Belmarniss can now sorta muddle along in the local common thanks to aggressive use of comprehend languages to hand-translate books after roping a local into teaching her the alphabet. Also she hates teleport traps with every fiber of her being. Also she has figured out at this point that she somehow leveled in sorcerer instead of wizard during the business with the pirates and has no idea why that happened or whether it will happen again. And she has sold this stupid arrowhead to two different curio shops and given up as it seems to be cursed. And she just needs to keep doing what she does, she guesses, till she can teleport herself home. The Yawning Portal is a nicely ironic name.
The lead dwarf laughs in that way that says she didn't really get it. "Did you clear a path for us, then? Should we head down and see what you left behind? You don't look too loaded down..."
"We didn't actually see any treasure, just golems."
"That's good enough for us. A decent-quality golem chassis sells for a hell of a lot."
"Also it turns out the place is owner-occupied."
She winces. "Well... hmm. Better to know it than not, I suppose. Maybe we can come to an arrangement with him. He seem reasonable?"
"Uh, he seemed friendly, I don't know if that's the sort of reasonableness you have in mind."
"We can work with friendly. Thanks."
The dwarves get up and head over towards the dungeon entrance en masse.
Garrus shakes his head. "Two sets of visitors in one day. Hope Alsigard is feeling sociable."
"He must be a helluva introvert to have just wandered into the basement and stayed there for centuries."
"I can't imagine it. I like to get away from it all myself, but seven hundred years? I'd go mad."
They reach the shore, and Jojo tosses a coin into the water. A few seconds later, the prow of Cavallas' boat emerges from a fogbank.
"Were you... waiting for us?" Jojo asks. "In the fog?"
Cavallas hisses and gurgles in a way that implies laughter. "Perhapsss I was."
Creeper. Oh well. Into the boat.
The golems pile in after them, causing no noticeable dip in the boat's level.
"To the Ssseer's camp, then?" Cavallas asks.
"Yes," Garrus confirms. "As you might have noticed, we're dropping off a delivery."
Cavallas dips its pole into the water and they set off, once again moving at a frankly inexplicable speed.
Belmarniss catches fish to snack on again.
It's a short trip, and only improved by amateur sashimi. When they dock at the Seer's base camp, the golems disembark first and form a sort of parade guard for the party.
"If any of these are still walking around afterwards we should probably return them but it's tempting to keep 'em."
"Isn't it just?" Garrus asks, strolling through the aisle. "Hell of a reception."
And they head over to the repurposed Temple of Lolth, where the Seer's general awaits them.
"I see you've brought a troop of golems," he notes somewhat redundantly. "Fine work. Are you planning to head straight off to the island with the avariel, or rest here for the night? I'd like to coordinate our strikes on her illithid and beholder power bases with your next action."
"Golem island was neither time consuming nor spell-intensive, I'm up for avariel next if everyone else is."
There's general agreement from the party.
"Then we'll send out our strike teams, and you can head back to the docks. Remember, the Valsharess will almost certainly send her assassins after you soon; be on your guard."
"Should we bring the golems or do you have interim uses for them here?"
"We can certainly use them in the meantime, if you don't think you'll feel their absence too keenly. The strike forces are somewhat under-manned, and I don't think anyone would turn down war golem support."
"I think we can do without if they'll be useful here. We're going to want to return them when the dust settles, incidentally."
"Noted. We'll try not to get them too scuffed."
"Where do you want me, fearless leader?" Enserric asks.
"If you'll consent to it, I might put you in charge of protecting the Seer. I'm going to be leading the strike team against the beholder caves, and I don't want her - 'unprotected' isn't the right word, but I'd like to have someone here who can focus entirely on keeping her safe."
The golem salutes, then glances over at Belmarniss a bit self-consciously. "And does my other fearless leader consent to my absence?"