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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 39

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

Marktag Evening – the Garden Party

Originally the group sought invitations to the Garden Party as a chance to meet the movers and shakers of Middenheim. Now that the Garden Party is here, they find that the vast majority of these people are already known to them – and instead of introductions, the Garden Party is more of a means of showing that they at least seem to belong among this crowd.

As the group arrived from their meetings at the palace, they spotted both the high wizard and his deputy arriving at the gardens, where a number of other guests were already present or arriving including:

  • Dieter Schmiedehammer (ex-Champion)
  • Rallane Lafarel (minstrel)
  • Maximillian von Ganscher
  • Emmanuelle Schlagen (lady at court)
  • Kirsten Jung (lady at court)
  • Petra Liebkosen (lady at court)
  • Natasha Sinnlich (lady at court)
  • Siegfried Prunkvoll (Knight Eternal)
  • Allavandrel Fanmaris (master of the hunt)
  • Luigi Pavarotti (herr Doktor)

Approaching the wizards immediately, Wilhelm slips out the necromancer’s ring and is caught by Albrecht’s immediate call for the guards (and by the number of Knights Panther that suddenly erupted from the bushes). Immediately Brother Nathander tries to calm things down by assuring everyone that Wilhelm has already been certified necromancy-free by the church of Morr. Nonetheless they are force-marched back to the palace where the four of them take over a small parlour with the knights panther waiting outside to discuss this ring.

It seems that High Wizard Albrecht Helseher is currently on guard for the necromancer Klaus Gurtelrose. As Gurtelrose was never captured and executed, the High Wizard’s predecessor set up a magical device using one of Gurtelrose’s hairs to detect should he return to the city – and it began to thrum lightly a week ago.

After a bit of back and forth (including some discussion about the taxes and how Albrecht has made as many appeals as he can to Chancellor Sparsam to revoke them, and how they’ve lost a few good wizards already over the whole thing, including Lady Emery Schuster who was usually the star of the Blackpool Illuminations), Albrecht seems to believe Wilhelm and Nathander and dismisses the knights panther (which actually increases Wilhelm’s worries that they might be getting ready to dispose of the party members). He sends his deputy back to the party with them, and returns to the Wizard’s Guild along with Gurtelrose’s ring.

Back at the party, Janna Eberhauer asks to be introduced to the dashing Allavandrel Fanmaris, which is accomplished through Larry.

Larry then decides to show up the three “available” ladies at court (Petra, Natasha and Emmanuelle) and tries to show off a quadrille dance modified to work where one leads and three follow. But the ladies prove to be very proficient dancers and begin to seriously outdance him, putting him into the position of following.

Until the rest of the group steps up. As Nathander stands stunned, the rest of the group (lacking Etiquette, but all knowing Dance) steps in and forms a second ring to the quadrille and an epic dance-off is had – both showing off the groups’ dancing prowess, and opening up their opportunities to speak with the ladies at court (certainly an excellent source of courtly gossip!)

As they break away from the dance-off, each works their partner for gossip and information about the court and the taxes – in the midst of this the Ar-Ulric also joins the garden party.

The general feel is that Kirsten Jung is honest and perhaps insightful. Petra is materialistic and hedonistic. Natasha is the classic ice queen, with little warmth for anyone. Emmanuelle is sharp and well connected within the court.

The following information is gleaned from these conversations:

  • The Graf is definitely strongly influenced by those he holds close. While he is making the appearance of returning to his old strength, this is mostly to keep confidence and morale high that he is back.
  • Petra is the “power gossip” of the court and further conversations with her away from the party might prove useful. – if the right questions are asked.
  • Emmanuel is uncomfortable around the Ar-Ulric, and the same is definitely felt from the Ar-Ulric – although this is initially explained as a general discomfort around women (as the Ulricans of the Middenlands have to swear a vow of chastity), it is quickly sussed out that the Ar-Ulric and Emmanuel have either had or are having an affair.
  • All the ladies look down a bit on Kirsten for “settling” for Dieter – who had a nice gig but has now lost it and isn’t all that high born to begin with. This doesn’t bode well for Larry should he try to leverage his new job title in the court.
  • There is a general (to severe) dislike of the Princess’ Chaperone who looks down on the ladies at court.
  • Emmanuelle is alarmed by Luigi Pavarotti – he is a rapacious beast and a drug fiend and should be nowhere near the Graf nor his poor son.
  • Petra believes that Emmanuelle is the Graf’s paramour. (Which might be an issue if she is indeed also in an affair with the Ar-Ulric).
  • Again, neither elf in the court is behind the dwarf tax, no matter how much the dwarves insist that is the case. Rallane especially doesn’t have the pull in court – as the court minstrel he is seen more as an ornament (much like the ladies at court).
  • The three ladies at court seem to resent Princess Katarina Todbringer – mostly it seems because they feel she dislikes them. However there is a certain “esprit de corps” among the women of the court, and they try not to put each other down to others.

Two of the expected party goers never arrived however – the Graf sent his respects but would not be leaving his chambers that evening, and Gotthard Goebbels just never showed up at all (to the chagrin of the group who are pretty certain he is in fact Gotthard von Wittgenstein).

Larry joins a few of the notables leaving the party early (Rallane, Maximillian von Genscher, and Kirsten Jung) to go see the Barbarian of Seville. In the lobby of the Royal College of Music he is briefly introduced to Law Lord Joachim Hoflich, an aloof man who was the City Prosecutor before rising to his current position.