27 August 2007

Splitting Heirs: Session Seventeen

A shame, but a necessary evil, that I am continuing to have to wrap up this AP with bullet-points. It really doesn’t do the experience justice in my mind, but then again might make for easier reading, and a more focussed record.

The following events took place over about a week.

Lady FitzCarstein had the auditors from Nuln to convince in her bid to acquire a single cannon to aid in the defence of Drachenmalstein. The meeting went well, with the Imperial delegation seeming to agree with her needs. Word of confirmation would have to wait though, and after they had left to return to the Imperial foundry Helena decided the time had come to head to Himmelfeuer and finally sell her vision of the future and her plans to survive, even beat back, the pending invasion. Her aim was to unify the council.

Meanwhile, Pou had found Ritter at his shop the morning after his meeting with him outside the castle. The Templar had found Jonn in the workshop whilst awaiting Pou and had heard the man’s stories of bandits in the southern forests and his “persecution” at the hands of Scharf. Ritter was interested, and the information left him ill-disposed to Scharf (whom he had yet to meet) and his ways of justice. Pou had also seen Herbert, whose own run-ins with the Witch Hunter had left him badly spooked, and wishing the outsider out of town as soon as possible.

Ritter ran into Scharf a couple of days later, after the Captain returned from his trip north. Scharf knew the Templar would be looking for him, and called into the guest room as he arrived at the castle. Ritter wasn’t there but his bullish manservant was; Scharf left a message that Ritter could come and find him any time now that he was back in town. Consequently Ritter banged on Scharf’s door later that evening, some 30 minutes after the Captain had retired. There followed a long conversation which Scharf saw as “easier than expected” where Ritter pressed Scharf on his handling of the bandits and then on matters more pertinent to his mission here: Josephine’s whereabouts; Scharf knew nothing and Ritter departed with little more than a few more derisory jibes.

Over the next few days Ritter found out about the impending trial of Pou’s son, Gunter. Visiting Scharf once more the Templar commanded he be given judiciary power in the trial. Much to the consternation of Scharf, and indeed Pou, there was little to prevent the Templar taking this, putting Gunter at great risk; Scharf acquiesced with reservations, not wanting to involve the Baron by disagreeing and losing his ground anyway. Gunter’s trial was not yet imminent, and this development did nothing but rack up tensions and distract from the dual pressures of the coming war and Josephine’s (potential) trial by fire.

Helena arrived in Himmelfeuer shortly after Scharf informed Pou of the Gunter development; she caught up with him outside Pou’s workshop. She was dropping by to inform Pou of the Emergency council meeting she had called for early that evening, but was happy to see Rudi (Scharf) – with whom she had further, more personal, plans to make. Before they had left however, Herbert came bustling up with surprising news: Werner had disappeared. This hastened Helena’s heading for the castle as she had hoped to find everyone before the meeting that evening. She left, but not before arranging to meet Scharf an hour before the meeting was due. Scharf departed too, to check on the Tileans and other aspects of his day job. Herbert watched them go, and then went inside to find Pou. There he spoke firmly; they both knew something was up, and Pou was convinced it was time for action. By the time Herbert left, they both had their own plans to make in the few short bells before the meeting.

Reaching the castle, Helena sought to locate any sign of Werner. Finding it lacking, and his rooms looking too clean, she found Gottfrid instead. The butler was shocked by Werner’s disappearance, the closest thing to a friend he had ever had, and under questioning from Lady FitzCarstein he let his guard down for the first time in years. Werner, Gottfrid revealed, was the illegitimate son produced by an affair between the Baron’s first wife, and his brother Gerhardt. With Josephine’s judgement time getting closer, Gottfrid suggested Werner had guessed that the Baron – who had treated the treasurer almost as a son – may have declared him heir, a situation he feared, and dealt with by fleeing to Tilea. Werner’s absence now considered long-term, Helena left the butler to regain his composure, then set out to meet others she needed to see before the meeting…

Deliberately vague on some things here despite the shorter format because it was building to a head (the next session is/was the last), with the coming council meeting central to resolution of character issues. It makes it seem like NPCs were more central to this session than the PCs to a degree, but this was definitely not the case; instead it was very much a set-up, not entirely colluded but very much worked out and left primed to blow before the finale (which again will, sadly, in all likelihood be underwhelmingly recounted).

I’m pretty sure I’ve missed or glossed over some highlights this time, too, but the session was three weeks ago now and my notes very sparse. Once I got more than a week behind it was always going to be a tall order to catch up and with the game essentially lasting twice as long as I’d expected when I pitched it, I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that my recounting has tailed off.

No comments: