It is the evening of April 15th, 1205. Day 27 of the lunar cycle, and so there is a crescent moon (waning) in the sky tonight. Except that the sky is overcast; the moon and stars cannot be seen. Without some source of light, it will be very difficult to see while outside (mystical powers not withstanding). The weather is expected to get worse through the night.
Rudolf wakes in his new chambers. There's no sign that anybody has attempted to enter. It is the third night after his arrival. Count Teschen encountered some obstacles to having all the men and the silver tipped weapons available on the second night, but he predicted that all would be fine by tonight.
Rudolf dressed himself and exited his chambers. Rudolf went looking for Count Teschen.
[I imagine Rudolf would have fed Count Teschen more of his blood over the past three days. Is this alright?]
Teschen is waiting in his office, which seems to have become his preferred place to wait for Rudolf's awakening. "My Lord. I have excellent news. The men are armed, and ready. We have silver-tipped arrows in abund... well... not an abundance, but enough that we can progress safely if we are conservative with our shots, and we are able to retrieve arrows after a battle. All the men have some kind of silver melee weapon... we found that silver wouldn't take an edge very well, and was too fragile for normal swords. However, silver axeheads seem to be sturdy enough, and a spiked warhammer of silver will still penetrate quite deeply, even through armor." He seems very pleased with himself.
"We have one group of 20 hunters, all mounted and armed both with hammers and arrows. Twenty-one, including myself. They await your inspection, my Lord." On the table in front of him, there is a warhammer of fine quality. The head has a 6" spike on one side and a sort of small axe blade on the other; the whole thing looks quite hefty, and has a leather wrapped oaken haft nearly two feet long. All in all, a brutish but very deadly looking contraption. "This one is for you, my Lord."
Rudolf decided to inspect the group of hunters right away. "Take the lead Count Teschen. I want to see this group of twenty you've got, then we can head to the gate where those demons first attacked and go from there."
They get to the kitchens, where a man is seated at the table eating. Teschen walks in, and the man stands a bit awkwardly. "My Lord Garnett, this is Klaus, my sergeant. Klaus, please gather the men in ten minutes. His Lordship would like to inspect the troops before we depart. Have them bring full gear and be ahorse." Klaus nods, and departs without speaking.
"Would you care for any refreshment while they gather?"
From the rear of the room, an older boy, or a very young man not yet fully grown, raises his voice, having heard Teschen's response, which wasn't so quiet as Rudolf's. "Begging your pardon, m'lords, but if it's a pretty young thing you're after, I know of one who can be found easy enough, this time of night. She comes around to visit the men sometimes, for a penny a man."
Taschen looks aghast. "The men have been at her..." but stops before making a point.
The boy, for his part, takes the pennies faster nearly than the eye can follow, then says "I'll bring her right back here, m'lud. You watch. She won't be nowhere you'd want to go, see." Before a response can be made, he's out the door and away.
Only five minutes later, a woman's voice can be heard from outside the door. "You listen here, Timothy. If you're playing some joke on me... nobles won't be laughing, and it'll be my hide taking the whipping. And Gunter wasn't done yet, neither. I had to give him back his penny."
"I ain't lyin', Ilsa. Honest. Here's the pennies he gave me just to find you, see? NO, you can't have 'em. But where'd I get 'em, if not from a lord wantin' somethin' done? So here you are." He opens the door, and nudges Ilsa inside. "Here she is, m'luds. Just as I said."
Ilsa smiles, almost shyly, and curtseys to the pair. "How may I be of service, lords?" Clearly, her natural deference to nobility was conflicting with her normal 'work' demeanor.
Rudolf waited until the lad had left and used the power of Awe to amaze the woman. "I am travelling beyond the walls and need pretty company. I want to buy your services." Rudolf stepped forward and looked over Ilsa's figure. "I just want to make sure you meet my standards." Rudolf tilted Isla's head to the side and turned her head away. Finally, Rudolf took a bite from her neck and drank from her deeply.
Rudolf licked the wound after he was finished.
[Drinking 4 BP.]
Taschen slaps him in the back of the head, "None of yer lip, boy. Be gone with ye." And, Timothy scampers out.
Ilsa smiles, maybe a little nervously at the idea of going behond the walls. As Rudolf leans in, she smiles coyly, much more comfortable playing the tart. Rudolf cannot see her expression change as his teeth sink in. The difference is subtle, but Taschen can tell she stopped faking her pleasure.
Rudolf can feel her sag against him, while her hands grip his shoulders tightly. He takes 4bp from her, and releases her. She wobbles unsteadily, and reaches for the table so she doesn't collapse.
"Did I measure up, Lord? I would follow you anywhere for a kiss like that."
"We should think about preparing to leave now." This was directed at Count Teschen. "I want Ilsa and yourself to be by my side the whole time we ride and camp."
For her part, Ilsa is still leaning against the table, only marginally successful in staying upright, much less listening to what Taschen is saying about her. And while she is still enjoying the bliss of Rudolf's kiss, she is starting to look slightly distressed at the same time.
"How long until we have her equipped?" Rudolf's tone gained a dangerous edge.
"If she were a proper lady, there would need to be a full kit of course. As she is..." He turns to Ilsa, "Can you even ride, dear?"
She tries to shake the cobwebs from her head, then looks at him. "Horse? Oh, no Lord. Never in my life done more than just move out of their way, Lord."
Teschen frowns at her, but chooses not to say anything further. "Then... she would slow us down less by simply sharing a mount with one of us. She weighs next to nothing."
"She... well, there's no way to say this delicately... I presume she'd sleep with you My Lord, so there's no tent needed."
"Then I withdraw my objection. We need not wait, to bring her with us. Though... as drunk as she is, I would suggest she ride in front of a man, and not behind. She might fall off."
As the three, Ilsa a bit unsteadily still, arrive in the courtyard, the men are indeed there, holding their mounts patiently. Teschen leads the way, and calls to the men. "Up, lads. We're away on the moment. This is his Lordship, Rudolf Garnett, my distant cousin, come to Vienna. His first gift to his new home will be to hunt down our demon attackers, and we all will be a part of that tale."
The men, for their part, quickly mount up and then bow differentially to von Teschen and Rudolf. They all seem competent. Their gear is well-kept but well-used, and they mount with practiced ease.
Teschen himself holds the reins on a fine stallion, "My finest horse, cousin. A gift to you. May he bring you great renown."
"You're very kind, cousin," Rudolf answered. "Thank you for all your help. We will easily handle these demon spawn and bring back security to this land."