That's all I can think of. We may not be archmages and legendary paladins, but the new servants aren't exactly useless people. Trying to break them and pushing them to hate the master, the vrock and everyone else without having any idea of our temperament, our likelihood of answering their questions or what we can do is idiotic.
Sure, I can understand that maybe they subscribe to the rule through fear and intimidation tactic. But you know, I'm not scared of them, I'm not intimidated. If the threat of random death on someone's whim isn't enough to bother me, why would pain? Or if there was some horrible fear of more pain induced by torture, what use does that make the warriors among us?
Before they did that, I would have done anything they asked without needing the collars. Acted as a scout, an assassin or a hunter like with the lord in Gehenna. I hardly object to this life. That mission for the general is still one of my happier memories in life. When we arrived here, I had hoped perhaps this lord might have one iota of the intelligence and sense for capability and resources the general had. I was wrong. He's an idiot, perhaps corrupted by power and power-lust and paranoia. But an idiot nonetheless.
So long as they have Alanna I'd do what they asked anyway. But now I'm as interested in escape as the rest of them, wheras before I would have told them what they wanted to know and perhaps helped them in other ways. I know the catacombs as well as anyone, better than most. I've explored the lands as well as anyone. I've seen the hold and how they react to all the crises. But instead of volunteered information, they get direct answers to their stupid, limited questions and a couple hours of fun for the feathered moron servants.
I'll still do what they say, the collars ensure that. But now it will be because of magical compulsion, while I plot and look for opportunities behind their backs. Everyone seems to know of a hole or two in the defenses, some chance to strike at the lord. He could have had a loyal servant, or at least one who would do as told... I respect intelligence and competence in a leader. This is why I did not plot and scheme with the others, or bring up possibilities of escape... escape to what? I wanted to see what there was here.
Now I've seen it. Stupidity, lack of attention to resources, random willingness to blindly do harm. And if they will do this so lightly, then they will torture Alanna the same way if given the chance. She can stand it, she has taken such tortures before... but not without reason, and not at the whim of the Vrock or their commander.
Right up til those moments, I had hope. I like the system here, jobs are done in exchange for food and favor. People seek what they need, and trade what they can for it. Or they take it. I understand all of this. And perhaps there are some aspects that will be all of that again. But this is not Gehenna, this is not the fields of battle with battlefield necessity. These commanders are not fit to make war. They ignore and waste their resources, and no matter how much information they torture out of us, information they could have gotten more completely and easier, they will lose in their ultimate aim.
I had hoped we'd be back in Gehenna, I was, as is so often the case, dead wrong. Now we find our means of escape, and perhaps revenge. I bear the Vrocks no ill will, they were doing as they were told, and as they were allowed to do. It is their master I bear nothing but contempt for. Now I just need to make sure Alanna and Dru are alright, and we go from there.