The Bawdy Countess II (how about the Two Bawdy Countesses?) sailed into port near Talabheim. Word on the street spoke of border skirmishes ahead. A storm gathered in the air and amongst the people. We bought some raincoats. Also, the rain is bad for armor. That has become a chore.
Further upriver, we found a mutant adolescent tied to a tree. Gottlieb hunted his abuser. I cut the young mutant’s bonds. The lines between good and chaos grow dim with this group. However, when Gottlieb speaks, we listen. Same with Larry. I’m not sure I could defend myself against either one, should they lash out…even with this fancy armor and sword.
The young mutant was left to fend for himself. Even further upriver we found a family defecting from the north. The father claimed to be a blacksmith, which is a skill our group lacks. The entire family was hired on: Mathias Ackermund, his wife, and his 3 daughters. One was ill, but quickly recovered in our dry quarters.
In Wurzen, Larry hired even more mercenaries. If Kislev wanted a fighting squad, they were going to get one. We also stocked up on warm clothes.
Also in Wurzen the ship Cat O’Nine Tails found us and claimed to be our hired escort from Talabheim. The captain was livid that we had our own ship and sailed without him. He was not willing to resort to violence, though, so we ignored his self-importance.
From Wurzen, we sailed north, in line with the sight-seeing ship The Emperor Lutipold. We showed and Ostland flag to port and a Talabheim flag to starboard, so as not to get involved in the local border skirmishes. We met up with some Ostland raiders heading south in Talabheim, but they stayed on land. Their crude gestures toward us did us no harm.
We arrived in Kislev well equipped for either rain or snow. It took us a day to get an audience with the Tsar. We spent our time wisely, making friends at a quaint inn. Larry and I can both remember how to hobnob with the locals and make contacts when we need to.
A group of White Wolf knights escorted us to the Tsar. Tsar Radii Bokha seemed less than impressed to see us. He immediately dispatched us away from the city of Kislev, east to Voltsara. We were to report to the Steward Ivan for a very important duty. The Bawdy Countess II had to remain in Kislev, with our mounts, battle wagon, and mercenaries.