Chaos taints and perverts everything it touches. No matter where you travel Chaos' destructive influence is seen, and the scars of its sweet infectious embrace stands out. Most are blind to the horrors lurking deep within the shadows. They are deaf. Deaf to the cries for help from a populace saddled with Chaos' destructive load. Many delude themselves into thinking Chaos, and its' servants, pose no serious threat. These are the ones who discover this error too late. Otto von Kleist is a man who knows the horrors and the forces at work. He is a man who has dedicated his life to stopping Chaos.
Left as a baby on the steps of Uriel's temple in Gravina, the priests raised him as their own. When he came of age Otto entered into the order. Skilled and talented, many within the temple saw a promising future for their adopted son. He was happy with his life, happy with his ignorant views of the world, and happy with his sheltered existence. His sheltered existence caused him to be blind to reality.
Upon turning twenty-three Otto embarked on a new journey, one that would prove to be his undoing. Rumors of a necromancer spread to the Gravina temple, and Otto was sent with a group of priest and knights to investigate. The undead, and those practicing the art of necromancy are enemies to Uriel and as a result, an enemy to Otto. The group located the necromancer and a fierce battle took place. Spells where thrown and in the end, all but one survived. As Otto surveyed the destruction, the truth slapped him across the face. Chaos was loose and he was the only one strong enough to fight it. It was that day he became a witch hunter.
For ten years Otto traveled the League of Merchants, as well as the Cantons and City-States of Doarn fighting the forces of Chaos. During this time he attracted a small band of followers who supplied him with information about any signs of Chaos. This group became known as The Network, and they acted as Otto's eyes and ears. Through a system of carrier pigeons and secret codes, Otto and his Network watched for the signs of Chaos, and for the return of humankind's enemies. Dressed in the color of black, Otto became known as The Black Rider. As an avenging wraith he descended on the unbelieving, and delivered on to them his judgment. His judgment was simple: death to all followers of Chaos. Numerous evil schemes were stopped, and the Rider and his Network saved countless innocent lives. Many feared Otto's arrival brought news of Chaos' taint. His justice was swift, and mercy was a word removed from his vocabulary. The bodies laying at Otto's feet were not all Chaos' servants; some were innocent and wrongly accused. One of these innocent victims was Heidi Helfrich.
Adolph Helfrich is a man who made his fortune the hard way, he worked for it. From an early age, his skill with wood was apparent and he was the youngest apprentice to ever join the city's Woodworker's Guild. At twenty-eight the youngest to be recognized as a Master Craftsmen, the quality of his work was amazing. His furniture became eagerly sought by the rich and powerful throughout not only the League, but other regions as well. Despite his great wealth, Adolph remained a man of simple taste and humble character. He has donated much to various temples, and has always helped the poor. When he turned forty Adolph retired to the small village of Braunwurt, located 20 miles north of Gravina. Here he lived with his wife Heidi and their six children. Though retired, he still runs his business, occasionally picking up his tools to make a table or chair as a special commission. It was a peaceful life, until the day The Black Rider arrived in the village.
Otto and his men had been looking for a cult of Shub-Niggurath worshippers and their information lead them to the House of Helfrich. Convinced the house was a secret temple, Otto and his men crashed in, killing all within. Pleased with their victory they left the house and traveled north. Adolph, who was in Gravina on business, returned home to discover that his wife and children had been murdered. His grief turned to anger and vowed on the graves of his family that they would be avenged.
All is not as it seems. Although the blood of the innocent stains Otto's hands, there is another behind his actions. Her name is Mary Verdreher, and she rides with the Rider in his cause to fight evil. Upon meeting the charming and talented wizard, Otto became smitten by her beauty and enchanted by her voice. With her help, many sympathizers and evil doers were slain. However, Mary is not what she seems. She is a member of The Unblinking Eye; a cult dedicated to Azathoth. Otto and his agents have done much over the years to disrupt the cult's plans, nearly crippling the cult. Otto needed to be stopped, but every attempt to do so has failed, so a subtler plan was conceived. The plan was to corrupt the witch hunter to the ways of evil. Since joining the group Mary has slowly manipulated Otto, and started turning him against everything he believes in, using hypnotism and magic Otto has started to become what he hates most, an agent for evil.
The heroes are hired to locate the Black Rider and bring him and his gang to justice. They will have to track down the group and stop their reign of terror. Along the way they learn that The Rider has committed similar acts of murder. A series of clues lead them to the final confrontation, during which the PCs will learn Otto was seduced to the side of Chaos. They also learn that one of his followers is actually a worshipper to Azathoth.
The Network is a small group that has been in existence for ten years and is dedicated to fighting Chaos. They have joined the Black Rider in his fight and act as his eyes and ears. Based out of Forest Glen, the group is centered in the Leafy Hills region. There are a few members in Crossroads and Wall, and there are rumors of at least two agents based in the Cantons, but the majority of the Network's efforts are concentrated between Gravina, Bluff and Davenport.
The Network was formed soon after Otto became the Black Rider. He realized that he needed a way to quickly learn when and where Chaos appeared. It is hard to be everywhere at the same time so he needed people who would provide him with information. His first informant was an innkeeper based out of the village Thiensville. As more members were recruited the need to pass information quickly became important, and this is what led to the use of carrier pigeons. Messages could be written and then flown anywhere in the Network, enabling Otto to learn what was going on and to keep in touch with his members.
The Network also had another advantage in that it offered Otto a place to stay. Each member was no more than two days travel apart, and this guaranteed him a place to hide out no matter where he was. Since the majority of the Network is located in the Leafy Hills, Otto concentrates his efforts in that region. Otto is able to travel light and rely on his members to keep him fed and informed. There are a total of twenty Network members, and while they tend to be innkeepers, however there is a pharmacist as well as a local herbalist. Everyone joined the Network because they have either suffered from a loss, or have been saved from harm by the Rider. The Rider seeks out those he wants to include in the Network.
All members are loyal to the Rider, no matter what he does they still believe in him and in his mission. Lately they have noticed a change in Otto, and no one likes it. Rumors of innocent people being murdered have also started to surface, and this has lead to some concerns. There is also some disagreement in the recent additions to the Network, since they look like bandits instead of warriors of Law. Finally, a stranger now rides with him, a stranger who is also a wizard.
!!The Unblinking Eye
Dedicated to Azathoth, The Unblinking Eye was founded in the city of Foxpoint. The cult originally started out as a discussion group for scholars and students interested in debate and the exchange of ideas. Members would meet in small coffeehouses and discuss numerous topics with like-minded individuals. Things changed when a young mage by the name of Franz Fuglsang appeared on the scene.
A historian, Franz had a passion for the study of Chaos. A fellow student discovered he was writing pamphlets arguing that Chaos was a natural part of the world and a search revealed several banned books that dealt with Chaos and the forces aligned with it. Franz was expelled from a university located in the Cantons, and fled the city one step ahead of the Witch Hunters. Arriving in Gravina he discovered the meetings of the group in the coffeehouses and joined in their nightly debates. Once in the group Franz found others who shared his views on Chaos. They started to meet in secret and discovered they had one more thing in common: Azathoth.
Franz shared his theories and ideas, one of which included that Chaos would never succeed in conquering all. His theory was a simple one: people have faith. As much as they complained about the nobility, or feared witch hunters, the people secretly admired them. In addition, much of the populace was uneducated and ignorant to the truth. What if the people's trust was shaken? It would then be easy to turn them in a different direction. Franz argued this would cause people to flock to Chaos. It was this theory that Franz and his fellow members based their plan.
The plan was simple. Teach the uneducated about the glory of Chaos while at the same time breaking their faith in their saviors. In order to put the plan into motion, Franz needed to shape the cult into something more useful. Members who did not share Franz's beliefs were killed, some sects closed, while new ones were in other cities. The process of re-education began and all went well until the Black Rider arrived.
The Rider discovered the sect in the shadows of the Spineback Mountains in the town of Logden. The sect had infiltrated the small temple of Adonael and from their position started an initiative to educate the town's children. The curriculum taught the glory of Chaos and stressed the destructiveness of the League. The Rider discovered this and not only destroyed the cult but learned of another sect. Thus over the next four years he waged a war against the cult and thwarted many of their plans. Franz and his followers were frantic; they needed to end this threat before all was lost. Mary Verdreher had a plan, and her plan not only saved the cult but also advanced their mission.
Mary's plan, much like Franz's, was simple in the effectiveness. She would pose as a worshipper of Iaoth and join the Rider in his fight. Once at his side, she would use magic and hypnotism to turn him from the path of Law. This would accomplish two things. First, it would end the threat of the Rider to the cult's activities, and second the corruption of The Rider, who had become a figure of legend, would shake the people's faith. Franz gave Mary his blessing and within two months she had infiltrated the Rider's group.
The Cult of the Unblinking Eye is headquartered in Fox Point and though the Rider destroyed many sects, it is still strong. Sects can be found not only in Fox Point, but Wall, Gravina, and Bluff, as well as in the smaller towns of the League. The leadership of the cult traces its roots back to the early days when it was nothing more than a debating society, and because of this, much of the leadership is well educated, or has connections with universities and other institutions of learning. The rank and file is made up of anyone dedicated to Azathoth. All members have a tattoo of a red open eye, the cult symbol, on their right forearm.
!The Hunt Begins
The heroes are in the small village of Braunwurt, located 20 miles north of Gravina, and has a population of 300. Braunwurt is known for being a place for the wealthy, the home of many retired guild masters. The village is quiet and peaceful with large houses can be seen from the roadside. The Watchman barracks, which are located near the center of the village, houses a total of ten men, working in twelve-hour shifts. Also in the Village Square is Peddler's Stock. This store carries a wide variety of goods, and prices are 10% more than in the Shadow, Sword & Spell: Basic. Off the Village Square a large inn called The Golden Goose; popular among the locals and is always busy.
Adolph Helfrich has asked the heroes to meet him at his house at noon. How Adolph learns of the heroes is up to the Gamemasters. The heroes do know that Adolph is a retired guild master and a wealthy furniture maker. The village is still reeling from the attack that killed Adolph's family. It is not important whom the heroes talk to, just that they talk to people. Make up villagers, but get across to the players that the murder was senseless. Here is what the heroes are able to learn via successful Diplomacy or Streetwise tests:
*"He rode in at dusk and said that Heidi worshiped Chaos! It's nonsense. Heidi was a devoted worshipper of Adonael, and never had a cross word for anyone."
*"A woman rode with him. She worshiped Uriel and made me feel uncomfortable."
*"It was the Black Rider. He looked like death! Wore black and had a face as white as snow. He said little, but when he spoke it was as if he was in a dream."
*"He had a few men a woman with him. They all wore black cloaks, and said little. I once respected what he did, but now he has gone too far."
*"Poor Adolph, he loved Heidi so much. No one should experience what he did. He was gone for only a day, and when he returned he found his family dead."
*"I tell you what, that Black Rider should be brought to justice, by Sigmar he killed innocent children!"
*"Adolph is mad with rage. I pray that he does nothing rash."
The general mood of the village is that the Rider was wrong, and is nothing but a cold-blooded murderer. Asking about Heidi, the heroes learn that both her and Adolph are pillars of the community. Heidi was a gentle soul, and there is no way she was a worshipper of Chaos. No one has anything bad to say about Adolph, and all state that he was madly in love with his family.
The heroes easily locate Adolph's house by asking the villagers, which makes them uneasy. If the heroes explain that they were invited (successful Diplomacy Test [-1]) and have a meeting with Adolph, they relax and give them directions. Heroes refusing to state why they want to find Adolph, the watch is called, who threaten to arrest the heroes if they do not state their business. The watch then escorts the heroes to Adolph's house to confirm their story. The house is on the north end of the village in the middle of a grove of trees. It is a large, two story wood building resembling more of a farmhouse, then the mansion of a wealthy retired guildmaster. Knocking on the front door the heroes are greeted by a tired-looking, tall, middle age man. He introduces himself as Adolph Helfrich, and thanks the heroes for coming. Ushering them into a small sitting room he gets quickly to business. If the watch are with heroes, Adolph quickly assures them that everything is okay and he did request the heroes presence.
Adolph tells the heroes that two days ago his wife and children were murdered. Adolph was in Gravina on business and when he returned found the front door kicked in, and his wife of twenty years dead. He searched the bedrooms upstairs and also found his six children were murdered as well. The foul deed was not a random act of violence; it was cold-blooded murder performed by the Black Rider. The infamous witch hunter was seen in town, and fleeing the murder scene. Asking why the Rider would attack and kill his family, Adolph shakes his head in confusion. He and Heidi are devoted followers to Adonael, and believed in nothing but mercy and kindness. Adolph gives a lot of money to the Adonael temple in Gravina, and also donates beds and other furniture to their poor houses. Adolph states that when the murder was investigated, villagers heard the Rider claim that a temple to Chaos was hidden in the village. There are reports that the Rider was seen riding from the house with four other people. Adolph does not know anything else but that the Rider and his gang stayed at The Golden Goose the night before the attack. In the morning they were seen riding north on the Gravina-Bluff Road.
Adolph wishes to hire the heroes to locate the Rider and his gang and bring them in dead or alive. Upon taking the assignment Adolph offers to pay each hero 100 Crowns, which will be paid once the Rider and his gang are brought back to Braunwurt. In addition, Adolph gives each hero 50 Crowns up front to pay for their travel expenses. If they want to haggle (successful Bargain test), the heroes can bring the award up to 150 Crowns, and the travel expenses up to 75 Crowns. In addition, Adolph hands the heroes an Guild Bench Warrant for the arrest of the Black Rider and any persons associated with him. If asked about the warrant, Adolph states that he has a close friend who is a magistrate in Gravina. The warrant is legal and binding and no one should give the heroes any trouble. Adolph then hands the heroes a letter, and states that if they happen to get into trouble the letter explains that they are on official Imperial business. Adolph states that once the Rider and his associates are captured the heroes are to return to Braunwurt. The Rider and his gang if bought back alive will face justice in Gravina.
Asking at The Golden Goose, the heroes learn that the Rider was seen at the inn two nights ago. He had a woman and three men with him, all wore black and said little. The group kept to themselves, and much to the relief of the innkeeper they made no trouble. The woman was intense and she mentioned Uriel quite a bit. The group retired to their rooms early and slept late into the morning. They were last seen mounting up and riding north, it was then that they stopped at Adolph's house and murdered the family. If they ask for descriptions the heroes learn that one man seemed to be in his middle ages and wore plate mail and a long black cloak. The three men with him also wore black cloaks, but they kept their hoods on at all times. The woman was very attractive and never left the Rider's side, seen always whispering in his ear. The woman was tall with long curly red hair and green eyes. She wore the symbol of Uriel and displayed it proudly.
Heroes not having their own means of transportation, need to book passage on a coach. Going by coach slows the heroes down so Adolph arranges for horses to be borrowed by the party. It will take Adolph a day to get the horses and the heroes need to spend the night in Braunwurt. The only inn in town is The Golden Goose, and prices range from 10 Crowns for a private room, 8 Crowns for a double, and 2 Crowns for the common room. Meals are not included, and prices range anywhere from 1 Crown to 20 Crowns depending on what is ordered. The inn is a comfortable place, and very clean. It caters to the wealthy and the heroes should feel a little out of place. In the morning Adolph greets the heroes and tells them that he has horses waiting for them.
!Evidence and Ruins of Rumbeltummy's
The PCs have been on the road for a day and the further they get from Gravinia the less crowded the road becomes. The PCs pass through a few small villages but these give out quickly to the wilds. The forest looms on both sides of the road and all is quiet. By late afternoon the PCs come to a large coaching inn, and as they get closer they see that part of the inn has burned to the ground. Workers are milling about and the damage is being repaired. As they approach, Regis "Rumbeltummy" Harris owner and proprietor of Rummbeltummy's greets them. Regis tells the PCs that he does not have much room, but if they want to spend the night he could let them sleep in the barn. Heroes asking what happened, Regis spits and states that the Black Rider did this.
By all appearances Regis looks to be an honest and friendly innkeeper. He loves to talk and treats all visitors as if they were his best friend. In truth this is all an act. Regis is a smuggler, and the inn serves as the perfect cover for his smuggling operation. He deals in anything that can bring in a profit, but draws the line with the flesh trade. Regis has sold drugs, dealt in cadavers, Doarian brandy and Moranian cigars. The fire has cost Regis much and it will be many months until his operation is once again up and running.
Regis leads the Heroes in and they notice that despite half the inn being destroyed, the common room is crowded. Regis sits with and a plump woman comes over whom Regis introduces as his wife, Betty. He then orders a big meal for himself and asks the heroes what they would like. If asked what happened to the inn, he answers that two days ago around dusk the Rider came to the inn and requested rooms. If asked how many were with him, Regis states that there were five in total, four men wearing black cloaks, and a woman. In the morning Regis awakened to screaming and shouting, which he discovered was the Rider, yelling that the inn was a den of Chaos and that Regis was a summoner of demons. The Rider then tossed a lantern at his inn and said the only way to deal with evil is by burning it. Before the Rider could do anything else, the coachmen staying at the inn tried to drive the gang off, but they suddenly fell asleep. A group of road wardens happened by at the right time, and drove the gang off. The fire was put out, but the entire east wing was lost. Regis states that he does not know what happened. He is not a worshipper of Chaos and the Rider looked crazed. Heroes asking to stay in the barn, Regis charges them 2 Crowns, and throws in a free breakfast due to the inconvenience.
Asking around the inn about what has happened, the heroes discover a few things. If they talk to Betty they learn she has been shaken by the whole ordeal. She states the Rider did not look right, and that the woman with him gave her the creeps. Asking further about the woman, Betty says she had intense eyes and called on Uriel all the time. When she looked at you, it was as if she was looking at your soul. She scared everyone, and though she was beautiful she just did not seem right. One other person saw the attack, a man named Rolf. Asking where they can find him they are pointed to a corner of the inn.
Sitting in the corner a successful Observation tests notice a large burly man. His long dark hair hangs in front of his eyes, and looks to have not been washed in months. Rolf has been a coachman since he was seventeen and has seen a lot in his time. Always a troublemaker, Rolf joined Regis' smuggling operation five years ago. Rolf uses the cover as a coachman to deliver goods to buyers and sellers. The coach is one of five that works the roads between Gravinia, Bluff and Davenport. Rolf and Regis are equals in the business, and though he would sell his mother for a few Crowns, Rolf is loyal to Regis.
As the party approaches, Rolf looks up and asks them what they want. Asking about the fire and what he saw, Rolf relaxes and states that he saw the Rider and his gang attempt to destroy the inn. The five arrived in the evening and in the morning they tried to burn the place down. He was getting the coach ready when he heard some noise coming from the side of the inn. When Rolf went to investigate he saw the Rider, and his group with torches. The Rider was yelling about the inn being a den of evil and he ordered his men to burn it down. Luckily, the commotion woke the other coachmen sleeping in the common room. They tried to stop the attack, but the woman waved her hand and they collapsed. Rolf remembers nothing else, and when waking he saw the east wing of the inn engulfed in flames. Rolf knows nothing else and if asked why he has been here for so long, he states he owes it to his friend. Regis and him go way back, and he stays out of friendship. In truth, the fire destroyed their merchandise that was kept in a secret room below the east wing. They are trying to cover up the evidence of their activity and business. There is nothing else the PCs can learn here. The rest of the evening is uneventful, and thankfully the barn has fresh hay in the loft.
!A night at Kreuzstraben
For three days the heroes have been traveling north and hearing persistent rumors that the Black Rider was seen passing this recently (at least two days), north toward the village of Querstrabe. By late afternoon the PCs arrive in a small village named Kreuzstraben. Lying along both sides of the road and is nothing more then a way-station for coaches. There is one inn called the Restful Slumber, and it seems to be the focal point of the village. Asking around the village the PCs learn that The Rider was seen about a day and a half ago. He and his gang rode through the village fast not slowing for anyone or anything.
The inn, run by Dirk Albers, is not full, and it looks to have seen better days. Entering the heroes notice that there are only seven men sitting in the common room. Heroes with the Empathy skill notice with a successful skill test, that something does not seem right about the room. The mood is tense, and something does not seem "right." Heroes who are on alert due to the test, gain a +1 bonus their initiative, due to their being clued into something is amiss. Approaching Dirk, the owner sizes up the heroes as they ask for rooms and then states that the inn is full. If this is questioned, Dirk replies that there are no rooms for enemies of the Network. With that the heroes notice that two men have moved toward the door and are now blocking it. The others in the room have drawn their swords and are moving towards the heroes. He says that the Network watches over their own, and that Chaos loving enemies are dealt with quickly and permanently. He then orders his men to attack, and combat proceeds until Dirk is either killed, subdued, or three of the thugs are killed. Killing Dirk, the remaining thugs happen attempt to flee through the door, and if not stopped, disappear in to the night.
Subduing Dirk allows for him to be questioned. Dirk knows a lot, and the following is able to be learned with successful Diplomacy or Interrogation Tests:
*Dirk states that the Rider contacted him to stop the heroes.
*Reports from the Network indicated he was being followed.
*The Network learned of the PCs involvement and messages were sent to warn the Rider.
*Dirk says he was then contacted and told to prepare for the PCs arrival.
Upon asking who contacted him, or how he was contacted, Dirk collapses while grabbing his chest. Checking him, the heroes discover Dirk has died. If they examine the body for more then one round they find a tattoo on his right forearm of a red unblinking eye.
Capturing any of the thugs heroes are able to question them. As is the case with Dirk, successful Diplomacy or Interrogation Tests has the heroes learn the following:
*Asking the thugs about the Network, the thugs state they are not members. They've been sent to aid in a problem.
*The group they belong to is far more powerful that the Black Rider's Network.
*If asked about their group, the thugs reply that their "eyes are unblinking."
Searching any of the dead, or captured the heroes find d12 Crowns in loose coins, as well as any weapons or armor they carry. A careful search (successful Observe Test -2) the heroes also discover a tattoo on their right arms similar to the one Dirk has (red unblinking eye).
Brawn 11, Quickness 5, Toughness 11, Wits 5, Will 9, Vitality 55, Sanity 25, Resolve 35, Initiative Rating 5.
'Skills:' Brawl [+15], Defend [+13], Intimidation [+12], Melee [+14], Observe [+9], Tactics [+9]
'Gear:' Short Sword, locked chest under bar containing 100 Crowns.
Dirk is a man who loves his work just a little too much. Since an early age Dirk has enjoyed roughing people up for a price. Dirk's reputation followed him and soon he was on the run from the law in Crossroads. It seems that Dirk enjoyed killing, and took great pleasure in hunting down people who could not defend themselves. Dirk's talents came to the attention of Mary, and she hired him into the Network.
Brawn 9, Quickness 9, Toughness 7, Wits 7, Will 6, Vitality 45, Sanity 35, Resolve 30, Initiative Rating 7.
'Skills:' Defend [+11], Melee [+11], Observe [+8], Streetwise [+8]
'Gear:' Mail Shirt, Short Sword, Pouch with 1d12 Crowns
!Off the Beaten Path
Two days north of Kreuzstraben the heroes come to the village of Querstrabe. The village lies at the crossroads of the Gravina-Bluff Road and The Knee, and on the northern edge of the Leafy Hills. Querstrabe is a small, busy village and a favorite resting-place for many merchants and coachman. The village has a population of two-hundred people and mostly farmers, trappers and wood workers. The village has one inn named Hilltop, and it is the center of village activity at night. The inn is a large two-story building and as the heroes approach it they can hear the sounds of laughing and singing. The inn is packed and the only available place to sleep is the common room, and this costs 1 Crown to do so.
Asking around the inn and making a successful Streetwise Test the heroes are able to learn the following:
*The Rider the heroes learn that he was seen two days ago.
*He rode into town with four other people and they spent the night.
There was a woman with him and she spent the majority of the evening preaching the glory of Uriel. She preached non-stop and warned all that would listen that Chaos was everywhere, and that the leaders of the League are too weak to do anything about it.
The reason why the woman stopped talking was that her voice gave out and was unable to talk. If asked what she looked like the people in the inn only remember that she had piercing green eyes.
Asking about the Rider, the heroes learn that he said very little while he was in the inn. He sat in the corner by the fireplace and stared off into space. He drank a little wine and only ate a few pieces of bread. One of the serving girls states that the Rider never blinked, and only said one word "help." Some thought he was in a trance, but one of the men in the Rider's party said he was meditating.
In the morning the Rider and his group rode east on the Leafy Highway. The heroes learn that the Knee is a fast way to get to Davenport and it cuts through the Moss Shadow Forest. The road is not highly traveled, and a coach only makes the run to Davenport once a week. Many avoid the road all together due to the reports of bandits. Lately travelers have been bothered by a group known as Stag's Pack, and their attacks have scared many of the road's travelers. The road does have a tollbooth, and there are semi-regular road warden patrols, but they have been unable to stop them. Heroes learn by asking the patron in the inn that there is an inn halfway between Querstrabe and the village of Pftuze, and a few of the woodsman claim it is one of the better inns they have visited.
Morning comes and after a quick breakfast the heroes find themselves on the The Knee. The road is quiet and the heroes quickly discover that they are the only ones traveling on the road. By mid-day the heroes have seen no one traveling on the road. All is quite, and there are no forest sounds to be heard. If you so wish, just when the heroes least expect it, they are ambushed by Stag's Pack. The pack is a group of bandits. The six have been plaguing the The Knee for the past few months and have been feeding on travelers.
Brawn 12, Quickness 7, Toughness 12, Wits 9, Will 9, Vitality 60, Sanity 45, Resolve 45, Initiative Rating 8.
'Skills:' Brawl [+14], Defend [+10], Intimidation [+11], Melee [+14], Observe [+10], Stealth [+11], Tactics [+9]
'Gear:' Leather Armor, Short Sword, dagger, Helmet (wears a elk head)
Brawn 7, Quickness 8, Toughness 6, Wits 11, Will 6, Vitality 32, Resolve 40, Sanity 30, Initiative Rating 8
'Skills:' Archery [+10], Defend [+8], Melee [+8], Stealth [+12], Track [+11].
'Gear:' Leather Armor, Shortbow, 20 Arrows and Shortsword
!The Evidence Mounts
Two days east of Querstrabe, the heroes come to the small village of Pftuze. The village is nestled on the edge of the Moss Shadow Forest and is only a three-day ride west of the village of Hillglen. The village has a population of only 100, and is known for its mushroom industry. Over the years the village has grown up around the coaching inn called the Blooming Mushroom. The inn is a massive, three story, thatched roof building, and looks to be in very good repair. Getting rooms proves to be easy, and within a few minutes the heroes are sitting at tables drinking mug of ales, and eating bowls of steaming mushroom soup. Asking around the inn about the Rider, the heroes get nothing but terror stricken stares. They learn that the Rider was seen in the village two days ago. He was riding with a few people and they were in the village for only a few hours.
Further questioning requires a successful Diplomacy or Streetwise test. Each success has the heroes able to learn one of the following:
*The villagers have seen the Rider before, and in fact he was seen here only a week ago.
*He and a few men arrived from Davenport, and near midnight they dragged a serving girl out of the inn and tied her to a stake. The Rider proclaimed the girl was a worshipper of Chaos and was poisoning the drinks at the inn. He was about to burn the girl at the stake when a group of road wardens appeared. They rescued the girl and the Rider and his gang rode off.
*Asking about a women with the group, the villagers remember seeing one at the Rider's side.
*She talked very rarely, but when she did, she always mentioned Uriel.
Asking if the wardens are still around, the PCs are directed to a table in the corner of the room by the fireplace.
Five wardens are sitting at a table, and they are lead by Sergeant Hintz Ager. Hintz, upon seeing the heroes approach, asks the heroes what they want. Asking about the events of last week, Hintz wants to know why they are interested. Showing the warrant and letter to Hintz generates no response. Stating that they are trying to collect a bounty on the Rider, Hintz laughs and states many have tried but all have failed. Every time wardens have come close, the Rider manages to slip by them. What is odd is that for the past nine months a woman has joined the ranks of the Rider's gang, and since then there has been a change in the rider's tactics. The woman is a worshipper of Uriel and she seems to have given the Rider a new purpose in life. Hintz recalls that the Rider was seen at a house located on the outskirts of town, before he arrived at the inn two days ago. No one has been seen coming and going from the house in a week so it is believed to be abandoned. Hintz gives the heroes directions to the house.
The house is actually a small cottage and can be found on the outskirts of the village. Asking around the village cottage, the PCs learn it is the home of Oswald Keller. Oswald is the local pharmacist and has not been seen in the village for over a week, causing people to knock on his door to see if he is okay. Oswald has told everyone to leave him alone, and stated that he is taking no visitors. As the heroes approach the cottage they notice (with a successful Observe test) a pigeon coup on the east side of the cottage. The place looks to be deserted and all the shutters are closed. The first hero approaching the front door is shot at by a crossbow from a open window near the door. The heroes have 2 rounds to react until Oswald open fires again. The heroes are able to get to the door and force it open before another shot goes off. Upon entering the heroes see a little balding man, clutching a crossbow, sprawled on the floor. Oswald can easily be captured and questioned by the heroes. Oswald, who is scared, talks freely and spills all he knows in one long fast sentence. He is a member of the Network, and it is a group dedicated to helping the Black Rider find and stop the forces of Chaos. Mentioning that the Rider was seen at his house a few days ago, Oswald states that he arrived to inform him of the PCs. The Rider told Oswald that the heroes were agents of Chaos who were trying to stop the Network.
Asking about the woman, Oswald turns white and tries to claim no woman rides with the Rider. If pushed (a successful Diplomacy or Intimidation test) Oswald admits that a woman rides with him and has done so for close to a year. If they ask about her, Oswald states that her name is Mary Verder and that she is a worshipper of Uriel. Since joining, the two of them have killed many servants to Chaos. Questioning Oswald (successful Diplomacy or Intimidation test) on why the Rider stopped here, he tells them it was to pick up information. The Rider and his companions had a light lunch and then they rode off to the east. Asking how many were with the Rider, Oswald states that there were four: the Rider, Mary and three men.
Upon questioning Oswald as to where the Rider was heading to, he goes pale and says that he cannot tell. If forced he starts to sweat and shake and cannot talk. There is no way he can tell. A character with the Empathy skill and making a successful test (-3) is able to tell that Oswald has had a hypnotize block placed on him and that it cannot be removed without days of effort.
Searching the cottage turns up little. There are two other rooms besides the main room. A kitchen is in the back with drying plants hanging from the walls and the rafters. A bedroom can be seen at the east end of the cottage. Along with a bed there is a chest in the west corner. The chest is not locked and it contains a bag of 50 Crowns and some clothing.
The main room serves as a work place and sitting room. A large table covered with various dried plants lies along the west wall. Resting on it are three mortar and pedestals. Next to the table there is a small writing desk where the heroes find two notes. The first note mentions the heroes and states that they are enemies of the Network. The second note also deals with the heroes, but this one gives their descriptions, and tells all Network members to use any means necessary to stop them. There is nothing else to discover in the cottage.
Brawn 12, Quickness 7, Toughness 12, Wits 9, Will 9, Vitality 60, Sanity 45, Resolve 45, Initiative Rating 8.
'Skills:' Animal Handling [+9], Archery [+7], Brawl [+13], Heal [+140, Herbalist [+13], Lore [+10], Melee [+12]
'Gear:' Cudgel, Crossbow
!A Night at the Inn
A day outside of Pftuze the heroes find themselves spending the night at a coaching inn by the name of The Stewpot. Owned and operated by Henry Cloos, The Stewpot offers clean beds at reasonable rates. Henry is a nice man who loves to read and play darts. Henry believes that curiosity and manners are the most important things in life, and he expects that all his guests to be courteous and respectful. Henry is not afraid to confront rude guests and reprimand them for their behavior. If pressed, Henry has no problem with spitting in a guest's food. If pushed into a fight he is known to be capable of throwing a knife to quiet things down.
For three Crowns the heroes are able to rent a private room and for one Crown they can sleep in the common room. Heroes easily notice that the common room has a few people sitting at the tables, but the inn is not that busy. Once cleaned up the PCs can return to the common room to eat. The menu is sparse but the venison stew is very good.
Asking around (successful Diplomacy or Streetwise tests) the inn about the Black Rider, the heroes hear conflicting reports. Most of the patrons are farmers and they only know The Rider through the stories they have heard. They feel that he serves a useful role, after all Chaos is everywhere, and if this one man wants to fight it all by himself, all the better. Henry, after making the sign of Sabrael, states that he saw the notorious witch hunter a day ago. The Rider and his gang stopped at the inn for the night and then left early the next morning. The group kept to themselves and bothered no one. Henry goes on to say that the Rider looked tired and seemed distant. He traveled with two men who had bandages wrapped around their chest, and they seemed close to death. If asked about a woman in the group, Henry replies that there was one and that she made him feel uneasy. Henry goes on to say that the woman was intense. She stared at everyone and constantly preached about Uriel. She made everyone feel uncomfortable and no one relaxed until she left.
A coachman by the name of Kurt Gridelstein speaks up and says that he heard the Rider was causing mischief up the road in Scheitelpunkt. Kurt works for Stag Jump Coaches and has been with the company for eight years. In that time he has seen much and has grown very cynical. Kurt also likes women, but he likes them too much. Sometimes he gets a little carried away in his love for women, and they accidentally die. Kurt is responsible for a string of murders that have left a total of twelve barmaids murdered along the Gravina-Bluff Road in the past three years. People were getting too close to discovering him, and he asked to be assigned to the The Knee. Lately Kurt has have been troubles keeping his tendencies in check.
The Rider, according to Kurt, has been nosing around and saying that Chaos is afoot in the villages. Kurt claims that he saw the Rider two years ago and he seemed to be a decent sort. He does not believe all the rumors he has been hearing lately. If asked about these rumors, Kurt states that gossip along the road has it that the Rider has gone crazy. In addition, Kurt has heard that the woman who rides with the Rider is to blame. Kurt does not believe this, and he states that this is all an excuse for the weak. Chaos has taken hold of the world, and only the guilty should feel threatened by the Rider. Perhaps the so-called innocent are not so innocent after all.
A woman by the name of Greta Unger states that she saw the Rider recently as well. Greta is a cleric to Adonael and is on a pilgrimage to the main temple in Couronne which is located in the City-States of Doarn. Greta is a young, idealistic woman who is devoted to her god and to her mission of helping people. She undertook this pilgrimage to prove her faith in Adonael and be welcomed and raised to a full-fledged priests. She is very helpful and always seeks to preach the teachings of her god.
Greta has heard news of the recent murders in Braunwurt, and states that she saw the Rider in Bluff nine months ago. At that time a woman was not with him and he seemed like a decent man. Greta even talked to the witch hunter, and was surprised to find out that his real name is Otto von Kleist and that he was once a cleric to Adonael. What lead him to this life she does not know, but she is shocked to hear of the evil he has recently caused.
The rest of the night passes uneventfully. Heroes who are wounded are offered healing from Greta as long as they offer a small donation. With nothing happening the heroes are able to get a good nights rest.
Brawn 8, Quickness 12, Toughness 6, Wits 9, Will 9, Vitality 35, Sanity 45, Resolve 45, Initiative Rating 10.
'Skills:' Animal Handling [+11], Archery (Crossbow) [+13/+14], Bargain [+10], Brawl [+13], Gaming [+13], Observe [+11]
'Gear:' Leather Armor, Crossbow, Short Sword, Dagger
Brawn 5, Quickness 7, Toughness 5, Wits 14, Will 14, Vitality 25, Sanity 70, Resolve 70, Initiative Rating 10.
'Skills:' Bureaucracy [+15], Diplomacy [+15], Empathy [+16], Heal [+15], Language -- Trade Tongue [+15] & City-States [Fluent], Resist [+14], 'Spell:' (Healing) [+5]
'Gear:' Robes, Hooded Cloak, Walking Stick
Morning comes to The Stewpot and the inn is full of activity. Kurt is preparing the coach to take passengers to Pftuze, and Greta is eating a quick breakfast before she sets off for a long day of walking to Crossroads. If asked about her journey, she says that she should make the gates of the city in a month. Once in Crossroads she plans on spending a few days at the temple before setting off once again for Couronne. Heroes offering to buy her passage on Kurt's coach, she thanks them and tell them that Adonael will watch over them. Henry has a simple breakfast of fresh eggs and venison steaks ready for the heroes. Asking around, the heroes learn that they should make it to Scheitelpunkt by dusk.
The road is quiet as the heroes ride north, and if they hear none of the typical sounds associated with the outdoors. Around noon the heroes see seven men blocking the road. The men are road wardens and they order the heroes to stop. The well-dressed leader introduces himself as Captain Christopher Drexler and states that the PCs are wanted for murder and for the forging of Imperial documents. Denouncing the charges and claiming that they are innocent only enrages Christopher. The Wardens will not attack first and the PCs can reason with them should they try. The wardens obviously had no knowledge of Christopher's plans. One states that they made a mistake and he suggests that everyone should go to the tollbooth where the excise man can read the heroes letters and tell if they are fake or real. Christopher, if still alive, grows angry upon hearing this and yells that this is insubordination. The wardens ignore him and tell the heroes that if they are innocent this can be cleared up very quickly and easily. The longer this goes on the more enraged Drexler becomes.
Combat goes as normal with the wardens not backing down unless Christopher is either killed or subdued, and if this happens the remaining wardens surrender. If subdued, he is questioned and states that the PCs will not succeed because The Unblinking Eye will get them before they can cause any more damage. Christopher rambles on about how "the eye sees all," and that they all know of the heroes. Questioning any of the wardens the heroes learn that they were contacted by the Captain this morning and were told that the heroes were minions of Chaos. The wardens are stationed at a tollbooth a half-mile up the road. Christopher is a road warden but is also a member of the Cult of The Unblinking Eye. He has been a member for a few years and was contacted by Mary to stop the heroes. No one knows of his cult ties.
If Christopher is killed and the heroes search his body for more than one round they find two things of interest. The first is a tattoo on his right forearm of a red unblinking eye. The second is a note that is written in a flowing hand and tells Christopher that he must stop the PCs before they ruin the cult's plans. The note is signed simply "M."
Arriving at the tollbooth the wardens explain to the excise man what happened and he reads over the papers. Upon reading the papers, he apologizes to the heroes and says that they are obviously innocent. If Christopher is alive, the excise man orders the wardens to arrest him. Christopher attempts to flee, but is quickly caught. The excise man tells the heroes that they are free to go and that the matter is forgotten.
Brawn 9, Quickness 6, Toughness 10, Wits 7, Will 10, Vitality 45, Resolve 35, Sanity 35, Initiative Rating 6
'Skills:' Animal Handling [+8], Defend [+10], Intimidation [+9], Melee [+10], Ride [+8].
'Equipment:' Mail Shirt, Shield, Sword, 15 GCs
Christopher grew up on the streets of Crossroads, and as a youth he spent many years in a gang. He gained a reputation as an enforcer and was feared on the streets. Christopher enjoyed inflicting pain and getting into fights. As he got older he found that there was a market for someone with his skills so he sold his services to the highest bidder. Christopher does not think, he acts. Christopher joined the cult of The Unblinking Eye two years ago when he meet Mary in a bar. The two found a mutual respect for each other and Christopher has helped Mary with many of her plans.
!!!Road Wardens (7)
Brawn 8, Quickness 6, Toughness 5, Wits 6, Will 6, Vitality 30, Resolve 30, Sanity 30, Initiative Rating 6
'Skills:' Brawl [+10], Defend [+7], Melee [+10], Ride [+8], Streetwise – Scrounging [+8/+9].
'Equipment:' Mail Shirt, Helmet, Shield, Crossbow, Sword, Horse
!An Impostor and a New Friend
The heroes have seen no signs of trouble since the ambush that morning. By late afternoon they come to the logging village of Scheitelpunkt. The village is small and they enter the village a woman stands in the middle of the road forcing the heroes to stop. She approaches them and states that she needs to talk to the heroes. If asked why, she replies that she has information on the Black Rider. She introduces herself as Yvette Edel, and assures them she means no harm.
If the heroes state that they do not trust her, she says that she is a member of the Network. She then says that it is not safe to talk like this outside. Yvette is middle aged and wears simple brown robes. The heroes also notice (successful Observe Test) that she wears the symbol of Adonael. Heroes not wanting to listen to Yvette and ride on, she tells them one more time that she knows information that will aid the party. If they refuse to listen, she bids the PCs a good day and leaves them alone.
Heroes agreeing to listen to Yvette, are lead to a small house right off the road. The house is surrounded by a garden with a pigeon coup near the side of the house. Inside the house is warm and inviting, and Yvette offers the heroes some tea and food. She is very polite and charming, and speaks in a gentle tone. She says that she is a member of the Network, and an agent for the Black Rider. Yvette explains that the Network helps the Rider find agents of Chaos and that is how he knows when trouble is afoot. Yvette says that all was good until nine months ago; when the woman joined. If asked about the woman, Yvette says that the she is named Mary Verder and she is a wizard. Mary is a worshipper of Uriel and a zealot when it comes to fighting evil. Ever since she joined, the Rider has become distant and is acting strange. The events in Braunwurt have angered her, and now she feels that the Rider must be stopped.
Yvette saw the rider one day ago when he stopped at her house for some food. He seemed troubled, and said that he did not feel right. The Rider complained he was having bad dreams, and when she asked him about the dreams the Rider said he felt as if he was trapped. When Mary walked into the house, the Rider seemed to change. He became distant and cold, and curtly thanked Yvette for feeding him. Yvette did learn that the Rider was heading to the village of Waldschatlem, which is a small village located a days ride east of Scheilelpunkt. The Rider always stays at an inn called The Restful Sleep, which has become his home and the headquarters for the Network.
Yvette does not know anything else and tells the PCs the reason she told them everything is because it is time for the madness to end. The goals of the Network have been perverted and the Rider must be stopped. If they ask about the Rider causing trouble in the village Yvette laughs. She explains that the person claiming to be him was actually an impostor. At first he was harmless, and did not bother the locals. Yet two days ago he burned down a house claiming that it was a den of Chaos. The family died and the impostor was arrested. If the PCs ask where he is being held they are pointed to the jail.
The jail is a small two room building with the front half serving as an office for the part-time watchmen and the back half consisting of four cells. Entering the jail, the PCs see two watchmen sitting at a table playing cards. Asking to the see the prisoner the watchmen want to know why. Mentioning their mission, and showing their papers, the watchmen want to know if the prisoner is linked to the murders. They learn that the prisoner's name is Hugh and that he is crazy. Hugh arrived a few weeks ago and claiming to be The Black Rider. The watchmen are waiting to transfer him to Davenport where he will stand trail. One of the watchmen leads the PCs to a cell. Huddled in a corner they see a young man who looks as if he has not eaten or slept in days. Hugh was raised on his father's farm and is the youngest of eight children. He has always wanted something else from life, since he had no desire to be a farmer. Hugh wanted to be a hero, and he would spend endless hours fantasizing that he was a brave warrior fighting the in far off wars, and rescuing damsels in distress. Hugh is a good kid, but easily manipulated, as shown by the work Mary did to him.
Questioning Hugh is difficult because he is both afraid and experiencing memory loss of the incident. All he remembers is waking up in front of a burning house. If asked if he can remember anything else, he remembers a dream with a pair of green eyes and hearing a soft voice whispering in his ear. Asking about why he was pretending to be the Black Rider, Hugh laughs and states that he is the Rider. He rambles on about how he will cleanse the world of evil, and that his enemies have imprisoned him in order to stop him.
There is nothing else to learn in the village about the Rider. No one has seen the real Rider recently. There is one coaching inn in the village and rooms are easy to get for the night.
Brawn 4, Quickness 5, Toughness 5, Wits 14, Will 7, Vitality 20, Sanity 50, Resolve 70, Initiative Rating 9.
'Skills:' Alchemy (Elixir Creation) [+5], Diplomacy [+10], Divination (Tea Reading) [+15], Herbalist [+14], Lore [+15], Physick [+14]
'Gear:' Knife, Simple Clothing, Satchel of Herbs, Small Scissors
Brawn 7, Quickness 9, Toughness 10, Wits 7, Will 5, Vitality 40, Sanity 30, Resolve 25, Initiative Rating 8.
'Skills:' Brawl [+11], Defend [+10], Melee [+8], Track [+8]
!Redemption of the Rider
Morning comes early as the PCs leave Scheitelpunkt and travel to the village of Waldschatlem. A rough and tumble place, Waldschatlem is the favorite haunt for hunters, trappers, prospectors and unsavory types. With a population of 100, the village consists of thirty houses in various state of disrepair. It is a run down village and though only an days ride from Davenport, the village is a favorite place with criminals. Two smuggling rings and a slaver have made the village their home as well. Waldschatlem is a dangerous place no matter what time of day it is. The PCs reach the village at dusk and the streets are empty the village is quiet.
The Restful Sleep is the only inn in the village, the inn does not look as if anything restful happens here. Approaching the inn, the PCs notice that a pigeon coup stands on the northeast side. The inn is a dark and smoky place and the PCs notice that there are about six people sitting in the small, dark common room. The owner of the inn is Arn Dirkelstein, who is standing behind the bar.
Asking for rooms, Arn replies that there are none available. If questioned about this Arn replies that there are no rooms available for enemies of the Network and the Rider. The PCs hear laughter coming from the stairs and see a beautiful woman walking down. She is striking; long red curly hair and wears a tight fitting dress that clings to her body, as does an air of danger. Approaching the PCs, they cannot help but notice her eyes are a bright green that seems to glow. Looking at the PCs she snaps her fingers and a large middle age man emerges from the shadows and stands by her side.
He is tall and muscular, with a weather beaten face, his black hair is touched with gray that hangs to his shoulders. Wearing full plate armor his hand is on a large sword that hangs at his side. Any PC passing an Wits Test notices his eyes never blink as he stares straight ahead. Mary introduces herself and tells them they have caused enough trouble as agents of Chaos and tools of evil. Protesting this, Mary responds that there is no sense in denying the charges since evil will say anything to save itself. She proclaims that in Uriel's name she will kill them and end the threat they impose.
Mary then waves her hand and the room erupts in a frenzy of activity. The men attack in mass, and try to overwhelm the PCs. Mary stays to the rear and uses her magic to support them. Otto fights like a machine and shows no emotions or suffers any effects from fear or psychological attacks. During combat the PCs notice something very strange about the men -- they are suffering from mutations! Play this up during the combat, soon the PCs will realize what is happening.
The men, though dedicated to the cause, are not fools. When their numbers are reduced by half they attempt to flee. No matter how bad the fight goes, Mary does not back down. She can be subdued, but she does not surrender. If Mary is killed two things happen. First, the attackers loose their will to fight and attempt to flee. The PCs can attempt to catch them, but to do so requires a successful Dexterity check. The second thing that happens is that Otto seems to wake up from a deep sleep. Once he is fully aware, he begins to scream and cry. The Rider realizes what he has done as it all comes back to him at once. The evil he has caused snaps his sanity and he slumps to the floor in a pathetic heap.
If the PCs are in trouble, or have the ideas themselves, they may try and get Otto to snap out of his hypnotism. The success of this depends on the actions of the PCs. Pointing out the mutations on the Thugs is probably the most successful plan.
If Mary was captured, she threatens the PCs that they will suffer for what they have done. Beginning to gloat, Mary drops the façade of Uriel and states that the PCs souls will belong to her lord, Azathoth. She rambles that the Black Rider was once a thorn in the side of The Unblinking Eye but his mission was corrupted and he became a tool for Chaos. Through magic and hypnotism Mary broke his will and brought him to the side of darkness. Mary goes on to say that corrupting the Rider is the first step in having the people mistrust their protectors. By weakening the people who block Azatoth's goals they make it easier for Chaos to succeed.
Searching the inn they discover one room belongs to the Black Rider; sparsely furnished, but holding two items of interest. The first item is nailed to the wall above the bed, it is the symbol of Adonael. The second item is a large writing desk covered with numerous messages. If the messages are read the PCs discover that they deal with the progress the PCs made in tracking down the Rider. One from Yvette states her retirement from the Network. Under the bed there is a small locked chest that contains a 50 Crowns and 100 Brass and 60 Iron in loose coin.
Another room obviously belongs to Mary and it is a mess. Clothes are thrown everywhere and a foul odor permeates the room. Searching the room the PCs find a scroll case filled with numerous letters. Reading these the PCs discover the truth of what happened to the Rider, as well as information on The Unblinking Eye.
There is nothing else of interest at the inn, and if any of the attackers were subdued they can be questioned. Questioning the Rider is next to impossible, since he is an emotional wreck and continually sobs and mumbles about what he has done. If the letters were found, Mary laughs and states that if the Rider was turned, then others could also be turned. The thugs know little, and they admit that they are members of the cult. Arn, if captured alive, has no problem talking, he admits that he works for the cult and was hired to provide needed muscle.
!!!Otto von Kleist, The Black Rider
Brawn 10, Quickness 10, Toughness 8, Wits 8, Will 5, Vitality 45, Sanity 15, Resolve 24, Initiative Rating 9.
'Skills:' Brawl [+11], Defend [+12], Lore [+10], Melee [+13], Resist [+10], Ride [+9], Sense [+11], Tactics [+13]
'Gear:' Full Plate Armor, Sword 4 Throwing Knives
Otto is a man who has spent most of his life fighting the forces of Chaos. He prided himself on his unwavering belief in good and law. He has been a thorn in the side of the evildoers. Now he is a hollow shell of what he once was. No longer does he fight against Chaos, he has been turned into an unwitting pawn.
Brawn 5, Quickness 9, Toughness 5, Wits 10, Will 13, Vitality 35, Sanity 19, Resolve 55, Initiative Rating 9.
'Skills:' Empathy [+13], [[Hypnotism]] [+16], Intimidate [+15], Lore [+13], Melee [+7], Ride [+10], Resist [+15], Spells (Awake [+5], Eldritch Tendril [+3], Fright [+2]), Sense [+12]
'Equipment:' Dagger, Staff, Sapphire Necklace (value 15 Crowns); Emerald Ring (value 10 Crowns)
Mary has been a member of The Unblinking Eye since she was 16. Mary is talented with illusions, but she excels at hypnotism. She has used her skills to aid the cult's plans and her hypnotic gaze has corrupted many. Mary is also working on plots of her own that involve her becoming leader of the whole sect. There is no evil act she would not commit, and there is no one who can stand up to her.
Brawn 7, Quickness 8, Toughness 8, Wits 6, Will 6, Vitality 35, Sanity 21, Resolve 30, Initiative Rating 7.
'Skills:' Archery [+10], Defend [+8], Melee [+8], Ride [+9], Stealth [+12], Track [+11]
'Equipment:' Leather Mail, Sword, Crossbow, Dagger
The PCs need to transport any prisoners back to Braunwurt (or elsewhere), which can prove to be difficult. The journey back can be played out with the PCs having to deal with the prisoners and Otto, who puts up little resistance and is withdrawn. If attempts are made to talk to him, Otto answers all questions softly if at all. He mumbles about the evil he has caused, and wakes up screaming with nightmares. Stating they are on official business of the Empire and showing the letters is enough to answer most questions. If the prisoners show any visible mutations no village or inn will allow them to spend the night, and road wardens will take an active interest in the party.
In Braunwurt, Adolph is extremely happy and quickly summons the watchman to take the prisoners into custody, paying the PCs and congratulating them. If the PCs mention that he was under the influence of magic and hypnotism, Adolph shows no interest. He states clearly that the Rider is guilty of many crimes and that he must pay for them. The Rider is taken to a cell and placed in chains. He is to be shipped to Gravina to stand trial where he will be sentenced to death. With Otto's capture the Network is finished. Not only have they lost their inspiration, but they have members who have betrayed the cause and aided the PCs in capturing the Rider. The news of this comes as a shock and some actually blame the PCs. They feel that the Rider was framed and the PCs are the guilty party. A few Network members might work together to and seek revenge, which can be played out by the GM for further adventures.
The capture of the Black Rider also has ramifications for the cult of The Unblinking Eye. If any of the attackers, or Mary are captured the PCs can discover more about the cult and discover that a sect is based in Foxpoint. From here a GM can create a series of adventures with the PCs returning to Foxpoint and shutting the cult down. If the PCs mention the cult to Adolph he is very interested in hearing more, and he wants to continue his vengeance against the killers of his family. Adolph may hire the PCs to purge the cult and shut them down for good.