Only a few hours down the river, we pull into the port of Altdorf. A very large river goes around the city in its entirety, so deep & wide that seafaring ships make berth here too. This makes it a very prominent hub of trade for The Empire and it receives natural protection from the river surrounding it. Both major factors that have made it the capital city.
Shortly after we dock, Kurt Weiss approaches, takes our coach and lone bear to deliver to the Red Arrow stables, and asks that we meet him and Von Kaufman at The Old Horse Tower. Seeing as the Red Arrow has no inn in this city, he recommends The Mermaid, on the road of 100 taverns, for us to purchase lodgings for our stay.
Being rather dubious of Weiss & Kaufman, we opt to purchase lodgings at The Dancing Dwarf, near to The Mermaid, instead. Irinia learns from a local a little more about the tower and its history.
(It, many many years previous, used to be a Bretonnian embassy before relations broke down between them and The Empire. The rider of the horse has been broken off of the statue and only the horse remains of the large statue. Hence how the tower earned its name.)
Several of the party split up to purchase supplies, have their arms repaired, and get new armor (as a stand-in in the case of Ath).
We meet with Von Kaufman and Weiss as scheduled. We report regarding our travels. Kaufman is particularly interested regarding what we may have learned regarding Aschenbeck. We report that, while he was under investigation for dealings with Chaos, we found nothing to indicate he had any involvement in the lost gunpowder. This is most worrisome to Kaufman, as if it wasn’t Aschenbeck, then he has no idea who to suspect instead.
He plans to stay in the capital for at least a few weeks while the war wraps up. We ask him where Luminary Mauer is staying and he informs us that he is staying at The Laurel’s Rest. (One of the most expensive places one can stay in the capital.) He also remarks that, while playing a positive role in The Emperor’s rescue has helped him sign several new contracts, his monetary reserves are running low. He pays us for our services (handsomely) and we leave.
We make our way to The Laurel’s Rest and speak with The Luminary. We relate to him the full story and he takes particular gratification, losing his composure to a degree, in regards to the details about Ketzenblum’s treachery. He is glad to see that the cleansing ritual was successful and, while we tried to point out how it claimed the professor’s life, he is confident that this proof will lead to the ritual being repeated. He has other plans he must attend to, and hence won’t be discussing details with Irinia tonight, but he will gladly accept whatever notes she can provide at a later time. He pays us for our services and we leave.
We then proceed to the castle so that we can speak with Baerfaust. After a short wait at the gate, we are invited into the palace grounds and lead to the Reiksguard barracks. We meet with Baerfaust and tell him much of the same details. He is particularly disturbed, and suspicious, of news regarding Ketzenblum. He asked what we learned regarding the black cowl and we related what she told us: that she was suspicious of Kaufman (seeing as he funded the expedition and altered security arrangements for the menagerie last minute), Mauer (seeing as he told the expedition what to look for and his parents were witches), and Baerfaust himself (seeing as he provided the men for security of the expedition and also it was odd for him to have sent a party to ask for information she’d already given him). He summoned a couple soldiers and wouldn’t say why. We are paid for our services and we leave.
We drop by the market on our way back to the inn so that Ath and Casper can pick up the repaired arms & armor, and then proceed onto our inn. There, Edgar speaks with Graf Clothilde Von Auptramm who has traveled to Altdorf for “The Season” (when many new plays are debuted). Edgar and Longshot go up to a room with her and regale her with the story of their adventures.
Meanwhile, down in the inn a particularly rude act, of a man playing music using his own flatulence, is about to begin. Ath notices an elf who seems particularly somber and decides to buy him a drink. He goes to the bar and orders a glass of wine (to give away) along with a mug of ale for himself. The staff find they’ve run out of the ale they’re serving that night and one of the bartenders is sent to fetch a new keg. When he comes back and they tap the keg, they’re very surprised to discover black powder come out. Ath notices this and promptly instructs them to hold whatever they’re doing while a Templar is summoned. Casper goes to fetch Edgar from the room with Clothilde. Who, at that point, has become tired and decides to retire for the evening.
We have the staff take us to their store room and discover that the remaining kegs contain ale like they should. We then interrogate the men to learn that the ale was delivered to them by the Four Seasons, and the ale they’ve been receiving the last few months is a Pilsach Peculiar ale. The powder keg was marked in the same way. This brand of ale is produced in Averland. Upon close inspection, Edgar notices the powder keg is marked with a hardly noticeable red ‘X’ on its bottom.
Edgar recalls that The Four Seasons is specifically a river shipping company. While they do work in Averland, they primarily ship through other provinces.
We also learn that The Four Seasons has only been serving their inn for the last few months and they’ve only been receiving this brand of ale for maybe 6 weeks. Edgar advises them to tell no one of what they found & discussed. Also, that they would be wise to arrange for their ale to be delivered by another company. While the innkeeps don’t know where their warehouse is, they do know that The Four Seasons has been operating out of a local tavern, The Cat and Fiddle.
Edgar thanks them for their service to The Empire and calls the party together to discuss this new information and what they should do next.
There was some talk of going to the tavern in question, but Edgar dismissed this as foolhardy. As it would either just tip their hand or result in no real action at this time of night. Irinia intends to find some local dock workers and get them to direct her to The Four Seasons warehouse.
END OF GAME