TWISTS IN THE TALE

Warning. This post contains spoilers for The Enemy Within campaign.

I have some bits and pieces relating to The Enemy Within that didn’t find a home in The Enemy Within: A Companion. I thought I would post some of them here. They are some ideas for variations to Mistaken Identity and Shadows Over Bögenhafen. I appreciate most GMs will have plenty of their own ideas, and none of the ideas below necessarily improves on the original (many will probably consider them worse). But I share them anyway, in case they are of any interest. They were mainly borne out of a desire to experiment and try something new.

WANDA’S TALE

decree

Shortly before the start of the campaign the Emperor issues a decree banning magic throughout the Empire. Any PC wizard (such as the pre-generated character Wanda Weltschmerz) begins the campaign on the run. In Wanda’s case she is heading to Altdorf to meet with her mentor, Hieronymus Blitzen and his other apprentice (see Death on the Reik, pages 17-19), with a view then to gaining passage to the safety of Marienburg. All three are travelling independently to lessen the chance that they are discovered. Wanda has enlisted a local thief (the pre-generated PC Kirsten Krank) to help her.

In Altdorf, the agreed rendezvous goes awry and Wanda discovers only the charred corpses of Blitzen and her fellow apprentice. Both have been caught and burnt at the stake by the witch hunter Fabergas Heinzdork. Wanda has good reasons to flee Altdorf and head for Bögenhafen.

Later in the campaign she discovers that the ban on magic is, to the Emperor’s apparent anger, not being enforced in Middenheim, which has become a refuge for wizards across the northern Empire.

The idea behind this change was simply to experiment with an even lower magic setting. It potentially creates some difficulties for the player and GM. There is a risk the PC wizard may wish to head to Marienburg, in spite of hooks leading elsewhere. The complexion of the Scroll Tax in Middenheim is somewhat changed.  The PC wizard will need to find a new mentor. But none of these issues is insurmountable.

KIRSTEN’S TALE

In addition to helping the wizard flee to Altdorf, the PC thief (Kirsten Krank, if the pre-generated characters are used) has another reason to travel from Delberz. She is searching for her brother, Rolf, who recently disappeared.

Rolf Krank takes the role of Rolf Hurtsis in Mistaken Identity (p43), and Kirsten discovers the real reason for his disappearance.

The idea here was to make the Rolf Hurtsis event more shocking and provide Kirsten with an additional motive to make the journey to Altdorf.

ERNST’S TALE

The PCs do not meet Ernst Heidlemann travelling to Altdorf. Instead he is a passenger on The Berebeli to Bögenhafen.  Etelka Herzen has charged him with conveying to Johannes Teugen the scroll he needs for his ritual. During the journey to Bögenhafen the PCs and Heidlemann encounter the signalling device and observatory of Dagmar von Wittgenstein (as described in Death on the Reik, pp30-34).

The rationale behind this change is to reduce the element of coincidence and to tie the Red Crown narrative more closely to the PCs’. It creates the possibility of the PCs discovering about both Johannes Teugen and the Red Crown earlier in the campaign, which can create some interesting (and possibly difficult) twists. It also provides a reason why both groups are aware of von Wittgenstein’s tower.

JOSEF’S TALE

Josef Quartjin is severely wounded and dies dramatically in Adolphus Kuftsos’ attack on The Berebeli. Wolmar and Gilda, the remaining crew of The Berebeli (p47), take over the boat. (In this version they lack a daughter.)

This serves two purposes. First, it provides an emotional climax to Mistaken Identity. Second, it paves the way for the PCs to acquire The Berebeli (see below).

RENATE’S TALE

Renate Hausier (see Death on the Reik, p12) is another passenger aboard The Berebeli. She is, in this instance, a young runaway with a gift for prophecy. During the journey to Bögenhafen she delivers to the PCs a prophecy containing the information in Shadows Over Bögenhafen, p 15.

When in Bögenhafen she sees the demon Gideon in human form, but recognises him and his real nature from her prophetic vision. Gideon is aware that she has seen through him and arranges for thugs to kidnap her from The Berebeli and to use her as the sacrificial victim in the ritual. During the kidnap Wolmar and Gilda, the remaining crew of The Berebeli, are killed.

These changes have a number of objectives. First, the prophecy creates a sense of foreboding about Bögenhafen and provides some clues. Second, Renate’s kidnap creates another dramatic element to the ritual. Finally, the PCs end as de facto owners of The Berebeli, and so can proceed directly into the river travel of Death on the Reik, omitting pp10-12 of that adventure.

All page references are to the GW first editions.

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