In the uplands of Middenhiem there is a saying, “Tug a Wizard’s robe and reap a Wizard’s wrath”. It’s a good saying. It’s concise, direct, and more or less true. It is also ignored with distressing regularity. I was contemplating my morning supper, which consisted of boiled eggs, a sweet-roll, and a dirty spoon, when I heard the unmistakable melody of trouble over the crowd. No hunching of my hat would hide me from the enthusiastic companionship of dear Otto. The young man has, if anything, acquired even more volume since our last outing together in the summer, but regardless I was pleased that he responded to my request to attend me in Averhiem, if not also with my morning meal. I cannot recall his prattle; I can only seem to remember that I lost my appetite and developed a tick in my left calf. I did however, in my quick search to find a means of extricating myself, observe that I was being observed. It is not uncommon for a bearer of the White to receive nervous attention in a crowd, the dictums of our order prevent us from blending well with the local color, but this rat faced fellow was intent and measured in his observations. One of the things that both distresses me and causes me moments of admiration is young Otto’s ability to change his focus upon a mere moment’s notice. After indicating to him that we were being scouted, I had him off to convey a plan to Eise to turn the tables on the rodent. I would retire to my usual roost at the Journeyman , and between the two of them they would observe and follow the fellow to see where his nest was to be found.
A little later, much sooner than I would expect, I was summoned by our Huntress from the Inn. Surprised that she could have tracked the ratling so quickly, I was informed that things had not proceeded as I had intended. Were only that this was an occasion for surprise. I must admit that it was my own fault for not taking the time to write my intentions into an essay to be delivered in triplicate, with LARGE s l o w letters. Upon convening at the platz with my earnest comrades, I found that they were contemplating battery upon the rat faced snoop, and as Lady Lise was dressed for war I could only guess that she approved. I was distressed that the young Octavian had not disabused the gathering of this clumsy notion, but perhaps I misjudged him. There are those of the order who view the spreading of the faith more suited to the swing of a blade than pedagoguery. I will withhold judgment for the meantime. Needless to say I dissuaded them from brash action and encouraged the more measured approach of spy and counterspy. Eise became petulant regarding my not having advised them upon why they have been summoned to Averhiem, and I cannot entirely fault her for that. Were I to fully disclose now, before I am finished with my arrangements, there doubtless would be much misunderstanding. I hadn’t expected the death of the archeologist and it has set me back. I did what I could to comfort a naturally suspicious soul, and was saved by the arrival of a group of troubadours and quietly made my escape back to the Journeyman. It is my eternal optimism at work you see, thinking we had at last settled upon the plan to discover the lair of the rat faced man (lyric intended, trite, but personally entertaining).Imagine my utter lack of surprise to once again be summoned by Eisa later that evening to attend a second group gathering, learning that nothing of the advice I had offered had in fact been followed. What is it about the young that they cannot maintain a span of attention that extends beyond the length of time it takes to consume a pint? How mankind has ever managed to produce anything more complicated than a sharpened stick is ever a source of wonderment to me as it is beyond reason that we should survive our early years to develop sense enough to conjoin purpose with patience. The rat face man was no longer on their collective consciousnesses, rather now they were off to track down Herr Kaufmann which somehow had trumped investigation of the rat; with Otto attending as drunk as a gutter wretch. I would here typically add a witticism on the rarity of common sense, but the demonstrated lack thereof has stunned even my cynical pen.
As I was about to (once again) reacquaint my fellows with reason, Otto revealed that he had heard an explosion down at the Averhiem docks during his drunken escapades. Stepping about the street to gain a better vantage, indeed a column of smoke was rising from above the rooftops. Collectively we dismissed our concerns and hurried in that direction, for fire in a wooden town is not to be taken lightly, even if within its watery quarter. Upon arrival was found a scene of chaos. There was a conspicuous lack of watch presence, a fact that I have filed away for future consideration, for upon the docks was a vessel hosting an inferno. Fleeing the scene were two suspicous suspects whose very behavior stank of arson. Jaymin, Otto, and I gave chase, and I summoned a glamour. Things from thence forward happened rapidly. The two suspected criminals fled to a common tavern and sought to make their escape within. I brought one villain low for Jaymin to collect with a surge of Hysh, and followed Otto into a kitchens area in pursuit of the second. There was a flash of a blade and he and this fellow were engaged in mortal melee. I would not suffer this and invested Hysh once again to the fellows end. Then, I saw it. Clasped in Otto’s outstretched hand was the relic blade from the hunting lodge.
I was an idiot to have let him take it! I should have suffered his threats and forced him to hand over the weapon when we recovered it from the cult. I knew no good could come from letting such an artifact loose with him, but I allowed my sentimentality to rule me. Old Fool! Better his friend suffer the mortal death of his captors than Otto be bound up in forces he cannot possibly understand nor control. I blame myself entirely, and now I must address my error. I pray that Sigmar and all the God’s intervene on his behalf, and that whatever damage has thus been done can be undone before dear Otto is!