The Party members meet up with: Jiphella ex Miscellanea Aglae ex Miscellanea* in a dark place in the black forest. The PC have the choice of either paying 15 vis or stealing the beer delivery from the Abbey in Hirsau (GotF p64) to Dunremar in exchange for the sponsorship of their Covenant.
*a MuCoAn Witch of Thessaly, who is spending the 1221-1228 period learning about the German "witch" traditions, she is a recurring NPC in my campaign, and was one of the people present when the party mages got their introduction ceremony in Dunremar in the first session
With the players having contacted Dankmar by Redcap in advance, a meeting point is set up.
From the village of Gengenbach on the Kinzig, on the edge of the black forest, follow the Bermersbach southwards upstream. At the second fork follow the central one to the top of the hill, under. Wait for us under the largest pine tree at the first quarter moon after the spring equinox.
-the Maga of Dankmar
Location on gmaps: 9XJC+8G Gengenbach.
The wait in the forest is awful, the party is shadowed by a pair of Bockmen keeping their Unease of the Still Forest to keep the party from resting. They will wait all night unable to rest feeling paranoid and watched, without a bird singing or any noise but stillness of the forest.
An hour or so after dawn Jiphella and Aglae will arrive in as birds and transform into their human shapes, wearing woollen dresses, and scarves. Jiphella has a black woollen hood, whereas Aglae is dressed in a white Greek style dress. (I picked the location to be about an hour's bird flight away from Dankmar)
Aglae: mostly chilled out, there for the ride. Will greet the party warmly with hugs. Says that Dankmar is kind of like her home, with a strong women’s coven. She does not care for the weather and misses the sea.
Make a joke at some point about “witches eating mandrake and riding brooms naked by the full moon”
Jiphella (looks bored by the above) has these talking points:
- “Another all boys covenant, how convenient, just repeating big Daddy’s example in Waddenzee, ha!” (one of the party members was apprenticed there)
- the patriarchy, to whom Murion is a sell-out, point out that Trianoma was made to desist from forming her house because of her Gender and house Merenita was usurped by a faerie boy, Falke and Vinaria are the rightful heads of their houses but contested because of their Gender.
- Not interested in them forming a new Covenant unless they can contribute something useful to hers.
- The PC have the choice of either paying 15 faerie vis (preferably Me and Im) or stealing the beer delivery from the Abbey in Hirsau to Dunremar and bringing it to the drop off (not leading straight back to Dankmar)
The Heist itself
Since the delivery happens at a regular interval along a known route, having a grog scout the valley and path is very easy, and should yield all the key information. The treck is about 17km from Hirsau Abbey to Wildberg, which takes most of a day, especially in autumn/winter. I highly suggest using some online (topographic) map for this heist, since this is information that a couple of wilderness oriented grogs can gather trivially so long as they are given time.
On the first weekday of any month, a cart will leave Hirsau for Dunremar. They always stop for the night at the Crown in Wildberg. It is a standard four-wheel ox drawn cart carrying a dozen beer barrels (16 gallons each, approximate weight 80kg). That oxen travel at 3km/h on flat ish terrain, but only at 2km/h uphill.
There is a cart driver (bullwhacker-Otto, a foul mouthed but dutiful +2 man) and a monk (brother Simon, an honest and brave +2 man) from the monastery. They might try to put up token resistance against non-overwhelming odds, the monk will invoke his status and divine wrath upon "bandits".
See book p 64 plus wikipedia page
The next town along. Not particularly old: celebrates 150 years in 1225. The Town has a lot of leather and fabric making, both set at the northern end of town so that the spillage gets driven away. The church is higher up from the river, in the local reddish sandstone and in the Roman style.
A small hamlet along the river banks, which the road follows. The Crown is just a local farm with a big yard, with a faded crown painted on the side. The monk and the carter sleep in the main room and eat with the family, who has 2 aggressive and territorial dogs.
During the night, the oxen are brought into the barn and the cart wheels are chained to prevent movement. The beer barrels are not unloaded
The road follows the river all along it's path, until the village of Nahgold, at which point, the cart veers off the main road to head towards Dunremar. The river flows at mostly 5km/h, though some sections are faster than others. It is possible for a small boat to "sail" downriver.
Hiring extra hands
It is possible to buy or rent a suitable river boat with its boatman in Pforzheim for a price (bargain/Guile/charm/Leadership to make him stay quiet, folk ken to make sure that it worked)
It is possible to hire a cater and his cart there (same proceedure).
Bringing the beer to the Witches
The drop off point
WHRC+49 Remchingen (nowadays a museum in the roman ruins)
The town of Pforzheim (the residence of the Margraves of Baden) is down stream from Hirsau, from there, take the NW road towards the castle of Remchingen. At the hamlet of Wilferdingen, take south. Close by there is a weak faerie aura on top of the ruins of an old temple to Demeter, wait for us there.
If asked about timing “the forest has a thousand eyes, some of them mine”- Jiphella ex Misc.
The next two sections are variables, which may or may not be used, depending on which routes and what the party does.
Things along the way
- A gibbet with a half pecked hanged man (usable to a Co mage...)
- A tired looking farmer asking for a ride on the cart. Offers a swig of wine and bite of bread in exchange.
- Wildberg: the road forms a tight loop along the bend of the river and the slopes are quite steep.
- An axle breaks
- A herald working for the margraves in Pfozheim barrel down the road on horseback demanding more space.
- Villagers come to ask the waiting group what they are doing on a haunted site.
- A group of a dozen Santiago de Compostella bound pilgrims on their way aggressively pan handle the cart’s occupants.
The barrel delivery is expected in the afternoon of day 2. A search party will be sent on day 3. The hunters will be travelling at 3km/h as they look, they are decently skilled Stat+skill=6 (see hunter from the main book). No mage will come to investigate unless someone is killed. If the party is based in Dunremar, Murion will demand that they go investigate.
The players will progress slowly through wooden terrain, or faster on roads. They will be spied on by Dankmar faeries. When they reach their target, Jiphella will arrive several hours later accompanied by two axe wielding Bockmen. Jiphella will thank them for the delivery, taunt them, and then have the Bockmen smash the barrels one by one.
While the Bockmen are smashing the barrels, she will write out a parchment stating that she sponsors the new Covenant, but will demand a little blood from one of the mages, to use as ink.