Wilhelm took a room at the Freudenhaus, for 40 shillings a week a private room (well a room for only him and his chosen company…). It is around the corner and up a side street from the Seven Stars where the rest of the comrades are staying.
Wilhelm had also rushed down to the river when the explosion went off, seeing the commotion there but being unable to cross as the bridges were closed by then. He thus was first to learn it was the Priest’s Rest tavern in Tempelgarten destroyed not the Temple of Sigmar. “Please to remember the 31st of Vorgeheim, gunpowder treason and plot, ….”
Note – Wilhelm has 2 GP in allowance he could collect from bankers Klopstock and Bilreuth.
Returning to the action:
Professor Schott Mandelbrot’s lecture’s finale is cut short by The Dwarf’s twin axes cleaving deep rents into the giant lizard’s neck and flank, then finally Korhadriel’s first use of Aqshy to inflict harm – Magic Dart.
Witch Hunter Captain Wilhelm Leopold gives The Dwarf an approving nod as he and his men usher a bewildered-looking Professor Mandelbrot away. Hierophant Ingrid Krause and her Vigils watch in frustration ~ whichever of these legal authorities seized him first essentially has him (College for expounding on magic without approval; Witch Hunters for heresy – talking about Old Ones and their powers and how divine blessings and wizardry are associated manage to be both at once – even if one never gets beyond saying that is what one plans to talk about), since escalating to direct violence is not “done”.
There is a rally step as Luminary Mauer and two Reiksguard Knights arrive. It transpires he was nearby in a university library and came when commotion was heard. He is pleased and surprised to see the comrades but must first talk to his colleague. Korhadriel hears talk of what the Professor is likely to say to witch hunters – the Luminary saying he has cautioned Mandelbrot about his hyperbole and filling in his theories for findings, both are concerned at he will say to the witch hunters. Krause says, “that can’t be allowed”.
Krause and her Vigils leave, giving Mauer chance to learn of the ritual’s outcome from comrades. He is shocked to learn that purification didn’t mean safely expelling taint from the materium (the principle of the conservation of chaos otherwise meaning safe destruction of such is impossible) but actually transforming it into something apparently holy. That changes everything he says, the same words a dying Adele Ketzenblum uttered.
He is disappointed Professor von Oppenheim, his aide and his notes are all lost – a great blow. He will want the comrades to go over everything they recall of the ritual.
It is late, and he will be at the palace caring for the Emperor all morning, so asks the comrades to come and talk to him at his suites in the Laurel’s Rest in the afternoon the next day, Vorgeheim 32nd.
During this time, Wilhelm has been trying to see Captain Marcus Baerfaust at the Imperial Barracks on the Kaiserplatz, learning from Lieutenant Schaffer that he will not be back from the palace till midnight. He learns that Baerfaust has connected the explosion to the missing gunpowder, particularly since one of the figures among the cultists is reported as a big fellow in a black cowl. The Lieutenant says Baerfaust doesn’t think the Black Cowl died in the explosion – masterminds are never so easily disposed of (not unless they were not really what it’s all about…)
So late at night, The Dwarf and Wilhelm return to see Captain Baerfaust. They and he are all tired (misfortune dice). He is stunned to learn Adele Ketzenblum was a mutant but consoled that she died killing mutants. He reveals that he is convinced there was a traitor at work in the fiasco of Griffon’s Fall – orders were tampered and troops out of place, the Emperor should never have been left so exposed.
Baerfaust will not reveal details about Emperor Karl-Franz’s condition though eventually comrades piece together (him, Lieutenant Schaffer, Mauer) that the Emperor was not directly wounded, he suffered a fall when Deathclaw was struck by evil magic. Baerfaust was there to keep foes at bay and Mauer apparently leaped from the Luminark and rushed to the Emperor’s side to tend to him (Lieutenant Schaffer – “never thought the little man could move that fast”).
[Metagame, well there is that nice “slow time for others or speed if for me depending on your view” spell some Light wizards have]
The reason Schwartzhelm trusts only these two is the view that if either of them wanted the Emperor dead, he would be dead.
Wilhelm ponders a theory that an Emperor incapacitated not dead could be what a conspiracy wants, which Baerfaust reacts to strongly – the whole Empire would be afflicted by the kind of directionless crisis that Averland has experienced for almost 2 years! Wilhelm has laid this out well enough that Baerfuast will raise the concern with General Schwarzhelm.
[Metgame, Wilhelm checks his Intelligence to see how plausible etc. his theory seems as presented – though it is a “good theory” a PC is never “in character” going to be more effective in cleverness than their stats meaning an Int 2 character may be a “Cassandra” being ignored as they give their “idiot savant” insights, success & boon]
The comrade’s inquiries etc. interest Baerfaust and he wants them pursued. He asks Schaffer what sort of authority they can get and she suggests he go through the general to get a writ for Wilhelm (who is a noble after all).
The comrades retire, and sleep a bit late the next day.
[This night was the first night’s rest at end of journey from Middenheim, a full night recovery in all respects is received]
That morning, a messenger comes from “The Temple” for Magnus, to come and give statement on the death of Adele Ketzenblum. He goes, leaving her personal notes and pistols with Wilhelm. He is not seen for the rest of the day or that evening.
Others spend their day’s time:
(1) A bit of shopping (Wilhelm, healing draught replacing one ruined by chaos magic in Middenheim) and fail to learn any interesting gossip (Korhadriel at Bright College).
(2) Regrouping to go and see Luminary Mauer at Laurel’s Rest. They pass his Reiksguard and go up the stairs to his suite where he is ensconced with papers and pestles etc. They complete bringing him up to speed and learn he believes the Emperor will make a full recovery soon (more hopefully than certainly according to Intuition – he otherwise appears to be honest in his concerns etc.)
[Metagame – I expected a few more Intuition checks and remind you on even this one, of course some checks have unrevealed automatic failures etc. just like some cards]
Mauer takes custody of the clapper, and when Wilhelm talks of getting it back at some point wonders what Wilhelm thinks he would do with it? Mauer does not want to speculate on what it could be used for but he has very great hopes. He’s not surprised Wizard Lord Messner doubts the purification – a man of limited vision (the man who calls him ‘rat boy’). He does delicately ask the comrades if any of them felt different afterwards – any lessening of dark voices or inclinations (e.g., corruption points removed, if you’re oblivious to your corruption level in roleplaying oh well, that will come out sometime). If living people survive the process and are reduced in their corruption – that is very significant! Of course, von Oppenheim did not survive which is troublesome.
Mauer is told, by The Dwarf, that Adele Ketzenblum was a mutant. This reduces the Luminary to a helpless, guffawing, table-slapping state (if he is the Black Cowl, PC’s will regret not attacking at that moment of helplessness) which he fails to straighten up from a couple of times before finally restoring his wizardly gravitas, “_that’s a tragedy_” (a tear of laughter still running down his cheek).
He asks the comrades to come back on the afternoon of Festag, Nachgeheim 1 (entered in the calendar of events – see below). He is very pleased overall (holy clapper, the witch hunter’s a mutant) – best day he’s had in weeks! The Dwarf also told him about encountering skaven (not “rat mutants”). Best Day Ever!
He rewards each comrade with 50 shillings, saying she’s been very generous with his living allowance. The Dwarf asks who and he says Gravin von Alptraum, it’s she who is paying for his rooms here at the Laurel’s Rest.
This takes to early evening. The comrades dine with Lieutenant Schaffer who stands the Dwarf rounds hearing him tell of the battle with giant lizard. She’s impressed and commiserates he didn’t find his doom, having the good taste to “wish he finds it soon”.
Wilhelm does get a writ, signed by Graf Otto von Bitternach of the Emperor’s Council of State (the J. Edgar Hoover of the Imperial government) granting him (by extension his retainers etc.) a wide authority to investigate matters concerning treasonous plots involving gunpowder, the Templegarten events, the disaster at Griffon Fall etc.. It’s valid until Nachgeheim 32nd (a little over a month)
[Metagame – this isn’t actually authority to do anything or go anywhere, it’s rather immunity from being arrested or otherwise abused for asking questions and wanting to go places etc. and suggests to others, “well if you don’t cooperate, Graf von Bitternach will hear of it”]
[Note, for the duration of the writ, Wilhelm’s noble rank is +1 due to prestige]
Returning to Seven Stars, Korhadriel finds a note waiting – Curd Weiss saying the Graf von Kaufman wants to meet the next morning.
That night, coming into the Freudenhause, Wilhelm is greeted boisterously by Gerhardt von Leitdorf – a fellow Averlander noble (of greater family) and member of Young Blades, in fact a big part of the scandal that saw several like Wilhelm have to leave the Pistolkorps – he killed a von Alptraum in a duel and had to leave the province while things sorted, turns out he’s been passing the time here. He is encountered half clad, a Freudenhause “attendant” under each arm and roaring one of his (he thinks) clever limericks “Leitdorf – we’re mad, we’re bad, but we make the ladies glad!” (just as well he’s a ‘hair trigger duelist’).
Gerhardt is glad to see Wilhelm took his advice about coming here – and just in time, in a couple of days it’s Geheimnisnacht – you haven’t experienced the Night of Mystery until you’ve spent it at the Freudenhause “Dusk till Dawn” party, “if you’re going to be up all night, be UP ALL NIGHT!” (say what you like about Gerhardt, but he knows where to find the biggest wildest party)
Another night passes. Wilhelm gets over his wrenched back (critical) with the gentle ministrations of his bed mate(s).
Vorgeheim 33rd Saga
The Dwarf plans to celebrate it at some point so can only spend the earlier part with his comrades.
In the morning, comrades go to the Witch Hunter’s Temple to try to interview Professor Mandelbrot (arrested the evening of 31st). They meet with Witch Hunter Captain Leopold and after some initial exchanges (in which Wilhelm manages to leave impression clapper purification meant destruction without saying it but not contradicting Leopold’s assumption of that equivalency) they learn that Professor Mandelbrot has escaped/been stolen away.
This is shocking – no one has ever escaped from the Temple. Admittedly, he was being held as much for own safety as a suspect. He did not show any signs of being a Chaos Sorcerer (we have ways of knowing these things…) – the working theory is that those Light Wizards spirited him away before he could reveal anything that would undermine public confidence or even the legalization of wizardry – that’s what the Witch Hunters really wanted from him (though the witch hunters say “sorcery”). With the information comrades provide, the possibility he is part of a conspiracy – perhaps even the Black Cowl – is raised as well.
At midday (the Dwarf’s last action before Saga events), comrades go to see Graf Friedrich von Kaufman(thus several hours later than asked). The Graf is in some cramped suites in the “Horse Tower” surrounded by efficient young men in Kaufman colours rushing to and fro (picture all the underclerks in Ebenezer Scrooge’s firm) and a couple of ogres.
He asks Korhadriel if he will accompany the Graf to the Grand Ball at the Elector Count of Stirland’s palace on Wellentag the 2nd – there to provide some erudite commentary on the Southland Expedition findings. He will be compensate and of course clothed (properly clothed). Korhadriel agrees.
- It’s not mentioned but the Graf is assuming The Dwarf bodyguard will accompany the elf, they make quite the conversational set – of course “clothing” the dwarf would spoil the whole effect and the Graf may even be smart enough to know a Slayer don’t wear fine linens with high collars.
The Graf also asks if Korhadriel, who has yet to publish a paper for the Sun Society, would write on the same topic – something putting it all in proper context, moving away from the incendiary claims of Professor Mandelbrot. The Graf does not deny the validity of anything the Professor was saying, in fact he remarks that the world is such truth must be clothed in half-truths. He offers 5 gold crowns for a month’s work producing a paper, which would have to pass peer review. Access to the expedition findings, which are here in the city, would be provided.
Korhadriel wants more time to write the paper and manages (success and chaos stars) to get six months but also have an additional editor, Professor Lessing of Nuln (Korhadriel would know that this is another corresponding Sun Society member).
- Korhadriel has thus managed to negotiate that instead of 1 month’s work for 5 gold crowns, it is 6 months work for 5 gold crowns – with peer review and an editor to make sure it really is SIX MONTHS WORK. The Graf didn’t get to be rich by being anyone’s fool. If Korhadriel is “smart enough” he can produce the requisite output with less time.
We break – though the Graf has other things to ask and there are arrangements to make.
- Curd will give Korhardriel the tailor’s name and send one of the “lads” with him to see to things and collect the bill. It will be a rush job and require going there this afternoon, the day’s 3rd phase for Korhadriel and his last before dinner (perhaps a relief to the Dwarf, the elf hopefully not getting into trouble while he’s off singing sagas).
- The Graf will suggest going to lunch to continue chatting (all part of midday action), there’s a nice place around corner – there won’t be a problem getting seats (a rich man with 2 ogres always gets seats – one way or another).
- He wants to know more about events in Middenheim, from what he says it’s clear he already must know a little something….how much not clear.
- And of course PC’s can also ask him things.
All to be played out next session. Comments discussion etc. should be in the forum.