At the jousting…
Finja’s facade seems to pay off as Friedrich Magirius, the Merchant’s Guild leader, looks to help her.
Borri and Ulrico come over to lend aid but Finja gives a subtle hint for Borri, letting him know that all is well. Ulrico, being an apothecary with some knowledge of medicine, lends his aid. Finja recovers and Magirius offers her along with Ulrico for some refreshments at his residence for Finja to recover fully. They agree and make their way heading for the Adel Ring.
Meanwhile, the jousting has just begun.
Godfrey is informed his joust will take place after the first round.
The first round kicks off.
Edgar von Muntz from Middenheim is pitted against Sir Klause von Stirner from Averheim.
The joust is a quick one – von Muntz makes quick work of von Stirner.
The next joust features Godfrey, pitting him against Sir Gunter Goldberger.
Both knights gear up and get into position. Goldberger is the clear favorite while Godfrey is jeered at and booed. Kall Horst however, gets a cabbage ready to throw at Goldberger. He’s poured some of the powder he had gotten from Baumann, which is quite effective at irritating the eyes. Kall hurls the cabbage and lands a blow onto the knights plate helm, however while the idea seemed like a good idea at the time, the powder has little effect on the knight due to the plate helm.
They charge at one another and both knights land a blow. Godfrey parries it with his shield and gets a strike in, hitting the knight in the chest and forcing him off his horse. A quick victory that shocks the crowd.
Next up is Edgar von Muntz again facing off against a crowd pleaser; Jacob von Haldric, a clear favorite.
The crowd go wild and some blush as the knight strides onto the field in very impressive armor, wearing colors that signify him as a Reiklander knight.
He too gets a cabbage thrown at him from Kall Horst, with little to no effect.
Both knights charge at one another. Sir Jacob is the first to land a deadly blow. Edgar von Muntz however holds on, glancing the blow off. Both Knights reach opposite ends and take another run at each other. Both knights land a blow, but Edgar von Muntz strike reaches past Sir Jacob’s shield and knocks him off the horse. The crowd stand up and start booing von Muntz, some throwing cabbages onto the field. von Muntz is declared the winner!
The semi-final now takes place, and Godfrey gets ready for his next joust.
The crier shouts out, “Castrum von Schultz, from Hochland.”
The man rides out in a cocky stride, and his smile is full of mockery directed at Godfrey. A few members of the crowd blush as Castrum appears to be another favorite with the crowd.
The man hands his lance to his steward, and claps his hands. A trumpet flairs, and two midgets on wooden sticks hop out from the crowd. One is dressed in the colors of von Shultz while the other is in the colors of Godfrey.
They play fight with the one wearing von Shultz colors clearly winning, and then proceeds to dance on the other midget. The crowd react with jovial laughter and claps and applause at this clear display of mockery. Godfrey ignores the slight and concentrates on the bout at hand, and glares over at Castrum. Castrum returns the stair, laughing, but soon stops, taking on a much more serious form as his lance is handed to him. A cabbage does shoot out from Kall’s direction hitting Castrum square on the face. The powder is smeared on him slightly, and Castrum seems irritated. Perhaps this time it was enough?
They both charge. Godfrey misses his strike, and Castrum lands his! But the crowd are left in disappointment when Godfrey parries it, and both head to the opposite side, and charge once more. This time Godfrey hits, and Castrum misses. However Castrum parries the blow, and again the knights return to opposite ends for another charge.
Castrum and Godfrey both land a blow! Castrum hits Godfrey in the side while Godfrey hits Castrum in the chest. Godfrey’s blow is greater and manages to hold on while Castrum is knocked off his horse!
The crowd are aghast, but not all, as some do cheer on Godfrey.
The grand final is at hand as Godfrey now faces Edgar von Muntz.
Muntz is a sight to behold; the man looks to be at least 6,4 and of pure muscle beneath the armor. His steed is sturdy, bulky and menacing. The crowd are unsure who to bet on. Kall uses the last of his powder on the cabbage and throws it at Muntz, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect.
The joust begins as the two knights charge at one another.
Godfrey misses, and Muntz hits! Godfrey knows if he can’t parry this he’s out, and raises his shield to block the incoming blow. It takes great skill but he manages to parry the blow, and Muntz’s lance shatters upon impact. He makes his way over to the opposite side and receives a new lance from his squire and charges again.
Both hit! Both parry!
They charge once more. Muntz misses a crucial blow, and Godfrey hits his mark. The blow is just enough to send von Muntz off his horse. The Crowd go wild.
“Sir Godfrey de Montfort of Parravon is the winner!”
Some members of the party also rejoice as they earned quite a bit from betting on the jousts.
Godfrey receives a kiss from the fair lady of Bogenhafen, Lady Isolde von Strudeldorf.
He also receives 100 crowns and a medallion declaring him the winner of the Bogenhafen Joust.
However, his celebration is somewhat tarnished as he turns around to see Edgar von Muntz approaching him.
Muntz issues a challenge, declaring Godfrey’s lineage as nothing but foul, his win as ‘sorcery’ and that he seeks to avenge his sons death who died at the hands of Godfrey’s father.
Godfrey tries to reason with Muntz but to no avail. Muntz draws his sword, and Godfrey is about to do the same when he hears a voice from behind, “Muntz! Enough of this!”
Isolde steps in between and boldly tells Muntz to back off. Muntz reluctantly does so, declaring, “Montfort, you’ve not heard the last of me! I’ll have my vengeance yet!”
Lady Isolde and von Muntz head off, while Godfrey relaxes and meets up with the rest of the party.
Finja and Ulrico are shown into Magirius’s house. To call his home luxurious would be an understatement; the man practically lives in a mansion. As they are shown into the dining hall, Finja and Ulrico can’t help but notice that the man keeps a stuffed horse in the center of the hallway. Magirius spoke earlier before Finja fainted that he collected horses; he wasn’t kidding.
They make their way into the dining hall and Magirius orders his servant to fetch them some water and refreshments.
Finja begins to tell Magirius that they’ve come to Bogenhafen as visitors, herself being from a minor noble house, and that she is growing concerned about the rumors of kidnappings taking place within Bogenhafen and the bodies that turn up.
Magirius confesses that he too is worried. Finja slides in with a bluff that she has received an invitation from the Teugen family and confessed that she is rather ‘stressed’ out over recent events.
The servant girl comes in, but upon hearing Finja tell Magirius about the recent affairs in Bogenhafen, she lets a glass drop, smashing it. Magirius chides her, and apologizes for her clumsiness.
Magirius seems rather perplexed at this, not having received word of new members being inducted. He lets slip about something concerning the Inner Council to which Finja states that she doesn’t believe she would be worthy of note to attend such a thing, and perhaps it is a meeting of a different kind in a few days.
Magirius nods, and states that he looks forward to seeing her at one of these meetings.
Magirius’s servant comes back in with some finger food and serves the food. Finja happens to notice something poking out of her right pocket.
Her limited reading lessons with Liliana has paid off somewhat as she can make out “Sunset, home, members and council.”
Magirius soon bids them a farewell.
Finja and Ulrico make their way to the Crossed Pikes tavern, and the other members of the party do the same with the intention of celebrating their earnings of the joust. However, they notice that they are being stalked… 7 rough looking sorts seem to be shadowing them. 3 of them Godfrey recognizes as familiar faces from the Crossed Pikes.
Kall separates and heads into a tent, to which he spots a half-naked woman who indulges him with a scream. Kall lets out a quick apology and cuts the back of the tent, and heads through that as the woman looks on in shock. He moves around the back of the tents with the purpose of coming up behind his stalkers. He fails in doing so, and gets noticed by them. He returns their notice with a mocking wave as he catches up with the party, and the 7 strangers no longer attempt to hide the fact that they are shadowing.
United with Finja and Ulrico, they make their way to the Crossed Pikes, still being shadowed.
They find the tavern to be locked, unusual for this time of day as it is now just past 2pm. Borri knocks on the door a few times, and it finally opens halfway. They see the barkeep who is about to tell them to get lost, but see’s who they are and asks “What ya want!”
Borri proclaims that they want to get in and celebrate, while Finja says she has business with Baumann. The barman snorts and lets them in, and then locks it as they step in.
They see that the tavern is certainly packed full of .. unfriendly faces. The atmosphere however appears jovial and some sort of celebration is going on, with Baumann in the middle of it raising a tankard of ale to a man dressed in the regalia of a Watch Captain. Kall recognizes the man – the Watch Sergent who had accompanied him to the courtyard with Captain Reinhold, and one of Baumann’s men. Whether or not the party acknowledge it, it is quite clear that Baumann has now gained some considerable power and influence. The new captain of the watch turns around to see Kall Horst, and lets out a grin as he raises his tankard. No doubt Kall Horst unwittingly played a role in that promotion. Yet what happened to the former captain has yet to be revealed.
Kall Horst buys a round for everyone in the tavern, and gives the barkeep 5 shillings, only after trying to cheat him by underpaying him, proclaiming that it has been a long day as his excuse.
The party get a few drinks in while Finja has a quiet word with Baumann in his ear, about business that needs to be discussed. Baumann is slow to respond, but when he does, he arranges for a private discussion down in the cellar.
They head down and Baumann says, “Speak.”
Finja spills all that needs spilling. Telling him about the events that unfolded in the Strigany caravan, telling him about Magirius and then demanding to know about the Mask of Ranald that she overheard from one of his men last time.
Baumann mocks Finja’s story about the strigany woman, and its only when Finja shares a particular detail about the Strigany vision that Baumann takes notice. “A blood rose set upon a cross.” Baumann finds it odd that the blood rose set upon a cross certainly sounds like the Teugen family crest. The remarks about an ocean of blood does not fill him with joy.
He slowly comes around to the idea that there may be ‘some truth’ in what she is saying. He also remarks that he is not convinced about Magirius but is certainly delighted with the amount of intel Finja coughed up on him, and will have his men watch Magirus very closely and try to find out more about any meetings taking place soon.
Finja presses the issue concerning the Mask of Ranald, and Baumann ‘reluctantly’ spills the beans on the mask. He tells Finja that the Mask of Ranald is a legendary powerful artifact. It is said that one favored by Ranald can only use the mask’s power, and that it grants its wearer the ability to transform into anyone it imagines. Think of someone, and you become that someone.
Finja tells Baumann the story about how her Strigany troupe were attacked by Beastmen and how the vision of Ranald came into being, if it was indeed Ranald. She even tells him about her dream, and the witch who shouted out “It’s a Game of Faces!” towards her.
Baumann informs her that the Mask is in his possession, and that he uses it to control his rather unruly men who don’t dare to usurp his position as long as he has the Mask. He chides her for wanting to try it, but gives in and retrieves the mask from an elaborate hiding place beneath the statue of Ranald, situated within the cellar.
He lays the mask onto the table, and steps back with a mocking grin set on his face.
As she is about to try it, Baumann lets out a warning, “Be careful… it is said that if you wear it for too long, you… lose yourself, eventually.”
Finja remarks she is only going to try it on briefly. She puts the mask on, and concentrates on Baumann, mentally wishing to take his form.
She feels… nothing.
Yet, she see’s Baumann react with shock and horror, his once confident look washing away from him and nothing but fear remains as he steps back, stumbling into the table and onto the ground.
Finja looks at her reflection in a nearby polished stein, and see’s that indeed, she is Baumann… The mask works!
She removes the mask, still not believing it herself fully, but understanding that she must be favored by Ranald.
She demands that Baumann tells her everything there is to know about Ranald.