[WFRP 2e] Morrslieb's Shadow GM/Player Interludes



Characters
Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Vampire Hunter
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer/Boat Captain
Durak Braksson - Dwarf
Tegort - Ogre bodyguard
Abelhardt Mullberger - Journeyman Apprentice
Mordrin Skorkinson, Giant Slayer.
Fickuld - Young Camp Follower

Maximillian was deep in thought over the violence and chaos of Grimdold Und, yet hiding his feelings by tending the Brettonian captives. This chaos, this evil in the land was huge, while the halfling was...not. How long could he stare evil in the face? How long could he hide behind an ogre who seemed determined to get himself killed? (Not to mention how long could he feed the ogre, who ate even more than the halfling?) He had barely managed to intervene between the ogre and the suicidal dwarf more than once on the trip to Suderberg.
Was there a place for Maximillian in the world outside the Moot? Was there a way to fight chaos without the promise of an early grave? Did they leave behind a wyrdstone any less evil than the orb they sought to destroy? What could bolster his shaken determination?

Maximillian tried and tried to get Mordrin as his bodyguard, since the dwarf ate less and, amazingly, seems tougher to kill than the ogre. Alas, the dwarf would have no part of it. Once the party reached a town, Maximillian realized that it may cost as much to buy the dwarf drinks as it did to buy the ogre food.

***

Ludovic was less serious. He spent the trip back trying to talk to the peasants and thinking about how to profit from the giant ball of Wyrdstone. As usual he tried to the keep the peace between the different party members. The big difference seen in his behavior was he had been spotted several times muttering to himself and writing things down in the margins of a book he took from the library.

***

Udrin's thoughts were more cerebral and took a long vision. The wonders of the Old World, that had drawn him from seclusion in the Elven Quarter of Altdorf no longer held such a fascination for him. He had touched now both Dhar and Qhaysh and gained insight, though not mastery over both. Dhar while seductive, was ultimately at conflict with his very essence, and he sought to purify himself in the light of Hysh and the understanding of Qhaysh. There was only one place he could master all eight winds, and so his thoughts were about seeking passage to Ulthuan's heart, to the Tower of Hoeth in Saphery.

Udrin was also somewhat irritated that Mordrin didn't have the courtesy to die in his mad leap to doom. 

***

Relatively young by the standards of his people, and raised predominantly in human lands, Durak was in awe of Mordrin. Slayers were something talked about, but he had never seen one before with his own eyes. Durak spent the time back asking Mordrin for tales of his exploits and shared with Mordrin details of his own quest. 

Suderberg

The late morning markets of Suderberg were open. The last three days of travel had been quiet, but for the grumbling of Mordrin to Udrin and to anyone that would listen: vows are not broken because one side thinks another is dead if that death did not occur or was not verified. This was usually said when Mordrin knew Udrin was listening.

Markets were still busy and what called itself the guard wearily watched the party on approach. The townfolk assessed no threat worse than Archaon in the north and began a weak hustle on new customers. Maximillian tossed a few pennies at a tanner for thin pig stomachs and filled them with water from the horse troughs near the blacksmith.

Behind, the remaining three Bretonnian wretches shuffled on the trail out of the Howling Hills. Dehydrated, starving, and wearing threadbare burlap, Maximillian's charity was the only thing that the townfolk could use to relax a building worry that the undead followed them out of the hills.

Durak, Udrin, and Mullberger secured entry into Suderberg. The imposing Udrin and otherwise rich dress (and a good amount of papers stating collegiate authority by Mullberger) allowed Udrin's shadow steed entrance into Suderberg proper. Ludovic stopped at a pigeon fancier to observe the pigeons asking questions about keeping and travelling with pigeons. The conversation was most engrossing as birds, cages and seed was shown to Ludovic.

***

"Where's Oswin the boatman? Dock hand to the Bianca?"

"Oswin the drunk? In the bar of course. Telling tales of ratmen and dark elves. We've dragged him back to that barge a few times."

Oswin was found in the bar, merrily drunk and more merry on seeing Ludovic. He introduced him to a man: "This is Henri. Fickuld's father. You returned with Fickuld? Where is that scamp?!"

Oswin finished his ale in a single gulp as Mullberger recounted the fate of Fickuld the boy. Oswin fell drunkenly into a chair like a sack of potatoes, and as silent.

The mood of the bar grew darker as the father began sobbing openly against Mullberger's dusty and blood stained cloak, stained with Fickuld's blood.

***

The Bianca was no worse for wear and some care had been given, but at some point it appeared to have stopped.

The tasks of loading the Bianca for Altdorf were done quietly with purpose. Maximilian said he pointed the Bretonnian wretches at the lone Shallyan in town. What happened after that, he could not say.

Only Oswin seemed more animated, occasionally jumping at an order from Ludovic, Or an order from Udrin to move a rope, barrel, bucket, or carry books to his berth.

***

The week long journey to Altdorf began with the sounds of a sobering Oswin vomiting over the starboard rail.

***

Abelhardt, often just "Mullberger" to most, had spent days and nights on the bow of the Bianca. He was quiet, but open when approached.

Udrin had spotted the Azyr wind swilling around Abelhardt as he knelt or stood at the bow. His ingenuity in the tailwinds impressed Udrin. When casting spells, Abelhardt drew an arcane circle of salts from a stock of salts and lard. The circle pained almost every one else in some way: Oswin found cleaning the deck mostly a process of smearing the sticky lard or using water boiled by Maximillian. Maximillian collected lard, heated the water to clean the deck, or watched the salt stores diminish. Ludovic worried that the salt and constant circles burnt a mark of magic on the deck that could not be easily repaired or drew unwanted attention from curious eyes and harbor inspectors. Durak, Mordrin, and Tegort grumbled that the food was blander.

Abelhardt said it was necessary. He was looking for omens. signs, and dangers. He was protecting them all by seeing the day and night ahead.

Travel from Eldagsen ended at the charred ruins of Delb's Ferry. In the fortnight since encountering the Druchii in the courtyard of the river tavern, unknown scavengers had peeled the deck boards from the pier. The heavy doors and sections of the heavy timber palisades had been removed exposing the ruined tavern on the inside.

Abelhardt insisted that his spells had shown him safety at the ruins and that he must seek an omen on land for insight into what happened to his master and the party's patron, Sir Eiche. After some debate about "if thieves and scavengers are stealing from the very ruins, how is this place safer than anchoring midstream?" Abelhardt insisted his visions were true, and after considering the uneventful days, all relented--if Udrin expressed doubts about the logic--giving way to tying up to a pier support.

Lacking planking, the pier could be carefully navigated on the thick framing (mostly intact) if the risk of falling into water was accepted. Albrecht, finding courage in looking for the omen, slowly walked the framing to wander the ruins in the twilight of the day. Mordrin followed, along with Tegort, opting to just jump off the Bianca and wade to shore.

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