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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 34

Power Behind the Throne

  • Wilhelm [Wizard] – I 55
  • Wilfried [Forger] – I 53
  • Larry [Mercenary] – I 48
  • Gottlieb [Assassin] – I 43
  • Othmar [Spy] – I 46
  • Brother Nate [Cleric] – I44

The celebration of the 1812 OverCure.

With most of the city seeming to be “charging up” for the commencement of the festivities on Wellentag, this day is initially quite quiet.

Othmar has managed to talk his way through two young women that arrived in Middenheim at the same time as the group (the Jung sisters) to get the group an invitation to the home of their cousin, Kirsten Jung, one of the ladies at the court of the Graf.

That evening the group gathers at her home and are introduced to both Kirsten as well as her fiance, Dieter Schmiedehammer – the Graf’s Champion (who’s position Larry has eyes on during the first four days of Carnival when the challenge of the champion occur).

Dieter Schmiedehammer is actually considering retiring in the next year or two, so won’t hold it against someone who defeats him – the position of Champion doesn’t come with a lot of pay, but fortunately doesn’t come with a lot of duties either – but he feels with his engagement to Kirsten Jung, it is time to move on from a job where he needs to fight to keep his job at least four times a year.

Discussions around dinner focused mostly on the history of the 1812 OverCure and gossip from Nuln until at some point it veered into the new taxes in Middenheim. Here, Dieter seemed particularly strange, and his responses were generally unemotional and rote. In fact, his responses seemed to be restricted to:

“Well, I think they are a good idea. The Priests have been stacking the gold up for years. Look at the Temples!”

“Excellent laws. Everyone knows the Wizards have chests of gold put away, never mind the Alchemists making the stuff”

“Very fair. Dwarfs are thrifty people and can afford to pay.”

“The city needs the money, those best able to pay must do so.”

“Not the taxes again. Do you mind if we discuss something else? What did you do yesterday?”

This also freaked out Kirsten a bit and she asked the group (well, Wilhelm) to stop the line of inquiry with Dieter, but to also see if they can figure out what it all means. Lack of obvious magical effects or residue initially made the group suspect blackmail or intimidation, but Kirsten’s insistence has them considering other angles.

The other main information learned at dinner is that these are the first taxes (or laws, for that matter) the Graf has passed since the death of his second wife, Anika-Elise Nikse, daughter of the Baron of Nordland who died of a strange illness a little over a year ago.

Graf Boris Todbringer has not been fully himself since the death of his beloved Anika-Elise, and has only recently started making appearances again and retaking the reins of the city from Chancellor Josef Sparsan and the three Law Lords of Middenheim (none of which really had any power, and needed all their decisions rubber-stamped by the Graf).

Now the Graf is back in action, but still doesn’t seem as focused as before – before making a decision he passes everything by his trusted advisers, friends, and confidants.

With dinner over, the party heads back to their Inn, where they can hear the roaring laughter of Luigi Pavarotti from the park across the street. The park is now home to five massive pavilion style tents in different colours, and herr Pavarotti is sitting with a group of halflings outside a huge green tent.

The various tents are put up every year for Carnival. This is “The Cousins Tent” – operated by the Halfling Elders Council of Middenheim as an excuse to hire every halfling and their cousin within miles around the city, while allowing the local halflings to keep running their own businesses through the celebrations. Here Pavarotti introduces them to his partying companion, the Graf’s court minstrel Rallane Lafarel (an elf with silver-blonde hair). After eating a bit of contraband food (since the OverCure fare was very smoked and salted, a few fresh meat pies from the halfling secret stock were well-received) they tried to get Pavarotti alone to ask him about Dieter Schmiedehammer’s eccentricities as well as get a bit more information about the Graf’s court.

Rallane interjected that he also found Dieter’s support for the taxes odd – Dieter is a kind soul and even likes those toad-like dwarves, so hearing him speak out in support of the dwarf tax seemed quite out of character. Based on their descriptions, Luigi Pavarotti feels that this is definitely a case of hypnosis… and fortunately for them, this is one of many of the doctoring arts that he is quite familiar with and that he could probably use to find out more about Dieter’s compulsions, and hopefully break him of them completely (and figure out who hypnotised him originally).

The party then decides to find out what they can about the deceased wife of the Graf – to see if this is part of a plot to destroy the Graf and/or the city, or if whatever that’s going on here is merely taking advantage of the death of his beloved.

So they head to Morrpark, the graveyard and shrine of the temple of Morr in the city.