The Enemy Within

The Cleansing Ritual
1st of Nachgeheim

After some “persuading”, Edgar and Ath leave the room so that Irinia can cast a healing spell. Casper and Longshot make a bet on the sly whether or not the spell will miscast, but surprisingly the spell resolves without issue. (Longshot won the bet for a silver.)

Longshot, Casper, and Irinia make their way to The Halfway House for breakfast. Ath and Edgar return to the room for their gear & armor, and one of the inn’s stewards gives Edgar a note as they leave. It’s from High Priest Frost advising him that, as the party has earned a reputation of righteous folk that wishes to root out evil, they will allow us & Prof. Oppenheim to do the ritual, tonight.

We all meet at The Halfway House and discuss matters over breakfast.

We decide to go to the college, no one’s there, the door is barred. We decide what next to do, Ath and Casper wait for Oppenheim, the rest to the market.

It seems strange that at 10:00 no one is around. Longshot sees a hooded figure, shoots him. We see about going up to the top floor to find him, can’t get entry, and ultimately return to the college. The party proceeds to the temple of Ulric.

There Edgar talks with one of the priests, who informs him Frost is resting. We ask that he notify him that we received his message and intend to meet Oppenheim, assist him in whatever preparations he needs, and fetch him to the temple.

Edgar also speaks with what appears a commoner, alone, who informs him that most citizens remain inside all day. As Edgar leaves, the man bids him farewell by name, and is mysteriously vanished when Edgar turns back.

We leave and go to the Halfway house for lunch.

We go to the college again, it remains closed. We return to the Temple of Ulric.

Along the way, Longshot notices a coach loaded with much luggage driving away with as much haste as they can. Longshot shot the driver, becauuse Ketzenblum happened to look out the window of the carriage. They chase it to the city gates, but it ultimately gets away.

We arrive at the temple of Ulric and are informed that the professor has already arrived and is resting to prepare for the ritual. We are asked to remain until the ceremony begins.

A few hours pass and the priests clear out all the visitors of the temple. The area around the fire is cleared. Then, Oppenheimer & Frost come out to start the ritual.

Oppenheimer gathers us together, Edgar gives him his notes that he saved, and Oppenheimer assigns roles to the various members of the party. Edgar is instructed to not let the fire go out, but no other information. Ath was given a lantern and instructed to use it and take the eternal fire around the perimeter of the temple. Casper was trusted to hold the clapper’s box and bring it forward as needed. Irinia was instructed to strip naked and howl like a wolf continuously outside the temple. Lastly Longshot was given the stone chalice and instructed to hold it above his head until it is needed in the ritual.

Edgar, not knowing what else to do, prayed to Ulric near the flame.

Ath was going around the perimeter when a gust of wind blew out the flame. He used a candle to relight the lantern and continued on.

Irinia was able to keep the howling going, and was even joined by a worshiper of Ulric, but ultimately had to take some deep breaths towards the end of the ritual.

Casper came forward when summoned, Oppenheimer opened the box and took out the clapper.

When longshot was called to do the next step, he mistakenly drank from the chalice. He then understood to pass to the other priests participating, and his role was complete.

Oppenheimer chanted continuously throughout the ritual, only being able to use gestures to call for everyone to participate during the ritual. The flame steadily grew in size and ferocity throughout. When he approached the flame with the clapper, the fire first withdrew, but then started to burn even stronger. He then put the clapper into the flame and held it for a time without issue, but the flame grew even larger and enveloped the professor and drew him into the fire and into the air. He screamed loudly for a time but eventually fell silent and fell to the floor limp, the clapper visibly changed from its green pallor to a brilliant silver.

Edgar put him out as soon as he fell, but he was long gone. Priest Frost came forward, put the clapper back into its box activating its seals. The party and Frost shared a brief and somber conversation discussing how Oppenheimer’s notes are believed to have been on his person, and therefore lost, and the ritual, while technically successful, came at a high cost. We should all remember the professor as a hero of the empire.

A Mysterious Visitor

Somehow, Casper became asleep on watch. He awakens suddenly to see a cloaked figure rummaging through his bag. He leaps and stabs them, but the person spins around knocking his sword away with their cloak.

Much to his surprise, it’s the girl he took the ruby off of back in Averheim during the Menagerie.

They share some tense conversation, the woman clearly considering whether or not to fight with Casper, regarding how Casper got the coin back (he was given it by the man in the dream) and where the ruby is (we sold it). She sheathes her rapier, throws open the shutters, and leaps through the window. The shutters closing themselves behind her.

Casper wakes up Longshot, tells him what just happened, but Longshot is slow to believe seeing as the window is clearly still nailed shut as normal. (Casper discovering this the hard way.)

As the two start to remove the nails from the door, the rest of the group wake up, hear the same story, but are similarly slow to believe.

The fact that Casper’s sword is bloodied is the only real proof of the incident.

Longshot and Casper go out to the street, but do not find any evidence of the cloaked woman. They return inside and wait for dawn.

Preparations for the Cleansing Ritual, Amidst Disturbing Visions & Dreams

Irinia quickly gathers her affects, Casper & Longshot loot some of the cultists garnering a handful of silver and a warpstone chunk roughly coin size. Casper tries to pass it off, accidentally drops it, but Irinia picks it up.

On our way to The Temple of Shallya Ath hears sounds of a battle inexplicably. Shortly after, Casper & Longshot spot a suspicious fellow that seems to be observing and following them.They try to give chase, but lose him in the crowds of the city.

We are treated by the Shallyans largely without incident, but Longshot hears the sounds of dwarven singing.

We return to the coaching inn, all but Edgar secure themselves in the room and rest for what promises to be an eventful night.

Edgar goes to the temple of sigmar and speaks with one of the priests there. He knows of Edgar and listens to what he says, but takes offence when he talks of seeing Adele in a den of cultists. He advises him to find Gregor and speak with him instead. He advises Edgar he’ll probably find him at The Graf’s Repose

Meanwhile, the party dreams disturbing dreams.

Casper was visited by a shadowy figure informing him to give his 10% of everything he “Finds”. He woke up with a start and found a coin between his head and his pillow.

Irinia dreams again of the pyre and sees a young woman, crying, that watched the ordeal from a nearby tree. The woman bears a striking resemblance to the mysterious woman she keeps seeing and Ketzenblum was definitely there, appropriately aged, with both her hands and golden hair. Irinia spent her time in the dream trying to comfort the crying girl.

Ath dreamed of the battle of black fire pass, remembering another mercenary dwarf in particular that fell there. A good friend of Ath’s, Bloch Severin, was killed by a goblin arrow and Ath relived the rage it roused in him.

Longshot dreamed of his childhood remembering a brief conversation he had with his great great grandfather the night before they went to battle and his grandfather met an untimely end. Longshot remembered how happy his father was, which doesn’t match with how he remembered the night before dreaming it.

Edgar arrives at the Graf’s Repose, fills Gregor in on all the details and discusses the precarious nature of, if it truly was her, how important it would be to have irrefutable proof that she is indeed corrupt. Seeing as she has curried much power here.

The rest of the party awakes. Ath and Irinia decide to go to the college while Casper and Longshot decide to get dinner at the halfway house. Along their way the discover they’re being watched. Longshot shoots him, pinning him to the wall, and they go over to interrogate him. He doesn’t give up any info, but he definitely has the same crown tattoo as the mysterious stranger the party met this morning. They knock him out and rob him, then continue on their way. One item of particular note is a two inch wide black pearl that longshot holds onto.

Edgar then goes to the college and finds Professor Oppenheimer there reading his books. He doesn’t recognize Edgar at first, but after some reminding talks things over with Edgar on the progress of getting the ritual sorted. Edgar lets him know that, with a letter of recommendation, High Priest Frost is becoming more amenable to letting us attempt the ritual. Edgar convinces him to come to the inn with the party so that we can protect him. As he is collecting his books, Ath and Irinia arrive. Edgar, being proper exhausted, tries to nap.

He dreams a disturbing dream where he finds himself with his brother in the family’s estate outside the city. They eat some roast mutton together. Uneasy, Edgar tries to bring up some small talk when Theodosius prompts him to look behind him. Edgar finds that the house is on fire and awakes with a start!

During these short minutes, Irinia interrogated the professor to a degree and insisted on inspecting him for tattoos or other marks. Oppenheim becomes very offended by this and insists that everyone leave immediately. Everyone except Edgar exit, and Edgar tries to convince him to see reason and follow Edgar to safety. Oppenheim refuses and Edgar finally leaves.

Irinia drops the warpstone pellet just inside Oppenheim’s door.

During this time, Longshot and Casper get dinner and some fine pipe weed from The Halfway house. A little while before sundown, the owner asks them to leave.

As they’re leaving, the rest of the party joins them. We deliberate on the best course of action and decide to try and get Oppenheim to let them protect him once more. They get to the college but find that the professor is not in his room. They exit the college just before they shut it up for the night. The guard, upon questioning, reveals that the professor did leave for the night but he doesn’t know where he lives. They rush back to the inn and barely make it in before they close up for the night.

Each of the party, except Casper, again dream a strange dream where they are visited by the dead.

Edgar finds himself inside his family’s estate as it is ablaze, with his brother Theodocius, and yet they aren’t consumed by the flames. They talk about how the home isn’t really burning, the last embers died out weeks ago. Edgar makes a leap of understanding and asks his brother how he died, to which he tells him that, while it wasn’t in the fire, it was painful and no other details. His brother invites him to eat more mutton, which turns to ash in his mouth.

Irinia is at the pyre again, she draws close to look for clues, when suddenly the burning victim grabs her and tells her that Irinia must kill “Her” in order to save herself and Luminary Mauer. She then learns that “Her” is Katrina, the elder Mauer’s daughter.

Ath again finds himself at the battle of the pass, slaughtering greenskins with particular ferocity. He turned to see Elector Count Leitdorf working in concert with a group of swordsmen led by Baerfaust. Leitdorf is thrown from his horse by a huge orc, Ath sees that Baerfaust fully saw this, but instead of going to his aid, joined with his men to engage the greenskins the rest of the unit was fighting. Moments later a hail of arrows came down catching Bloch Severin in the neck. As he dies, he speaks to Ath telling him to find the dwarven king’s son. The Elector came over and asked him about Daisy, his horse, concerned about her well-being.

Longshot is again speaking with his great great grandfather the night before the battle of blackfire pass. “I knew you didn’t understand why we marched with the humans. It is because through that alliance our race gains longevity. Like me, you too must help save the empire of man. Becoming an outcast was part of your destiny so that you could be where you are and play the role you need to play. Your foe both sent and led you here.” Then, returning to how it happened originally, his grandfather marched to war.

While the two of the party that stand watch hear disturbing sounds, the night goes without incident.


A Mysterious Stranger, Torture-Sexing, and a Rescue

Irinia awakes in the foul clutches of Ketzenblum. Her chest has been bandaged but now the dagger is lodged in her leg.

Ketzenblum is garbed in green robes and bears the symbol of Slaanesh. Ketzenblum takes a torch and burns Irinia with it, obviously taking great erotic pleasure in the act. When Irinia screams, she muffles the sound by kissing her. Irinia attempts to cast magic at her again, but it fizzles. Amusing Ketzenblum in the process.

The rest of the party gets breakfast and is suddenly approached by the mysterious stranger that sprung Ath and Edgar from jail back in Averheim. He instructs us to follow him right away and we do so.

Irinia continues to be torture-sexed and passes out again.

The mysterious stranger leads us to Koch’s, informs us that the owner is being blackmailed by a cult of Slaanesh, that Irinia is being held in the wine cellar, Oppenheimer has already been rescued by his brothers, refuses to reveal any info about himself (entirely ignoring an accusation from Edgar stating he’s a servant of Tzeentch), and that he won’t be accompanying us.

We resolve to have Edgar & Ath provide a distraction while Casper and Longshot sneak into the cellar to save Irinia.

Irinia dreams a dream of Luminary Mauer being burned at the stake and her mysterious magical companion speaking with her. She reveals that the death she sees is Mauer’s father. Adele and another witch hunter were there but quickly left with young Mauer. Mauer was sent to the colleges while the mysterious stranger had to fend for herself.

Meanwhile, a desperate battle ensues in two parts of the tavern. Casper and Longshot find a secret room in the cellar, open it, and quickly dispatch the three men inside. Upstairs, Edgar puts on a speech to distract everyone. Two lusty women come out of the crowd and enspell him. When Ath goes to try and intervene an unexpected assailant attacks him from behind. Shortly thereafter Edgar manages to break free of the spell and they fight the two women and the third assailant. It’s hard fought, but all but one of the women are dispatched. The last runs away, blowing a kiss to Edgar at the last, after he barely misses her with an arrow. Edgar recovers and marks the arrow, promising that it will be the arrow he uses to kill the foul witch.


Trying to Get the Team Back Together
33rd of Vorgheim

Edgar, Casper, and Longshot find themselves in the professor’s study with a mystery afoot.
We make haste down a couple halls trying to catch the attention of, or find, a guard. Then, we find a guard face down on the floor. Casper steals his money and we continue on.
We make our way to the entrance of the college without finding any guards.
We make the short trip to the Castle Rock Coaching inn, Ath is not there.

Meanwhile, Irinia awakens from a dream of bonfires and screaming with a bag over her head. She hears footsteps on a wooden floor above her. She is gagged and bound at her feet & wrists.

The trio find Ath at the temple of Shallya.We exchange short explanations of where we are and what we’ve been doing.
We go to the nearest guardhouse and inform them of what has been happening. It takes some convincing, but they dispatch 5 guards (2 city guards 3 Aschenbeck) to the college to investigate.

We return to the scene of Ath’s fight earlier that evening, and track the blood trail back to the Temple of Shallya. There, we question one of the priestesses and she recalls treating a man who had lost a finger and a serious gash along his chest. She’s surprised to learn, when she takes us to the area he was treated, that he has left. Losing a finger is a serious thing and usually people stick around. With some prodding, and mentioning the name Lambertus, she remembers that it was Lambertus Von Kardstadt she treated. Though she can remember nothing else.

Meanwhile, Irinia has been making progress on her knots but hears a door open. An effeminate voice scoffs at her feints of being limp. A group of people enter, remove her hood, lift her up, and begin tying her to the wall. One of the group, a woman, is disrobing as Irinia attempts to use magic against one of the two attempting to bind her. The spell miscasts into a brilliant flash of light. The naked woman laughs at her attempt, but Irinia attempts to intimidate the two men trying to bind her and successfully gets them to leap back. She gets stabbed in the chest by none other than Adele Ketzenblum.

She is amused to learn that Irinia is a witch and warns her to not use further magic. She then instructs the two men to get back to tying up Irinia. Irinia rips the dagger out of her chest, realizing too late that it had deployed barbs, and wounds herself severely. She got in one good insulting blow to one of the two men and passed out from the stress of it all. As everything fades to black, she hears Ketzenblum remark to herself how much spirit Irinia has and instructs the other two to use chains this time.

The rest of the party arrives at the Graf’s Repose and questions as to Gregor’s location. We’re told that he had met up with two knights not long after we left before and grabbed his hammer. They didn’t know where he was going but we were able to ask about the Von Kardstardt residence. We get a basic description of where it’s located and learn that the family’s coat of arms features three doves flying upwards.

Edgar attempts to verify we’re after the right guy by knocking first, but no one answers. Casper picks the back lock readily and enters. He has a strange encounter with a cat that paws at a silver, tails side up, and hisses at Casper as he takes it. Then, the cat runs off and Casper replaces the silver with a bronze face up. We find stairs leading up and take them. The first room we search has nothing but some fine clothes. After some further searching Casper finds a false bottom in one of the wardrobes, liberates a bag of money, and leaves behind a set of green robes in the false bottom.

Without another course of action, we return to the inn and sleep for the night.

Cultist Dens & Kidnappings
33rd of Vorgheim

The sun rises and everyone spends a pensive morning considering why they are with this ragtag group of brash young fools.

We eat breakfast without incident and go to the tannery. They have our cloaks ready, add some chains so we can wear them as cloaks, and even split the biggest one so that Ath and Longshot can each have a cloak. (Longshot calls dibs on the head portion.)

We return to The Halfway House, in search of halfling weed and encounter what seems to be an abandoned Aschenbeck warehouse along the road. We inspect around it, attempt to pick the lock to the storm doors, but don’t gain entry that way. Ath instead, while trying to break just the lock, breaks the door itself and the lock. In the basement we find a room with luxurious velvet drapes along the walls, an altar in the middle, and leering masks along the walls. The altar has an 8-pointed star, with purple handprints and the symbol of Tzeentch worshippers.

Behind one curtain is a short hallway, which contains several chests. The closest contains an assortment of black and purple robes, the next contains candles, and the last has several books. One with the purple hand symbol on it, one with a chaos star on it, and one labeled “Log Book”. Irinia takes the log book.

We leave and return to the Castle Rock inn. A note is delivered to Edgar. It’s from a person named Brenner, claiming to be an investigator hired by Markheim whom further claims he has found astonishing evidence regarding Lord Aschenbeck. Brenner states they are staying at an inn called the Drakken.

Irinia and Edgar proceed upstairs to read the book, while Ath relaxes at a table at the inn, and Longshot and Casper go to the Drakken.

The log book details mundane business affairs of the Castle Rock Coaching Inn.

Casper was pickpocketed, severely.

Irinia, Casper, and Longshot arrive at the Drakken first to scout.

Along the way to the Drakken, Ath and Edgar encounter Ketzenblum leaving The Brown Owl. Edgar goes in, intimidates/bribes the bartender, and learns that Ketzenblum is renting a room there. He leaves a note detailing the original reason they were sent to speak with her. (In case the Ketzenblum we spoke with isn’t who she said she is.)

We continue onto The Drakken. Speak with the landlady, and she goes up to Brenner’s room to try and fetch him. A few moments later we hear a shrill scream. The room has been trashed, papers and such strewn everywhere. The symbol of Khorne is painted on the wall, in blue oddly enough. A dagger has been plunged and left into the shredded mattress. It shares the same symbol. Longshot finds a journal and takes it.

The landlady quickly summoned a squadron of city guard, all with the Aschenbeck crest on their uniforms. They instruct us to leave so they can investigate. We do so without argument or delay.

We go to the Collegium Theologica to speak with Prof. Oppenheimer.

Irinia remains with Oppenheimer to study his notes on the ritual, so that she can provide a summary of the ritual.

The rest of the party decides to go up to Nortgarden, minus Ath who went to the temple of Ulric.

Gregor Helstrom notices us as we enter The Graf’s Repose. After eating, Edgar goes and speaks with him. He learns that Gregor Helstrom is a retired Templar of Sigmar (WitchHunter) Edgar details why they were sent to the city. (Ask Ketzenblum about the cowl and purify the clapper.) Gregor finds the prospect of destroying a tainted artifact very intriguing. He provides a letter to Priest Frost (purportedly) encouraging him to cooperate. They discuss Adele together and how Gregor previously had much respect for her but, while he still holds her in esteem, she is definitely much changed since “the incident”.

Meanwhile, Ath is wandering about the area around the temple of Ulric waiting for the rest of the party to meet there as they’d said. He notices two cloaked figures carrying away a bound & hooded Prof. Oppenheim. He confronts them about it and Ath becomes hypnotized into believing that they are taking the Prof. to a surprise party. One of the two kidnappers provides his name as Lambertus. Ath manages to break out of it a bit and a fight ensues.

Ath and Lambertus are both wounded severely, but ultimately part without killing each other. The assailant takes extreme pleasure in the pain Ath caused him. Ath has no idea where exactly Oppenheim went and proceeds to the temple of Shallya to lick his wounds.

Gregor and Edgar continue to talk. We detail what happened with the Aschenbeck warehouse, and Casper fetched the log book we took, and we provide it to Gregor. Gregor writes a letter to his fellow templars to (assumedly) go there and investigate further. We also discuss the incident at The Drakken and the torn up room of Brenner. We also provide the journal which contains evidence against Aschenbeck. Gregor deems it hearsay until Brenner can be found and questioned directly. We part warmly and proceed to the Temple of Ulric.

There, we speak with Priest Frost and deliver the letter. He continues to be hesitant, as there are many other pilgrims that want to be cleansed and they are uneasy allowing Oppenheim to access The Sacred Flame. However, with Gregor’s encouragement he will take it under serious consideration. He instructs us to return in two days time. We ask about the whereabouts of Ath and while the lesser priest had seen him, must have left at least 30 – 45 minutes prior to our arrival.

We proceed to the Collegium, there we find the Profs. study open, the chains holding the box broken, the box, the Prof., and Irinia missing! The notes regarding the ritual remain on the table, they seem to be intact. Edgar takes them. There’s also a note on the table, in Irinia’s hand, that reads:

“Taken by Handsome – Help.



The First Game Notes (Part 2)
32nd of Vorgheim

We went to Professor Oppenheim’s office/study and found the door unlocked. The box was locked where we left it. The professor got so wrapped up in his work that he failed to lock the door. We went out of our way to make sure he locked the door.

Irinia suggests that we find the witchhunter and correct her on the absence of the box. Edgar finds this idea problematic as Ketzenblum is consistently hard to seek out.

Long shot failed to notice something.

We debated on what to do now. We’re going to hold off on talking to the priests of Ulric until after we’ve got our pelts back. Should we see Aschenbeck (owner of Castle Rock coaching imprisoned and awaiting trial for heresy)?

We should find out who accused Aschenbeck of heresy? What evidence is there? etc.

We decided to go The Drowned Rat (a local bar) to find out more. The bartender tells us that Aschenbeck used to be quite the partier in his younger days, about 20 years previous, but is very clean cut these days.

The bartender doesn’t like the Graf’s business manager, Markheim, because where most people frequent this bar to hire muscle, Markheim gets his elsewhere somehow.

We resolve to approach the business manager under two guises, one legitimate and one circumspect. To see and gauge how he reacts and/or which of us he hires.

Edgar and Ath are going to be team legit. We find out from the coaching inn manager that their residence is in Nortgarden. We went there but didn’t find anything. We got some basics from the temple of ulric, dropped into the Koch’s inn, eat lunch, and got exact directions to the residence. We felt watched inexplicably. We didn’t recognize anyone.

Meanwhile, team DL networked and tried to find out more about the trial, those involved, what evidence is out there, and where to find blackpowder. Irinia and Casper are too drunk for this.

The Aschenbeck estate is surprisingly modest. A large man with a spade shaped beard answers the door. Rodrick tells us that Markheim is not there. Edgar asks for more details and Rodrick tells him to piss off.

Edgar and Ath go to the temple of Verena across the street and talk with the old priestess. She doesn’t know much about the case, it’s being largely handled by the arbiter (Ketzenblum). She has always had good experiences with Aschenbeck, he’s polite, appropriately grateful, has called upon the temple to bless contracts, and otherwise conducts themselves as an upstanding citizen. His business affairs are largely handled by Markheim, whom she has had limited contact with (she never sees him in sermon).

Team con resolves to find Markheim and get him drunk. We run into each other outside the temple. We share how we’ve both found that basically everyone likes Aschenbeck.

We find our way to The Scholars. This bar and coaching inn is frequented by the professors and students of the collegium theologica. Casper and Irinia’s plan to get corrected by the scholars, and therefore learn pertinent info, falls through.

Irinia and Casper try to get into the Prospect. They are promptly thrown out.

We resolve to get back to the inn, keep everything quiet, and try a sober day tomorrow.

Objectives for tomorrow:
check with the tannery
if skins are ready, move forward on getting the cleansing ritual done.
speak with markheim
try to kill ketzenblum, discredit if not possible.

The First Game Notes
31st of Vorgheim

After meeting with the witchhunter we convene back at our room and discuss what happened. There was some talk of skipping town but ultimately we’re deciding to see things through.

Objectives for tomorrow:
Check at the university to see if the box has been stolen, like the witchhunter stated it had gone missing.

Figure out what we must do in order for the cult of Ulric to allow us to visit the eternal flame.


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