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The Enemy Within: Power Behind the Throne – Ball, Ball, Ball... Snotball! (S3E08 & 09)

Captain's Log: 25th of Vorgeheim, 2513.

I cannot completely forget what I saw in Castle Wittgenstein. Couldn't rest properly for nearly the entire night in the Templar's Arms. As soon as I got a wink of sleep the screaming started downstairs. At about five o' clock in the morning, mind you. This was definitely no rowdy dwarf brawl. This didn't completely hit me until I stepped into the corridor with Werner and caught sight of two of those bloody beast men. Armed with a spear and sword respectively were a monkey-faced loon and a skittish goat.

Quickly ducked into our room, took my trusty boarding axe, and charged. Damn monkey wasn't even smart enough to raise his spear. Wouldn't have been able to after I chopped his arm off anyway! The goat bleated its final words pathetically in a pool of blood. Our marine had quickly and efficiently made us some chevon. He rushed to the stairway without a second thought. I couldn't catch up immediately: I wanted to at least put on a chain shirt and helmet before dealing with the rest. It may have looked absurd with a sleeping cap and clothes but I'd look sillier with my bowels cut out, I'm sure. Werner waited for me at the top of the stairs with The One. We were ready for the small band of beast men downstairs. Three... two... one... CHARGE!

We didn't expect so many rat and beast men to be waiting for us.

The shock almost caused me to stumble over one of the tavern's tables. I tried, in vain, to convince them that we had no rocks. One especially filthy rat man, missing a single eye, made sure to evenly divide his forces between Werner and I. It did him no good in the end. I struck down at least three of his "men" as my will to live kicked in. Our marine kept a cool head and cut a bloody swath through their ranks. Bastards fled as soon as possible once we turned the place into a butcher's. Not surprising for such a sorry lot! Their leader must have ordered them through the window at the back of the kitchen. Rat men are definitely the most cunning and foul beast men I've ever met. I pray to Sigmar that there isn't anything worse.

Once the patrons gained their composure their thanks made us feel like heroes. A lovely difference from that village that shall not be named. Chillingly, we found a doll and a note saying that they were kidnapped by beast men. The One managed to capture and interrogate one of the rats. Basically they work from the sewers and sold the child to a human. Which human? It genuinely didn't know. We killed the dumb sod and got rid of the body. In the morning we just enjoyed the festival, confirmed Goebbels' daily routine, and rested. We needed it after what happened the night before. In a way, I can't believe I got comfortable and let my guard down. I guess this is how the nobility must feel? Ah well, Sigmar himself gave us this duty and I shall not shirk it!

The ice dancing the next morning was... interesting. Very graceful and definitely very elfin. Druids, much like our friend Corobreth, froze over the Champion's Arena for the event. Rallane played his part in the competition, dressed like a swan from one of those romantic Bretonnian paintings. It made me think back to my childhood, seeing bitter hunters grumble while wearing their wolf cloaks. I wonder how hard they would laugh at this costume? Our minstrel friend spoke to us afterwards. We told him everything that we've done and how we intended to speak with the Judges (Law Lords, not Judges. Please excuse him. - Harbull). He was delighted with our progress but was worried about who could be pulling the strings to influence the Graf. We said we'd look into it and bid him farewell. I couldn't lie and say we had everything solved. Sigmar only knows how deep this well goes. The time had finally come for me to lure Gotthard Goebbels back to the inn. We figured out he was at the snotball arena.

Snotball is an interesting sport. Two teams kick the shite out of each other to get a ball into a goal. No magic or swords but plenty of spite and arbitrary referee decisions. Gotthard was in the upper class seats near the top, focused intently on the game. It was the Wolfhounders against the Eastlanders, I think. If it doesn't involve boats I don't really have an interest in it. I managed to feign randomly spotting him well enough to get a seat to his right. I apologized for my vomiting when I was at his office, and offered him a fine vintage and an invitation back to the inn. He was delighted with the idea but seemed even more fond of the game. Not in a perverted way towards the players but rather he was incredibly enthusiastic about the snotball. I needed to bring his attention back to the invitation and, unfortunately, to me.

Mentioning it wasn't enough. Someone would kick the ball wrong or something and he would stand briefly and shout. Damn, I thought, I need a good idea or... the hand on leg move, of course! I raised my hand slowly, held it high over his knee and... quickly brought it up to salute the players as soon as Gotthard gave me a look. The knee wasn't a good enough place. I couldn't go for the inner thigh either, as that was a perilous place to stick a hand. I took a deep breath, covered my eyes, looked away and gingerly placed my hand onto the middle of his right leg. He let out a loud, surprised gasp of pleasure. I still feel very unclean. He wanted to get back to my room as quickly as possible after that. Along the way, I spotted our crew's doctor putting his coat down on a puddle to let Petra step across. Hope that went well for you, Harbull. We grabbed the heretic and tied him to a chair as soon as he put a foot in the door. I called him by his true name, Gotthard Wittgenstein, and he was visibly shocked.

We got confirmation that he was a follower of a cult of Slaanesh. The Order of the Jade Sceptre, to be exact. He gave us a name of the cult leader but we knew it was a complete lie. A few good punches from Werner later we learned that they planned to hold a large orgy at the end of the festival, on the upper floor of an inn... what was the name? Ah, The One will hopefully remember. The tortures started to feel like pleasures to him, and every damn thing we said became some form of twisted blasphemy from his warped mouth. Sigmar is NOT a "big man with a hammer" to ogle, filthy pleasure zealot! We discovered his cult tattoos and brought him to Ar-Ulric. Bringing Gotthard to the watch would risk him finding a way out through power or bribery. Killing him through autoerotic asphyxiation was briefly discussed. Although it is true that others would see it as him dying while "doing the thing he loved", I thought it was too horrible an idea to consider.

Ar-Ulric was not too surprised with the news of Wittgenstein's heresy. He oddly accused him of being behind... something. Soon after Gotthard was arrested and taken away, I pressed Ar-Ulric on this further. He eventually confided in us that he was being blackmailed by someone. A Frau Br- Ba- something or other told him that he needed to advocate for the taxes or else very personal letters would be released. We gave him our word that we would help him investigate this as quickly as possible. He advised us on speaking to the Chancellor Sparson... wait it's Sparsam? So Sparsam was possibly behind it, according to Ar-Ulric. He spoke of an "enemy within", like a few others I've met. Still don't know what in Sigmar's name that means.

We made our way to the Graf's palace, showed the guards Ar-Ulric's letter, and spoke to Sparsam in the garden. Werner handled it beautifully. Used all the fancy words to convince him that the taxes were utter shite and how the civil unrest would damage the city. Sparsam, after a moment, admitted that he didn't approve of the taxes and wept into our marine's shoulder. Eventually his blubbering gave way to an explanation: he needs a special medicine and his provider is a lady named Frau Kenner. She, however, won't let him have the medicine without continuing to support the tax laws. We agreed to speak to her and would convince her to change her mind. Sparsam has no idea what this medicine looks like but we have a name and that's usually good enough.

The Blackpool Illumination show is a wonder of illusions and fireworks. Dragons in flight in the night sky, shooting stars, that sort of thing. Not enough to take the day's events off my mind, however. Tomorrow we will pay Frau Kenner a visit and get Sparsam his medicine.

Wait, Harbull, you're saying that the medicine is actually drugs?!

  • Johann Dasbuut.

OH, WAIT, THE FINAL CHAMPION FIGHT! So it was Werner against a grizzled old war veteran and boatman, both armed with huge double headed axes. A proper match for both contestants as each blow was bone shattering and their dodges had the grace of butterflies. Danced like butterflies, stung like a zweihander... no, hang on...

They were perfectly matched, neck and neck. Both raised their axes to strike and

Oh, I do apologize. The One urgently wishes to talk to me. I'll tell you the rest next time!

 

 

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