From the Journal of Sharak Langenbart, Weaponsmith:
21 Strassa 1508: With Parth freed, after paying a fine, we went back out to see if the artifact that Isir Faang had asked us to retrieve was still there. On the way out of town we saw a number of prisoners being lead into town by the guards in chains. This didn’t seem all that unusual so we continued to the “graveyard” and were not surprised to find that there was only a hole under the white tree and no sign of the elves. Discouraged, we returned to town and split up to see if we could find any news of Borrusk and the Skull Whargs. A dwarven merchant named Khalos Morgond approached me about the prisoners we had seen going out of town. He told me that a bunch of slavers had gotten arrested and that one of them owed him money he wanted to collect. Apparently, those were the prisoners we had seen on our way out of town. I agreed to ask my friends if they were interested in collecting his debt, since it isn’t really in my skill set. I also asked him if he knew anything about Borrusk, but Khalos said only that he was “uncouth” and left it at that. He gave me the location of his shop in the Ring and we agreed that I or someone in my party would meet with him the next day.
I returned to the caravan and we had a lively discussion about our options. Parth and Nels seem to be angry at each other, but I don’t know what to do about it. Parth is upset that we did not engage the elves guarding the “graveyard” and doesn’t seem to understand that we still don’t know who was telling the truth in that situation. Nels is very touchy about the situation. I think we did the right thing, but Parth seems to be running on a slightly different keel. The old man would agree with him; he was upset about it also. I sided with Nels generally, but I really just wanted to make peace. Eventually everyone agreed to disagree, though I don’t think the issue is settled. and we decided to go and speak with Khalos and find out more about collecting his debt from the slavers in the morning.
The troll had tracked Borrusk back to his home, but we decided that we did not have the necessary skills to pursue the Skull Whargs via the Borrusk connection without drawing more attention to ourselves. We explained the situation to Phregas Kular and gave him all the information we had on Borrusk and the Skull Whargs. He seemed satisfied and let us know the caravan will be returning to Bartertown the day after tomorrow.
22 Strassa 1508: It appears nothing in this town is straightforward. The four of us went to Khalos Morgond’s shop and he had quite the story to tell. Apparently he had some business dealings with a dwarf by the name of Grankar Eisengiesser who he assumed was on the up-and-up, but was recently arrested for being a slaver. He wants to collect on the debt, but doesn’t want to be associated with Eisengiesser’s slaving, which seems reasonable. He offered to give us a cut of the debt if we collected it without mentioning his name. Nels agreed to his terms and went to the town council to collect. He got a bit of the run around from what he told us later, I didn’t catch the details, but the the long and the short of it was that we needed to collect the debt from his family. Parth, Laran, and I investigated Eisengiesser’s shop and found it closed and empty. We spoke with a stonemason nearby and he was doubtful about the claims that Eisengiesser was a slaver. He seemed rather convinced that the elves were running some kind of conspiracy and marking people who were inconvenient as slavers to be rid of them. He was passionate and his ideas meshed with the strange behavior we have seen from the elves who run Ardanyan.
We returned and spoke with Khalos Morgond again as a group to update him on our lack of progress and the rumor that Grankar was innocent. He seemed unsurprised, but not overly moved. The elves founded the town and were the upper crust of the town. The dwarves were numerous, but didn’t really have any say into local politics. It was a bad situation, but many put up with it in order to benefit from Ardanyan’s lucrative trade. Upon discussion with Morgond, we decided to break with the caravan and return to Throal with all speed and see if we could gather support from Eisengiesser’s clan or the dwarven government before the presumably innocent man was put to death for charges of slavery he probably was innocent of.
We purchased riding animals, a pony for myself and various other mounts suitable to the sizes of the others. I traded the horse I had captured from the Skull Whargs to Parth for the cost of my pony handsomely to ensure the mounts were all well cared for in preparation for the hard journey ahead. We shall leave before first light.