When they got back from the Grand Hunt after an outdoor lunch in Richmond Deer Park,
Clara discovered the Book of the Tentacled Horror had been stolen from her locked trunk, in her locked room. They all had a hunt around and discovered each of their rooms had been entered and carefully searched. Everything examined and put back in place except the book. It is a pretty damming piece of evidence. If the discoverer wanted to accuse Clara of Witchcraft, she would probably get executed for it.
Dr Dee is the only one who remained at the palace. His room was also searched. He said a maid came in to clean his room and he sent her away. A short time later a servant brought him a message to come for a meeting with Robert Cecil (Secretary of State, Spymaster, known as the Queen’s Imp). He went to Cecil’s office and had to wait an hour before being told that important matters of State meant the interview had to be cancelled.
They suspected Cecil. Clara tried to get an interview with him, hoping for an opportunity to search his office, but they failed to get an interview. She took a huge risk and listened at the inner door, overhearing “… Don’t really believe anything will happen, but to be on the safe side, I’m spreading a rumour about a Jesuit plot and using that as a reason to make some other preparations – just in case…”
Ezekiel fetched Harry to the Palace from the Turks Head tavern (Harry’s unofficial “office”) and, with some difficulty, got him into the tower rooms and up to speed with events.
It seemed that Harry’s summer break had been quite profitable and he had managed to remove his Wanted status. Thomas Percy, the instigator of the warrant against him had met with an unfortunate accident. The “Hero of Prague” had an excellent alibi, as tales are still coming in from Europe about him.
The consensus of opinion was that Cecil had sent an agent to search their rooms and he now had the Book. As they were still alive, they were in no obvious immediate danger but politics seems more deadly than monsters. Harry went back to his office.
The next day they left the palace and took rooms at The Saracen, considerably more up-market than Harry’s local. Ezekiel went to fetch Harry again as they were intending to wander around London taking measurements and doing final calculations to work out the exact location where the Harbinger was destined to arrive in 3 weeks time. As he had now had the Queen’s promise of financial backing, Dee was able to get a loan and pay them all for their adventures so far, 20 pounds each and an extra 5 for Harry for the safe return of Clara.
While in the Turks Head, Ezekiel overheard one of the less savoury patrons speak the name “Clee”. This was the name of the gypsy bandit who kidnapped his wife and daughter, then sold them to a Necromancer, Ezekiel had been hunting Clee for years. Always, when he caught up with the dashing outlaw, the man had managed to slip away.
Ezekiel and Harry followed the little man to yet another tavern, The Waterfront, on the banks of the Thames, less than half a mile from London Bridge. This place was built right onto the riverside, had a jetty on one side with mooring for a few barges. Currently moored outside was one laden barge, one empty barge and a small skiff. From inside the tavern came the sound of fiddle playing and a smooth baritone voice that sent shivers of ice through Ezekiel’s veins. it was Clee! With half a dozen of his river pirate friends. They sent a boy to fetch “a young woman called Clara Dee and a yellow skinned man from the Saracen Inn” the boy said that the yellow fever was bad and their friend should get hisself to the local hospital where miracle cures could be found. He returned swiftly with Clara and Masa who agreed to help.
They burst into the bar through all three of its doors, weapons drawn. Clee recognised his nemesis and sneered at them, stirring up his companions to attack. The gypsies were no strangers to combat but were totally outclassed by the heroes. Masa dropped two of them in the first round [GM: First Strike and Riposte]. Harry felled the largest of the thugs with one mighty swing of his hammer and then dropped three more in as many rounds. Ezekiel and Clara concentrated their fire on Clee who ducked and dived and swirled his cloak, proving a very hard target.
Clee leapt onto a table and struck at Masa. They fenced skilfully, neither managing to seriously wound the other. Clara’s bullets and Ezekiel’s bolts whizzed past their heads. When a bolt pierced his flamboyant hat, Clee looked aggrieved and said “that was my favourite hat! I think we must be about even now” He dived out of a rear window, into the river. Ezekiel let out a scream of frustration, he couldn’t let Clee escape again!
While Harry paused for a drink, the others rushed outside, Masa and Clara clambered over the laden barge and onto the skiff, Ezekiel rushed down a narrow alley to the water’s edge. Clee, bleeding from a couple of wounds, was waiting below and lunged up to skewer his enemy, but Ezekiel was too quick and put a bolt into his shoulder. Clara shot him with a pistol bolt too, then finally Ezekiel tucked his wife’s handkerchief into the gypsy’s pocket and put a bolt right through his brain. They dragged his corpse out of the river and left it lying in the alley.
Masa had found Clee’s satchel under his seat in the bar, it contained a few letters, some money and a couple of grenades. Ezekiel searched the corpse and found fine jewellery, money, fine clothes and weapons and a strange, crude wooden disk, 6 inches diameter
painted black, with a white bone drawn on it and tied to a leather thong like a medallion.