Kazar, the family watchman on shift that night, nervously stood vigil outside the cabin door after closing it behind the captain. He bitterly thought to himself that the old fool had called his vicious "pets" one to many times, and he prayed to all the sultans that he wouldn't have to pay with his own life in the coming hours of sunrise.
The captain and his ship mage did their best to not looked surprised at the corpse in a small magic circle that was not quite complete, nor at the hideous scorpions lying on their backs like swatted roaches. The state room was richly furnished, as the entire family travelled with considerable wealth.
"So, you surmise his incantation was incomplete, and that is why he fell victim to these hellish vermin?" the shipmage asked. Everything here smelled of a rebellious slave murdering her master in the night, but the scene certainly confirmed her story.
"That is the best guess I can make. I am just an apprentice, a slave to follow commands."
"So." The captain looked greedily about. "Tell me why I shouldn't hand you over to the family as a murderer and collect a handsome reward?"
She smiled, and that had an immediate impact on both men. "Well, I happen to have an emancipation order with a will detailing his fortune to be left for his family." She paused, and could see the lust for gold in each of the men. " of course, not all the necessary details are finished.... perhaps we can barter. I can selectively omit some treasures to split between us, you can hit the family for what ever charges and inconveniences you can dream up, and I get my freedom."
An hour later the mage was satisfied that the room had been canvassed and all magic items were on a table, ready for the final haggling. Indira could taste the moment of victory of a year of planning coming to fruition. Her jewelry box had fooled the wizard, and he overlooked the silk scarf and simple gold ring as sentimental. Her cat purred loudly in her lap, feeling her owners building energy. All she really wanted was the Rod of the Cat Lord, and the spellbooks. The captain and his mage were keen on the books, and wanted all 20 for themselves. She bargained to get one book and the rod. The captain had wanted to claim the watermarks her master had been holding,but she knew of their importance and paid a quarter of her share of coin to secure one. As most of the items were quickly taken by the captain, the shipmage finally realized that Indira never indicated how the scorpions were destroyed. When he asked her, there was but a single jewelled scorpion left on the table.
"Why, they have a weakness for a specific spell. When it is cast on them, they are killed instantly. That is what gets in the way of their being useful."
The shipmage looked at the apple sized green boil where the vizier was bitten. "Would you teach me the spell?" the shipmage warned the captain away from touching the scorpion.
She smile warmly. "I'll teach you a spell..."
As the captain watched her quickly hide the jewell away, he hoped she wouldn't want revenge when she discovered the watermark only lasted a week.
With her ring carefully hidden, she gleefully knew her freedom was hers to protect. She regretted only getting one book, but Thorgrim's Opuscule was as good a one to get as any. She could find a way to make and sell those quills, and she had a good selection of spells in her own book. Indira couldn't wait to get to Stormhaven.