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The Enemy Within: Power Behind the Throne – Beer Festival (S3E04)

Captain's Log, 20th of Vorgeheim, 2513.

Elfin vintage is good for the tongue and throat, really gets you talking. Happily got through last night because of it. My head however, is an entirely different story. I know you, the fine person reading this journal, always expect a tale both true to what happened yet thrilling and larger than life in its telling. However, I need to- t- get sick.

I'd like to state for the record that I had a thoroughly awful day. It was an absolute tragedy and as a doctor I would like to state for the record that the arena's minotaur appeared to be drugged, crippled and suffering from some sort of brittle bone disease. Ah, the captain returns. Please keep my note in mind as he continues.

  • Doctor Harbull Furfoot.

So as I was saying Harbull, I don't feel too great so please excuse any mistakes I make in my retelling. Although I've never felt too good even before we started drinking. Something doesn't sit right with me in Middenheim. It's all too pleasant. RIGHT, so there we were in the morning sun streaming through the window of the Templar's Arms. We announced our plan to become senseless in our tankards and The One quickly excused herself to dabble in witchery. That was some good quick thinking, in retrospect. I feel like an enraged goblin is trying to burst out of my head. The festival plans had gymnasts, archery, a martial championship, a minotaur and alcohol.

It was a nice old advantage having the park next to the inn be where the alcohol was. I swear we didn't plan it this way. So we strolled over and are right pleased about the whole thing. Unsurprisingly the whole city's morale was given a huge lift by the Tilean brews, Bugman's and all of the other good stuff. Some little fool wearing garish red and yellow made a show of stealing a farmer's coin purse. Werner tried to sweep his leg but drunken fellows got in his way and he plummeted to the ground. Harbull made a "down and out" joke and it was hilarious. I chased the bastard all the way over to the champion arena. I figured out it was just part of the festivities and he was an actor. Wasn't much fun for my legs having to run across the damned city but I guess tradition is tradition.

Met an even smaller joker. An urchin who had stolen a pie from a halfling baker. I tried not to look Harbull in the eyes. He hates that common cultural belief about halfling cooking. Kid ended up bumping into us "accidentally" and got us to buy the pie for him. If he wasn't a child I swear I would have thrashed him. He was grateful enough however to offer his services: information, the use of his gang for subterfuge, and he even offered to let us meet some, eh... "ladies of negotiable affection"? Well put, Harbull. I just wanted to know if anything strange was going on around the city. All he could tell me was that the Graf's daughter was eligible for marriage and that she was as thick as a dwarf's beard, there was good work in the tax office for the literate, and a hefty amount of tax money could be stolen from someone who taking a cut.

We had to get out of the way of a tattooed dwarf back in the park. Man was on something strong, I had never seen such twitchy eyes before. Seemed both frighteningly aware yet completely out of it, if you get what I mean. Actually proved to be a good man who was heading over to the minotaur arena to partake in the fights. Grugnli or something along those lines. The archery competition looked exciting but our bows were engulfed in the flames of the Devil May Care. Allav- Allavanderberg, no, Allavendrick? Al the elf was a fine fellow and archer who gave us his sympathies for losing our bows. We couldn't speak for too long, unfortunately, but we did get to meet two of his friends. The first was a stern looking military commander named Maximilian von Genscher and the second was a "knight eternal" named Siegfried Prunkvoll. He looked like a warrior from centuries ago, with a broad knight's sword and white plate armour. I was amazed that a man so young could be so long lived.

"So he's been around for that long, eh?!" I blurted out of amazement.

Siegfried strode over and looked incredibly displeased. I was given a long talk about the title and its importance, his magical armour given to him as a reward for his rank, and some other details that I immediately lost. Listening to him talk reminded of me of watching the paint on our ship's signature dry. Apparently he's only thirty four. Huh. It was a lot to endure so we just returned to drinking as fast as possible. Sigmar bless us, it was then time for the minotaur fights! More brutal than any beast man, with hoofs and horns covered in gore, they were a fearsome sight to behold. A sly gentleman offered Werner and I a position as a fighter in the pit. I had five drinks too many, so Werner volunteered. The Pick-Axe was armed suitably and faced down the damned thing. I had bet 10 of his gold on him and Harbull, ha, wished the minotaur all the best. Wait, that wasn't a joke?

Anyway, Werner destroyed it in under a minute. He drove his pick axe into its arm, shattered the right knee with a thrust of the head and then gave it a swift uppercut on the chin. It was out cold. The crowd went hysterical and I was nearly trampled by the rush to congratulate him. Werner was utterly delighted with the mantle of "minotaur destroyer" and I swear I heard a small voice shout "fixed!" in the back. We got a hefty bag of crowns from it as well. Spent half of it on fine clothing for that dinner with Kirsten Jung though. City folk are more focused on expensive appearances than functionality with their clothes, I'm sad to say. I think I've learned a fair bit ever since I lost those fancy pants. The dinner wasn't too bad.

Okay, that's not true. I was reminded of my age with all the young people and Werner seemed keen to kindle something with Kirsten. While her fiance, Dieter Schmiedehammer the Graf's Champion, was sitting right next to her. I was kicked under the table by Werner until I told them of the minotaur battle in great detail. Dieter was intrigued in seeing Werner fight him in the champion's arena. I'm very worried that it'll be to the death in the end. I keep telling Werner this but he doesn't seem worried about it. She was also with her two friends Natasha Sinnlich and Petra Liebkosen. The latter was more interested in keeping the peace between Dieter and Werner but Natasha clearly had the heart of a sailor. She listened to all my tales of the rivers with great interest. It almost made me forget about being wary of Chaos wherever we step.

Almost.

The play we saw afterwards was complete and utter bilge water. I can't believe this is high class storytelling. I think it was written just to be as confusing as possible to make an audience think it was clever. The play fighting was also very unconvincing. Who the hell aims for the other man's sword during a fight? The neck and joints are where to aim! Werner and I discussed this for the entire play. A Midsummer Knight's Dream, that was the name! Terrible. Only go if someone you fancy is going too. At least the party we went to afterwards had good wine.

Met a lot of people. The One was there with eh, a wizard named Helseher. He seemed a bit unwell. Karl-Heinz Wasmeier, a Law Lord around my age with hair that looked like it was sliding off from the back. Also met an older Law Lord named Joachim Holfich, General Johann Schwermutt, Katarina Todbringer and her old chaperone Hildegard. There was probably a few more but the wine makes me forget. The rest of the night was spent blathering and quaffing.

I swear more things usually go wrong.

  • Johann Dasbuut.

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