Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I guess I'll have to use IE for this.

I just combined two weeks of log together. Enjoy.

Journal- Rock the Vogt

The mystery we are pursuing is no longer as shadowy as it was before. Instead it has become pitch black. Every answer we get leads to new questions for which the answers seem impossible to descry.
We managed to track down both Baer and Vogt, so one might think that we had made significant progress. However, after speaking to people about Baer’s war experience and questioning the man himself, it became apparent that he was nowhere near the Sigmarian Abby in question, and that he himself was a self-pitying drunk who had washed out of the military for cowardice. Though he did not have his sword, his story of selling it for beer money was corroborated by witnesses.
Somehow, Furdok managed to annoy Baer into joining our search, somehow convincing him that he could redeem himself by aiding our quest, and so a new member has joined our little band of questors.
In the meantime, Volkrad and I tracked down Vogt at the Golden Hammer, an upscale restaurant in the Altstadt. He seemed quite pleasant, and was in possession of his gifted sword. At the time I had no reason to suspect him of any nefariousness.
Which led us to Tolzen. But Tolzen is still nowhere to be found. He has apparently gone walking in the woods, which seems like an odd thing to do, but nonetheless the Sigmarian order he has joined insist that he is not present in the city at the moment, although they expect him to return before the end of Black Powder Week. Having no other leads, we resolved to await his return.
The following day we discovered that a young merchant’s daughter named Maglyn Erhardt had gone missing with a 200 crown reward for her return. With nothing better to do and the sound of gold clinking in the dwarf’s ears, we decided to pass our time by finding yet another rich man’s daughter.
On the way we ran into the wizardess Gabrielle who had helped us destroy the dagger in Altdorf, which could be fortuitous if we need her to do it again with the Chalice. Volkrad knocked over some fishmonger’s barrel and was harried into agreeing to pay for the fish he’d ruined. After a brief conversation with some high and mighty magisters, we found our way to the Erhardt’s.
It quickly became apparent that the Erhardt’s were in some denial about their daughter’s situation and the facts of her disappearance. There was a bloodily murdered man nude in her bed, and the maid indicated that this was one of many “gentleman friends” she had who were not her fiancĂ©. I found boot impressions underneath the trellis, which had been used by the murderer (and countless secret lovers) to climb into the girl’s room. I took their measure and made a sketch, hoping to find the killer by matching their footwear.
After that we went to visit her fiancé, on the theory that he had committed the crime in a jealous rage over her infidelity. As it turned out, Barnabas Liese had known for some time about her proclivities, and had a mistress of his own. The marriage was strictly to be for financial reasons, and while he was not entirely happy with her activities, he did not care enough to murder her lover. And in fact it would have been pointless, as he showed us a list of the men whom she had been seeing he had compiled using a local pair of hirelings named Otto and Felix.
There were 26 names on that list, and so killing one of them in a crime of passion and carting away the bride to be seemed…unlikely. Liese is more or less off our list of suspects. One might imagine that with 25 other men on the suspect list (Pieter the man in her bed having been exonerated from suspicion by virtue of being dead) it would be night impossible to narrow down the suspects. However, after reading it over, one name immediately jumped out at us.
Rolph Vogt.
I admit that I made several leaps in logic which have so far not been proven by evidence, but I imagined that if he were the possessor of the chalice, fits of murderous rage would be a likely symptom. Though he had a Grunbar forged sword, he could have purchased it from the man who bought Baer’s sword, a man I might add who fit the description of the mysterious fat man in black who has been plaguing us since Altdorf in all but height. In fact he was supposedly quite short while our man-in-black is very tall. However, Ulfred brought up the possibility that he was riding on the shoulders of another…on the face it seems like a silly idea but it would explain how he was able to move so quickly and navigate while looking backwards.
So we set out to locate Herr Vogt using several stratagems which ended up being pointless…he was at his father’s home and easily found by Noddin who was posing as a Tinker. In addition Randolph Vogt, the senior Vogt and ex-Marshall of the Countesses’ artillery, was in a workshop out back. Shortly after discovering this, Noddin witnessed Rolph leaving the estate via horseback and wearing a hooded black cloak. He gave pursuit, passing Furdok, Baer, and I on the way.
Informing us of his quarry, we gave chase as well, tracking him to the eastern gate where he exited the city. Furdok ran back and got the others, while I followed the horse tracks to the edge of the wood.
Once the rest had joined me there, I tracked Vogt through the woods. At one point he dismounted his horse and walked for a while for absolutely no discernable reason. Then he returned to the city through the west gate into the Neuestadt. At this point he could have been anywhere in the city and I had no way of tracing him, though some of Noddin’s urchins had seem him riding in the general direction of the gate between the Neue and Alt stadt. I figured that it was just possible we could catch up to him if he was caught in one of the lines at the gate, so we hurried to pursue.
I’m not sure it would have worked, as it turned out the lines were quite short that evening anyway, but it did not help that we were delayed by a riot. In particular one agitator led a group of locals in an attempt to “rough us up”, perhaps not noticing that our group consisted of several well armored men-at-arms and an Imperial Magister. I decided to try and turn the tide immediately by perforating the agitator, and hoping this would discourage the others.
I wounded him sorely, but did not kill him. His followers set upon us, but I sent my attacker fleeing by noting to him the discrepancy in our relative armaments and skill at arms. He agreed with me and fled. I then took the opportunity to put another arrow into the agitator, which shut him up quite nicely and seemed to convince the rest that they ought not to pursue the battle any longer, and so fled. It perhaps also helped that Ulfred cut one of the rioters practically in half with his halberd, which I found a little extreme but more than likely affected their morale. The agitator was duly arrested by Konrad.
We did not find any further sign of Vogt that night. However upon breakfast hour the next morning, we discovered that the fishmonger whose goods Volkrad had overturned had also disappeared. Since he was simply vanished, and neither he nor his shop had been burnt to ash, we decided that Volkrad was not a suspect.
Vogt, on the other hand, could be. After retracing Harmon Otzslo’s steps the previous evening, we discovered a witness who had seen him accosted in an alley outside the Randy Robin and dragged away. The description of the assailant matched that of Vogt, though there is no way to tell for sure. The bartender did seem to think that the fishmonger and Vogt knew each other based on their interaction inside the bar. Otzslo’s wife, however, was unable to confirm this.
In the midst of this, Furdok, Baer, and Konrad discovered another missing party, the son of the city’s ex-exchequer who had vanished on the first night of the festival. This means that at least one person has disappeared on each consecutive night so far during Black Powder Week. We have not yet connected Kuhn, the missing lad, to Vogt but most of us believe we will find a connection. Under the theory that he would act again on the fourth night, we resolved to try to follow him.
That was a big failure. He went out the east gate and came in the west gate just as before, and this time we were set up to make sure we could follow him through the city. Which we did…right back to his house. He went inside, and we heard nothing further from him.
Frustrated, we decided to search his home. I snuck into the workshop where his father worked, and found nothing but a set of blueprints presumably for a cannon. Noddin broke into the Manor, and found it empty. Empty. How had Rolph gotten away without our noticing? And where was the rest of the family? Noddin too found a set of blueprints in the house, but unlike me he took them. We are at a loss to explain the empty house.