The hold’s reaction to our return surpassed my expectations. There were explosive celebrations and if we had not shown restraint we would have been incapacitated by the free drinks offered before we even reached the hall of remembering. Once we reached there we were ushered in and we could see the transformation taking place even here. The longbeards who had previously scowled and grumbled now looked on us with something approaching respect, a high praise indeed. Lilith stepped forward to present the volumes she had been tasked to retrieve to much excitement. It filled me with joy that I had been able to assist her in securing her honor for herself. Truly there can be no greater mark of character. Once the formalities were over we sought out the runesmiths and began to lay out the oathgold we had recovered. They were pleased we had succeeded, but swiftly this was replaced with disbelief at the quantity we had brought. I get the feeling our names will be long remembered among these Dawi.
After we had returned our prizes we were invited to feast. I saw Lilith sneak out a side door. I felt the strong desire to go after her, this feast was in her honor after all, but I knew that it was not my place and I would likely make things worse. Against my better judgement I remained, not that I was somber. I quickly sought out the engineers to discuss artillery, a topic I felt I could be on somewhat more of an equal footing on. While there I brought up the irondrake whose diary I had and was honored by being able to present it to his widow and tell her of how he had acquitted himself honorably to the end and had been instrumental in our safe escape. This tale was met with another great round of cheering and toasts to the old Dawi who had never surrendered. It was the least I could do for him.
I discovered that on the subject of artillery we had a great deal to discuss. While dawi designs are far more advanced than empire ones, Their reliance on fixed placements means that I was able to talk from a place of expertise on the use of mobile artillery, a conversation I am sure will serve them well in future against the enemies that control their lost hold. While we were deep in conversation the room was called to silence by the Dawi lord. I saw Jezebel and several lizardmen up on the dais with him. HE announced that there was now an alliance between their peoples, this was met with yet another round of thunderous applause and cheering. I noted that following this Jez was seated at the high table, hopefully only the first such honors she will receive in her life. A short time later the trumpets sounded to announce a guest of importance as a procession of lizardmen entered. For the first time I saw the mighty Saurus warriors, they were indeed imposing. As large as Orcs, but naturally armoured and possessed of great discipline. Truly warriors any officer would be thrilled to command. They were the honorguard for a skink in a huge ceremonial hat. This then would be the lizardmen’s ambassador.
Once the festivities began to calm I began to speak of some of my ideas for the future of artillery to the dawi engineers. There was another who shared my interest in more precise aiming systems and we made much progress on our joint dream that evening as we both brought new information and plans to the table the other had never even considered. May the enemies of the Dawi and the Empire tremble. Eventually though the hour grew too late and I was still weary from the road so I left the revelers to their cheer and retired to the rooms I shared with Hans.
The next day was the day of William’s operation. I longed to be by his side and assist him, but unless invited would not do so as he has asked to be left to his own path. I exchanged pleasantries with him and wished him luck. We had to prepare an anaesthetic that would work for him, so we drugged a nice bit of meat and fed it to his wolf who drifted off to slumber before we extracted a dose for William. From what I understand the surgery went well.
I had my own duties that day. Jez and I were to present our battle plans to the war council. I laid out the facts as I saw them, and stated how I would proceed were I in command. The Dawi and lizardmen seemed to find my tactics of merit and they were swiftly approved. I was also asked to convey a letter back to the old world Dawi holds. I said I must ask my captain, but was sure she would approve. Which she did. With that my official business and I had free time to spend in this wonderous city