Kougar Smells

1. It Always Starts at an Inn
Or how our adventurers meet in a most precarious situation with many machination therein

Welcome to Four Table and Stallion, a most average inn on a backwater road of that most backwater of provinces Stirland. Known for its cheap wine, affordable breakfasts, and humongous privy, the Horse and Four Tables is soon to be known for much more sinister business indeed!

Gretta Falkenhiem is a young lass and daughter of the Falkenhiems’, proprietors of the Inn. Boorish in character but cumly in appearance, Gretta spends her night in the same fashion as she has her whole life; serving the town drunks, flushing the pantry of rats, and being locked in her room to protect her most fleeting chastity.

Rutiger is a cocky noble off to Wurtbad for a barely needed vacation. In the bar Rutiger acts much like one would expect from a fratboy; engaging in games of chance, attempting to woo the aforementioned cumly lasses, and encouraging the local drunks into tormenting an unsuspecting Halfling.

Taffit Manglepie is a most unsuspecting Halfling Fieldwarden. Having been sent to Wurtbad from the Moot as part of an officers exchange program, Taffit is unfamiliar with the crazy racist ways of the locals, and soon finds himself badly beaten and strung up like a piñata.

Enter two different strange odors, shortly followed by Ulrich The Foul. Ulrich is a Hedgewizard on the lam. Having been exposed in his native Wissenland for that most heinous crime of witchery, Ulrich journeys to Wurtbad for a fresh start, and maybe a chance to increase his power. Due to his general unpleasantness, Ulrich is only allowed to spend the night in the stables, where he finds a most battered and unconscious Halfling.

As the players rest (save for Rutiger who follows Mrs. Falkenhiem into the basement for a sordid liaison) trouble is brewing. Taffit and Ulrich awaken to the sound of shouts, Ulrich seeing a shadowy figure flee. A roadwarden arrives and discovers everyone in the Inn save for the Players have been brutally murdered (cue organ).

Marcus the roadwarden takes statements from the players. Taffit, being an officer of the law and having the most excellent alibi of being tied up and unconscious, is quickly deemed innocent. Gretta having been locked in her room is also cleared. Rutiger’s nobility and charm put him beyond reproach. Ulrich is however highly suspected, and entrusted to Taffit to tie up and guard.

The investigation begins, but Taffit is clearly not ready for the big leagues, having spent his life in the sleepy moot. Several important clues are missed, including a most damning trail of blood leading up from the basement. The gang does discover that the differently-abled Stable boy was not amongst the bodies counted, and also that the transpirings had the mark of necromancy apon them. This casts further doubt on Ulrich, who is locked in the roadwardens jail as the gang goes to investigate the stable boys hovel.

The stable boys hovel has an air which only Ulrich could appreciate. Catching the stable boy performing some dark rite things seem painfully clear, or are they? In the ensuing melee, Rutiger expounds his theory that it was impossible for the stable boy to commit the crime alone, and that Marcus provided no alibi and appeared with far too convenient timing. Taffit was won over by this and struck Marcus, allowing Rutiger to deliver a severing blow to his leg. Rutiger then slew the stable boy. Seeing his chance to finish things Rutiger lashed out at Taffit, who only barely dodged the blow. Rutiger felt a debilitating pain. Ulrich had become wise to him and begun stabbing a crude voodoo doll he had constructed in jail. Rutiger seeing his odds as less favorable fled, as the gang stayed and tended to a critically wounded Marcus.

So it turns out Caleb truly is a bastard and was messing with them the whole time. Even though he had no alibi, and the trail of blood leading from Mrs. Twillemeyer’s body to the basement where they had their liaison should have blown his cover. Instead he tricked Johann into helping him maim the only person that had treated him decently in the game.

Way to go Johann.

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2. Dial M for Many Murderous Monsters
or how our adventurers are waylaid by many curse-ed creatures

Gretta and Taffit make haste for Wurtbad to get Marcus proper medical attention for his now severed leg. Before they leave they grab several pages of dark magicks from the stable boys hovel, and free Ulrich The Foul from the Wardens jail. Ulrich manages to staunch Marcus’ blood loss, earning himself some gratitude from the suspicious road warden.

On the road the gang is waylaid by a large wolf and some dirty cannibals, who Taffit correctly identifies as ghouls. Although the defeat the despicable creatures, several of their horses are lost, the wolf manages to escape, and their cart is broken. Gretta wanders into a nearby hamlet to find a repairman while the others manage to find their mounts, however this has cost the gang most of daylight and Marcus’ condition continues to deteriorate.

The group pushes forward, but as darkness falls and they hear the dolorous howls of many a scary creature they decide to find themselves a fortified position. Locating some ruins the gang surrounds it with torches. Ulrich wanders off in search of spell ingredients, but dilly-dallies a bit too long and finds himself surrounded by zombies. Instead of beating a hasty retreat Ulrich climbs a nearby tree just in time to see a wolf nipping at his heels.

The zombies mass around the house as Marcus, Taffit, and Gretta try and pick them off. The zombies have trouble ascending the ruins, and instead begin pushing on the house in an attempt to topple it. They have some success at first, but as their numbers dwindle whatever force was controlling them seems to give up, and the bodies cease to animate.

In the morning the group makes its way to Wurtbad unharried. Marcus is admitted to the hospital. Taffit is put in charge of the investigation and asked to write a full report, but gets a strong feeling he is just wanted out of the way. Taffit visits the family of a deceased wealthy couple that were staying at the inn, but he is rebuffed most racistly. Gretta gets a job as a servant at the wealthy families house, and learns the couple recently purchased some land at auction.

Gretta claims the land of her departed family, but is also put in charge of dealing with mess. Ulrich goes to Dirk Minterts book store to have one of the dark pages deciphered. Dirk takes the page and says he has a friend who might be able to translate it; in the meantime Ulrich is given an ABC book so that he might learn to read. Taffit takes the second dark page to the temple of Morr, it is sent to an expert who confirms it is a spell for the summoning of undead.

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3. Dial F*** for Fritz Altmann
or introducing a most inscrutable squire

Taking a break from his duties guarding a wayside shrine, Fritz Altmann is summoned by the head of his order, Ulric Vinterfresh, at the church of Morr. Fritz is giving a mysterious page and told to take it to hermitage owned by The Order of the Raven Knights; a more martial group of Morr worshippers. On his journey Fritz encounters some most bumbling orcs, but makes short work of them.

Fritz meets Mattheaus Voelkel, a knight, and is asked to come to the graveyard with him for some divination ingredients. After wasting a few ghouls Fritz and Mattheaus get the ingredients and decipher the spell. Mattheaus tells Fritz the spell is for mass summoning of undead, but is incomplete, he asks to take it to his order in Siegfriedhof for further study.

Upon returning to Wurtbad Fritz discovers Ulric has been replaced by a much more conservative Priest named Thilo Rein, who wants nothing to do with the Raven Knights or any superstitious garbage. Fritz is ordered to go to a nearby coaching inn, The Four Table and Stallion, to properly bury a number of bodies.

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4. "Oh, there's just one more thing..."
or how our adventurers realise the direness of their situation through the lost art of detectery

Taffit, Gretta, Marcus, and Ulrichmeet Fritz, who has been sent to help give the murdered folk at The Four Table and Stallion a proper send off. Taffit investigates the inn bit more and finds a Deed to a nearby castle, Engelhard Keep, amongst the slain von Rutenbergs. The deed is indeed ;) authentic and states that the von Rutenbergs bought the keep from an auction of unclaimed estates. The rest of the gang begins putting some of the bodies to rest, but is unable to complete the work before sundown.

No one is surprised when the night is disturbed by the shambling horde of unburied corpses. As the party fights off the interlopers Gretta is forced to kill the zombie version of her little sister and finds Rutiger fleeing the upstairs, deed in hand. Gretta and Taffit manage to wound Rutiger who shockingly turns into a wolf and attempts to flee. Ulrich sees the wolf leaving, deed in maw, and at the last moment forces the beast to drop it with a well timed spell. With the rest of the zombies defeated, and Rutiger having made good his escape, the remainder of the night is quiet. In the morning they lay the remaining bodies to rest.

Seeing the significance of the deed the party heads off to Engelhard keep. Along the way they encounter a solitary cloaked rider, the rider questions them to their business. Fritz notices his Moor iconography makes the rider uneasy, and swears he can hear him sniffing them. The rider leaves without incident.

Arriving at the hamlet surrounding the keep, the gang books a room at “The Only Inn in Town”. Taffit and Marcus question Saul Engelhard, the owner of the keep. He claims to know nothing and provides a deed with his name on it. The deed is authentic but seems unusually old. Whilst studying his ABC’s in the inn, Ulrich fails to notice the deed being reeled away by a fishing line. He sees it just as it flies out the window, but is too corpulent to give chase.

Returning to Wurtbad Taffit and Gretta go to the Office of Properties and Deeds to acquire another copy of the lost deed. The clerk is surprised to find that the city copy has been stolen. He informs the two that he had hired an assistant a few months ago, and two weeks ago the assistant had skipped town, stealing the clerk’s petty cash and apparently the deed. Gretta smartly asks for the assistant’s description, which was a spot on Rutiger.

Ulrich returns to the Bookstore, where Dirk Mintert takes him to meet Victor Krieg. Victor explains some of the scroll, teaching Ulrich a simple spell, but afterwards refuses to return the original. Victor tells Ulrich he will give him copy if he answers all his questions, but Ulrich instead grabs it and runs for the door. The two old men catch up with Ulrich and a battle of minds ensues. Things escalate when Ulrich pulls out a weapon, surprised and desperate the two pull out weapons of their own. Ulrich sees things are not in his favor and leaves without the page, swearing vengeance.

Gretta and Fritz get jobs at the Keep as a servant and guard respectively, as the rest of the gang hides out in the hamlet. Fritz one day notices a mysterious cloaked man riding into the keep; he describes it to Gretta who determines it to be Rutiger. The two begin snooping around the castle but are caught. Gretta’s cover is blown, but Fritz manages to convince the guard he was the one that caught her by smacking her around a bit. As Fritz and the other guard lock up Gretta, the guard makes a most ominous announcement. “The master will be interested in this when he wakes from his slumber” (it’s nearly nightfall, that’s why this is extra ominous).

Fritz returns to the gate where Ulrich, Marcus, and Taffit roll up. He explains to them the situation and the group must figure out a course of action, darkness falls.

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