(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.)
Something Rotten in Kislev
- Gottlieb [Assassin] – I 63
- Larry [Mercenary Captain] – I 58
- Othmar [Spy] – I 56
- Brother Nate [Witch Hunter] – I 54
- Wilfried [Templar] – I 53
A few weeks upriver and the team finally arrives in Talabheim. The weather for the trip remains unusually wet and crops are visibly rotting in the muddy fields. There is violence and tension in the air and in Talabheim the talk is all about border skirmishes within the Empire, mercenary forces on the move, and so on.
Going back to the origins of our adventures, the echoes of the assassination of Crown Prince Hergard von Tasseninck during his expedition into the Grey Mountains (presumably at the hand of a dwarven adventurer in the pay of Grand Duke Gustav von Krieglitz) are part of the issues at hand. Grand Duke (of Talabecland) Gustav von Krieglitz’s emissaries have been imprisoned by Ostland’s Grand Prince Hals von Tasseninck and Tasseninck is demanding that his son’s assassin be handed over before he will release the emissaries. Now Talabecland is appealing to their allies in Nordland and Middenland for support against Ostland.
Meanwhile, the men of Ostland have been making raids into Talabecland, burning crops and supposedly a few towns. The people of Talabecland are growing upset that there has yet to be any retaliation lead by Gustav von Krieglitz.
The group is repeatedly warned to head back to Altdorf as the river ahead is befouled by border skirmishes, bandits, and worse. Plus winter is coming early this year – it is no time to be in a boat in the northlands.
Other rumours picked up in Talabheim
- The Emperor’s health has continued to deteriorate. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, given the disappearance of the Crown Prince. Sigmar save us, should he not recover.
- The sooner he’s gone, the better. Mutant-loving Sigmarite.
- The Emperor’s health has taken a turn for the better. His new Bretonnian physician has been working miracles.
- I ’eard the Emperor’s a wreck. Like one o’ the walkin’ dead! It’s all down to that doctor of ’is. Tilean, ’e was. Never trust a Tilean. Turns out ’e was a quack. Didn’t know a thing! That’s Tileans for yer. Anyway, ’e’s bin found out now. Emperor’s put a pretty price on ’is ’ead. Good money, if you can track ’im down. Slipp’ry, though, Tileans. Never trust ’em, I say.
- The Emperor’s dead! He died months ago and was replaced by a doppelganger!
- The Crown Prince Wolfgang Holswig-Abenauer has not been seen for months now.
- The Emperor’s decree prohibiting the persecution of mutants is not being enforced in Nordland and Middenland. Even in other parts of the Empire enforcement is inconsistent.
- A Reikland village has been burned to the ground for killing mutants.
- What are we supposed to do? Live with the abominations?
- Worshippers of Ulric burned down a Sigmarite shrine in Salzenmund. The perpetrators have not been found and local authorities seem disinclined to look for them.
- Riots by worshippers of Sigmar in Middenland have been brutally put down by the Knights Panther.
- Worshippers of Ulric are fleeing persecution in Stirland. Refugees are becoming a frequent sight in southern Middenland.
- The harvest has been poor this year. If the bad weather weren’t enough, the raids along the border between Talabecland and Ostland are causing real problems, too.
- The price of wheat has gone through the roof! The farmers blame the weather, but it’s just an excuse to gouge us all.
- Worse, farmers are burning their own rye crops in the fields! This isn’t the weather, this is a conspiracy to gouge us all!
- Two and six for a loaf! It’s robbery!
- Southern Middenland has been plagued with attacks by mutants and beastmen.
Meanwhile, there is also plenty to say about Kislev, once people discover that the group is insisting on continuing north.
- Goblins seem to be migrating west across the World’s Edge Mountains and settling in the hill regions, with the gloomy prospect of future raids into the more settled regions of Kislev. What is causing the migration – and whether it can be turned back – is unknown.
- Ships have been disappearing mysteriously in the Sea of Claws. The disruption to trade is starting to cause sharp rises in the prices of some goods in Erengrad and Marienburg.
- The Tsar has appealed to his allies for reinforcements to hold back the growing numbers of beastmen raiding from the north. They couldn’t care less, though. As usual, Kislev has to hold back the tide on its own.
- The ever increasing raids from beastmen in the north and goblins in the east are stretching Kislev’s military to breaking point. The Tsar has sent a request to his allies in The Empire for military support.
- An elite squadron of Knights Panther are en route to reinforce the Kislevite military.
- Beastmen attacks are increasing on towns in the Translynsk. They have been emboldened by the running down of the garrisons in the area.
- There’s work in the Translynsk if you’re a fighter. Some of the towns are hiring mercenaries to protect themselves from Chaos attacks.
- The beastmen raids are getting worse. Some of the northern towns have become so desperate that they have abandoned the gods and taken to following new religions.
- The Tsar’s daughter has been possessed by an ancient witch!
As they continue north through the endless grey rains of autumn, they come across a young mutant boy tied to a tree with the beginnings of a pyre assembled at his feet. He is stripped to the waist, exposing a body almost entirely covered in warts… Gottlieb is quietly incensed as he shares this same affliction (and while it was indeed caused by chaos – the fragments of the Nurgle mace head that buried themselves in his skin when they were destroying it – he knows that he is no chaos-tainted monster) and immediately goes into the woods beyond, hunting for the boy’s captors. One is found and dispatched, but the second (a witch hunter) takes flight and keeps ahead of the party in the woods and manages to escape. The mutant child is freed and aimed up the road back towards his home village before the group reassembled on the Countesses.
Further upriver they collected a small family of refugees – Ulricans fleeing religious persecution in Ostland and heading to Middenheim. They had been robbed by bandits three days ago and have been left with nothing, not even shoes on their feet. The whole family is moved onto the boat – Matthias Achermann hired as a blacksmith, and his wife and three daughters to help keep the boat and crew clean.
During a few days stopover in Wurzen, additional mercenaries are hired on and another two boats catch up with the expedition – The Cat O’Nine Tails and the Emperor Luitpold. Oswald Jungling, captain of the Cat O’Nine Tails, has pursued the party as he was hired to bring them from Talabheim to Kislev and is seriously upset that he wasted the late summer and autumn waiting for their arrival, and then they just travelled on past.
The Emperor Luitpold, on the other hand is travelling in the same direction (until the Talabec meets the Urskoy) and the Countess and the Emperor travel together for the next few days.
Ostland raiders are spotted on the Talabecland side of the river, but it only becomes clear that they were such when the boats travel further upriver to find huge swaths of smouldering farmland.
Finally arriving in Kislev at the end of Brauzeit, they get an audience with the Tsar the next day, spending their first day in the city at an inn making friends.
The Tsar seems unimpressed by Graf Todbringer’s “reinforcements”. They immediately find use for Larry’s mercenary force as reinforcements against encroaching goblins and beastmen, and send the Knights Panther off to the east and the town of Voltsara where things need “taking care of”.