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Ravenloft Ironsworn, part 14, The Baron’s Accountant

Dusty scrolls and tomes line the walls of this room and are scattered across the floor. In the center of all this clutter stands a huge accountant’s desk. A old man slouches atop a tall stool, scratching a seemingly endless scroll of paper with a dry quill pen. A rope hangs next to the old man from a hole in the ceiling.

“Please,” the man begins, raising an finger, but not looking up. “Please… please please… do not stand…” he continues to write something down in the huge ledger in front of him. “Do not stand… on the rug. It is… very old, and very valuable.” He looks up, setting his pen aside. “And you seem to be covered in grime and gargoyle entrails.” He sniffs, rubbing at his nose.
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I can’t help but notice how close his upraised hand is from the bell rope hanging down from the ceiling.

“We shouldn’t damage anything so expensive,” he continues, his hand lowering to the desk as his eyes wander over the rug. “Well… it was now it is probably mostly sentimental who arrrrre you?” he asks, rolling his Rs like he has something to prove. “I am Leif Lipseige accountant to the baron. CHIEF accountant.” He pauses, seeming to consider this. “Also ONLY accountant.”

“Hello.”

“Hello. Again. Who are you?”

“It’s not very important.”

“Well… I am curious. And if my curiosity is not very important and if your identity is not very important I suppose my curiosity and your identity go together very well.”

I don’t know what to say to that, so I say nothing at all. Ismark coughs behind me.

Leif pats the air in front of him. “I… I do not mean to pry if you do not wish to tell me, that is fine… so what brings you to the castle of the Baron?”

Again, I give him stony silence. He seems to consider what he just asked and chuckles. “Ahh. I see. Yes. I am a curious old man. Habits.” He gestures at me. “It is only… it seems as though you’ve run into a bit of trouble. Not, ahh… entirely unexpected, I suppose, here…” he nods, regretfully. “I tend to stay to my own chambers. There are many unsavory ahh… employees of the Baron about here and you seem to be involved in ahh… I think it is safe to say ‘bloody business.’”

Something in my face seems to give him pause. “Oh, don’t worry about me; I’m harmless. I keep the books, but I am no… I am no minion.” His expression changes slightly – becomes a bit darker. “I’m supposed to be keeping track of the Baron’s riches and conquests and money but he hides things from me; he keeps… he keeps… he doesn’t let me know about all the treasure, so how can I keep track of all these treasures?”

“That… does seem difficult,” I deadpan, not sure what else to say.

Leif nods emphatically. “He keeps them secret from his own accountant! I was… that… it’s ridiculous!”

I get the sense he’s a little grumpy. Sure. One of the oldest living servants of the Baron, and he’s not trusted the one thing he’s supposed to be doing. And might be a teensy bit senile.

Leif is off and muttering. “… some treasures… ridiculous to … he does not … insulting …”

I look around for somewhere to sit, and spot a tall stool in the corner, then shift that direction a bit. It draws his attention back to me.

He squints at me. “Do you need to… clean up? Some of that blood on you is red, and seems to be… yours.”

He’s right. Given a moment of quiet, my hurts gather themselves into a unified caucus and come clamoring for my attention.
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“I can help,” Ireena murmurs. “With a bit of time.”

I nod, surprised but happy with the offer. “I… may we make use of your room, here? For a short while?”

[Ugh. Miss. Causes a delay.]

“Of course… of course.” Leif’s smile crinkles around his eyes, but those eyes are hard and calculating, like any good accountant. His hand reaches out and settles lightly on the bell rope. “If you will do something for me.”

I feel Ireena’s hand tighten on my biceps as she stands behind me, I reach up and across, giving her fingers a squeeze of silence reassurance. (I hope).

I think it’s about time the girls form a Bond.

… and WONDER OF WONDERS the dice actually agree!

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I’m taking the momentum, since my Spirit is maxed already.

I pull myself up onto the tall stool standing in the corner, acting calm. “If you don’t mind talking while we see this?”

Leif blanches a bit as I pull off my tunic and begin working the chainmail shirt off, but nods. Ireena makes a noise at the cuts and bruises that made it through the armor – Ismark is nowhere to be seen at the moment – and pulls poultice and bandage materials out of my pack, once I tell her where they are.

[I’m rolling to heal myself with my own skills, so +iron, since Ireena isn’t a full companion or anything, but I’m taking a +1 for having a Bond with her. Which. Whatever. Dunno if that’s R.A.W., but it feels right. Anyway.]

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Okay, so I’m going to take -1 momentum and -1 Supply for +2 health. Again, I’m not sure that’s ENTIRELY legal (maybe I have to take it all from one source or the other or something), but it makes sense in the narrative, because this (and Leif) are slowing me down (-momentum) and we’re digging through the pack for supplies. So. Whatever. Let the rules match the story.

“There is a thing… an object. A treasure I wish to see.” He waves his hands. “Not have, you understand, but see. Record, as the Baron’s accountant. Has has it, I am told” (those words are bitter) in a study, one floor up and through a dining room located off the same stairs you climbed to reach me. Bring it to me.”

I consider this. “All right.”

“Swear it.”

I do, though not as an Iron Vow, since I’m all full up on that, and that’s where I’m going to stop for now, healed up and with Ismark lurking out in the stairwell.

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