Episode 8 : Rumours To Be Verified
 

Walter Strobe, the City Sheriff of Haarendorf, was busy writing when we entered. He turned to us and said, "The city of Haarendorf and the village of Hahndorf wish to thank you for your recent services rendered on behalf of the Crown. We believe the werewolf menace is at an end, runners have been despatched to the Capital to enable further pursuit of the two that have escaped to there. I present you with a scroll of high commendation for your efforts. You may keep your silvered weapons. Further I present you with monetary rewards in the form of these purses, one for each of you. If you ever are to require employment, look me up and I will arrange something for you. Once again I thank you for your efforts, good day gentlemen.", with that we were lead from his office. Our purses now seven gold heavier.

We went into the herbalist streets of the city and sold off our herbs for a handsome profit. We then, via Gunter Hiedricksson's connections, went into the seedier areas of Haarendorf. Here we found a quiet and darkened tavern, four people sat drinking in a far corner some distance away. We spoke with the barkeep of what we had for sale and were told to return in an hour, which we did. The four men remained. Gunter Hiedricksson produced the vial of the Bladehemlock which he slipped across the counter, the man palmed over a small pouch containing 50 sovereigns {the equivalent of 500 gold}. Gunter Hiedricksson eyed the other men, they had been watching our transaction from their darkened corner. He whispered to the barkeep, "You had better warn them, we can take care of ourselves, they had better leave us be.". The barkeep nodded and whispered our warning to them. We left the building.

We had not gone a hundred yards when we were jumped. Four black figures assailed us from the front. Gunther Sturmritter was badly struck shattering his elbow and breaking ribs. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt was only bruised. Werner Faßenberg cast charm on one in front, succeeding he said, "My friend, you must not attack my other friends.". He then imposed himself between the man and Gunther Sturmritter, pushing the man from the combat. Two more black figures dropped by ropes to our rear. They caught Heinz Meier off guard and sent him to the snow badly damaged. Gunter Hiedricksson was caught likewise and he was sent unconscious to the snow. Hanz Josephson let rip with his sling, at the man that dropped Gunter Hiedricksson, ripping his jugular out with a magical sling slug. Werner Faßenberg cast leaping on Heinz Meier and Hanz Josephson, who both leaped from trouble back down the street.

Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt struck the man, in front, in the chest causing a bleeder sending him to the snow. Hanz Josephson slugged the second back man, this time the slug entered the man's hip shattering it and sending him down. Again Gunther Sturmritter was struck, now fracturing his upper leg and sending him unconscious. Weldon Greenears, the Pysk, cast airwall in front of Gunther Sturmritter. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt spun about and decapitated the man in front of him. Again Hanz Josephson's sling was to claim a victim, the slug entering the chest at the man's armpit. Werner Faßenberg then heard Hanz Josephson shout to him, "Duck!", he did so, just before a slug passed overhead to wound the last assailant. This man was wounded and swiftly knocked unconscious. The city watch turned up shortly after and took the bodies of all six villains away. Summary justice it seems for Nightblades in Haarendorf.

We were taken to the Temple of Lumina for healing. It is while we were there that we were to receive a letter from the Patriarch of Lumina who resides in the Capital, the letter requesting our help read as follows.

We accept the offer and agree to aid in these missions. Brother Otto before he agrees to go on this mission takes the letter to the Temple of Oxell and has the signature of the Ester, High Priest of Oxell added. Werner Faßenberg likewise goes to his temple and asks for a blessing from Axraam. He is greeted by the High Priest and they have lunch in the upstairs dining room. Behind the priest is the shield that Werner Faßenberg has, for so long, sort after. The conversation turns to the prospect of encountering a Dragon and Werner Faßenberg indicates that he would be able to provide a good description as he is now skilled at drawing and painting. He whips out his drawing pad, "I'll show you how good I am, let me just draw, say, that shield.". He then begins to draw the shield behind the High Priest. "Yes, yes, I see.", said the High Priest stopping Werner Faßenberg in mid-drawing, "Try that painting there.", pointing to the picture with a Dragon in it. "Oh.", Werner Faßenberg starts afresh and draws a reasonable copy of the Dragon in the picture. Werner Faßenberg thanks the High Priest for his blessing and departs with only a third of the shield drawn. The High Priest gives Werner Faßenberg as he is leaving a potion of fire resistance with three doses, "Just in case.", he says.

Werner Faßenberg also buys from Jopbert Kordelling's Arcanaswinkel a Potion of Invisibility and one of Diminution. We grab some necessary supplies for our journey and group at the docks where a small boat awaits to take us to the northern shores of Lake Haaren. We sail north for three days and came to the island where the Maguskôl resides. The Maguskôl is a school of Magic and the college of both Werner Faßenberg and Weldon Greenears. The island is an extinct volcano and perched on the upper rim is a castle, the Maguskôl. Below lies the only village of the island with its associated docks and fishing vessels. Our boat slides into one of the anchorages and we are met by soldiers of the Imperial Guard at the dockside. They inquire our business, length of stay, and inform us of the Inn's of the Island, 'The Juggernaut', and 'The Skull and Crossbones'. Hanz Josephson inquires who the Imperial Guard answer to and he is informed that the head of the Maguskôl is the dispenser of justice upon the Island. We take lodgings at 'The Skull and Crossbones', just as an earth tremor struck, we are to get to know that this will occur every four hours on the hour, so we had better get used to it. The Mages of the highest order go up to the Maguskôl and are admitted there.

Our group inquire as to a library on the island and are told that there exists one in the Maguskôl. They set off for the Maguskôl. Along the path to the Maguskôl, Gunther Sturmritter chooses to roll the crystal dice, his first rolling produces a soft blue aura about his armour, the second produces a vision of six trolls chipping away at the sides of a tunnel. Brother Otto rolls, his thoughts being on the dangers ahead, the vision is of the lake, heading north into the forest and then a huge treehouse mounted upon six trees, our viewpoint moves north again over the forest and up the mountains to a castle perched upon a peak, we go down the mountains to the shoreline and west past a village, slowing at a peninsula and up the cliff face to a cave entrance, concealed from the waters below, and on into the darkness of the cave. The vision ends. Hanz Josephson now rolls, the first four rolls produce no effect, the next produces a dove which comes down from the sky, lands in Hanz Josephson's hand and turns into a dove's egg. Gunter Hiedricksson tests the dove's egg and confirms that it is magical.

The group has reached the Maguskôl. Before the entrance is a landmark skeletal figure charred to the bone, a reminder to all, of the power of magic. Hanz Josephson knocks at the door, to which a peep hole opens, "We require admittance, we have some items that we wish to have tested for magic, and we wish to meet with our magician friend who can here earlier this day.". "You'll need to show me your invite, before I admit you here.". "We don't have one, but Werner Faßenberg, a Mage of the highest order, can vouch for us, if you were only to summon him here.". "I can't do that, you will have to come back later when you have an invite.". "All right, now tell me where can I get an invite?". "Well, any Mage of the Maguskôl can write you one, if he thinks you are worthy.". "And where do all the Mages on the island reside.". "That be here at the Maguskôl.". "So what you are saying is that we can't come in without an invite from a Mage, but all the Mages are currently inside the Maguskôl, so we can't ask them to write us an invite.". "Aye, I think that be a fair summing up, now you come back when you have your invite.", with that the peep hole closes.

Hanz Josephson turns red, "Fine, I'll just sit here and roll these crystal dice until something bad happens then.". He starts rolling thinking of opening the door. On his first four rolls again nothing happens, his fifth produces a flash of sparks from the crystal dice which engulf Hanz Josephson and send him to the ground under the impact, he also drops the dove egg which shatters on the stone walkway. Gunter Hiedricksson confirms that the dove egg is now no longer magical. Our group returns despondent to the village, to 'The Skull and Crossbones'. Inside are a group of six barbarians all with tufts of red hair and tattoos of the rebel clan of Hannibal, the outlaw bandit. These men are rebels and wanted by the Crown. Hanz Josephson hears them whisper, "Wall too steep to scale.". Gunter Hiedricksson walks to the Innkeeper, touches him as he cast friend, "How much to get this lot of rebel scum out of your Inn.". "Five gold.". "Done.", says Gunter Hiedricksson. The Innkeeper goes out the backdoor.

Hanz Josephson cast sleep on one barbarian, he drops into his beer, his friends cheer. The fighters having positioned themselves, attack. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt beheads the one nearest him. Heinz Meier drives his morning star deep into the leg of another. Gunter Hiedricksson goes berserk and amputates another's arm at the elbow, blood pour everywhere and the man slides under the table. Gunther Sturmritter strikes the man with the wounded leg in the neck. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt beheads the next one at the table. Hanz Josephson slings another in the head, he dies instantly. Heinz Meier drives his morning star into the head of the only remaining barbarian who was able to stand up and kills him. Combat over.

A search of the barbarians possessions reveals a chest in their room containing 600 gold and 18 sovereigns, ropes, pitons and grappling hooks. They had amongst them three sets of an improved leather armour, that helped their defence but appears as normal clothing. We took all this stuff and questioned the one survivor who had slept through this entire fight. He provided information that they had been hired by a Wizard called Leonardus and they were to get into the Maguskôl by scaling the walls and were to retrieve a red covered book on sorcery. Leonardus is situated in a tower on the western most island in the lake. They had been paid five sovereigns each for the retrieval task. We were told that they had happened upon the gold when it "Fell off.", a merchant ship on the way here.

Hanz Josephson said, "Well, I think we have our access to the Maguskôl now.". Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt threw the barbarian over his shoulder and the group marched back to the Maguskôl castle. At the front door the peep hole slides back, and the voice beyond says, "Not you lot again.". "Yes, and this time we will be admitted, with or without an invite. We have vital information that will be of use to the head Mage of the Maguskôl. We have brought this barbarian as proof, the Mages have the spells to read his mind and know that he and his friends were intent on robbing this Maguskôl. They were sent here by a Leonardus, this scheme we put an end to.", the peep hole shuts and after about five minutes our group is admitted into the courtyard beyond the door and led into the castle proper to a chamber were they are presented before a wizened old wizard of the highest order.

"My name is Yikshak Scroogestien. I am the senior wizard here. Take the barbarian away for questioning,.", he waves his hand to some other Mages present, he turns back to the party, "Now, explain your presence here and what has transpired between you and our mutual friend.". Hanz Josephson brings forth our letter from the priests which indicates our missions and passes it to Yikshak Scroogestien, he reads the scroll and has Werner Faßenberg join the group. Hanz Josephson tells what we know of how the barbarians came to the island and the unfortunate loss of a merchant ship, he recounts that the barbarians were sent to get the red book of sorcery from the Maguskôl. "It is indeed unlikely that they would have succeeded in their endeavour even if they had breached our walls. This Maguskôl itself,.", he waves his hand about, "Was built about that book and functions not only as a college of learning but to protect it and keep it safe. The fact that Leonardus would want that book I find disturbing also but he will not learn of the barbarians failure till later, as this island is immune to scrying.".

Yikshak Scroogestien hands the scroll back. "This group is held in some regard. The Maguskôl would like these questions answered also. What questions do you have.". A series of questions are forth coming. Yikshak Scroogestien said, "Well, Leonardus, as you know is a Wizard of at least the 30th ranking who resides upon the most westerly island in Lake Haaren. The red book was created by Synvaarna, and is mostly channeling spell types, each of the pages may only be read but once before vanishing. Each 100 years the pages renew themselves. The book would possess the Evil Mage lists, that is why I am disturbed that Leonardus would want such a thing. To aid you in your venture I am giving you each a healing potion which will cure all frost or fire damage. I will also say that Dragon and troll blood is valuable to us in our alchemy so we will reward you for bringing some to us, if things transpire for you to acquire some. I will also allow Werner Faßenberg access to purchase some personal items of a magical nature at a discounted rate, which would seem appropriate to his learning's.", we are dismissed.

The Maguskôl armoury brings forth a number of items which after discussion with the party are purchased and exchanged for Werner Faßenberg's set of arm braces that provide access to the Unbarring Ways set of spells and a times three multiplier. The items include a ring, dedicated to Axraam, which is a times four essence multiplier, with access to the Fire Law set of spells, this goes to Werner Faßenberg. A set of braces of leaping, three times per day which is taken by Gunter Hiedricksson, who also takes a broach which emits a Sudden Light spell, three times per day.

 

 
(c) 1998 Hammerstein Rolemaster Campaign Journal by Ross Stopford  
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