[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps Interlude 24.5

In Padua, many go unnamed. Florey knows almost everyone, or everyone that sends someone to his store. The Baptisa's too, and there are few that don't visit the Rest at least daily; sometimes twice or more. To a person though, many just associate by trade or need.

When people leave and return, they may first get nods. When someone is seen walking to the manor, the nod becomes a smile. When someone is paid a visit by the Master of the Horse, whispers for a name become common. Smiles become greetings and beer at the Rest. When this happens with in an observable pattern, people start counting and notice when the favored of the Princeps do not return.

Padua feeds on news anywhere else would call just gossip. Each of you are plied with drinks. Roderic has even said donations of the collect box have been up, especially those that conspicuously seem to drop a half-Max as he opens the doors each morning. Your whispers about town are noted and escalated beyond any reality by a fragment you recall becomes something untrue, even if all too common: a zombie army of Abdul Al'Shar marches to the Avon!

You learn that Freibald was simply burned as the mutation became apparent. Van slit Freibald's throat as he whispered a battle prayer, tossed the disgusting knife into the cart with his body and set it alight. The cart had leeched some of the corruption from Friebald. Van simply wanted it all burned. They walked and rode the horses, just hours ahead of you, back to Padua.

Morrslieb rose the night of the party's return. Strange things were afoot. Domestic dogs rose against their owners, many slain the in the end by Tankred's blade. Fish rotted immediately all over town, for no other reason than the chaos moon's presence. Vaervenshyael missed it all due to a visit to the Master of the Horse. 

"We have retrieved the second artifact. Wilhelm is quite overprotective of it and keeps it guarded in his possession. I'm not confident how much longer this particular party can remain cohesive and continue your quests. Wilhelm's mind sinks with each new challenge faced, and Tankred sinks into further depression and aloofness as one of his sleuth has met his end this trip. The doctor...well, he was quite crazed, even for a human, before we ever began."


The following morning as the rain clears for a moment doors and windows open, locked and shuttered against the barks and howls of dogs or the brief screams of someone with the thunder and lightening.

Varvenshyael sees the normal runners of Padua on the way to the manor. It's no secret they keep the Princeps and his Master of Horse informed of the gossip in the corners of Padua. Sloshing through the mud in the street is Schultz, one of the Princeps personal guard.

"Guten Morgen. The Princeps wants to see you again. Looks like they were up all night. Morrslieb will do that to you. You have any fish?" Schlutz doesn't wait. "Throw it away. All spoiled. Morrslieb will do that."

You ponder that for a moment. Padua is going to stink.

At the manor the urchins are saying Katerina's Rest was beset by dogs. Several dead. Fish spoiled all over Padua. Maximillian issues his first order looking at you as you walk in:

"Make sure carts are available and the fish go into the river. Tell everyone you pass not to just throw the fish into the gutters and street."

And with that he dismisses Schultz and the boy and invites you to a side room with a wave.

"We've contemplated you're candid observations. I think it's time to get stop getting drunk and time for action."

"While everyone was hiding from manifest superstitions, we watched the clouds glow from a fire in the north. Our guess is Lauterberg burned. And that means the road is open to all the way to Sulzerbe.. berg? ville? dorf? all the way to Sulzer. If there's an artifact under his nose, we want it."

"But first we'll have that frogskin from Wilhelm. Find him and bring him back. I've already sent for Otto Roderick. If that piece of leather has a hold on him, we'll get it to let go. And bring the "tooth." I want to see them both. Hmmm... we think we'll need Azmir too."

"Indeed. At once. All I need to do is fetch Wilhelm. Where he goes, the skin follows."

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