The slave taker is taken, his operations disrupted, his flesh rent, his spirit departed.
Following an ambush by some zombies which was too unexpected, gentle reader, and too quickly resolved to discuss any further at this time, the party engaged in some light espionage (having some experience in that area, I explained that some rather more surreptitious skulduggery would have have worked as well, and with less risk, but I digress). They did this (against my advice) to arrange a meeting with our target, during which certain Intelligence was Gathered regarding the lay and disposition of our late halfling friend’s lair.
Our pretense was that we were fellow slave-takers, preparing the way to market for our vile wares. I played the role of Niggardly Financeer with great aplomb, while Erandor and Skyrp were the managers hired to make sure my notional money was not wasted. Our meat, of course, played the meat.
They gained his confidence and explored some of his hideaway, learning nothing useful and wasting an entire day for little gain, since we simply attacked him outright that very evening. Still, if it pleases my companions or brings them any comforting illusion of agency to dress up a stab in the dark as the culmination of a Great Scheme then it is worth the small cost of a leisurely day about the city to me.
The attack itself was a series of escalating adventures: a struggle against dread spirits by the waterside, a rooftop battle, a face-off with a dragon, gentle reader, and actual dragon, and the final confrontation between our party and the slaver’s entourage. This sort of swashbuckling, with all the the attendant slinging of spells, shouting of challenges, ringing of blade upon blade, and so on, is quite outside my usual métier, gentle reader, but I must confess that I found it quite… invigorating. There is a certain romance to this sort of life. To have killed a dragon is no small accomplishment; it is a task worthy of a great boast!
In the course of all this, we learned some trifle about a cult devoted to becoming more dragon-like, or perhaps becoming actual dragons. I suspect that these cultists are fools, being played as pawns in some scheme. Dragons, as you, gentle reader, will doubtless be aware, are subtle, alien creatures, not easily understood or manipulated by other races.
We heard from an information-gatherer, a Drow that Rowena has dealings with, that there might actually be some legitimacy to this group. The Colosseum itself, it seems, is a great summoning circle or dark altar, built to power some fell rite. The Dark Elves normally strike me as dour, acerbic, inconstant nuisances, best watched carefully and rarely trusted, but this one has a certain spark to her.
Either way, of course, it is another influential body in a city already well over-provided with influential bodies, and so it is another potential market for an individual with my particular set of abilities, should I choose to strike out on my own again while still in Ishar.
Our favor to Rowena is fulfilled, but we have been presented with the matter of a necromancer who may be at large in the city. For myself, I care nothing for the fate of Ishar or its people, but the matter of the necromancer also seems to pique the interest of my present compaions, and the prospect of further adventure is, I confess, quite tempting.