The Curse of Chaos

The Enemy Within, sixth session
Burglars of Boganhofan

Aubentag 1st Pflugzeit

Accounts payable

Interview with Anton

The guards having left with their bribes, Sven retired to a nearby alley with the luckless Anton and showed considerable restraint by giving him just a few bruises. Anton revealed that the goblin had been killed by Franz Steinhager of the famous Steinhager merchant clan, whose offices were in Kaufmann Strasse.

The Crossed Pikes Tavern

Ruggles wanted to find out more about the Steinhagers. He visited the Crossed Pikes Tavern — a local disreputable haunt he had discovered. “Franz” there was very helpful. He told of stangely mutilated bodies with their hearts ripped out; how the door in the sewers was right under the Steinhager offices; and of people coming and going at all hours from there.

Appointment with Heinrich Steinhager

Meanwhile, Millil and Dolph tried more legitimate means of discovering information about the Steinhagers. They convinced the doorkeep Gerhard to grant them an impromptu appointment with Heinrich Steinhager (the brother of the head of the house Franz) at his offices. Dolph quickly scouted out the compound while pretending to use the facilities. He noticed a large dog called Fang, which would need to be taken care of.

The burglary

That night, Ruggles kept an eye on the offices until both Franz and Heinrich Steinhager and their guards left. Gerhard remained inside and would not emerge. Millil and Dolph offered him a mug of ale laced with a powerful drug, and he soon fell asleep. It was time to break and enter the Steinhager offices!

They broke into a window in a back alley and made their way into the compound. First, Millil used her affinity with animals to lock Fang up with the sleeping Gerhard in the front office. They then proceeded to explore the offices.

Demonic discoveries

There was not much to be found but in Franz’s office they discovered a demonic book of spells and a note from one Johannes Teugen saying that all of Bogenhafen would be ‘transformed’ when the last bell of the Schaffenfest tolled. There was also a safe behind a picture, but no one could crack safes.

Vincenzo the Needle

There wouldn’t be another chance to raid the Steinhager offices. Ruggles raced through the streets to the Crossed Pikes, where he tried to persuade Franz to introduce him to a local safe-cracker. Franz was suspicious, but he let slip the name ‘Vincenzo the Needle’ and that he might be found in Furlonstrasse. Ruggles raced off again, and scoured the street. Just as he was about to despair, he found Vincenzo and persuaded him (for a promise of a large percentage) to come to the Steinhager offices that night. Alas! In spite of Vincenzo’s best efforts, the safe was magically locked, so there was no treasure for the burglars. They scattered into the night.

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The Enemy Within, fifth session
Burghers of Bogenhafan

Aubentag 1st Pflugzeit

Sludge below, scum on top

Dawn came to Boganhofen. Sven had been badly injured down below, so he went to seek a physician. The others decided to get their things from the Welcome Stranger.

The not-so-welcome-stranger

The Innkeeper at the Welcome Stranger demanded pay for the nights’ accommodation, refusing to honour the magistrates’ boon. When Thord and Ruggles attempted to retrieve their gear, two street-fighting bouncers blocked them. A barroom brawl erupted. Thord and Ruggles were badly beaten. But Millil manacled the innkeeper and ‘persuaded’ him to let them grab their gear.

A visit with Dr Malthusius

Next stop was Dr Malthusius’ tent. The Doktor offered them a brandy but no reward. He explained that his three-legged goblin had been found and killed (“a crate fell on him”) in a local warehouse. He was unconvinced by the burnt pelvis which Ruggles waved at him.

The unjust magistrate

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Magistrate Richter was not in a generous mood. As far as he was concerned the escaped monster had been found and eliminated. He was certainly not going to offer a reward for a burnt three-jointed pelvis. A nearby halfling agitator named Pogo pricked up his ears. The Town Hall would hear of this outrage!

At the Town Hall

Ruggles, Millel and Thord stormed to the Town Hall with their new small friend to complain about Magistrate Richter’s disgraceful injustices. They were stonewalled, but Pogo heard that the goblin had been found at the Steinhager Warehouse. The Steinhagers were a powerful local merchant clan.

Surgeon or chop-shop?

Sven meanwhile waited and waited, and eventually saw the surgeon. Elsewhere in the streets, Ruggles used his street smarts to find a back-alley chop shop. He and Thord needed help; they had been seriously beaten by the thugs in the tavern.

The warehouse

Pogo, Millil, Dolph and Sven headed to the Steinhager warehouse. Sven broke in and found a fellow called Anton, who claimed he’d killed the goblin. Anton called for help and the guards arrived to find him in a headlock with Sven. A tricky situation, but once again Millil saved the day by bribing them to walk away. They left the warehouse and Sven led Anton to a nearby dark alley for a ‘quiet talk’.

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The Enemy Within, fourth session
The Sewers of Bogenhafen

Mitterfrühl Day

Into the sewers

Without further ado the adventurers pulled aside the iron plug which bore the arms of Boganhofen. The smell was disgusting, but Ruggles had smelt worse. As long as you could keep from falling in the sludge you were fine, he told himself. He winced as Milil missed her footing on the ladder and plunged into the putrid water.

After plucking Milil from the bottom, the party made their way barely breathing along a narrow ledge beside the gurgling sewer water. Thord had brought his man-catcher to grap the three-legged goblin when they located it. Soon they found a blood trail which led off into the dark.

Explosion

The air became thick and foul. Suddenly rats swarmed through the water as the air above exploded in flames. Sewer gas! Everyone was shocked and a bit singed, but no great harm done.

The Thing in the Water

After a while the blood trail crossed an intersection. Nobody wanted to walk through the foul water, so they jumped across. However something in the water was disturbed: a huge tentacular thing flopped out of the water and attacked Sven, engulfing the dwarf in its slimy body. Ruggles, Thord and Milil jumped in the sewer water and tried shooting the thing, which was flailing tentacles everywhere. Finally the creature died with a gurgle as Sven chopped his way out of its stomach.

Demon in the Dark

Some way up the tunnel there was a stout door in the tunnel. Ruggles sneaked inside and saw a room with a pentacle and a pile of bones. In the centre of the pentacle was a representation of a beast’s head, around which was written “Ordo Septenarius”. With a sulphurous roar a black winged demon formed inside the pentacle, snorting and roaring in a terrible voice, and blowing wafts of black smoke. Ruggles was frightened, but he noticed the demon did not leave the pentacle. He retreated to the door. Sven and Milil tried to enter but were too terrified. Ruggles rushed back in and grabbed the bones — which included a strange three-jointed pelvis — and escaped.

The Cool Night Air

A manhole bearing the seal of Boganhofen slid aside with a grating sound. Ruggles, Sven, Milil and Dolph Insteik emerged to the street (Thord had exited the sewers earlier). It was one in the morning. No one was around. Smelly and dirty, the group made their way to the Journey’s End Inn, but they were refused entry. Instead they crept through the dark streets to the docks, where they crawled under the tarpaulins of the Berebeli.

Josef was quite surprised (and a little disgusted) to see them in the morning. He pushed Ruggles into the water to clean him off.

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The Enemy Within, third session
Down and Out in Bogenhafen

The Watcher of Weissbruck

Konistag 30th Jahrdrung

The Berebeli made its way slowly through the locks and canals. At the end of the third day they moored at the town of Weissbruck, a small town made wealthy by its ownership of the locks. As they tied up, Ruggles noticed a neck-scarred man lounging in the portico of the Black Gold Inn observing them intently. It was the man Ruggles had seen in the plaza at Altdorf, with the ear-pulling freaks who had later ended up dead in the streets.

The adventurers stepped in to the Black Gold Inn but neck-scar had already departed. Millil and Ruggles chatted to a local drunkard, who said he’d seen the fellow at the Happy Man Inn last night. They followed the drunkard to Happy Man while Sven and Dolf sauntered off to the third inn in town, the Trumpet.

Sven decided for some reason to step into the inn through the kitchen at the back. Dolf went in the front way — and gulped as he saw the neck-scar guy talking with three burly and unfriendly-looking dock workers.

Meanwhile, Millil and Ruggles had found nothing at the Happy Man and made their way to the Trumpet. Ruggles entered and sat down to watch the scene. The neck scar man scuttled out the back, but was intercepted by Sven, who punched him. The man disengaged from the dwarf and staggered up the alley, only to be tripped and grappled by Millil. Ruggles caught up and pointed his sword at the man’s throat, while Sven stood by glaring. Rather than talking the man shoved Millil aside. Sven punched his head — a little over-zealously — and knocked him senseless. They dragged him back to the barge. He never regained consciousness.

Josef shook his head sadly. His crew had cost him a peaceful stay in Weissbruck.

The paper

On the neck-scar man’s body was a note, which suggested he had been seeking the man whom Ruggles was impersonating, and that he was a high official in some kind of cult.

Bogenhafen

Mitterfrühl Day

A few days later the barge reached Bogenhafen. The town bustled with the activity of the Schaffenfest. The adventurers said their goodbyes to the Berebeli and strode ashore.

“Garten Weg? What Garten Weg?”

Ruggles first task was to look sharp for his appointment with the lawyers. He borrowed money from Sven for fine clothes, a shave and a bath. However he was puzzled when the outfitter had never heard of the famous lawyers of Garten Weg, or even that street. Neither had the courts, or the printers of the pamphlet. At the printers, Ruggles learned that the letter was a ruse, dreamed up by the neck-scarred man. Ruggles’ dreams of wealth evaporated.

The Schaffenfest

Disconsolate, Ruggles joined the others to sample the delights of the Schaffenfest. All sorts of events and activities were available. Sven entered a prize fight with boxing champion Crusher, but fist fights were not Sven’s game (he preferred maiming weapons) so he was bruised and defeated, and lost his money. Later, Sven released a miscreant dwarf called Gottry from the stocks, but the fellow ran around creating more havoc.

Millel caught an escaped three-legged goblin from Doktor Malthusias’ freakshow. Herr Doktor was grateful and offered to let her and her friends see the show for free. The show was interesting but the goblin escaped again, this time disappearing down a sewer drain. The magistrate got involved. In the end the adventurers agreed to track down the goblin and earn a reward from both the city and the Doktor.

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The Enemy Within, second session
City of Altdorf

Wellentag 25th Jahrdrung

On the Road

Survivors

Ex-sorcerer’s apprentice Dolf Insteik and Elf seer Milil Lededje sought adventure in Altdorf (co-incidentally the same adventure sought by Thord, Sven and Ruggles). But they were flung from their coach by a beastman attack. When they regained consciousness, they peered from the woods and saw those three adventurers (and Phillipe) taking care of the menace.

Roadwardens

Roadwardens arrived, surveyed the carnage. They piled the bodies into the cart and Dolf offered to ride it to the next inn (the Seven Spokes) with his new found companions. With the roadwardens accompanying them, there was no further highway trouble.

Overnight at the Seven Spokes Inn

Sven and Ruggles used some of the loot they had gained from the beastmen to get a room — and a bath. Tonight it was Milil’s turn to game with Phillipe, while Dolf chatted to the young academic, whom he found to be quite boring.

Welcome to Altdorf

Aubentag 26th Jahrdrung

altdorf.jpgOnce more the coachman were as hungover as dogs the next day. They were more than relieved when Dolf offered to steer the coach for them. Thord also rode on top, his sharp eyes alert for danger. Ruggles, who had been injured by the beastmen, snoozed away the day in the coach. Eventually they arrived at the Kunigplatz (King’s Square) of mighty Altdorf, surrounded by crowds and bustle, and overlooking the River Reik.

Secret Signs

Ruggles stretched and yawned, but his beady eyes were scanning the crowds, alleyways, merchants and passers by. Two strange fellows caught his eye, who were touching their ears strangely, while staring pointedly at Ruggles. At first Ruggles took them for local thieves, but when he challenged them they backed off, confused, and retreated into a tower across the square where they were joined by a stocky armoured man with a huge neck scar.

Marktag 27th Jahrdrung

Ruggles made enquiries and found that the Prince had indeed been in the city, but that he had left the day before for the grey hills, accompanied by a number of adventurers. It seemed they were too late!

Ruggles took his new friends aside and told them conspiratorially of his new potential fortune. He suggested they all forget the prince and instead journey to Bogenhafen to claim ‘his’ inheritance. The new companions seemed amenable to the idea, and the course was set.

While Sven and Thord headed down to the river to organise passage on a barge, Ruggles ‘worked the square’ and Milil set up a tent for her mystical divinations. Both activities were moderately profitable.

Dolf found his magical skills were not so profitable. He strolled instead to the nearby Universitas Altdorfas. He bluffed his way into the Great Library of Altdorf. He spent a few hours fruitlessly researching Ruggles’ ‘family’. Dolf concluded that this family did not exist.

The Boatman Inn.

Down at the docks, Sven ran into Josef, an old drinking buddy, who now ran a profitable wine transport business. It so happened that his barge was soon to travel to Bogenhafen for the famous Schaffenfest. He offered working passage to Sven and his companions. With that business completed, Sven and his pal began the real business: drinking. Thord went to get the others from the town square.

The man in black

A scarred, black-clothed man entered the Boatman Inn and demanded a jug of brandy. The inn folk seemed scared of him. Josef warned Sven against messing with him. Sven kept on drinking.

The tittering nobles

Later, a couple of well-dressed nobles entered the bar with their bodyguards. They were giggling to themselves. One of them insulted Sven, who tried to smash his face with an ale tankard, but was blocked by a bodyguard. Then the man in black intervened. Sven, not one for small talk or insults, attacked the grim-faced one. “Band of brothers,” muttered Ruggles sadly as he prepared to join his impulsive friend. But there was no need for aid. Sven’s morning star swung down and smashed the black one’s head to pulp. The corpse twitched and dropped. After a shocked silence, spontaneous applause erupted in the inn. The giggling nobles departed, escorted by their anxious bodyguards. Ruggles and some of the inn folk helped to drag the body into the canal outside.

Intrigue by night

It was high time to leave. The adventurers left the Boatman’s and hurried into the foggy street. Ruggles and Sven were singing loudly, but Dolf and Milil noticed they were being followed. They hung back and saw two ruffians approached Sven and Ruggles with malicious intent. Before Dolf could act, the two rogues slumped forward — they had been shot in the back with crossbow bolts! Dolf called Ruggles and Sven. Ruggles realised the two were the same ear-tweaking ruffians he’d seen in the Altdorf square. Ruggles was puzzled, but also drunk and street smart enough to want to get away from here. They rolled the bodies into the canal and hurried to Josef’s barge – the Berebeli.

Setting sail

Bachertag 28th Jahrdrung

The next day dawned grey and watery. Josef woke the group with the news that the two nobles from the previous night had been murdered, and the City Watch wanted to question the adventurers. The Berebeli pulled away from the dock in the Weissbruck Canal with its new crew wisely staying belowdecks until the ship could be clear of the intrigues of Altdorf.

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The Enemy Within, first session

Festag 24th Jahrdrung

Coach and Horses Inn

Ruggles Tomkin, Sven the Skar and Thord sought adventure and had news of work in the capital of the Empire, Altdorf. Their journey started at the Coach and Horses. Thord was snubbed by the haughty Frau Von Strudledorf, while Ruggles chatted and gambled with the dueliste Phillipe. Sven drank beer. A quiet fellow sat in the corner reading. The coachmen were drunk as skunks when they sold the coach tickets to the trio.

Wellentag 25th Jahrdrung

A grey day dawned and the travellers breakfasted and awaited departure. The sun rose higher in the watery sky. Eventually Ruggles and Sven roused the hungover coachmen and they were away. Unfortunately our heroes were forced to ride on the top of the coach, as Lady Isolde’s bodyguard refused to let them in the carriage. Then it started to drizzle.

Thord takes the reins

The coachmen were really in no state to drive so Thord helped out. But trouble struck when a wheel broke and the coach lurched to a stop. The horses bolted when a mutant attacked from the forest. Sven immediately retaliated, while Ruggles tried to attract Phillipe’s attention. The mutant had an uncanny resemblance to Rolf, one of Ruggles’ beggar acquaintances. While Sven kept him busy, Phillipe stabbed the mutant from behind and killed him.

Hearing horrible bestial cries from around the bend in the road, the three plus Phillipe came across a grisly sight: an overturned carriage, the ground littered with corpses, and more mutants pawing their remains. One had a Pin Head and was maniacally hacking at the horses, another Cloven Feet, and others with Pointed Head, Dog Head, and one Scaly Skinned one with a crossbow. Sven and even Ruggles charged (waving his stick), while Thord expertly shot arrow after arrow from the cover of the trees. Phillipe meanwhile took aim with his flintlocks, and then drew his own sword.

The double — Kastor Lieberung

The beastmen fought hard but were dispatched. In the wreckage of the coach, Ruggles found a disturbing sight — a corpse who looked just like himself. But “Ev’rry cloud has a silver lining, eh?” – the corpse carried several intriguing documents. One nominated ‘Kastor Lieberung’ to be the lawful heir to a small fortune. The other contained several signatures attesting that this Kastor was who he claimed to be. With these two documents, Ruggles could be rich beyond his dreams!

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Introduction
The Empire

Largest and most powerful of all the countries of the Old World, The Empire is your homeland. Its history goes back some two-and-a-half thousand years, to the earliest days of Human develop ment. Its founder was the legendary warrior Sigmar Heldenhammer, Hammer of the Goblins, who united the warring Human tribes and, in alliance With the Old World Dwarfs, drove the Goblin hordes from the Old World back into the Dark Lands beyond the Worlds Edge Mountains. Later, the legends tell, he was accepted into the ranks of the gods, and now his religion is the most powerful of all The Empire’s many cults. Indeed, the Cult’s high priest, the Grand Theogonist, is the Emperor’s closest adviser.

The current Emperor, Karl-Franz I, was elected (by those few provincial rulers known as Electors) ten years ago, and crowned in Altdorf by the Grand Theogonist. He is still a young man, and the people have great hopes that, under his benevolent leadership, The Empire is poised on the brink of a new golden age.

For one reason or another, your group has been thrown together outside a coaching inn called the Coach and Horses, not far from the country town of Delberz. Each of you has his or her own reasons for wanting to try a life of adventure, but none has any experience to speak of. Still, the glittering Imperial Capital is but two day’s coach journey away, and where better to start a life of adventure?

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