“Graffling with Danger”
Also appearing in in the basement was Ehrlich’s niece, Rhya. The ordeal of being kidnapped had left her very tired, though, and Wilhelm lulled her to sleep.
“Children’s Parade co-opted by pedovores! Raid on warehouse captures sinister cult! Sweetrolls turned sour! Pictures for the illiterate – not for viewing by those under 16. Must show ID!”
There was treasure, both magic and mundane. Finally, there were incriminating letters between “The Big Bad Wolf” and the courtier Emmanuelle. We presumed the “Wolf” to be the Ar-Ulric, which was supported by the handwriting on previous letters we had come across.
“Programs! Programs for the carnival! Once a penny, now a ha’penny! Get your programs and remember this once in a lifetime event! Fire sale! Programs! Pictures for the illiterate! Fancy words for fancy folk! Just a ha’penny!”
Once Rhya was returned to her uncle, he became a new man. He was no longer the depressive, anxious mess we had found holed up in his house earlier. He took charge, telling us Hofflich was the one who started the new taxes and who had the niece kidnapped. We immediately went to find him at the College of Music.
“Attack on the palace grounds! Horse murdered in the street! Bears charging through flaming crowds! Explosions and death! Fireworks a cover for Chaos cult – read it here first! Pictures for the illiterate!”
Natually, Hofflich had left the College of Music shortly before we arrived. We had to follow word of his coach to the palace. Once there, we followed word of him to the Graf’s chamber. There we found the Graf and an exact duplicate of the Graf grappling at each other’s throats. Wilhelm started casting a spell to disable the most capable of the Grafs, while Wilfried quickly moved to interpose himself between the two. Wilfried managed to keep the Graf from throwing the Graf out the window until the spell took hold. Once one of the Grafs had been reduced to a brainless drool-factory, he changed shape into a formless doppelganger! We had saved the Graf’s life.
“Graff’s paramour caught in the act with the Ar-Ulric! Graff beside himself – all choked up, reports indicate! Pictures for both the literate and illiterate!”
In Hofflich’s apartments in the palace, we found the real Hofflich quite dead and stuffed in a large bag. Apparently nobody ever cleaned these apartments, because the body stunk from the palace clear to the chaos wastelands! A note in Hofflich’s apartments indicated the third law lord, Wasmeier, was the brains behind the entire operations. The Graf immediately charged us to find him and return him, dead or alive.
“New information on palace attack – secret society of dwarves discovered beneath city! Shadow war between dwarves and Skaven below the surface! All advisors summoned to palace at once – Law Lords Hofflich and [this guy] missing!”
At Wasmeier’s house, we surrounded the exits while Gottlieb entered through the second floor (this seems to be a thing with us). Gottlieb was just opening the front door for us to join him when a large battle wagon, pulled by 6 horse, crashed out of the carriage house. Wilfried started to run after it, knowing it would have to slow down at some point. He needn’t have worried. Between Larry, Gottlieb, and Larry’s mercenary ogre, the cart was soon toppled and Wasmeier eliminated.
“Explosion at Law Lord’s manor! Chariot of Fire pulled by six horses bursts from barn! Ten-Sixty-Nine in progress, all available units respond for pursuit!”
Thus ends the power behind the throne.