Brash Young Fools
I need a new manservant. While I appreciate Victor’s attempt to provide me with shaving water in the morning, he needs to understand that the water should be warm and placed on the dresser, not cold and thrown casually onto my bedside table where it can easily splash onto my face, waking me before the proper time.
That chap Kessler from the other night also needs a good talking to. He seems to feel it is his place to demand an audience first thing in the morning. I can only suppose the local Burgomeister has failed to keep Kessler in his proper place (note – having subsequently met Adler, I am clearly correct in this regard). Anyway, it transpired that my presence was requested as an expert witness to events of the previous evening at the trial of those peasants and their halfling conspirator.
I made good use of the morning paying a trip to the local shrine to Shallya. I must admit to feeling somewhat comforted after making an offering. Boris returned from a trip to the temple of Sigmar full of what might be called ‘righteous fury’ in a better man. In Boris it comes across more as ranting and raving. Karl spent his time waving his sword at the Tilean he met the other night, while Victor went to do just penance for his earlier oversight with the shaving water (I assume this is the case – he came back wet and muddy which can only be some form of self inflicted punishment).
When the time came for the trial I gave testimony on behalf of our little group, with the others standing by in case further evidence was required (it wasn’t). Boris did become a little incensed when he realised that one of the family had escaped capture. Needless to say it was the mother – Boris’ capacity to notice large, trollish women when all other details escape him never ceases to amaze me. He also seems to have some peculiar attraction to the halfling.
My civic duty completed, we all returned to the inn for a celebration, although I personally saw little to celebrate in the company of such bedraggled creatures as live in Stromdorf and planned for an early night to better recover from the bruises I suffered ridding the region of the beastman chief only the night before.
I was stopped on my way by the appearance of a wizard from Altdorf (literally stopped by his appearance – his attire is quite beyond description!) making enquiries about the stone. He hinted at payment for anyone delivering a complete set of four such stones although required proof we had even found one. Karl rashly promised to provide the stone the following morning.
Whatever strange attraction Boris has for the halfling, it appears to be mutual. My sleep was disturbed by the arrival of the walking dead (after cultists, beastmen and giant rat men in the sewers it seems only natural that I should next encounter the undead!). More specifically, the family whose foul deeds had seen them swinging from a rope only hours before returned to seek revenge for my part in their conviction, although the shambling corpse of the halfling seemed more interested in pursuing her previous relationship with Boris. Boris himself sleeps too deeply to be easily roused, especially since the most recent blow to his barbarically thick skull, but I recalled how efficacious a pitcher of cold water can be in waking a sleeper so made good use of such in preparing Boris for the fight ahead.
I am sorry to say that, after stepping bravely into the fray, I was pulled down by several of the lumbering brutes and suffered a severe (and still festering) wound to my shoulder. The next I recall I awoke to the hirsute face of the local surgeon tending to my injuries. I gather that Karl and the others managed between them to drive off my attackers so perhaps some gratitude would be owed if only they had not been so slow to my defence to begin with.
After returning to bed I managed to fall into a passable sleep (Note to self – must investigate a cure for Boris’ snoring or else insist on a private room in future) and, owing more the to divine intervention of Shallya than the ministrations of the local saw bones, awoke to find that much of the stiffness had gone from my leg. Either that or the multitude of fresh bruises rendered old wounds far less significant.
After taking the wizard, Schulman, to recover his stone (Karl obliged by carrying it back) I responded to an invitation from the burgomeister, delivered by Kessler. Alder is an sickly man much overcome with grief over a young woman (whether his wife, daughter or lover I cannot say) who I gather drowned in the town well a month or so back (by design or accident is likewise unknown, and it didn’t seem prudent to press for details). He believes he was visited in his dreams by the woman’s spirit or some other such nonsense. It seems vastly unfair that other men get friendly visitations while I am forced to dead with hillbilly zombies, but then maybe this is the price I pay for the perverse company I keep. In any event, after a little persuasion, Alder agreed to provide a minor stipend of fifty silver each per day for services to the town, backdated to yesterday, if I would intercede on his behalf with the local priest of Morr. Being a generally civic minded sort and not wanting to appear ungrateful, I agreed to take his money.
On my way from my meeting with Alder, the loon Schulman put in another appearance ranting about a prophesy involving the local hero rising from the dead. I should point out that Schulman didn’t know him to be the local hero, but his description matched the large statue in the square bearing the legend “Olaus Stichelm” so I suppose them to be one and the same. By unnerving coincidence, Schulman believes his omen points to another of the lightning stones being located in the tomb of Schulman. For my own part, it seems all too likely that I will soon find myself dealing with yet another walking corpse (beside Boris and his extended/distant family). Such is my lot in life!
And so I now find myself sitting astride a sodden horse in yet more of this torrential downpour while a wretch calling himself Waltrout tells me how unusual it is for Grubbe, the priest of Morr, not to answer when visitors call.
Rain, a local undead infestation and now a missing priest – of all the times to go wandering in the garden of Morr this must be the worst, yet Joachim von Winterstein is nothing if not brave. Anyone who has seen the company I keep can attest to that!