The Journal of Ozric Von Harbinger Entry 3
Upon further investigation of the Inn it turned out that the inhabitants had been quite thoroughly been butchered. It would appear that some curse befalls inns that we choose to stay at, it may be best if we only stay at the Inns of people we dislike from now on. Odric suggested that all this death and destructions was the work of something he called a Hagranym. Only Viloman seemed to know what he was talking about so I asked him to elaborate. It turns out that Hagranym are a race of carnivorous predators who bear a striking resemblance to horses. They are primarily differentiated by having sharpened fangs as opposed to the flattened molars of a regular horse. They are generally of an evil and vicious disposition revelling in slaughter and bloodshed. The theory put forward is that Castellan was in fact one of these creatures, even though Castellans teeth had been filed down, it would explain certain elements of its past behaviour, such as its complete lack of fear around Brightwing. Looking at Viloman I think I spy the gleam of justice and Chivalry, looks like we have ourselves another mission, though come to think of it I am a little hazy as to what our current mission is.
We buried the dead and headed off toward the end of Axebite Pass. It took us a week and a half to reach Montfort, during the journey I showed To’Mas how to create Chilli powder eggs. It is quite common in my homeland of Cathay to use Eggs to deliver various powders in an offensive capacity, Chilli powder is one of the least harmful powders I know of with no real long term affects. I think To’Mas will find them useful and they will certainly be more effective than the rotten ones he has been using so far.
Montfort is a large city situated at the end of Axebite Pass. The city is built around a fortress and by Myrmidia what a fortress. The place was massive and nigh on impregnable. The fortress straddles a river, which is possibly the only weakness in the castles design, even taking that into consideration it would take a considerable besieging force to even put a dent in the places defences. The only real threats to the castle would be either Aerial or Magical assault. The Bretonnians run a toll system to cross the river in the centre of the fortress, and by all accounts it is a very expensive toll.
Once we reached the city Viloman left us to go hobnobbing with the local nobility which is I gather his right now that he has become a Knight. To’Mas also slipped away to sell some of the goods we had accumulated, though before he did this he conned Ana out of possibly the most exquisite jewel I had ever seen, it was a Crystalline Pear and I would swear that it had been grown rather than carved. Once he returned to us he split the money he had made with me and then we joined Odric, Anna and Nym and crossed the river. Odric paid the toll for us all. Once we had reached the other side (the little man keeps sniggering whenever I say that not entirely sure why) Odric claimed to know a nice Inn that we could stay at. I had been worried about how the Bretonians would react to the menagerie that we regularly travel with but it seemed like they did not even notice the bears, the Strange Fairy thing that is travelling with Nym or the Siren that Odric is obsessed with. It was weird to say the least.
Odric directed us to the “nice” tavern that he knew of. As we approached the tavern known as Ptarmigan’s it did not appear to be all that nice. Anna bailed on us immediately and went off in search of better accommodations. Nym, To’Mas and I stuck it out I for one was interested to see what kind of places a Scholar of Odric’s bent frequented. The place was a strange as its proprietor. The Tavern was owned by a Dwarf by the name of Ptarmigan. I had met a few Dwarves during the Great War. A dour race who are both tenacious and the staunchest of allies. Ptarmigan was unlike any dwarf I had previously met. He had his races usual physical characteristics but was a radically different philosophy and personality. From what I gather he was something of an amateur scholar, part time prospector and from the nature of his establishment full time Pimp. The establishment was much finer on the inside than it appeared at first glance. The range of alcohol and food available was almost as varied as the women.
We sat down ordered ourselves up some drinks and food and relaxed in the main bar. As we were relaxing and enjoying ourselves when this pretty little halfling lady comes into the bar. I glanced toward the little man whose face bore that love struck expression of the young. Now this promised to be entertaining. I looked at the Halfling women who had spotted To’Mas and looked really very angry. She stalked over to our table and said something about how she had thought that To’Mas was dead, she wanted to know what had happened and why had he not contacted her. The little man just looked dumb struck, throughout her tirade her expression shifted between Angry and Upset. Finally she lost her temper and hit him then stormed off upstairs. I had to suppress my laughter as the little man looked genuinely upset by this encounter. I quizzed him gently on his origins you see I have never really believed that To’Mas was a nine year old boy. To’Mas revealed to me that he was from Hergig and had lived there as long as he could remember, which was only about two years which did not add up. I called Ptarmigan over and enquired about the Halfling woman. Ptarmigan is a little too dedicated to his profession and told me that she was not for hire which of course was not what I meant. Once I had clarified this for him he informed that she was a long term client who stayed here often, that she was a master thief and a self Styled “Templar of Ranald” and her name was Rose. I asked him if he would let her know that I would like to speak to her, but he told me that she had left for the night and he did not know when she would be back.
To’Mas who was seeming a little overwhelmed and also a bit scared asked for a room with a really comfortable bed, and went off to sleep. Nym had retreated to a corner to nurse his one and only drink. I decided to stay up ordered myself another drink and circulated the crowd in the main bar. I met some interesting people though they were all a little strange. As I was chatting with a couple of Mercenaries out of Tilea, a group of three large cloaked figures entered the premises. They immediately caught my attention as they were wearing Cathayan garb. I was intrigued but also had a weird feeling about them. I have always suffered hunches and learned along time ago not to ignore them. They took a table near a group of warriors out of the north. I ordered up several jugs of beer and joined the warriors of the north to see if I could eaves drop on the newcomers conversation. I listened to them talking, they were speaking Cathayan but with an accent I did not recognise, which was strange as I had grown up in Weijin around the court of the great Emperor and was familiar with almost every accent known in Cathay. As I looked at them closer they were obviously armed and armoured. I listened as intently as I could concealed in a group of Drunken Norsemen. They were talking about how they had been following someone and they thought that they had finally caught up with her. I could not help but think that they meant the Halfling woman Rose. This worried me because she obviously had some connection with To’Mas and knowing the little man and his penchant for trouble they could also be after him, and if that were the case I would definitely have something to say on the matter.
It began to get late and they were obviously not going anywhere. If there was a showdown it looked like it was going to take place tomorrow. I got Ptarmigan to sort me out with a room and thought I would get me some sleep. I headed up to my room had my self a bath. Ran a quick maintenance of my weapons sharpened my sword, placed it close to hand and grabbed myself some sleep. I awoke early and went straight to To’Mas’ room to wake him and let him know what was happening. He seemed even more worried and then he showed me a tattoo across his back. This disturbed me enormously. The tattoo consisted of a number of Cathayan symbols laid over one another. I was not familiar with most of the symbols but I recognised one in particular which does not translate well but basically means to forget. The nature of the tattooing and the combinations of Symbols suggested to me some form of enchantment or curse but I am no expert on matters of a magical nature. As we were speaking we began to hear raised voices from below. I grabbed my sword and headed downstairs to see what was happening. The biggest of the three cowled figures were arguing with Ptarmigan saying that he had paid for this woman and wanted her now. The voice was very gravely with an almost guttural sound when speaking Old Worlder. A well dressed woman tried to intervene, upon a second look I realised it was Anna, I checked Nym’s whereabouts. He was exactly where I had left him the night before. Using the abbreviated signs of Battle Tongue I tried to indicate that he should stand ready, but I got no response he must not know the Language, maybe because he is an Elf?
The big Cathayan finally lots his patience and started off upstairs. Anna tried to hit him but missed so she nonchantly (and Strategically) sat on the bottom of the stairs. The two other Cathayans pulled large bladed Halberds and flanked the stairs. I headed up the stairs following the big one upstairs. I waited for him to reach To’Mas’ room and when he opened the door he received an egg in the face from To’Mas. I charged in and attacked my first strike slid straight through the visor of his helm he let out a howl and that was when I knew absolutely that what we were facing was not human. Despite the excellent strike I failed to kill it outright. The battle was fierce and I am not entirely sure how I managed to survive but Myrmidia was definitely smiling on me that day. Nym helped, and at some point To’Mas came flying out of the room and practically flew out of the window at the end of the corridor, when the fight was over I realised that at some point during the battle he had managed to steal the boss mans sword.
Before the last of the creatures died he said “sorry Master we have failed” and with that he smashed a mirror which disintegrated into a fine powder and then a smoke which forced its way into our lungs. This is not good he has managed to mark us for his master. I do not like this at all.
When I called To’Mas back in I noticed that Rose was sitting atop one of the rooftops opposite the Tavern. I called her in as well. I planned to have a long talk with her after I have had a lie down and stopped bleeding.