Warning: BTAM spoilers ahead!
Having gained favour with the smuggler Gabi Tabbecker the Black Dogs find themselves sleeping in a farmhouse not far from Karlstadt with access to a tunnel they can follow into the town itself. They are rudely awoken by Gabi who gives them advice; avoid The Seven and their creatures and remember weapons of any kind are outlawed. Walking around looking like adventurers will get you in trouble.
The tunnel leads to the basement of a house at the northern edge of the town; last time it was used the building was empty but now it seems a family have moved in. Deciding they don’t want to be discovered the Black Dogs narrowly escape detection when Magdalyn, the wife of Gawinus and mother of Ruben (or so they believe having listened in on their conversations) comes into the basement for food supplies. A while later with various chores pressing the family leave the house, securing it on their way out.
Tough decisions are made about what gear to take onto the streets of Karlstadt and those with chainmail armour leave it behind along with all of their weapons. Even Maldron reluctantly leaves his two handed sword behind. Hemming takes his quarterstaff believing he can convince any who question him that it he needs it to walk. Because that would be rational, and there is an abundance of rationality in Karlstadt right now.
Hemming unlocks a padlock on the back door of the house and Balock unlocks the door itself and within no time the party are out on the streets of Karlstadt. The many buildings of the town are overflowing with refugees, and many are living on the overcrowded streets; all seeking safety from the Swedish army.
The air still thick with insects, the stench of effluent and human misery, our adventurers spend some time exploring the burgeoning town and as part of their investigations learn:
- The locations of the homes of The Seven
- To avoid Plague Alley
- The Bauer House (cue sad attempts at singing “She’s in parties”), home of the 8th Sorcerer is in ruins
- People like to make music and dance when the world is going to shit
- The Catholic Church has been sequestered by the Burgerfriedensmiliz
- The Joy spends her time in Zum Erleuchteten Hurenbrock and is a mine of information
- The Provider feeds the populace of the town every day at 3
- The Watcher can be found at the church or her home and just before midday every day heads from her home to the town gates to determine who may enter
- The Reminder is handing out books; Hemming grabs a sample which contains a Read Magic spell
- The Defiler visits the cemetery every night where she can be seen ranting
- The Defender has a nice house to herself
- The Mother hasn’t been seen in town for a while. This reminds Miklos of the mad woman he talked to last week who had a dim view of the Mother and ranted about the Insect God
- The creatures of The Seven are hideous things (at least those that have been seen so far)
With tentative plans for next session of a visit to The Joy (that is going to be fun!) and checking out the Bauer House plus with Gustavus Adolphus and his boys likely not too far away now, getting the heads of The Seven is looking like a tall order.