The Journal of Sigric Vogel, Physician and Adventurer
Vorgeheim 9th – 30th
We returned to Wittgendorf, only to find the village deserted. I can’t say I blame the villagers, but it would have been nice to apprehend the town physician and bring him to justice for his crimes. I sent a final report to the Physicians’ Guild at Nuln and then we set off for Altdorf, stopping in Kemperbad on the 12th.
We arrived in Altdorf. I spent a day receiving additional magical training. I am now an apprentice in the College of Light, and can cast a few simple spells. We sold up our cargo and booked passage over land for Middenheim, it took the whole month of Nachgeheim to arrive at our destination.
We arrived in Middenheim to troubling circumstances. New taxes have been imposed on Dwarfs, priests and wizards. While neither Hurzina nor I were happy to be taxed the whole thing worries me. Priests have always fought for their independence from temporal authority, for Ar-Ulric to consent to taxes would be unheard of and sets a dangerous precedent. And driving wizards and Dwarfs from the city with taxes is simply foolish.
Having survived our encounter with the Customs Office we set up in a local inn and set out to investigate. There was no consensus on the cause of the taxes, but rumours and blame mongering were rife. The Dwarfs blame the elves, in particular the elven court bard. The non-Ulric priests blame Ar-Ulric and the priests of Ulric are utterly silent on the issue. The wizard’s guild is utterly mystified, the city’s defences require a wizard lord to operate and they can’t imagine why they would be taxed.
Erwin was able to make contact with an information broker, according to that source the elves are blameless, the military has been frozen out entirely and the biggest objector to the tax was the Law Lord Alric.
The first day of the Festival. Kurt decided to participate in the Champion’s Challenge, and was defeated with pitiful ease. Of more interest was the Festival of Ales, where we met a local rake named Luigi Pavarotti, and got the chance to talk to the (still victorious) champion. His responses to our questions on the tax were strangely minimal and repetitive, even for a professional warrior. Corvin suspects he might have been hypnotised.
Finally a group of us attended a display by elven gymnasts. We got the opportunity to speak to the bard. He denies advocating for the tax, and believes the Chancellor and law lord Heinz may be behind it.
We attended a performance of the Barbarian of Seville, though I’ve always preferred Estallian opera to Tilean. We met the Chancellor, and I immediately noticed that he was acting as if drugged. After interrogating him subtly he revealed that he was supplied by a “Frau Kever” and that he was to receive a new supply on the 8th, the last day of Carnival.
Corvin and Erwin entered an archery competiton.
We attended a display of fire breathers. Kurt tired to woo the princess while Luigi distracted her chaperone.
Erntezeit 6th – 7th
Having learned all we could, we waited for the 8th.
We tracked Kever to her home. It was a dismal hovel, but it concealed a secret entrance to a tunnel complex below. It seems that Kever was ready for us, she shot Kurt with a poison bolt that nearly killed him. Not only did she have blackmail material on Ar-Ulric, but she had kidnapped Low Lord Alric’s niece! Needless to say he was ecstatic to have her returned.
With Alric’s help we gained access to Lord Ehrlick in the palace to bring this madness to an end. What we saw when we arrived defied reason, he was caught in a fight to the death with his exact duplicate! The doppelganger cut Ehrlick’s throat and ran, fortunately I was just able to save him in time. Apparently the doppelganger arrived in the form of a gentleman named Hoffler, so we decided to investigate his apartment. It turn out that Hoffler has been dead for months and the power behind this mad plot is Vesmeyer, a local wizard of high standing.
We confronted Vesmeyer at his house, only for him to flee. We caught up with him just outside the city gates. He destroyed the gate, escaped Hurzina’s attempt to grapple him, and took to the sky. His power was incredible. While floating in midair he was able to conjure armour that deflected Kurt and Erwin’s missile attacks (and my pitiful magics) and gain controlled of Hurzina’s mind (to control a Drawf like that is staggering). I thought all was lost, when Kurt saved us all. He lit his lantern and threw it a Vesmeyer. The lantern’s fire burned the wizard’s throat and broke his concentration. He fell to his death without being able to use his powers to save them.
So ended the Cult of the Purple Hand, and with it our quest. With our task finally finished we parted ways.