Note: This post takes into account of 2 sessions. 1 was shorter than normal (shy of 2 hours) and the other was the regular session time (around 4 hours). The second session was done only a few days after the previous other than the normal bi-weekly.
We start with Michel Bastide, Ser Gado, Gerhard and Sibillia, who are in Michel’s safe house along with the norscan. When we last left them, they were in a discussion as to what to do. Hans Riklof and Ser Gado still didn’t trust or like one another. But they do come to a decision; the party agrees that seeing Dieter, the Champion, and asking him what he knows about Gado’s sister. The norscan told an interesting tale that Dieter was ‘bewitched’ and strangled his sister. Ser Gado intends to find out if this is true.
They head off at once towards the Square of Martials, where Dieter is no doubt swinging his sword in contest.
Meanwhile, Erika is making her way to the Guild of Wizards and Alchemy when Piet intercepts her, accompanied by two Ulricans who Erika has not seen before. No longer having the patience to allow his unruly niece continue to dive into danger, Piet tells Erika that for her own safety, she must go with him, and leave the city at once. Erika refuses; her refusal is met with Piet grabbing her, and with the aid of the two Ulricans, ensuring that her magic doesn’t put him to sleep or on fire.
Piet drags her off the street, and from there, Erika is led into the sewers to meet with an associate of his; a smuggler who has a gift for getting people out of the city without drawing attention to themselves.
(Note: The player for Erika has departed from the game sadly. Considering Piet had wished for his niece to stay out of harms way, this is the most logical and best course of action for the character.)
Jurgen Noffeim makes his way over to the Red Moon after having no luck in finding the party at the Blazing Hearth inn. After striding in, ordering a drink, and eventually getting to meet with Eva Dietrich, who the Ar-Ulric asked him to find out if she knew who this Frau Kenner was.
Jurgen does indeed meet with the glamorous Eva Dietrich, a woman who the whole city howls after.
Eva denies ever knowing a woman by the name of Frau Kenner. Jurgen does not go into greater detail than that. It’s a very quick conversation which ends with Jurgen leaving none the wiser on who Frau Kenner is, or how Eva Dietrich’s letters and that of the Ar-Ulric have been intercepted.
He opts to waiting outside the Red Moon cabaret, across the way and somewhat out of sight while keeping any eye on the place, hoping someone will show their hand.
Back over to the other party, they arrive at the Square of Martials, but only as Dieter finishes another bout, and is angrily marching off to the Great Park for some drinks after getting fed-up with fighting contest fights not worth his challenge.
The party follow behind, trying not to rouse him up.
Dieter makes his way to the Showboat, which is soon emptied of its patrons as they rush out of the door. Apparently Dieter is in a foul mood…
The party make their way in, while the norscan waits outside, getting the impression that Dieter may take a turn for the worse if he sees him.
Ser Gado slides up to Dieter who is gulping down bottles, and chucking them over his shoulder at the wall. The poor tavern keeper, a young woman, dares not protest. Gado politely coughs and makes his presence known, but Dieter is in no mood.
“Wh-hat you want?” he declares in a drunken stupor, somewhat coming under the effects of the alcohol, making it known he had a few to drink before he arrived at the Showboat.
Gado informs him about his sister. Although its put to him as gently as possible, it does not have the desired effect as Dieter grabs him by the collar, “You accuse me of strangling your sister! I’m not strangler of women!” he declares as he pushes Gado down. Sibillia tries to calm him, and Dieter relaxes a bit.
Ser Gado tells him plainly that, according to the norscan, Dieter had strangled Gado’s sister, but, not of his own free will. Gado informs him that he was bewitched, reminding him of how he nearly strangled Luigi Pavarotti to death, and suggests that the possibility he did the same to his sister is not unfathomable. Dieter nurses his forehead, and asks Gado to describe his sister. Gado does, and Dieter recalls such a woman that plagues his dreams, matching his sisters description.
“I’ve seen such a woman. If it is your sister, I do not know, but I see her, sometimes in my sleep… sometimes staring back at me in my drink. Her vision haunts me so. I don’t know why… She is in paint, torment. In my dreams, I try to comfort her, but she is running away from me, but I only wish to comfort her.”
Dieter begins nursing his forehead again, and painfully recollects a memory of another girl that has been haunting him lately. He describes the girl, but its of no one the party recognizes. Except for Hans. The norscan is in the doorway, listening in. Dieter reacts to his presence but treats him as a friend rather than as a foe, like the last time they met.
Hans tells them that Dieter is referring to Rhea, a young girl who was also snatched. Hans happens to know though where the girl might be; at a upmarket brothel called The Goddess. He doesn’t go into any more detail than this, and the party do not press him for more information on this Rhea, and what the Champion’s involvement might be.
The Champion however is riled up. Not because of what Hans said, but the suggestion that he strangled Ser Gado’s sister now haunts him. As he faces the grim possibility that he did indeed do this ghastly deed, he grabs his axe, and steadies himself by leaning on the bar as he tries to fight his drunken state.
He walks out of the Showboat; Sibillia asks him what his intention is.
“I’m off to the Drakwald. I shan’t return. Do not wait for me, do not mourn me. I shall be no puppet on a string, I shall not be manipulated anymore!”
Ser Gado cries out for him to stop, but Hans interjects, “It is useless. Once Dieter makes up his mind, that’s it.”
Ser Gado pleads to his sense of honour, his Ulrican pride and his need for vengeance. He makes a good speech at it, one that I cannot recollect for the blog, but needless to say, a crucial effort (a fellowship roll is performed with its difficulty modified by how good the speech was) was made to prevent Dieter from heading off on a suicide quest.
Dieter stops, turning he says, “Where is the one you speak of? The one who I will smite!”
Ser Gado says to him, “Give me five days Dieter, five and I will get you the one responsible for this!”
“Five days! I’ll not sit around for five days twiddling my thumbs!” Dieter shouts.
“Four days then, and you shall have your vengeance…”
“Four, and you bring the one responsible to me!”
Dieter heads back into the Showboat to drown his sorrows in more beer. The rest of the party sigh relief, as Dieter may prove to be a valuable ally later on, and the Drakwald does not get to claim another victim. The man is broken, and on the verge of madness.. but for now, Ser Gado has gotten his four days.
The party decide to head back to the Blazing Hearth in the hopes of making their next move known, and hopeful that they’ll meet up with Jurgen. Indeed do they do, as they cross paths with Michel spotting Jurgen on the side of the mainstreet, away from the Red Moon and trying to look inconspicuous.
Jurgen rejoins the party after confessing that his efforts in trying to find out who this Frau Kenner is, and how the Red Moon connects with her. This comment is said within earshot of the norscan, who comments, “Frau Kenner? Ha!” he begins chuckling to himself as Jurgen demands that should he know anything, he make it known.
“Aye, I know the woman you speak of, wolf. Frau Kenner and Ethelka are one and the same. She has many aliases. This is just one of them.”
While Jurgen is glad at this new information, it still doesn’t help him with knowing how Ethelka got those letters.
The party make their way to the Blazing Hearth, and there, new plans are drawn up as they sit down, relax and have a bite to eat along with a few drinks. It’s been a rough day…
It’s about to get a lot worse.
With the revelation that Hans told the party that this girl, Rhea, was snatched and given to the brothel, The Goddess, the party make plans to retrieve her. She may be of use to them, and she may have information that could aid their cause. The party are also interested in the warehouse that was mentioned by Hans previously. The warehouse where they kept Ser Gado’s sister, before her demise. Hans says that it was abandoned now, and is not likely to shed any new leads, but the party consider it worthy enough to investigate. Gerhard, Sibillia, Michel and Hans agree to make their way to the warehouse. Jurgen suggests that Gerhard, being a man who has had experience with accounts and numbers, would perhaps be able to procure up some records of ownership. Gerhard believes that the Trade Commission might have some information concerning taxation records on the warehouse, assuming there is a paper trail, and assuming that such a record exists. They head off at once to the warehouse, which is located in the Altquarter, the slums.
Jurgen and Ser Gado make plans to rescue this Rhea, if at all possible. It is perhaps ironic that the Ulrican priest with a vow of celibacy and Ser Gado, with his boyish naivety and honour, are the ones to do this task.
Gerhard Kramer and the rest of them make their way to Dorhoff street in the Altquarter. There, they do indeed find the warehouse that Hans told them about. But other than a few homeless bums sleeping within the interior, the warehouse is bare, with not a sign of evidence. “I told ya… your not messing with fools. They are a cautious lot,” Hans remarks.
Regardless, they have the street name where the warehouse is on, now they need to search whether or not there is any paper trail of ownership. But there is one problem that Kramer brings up… He’s no longer employed at the Trade Commission, having been run out of his job by Goebbels crooked bailiff agent, Nickel Kess.
Hans says he knows a guy… The implication is obvious, and they make their way to the Jackal in the Wolf’s Den, an establishment of ill-sorts that they’ve already been acquainted with. Hans says his ‘guy’ will be there.
Along the way they get wind that the Grand Theogonist Volkmar the Grim is due to arrive within the city very soon, around 2 to 4 days at least. But they pick up on some other troubling rumors…
Captain Marius of the Knights Panther had rode out of the south gate accompanied by more than a dozen of his fellow brothers, and he was in a rush, galloping with a purpose. Gossip fills the city concerning the Sons of Ulric; a fanatical sect of Ulric’s faith, fierce naked warriors who would charge into any battle without a single fuck given. And it is these, Sons of Ulric, that have apparently laid an ambush for the Grand Theogonist and his retinue. Captain Marius rides out accompanied with his fellow knights to lend assistance to the Theogonist. Not everyone is happy with the notion that the Knights Panthers are riding out to spill Ulrican blood, even if the Sons of Ulric are outlawed, it leaves a sour taste in many mouths. Although some agree that it is better that the Knight’s Panthers ride out to assist, than the Order of the White Wolves. Some rumors are even flying about that the Ar-Ulric, despite his highly provocative speeches, is keeping the White Wolves on a leash so as to not sow further discord or to send the ‘wrong’ message to the Grand Theogonist on his arrival.
Along the way, Gerhard Kramer spots a familiar face.
– Gotthard Goebbels
Flanked by four of his cronies, Gotthard Goebbels, the head of the Merchants Guild and Head of the Commission for Trade and Taxation. A powerful man within the city. Kramer’s family has a history with this man…
He points him out to Hans, who simply replies, “So fucken what? What you expect me to do? Attack him in broad daylight?”
Gerhard says he’s just pointing him out to make it known that’s Kess’s boss, and he believes he’s linked with their common foe, the Purple Hand somehow but not sure how.
They continue on towards the Jackal, as Gotthard leaves out of sight, heading north-west while they head south-west.
Heading back over to Jurgen and Gado, they arrive at the Goddess.
Surrounded by fall spiked fencing, the Goddess is a remarkable looking building, with glistening white bricks untouched by time, not a single blemish to be found.
Above the doorway rests a statue…
Beneath which is a sign, ‘The Goddess’. Jurgen is already curling his fists into a ball at the sight of this statue. But if it was blasphemy, the establishment would have been done away with a long time ago…
They make their way over as another man of finer wealth is granted entry.
Ser Gado doesn’t recognize the man, but Jurgen points him out as Gotthard Goebbels, having seen him before, and been told about him by Gerhard Kramer. Kramer had mention to the both of them that Goebbels and his bailiff agent, Kess, may be involved or knee deep in the occult, among other things such as corruption.
They wait while the man enters, although his cronies do not. Instead, once their charge is safely inside, they opt to heading across the opposite side of the street to a tavern called The Blue Balls; aptly named.
Ser Gado and Jurgen approach the Goddess. At first they are denied entry, on account of Ser Gado wearing armour and arms, but a pretty head pokes its head around the door.
– Marie, hostess of The Goddess.
She scolds the doormen, stating that they can permit entry to the initiate of Ulric and the Knight, remarking, “We don’t get many knights visiting, especially foreign ones. You are most welcome here, and I’m sure the girls will be most appreciative.”
Ser Gado is permitted entry, although without his weapons, which he is forced to leave at the door with the doorman, Wulf. Jurgen also leaves behind his dagger and his priestly staff. His necklace of lynx teeth is nearly taken too, but in the end he gets to keep it.
That’s the end of Part 1: Part 2 will be coming up soon!