A loud crash sounds as a thrown grave stone crashes into, and through, the front gate of the garden. Through the broken gate they see a fat but obviously strong thug lower his arms and grin. Beside him a tall, even tougher looking thug calls out “We want the priest – the one with a bum leg. Send him out and we won’t hurt the rest of youse.”
Valdric edges into sight, preparing for his usual “trick”, while Wally takes position and throws a stone of his one – hitting the thug squarely in the middle of the forehead. As he drops and group of three others surge forward.
Thhwwt, Thhwtt, and slash! Two well placed arrows take down two of them while Sigmarund steps forward and with a single blow slices off the head of the third. As they fall, the fat thug, who never entered, turns and runs into the darkness. Sigmarund follows and tackles him.
Interrogating him, they learn that the thugs were hired by two halflings and paid a measly 2 SP to come, make a distraction while the halflings snuck in to capture or kill the priest of Morr. Back to town and they turn him over to the town watch and then go to the inn where Elisabet is spending the night, taking care of Selena. The inn keeper is none too happy at being woken in the wee hours of the morning, but lets them in. Only a few hours later, they gather in the tavern for breakfast. Briefly discussing their options, they decide the most important thing is to get on their way.
As they gather back on the boat Barrick has a realization. He has had a strange feeling of missing something since they arrived, and he realizes what it is. There, tied up to the warf about two blocks from the Eidelweiss, is a keel boat he has seen before. He realizes that it has been behind them , almost out of sight, for the last 2 days. But they never noticed until now. Returning to the boat, they decide they don’t have time to confront them now – they must get back onto the Dr.s trail. Casting off, they get in line for the lock. Once inside, Barrick quickly makes a deal with the lock master – for a few silver, he agrees to delay the other boat. They exit the lock and saling down river, see with satisfaction as the boat that has been following them casts off, gets to the lock and then is delayed as the lock gates seemingly break down.
The day passes slowly as they sail down river. Barrick’s skin gets worse and worse. He wraps his face in a scarf and sits away from the others, as chills wrack his body. Ast the hours pass, Wally, then Joachim, then Valdric start scratching their own arms and legs, and Barrick realizes that whatever he has, he must have passed it to the others. He struggles against the urge to scratch himself, loath for them to discover where their illness came from. As the others start talking about their symptoms and realize there is a common sickness aboard ship, Elisabet takes Selena aft, relieves Joachim and settles down as far up wind of the others as she can get.
Arriving at the docks of Grunberg after nightfall, Elisabet, Selena and Barrick immediatly leave the ship bound for the nearest apothecary they can find, assuming any are still open. They luckily find one, and buy six doses of Gsundheit, an expensive but effective medicinal herb. Walking back, Barrick again spies the tailing keel boat, now tying up at warf several blocks up river from the Eidelweiss.
Back on board, Elisabet hands out the herbs and everyone ill takes a dose, while they discuss what to do. First, they come up with the idea of Elisabet swimming to the boat under cover of darkness and disabling the boats rudder. When she declines, Joachim volunteers. “I am the best swimmer here, after all”. Wally then comes up with another idea. He will spit in a keg of ale and soak his arms in it, then go offer it to the crew of the boat. It will help distract them from Joachim, and may actually infect them with the disease that they all seem to be suffering from.
The others stay on the Eidelweiss as Wally walks down the docks, his keg in his arms. Putting on his best drunken man act, he approaches the sailors as they put their boat to bed. But they decline his offer. Meanwhile Joachim swims silently through the warfs. Making it to the boat, that they learned was named “Sunburst” he successfully jams the rudder. As Wally walks away, Joachim swims away – but is spotted. One of the sailors jumps into the water, and the two struggle, each trying to push the other under. Wally runs back and trys to knock both the Sunburst captain and other crew member down, as they both pick up boat hooks. He bowls the sailor overboard into the water, but is stopped by the captain, Pulling out his pistol, he fires, taking the captain down. But then he hears a sickening thud, as the second sailor hits Joachim over the head with the boat hook. Joachim goes still, face down in the water.
Back at the Eidelweiss, the others hear the gunshot. Running towards it they help Wally secure the captain and threaten the two sailors into submission, getting them to help drag Joachim onto deck. Both Wally and Valdric do their best to revive him. To no avail. Joachim, the friendly boatman, turned deadly killer, turned captain, is gone.