Journal- No Law Against Entering?
This investigation is possibly the most frustrating circumstance we have ever reached in our travels together. We know who is doing it. We know why he is doing it. We know how he is doing it. The only thing we can’t do is prove it. It’s almost enough to convince me that we should join a witch hunting order just to give us some legal authority to destroy these people who are otherwise incredibly difficult to bring justice to.
In fact, we have been forced to stoop to committing numerous crimes in the course of our quest to prove Vogt guilty, among which are burglary, theft, illegal entry, assault, and false imprisonment. If our crimes should come back to us and we be imprisoned for them, my only hope is that the authorities find this journal and read it and realize that we did these things to serve a higher good and bring a terrible menace to justice.
Let me explain. The first thing that should be noted is that Konrad talked to the city guard at the gate and discovered that the man we had been following around the city was not in fact Ralph Vogt but a young man with short blonde hair. In other words, we have no accounting for Vogt’s whereabouts on the last couple of nights and therefore can certainly say that he has no proper alibi. The second thing that should be noted is that we consulted with a dwarven engineer about the blueprints that Noddin stole, and were told that they looked like plans for the Great Cannon which the Countess has ordered constructed; however they were notated in a way that looked as though it was being altered to fail when used. I went back and retrieved the set that I had found in the workshop and, when compared, it did in fact show that someone was planning to sabotage the cannon. So at least now we had evidence of treason, though it appeared that this was an act of the senior Vogt and not Ralph.
Furthermore, adding to our conviction that we were rapidly approaching a serious crisis in relation to the Chalice was that, upon arriving at the Becker manor that morning to keep our appointment with the Lady Elzbeth, we found her staff murdered and her own personage to be missing but her hand left behind. I think we can be certain that she did not forget it in her haste to flee. She was either dead or mutilated and imprisoned by the foul villain behind the attack.
So when we broke into Vogt’s house and knocked out his servants and tied them up, and searched the home from top to bottom looking for anything else we could find to tie Vogt to the murders, it was because we were desperate and had no idea at all where either Vogt was. It also came to our attention that an innocent (albeit insane) man was about to swing for the murders that we were 99% sure he did not commit (given the nature of his insanity, ie to make outrageous claims such as “I am the Emporer”) we felt we had to do anything we could to pin the blame properly before that occurred. Sadly, we failed in this and every other aspect of our intentions. We found no hidden lair, no further evidence of treachery, and no trace of Vogt’s whereabouts.
So the man hung. However, after talking to the servants we discovered that they were not entirely unconvinceable that the Vogt’s were up to no good. Indeed, they did seem to think that their recent behavior was somewhat suspicious and agreed to at least try to keep an eye open and find out what was going on, which is a big concession after we had tied them up and locked them in a closet. What I mean to say is that they agreed to this after we had released them, which means it was not coercion but their own suspicions of the Vogt’s which led them to be at least tenuous allies.
Still, it seemed like we were at a dead end. We had no way to find Vogt and no way to prove he was guilty other than finding him and wherever he was keeping his victims, dead or alive. We decided to canvas the city in a last ditch effort to find him or anyone who knew where he might be.
It was in the course of this that we found the body of the Altdorfer gunsmith who we had saved from rioters dead in an alley, murdered in a similar fashion to the other victims. Two murders in one night; things were obviously becoming more serious. It also appeared that Vogt was targeting people connected to us in some way. We did get one break, however. We were approached at one of the pubs we were canvassing by a Nulner working on the cannon project.
Apparently he had heard of our inquiries and sought us out because he had discovered some very suspicious activity going on at the project. What he told us was that he had noticed odd goings on, and had shown up early one morning before any of the other workers arrived in order to check on things himself and see if he could figure out why things were going wrong. What he found was a coven of robed individuals engaged in some sort of activity around the cannon, who fled into the sewers when confronted. He could not put his finger on what they had been up to, but when shown the blueprints we had discovered at Vogt’s showing his designs for sabotaging the cannon, he realized that those were the exact things which he had noticed and was able to then realize how the cannon was being subtly but effectively ruined.
He offered to show us the site so we could try to find out where the saboteurs had fled to. He knew the location of their entry and exit, but had no confidence that his suspicions would be properly investigated by the guards assigned to the cannon project and wanted us to help. We agreed, but gave him the two sets of blueprints and asked him to see if he could try to use the evidence of tampering to get an official investigation started.
Meanwhile, we once again ventured into the familiar, rank territory of city sewers. I was easily able to find a trail in the muck and we tracked the perpetrators quite some distance through the undercity. Or so I thought. It is possible that I got the trails confused with another, or that I started following the wrong trail to begin with, but either way we ended up in a secret chamber dug out of the regular sewage line, the outside of which was soaked in gore.
The inside of the chamber was infested with zombies. Zombies are slow and fairly easy to return to their state of inanimation if you keep your head about you, and so we managed to dispatch them with little trouble. Further into this hidden lair we found a large chamber which had walls decorated with various limbs and organs, and showed evidence of necromantic activity. Shortly thereafter a door opened and said necromancer appeared to see who was intruding.
There followed an odd conversation with this strange person. Although normally inclined to immediately dispatch any such personages we discover, we decided that more information was needed before we turned him over to the Sigmarites and/or killed him. What we found out was that he did not seem to be associated with either Randolph or Rolph Vogt in any way which was surprising given how we had found him in the first place. He did however inform us that he had actually seen Rolph commit some of the murders whilst he himself had been about the city at night looking for materials for use in his own dark magics.
So we had a witness to Vogt’s crimes, but one which was guilty of his own horrible crimes. He even gave us confirmation that Vogt had the Chalice, as he had seen him use it to commit the murders. Given this, we decided that our only reasonable course of action was to bring him alive to the authorities so his story could be properly recorded before he was burnt.
Apparently the necromancer had some reservations about this course of action, and decided that he would not in fact follow our instructions and come peacefully with us. Given that, we had no choice but to engage him before he could do something unpleasant such as summon more undead or afflict us with his dark magics. As my comrades are now awake and summoning me to action, I shall continue this account at a later time.