Previously, on The New Ubersreik Files…
Since the last session, about three weeks have passed. The team is laying low after the fire-and-chaos events of the previous chapter, looking for new opportunities for cash acquisition and continued betterment of their lots in life. Things at the Hearth and Handshake have been pretty quiet, for the most part. The Great Doshenki Brothers started their comeback tour with an explosively successful bang, and Zyldde has taken off with them, following her dream of joining the circus. Additionally, Rhavaniel has departed the city on extended woodsman work up in the hill camps. Meanwhile, the money and business keeps flowing in and out of town, as new discoveries and adventures occur within the nearby mountains.
The Story Goes On
The team has a new job! A few weeks after the event now colloquially known as The Event, Thrognin is contacted by an aspiring merchant of sorts named Klaus Metzger. Klaus is seeking to establish a new “Foreign Antiquities” business near the waterfront, and in order to do this he needs 1) a location, 2) protection, and most of all 3) actual foreign antiquities. It is for this third component that he turns to the party’s assistance, having gotten wind of their effectiveness through certain illicit channels.
As luck would have it, Bjorn witnessed an “incognito” member of the Sigmarite clergy gamble away some kind of elven artifacts at a game one night, and has good reason to believe that the Church is hiding many more in an old supposedly-haunted house (cue dramatic music!) in a once-affluent northside neighborhood that has slowly fallen into social decline. The party makes a plan to try and break in and steal some of these for their new employer. Given that the place seems to be guarded by rather beefy fellows, and given Rhavaniel’s departure from their team, they quickly decide that they should look into adding a new “strong arm” to their group. Enter Marlis, a down-on-her-luck ex-squire of Kaltenbach, seeking new horizons.
Initial reconnaissance plans are put into motion, and each member of the team sets forth to gather what information they can. Turns out the place is watched day and night by what appear to be Sigmarite initiates, who masquerade as sausage-cart vendors on the opposite side of the street. Thrognin and Juniper even ate said sausages during their recon, and while Thrognin’s tough dwarf stomach had no problem digesting the ancient mass of meat, dirt, and other unmentionable contents, let’s just say that Juniper most certainly did not have the same palatable response.
Bjorn and Marlis take a more social approach to information-gathering, and uncover several facts about the place’s entrances and the occupancy of its neighbors. It seems the Church actually owns several of the buildings in that neighborhood, including those to either side of the house in question. Rumor has it that a chaos cultist once lived there, and was directly involved in the fires of Bogenhafen some ten years back.
Once they reconvene and share this information, they finalize their plan of attack. Their plans are temporarily interrupted by a failed pickpocket, but he is quickly dealt with and sent on his way. Anyway, their new basic plan is this: find one of the suspected under-city entrances, and break in and out via that.
The next day, they split up again to do a little more research. They figure the halflings of the city, being more common to menial and grueling tunnel-work in the non-dwarf parts of the city, would know a whole lot more about the entrances in the north section of town. Acting on this suspicion, Juniper and the two dwarves head to a tiny seedy halfling bar called the Corner Pocket, set up in the basement of a tenement in the halfling district. It’s built specifically for hyalfling proportions, and as such the dwarves barely fit inside. Making matters worse, today is the fortnightly Halfing Day of Rest known as “Gairdie Day,” and as such the place is packed wall to wall with reveling members of that race.
They acquire a table after an uncomfortable interaction with Juniper’s personal nemesis, a halfling watch-woman nicknamed Horseshoe. After drunkenly boasting their involvement in the arrangement of the aforementioned Event (and thus admitting to being behind an obvious crime), Theda leaves them and they get to work listening to the rumormill. A few drinks and dances later, and they have their information: there’s a secret city watch “listening post” in the under-tunnels near the opulent Roddenheimer Mansion up on The Hill. These watchmen have a deal worked out with the Roddenheimer servents to wash their uniforms regularly, and keep them extra crisp for those surprise inspection.
The trio decides that this would be their best way in (also: their only way in so far discovered), and get to work procuring uniforms. The remainder of the session is filled with a series of disastrous dice rolls, but eventually they forge a dry cleaner ticket and get some for the two dwarves and the human – Juniper’s hope is that no one will notice the Halfing hiding behind them! They lack badges, shields, and “proper” guard stance and weaponry, and they look a right shifty bunch, but Marlis’s experience as a squire helps carry them along and maintain some level of appearance.
They gather their gear and head off to the Roddenheimer mansion. After bribing the servant’s entrance “guard” (more of a powdered functionary-overseer than an actual trained guardsman), they head right in the back door and down into the washing-vats. There’s a bit that follows involving a flubbed password and some forged signatures at a secret underground watch-post, and after that they’re off on a trek through the secret under-tunnels of New Ubersreik.
A little over halfway to their destination, they have a chance encounter with some licensed thieves on their way back from a successful heist. The heroes attempt to strongarm them and take a cut (keeping up their appearances as “guards on the take”), but a botched intimidation check leads to an armed response. The team makes a surprisingly quick job of slaughtering two of the thieves (leaving sad orphans back home with no food… or fathers), and two others escape into the darkness of the tunnels. But on the plus side, the team now has a score: the thieves’ loot contained several elven artifacts – the very kind of things the group was down here to find in the first place!
Considering their job prematurely successful, they decide to find another way out instead. However, as fortune would have it, their unfamiliarity with the area leads them to the only exit that is convenient: their original target, the supposed artifact repository-house itself. As they try to break in, they realize they are now being followed by an unknown party, and thus their efforts to leave the sewers are made more stressful.
However, Thrognin makes short work of the sealed hatch, and they bust into what is clearly a dwarf-crafted basement, modified post-contruction into a makeshift jail. Two prisoners are contained therein: an emaciated human named “Dolph” who claims to have been down there for four years, and his pet hound, unnamed as of yet, also in a similar state of malnourishment. And the whole place smells of horrendous sausages…
What follows is a hectic and panicked encounter. Still aware of their pursuit, they push forward and up into a kitchen and encounter the dreaded Sausage-Maker, a truly hideous mound of a man, clearly corrupted by something abnormal. A dire battle ensues, in which the party gets very heavily wounded, but ultimately prevails. Their rear pursuit reveals itself to be a duo of wood elves, clearly dressed as foreigners, seeking the return of some artifacts that other thieves stole from them. A few short fights with hooded guards later, and all of them escape into an alleyway.
In the epilogue, we establish that the party’s outright eagerness to return the artifacts to the elves results in the duo taking a liking to them. The wood elves agree to send them an incoming stream of other trinkets and items instead, thus establishing an ongoing business relationship and an influx of future antiquities. As such, the original job was fulfilled, and then some, although not in the manner expected. Klaus Metzger is pleased by this, and pays the team handsomely for their fine work.
- Bjorn: The Opportunistic Concert Promoter (Dwarf M, Gambler)
- Juniper: The Unlicensed Printer of Illegal Words (Halfling F, Scribe)
- Marlis: The Erstwhile Squire of Kaltenbach, seeking new avenues of employment (Human F, Squire)
- Thrognin: The Shifty Coin-Pinching Eater of Sausages (Dwarf M, Thief-Embezzler)
- They admitted to being behind the Event! Crime!
- What the hell was up with the Sausage-Maker?