The final prisoner, Thelem the Dragon-blooded, last beaten and bloodied survivor of his adventuring band, lay bound to the table, manacles on his wrists and ankles, a rag stuffed in his mouth, for his captors did not want answers… They did not need answers. This was about cruelty and terror.
Three of his captors stood around him, a jet-skinned southerner that leaned upon the massive hammer that had broken Thelem’s shield-arm through both his armour and his family shield. The same hammer that had crushed the skull of his beloved younger brother Thelis… Oh, were that Thelem was free and armed! He would have some measure of revenge!
The hooded figure, a person of the Ruby Sea, no mistake from his accent, and one that seemed to revel in the inflicting of pain had murdered his other wounded comrades, he seemed giddy with the pleasure of taking life. Laughing as he counted the coin taken from the bodies of his comrades, he had discarded anything that wasn’t gold or better.
The third, a westerner, strangely was wearing a turban, seemed to be in charge. His eyes glowed with arcane magic even in the shadows and unlike the others he seemed to have a purpose beyond the mere killing of his group… Perhaps if Thelem could appeal to this?
He had disintegrated the bodies of his brother and his comrades with an evil purple ray and a magic beyond any of them, ‘getting rid of any evidence’ was how he described it. But now he stood before Thelem and with a cold sneering voice, he lifted Thelem’s chin up as he addressed his comrades to look straight into Thelem’s terrified eyes.
“Why does every group of adventurers in this shit-hole seek to betray you and have a fucking dragon-blood leading them?”
There was a pause, perhaps he was searching for Thelem’s final look of defiance? He got it.
“Because you dragon-bastards can’t be trusted. Least of all in this toilet of a city.”
The jet-skinned Southerner spoke, “Last night there was a group sought to talk to me, novices by the look of them, but humans if that serves better? I told them to approach you at the stall…”
The arcane westerner stood back, looked thoughtful, he sighed, “No dragon-kin?”
“Four humans. They approached me apart from their one kobaldi comrade… a bard at that. One of the humans wore a hidden symbol of Lada. They asked about the lands beyond the city. ”
There seemed to be some smirk in his voice, almost like the fact that the kobold was a bard was funny. The hooded figure also laughed, the westerner looked even more annoyed at this.
“They will have to do. If you meet them be as pleasant as you can manage. They may be more inclined to our allegiances.”
The human then returned his attention to Thelem, he looked contemptuous. The last words Thelem heard before a purple light unmade him were “You did not know you were betraying me, but betray me you did. And for that, you die!”