The Baron Drachenheim and His *DELETED* Ladies.

Chapter 1: Why Does The New Baron Look Like A Hobo?

Island escape & arrival in Freiburg

Thean Calendar                                        1683, Decimus 20, Guerdi

Eilísh MhicCuirc, Lorenz Volker Hölzenschilde, and Lucia Constantina de Rodrigo find themselves prisoners on a secret Inquisition island prison.  Rather than accept their grim fate, they hatch a scheme to escape!  Lucia concocts a rash-inducing compound using her botany skills; Lorenz has stockpiled a dozen makeshift weapons using sticks and stones, to break Inquisition bones; and Eilísh contacts a Sidhe to gather information about the island in exchange for her unconditional aid when she will inevitably meet another Sidhe in Freiburg.  They are still just 3 prisoners, however, on an island filled with jailors.  They manage to convince the other prisoners willing to fight that any chance at freedom, no matter how small, is better than waiting for death by starvation or torture in this place.

With the other prisoners' help, they storm the small fortress guarding the Inquisition barracks and docks, dispatch most of their captors (including the Warden), and hijack the ship that brings food & water to the island.  The Captain, while hired by the Inquisition, only wants to retain control of his ship and agrees to transport all the prisoners to Five Sails in exchange for his freedom.  From Five Sails, the party retains a few horses from the Vaticine Church (complements of Lucia), and heads for Freiburg where they were instructed to go by their mysterious contact from their mysterious new double-secret society.  Coincidentally Lorenz appears to have inherited a Barony from a long-lost cousin as indicated in the Drachenheim inheritance letter he has recovered from his belongings.

1684, Secundus 1, Veldi

The mid-spring air still carries a very noticeable chill common to this region, and that is not helped by the seemingly endless overcast sky you have been gifted with for the past weeks.  Any piece of land not in direct sunlight for most of the day is still gripped with patches of muddy, slushy snow; and as you have been traveling through alpine forest, that means most of what you can see.  As your group travels through Eisen, coming down out of the mountains inherently characteristic to the country, the landscape finally begins to give way to rolling hills.  The first thing you notice is the top of what must be an enormous tower appearing over what is left of the lapidarian scenery.  As the view opens to finally give you proper view of the horizon, you find yourselves heading into a valley that appears roughly 60 miles across.  One major river runs through the plains coming in from the northwest, flowing through the center and exiting at the eastern edge.  Another, albeit smaller river, enters from the southwest and runs straight into the main water way.  This must be the convergence of the Rotstrom and Roth rivers, respectively, for at their meeting point lies the gigantic sprawling porttown of Freiburg.  The metropolis takes up the majority of the center of the valley with smaller hamlets trailing out along the banks of each river.  The famous Wachtturm stands at the city center, stark white and rising up 200 feet into the air.  Almost as if on cue with your party’s departure from the forested mountains, the clouds begin to break and real sunlight shines through!  As you descend to discover what Freiburg has in store for your motley group you can’t help but think perhaps your group’s hardships may have found their end for the moment…

As you push your way through the hustle and bustle of this cosmopolitan metropolis, you are halted by a young girl, no older than 10, shouting at everyone obvious enough to be a newcomer to the city.

“Tour guides!  Get your Freiburg Tour Guides!  Only one pfennig!”

She is standing right in your path, very clearly shouting (and staring) directly at you.  ((If the Heroes do not buy a tour guide, she sends a street urchin to pick their pocket, Wits + Notice roll, req. 2 raises))

((Any member of a secret society may leave a dead drop now letting the chapter house know they are in town))

The party makes their way to City Hall; Clerk Hannelore Urhoff raises an eyebrow at the trio in their smelly island tatters, but takes the letter regardless.  She has Lorenz sign some paperwork and the rest of the party signs as witnesses to his identity, then hands over the deed & keys to Drachenheim Manor and without any fandare whatsoever, Lorenz Volker Hölzenshilde has just become the new Baron Drachenheim.  The manor overlooks the Rotstrom River and has a beautiful view of the nearby Tuttenburg Bridge. There is even a small dock near it with an old fishing boat tied up. The manor appears to be well-maintained, and birds sing in the trees outside. If the Heroes knock on the door, an elderly man answers it, saying, “Yes, my lords? How may I be of service to you?” The man is the caretaker/butler, Armin Fauser. He is naturally reluctant to allow strangers into the house without a good reason, but showing him the deed gets results. He invites the Heroes inside and offers them something to eat and drink.

Lunch With Armin:

  1. Armin’s services come with the manor. His first master, Lord Jeremy Drachenheim, included a clause in his will giving Armin a lifetime position as head butler and providing for his salary.
  2. As of late the manor has been bouncing through the irresponsible members of the Damaske family.  The last Lord, Reinhardt, was the last known Damaske and had a reputation for gambling.  And for losing.  He met his end when a game of dice went south at The Drachen's Toe and the man he lost to just happened to have a duelist friend…
  3. The title of Lord Drachenheim goes with the manor as well. Armin knows that the title has become something of a joke, but he’s not about to tell the Heroes that.
  4. Armin will try to convince the Heroes to retain possession of the manor, at least for now. He’s tired of dealing with an endless stream of masters, and he wants some stability in his life again.
  5. Armin grew up in an orphanage and learned the servant’s trade as an alternative to crime or back-breaking work in the mines.  He showed a knack for it and eventually attained a respected position with the declining Drachenheim family.  He was promoted to head butler during Lord Jeremy Drachenheim’s tenure and after he dies he has cared for the manor ever since.
  6. The Drachenheims were a notable family who served as officers at the Stein for many generations.  They were awarded this opulent mansion when the former owner, Lord Stapp, died under mysterious circumstances.  The last Drachenheim died many years ago.
  7. The Drachenheim family made their money as merchant traders, and set aside funds for the upkeep of the manor. Any improvements the Heroes wish to make, however, must come out of their own pockets.

Despite the obvious hints from the GM to explore the city, the players decide to fritter away the rest of the day in-game and their characters go to sleep.

1684, Secundus 2, Amordi

The Heroes awake to Armin being hassled outside, on the front porch.  There seems to be local gang problems in this part of town, and the Heroes handily dispatch twenty goons belonging to some outfit calling themselves the Mad Wolves and run off two of their lieutenants.  Lorenz and Eilísh round up the survivors and lead them (still in their nightclothes) to the 2nd nearest guard station, only to find out the guards can't be bothered with, you know, their job of dealing with criminal elements of the city, so they lead the prisoners (still in their nightclothes) across town to the local jail, known as the Gaol.  In the early morning, Eilísh begins construction on a training ground in the yard of the manor.

The party spends the rest of the morning arguing about how to solve their problem of being completely broke nobility.  Two of their better ideas being either selling the shitty weapons they confiscate off of these Mad Wolves, or pimping out Armin for some kind of butler training program…



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