Masks of Chaos – part 4

Part 1 – background – is here.

Part 2 – Grey Mountains/Peru – is here.

Part 3 – Nuln/New York – is here.

ALTDORF (London)

Altdorf cityscape
Altdorf

As a reminder, these are the rough notes where I focus on making sure the underlying structure and all the names and places correctly work. Once I’ve done the same with all the chapters, I’ll then work on fleshing out each chapter in a useful GM-focused format. (Don’t get me started on my bugbear of how bad most published scenarios are presented. See my previous posts on the Bone Orchard.)

THE KNÜLLER

Michi Mahler was a friend of Jakobus Elsner and is the publisher of a scurrilous newssheet, The Knüller.

  • Shabby rooms on Hoffbann Street, in Schlafstadt.
  • Elsner thought a large cult was operating in the city. Mahler will pay for any information about it.
  • Wanted to read the archives and was interested in three stories:
    • The Obereik Slann (Carlyle Papers England #1: The Chelsea Serpent)
    • The Hägercryb Monster (Carlyle Papers England #2: The Derbyshire Monster)
    • Terror on Temple Street (Carlyle Papers England #3: Slaughter in Soho)
  • If the cultists have followed the PCs they will ritually murder Mahler

PENINGER TRADING COMPANY

Grand building in the High Elvish style, in the prosperous and bustling merchant district of the East End.

  • Founded 30 years ago by the principal Sir Alberic Peninger, a human archaeologist and antiquarian of pre-Sundering elvish culture, now turned successful merchant.
  • Peninger was one of those murdered on the Carsten Expedition.
  • Company now run by wealthy scholar, Eduard Gausman.
  • Has high-level contacts with high elves looking for ancient elvish artifacts who help fund reputable archaeological digs. Known to protect burial sites.
  • Since Peninger death, most digs have been in the Marienburg Wastes, which have also been plagued by deaths amongst the workers.
  • Current dig is led by Dr. Heinrich Klein.

Meeting Eduard Gausman

Eduard Gausman
Eduard Gausman

Tomas Kintzel, Gausman’s secretary shows PCs into office where Gausman is closing a safe door behind a painting. Kintzel makes a point of ‘realising his error’ and trying to close the door so the PCs can’t see.

  • Claims Carsten was conned by ‘a Bretonnian woman’ who ran off with their expedition funds in Marienburg, which is when they gave chase, but sadly lost their lives to orc brigands.
  • Admits Peninger sent letters to him about the expedition, but says it would be unethical to share them.
  • Carsten Expedition wasn’t a waste as they found leads to other encouraging sites.
  • If PCs reveal Jonah Kentner has Elsner’s files, Gausman will order Kentner murdered and the files stolen.

Breaking and Entering  

Gausman’s office:

  • Unlocked safe, with 500 GC in an ornate elvish money belt.
  • Painting labelled Rionnasc House.
  • Letter from Dr. Heinrich Klein on the current expedition (Carlyle Papers England #5)
  • Secret door to dusty storage room:
    • Path to a cadaver effigy of an elven maiden lying as if asleep (a common belief among some high elves that the ‘dead’ may have actually just fallen into a deep slumber from which they will one day awaken.
    • Press either or both eyes and the whole base slides aside revealing steps down.

Secret Basement Room:

  • Desk containing money, several writ of passages in Gausman’s name and others throughout the Old World, and paperwork:
    • Receipts for warehousing with Poldi Clauer in Reikerbahn and the Old Docks and shipment of ‘various antiquities’ to Sartosa on the Ivory Wind.
    • Receipts and orders with Hentze Manufacturing.
    • Business card for Empire Spices in the Temple District (theatres)
    • Borderline heretical artwork depicting foul rituals, mass murder and despicable acts.
    • Crate with a shipping label of Folke Holmstrom, Sartosa, containing a statue of the Bloated Woman.
    • Crate to Ramirez Shipping Company, Estalia containing a statue of Slaanesh.
    • Ornate sandalwood chest carved with monsters, containing two enchanted silver daggers.
    • Bookcase:
      • Various obscene, but irrelevant occult texts,
      • Various references to different gods (all aspects of Slaanesh without naming it)
      • Various scrolls that detail dark and chaotic magic spells.
    • Small stone jar containing Powder of Ibn-Ghazi (functionally the same as CoC)

Watching Gausman and the Trading Company

  • Visits Zwiertje Schab at Empire Spice
  • Visits Hentze Manufacturing
  • Visits Rionnasc House
  • Goes to his home nearby at night, or the innocuous Diamond Club.
  • Worker-cultists visit the Blue Peacock Club after work.
  • Guarded delivery from Poldi Clauer in Reikerbahn.
  • Gausman’s home is clean, but risky and risks him summoning the Thing in the Fog (essentially the same)

Poldi Clauer in The Old Docks, Reikerbahn

Essentially the same.

The Ivory Wind

Old merchant ship at the Old Docks.

  • Essentially the same, including Captain Lars Torvak
  • The crates contain machined parts, cogs and strange pumps.
  • Representations of the Father of Bats, The Peacock Prince, and [another aspect of Slaanesh]; [Chaos knife], Conch Shell of Fog; ‘boots’ of degloved human feet, the skin cured, that when worn allow for fast travel, large painting by Myles Shiffman.

THE OBEREIK SLANN

Ssathasaa the slann (1st edition slann that is)

Ssathasaa is a slaan captured in Lustria and brought back to the Old World as a novelty and eventually sold to a member of the Brotherhood as a sex slave. Driven insane through torture and mistreatment, he recently escaped and turned to dark magick to enact his revenge.

To do so, he is feeding a potent magical drug he stole in his escape form the wealthy cultist to the young artist, Myles Shiffman. Under the effects of the drug, Myles’ mind falls back through time to the ages when the Old Slann still ruled the world. Feverishly, Myles paints the revealed scenes, which Ssathasaa uses in rituals to try and open a gate back in time. Should he do so he hopes to summon hordes of his ancient yet advanced kin and lead them in an invasion of the Old World.

In the meantime, he usually appears in the guise of Bertha Shiffman, Myles’ mother, whose body he consumed to fuel the ritual.

Inside the House

  • Overly warm, humid, strange animal smell.
  • Ground Floor, essentially the same.
  • Upper Floor:
    • Shiffman’s bedroom as is, except drug is taken as a powder through a pipe, instead of liquid in a syringe.
      • Visions reveal Old Slann and primitive peoples, the collapse of the gates, early decadence of the elves, suggestion of the skaven gnawing at the foundations of the dwarven cities, Chaos incursions, the Carsten expedition.
  • Basement, essentially the same.
  • The Garret:
    • Ancient Science, essentially the same, but a dark elf.
    • The Peacock Prince (Dark Pharaoh), essentially the same, but elves in ancient Rionnasc.
    • Goat Wood, essentially the same, but more beastmen.
    • Drawn in Blood, essentially the same, but chaos symbols.
    • Black Mountain, essentially the same, but Bretonnia.
    • Padlocked chest with an almost finished painting showing an ice age landscape. Around the edges are various extinct creatures of the time and proto elves, dwarves and humans falling back on their haunches in shock or prostrating themselves before an Old Slann in the centre. Where the slann stands the ice and snow has vanished and lush, verdant rainforest has burst from the ground. The slann holds something technological in one hand and something arcane in another. Behind it stands taller powerful lizardfolk warrior guardians and what looks like an orangutan.

The painting comes to life and tries to pull anyone viewing it into the past where they are permanently lost.

THE HÄGERCRYB MONSTER

Hentze Manufacturing is nearby, described in records as a minor ‘franchisee’ of the Engineers Guild (see below).

Eloise Wein has the Curse of the Weins where she has recently started to manifest the inheritable mutation of Chaos Were (RoC – StD pp118) turning into a beastman (RoC – StD pp 65) that’s rare base is a Fiend of Slaanesh and so considered holy by local beastmen.

Pvt. Hubert Tummer

The entire watch for Edalstein, in Reikland’s Hägercryb hills.

Eloise Wein

Daughter of Lord Artur Wein, and unfortunate heiress to the Curse of the Weins.

Lenz Wein

The male heir to the Wein title, and brother to the cursed Eloise Wein.

Sir Artur Wein

Minor nobility, and father to Lawrence and Eloise. His castle sits above Edalstein, in Reikland.

Fr. Jeremius Strecker

Priest of Sigmar in Edalstein, Reikland.

Plot is essentially the same, except introduce a slaaneshi beastman pack who comes to protect Eloise if you want extra challenge and complication.

TERROR ON TEMPLE STREET

Zwiertje Schab

Marienburg spice-dealer at Empire Spices and acolyte to the magus of the Altdorf branch of the Brotherhood of the Peacock Prince, Eduard Gausman. She wants to use the investigators in a bid to eliminate Gausman and take control of the cult, as directed by Marius Schaake, the head of the Marienburg, and thus superior to Altdorf, branch of the Brotherhood.

Sgt. Jakob Baringer

A rare straight copper in the Watch. Handling the so-called ‘Marienburg murders’ for the Altdorf Watch. Partner, Gregor Mundhenk, talked with Elsner a year ago who revelaed the Brotherhood and suggested Peninger and Gausman could be involved. Mundhenk disappeared soon after going to talk to them.

  • 17 of the 19 murders were people from Marienburg. All killed by some kind of wooden club with nails driven through it. Different heights of killer suggest a cult.
  • Many frequented, as do many Marienburgers, the Blue Peacock tavern in the Theatre District.
  • One regular to the club that also works with the Peninger Tradign Company is Zwiertje Schab.

THE BLUE PEACOCK TAVERN

Abram Naas

Proprietor of the Blue Peacock tavern in Altdorf’s Theatre District

Yvette Elsen

Troubadour at the Blue Peacock tavern whose lover – Bastiaan – was murdered by the Brotherhood of the Peacock Prince.

  • Later kidnapped and taken to Rionnasc House for sacrifice.

Otherwise, essentially the same.

EMPIRE SPICES

Bretonnian herbs and spices importer to the Empire.

  • Édouard, Schab’s assistant and junior cultist
  • Essentially the same, except:
    • The inverted ankh is the inverted Quul, the elvish rune for the Tree of Life.
    • The robe is shimmering multi-coloured.
    • Two sceptres depict the two sister deities:
      • A serrated dagger representing Hekarti, the Hydra Queen of dark magic
      • A masked figure entwined with blood-red snakes, representing Atharti, the elven goddess of pleasure and seduction.
    • Anything depicted black is now brightly coloured.

HENTZE MANUFACTURING

Described in public records as little more than a minor engineer with apprentices specialising in provincial agricultural, timber and hydro needs, the actual building is considerably larger and the operations are actually located here to provide illegal, off-the-books services for regional nobility and increasingly the Brotherhood.

Otherwise, all essentially the same.

RIONNASC HOUSE

Daemonette

Eduard Gausman’s country estate by the Reiker Marshes, the Emperor’s Reikguard and their castle in the distance.

Essentially the same, except:

  • Painting of the Peacock Prince.
  • Gavigan robes are covered with stitched peacock feathers. All ceremonial wear includes slender alabaster masks representing elves.
  • The ceremonial clubs are elvish and ornately carved, with nail driven through its head, marring its beauty.
  • Inverted ankhs are now the inverted Quul, the elvish rune for the Tree of Life.
  • The stele is ancient elvish, brought here from afar, and has elvish writing carved into it, supplications to Hekarti and Atharti.
  • Lesser rites summon a Slaaneshi fiend whose musk drives the cultists wild, rushing to it and often killing each other in their eagerness to suckle on its breasts.
  • Grand rites summon a daemonette riding a steed of Slaanesh in place of the herald.

Next week, I’ll do the same format for Marienburg/Cairo.

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