The lower levels are where they keep their prisoners. Inifra came to us in the middle of the night to tell us. She asked us to find a way to help them escape. There is no destroying this place without assuring the safety of the prisoners first.
Apparently the dungeon is overflowing, so sections of their dry storage have been reassigned to hold their human wares. When the KoraKora mobilized they took their demand for human flesh with them. If they don’t return soon, Zorga will begin executing the surplus.
It makes me feel better to know that the KoraKora are nowhere near, but now we have to find a way to get those young men out of there. Images of that first encounter with the KoraKora, watching them eat a young man alive… I cannot permit that to happen again. Not when I can do something to stop it this time.
We continued exploring today. Dionus suggested that we use the girls to sneak off into some of the more discreet areas of the fortress. They seem willing enough to help us in exchange for our attention, but I decided against the tactic as we do not know if they are spying for Zorga. We should assume they are. Dionus is just picking up on some of Starlark’s bad habits.
Instead we have done what exploring by daylight we must to know our way around, and have left it at that. We spent the rest of the day swimming and eating, trying to appear as carefree as possible. That was where Zorga’s spies come in handy. Enjoy them, I told my companions. Spend the day with them so they have nothing of note to report. We will do our real exploring in the night.
Inifra continued to pay us no attention during the day, and again ignored us at the evening feast. Zorga watches everything she does. What he is hoping to catch I cannot say, but whatever it is the two of them are playing a dangerous game. Timber has stayed right by Inifra’s side. I was glad to see that. Zorga’s servants had dressed Timber finely as well, and she seems quite calm for her expressed hatred of the man.
It turns out most of Zorga’s lieutenants speak the common tongue after all. Apparently they are no longer trying to overhear our conversations at the table, realizing that we aren’t about to divulge anything in the open. I asked one of them who built this fortress, and he said one of the early Kings of the Nanten built it to prevent the Klotians from entering the land.
That, he admitted with a chuckle, was an obvious failure. But so too was the Nanten Kingdom as a whole.
Now, he said, it is the capital for the King of the Mountains. He pointed at Zorga drunkenly as if I didn’t know to whom he was referring. I asked him why they feared the KoraKora, for the fortress seemed impregnable to such savages. He sobered up at that and said that Zorga fears no man. Then he muttered something about needing another drink and walked off.
No one talked to us for the rest of the feast, although we were coaxed into a few of the dagger throwing competitions. I won those easily, which led to even fewer interactions. It didn’t take long before we were ushered back up to our tower.
I can’t help but feel uncomfortable, angry even at the amount of food that is wasted in this place. There are thousands of starving Nantese within a few days march from here.
I need to sleep for a few hours before we begin our search for the entrance to the lower levels. Whatever other curiosities I have about this place can come later. More likely they will never be resolved at all.