Politics and Medals

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Our Zweihänder campaign continues, and Eva Saraiva continues to document her travels in the northern lands as we try to uncover what Baron Ottowild is up to.

We returned to Sielzen and went to visit Captain Sarkas to report on our success. He was most pleased when we told him that the bandits had been dealt with, and even more pleased, and surprised, when we handed over the coins we had recovered from the tax revenue.

We were paid, and informed that there might be some more work for us in a day or two. By now, we’ve actually amassed reasonable amount of money, which gave me the opportunity to stock up on some medical supplies as well as some holy water. I did attempt to obtain some Black Lotus from the alchemist we had sold basilisk to.

She asked whether I had a license to practise magic, and I had to admit that I hadn’t. Given how well she had done from us previously, she pointed me down the street to a herbalist who would be able to provide me with some without asking too many questions. From what I have heard, the Black Lotus flower can help in opening up the mind and making it easier to connect with the God Emperor when calling on divine power.

Player’s Notes: Black Lotus is a black market drug which provides a bonus to Will, and hence a bonus to spell casting – up to +30% if three doses are taken. However, it has some side effects as well. As long as I don’t take too much though, I should be fine.

I took the opportunity to put together a letter to request a document granting me official permission to use magick in the name of the God Emperor, and sent it off to the Church. It will take a while to come, but it’s probably best to be official about these things. Though I hadn’t been instructed in the ways of magick at the Church, I’m hoping that they will trust my judgement.

That evening, as I am having dinner, a familiar figure came to sit with me. It was Bernado, the somewhat mysterious man who had asked me some specific questions about my faith, and in particular heresy, some weeks ago.

He said he had heard of our honesty in returning the tax money to the Baron, and had been impressed, so was willing to offer us something more – the rest of the tax goods which had been stolen. Needless to say, I am suspicious of his intent here, and said as much. Apparently he views it as an opportunity for us to get close to the Baron, and therefore gives him influence and information on the Baron if he is close to us.

Apparently a wagon containing the tax goods is in the town – how it got here I have no idea, and he wouldn’t say. He did however win my favour by handing me a sealed document – which turned out to be official permission for me to use magick. It was sealed by the mark of the Inquisitors, which probably answers the question of where his loyalties lie.

After talking things over with Calthar and Djarin, Calthar was happy to make use of the man’s offer, whilst Djarin was not, and wanted nothing to do with it. His view was that we had no good reason why we would hand over the rest of the tax revenue now, when we hadn’t mentioned it to Captain Sarkas previously. Calthar and myself have decided to go ahead anyway.

It turned out to be relatively trivial. The cart was where we were told it would be, and belonged to Garm – the wagoneer we had met at Foxton. Apparently the two gentlemen he had been working for had obtained it for Dietrich Meinz, one of the merchants in the city.

We took it to the guards, who were more than happy to receive it, and didn’t ask any awkward questions. So that is that.

We have been invited to go and see the Baron. We received a message this morning from Captain Sarkas that Baron Ottowild wishes to meet with us. Presumably he is happy with our activities and wishes to reward us. At any rate, it will give us a chance to meet with him and maybe start to find out what is going on.

Probably I should get myself a new set of robes.

Our meeting with Baron Ottowild went well. We was indeed happy to see us, and thankful for what we had done in returning his taxes. The Baron himself is probably in his 50s, and not very charismatic. He was at least capable of reading from a prepared script but doesn’t seem to be leadership material. It also seems like he isn’t in great health, and possibly needs to get better sleep.

With him were two women. The first was a beautiful young woman who was undoubtedly Miss Sulvrezia the Baron’s new mistress. She was somewhat pale in complexion, and dressed all in white. She sat and did some needlework as the Baron gave his speech and presented us with our medals. If she is behind the Baron’s bewitchment then she showed little sign of it.

There was also an older, stern faced woman who we later found out to be Councillor Vanveer. Though we managed to miss her until she got up to leave, Stephana Rochu was also there, a woman Calthar had met at the Opera some time ago.

Anyway, we were presented with some gold pentagonal medallions, which apparently we can use to demonstrate that we are on the Baron’s business. These could actually be pretty useful. He also invited us to the Congress in half a dozen weeks.

After the ceremony, the Baron asked us to do a favour for him, which the Councillor would describe. Apparently a merchant by the name of Gilbert Steinwald has gone missing. He was expected to arrive in town several days ago, but there has been no word of him. He was coming down from the northern coast, and it is known that he got as far as the town of Brauman, but there has been nothing since then.

He was meant to be bringing a valuable cargo, though nothing could be said about what it was. To recognise him, we are to look for ‘tigers’, which we’ve taken to mean art on his wagon, or something similar.

We are to be paid a daily rate, plus a fee for success in returning the cargo and bringing the merchant back alive.

After that we were invited to dine at the castle that evening, where the food was pretty good. Tomorrow we will leave for the North.

The road north was relatively clear, and it was difficult to get lost. As with much of this land, it was heavily forested which didn’t give us much view beyond the edge of the road.

It wasn’t far to the border, where we were greeted at a couple of small guard posts. The Baron’s own men mentioned that people go missing all the time on the road, and that there were always problems with bandits. There was a large storm a few days back as well, which would have made travel difficult.

A Forest Road
The Road North

Across the border the guards were somewhat better presented, and mentioned that they knew of Gilbert Steinwald but hadn’t seen him for a while. So we continued our journey north, asking at the odd village for any news, but though they know of him, none have seen him.

By nightfall we arrived at Hofoyavik, where we managed to get a nice rabbit stew and Djarin managed to get a dance with several of the local girls, and I presume a lot more since he disappeared off with them sometime later.

Calthar has seemed terribly interested in the teachings of the God Emperor. I really hope that she doesn’t get any thoughts into her head about becoming religious, since that could become intolerable. I did my best to make it sound as dry and boring as possible.

Asking around about Gilbert Steinwald we managed to dig out some information, though whether it will turn out to be useful or not I don’t know. There is a village to the north called Vaskollen, which has a reputation of being used by smugglers. It is up the road, then across the river and north off to the side of the road along a track for a few miles. Not many people go there, but it’s possible he could have headed there if looking for shelter from the storm.

Tomorrow we will need to head off, and see if we have any luck in tracking him down.

Samuel Penn