Actual Play, Fantasy, OSR, Power Behind the Throne, RPG, Shadows of the Ruinous Powers, The Enemy Within, Warhammer Fantasy, WHFRP, WHFRP1e
(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.)
Power Behind the Throne
- Larry [Mercenary] – I 58
- Wilhelm [Wizard] – I 55
- Brother Nate [Cleric] – I54
- Wilfried [Forger] – I 53
- Othmar [Spy] – I 46
- Gottlieb [Assassin] – I 43
Mombert is summoned to bring the body of the deceased doktor to the shrine of Morr and to the Mourner’s Guild for funerary preparations while the group makes haste to the Palace to speak to the Graf about the death of his son’s physician.
On their way through the various guard checkpoints again Brother Nathander suggests that perhaps all these guards with their checklists and palace passes might know a little more about Frau Kenner since she uses a palace pass to get in and out – but that will wait until this emergency has passed.
They are escorted to Cancellor Sparsam’s apartments and he decides that this is indeed worthy of an audience with the Graf because “that dangerous madman” was also his trusted physician (although Sparsam seems somewhat relieved that Herr Pavarotti is gone, he’s alarmed at the assassination of anyone associated with the palace). He takes Larry & Nathander with him to the Graf’s chambers, while instructing the others that this is the perfect time to check Luigi’s quarters to see what foreign poisons and narcotics he was using to control the graf’s son “Shakin’ Stefan”.
They found the Graf in his son’s chambers – already worried over his son’s health, he did not take the news of the loss of herr Doktor well. He seemed somewhat at a loss and melancholy most of the time, but became very forceful when stating that Luigi Pavarotti would be given full State Honours and be entombed within the temple of Ulric (as his wives have been).
Nathander’s main reason to be in attendance is to determine if the Graf or anyone close to him is undead, but while there are plenty of signs of illness, there’s no indication of the undead or their minions.
In Luigi’s chambers they find many drugs and medicines, several of which are specifically for Herr Pavarotti’s… dalliances. There’s also a selection of poisons, but in very small doses, and they are clearly marked and kept separate from his medicines – but they could be used to slowly kill someone, or to make them seem very ill for a long time. Or they could be used to acclimate one’s self to such poisons.
On the way out of the palace, the group paused to interrogate the various guards along the way. They make their way to Josef Gropius, a Palace man-at-arms, who admits he was attracted to Frau Kenner.
In a romantic move (his way of describing stalking), he followed her home one night some four weeks ago. He tracked her to the Altquartier and almost gave up (since this is the most dangerous slum in the city), but out of curiosity he followed her to “the Pit”. He concluded that she’s obviously a spy working undercover for someone important at the Palace and decided it was safer for himself if he left her alone.
He also described how a few months ago Frau Kenner took to waiting around in the gardens (near the apartments of the women at the court) when she came into the palace. She did this for a few weeks and then stopped.
Once free of Josef, the group began questioning who in the palace would benefit from Frau Kenner’s actions and the weakening of the Graf’s authority. They began to speculate about the elder Todbringer, Baron Heinrich Todbringer – who is currently out of the city in Salzenburg acting as a diplomat.
Which is when Nastassia Hess introduces herself from the shadows. She asserts that she is Heinrich’s agent at the court when he is away. Once she convinces the group that she is legit, they compare a few notes on who controls who within the Palace walls and who supports the taxes and who doesn’t.
She believed that the Ar-Ulric is in favour of the taxes as a political move to squeeze out the smaller temples in the city when the potential of his being blackmailed because of his affair with Emmanuelle Schlagen.
Who she says is the Graf’s paramour.
Suddenly we have one woman who is sleeping with the two most powerful men in the city, and should any blackmail about this come forward would both destroy the Graf emotionally as well as upset the balance of power between the city and the church of Ulric…
She also vouches for Luigi as a good man and not someone poisoning Stefan. She met him in Tilea and was the one that planted the idea of travelling into the heart of the Empire as a “nice vacation” and now feels guilty for his assassination.
Finally, she asserts that Charlotte (the hypnotist) and Frau Kenner are both the same person – an agent of an unknown master who goes by the actual name of Brunhilde Klaglich.
A minor bit of mischief ensues involving Larry’s page (who seems more interested in what’s going on around Larry than in delivering messages to the Ar-Ulric), and the party double checks on Nastassia Hess, following her into a secret chamber in the Palace that has access to both Heinrich Todbringer’s apartments and a niche near the front doors of the Palace for quick egress as needed.
Simon Landmine said:
Shakin’ Steven … [facepalm] Because of course they went there. [rueful sigh]
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