“A giant mutated pike haunts the waterfront of the Niederhafen Bezirk. It preys on the local fishermen and the dockers, and it’s taken three just this month! What’s the Guild doing about it? Nothing! It’s almost as if they didn’t care …”
– Rumour picked up from two sailors at The Burning Table
As I continued my labourious trip towards warmth and a roaring fire at the University, an enormously fat man sauntered towards me. I was astonished by the girth of the man, and totally engrossed in curious contemplation on how he could have grown to such a size that I totally missed his uniform. He was a man of the Watch, and evidently he had witnessed the whole falling down incident, and the theft of my book. Enraged I called out and confronted him, asking why he hadn’t given chase.
“Pfui, too much hard work. We won’t catch the Collector that way,” was the lazy answer I got.
“Aye, sire,” he replied in a deep and booming voice. The fat man probably had a good singing voice in there somewhere. There was room enough in there for sure. “He steals books. We gather that he collects them himself, since none of the tomes have turned up in any of the bookshops or pawnshops.”
I debated with the man for a full half hour but got nowhere. He wouldn’t give chase, and if I wanted the book back he suggested I put up posters offering a reward.
“But you are the City Watch!” I burst out.
“Aye, sire. We keep the peace. But we don’t around solving crimes. Imagine how that would be, we’d have no time for anything else!”
Angestag, Nachexen 3, 2522 IC
Our poor scholar was unfortunate enough to run into Fat Pappy Braun. He is infamous in Friedwang for his enormous belly, his equally voluminous wife and their litter of children. Fat Pappy is also one of the laziest Watch Men in Altdorf, and easily bribed. The fact that he can keep his job is telling of the state of the City Watch in the capital. They are there to keep the peace, which they most often do by banging two heads together and dragging the unconscious unfortunates to a cell for the night. The Watch Men have few or no investigative skills, and the task of actually investigating crimes are given to specially formed commissions or one of the numerous Kabinetts.
Today our dear Adolphus was unfortunate, since Friedwang actually is one of the most peaceful Bezirks in Altdorf. About the only spot of trouble is the Collector, a mysterious man who steals books. This is a source of much frustration in the Bezirk, since it is inhabited ta large extent by scholars and scribes. The Collector steals any book he can lay his hands on, but favours hard bound books with plenty of colour illuminations and fancy letters.