21st Ulriczeit 2511

Dear M,

Apologies for the use of a cipher and for my oblique references to the key personnel who attended EvH’s Masquerade Ball… it was a night to remember! I aimed to be there early as I wanted to observe, listen and get a sense of what EvH’s motives might be. The snow was coming down again as I arrived and the disturbing green glow of Morrslieb could be seen through the clouds.

The Ball itself was a who’s who of those who wish to shape the future of our city. Some had arrived before I and many arrived soon after. Everyone seemed keen to get a look at the new master of Niederstadt House. EvH had the appearance of someone open, playful, conciliatory even. I’d guess he’s in his late thirties, tallish (even by Human standards) with sharp blue eyes. His costume, a nicely crafted wooden axe and an ‘Old Man of the Woods’ mask, was an obvious play on his family name. He appeared friendly and was attentive to his guests.

All of the big wigs were present: GMU (with T13), vB (accompanied by Lady G), vF. Oh and our good old EM. The latter was in fine form – you should have seen his costume! A trout-head mask over a frilly blue collar – he told anyone who would listen that it was the Teufel. Speaking of which, he cornered F (you remember, the purple-robed adventurer who took down the ‘Teufel Terror’). F was very polite. The other two were there too – the dwarf initially propping up the bar and the soldier mingling. I suspect EvH invited them as a bit of a novelty, though there could be a political angle with them being generally popular with all strata of Ubersreik society at the moment.

Oh, wait till I tell you… MA, you know the tricksy nephew of RA, was dressed in the most outrageous costume. He and RA arrived at the same time, the younger sporting an impish mask, black and blue livery (yeah, yeah – just like the vBs!) sporting fake (well, I hope they were!) mutated tentacles. So on the nose. I wasn’t the only one to notice and EvH had his guards escort MA away “until he can find something more suitable to wear”! It was hilarious. I don’t think vB saw.

Speaking of vB, and this bit is important. I overheard he and vF talking. It wasn’t a casual chat and vB looked quite agitated. They seemed to be discussing trade routes and docking rights in the city when… get this… vF is “in control of the city”! Good old trout-wearing EM was of course oblivious to such plotting. vF seems to afford him as much respect as we do… Anyway, Lady G pulled vB away from vF before it got too heated.

I have a few more odd events to recount before I fear I must get some much needed sleep… it was a long night. This may be a two-part letter. There were a couple of other notables in attendance: Lord SvU and the Bretonnian, Baron dG. I didn’t really see much of the former in the early part of the evening, but dG was impossible to miss. He was dressed as a knight from his homeland… steed and all (I attach a sketch – I couldn’t resist despite the late hour)! His already considerable girth was bolstered by a papier-mâché horse. He got stuck in the dining room doorway and caused such an unseemly ruckus. It would have been funny in a bawdy tavern, but in this company it really showed him in a poor light.

The next odd event was a bit more serious… Baron RA collapsed to the floor having just drunk a freshly delivered drink! Others who’d finished drinks recently were quite concerned. I’m not sure quite what became of RA as we all became quite distracted by a sound I hadn’t expected to hear in Morgenseite… the chanting of “Pot, pot, pot, pot…” coming from the rear of the mansion. Are you familiar with Dwile Flonking? I’ll fill you in when we meet next, but needless to say, it’s not a game typically played at a party with nobility present.

Now, I badly need some shut eye… I’ll add to this letter in the morrow.

Yours etc.,