After the mysterious attack in Weissbruck by the Man with the Hat and Pipe, the heroes continued up the Bögen from Weissbruck towards Bögenhafen on the Berebeli. Despite possibly being sought for the murder of three people in Altdorf and clearly being hunted by the Man with the Hat and Pipe, the trip from Weissbruck to Bögenhafen was peaceful.
The Berebeli landed in Bögenhafen on the morning of the Mitterfruhl, the Spring equinox, and the beginning of the Schaffenfest, one of the most important livestock festivals in the Reikland. Josef paid the wages he owed to the heroes and while he saw to the unloading and selling of his cargo (mostly wine to sell at the festival), the heroes split up to attend to their own business. Cy, of course, wanted to see about his “inheritance” immediately, so he, Torvald, and Symé headed off to find the offices of Lock, Stock, and Barl, while the other heroes wandered into town to experience the fair.
It wasn’t hard to find the Garten Weg and from there the offices of Lock, Stock, and Barl. Inside, the heroes found a young clerk, who took the letters and told them to wait for a moment, as Herr Barl was anxious to meet with “Herr Lowhaven”. However, as unseen hands slammed the window shutters closed and bolted them from the outside, it became quite clear they had been caught in an elaborate trap. From outside, a voice boomed, “Kipernius Lowhaven! Otherwise known as the magister impedimentae of the cult of the Purple Hand! In the name of the Emperor, I arrest you and your companions for conspiring with Chaos, murder, theft, and other crimes hereinafter to be enumerated! Lay down your weapons and surrender!”
Cy’s knowledge of Classical informed him that magister impedimentae meant “the master of equipment (i.e., trappings)”. Before the heroes could reply, however, great screams of pain and terror erupted from outside, followed by the sounds of ripping flesh and cracking bones. Then silence. Busting down the door, the heroes found the mutilated corpse of the Man with the Hat and Pipe in the alley behind the front. Quickly searching the corpse, they found a letter from a certain “Q.F.” to Adolphus Kuftsos (presumably, the dead man) and an uncanny likeness of Cy. The heroes summoned the watch to the scene of the crime and after making their statements to the watch headed to the festival where they found their companions in a beer tent.
All manner of sights and sounds surrounded them at the festival. Arabyan Fire Eaters and Cathayan Silk Dancers vied against beer and sausages for their attention. Barkers at medicine shows offered cures for everything. Halfling bakers roamed the crowds carrying trays stacked with all manner of sweets. Sonja tried her fists out in the ring against a fellow named “Crusher” (or was it "Crush Her"?), and lost. Symé found a fortune teller, who, in retrospect, dispensed eerily accurate fortunes. Despite being surrounded by gossip and eerily-accurate fortune tellers, the heroes seemed uninterested in probing for more information about the local going’s on and contented themselves with the spectacle of the festival, including a vagrant dwarf in the stocks and a three-legged goblin.
The dwarf, a pitiful drunkard named Gottri Gurnisson, pleaded with the heroes for their help: he needed his small fine paid. Gil paid the fine and upon release Gottri begged and pawed at the heroes in effusive, stinking, drunken gratitude. However, when the heroes refused to buy Gurnisson more beer, he became less-enamored of them and wandered off.
The three-legged goblin was at the singular spectacle of Doktor Malthusius’s Zoocopeia, a side-show collection of odd creatures. The tortured creature broke free of its abuser (the dwarf cage-keeper, Grunni) when the heroes first stumbled upon the Zoocopeia. Quick-thinking Cy tackled the goblin, earning Docktor Malthusius’s gratitude. Esmée began vociferously preaching the Mercy of Shallya for all creatures. An alarmed Malthusius, clearly worried Esmée would drive away his custom, quickly hustled the heroes into his tent for a private tour of the Zoocopeia, on the house, so that the Blessed Mother herself could see the fine conditions in which my charges are kept (at great expense)!, Malthusius told the crowd. After slyly confirming none of the heroes were witchhunters and that the well-meaning Esmée was otherwise harmless, he proudly displayed his collection to them: a long-haired monkey, a one-eyed dog, a pitifully small squig, and the three-legged goblin.
When the three-legged goblin was dragged into the tent by Grunni, the creature once again broke free, biting off one of Grunni’s fingers, and quickly espaping the tent. The heroes gave chase, but lost the creature as it wriggled into a small grate that lead into the town sewers. The State Army guard arrived, drawn by the screams and commotion in the crowd, and the heroes and Malthusius were quickly arrested and taken to the festival court.
At the festival court, they were brought before the magistrate, Heinz Richter, who seemed kind and intelligent. Rather than being keen on summarily punishing Malthusius and the heroes, he actually listened to them. When Malthusius interjected that he was just about to pay the heroes 5 gold crowns to re-capture the three-legged goblin (for a second time), the magistrate ordered the heroes into the sewer to do so, as if they had done it once already, they could easily do it again. He also authorized the city to reward the heroes with room and board at the Journey’s End once they had completed their task.
With the promise of gold, bed, and food for the recapture of the three-legged goblin dangled in front of them, the heroes wasted no time getting into the sewers. However, once in the sewers, it dawned on them perhaps nothing was worth being, effectively, locked into a sewer and covered in shit from head to toe. However, they perservered for hours, wandering the sewers and searching heroically in the darkness and muck.
Their persistence was rewarded twice. First, they came upon a grisly corpse of the same dwarf they had earlier freed from the stocks, the pitiful Gottri Gurnisson, his body dismembered and mutilated in a manner quite similar to the body of the bounty hunter Adolphus Kuftsos (notably, the heart and liver had been removed). Reading the clues correctly, the heroes followed the apparent trajectory of the body against the flow of sewage and found a small secret temple protected by a foul daemon of Chaos which Torvald recognized as a Herald of Tzeentch. Cy dispatched the daemon with one of Mathias Kreiger’s blessed bullets. Upon exploring the small temple, they gained the following clues:
- The guardian daemon had apparently eaten the three-legged goblin but left the bones (notably, a three-socketed pelvis which the heroes recovered);
- The temple seemed to be associated with something called the Ordo Septenarius (the Order of the Seven);
- Within an iron box, they found a sacrificial dagger (still covered with sticky blood) and a scroll of parchment bearing the magic ritual to make a daemon manifest; and
- Lying on the floor in the corner they found a silk handkerchief embroidered with the initials “F.S.”.
The heroes found no means of entry and exit from the cellar temple except for the barred door they had broken down - a door barred from the inside.
Tired, hungry, and lacquered in filth the heroes decided to find their way out of the sewers.
- The daemon appeared to be bound atop the symbol of the Ordo Septenarius, which was within an octogram, which was in turn within a large, segmented (5 yard diameter, four segments) copper circle. Eight black wax candles (not lit) sat upon the copper circle at the points of the octogram beneath it. Until the copper ring was physical moved (and broken) by Cy, it appeared that the daemon inside could not be directly harmed (nor, apparently, could it directly harm the heroes).
- There was green-black blood (presumably goblin) splattered on the door to the secret temple and around the room. The sacrificial knife had congealed, but not dry, red blood on it. If cleaned of blood, it is of fine quality and perhaps of interest to a collector or other persons with an unusual interests.
- The Journey's End (Inn) is located in the Teuerberg (mercantile district) on the Alestrasse, south of the Nulnerweg and east of the Gottenplatz, relatively near where the heroes entered the sewers on.
- The monogrammed handkerchief is new, clean, and unscented. It is of fine quality.
- The parchment scroll is written in Magick and clearly describes the ritual for calling forth daemons. Possession of such an item is a crime and punishable by death.
- The three-socketed pelvis (and other bones) are wet and sticky with green-black viscera; they weigh 1 ENC. Gottri's water-logged and mutilated corpse, should the heroes decide to carry it out, weighs 5 ENC.