Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All Day, Rhine River

Sunday, May 18, 1650

The sun rises as you reach the far, west arm of Lake Constance, and enter the Rhine River.  You discover upon inspection that the boat is driven by the two mules below deck, turning a screw which in turn drives a paddlewheel, moving the boat forward.  This has been a repetitive sound that you have heard all night long, and which you at last understand.

I have little to give here except description.  The valley of the Rhine is, of course, very beautiful.  The river flows between hills, and through the day you pass the little towns of Stein-am-Rhine, Schaffhausen and Waldshut, not to mention numerous castles, before finally reaching the confluence of the Rhine and the River Aau.   The falls are the Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen.

The captain brings the boat near the shore at the fork of the rivers, to a dock where a group of men are waiting.  The captain meets with them, pays them out some money, and proceeds to unload his two mules and two of his donkeys.  With the help of the men on shore, the animals begin to drag the boat upstream.  It is fifteen miles to Olten, the boat's destination, and the going is slow.  However, the river current is not strong, as the Aau moves very slowly.

Throughout the day the party can do little but rest, work, pray, enjoy the scenery and rest.  Jan heals himself and feels better all around.  As night falls, the captain moors the boat on the shore, and the party is free to step onto land and wander a might.  The captain recommends that no one goes very far, as the villagers are not welcoming, but several people do enter the woods along the short to gather firewood.  A great bonfire is built.  Stories are told (nothing of note), the captain produces a small keg of ale and everyone is free to partake of it.  With the setting of the sun, the sabbath has passed, and Andrej and Jan are free again to work at what they will.


9 comments:

Andrej said...

If Jan is not yet at full hit points, I'll heal him another... 6 points. Otherwise I'll take the time to relax, drink the captain's ale with thanks and a blessing and strike up casual conversation with the boat crew and any other passengers there might be. I'd be interested to know how far the boat typically travels on the lake and river. I'll encourage Delfig to play a song or two, perhaps trying out another folk song of the Cumanni for laughs.

Alexis said...

The boat is carrying a load of skins and hides to Olten, which is as far as it goes. It will collect a load of olive oil and citronella, then make its way back to Lindau.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I appreciate the ale and thank the captain for his generosity. I'll help collect firewood and generally just mingle during the evening.

Does the captain say why the villagers are unwelcoming?

During the day, I will continue to work on my song of Hornung's bravery and his true love Sofia.

Alexis said...

It is the fathers that the captain worries over. You are in Switzerland now; within the canton of Basel. The people here are overwhelmingly Orange, either French Huguenot or German Lutheran, and many are refugees from the wars these many decades. While Catholics may be tolerated, there are those who carry a grudge who would not hesitate to harm a priest should the opportunity present itself.

Moreover, there is The Boot, an organization of Swiss Protestants who specifically hunt rich catholics. "One would not want to be mistaken for one of those," says the captain.

Andrej said...

"Ha! Let The Boot come for us then. They'll find I have little money and less patience for those who would seek to harm good Catholics."

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - sorry for being absent today, I've caught something viral that has put me down hard. Not sure about tomorrow. I will be sure to leave a message if I can think well enough to participate.)

Alexis said...

(ooc: It's fine. Sometimes I need a day's rest. I hope you get better soon; if its the H1N1, be careful about respiratory symptoms, and don't drink any NyQuil; apparently, there's a bad association between sleep medicine and the swine flu)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - FWIW, I'm well enough to participate, but unless the locals want to talk more about the Orange and Boot factions, I'm good with bedding down on the boat and continuing on in the morning.)

Andrej said...

(OOC - I hope you get well soon Chgowiz. Guys, I'll check in now and then on the weekend... but otherwise look forward to getting things rolling on Monday?