And so here we are… After 1 and a half years, (nearly 3 years for the GM now) we have arrived at the penultimate end of our journey. And what a journey it was! This will be a shorter blog than normal in detailing the party’s final moments in Altdorf, but there will be a grand summary detailing the impact the party has had upon the world in the next post.
The party have arrived in Altdorf at mid-day. Everyone is tired, weary from the events of Wittgenstein. Eckhardt/Kaster departs the barge, heading for the Garden of Morr.
Ulrico however has some shocking news to reveal to the party. Eckhardt is dead. Dead as can be. Ulrico had inspected him earlier on when Eckhardt felt particularly unwell, having lost his appetite and seemingly the need to defecate. Ulrico upon inspecting him, discovered that he had no pulse, he wasn’t breathing and his eyes seemed glazed over… Ulrico couldn’t believe it. Neither could Eckhardt when told of this. But to Eckhardt, it was all starting to make sense. The book. He felt a ‘connection’ to it. Did the book bring him back to life?
Indeed it did. In a sort of twisted irony and perhaps further punishment for stabbing the book earlier, this dark soul-trapping book of Kemmler’s has snared Eckhardt into perpetual servitude. Eckhardt had died at Castle Wittgenstein. His lifeless body being thrown into the river along. Yet the book would not let him rest. The undead cat that had followed Eckhardt about was not drawn to Eckhardt, but rather, the book that he had. As it was its source of strength, and it felt comfort being near it, as did Eckhardt.
But Eckhardts trip to the Temple of Morr didn’t go so well… After telling Brother Valdric the details of his adventure, but remaining coy about his current state, Valdric felt… unease. Something was tugging at him. The books dark influence was felt, and Valdric knew something was not right about Eckhardt.
Eckhardt did not leave the Garden of Morr. His fate was sealed as soon as he stepped into the temple. One could say his fate was sealed as soon as stepped into Castle Wittgenstein… Eckhardt Konrad, who was really Kaster Lieberung, was burned alive as the walking abomination that he became. His last words were, “Remember who I was, not who I am…”
As for the rest…
Kall Horst departs, possibly looking for a fence. Borri heads to the guild to inform his guild leader the matter concerning the signal tower. The guild leader at first is intolerant of Borri’s presence, having heard that a halfling had done his job for him by dispatching some foul fiend beneath the tower. But in the end he comes around when Borri hands him a ring that was in fact a magic runecrafted dwarven ring that Tafwick was carrying in a small chest. It was extremely valuable. Just as well Tafwick left it on the boat!
Borri gets offered to return the ring to its rightful owners, the Stonesplitter clan at Karak-Norn. Of course he would not be accompanied alone. An escort of dwarfs would aid this delicate matter.
Ulrico decides to follow through on his plans that he has been keeping a secret for a time now since leaving Wittgenstein.
He goes to the Witch Hunter Chapter House in Altdorf, opposite the Temple of Sigmar where they have their headquarters. The chapter house is a sort of public ‘face’ of the hunters, not that they get many visitors anyway…
Ulrico arrives at a dark foreboding building surrounded by 12 foot barbed iron fencing that stretch around the compound. Heading in, he see’s a statue depicting Magnus the Pious, with a plague that reads, “Magnus the Pious, blessed is he who gave us the purifying flame of Sigmar, to bear upon the naked flesh of the cursed.”
– Magnus the Pious, who reformed the Order into what it is now today.
Ulrico made no delay as he marched through and straight into the chapter house. Speaking with a lowly literary staffer, Ulrico demanded that he speak to Fabagus Grey concerning Alric Eisenhauer, his father… The staffer went off to fetch Grey after locking Ulrico in Grey’s office. Ulrico sat down as he waited…
Then the door was unlocked, and this tall gaunt looking man with flowing grey hair enters.
“Eisenhauer, but the wrong one… Yet also the right one. Stand.”
Ulrico is defiant at first, but after a second time, he stands. Grey walks around to his desk judging Ulrico silently, and sits down.
“You may now sit.”
The two converse. Grey is familiar with Ulrico, as is Ulrico, having previously been a ‘guest’ of Grey’s for over 3 months, until he was released, but it was not out of compassion…
Grey remarks how that he released Ulrico cause he knew he would meet him again, yet he did not expect Ulrico to come straight to him, like a lamb to the slaughter.
Ulrico confessed all and everything. He tells Grey about his father, Alric and hands him his father’s diary. He tells Grey, upon being asked, if he knows Kall Horst. Ulrico does not lie, not once, when he tells him that Kall is in the city. Grey wastes no time and escorts Ulrico to Streng, one of the chapter house’s best torturers.
– Streng, npc played by Cortez temporarily.
He hands Ulrico over to Streng and instructs Streng to ensure Ulrico’s stay is comfortable, and get whatever information he can out of him.
To summarize; Ulrico gets two of his teeth pulled out, a fingernail gets ripped, gets waterboarded and spends sometime on the rack, a medieval stretching device. Great for the muscles!
Ulrico is far too honest for his own good, and Streng is somewhat bemused, frustrated, and more bemused as Ulrico tells him a fascinating story about fighting demons, killing vampires and generally being ‘heroes’. Streng thinks its all bull. Who wouldn’t? Ulrico goes on to spill the beans about Eckhardt being a dead man, about Borri and the rest of the party, giving them enough descriptions to hunt them down, including the name of the barge they came in on.
When asked why he is divulging all this information, Ulrico replies that he is tired… and doesn’t care anymore. He wants to stop running. And he wants his father brought to justice.
Borri is returning from the guild house to collect his traveling furnace that was left on the barge. Unfortunately for him, the hunters are already lying in wait. They pounce upon Borri and Borri has no choice but to be manacled and escorted to the chapter house. There, he’s tortured and ends up losing a couple of fingers on his remaining hand. But Borri is stubborn, and remains stubborn… until Grey shows up.
Grey chides how Streng isn’t getting much out of him, and takes over. At first, Grey cuts off a few braids of the dwarfs beard, and this does not elicit an action. Next, he puts a candle just beneath Borri’s beard. Borri’s beard soon catches fire, and then half his beard is on fire. Borri loses his cool and starts to scream out curses. Grey douses out his beard and tells Streng to torture him over the next 24 hours. If nothing useful is gained, he will be burned at the stake as a heretic.
It seems the hunters think that Ulrico and the rest of his companions are all members of the Purple Hand, a consquence of them carrying Purple Hand daggers in the open during the Bogenhafen schaffenfest. Worse is Franz Baumann is a ‘resident’ of the witch hunters and has pointed out Borri and Ulrico as members of this illicit organization.
There may be some light at the end of the tunnel for Borri however. The Arch-Lector is making a case for him on his behalf, courtesy of his guild master Higmar Hammerfist who has pleaded for his case to be heard. The Arch-Lector is personally going to meet with the Witch-Hunter General to make his case for either a merciful quick death or full release if the evidence against Borri is poor. Which suffice to say is not in Borri’s favor.
As for Kall Horst, well… his whereabouts are unknown. He’s in the city somewhere, but where exactly nobody knows. But the hunters are hot on his trail. They have alerted all the gates, they are checking all the stables for his horse Belvar… Altdorf may be a big city, but it can be very small if the witch hunters are after you.
As for the party – Tafwick is dead, Durgin is dead, Eckhardt is dead… again, Borri’s fate remains on a knife’s edge, and Ulrico… Ulrico is going to enjoy a few months of pain under the care of the witch hunters until he finally expires. Horst’s luck can only hold out for so long, his face plastered nearly everywhere in Altdorf.
As for the campaign – A new party is on the horizon. Out with the old, in with the new, and we will soon find out if this new party (same players) is equally skilled at inadvertently causing chaos and summoning daemons along with burning down towns.
Time will tell…