Zog picked up both of the prisoners, setting them down on his shoulders so he could carry them back to the camp. Up on his shoulders, they should hopefully be protected from any violence directed toward them by Harkonan.
On the way to the camp, Harkonan asked Zog if he knew where any sheep were, or where he could get some wool. Zog shrugged his shoulders and replied “I don’t know”, and then Harkonan looked around for a moment. Spotting a bird, he offered some food out for it. The two stared intently at one another for a moment, but Zog didn’t know what they were doing.
“What’s wrong with your friend?” One of the prisoners asked Zog,
Zog shrugged and then replied, “I don’t know.”
“Does he always act like this?”
“As long as I’ve known him.”
Harkonan continued offering the bird some food and staring intently at it. Eventually it started to fly around overhead, and Harkonan asked Zog “Do you like my bird?”
“Is nice bird.” Zog replied.
“Hey, prisoners.” Harkonan said.
“Do you like my bird?”
The prisoners were not amused.
Soon enough, the party makes it back to the camp. He went to speak with the priestess, asking her what she thought of his bird, and to ask her for healing. She healed Harkonan of his injuries. Harkonan began asking around the camp if anybody had any hunting dogs, or anybody capable of capturing animals. He found little luck, and after Illandra handed Zog a letter for Rezan, the four began heading back to the camp.
Zog and Harkonan began talking to the prisoners. Zog apologized for scaring them, since they said earlier they were just defending themselves from the charging, shouting persons. Harkonan began to argue with them and taunt them, but discovered that they were hired on to follow a bounty hunter seeking Tim, after being promised gold. Zog told them he and his companions had only recently arrived, and wanted to ask them some questions. They seemed surprised that he had arrived from some place else, and that they hadn’t come from the lowlands. Harkonan seemed offended that they’d think he was from here. They commented that Zog was rather pale, and looked like he’d be a native, even if he’s fairly strong. Harkonan got into an argument with them about their god, who seemed to allow them to kill without any moral qualms. They said they were just defending themselves. “Zog would have attacked Zog too.” He replied.
“What do you know about Tim?” Zog asked the prisoners. They only seemed to know that he was some sort of conjurer. Harkonan corrected them and told them that he was a diabolist, and then got into an argument with them about Tim and the morals of capturing somebody for a bounty. He began to threaten the prisoners, and the prisoners seemed to take solace that they were being protected by Zog. “Tim said that bounty was because he didn’t respect Benuvian god. Is that true?” He asked. They figured that would be an appropriate reason, and that the bishop had seemed to want him for some reason. “Does bishop have much power in Benuvia?” Zog asked the prisoners. They replied that the bishop was the right hand of the king, and had much power for that reason. “Is it king who has power, or bishop?” Zog asked. They replied that some thought the king had the power, but it was more likely the bishop who held it, in truth.
When they got to the camp it seemed that many of the old tents had been pulled down. Some survivors seemed to be coming ashore from the ships that had crashed on the rocks in the seas. Zog asked the prisoners if they had seen this place before, hoping they might have known what the old camp was, or who inhabited it. They said that they had never been out this far, as many dangers were in the dark forest, such as quicksand and large wolves and the like. Harkonan taunted them for being cowards. It was discovered that the water warlock was able to save many of the people from the water. Harkonan began gloating of their capture to the people in the camp.
They went to Rezan’s tent and found the general wearing his full plate gear standing around a large map, with the water warlock beside him. Harkonan told them that he had brought prisoners who attacked them, and brought them ears and spines of the fallen. Rezan told him that was not a proper way to take care of prisoners, and offered the two prisoners some seats. Zog told Rezan of Tim, who was an old and frail man who said he had left Timiro when King Gedrow was still in power. Harkonan said the men were trying to kill Tim, but Zog spoke in defense of the prisoners, saying that the people here were very religious and had accused Tim of heresy, and that the bishop had offered a bounty for the capture of Tim. They talked about the possibility that time might pass more slowly in this place, and that this Tim might be the same Tim, a young boy, who had set out with the previous expedition that left only seven months ago. Zog suggested that Rezan should meet with Tim himself.
Harkonan asked for some time to speak to Rezan in private, and Rezan stated that he would first like to speak with the two prisoners in private. Zog went off to get his leather armor repaired. The man seemed intimidated as Zog approached, but Zog asked if he’d be able to repair his ragged leather armor. He said it seemed a bit worse for wear, and that he’d have to get a few guys to help him. Zog asked him if he could have it done in six hours, and the man seemed hesitant but said he could try and get it finished that quickly. As Zog was leaving the leathersmith, he saw Harkonan approach with several dogs. Harkonan shouted to Zog, telling him to look at his dogs, and telling his Zogs to say hello. They barked at Zog, and Zog offered but a wave to them before heading off to go cook and eat, and perhaps to rest.
While Zog was eating, Moriel came to him and gave him a list, saying that she wanted him to find the various plants listed there. Zog told her that he could not read, but she told him that Teb would help him to read them. He asked her what the plants were, and when she listed them, Zog recognized some of the components as being poisonous, and asked her what she needed them for. She said it would help her in case their journey were ever to become more dangerous. Zog hesitantly agreed to help her find and mix the components as they were listed.
Guy asked the group what their task was, and Harkonan informed the group that they were to take the two prisoners back to the city and allow them to return alive. Teb provided Harkonan some additional healing, bringing him to a healthy state once again. Harkonan thanked Teb, then asked him what he thought of his attack hounds. Teb politely told him that he looked forward to seeing them in action, but hoped they would not become as blood thirsty as Harkonan was. Harkonan said they weren’t yet, but he hoped they would be soon, and that he had already fed them the ears of the fallen bounty hunters. Harkonan and Guy set off to the tower the group had discovered some time ago, to deliver an axe to Kyle. During the evening, the leather-worker came to Zog and gave him his armor. He said that five men worked to repair it, but they got it done. Zog thanked him and offered him a peach, in return.
After resting, the party awoke the next morning. The group went to speak with Rezan, who told them that the prisoners were unconscious and would need to be carried back, until they woke up. They talked for a while about how time seemed to pass differently here, that the full moons would seem only to appear every seven years, as opposed to once a month. They also took note that the wolfman was still missing, and Teb declared that Shinzon appeared to be captured, after having a psychic vision. Rezan told them that they could help him so long as it didn’t disturb their mission, but that they should otherwise leave Shinzon to his fate. Rezan also said that he had not heard word back from Illandra, and the group decided that they should visit her and make sure she was okay on their way to take the two men back to the city.
When the group got back to the tower, Zog discovered that he forgot to give Rezan the missive that Illandra had written him. He gave it back with an apology. Teb, Illandra and Harkonan had a conversation among themselves, flirting with the priestess and making their odd human mating calls and competitions with one another, but the priestess didn’t seem to respond well to either of them. The group continued to talk amongst themselves and with Illandra for a while. Kyle approached Harkonan from behind and gave him a strong hug, and then Harkonan introduced his dogs to the man, and shared words. Harkonan and Kyle began to brandish their weapons proudly, and Harkonan’s wolves began to howl as well. Illandra backed away, and Zog just shook his head a little.
The group moved off toward the city, and after a short while the prisoners awoke. “Did we get them?” The prisoners asked. Zog asked if they were alright, and they replied yes. He asked what they remembered, and they said that they probably drank too much the night before, and didn’t remember much. They had been hunting for the bounty on Tim, but couldn’t remember much of what happened since then. Zog assumed that Rezan had their memories wiped somehow, and figured they would be safe to release. Harkonan, however, did not seem to get the hint. He began to harass and taunt them. Teb interrupted and asked them about their customs, such as things they should avoid doing to offend persons in the city. They told the group several things, and then Zog asked how they could avoid offending the bishop. The men told him that if they avoided offending the god, then they should be fine. Zog asked them about their god, and they said that they had several. Benru, god of justice and power. Zandrege and Rhada were others. They said it would be smart not to speak the name of Thisis, for to speak it would be to wish death upon oneself. Harkonan took this as a challenge, and began speaking the name as often as he could, challenging the men and asking them what was wrong with saying the name. One of the men seemed offended that his companion would even say the name to explain to them not to do it.
They continued to talk with the two men as they walked back to their city. They talked about the judges, who seemed to be men with psychic powers who acted as law enforcement in the city. They learned of Calima, a city in the distance that made ships and structures, and traded with others. The lowlands were a land of savage persons, whom the Benuvians sent their armies to help defend. Eventually they came upon the scene of the fight the other day. Harkonan said that his hounds smelled blood there, and asked if the men recognized the place. Teb and Zog tried to politely avoid the topic by directing the men onward.
The group would make it to the city walls soon enough. There was a gate leading into the city, and the gatekeeper allowed them to enter after asking them why the Benuvians were traveling with the lowlanders. The men they traveled with asked if the party had found their equipment, and Zog offered it back, as well as the gold they said that they’d had. He told them he was sorry for taking it, but the men looked to be dead when they found them. The men joked that after drinking as much as they had, they couldn’t blame him for thinking as much. On their way into the city, the guardsmen saluted Zog, and Zog saluted them back. The people seemed to stare down Zog’s companions warily, but looked to Zog almost admirably. They seemed to mistake him for one of their own, due to his pale skin most likely. Several kids ran up to him, saying they wanted to be as big and strong as him, when they grew up. The two men offered to take the group to a bar to drink with them, but Teb broke off from the group, wanting to find one of these judges to see how they acted.
They headed into the Noggin Floggin with the men, which they said was one of the few places where Zog’s companions could drink with their own kind. Guy walked over to a table where one pale skinned person and several darker skinned persons were sitting, to talk with them and order them a round, in order to fit in. Zog was drinking with the two men when Guy asked Zog to come to the library with him. Apparently one of Guy’s drinking companions recognized one of the gold coins from somewhere, but didn’t remember exactly where from. He wanted to go to the library to look up the coin himself. It had apparently been worth at least ten of the coins they had here.
When they got to the library, the man had begun looking through a book. Eventually he got to a page with a number of coins drawn upon it, coins that Zog recognized. They were all coins from the world that Zog and his companions came from. He asked Guy where he found the coins, and Guy replied that he hadn’t remembered the exact place where he found them. The man offered to buy them from the man, or to trade with him, but Guy asked that the man merely offer them information and guidance both now and in the future, in return for the coin, rather than any item of value. The man agreed. The man became interested in finding more coins of these sort, and began looking at various books and stating his interest in doing an archaeological dig at a tower, the same tower that Illandra and Kyle were inspecting. When he went to check out the books, the librarian told him that he could only take three books, as was the rule. He had Zog and Guy both sign up for library cards so that they could check out all of the books.
Heading back to the man’s house, Zog noticed that some of the books had Oghrune writings in them. He was curious to inspect some of the books himself to see what the writings held. He wouldn’t be able to read any of the other writings, as the druidic runes were the only sort he knew.