"You must forgive my confusion, Lord. I thought we were getting along... Did I offend you?" Darby asked, sarcastically.
"You did. You sit before me- young, strong, handsome, charming... And throwing it all away over cunt and frivolity. I could have the world, if I had your gifts... The fucking wor-"
Erik's speech was cut short as he felt a cold, grimy hand grab the back of his head. It pulled hard, taking him off balance. The unseen fiend was on him quickly, giving him little time to react before feeling the stinging pain of a jagged knife pressed against his throat. He relented his struggle as he felt the edge of the knife against his neck, surrendering. His body jerked a little as his unseen assailant yanked at him, tying his hands behind him as he layed upon the dirt and stone. He looked up, flickering light showing the shadows within the cage yanking the lock, popping it open easily.
"Took you long enough," he could hear Darby say to his partner, tying the final knots around Erik's chubby wrists.
He heard unintelligible chattering coming from behind him as his assailant made himself visible.
It was no man that had caught Erik off guard but rather a polliwog. He had never seen one, hardly believed any had still existed (if they even existed at all) but there walking before him stood one. The creature was short, no more than three foot, with a mess of ratty grey hair crowning his pointed rodent like face. He hissed as he walked by Erik, showing his jagged teeth as he menacing stared at his bound prey; continuing to chatter to his partner.
"Here." Darby said, handing whatever remained of Erik's second sandwich over to the creature.
It cursed at him in its marbled tongue.
"I know you don't like cooked meat. But it's all we got."
The creature chirped back, menacingly pointing at Erik as he did.
"No you can't eat the fat man. Why? Because he was nice to me, that why." Darby replied to the creature, seeming to understand his spewed clicks and screeches.
"Release me, damn you!" Erik cursed at the pair, struggling on the coarse ground.
"Or what? You're a long way from Candar, friend. Now shut up or my friend here will eat you."
The polliwog turned to Erik, snarling as he shook his knife towards him.
"I command you!" Erik screamed. His cried were replied to with a flurry of punches and kicks from the grey skinned creature; snarling as he struck Erik of Candar.
He was surprised by the power the tiny being had, his body sore from punishment. His chest hurt with he breathed and could feel his eye swelling in the afterglow of the attack.
"You fuck!" He swore, spitting blood from his mouth as he cursed the pair.
"I'll see to it that they impale you for this! So you hear me?!" Erik screamed, the pair distracted as they pilfered through his belongings.
"Weeeeellllll...." He heard from his campsite, his eyes too swollen and they to clearly see anything in the waning fire light. He could hear footsteps coming back to him.
"So," Darby said, dropping Erik's pack before him. He took a seat next to the bag, going through its contents before Erik.
"That's a nice full coin purse you have here, Erik. You really must be a real important fellow. And here are some credentials. And some clothes... Might be a little big but better than these rags. And what else... Oh, some bread, a knife... Erik, my friend... You have been our most profitable pigeon by far!"
Erik looked a bit confused, the wallops to his head and face starting to take their toll.
"Pigeon... Pi... Pi... Pigeon?" He managed to mutter, his words slurry and bloody.
"You'd be surprised just how little the soldiers who march this roadway actually carry on their person... Even after ol' Roger and I figured out to catch them before they made it to the Keep to blow it all on whores and opium, it was still hardly worth the effort it took to hatch this little scheme. But you... You, my sandwich sharing little pigeon,,, you have made this whole gamble pay off. Pay off proper too... Money like this, I bet I can even get my little friend sucked off."