After spending a couple of days traveling downriver via barge, Tomke “Rot Hand” Gleemann, Vauter Krueb, and a new elven traveling companion Vaulauyl of House Rolomin, a poet and minstrel, have reached the rain-soaked burg of Stromdorf.
Standing upon the docks as they arrive is a curious young Reiklander wearing deep blue robes covered in celestial icons and bearing a staff topped with strange brass, steel, and copper components that rotate, realign, and shift with no apparent method of steampower.
Introducing himself as Erland Reikson, they enter the village and begin making their way to the Thunderwater Inn, the lodgings recommended by the dockgate watchman.
As the group makes its way across town, they notice that the largest structure, the Temple of Sigmar, is repeatedly struck by lightning that is dissipated by a strange brass contraption that runs from the very steeple and into the ground. Erland proposes that someone very clever has built this to bind the lightning to the earth and negate its destructive power. Perhaps it’s the other wizard said to be visiting Stromdorf…
Entering the temple, the group is struck by the bombast and fury of a sermon delivered by the Lector of the temple, Lector Magnus Gottschalk. Even though he looks to be past his prime, the Lector appears strong, straight-backed, and completely capable of effectively wielding the large double-headed warhammer worn on a thong at his waist. His voice is stirring and powerful, and it appears that while Vaulauyl is unmoved, Erland, Tomke, and Vauter are all stirred to a near religious fervor and are inspired to crush the enemies of the Empire, no matter where they are!
After the sermon, the travelers catch the eye of the Lector and he strides purposefully from the altar to stand before them.
“You’ve come as I had foreseen it! Praise Sigmar!” the Lector nearly bellows.
He quickly relates that in the past few weeks his dreams have been filled with flashes of insight. He has seen the children of Chaos, men with heads and hooves of wild beasts burning Stromdorf to the ashes, the dead clawing from the ground, and a great, ever-hungry maw surrounded by dancing green devils consuming screaming innocents. He has seen the town sunk beneath a fathomless lake, and he has see the travelers standing before him as well. In his dream the Empire’s greatest allies stood with a Reiklander with a shifting face whose great mind directed his mighty thews and kept them safe with a cloak woven of shadow and cunning. Now before him stands all of his vision save the Son of the Karak.
Upon receiving the Lector’s blessing, the group made its way to the Inn. While shaking off the wet, and enjoying a half-pint of the pungently strong Thunderwater Ale, the party shares the actions that brought them to this rain soaked southern town.
For Erland, it’s his mission to discover the source of a magical pulse of Azyr magic. That swept across the skies several weeks ago. Diviners and celestial magematics have placed the source somewhere in the southern reaches of Reikland. His investigation has led him this far, and he is excited that he may be close to the source of the pulse…
For Vaulauyl, his travels led him to Ubersreik, where a dwarf shared a mug of ale and a tale of ancient elven ruins south of the umgi village of Stromdorf. From the description, it sounds like the ruins of an elven temple from before the Sundering. Perhaps the ruins may hold some fragment of poem or story to share once he returns to the shores of Ulthuan…
For Tomke and Vauter, the motivation is purely financial. Hired by the Merchant’s Guild of Ubersreik, they have been tasked with finding a missing merchant, one Florian Weschler. The guild has confirmed that he arrived in Stromdorf and that his coal was sold on the last market day, but he has yet to return to Ubersreik. Finding the merchant would be ideal, but failing that the two are to recover his guild signet and return it to Ubersreik…
After some discussion and amusement, the group decides that investigating the disappearance of the merchant is the one place to begin, and the investigation begins. Asking around it is determined that while most folks in the Thunderwater Inn know who Florian is, he never stayed there. He usually found lodging at The Stewpot Hostelry, a small bed and breakfast run by Keila Cobblepot, and from a strange, drunk Estalian named Eduardo Castillo Rodrigues they learned that he did stay there for the last market day, but was never seen to leave, though Weschler’s bodyguards were seen leaving early the next day without him. One thing Rodrigo did remember was hearing the clatter of pony’s hooves and cart wheels on the cobblestones, though in truth he did not see anything as he was nearly blind drunk.
The party then traveled to The Stewpot Hostelry to see what further investigation could be found. Unfortunately, quick peek in the stable found it empty of a white pony and cart. Meeting with the proprietress, Keila Cobblepot, she shared that Weschler left much earlier than his bodyguards that day. He even had to wake her to do so, and she normally wakes up around half-four to begin making bread. As for pony and cart, Keila assumed that Weschler took them with him when he left.
Thinking that perhaps the pony may have been killed and rendered to hide the evidence the party left the Stewpot, and made their way under rain-filled evening skies to the Tannery. Leaving the rest of the party behind, Vauter quickly and cunningly crept into the tannery and conducted a cursory, but thorough, search. No white hides were apparent in the reeking vats of curing leather, nor was it to be found on any of the frames stretching the cured hides. It appears that the pony is to be found elsewhere.
The next stop was at the northern gate of Stromdorf. The watchman there was helpful and courteous, but could not tell the party whether or not Weschler had left town by that gate, but the party’s luck changed at the eastern gate of the city. The watchman on duty distinctly remembered that he was on duty at the west gate the day Weschler arrived. He didn’t really think about it, but the questions posed by the party made him recall that the day after the market, he remembers Reiner Holtz leaving the east gate with a particularly bedraggled white pony and a cart laden with tarp covered goods and several kegs of Thunderwater Ale.
Realizing that it’s too late in the evening to pursue Holtz into the wilderness beyond the city walls the party retires to the Thunderwater Inn for a dry bed for the night.