[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps Interlude 15.5

Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Protagonist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Mercenary
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Engineer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Barber Surgeon

(Previous notes)

The crowd at Katerina's Rest lingered. Small groups huddled.

The name Russmann was mentioned and heard at tables, in the latrine, at the bar. The Reverend Brother Neidhart Russmann. Footsore. Lean, broadshouldered, bald, and "called."

But then what was he saying: evil out of the west? All these firebrands said they saw the influence of the ruinous powers on the winds. Possessed, only the possessed "see things." Or he's right: Padua is lost to Chaos influence. The Robber King to the North was actually slaughtering greenskins.

Maybe the Princeps and his Master of the Horse have been too tolerant. Tolerant of that Cunning Man on the river. Tolerant of the heathen in the East. Tolerant of that rich Arabyan always holed up in his warehouse, charging for the use of the only working crane on the cliff! Tolerant of the merchant thieves of Ranald!

Liquid courage was poured more. Baptista and his family tried to keep up with the orders. The bar had become an impromptu after Throng meeting and the talk was becoming alarming to each of the party members.

Cosetta caught Johann's eyes as she poured another rye for three men at the bar. Concern on her face.

Vaervenshyael heard the whispers of the distaste for Ranald and made sure the Ranald talisman was tucked deeper into her pocket. She then caught the eyes of Wilhelm, trying to convey worry that the Princeps may be in danger from a firebrand Sigmarite. Tankred considered for a moment: this priest could raise a mob for fighting any conjured up evil.

The bar suddenly went quiet.

The Reverend Brother Russmann entered and surveyed the room with a stare that seemed to look beyond the faces that looked back at him. They lingered on Vaervenshyael: was it the elf or something else... the talisman? The lingered on the floor and stopped on the bar.

"Good Day all!" a smile seemed to crawl up his cheeks as his eyes brightened. "Good crowd! Perfect for me to make new friends! Please don't stop talking, but let me just ask that all of you make prayers for the Most Reverend Wurfel. He is ill. My arrival is blessed indeed! I'll have the Shallyan's tend to him, but your prayers to Sigmar are asked! I also ask that if any of you have male children of 10 or 12 winters, the temple is sorely in need of acolytes. Long neglected have Throngs been and so too have the quarters available for acolytes. Acolytes can also enter the catechisms for Novitiate training!"

The priest paused.

"But continue in your conversations! I'm off to seek audience with my new host the Princeps. I'll be asking for a proper militia to be mustered. Do come to Throng next Festag! Together with Sigmar's Blessing we will make Padua strong again!"

"Father, allow me to accompany you." Tankred stood and walked towards the priest. 

Vaervenshyael whispered aside to Wilhelm: "I do not trust this man."

Johann asked Cosette, "The priest is ill? When did this happen? Perhaps I could examine him myself. I do want to become more familiar with the illnesses of this land anyway. Perhaps this is a good chance to do so..."

Russmann noted Tankred's approach and whispered something to himself.

"Greetings warrior, you are the Silver Bear are you not?" Russman turned to leave the bar. "Your reputation proceeds you. Join me as you desire as it will afford me to talk to a veteran certainly touched by the hand Sigmar." Russman assessed his robes and the light warhammer at his side as he strode to the middle of the main thoroughfare to look north to the manor on the hill.

"Shall we find audience with the Princeps? My understanding is he is served by a Sigmar templar."

Cosetta poured Johann a short glass of rye. "Don't be a fool and seek to heal a dead man. This firebrand is looking to where the winds lead him. He'll see the faint traces of the black winds left by the beastman on you, me, and this tavern. He'll only need a reason then to burn us all at the stake then."

Cosetta took the rye she poured for Johann and drank it in a single gulp, to hoots of several at the bar..

Johann looked worried. "A dead man? Dead already, or dead soon? You seem quite sure that he is gone already, but why?"

Johann looked back at Russman and Tankred, speaking to one another, and whispered, "And do you think he can truly see the winds of magic? That would be... incredible. I should like such a power myself. It would be fascinating to see such things."

Tankred answered Russmann: "I am indeed the Silver Bear, and my men the Silver Sleuth. I serve as weaponsmith, blacksmith, and as needs lead my pack against Padua's foes outside its gates. The town has a small militia, who maintain order within the walls, while we range beyond them. As to the Templar. I believe you mean the Undead Hunter Maximillian. He is the Master if the Horse here abouts."

Something seemed cross Russman's brow as he parsed Tankred's words.

"You bear witness to this "Master of the Horse" as a false claimant as Templar for Sigmar? That is not a light accusation warrior. My journey here from Barak Varr was made a little more enjoyable by tales of the Princeps and his "pious" Halfling grinding greenskin slaves to dust in the task of porting a pink barge to the Avon across these heathen and corrupted lands."

A smile lingered for a moment. Then a chuckle. "I don't think I would believe a single story if I didn't see the pink barge at dock!" Russmann's demeanor turned serious again and away from the halfling.

"Tell me what you know of the heathen in the East. No, wait. Tell me in front of the Princeps and tell him how you will help me muster, train, and equip warriors! Then I can also learn as to why you have yet to lead the militia out burning the heathen's walls and cleanse the heathen's lands."

Russmann steppeda little shorter and gestured for Tankred to lead the way to the Manor.

Tankred clarified, "I bear no witness, father. I am a simple tradesman and warrior. If it is not steel or smiting, who am I to say? As for smiting? Me and mine have slain green skin, beast man, and heathen. But we are few in number and cannot strike out in force. For my part, my brother and I are seeing as best we are able to the arms and armor that they may be clad as men."

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