7 Months Before Current Events:
Voice 1: So you have failed then?
Voice 2: Not without trying. He has spurned my advances. I suspect I’ll not be able to see him again.
Voice 1: The Ar-Ulric is a hard man to appease.
Voice 2: If you want me to try again to get his affection, I’m going to need more than what was offered.
Voice 1: We have offered more than what is reasonable. It is paramount you succeed before the upcoming vote.
Voice 2: Frau Kenner, I don’t think you understand. The Ar-Ulric takes his vow very seriously, he’ll not break it, not for me or for any woman in Middenheim.
Frau Kenner: Agreed. A misjudgement on our part. The last Ar-Ulric was a much weaker man. We would need to take a different approach. Take this. It will aid you, but do not squander it. It is potent.
Voice 1: Perfume?
Frau Kenner: Of a sort. No man will resist you. Be careful though, don’t become too reliant on it.
Voice 1: Some kind of spell? Where did you get this stuff, it smells awful.
Frau Kenner: No spell my dear, but the Ar-Ulric will be at great pains to resist you. Heed my warning however; we do not want every man in the city killing one another over the beautiful Eva Dietrich.
Eva Dietrich: We’ll see how far I get with this awful stuff. You better have my money as promised.
Frau Kenner: You’ll have all that and more my dear. Much more.
The Purple Hand are on the verge of victory; a grand scheme that has been in the making. A mysterious figure known as the Arch-Lumen has been spinning a web of deceit, nurturing his fellow conspirators for when the moment comes to strike.
No matter what happens in Middenheim, the journey doesn’t end here; the consequences of that moment, succeed or fail, will live on.
The Purple Hand have been a presence in the shadows since the start of the campaign, yet always unwilling to show themselves.
Journeying back to the very first session; arrival in Altdorf. Two mysterious figures had tried to make contact with Kaster Lieberung (aka Eckhardt). That ultimately failed, and they only earned the party’s suspicion. Those two figures would later end up dead, killed by an unseen assassin; the party found that they were carrying daggers with a strange symbol on their hilt; a Purple Hand.
This would be the last time the party would ever have further dealings with the Purple Hand, for a long time at least.
In Bogenhafen, the party got into hot waters with a merchant cult looking to make themselves rich, completely oblivious that Johann Teugen, the head of their order, was going to sacrifice them in a vain hope to free himself from a soul-binding contract he had forged with a powerful Daemon; Gideon.
The events that transpired in Bogenhafen was unrelated to the Purple Hand; yet there was a nod to the cult in a letter that the party found, the letter was meant for Teugen.
Note the bottom initials; E.H. Hmmm… That wouldn’t be Ethelka Hearson, would it? Also the casual mention of ‘The Hand’ suggests that Teugen may have had some knowledge, but was not a member.
The next time the party ‘unwittingly’ had met a Purple Hand member was their meeting with Graf Wilhem’s second wife, the not-so lovely Countess Sapnatheim.
The party took an immediate dislike to this cold aloof harsh woman. Ultimately, she owes her current position thanks to the old party, who failed in finding the Graf’s missing daughter (from his first wife) in time, who was the only one that could tell the truth about her vile wicked step-mother. She succeeded her husband upon his death, of which was attributed to ‘food poisoning’.
The Palisades would later reveal, thanks to Ernst Steurmann, that she is a likely member of the Purple Hand, and that, to quote the agent at the time, ‘her time as a Countess will be short’. As of present time, she is still enjoying her power, and the Palisades have not made a move. Or have they?…
After that, the next time the old party ran into the Purple Hand was in Weissbruck. Eckhardt had a brief encounter with them, and indeed a not-so friendly discussion about some gold crowns that he apparently owed them. He led them on a bit of a wild goose chase, telling them that a man called Franz Baumann had what they were looking for. The ruse worked, and since Eckhardt, or rather, Kaster to them, was about to swing at the end of a rope; they left Weissbruck confident that would be the last of their absconding Magister Impedimentae. It was enough for the Hand to lose interest in the party, and they were largely forgotten about.
Until Wittgenstein. After destroying the Red Crown – the Purple Hands allies – the party would have perhaps regained the focus of the Hand, had they not gained the attention of the Witch Hunters first.
With the old party gone, it was now up to a new group of adventurers to carry the torch and unravel the conspiracy that is,
The Enemy Within…