WFRP3 - The Eye of the Storm

Having a Ball
at Von Holzenauer's Mansion

The Masquerade Ball

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With the smell of gas heavy in the air the party beat a hasty retreat through the sewers from whence they came. It seems the group will have to wait to find what secrets the sewers hold. But as they head back it seems that they’re not the only ones in a hurry to leave. Suddenly rats begin pouring from the nearby effluent pipes and seemingly spooked by someone or something they begin to swarm towards the group. Gustav takes his umpteenth plunge beneath the muck in his haste to beat a hasty retreat, and with rats swarming all around Ulli also falls but recovers in time to squeeze through an open iron sewer gate. Gustav and Ulli manage to force the gate closed and Ulli selflessly holds the gate for a while to allow the others a head start. Eventually Ulli catches up and all three make good their exit back to the grate under Borgun’s Brewery from which they entered.

The party emerge tired and dirty from their forages into the sewers and with more questions than answers about what lurks beneath Ubersreik and who or what is responsible for the brutal death of the dwarf mercenary in their party.

And so after a quick hose down back at Gramma’ Ruggers our party head off to the Masquerade Ball.

Ulli enters no problem but the others are having some problems gaining entrance. Well it’s no good having a perfectly forged ticket if your names not on the list right? The lovely Netta Volkmann vouches for Vesevir and Gustav, Barnabas uses some Celestial wizardry to intimidate his way in while Alex and Falco are shown the exit door. While Falco heads off who knows where Alex undettered decides to do what he does best and ‘skulk’. He sneaks around the back entrance looking for an alternate entrance.

Gustav normally the first one to the bar and a natural party animal has other pressing concerns. It seems his adventures in the sewers have brought him a touch of the galloping trots. So he immediately heads off to the bathroom, Ulli and Barnabas set off to mingle. Mid dash to the WC Gustav briefly spots Borgun Foambeard guarding his precious casks of ale as though they were babes in arms.

Ulli and Barnabas scan around the room. In addition to Borgun and a Dwarven colleague, other early arrivals include Cpt Blucher and his comely colleague Capt Andrea Pfeffer in their military uniform. Among the rest are a rather lifelike looking Beastman and a fellow with a rather peculiar looking bridge for a mask. As breathtaking as those costumes are they pale in comparison to the attire of the next arrival. Maximilian Aschaffenburg the youngest son of Rickard Aschaffenberg’s brother arrives in Bruner colours and with a fake tentacle arm costume. There are gasps from the audience and angry words exchanged from Lord Heissman in particular who takes exception to this display.

Less than half an hour has passed before word reaches Borgun Foambeard of an attack on a consignment of beer that was en route to the the Ball. Gustav (now a friend of Borgun), Barnabas (who entered the ball on the pretense of being security), and a reluctant Ulli are drafted to go and check the attack location for tracks of whatever attacked. They get there but the poor light and disturbances gives little indication of who or what was responsible, so they decide to head back to the Ball.


Meanwhile Alex sneaked around back and enters through a staff entrance to the manor and makes his way via the kitchen and past an angry cook into the house and right into the thick of the ball. Hearing his friends have left he considers following them but doesn’t fancy chancing his arm at sneaking in a 2nd time so decides to stick around.

It doesn’t take Alex long to find The Beastman who is evidently an esteemed noble cornered by a bunch of social climbing, frightfully boring guests who include the bridge mask guy. Alex comes to the nobles aid and rescues him only to discover he’s none other than The Margrave Reinhardt von Mackensen. It’s not long before the tipsy Margrave explains that he has little love for any of the candidates and has a plan to scupper the frontrunner. Alex’s eyes light up at the skullduggery possibilities laid out before him. “My dear Margrave. Let me get you another drink.” says a beaming Alex.

Alex’s night soon became a good deal more interesting…

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Understanding Chaos

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  • The following is one of several uncovered documents we found concealed in the vault. The writing matches a former scribe Nigel Kurst. He was discredited and banished from the Library for his fraudulent work “Chronicle of Barnabas Boven”

~The nature of magic: What is magic? Magic is born from Chaos. It picks people. I do not know why it only picks some of us but when it chooses one of us it attaches itself to us. In doing so we can touch a small piece of it, some more than others. We can use this power to change the world around us. This is Magic. We are taught that what we can do is based on what little piece of Chaos we can touch. When the Colleges were first founded the high elf mage Teclis “allowed” humans to learn magic, but forbade us from using more than one wind. He said to expand into the other winds, is to invite insanity and death. Yet the high elves use multiple winds, and they are the ones responsible for creating the eight winds. The eight winds are simply a diluted form of the pure energy released by Chaos.

The Ruinous Powers are viewed as the Gods of Chaos, but why? Chaos is not a broken slave used at the whims of four sadistic masters. Why would Gods allow their enemies access to their greatest weapon? They wouldn’t. And now the truth is starting to take shape. It is utter folly to think of them as anything more than servants. Chaos is not just a mindless force. I believe it is a living, intelligent being, so unlike us that most simply cannot grasp it’s true existence.

I believe the Ruinous Powers were much like us before Chaos came to their world. Perhaps they were more intelligent than us, perhaps they were more advanced… they certainly possessed more arrogance. Chaos touched them, the way it touches us, but they tried to take more. They weren’t satisfied with a taste of power. Their hunger drove them to unspeakable acts, trying desperately to bind Chaos to their bodies when their minds could no longer contain more. The vastness of it was too much for them. Chaos broke them, twisted them, and enslaved them. It took all the darkness those beings had within and forced it to the surface, forever changing them. Yet even now they fight each other trying to wrest control of additional power from each other, they still desire more even after everything that has happened to them. Chaos doesn’t mind the ceaseless battles, the war servers a purpose.

Each time Chaos is accessed and used it goes stronger, it isn’t diminished. All of us that use it gain power, and in return it gains exercise, possibly entertainment… defiantly nourishment.
The Ruinous Powers travel to worlds like ours and bring with them their petty struggles and twisted desires. Chaos moves along with them and offers tiny pieces of itself to the inhabitants of the new world, providing a glimmer of hope and the only means to beat back the Ruinous Powers. It doesn’t matter which side wins or loses, Chaos always wins.

It’s true the Ruinous Powers can use far greater amounts of Chaos than we can, but that’s only natural is it not? They’ve had thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of years to learn how to use Chaos, but what good has it done them? They are powerful, but they are still shackled. They bound their minds, bodies, and their very essence to Chaos. They can never be free from the hooks embedded into every aspect of their being. It is their punishment for trying to force Chaos in the beginning instead of working with it.

What are the Gods of this world? In truth they are simply facets of Chaos, and priests are nothing more than self-deluded wizards. I do not dispute they have access to power, but that power comes directly from Chaos. The Gods are thought-forms, manifestations of the messy minds, feelings, and ideals of humans. Chaos doesn’t waste its time on random stray thoughts as there isn’t enough energy behind each thought to warrant attention. The combined belief of thousands of people IS worthy of attention. Chaos reaches out through the focused faith of so many minds and attaches tiny strands.
The whole system of religion is a wonderful tool for Chaos. Most humans worship at least one of the gods in some fashion. I class them as passives. Passives interact with Chaos while performing their prayers and rituals, but rarely gain even a faction of power. Passives are a free meal for Chaos, though no a satisfying one. Actives are different. Actives are the priests. The priests lead, and focus the faith of their cult. As focused conduits of faith priests are given a larger cord to Chaos, which in turn grants access to the power. Their faith and the faith of others solidify their connection cord to Chaos. Faith grants them power, and yet it limits them at the same time. Their will directed at Chaos causes an effect just like when a wizard uses one of the eight winds. However, instead of having an immediate effect there is a time delay because they believe they have to pray really hard after making their request. When they feel they have built up enough prayer time they release the power and the blessing takes effect. Priests will never be able to perform any major action without that time delay. The very thing that limits them is the only reason why they have access to power in the first place. If priests changed their perspectives and grew their understanding of the world to my level their power would no longer function. They would have to learn a new way to access the power.

Just think of what a man, armed with this true understanding of Chaos could do. Such a man, given enough time could forge a better symbiotic relationship with Chaos. Not one of enslavement but one of equality. Not parasitic in nature but mutualistic. I only need time. ~

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Ubersreik: The grand hunt

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From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.
(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~

~Today was a complete waste of time. Instead of spending the day studying I went traipsing around the woods with several of my agents and a small group of nobles. The “hunt” consisted of wandering around aimlessly while several incompetent servants tried to find animals for their equally clueless masters. “Tracking” seems to be an endless cycle of servants squinting at faint depressions in the ground and occasionally sniffing dirt or animal droppings. At the insistence of “The Praegustator” a loud drunken dwarf and “The Storyteller” stayed behind in a large clearing.

When I finally spotted a deer I quickly let loose a well aimed spell. It was flawless. I feel I am getting better at controlling the Azyr wind even while under the gaze of Morrslieb. Unfortunately the deer turned out to be one of the servants. He is expected to make a full recovery in a few weeks.

It was dusk by the time we returned to Ubersreik. “The Praegustator” killed a piglet during the hunt and its mother, saving one of the nobles from being gored in the process. While waiting for the piglet to cook “The Praegustator” gleefully announced that he secured an invitation to the ball due to his shooting prowess. With that menial task complete I will be attending the ball as his guest, it pays to have agents that take the initiative.

During our meal we heard rumours of a dead rat catcher’s dog, and that the rat catcher was missing. The three of us tried to determine of it was in fact “The Docent” but it remained unclear. At that point I realised “The Puff” and “The Fox” hadn’t returned. Out all night, and all day. Last night I saw them speaking in hushed tones and then sneaking off to one of the private booths. Neither one struck me as having Bretonnian leanings but I could be wrong. I’m sure they will turn up when they grow tired of each other’s company.

I excused myself after finishing my meal and came here to my room to record the events of the day and resume my studies. I would have been further along if I had only stayed here today.

P.S. The piglet was a lovely meal. ~

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Dreaming about Chaos

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  • The following is one of several uncovered documents we found concealed in the vault. The writing matches a former scribe Nigel Kurst. He was discredited and banished from the Library for his fraudulent work “Chronicle of Barnabas Boven”

~I just woke up from a dream that could change everything. If people knew what I now know they would kill every last one of us. Out the window the light of Morrslieb bathes everything in a green glow. “The Fox” is nowhere to be seen. I suspect he is out tailing “The Lackey” or scouting our former employer’s mansion. Death stalks the alleys of Ubersreik.

In my dream I was standing in an open field, somewhere in the Empire. I looked up and saw Chaos itself. It was like a great glowing world filling the centre of our world. It was divided into sections. Eight main sections all seamlessly linked together to form the whole. Within each section dozens of small shapes danced about in an ever shifting yet somehow constant pattern. Extending up from my body was a single glowing blue line and it was attached to one of the eight sections of Chaos. So much of that section made sense to me… I knew without a doubt that it was the Azyr wind.

Then I looked around and I saw thousands of other lines extending up to Chaos. Each line was a wizard or priest. I could tell the two apart. The structure of the lines differed and the priests weren’t nearly as powerful. So many lines, so many connections, like tendrils enveloping our world in pulsating energy. Studying the scene in front of me I realised an important fact. The connections weren’t one way. Every time one of us used our power the great mass would stiffen and then relax. Like a giant muscle receiving a workout, growing stronger. Then wizards started to die and great puffs of energy surged up their connection line as those lines were severed from the dead wizards.

It eats us.

I started to turn away but my gaze locked onto four impossibly large lines of energy randomly connecting to different sections of the mass. They seemed to be fighting over the mass. Large skirmishes took place every time two or more of the lines tried to connect to the same area. Entire battles were won and lost in the blink of an eye, the victor extending its influence into other sections. The battle continued and when any one line began to show signs of true territorial dominance the other lines seemed to work together for the briefest of moments, together they crushed the dominant one, stealing large swaths of territory in the process. Then they would turn on each other, restoring a twisted sense of balance… or rather a stalemate. The whole time Chaos grew, feeding on the energy released by those lines of connection. The Ruinous Powers are not the masters of Chaos. It feeds on them the same way it feeds on us.

What do I do now? Knowing what I now know how can I continue to use my power? At the same time, how could I stop? This power can be used to change not only the fate of this world, but the very fabric of our existence. Is it even possible to cut my connection to Chaos without causing my own death? I don’t believe so. What would I gain by stopping? Nothing. I must press on. ~

Sigmar’s balls… Is that really how it works or was he just insane? We all have bad dreams, do we not? He did have that cultist book with him, perhaps that book was simply playing tricks on his mind. Either way I cannot permit anyone to see this now. The project would be cancelled and all of my hard work destroyed. I will place this translation in the hidden alcove I discovered deep in the Library’s vaults until I decide what to do with it.

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Ubersreik: At the Red Moon Inn

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From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.
(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~

~I gave my statement to a guard that had witnessed the first book burning attempt. Most citizens fear the witch hunters but the guard was glad that at least one person in the Empire wasn’t afraid to speak out against their crimes. I rejoined my agents in the town square, a few meters away from the recently established group of flagellants. Fools, one and all. As I watched them with disgust I noticed a random priest of Sigmar walking by. He stopped in his tasks when four imps appeared from nowhere and started assaulting him. My agents and I sprang into action but “The Storyteller” was the last one to react as usual. The man’s wits seem permanently dulled by excessive wine.

The priest was clearly not trained to fight. During his reckless flailing about he stepped into blows intended for the imps several times. The situation was too much for his mind to handle and he fainted dead away. The “Evil Book Hunter” showed up just in time to see the priest fall and the man’s twisted thought process immediately jumped to the conclusion that we were responsible for the priest’s misfortune. Lunacy.

Smiling and shouting at the same time “The Storyteller” managed to convince the “Evil Book Hunter” to attack the remaining imps instead of us. I do not understand how his antics influence people, but I can’t argue with the results. With one imp remaining from the corner of my eye I noticed my favoured agent, “The Fox” rushing towards the melee. I saw a tiny line of blood trickle down the side of the “Evil Book Hunter’s” armoured vest just after “The Fox” darted past him. The “Evil Book Hunter’s” followers must have noticed the same thing because several of them tackled “The Fox”. We dispatched the final imp and the “Evil Book Hunter” left with the unmoving but still breathing priest.

“The Puff” was intrigued by the imps so I explained everything I could about them while I watched him take out all manner of sharp and curved blades. There in the middle of the town sqaure he cut open one of the imps and started taking out bits and pieces. It was very informative but I lost my breakfast next to “The Puff” after he handed me some foul smelling part that was covered in unspeakable fluids. I chose to make a tactical withdrawal from the scene when I noticed several guards moving swiftly in our direction. ~

I don’t even know what to say. I’m stunned. I’m overjoyed that I only have to decode and read about your life Barnabas. Being around you was clearly an unhealthy decision.

~While I was making my way back to the Red Moon Inn the priest of Verena that I aided yesterday stopped me. We briefly discussed the fire in the temple and then I told him about the imps. He informed me of similar events happening around the Empire and that his brotherhood in Altdorf sent word just this morning to be wary. I mentioned my displeasure of having to wait more than a week for word to reach me from my Order and he seemed put off by the long delay. He informed me all the major Temples of Verena have a secret and swift means of communication, and he offered to let me make use of this service during my time in Ubersreik. I thanked him and said I would return later this evening to take him up on his offer. The swift delivery of reports and foretellings would be invaluable to my Order. I will see if I can learn anything about this new form of communication. ~

….

~Back at the Red Moon Inn our meal was interrupted by “The Lackey”, he informed us our former employer had arrived in town and that he would tell our former employer all about our deeds in the town square. When I questioned “The Lackey” he explained away his knowledge of what happened by saying he was just passing by and witnessed the battle. I’m not convinced. Something about this man is really starting to get to me. I have a growing feeling that he cannot be trusted. After the departure of “The Lackey” my agents decided they all had things to do. Several left muttering something about capturing and beating the noseless fellow, and “The Praegustator” said he needed a new bow. ~

This lot truly were a bunch of bastards. Why heap abuse on a drunken crazed man with no nose?

~I decided to stay here at our table to write these notes. The information contained in these pages could change the world some day; I only hope I am still around to see it. “The Puff” is sitting across from me, drawing sketches of the imp’s insides and jotting down his personal musings about the creatures.

“The Praegustator” and “The Fox” have returned. “The Fox” says he met a female retainer of the “Hosts of the Grand Ball”. The way “The Fox” is telling his tale concerns me. When he is finished I will take him aside and explain who the “Hosts of the Grand Ball” are and how the family is connected in this city. ~

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Ubersreik: Out of the muck and into the fire

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From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.
(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~

~After my bath I finally met with the messenger and paid him to deliver my report to the Masters. If my report arrives safely it was 30 shillings well spent. “The Fox” has just entered. The others seemed uncomfortable with sleeping in the same room as the man. Strange. I think he is my most valuable agent. Loyal if treated fairly. Resourceful. Willing to get his hands dirty.

“The Fox” has just confirmed that his last assignment was completed, flawlessly. I can at least take some comfort in that while I drift off to sleep tonight. ~

~At breakfast we saw the lackey of our former employer. He seemed surprised to see us… a hint of guilty perhaps? “The Storyteller” chatted with “The Lackey” about the ball, our former assignment, and the political tension between his master and “The Fairytale Nobles”. “The Fox” made hints about paying “The Lackey’s” Master a visit. The signs did point to the murder of a noble, could this be it? It doesn’t quite feel right, it’s too simple to be “The Fox”.

As “The Lackey” was leaving I followed him and suggested “The Fairytale Nobles” might be behind the theft of the ring. He seemed put off by my continued interest in the ring. One would think the man would want to find his Master’s missing item. Unless of course “The Lackey” was behind the theft. This theory I let slip to “The Fox” when I returned to the table. ~

I haven’t seen Anya for several days. She said she was going to try to gather more information about Barnabas and items of note mentioned in this book. I hadn’t realised before how lonely this work can be. I used to enjoy the solitude, but now I miss her.

~Breakfast came to an end with the tavern owner informing us about a fire in the temple district. It would appear the “Evil Book Hunter” was successful in the middle of the night. When I suggested his involvement to the tavern owner he seemed unable to hear me so I spoke louder. “The Storyteller” and others at the table nearly came unglued at my suggestion. The only one that kept a cool head was “The Fox”, and he casually suggested we put an end to the problem before it grows out of hand. Is it any wonder that he is my favourite agent? ~

Dear Gods… they are both insane. One doesn’t simply “put an end” to a witch hunter. I will send for records from Ubersreik. The officials might have information about the temple fire, or two men burnt by witch hunters.

~On our way to the costume shop guards stopped us and asked our business in the wealthy part of the market. They seemed unhappy to see “The Docent” leading the way. I bet they perk up at the sight of him the next time rats infest their sleeping quarters. “The Storyteller” and “The Puff” convinced them “The Docent” wouldn’t cause any trouble and they walked away. I followed them to inquire about the temple fire. The incompetent fools didn’t have any leads so I told them about yesterday’s disturbance caused by the “Evil Book Hunter”. They asked me to stop by the barracks to make a formal accusation. I agreed to go after visiting the costume shop.

The costume shop was exactly like one would expect it to be, the perfect location for people with more coin than the sense the gods gave a goat. I saw a sketch of “The Storyteller’s” outfit for the party. It looked like something Ranald would find pleasing. I wonder if “The Storyteller” is aware of the connection between “The Fairytale Nobles” and the temple of Ranald. Is he just a sycophant, or is he announcing to us his new allegiance? While the rest of us were selecting our outfits I noticed the old woman in charge of the shop kept eying “The Storyteller”. There was lust written all over her face. If we hadn’t been in the shop with them I believe she would have pounced on “The Storyteller”. ~

A noble family in Ubersreik with connections to the temple of Ranald. The codenames Barnabas uses for people always give a hint about them; perhaps I can use these clues to find out which noble family he is talking about. Specific details like that would greatly benefit my research.

~Outside the shop the group spent an unbearable amount of time arguing about buried treasure hidden in, or under the Tower of Magnus. “The Docent” wanted to use the sewer tunnels to get under the tower. The others agreed but then started arguing about how to find the correct tunnel, the noseless fellow was offered as a suggestion, and then they started arguing about how to find him. I had enough so I quietly excused myself and headed to the barracks to make my formal accusation. And here I sit waiting for the captain of the guard or some other functionary to take my statement… I’ve been waiting nearly an hour. My patience grows thin. ~

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Ubersreik: A city of witch hunters, flagellants, and muck.

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From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.
(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~

It would seem Ubersreik was a chaotic time for Barnabas, and his time spent in the city caused several changes to take place. In the following pages the man Barnabas previously referred to as “The Catcher of Rats” will herein be known as “The Docent”.

~I made inquiries into hiring a messenger then enjoyed a glass of spiced wine and a fine meal. I was informed it would take several hours before arrangements could be made so I agreed to follow my agents to the red moon inn. Rumours are being flung around this tavern by the drunken denizens, I’ve heard a number of negative things about “The Fairytale Nobles”. If the rumours are to be believed they worship the ruinous powers, want to buy up at least half the city, and they smell funny. I’m willing to believe two of the three. It appears there’s also a crazed group of people in the town square shouting about the end of the world and whipping themselves. Fools. None of them possess the skills or mental acumen to properly read the signs / patterns, they should leave such matters to my Order. Ironically… they might be right. ~

The last time I checked the world hadn’t ended. I’m happy to note that they were incorrect, Barnabas. I wouldn’t have met Anya if the world had ended. Come to think of it I probably wouldn’t have met her if it wasn’t for this book. Thank you Barnabas.

~”The Storyteller” has just finished yet another meal, and another flagon of wine. It’s as if he doesn’t remember eating just before coming to the red moon inn. I plan on visiting the city’s largest collection of books while I wait for a suitable messenger. The others have their own minor errands around the city. “The Docent” will naturally lead the way. ~

….

~Outside my intended destination I found the rumoured crazed men. Their leader wanted to enter the building and burn all the books, claiming all written words were somehow related to the ruinous powers. Just another ignorant fool feeling threatened by knowledge and wisdom due to his lack of both. With the backing of his thugs he was more than prepared to kill the priest guarding the library, naturally I stepped in to turn the “evil book hunter’s” attention to other matters. I suggested that he investigate the “Fairytale nobles” instead of burning books. He wasn’t pleased with my intervention and somehow I feel he sensed the cultist’s book concealed under my robes. Before the violence started a delegation for the city council accompanied by a priest of sigmar arrived. After heated words were exchanged the mad men chose to make a tactical retreat. I know I haven’t seen the last of them. I suppose I will have to kill again… or hire “him” again. Yes, that would do nicely. In exchange for my help the priest in charge of the library gave me full access to the resources of the library and its staff. Initiates approach with the volumes I requested. ~

The following two pages all appear to be Barnabas’ notes about the research he did. Most of it is too vague and lacks context for me to understand it. Random names, religions, guilds, and locations. They must be a chain of affiliations but the “who” and the “why” of it alludes me.
….

~”The Storyteller” and “The Docent” have returned. Back at the inn “The Storyteller” mentioned something about wanting new feathers for his hat or some other frivolous thing. I wasn’t paying close attention at the time, but I don’t see anything new about the man. “The Docent” keeps insisting that there’s hidden treasure under the bridge. I’m sure it’s just a tall tale but I’m willing to the humour the man, he may be a bit simple in the head but he is hard working. ~

….

It’s important to note that the following passage was not written in Barnabas’ typical elegant penmanship. It’s clear to me he was angry enough while writing that he allowed it to impact the quality of his work.

~While I was helping “The Docent” look for his hidden treasure under the bride out of the corner of my eye I saw a coin sail past me, it landed in the muck within inches of my boots. A swarm of beggars launched themselves at the coin, reacting with more speed than their sickly half starved frames should have been capable of. I would have been trampled had it not been for my own swift reaction. Unfortunately in my haste to retreat I stepped into a deeper section of muck. I don’t know if the stains and smell will ever come out of my robe, it’s currently being laundered downstairs while I wait for my bath to be prepared… two more buckets of hot water should do it.

As I stood there in disbelief at the situation a young woman approached me with an outstretched hand, thanking me for an offering I had not given. I asked her if she knew where that coin came from and she pointed up the hill. Sure enough “The Storyteller” was standing on the edge of the gully, red faced and shaking with laughter. I do hope he wet himself trying to contain the laughter. I felt “The Storyteller” would benefit from sharing in the experience so I paid the young woman a silver shilling to assist him down the hill. She ran off with my coin and the desired outcome never came to be. Meanwhile “The Docent” had started talking to a man with no nose. I overheard them discussing the treasure, and giant rats the size of horses. I had enough at that point, excused myself and came straight here for a bath before I meet my messenger. ~

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On the road again: To Ubersreik

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From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.
(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~

~I could feel the power of Morrslieb all night. I only managed to get a few broken hours of sleep. At breakfast I ate a few bites of the stale bread and old cheese. I do not believe it was poisoned as I’m not experiencing any side effects. Our now former employer revealed more details about the missing ring. He was planning on selling the ring and replacing it with a fake, the fake was to be given to his new wife. His money troubles probably stem from excessive drinking mixed with gambling, he seems like the type to over indulge when it comes to…everything. Much like “The Storyteller”, though he is at least useful to me. We are currently riding in a coach bound for Ubersreik. I have reason to believe the ring is important to the path I am currently on and that I will uncover more information when we get to the city. ~

Anya has suggested that we work together. She thinks my chronicle would benefit from a companion volume detailing the unique artefacts mentioned in Barnabas’ book. This research could take months, years even. We would have to spend most days, and even nights together. This is a grand idea! I will speak to the head archivist about this in the morning.

~The coach is slowing down. A quick glance out the window has revealed the reason why. Another coach is partially off the road with a broken wheel. “The Storyteller” shouts at the driver to keep going, I agree but speaking to the man would only encourage him to start telling another story and I have so much work to do. It would appear the driver didn’t hear him as we have come to a complete stop. The other coach belongs to some sort of noble and the realisation of this has made “The Storyteller” rather jolly. He just climbed out the coach and is shouting at “The Praegustator” to offer aid to the other coach. “The Praegustator” is helping and “The Storyteller” is blathering at another man, presumably the noble owner of the coach. Just another self important fool I’m sure. Now… Morrslieb is waxing towards full much faster than it should be. Even now in the day sky I can see it shining its sickly light on the world. Last night The Gloaming held my attention for a long time, but most disturbing is the path of Morrslieb. Based on my calculations it will wax full just as it reaches the Witchling Star.

The Sun and The Gloaming are tightly bound right now: Illumination, enlightenment,
wisdom and truth are the signs of the Sun, yet The Gloaming is significant for bringing illusion and mysteries to the pattern. The Sun will offer no answers in the near future.

Mannslieb: Waxing to full, currently positioned in the house of The Broken Cart. Pride will lead to many disasters and broken dreams in the coming days.

Morrslieb: Waxing to full, currently moving closer to The Witchling Star. The green light of Morrslieb is already making the presence of The Witchling Star more noticeable. As it stands now I’m struggling to control the Azyr wind and this unhappy union of the celestial bodies will continue to plague all wizards for the coming week or two.

Charyb: Also moving through the house of The Gloaming, this at least gives me some hope. Knowledge and wisdom will help breakdown the illusions and find answers to the mysteries.

Deiamol the burning planet: Is moving through the house of The Drummer. The ruler of passions and love in the sign of excess and hedonism, I suspect that my agents will be next to useless after we arrive in the city. Half of them will likely head straight to a brothel.
Tigris: moving through the house of The Big Cross. I should trust my instincts. I am sensitive to the pattern of the world and by using my finetuned instincts I will gain all the clarity I need. I will not let doubt creep into my mind.

Verdra: moving through the house of The Piper. The celestial body of life, fertility and progeny in the house of the trickster… interesting. I believe we will likely encounter an illegitimate child in the city or a cheating spouse, one or both of which will play some part in what’s to come. Most likely a puffed up noble… our former employer?

Lokratia: moving through the house of Vobist the Faint. The celestial body of change, endings, and death in the house of darkness and uncertainty… An important event will happen at night. This event at night will likely have a large impact on the future of Ubersreik, the death (murder) or downfall of a family is highly possible during the event in question.

Obscuria: briefly spotted in the house of Cackelfax the Cockerel, the sign of money and merchants. Some of the trouble brewing in Ubersreik has a root cause of money. This is no surprise, and is true for almost any part of the Empire. But given the other signs Obscuria seems to say that money and the elevation (or downfall) of a noble/powerful family is key to events that will happen. Hidden plots will likely see businesses topple or change hands, and misdirection will be employed during the night event. A murder is almost certain but it won’t be that simple. The darkness runs deeper and perhaps I will discover another cult dedicated to the ruinous powers. ~

……..

~At some point while I was working my coach started up again. “The Storyteller” didn’t climb back inside, and it was this fact that allowed me to work uninterrupted. With my notes completed I spared a few moments to look out the window, the walls of Ubersreik are drawing near. As soon as we arrive in the city I will locate some lodgings and then hire a messenger. I must get a letter to the Masters at the College as soon as possible. Time grows short. ~

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The Cult defeated. The Box depleted.

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From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.
(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~

~With the beastmen in full retreat I gathered up the gruesome book the cultists had been reading from and wrapped it in some cloth. It was decided that we should go inside and survey the possible damage. While the others proceeded to the secret opening in the chimney I decided to assist the cleanup effort by disposing of one of the bodies.

As the gardener’s lifeless form fell from the side of the roof I thought I saw his eyes open. It must have just been a trick of the light. Morrslieb was shining bright. The body hit the ground with bone shattering force. If the man wasn’t dead before, he certainly was after the fall. ~

Charming, Barnabas. Anya seems quite eager to read more. The mention of the cultist’s book sparked her interest. She must desire to know how Barnabas disposed of such a book. The classic triumph of good over evil, she is so adorable.

~Inside the manor I decided to check on the hospice while my agents moved off to awaken our employer and fill him in on the details of the past few hours. Arriving at the hospice I found the doorway had been barricaded against an attack that never happened. The old priestess allowed me inside and I explained the situation to her. She thanked Sigmar for saving the day, and I returned the Dwarven hammer to its rightful owner. We exchanged a few pleasantries and I excused myself. ~

Barnabas not being rude to someone? What a novel concept. It must have something to do with his sister and the deep faith she had in Sigmar.

~Ten minutes later, armed with the book, and the empty box I entered the great hall for a final meeting with our employer. With all the evidence in front of him the man finally had to take my previous warnings as fact. The world would be run much smoother if people just listened to my Order, we know what we are about. Under the threat of blackmail, using the book as a visual aid our employer revealed details about the box, and its former contents. The man had the nerve to accuse me of theft. I calmly explained to him that the box was the first thread in a pattern which shaped the current events and that it was vital that I gained as much information about it as possible. The interest the beastmen have shown in several items belonging to our employer or the former lord of this manor concerns me. I feel the ring, this man, or his family might be chaos touched somehow. As I tried to explain the finer details of patterns, signs, and portents his eyes appeared to glaze over. Just another dim witted cow as I suspected. ~

Which is more arrogant a noble or a wizard? A valid question and joke rolled into one. Anya excused herself, saying she needed to freshen up. Looking out the window I see I’ve been working well into the night. Dawn is only a few hours away. I will be far too tired to start my vacation today it will have to be tomorrow.

~Our employer promised letters of introduction to any of a dozen assorted guilds and institutions. What need have I of such of things? I’m a wizard of the celestial college. “The Fox” was not impressed by the level of compensation our employer offered to keep this situation quite and he proceeded to threaten our employer with a dagger. After a few heated words our employer agreed to pay a bonus of 30 shillings. I informed the man he could keep his money and his silly letters. I wanted information, and he would supply that on our journey to Ubersreik. I invited myself to ride in his coach during the journey and he agreed without hesitation, wearily eyeing the cultist’s book I had propped up, facing him. We leave in the morning. ~

By all the Gods. I’m going to have to spend days censoring my own work just to avoid the witch hunter’s flames or lightning bolts shot at me by irate celestial wizards. I mean really, threatening someone with a book dedicated to the ruinous powers!? What was wrong with Barnabas? There’s a soft knocking on my door, I hope Anya is back. I have just finished deciphering a section she asked to read, it was part of Barnabas’ ranting about Morrslieb. I found the passage disturbing but she will no doubt be impressed by my skill again.

~Cataclysmic promises are moving across the land like dark clouds.
And this prophet’s divination hangs suspended like a shadow cast by the eerie light of Morrslieb.
An ominous entry, to destroy our World. ~

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A dark ritual: Twins in the sky

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From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.
(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~

I sit at my desk staring at the open book in front of me. This book has been an endless source of frustration and at times great moments of triumph. Most recently this book has been the source of my nightly, blood-soaked dreams of pain, screams, and sickly terror. The week off I took wasn’t enough to clear my mind. Part of me keeps being drawn to the book and the secrets within. What lies hidden most be found. No! I’m taking a vacation, I’m going somewhere peaceful.

…..

After informing the head archivist of my intention to take a vacation I returned to my room and packed a bag. As I was leaving the library I bumped into the most enchanting woman I have ever laid eyes on. It turns out she is a recently hired scribe here at the library. Despite my intention to start my vacation I ended spending all day showing her around the library and explaining what some of her duties would be. I will leave first thing tomorrow.

…..

I got up bright and early today and left the library behind, but before I got half a dozen paces away I bumped into Anya again. She offered to buy me a meal in thanks for yesterday. I politely refused informing her of my plan for a vacation but she was insistent. That woman could argue with a brick wall and win. We ended up spending a wonderful day together. In a way it was like a vacation but I still intend on leaving tomorrow.

…..

I woke up today to the sound of knocking on my door. My intention was to leave early but the sun wasn’t even up yet. Bleary-eyed I opened the door and found Anya’s smiling face. She told me she enjoyed yesterday so much that she wanted to catch me before I left so that we could spend one more day together. For the life of me I was too stunned to muster my wits and ended up agreeing with her. We spent another fine day together but I feel like I rambled on endlessly about my work. She didn’t seem to mind. I’m not even sure how we got on the topic. All I can remember is her beautiful hair, her eyes, her lips, her hips, and errm… other nice bits. ___________ Wait, what was I writing? Oh yes, I have agreed to show her some of my work. I’m sure my brilliant mind and ability to decipher a book no one else can will impress her greatly

…..

~During the shock and confusion caused by the human sacrifice and sinister power emanating from the painting, the cultists fled down a back passage. “The Fox” managed to locate “The Puff” and “The Storyteller” and we all gave chase. With “The Praegustator” leading the way we ascended a hidden stairway located at the end of the passageway. At some point I lost sight of “The Puff”, perhaps his pulled muscle slowed him down.

While ascending the staircase “The Fox” located a door slightly ajar and while he moved in to investigate “The Praegustator” and “The Storyteller continued up the stairs. When I heard the sounds of a scuffle on the other side of the door “The Fox” went through I rushed into the room to give aid. “The Fox” was engaged with one of the cultists, both of them brandishing knives, and totally oblivious to my entrance. With a quick blast of Azyr energy I ended the foul man’s life. “The Fox” didn’t seem to notice I had put an end to the conflict and he proceeded to stab the lifeless form several more times before slicing the man’s throat. I’m starting to see a new side of “The Fox” he is quite vicious and I think I could send him on some of the more dangerous tasks I have in mind for my agents. ~

At this point I wonder if any of these men realised Barnabas had claimed them as pawns in his greater schemes. Anya is sitting in a nearby chair, watching intently as I decipher each line. She is so beautiful.

~”The Puff” joined “The Fox” and I in the sitting room, the former resting place of the painting and tended to the shallow cuts and deep gashes we had received at the hands of the cultists. His skill in wound care and his ability at speech craft make him an ideal agent to have nearby, in doing so I will be able to keep an eye on him and prevent him from undertaking some of his ill-conceived plans like attempting to lift giant picture frames. Moments after “The Puff” finished his tender ministrations “The Storyteller” stumbled through the door leading to the secret passageway. Based on his red face and laboured breathing I concluded that he had run the whole way down the staircase. Between gasps of air he told us “The Praegustator” had found the remaining cultists on the roof. Without hesitation I rushed up the staircase and burst through a concealed door built into the side of a chimney. I quickly took stock of the situation, “The Praegustator” was peering around a corner at what I assumed were the cultists. But that isn’t important right now. Morrslieb and Maanslieb. Are both out, and both seem larger than they should. Morrslieb is of particular note. It’s slightly more than half full and I can feel a wildness to the Azyr wind. I’m having trouble tapping into the wind and drawing upon an amount of power that’s normal for me. ~

Barnabas spent half a page going on about the moons and the effects on the winds of magic. Seeing more than just a tiny sliver of Morrslieb would cause me to shut myself inside with the door locked like any sane person of the empire. Barnabas instead took time to document the sight, leaving his “agents” to deal with the cultists. A small smile played across Anya’s lips as she read the last page I deciphered. My skill clearly impresses her!

~I can hear the sounds of combat, additional notes will have to wait. ~

…..

~”The Praegustator” dispatched one of the cultists and I moved up to assist him as two more cultists came into view. Controlling the Azyr wind was extremely difficult but I managed to harness enough power to electrocute one of the two new foes. As I let my spell fly free the intense chanting of the head cultist filled my ears and I was perplexed when frogs began falling from the sky all around me. The cultists must have been so unnerved by my presence that they tried to distract me with the rain of frogs. ~

~The rest of my agents joined us on the roof of the manor and we made short work of most the remaining cultists. I could sense that time was running out so I engaged the leader of the cult. My spells were becoming increasingly difficult to control so I opted to attack the damnable man with the dwarf’s hammer I found earlier that day. Something about the ritual seemed to protect the cultist from my attacks, but the hammer itself appeared to weaken the structural bond of the demon he was conjuring. While I was keeping the demon at bay by wildly swinging the hammer through its unformed body I could hear the sounds of battle behind me growing more intense. Before I knew what was happening I was surrounded by a pack of beastmen. In that moment I knew my life was over but I continued my assault against the demon invading our realm. The strangest thing happened, instead of attacking me most of the beastmen kneeled in supplication to the unformed demon. The largest among them, a massive, filthy, stinking, brute of a beast leapt over me and in one swift motion snatched the painting and tossed the leader of the cult off the roof. With a howl of triumph the beastmen retreated following the large one with the painting. ~

~I stood there dumbfounded, with hammer held high and ready for another mighty swing, for several long moments before regaining my wits and taking pen in hand to record these words. I don’t understand why the beastmen did what they did, why I’m still alive, or what the signs in the night sky are pointing to. Morrslieb is waxing at an accelerated pace, and will no doubt be full before the correct date. Already Morrslieb is exerting its power over the world, and that is never a good thing. I should travel back to the college as soon as possible to consult the Masters. ~

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