Joined: 20 Jan 2006
|Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 11:39 am Post subject: Warhammer - episode 9
|At around the same time as Mika headed off to break into the Steinhagen offices, Gabby returned to the boat with a bloody nose and news. He explained that while talking to Franz Steinhagen he had managed to steal a note covered in occultish symbols from the Councillor’s desk. Gabby went on to say that while returning to the boat he was set upon by ruffians. Gabby felt certain that these two events were not connected, but his companions were not so sure.
Helmut read the note and explained that it revealed that a meeting of cult members would take place an hour after sunset. The note was signed by Johannes Tergen and seemed to indicate that the meeting would be held at his house.
As night was falling quickly, the adventurers quickly made their way to the Adelring to find Johnnes Tergen’s house. A helpful man of the watch provided directions, and the party quickly found themselves outside an intimidating mansion.
Deciding that lurking outside the Tergen household was unlikely to result in much except for arrest, the adventurers decided to pretend to be worshippers at a nearby temple – taking turns to wander outside to observe who was entering the mansion.
Despite this near constant surveillance, no-one was observed entering the house. Some two hours after the meeting was scheduled to start the party abandoned this plan and instead decided to do a circuit of the house. No other entrance could be found, so Snorr decided to investigate whether an entrance existed via the sewers.
While Snorr went to the nearby market to purchase rope, Helmut and Gabby decided on a different plan to see the inside of the house. While Helmut emptied his bladder against an outside wall, Gabby knocked on the door and called for the servants. When the servants opened the door to abuse Helmut and chase him off, Gabby stood behind them and took a peek inside. He observed nothing out of the ordinary.
Snorr returned with a rope and slipped into the sewers with Harry. The two of them quickly discerned that the Tergen house was not too far from the room containing demons they had encountered in their last visit to the sewers. The door to this room had been repaired, and attempts to bash this down were met with a puzzling failure. After giving up on this plan, Snorr observed that the Tergen house (like many other houses in this district), had its own private sewer outlet pipe. Snorr crawled up this pipe as far as he was able, but found nothing but filth.
While Snorr and Harry were destroying yet more good clothing in the sewers, Gabby decided to return to the local temple and sell the priests there his own brand of incense.
Once Snorr had returned to the surface, he brushed himself off and shimmied up the outside wall of a neighbouring house to see if he could look into the walled courtyard at the rear of the Tergen house. He managed to see into the courtyard, and also into the windows of the Tergen house – but was unable to observe anything unusual. While manoeuvring to find a better place to look inside the house, Snorr was spotted by a sharp-eyed neighbour. Shouts went up and Snorr quickly and deftly leapt from the wall. He and his companions quickly retreated from the Adelring and made their way back to the boat.
The adventurers decided to settle in for the night, and were woken some time later by Mika returning in a state of excitement. She quickly explained her adventures and handed over the book, papers and amulet she had discovered.
Helmut found that the papers simply contained inventories of mundane items, but was surprised to find that the book was written in a language he could not recognise.
The next morning Mika took the book to a book dealer in the markets for identification. This book dealer told her that the book was written in a magical tongue and contained a number of magical spells. He seemed alarmed at one or two of these spells, but did reveal several of the less harmful incantations. One of these put a magical seal onto a door which would prevent anyone from entering it. The book dealer asked several times where the book had come from, and began to get jittery at Mika’s evasive answers so she decided to take her leave.
Later that day Mika, Ploncie and Helmut headed to the library in the temple of Arianka to conduct some research. Gabby remained behind to make more of his “Halfling wine”, so he could deliver on his promise of a case for Franz Steinhagen.
The library revealed a few clues about the noble families of Bogenhafen. Both the Tergens and the Steinhagens had been in decline until young nobles returned from college in Nuln and revived the family fortunes. These young nobles were the Franz Steinhagen and Johannes Tergen at the centre of the cult. Also of interest was the fact that the Hagen family fortunes were on the wane, with the Tergen’s success apparently coming at their expense. Ploncie took this to mean that the Hagen family were potential allies.
That afternoon Gabby returned to the Steinhagen offices with his shipment of “Halfling wine”. He found the offices in disarray after Mika’s midnight raid and was sent away again. To make up for the wasted journey, Gabby stopped in at the local temple of Sigmar and made yet another attempt to sell incense.
Early the next morning the adventurers noticed a man nervously eyeing up their boat. Gabby approached him and the man introduced himself as Magirius, one of the town councillors. He explained that he had heard the adventurers were investigating the Ordo Septenarius. Magirius claimed that he, along with all the other town councillors, the head of the city watch and other important personages, were involved in the cult. He said that its aims were good and noble and aimed only at improving the town. Magirius then explained the reasons for his visit. He said that he has become uneasy as the cult leader, Johannes Tergen, wanted to cast a spell that would improve the wealth of the community. The only problem was that this spell requires a human sacrifice. Magirius said that Tergen had tried to justify use of the spell by saying that a criminal already condemned to death would be the one to die.
Magirius handed the adventurers two notes. The first was from Johannes Tergen announcing that “the temple is ready for use” and saying that the ceremony would be performed at the sound of the twelfth bell after Schaffenfest. The second note came from an Etelka Hergen and indicated the existence of another cult in Nuln. Magirius stated that he was not sure where the temple was, but that he would tell the adventurers as soon as he found out.
Magirius grew nervous that he had been followed and decided to leave before anyone saw him talking to the adventurers.
After the Councillor left, Ploncie decided to make for the temple of Arianka to conduct some more research. He noticed two ruffians tailing him as he went. Inside the temple he asked the Priestess what she could tell him of the Ordo Septenarius. She looked shocked that he knew the name and asked what the dwarf knew. He revealed that an informer had told him that the cult had infiltrated the town’s ruling classes and that it was planning to conduct a human sacrifice. The Priestess did not seem unduly shocked at this and repeatedly asked Ploncie to reveal the name of the informer. He began to grow suspicious that she was part of the cult, and when she told him that she had to leave the room for a minute he immediately loosened his knife from its sheath. Ploncie was not surprised when the two ruffians who had followed him entered the room as soon as the Priestess left.
One of the ruffians drew a knife, and the other drew a blackjack. The fellow with the knife pointed it at Ploncie and snarled “too many questions” and then charged. The thug stabbed Ploncie once before the dwarf shoved a dagger through his heart. Ploncie despatched the second thug with one vicious thrust and fled the temple yelling that he had been attacked and calling for the guard. A third thug stood outside and he lunged for Ploncie as the dwarf rushed through the door. The dwarf side-stepped this attack and a single slash across the throat left another dead ruffian in his wake.
Ploncie fled into the crowds and raced back to the boat as fast as he could. Once there he and his companions put on their armour and braced themselves for attack. No attack came, but instead a boy arrived carrying a note from Councillor Magirius. This note asked the adventurers to come to the Councillor’s house in the Adelring as soon as they were able.
My favourite roleplaying memory - "Daisy at Colonus", two drunk cowboys and a pantomime cow in a 'reinterpretation' of Sophocles greatest play.