Strangers in town
Finding safe haven in ‘Wat's on the Wharf’ in Delberz, the PC's paid over the odds for their bed and board. Awakening the following morning they were easily able to book passage on the Ventura, a river barge leaving for Altdorf the following day. Fortunately for our heroes, they were able to gain this at a significant discount. Unfortunately for our heroes, this was gained by hiring out their services as guards, which was not good news for 3 PC's who were so badly wounded that they would have reason to fear attack by toddlers armed with butter knives.
All was not lost however: Delberz being a major town, the party had no difficulty in finding a temple of the goddess Shallya. There they met the priestess Ellinde, who was tolerably friendly without being terribly forthcoming. The PC's explained their needs, and were invited to join a service to Shallya that was just about to begin.
The party's bedraggled and bloodstained appearance- not to mention the strange sight of an elf in the company of 2 dwarfs- drew some strange looks from the assembled congregation. The congregation itself was divided into 2 groups, one of which looked as trailworn as the PC's themselves. Concluding that these must be refugees from the shanty town itself, the PC's decided to sit with them.
The service passed as these things do, and offering plates were presented to those present as they filed out. The PC's made their offerings. Then the priestess Ellinde approached them and took them aside. She asked them why Shallya should bless them of all people. On hearing an account of the PC's heroic adventures, the priestess decided to tend to their wounds, naming a price of 4gc each.
Ellinde began by cleaning and bandaging the PC's wounds. Then she laid hands on their wounds and invoked the healing powers of the goddess, with the aid of leeches which she attached to the wounded areas. First Alane then Berthold enjoyed the benefits of the goddess' intervention. When Ellinde came to Mordrin something seemed to go wrong. The young dwarf's wounds were healed sure enough, but Ellinde's air of tolerant neutrality changed to one of near outright hostility. She insisted on receiving another 1gc from each PC then told them to leave immediately.
A bit confused by this, the PC's did as they were told. Finding themselves out in the streets, they noticed that there were many small bands of militiamen visibly on patrol. Oh no, realised Siegfried- it's Aubentag [Levyday]. This realisation came too late though, as the party were called to a halt by a well-dressed gentleman accompanied by 6 halberdiers and a sergeant-at-arms.
The gentleman explained that, what with the pressure of refugees having swollen Delberz's population to twice its normal size, the town's coffers were under serious strain. This meant that, the party clearly being outsiders, they were to be levied the sum of 1gc each, a statement that did not go down well with the PC's. Siegfried in particular was outraged.
Siegfried's first ploy was to try to point out 'his' name in the tax collector's register of residents. The thief being illiterate however meant that this ploy relied for its success on the help of young Berthold. This assistance wasn't forthcoming. The tax collector decided to take this in good humour, and insisted on payment all the same. Siegfried next tried dropping the name of Captain Schutzmann from Middenheim. Unimpressed, the tax collector retorted with a remark about Graf Todbringer, the Lord of Delberz, his own master and Captain Schutzmann's own noble overlord.
By this time the sergeant at arms accompanying the tax collector was quietly deploying his men in case of serious trouble, and Berthold at least was growing ever more nervous at the prospect of yet more pointless violence. Recognising this, Seigfreid finally paid up, albeit with poor grace and as many small denominations as he could find in his purse.
Watching the locals in the streets give them a wide berth as they headed back for a quiet night at Wat's on the Wharf, the party resolved to ensure that they never spent another Aubentag in a town, preferring to risk mutants and monsters than face another overzealous taxman.
From Delberz to Altdorf
- #2 Turning the tables
- Index:- My little Old World: Ashes of Middenheim