I decided to do a recap on the most recent events since leaving Bogenhafen that may help freshen the mind:
After leaving Bogenhafen in good haste, and doing so while being wanted men for the murder of the merchant families and wanted for ‘questioning’ by the Witch Hunters, the party journeyed up the River Bogen, heading north.
Being wanted by the authorities is not a life choice they had planned (although their actions in the town would say otherwise) and the party leave the town somewhat changed and worse for wear after their fateful encounter with the trickster lesser daemon, Gideon.
Ernst Steurmann, the uncle of Kall Horst reveals some truth to them. Masquading as a barge captain and a retired Outrider, Steurmann reveals to Liliana that he was employed by her father, a wealthy and powerful man based out of Marienburg, a free city, also know as the City of Gold.
Steurmann was hired to retrieve the young girl and bring her back to her father for her pr-arranged marriage to be complete.
Ernst was suppose to meet some men of her father’s in Altdorf, when the party first met Ernst. But they never arrived. Not to rouse suspicion due to the delay, Ernst sent word to her father to have his men meet him in Bogenhafen and make the handover there. Yet Ernst changed his mind on the matter after reading a note left by Liliana, which was written when she was completely oblivious to his motives. He had no intention of returning her to her father.
It was Ernst Steurmann that announced he had received an urgent letter from the Graf requesting his assistance. Steurmann further reveals he used to work for the Graf, and him and Wilhelm von Saponatheim are good friends. It seems the Graf’s missing daughter (who has been missing for several years now) Ilse, has recently been sighted and has stirred up renewed interest. The party agree to seek out the Graf with Ernst and hopefully gain employment. Ernst himself declares, “If the authorities are after you, the last place they’ll look is within the confines of the Graf’s castle itself.”
– von Saponatheim
(On their way to Castle Graunberg, the party have a nasty encounter with a vampire – Waking Up The Dead: A Guide On The Do’s And Don’ts… Mainly The Don’ts!)
However, their plan goes awry when Kall Horst, without their knowledge, goes to scout ahead and decides to take the opportunity to meet with the Graf personally. He skips the ques for an audience after telling a castle guard that he has urgent news from Bogenhafen for the Graf’s ears only. Bogenhafen lies under the jurisdiction of the Saponatheim’s.
The meeting goes well, and the Graf seems receptive of Kall Horst’s honest retelling of the events in Bogenhafen. Needless to say, the Graf is deeply disturbed. He promises to investigate this matter thoroughly.
However, when the party arrive at Graunberg with Kall in toe, they receive a somewhat hostile reception and are formally arrested when trying to seek an audience with the Graf.
Ernst Steurmann however is permitted an audience after showing the letter. He reports back that the Graf seems gravely ill, and was not happy one bit concerning the party’s activities in Bogenhafen. Kall seems surprised at this, as it wasn’t the initial reception he got from the Graf. Ernst simply explains it as “Well, the Graf recently found out from some men arriving from the town bearing ill news, along with a few tales concerning my nephew’s activities.” Kall suspects they’ve been spinning lies. But his suspicion soon falls upon the Countess – the Graf’s second wife – after the party seek an audience with her, after they are forced into the Graf’s service to help find his missing daughter.
The countess comes across as a cold harsh woman whose motives for finding her stepdaughter is clouded in suspicion.
Forced into servitude along with vague promises of a potential ‘pardon’ should they find Ilse, the party set out in search for the Graf’s daughter, and plan to head to Weissbruck to meet a hunter who used to be in the employ of the Graf. Apparently he may know something concerning Ilse.
Along the way they get set upon by Thanatous Saponatheim, a cousin of the Graf. The Trouble With Kall Horst
Thanatous was the unfortunate fellow that Kall Horst had a rather strange encounter with at a bath in Bogenhafen. For whatever reason, Kall had a strange urge to rob his clothes, and decided a distraction involving throwing a bucket of feces over him should suffice. Thanatous was out for revenge ever since, and employed the services of a corrupt watch captain to dispense with Kall. However, Kall escaped, but met Thanatous face to face in an encounter on the road to Weissbruck. It resulted in the death of a few innocents and it only generated more heat for the party. Lucky for Horst, it ended up with the death of Thanatous and the robbing of his body. Kall asked him some questions before he died, such as a suspicion that the Countess may be in league with the Purple Hand, but if so, Thanatous said he knew nothing of that. Kall gave him a quick death.
Along the way, the party have a close shave with some Witch Hunters The Trouble With… Everything and Everyone!
The party arrive in Weissbruck, safe to say… things go pear shape. The Midnight Snack…
Handrik Grimm –
The party meet with Handrik Grimm, a somewhat solemn and paranoid hunter who greets the party with axe in hand. After earning a paltry amount of his trust, Grimm tells them that the Countess is actually a powerful sorceress, aka.. a witch. He tells them that the Countess had employed him to kill the daughter of the Graff, by cutting her heart out and placing it at a specific spot set within the Reikwald Forest. Grimm doesn’t know why, but he refused to do it. Instead he gave the young girl over to his brother, Jacob Grimm, for protection, knowing that the girl would not be safe back at the castle, and that the Graf would never believe that his wife had orchestrated such a plan. Grimm came back with a pigs heart, and for a time, believed that may have fooled the Countess. He tells the party that the Countess is merely manipulating them to find her stepdaughter, and if they wish to protect Ilse from her schemes, they need to find her first.
His brother Jacob lives in Reichlict, but recent news suggests that shes no longer in his protection. Grimm says he has no relationship with Jacob, and that they should find out themselves as to what may have happened to Ilse from Jacob’s own mouth.
However, there is the matter of Liliana… and the party delay their trip to Reichlict, and instead head to Altdorf from Weissbruck. A 4-6 day journey, although recent events have delayed them further. An Analysis On Splitting Up – Multiple Times!
So, that is a somewhat brief retelling of the recent events, but what about the other elements that have been there since the start of this campaign?…
- The Purple Hand: Very little is known about the Purple Hand. The party first encountered them in Altdorf on their first arrival into the city. Two cloaked men following them down an alleyway was shot in the back by an unknown assailant, and it was reveled that they had a purple hand etched into their daggers. The unknown assailant is implied to have been Adolphus Kuftos, who was responsible for attacking their barge when they first arrived in Weissbruck (A Wee Scuffle At The Docks). Adolphus is a bounty hunter by trade, and they had seen him first in Altdorf looking over at them, as the two cloaked approached the party and made some strange signal towards Eckhardt. Having killed him in Weissbruck, they found a letter which indiciates he was after Eckhardt, although believed Eckhardt to be another man named Kastor Leiberung, who is a rather uncanny spitting image of Eckhardt. Seems Adolphus may have killed those two purple hand members to stop them from interfering in his pursuit, although his exact motives remain unclear.
– Inheritance letter found on Kastor Leiberung, aka, Eckhardt’s doppelganger.
- The Purple Hand Continued: The Purple hand are still very much interested in Eckhardt, as shown when they visited in Weissbruck, twice. First in disguise as two merchants selling cups and bowls, the second, when he was in jail. The former was to hand him a message wishing to meet, and the latter was to extract information from him. They are clearly after the inheritance, and they still think he’s Kastor Leiberung. Not only that, but Leiberung was due to pick up a huge inheritance which the party never quite followed up in Bogenhafen. Eckhardt bluffed his way past the questioning, although not entirely successful. He gave them a false lead, stating that he did collect the inheritance, but its with a man called Franz Baumann in Bogenhafen. Unsure if the tall tale was bought, but Eckhardt remains hopeful that it may have delayed the Purple Hand’s interest in him. After all, they were quite content to see him hung. But once they find out he’s still alive… But something else is afoot. The Purple Hand may be up to a lot more than simply just chasing someone who they believe has their inheritance. After all, the party did receive a disturbing link between Johann Teugen and someone who may be a member, when they discovered this letter belonging to Teugen.
– Whoever this E.H is, they are apparently a member of the Purple Hand, and may have magical abilities, as hinted in the letter.
- Fabagus Grey: Fabagus Grey is a name that has come up a few times, but until now, has been reserved to the background. Unfortunately, the parties activities in Bogenhafen concerning the occult has attracted unwanted attention from the Witch Hunters, and a particularly ruthless one known as Fabagus Grey. The hunters know what Kall Horst looks like now due to the wanted poster, and courtesy of Finja, know what she looks like as well. Now they have a host of witnesses at the Greedy Demon coaching house to interrogate, and it shouldn’t be much work to find out the descriptions for the rest of the bunch.
- Bogenhafen Authorities: The authorities want a word with Kall Horst and his companions, particularly him and Eckhardt Konrad, and it is likely the others are not implicated in the events, as it was Kall and Eckhardt who let a witness live at the back of Teugen’s manor during their little incursion… The Necropolis Gazebo
- The Inheritance: Despite distractions in Bogenhafen, the party still had plenty of time to check up on the inheritance. But instead they went straight to the Schaffenfest festival. Perhaps idea of sheep and cheap food and drink presented too much of a lure for them. However, there were concerns, mainly from Eckhardt at the time, that the inheritance may be an ambush, or even a setup. As such, the need for backup wasn’t there, as his companions were fiddling about and too busy getting into trouble with the law. However, perhaps it was for the best, because according to Ernst Steurmann, he’s pretty sure the street listed on the inheritance letter doesn’t exist. Which implies some ulterior motives at play if true. Did Adolphus had a hand in this? Was the inheritance just a ploy by other parties to lure out a high ranking member of the Purple Hand? Did the party just unwittingly get involved? Well… one such lead went without investigation, and that was the printing firm which was labelled on the letter. Perhaps some insight would have been learned there…
- The Vampire Threat: It seems Liliana’s folly on the Mariaborger barge that disturbed the vampire has not only proven to be a costly mistake on her part, but one that may bite the party… literally! Killing a vampire is no easy task, despite Eckhardt making it look easy, although one could say he was lucky. The vampire was young and inexperienced, at least according to Brother Lambke. But it was his assessment that the vampire belongs to a family long thought to have died out, due to the broach he found. A family that went under many names, but mostly known by the name of Harkon, likely a tribute to an ancient family that also bears that name. Lambke was quite disturbed by this, because the vampire that was slain was young in age, which suggests a recent ‘turning’, which points to that the family may not have died out. Brother Lambke warned Eckhardt that he may have angered powerful beings who may be coming for him, and should request protection from the temple of Morr in Altdorf, which he did. And got an Ogre. O well…
Previously revealed handouts: