The Veiled Blade

Session Twenty Four

Bar Crawls and Questions

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The Chancellor finishes up his briefing of what it is that he wants the Merchants Guild to do on his behalf. Before dismissing them, he tells the group that he expects them to start the expedition in three to four days time and that they will be accompanied by Sgt-At-Arms Brent; several members are unable to stray far from petty thoughts of weapons and armour, much to Gottlieb and Serge’s annoyance. A short time later and they leave the building and pick up a coach back to the guild mansion.

The group are brought into an upstairs office where Marius Uns is sat with the guild bursar and registrar. He asks the entire how the meeting with the Chancellor went and tries to determine the exact nature of the ask being made of them all. It is clear to the shrewd merchant that the Palace has a hidden agenda but he is unable to determine its nature. He is satisfied that the group has had plenty of experience in the local environs and makes it clear that this will be their first official tasking as initiates of the guild. He instructs the group to learn more about St Ignacious and Grenz and to come back to him and the bursar, Rudolph, with an identified leader, a list of personnel, equipment and supplies for the expedition – since the bursar will have to finance the expedition he will have ultimate authorisation and say so of its composition.

It’s now late in the evening, gone six thirty, so the group decides to split up into pairs and tackle different tasks. Carla for her part, strikes off alone, deciding to research the mysterious saint and the town at the nearby university; but she quickly comes unstuck when she finds her way blocked by a forceful gate keeper who demands to know her business. The pompous university official is deeply suspicious of the unkempt mage and quickly informs her that she may not enter as she is not a student; Carla unsuccessfully attempts to bluff her way in but failing that resorts to casting a sleep spell, but fluffs her lines as she grasps the man – which enrages him and he sends her packing with threats of arrest and manhandling. Flustered but undeterred, she beats her way over to the Markt Platz and The Emporium, which is miraculously still open. Randal is at least pleased to see her and reconfirms his message concerning Cadrigar’s unfortunate addiction to medication. Dismissing the treatment of the elf, due to the high cost, Carla opts to ask if the proprietor knows anything of St Ignacious. Randal tells her the story of the champion is the stuff of local legend and little firm and reliable information is known beyond the common tales. Apparently the time of St Ignacious was 150 years in the past when Reiksdorf was but a small fishing village and Grenz was the largest town in the region. In that once lively town there lived a noble who fell out with his father-in-law and resorted to employing the black arts of necromancy; the said noble then laid siege to the town with an undead horde, destroying much of the place; then a holy warrior arrived from Nuln and defeated the necromancer and his army, suffering mortal wounds in the process.

Cadrigar and young Heinrich make their way across town to the Temple of Ulric, which was previously visited over a week before by Fickenja and Mathias. Inside the temple the duo are struck by the sombre decorations of armaments, painted depictions of battle and wolf pelts; they find the priest, Brother Jacob, knelt before the central fire pit, meditating. They approach the priest and engage him in conversation – he is somewhat alarmed at the wild state of the elf who is still being wracked by his addiction to healing potion. Heinrich asks the priest if he knows anything about St Ignacious and Grenz and the older man relates a tale very similar to that which Carla is told on the other side of town. The herdsman presses and asks if the saint really is related to Prince Ruprecht and if he had any enchanted weapons but the priest of Ulric is unable to verify either of these points as the legend is too sketchy and vague for such details. Finally Heinrich asks if there are any fighters known to the temple who might want to take part in their expedition but Brother Jacob says that all the local fighters have only recently left to fight the forces of Chaos nearby!

Fickenja and Jeffric first head over to The Green Dragon where the woodsman quickly renegotiates his current debts with Karl. Once this has been successfully conducted they head across town to another familiar drinking haunt, Die Goblin und Hammer; as they brazenly waltz in, having forgotten that they were barred only a couple of days before, they bump into Allen the barkeeper. An exchange of words and threats quickly fly and it is only through the power of bluff and by mentioning that they have now joined the Merchants Guild, that they are permitted, with reticence, to remain in the tavern. Quickly, they head over to their goal, the group of rowdy dwarf mercenaries sat around a long table at the far end of the room; Fickenja taps the leader, Gundar’s shoulder, interrupting his braggart conversation. The dwarf captain recognises the female beggar and he previous unsuccessful attempt to engage his services; he demands to know her business and she tells him that they are now on a mission for the Merchants Guild and the Palace. Then, for reasons only known to themselves, Fickenja and Jeffric decide that they want to hire the services of the mercenaries but are loathe to reveal the true nature of the mission, instead choosing to spin a vague yarn concerning robbing the Orcs to the south of their treasure. Gundar smells a rat – the duo’s story lacks details and sincerity and after several prompts to tell the truth he finally loses his patience and dismisses them both as time wasters.

Durgar and Matthias walk across town into Der Drachen district and its rundown working hovels and make their way to Der Dunkel Schlupfwinkel tavern. They enter the subdued and sparsely populated environs and immediately spot the object of the trip – the drunken slumped figure of Old Krieger, surrounded by empty wine bottles. Durgar makes the mistake of strolling up to the beleaguered drunk and grabbing his shoulder, which results in a dagger being swiftly jabbed up against his throat; fortunately Matthias quickly and eloquently defuses the situation and talks the old mercenary down by reminding him of his previous fateful venture south of Reiksdorf that had resulted in the massacre of his band of fighters. Over the subsequent conversation the dim boatman suddenly recalls all the questions he failed to ask on the previous encounter with Krieger and quickly establishes that the previous attempt by the Palace to obtain the relics of St Ignacious was indeed conducted by the old mercenary; unfortunately he too is unable to provide any insight into the warrior saint or Grenz. But what Krieger is able to tell them is that his original mission failed due to the unexpected number of greenskins he encountered and not having a good scout or wizard in the party; this information makes the dwarf and boatman figure that they should approach Grenz from the river rather than heading due south from Reiksdorf. Considering the information they have just heard they decide to offer the old and weary fighter the opportunity to have a second go at the mission and lead the expedition.

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