Gramki and I met up again. We got a few ales in and I soon remembered why I’d liked the surly old dwarf in the first place (which I only ever seem to remember after at least three ales..). I’d heard of a job with the Merchant’s Guild which offered decent coin and we decided to give the adventuring another try.
A merchant called Florien Wechsler has gone missing somewhere near Stromdorf, a place that apparently has absolutely nothing going for it. It’s a damp, cold, smelly place in the middle of nowhere, inhabited only by those too stubborn or too stupid to leave. At least that’s what everyone says. Nonetheless we had nothing better to do and we were both itching to get out of Ubersreik, so we agreed to go hunt him down and we set off the next morning.
After two days walking we arrived at the Three Feathers Inn, the place where Florien was last seen and a popular rest stop before Stromdorf.
The inn was buzzing and there were people rushing all over. The Gravin Maria-Ulrike von Something-or-Other was visiting, on her way to Kemperbad to defend herself in a trial. Asking around we found out that her Aunt is the Countess Emmanuelle of Nuln no less, and that at one of her infamous parties someone chewed too much weirdroot and ended up face down in a ditch. She is planning to go for the ‘trial by combat’ route, and had with her a great hulking man who was her Judicial Champion.
The rest of the night is still a bit of a blur. There was the Judicial Champion, Bruno; a group of quiet, introspective travellers; some priests of Morr with a big coffin; a tall, well-armed lady claiming to be a messenger; a suspicious couple under the name of ‘Schmidt’; a shady halfling (who was probably one of the more respectable people there that night); and a whole pile of people from the Gravin’s entourage.
What started off as an innocent night drinking a pint of ale ended up with Gramki winning an arm-wrestle; the lawyer paying us handsomely to take out the shadowy chaos cultists (always happy to help with this..); the priests of Morr turning out to be smugglers with a human cargo; the messenger turned out to be a bounty hunter; the ‘Schmidts’ getting chased down by Mrs ‘Schmidt’s furious husband; Gramki losing badly at cards; and Bruno getting killed (and me being accused of being the murderer).
But we managed to find and stop the real murderers, Gramki had his moment as (interim) Judicial Champion, and walked away with the Gravin’s gratitude and full pockets.
Needless to say we slept late the next morning and won’t be stopping there on the way back. But they did do a nice steak pie…