We continued just after the combat with the three cultists from the last session had finished. While Ludvig was running to get help the other team members started to search the room to see what clues they could find which would help them to solve the mystery behind Reingards murder. But due to mischief dices none of them managed to find anything before the local towns guard arrived lead by lieutenant Ottokar Hilscher who was most suspicious about the whole situation until one of his men found the mark on Reingards forehead. This instantly aroused the player's suspicions and after Ottokar Hilscher Explained that this was the 9th incident he was aware of in the last two years they told him about their previous encounter with the mark.
Wilham spotted that another guard found a letter on one of the cultists and at the same time thanks to a crit on his perception test discovered a sketch of some sort beneath some books on the writing desk. He diverted the attention of everyone else in the room besides Ludvig by calling attention to the letter the guard had found and quickly palmed the sketch. The letter was a message from Adelbert Ehmann in Araby who was telling Volkhard Scharf about a possible source of some purchases. On the table, he also noted a flyer to a bar in Marienburg called "the Stumbling Tiger", which he players found to be an odd name but Otto quickly reminded them that Marienburg is a city which has people coming from all over the world. Ottokar Hilscher told the party about the other investigation and that lt. Lt. Lubin Erlach had caught a man who was accused of the previous crimes. Lt. Lubin Erlach is in charge of the Reikerbahn Bezirk which is where the suspect was caught and therefore he has been assigned the cases. Ottokar was clearly annoyed by the fact that the cases were assigned to Erlach.
The players decided to visit Erlach and they arranged to meet with Hilsher two days later. When they were leaving the hotel they left through the back due to all the blood which had sprayed onto them during the fight. There they found the third cultist dead on the ground. After they had cleaned up a bit using the troth in the yard they investigated the cultist. On him, they found two calling cards, one for the Lanric Society in Nuln and one for Emerson Importe where the name Gregor Boeglin was written on the back. They also found a letter from a Beatrix Ramsauer who had written Reingard about a book he had requested. The book had gone missing but she was certain that they had other books which could help him in his endeavor. Wilham knew of Beatrix, who is a librarian at the library of folklore and occult studies, in his new profession as an apprentice of the grey order. They decided to head home and meet up the next day to start their investigation.
The next day they all received an invitation by messenger to the funeral of Reingard on the 17th of Rachexen at the temple of Moor in the Domplatz Bezirk. After this, they met up at a local pub where the party had some breakfast and planned out their investigation. They decided to visit Beatrix first to see what information they could gather about Reingards current investigation.
The library is a tall slender stone building filled with ornamentation and crowned with gargoyles at the top. The main door is decorated with the symbols of the gods of the empire. Inside they were greeted by an older woman who Wilhelm knew to be Beatrix. She greeted them and after they had explained the situation she regrettably informed them they could only get access to the books if they were endorsed by a person of influence, such as a priest, witch hunter or magister since the books in the library were very sensitive in nature. But she did explain what had happened when the book Reingard was seeking had vanished. One day, one of her coworkers had seen the book vanish from they shelve were it rested, and the room had been filled by a foul smell afterward. The witch hunters had concluded that it had been the work of dark magic.
Konrad, Ludvig, and Wilhelm went to visit their masters to see if they could gain access to the books in the library. Konrad and Wilhelm succeeded but Ludvig received a scolding from his engineering master for seeking information in books about occult subjects. Konrad and Wilhelm proceeded to read information about the Cult of the purple tongue while Ludvig and Dieter tried to visit Emerson Importe to see what they could find there, and all the while Otto and Mira ventured out into town to see what they could find on the Scharf expedition.
Konrad and Wilhelm found that the cult of the purple tongue originated in the border princes, where they had supposedly been eradicated by witch hunters. The center of the cult had been the city of Mackburg where to witch hunters had found the supposed head of the cult and killed everyone connected to the cult, or so they had believed. The cult had been doing a lot of blood sacrifices and strange rituals, and they had been operating in the princedom for very long. Konrad remembered the city of Mackburg from the neighboring princedom to where he grew up.
At Emerson Importe Ludvig and Dieter found Dietrich Emerson (Arthur Emerson) working at his desk. They asked about his connection to Reingard and he told them that Reingard had visited Emerson Importe a few days earlier and Inquired about imports from the Border princes and especially Mackburg. As Dietrich had told Reingard, he only has one customer which is importing items from the border princes and that is Groger Boeglin who is the caretaker at "the house of Kautsky", a trading house from the border princes. Dieter and Ludvig decided to head towards the house of Kautsky to have a chat with Groger Boeglin.
Spoilers GM's section
The session was mostly a lot of talking and gathering information, the campaign is very open at this point and my players were quick to start investigating the murder of their friend. Compared to the prolog they were much more confident when starting the investigation and they had no discussion about involving the authorities but divided into the investigation head-on. I chose to let Ottokar Hilscher aka. Lt. Pool quickly decide that the players where innocent to get the investigation started and I decided that he could pose as an early point of contact for the players to give them a contact with the local authorities which will help them later as they start to get into the activities of the cult. Much of the material presented in the new york section is easily converted so it fits with Altdorf, but some of the handouts need to be changed. Like the photograph from shanghai. I change that to a quick sketch with a stain obscuring the name of the ship.
For now, we will see what the players do but it will be interesting to see what happens when Ludvig and Dieter visit the house of Kautsky, and how much they reveal.