The party hastily leave the coaching house and set out during the night. Before they do, Kall however reveals a note that he retrieved from the body of Thanateous. It simply reads, “Tomorrow they set out. Will likely stop at the Copper Flask. Do not disappoint her. Leave no witnesses.”
They travel for 8 hours as the morning sun rises. Along the way, they discover the body of a child, dangling from a tree with a rope around its neck. A dagger has been stuck into its belly, from which a note can be seen attached to the dagger.
Getting closer, they see that the body is that of a young ‘mutant’ girl, her face deformed.
They take a look at the note, and Ulrico reads it out.
It appears that the Emperor has issued a new law recently, legalizing mutants, confirming the rumors that Eckhardt and some of the others had heard back in Graunberg. There is little to no discussion as to the implications of this and what it means; precise to say that madness may have befallen the Emperor to issue such a document, and such a thing is unheard of since the foundation of the Empire itself.
Kall advises that they waste no time moving on, not wanting to get caught on both sides of the fences here. They continue on, and its not long before they arrive at another coaching house, The Greedy Demon. The party are somewhat ‘unsettled’ considering their recent encounter with Gideon, but rest is rest, and they pull in, fatigued and weary.
They arrive in and are greeted with the warmth embrace of the morning fire brewing in the fireplace, and the tantalizing smells of breakfast.
Food, drink and rooms are arranged. Johann however starts up a conversation with the coaching house owner, a man called Pascal. He finds out that the man’s brother was the proprietor of the Copper Flask that they stayed at earlier for a brief time until they were attacked by bandits.
He tells him that his ’employer’ had stopped the bandits, and points towards Kall Horst sitting at the table. The man is ecstatic, and wants to meet this Kall Horst.
The man is shown to Kall by Johann, and leaves them in peace. Pascal orders a round of drinks for him and his companions as well as complimentary food. Kall goads the man into further conversation towards other matters, and states that he has a business proposition for him. He tells him that he runs a mercenary group and is willing to setup trade with the man, acquiring ‘goods’ that Kall and company can offload to him. The man is specifically interest in grain and serge, a material usually favored by the middle to upper class. They shake hands and agree.
Kall gets up to go to his room and just notices something situating behind the counter…
Kall quickly comes up with a plan, notifying Johann to provide a distraction. Johann’s distraction is to unwisely anger Borri, the dwarf, and goad him into an arm wrestling match.
Betting his axe for, err… Borri’s tankard of ale, Johann gets a crowd going as he arm wrestles the dwarf. The first round is a tie, but the second round the dwarf easily beats him, slamming his fist into the counter.
Borri gives Johann a justly deserved hard slap after Johann had exchanged some insults with the dwarf, to which the dwarf sniffs his hand, stating, “Hmmm… Manling pride!”
During all this, Kall quietly removed the poster while the crowd and barkeep was distracted. He makes his way up to his private room. Finja is also in her room, resting, while the unconscious body of Liliana takes up the bed. Godfrey has his own room to himself courtesy of Johann, and Ulrico is in the common room.
Johann begins to discuss a business venture with Pascal concerning some vodka to be delivered. Pascal is somewhat reluctant to the deal, but agrees to a small ‘sample’ contract at the price of 15 silver per bottle. He gets him to write out contract. During this, the door opens from behind, and Pascal’s demeanor quickly changes. He hands Johann the completed contract and ushers him away. Johann sits down next to Eckhardt and Borri who are enjoying the free drink and food.
They see two figures standing in the doorway, and the morning merriment quickly dies.
The two Witch Hunters make their way across to the bar. One of them the party recognize from the witch burning at Weissbruck while they were en-route to Bogenhafen, known as Fabagus Grey. He grabs Pascal and starts whispering something in his ear, the other man stares intently at the patrons in the bar. Johann stands up, but is pulled down by Eckhardt, who silences him. Johann looks on, frustrated at the treatment of Pascal. Clearly the young pup has had little experience with witch hunters.
Fabagus Grey finishes his hushed conversation with Pascal, and signals for his companion to accompany him upstairs.
Eckhardt, Johann, and Borri drift towards the stairs, keeping an ear out. The rest of the patrons nervously continue their drinking.
Finja’s room unfortunately is the first room that they knock on. Finja, having her rest disturbed, gets up and groggily opens the door to be confronted by a 6,6 giant of a man, and his companion who is only a couple of feet short of his taller associate.
Fabagus Grey makes no hesitation and bluntly shouts, “Name!” as he looks over her shoulder into the room.
Finja, somewhat caught off guard, blurts out her full name, and silently curses herself when she realized what she just said.
“Can I come in?” Grey states, to which Finja starts to formulate a response but is cut off when Grey says, “It wasn’t a question…” and pushes her aside as he marches into her room. He takes a glance at the body of Liliana, and begins searching the room. He then returns his attention to Liliana, and curiously looks at her wound, to which he takes a sniff at, stating, “What did this?”
“An animal,” Finja replies.
“What sort of animal?”
“I don’t know, I did not see it.”
“Where did this occur?”
“Between Graunberg and Bogenhafen.” The questions keep coming as quick as they are answered as Finja is left no breathing room to think.
“Bogenhafen you say. Are you coming from Bogenhafen?”
“I was part of a traveling troupe, making my way down to Bogenhafen.”
“So you were there for the Schaffenfest then? Did you experience any trouble while in Bogenhafen?” Fabagus asks as he continues to inspect Liliana.
Finja tries to dart around the question as best as she could by stating that she had merely heard there was some trouble.
Fabagus then turns his full attention to Finja, “During your travels, did you encounter a man named Kall Horst…”
“Yes, he’s my friend,” she replies, honestly.
Fabagus raises an eyebrow at that, “So you freely admit to knowing Kall Horst, and being his friend?”
Finja then tells him how Kall rescued her from the wilds and begins to exclaim that the man is simply misunderstood. Fabagus then shoves Kall Horst’s wanted poster in her face, while demanding, “Where is he! Where is the heathen! He is a mass murderer and he is wanted for his crimes as well as heresy! Tell me where he is now!”
His companion pipes up, “He must be close if she’s here.” Finja starts crying and becomes hysterical, although its all for show. She crumbles to the ground, perhaps hoping for some compassion from the hunters, yet she receives none as Grey’s companion picks her up and holds her as Fabagus slaps her hard across the face, “Tell me where he is now!”
During all this, Ulrico and Kall have awoken, their brief sleep interrupted. Kall is already aware of what is happening and makes his own plans.
Downstairs, the rest of the party hear what is taking place. A potentially suicidal discussion forms out of the mouth of Johann who says that they must do something. Eckhardt is hesitant, Borri just wants to smash things. Reluctantly, they march upstairs to face their potential doom.
Kall however may have inadvertently saved them the need to fight as he smashes a window in his room, but not before placing his rope ladder there. He begins to climb up above the rafters in his room and onto one of the roof beams, and stays very, very quiet.
Both hunters hear this, and toss Finja aside as they rush down the corridor just as Eckhardt and the rest come racing up the stairs. Phew.
They burst into Kall’s room, see the smashed window and the rope ladder dangling from it. It’s not hard to formulate a theory on what happened, and they both climb down to look for him.
Ulrico comes out of his room now and meets the rest of the party. They agree that they have to leave. Now. Like, right now…
They grab Liliana and rush downstairs. Borri heads out and readies the carriage. It’s not long before they are all in the carriage. Except… Someone forgot Godfrey! Eckhardt races back up and grabs Godfrey who is just fedup at having his rest interrupted at every moment. Eckhardt just tells him to shut it as he carries him over his shoulder and out to the carriage.
Borri drives the carriage out of the grounds of the Greedy Demon, heading north.
Meanwhile, Kall Horst is shitting bricks as he waits nervously up in the rafters.
After a few minutes, he see’s one of the witch hunters heading back into the room. Thankfully he doesn’t look ‘up’ as he begins to search and trash the room. Kall can hear the voice of another in the doorway, “Why did you provide room and board to a known criminal!”
“I didn’t know! Honest!”
“Yes you did! One of your patrons said his poster was behind the counter! It’s now gone!”
“I didn’t recognize him at the time, I didn’t know honest! Sigmar preserve me!”
Both hunters proceed to inspect each room including the common rooms. Kall see’s his opportunity. He lands on the bed softly and quickly heads over the window. He curses when he realizes his rope ladder is gone. He uses what rope he has on him to fasten a loose knot around the bed post, and proceeds to climb down. Retrieving his rope, he cautiously, but quickly, makes his way around to the front of the inn, making for the stables.
However he spots the two gate guards, and doesn’t want them to alert the witch hunters. He heads over to them, “Quick! You better run for it! The witch hunters are killing everyone!”
It’s not hard to put the fear of Sigmar in them as they bolt it out of there, heading south.
Satisfied, Kall heads over to Belvar. There, tied to the stables, he see’s two magnificent beasts.
One of them, a black mare, is barded in plate coverings, while the other, a chestnut horse, is also barded but in lighter armor.
He contemplates burning the stables, but even Kall Horst is not so cold hearted to kill these magnificent animals, and he cuts their ropes keeping them from the stables. He then sets fire to the stables, lighting the hay. As the fires quickly rise, the horse panic and gallop out of the stables.
Job done, Kall rides out of the coaching house with all speed and heads north.
It’s not long before he reaches up to the carriage. He tells them that they need to get off the main road as soon as possible, and take a side road towards Weissbruck.
The party agree, and after crossing over a bridge, they make a turn to the left into the forest just outside Weissbruck. While it is indeed a shortcut, the horse carriage can only go at a slow trot through the forest as navigation is difficult, adding more time onto their journey.
It takes 3 days in total until they near Weissbruck.
During that time, Finja’s nightmarish dreams return. One particular nasty dream has her on the ground, as hundreds of tiny little demons swarm over her, biting into her flesh.
Eckhardt also has some disturbing dreams. Once again its of his home land, Ostermark, There, he witnesses a city being ravaged by hoards of beastmen and warriors clad in black armor. He see’s himself trying to fight them, but its useless.
Only a few hours now from Weissbruck, the party take some time to rest in the woods. The party decide that the Sapontheim crest upon the carriage needs to be scrubbed out, and get busy doing just that.
Finja awakes from one of her bad dreams again, and Johann chides the party with a particularly irritating song. Finja doesn’t take a liking to it, and tension rises between the two. It ends with Finja marching off from the camp. Ulrico chases after her and spots her climbing a tree. He shouts for her to come down but she declares that she just wants to be left alone.
Back at the camp, discussion is had as to what to do once they arrive in Weissbruck. Johann voices support for selling the carriage, and using the two horses to pull a makeshift cart for Liliana. There is some indecision as to what to do. The party start setting up shifts for the night.
During the second shift, Borri, who sits atop the carriage, keeping watch, spots Godfrey heading into the carriage. He calls out to him, but doesn’t get a reply. Ulrico also spots Godfrey, but considering its raining hard, he simply may be seeking shelter.
Borri heads down, stating that Godfrey should take up next shift. As he opens the door, he see’s Godfrey leaning over Liliana, his hands gripped around her throat, squeezing the life out of her.
Borri shouts and those at the camp spur into action. Ulrico and Borri manage to pull him off her, and Johann rushes over to demand whats going on. Once he’s told what took place, he punches Godfrey in the face. Borri has to hold him back from doing any more harm to him.
Godfrey appears delirious, and in some sort of trance. When he snaps out of it, he says, “The voice told me… it told me to do it.”
“What voice!” Borri exclaims.
“Her voice… the one on the Maria Borger. She’s stalking us!”
The party treat his claims as somewhat dubious, except for Eckhardt who takes a look around the camp.
They tie Godfrey down, putting him on the roof of the carriage, despite him telling them that he’s aright now.
Ulrico heads off to fetch Finja who is perched atop a tree.
Meanwhile, the sky is lit up with a descending Mannslieb as the last shadows of night make way for the morning sun.
But that’s still a couple of hours away…