The Enemy Within

First game

From the letters of Elswyth

Elswyth Bassermann
Feb 15, 2015

Dear Gram,

I was just closing my stall outside the Upright Pig when a gang scuffle broke out of the tavern door and spilled onto the street. I truly hate the gangs here. Truly. Maybe the politicians like them as there might be both profit and power in it for them, yet those of us who need to make a living from civilians walking along the docks are terrifically inconvenienced by their distracting activities.

The leader of the Fish (Kern Knackk) tossed the leader of the Wharf Rats into my young friend, Klaus, who happens to be a Fish himself. The strapping dockhand laid out the opposing leader quite handily. When asked, the Fish leader bought us a round of the slightly less offensive beer at the Pig (slightly less offensive should be read to mean not quite as rancid or watered down as the White Horse ale – a very short step up, as it were). Apparently, people are going missing. One of the Wharf Rat members went missing and accused the Fish of it. The Fish haven’t lost any members as of yet. The missing Wharf Rat is Rolf Haller, a dock hand. There’s a reward for info on him. A few extra coins in my purse to keep the bones company wouldn’t go amiss. I may decide to help.

In other business, some of the business leaders are also vanishing. This confuses matters of loyalty payments.

I also met a new soul to the docks. He’s a dwarf named Mr. Bronssen. Interesting to have a dwarf around. He’s a sturdy and vicious fighter and, unless he has a steady flow of ale, his patience is shorter than his stature. He’s an interesting creature that deserves my attention. As I’ve never met one of his breed, I find him a curiosity. I’ve invited him to a reading tomorrow. I’d love to understand what makes him tick.

That jerk, Faas, that overturned my table last week was there, too. I can’t say I’m happy to have any association with him. How can I trust a man that is so sensitive he can’t mind his temper. Hot-heads make poor allies in intrigue.

On my way into the Horse, I chatted with Ute, one of the women who shares my dormitory room in the eaves of the tavern. She’s the hurdy-gurdy player. Anyway, I asked her about missing people and, in particular, Rolf. She says Rolf is mean – animal kicking mean. They’re offering 30 shillings for info. She suspects it’s another gang at the root of it, but it’s hard to say who with the Black Hood running extortion rings and taking over areas where there have been lots of disappearances. He’s new to the area. He’s either very powerful or a small player overextending his reach. Most disappearances were crime lords, so Rolf’s disappearance doesn’t fit the pattern. Curiouser and curiouser.

I’m tired from my day. I’ll to bed early, though I doubt I’ll sleep for a while. I want to juggle some of the new morsels of information I learned today and see if I can splice a few bits together and fit them into the bigger picture.

Love, E.

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