(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.)
The Affair of the Hidden Jewel & 30-50 Feral Hogs
- Gottlieb [Assassin] – I 63
- Larry [Mercenary Captain] – I 58
- Brother Nate [Witch Hunter] – I 54
- Wilfried [Forger] – I 53
Entering Schwarzmarket from the Drakwald, there are many printed posters in the area that are recently posted and that use an expensive type to draw the eye… not to mention a huge reward offer.
“Reward! 300 Crowns to whoever can bring the head of the dastardly brigand known as the Black Arrow to his Grace the Count Amadeus van Drakensberg. His Grace has means of detecting substitutes.”
With several of the group being of criminal disposition and native to nearby Delberz, they recognize the Black Arrows as a band of bandits and outlaws who have plagued the area for several years now – they get their name by the black-fletched and painted arrows they use. In a case of extreme originality in naming conventions, the Black Arrow is the leader of the Black Arrows. More interestingly, Count van Drakensberg’s holdings are nowhere near this region and are down towards Ludenhof near Kemperbad.
Even more recent notices (locally sourced and less impressive though) call for adventurers and heroes…
“Heroes Wanted to go on quest for Hidden Treasure. Some danger. Great Reward. Contact Wolfgang Kellermann at the Sign of the Crossed Lances.”
Arriving at the Crossed Lances (still paranoid about sleeping at an inn after the Three Feathers Incident), the place is moderately busy with the notable presence of a group of hard-looking men-at-arms seated in one corner. Gossip is that they are a mercenary company coming through, possibly heading to Middenheim where one of the Midden Marshals has put out a quiet call for soldiers.
When they inquire about Kellermann, they are instructed to head upstairs to his office where they are met by the lean, scar-faced thug Lauengram who works as Kellermann’s “heavy”. In the room are Wolfgang Kellermann, the one-footed inn owner and ex-Black Arrow. Not just “a” Black Arrow, but “the” Black Arrow, now retired and replaced by the younger and meaner Annalisa Kessler; and “Bruno”, ex torturer of Count van Drakensberg. It seems that Bruno recently discovered (while torturing one of the Count’s enemies) that the man who stole the famous Blue Flame Diamond was Otto Kessler, father of Annalisa Kessler. And he told his daughter where the gem was hidden. Instead of bringing this information to his boss, he slipped away to let Kellermann know about it, as Kellerman used to be the Black Arrow and probably knows how to get to Annalisa.
Which is where the group comes in. Kellerman gives them the location of the Castle of the Black Arrows as well as a secret he never passed down to the new leadership – a secret passage into the castle!
Taking the secret passage into the castle’s dungeons, they should be able to sneak up to Black Arrow’s chambers at the top of the central tower of the castle and either find where she’s hidden the gem, or get her to turn it over. He in turn will pay them 200 crowns each for the gem.
After their meeting with Kellerman, Larry’s mercenaries make some headway getting in with the small mercenary squad in the main tavern. This conversation is interrupted when a lieutenant of the squad passes word through Larry’s men that the employer of these mercenaries would like to speak to Larry and his companions.
The employer is none other than Count Amadeus von Drakensberg (he introduces himself with flair and style); travelling incognito. He hires the party to recover the head of the Black Arrow, on a silver platter please and thank-you (and his retainer presents the silver platter). And while he’s offering the bounty hunters 300 crowns for the Black Arrow, he’s quite happy to raise his offer to 500 crowns for such a skilled group.
Unfortunately, someone in the inn has decided to take matters into their own hands. That night, as the group is asleep someone rolled a pair of bombs down the chimney to their fireplace. That side of the inn exploded, debris rained down, and the party decided this was an opportune time to get some breakfast… in Delberz.
In Delberz the local roadwardens indicated that the Black Arrows aren’t much of a concern these days – they’ve only been hitting big money targets and otherwise generally laying low and not pissing off any of the locals. The real problem in the area are the feral hogs.
From Delberz they entered the woods seeking the castle of the Black Arrows (taking the route that would appear to have the least time trekking through the woods). Unfortunately they are nearly immediately accosted by 30 to 50 feral hogs. The party beats a hasty retreat, but Gottlieb attempts to keep the hogs away from them by luring them after himself. Or it could just be that he flubbed his check to get clear… either way the hogs killed and devoured his horse and wrecked his crossbows while he took cover in a tall tree.
Once they regrouped, they continued into the woods trying to avoid any boar-trails they came across. But the woods had their own idea it seemed and paths practically forced their hand not to the castle of the Black Arrows, but to a charcoal-burner’s hut just outside the woods near the tiny village of Grusligdorf. Both Gottlieb and Brother Nathander caught glimpses of something big and centauroid – Nathander’s background raised by druidic cultists gave him insight that this might be one of the secretive Zoats.
But the charcoal-burner was an immense and foul woman, with a poorly maintained pen full of sick looking (but enormously fat) hogs. She nonchalantly gave birth before the group as she approached them and tossed the crying babe into the pig pen where it was immediately consumed by the hogs.
When this seemed to provoke some sort of violent response from the group, her demon hogs climbed out of the charcoal pile to assist her. It was a rough fight that cost the group two more of their horses. They finished by killing the remaining hogs and burning the house, the pig pen, the bodies of the hogs and charcoal-burner and her massive flail with the wrought-iron head shaped like three screaming babies.
And then headed to town, watched from the woods by the massive Zoat.