It’s getting late at night, and down in the sewers beneath the Red Blades Janwar is preparing to strike. He’s placed his new recruits hiding a few blocks away; not ideal, but he couldn’t find anywhere closer that was out of sight of the Red Blades compound.
Down in the darkness, he slicks back his hair, puts his helmet on, nods to Aman and Soraya and starts climbing. The narrow shaft has no ladder, but their are rough handholds carved into the packed earth. As he rises, he can see the dim outlines of the room above through a circular hole in a wooden cover over the shaft. Stopping to listen, he hears nobody nearby, and so gently lifts the cover with the slightest creak of hinges. He climbs out, into what looks to be a small, dusty privy. Holding the cover open, he waves Aman and Soraya up and then in a soft voice tells those that lurk below to climb up.
As Soraya and Aman adjust their armour straps and weapons, the soft sound of shuffling and climbing rises up the shaft. Aman and Soraya slowly scout out the room outside, as the risen corpses start filling the privy. Janwar arranges them as they climb out, and then moves into the room next door. He finds himself in a barracks that looks like it’s been empty for a while; there’s dust on the beds and the windows are grimy. The group have a quick scout around; Janwar finds a door out of the barracks, Soraya checks the windows and works out where they are in the compound, and Aman finds some discarded suits of lamellar armour in a chest. Janwar checks the door, and can see it opens into one corner of the central courtyard. Just ahead is another building, with a side door.
Janwar slides open the barracks door, and quickly moves across the courtyard to the side of the other building. As he’s moving into the shadow of the other building, though, he hears a grunt of interest from somewhere in the courtyard. Pressing himself against the wall, he motions for the others to get ready and listens carefully. There’s footsteps approaching, and light spreading across the packed earth of the courtyard from a torch. Only one set of steps, and they seem more interested in the now-ajar door to the barracks. As the guard comes into view, torch in one hand and sword in the other, Janwar tenses and then rushes. The guard notices him in time to turn, but is totally flatfooted as Janwar kicks him in the groin and stabs him in the leg. The pain only adds to his confusion, and he’s staggering back as an arrow goes right through his head. Janwar’s temporarily shocked by the gore and just stands there as the body crumples down. Aman rushes over to grab the sword before it clatters to the ground, and the rest of the body falls with a muffled thump. Janwar recovers himself, thanks Aman and Soraya, and together they drag the body into the barracks.
The three then move to the door to the other building, and try to listen in. Janwar reckons he can just about hear voices talking, and Soraya says she thinks they’re at least a few rooms away judging by the volume and pitch. Janwar opens the door carefully, with nary a squeak, and finds himself in the back of a long kitchen, lit only by the dull red glow from a clay brick oven. The voices are coming through a door at the far end. At a command from Janwar, the risen dead shuffle in, and the three Fingers move slowly and quietly through the kitchen. As they get closer to the door, they can make out what’s being said; it sounds like two servants grumbling about their boss, over the occasional sound of cutlery on crockery. They’re too busy complaining about never getting invited on their boss’ pleasure jaunts despite preparing all the food to hear the Fingers taking position around the door. Janwar sets up the attack precisely, and in the instant that Aman opens the door he’s dashing through and spearing one servant while Soraya sends an arrow into the throat of another. In seconds, both servants are slumped over their modest dining table with blood pooling beneath. The zombies are called forward, but Janwar stops them from eating the bodies.
The small band move out of the servant’s quarters and into the main body of the guild. This is remarkably opulent; the walls are covered in fine hangings and murals, and the fixtures have stylish touches of gilt. There are reception rooms, extended offices, and stairs going upstairs to a mezzanine floor. Unfortunately, the invaders are too busy scouting around the downstairs to pay much attention to the floor above. As Janwar’s looking through a scribe’s office full of lists of assets and transactions, there’s a crash from upstairs. Quickly dispatching Soraya and Aman outside to make sure nobody gets out, he runs to the stairs up, only to find them blocked by a makeshift blockade. It looks like somebody’s toppled over a bookshelf and other furniture to stop people coming up. He sends the dead to pull down the barricade, and raises his shield to shield him from anyone on the balcony above.
As the zombies start pulling apart the furniture, an arrow shoots out of the dark at the side Janwar’s shield isn’t covering, but the angle’s wrong and it glances off his chest piece. Now he’s got a view of the figure above with a bow, he starts to duck and weave, trying to ensure the archer’s not paying attention to the dead. Another arrow whistles down, and this one just gets through the lamellar armour on Janwar’s chest. Most of its force was absorbed though, and the hit just winds him. Janwar decides to take cover out of the sight of the archer, and catches his breath.
As he climbs back up the stairs, an arrow thunks into one of the undead, but it continues unrelenting. There’s the sound of feet running away upstairs as the dead finish tearing apart the blockade, and Janwar gives chase. Unfortunately his quarry had a head start, knew the layout, and wasn’t wearing heavy armour, and loses his pursuer (but Janwar advances speed!). Janwar gets to s window in time to see the guard sprinting across the courtyard pursued by Aman. He’s almost at the gate when an arrow shoots through his thigh and he falls screaming. He’s not on the ground long before Aman lumbers up and brings down his axe, and then all is quiet.
With the guards dealt with, all that’s left to do is to clear out the rest of the guild’s inhabitants. Aman and Soraya are put on watch for people trying to escape, and then Janwar and the dead go from room to room, kicking in doors and murdering the sleeping scribes and merchants. As they murder one after the other, Janwar repeats a mantra over and over: Blood for Money. For Sorweel and Gabriel. Several minutes later, he finds himself sitting on a bed, a dead Red Blade at is feet. His hands are shaking, covered in her blood. The soft found of flesh being gnawed fills the building. Soraya and Aman come up to the second floor; there’s nobody left to watch out for. Aman looks pale, while Soraya’s noticing all the corpses, a look of distast on her face. “Looks like all of them. Are we hanging around?” Janwar stands up and pulls his helmet back on, and looks around. “We grab whatever looks valuable, and then we go.”
They move through the guild building, and find the Ambrosia store. With half-a-dozen jars and a bag of shards put away, they send the dead down into the sewers and bring in the recruits to help clear up. As they put the recruits to work dragging the bodies down into the sewers, so that the rats will disguise the risen dead’s bite marks, Janwar keeps watch for any dealing badly with the work, and with a shard word of command keeps them in line. With the bodies disposed of in the sewers and their stolen goods safely packed away, the enforcers of the Hand of Zarus make their way back through the dark city streets home.