Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Journeying to Lubeck

Up front, the journey is relatively uneventful.  The captain is aware of the party's apparent status and experience, and they are asked to the captain's table on two occasions to tell some stories of their recent adventures.

Covering the weather generally over the whole time covered ... 9 days of waiting for the ship, 8 days of ship travel.  The most important characteristic of the weather is that nearly every morning the temperature drops nearly to zero.  There is frost on the ground, or on the guidelines aboard ship, when the sun rises - and still, no day truly produces a killing frost, not yet.  This temperature in the mornings, described as "brisk" - what you would call 32 to 38 degrees - is as cold as it gets.

Before the ship is set to leave Memel, there is another violent storm, this time with a whole gale (worse than before), with winds approaching those of a hurricane ... but the harbor at Memel is well protected, and on the 29th the wind is gentle and promising.  The captain seems unconcerned and his ship slips into the Baltic Sea on a brisk day.  By afternoon the weather is actually pleasant, a fine autumn day upon the sea, and the party's spirits are lifted with the promise of returning to Germany.

The full journey into Lubeck is marred by a brief gale off the coast of Pomerania.  The captain sees it coming from a long distance off, and tacks quickly towards the coast in order to avoid it ... the ship skirts the edge, blowing heavy for three long hours, as the party learns who has a taste for sea travel.  Andrej in particular, being a half-orc (not a mariner species, but a desert people by birth), suffers most of all.  Still, the ship makes its way towards the great bank called Isle Rugen, and thereafter the worst it does is drizzle.  Still, it is a wet journey, with slush on the decks, rime on the ropes and glazed portals, and not what you would think of as an ocean cruise.  When you're told that Lubeck will be the next day, and that the captain has managed not to lose any time on the journey, your hearts are grateful.

It is the 7th of October as the ship draws nearer the great bay upon which Lubeck sits, and the town is a welcome sight.  It is an enormous city, with more than 5,000 buildings, sprawling along the sea, and up into the hills both to the left and right of the harbor.  There are many magnificent palaces, and there are at least five hundred ships in the harbor, many of them in a state of repair.  Lubeck is one of the greatest ports in the world ... and it takes some time for the captain to pick his way through the complex arrangement of private ships to find his particular dock.

As you see the destination, a large wooden platform on piers, with two big red warehouses poised behind, you gain quite a shock.  On the dock is a carraige and a wagon, and two beautiful horses besides.  Emmanuel sits upon the wagon; Serafina's face can be seen through a window of the carriage; and Eberhardt Hornung is holding the reins of the horses.  Behind them are a dozen dwarves, lounging, smoking and waving from a pile of barrels, crates and piled fishnets.

33 comments:

Ahmet said...

Ahmet gathers his belongings and joins the others in scurrying to the carriage and wagon, ignoring the others as he first seeks to check on the well-being of his cousin.

Lukas said...

Lukas will point and say, "Look it's the sappers!" in classic movie fashion.

He however will not know Hornung or Seraphina whom I believe he has never met...

Andrej said...

Needless to say Andrej is anxious to debark. Being something of a mariner myself, I know we'll probably have several long minutes of the ship coming properly into its berth and lines being passed and secured before we can, so in that time Andrej shouts and waves to his friends, benefactors and servant Emmanuel. What can they tell us of all that has happened since we left the battle?

Before leaving the ship, Andrej quickly thanks and blesses the captain and crew for safe travels and wishes them well while they no doubt busily conduct their business.

Then, straight to Hornung, Serafina and Emmanuel. What have we missed? What of the arch-bishop and the battle? What of the girl Andrej saved from the cathedral dungeon?

Alexis said...

Ahmet,

Your sister Fatima is not here. She is looking after Carolina at the Ducal Palace, as she is yet too weak to be out in weather quite this cold and damp. She is recovering, but it is less a matter of her physical strength than her emotional will; if she suffers at all, her mind plagues her body with sickness.

Alexis said...

Andrej,

There is much speaking back and forth. The Archbishop has been killed; his followers dispersed, dead or in prison; the other women he kept in the castle have been freed; and the town of Arnsberg cleared of undead. There has been much to do, but Hornung could not resist learning how his favorite cleric managed to have himself blown to Lithuania.

Alexis said...

Janos,

There is a letter for you; the captain of your company has decommissioned you, as per your request, to leave you free to make your way. Should you wish to return to the army, he, Ludwig Schlosser, will be glad to have you return, but he knows you're set to see the world.

Alexis said...

Lukas,

Feeling somewhat ignored by the nobility, the dwarves nevertheless pay you kindness. Those that are here include Wedth, Balther, his brother Salth, the large Htuya, Odval, Aruth, Culf the cook, Mega, Worter, the cleric Zoft, and of course Frith and Warth.

Seth, Nerga, Palt, Vala and Ganzor all died in the castle.

Ahmet said...

Just to be clear, it's Carolina who is sickly, not Fatima?

Andrej said...

I do my best to make Hornung's effort to come see to us personally worth his while. I describe whatever details of what happened below the keep and tower that are still unknown to him, including the kobolds, the dragon and the dwarf who kept the giant minks.

In doing so I will introduce Herr Hornung to Lukas and Janos and describe how each have made significant contributions to our mutual efforts. Ahmet, of course, the paladin knows already and he is assured that the turk proved both stalwart and capable at all times during the assault.

Coming around to the tower, the stinger and door Andrej describes what details of these he grasps, most notably how the door took us to many strange places before we hopped off in Lithuania and made our way home.

Once the tale has been told, Andrej would specifically inquire as to what happened to the two assasins who likely killed Father Jan. Were these amongst the killed, imprisoned or dispersed?

Lukas said...

Lukas will give his condolences to the dwarves. He will inquire as to their next destination and what happened after they were whisked away by a gate. He will also ask about what came from their adventures to the stingers.

Alexis said...

Yes, Carolina.

Alexis said...

Hornung pauses before relating a tale to speak to Lukas. "I am grateful to you," he says, "As I am told by our friends here (he speaks of the dwarves) that without your help, the first obstacle would have been very difficult to overcome. You and your companion Janos are invited with these others, Ahmet and Andrej, to the Ducal Palace."

Alexis said...

Presuming that Lukas says yes, on the way to the Palace, Hornung tells of how Daniel Duvall entered his tent during the battle and came within a hair of assassinating Hornung. If it has not been for Emmanuel, who was doing nothing, and therefore was able to see everything, the assassin might have succeeded. Instead, Duvall is dead. In kindness, Hornung has given Emmanuel land in Dachau, and the former peasant, now a small squire, intends to return there and marry Sandra.

Emmanuel could not keep himself from meeting his former master upon his return, however.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Wow, that rabbit coat seemed like a nice present a few days ago. But compared to an estate in Dachau... it's kind'a lame. :)

Alexis said...

Jacqueline de Beauce's whereabouts, however, are unknown. She clearly holds a charm that enables her to escape detection. She is being sought for, however, and will certainly be found.

The dwarves intend to return to the Podolian Hills, in Poland, where they will transform their riches into land and local power. They promise Ahmet they will do their best to spare as many Turks as they find - so long as they Turks will let themselves be spared.

The Stingers have been destroyed. Their power was too difficult to manage, and as machines they were too unsafe. For that reason, their parts, and the doors that enabled them to function, were cast from existence.

The party did not know that once they left the door to the stinger, it returned in time to its place of origin. But by then the tower was under seige, and the commander Nachnamen was able to keep it from being used again. The dwarves were less successful ... but that tower was eventually taken, the dwarves relieved and the Stinger's damage ceased.

Alexis said...

Jacqueline de Beauce's whereabouts, however, are unknown. She clearly holds a charm that enables her to escape detection. She is being sought for, however, and will certainly be found.

The dwarves intend to return to the Podolian Hills, in Poland, where they will transform their riches into land and local power. They promise Ahmet they will do their best to spare as many Turks as they find - so long as they Turks will let themselves be spared.

The Stingers have been destroyed. Their power was too difficult to manage, and as machines they were too unsafe. For that reason, their parts, and the doors that enabled them to function, were cast from existence.

The party did not know that once they left the door to the stinger, it returned in time to its place of origin. But by then the tower was under seige, and the commander Nachnamen was able to keep it from being used again. The dwarves were less successful ... but that tower was eventually taken, the dwarves relieved and the Stinger's damage ceased.

Lukas said...

Lukas will play humble, "All present did their share. I would not have been able to do mine without the stout army of dwarves at my side and my slightly taller companions."

However, Lukas does accept. I mean, how can one not attend an invitation to a palace?

Ahmet said...

How was the archbishop killed?

Alexis said...

Hornung was not there; the Archbishop had extended his power through the use of an artifact that enabled him to raise and control so many undead; when found, he was near the end of his life force. The artifact was taken from him, and the Archbishop simply expired. It was on the 13th of September when he, and all his forces, were finally put at an end.

Lukas said...

Lukas gives a slightly doubtful look at the explanation of the death, but says nothing more than, "Artifacts make the whole thing suspicious, who knows what that kind of power is capable of."

Alexis said...

"Relic and antiquities exist in every corner of the world, my friend," answers Hornung. "Some are good, and some are evil; there were icons we carried in battle that served our side well - we must sometimes rely upon greater forces than ourselves."

Lukas said...

Lukas shakes his head, "No, that is not it at all. How do we know that all his artifact did was control and create lesser undead? Perhaps there will be future repercussions we have yet to experience. I leave you to your area of expertise of coarse, but still... Forgive me if I have a few restless nights over the affair."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet grunts, unsatisfied.

"A pity I wasn't there to help him... expire," he mutters.

Lukas said...

(OOC: Interesting thought, if that door we went into had him there, and we killed him (aka shoved him over roughly) we'd only get a handful of XP for a high level opponent because it would be very low damage we'd have to deal. Of coarse that would not include looting all the pretties he likely would have on his person. Well, we can rest uneasily knowing we made the best choice we could at the time.)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet inquiries as to the fate of the white dragon, and the dwarf and his minks.

Ahmet said...

Also -- have we earned the "Well Traveled" card? I keep hoping to get that one!

Andrej said...

Andrej is pleased with the news regarding Emmanuel and makes ths known. Andrej offers the rabbit coat with a sly wink, "Had I known I would have brought you two of them, Emmeanuel."

He then goes about greeting Serafina and the dwarves and I suppose eventually making our way to the Ducal Palace.

This meeting was fortuitous as it possibly saves us a trip southwest, though I believe south is still our destination. We have much to plan regarding our immediate future.

Alexis said...

The ice cave was discovered and proved a mystery until the dwarves cleared it up; there's no knowledge of what became of the white dragon.

Falfysson was caught attempting to escape from the castle, his minks killed, and he is now in prison. He has committed more crimes than merely being the henchman of the Archbishop - he is known in Paderborn, where he desecrated a church in the later days of the Great War.

Alexis said...

All party members will add a Hardened Adventurer card to their total.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Lukas, I certainly would have been satisfied with 10 XP for shoving and then the XP for the bishop's pretties. As it stood, though, I think you're right. We probably made the right call. Also consider, even if he was feeble and near death, he must have had guardians and traps... he also may not have been in his apartments at all.)

Andrej said...

"Hmm... had I known about Falfysson I would not have been so eager to parley. Thank God the animal was captured."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet grunts. He had respect for the tough Dwarf. But not enough to say anything in Falfysson's defense.

Alexis said...

The next post is up.