Episode 3 : Mopping Up The Axraam Temple
 

Edgar Muulen continued, "A competitor of mine has stolen something which I naturally want to get back. Now because he holds a higher social standing than I, this has basically ruled out my legal options.". Hienz Meier asked, "Who is he?". "He is Lord Zandhörst, a petty Nobel and head of the Jewellers Guild. He inherited his title and it allows him to get away with misdeeds. I wish to have such a misdeed against me, corrected.". Hienz Meier said, "This is indeed unfortunate. I do believe that I and this group will be able to assist you in correcting this unfortunate turn of events.".

Edgar Muulen smiled and continued, "Let us adjourn to quieter and warmer surrounds then.", with that we headed into the cloth area of town to an Inn called 'The Famished Dragon', here we found a quiet corner and Edgar Muulen told more of his plight. "My father left me a chest and with it specific instructions that I was not to open it until I was the age of 50. Three weeks ago I had my fiftieth birthday and I opened the chest. I understand why my father told me not to open the chest until now, for inside was a scarab beetle. It was worked in gold and the whole back was made of a single giant emerald about the size of your palm.".

"Now I wanted this valued so I contacted an old friend, Jopbert Kordelling, the Alchemist, to do this for me. He was however sick and sent his little shit of a son, Armadas Kordelling to value the piece. Needless to say that very night my house was burgled and the emerald scarab was stolen.", Hanz Josephson asked, "Who else saw the scarab?", "Only myself and Armadas Kordelling. I now see that this scarab is for sale in the shop of Lord Zandhörst for the sum of 2000 gold pieces. I want my property back and I want you to get it for me, I will pay you each seven gold and I will let you each have something from my shop. What do you say?". Hienz Meier said, "We will consider all that you said and do some preliminary investigations first, we will contact you within the next couple of days.".

We returned to the Prickly Pair for dinner and then went onto the shop of Oskar Oppenheimer the Bookbinder. Karl Oppenheimer had us wait until after closing time. His father came down a bit later to discuss our business. Oskar Oppenheimer began, "Let me get straight to the point. I will give your group of seven a total of 14 silver pieces to do this task for me.". "That's good, three silvers each.", said Hienz Meier, Gunther Sturmritter nodded in agreement. "This, as you know, involves going to a place and copying some four lines of Arcane Script for me. The writing I want you to copy is on a large shield in a lounge. I have no interest in the shield per se, I am only interested in what is written upon it. I became aware of this shield through a conversation I had with an acquaintance who let slip this fact about a meeting he had had with the High Priest of Axraam in his lounge in the Temple of Axraam. This is where this shield is located. I believe that you are up to this task, come back when you have the lines of Arcane Script.", we were ushered into the night, the snow was falling lightly outside.

We thought that a closer look at the Temple of Axraam was appropriate so we headed to the Square of the Gods, and surveyed the scene. The complex when viewed from above is shaped as a battle axe. The Temple of Axraam is composed of four interconnected buildings, the first is semicircular and domed, the dome reaching the second storey, in this the main ceremonies to Axraam are conducted. Directly behind and south of the domed portion is a three storey building for the priests, again directly south is a two storey building and off to the east from the three storey building is a long narrow building housing the staff of the Temple of Axraam. There are two enclosed courtyards, one between the Temple Proper, Priests quarters and the Staff building, and a confining outer wall. We know that here general weapons training is conducted. The second enclosed private courtyard lies between the Temple Proper, Priest's Quarters and the last building and again enclosing walls, this is excluded to the public.

Within minutes of our arrival the sidedoor of the Temple of Axraam to the private courtyard opened and a litter borne by four men exited the complex. Hienz Meier notes a light from the third storey window goes out. Gunther Sturmritter turns to Weldon Greenears, the Pysk, and before he can speak, Weldon Greenears said, "Don't even think about it, I'm not a thief.". The litter bore the High Priest of Axraam across the Square of the Gods towards us. Hienz Meier and Gunther Sturmritter kowtowed before the passing litter. "We are not worthy.", they repeated in a broken chant. The litter passed and at a distance these two followed it and vanished from sight. They followed as best they could before the sight of a fair maiden opening a curtain held their attention and allowed the High Priest to be lost from sight. They turned and headed back.

Meanwhile the rest approached the Temple of Axraam with the aim of climbing up and into the High Priest's room. Weldon Greenears cast enchanted rope and sent the rope he was holding up the side of the wall, across the dome of the main temple, and across the priest's quarters until it was positioned just under the High Priest's window. Gunter Hiedricksson removes his plate armour and shinnies up the rope closely followed by Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt. They find the window locked and using brute force and ignorance, open it. They step inside. Before the window is positioned a desk and chair, to the right is a bed and bookcases, to the left more bookcases and closets, and opposite is a door leading out. The walls are draped with flowing tapestries. Gunter Hiedricksson checks the walls, there is no shield. He advances to the door leading out and opens it slightly, he sees stairs down. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt notices the flickering of the light beyond the door and motions Gunter Hiedricksson to halt, he halts and takes a peek to see a guard eating his dinner at a table at the top of the stairs, Gunter Hiedricksson slowly closes the door. The two then edge back down the rope to the ground below, noting that the private courtyard just below, houses four sets of kennels. They move across the street to where the rest have grouped. Gunther Sturmritter and Hienz Meier now join us.

Around the corner appear three hooded figures. We move past them. One looks at us, then particularly at Hienz Meier who bows his head, looks at the lack of snow from a portion of the temple roof, looks at the hooded figure, looks down, then repeats this series. The hooded figure follows these glances, stops, turns to his companions and halts their progress. Hienz Meier rushes forward, "Hail and well met.". "In the name of Axraam, what is going on here?". Hienz Meier said, "I have just seen the High Priest, how do I get an appointment?". Gunter Hiedricksson pipes up, "Snow balls on your roof roll real well.", as he throws one onto the roof and starts a mini avalanche. "Away with you young scoundrels, let me see no more of this behaviour.". Hienz Meier says, "A blessing, your eminence, my wife has the pox.". The priest mumbles something then says, "Begone, this holy place is not for such irreverence.", and sends us on our way.

The next morning Hienz Meier and Gunther Sturmritter went to the Temple of Axraam to pray. As they knelt before the alter in quiet contemplation, they felt the presence of three people behind them. "Gentlemen, follow me.", said the Priest. He lead these two into the priest's quarters, presented them with two buckets and mops. "You two will clean the floors of this area as penance for your actions last night.", for the next half hour Hienz Meier and Gunther Sturmritter mop. Hienz Meier's mopping takes him to the stairs leading up to the next level of the High Priest's chambers, he mops the stairs.

A Priest coming down the stairs stands before him, "What are you doing?", "Mopping, your eminence.". "Enthusiastic help.". "I live to serve, a blessing your eminence, my wife has the pox.", the priest mumbles a blessing and continues down the stairs. Hienz Meier continues his advance, that is until he encounters carpet at the top of the stairs and a pair of armoured feet. Hienz Meier does not raised his head but he can see that the room is well furnished and that there are some people having lunch as he hears the sound of cutlery. He also hears the thinly veiled threat emanating from the wearer of the armoured feet, "Leave, ... now!". Hienz Meier obeys and retreats down the stairs. Gunther Sturmritter meanwhile has entered the dining area of the priests and is busy mopping towards whatever area the priests have just moved to. The three priests tire of this and retrieve their mops and buckets from these two and send them on there way, but only after Hienz Meier receives yet another blessing.

They return to the Prickly Pair and we all head south to case the shop of Lord Zandhörst. Lord Zandhörst's Jewellery Shop is built into the outer walls next to the South Tower. As we watch, the people that go in and out have obvious wealth. Hanz Josephson recognizes one going in as Armadas Kordelling the Alchemist's son. He comes back out after 20 minutes, taps his chest and heads off with a big smile on his face. We follow in close pursuit. He is circumnavigating the Weapon's Market and Gunter Hiedricksson decides to pop ahead. We catch up to Gunter Hiedricksson a few minutes later, "Where is Armadas Kordelling?", we point him out and Gunter Hiedricksson races ahead again.

Armadas Kordelling turns the corner and sees Gunter Hiedricksson again, he thinks to himself, "Lots of people in armour out today, lots of people in the same sort of armour, ...". He points at Gunter Hiedricksson just as Gunter Hiedricksson cast sleep upon him. He crumples into the snow. Brother Otto gags him, Gunther Sturmritter removes a ruby ring which has a K insignia, and his pouch as well. Armadas Kordelling stirs but Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt koshers him on the back of the head. Gunter Hiedricksson takes the coins from the pouch, puts the ring inside and then tosses the pouch over the wall into the Temple of Hesh. Hanz Josephson, Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt and Werner Faßenberg decide that if they were to leave Armadas Kordelling in the snow now, he would freeze solid, so they picked him up and took him to the Temple of Weldron for safe keeping. At the Temple we said that this poor sod was found, unconscious, in a back alley, covered with snow. The priest says, "It is good to see that we look out for each other in these troubled times, a blessing on you.".

 

 
(c) 1998 Hammerstein Rolemaster Campaign Journal by Ross Stopford  
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