27 Mirtul 1367 DR
“We’re agreed then?” asked Dexter. The wizard had been foremost in leading the discussion about what to do to get their gnomes freed. If he left it to Dona and Lyr, the most vocal of the companions, it would have likely ended in Dona bathing in blood yet again.
Karn stood from the table they had gathered around. “Yes, let us go to Magister Altadar at once and be done with this business. Torm smiles on the straight and honest path.”
“And you keep your mouth shut unless you have something constructive to contribute,” Dona said to Lyr. After a pause she added, “No, just keep your mouth shut.”
“I shall stay behind,” said Dunkle. “I’m not sure exactly what you all have involved yourselves in, but – and no offense intended – but I would like to minimize my exposure with your group until things have sorted themselves out. I hope you understand.”
“It is logical,” said Dexter. “It may also work to our advantage to have one of our members unknown to the authorities. Though much of the city did see you walking the streets with us not so long ago.” The wizard shrugged, deciding it was a wash either way.
With that, the heroes left their underground compound and proceeded to River Gate. It was late in the evening, and as they expected Magister Altadar was on duty.
“Good day, adventurers,” the old, black-robed magister said from his paper strewn desk in his office. A scribe sat next to him, and several Watch members stood nearby on duty. “I hear you have slain a black dragon. Well done. One fewer of those evil creatures plaguing the realms will do the entire world good.”
“Aye,” said Karn as he planted the butt of his glaive on the stone floor. “We have other business this day, though. Three gnomes were arrested about a tenday ago, charged with selling drugs. The gnomes work for us.”
The magister’s eyebrows rose and the scribe began to write.
Dexter stepped forward. “That is to say, although they work for us, they were following orders by a former companion of ours. This companion, Katso, was directing them to manufacture and distribute illicit substances.”
“Yeah, we had no part in it,” said Dona, “and I assure you, Katso will not survive the day I lay my eyes on him again.”
Magister Altadar paused a moment to take in the information and consider. “I see. We have been interrogating these gnomes. However, they swear allegiance to ‘the Great One’ and have not been very forthcoming with information. Might ‘the Great One’ be this Katso?”
The heroes all nodded in unison.
“Yes, that certainly sounds like him,” said Lyr. “You have my pledge, too, that all mention of Katso will be expunged from all my songs recounting our deeds. It will be as though that cutthroat never existed.”
Altadar looked at the bard curiously. “That is comforting,” he said dryly.
“And as far as the gnomes go, we will give them a firm talking to,” said Karn. “We will explain to them the pitfalls of such nefarious pursuits.”
“And make sure it never happens again,” Dona said.
The magister considered the information for several long moments. “Very well. The gnomes did not seem to understand the nature of their actions. I’m inclined to believe they were led astray and placed on this criminal path. Now, tell me, where is this Katso?”
“We don’t know,” several of the heroes responded.
“But when we find him, I promise you, he will pay,” said Dona, her knuckles white from their firm grip on the shaft of her halberd.
“Very well,” Altadar said. “You have all proven your worth to the city, especially with that map business. I will have the gnomes released to you. Makes sure they do not slip back into their wayward ways.”
The magister began to dictate formal orders for the gnomes’ release to the scribe. When the document was ready, he signed and sealed it.
“Present this to Captain Rulathon at Castle Waterdeep. He will have the gnomes released to you.”
The heroes took the document, expressed their thanks, and began to leave.
“And if you do find Katso—“ Altadar looked pointedly at Dona. “And if he survives, please bring him to me. I will ensure that justice is dispensed.”