Smarting from skirmishes with greenskins and still journeying to Wittgendorf, the Defiant Scoundrels traveled as escorts to an old friend of Rorek’s. He was a strigany named Tobar, who was traveling via gypsy wagon with his son Bersh to Blumdorf.
At a checkpoint, the local road warden captain was able to see through the Scoundrels’ quickly cobbled cover stories for their travel to Wittgendorf. All but Oswald denied him, when he asked if they were truly on a mission to uncover the missing tax shipments. Oswald would soon learn that not only were this year’s tax shipments not delivered, but neither were the two years before that either. It is not just 200 Gold Crowns that are missing, but potentially 600 Gold Crowns! The road warden captain noted that prior shipments were carried via footmen with strongboxes. Having not seen these footmen appear the last three years, the captain had written the Graf. Only now, apparently, did the Graf send others. The captain warned Oswald, who he believed was an Initiate of Verena, that he and his crew hardly seemed up to the dangerous task of finding this small fortune of missing taxes.
The lively market in the border encampment was a place where Britta picked up rumors about Wittgendorf’s growing tourist trade and Temple of Verena. Rorek noticed a run on rain gear and quickly purchased one of the few remaining slicks. Sadly, he was unable to obtain these for the rest of the team.
Trekking through torrential rains, the Scoundrels arrived sniffling and tired in the village of Blumdorf. Tobar and Bersh were stashing their cart out of town and following soon behind. Soon after arriving in town, the Scoundrels were drawn to a murder scene at the Milky Pearl brothel. Constables removed the corpse of a prostitute who’d had her throat slashed by a vagrant customer several hours ago. Locals claimed the murderer had been apprehended moments ago. A sobbing and battered Bersch whimpered from a nearby alleyway, and the team soon learned that Tobar had been falsely accused and was being held in the village jail. Small-town justice suggested he would soon be lynched or executed.
The team knew the timing of the murder made it impossible for Tobar to commit the crime. The description of the murderer was too vague to convince anyone but the most biased yokel that Tobar was the killer. Physical evidence like a scrap of a burgundy jerkin also helped the Scoundrels overcome their concerns about being convicted for their association with Tobar. The team eventually spoke on his behalf and won his release.
Venturing on the team came to Wittgendorf and settled in for ale and sausages in a pleasant biergraden overlooking the town’s bustling market. They spotted a lovely young peasant girl buying radishes, before an ancient, skeletal beggar came peddling worthless trinkets. Local nobles abused the wretch mightily, which infuriated Thramrok to strike one of the fops. This did not please their hulking bodyguard and a ruckus ensued. The law was called and in the whole mess, Oswald liberated a fop’s purse, Thramrok exchanged blows with the bodyguard, and a pack of roughneck monks of Verena (?!?!) absconded with the lovely radish girl in the market. Only the team’s revelation that they were working for Graf Wilhelm secured their release from local Watch Captain Edelweiss.
The search of the lost gold shipments has been harrowing indeed.