Sold Down the River

"Something Speaks in Suiddock"
Marienburg: Sold Down the River Session #1

Backertag 3rd, Nachexen, 2529 IE

“Someone’s killin’ people – and it ain’t our lot.”

The Guilded Rose meets with their Guildmaster, Oswald de Muillerswijk, and are given the charter and keys to their Guild Hall – The Guilded Hall. Afterwards, they head over to the Suiddock Watch Post and Jail to meet with their first client, Theophilius Graveland.

Theophilius details the exploits of the infamous Suiddock Slasher, a serial killer in Suiddock who has taken a total of 17 victims thus far. However, he mentions something odd about the victims – they’re all found three months after they go missing, decapitated, and shrivelled as if they’d been in water, yet bone dry… He tells the party that the Black Caps are having no luck investigating any witnesses, as everyone is afraid, and so they need non-official eyes on the case. He offers the party 250 Guilders compensation.

The party head into the streets and immediately start investigating the only identifiable victims – Lydia Brandwijk, Mirjam Wielaard, Ruben Stam, and Martin Welter – four seemingly unconnected people from different backgrounds, ages, and nothing linking them together. A little bit of digging, however, turns up that they all had connections to the Lyudenhoek Wharf, seeking Ferrymen way after 8th bell.

“Ain’t there a story about a Ferryman?”

The Guilded Rose go to the Wharf and inquire further, meeting with Granny Hetta and Albertus Cobbius, who each give them a further piece of the puzzle. Before long, the decision is made – they’ll come back at night to prowl the docks themselves.

Particularly of interest, Granny Hetta, who claims to “have seen enough magick in [her] time to know it when [she] see it!” recognised the Slasher from one of their encounters as being cloaked by a magical “glamour” that made him appear more handsome.

Under Cloak, Dagger and Ferryman’s Pole.

When they return to the docks at night, they split up to cover more ground. One ground is attacked by a band of drunken labourers from the Stevedores and Teamsters Guild, whilst the middle ground rush to help them. All the while, the furtherest away group see movement off towards the docks.

After a brief scuffle, and Garfield Cobblefist sustaining a rather nasty cracked skull, the drunks realise that the party “ain’t no Suiddock Slasher!”. In fact, one of them recognises Lyra Brüllaffe as his “Aunty Jackie’s cousin’s, sister’s, brother’s, girl”. They profusely apologise, that is, once their Guildmaster – Lea-Jan Cobbius arrives.

Lea-Jan, after patching up Garfield as best he can, gives the party an Elven Signate Ring, and tells them to plant it on the corpse of the Slasher, stating that a Human-Elf Race War is coming, and if they can point some blame at the Elves, then the Humans can get some official sanctioning. The party profusely refuses, and Lea-Jan leave it in their hands.

Meanwhile, the silhouette in the distance on the furtherest dock turns out to be a handsome man leading a drunken man onto his ferry. The band give chase, and steal two boats in the process.

The rest of the party catches wind of this, and likewise begins pursuit. After some expert oarsmanship by Séraphine Leclair, Siegfried Von Täuschung is able to get within leaping distance and clears the jump. However, the Slasher turns and stabs him in the side before his boat is rammed and he falls into the canal.

Warg Berggren, armed with a rope, pulls the Slasher in from the water, and the party confront the man whose glamour drops to reveal Willibrod “Weird Willi” Molendijk – a local friendless tramp. Willi is terrified and clearly not in his right mind. He doesn’t even seem to know that he has hurt anyone. Further, he keeps making mention of the Voice in the Well who tells him to bring more “friends”.

“Something Speaks…”

The Guilded Rose, with Willi in toe, head to an old abandoned cistern in Suiddock where a scene of grotesque violence has occurred. They find the kill-room, and the severed heads of the victims on proud display. Furthermore, they find a black-stone, black-water well with glowing red runes lipping it.

Willi, incensed by his madness, turns on the party again, and narrowly misses decapitating Otmer Krummzahner, who in turn knocks him out cold. Filled with dread, and at the end of their contract, the party call for Theophilius Graveland and the Black Caps.

Conclusion

They get paid, and none of the credit for a job well done – though they do get the attention of several people around Marienburg:

  1. Albertus Cobbius and Granny Hetta find respect for The Guilded Rose for the mercy they showed Willibrod “Weird Willi” Molendijk.
  2. Lea-Jan Cobbius is angered that they didn’t do “their part” in helping out the people in Suiddock by framing the Elves.
  3. And Theophilius Graveland and the Black Caps and Cult of Morr know the Guild to be reliable employees.
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"Who You Gonna Call"
Marienburg: Sold Down the River Session #2

Festag 7th, Nachexen, 2529 IE

“I don’t know. Do something Heroic!”

The Guilded Rose meets with their next client, one Siggismund Tarnopol, an impoverished yet climbing exiled Imperial Noble. Tarnopol describes to the adventurers that he needs them to clear out a piece of real-estate he owns of “riff raff and ruffians”. He also intimates that the property – Tarnopols Clocktower – may in fact be haunted, and that this is a good thing. He asks the Guild to kindly pacify, but not remove the ghost, so that he can market the tower as a sort of “tourist spot”.

The Guild immediately gets to work investigating the Clocktower, and finding out what information they can. After speaking to a series of rather odd characters on their way to Kruiersmuur, the party finds the Tower. This is, of coarse, not before Séraphine Leclair convinces a crowd of rowdy young boys to brave it themselves, who are shortly seen fleeing from the crumbling but once proud building.

Cuckoo Clocktower

Having gathered scant information about the history of the Tower, and the gang who inhabit it – the all orphan gang known as The Captains – the Guild decides to head inside. What they find is desolation and refuse, as well as a couple of barrels of smoked fish and other semi-useful oddities.

Faced with the choice of heading upstairs or down, the party first decides the downward path. Here, they are faced with a gallery of statues surrounding a sarcophagus. Stepping towards the tomb, and moments away from death, the party is saved by the quick and keen eyes of Siegfried Von Täuschung when he spots a spring-loaded blade caught underneath the lid.

In the face of this rather unproductive find, Lyra Brüllaffe and Theodore Enfield head back upstairs and begin to get pelted by stones from an unseen source. However, despite the calls for help, the rest of the party is more fascinated by the sight of Otmer Krummzahner and his rather successful breaking of the coffin lid. Inside, the Guild finds a selection of treasures which they begin to argue over.

Lyra, frustrated at being attacked by an unknown assailant, throws one of their improvised missiles back at them and is rewarded by the sounds of a child being hurt. Moments later, the ghostly form of Wim Masaryk steps through the walls and moves to throttle her, screaming “GIDEON SCHEEPSCHEERS, I FINALLY HAVE YOU!”

The screaming finally brings the attention of the rest of the Guild who confront the ghost. However, through the guile of Lyra, the Ghost is somewhat pacified and disappears. Then, from atop the stairs, comes Claudia Kitsch, the 14-something ‘mother’ of The Captains. She at first tries to sweet talk the party, and when that doesn’t work bargains. They all settle on a joint deal – the party will help put Wim Masaryk to rest, and they will help fund The Captains to secretly live in the tower whilst faking the presence of the ghost.

Personal Effects

Before they leave, Claudia Kitsch points the party in the direction of Gideon Scheepscheers, the man apparently ‘responsible’ for Wim’s suicide. With a quick jaunt to the man’s pawn shop – the Three Guilders Emporium – the Guild is able to find out some more information.

A round of bargaining ensues with the frugal and business-like Gideon, and in addition to Warg Berggren gaining a rather nice spear, and Otmer Krummzahner an engraved and rude chamber pot, the Guild have a name. It seems the Warden of Rijkers Isle, the greatest prison in Marienburg, bought the pawned heirloom gravy boat of the Masaryk family, which shamed Wim to the point of suicide. Therefore, half the party sets off to Rijkers Isle to treat with Ludwig de Beq.

Whilst this is happening, the other half of the Guild get to work funding and helping The Captains fix up the Tower and add pulley systems and other comedy additions to make their ruse possible.

After a series of tense negotiations, the Guild is able to trade some coin and a fine sword they found earlier in the tomb for the gravy boat. With this ‘priceless’ treasure, they head back to the Tower.

Once they all gather together and confront Wim Masaryk with his heirloom, the ghost shudders and is drawn into the source of his grief, apparently put to rest.

Conclusion

The Guilded Rose head back to Siggismund Tarnopol and are begrudgingly paid for their services, though Tarnopol indicates that he knows more about their actions than they let on. He doe snot seem happy at all… However, the party gets paid, and another job is successfully completed!

  1. Claudia Kitsch finds respect for The Guilded Rose, and her small band of thieving children may prove to be future allies.
  2. Ludwig de Beq is a very happy business partner, and may come to purchase their services down the track.
  3. Gideon Scheepscheers’s suspicion of the party begins, though his unsavoury tactics could indicate future antagonism or patronage…
  4. And Siggismund Tarnopol knows the Guild to be efficient employees, if a little liberal and carefree with the terms of the contract.
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"Papa Don't Preach", Part 1
Marienburg: Sold Down the River Session #3

Marktag 10th, Nachexen, 2529 IE

“I haven’t heard of who you’re looking for…”

The Guilded Rose begins their next job in the small, run-down hovel, talking to Tessa Berkhout whose lack-luster and often absent father seems to have gone missing for a longer period than usual. She isn’t offering much, but the Guild (in some cases begrudgingly) accepts the contract to help her.

From the off, they have a few leads – Rudolf, her Tessa’s father, was a Manaanite Priest (and a bad one at that), a suspected smuggler with the Guild We’ve Never Heard Of, and likely an opium addict. With this information under their wing, the Guild decides to waste no time by splitting up.

Emilio, Séraphine and Theodore go to the local Manaanite temple to enquire about the “Father”, and find him to be a veritable scum-bag – pilfering donations from the tin, slacking off on his rounds, and loitering around North Riddra. None of his fellow priests have a kind word to say about him between them.

Lyra, Siegfried and Warg headed to the Lost Lodge, a pub sympathetic to the Guild We’ve Never Heard Of – though they didn’t know that going in. There they meet with a woman named Helga, and a man whose name they never got. After a tense round of evasive questioning, the Man Whose Name They Never Got admits to Lyra that Rudolf was a Greaser for them, and that if he is missing it is a serious problem. They point them in the direction of the Riddra opium dens.

Lastly, Garfield and Rijkaard went to the Gull and Skull to talk to some opium users. As is expected from their usual shenanigans, the two of them partook of some opium themselves, and became insensible. However, before losing their wits, they managed to dig up the name Venk Kataswaran and the Golden Lotus Dreaming House – an opium den apparently frequented by the missing Rudolf.

Just a Whiff or Two

The Guild make their way, in dribs and drabs to “seem less suspicious”, to the Dreaming House. First in are Garfield, Rijkaard, Siegfried and Warg, as they are easily the most likely to be drug addicts

First, the four of them are extorted for 12 Guilders by a short and insanely quick Nipponese woman, and second they are threatened by a rather large, well muscled Nipponese man (that is, not before Siegfried pilfered the pockets of the coat room). They then meet with the rather slimy Venk Karaswaran, who manages to get Rijkaard even higher, and then leaves them be.

Outside the Dreaming House, Lyra and Séraphine manage to piss off the lounging Nipponese guard, who turns out to be a female martial artist – Toko. They get into a scuffle, and Emilio manages to knock Séraphine on her arse, and Theodore dons his Indiana-Jones-inspired hat and whip, only the be of little use to the tight melee.

Inside, Garfield and Siegfried go upstairs to talk to Herr Kataswaran, only to openly “admit” that they are trying to encroach on his turf. He secretly alarms his large Nipponese guard – Masahito, who bursts into the room and delivers two driving blows to Siegfried’s groin. Garfield jumps on his back, and only manages to knick his thick flesh before having the wrestler’s iron-corded arms wrap around him in a crushing grapple.

Outside, blow after blow is exchanged, with Toko narrowly avoiding death at every moment, but slowly whittling down the defences of the Guild until Emilo delivers a brutal unarmed punch to her ribs, cracking a few. Toko, knowing the battle is lost, runs down a nearby alley to escape and manages to expertly scale the wall of the building. Slowly but doggedly, the Guild attempts to follow her, but the trail runs cold and she is nowhere in sight.

Still held in the death grip, Garfield struggles madly and manages to push himself out and viciously draws his blade across Masahito’s throat, ending the man with a gargle and a whimper. At the sounds of commotion, Warg bounds to the top of the stairs, and the trio confront Venk.

They tear from Venk’s records mention that Rudolf was in fact here the night he went missing, and Venk himself lead him late at night to Groenewoud’s Fine Meats, Fresh Fish and Abattoir in Goudberg. He also relates that he has a deal with Bonifatius Groenewoud where in he “delivers” drug-addled men to the butcher’s doorstep late at night, and leaves them there. Garfield delivers a quick blow to his face, and the man is left unconscious.

The trio then wake up Rijkaard and begin rifling through Venk’s possessions. They come up with a number of gold rings, a safe filled with Guilders (which they crack open), and his ledger (which they steal). Then, in a fit of madness/“strategy”, they decide to fake a murder scene, and frame one of the below junkies for the murder of Masahito and Venk (who they kill in turn).

What is the deal with Goudberg Food?

The Guild, after discussing some of the previous events, and concealing others, head to Goudberg to talk to Bonifatius Groenewoud. At his shop, they discover that the above ground section houses the abattoir, yet there is clearly an underground section where “canal-borne deliveries” are made.

Whilst nothing is proven, the Guild’s suspicions are high!

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!

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