(Didn’t keep my pistols dry tho, did he?)
Gert will take a moment to console Reiko over the loss of his barge. “Bad luck captain. I hope there’s something great waiting for you at the camp.”
Gert will help organize the cargo on to carrying implements, and try to sound cheery as he does. Just before they start off he would like to offer to swap with one of the people carrying the interesting heavyset chest with the intention of getting a better look at it.
Reiko looks pained at the loss of the barge, his low spirits obvious to see. “A sad day indeed, but at least everyone still lives. To be honest, she had seen better days. I am most grateful that my daughters were not onboard.” He sighs. “I will have to wait until I return to Ubersreik to see them, but something to look forward to.”
One of the Strigany is more than happy to let you take the burden of the chest (in fact there is a fairly heated argument between the pair about which one swaps out, neither wanting to carry the heavy box). It is a heavy duty chest designed for hard travel, not very remarkable aside from the fact that it is secured by two padlocks.
(May I politely ask about where everyone is within the larger group? Else is ranging out front; is Meinrad leading the main group, and where is Gert?)
Yeah, Meinrad is probably trying to lead the group as well as he can, walking next to Rutberg and chatting away, unless he fell behind.
Gert will try to be in the back third of the group. Not at the back in case there’s some Trouble with the chest, but far enough back that the others will have trampled a makeshift path.
Rutger is happy chatting away with Meinrad, maintaining a sunny disposition, and generally trying to keep everyone’s spirits lifted. You catch the odd moment when he drops his guard, looking a little pensive and drained. Every so often he loudly proclaims that the journey is nearly at the end. These pronouncements seem to have little to do with actual progress, and each successive “Not far now, we’ll soon be at camp” is met with increasing scowls from the Strigany.
“Hey Rutger, since we have some time now, can you tell us a bit of what to expect at camp ? You seem like a decent guy, but you can surely understand that we need some informations.”
“What sort of thing do you want to know more about? The work or the camp?”
“A bit of column A, a bit of column B. Mostly the work though”
“Well, the camp is the foundations of our mill, a depot for the building materials, caravans and tents for the workers and my partners. The site was picked by Johanna Stiegler, my business partner in this venture.”
“As for the work, please understand that I trust Master Reiko and his crew implicitly. I believe that we’ve been good to them, so I hope that they’d trust me in turn, but…” he looks to see if any of the Strigany are in earshot and lowers his voice.
“Well… you’ve seen how superstitious they are, and over nothing as well. There are certain jobs around camp that they refuse to do. I need some more steady folk to take up the slack on the odd job here and there, like digging up stones, staking out areas in the marsh, that type of thing.”
Whilst Rutger is being quite chatty, the Strigany around Gert seem to have become more tight lipped.
As you all trudge down the road, the shadows begin to lengthen and an evening chill begins to set in. Banks of fog begin to press in, occassionally blanketing the path ahead.
“It seems like something we can do. Is Miss Stiegler a merchant like yourself?”
“Indeed, indeed. Johanna is a wonderful woman, and a consummate professional. I really don’t know what I would do without her. Her skills in planning and management are second to none. She is a tremendous asset for the project. A local from these parts, born and raised in Grausse, she knows the ground well and has a perfect location for a water mill.”
“And, forgive me for asking, but what about our salary ? You mentionned a gold coin for each when we get to camp ?”
“You have more than earned it, you and your friends! I dare not think what may have become of the old lady if it wasn’t for your quick action in jumping in after her. Alas, I cannot pay you right now, as although I have the coin,” he gestures at the chest Gert carries with a sheepish grin, “both Johanna and I need to open it together. So you really have to come to the camp to get paid.”
I think Meinrad is going to fall back a little to give those informations to Gert and Else.
“I don’t know how you’re feeling this guy, but he seems honest, if a bit candid. Maybe we should ask around, see what the Strygani thinks of the camp and of the people running it.”
He will then go back to his post in the front with Rutger.
Gert will nod as Meinrad passes back his ideas.
When there’s a quiet moment on easy track he’ll try to strike up a bit of chatter with his carrying companion. “So what’s this camp we’re heading too like? Worth the effort?” He jokes, then more seriously, “worth the pay?”
“Look, I’ve been having trouble sleeping, and I’m too tired for small talk. But since it’s you asking Boatman,” the Strigany grumbles, eventually relenting a little.
“The site is a good enough place to build this mill of theirs, but we won’t linger there once the work is done; too many ghosts around the Grausse, and the local folk are not freindly to us.”
One of his companions chimes in “Come on Ronamo, be fair, most places are haunted.”
“Aye, that’s true, but the Grausse is particularly bad. If Mother Vadoma says there’s a Beast in the marshes, there probably was a long time ago, an’ it’s spirit is likely one of things that haunts the area.”
A strange sharp noise barks off somewhere in the fog, foreboding and eerie, like nothing you’ve heard before. The Strigany all look nervous and ward themselves.
Ronamo grunts with the effort of carrying the chest. “Reuter’s always good for the money he’s promised. He’s reliable in that regard.”
(As an additional note, with his Lore (Reikland), Gert knows that the Grausse is both a lake from which the Verfelfluss flows, and the name of the village that sits on the lakeshore).
Else saunters back from scouting, hands resting on the grips of her pistols. "The path appears fine so far. I’ve not sighted another living thing, nor any sign of danger.
How much farther to the camp, Master Reuter? I fear it will be dark soon and with this fog, it would not do to be travelling when night falls."
“Not far now, the camp should be just ahead. We will be there well before night falls I assure you.”
(as Meinrad realize that Else was in fact, in front of him and not behind like he thought, he will pass the information to her after they are a bit ahead of Rutger and before she goes back to scouting.)