The Fanatasy Role-Playing Game of Medieval Germany
Being the Known Memoirs of Ebhard of Achdorf
Abbot, Bishop, Knight, and Hero
Gretchen Wilburg first assembled us at the Schmerker, one of the better inns in Worms. Noble-born, charismatic, a great speaker, and handy with sword or bow, she was our natural leader.
Our second member, Gunther Langer, was a huge man. A former mercenary fallen on hard times, he had more than one score to settle, and plenty of fighting skills to do it. Just watching him twirl a mace was an education.
Hans Muller was a university graduate, an intellectual, and a practicing alchemist of no mean skill. He'd spent the last few years as a travelling merchant. We appreciated his quick wit and research skills. He was also good with small devices. Hans urged us to invest in a set of lockpicks and a decent philosopher's stone at the earliest opportunity.
I was the oldest of our party. A noble-born younger son, I'd helped run the family estates, been an abbot, even a bishop briefly, and was recently knighted by a Duke for my part in a battle. Unfortunately, he wasn't a Duke my father approved of, so here I was! Few questioned my virtue or religious knowledge, and I had a talent for healing. My weakest point was that full knightly armor tended to make me clumsy and slow. I wasn't alone in this. Hans had a similar problem.
Comparing our skills and resources, we decided to be cautious. At first we concentrated on helping the citizenry with the local scum. The city guard concentrated on the walls, main streets and richer parts of town. We patrolled the nighttime back streets, which were infested with bandits, brigands and robbers of the lowest sort. Many were quite inept. Sometimes we bagged two or three parties in a row, only quitiing when someone's strength or endurance ran low.
This occupation increased our wealth, experience and local reputation. If our wounds were serious, we sometimes left the city and camped outside for a few days. After all, the gate toll into the city was cheaper than a multi-day stay for everyone at the Schmerker. We avoided staying in the slums or parks because people tended to think of us as freeloading scum a bad impression we were taking pains to avoid!
As we accumulated funds, we took riverboats up and down the Rhine to neighboring cities. Hans learned new formulas and found sources for many valuable ingredients. I urged everyone to spend time in the monastic libraries, learning whatever saints their virtue permitted. Our now-traditional night patrols enhanced our reputation in many places, as well as defraying all the costs.
Once we had located sufficient alchemical sources, Hans sold his more valuable potions (which we had carefully hoarded) and bought new components. This was the start of "Muller's Fine Elixir and Potions, Limited," a profitable alchemy business. We would patrol at night, buy components by day, and then during the healing interludes Hans created new potions. These new potions could be sold at a profit, allowing us to buy more components and start the cycle once more.
Our goal was sufficient wealth to outfit everyone with good weapons and armor, and to create a reserve stock of potions for use in battle. Alas, boredom got the better of us. We listened to the pleadings of a foreign trader in Mainz, who begged us to recover an illuminated Gospel. Venturing into the wilds, we found the Gospel easily enough, but were almost eaten by hungry wolves, not to mention petitioned by a rapacious bishop for money we could ill afford. Alas, we could afford a fight with his retainers even less, so we agreed to his demands!
Returning to Mainz, we happened to notice at the inn that a freelancer was hiring adventurers. We inquired and discovered he had a warehouse full of spiders. Thinking to ourselves, "How much trouble could spiders be?" we accepted. Needless to say, at the warehouse we found ourselves in the fight of our lives against spiders at least four feet tall and fast as the wind! After these close shaves with death we returned to our traditional activities, only to find ourselves ambushed by pirates on our next riverboat trip! We survived, continued our original pursuits, and finally had accumulated sufficient funds to outfit everyone with their preferences of armor and weaponry.
Feeling stronger than before, we ventured into the wilderness once more, this time seeking the castle of an evil robber-knight. The combined reward among various merchants and pharmacists for his death was over 50 florins! We encountered a variety of monasteries and castles, some nice, some not so nice, before we finally reached the half-ruined citadel the raubritter called home. Camping outside, we besieged him, defeating group after group trying to enter or leave. Finally he sallied forth in person to challenge us. By this time, his followers had almost abandoned him. Still, it was a tough battle, especially when we discovered that our arrows had virtually no effect on his plate armor! In the end we staggered away, half dead but victorious! We immediately camped to restore our strength before making the dangerous trip back to various sponsors for our rewards.
The victory over the raubritter really began the second phase of our adventures. We became knights errant, wandering across Germany, doing favors and destroying more raubritters on commission. We even eliminated a few evil lords when the only reward was the virtue of the act. Soon wealthy, we searched for the finest weapons and armor, eventually settling on Nünrberg plate, Paderborn swords and flails, Dresden hammers, and Teschen bows. Everyone was mounted; in fact, one time Gunther actually fought an informal joust with a travelling knight! We were about to undertake an expedition to help some needy miners, or perhaps deal with a dragon, when a dream full of evil portents assailed us all.
The day after that dream our lives were changed. We now realized that a horrible, demonic danger hung over the land. Suddenly the fierce fight with Satan-worshipping villagers a few months back took on new significance. We remembered their mysterious clues about times and places. An evil event was only a few days off. We quickly rushed there, only to discover it was a dread High-Sabbot, a conclave of witches. Through stratagem, we managed to disguise ourselves and enter ...
Here ends the fragment.
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