Heinrich had no idea how Dirk and Mellisande had known where they would be before even he knew and the way they were hurriedly rushing them through Altdorf with no answers and only cryptic evasions was entirely too suspicious. The Dread Master of Liches agreed and the two ducked into a dark alleyway to take matters into their own hands.
The nervous guild thief cautioned against stopping, trying to insist on continuing on to his preferred spot for an ambush but after nearly being bound to the Crown of Sorcery’s prison Heinrich was having none of it. He demanded to know why and Dirk merely rung his hands and gave another vague non-answer so Heinrich started looking about for signs of trouble, magical wards, scrying sensors, and found nothing. The Dread Master continued his work uninterrupted as Heinrich took up position in the shadows at the entrance of the alleyway to stand guard.
Meanwhile the Viscount and the Grand Marshal turned on their erstwhile rescuer and demanded to know what was going on. They tried to keep it hushed but she proudly explained that they were not who they thought they were, she was not whom she appeared to be, and they should betray Mannfred and usurp him. Each statement was more shocking than the next and Heinrich was distracted from his post by awaiting the assured violent reaction from his allies. But it was not forthcoming.
‘Are they actually going along with it?’ Heinrich was completely taken aback. Suddenly the scope of options available to him broadened considerably. But the Viscount was manipulative and often played along with his petitioners before betraying them so Heinrich remained silent. The others had always seemed so willing to serve, well, not the Necrarch, but rebellion offended them, they were proud of their family name and position. To be approached by a traitor and take her words at face value, especially under the circumstances; sure they might subvert their orders to their own benefit occasionally but she was confidently proclaiming hericide the only option. Of course she wouldn’t do it, it was up to us. And somehow Mannfred hadn’t recognized his sire’s one true love and object of obsession?
But they were still listening. In fact they seemed to be going along with it. Was the prospect of more power what motivated them? It couldn’t be justice or stopping the collateral damage the Count was on track to cause, the Baron of Oberstyre was giddy at such things, not that they others seemed to listen to him outside the field of battle. Probably for the best, while the others fed on death the Wight King bathed in it and it was his fixation.
“Just play along for now,” the supposed Isabella was telling them. “Give Mannfred the Crown, it will not serve him. Then watch for your opportunity to strike.”
It was utter madness, the ruin brought to the Empire repeatedly over that artifact was staggering and she suggests giving it to the creature most able to use it? How would that do anything but make it harder to destroy him? Heinrich could be silent no longer, perhaps if the others were bluffing he could claim later he was merely playing along to gather more information, but for now it was time to gamble. Heinrich proclaimed Mannfred a rabid monster who needed to be put down and received not so much as an arched brow of surprise.
At this rate maybe he should announce he had a living son training to be a Vampire Hunter. Or that he had made a pact with a bound primordial beyond the stars. Apparently anything was fair game this night.