As midnight approaches, so do six heavily armed men who stomp their way across the pier, heading for the Berebelli.
Unfortunate for them, Godfrey who got struck in the head with a bolt and Ulrico, were on watch, and have already alerted the barges occupants.
Eckhardt Konrad, who sees the men approach, bravely charges at them with his halberd, engaging two of them in combat. However the pier only supports two abreast, so four of the six men are forced to hang back as the fight breaks out.
Godfrey de Montfort soon joins Eckhardt in fighting them, while cursing at them for their dishonorable methods. Kall Horst comes up on deck, having recovered from his long rest after his ordeal with the siren, only to get a bolt in the chest for his efforts. He decides to seek cover on the barge and shoot from it with his crossbow, all while a bolt sticks out of his chest.
Liliana joins in also, relieving the stress of Eckhardt after he receives a particularly nasty swipe from a sword. Liliana fares no better however in the duel as she too struggles against the armed man.
Godfrey fares better and manages to take one out, while a renewed Eckhardt rejoins the fight and kills one of them, swiping with his halberd. While this is all going on, Finja has been underneath the pier, using her talent for swimming to her advantage as she maneuvers under the fighting sellswords and proceeds to stick her sword up between the gaps at those fighting.
Her incessant stabs go unnoticed and manages to distract a sellsword long enough for Godfrey to deal the killing blow.
There are only 3 men left now fighting.
Borri, who had been sleeping in the Happy Harpy Inn, is awoken by the sounds of fighting. Nobody else in the common room seems to have awoken yet. He goes out to investigate and finds a struggle taking place on the pier. Intending to help, he proceeds to head over, but a bolt from the left of the inn comes out of the shadows, shooting towards the Berebelli. Borri investigates and see’s a rough sort of a man in cover behind a wall, shooting with a crossbow. He charges, dealing blunt force trauma to the mans skull. The scuffle is short and sweet as Borri caps on his surprise attack, hammering down a death blow to the mans face.
Meanwhile on the pier, two men decide to flee, while the last is struck down by Godfrey with some help from Finja underneath. One escapes while another is struck down from behind by Borri’s hammer blow.
The fight is at an end as the party lick their wounds. Ulrico is working overtime as he tries to attend to the heavily wounded. Both Godfrey, Eckhardt, Liliana and Kall are severely wounded. Finja emerges from the water, feigning that she was involved in any way as the party didn’t even notice her during the fight.
Borri searches the dead and discovers a letter among a few other items of interest. However, as he is currently eying up the armor of one dead man, he hears a scream… Looking up, he see’s a woman who had come out to investigate the disturbance. Spotting the dwarf, she runs off screaming for the watch.
The party make their way back towards the barge and formulate a quick plan.
Kall suggests that they simply tell the truth; that they were attacked by these men, indicating that they had approached the barge and that the evidence will support it.
Borri investigates the letter he found, to try and quickly determine if there is any answers there as to why they were attacked.
Also along with the letter was a sketch of a man bearing the remarkable likeness of Eckhardt Konrad.
Borri asks to be informed of what is going on, since he is traveling on the barge and if he is going to be in any sort of danger, he’ll want to be informed of such things.
He is met with silence… for the most part. Finja speaks up declaring what she knows. That they found a dead man on the side of the road heading to Altdorf, who bore the resemblance of Eckardht Konrad. Not only this, but that they found an inheritance on him, and his name was Kastor Lieberung.
Kall notices Ernst Steurmann leaning against the door, somewhat half-asleep and possibly listening in. He advises him to go back to bed, which Ernst obliges rather stubbornly.
Borri heads back towards the inn and is confronted with by the town watch. They ask some tough questions to which Borri simply declares his innocence in the matter. Regardless they slap a pair of manacles on him and chuck him off to the watch.
The captain of the watch approaches the barge and Kall Horst greets them, informing them of what happened. A discussion takes place with some tough questioning, but for the moment it seems that Kall has managed to convince the captain that they were attacked. The captain is somewhat puzzled as to why a bounty hunter by the name of Adolphus Kuftos would turn brigand and seemingly attack a barge, with the intention of robbing it. He is somewhat suspicious and asks them all to accompany him.
On their way back Finja takes a look at the dead bounty hunter who is apparently Adolphus Kuftos. She recognizes his distinct figure of a scar around his neck… It is the same man they spotted in Altdorf who was glaring over at them from afar, wielding the crossbow while they were approached by two hooded strangers. The hooded strangers who had a ‘purple hand’ emblem engraved into their daggers. Did Kuftos have a connection with them? The hooded strangers were the same ones that followed them in that alleyway and got two bolts in their backs. Did Kuftos kill them?
At the watch barracks, the captain proceeds to investigate their claims. He goes through several wanted poster parchments, giving them a study and looking at each one of the party members intently. Eckhardt gets his attention, but his attention is diverted with Kall providing some banter with Eckhardt, momentarily distracting the captain enough to wave off whatever had piqued his interest.
Satisfied with their claims, he apologies for what happened under his jurisdiction, and also proceeds to let Borri out. Luckily for Borri, the witness that saw him rooting through a dead mans stuff wasn’t there to provide testimony!
Private rooms are arranged for the party at one of the local inns courtesy of the watch.
By next morning, they eat through their meals and make their leave quickly. They see Ernst Steurmann having a chat with the captain as Steurmann greets them.
He groggily tells them to get onboard.
The Berebelli sets for sail away from Weissbruck, continuing on towards Bogenhafen.
Ernst rather reluctantly tells Liliana to steer the barge for just a moment, as he wants to have a private word with his nephew.
Kall and Ernst have a fairly long conversation about the past events. Ernst is somewhat suspicious of this inheritance, and even more of Eckhardt Konrad now. He informs Kall that Eckhardt has been on his mind for quite sometime, and only now has it occurred to him that Konrad is a deserter from the Ostenmark state army. He had seen the mans crudely drawn smug on a poster up in Talabecland months ago. Kall isn’t sure what to make of it, but Ernst advises him to keep an eye on him.
Soon the barge finally reaches Bogenhafen after a 3 day journey on the River Bogen.
Ernst gives them a brief history of the town. Bogenhafen is a farming town through and through. It’s main exports are farming produce along with wool, while its imports are metal and ore from the Grey Mountains along with wine and ale. He goes on to say that four merchant families run Bogenhafen, although he couldn’t exactly remember which ones, except for the Ruggbroders who he has business with.
The barge pulls up alongside the docks and Ernst Steurmann prepares his farewells. He tells them that after the festival he is heading back north to do some trade, and is willing to accept any passengers for a fee if need be.
The party make their way off the barge. It is the first day of Spring, and the Spring Equinox has begun. Tradition holds that the day is celebrated throughout the Empire as a day of festivities. The Schaffenfest has officially begun and the town is well alive with people going about their business in a jovial manner. Even Borri was able to ask directions without being subjected to racial abuse!
They determine that it is best to find a spot nearer to the festival, and hopefully an inn with rooms available.
Along the way they encounter a town crier, and Ulrico purchases some parchments from him detailing the weekly news.
Further into town they encounter a crowd gathered around a man, whose occupation seems to indicate that he is a butcher. In front of him is a table, and a young lamb. The party investigates, as the man declares, “Let it be declared that this sacrifice be done with the favor of Taal, and the blessing of Rhya. May they bless our harvest.” With that, he swipes down and chops the lambs head off as some of the crowd erupt in a cheer. Quite a few step forward to pay him a brass penny, as they dip their finger in the pooling blood, and smear it on their head, as they say, “I am blessed.”
The party seem rather disgusted at this, and not bothered as they make their way onwards to the south gate, except for Kall Horst who seems delighted at such a sight, and doesn’t delay in procuring a penny and smearing some blood on his forehead.
They continue on, and finally reach the south gate. They see a tavern called The Hairy Trumpet and an inn called The Bee and Barb Inn. Making their way to the Bee and Barb, they soon discover that there is no rooms available. However the innkeeper kindly offers them the stables hayloft for a mere 2 brass per night. Satisfied with the rather unaccommodating surroundings, they pay up. Godfrey and Kall stable their mounts, while Eckhardt tucks in Sam.
The party set off for the south gate as the allures of the Schaffenfest grow ever louder.