(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
- Larry [Templar] – I 68
- Nate [Cleric 3] – I 64
- Gottlieb [Templar] – I 63
- Wilfried [Templar] – I 63
Walking out to the south entrance of the dungeons (along the bank of the South Lynsk), they collect the still smoldering body of Wilfried who is remarkably alive although somewhat crispy – left for dead in a snowbank.
Climbing up out of the marshes and discussing how to get back into the city when the gates are closed at night, they see a farm on fire in the valley beyond the road. A group of people come running from the burning buildings, several of whom are carrying torches. In the distance they can see another farm burning also.
Preparing to intercept whoever has been lighting these farms on fire on one of coldest nights of the winter, they find themselves face to face with a group of Kislevites mostly in night clothes inappropriate for the weather, several of whom are wounded.
The zombies have turned against the farmers. It seems the destruction of the strange crypt full of specially prepared dwarf mummies by the exploding Karl has reduced or even destroyed the cult’s ability to control their zombies. Retreating to the city gate along with the survivors from the farm there are still zombies guarding the walls and gate – so the spiritual battery that they destroyed definitely extended the range of the undead control, but the city still has its immediate defenders.
It takes some work to convince the gate guards to let them back into Bolgasgrad, but the presence of a dozen farmers in their night clothes helps. As the gates open there is the sound of horses riding hard from the north, turning they face a solitary injured rider in Bolgasgrad colours now suffering from horrific frostbite from a hard ride through the night without appropriate gear. He proclaims that the garrison at Zvelky has fallen, the thousands of zombies there turned upon the few living soldiers who had the horrible posting to watch over them. A little digging around and they ascertain that the city’s main zombie forces are not kept within the Bolgasgrad itself because so many dead might cause unrest (and to keep them from being conscripted by farmers and others seeking easier work). Instead they are “garrisoned” in two small towns that have been depopulated and lightly fortified – Zvelky to the north and Prelpoi to the south.
Inside the walls again, they can see that the zombies here are still under control, but are being quickly ushered out of sight as word spreads of the fall of the garrisons and the farms outside the city walls. Taking the current state of the city’s defenses as their excuse, they quickly load up their circus wagons and depart Bogasgrad at first light to return to Kislev.
On their return they are immediately intercepted by Bogdanov and a large squad of Knights of the White Wolf and taken to a private suite of rooms in the palace where they are exhaustively debriefed over a period of several days while Wilfried heals from his brutal injuries. Then the temple liaisons started to arrive asking questions about the cult of the Ancient Allies, the chance of re-establishing the state cults in Bolgasgrad, and in some cases the fate of Sulring Durgul.
After a week of questioning (and rich food), they are given expensive court clothes and bustled into the throne hall of the palace and into the presence or Tsar Radii Bokha for the second time, escorted by a personal guard of Knights of the White Wolf.
Once they arrive, the Tsar reaches into the sleeve of his robe and pulls out a scroll. They are honoured as great heroes and worthy of their kindred in Middenheim who will hear of the valuable services they have rendered the nation of Kislev.
“We are now faced with the difficult task of adequately expressing our gratitude for your services. While, no doubt, you may protest that you were doing no more than your duty, we have decided nonetheless that we must express our gratitude and satisfaction with your service in some way.”
“The highest honour that Kislev can bestow is investiture in the Order of the Star of Kislev. This honour bas never before been extended to foreigners. It is my great pleasure to invest you each with the Order of the Silver S tar of Kislev, by which you shall be known throughout the states of Kislev as Heroes of the People.”
In addition, Wilfried and Larry are inducted as honorary members of the Kislevite Order of the White Wolf. Gottlieb is invited to join the Brotherhood of the Bear with the honorary rank of Kapitan Broydag (Ranger Captain). Nathander is granted an honorary doctorate from the University of Kislev as well as mentoring, prayers and rituals at the temple of Morr to aid in advancing to Cleric 3.
But as Knights of the White Wolf, they now have another task before them. Reunite with their small mercenary company and join a small army of the Tsar’s men and knights to retake the city of Bolgasgrad. While waiting for Golthog and the mercenaries to return from the wilds, they go hunting for healing potions or other methods of rapid healing in the field and are told that there might be something they can use at Nastassia Platov’s Apothecary on Ioakim Platz.
Arriving at the plaza on a crisp winter’s afternoon, they immediately note a pair of people skulking in a small alley off the side of the market – dressed in Imperial instead of Kislevite winter gear and with heavy packs set beside them in the alley. Gottlieb approaches them in his typically pleasant manner and essentially intimidates them into clearing out of the plaza, immediately please.
Very suspicious after the garden incident in Bolgasgrad, Hero of the People Second Class Nathander enters the apothecary and immediately goes to checking out the drying herbs and bottles, looking for any sign of the vile plants he so recently burned.
Nastassia explains that she is indeed working on a new medicinal potion with the help of a friend of hers. She offers the only three (expensive) samples of the current batch (which don’t work quite to her standards yet) and then attempts to recruit the characters to her aid. It seems her friend who helps her with the herb collection and formulas for these impressive potions is a hedge witch from the hinterlands – just on the Kislev side of the border from Osterland, but is visiting Kislev to aid in tuning the final medicinals. This friend, Alexi Grun, is staying at a low class boarding house in the slums of the city. And Nastassia has spotted a pair of what appear to be bounty hunters that are definitely monitoring her store. She can’t lead them to Alexi by trying to warn him, and worse he’s scheduled to come here to meet her in about three hours.
A quick round of disguising her and then disguising Gottlieb as her sets a new plan in motion. The rest of the group leave the apothecary and then a few minutes later Gottlieb (disguised as Nastassia) leaves the apothecary and pretends to be locking up before heading in the opposite direction from the boarding house.
Immediately as he leaves, one of the urchins running around the plaza also departs with haste, running down another street, banging on a door as she passes it. But the person coming out of that door is quickly pressed back by a few “thugs” in the form of Larry and Nathander. Meanwhile the two skulkers from the Empire begin to tail Gottlieb and Larry, Nathander, and Wilfried take up their own positions tailing them in turn.
At the predetermined time (having given Nastassia the time to slip out on her own in disguise to go warn Alexis) Gottlieb turns the tables on his less than highly skilled pursuers and they find themselves trapped between Gottlieb and the group. Once they see that it is Gottlieb instead of Nastassia they freak out completely.
It seems that neither Nastassia nor Alexis is their target, but rather a rogue witch hunter and murderer named Hannah Baumann who is targetting Alexis and using Nastassia to get to him. They are Jannick and Ingrid, bounty hunters, with a writ for the capture of Hannah Bauman. And now it is very likely that Hannah is following Nastassia to Alexis’ place!
Each group blaming the other for fouling all this up, they run for the boarding house to intercept Nastassia, Alexis, and hopefully Hannah Bauman. Unsurprisingly, a rogue witch hunter of low enough repute that they are being pursued by a pair of practically incompetent bounty hunters is no match for a team of Knights Panther / Knights of the White Wolf, and she is beaten into submission and handed over to the bounty hunters.
That night, Nathander has his million-ducat idea… he approaches Bogdanov and the church of Morr about founding and funding a new order of Morrish templars here in Kislev – eventually becoming the The Blessed Guards of Morrpheus as Revealed By His Chosen Dreamer Karl Morrgenthau (more commonly known as The Morrphean Guard).