Seven Bodies Walk Into A Study… Six come out

Galdrea and Eladril are shown their accommodations at the guild of Wizards and Alchemy. During which, the party discuss their options and what to do. It’s still early in the day, and some of the party want to venture out in the city and experience some of the activities of the carnival.

Eladril however wishes to continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Foros, not satisfied after leaving the study. The party agree to head back to the study. Before they do, Michel spots a familiar face…

– Arendight

Arendight, the mysterious grey wizard Michel met on his first trip to the guild, and whom expressed an interest in learning about Foros’s death, has approached Michel. She asks him privately as to the nature of his companions. Michel says they are also investigating this link.

She says nothing, other than for Michel to keep her updated on what they may find, and makes her leave.

The party, upon Eladril’s insistence, make their way back to the study. Eladril seems particularly interested in finding out more concerning Foros, and annoyed at the ignorance of the others, specifically Galdrea.

They meet with Deputy Janna Ebenhauer, who reluctantly grants their request to re-enter the study.

The study itself does not shed any new light on the situation. It has been throughouly ransacked, and whoever went through here initially likely found (or didn’t) what they were looking for.

Eladril makes her way into the other part of the room with the metal round table that represents all 8 winds.

– Foros’s Study, ‘Attunement’ table is top left.

What she does is unknown to the rest of the party, as they are not with her in the room. After a few moments, they hear a strange crackling noise coming from the other room. Galdrea can immediately sense the presence of strong magic.

Rushing into the room, they find it empty. There is no sign of Eladril.

“Where could she have gone? There’s no way out of this room…”

The inner-part of the metal table is spinning around clockwise, just like it did when the small statue had used it. It soon comes to a stop. Galdrea can sense strong magic coming from it. Deputy Janna is also present, and utterly dumbfounded about the situation. She insists that should not be possible. When asked if she knows anything about the table in particular, she says, “The attunement table is Foros’s own construction. I know nothing about the workings of it just that Foros has always claimed it enhances his ability to perform magic. It’s sort of like a conductor of magic if you will. But… Eladril should not have been able to use it. You would need to have the ability to perform magic, and I did not sense it upon her.”

She appears alarmed at this, and makes her leave to fetch High Magister Albrecht.

Galdrea notices that on the floor next to the table, is the same bloodstained dagger he had picked up earlier. Eladril must have ‘borrowed’ it from him. Upon the blade, a fresh coat of blood dons it. Galdrea gets closer to the table, looking into the circular indentations that surround the table. There is one for each wind of magic. He notices that there is fresh droplets of blood in one of the indentations, yet the blood appears to be congealing at a rapid pace. Galdrea hopes that isn’t the remains of Eladril.

High Magister Albrecht shows up, and he is not happy. After being briefed by the party as to what happened, he expresses his annoyance at the situation that ever since the arrival of Galdrea and his companions, the party have been nothing but disruptive. He is so annoyed that he was on the verge of removing Galdrea out of the grounds, but he came around realizing that he did not want to damage relations with Ulthuan. Galdrea asks that Gerhard Kramer be allowed to stay in his quarters in replace of Eladril, and tries to do the same for Big Piet, as now Piet has suddenly been hired to be Galdrea’s bodyguard. Albrecth refuses Piet accomodation after further insistence, he allows it Kramer to stay, only upon the promise that there would be no further disruptions. He did seem most perplexed at the seemingly disregard Galdrea had for Eladril, and the hasty manner in which Eladril’s accommodation was replaced with Gerhard. He was most suspicious…

The High Magister stated that Eladril’s disappearance will be looked into, and that all further admittance to Foros’s study will cease as of this moment. He ushers the party out of the room and departs himself.

After another bizarre event in the guild, the party do not wish to remain any longer. They make their way out of the city. Gerhard wishes to head back to the Blazing Hearth to fetch something from his room.

The party accompany him.

They make their way through the street, and Ser Gado can’t help but notice a piercing glint catching his gaze. He looks over to see a young fresh-faced knight standing off to the left of the main street, looking at the passerby’s with interest. Gado only noticed him due to the impossible shine upon his magnificently polished armor.

– Knight Eternal, Ser Siegfried Prunkvoll

Gado doesn’t mean to catch his eye, wanting to stay away from Middenheim knights after his last few encounters with them. But unfortunately Knight Eternal Prunkvoll spots him, and calls out, “Ser! Ser Knight! Have you a moment Ser!”

Ser Gado is expecting a torrent of mockery and abuse to be directed at him, but when he turns around to greet the knight, Siegfried does no such thing. The young knight appears to be delighted at the sight of Ser Gado, shaking his hand and asking him if he is indeed a knight.

Ser Siegfried is well taken with Gado, seemingly delighted to converse with a foreign knight. When he finds out that Gado is from Bretonnia, he makes no attempt to hide his surprise and wonderment. He explains to Ser Gado that he has been on the look out for a worthy challenger at the upcoming jousting tourny taking place at the end of the week. Ser Gado is reluctant at first, but the puppy-dog eyes of the Knight Eternal has him won over, and he agrees.

Siegfried asks Gado what he is doing here in Middenheim, so far away from Bretonnia. Gado explains, after much insistence placed upon him by Siegfried, that he is looking for his beloved sister who has been taken against her will, and he believes she is in Middenheim, being held against her will by some cultists. (Galdrea kindly shouts out their name…)

Siegfried shouts, “Ser, you have offended me! Here we stand as equals, conversing as gentlemen and fellow knights, yet you hide the fact that you are on a mighty quest to save your sister! I SER SIEGFRIED PRUNKVOLL WILL NOT STAND ASIDE WHILE YOUR SISTER IS AT THE MERCY OF SUCH FIENDS! I WILL ACCOMPANY YOU ON THIS QUEST OF YOURS SER KNIGHT, FOR I AM THE KNIGHT ETERNAL, WOE TO HE WHO STANDS IN MY WAY!”

Gado looks around at his fellow companions, and then at the passerby’s who look on with amusement at this.

Gado thanks him for his enthusiasm, and while his inner better self is saying NO NO he agrees to Prunkvoll’s request in aiding him in this endeavor. The party continue merrily along to the Blazing Hearth.

Arriving at the Hearth, the party get comfortable. Gerhard makes his way to his room to fetch ‘something’ while the rest order a round of drinks. Galdrea is quite tipsy at this point, already having consumed wine earlier at the guild.

Ser Gado and Ser Siegfried enjoy each others company. Siegfried recounts to him the history of the Knight Eternal position. He tells him that the Knight Eternal is a position unique to Middenheim, inherited and passed down to those worthy of the position. It is said that in ancient times, a soothsayer once declared upon the founding of the City of the White Wolf, that should there be no knight eternally guarding the city from its foes, within and without, then the city shall fall. So there must always be a knight, eternally guarding the city. This knight would be forbidden from leaving the city walls, less he suffer a foul fate, and the cities walls come crashing down as its enemies pour in.

Nowadays however, the position is not as prestigious as it once was. Tradition more than anything else demands its continuing prevalence, and Ser Prunkvoll makes this clear to Gado, stating that the other knights mock him so – he has no crest or a proud family heritage, he is not part of any order, yet he maintains the importance of the position in such trying times, more now than ever. Ser Gado lends him a sympathetic ear, and Ser Prunkvoll is thankful for it.

However, duty calls, and Prunkvoll says that he has carnival duties that he must abide by, but should Gado need his assistance, he will not be far, and he will be keeping an eye out for any such foul folk who may have a hand in Ser Gado’s sisters kidnapping. He makes his leave, giving Ser Gado’s knee a quick tap and a slight squeeze as he gets up from the table. The gesture certainly leaves Ser Gado speechless and perplexed, leaving him wondering if Ser Prunkvoll is interested in more than just a friendly tourny joust.

While this is going on, Big Piet and Galdrea are at another table. Galdrea notices something very odd about Piet, and he noticed it earlier but makes mention of it again.

– Bunny Piet

Galdrea remarks about his unusual and rather unorthodox fashion style. Piet hasn’t got a clue what he’s talking about, and Galdrea says nothing. But he is certain its magic, illusion magic, and that only those with the ability to see such things can spot it. No doubt someone played a prank on Piet back at the guild, and thought it would be funny…

Galdrea touches his forehead lightly and suddenly, to dispense with the illusion. A bemused Piet warns Galdrea not to touch him again.

Galdrea tells Piet that he thinks there’s more to Ser Prunkvoll than meets the eye, and is wondering if Piet ‘knows a guy’ who might be able to share some information concerning him. Piet does indeed know a guy, and after finishing his drink, he leaves the place and makes his way to the south-east quarter of the Altmarket, a fairly rundown soggy part of the city.

En-route to meet a information broker that he knows, he hears a familiar voice, “Well if it isn’t friend Piet…”

– Nickel Kess

He turns to see Nickel Kess standing there, flanked by two watchmen. Piet hears the clink of mail footing behind him to, likely another pair of watchmen.

The streets start to disperse as if some kind of mexican showdown is about to take place – the reality is that Herr Kess is well known throughout the city as the city’s foremost taxman, a position he no longer holds due to his recent promotion placing him as head of the Merchant Guild and the Commission for Trade and Taxation. He holds considerable power within the city. As such, nobody wants to catch his glance.

“So Piet, you’ve been busy. I seem to recall hiring you for a particular job that involved getting me what I wanted. Yet now I see that the very person I sent you after is now your employer. How does that work, Piet?”

Piet replies, “I know all about your game Kess. I know just how dirty you really are. So cut the bullshit. I got something on you, and you got something on me. How about we make a deal Kess?”

But Kess isn’t interested in making a deal. Instead, Kess tells Piet that he better make sure Kramer shares fuck all about what he knows, otherwise there will be trouble. Piet tells him he’ll make sure Gerhard says nothing, and in exchange, Kess will leave them alone. But Kess does not make that promise, instead, he departs with a final message, “Tell your boss that if he wishes to work in this town ever again, then he best meet me at the Merchants Guild at 10, after dark. I’m sure we can come to some sort of arrangement.”

Kess leaves, with Piet spitting on the ground and cursing under his breath. He continues to the information broker. Piet was real pally with the guy, and found him at a rather decrepit looking shack. Suffice to say, nothing of value was learned – although perhaps that in itself was valuable. Piet asked about Prunkvoll, to which his broker laughed, and nearly choked on his breakfast.

“Him? Him! What you wanna know about him for? He’s a nobody holding a fancy title is all. A harmless naive idiot really. Not much to tell.” Piet offers him coin for the information, but the broker says he’ll not take it, as the information concerning Prunkvoll is a freebie.

He soon makes his way back to the Blazing Hearth, by then Prunkvoll has already left, and the party dig into a hearty breakfast. Blazing Hearth may be known for its small beds (its run by halflings after all) but it sure does have some fine food at its establishment, if a tad pricey.

Piet relays what he knows about Prunkvoll, which is very little. Galdrea takes note. Piet also tells Gerhard about his encounter with Kess, and Gerhard firmly reiterates that he has no intention of meeting with Kess, believing it to be nothing short of a trap.

So the party make their way out of the Blazing Hearth and onto the streets – it is roughly 10am, the streets are coming to life as the first day of the carnival kicks off. A jovial step, a merry chant and gleaming smiles are had all round. The carnival does a wonderful job serving as a distraction to the cities woes and the Empire’s troubles. There is little talk concerning the taxes (aside from some notices) or the recent odd disappearance surrounding the Emperor. People have a week of celebration, and they intend to make the most out of it, come rain or sunshine.

The party ponder what to do – but whatever they decide to do, one thing is for certain; fun will be had.

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