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(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.)

Session 33

Power Behind the Throne

  • Wilhelm [Wizard] – I 55
  • Larry [Mercenary] – I 48
  • Brother Nate [Cleric] – I44

All the good inns are of course full for the celebrations, and the group find themselves in a somewhat overstuffed inn called the Templar’s Arms. Although it has no stabling, the group’s horses are stabled at Staller’s Livery Stables, just down the street.

The landlord is Uli Breitner, a cheerful and welcoming man who keeps a peaceful and happy establishment with his staff; Kurt Gruber, his barman; Konrad Alpigei; a barman/handyman; Renata Hoeflehner, the maid/barmaid; and a Halfling cook, Tiasmara Flarett.

It is three days until the beginnings of the Middenheim Carnival, so the party splits up. Wilhelm, Larry, and Brother Nate go to find out about the delivery of the strange box of goods from herr Blucher. Meanwhile, Othmar and the other members of the group are working social contacts in order to get invitations to some of the more exclusive events in town.

Following the instructions to the destination (Hoffen Strasse at the sign of the Crossed Keys) they find themselves on the Hoffen Strasse essentially on the border between the commercial Kaufseit district and the dirty and tight alleys of the Ostwald slums.

The Crossed Keys lies almost exactly on the border between the two. It is a four storey house, with a locksmith’s shop on the ground floor. However, house and shop are boarded up: the shutters are fastened and planks have been nailed across the doors, with symbols of Ulric painted on them. The house appears empty.

According to Arnold Schlessinger, the local cobbler, two Imperial witch-hunters, members of the Reiksguard, came up from Altdorf, arrested everybody in the house and had them burnt as worshippers of Chaos. The house has been searched (ransacked more accurately), emptied and boarded up.

Checking the back alley behind the building, they ran into a pair of young slum-dwellers to whom they sold the box of goods (since it was “stolen from the boarded up building) who in turn ran it down to a local fence. Through this they become aware of Pfandleiher’s – a pawnbroker in the Southgate-Ostwald district who uses his pawnbroking as a cover for his fencing operations.

They then visited the Temple of Ulric where they managed to get an audience with the Ar-Ulric himself to deliver the letter from the Grand Theogonist.

Their meeting with the Ar-Ulric found him quite distracted and anxious. They quickly got themselves away from the meeting, worried that the Ar-Ulric was planning their elimination after witnessing the Sons of Ulric attack on the Grand Theogonist.

Talking to staff at the other temples, it seems that the other temples are upset with the Ar-Ulric because he’s been championing the new temple tax instead of representing their interests – although others place the blame at the feet of the Merchants Guild (who are not subject to any new taxes) and the master of the Guild, herr Goebbels.

That night they are introduced to Luigi Pavarotti – physician to the court, and larger-than-life playboy extraordinaire. They learn of the Graf’s two sons during the ensuing consumption of gross quantities of food and wine. The heir to the title is Baron Stefan Todbringer, a drooling and palsied invalid subject to unpredictable fits (although much fewer now under the assistance of Luigi Pavarotti). A year older, but born to a Lady-at-Court instead of the Graf’s wife is Baron Heinrich Todbringer, a giant of a man and a great champion of the realm. While not in line for the title, he handles a lot of the diplomacy for the aging Graf Boris Todbringer, especially now as he seems struck by the loss of his second wife, the lady Anika-Elise Nikse.

In addition, he has a daughter – the “Princess” Katarina, born to a Lady-at-Court between his two marriages.

The next day they look into signing Larry up for the Challenges to the Graf’s Champion which occurs on each of the first four days of Carnival at 11 am at the Square of Martials. To do battle for the title of Graf’s Champion (and take it from Dieter Scmiedehammer, the current champion), they need some non-magical armour for Larry to wear. At the armourers, they also discover the existence of the Minotaur Fights, at 4pm on the first three days of the Carnival – which look like the perfect opportunity to earn a bit of Lucre, as the purse is usually between 200 and 300 crowns, and there is often betting at 2 or 3 to 1 odds.

Tomorrow, the group has been warned, most shops are closed and everything becomes quiet on the eve of the Carnival as the city takes part in a strange fast or feast commemorating the end of the great siege of Middenheim.

While posters are made by the scribes guild to show off their best calligraphy with the schedule of events for the Carnival, this year the printers have also made flyers for the event listings for the first time, and are selling them for a shilling each – thus the group acquires the event schedule.

Tomorrow is the celebration of the 1812 OverCure.