We collected fat from the dead horses in this caravan. There was very little other wealth. We killed the bugbear prisoner, and obtained a very compliant hobgoblin prisoner, with whom we were unable to speak.
We continued on our way to Laster, trying to stay alive and find information to take back to Assur. Those 900 crints will come in handy. I disguised myself as a goblin and used my magic so I could understand anything the hobgoblin might say. He didn’t say anything useful, so I released him to see what way he would go. As I suspected he headed right for the Curna mountains. We tracked him down but he was dead from the heat by the time we caught him. We decided to take his head so a priest could talk to it in Laster.
About two days later we came across a slaughtered caravan. The wagons and many of the bodies were burned. They men of the caravan, there were no women, had clearly been raped. Nothing of value remained. Danjo wanted to bury the dead. I sat nearby while he did what he felt he had to do.
Later we saw a caravan burning brightly and 20 riders on horseback racing away. For a moment I was afraid that Danjo or Setibyr would race after them! Luckily they followed my lead in hiding and letting them pass. The wagons were blazing brightly when we got there. I suggested we try to douse the flame from a burning box to see what was being transported. Putting water on the crate was disastrous! It exploded and burned hotter. There was a thick, black liquid substance on the crate and other items. It would be helpful if we could learn what this liquid is, and where it comes from. Clues! This is the sort of information that will get us paid in Assur. Of course, if the city falls, it’s not worth the risk to go back there for the crints.
We made it to Laster. Some riders and a wizard met us outside the city. The wizard was as proud as a cock on a fence post. No doubt what we were allowed to see was in illusion. They searched every last container, so it’s lucky I had nothing to hide. I asked the wizard’s name and he refused to tell me. The laws seem strict in Laster. This is a city of thousands, so for now I will simply think on how I can get rich here. The easy pickings usually give the smallest of rewards.
The frightened masses in the city started to swarm us when they heard we made it from Assur. I did my best to placate them with morsels of information, finally I had to bewitch a few so we could simply get past their dirty grasping hands. We took the hobgoblin head to a temple of Lucha. We told them we were working for the Temple of Lucha in Assur and they couldn’t care less. They wanted to know what we know and Danjo told them everything and got nothing in return. They would not cast the speaking dead spell on the head. We went to two more temples. Finally at the Temple of Waukeen, where we were treated properly, as they work hard to separate one from his gold, we started to bargain for the casting of the spell. They want 675 gold to cast the spell today! My companions are a destitute lot and I am not spending my gold this. That is more than I stand to get paid for this entire job! I’ve dickered with the priest, trying to convince him that the knowledge is as valuable to them as it is to us. So far, he has come a bit in my direction, but he still yields.
We left the church and under the suggestion of the priest there, we obtained lodging at the Eye. This is a place worthy of mention! We saw lizardmen, goblins, drow, bugbears, and a beholder, who seems to be the owner of the Eye. The Eye is a spherical structure with a stage in the center where all many of strange creatures perform. It is illegal to kill goblins and other vile races in this city, which is why the drow are allowed to walk free. So back to the drow. My first instinct was to kill, but of course, I know nothing of his capabilities beyond the fact that I don’t wish to face the legal consequences. He said he’s been here for 22 years and he works in the Eye. I wonder if he is exiled from his family, or working as a spy for them. Those drow have schemes inside of schemes, and I saw them turn on each other in a blink of an eye. I hope no one recognizes me as an escaped slave. I will bribe or kill any who try to capture me, damn the laws!
Someone in this city is connected to those robbers and burners in the desert. It only stands to reason. Also, someone in the city must have seen that caravan that was just burned. Surely it would have either originated in Laster, bought or sold goods in Laster, or at least stopped for provisions there. Lastly, I don’t care how vigorous the laws are enforced in any city, there are people making money by breaking those laws. It would good, and maybe profitable, to get in touch with them.