was what could probably be described best as a mildly important figure among the criminal societies of Guillan. His motives most likely were the same mixture of primitivity, egoism and thrall-like obedience to whomever was secretly pulling the strings as they were with many others of similar rank, but at least so far he had been reliable in terms of payment and his information trustworthy. If not Vodilic, in chronic need of additional funds, would not have accepted yet another... let's say 'task'... of him. Said task was about delivering a message, but the message would involve enough of a crime to get any perpetrator behind iron bars if caught. However, according to Torril, the receiver would be out of home this evening and busying himself on a party.
The sun had already settled below the horizon, the remaining dim reddish glow was not enough to illuminate the streets. A rather chill wind was underway, so not many people were left out here. The majority of them apparently had already prepared for the night and was at home, but not so that semi-rich, allegedly quite arrogant snob whose house Vodilic was about to break in. There was no light to be seen behind any of the windows and no other activity to be seen around it. For moments Vodilic wondered if he should try to climb up to that opulent balcony, but considering how many workers might have died already by falling off ladders during its construction he abandoned the idea.
The much more simple solution was the main door. There was the chance of some passer-by spotting the tiny bits of damage that would be caused by Vodilic's method of getting inside, but given the poor illumination it was only a very slight risk preferable to breaking one of the windows. With that certain, satisfying snap the door's lock gave way to the brute force applied via the iron bar lodged into the seam between the door and its frame. Vodilic, having to duck in the process, slipped in and slanted a small stool against it in order to keep it closed at all times again. Now was the time to see what he had at hand here...
The most immediate observation: Richness. The desk alone was so decorated with inlaid work and shiny metal fittings that it must have cost more than an average dock worker could afford in several months. It would make an excellent platform for the message, so Vodilic gently placed the folded piece of parchment he had been given by Torril onto it and secured it with the bronze paperweight. The plan was for this to be the only piece of written stuff to survive this evening. The victim whose house he just had broken into was a tradesman, someone who had to keep record of what was in stock, what was to be bought, what had just been sold, who was working for him and countless other things. What could be more devastating than obliterating some of those ? The ordinary blackmailing job was to get in and wreak havoc upon every piece of equipment inside, but Vodilic liked the cleverness of this different approach. It was silent, efficient and would allow him to snatch away whatever he could make fit into his pockets.
The first task was to reignite the fire in the chimney, an issue that was greatly alleviated by the fact that there were still some embers left from hours before. Like said, it was a cold evening... Then Vodilic started searching the drawers, cabinets and other containers for the things to burn. In order to save time he didn't look at them, but just fed them into the flames right away. Trying to check if the plethora of numbers and words on them was relevant information to be destroyed or not would just give him a headache anyway, just burning everything suspicious was much easier. It would get rather hot in here.
Then, with Vodilic already having reached the second floor, a creaking noise could be heard. Vodilic's ears told him that it was not one of the floorboards suffering under his weight. He twisted his head in order to look downstairs and could only watch in horror that it was the stool rubbing against the entrance door. It was forced open from outside and a man whose general body shape clearly had seen better days entered the building among with two other, armed persons.
Instincs told Vodilic to try and jump out of the next window and make a run for it, but he barely was able to slow down in time in order not to jump. There were more people outside and they too were armed."Ohh how cute. Thanks that you already have arranged for a comfortable temperature in here Vat... Vod... Vodilic ? Is that your name ? Well neither I'm sure nor do I care so I'll just call you cuddle bear if that's okay for you ? That party really was disappointing from the very beginning so I decided to leave early. Or no... wait... that was yesterday! Today I just left in order for you to come in!"
The man burst into a bit of laughter that would have raised Vodilic's anger level even if he had not just been realizing that he had been set up. He shoved his chubby frame over towards the fireplace, bent down and pulled out a piece of parchment that had not yet completely incinerated."Let's see what we have here. Trade records from... like 10 years ago ? Good luck that I've been so lazy about cleaning up my archive, certainly don't need this anymore do I ?"
Vodilic stared at the tradesman's stubby fingers as he used them to crumple the piece of parchment and toss it back into the flames. "Thanks for disposing of this crap! Maybe I should have waited a few more minutes but my colleagues became nervous."
The tradesman patted the shoulder of the armed man standing next to him, putting up a nasty smile while the other maintained his quite disciplined grimace. Vodilic was about to say something, but the tradesman who identified himself as Garan raised his index finger as an indication not to say anything."Now you're certainly wondering what has happened. Well... let's say this beautiful city works like a giant set of gears. Big ones turn the smaller ones, but without the smaller ones the whole thing would come to a grinding halt as well. Now unfortunately this set of gears suffers from a slight error: Some of those smaller gears hang so low that, as they turn, their teeth touch the ground and dig up dirt and pieces of sand. They either don't realize that this is dangerous for the entire machine or they can't change much about their situation anyway. Most of this dirt and sand drops off in time, but some pieces get sucked in and start to annoy. Pieces like you. And the small gear I'm talking about is your brave master Torril who stopped asking critical questions the moment he was confronted with a sufficient amount of coins. I guess he doesn't even know that his very latest contract was a trap for one of his employees and that the one contacting him was my loyal secretary. Now please do me the favor and arrest this cuddle bear. The machine must continue to turn!"
The armed men had waited halfway partiently so far, but now all three of them rushed up the stairs while those waiting outside around the place continued to stand by. Even Vodilic could see that it would be lethal to try and resist against this summoning without solid armament on his own side. This bootlicker of Garan must have called for the entirity of his low-cost private guards that usually protected his warehouse. They put Vodilic in chains and forced him to walk towards the castle, Garan accompanying the bunch of men along the whole way. He appeared to have enough authority to claim that Vodilic had broken into his house and tried to sabotage him.
A not so comfortable cell awaited Vodilic. The ceiling was a tad too low for him to stand completely upright, but there was a rich supply of water seeping in from various places. There was no such thing as a bed, just a pile of hay for him to sleep on. The question was what would come next for him: Just this or a trial ? An uncomfortable, tingling sensation started to appear around Vodilic's neck.