30. Septimus 1668, Atemlos
We left Donnerfall for Atemlos. Both Aidan and I want to find a branch of the Explorer's Society. There is one in Freiburg, but Aidan thought there might be one in Atemlos as well and it is on the way.
Phillip Knef came to see us when we left, not entirely by chance I believe. He asked us to come and see him on Eulestein Castle when we reached Atemlos, he might have something for us to do. It took us the best part of two days to reach the city. The houses nestle up against the mountain and the castle rises up above the city, it is an impressive sight. The city is home to many people who have lost one thing or another in the war: limbs, loved ones or their mind and they fill the streets, begging for some coins. Together with the steadily pouring rain, it made for a sad welcome to Hainzl's capitol.
We took board in one of the better hotels and I introduced myself at the League. I was not exactly surprised to find out that the man in charge knew my father. While I sometimes wish for a family not quite so intent on tradition, my family's name does make things easier. We were directed to the local branch of the Explorer's Society, but decided to make our visit at the castle first.
There, Phillip Knef told us that the two sons of the Eisenfürst have not been seen or heard from for a month. They set out to find the legendary shield of St. Gregor, as Knef told us while making his disapproval clear. The two boys are twins and inseparable and they are invaluable to the kingdom since the Fürst is not only a widower but also ill and not likely to produce another heir. I'm not quite sure why he chose us to look for them, but one thing I do know: it will be less conspicuous then sending people from his own household and if I were him, I would want to keep the disappearance a secret as long as possible.
We also got a look at something that Knef would have preferred for us not to see, I'm sure. When we were leaving, we encountered the Eisenfürst in person. Everyone knows that he is ill, but no-one knows for sure what exactly is wrong. I do not know either, but the man is clearly deranged - he was fighting an invisible dragon and it was all his servants could do to keep him from coming to harm. Like his city, the man is impressive until you take a closer look.
We were going to leave in the morning and Aiden decided to visit the Explorer's Society. We found nothing but a shuttered, empty house, with a beggar sitting in front. The man couldn't tell us anything, but he slipped Aiden a letter. Whatever the contents, it's clearly troubling Aiden and he said that he would have to leave once we had found the boys. But he would not talk about it and I did not want to ask.