17 Angestag to 19 Wellentag Nachexen
Kadfina, while working at the smithy on the corner of Klein lane and Ebresche street, was approached by the local Smith Clan leader Burlun Nortokson (also known as Burlun Ironbender). He advised Kadfina that he wished to meet with her the following evening, and gave her instructions to his house. He told her that Rorgni had told him that she was in need of funds, and he had a job that would be very rewarding. As he left, he wished Kadfina would have many strong children. Rorgni advised Kadfina to be very careful around Burlun.
Detlef was training with one of Lord Frederick’s guards, Theophil, who told him that he was thinking about joining the Altdorfian army. He continued to say that he sat out the great war last summer, and regretted it. Mostly, though he was concerned about how he and others saw him – he was no coward. In between training repetition, he asked Detlef whether he would also sign up at the same time.
When Detlef, Andred and Kadfina returned, Gard set out into the city to sample the tastes of the spring festival. He found himself being caught up in the flow of the city, before finally arriving at a large park, where a throne sat on a raised stage. A middle ranked Sigmarite priest climbed onto the stage and sat on the throne, before a man, dressed as a white wolf, clambered onto the stage howling at the sky. From the side, an Archer appeared, firing arrows into the stage near the wolf, finally frightening the wolf away. As Gard left the area, a man sidled up to him and passed him a warm, greasy pamphlet entitled ‘We Know the Truth’.
Late that night, Andred was awoken by a noise down in the trophy room. Already armed and armoured, he made his way down the stairs. His vision clouded by a red mist, and with the beginnings of a headache, he made his way swiftly to the trophy room. Gard, who should have been on guard, was not there. Instead a thin, red skinned goblin pranced around in the room. The Goblin rushed Andred, and he knocked it aside. Seeing the safe was open, he moved towards it, to see if the Dagger was safe. However he couldn’t open the door any further, no matter how much he tried. Then the Goblin came back and put his hands around Andred’s throat, and they tussled, until they fell to the floor. Andred saw Gard’s lifeless body, before the Goblin slammed his head into the thickly carpeted floor.
Gard watched Andred approach. Andred didn’t respond to Gard’s hail. Indeed, every time he spoke, Andred reacted violently, as though fighting a foe that didn’t exist. Andred made his way to the safe, which was locked tight, and tried to open it. Not having the key, he was not successful. Gard tried to physically wake Andred, but Andred reacted violently, and kept on saying the same words over and over again “[inaudible] will come to us.” The two wrestled, until Gard managed to slam Andred’s head on the floor.
Andred returned to consciousness, unsure about what had happened. He gingerly went back to his bed, where he slept fitfully.
The next morning, the heroes discovered that Kadfina had also had a troubling dream, but that she had ignored it. In her dream, a tall grey man had been beckoning to her from the edge of her room (but somehow it wasn’t her room). However she ignored the man, and had no further dreams.
Kadfina and Andred remembered how the Brass Skull had taken over the thoughts of those that were near it. Guessing that they were somehow stained by their efforts in Middenheim, they determined that they needed to get rid of the Dagger right now. They agreed to try and meet with Gabrielle Marnser one last time, and if she was unable to help, they would return the dagger to the Light College.
This time they were in luck. Magister Marnser was shocked to hear they actually had a chaos artefact, and confessed that she had been lying to them all this time. She knew of a ritual, which would put her at some risk, that could destroy the artefact. She told them that it needed to begin at dawn, and that it would last for a full day. When the heroes asked whether it would be a good idea to bring support, such as additional wizards, she warned them that anyone with magical ability coming within 300 yards of the ritual would put it at risk, and anyone getting too close to her ran the same risk. With potentially catastrophic results.
With that in mind she told them to meet her outside the college an hour before the following dawn. She said she would cast the ritual in the Altdorf graveyard, where the amethyst wind was strong. The heroes’ role would be purely to make sure nobody came too close to her. She also warned them that they couldn’t tell anyone about the ritual. She did not wish to be used by the Light College to destroy their stores of chaos accursed weapons, because of the toll it would take on her.
Kadfina in particular was concerned that this might be a trap. That the absence of any support might just be Gabrielle’s way of getting her hands on the Dagger, with no-one around to stop her. The heroes discussed ways of addressing this, but finally determined that this was their best chance, and that they might just have to trust her.
Later that evening Kadfina then went to meet with Burlun Ironbender. She found him talking to two other dwarves, Eldagan Faragnison, and his son Farari. Burlun asked for Kadfina’s patience while he finalised some business with Eldagan. Kadfina was left to make small talk with Farari. Farari appeared unwell. His left foot was missing, he was having difficulty holding himself up on his crutches, and he was pale and sweating.
When Burlun returned, and the two other dwarves departed, he took Kadfina into his study. From there he poured Kadfina a frosted tankard of Bugman’s XXXX. One of the finest, and most potent, dwarven ales ever made. He then proceeded to tell her a story while he stacked gold coins on his desk. A story of how Eldagan’s father has performed a great favour for Burlun’s grandfather. Such a favour, that a debt had been passed to Burlun’s father and now Burlun himself. And now Burlun was being asked to pay off that debt.
He told Kadfina, as over 600 Gold Crowns were placed on the desk, that Farari was Eldagan’s only child, and that Farari had less than a year to live. In order to continue Eldagan’s line, Eldagan needed a grandson or granddaughter, and he had sought Burlun’s assistance. With 1,000 Gold Crowns now on the desk, Burlun told Kadfina that he had organised a girl from Ubersreik, but the girl had fled when she realised what was being asked of her.
Burlun apologised for his rude request, and then pulled two pages out from his desk – promissory notes. He told Kadfina that if she married Farari, in addition to any wealth provided by Farari’s family, she would gain these 1,000 Gold Crowns, and that if she successfully fell pregnant and gave birth to a girl child, she would gain access to a further 2,000 Gold Crowns, being held by the Hummel Merchant company.
Kadfina advised she would consider the matter as she had more pressing matters to be resolved first.
The heroes slept poorly that night. Andred dreaming of being held down by hundreds of squirming red skinned humanoids as a (single tailed) comet burned slowly in a red sky.