tried to grab the massive glowing stone within. There was a horrible burning smell and everything was suddenly rimed with greenish frost as Martin’s chest was melting beneath the stone, his arms warping and distending, stretching as he held on to the raw warpstone while he pulled his body away from it. For a moment they seemed to be tentacles before returning to almost normal, but the warping continued and writhed up his body until a strange “crown” of thumbs (with thumbnails and everything) grew out of his head. [Fate was spent in large quantities rerolling mutations, but in the end he was stuck with this foul curse.]
Wilfried and Wilhelm bolted for the stairs and made their way down to the watergate as fast as possible while stonework fell down the stairs behind them. Meanwhile, Larry and Gottlieb worked together to pull the lead case up and out of the tunnel.
The sapping of the skaven was taking its toll as huge sections of the castle base came crashing down into the Reik below. The ceiling in the chamber came down, revealing the interior of half of the shrine of Tzeentch above. With an incredible series of feats of strength and control, Larry almost single-handedly hauled the massive casket out of the hole, into the shrine, and then rode it down into the river as the whole place came tumbling down. In the end they did not recover the case and the warpstone – but they know exactly where it is buried under a few tons of stone in the muddy bottom of the Reik – a place where the skaven’s obvious plans to dig it out from beneath will be nigh impossible.
Meanwhile, Wilfried and Wilhelm recovered the Bawdy Countess – now repainted and renamed the Countess Wittgenstein and loaded up with wines and cheeses and a suitable “care package” to be taken to Gotthard von Wittgenstein who is supposedly up to no good with a Slaaneshi cult in Middenheim.
Escaping with the boat and picking up Larry and Gottlieb, they allowed the river to take their damaged but temporarily patched boat downstream to Kemperbad where they put in for repairs and to talk through what had happened and decide what needed to be done next.
In Kemperbad repairs were undertaken, and they are hired on by Matthias Blucher of the Blucher mercantile family – one of the more powerful and influential merchant families in the region. He buys their existing cargo and wants them to deliver a full load of Cathayware to Marienburg – well away from the current excitement.
With a copy of the shipping contract in hand, Wilfried forges an alternate copy with the goal of either destroying or stealing the original copy that the Bluchers keep so they can take the wares north to Middenheim instead of all the way to Marienburg (and also provide themselves with some nice extra coverage along the way).
The next day the Countess is moored in the Blucher docks, is unloaded, and waits empty for the late Cathayware. As they wait for the wares to trickle in they are invited to Herr Blucher’s wedding anniversary party. Only a few go to the party, where they hide off to the side and engage in conversation with Rudolf Meier who seems less than happy to be here himself. He complains about the state of the business these days and places the blame for his own failed company on this very marriage.
“Look at them – Herr and Frau Blucher on this happy occasion, like Bretonnian cheese wouldn’t melt in their hands. Cut-throats, both of them. I lost my livelihood because of that marriage; as soon as the rings were on, cheap Bretonnian wine started flowing into Nuln as if a dam had burst. I tell you the Bluchers and the Steinhagers…”
“Yes, Karoline Steinhager, of the Bogenhafen Steinhagers. Probably the best business deal the Bluchers ever did!”
But during the loading of the Countess, someone drops an oil lantern into an improperly closed crate of cheap Cathayware – and the straw packing material is immediately alight and a wild fire starts taking over below deck. Fast thinking and a magical sword (oh, the dwarves and Sigmarites had better never hear of the day Barrakul was used as part of a makeshift sprinkler system) stopped the fire before it spread far, but both the floor and especially the ceiling of the cargo space was severely burned and will need to be replaced before the Countess travels again.
Fortunately, that’s all covered as part of the Blucher shipping contract. And in compensation for the month or two that the Countess will be in dry dock, Blucher has another smaller contract he can offer them – normally a job he’d give to a trusted family aide, but since he felt partly responsible for the party’s problems and their financial well-being…
There’s a case he needs brought to Middenheim. A small hundred pound crate and a letter (both well-sealed with wax and family seals) to be delivered to Herr Scharlach of Middenheim. And he’s willing to pay the party 300 crowns to deliver it, and encourages them to enjoy the festival at the time instead of rushing back, so there is time to finish repairing their poor boat.