Today was a troublesome day. Not simply for what happened, but for what it suggests.
We did not leave the village today. Around mid-morning, Yissic and his scouts returned from the wilderness. They brought with them a hobgoblin. Yissic’s party apparently fought a band of hobgoblins last night, killing all except one. Bound, wounded, but alive, the hobgoblin was hauled into the village and tied up inside a vacant hut. The lizardfolk think their prisoner has information.
I collected my healing kits and, escorted by one of the lizardfolk warriors, attended the hobgoblin. I had never been near one before. They truly are loathsome creatures. Ugly, scarred, horrible smelling. The living image of war and brutality. And evil; seething, restless evil.
But it was a prisoner of the lizardfolk camp, so I felt obligated to check it over. Regardless of what end Yissic planned for it, there exists an imperative for me to ease suffering and prevent undue hardship. I set aside that this creature was cohort to those who slew Reece the other day, and patched the hobgoblin’s wounds as needed. It did not resist, nor did it struggle against its bindings to threaten me. All it did was watch. We did not speak. When my moral obligation was met, I withdrew from the hut.
What happened to the hobgoblin after I left, is not clear. I would have no reason to fret over its fate…but that two of my fellows may have had a sinister hand in it…
Of our group aimlessly wandering around the village, Pulp and Xel’Xaran were the least engaged, distracted by everything and paying little notice of Yissic’s captive. I saw Alex and the newcomer Isis speak briefly, and then they went to the prisoner’s hut. I had a bad feeling. Knowing that Spiritz was at our lodgings at the far side of the village, I went to join him. I felt it necessary to be somewhere else for whatever was to happen next.
Consequently, I cannot relate what took place inside the hut. I know only pieces of the story, few of which I want to string together into a complete picture. But for sake of our safety, perhaps I should ?
Alex and Isis went into the hut. I am told they intimidated the hobgoblin, trying to extract information. Then Alex came out. Some people heard the hobgoblin screaming inside the hut, while Isis was alone with it.
After speaking with Yissic, Alex went back in. Then Isis came out. Then Alex left the hut.
I was told tonight at dinner that the captive hobgoblin is dead, and was found that way after interrogation by Isis and Alex. I did not see the body and so cannot verify this, but I heard that there was no visible cause of death; and some of its fingers appeared to have been broken.
Whatever coercion was employed by Alex and Isis, it does not seem to have generated any useful information. The hobgoblin gave untrustworthy estimates of his troop’s numbers. It said that his band had been patrolling in the mountains several days away from here, and then “suddenly” they found themselves in the grasslands and marshes. They had been wandering aimlessly since then, lost and confused.
I wonder what to make of what we now know. We learned of hobgoblins allegedly transported a great distance against their will by some unknown force or event. And we knew that a Displacer Beast was wandering a biome not of its natural environs. These two facts seem to be connected.
I come back again to the hobgoblin’s end and the circumstances surrounding it. Alex and Isis were alone with the hobgoblin before its death, and there is evidence that torture was employed during interrogation. Then one of the two men killed the hobgoblin by means leaving no physical sign. A spell ? Most disturbing is that this situation went without explanation by those involved, and without challenge from the party. Pulp and Xel’Xaran may not care, but I for one must find out if I can trust everyone in this party.
Alex is strange but not menacing. It is Isis that concerns me. I need to find out what happened in that hut.
Journal of Dr. Marcus Grant
Healing Cleric of Pelor, Order of St-Jude Academy (Silabrek)
31st Day, marsh village, territory of Ælim.