With Shadows Over Bogenhafen complete, we were now two adventures down in the Enemy Within campaign. Now would start what has often been cited as one of the best adventures written for any RPG… Death on the Reik.
The players and characters were;
Ed – Thorgrim – Dwarf Scholar
Amy – Llewellyn – Wood Elf Warrior
Andy – Thorn – Wood Elf Scholar (wizard’s apprentice)
James – Deem – Dwarf Warrior
Alan – Yvette – Human Ranger
Death on the Reik starts fairly slowly, with the players effectively doing some downtime work. It begins with Josef the bargeman taking them out of Bogenhafen, a town which had become a little too ‘hot’ for them.
A couple of days out of Bogenhafen, they came across a boat that had been cast adrift in the middle of the river. Ever curious (and completely missing the warning calls of a mutant in the trees that was watching their approach), they boarded the boat to see what was what.
Within a minute, the mutants attacked, a submerged one with big tentacles seizing Alan while others leapt up from below decks and the ‘watcher in the trees’ using its wings to dive down into the fray. The fight did not last too long and the players were victorious without too many bumps and scrapes. It was not until Josef pointed out that the boat was technically salvage that their eyes lit up – they had their own boat!
Alan appointed himself captain, mainly because the other players had already started arguing over who was going to get which cabin. It was some time before anyone thought to check the hold, which contained a great many sacks of wool which was worth just shy of a thousand Gold Crowns – far more money than any of them had seen before.
Josef quickly gave them instructions on how a boat works (no one had Boat Handling skills), and Amy was appointed chief pilot, mainly because her stats meant she would fail Boat Handling tests the least. At least, that was the theory – the first lock they came to on the Weissbruck Canal saw the boat (now renamed Moon’s Folly) sustain the first of what would be a lot of damage as Amy tried to negotiate obstacles.
Josef was heading north, so bade them farewell, and the players were free to act as they saw fit!
They did, however, have a number of jobs to sort out. When raiding the Steinhager offices in Bogenhafen, they had turned up documentation that indicated that a powerful wizard called Etelka Hertzen was up to no good in and around Kemperbad, a fair distance to the south. Andy wanted to return to Delberz so he could receive training from his old master and become a proper wizard. They also had an idea that they could all become rich by using their new boat to begin a trading business.
Putting the evil wizard off for the time being, they headed to Altdorf, where Josef had lined up a contact for them to sell their wool. They managed to get 900 Gold Crowns for it, and immediately bought as much wood as they could find, thinking they could sell it elsewhere. Altdorf was left promptly behind when Alan spotted wanted posters that showed his face, in connection with the murder of a couple of young nobles – fall out from the Mistaken Identity scenario. James, meanwhile, found himself being followed by odd men trying to pass secret messages to him. His own case of mistaken identity had clearly not been resolved.
Andy convinced them all to return to Delberz, where they managed to sell their wood (for a meagre profit, but a profit nonetheless), and then they all piled round to his master’s abode, eager to see the manner of man that had trained Andy.
Andy was not… polite to his master’s other apprentice, the one who had stayed behind, and managed to somewhat confuse his master with tales of everything he had been up to. However, the players did learn that the evil wizard down south (Etelka) was bad news. Andy arranged to stay with his master for a month, during which the rest of the players visited old friends and family. Well, when I say the rest of the players, Alan and James decided to head off out of town to act as highwaymen, an endeavour that proved profitable for James but which cost Alan a Fate point as he was forced to dodge the attentions of roadwardens.
Meanwhile, Andy completed his training and was now a bona fide wizard, level one. The first spell he learned was Fireball which had the other players fearing for their lives.
This done, they loaded up their boat and proceeded to head south to find an evil wizard and disrupt her plans…