The Journal of Ozric Von Harbinger Entry 20
It has been a few weeks since we completed the ritual and To’Mas has changed. With his memories returned he has undergone a significant personality make over. He now knows that he is a Halfling adult and not a human boy which certainly makes conversing with him a little less surreal. However where To’Mas could be downright mean to those who upset him, there is something very cold and calculating at times about the Halfling adult called Thomas. Still it will take time for me to get to know Thomas and of course Rosie who looks to be a permanent fixture around here going forward.
The last few weeks have been very busy for me. Alongside sitting my final exams at the Imperial Gunnery School of Nuln I have been overseeing the delivery of the new cannons and also the integration of the new crew members and the Marines who will be making up my Marine unit called the Iron Wolves. I was working with Griselda and Leonardo to get the Hellblaster Volley Gun installed on swivelling pintel mount in the forecastle of the Pride when I hear a commotion from the other side of the ship. Heading over I join Nymraithir and Anna who are conversing with a young servant girl standing on the wharf below. A few minutes later we are joined by Thomas. The servant girl was sent by her mistress to ask us to attend on her as she had a job to offer us. After a brief conversation we agreed to at least check out the job offer. Some concern was voiced over Viloman and Magnus being absent, they had left two days ago to rescue a nobleman’s Daughter from beastmen.
We follow the maid to her mistresses dwelling learning on the way that her mistress is the Lady Marie of Brettonia, this is said with some drama like we should have heard of her, but I certainly have not and as I glance over at Thomas he gives a minimal shrug to confirm that he has no idea who she is. We are shown into extravagantly appointed rooms, which have been further embellished to show of her wealth and a few too many personal items to lend the atmosphere a seductive air.
We exchange pleasantries and make our introductions her accent is really very bad and would not fool anyone who has spent any time in Brettonia, which we have. Once this is out of the way she cuts to the meat of the matter. The job she is asking us to complete is to raid a rival families tomb and recover an item of importance to her. This is a slightly distasteful request and also somewhat suspicious. I have been practising the witch sight talent that I have developed since our sojourn through the chaos realms, and now following my sixth sense I refocus my vision to allow me to see the winds. Oh this is not good she is positively immersed in evil her aura heavily tainted by black and purple. This Lady is either a wizard possibly a necromancer or something far worse. We should probably call the witch hunters and be done with it. But wait a second she offers us a somewhat paltry sum to complete this job for her. I glance at Thomas and he takes over the negotiations. As the two of them battle over price we learn that the quest that Magnus and Viloman are under taking is nothing but a ruse to get them out of the way as they would be unlikely to help her, that little admission costs Lady Marie a Noble estate in Marienburg. In the end she is giving us a Manor house in Marienburg and two thousand gold crowns for this retrieval job.
Two things complicate matters and quite frankly set me on edge. The first is that she recommends that we carry out the job during the daylight and the second that we take her Assistant with us who knows what the item that she requires looks like. When she mentions daylight and with what I am seeing in the Aethyr I am thinking Vampire. We tell the Lady Marie that we will need time to think about it before we agree to this job and we leave her lodgings. As soon as we are away from her I let Thomas know what I have seen with my witch sight and Anna confirms the same. We wander aimlessly for a time going through a market, stopping in a Tavern and leaving very quickly via a window to shake anyone following us. It is not long before we spot the Lady’s assistant trying to follow us.
I am interested in carrying out this job maybe we can somehow thwart her plans, whatever they are they cannot be good or in the best interests of the Empire. After a brief meeting once we are back on The Pride we split to gather more information. Nym heads out to scout the estate where the tomb is located, Thomas goes to talk to his contacts, and I head for the city libraries to put in a little research on the family name. My investigations confirm that the rival family is a very old one that can trace its history back centuries. The interesting thing is that the family trees are very incomplete, with only the family patriarch appearing in the records. From what I can piece together of the records there is also a tendency for the patriarch to become a hermit in later life before being replaced by the young heir.
Later that evening we meet up and share our information. Nym tells us that the estate is guarded by werewolves. Thomas contacts have confirmed our suspicions that the two families are vampires engaged in some long standing feud. Both families are powerful. Lady Marie is known to generally keep her word. We start to put together a shopping list:
Silver Firearm Balls
Powdered silver ½ pound
1 Dozen Silver Tipped Hawthorn Arrows
1 Dozen Silver Tipped Hawthorn Bolts
Lots of Garlic
Thomas is able to acquire all these items in a very short space of time. I am often surprised by his ability to do so, although he did get me my beloved Hochland Rifle so I am not complaining or asking too many questions. He has also returned with a magical scroll which he claims will help bind our erstwhile employer to any contract she agrees to.
We meet with Lady Marie the next day to accept the job. Thomas insists that she binds herself to the contract using the Vow spell, to which she agrees a little more readily than we expected, I think she may know some way around the bindings of this contract, it is of course possible that she just believes that being immortal it is just a matter of outliving us. Thomas decides that it is best to add a little in the way of threats on his own part. Thomas can be really quite scary when he puts his mind to it, at least he scares me at times, and I think she feels a little fear of her own. We agree the price of 2000 GCs, a manor house in Marienburg and access to her intelligence network. I am a little concerned over the necessity to take her Apprentice with us but I figure that between the four of us we can handle one Vampires Apprentice if things should go wrong.
We head back to the Pride and ready ourselves for the mission ahead. I don my armour and ready my weapons and meet the others. We mount up and head for the estate with Nym leading the way. When we arrive at the estate Nym climbs the gates drops to the floor on the other side and is about to open them when Thomas rushes over and warns him not to touch the gates. Thomas checks them over for traps before he lets Nym open them. As we enter through the gates we hear the howling of wolves in the distance. I wonder if these are the Werewolves or just regular wolves, or even some of the more irregular wolves that exist. I suppose regardless of which wolves it is, their timing was dramatically appropriate.
We sneak through the grounds and soon find ourselves observing five Werewolves feeding on some poor animal. There were four adults, two males and two females as well as a young cub. Is cub the right term? I unsling my rifle as the other prepare. I take aim as Nymraithir charges at the enemy. I sight in on one of the males and squeeze the trigger blowing apart his chest. Nym cuts down the other male, while Thomas and Anna unleash fireballs into one of the females and the puppy? Yeah puppy sounds right. I dropped the rifle drew my two handed sword and charged. As I closed the distance Nym finished off the wounded female, while Thomas stepped forward and commanded the remaining one to Sit, the crazy little bastard, luckily for him the creature obeyed long enough for me to close the distance and chop its head off.
We scout around and locate the tomb and prepare to enter. Thomas takes point as we enter the entrance to the tomb. He almost immediately locates a number of traps and pressure plates. There are also a number of runnels carved into the floor which would siphon the blood spilled by the traps somewhere. I passed over one of the vials of holy water to Thomas, he gave me a malicious grin as we poured holy water into the nearest runnels. We slowly make our way to the main chamber avoiding the many traps along the way.
The main chamber is large with a vaulted ceiling and the walls are lined with coffins. The lids to the coffins begin to rattle and open as we edge further into the room. Nym and I step forward and take the battle to the skeletons, the Vampires apprentice finally makes herself useful and begins to take control of the nearest skeletons. The battle is hard fought but we finally win through with the only skeletons left being those still under the Apprentices control. Thomas suggest to her to send them ahead to finish clearing out the traps ahead. As we head for the main crypt we begin to notice swirling purple and black mists, it seems to be being drawn into a sarcophagus sitting on a large stone slab in the centre of the room. As we draw closer we can see a body in the sarcophagus with an item sitting on his chest, which seems to be absorbing the mist as we watch. Ana tells us that whatever ritual magic is being enacted it is close to finished. Between myself and Ana we shout out to Thomas which items on the body are magical and he rushes forward and grabs them lightning quick before the Apprentice can lay her hands on them. The apprentice tries to claim the items for her mistress but we are not convinced and she does not seem to wish to challenge us directly. With ritual aborted and the Lady Marie’s plans thwarted as best we can. We head back to the safety of Nuln.
Upon our return we met with Lady Marie to collect our rewards and headed for the Pride. When we returned to the ship Magnus and Viloman were there waiting for us, they were extremely closemouthed about what had occurred on their mission.
We left Nuln later that day. There was some debate as to where we were headed. I wanted to head for Marienburg to check out the new property, it has been a long time since I had anywhere to call home other than the Pride, at the same time however we need to head after the keys and that means travelling to Kislev.