Part 27: Mean Girls
The party made their way to Nafryr’s house. A servant met them and allowed them entry to see Nafryr. She offered the party wine and told them that she had to have Leafstan killed.
Alena inquired about her sister and the woman said that she had seen her sold to the Devrith family who were interested in exotic slaves and gave her an offer she couldn't refuse.
It is around this time that the poison from the glasses causes Mahin to collapse to the floor unconcious and a guard grabs her. Alena goes crazy. She begins to kill the guards around the room until Nafryr tells them to stop and they release Mahin's body. Nafryr pleads for mercy but still tells them that Leafstan is dead.
Arcandur moves forward and begins to probe Nafryr's thoughts. She screams out in pain. He extracts Leafstan's location - sold to the Slaver Xauxo of Ren Shar - from her head by force using his powers of divination. She is helpless to stop him. The was lying about it because she couldn't have her slaves believe that they could behave that way and survive.
The party exits the premises leaving bodies and a sobbing Nafryr on the floor of the room.
They head with an unconscious Mahin to an Inn near the slave markets where they get a room and rest. Ezra equips the slaves they purchased with armour and weapons. Mahin awakes after a few hours. The party has to convince Alena not to go straight after her sister. This takes some clever convincing by Arcandur and the use of his portents on her resistance rolls.
The party rests the night and then heads to the Slave Fighting Pits the next morning. They are directed to the training rooms of Xauxo of Ren Shar. They meet with him and he tells them:
"A slave who overpowers and kills a trainer with his bare hands has the makings of a great pit fighter. This Leafstan of yours was difficult and contentious, but I was certain I'd made a smart purchase.
“But five days ago, I described my new trainee to another owner, who suddenly became very interested. He dropped by to watch the man training, and afterward offered me an astounding sum for the slave. I might have earned more from wagers over the lifetime of this Leafstan, but you never know. Even the best of us have off nights, and all it takes is one unlucky slice to end a fighter’s career. Yesterday, I took the money and they took the man.
“I know your next question: who was the buyer? Normally, I wouldn’t reveal that, but this man is a nasty competitor and, frankly, he . . . said things, as your man was being taken away. They seemed trivial in the moment, but they weigh on me. I suspect your Leafstan is headed for the Qurothaq catacombs. If my gut is correct, his only hope is for you to get him out of Marg instantly.
“The buyer was Tuhawi Dasaab. Whatever you might think of men like me, he’s worse. If you have any friends in this city, or favours to call in, now is the time. Once your friend descends into that pit, it would be better for every-one if he never emerges again. It will be too late for him in every imaginable sense of those words.
"The Qurothaq clan specialises in providing slaves with unique qualifications. Sometimes, that means attributes not countenanced by nature—attributes that can be achieved only through the cruelest types of psychic conditioning, or by cutting and rearranging the flesh, or by abhorrent magic, attributes that make a human into the perfect offering to some inhuman entity. Whatever darkness the mind can imagine, the Qurothaqs can tailor from once-human flesh.”