23 Septimus 1668, Donnerfall
We finally reached Eisen, although Matushka had her own plans concerning our route. Heavy rains and washed out pathways lead us to Hainzl instead of Fischler, but that may well have been a lucky coincidence. At least I have a good chance of selling all the Winterwasser at a nice profit - we arrived at Donnerfall just in time for a local festival and while the Eisen love their beer, there's nothing quite like Winterwasser for a morning without regrets.
I ended up sharing a room with Aidan McBlair, an Avalon explorer, and Gregor, one of the men who guarded our caravan. As silent as Gregor was during our journey, as gregarious he is now. We shared our meal with a local nobleman who told us all about the festival. It's a tradition that used to be quite an event before the war and this year is the first time for years it's celebrated. The Vendel League organised this in the hope of furthering relationships between the Eisen kingdoms. Good relationships are good for business. The main even is a three part contest, a chance for the local lumbermen to show off their strength and skill. A team from Hainzl will be competing against a team from Fischler and emotions are already running high, with every team and its supporters hoping to show the others the ropes.
When Gregor heard that anyone could sign up for the contest, he wasn't content until we all did just that. I suspect I may come to regret that later because at least one part of the contest will depend on muscles alone and I do not see myself picking up and throwing a hundred pound log. If I get out of this with all my fingers, I'll count myself lucky. We did, to my surprise, win the first part - a sort of dance with the ultimate goal of getting close enough to the other teams to knock them out. As an added difficulty, the Fischler team insisted that everyone drink four tankards of Knat, turnip beer. I will not forget that taste in a hurry. Aidan didn't look his best after drinking it and neither did the Hainzl team. The Fischlers were very unsure on their feet, but I'm not sure that had anything to do with the beer. Truth be told, I think that the Vendel League had a hand in rigging the contest, tampering with the beer and I don't know what else. It would be quite a fortunate coincidence for them if the outsider team would win, uniting Fischler and Hainzl in hate for us, so to speak. I am in no hurry to go out alone into dark back alleys, I know that much.
I introduced myself to the League representatives, one Wilhelmine Semmelbeck - I think I have heard her name before - and Antonio Christiani, a Voddace who, as I hear, has overthrown himself with his family and is now a loyal member of the League, as strange as that sounds. Whether we lose or win the contest, I do have their attention and that is something to be valued. Speaking of attention, Aidan certainly has mine. I do not fool myself nor am I about to do something stupid, but it goes over my self control to simply ignore him when he takes off his shirt right next to me. The women in the audience were completely smitten as well - I'm quite sure he'll enjoy his popularity.
The log tossing will take place once everone is sober, later this day. I think I'll take the chance to explore a bit more of Donnerfall in the meantime and see what the town has to offer.
We've started another 7th Sea group, for one adventure for now, but with the chance of making it a regular thing. I play Marinus van Leyden, a young Vendel merchant, who is on a journey from Ussura through Eisen to negotiate trade contracts for his father's business. This is to be his journeyman's piece and he is all set up to take his place in the firm, marry and one day take over the family business. Marinus isn't quite sure that this is what he wants. He knows that he does not want to marry and for the rest...he'll have to see about that. But for now, he is enjoying his adventure.
Neither Aidan's player nor me were keen to take part in the contest, but then we thought, what the hell and went with it. This is 7th Sea after all and caution doesn't have much room in this game. It's a game to jump right in and simply do things because it's fun. Bonus point if it looks cool. Our characters go well together and we had fun playing out our new-found celebrity status.