The Enemy Within (2e)

Session 4
Pflugzeit 4

The Journal of Sigric Vogel, Student and Adventurer:

The Plot Thickens

Magerius came to talk to us after the lunch. Apparently he has finally discovered his conscience and told us what dire acts have befallen this town. He wanted to use the dark arts to gain wealth and power, but it seems he is unwilling to pay the price – a human sacrifice will be made tonight at a new temple. He can’t give us the location yet, but he will get back to us this afternoon.

Sure enough, a servant of Magerius arrived later to invite us to his house. We promptly attended, but on arrival discovered he had been brutally murdered shortly before we arrived. Magerius had left us a final note which Merriella adroitly realised was the location of the ritual: Warehouse 13 (or possibly 17, it’s hard to say). We also discovered a letter from an Etelka Hagen, who is a fellow practitioner of forbidden arts, but that will have to wait.

Unfortunately the servant (who proved to be incorporeal somehow) took us to be the killers and called for the watch. We only just escaped.

Hunted!

Our escape form the constabulary was fraught with danger. I barely escaped with my life from an encounter with a watchman. I really need to develop my combat skills, or get better armour, or both.

Eventually we escaped our pursuers, only to enter a chase of a different nature. We discovered another doppelganger of Kurt! That one such person could exist stretches credibility enough, but three? Dark forces are at work, here but I’ve come to expect that in this accursed town. It seems he was framing Kurt for arson. We caught up with him, only to have him walk through a solid wall! We fled the mob chasing this imitation Kurt just in time, though now it seems we’re wanted for murder and arson.

I can scarcely believe the things I am writing, and I saw them with my own eyes. It is though the whole of Bogenhafen were caught in the grip of the Ruinous Powers, warping and twisting it like a cat playing with a mouse. Sigmar servo nos!

The Ritual

We saw no one on our way to the docks, it seems the townsfolk had finally worked out that there was nothing amusing about chaos descending on their homes. Warehouse 17 proved locked and uninhabited, we left before any guards or watch could turn up.

Warehouse 13 proved to be more promising, there was a space cleared, most likely for the ritual. Erwin hid outside in the mist, while the rest of us concealed ourselves among thre crates in the warehouse.

After a few hours the Ordo arrived with a bound and gagged thief, it seems she was to be the sacrifice. Just as the leader was about to strike, Corvin took his shot. It should have struck true, but some force partially deflected it. We rushed to the attack and then all the hells broke loose at once. One of the Ordo was a daemon in disguise, both it and the cult leader (probably Councillor Teugen, but they were all wearing hoods) wielded terrible magics and the daemon had the strength of 10 men. Kurt was struck down by dark magic and Corvin was nearly broken in half by the daemon, losing his crossbow and getting thrown across the room like a rag doll.

The situation looked grim until the stroke of midnight. It seems that the time to complete the ritual had elapsed and the dark powers they served demanded payment. Johannes was consumed in a cloud of dark smoke and the daemon was returned to the vile pit from whence he came. So ends all those who treat with the powers of chaos.

Escape

We fled the warehouse, so as to avoid the watch, doubtless the incompetents would blame us for this as well, Corvin and Kurt had to be carried as they were still unconscious. When we arrived at Josef’s boat it was guarded by a couple of watchmen, but we dispatched them quickly with Josef’s assistance. One of them died by my hand, the first man I have killed. It’s truly a shame that I had to kill an honest watchman simply because of a misunderstanding, may Sigmar guard his soul.

I have resolved to spend the next few days reading the daemonology text we recovered from Teugen. While exposing myself to such a work places my soul in jeopardy, I fear I have no choice. I’m no warrior like Kurt and Corvin, and I have no talent for stealth like Merriella, nor the ranged abilities of Erwin. My contribution to our band so far has been my talent for first aid and the knowledge I have acquired in my studies. But I don’t have any knowledge of forbidden arts, and yet we have encountered 2 daemons in 4 days. Knowledge may be the only weapon I can wield against such creatures and I must arm myself, whatever the cost. I need to understand what the Ordo was doing, and whether anyone else is attempting the same thing.

Corvin’s Recount

4th pflugzeit (after lunch) extra ponsy came to have a chat with us after lunch seems he was scheming but got the willies and decided to come clean, told us about some meeting they were having tonight didnt say where tho. later on his servant came to escort us to his masters house but when we got there we found extra ponsy or at least the body that used to be him shorty found a note saying warehouse 13 or maybe 17 didnt have time to make sure sodding watch turned up so we bolted… got more fricking splinters as I went over the fence.

watchmen caught up to us only once but I remained unhurt dont know about the others tho they were quite far behind me, as it turns out I’m REALLY good at running. After shaking the watch we found another guy who looks like ugly this time he was being chased by some pissed off mob so we chased him and the mob chased us. we caught up the second ugly only to have him walk backwards through a wall after a few failed attempts at trying to repeat his feat we decided to leg it since the mob might catch us.

we made it to the warehouses after dark this time there was no-one in the street warehouse 17 was shut up tight but 13 was unlocked so we went in and found some drawings on the ground, didn’t take us long to realise that this was the right place. Shorty, ponsy, ugly and I hid inside while fancy waited outside it wasn’t long before a bunch of rich looking buggers turned up and got dressed in some white robes (that wont hide the blood well chuckles) they had some wench tied up in the middle of their ground picture they all started muttering and going on and just as they head honcho was about to stab the woman I shot him, but the damn bolt seemed to slow down before it hit him. At that point all hell broke loose another sodding daemon turned up and started going apeshit and one of the white hoods starts flinging fire balls around the place one of them hit me and hrgfv rugg tiubv trih and I got set on fire and lost my cross bow, I managed to put myself out but then the daemon jumped up a struck me. I must have blacked out because the next thing I remembered was seeing ponsy stab a guard and then we were on loud mouths boat again… this was not a fun day at all …. except for lunch

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Session 3
Pflugzeit 1 - 4

Journal of Sigric Vogel, student and adventurer:

Aubentag, Pflugzeit 1st

We returned to our inn in the morning (the innkeeper was understandably reluctant to admit us last night). When we did we discovered that the goblin was caught some time after we entered the sewers in a warehouse. This either means there were two three-legged goblins in this town, or there is something strange going on here.

Erwin was badly beaten up after the encounter with the daemon, but somehow he survived. I must admit I’m finding it quite gratifying patching up my comrades, it helps make up for my limited combat skills. Perhaps I should consider a career in medicine?

Our inquiries around the town proved fruitless. The Verenian temple library held little of value, no one official was willing to exchange much more than pleasantries, and the only one seemed at all concerned that there were mutants and daemons rampaging around under the town was the judge at the festival court. And he fell ill. Merriella and Erwin tell me it looked like some kind of black magic; I suppose I should see for myself. Apparently he was muttering “Ordo Septimus” to himself, most mysterious.

Morrslieb has grown large, too large for this season. And there is some kind of face appearing on its surface. Something very dark is at work here.

Marktag, Pflugzeit 2nd

I took a look at the stricken judge. It’s definitely a form of magical brain fever, we alerted the local physicians, but they lack the ingredients. Apparently Bogenhafen has a history with this disease, a notable merchant scion died of it some years ago, but it was never diagnosed. The “Ordo Septimus” is apparently a local merchant consortium, but their modus operandi seems very sucpicious.

Morrslieb looks worse, it preys on my mind, this is unnatural and nothing associated with the Chaos Moon bodes well for Sigmar-fearing men.

Backertag, Pflugzeit 3rd

The “Ordo Septimus” held a secret meeting tonight, Curt, Corvin and I went to check it out, it looked like a pretty standard secret society meeting from what little we could see.

Morrslieb looks larger and, more evil than last night, and that scarcely seems possible. Why is there no panic? Why aren’t the public fleeing? I fear we will see Mordheim come again, but none of these foolish townsmen seem at all worried!

Bezahltag, Pflugzeit 4th

The Schaffenfest came to an end today, and Friedrich Magerius invited us to lunch! Apparently this whole “Ordo Septimus” issue is just a misunderstanding! The popinjay spun some story about the order being a legitimate merchant consortium which relies on secrecy to maintain its cohesion, but I’m not buying it, his order is nothing more than a chaos cult, or perhaps they are just dupes for some other eminence grise, but either way they are not to be trusted, it was all I could do to avoid denouncing him on the spot. Not that it would do any good, this whole town and its leadership are tainted.

Corvin’s Recount

1st pflugzeit we went back to the inn after spending a night washing the smell of other peoples excrement of ourselves apparently someone else caught the three legged gobbo, but I think someones lying so they don’t have to pay us but we will see about that.

we had a look around town but didnt find out anything really interesting but the moon is getting bigger ponsy keeps muttering/shouting that the moon is going to eat us…. quite excitable that chap but kinda funny tho and he keeps the surplus holes stitched up.

2nd pflugzeit ponsy had a poke around at the judge sccribbled stuff down, talked some gibberesh and kept muttering about the moon eating us … fun day

3rd pflugzeit went to spy on the meeting being held by the “ordo sumthing or other” .... nothing happened got splinters from climbing a fence… not so fun day

4th pflugzeit some extra ponsy guy offered us breakfast today said something about the “ordo” being just a innocent group of merchants, this sound like a load of horse apples to me but he did buy us a nice meal and the cutlery was real metal none of that wooden stuff that made is extra suspicious too bloody rich by a half he’s up to something without a doubt.

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Session 2
Mitterfruhl

Arrival in Bogenhafen

Sigric: Josef’s boat arrived in Bogenhafen just in time for the start of the Schaffenfest. After accepting our pay, we split up to explore Bogenhafen and find the lawyers that held the inheritance of Kurt’s doppelganger.

Kurt, Corvin and I went to the local courthouse, only to find it closed for business; a magistracy pro tempore had been set up at the festival. Merriella’s exploration of local merchants failed to locate them either. I enquired at a local banking establishment, but once again our inquiries were fruitless. This was suspicious, given that one would expect moneylender to be familiar with the local legal firms. We checked with the printers who created the notice and their description of the client (while vague) was broadly consistent with Adolphus, the malefactor we dispatched a few days ago. It seems increasingly likely that this “inheritance” was merely a way of drawing Kurt’s look-alike to Bogenhafen, though to what end I couldn’t say.

With our initial foray into Bogenhafen a failure, we repaired to the Drunken Fish, a local drinking establishment where Erwin was testing whether copious alcohol could erase his memories of this town.

The Schaffenfest: Day 1

Sigric: At a loss as to what to do next, we decided to explore the wonders of the Schaffenfest. This gave Merriella a chance to test her gastronomic mettle in a pie eating competition (who had ever heard of such a thing), and Kurt a chance to test his pugilistic skills against a carnival fighter. While both laboured heroically against their respective challenges neither was able to succeed, Merriella succumbing to the soporific effects of meat pie, and Kurt falling to a well placed blow to the jaw.

I was able to find a passable leg of roast lamb, and Erwin an acceptable ale for our mid-day victuals, and we espied a travelling show proclaiming to house wonders from far off lands. As I hadn’t had the opportunity to travel in too many years, I was interested in what this supposed doctor had been able to collect together. One of the attraction was a goblin, blighted even beyond the norm for his kind, cursed with a third leg. The creature attempted to escape, but was brought low by Corvin’s bola. The goblin’s owner was effusive in his praise, and we decided to wait until the next showing. Merriella found an antique vendor who offered something more than the normal carnival junk. The two ended up deep in conversation, but they didn’t speak of anything of import in earshot.

Finally the travelling show began, most of the “wonders” were nothing more than more chaos-tainted creatures. It angers me to see such abominations breathing Sigmar’s good air, but I was hardly in a position to press the issue. During the show the accursed goblin escaped again! This time it evaded all attempts at capture and fled into the sewers.

Into the Sewers

Sigric: The local constabulary was disquieted to say the least with the prospect of a mutant goblin running around the city, and the goblin’s owner wanted his star exhibit back. We agreed to pursue the creature into the sewers and recover it (for suitable remuneration, of course).

The sewer was predictably unpleasant, the only light we had was a pair of lanterns, and the malodorous air disquieted all of us, except Kurt, who was used to it.

We followed the Goblin to a room deep within the sewers and discovered the site of a blasphemous ritual. I had seen nothing like it, suggesting it wasn’t the work of a sanctioned cult, I was never permitted to read about the rituals of forbidden cults during my studies. The ritual summoned some kind of daemon, using the goblin as a sacrifice. I was agog at the sight of the thing, though Corvin and Merriella fared worse. Erwin and Kurt Fought the creature valiantly, though Erwin only narrowly escaped death after it threw him across the room. Once Corvin and I recovered our wits, we were able to join in and finally destroy the thing.

Mauled but still alive, we regrouped and prepared to leave the sewer. We had much to discuss with the authorities …

Corvins recount:

So we got to Bogenhafen fancy didnt seem to like it too much for some reason but I was’nt listening so I never found out why. Anyway the rest of us went to the court house to ask about Ugly’s nobility crap as it turns no one heard anything about the law firm that supposed to be handling it, smells fishy to me but it aint my business. I got poncy to read out if there were any bounties for me but no luck, so we went and picked up fancy from the bottom of his mug and went to the fair grounds. When we got stunty got all excited about some pie eating thing which she ended up failing at, stupid fat hobbit. ugly had a go at lasting 3 minutes in the ring with some brick of a man, that also ended badly when the brick finally landed a blow on him. We came across some poor dwarf in the stocks so I paid his bail and he damn near humped my leg off and followed me for a ways till he got sidetracked by more booze. We also came across this guy showing of “strange and mystical beasts” more like beasties he nailed extra limbs to, as it turns out the were fully attached and not just nailed on some three legged gobbo made a bid for freedom, but with my lightning quick reflex and perfect aim I nabbed him with my bola. The guy purveying this exhibit was full of thanks so we had a free showing of his freak show, I only stayed to see if any of ugly’s family showed up. Anyway as we were watching away that damn gobbo breaks free and legs it through the crowd and down into the sewer, old top hat guy didnt like this too much and comissioned us to go after the foul beasty, naturally we accepted so into the muck we went.

Once we got down there the stench was incredible but Ugly didn’t seem to mind, oh and did I mention it was dark so dark I could see my hand in front of my face good thing we had lanterns. hobbit seemed a touch edgy being down here, wasn’t she a tomb robber? she should be fine in this muck. Found a lump blocking off the flow of effluent and after rolling it out and searching it we found it was in fact the dwarf a paid the bail for, poor bastard.

We finally came to a door Ugly got the heeby jeebies about it but we pryed it open and went in anyway. we found what was left of the gobbo and weird scratchings on the floor. As we were nosing around some horrible thing appeared with a puff of smoke and I almost shat myself, then on closer inspection I had in fact shat myself. Right I thought I’m not having some beasty make me look like a mug so grabbed up my weapons and slammed them into the foul thing and it screeched and wailed and pulled free of my axe the Ugly walloped him and the beasty was no more. It was at this point I realised the fancy was across the other side of the room looking like his leg was almost gone and everyone else was bleeding rather alot except for the stunty who was nowhere to be seen, so ugly hobbled off to find her I searched myself for wounds and poncy helped fancy (I didnt have a scratch on me, am I invincible?). after regrouping we went back out to fresh air and reported our findings to the tophat man and the constabulary…. how am I unscathed?

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Session 1
Jahrdrung 24 - 33

Meeting

Sigric: The party met at a coaching inn on the road to Altdorf. Sigric and Kurt bonded matching wits with an effeminate Brettionian gambler, while Erwin practised his trade (to Corvin’s delight) and Merriella indulged in her love of pies.

Corvin: I met some one who could be my bounty but he juggles … I dunno I’m gunna follow him and his new friends to see what happens. They were talking about some rich guy hiring adventurers so I guess he wants more than one maybe he will take us lot (even if one of them looks like his parents were siblings). So after going to the local in the mutant had a game of cards with some whoopsy of a Brettonian anyway we caught him cheating he spouted some crap I could follow and the next thing I know the freak of nature sent him hurtling across the room, that was a sight then the dandy poured him a drink like they were old friends.

The Road to Altdorf

Sigric: The next day, the party set out to Altdorf by coach. The ride was fraught with trouble, from hung-over coachmen and snooty nobles, to a torrential downpour and an attack by mutants. It was during this attack that the party discovered a murdered man who was an exact double of Kurt. This man bore papers marking him as an heir to a noble title and not inconsiderable fortune.

Corvin: Damn coach drivers were drunk so the ugly one had a (short) go a driving them and guess what we crashed still found some guys his face looked like it was falling off but he still died when we got through with the bastard. Heard some horrible noise then something charged outta the bushes so I shot it as it turns out it was one of coach drivers that ran off some times it aint always good be so accurate, so hes dead now … oops. Found some genuine mutants when we followed the noise one of shot me so I shot him right back … I’m better. As it turns out the ugly one looks just like some dead noble we found what the hell, so ugly is gunna take dead ugly’s place good for him cant see him getting rich any other way with his looks and smell.

Altdorf

Sigric: The party arrived at Altdorf only to discover their prospective employer had already hired a party and left the city. Finding themselves at a loose end, the party explored the city, and discovered mysterious figures had taken an unhealthy interest in Kurt, most likely mistaking him for his doppelganger.

It was at this time that Sigric encountered an old friend, Josef Quartjin, who had brought his riverboat to Altdorf and was planning a trading mission to Bogenhafen. Since Kurt’s double was travelling to Bogenhafen to collect his title, the group decided they might as well travel along [you make impersonating a man to steal his inherited fortune sound so incidental and innocuous].

Corvin: Saw some guys taking an interest in ugly must’ve thought he was the rich ugly but they scuttled off, didn’t get a chance to pursue them further one of the the wordy ones friends turned up he was loud but he bought us lotsa drinks so he’s all good by me said we could sleep on his boat and he’s gunna give us a job on the boat if the adventuring thing falls through. On our way home I spotted some guys following us so dropped back to shadow them but they were killed by some unknown, they had some weird markings on em and little else so we dumped them in the river and called it a night. When we woke we set out to find out about the adventurers for hire job but it turns out the jobs been taken already also found out that two nobles we bumped into the previous night have been murdered serves em right for spewing all over the stunty. When we got back to the boat noisy said the watch were looking for us in regards to the two dead nobles, so we hid below deck and took noisy up on his job offer.

The River Voyage

Sigric: After a few uneventful days, the party arrived at Weissbruck, a trading town that acts as a way point, and warehouse, for river traders. It was here that Corvin recognised that one of the men shadowing Kurt was Adolphus, a fellow bounty hunter who resented Corvin for his superior skill and success.

The party followed Adolphus to the inn where he was staying, catching him conniving with a group of local toughs. That night Sigric, Erwin and Corvin staked out the inn to keep an eye on Adolphus but he evaded them and led an attack on the Beery Bellie, where Kurt and Merriella were spending the night.

The two adventurers heroically fought off Adolphus and his thugs, though Kurt was severely injured and narrowly avoided losing his life to a crossbow bolt to the shoulder, missing a major artery by a hair’s breadth. Once the others arrived, Adolphus was quickly dispatched and the party could lick their wounds.

Corvin: So boat trips are boring and I still hate rivers, when we got ashore I saw that whelp Adolphus it seems he still has it in for me. We followed him into an inn after he sent his thug out ugly followed him and the stunty went back to the boat poncy and fancy went up the stairs after Adolphus to keep a watch on him while I slept in the common room. The bastard must’ve snuck out during the night poncy and fancy woke me up said something was up, they weren’t kidding found the boat on fire and ugly bleeding everywhere saw Adolphus and shot him fancy ended up gutting the bastard … he had it coming. To everyone’s surprise ugly is still alive the lucky bastard I could’ve sworn he was gunna bleed out but he’s still alive.

Bogenhafen: Arrival

After four more days of river travel, the party arrived in Bogenhafen, just in time for the Schaffenfest.

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Prologue
Prologue

The shadows of trees are slowly covering the road in front of you as dusk grows nearer. The massive trunks that protected you from harsh sunlight mere hours before grow increasingly menacing, as you begin to wish you hadn’t thought to save pennies by walking alone. The road to Altdorf is long, and leads through dangerous territory. Even in the heart of the Empire, mutants and beastmen hide in the shadows, waiting for unwary travelers to lose their way.

Stopping for a moment to take a long draught from your waterskin, you pull the crumpled notice that prompted your foolhardy journey from your pocket. Wanted Bold Adventurers it says, and the pay is certainly good enough to justify the risks you’re taking. Not that you have much left to lose after what happened…

Shouldering your pack, and pushing maudlin thoughts to the back of your mind, you continue on up a low rise and around a corner. With a sigh of relief, you see a coaching inn in the distance, its lamps already lit to ward off darkness and the dangers of the Drakwald. Between you and this haven, however, are a number of scruffily attired and indifferently armed figures.

Palming your belt knife you wander towards them, relaxing when you see no visible mutations marring their features. They seem to be arguing jovially, and you notice that two of them are holding notices similar to your own. Perhaps these are fellow applicants, hoping to escape a life of poverty and misery as you do. Maybe they will agree to continue to Altdorf together, lessening the dangers of the road through safety in numbers.

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