The Veiled Blade

Part Twenty Two

Who You Gonna Call?

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The minutes tick by and the four adventurers consider all sorts of fanciful ideas of how to circumvent the surmised affects of the magical crystal that sits upon the ledger they wish to steal. Finally they come to a decision and Carla sneaks all the way back downstairs to the foyer and casts a locking spell on the room where they have heard people speaking and assume to be the nightwatchmen’s office. One of the room’s inhabitants thinks he hears something but unbeknownst to him his colleague is as deaf as a door post and has been bluffing his way through the job for years – reading the other man’s lips the deaf man says that he doesn’t hear anything.

Upstairs the group readies themselves, with Cadrigar and Jeffric clinging close to the door of the office, anticipating an alarm about to go off as soon as the crystal is moved. Fickenja bravely volunteers to do the dirty work and walks over to the safe, grasps the ledger and gives it an almighty tug free before turning around and running back towards the door and the others. Before she has even gotten halfway across the room a green ethereal ball of glowing light appears and a screaming ghostlike skeletal figure dressed in armour and clutching a battleaxe. The ghostly apparition glides straight for Fickenja and reaches her just as she reaches Cadrigar; the creature swings its axe and strikes the female beggar in the back – its blow does not cause a physical wound, but Fickenja feels herself become instantly weaker. They all run for their lives with the ethereal creature pursuing them down the stairs. The ghostly axe swings again and strikes Fickenja once more in the back, and again she feels herself weaken – she understands that the ghostly creatue is stealing her lifeforce and that it is homing in the ledger.

The injured beggar shouts to Cadrigar and throws the book towards him, but in the poor light and in her panic, she throws wild and the tome falls on the second floor landing. The ghostly creature immediately switches its pursuit and glides straight through the banisters and down to the book. Cadrigar comes running onto the landing and dives down, grabbing the book and manages to avoid the swing of the axe. Jeffric also manages to run past but the creature is already on the move again by the time Fickenja reaches the same spot.

As Cadrigar comes flying down the last flight of stairs he too is struck in the back by the apparition and feels some of his lifeforce being taken away. Durgar, Heinrich and Carla witness the horrifying scene – the Tilean mage recognises the creature as a Wight and immediately understands that it cannot be hurt by non-magical weapons. She sprints forward at a right angle to the pursuit and attempts to caste a Fireball spell but fails, expending the last of her magical energy. At that moment they hear a door being broken down and seconds later a nightwatchman armed with a sword and a lantern appears – Durgar immediately charges at the guard and engages him with his sword, taking a mild wound in the process but is able to injure the man severely enough that he is falls unconscious. The man’s deaf colleague comes running into the foyer and is immediately attacked by a frenzied Jeffric who cuts him down, killing him.

Heinrich, terrified at the sight of the apparition and the appearance of the nightwatchmen goes running for the front doors of the rathaus. Cadrigar and Fickenja run through the basement doors, head down the corridor and makes it back to the original point of entry; the elf pedlar and human beggar quickly jump through the opening, back into the sewers, and run all the way back to the manhole, at the time pursued by the wight, which keeps swinging its axe, but fortunately misses. Reaching the manhole cover, Cadrigar fights to climb the ladder and reach back up to the street while the wight flounders below. Finally, the elf finds his purchase and breaks free from the sewers, ledger in hand – the wight, having strayed too far from its crystal source, dissipates into the air.

Having dealt with the two watchmen, Durgar and Jeffric decide to flee the scene and manage to navigate safely back to the manhole and Cadrigar and Fickenja. Heinrich and Carla are not so fortunate, taking a wrong turning and spending several hours scuttling blindly through the fetid tunnels before surfacing somewhere completely different in town. Meanwhile, the others, having experienced something of a fright, run off to a nearby square to wash off the blood and filth covering them. They discuss what to do next with dull Durgar suggesting they take the ledger straight round to Marius Uns’ mansion; fortunately one of them distinctly recalls their instructions were to return to The Green Dragon. They duly head over there and meet Serge and Karl, the latter taking the ledger off them and the former taking them to the same safe house they had previously stayed in.

Once in their new quarters they are told that they are to stay put until they are fetched by Uns. All of them having suffered injuries through the previous 24hrs and they are all grateful for the chance to rest their weary heads. Carla and Heinrich finally, having trudged halfway across town, reach The Green Dragon; they hammer on the locked doors and Karl answers and then lets them in. After letting them clean themselves up the barkeeper tells them it’s too late to take them to the safe house and that they can stay in the tavern instead. Fortunately for the entire group neither site receives any nocturnal visitors.

The next morning both parties of the group awake and breakfast, during which they remind their hosts that they are expected to return to the Black Tower and give the stolen letters to Captain Aldous – they fear the repercussions that will be visited upon them if they fail. Karl takes the ledger off to Marius, during which time one of his runners takes Carla and Heinrich over to the safe house to be reunited with the others. When Karl returns an hour later he informs the group that Marius wishes them to attend a banquet that evening around five where he will reward them for having successfully completed the job. Karl also hands the group a tied stack of handwritten letters – the counterfeit letters produced by Marius’ wife. The group thank Karl and tell him that they will return for the evening meeting but must first depart to complete their task of handing over the letters.

They subsequently arrive at the Black Tower and tell the duty sergeant that they are there to see Captain Aldous. A short time later they are ushered up the steps to the fifth floor and the captain’s office. The Captain is sat behind his desk with Sgt Brent stood to the side and the mysterious man in flowing robes sat nearby. Fickenja hands over the letters to the captain, none of them having read the contents and therefore being completely unaware of what is transpiring. The Captain hands the letters to the mysterious man who checks them and nods his satisfaction before packing them away in a satchel and leaving. Aldous then tells the group that he is happy with their performance, so happy in fact that he has another pressing job for them.

The group are annoyed and reticent to take on another job and voice their unhappiness, but are less than surprised when the captain assures them that it is his town and that if they refuse he will still have them hanged; he does however, point out that he always has a need for useful and efficient people. The group relents and asks for the details. Aldous tells them that this time he wants them to break into another mansion and put something in. The place is the mansion of a Til Vormann and is called Mont Eidelweiss. He produces a wrapped leather purse and tosses it to Cadrigar and tells them that they are to place it in the bedroom of Vormann. He then pulls out another, smaller package and tells them to place it in the children’s toy box. He tells the group that they have 36 hours to complete the job and that once it’s done they are to get word back to him immediately. The group then ask a number of questions about the layout and defences of the mansion and Fickenja asks for a set of lockpicks which are duly provided. Carla asks for some coin to buy magical supplies and is given 20gp. The group is then led out and they ponder their next step.

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