Gerhard, Jurgen, Michel Bastide, Big Piet and the Norscan are heading off to meet with Nickel Kess, the corrupt bailiff that has been hounding after Gerhard.
Along the way there, the watch have intercepted the party to take the Norscan into custody over an incident at the Drowned Rat. Not wanting to tangle with 8 watchmen nor wanting to make matters worse, Hans agrees to go with them.
Now the party is missing their muscle, but they decide to go on and meet with Kess regardless.
Back over to Ser Gado and Sibillia who are trying to lead Rhea to safety; they find themselves at the rear of the temple faced with adversaries wishing to do them harm. Ser Gado calls for a retreat back into the temple and they frantically run as the cloaked men chase after them.
Ser Gado braces a candelabra against the door and runs out to the front entrance with Sibillia. Gado suggests making a run for Michel’s safehouse, as they run out into the street. Gado then hears someone calling his name, “Ser Gado! Ser Gado! I must speak with you!”
He sees Knight Eternal Siegfried Prunkvoll running towards him.
Ser Gado does not mince words and makes it clear he does not wish to speak with the knight. Prunkvoll senses the urgency and asks if there is anything wrong. Gado states that they are in danger, with this Prunkvoll looks around and sees several figures off the side of the street looking on, waiting to make their move.
Prunkvoll suggests that they make for his residence in the Grafsmund area which is close-by. “You and your companions will be safe there. They dare not make any motion to attack in the Grafsmund, for it would be foolish to do so. The area is heavily patrolled.”
Gado initially refuses, but with a little nudging from Sibillia, they agree as its a shorter run than to Michel’s safehouse.
They run through the streets; tripping over a jugular on the way who ends up getting mugged by the children he sought to entertain and bump into a dung collectors cart, thankfully avoiding the turds now rolling onto the street.
They reach the safety of Siegfrieds house. Prunkvoll shows them in, and introduces them to his mother, Praga.
The old woman sits in a chair, knitting a small scarf when they come in. One eye is filled with cataracts, but the other looks at them with interest. “Siegfried, you made no mention of bringing back guests,” she says.
“Sorry mother. This is Ser Gado, and these are friends of his.”
“O my, another knight. Why didn’t you say so, I would have prepared some supper.”
“It’s ok mother, I’ll make something now in the kitchen, if Ser Gado wishes to accompany me there…”
They head off to the kitchen while Sibillia introduces herself and Rhea. Sib makes herself quite useful as Praga says she has an ongoing pain in the center of her palm for sometime now, for which Sib is able to alleviate some of the symptoms.
Gado and Siegfried head into the kitchen.
Siegfried opens up about what Gado saw earlier beneath the brothel, “Ser Gado… I know what you saw. There isn’t words I can use to express the shame that I felt when I realized you saw me. The only thing I can offer is my feeble excuse, and that is I was weak. I gave into my forbidden desires. I let them control me. I beg of you not to reveal this to anyone, please…”
Gado remarks that it was foul, and he had never expected a fellow knight to fall so low. He listens as Siegfried continues to explain.
“My whole life I wanted to be a knight. My whole life I aspired to be as great as my father was. He was a White Wolf. And he still is. The only reason why I am who I am is because of my fathers name. Not because of my skill with the sword, but because my father is Ser Mannfred Prunkvoll. Do you know what it is like to live under the shadow of a great man? To not be able to escape that fate, and to make a name for myself?
“My father does not care for me. He sees me as weak. He has disowned me all in but name. I spend my days dreaming of one day showing him that I can do and achieve everything that he has and more. That I am not the weak willed child that he brought up.
“But as you saw down in that pit, I have failed. I have given into temptation. I have given into forbidden desires. But no longer will I seek such sin. And I have you to thank for it.”
Gado remarks that he had nothing to do with his thanks.
“But you have everything to do with it, Ser Gado,” Siegfried replies.
“I don’t know why you were there Ser Gado. I do not care. I will not ask for I know you were likely ensnared as I once was. But you resisted. You did not give in. I saw a strength in you that I never had. I saw my father in you. And then I realized what it means to be a knight. What it means to show courage in the face of despair. For all my life, I’ve been asleep. It took you to wrestle me from that fate of eternal slumber. When I saw you look at me with great shame, I knew then that I had to change. I had to be the man I always aspired to be.
Siegfried kneels down with sword in hand, “Ser Gado Duval of the Shining Waters, I hereby pledge my service to you, to protect you and assist you while you remain in Middenheim. I make this pledge so that I can attain the honour I never had. Will you accept my request to aid you Ser Gado Duval of the Shining Waters?”
Ser Gado is taken back by this sudden development, but does not have the heart to refuse his request, accepting it in full as he asks Siegfried to stand.
Then, a knock on the front door…
Over to the other party –
Gerhard Kramer is talking to Nickel Kess. They find themselves in a quiet area of town away from the festivities of the city. Kess is flanked by two large ulricans, and no sign of anyone else.
There has been no negotiation, for Kramer has already given the book that Kess wanted to Reiner Ehrlich. However, Kess says that he is willing to make an offer that isn’t on the table. He tells Kramer that his boss, Gotthard Goebbels, wants Kramer dead. Kess states he wants to avoid violence if at all possible. All he needs to do is leave the city.
“Leave. Now. I have a carriage ready to take you out of the city. You can go wherever you want. What you get in return is your life.”
Kramer refuses the offer by simply walking away. Unfortunately, he has Big Piet behind him, who knocks him out solid with a right hook to the face, his knuckle dusters making a sounding clang as they make contact.
Kramer goes down, but he is supported by Michel Bastide and Jurgen Noffein. Michel starts firing his crossbow at the approaching Ulricans who draw their weapons. Piet and Jurgen have a verbal war amidst all of this.
Yet Piet doesn’t get involved in the fighting, he steps back as the Ulricans block Michel and Jurgen from getting to Kramer. Piet picks up Kramer and follows Kess out towards the waiting carriage that Kess spoke about. It’s looking grim for Kramer, so grim in fact that he uses a fate point as death surely awaits him.
Jurgen is going toe-to-toe with two ulricans, but he isn’t alone as Michel continues to shoot at them with his crossbow. Jurgen manages to injure one of them quite badly, and then shames him completely by the fact that he is an ulrican resorting to cowardly methods and going as far as to attack a priest of ulric. His words hit the ulrican more than any sword could do, and the ulrican backs off, dropping his weapon and falling back.
His companion calls him a yellow dog as he lashes into Jurgen. Jurgen would have surely been defeated there had it not been for his continued verbal bashing of the ulrican (along with Kramer’s fate point coming into play) for he too now is forced to reevaluate the situation.
“Ulric forgive me. I did not know this would happen. I was paid for a job, good money to just stand around and look mean. I had no idea it would ever get this far let alone lead me to attacking a priest of ulric.”
The ulrican backs off, and heads over to aid his companion who he earlier called a yellow dog.
Jurgen chases after Piet and sees them both as they are attempting to get into a carriage, with Piet shoving Kramer into it. Jurgen, realizing he won’t be able to catch them, opts to throw one of his daggers instead. He aims for Kess, and his aim is true as it hits him in the side. Moaning in pain, Kess orders Piet to kill the priest, to which Piet is more than happy to do.
Piet runs towards Jurgen with knuckle duster in hand and lashes out at him. Jurgen is at a severe disadvantage however, having been wounded earlier by the two ulricans. He is in no condition for a prolonged fight and Michel is still further back, unable to lend aid. Jurgen goes down as Piet hammers him with fists. It’s at this point (another fate point is used, this time by Jurgen, and the resulting action is the result of that fate point) that the ulrican that Jurgen had persuaded earlier charges over shouting, “For Ulric!” as he attacks Piet, saving Jurgen from having his head caved in. Piet is caught off guard by the charge, as the ulrican unleashes Ulrics Fury upon him, gutting him with his axe and kicking him onto the ground. Piet is left squirming in pain on the ground, the insides of his stomach spilling out onto the street. His last thoughts possibly being that of his niece, Erika…
The chaos has settled; the fight is at an end. Everyone is wounded, even Michel who received a crossbow bolt into the arm from up high, another one of Kess’s assailants who retreated among the rooftops.
The watch have now shown up, and anyone who wasn’t badly injured is taken to the watch house, while the rest are escorted to shallya’s temple for treatment. Questions will be had. But there is no sign of Nickel Kess, and luckily for Kramer, the coach driver ran off when the fighting proved too much for him. Kramer however was not free from the watch authority and he too was arrested.
Over to the others –
Helnacht Teufel, a initiate of Sigmar, is at the door of the Knight Eternal’s residence. How did he come here?
(Helnacht is played by a new player, David, who has recently joined the game)
Helnacht has journeyed to Middenheim from Altdorf, on a mission to seek out two missing sigmarite priests in addition to getting a feel for the city for the impending arrival of the Grand Theogonist. Thanks to the Ar-Ulric… Volkmar’s plans to Middenheim have been shouted from the rooftops, and now everyone knows that Volkmar is planning a trip, a trip that was originally meant to be kept on the low. As a result of this, the sigmarites are worried about security in addition to rumors that the Sons of Ulric have been attacking sigmarite pilgrims throughout Middenland.
Helnacht had left Altdorf some weeks ago. He eventually did find those two missing sigmarite warrior priests, but they were long dead, buried in the snowfall that has begun to blanket Middenland. Killed by Sons of Ulric no less. The Sons of Ulric are a fanatical zealous sect that is outlawed throughout Middenland, they believe there is only one true god, and he is Ulric, while the rest are false, and they have no qualms about spilling blood regardless of who you are, and will even kill fellow ulricans that they believe to be ‘untrue’ to their cause.
Helnacht discovered some startling evidence that suggests that the Sons of Ulric have been receiving information about the travel arrangements of several sigmarite pilgrims and priests. Even his own itinerary is mentioned in a secret dead-drop that he discovered, suggesting a possible leak somewhere. He discovers a symbol… an open palm, purple in nature. He is unable to discern anything more than that.
Then, a day before his arrival into the city, he is visited at a coaching inn after midnight hours. This visitor has evil intentions, and plots to kill Helnacht. Fortunately for Helnacht, she stumbles in her entry and this awakens Helnacht. They struggle for a bit, but Helnacht manages to overpower her.
The young woman that Helnacht has overpowered pleads with him and is frank with her captor, telling him that she only did it to stop the pain… She explains that she is an initiate of a secret cult called the Purple Hand, and not yet a full fledged member. She has been entrusted with certain duties outside of the city. One of those duties was safeguarding the dead-drop that Helnacht found. She had failed in that task, and upon seeing that he was a priest of sigmar, she felt guilt about the task that she knew she would have to carry out. That guilt turned into doubt, and then pain, as she explained that a mark upon her neck maybe the source of it. Killing him for exposing the drop, she had hoped would rid her of the pain.
– The mark that was seen on her neck
Searching her belongings, Helnacht found a sealed letter. The woman explained that it was meant for her, but she had not opened it fearing what it might be, expressing a desire to leave the cult behind her. Helnacht broke the seal, and as he did, the mark upon her neck began to glow a deep red. She was in agony now, but it did not last long. She was dead.
Breaking the seal did something else, for the words that were written on the parchment were soon quickly vanishing as if by magic! Fetching his writing kit, Helnacht proceeded to jot down the key bits that he remembered, after he was finished and that the original parchment was blank, he had a decent partial copy of the original. Reading it, Helnacht discovered that this cult that calls themselves The Purple Hand wants to kill a bretonnian knight called Ser Gado Duval, who has apparently been causing them some trouble lately along with other miscreants. It instructs her directly as it makes mention of her knowledge of bretonnian etiquette and charm to be the perfect one to remove this blight upon them, quietly.
Helnacht now had a name, and was now greatly concerned that this group may be seeking to do harm to the Grand Theogonist.
After arriving in the city, and asking around, he eventually ran into someone who knew the knight and saw him with the Knight Eternal. Following that lead, he finds himself at the Knight Eternal’s residence.
After some initial hostility and mistrust from Siegfried about the apparent priest, it is Sibillia that lets him in. Helnacht explains that he has been searching for Ser Gado, and shows him the copied parchment to prove that the Purple Hand want him out of the way. Gado then tells Helnacht about what has transpired, and that the girl he has in his custody, Rhea, is important to them. She is the niece of a Law Lord.
Plans are made up as to what to do now. Knight Eternal Siegfried suggests bringing her to Reiner Ehrlich, but the party agree that its too dangerous right now to do this. Siegfried then suggests that he go alone, and approach the Law Lord. He feels confident that his status as Knight Eternal gives him at least some opportunity to meet with the man, a meeting that the others would be hard-pressed to obtain, for even Gerhard Kramer had to rely on Michel’s verenian contact to make such a meeting take place. (Note: Michel’s contact is no longer available to him, hence why they can’t seek him out after he fudged that up.)
Gado wishes Siegfried goodluck as the party agree to the plan, and Siegfried Prunkvoll leaves, praying that he won’t be long.
Ser Gado can’t help but feel that this might be the last time they see Siegfried Prunkvoll.