We continue our Zweihänder adventure trying to determine why the personality of Baron Otterwild has changed to radically recently, and why he has thrown his wife the Lady Annette out of his household. Eva continues her story.
The morning after the funeral, we headed in the direction of Sielzen. It was a 20 mile trip across countryside that mostly consisted of woodland, interrupted by the occasional village. The villagers had all recently suffered under the Baron’s heavy taxation, and few seemed particularly affluent at the moment.
We stopped at an inn for a mid-day meal, since Floquert especially seemed to be struggling with the travel. We had been hoping to make use of horses for this part of the journey, but the troubles at Tottenbach had squashed that plan.
The innkeeper here provided decent enough food and drink, and was also able to provide some information on the road ahead. There were bandits roaming the countryside, and again mention of trouble at the mine but no details as to exactly what.
When I mentioned the fire at Tottenbach, and the loss of the carriage house there, the innkeep was troubled, but also sensed an opportunity. He was willing to donate a few coins for me to write him a letter to a friend of his in Sielzen named Horice Walthrope, who may be able to profit from the disaster. Somewhat mercenary, but I suppose a practical way to look at it – rebuilding a new carriage service is something that is going to have to happen sooner or later.
We headed on and reached the city by nightfall just before the gates were due to close. It was a large, looming city, though neither Sharon nor Calthar were impressed by its defenses. Houses were built right up against the walls, and though a river ran past it, no moat protected it.
We were taxed on the gate, and our weapons peace bonded, though none were concerned about my walking staff. Given my skill at using it as a weapon, they were probably right. The city’s buildings are mostly stone, though the poorer districts have a larger selection of wooden constructions. The actual docks are outside the city walls to the west, and there is some warehousing over the far side of the river.
We have found rest for the night at the Drumhead inn, where the food and drink isn’t too bad and it provides us all with some much needed rest.
The following morning we each went our separate ways. Myself, I went to find the stable master Horice Walthrope that the innkeep had me take a letter for. He was a personable enough man, with a good selection of horses. Apparently there will be a horse race tomorrow just outside of the city walls. It may be an opportunity to find and meet some of the important people we have come here to investigate.
After blessing him, his house and his horses, I went to locate the church of the Witnesses. The lady Annette had said that Bishop Tremain had no love for the Baron, so I thought to take a quick look at the place. It was a fancy church, though heretical in its elevation of the saints to deific status alongside the God Emperor. Nevertheless, they are the closest to divine revelation that the people of this place have, so I made a donation anyway.
When we all met up again in the early afternoon, we were able to trade stories and make plans. Djarin had managed to obtain a large knife, which was short enough to not require peace bonding, as well as several jobs from those looking for help from mercenaries.
Calthar went to talk with Captain Sarkas, and report on what had happened at Tottenbach. He seemed somewhat upset at the needless destruction, and mentioned that he had a budget for hiring outsiders to perform jobs outside the usual remit of the city guard.
Floquert headed to the Green Dragon Inn to make contact with Victor Hoffman, but failed to actually determine whether he was the person we needed to speak to. He did agree to come back in the evening though for a meal, which may provide us with a second chance.
Floquert and myself spent the rest of the afternoon going through the journals of Isenbard Rullacher, to try and determine more about our possible contact. I make a bit of a breakthrough, and find what are possibly some code names repeated several times throughout the text. They may have come from a play, and Floquert remembered seeing some books at the Green Dragon, one of which may act as a code book. However, without more information we’re stumped.
Our evening meal at the Green Dragon was most pleasant, though my initial clumsy attempts at trying to surreptitiously making contact with Victor Hoffman failed. Eventually, Djarin got fed up with all of us and just came out and said that we were working with Isenbard.
This got things moving, and after our meal he invited us through to the back room where we could have a bit of a private conversation. Victor though isn’t entirely certain how much he can trust us, so he has given us a test to prove ourselves.
There is a foreign merchant, Ilias Svin, who has setup a business near the river near the Glassring. He arrived about 8-10 months ago, and has a large warehouse there which he uses for storing goods from his shipping business. It’s possible that he also performs some smuggling on the side. He is quite wealthy, but Victor isn’t quite sure exactly how wealthy or exactly what he is doing.
He would have us break into the warehouse and obtain a copy of his business records. I’m not sure I like this type of work, but it looks like we need to do it if we are to get Victor on our side. Without his help, we are unlikely to find out what is going on with Baron Otterwild.