The Journal of Ozric Von Harbinger Entry 26
I returned to the pride and turned in for the night. I had another day before I needed to attend the privately owned and exclusive Ritter Club for the Great Council of the Knights of the Blazing Sun. I had some chores that would need to be seen to, my armour could use a good cleaning before the council. I found the fate of that tiger cub still weighed heavily on my mind. There was little I could do about it I had exhausted the lawful options. I may have to liberate it through more nefarious means. I have spent a lot of time round Thomas and he has taught me a few things over the year. I went to sleep pondering the options available.
The next day I went to speak with Isambard and Kingdom, who were working on a new design of double crossbow for me. The top bow would be a standard long range high impact crossbow, but the under slung bow would be of the lighter shorter ranged repeating crossbows that are being produced by the Engineering Schools in Nuln. As I entered the workshop I greeted Isambard, turns out that it was actually Kingdom, I never seem to be able to get the right name for the right brother. We discussed some of the issues with the design and I suggested that we could maybe overcome the weight issues by using an all steel bow like they do with crossbow pistols? I left them pondering this and went to meet with the command crew to see to a few of the details that need monitoring to keep this ship running.
I met with Grisselda, Morgana, Inigo, Keen, Joe, Jakob and Fezzini. We discussed matters of supply, crew, trade and ordinance. With decisions made I bade them a farewell and as it was lunch time I headed down to the mess decks and had lunch with some of the crew.
By this time it was early afternoon, I had been formulating a plan to liberate the tiger cub, and I would need to do some reconnaissance for it to succeed, so I headed back to the festival of the occult to have a look around. I toured the festival again taking special note of the layout and setup of the facilities.
Once done I headed back to the pride and proceeded to prep my armour and other equipment in preparation for the coming great council. That night I headed into the heart of Altdorf and had dinner out at one of the more exclusive restaurants. With dinner done I headed into one of the seedier districts with the intention of contact some of the thieves of Altdorf. Using the counter signs that Thomas had imparted to me I managed to make contact with a mid-level guild member who could supply me with some of the things I needed, such as pick locks, rope and a grappling hook. He said he would have them ready for me tomorrow and that I could pick it up from the Cock and Hen inn, just ask for Grendal. I handed over the agreed price and left.
The next day I rose early and joined the Iron Wolves for their morning training session before having some breakfast. I then headed down to the market and purchased some raw meat, Fresh Fruit (I find just the smell of the stuff extremely off putting), and some fresh baked bread, these were the last items I would need for the planned liberation action.
I dressed in my full plate, strapped on Losgadh Caertas, donned my Ice Fox fur cloak and topped it off my with my Lord Knights amulet and headed for the Ritter Club and the Great Council. I cannot speak much about what transpired due to oaths that were taken that day. However I am proud to say that I rose to Grandmaster Therin challenge and was able to defeat him in one to one ritual combat. I told them of our current mission, giving them enough information to entice them, but not enough to start a crusade, the council even offered to seed some operatives into Kislevian society to possibly help us and asked for me to try to make regular reports. The great council carried on until the early hours of the morning with us swapping stories and strategies and attending to order business.
I drank only lightly as I had a mission to fulfil once the council was over. I headed back to the pride and changed out of my armour and formal clothes, donning dark clothes and voluminous cloak. I grabbed my pick locks, rope, grappling hook and bag of foodstuffs I had purchased earlier that day. With my cathayan longsword strapped across my back and my dagger at my waist I snuck out of the pride and back into the city. I made my way quietly and inconspicuously back to the site of the Festival of the Occult and circled round the grounds until I drew level with the area where the animals were being kept, and moved in towards the outer wall. I climbed the wall and dropped into the shadows on the other side. Once I had pinpointed the position of the guards by the direction of the sounds they were making I began to sneak my way towards the enclosure. Seems I had learnt a lot more from hanging around with Thomas than I had realised. I made it to the animal enclosure without alerting anyone to my presence. Once there I picked the lock and slipped into the area containing the cages. This was where the whole process was going to get tricky. While my stealth skills had proved adequate to fool the humans there was no way I could hide my presence from the many animals being held within this enclosure. I pulled the sack of food from where I had it tied to my waist and began distributing it to any animals that were bothered by my presence and began making noise. Soon I was at the tiger cubs cage. I began speaking to it in a low voice using the lilting tongue spoken in Ind, I am not sure why it seemed appropriate and I personally always found the sound of it soothing. I reached out my hand and offered it a morsel of meat. It took the meat and while it hungrily devoured the food I set to picking the lock on the cage. The lock yielded fairly easily. The other animals were beginning to get particularly noisy and I froze as I heard a guard stamp up to the enclosure, but all he did was shout at the animals telling them to be quiet.
With the lock open I checked the hinges of the cage to ensure they were well oiled and would not make too much noise when I opened the door. This done I opened the cage and reached my hand in cautiously. To my relief and delight the tiger nuzzled against my hand. I fed it some more meat and removing my cloak I wrapped it up and picked it up in my arms. I was surprised at how heavy the creature was, and as it slipped in my grip, I was further surprised by how sharp its claws were even through my cloak and clothing as scrabbled for purchase. I hefted my bundle and made my way back out of the enclosure and to the point where I had entered. Once over the wall I made my swiftly through the city and back to the Pride. Once there I took the tiger down to the menagerie deck as I like to call it and put it in its own little room. I unwrapped the tiger from my cloak and spotted the ridiculous little red ribbon that it had been wearing when I first saw it. This ribbon roused my suspicions and so I fixed my witch sight upon and realised that it was a magical homing device. I removed it quickly, made sure the tiger was settled and headed back out into the city. I went in the opposite direction of the pride and when I was a good distance from the docks I fed the ribbon into one of the street lamps in a large plaza. I once more activated my witch sight and was relieved to see that the ribbon functioned as a homing beacon and was not intended to track where someone or something had been. This done I returned to the pride and checked on the tiger once more before heading for my bed.
The next day Viloman, Ana Gunther and I set out fairly early we had a busy day ahead of us. We had a meeting with Balthasar Gelt first thing. Then Viloman had arranged to speak to the Emperors Stable Master with the interest of buying barding that might be suitable for Brightwing. Then we had several suppliers to meet with the to finalise bill payments, and most annoying I needed to visit the city jail to retrieve two of my soldiers and pay some fines on behalf of the crew of the pride.
Our meeting with Balthasar went exceedingly well. He returned to me the Hand of Fate and had some very interesting things to say about it and its functions. He assured us that the items we had turned over to him had been placed in the vaults below the College of Light. He also informed us that a fire mage by the name of Seraphina Raskoph would be joining us as the representative of the Colleges. She would join us later today or tomorrow morning at the latest.
Then we headed to the palace where we met with the stable master. Turns out we were able to purchase a set of plate barding for Brightwing. Viloman was unhappy with predominantly two headed eagle, comet and happy motifs all over the armour, but I assured him that if we asked Durak nicely he would be able to get them replaced with grails and fleur de Lis.
Once we had settled the bills we stopped for lunch. Once lunch was done I left Viloman and Ana relaxing in the bar and headed for the nearby Jail buildings. We headed in a enquired after our men. Turns out they were being held for being drunk and disorderly and had managed to cause a lot of damage to a house of entertainment. At this point Gunther stepped in and proceeded to put forth a defence for our men. I was impressed by his grasp for the law. He managed to negotiate their immediate release under the guarantee that they would be sequestered to the ship and would be leaving the city within three days. He also managed to get all the fines dropped. Our men would be delivered to the ship.
We returned to the inn where we had left Viloman and Ana and proceeded to have a relaxing afternoon. We left the inn shortly before dark and headed for the Pride. As we walked through the city we headed into a plaza with a large central fountain, as we entered the hairs on the back of my neck rose and I got that feeling I always do that precedes danger, my senses sharpened and with my blood up I began to take in my surroundings, signalled to the others to move to the fountain and take up defensive positions. I noticed that very few of the plaza lanterns were lit which was unusual and I also noticed a falcon sitting on the roof of the building at the far end from where we entered the Plaza, hold on was that a wolf over there.
As we got into position a number of warriors appeared behind us and a wizard moved into sight on our right. That was almost all the warning we got. I fired fireballs from the doomfire ring I wore at the wizard near me and through one in the direction of the wolf, meanwhile Gunther was firing arrows and Viloman was advancing on the warriors. We were assaulted by powerful magics delivered by the falcon from above, a shape changed wizard or familiar I wonder? The wizard that Gunther and I were targeting went down but was dragged out of our sight by another and within moments both were back and facing us. I began to advance on them with Losgadh Caertas drawn and flaming and as we advanced they through more magic at use hammering use with bursts of fire and other fell magics, the wizard who was dressed primarily in Purple targeted Gunther with such a powerful spell that I felt a physical level of pain from being in proximity of such powerful magics being drawn from the Winds. The most surprising thing being that Gunther survived it. Ana did her best to counter the magics, coming at us dispelling some spells and casting her own that made the very shadows burn, there was another wizard coordinating these animal attacks and Ana kept him occupied. I killed the Amethyst wizard with Losgadh running him through the body and then removing his head. As I turned on the Fire wizard whose spells I had been walking through thanks to my charm of the furnace, he looked around to see the warriors all but one dead at the hands of Viloman and the other wizard, an Amber if I had to guess in full retreat leaving behind a number of dead familiars, he went and lay down his equipment and surrendered.
I tied the wizards hands and gagged him , while Gunther tended to the mercenaries wounds before binding his hands also. We did not wait for the watch but headed straight to the Pride.
When we arrived on the pride Lucius was waiting for us, with a bound Odric. Turns out that the witch hunters did manage to catch up to Odric in the end, I also discovered that he was a member of the Grey order no less. We dumped our new prisoners in the cells and went to get cleaned up. I congratulated Gunther on a job well done and told him how surprised I was that he survived that spell and that had he died I would have missed him.