It could not have been more than an hour later that I was awoken by a scream from outside. It appears the ghouls had made their way through a perceived weak point in the defences while William was on the far side of the building, though they had not taken account of the skeletal guards who struck out at them. There must have been at least 60 of them, more than we could easily overcome, and even if we did they would likely get one of our companions in the scuffle. I tossed Hans my pistol as he blasted a ghoul and began chanting, calling upon all the dead of the village to rise and fight for me. My body quivered with energy as I pulled 120 souls back from wherever they had gone and trapped them into my snuff box which vibrated angrily at with the pressure within. The ghouls were obviously panicked, but were not defeated yet and tried desperately to get to the mortals with us before the skeletal army was fully raised.
It was then that Lilith used her vampiric abilities to push the ghouls over the edge from fight to flight and with that the excitement of the night was over. I posted the new skeletal guard to continue guarding and also to gather what valuables there were left in the village. By morning I was greeted with a small pile of treasure that would be a welcome addition to my wealth.
As we were preparing to set off we heard hoof beats and the wheels of a carriage. I ordered the skeletal host to form ranks in case of trouble. Several riders and a heavily converted warwagon came into view. We were eyed suspiciously by the riders as a familiar figure stepped out of the warwagon. It was sadly not my sire, but an apprentice amethyst wizard I had known back in Altdorf, one who I suspected as being the one who had set the witch hunters after me. He did not look pleased to see me, but it appears my sire has magically dominated him and so he was forced to welcome my party and I. Hans and I took up his invitation for a ride in the carriage, while the others traveled in a palanquin I had made the skeletons construct.
My pleasure in my rivals discomfort at my presence was delicious, but it would not last. It appears my sire has taken over one of the few remaining villages and guards the locals in exchange for their fealty and their supplying him with blood.
My Sire’s estate was comfortable, but due to its remote location was not as grand as many of the castles we have seen in Brettonia, but as its main strength is secrecy this makes some sense. It did have a well appointed library and while staying I took full advantage to read up on what I could find there as well as checking what my sire has been working on. I gave him my perspective on what he had left behind in his library of his work. I hope he finds it helpful.
At dinner I thoroughly enjoyed my food. This was not only because it was well prepared, but the very fact of my eating at all left our host completely flabbergasted. Being able to confuse him without even trying is deeply satisfying in a way I can’t place properly into words. At dinner Jez apparently became enamoured with the village girl brought to provide blood for her. I do worry about that one, it would turn out that my worries were correct as Jez proceeded to recruit the peasant girl and several other from the village who will be returning with us to the ship. I don’t think any of us really knew what to say.
Later in the evening after some Brandy and Cigars my rival asked to speak to me in private. I humoured him and we proceeded to have a very good, if awkward, talk about Hans and my sire. I was warned not to use my vampiric abilities on Hans as he wouldn’t be the same afterwards, a warning being given from bitter personal experience. I asssured our host that I had no intention of harming Hans, but I am glad I was warned that even turning him would cause problems. I hadn’t given the matter much thought, but it is an issue I would need to give considerable thought to in the future and Hans and I would require a long chat about it at some point. After our talk our host and I resumed our hostilities now that the flag of truce had been lowered.