Lady Samantha’s manservant offered her hospitality for the night, an offer we accepted. After a lovely warm bath (I’d like to replicate their system at home) and a meal that was less lovely we spent the evening in the parlor talking and playing games. The weather had turned foul by the time we retired for the night the storms disturbed my rest once or twice but still I managed enough hours be presentable in the morning.
After yet another depressingly hearty breakfast we set out to encounter the locals which was also depressing. The beggar children were out in force and wouldn’t relent until Wolfie distributed coins to the beasts. We did meet with a man who had great manners despite not being a gentleman. After Wolfie introduced himself he passed on the man’s name as Odell Herrikson and while I did not understand a word the man said, his smile included a bit of a twinkle whenever he looked my way. Wolfie definitely perked up at some point in their conversation but since I had no idea on which topic they spoke, I continued to look over the village. My original thought was that it is impossible to believe people choose to live this way, but upon further investigation, and a brief shopping spree, in which I got loads of lovely food stuffs.
I returned to my companions who had apparently continued their conversation in the town square where I discovered their future plans involved questioning a man being held in the stockades. Having no interest to go there I chose instead to extended my shopping spree. Questioning the local boys resulted in the discovery of a local butcher’s shop and I headed off to lay in some gifts and supplies for my stay in Eisen. Along the way I made the acquaintance of a man named Hendrick Brandt, who while Eisen by birth was fluent with the more gracious Montaigne language and manners which made him charming company. He escorted me to the butcher’s shop and made a gift of my purchases. He followed this up with an invitation to supper at the Mayor’s house where he said he was staying. Not knowing the plans of my companions I could not fully accept but I promised to send a message accepting or declining by the hour of six. I hoped we could accept because while the chambers and rooms at the castle were lovely I was not looking forward to another meal there.
I tried to send some of my purchases as hospitality gifts back to the Lady Samantha but the superstitious nature of the locals made this well nigh impossible. I had to instead take a taxi round trip. The butler was appreciative but also requested I get some fish. Smelly, older fish. I have to assume this is either a personal preference or a local delicacy. I’m not tempted.
Upon our return to the town square I discovered my brother and Wolfie had once again found trouble. I leapt out of the taxi carriage and rushed to their side. While not understanding the words they were shouting I was certain the fellow in front of me appeared to be a non-combatant as he turned his back to Alexis and I. I did understand that the two figures nearest Wolfie were attacking him and one seemed to be changing into a wolf before our very eyes. I took several swipes at him but took some claws in return. One fell to our feet but the other used incredible strength and leaped to the nearest rooftop. Wolfie shot at him but Alexis scrambled up Wolfie to reach the villain and while the two wrestled I sunk my knife into him with a lucky throw. Wolfie climbed up then shot it in the head then things settled down again. The non-combatant introduced himself as Wolfie’s brother and then the local guard showed up.
Wolfie’s brother seemed nice enough and thank heavens he speaks a civil language. The conversation rapidly devolved to more Eisen then some long meandering narration that while spoken in Vodacce was still unintelligible. I tried to follow for a bit but then lost interest so I returned to find the boys with the cart and my goods. I sent a message (via the boy that rode with me to the castle) to Herr Brandt accepting his dinner invitation. I tipped the boy exceptionally well but bade him not make up stories embellishing our visit to the castle. I took a selection of the foodstuffs and created a picnic since the conversation was still prattling on. Some discussion was had whether or not our dinner invitation was a trap and it was decided Alexis would attempt to discover the truth of this matter.
Alexis’s scouting mission proved no trap was at hand but apparently the brothers deemed this insufficient information and came up with a plan to investigate the Mayor’s House using some ring which should provide us passage on the grounds. We were met on the grounds and escorted to meet the Mayor’s wife. Lady Weisenburg was gracious considering the circumstances. Herr Brandt filled me in and it seems the Lady’s husband has been taken into the custody of the local prince’s men and charged with theft and treason. Should he be deemed guilty, his only hope is to have someone champion him in trial by combat as the Mayor himself has no skill with weapons.
A distant uncle of mine (Pierre Anjou du Martisse) made an appearance and the mood in the room became increasing uncomfortable and thankfully we went into supper. Sadly much of the conversation proceeded in Eisen which I didn’t understand so this was promising to be an unfriendly, long evening with no entertainment in sight. Thankfully after some Eisen exchange between my Uncle and Wolfie, Alexis leaned over and interpreted that Wolfie had just volunteered to champion the Mayor and fight my Uncle in the duel. My Uncle asked me to second him but I refused claiming a prior allegiance and debt to Wolfie. I offered my hand as second to Wolfie, giving him a chance at first refusal. I feared for a moment that he might refuse and then I would have no way but to live by family allegiance no matter how distasteful. But I need not have worried as Wolfie accepted my offer readily.
Wolfie continued to growl out Eisen words, negotiating terms or some such, I know not, but suddenly a party of the guards showed up and attacked us while we dined. Alexis, Wolfie and I made quick work of the guards and while Uncle insulted Alexis he tried to run off proving himself to be a coward. Upon Alexis’s suggestion that this was the case, Uncle tried to return but I blocked his path. Entering the house behind my Uncle was a female fighter I had heard stories about since entering this land. She’s known only as the Black Ghost and she is supposed to be unbeatable. I guess we’ll see. I demanded she stand down but perhaps she didn’t understand Montaigne. She said something to Alexis but he moved past to pursue our fleeing uncle. I stepped up and the fun began.
My speed proved to be a problem for her and when I landed three attacks she seemed startled. The problem with being so good you never get hit is that you don’t know what to do when you do get hit. Still she hadn’t touched me yet and I warned her again to stand down but she persisted. I tried a couple more times but she managed to avoid any additional blows until a strange device landed on the ground between us. Hans called out, “C’est rien.” so I trusted in it and instead of dodging aside, I followed her move and intimidated her where she landed. Hans secured her with some type of netting and it seemed we were done. Black Ghost my royal ass.
A translated exchange and my foe agreed to surrender. Honoring her word she patiently waited to see how this all resolved. I waited much less patiently. Escorting the Black Ghost to the table I resumed my interrupted dinner without the unpleasant company of my Uncle. Things were indeed tasty. And things rapidly devolved to a multi-lingual debate that of what to do next. It seems we must return some fancy armor to some guy who hired Uncle to be an asshole to the locals. I’m not entirely sure how this makes the town like Lady Samantha better but Wolfie insists we need to do this.