Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On to Münster

Wednesday, September 3, 1650 (evening)

Weather:  Warm and drizzling, with intermittent light rainfall and a moderate breeze.

The party awakes in Lingen to a distinctly brisk morning, the first real sign that Summer has definitely departed.  There is a very heavy fog as you break camp, thick enough that Ahmet finds he must stumble around a moment just to find the horses.  Even as the fog lifts there's virtually no wind ... but at least the party can get upon the road heading south towards a town called Rheine.  It rains in scattered bits all day, the coolness lasting until the early afternoon (with your cloaks wrapped tight around you as you begin to contemplate that winter is but a few months away).

You cannot help taking note that the road is nearly empty.  You see not one cart, not one wagon, all day.  There are a few traders or peddlars moving on the road, and a group of quiet monks who acknowledge you with signs but do not talk.  You make good time with the wagon, as the horses work harder in the cooler temperatures, and you reach Rheine with plenty of sun to spare.  The town is good sized, with nearly 400 buildings, with much new construction - the town was razed rather badly, you learn, during the long war.

This comes from a peddler, told as you're all making your way down a slope towards the town.  He happens to mention he'll be bypassing the town walls to an Inn three miles further along the road.  It seems like such a good idea - and no harm done in the end, so pardon the DM for 'railroading' - that you follow the peddlar there.  The cost is a coin less than the cost for the Inn in Lingen, and a storyteller who happens to be present makes the evening worthwhile.  Alas, he tells stories the party knows already, but ones from your childhood, so the night is pleasant.

The better temperatures remain through the night and you awake to find a pleasant, sunny day.  There's a fresh breeze blowing from the east.  Unfortunately, however, once you get south of the smaller, ordinary town of Emsdetten (more than 200 buildings), it doesn't last.  While the temperature holds, and even improves until it is warm, there's a squall of small storms that hit you, three of them in a row.  You're a bit damp, but none the worse for wear, as you come into Münster that evening.

Münster is a large city, the largest the party has been in since beginning this campaign - more than 2,000 buildings.  It is walled and circular, with two magnificent church spires and an impressive cathedral.  There's a large market, a university, a library and a catholic seminary, and Andrej recalls from his memory that Münster was a leading member of the old Hanseatic League, which once controlled trade in Germany.

The party finds themselves in the largest square, the Prinzipalmarkt, after that market has closed for the day, and the shops as well.  But plenty of beerhauses and inns are open and available for travellers.

156 comments:

Alexis said...

(OOC: Forgive me. I should have set up the market table for Münster last night, but I forgot; I'll get it out this evening.

Also, I know I've pushed you through the walls into the city of Munster ... I'll make up for that by declaring that September 3rd is the Feast of St. Marinus, when that saint separated himself from the Pope ... this is in recognition that much of Münster is occupied by a sect called the Anabaptists, who command quite a number of the city's institutions, and who demand this feast day be recognized. On it, no toll must be paid to enter the town.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Nice. I was intent on heading into town anyway, so no harm/ no foul from my perspective.)

Andrej leads the group, with their permission, to one of the more promising and lively of inns of the Prinzipalmarkt and will settle up on a room for the evening, stabling and a nice meal when the market list is available.

Once installed at the inn, Andrej changes into his breeches, shirt and doublet and carries with him only his backpack, belt pouch and staff/ walking stick. He makes casual inquiry with the inn keeper and his workers and tenants after the whereabouts of one Heironymous Pegley Kiddpuddle of Munster. Andrej keeps the glass bird in its case in his backpack (OOC: we never did determine who would carry it, so unless somebody objects Andrej will).

Andrej said...

Andrej also wears his money belt beneath his shirt. The rest of his things and Emmanuel will stay in the private inn room.

Alexis said...

Every person in the bar, from the wenches to the bartender to the patrons, know of the existence and of the location of Kiddpuddle. He is the oddest man in the city, quite probably the oddest man in all Germany, and definitely in the running for the oddest man in all the world. He dwells in a house surrounded by no other houses in a square named after him in the south part of the city, a house described as "having a roof larger that it's floor." Several people will ask why in the name of Heaven's Green Gob would you be looking for him?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet will join Andrej in the bar, wearing his adventurer's garb, his daggers, and his scimitar unless there is some apparent prohibition against wearing swords in public (i.e., he's the only one wearing one). He'll bring his belt pouch with coins as well. The rest of his gear can stay in the room.

(OOC: Hm... perhaps with seven in the party now, we should stay in two rooms? Ahmet, Silvius, Joost and Emmanuel in the party room, Andrej, Ninetoes and Klaas in, er, non-smoking?)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Oops, sorry... obviously Emmanuel should be in the no-fun room with Andrej and Ninetoes)

Alexis said...

"Ahmet will join Andrej in the bar ..."

And when will that be, exactly?

It is almost unholy how hard that future-tense grip has.

There's no express rule against carrying your weapon around.

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes follows Elder Brother to the bar, bringing the staff but leaving the crossbow.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet will join them... as soon as he dons his adventurer's garb, daggers and scimitar.

(OOC: I will... er... I am trying to avoid using "will" as I know it's one of your bugaboos.

However, I think players (or at least I) use "will" not in terms of the future tense, but a conditional usage.

Consider the difference if a co-worker says, "I'm going to lunch," and your reply is:

"I'm going with you." (whether you like it or not)
or
"I'll go with you." (if it's OK with you)

The difference between "I go to the bar" and "I will go to the bar" may be subtle, but in my mind, what I'm saying is, "Assuming I can, I go to the bar." I'm stating my intention to go there, but I don't want to presume that I make it there safely.

Perhaps a better way to put it is, "I try to go to the bar."

Anyway, that's my theory. But I wi- I am trying to stop using "will", really!)

Andrej said...

(OOC: I'm with Ahmet, but also trying to conform to your wishes.

As the arbiter of all activity, nothing takes place without the DM's approval. This happens quickly at the table, I noted this weekend as my regular group resumed play.

Player: "After the silence and invisibility spells are cast upon Pognex, he'll sneak up to where the ettin is hiding."
DM: nods. Nothing prevents either the spells being cast or the attempt to approach the ettin "Pognex rounds the corner and notes the ettin is there as expectes, his massive chest laboring for breath as he grips a massive rock and bleeds from the many fresh wounds he has suffered."

I understand that playing by post presents a different set of challenges and requirements, but old habits do die hard.)

Andrej said...

Andrej explains to those curious about our interest in Heironymous that we merely have a friend in common who has asked us to look in on Heironymouos since we were coming to Munster. Also, begging his ignorance and pointing out he hails from far off, Andrej asks about the expression "having a roof larger that it's floor." Is this some figurative expression of the region or in fact a description of the house's physical properties?

Alexis said...

(OOC: Regarding 'will' ... I have written a post about it already, but you make an interesting point about player-privilege, and I think it ought to be addressed in another post rather than here. Look for it in a few days)

Alexis said...

The effect when Andrej explains that he has brought something for Heironymous is electric - positively. At once, he and the others are surrounded by interested townspeople, their eyes wide, asking, "Is it big?" "Did it come from a long way away?" "How heavy is it?" "Does Heironymous know that it's here yet?"

You take note of the fact that no one asks what it is, or if they can see it. There seems to be a very deliberate effort on their part not to ask either question, as if they understand as a group its not something they should know.

But they begin to ask about yourselves, quickly peppering you with questions, and the bartender brings your all an ale at no charge in order to aid you in answering questions.

It takes some time to get an answer about the roof vs. the floor, but the answer is vague and comes down to, "You'll understand when you see."

Alexis said...

(OOC: oh, and I'm sorry; I let myself get distracted by silly things last night, and didn't get the Munster list posted. I will do so tonight)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet, while careful not to actually drink the ale, nods to the bartender in gratitude. He's quite pleased with this reaction and seems eager to hear, rather than tell, stories from the crowd.

"Tell me about other travelers who have visited Heironymous! What's the strangest thing you've seen brought to him?"

Andrej said...

I see that we aren't the first troupe to wander into town and go vaguely looking for this guy.

Andrej quaffs the ale appreciatively and deflects any questions regarding the brought item, not remembering exactly how or when this became known to the curious crowd. Taking Ahmet's lead, he's most interested to learn who else has come to see Heironymous, particularly anybody recently. Say, within the last month or so.

Alexis said...

Ahmet's question brings an astounding, unexpected response: dead silence.

It lasts almost five seconds, whereupon an old man, perhaps in his early 70s, sits down at the table without being asked. "We're sorry, my friend," he says. "Heironymous is ... unpleasant about his past 'efforts,' shall we say. It isn't that we're frightened of him, you understand - he's the gentlest man you'd ever likely meet, wouldn't hurt a fly. It is only that we love him so, and his being hurt is something that, well, we carry in our hearts."

He pauses, and reaches forward, and drinks off a little of Ahmet's ale. "Please understand," he continues. "Heironymous is an artist. A pained, troubled, brilliant artist, who is never quite satisfied. Once we used to speak of his works, and his efforts, but ... if you know what an artist is like, my friends, you'd know how much it hurts to be reminded of failure. And heironymous always believes he's failed. And unfortunately..."

And here the old man grows very quiet ...

"He can probably hear us, right now."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet, superstitious bugger that he is, grows quiet and glances around uneasily. He looks to Andrej for guidance.

Andrej said...

So much for subtly entering and leaving town, eh?

Andrej stands, thanks and blesses all present for their hospitality and company. He apologizes if the party's coming has upset these fine, fine folk and expresses deep regret at having to leave them to their merriment. Finishing what remains of his ale in a single pull, he nods to Ahemt and Ninetoes as if he desires them to follow him. Andrej then proceeds out the door and toward the south end of the city, looking for the home of Heironymous.

Alexis said...

Just waiting for a concurrence from either Ahmet or Nine-toes, to learn if Andrej is alone in his search.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet, feeling a little creeped out, is glad to join Andrej and leave this place.

Alexis said...

So you start off. It's dark, for the sun has gone down (organizing your gear, getting a room, etc. takes time), but the town is well lit by lamps and by no means has it settled down. It is not yet the ninth hour.

Not far along, it occurs to both of you that you failed to ask for directions, and that all you have to go on is that it is "in the south part of the city." You get a few blocks, and find yourself at a street corner, scratching your heads a bit.

Whereupon a kindly old lady, sixty plus, pipes up from where she's standing, gnawing upon some walnuts she's just bought.

"That way, sirs," she says, pointing down the left road. "You can't go wrong if you head over there."

Nine-toes said...

I join Ahmet and Andrej.

(OOC - sorry for my absence)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet smiles and nods to the old woman. It doesn't occur to him to ask how she knows where they're going... if indeed she does.

Alexis said...

(OOC: No worries, Nine-toes. We know you're out there)

Andrej said...

"That way, is it? We seek the home of Heironymous Pegley Kiddpuddle. You say the left road takes us there?"

Alexis said...

She breaks a walnut in her hand, shrugs and says, "Where else would you be going?" She turns her back on you to walk off down the street.

Andrej said...

Andrej shakes his head in mild bewilderment and crosses himself. "This town is a strange one, fellows." But continues in the direction indicated by the woman.

Andrej said...

As we walk, briskly. "Has it occurred to any of you by now that we may be running headlong into something we least expect?"

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes continues to follow behind Andrej, holding a rosary and silently saying prayers (probably incorrectly).

Ahmet said...

"What we least expect is what I... expect," Ahmet says glumly, thinking back to Devereaux.

"Perhaps we should return to the Inn, get a good night's sleep, buckle on armor and return in the morning to call on this... Anonymous fellow."

Andrej said...

"Somehow I doubt knocking on his door fully arrayed for battle will be looked upon kindly here." Andrej looks about the houses to either side of the street.

"Devereaux was a crazy old coot living as a hermit in isolation. Hieronymus may be a crazy old coot as well, but he's got a town and its people who seem to love and protect him..."

Andrej stops, turns to Ahmet,

"... possibly they fear him as well, though the old man said it was not so. If he had it rightly, this Hieronymus has already heard our conversation and must know we're coming. Should we wait the night and return tomorrow, I don't know that I could find any sleep."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet glances around nervously again as he trudges on.

Alexis said...

It turns out to require very little time to find Hieronymous' house, once you've embarked upon the chosen road. It winds through several neighborhoods over nearly half a mile, but during that time you encounter a number of butter-yellow signs indicating the way to "Kiddpuddle Platz."

And so, things being as they are, you reach the platz and find it is entirely paved in frog-green pavement stones. The house itself is an enormous mushroom-shaped house, the stem of which would be some twenty feet in diameter, with a large rhomboid door. The roof of the house extends out over the circle of the platz, some eighty feet across, in a great drooping curve ,,, and indeed the roof is larger than the floor.

Nine-toes said...

"Besides, what in this city could be more fearsome than Ahmet the mighty, who hews through guardsmen and pirates like a scythe through wheat? And you had no armor in our last battles; still you prevailed."

Alexis said...

The whole house is lit up by dozens upon dozens of windows, some eight staggered up along the stem and the remainder in a haphazard circle around the edge of the mushroom. The stem, I should say, is about twenty-five feet tall, and the whole mushroom-house something around eighty or ninety. In the city night, the house looks brownish-black, and the windows give off a delightful golden light.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet grins at Ninetoes's words and then gapes at the house.

(OOC: Is it made of stone, or brick, or wood, or... fungi?)

Alexis said...

Apparently, wood.

Andrej said...

Andrej sizes up the tower and nods, happy that the mystery of the roof has been solved to his satisfaction.

"What say you two? I say we try our luck now, as we stand, and see what more of this mysterious Herr Kidpuddle we may learn." There's that certain gleam again in his eyes as he speaks. You may recognize it by now.

Also, he takes the case containing the glass swallow out of his pack and opens it, both to see that it is still intact and beautiful and in the hope that the nearby light catches it, enticing his comrades forward.

Nine-toes said...

"I'm for pressing on. I was quite taken by the Madam, and I'm anxious to make her mysterious contact's aquaintance."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet smiles gently at the memory of the Madam. "Yes, certainly," he says agreeably. Though it's not sure exactly what he's agreeing to.

Andrej said...

Andrej smiles at his companions, approaches the door and knocks firmly.

Alexis said...

The door opens immediately.

A large, rotund man, whose mouth and eyes are quite small, giving the generous appearance of a baby-faced person, stands with his hand on the knob, grinning. He has on a dark green robe, which is too small for his some 350-lb. figure, and on top of that, a black workman's apron, all tied around him three or four times with a thick black cord. His corpulent feet have been stuffed into sandles, and look white and more than a little blackened on the bottom.

"Well, here you are!" he fairly shouts, terrifically pleased.

Andrej said...

Andrej bows deeply. "I am brother Andrej and my companions are Ahmet and Ninetoes. You are Herr Kidpuddle, I presume?"

Alexis said...

"Yes," he replies. "But that's Kiddpuddle with four D's, but I know you did not mean to mispronounce! Come in, come in ... you've brought something for me, have you not? I feel it in my bones."

Andrej said...

Andrej shoots his companions a quick look, then enters the strange house of Kiddpuddle with four d's.

Alexis said...

He steps back to allow you in; you can see inside that there are four stepladders leading up from the ground 'floor' into the upper house. The floor itself is filled with cages, cages stacked on cages, filled with birds of hundreds of kinds, finches and swallows and starlings and pigeons, and species you've never seen before, with bright green and blue and red plumage.

Alexis said...

"Follow me!" says Heironymous, and quite amazingly manages to neatly climb one of the ladders upwards.

Andrej said...

"Herr Kiddpuddle, before we get to the matter of what we have brought you, for indeed we have brought you something I must satisfy my curiosity... what is your profession and what circumstance finds you in such a strange and splendid house?"

Andrej said...

Andrej follows as he speaks. The bird and case safely back in his pack as he climbs.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet is quite taken with all the birds, staring at them in their cages, perhaps seeing some species that he hasn't seen since leaving the east.

Ahmet said...

...but eventually he follows the others up the ladder.

Alexis said...

Hieronymous pauses, and looks down. "An ornithologist, my good cleric, and an ornithacrafter. Plus, if you'll forgive my conceit, a not-poor amateur artist. Come come, I have tea-and-cakes, and you have news for me and a prize. Please, I can hardly wait to see it!"

He shoots off again up the ladder.

Alexis said...

Ahmet, you do indeed see stilts and hoopoes and kestrels, a rather darling lapwing and a squawking roller.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Wow... I haven't seen a squawking roller since my bachelor party!)

Andrej said...

Andrej follows Hieronymus and once settled somewhere in the chambers above will begin explaining the party's presence. ("will", because I await our destination somewhere above)

(OOC: lol Ahmet. Nice.)

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes follows and can't help thinking what a lovely pillow one make from the cast off feathers in this house.

Alexis said...

(OOC: lol!)

Yes, you do climb up into the loft, a gigantic single space built like the extending rafters of a massive church, with hundreds of roosts and a chattering of birds. Hundreds of lamps hang from the beams, lighting the room as bright as day.

But try as you might you do not see a single dropping, a single loose feather, and though there are quite obviously uncountable birds present, the sound is not in the least oppressive.

The main floor all about is a collection of carpets and cushions such as Ahmet would be familiar, and possibly Andrej may have seen in the tent of a hetman in the old country, but with which Nine-toes is utterly unfamiliar.

You have only barely taken in this whole scene, as Heironymous skips towards the selection of cushions he wishes to reside at, when there enters from one of the seven doors around the bottom of the room (it is made somewhat like a cake pan, with doors spaced around the bottom, the 'fat' part of the mushroom) a five-foot tall bird-man, dressed as an austere footman with short pants. His legs are quite obviously bird's legs, and his head is that of a very large budgie - and of course he is lacking in any kind of neck.

He is holding a tray of tea and cakes, and moving towards Hieronymous.

Alexis said...

(OOC: hm; perhaps not a cake pan - a 'muffin'-shape, perhaps?)

Andrej said...

"Amazing," Andrej mutters to himself. Using his field of study: Legends & Folklore (Artifacts, Beasts), is Andrej able to identify the tray-toting bird man?

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes brims with questions but does not wish to appear rude by interrogating their host just yet.

Nine-toes said...

... and then decides, why start being polite now?

"If I may ask sir, is it magic that animates them? The wondrous birds, I mean. Did you craft them all yourself, or are you a collector?"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet is in turn enchanted (by the birds), comforted (by the seating arrangements) and ultimately gobsmacked (by the bird man). His mouth hangs open, but perhaps fortunately no words come out.

Alexis said...

Andrej, it would be a 'kenku,' and native to Africa.

To Nine-toes, Hieronymous will answer, "Oh, they are all quite real, but very well behaved - take note!" He points, and Nine-toes can see a feather well above his head, wafting towards the floor. Quick as a flash, a sparrow flies past, grabs it, and heads back towards the ceiling.

Heironymous looks pleased with himself. "They evacuate very carefully, out of respect."

He turns and takes the tray from the kenku. "Please, I would like to introduce you to Fiffler, my manservant. We made our acquaintence in the Congo, ten years ago."

Fiffler makes no notice of the party. In a flat tone, reminiscent of a dove, Fiffler will say, "If you'll pardon me, sir, your moa requires my attention."

Heironymous will answer, "Oh of course, of course. I'm busy anyway!"

Whereupon he will sit, invite others to do so, and indicate you should serve yourselves cakes.

Andrej, all is settled, and you may say what you wish.

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes sits and eats.

Alexis said...

A little bird without wings (a kiwi, but of course Nine-toes has no idea what this is), hops onto the nearby pillow and cocks its head at him, slowly opening and closing its beak.

Nine-toes said...

"Is it alright if I share a cake with this one, sir?"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet sits down, quite comfortable with these arrangements of course, and helps himself to tea and cake.

Andrej said...

Andrej takes liberally from the cakes and tea and begins.

"Herr Kiddpuddle, may I say I have never made the acquaintance of so singular a man nor seen so singular a dwelling as you and yours. Thank you for your hospitality and this unique experience. I would say, perhaps, that you forgot a profession when we made our introductions, for all of this strikes me as the most splendid sort of magic."

Not awaiting a reply and allowing his host at least the courtesy of ignoring this last Andrej continues, "As you have correctly divined, we have something that I now better understand may be of great interest to you. I am not learned in such things, nor do I posess an artist's refined eye but it seemed to me an item of no small beauty. It was placed into our safekeeping by a Madame Salvador, who I assume is known to you. Her instructions were to deliver it and her hope was that in doing so we may find ourselves lucky. I must say, I feel lucky already and hope your receiving this will provide you some pleasure."

Without further courtesy or ado, Andrej removes the case from his pack and opens it, extending it forward so that Hireonymus may get a good look at and take possession of the glass swallow should he desire.

Alexis said...

"My good man," says Hieronymous to Nine-toes, "Take whatever action you think best!"

To Andrej, after Andrej's speech, Hieronymous will say, "Oh please, yes, I must see it!"

He opens the box, and looks inside. His eyes grow very wide.

"Oh my," he says emotionally. "My my my my my my my."

Alexis said...

He will carefully take the bird out of the box, and lift it in his hand. He will turn it over and look at it from every side.

"Ramona was very, very good to me," he will say. "Forgive me, Ramona is the Madam Salvador you refer to. She is quite the amazing woman, though she has been quite stupid in falling in love and marrying a man who is an utter fool. She will leave him someday when she realizes that, and no doubt will come into her own. Mark my words, she is not half the woman she will be in five years!"

He lifts the bird up for the party to see again. "This is undoubtedly the work of Daniel O'Shea of Waterford ... do you see the lines, the very life of the object, the manner it catches the light? One would almost think you could ..."

And with this Hieronymous tosses the bird into the air.

The glass itself unfolds, the wings spread wide, and the crystal bird breaks for the rafters in a magnificent rush.

Alexis said...

Hieronymous will clap his hands with glee.

Andrej said...

"Amazing." Andrej mutters again, thinking perhaps he'll soon need a new word for expressing his amazement should he linger her emuch longer.

"As she is clearly known to, sir, and as you show the concern after Madame Salvador of a close friend I suppose there is no harm in telling you her husband has died. She was in good health and very active when we saw her last, though the news of his passing caused her no small amount of distress." not to mention the distress of the poor citizens of Engelke...

Ahmet said...

When Hieronymous tosses the bird into the air, Ahmet reaches out to catch it in alarm... and is astonished as it takes off in flight.

"What manner of magic is this?!"

Alexis said...

"I am most pleased to hear that she is free from her own folly," says Hieronymous, adding, "but don't tell her that I said so."

To Ahmet, he'll say, "Oh, it is not the bird that is magic, it is the house my dear fellow!"

The glass bird will alight on a nearby rafter and cock its head at the party. "Isn't it magnificent?" asks your host.

Ahmet said...

"The house?"

Ahmet mulls this over. Well, that would explain why the bird hadn't been flying around in Andrej's backpack all this time...

Andrej said...

(OOC: I'm off for a bit, but please, please, please keep going if you are able. I'd like to catch up and know more about the house and Hieronymous later this evening. Good stuff today Alexis. While I love a good fight and earning beu coup XP just as the next player, the aspect of your campaign that was on display today is what I can't really get anywhere else.)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I also must call it a night, but great stuff!)

Alexis said...

Unfortunately, Heironymous will, at this time, indicate that it is getting quite late.

"Please, I hope you will understand my new friends. I was in the middle of a project, and I hate to leave Fiffler alone with my moa for too long ..."

Heironymous will stick out his hand towards Ahmet. "Good luck to you sir! I hope we meet in more abundant times!"

Andrej said...

(OOC: kiwis and moas... I sometimes forget this is 17th century and the world has been discovered.)

Andrej stands as Hieronymus reaches a hand out to Ahmet. He is a little surprised at there being no reward or consideration, but is nonetheless pleased the evening went as well as it did and makes ready to leave, saying his goodbyes etc...

We can head back to the inn now.

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes feeds the (doesn't know it's a) kiwi a bit of cake before saying thanks and goodbye to Mr. Kiddpuddle.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet somehow resists the urge to point out that Hieronymus seems quite abundant at the moment, and shakes the offered hand.

(and, assuming the handshake goes as expected)

"Good luck to you as well, and... er..."

He pauses for a moment as if considering saying what's on his mind... and then does anyway.

"Do you get many visitors here bearing strange gifts?"

Alexis said...

Hieronymous answers, "From time to time," and offers his hand to Nine-toes - "Good luck to you as well, sir."

Alexis said...

(OOC: As things are, Andrej, Ennzedd hasn't actually been 'discovered' yet by the mainstream, though probably the druids know all about it. Andrej might recognize the flightless bird from descriptions, but as far as he would know prior to Heironymous' house, it was a myth)

I don't want to rain on Nine-toes' moment, but I do want to keep the momentum going.

Alexis said...

Thus, assuming Nine-toes shakes his hand, Hieronymous will offer it to Andrej, "And finally, you Father. Good luck."

Nine-toes said...

Oh Ninetoes exits with Andrej. Sorry, didn't know I was holding things up.

Andrej said...

Andrej shakes the druid's hand and wishes him well. The party returns to our inn, to while away the night some and speak of our next move.

Alexis said...

He was waiting to shake your hand, Nine-toes. Are you good with that?

Nine-toes said...

Absolutely. I shake his hand warmly, smile and depart.

Alexis said...

As Andrej starts down the ladder, thinking of the way the townspeople seemed to view Hieronymous, it suddenly occurs to him how precisely one should manage a large congregation and motivate them, in tone and enthusiasm.

Ahmet is looking at the cages of birds as he descends, and suddenly it strikes him that he has been holding the handle of his weapons much too tightly - a gentler grip will almost certainly improve his chance to hit.

And as Nine-toes descends, the small toes of the kiwi, and the way it gripped the cushion, causes him to realize that his hand has been held in marginally the wrong position when attacking open fisted.

All three of you gain 500 x.p. before your feet touch the main floor.

Nine-toes said...

Oh, we definitely need to find an excuse to visit this guy again.

Andrej said...

(OOC: lol Ninetoes)

Once back at the inn, let us discuss our next move.

(OOC: Good stuff Alexis)

Alexis said...

(OOC: You don't know the half of it)

Andrej, Nine-toes and Ahmet step out of Heironymous' house and make their way back to the road that brought them to the Platz ... and as they do so, they all hear, good and loud, someone call out, "FATHER ANDREJ?"

You look, and not twenty feet from you, unnoticed (these things are about all the time) is a fairly elaborate carriage ... and standing next to the carriage is Eberhardt Hornung.

Andrej said...

"Herr Hornung?" Andrej closes the twenty feet with great excitement to greet and embrace his friend and benefactor. Perhaps forgetting himself somewhat in the process.

"What brings you to Munster my friend? I would have thought you well installed at your estate and enjoying the country life? What of Serafina, all is well I hope? Have you any news from Dachau? Do you know what became of our friend Delfig? I am sorry to assail you so, but I am so happy to see you and so hungry for news. I have forgotten myself. Theses are my friends and boon companions, Ahmet oglu-Ahmet of Anatolia and Ninetoes the Monk of... where again is it you are from brother?"

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Sorry... back from my morning of meetings.)

Ahmet nods to Herr Hornung.

Alexis said...

Before Nine-toes can answer, a voice behind him says, "He's from Stuttgart! And he still cannot remember to watch behind his LEFT SIDE!"

Nine-toes said...

startled by the voice, Ninetoes turns quickly to see who it was that spoke.

Alexis said...

(OOC: sorry to delete your comment, Nine-toes; trying to stay a step ahead of you)

Nine-toes will look behind him, on his left, and there will see his Master, Brother Paul of Turin.

Alexis said...

And as that is happening, the carriage door will open, and Serafina will emerge.

She won't be seen by Nine-toes, who has his mouth open staring at the man who taught him how to be a monk, but Ahmet will take note of perhaps the most attractive woman he's ever seen ... at least, for a European.

She will immediately squeeze the stuffing out of Andrej.

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes reels from the number of chance meetings this night has brought. It as though old friends rain from the sky after visiting the good druid!

Ahmet said...

Ahmet looks at all the people and wonders what exactly is going on.

Alexis said...

Brother Paul gives Nine-toes a hug, and asks, "Who are these friends of yours?"

Alexis said...

Serafina turns her eyes upon Ahmet, and says in the sincerest voice possible, I am pleased to meet you Ahmet oglu-Ahmet;" she manages the exact pronounciation, something Ahmet hasn't heard applied to his name in many months.

Alexis said...

And Hornung will say to Andrej, "Where are you staying? No matter! You will come stay with us! Your friends of course, and - if you will permit - I should like to invite you to -"

And Serafina will cut him off. "As a guest? Absolutely NOT!"

She will approach Andrej again, and say to him, "You must perform the ceremony. Please say you are able and that you will."

Nine-toes said...

"Forgive me, Brother Paul, I am as slow in my mind as ever. My large friend we call Ahmet, and the good friar here is Brother Andrej, the very one who baptised me into the faith."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet eyes Serafina warily, for he's had much trouble in his life from beautiful women who seem interested in him.

He prefers the ones who are obviously trying to kill him, to the ones who are subtle about it.

Still, he manages to smile at the sound of his name being pronounced so elegantly, and nods his head in greeting.

Alexis said...

Brother Paul will speak more quietly. "And the Knight and his Lady?"

Nine-toes said...

(quietly) "Brother Paul, I confess I have only just met Her Hornung and what appears to be his fiancee, or I would make proper introductions. It would seem that they wish Brother Andrej to marry them if I am not mistaken.

Alexis said...

In point of fact, I'd like to take a moment to describe the street you're standing in; it is a good five yards wide, entering as I said upon Heironymous Platz ... There is a closed cheese shop behind the carriage, a scribner's shop to the right of that, and an tea-shop with a small, open door - the sound of patrons exudes from within.

Across the street, dominating the corner, is a large, somewhat run-down warehouse, with but one large door.

There are plenty of people about, a few gawkers here to look at Heironymous' house, but people stepping along the street to other open storefronts. The evening is pleasant and warm, and smells of a gentle Autumn evening.

And through all this, Ahmet seems to be the only one that hears a pounding on the inside of the warehouse door, as though something - or someone - is being thrust against it.

Alexis said...

"And how have you been, my ex-pupil?" Asks Brother Paul. "How have your wanderings about Germany fared? As well as you hoped?"

Nine-toes said...

"I must say, my dealings have been largely prosperous, though I still do not suffer from an abundance of common sense. What of you, brother? How is it you found me on this fortuitous night?"

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I once attended my wife's college reunion... and we met after she'd graduated, so I didn't know any of these people personally. A few I knew of, maybe my wife had dropped their name into a story once or what-have-you. But after the introduction and a smile and a nod, you have to stand there like an idiot while they reminiscence about people you don't know and places you haven't been. Standing there smiling and pretending to listen while holding a cocktail wiener and an empty glass, I would have loved to have heard a pounding on a warehouse door!)

Ahmet drifts away from the conversation and toward the warehouse door, trying to get closer to see if he is indeed hearing anything unusual, or if it's just some mirage created by the acoustics of the street.

Alexis said...

Brother Paul will answer, "I have searched in vain for a woman stolen three months ago off a ship in Genoa. I was asked to look because word was she was being brought to Germany, to satisfy the whims of some collector of unusual women slaves ... but alas, my trail has turned cold here. I only know that the Lord of some small land is responsible, and that the land is within a hundred miles of here."

Alexis said...

Ahmet, you can hear some sort of argument going on. And yes, at this point, standing but a few feet away, it does sound as though some sort of struggle is involved.

Andrej said...

(OOC: sorry guys got tied up)

Andrej is dumbfounded at Serafina's request but will be unable to resist her shoud she prove determined, "I, I, I... haven't the proper attire for such a ceremony I'm sure. I'm but a simple country friar... a foreigner... a vagabond. Are you certain my lady?"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet isn't usually the one to barge in on someone else's... heated discussion.

But he's not opposed to eavesdropping.

He listens intently to see if he can hear more.

Andrej said...

And of course, changing the subject Andrej makes some ado about introducing his friends Hornung and Serafina to his friends and Brother Pauls, and greets the latter warmly and sincerely.

Alexis said...

To Andrej:

"We would not even BE together if it were not for you, Father," answers Serafina. "I'm certain the Bishop could provide you with the proper attire, and would step down if I asked him."

Hornung will clear his throat, then wink. "He's in love with her, though the old coot would never admit it," says Hornung.

Andrej said...

(OOC: It's like a Dickens novel, only better as we get to cave heads in at some point. I hope that's received as the compliment I intended.)

(OOC: I hear you about the reunion stuff, Ahmet)

Andrej said...

Andrej is beaming, "If it is your desire, dear friends, nothing would please me more than to preside and join you in holy union."

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - ditto to what James said.

Alexis, I don't often say it, but my favorite parts are when we meet friendly NPC's. Don't get me wrong, I love the battles, too, but everyone we meet seems to have such a story behind them and we only glimpse a tiny piece... kind of like life.)

Nine-toes said...

Solemnly "I'm very sorry to hear of your troubles, Brother Paul. It would seem the trail must be cold indeed after 3 months time, but if there is anything I can do to help, I am truly at your service. I will tell Elder Brother and see if he might trouble (at a more appropriate time, of course) Herr Hornung with this business and see if he might know of the lord involved in such trade."

Ninetoes apprises Andrej of Brother Paul's quest as soon as there is a lull with him and Hornung and Serafina. Ninetoes does not, in any case, interupt the happy news.

Andrej said...

(OOC: I've been thinking on this quite a bit myself, guys, and how that in this manner should a DM later on threaten the community or the entire world in some way through the actions and desires of less-friendly NPCs... how the opportunity for a truly emotional experience in the game now becomes possible. How, in such a manner, a player might even march a beloved character gladly off to death to simply become part of the fabric of the world and its history.

People can blog and blather about doing it in theory, but I've only ever seen it presented as an ideal or something wrought by happenstance. Maybe its happening here only in a highly individual or specific way to just me or only a few of us... but I still feel it happening.)

Alexis said...

Ahmet, you hear a man say something like, "Hit the wench on the head, and see if that learns her anything!" And then, "No, not with that! You want to kill her? Use this chair leg."

Alexis said...

Serafina is most pleased with Andrej's agreement. "We have a beautiful little palace we're staying at - bring your friends, and if Emmanuel is about, bring him also. The marriage takes place this Saturday!" She kisses Andrej's cheek. "It's fate that we came across you. The most amazing stroke of luck!"

Alexis said...

(OOC: I feel humbled, Andrej)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Humbled? You? I'm without words. ;)

Now Ahmet, let's bust into that warehouse and crack some heads.)

Alexis said...

"I think you've gained an inch in height, Kurt," (which is Nine-toes' real name, corresponding to his original suggestion of being called 'Ku' before determining that he was German and that he'd rather be known generally as "Nine-toes") says Brother Paul.

Andrej said...

"Kurt, is it? And to think I have long thought Ninetoes your Christian name, Kurt." Andrej is feeling particularly convivial and somewha oblivious to Ahmet and the warehouse.

Alexis said...

Andrej would have no idea there was a warehouse, at this point.

Ahmet said...

Ah, someone beating a woman -- a common enough occurrence in his home village. No concern of Ahmet's, and thus he loses interest.

He looks back at the group. Kurt? Now that is interesting.

(OOC: I'm dying to rush in there and crack some skulls, but Ahmet is no knight, even if he does have the shining armor!)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Fair enough my friend. He might, though, casually mention it to Brother Paul? Perhaps half in jest, even, on such a night of strange coincidences.)

Alexis said...

(OOC: There is more at work here than exists in Ahmet's philosphy)

As Ahmet turns away to mock Nine-toes, the door bursts open and a small woman rushes out. Ahmet turns back to find the woman in his arms, her head covered in the cowl of a cloak. Behind the woman, still inside the doorway, are two frazzled-looking louts, dressed in black leather hauberks and both favoring a number of bruises.

There's no immediate action on their part. Ahmet sizes them up, guesses he could probably take them - when the girl throws back her head, tossing off the cowl, and stops moving completely.

"Ahmet?" she asks, puzzled.

It is Ahmet's first cousin Fatima.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: OK, I'm starting to think there was something more to that Heironymous handshake...)

Ahmet smiles broadly seeing his cousin. "Fatima! What...?"

But then he looks back at the two louts, remembering what snatches of conversation he heard. He scowls, then looks down at Fatima, still holding her in his arms.

"Which one do you want me to kill first?"

Andrej said...

(OOC: It's the magic mushroom house, man.)

Alexis said...

Brother Paul, upon seeing Fatima, will cry out, "JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH! It's HER!"

Alexis said...

(OOC: You know, I've been sitting on this sequence of events since the last week of November)

Alexis said...

Upon hearing Brother Paul's cry, the two men break into a run, into the warehouse.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I think one of your gifts as a storyteller, Alexis, is your patience!)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet doesn't chase after them just yet, as it wouldn't be nice to just drop his first cousin to the pavement. "Are you injured?"

Alexis said...

Brother Paul will pull upon Nine-toes, shouting, "Come on Boy!" and run after the two men.

Andrej said...

Andrej, having nothing to drop but himself and having full faith in God's hand being in all things, is rushing toward the warehouse door, staff in hand.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Brother Paul "will" pull?) ;)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Does Fatima appear to be injured? Is she conscious? Andrej, I hope you don't mind if I trip you as you pass if she appears to be in need of a Cure Light Wounds spell!)

Alexis said...

GOT ME!

Damn habit is catching.

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - just got out of a 2 hour meeting and I'm out the door right now. Ninetoes would dearly love to pursue the fleeing men with Brother Paul but I don't want to stop the action for Ahmet and Andrej if you don't want to stop for the day. Back tomorrow! Can't wait to see what happens!)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I'm leaving soon myself, so it's a good time to stop for the day I think. Great stuff, Alexis!)

Alexis said...

Naturally, the monk is faster than Andrej ... and Nine-toes too, if he chooses to follow. Andrej finds himself standing next to Hornung in the doorway - who has simultanously sprang to the same place.

Ahmet, there may be a scratch or two, but she seems none the worse for wear, except that she's bawling now in your shoulder from emotional release. Serafina moves towards you, and puts a hand on Fatima's shoulder while simultaneously signalling the coachmen.

"The Brother seems to have this managed," says Hornung to Andrej. "Did he not say he trained your friend? I dare say he'll catch two frightened rabbits."

Andrej said...

"Indeed, Hornung, you have the right of it. Though given the chance I'd happily crack their necks and drop them into the stew pot."

Andrej lays his staff upon his shoulder and looks backward over this to see what aid he may give.

"It would be a mercy to them should anybody but Ahmet catch-up. I've seen what the man can do when not angered."

Andrej crosses himself and says a prayer for the pursuers.

(OOC: see you guys tomorrow)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Ninetoes, you should chase those dudes down with Brother Paul and cash in on some XP. Give them a few slaps for me.)

Andrej said...

Meanwhile, Andrej may not pursue said rabbits, but he will be investigating their hole tomorrow.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Might be a good time to start a new thread. This is good stuff!)

Andrej said...

(OOC: I'm good either way, standing by for what happens next.)

Nine-toes said...

I follow Brother Paul. No doubt he can handle it himself, but hey, action is action.

Alexis said...

For a little while I'll run two threads - one for Nine-toes and one for the rest of the party.

I don't think I can do it today, however. I'm somewhat pressed ... Please consider the campaign paused until Monday.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I've in fact created three posts, one for each of you. I'm somewhat ill, but I'll keep up as well as I can.)