The second table at the Green Door Inn – that’s where the unusual collection of cast-offs met for mediocre ale and worse food. All of them, for various reasons, found themselves in the slums of Bruckburg – The Dregs. Down on their luck, in transition, striking out on their own, there were a lot of phrases to describe their collective situations.
Character sketches for the campaign follow. Information presented here is that which was shared with other PCs in campaign:
Ulrich Gruber [Ryan] – Aspiring physician interested in practicing his healing craft.
Garstred [Stevie] – Looking for work.
Heinrich [Davy] – Burgher down on his luck.
Markus Eisenfaust [Hank] – Student from the University – student of life.
Gilda [Julie] – A collector of taxes and other dues…
Red [Ken] – Former lady-of-the-evening, now devoted to protecting the women of The Dregs.
Alexander [Keegan] – A bodyguard left behind by a noble who moved on from Bruckburg.
A steady and simple drum beat rose above the din of the tavern. The drum was soon accompanied by a simple, uptempo flute melody and a woman emerged from the crowd. The barkeep announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, I present Visha!” The woman began a dance that mesmerized the entire place. A few minutes later the music stopped and Visha stopped dancing. Coins, copper and silver, were tossed on the floor near her.
Visha scrambled around the floor picking up the coins and placing them in a brightly colored scarf. While she worked to gather the money, a puffed up dandy in rich clothes follows her around clumsily. The man was trying to get Visha to talk to him, but she was pointedly ignoring him. Visha swept past the man and headed out of the Green Door Inn. The dandy looked crestfallen at this dismissal.
Garstred approached the dandy and learned that he was willing to pay two gold crowns if he can find out where Visha lived. He was also willing to pay for any help that [Stevie’s PC] may require or want. Garstred agreed to do the job and reported his accord back to the second table.
The customary conversational buzz of the Green Door stopped momentarily as a man entered and stood in the door. He was of middle height with a noticeable pot belly. It was clear he was not from the city and the poor hayseed stood, frozen by the attentions of the entire tavern.
“My name is Jeb. My cart is turned a couple blocks from here and I need a few hands to right it.” The man remained at the doorway with an expectant look. Aside from the knowing chuckle of the customers, there was no response to the man’s pleading.
Finally, Markus walked over to the man and volunteered to help as did Alexander and Heinrich. The grateful farmer introduced himself as Jeb and led the trio out of the tavern. Ulrich and Red followed the group at a respectful distance. As the group turned the corner into a narrow alleyway they found the upturned cart. There were also a couple of men going through the cart and throwing items into their sacks.
“Hey! Get away from my cart!” Jeb cried.
“Shove off!” one of the men gruffly replied. The pair dropped their looting sacks and took out swords.
Alexander blasted one of the men with his blunderbuss sending the man reeling back with a nasty wound. The rest of the group closed. The would be thieves dropped everything and fled.
The group looked incredulously at Alexander who was wearing an ear-to-ear grin and holding his smoking blunderbuss. Ulrich hurriedly came around the corner spurred into a quicker gate by the explosion. “That’s one way to call the guard,” Ulrich commented as he approached the group. Quickly ascertaining what had happened, Ulrich began mopping of the bloody mark from the alley.
Markus and Heinrich helped Jeb right his cart. The cart was moved out of the alley and onto the street. The grateful Jeb presented the group with an enormous ham from his cart as a thank you. Goodbyes were exchanged and the group headed back to Green Door Inn.
It did not take the innkeeper long to notice the enormous ham on the second table. The group offered to sell the pork to him. He agreed to pay for their room and board for the evening in exchange.
Red overheard a conversation from the next table of a man who was trying to enlist some stevedores as warehouse guards. The dock workers apparently were not interested and Red quickly called the man over.
“Are you interested in a job?” the man asked.
“Maybe,” Red replied.
“Well, my name is Polikis, everyone calls me Pol, and my boss needs some additional guards for his warehouse,” Pol explained.
“Why? What’s in it?” Gilda asked.
“You have no doubt heard about the string of warehouses fires that have occurred over the last couple of weeks. My boss has reason to believe that his warehouse will be a target of arson. He needs a few more guards stationed in the warehouse to insure the building nor the goods go up in flames.”
Much haggling ensued and most of the group agreed to the work for a rate of a crown per night. Pol sat at dinner with the ensemble and promised he would lead them to the warehouse that evening.
While the rest of the group visited with their new employer, Pol, Ulrich approached the dandy that had previously hired Garstred. “I am going to find out where Visha lives,” Ulrich stated.
“My name is Hudapon. Have we met sir?” the dandy replied.
“No, but my acquaintance, Garstred, informed me of your need. I am going to find her and find her home.”
“You will find me a generous man,” Hudapon said. “I’m offering your friend two gold to find her home. I offer the same to you.”
“What if I find her sooner? What if I find her by tomorrow?” Ulrich asked.
“Then I am prepared to pay you five gold for that information.”
Ulrich nodded and walked away.
The duty at the warehouse proved excessively dull, but the group welcomed the pay from Pol in the morning.
Meanwhile, Ulrich began moving around town looking for other taverns where the dancer Visha might perform. He learned that she occasionally made an appearance at a dirty little cabaret a few blocks away from the Green Door Inn. Ulrich went to the cabaret and gossiped with many of the dancing girls and servers. He learned that Visha was pretty much a mystery to them as well. He did learn that one night she left with a new girl from the country and the girl never returned.
Fortunately, later that evening Visha did make an appearance, but Ulrich was thwarted in his attempt to follow her and quickly lost her in the darkness. He was staring to realize finding the dancer’s home was going to be more difficult than he had assumed. He gave up for the night and slept at the Green Door Inn. The following morning he shared what he learned with Garstred. The rest of the group grabbed a quick breakfast and went to sleep in a nearby inn.
Ulrich prowled the Dregs thinking about his next move. He noticed a shop with a pole with red and white stripes. No sooner had he made note of this strange symbol when a man emerged from the shop and vomited an enormous amount. The man wiped his mouth on his sleeve and returned into the shop. Intrigued, Ulrich went into the shop.
The man, who had just finished vomiting was shaving a wary customer with a straight razor. The customer looked none to pleased with the barber.
“Are you alright sir?” Ulrich asked.
“Oh yes, must have been something I ate,” the barber replied. “I will be with you momentarily.”
“You are a barber then?” Ulrich asked.
“And a surgeon, and a dentist, and a healer,” the man replied. “My name is Rolph Andreesen.”
Ulrich was happy the man’s hands were occupied with the task of shaving so that he would not be able to offer his hand in greeting. Ulrich introduced himself and explained that he was hoping to study medicine and wondered if the man might have a position available.
“Oh, I wish! This town needs a good old fashioned plague – then they would be busting down the door and I could really use the help.” Rolph finished shaving the customer, who quickly paid and shuttled out the door.
Rolph plopped down in the vacant chair and pointed to a long tube with a needle sticking out of one end. “You can help me now and fetch that for me.” Ulrich did as he was told and grabbed the tube and needle. Rolph jabbed the needle into his arm.
“What are you doing?” Ulrich asked.
“Just a little bleeding. I have got to get my humours aligned correctly,” Rolph explained.
“I see,” Ulrich quietly replied. “Do you ever come down to the Green Door Inn?”
“A fancy place like that? Rarely my boy, rarely.”
“I would like you to come there as my guest for dinner,” Ulrich stated.
“I need to check with the old lady. She does not care for me to be gallivanting, but I would like that,” Rolph replied.
“Excellent! I hope you can make it. I am there most every evening,” Ulrich replied. Ulrich left the shop and continued his walk about the streets.
It was the group’s third night in the warehouse and they were mostly bored. Virtually nothing had happened. The money was fair, but all were itching for action. The warehouse seemed so secure. It had a stone foundation about four feet high with the rest made of strong timbers and rose to about 20 feet with an open rafters ceiling. There were a half dozen windows in the warehouse, but even those were located eight feet above the ground. The warehouse had several crates and rows of barrels, including some full of water in case of fire. Pol had a couple of guards hired for the outside.
Late on the third night Gilda heard a feint scratching noise coming from outside the warehouse. Just as she put together what was happening a black-clad figure came through one of the high windows. Gilda shouted a warning to the rest of the group. As she did so, a second black clad figure jumped through the window. The group turned their attentions to fighting the invaders.
As the group was occupied with the pair of black clad invaders, the main warehouse door burst open. There were two more thugs and behind them a big brute with an unusual weapon. The weapon was a hollow staff with a tube coming out one end going back to an oiled backpack while a sputtering flame jetted from the top of the staff.
A jet of flaming, sticky, oily material came issuing from the hollow rod and caught Alexander on fire. The weapon kept spewing fire, while the group kept trying to hack their way through to the man with the flamethrower.Gilda rushed around putting out fires in the warehouse. Alexander cried out, “Hey! How about putting me out?”
Markus managed to work his way past the last couple of thugs and seriously injured the brute with the flamethrower. Ominously, Markus noticed his attack had not only wounded the brute, but also damaged the hose to the weapon and fluid had started leaking. Markus yelled for everyone to jump back . His warning came too late.
The brute unleashed the flame once more and the entire weapon exploded! The two thugs near him were enveloped in the explosion. The group dived for cover.The three intruders were immolated. Following the conflagration the group scrambled to put out the numerous small fires that sprung up around the warehouse. Markus inspected the badly burned body of the flame-throwing thug and found an unusual tattoo on his inner arm.
When Pol arrived to check in on the group. He was saddened the outside guards had been killed, but very satisfied with the group’s work. Pol paid the group handsomely with a sizable bonus for their efforts.
Ulrich got a tip that Visha would be dancing once again at the Green Door Inn. Garstred took up a position in a back alley. Ulrich watched from within the inn.
Visha danced her hypnotizing routine, gathered her tips and rushed out the back of the tavern. Despite the efforts of Garstred and Ulrich they lost her again in the night.