Because we met in Brash Bob’s Bed & Breakfast, we have decided to call ourselves the ‘Brash Young Fools’. At 74 I am a Fullbeard but that doesn’t mean I am not still young :-) . While getting closer to Stromdorf we are thinking about changing our name to ‘Soaked Young Fools’: I’ve heard of the climate in this region but this is really ridiculous. Even darker clouds are gathering up ahead so we try to move as quickly as possible to get there before all hell breaks loose.
Being in a hurry has put our guard down. A huge boar crosses our path. We must have taken it by surprise and scared it, because normally boars only fight when they are cornered. Lucky for us, I manage to scare it into leaving us alone. That would have been a cool story: being skewered by a boar on your first adventure. Stuff of legends, straight out of the chronicles of Got, indeed!
Next our progress gets halted by a foaming river. Not surprising the river is this swollen with all the rain in the area. Fortunately there’s a wooden bridge about half a mile upstream. It looks solid, but the water is so high it touches the timber. With Belros and me safely on the other side, the bridge collapses when Max and Felix give it a try. Both are swept away. Stromdorf lies downstream so this only helps :-). Still some scary moments as it turns out Max can’t swim. He’s lucky to be caught in the nets of the local miller. When Belros and I arrive at the mill, miller Friedrich Ulfson and Max are exchanging stories about the perils each has been through in their lives. This Friedrich turns out to be an allround great guy: ale & eels, soft beds and a hearthy breakfast, all in exchange for listening to his stories from when he lived in Norsca, about using that great weapon hanging on the wall just above the door. We weren’t complaining! Mustn’t forget to go back and thank him one day.
First things first so we asked people in the streets for what would be a descent place to stay. They all said it had to be the Thunderwater Inn, where we rented a room for three (+dog). The owner is called Sebastian Brenner. He’s got two sons, Friedrich & Hans (20&18yo), who both help him during peak hours. The boys don’t seem to have a mother, but I am afraid to ask about that this soon. Son Hans pranked me when I ordered a Marshwater beer. He told me that they use Reik eels to give the beer its specific taste. Then he gave me the beer and when I took a big gulp I ended up spitting out a tadpole: I almost threw up!
Whole incident gave me an excellent excuse to try their Thunderwater Ale. The price is quite steep but the taste is divine! I only had a couple, but if I’d had the money I wouldn’t have ended the night standing up straight: never knew humans were such great brewers.
Mingling we met some nice folks and one of the locals told a story about a certain coalmerchant called Florian Wexler gone missing. He seems to have disappeared without a trace. Coal cart and all. Local guild seems to be sadder about Florian’s signet ring gone missing. Okay, it gives the bearer the right to free food and lodging throughout the Empire, but surely someone must be sad about the prospect of the guy no longer being alive?
With no pressing other matters we took it upon us to give finding Florian a go. During our first days in Stromdorf we had become acquainted with Franz Bieber, the local Ranger, Eduardo Rodriquez, an imperial noble kind of guy with a taste for the alcoholic beverage, and the local Priest of Sigmar called Magnus Gottschalk. We heard a rumor that Wexler came in with a white pony and a local farmer named Rainer Holtz had been seen leaving town with a white pony.
With this being our only lead, we decided to visit the Holtz’ farm. So that’s where Franz, Eduardo, Magnus and the three of us went. And of course we took Felix with us……