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The Enemy Within: Death on the Reik (S2E7)

(originally posted 25 Nov 2018)

The Devil May Care was my keep for the several days spent in Kemperbad. Wealthy town, curiously situated high up on a cliff. Goods and gentlefolk were transported up towards it by using a system of lifts and winches. Very peculiar sight, seeing all those people ascend with their cargo up a cliff in very short time. I guess that's just the way the Empire is evolving, can't say it's a bad thing. More of that sort of thing and less of those mutant protection laws and we'd be on the road to creating Sigmar's heavenly realm on our humble earth. Well, it wouldn't get rid of the wasteland up north but that'll probably take an actual divine intervention, if what I've heard of it is true.

The journey to the town and Kemperbad itself made me feel drowsy and I will admit I'm still not fully with the flow of things. Can't even recall the date at this point. I'm not drawing up that old sailor's trick of the trade, "the air's making me queasy", to cover up a large drinking binge. I had not made avail of our cargo or any other alcohol for a good while. A couple of less-than-wholesome looking fellows milling about the docks gave me that expression like I've just gifted their world with some foul flatulence. Besides that, my stay was uneventful. Heard that some kind of Imperial Plenippopotamus showed up trying to sort out the taxes. We're no tax men and ladies so I don't see why we should interfere right now. Our trusty doctor learned the fine art of medicine and he's now a fully qualified physician. Renate made a damn good profit on the wine. Wanda seemed to speak less of sexy strangling. Werner mysteriously lost a lock of hair (I suspected witchery, myself) and procured and donned some fancy metal pants. All in all, things seemed to be looking optimistic for our crew. Oh, and we have a new crew member. Man named Wolfgang. Wanda was delighted and formed a, eh, "Team W". I appreciate the enthusiasm for the crew, I suppose.

So we sailed south towards Grissenwold, and I seriously hoped that Etelka Herzen didn't get wind of us and piss off. If I have to say one nice thing about cults, it's that they can get vital information across to others very, very quickly. Met another vessel along the way. It was captained by a man named Samuel who was very interested in getting his cargo to a man in Grissenwold. He was willing to pay us up front to deliver it safely, since we were on the way. We took the money and the single crate from his hold. We had a look inside after he left.
It was Brettonian wine, illegal contraband! I initially thought it was unholy Chaos trinkets, so I was actually much happier with this alternative. I let Werner protect and hide it. My good friend would delve into the lair of any number of trolls or wyrms for drink that fine. The river patrols didn't think to check our ship too thoroughly, thank our Lord Heldenhammer. During the night, a heavy storm brought some nearby trees crashing down into the river. Big trees, but slow moving towards our ship. All it would take is a little maneuvering...

I heard a crash. It wasn't lightning. Two logs hit starboard, one port, close to the aft. I finally got to use that new alarm bell we bought. Rang that thing like the the apocalypse had finally come and I was its soaking, sneezing herald.

"FOR THE LOVE OF SIGMAR, WAKE UP!" I heroically hollered.

Werner was immediately on duty and he plugged any leaks in the ship he could find. The ship is truly blessed by both Sigmar's divine protection and a very good crew. In the morning, we made it to Grissenwold. Not as flashy as Kemperbad in terms of an immediate impression. It was triangular town, situated beside both the River Grissen and the River Reik. Curiously, maps keep calling it the Riek. Anyway, there was a ferry to the north and on the southern outskirts a dwarf shanty town. We delivered the wine to the correct address with thankfully very little fuss. The other option was delivering it to the harbormaster but we didn't fancy going to prison. We asked around town about the Black Peaks, an area Wanda learned was associated with Herzen. We learned in the Mountain Path tavern that the Black Peaks was actually a former dwarf mine bought by that accursed Chaos witch herself, Lady Herzen. She bought it three years ago and the dwarfs were not one bit happy about it. Three dwarfs stomped in, right on cue, miserable and drunk. They brandished their clubs and knives and started talking nonsense and threats towards our doctor. They wouldn't accept drinks or, more alarmingly, the gold crowns I swiftly drew from my bag. Eventually Werner calmed them down briefly.

Briefly. Gigli, Bigli and Wrigli (okay, I made the last two up) took their weapons in hand and started spewing shit towards Harbull again. I had grown weary of this and flashed my sword, despite Werner's protests. I hoped the notches and marks on the blade would give them pause. They took it as an invitation to fight us. Bollocks. The fight was swift and brutal. I drew a gash into one dwarf's left arm, while Werner decimated one and flung and completely broke the other. It was a scene of utter horror for the tavern patrons and the local watch alike. We told them what happened and they warned us to watch ourselves but did concede that we only acted in self-defense. We were told to get out of town as soon as possible. Conveniently, that was exactly our plan.

We bought a pack horse, forty torches, the sort of things we would need for the mines. We very deliberately avoided approaching the dwarf settlement and made our way into the forest. After about five minutes or so of travelling, we came across a dying dwarf by a tree surrounded by four dead goblins. He had been shot with three arrows yet still had the strength to tell us that goblins had infested the mine. We debated whether we should put him our of his misery or not, Harbull had taken a rather reasonable disliking to the dwarfs, but in the end it was decided that saving his life and sending him back to the shanty town was the most humane thing to do.

I've got fifteen arrows. I hope to use them all soon on those blasted goblins!

- Johann Dasbuut.

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