When Ravens Sing

Mud Rain and Rivers Oh My!

To: The Most Reverend Lector Wilhelm

Sir,

I have done as you requested and tracked down the whereabouts of Ulrich von Winterstein and ingratiated myself into his company. It took a fair bit however he has started to grudgingly accept me as a travelling companion. He may not be happy about my tagging along, however he has at least stopped trying to loose me on the trail. I take this as an achievement.

As we were on our way to Ubersreik, we happened to stop at a toll crossing where, as these things are wont to happen, we met up with a young lady with whom Ulrich had a passing acquaintance, she introduced herself as Skylark, however he kept referring to her a Wren… so I’m not altogether sure which it is… she seems nice enough although a bit of a … don’t quite know how to phrase it, but I wouldn’t trust her near the Temples silver… In her company was a dwarf by the name of Gramki Stourhelm. He is, as all dwarfs, fairly stoic in his manner, but I was caught by his complete lack of ornamentation. The dwarfs that I have met in the past or indeed read about, always seem to wear their wealth… going by this I’d have to say that Stourhelm may well be a bit down on his luck…

The travelling companions had been tasked by the Guildmaster of the Merchants Guild in Ubersreik to track the whereabouts of one of the members of the guild who had failed to report in. It seems that a Mr. Flavian Wecksler failed to meet his contact in Stromdorf and is feared lost. The companions it seems are approximately a week behind the man… To me it sounds more like the Guildmaster is more concerned about the Guildring than the man…

Ulrich made the decision that we would join them in their task. Have I mentioned that, your honourable opinion aside of course, Ulrich seems a bit… unhinged? I do hope, by Sigmars Grace, I can help this man regain his path…

Decision made, we left the toll stop and headed north toward Stromdorf. What should have been a fairly easy days walk turned into the muddiest nastiest mess of a hike that I have had the misfortune to make. I swear Sir, I don’t think I have ever seen this much rain!

About half way to our destination we were set upon by a group of those Chaos damned beast things. There were eight of the smaller ones and appeared to be led by one of the larger. Ungors being led by a Gor it would be if I recall my reading correctly. By Sigmars Light they were foul beasts. The brave dwarf managed to engage the leader of the band and the Lady Skylark and myself dispatched the rear group with fair ease. Once we had seen off the rear group, Skylark and myself turned to assist the dwarf. By His Holy Hammer, I came through the fight with nary a scratch, which was convenient as Ulrich (who in the entirety of the battle managed to hit not a blessed thing) was injured. Skylark and Gramki were injured as well however with a bit of bandaging we were soon ready to move on. After seeing our dwarf companion fight I am understanding why they are rated so highly as warriors.

We were nearly to our destination when the weather took a turn for the worse (and believe me Sir, it had to go a long way to be worse than it was to begin with.) and by the time we got to the bridge we needed to cross, the river had already overshot its banks and the bridge was looking somewhat the worse for wear.

We took it in turns to cross the bridge, with Ulrich taking the lead. I am not embarrassed to say that I nearly fell in. The Lady Skylark was nearly lost as well, but managed to regain her balance. The last to cross the bridge was Gramki, and it must have been the added weight of his armour, but he was forced over the edge of the bridge into the rushing torrent.

Now, as unhinged as he might be and as useless in the fight as he was, I can’t fault Ulrich for bravery. When he saw the dwarf fall into the heaving river, he quickly stripped his armour off and, taking the end of his rope with him, dove in. Skylark and I quickly grabbed the other end of the rope and threw ourselves into securing the it around the nearest tree. Unfortunately, Sigmars Gaze was not with Ulrich at that moment, and he didn’t manage to grab the dwarf before the current took him.

Skylark and I got a rather bedraggled Ulrich pulled out of the river, and as soon as we had retrieved our belongings started the long walk down the banks of the river in the hope that at the very least we could find the dwarfs body.

Blessed be Sigmar, we turned a corner on the river and caught sight of a river mill, and stretched across the river itself was a large bank of nets. As we came close a blond bear of a man who introduced himself as the town miller beckoned us. It seems that Gramki had gotten tangled up in his eel nets and the miller pulled him out and got him settled with an ale. Courteous enough, the man made it fairly clear that he preferred his own company so as soon as we had a chance to wring ourselves out we got back on the path to Stromdorf (a shorter path thanks to the directions from the miller).

As we neared the gate we saw that it was fairly crowded, mostly women and children and the reason for this was made very clear as soon as we were in earshot… they were desperate for news (uh hem read that as gossip Sir) from the cities… so as we walked into the city we all (save for the dwarf) offered up bits and pieces that we thought they would be interested in. I have to give credit to the towns folk here… at least they managed to elevate the main walkways, so instead of slogging through more mud we were walking on muddy logs.

We asked about an inn and were directed to the Thunder Water Inn, a brewery of some repute I understand. Before we made it to the inn, Ulrich wandered off to see if he could acquire further healing (I did my best but there are things that are just out of my skill range) and Gramki wanted to find dry clothing. As I had been recognised as an Acolyte of Sigmar, the town guard had given me directions to the temple in the town. As soon as it was polite I took my leave of my companions and went to the temple.

I found the temple and presented myself to the Acolyte inside. I must say it seemed unusual for a temple as there were no pews, just one large open room with the Shrine at the end… in any case, the Acolyte came and summoned me a few moments later and took me to meet the Lector.

Lector Gottschalk is a very intense man. I felt as if I were being judged and hoping I had not come up wanting! He was very interested in meeting with the four of us the following day after services, I fully intend to make that meeting if I have to skull Ulrich to do it.

Taking my leave, I found my way to the inn and went to find the others. They had already started on the Thunder Ale and seeing its effects on Ulrich opted to cut mine with mostly water. Skylark did some charming and snooping and discovered that the political situation in the town is fairly unstable and the people aren’t very happy about it, however that has little or nothing to do with us really… we did ask around about the missing merchant however no one remembered seeing or hearing of him… I can’t help but wonder if we’re on a bit of a snipe hunt if you get my meaning…

Sleep beckons Sir, and I have a feeling I’ll need my wits about me if I am to continue this task you have set me on.

May Sigmar bless and keep you, Erika

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Zenythe

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