Parents pulled children out of the streets to clear the path for the passing soldiers. Anything of value was quickly hidden. Kegs of wine were left in the center of town as an offering so the soldiers might take them and leave their home in peace. The ploy was successful as the goblins took up the kegs and continued on their way.
In particular, the goblins were wary of Anvar. From their statements and actions they revealed they were fully aware of his magical abilities. If an escape were to occur, Anvar would take no part in its success.
As the days passed autumn was revealed by slowly dropping temperatures. The sky only seemed to vary in shades of gray. Each passing day leached the family of might and hope. Their spirits were low and the only good thing about being in the cage was it kept the rain off of them as it began a daily ritual of soaking the land.
Towns became larger and more frequent. The road became smoother. Farms that had lain sporadically along the way grew more numerous and close in proximity. Before long they were right by one another. The population was becoming denser as they moved further into the empire.
People would line the road in order to view the prisoners as they passed. Some heckled and jeered. Others cried at the sight. The disheartening scene played out before the captives as they steadily rolled forward.
Contrasted against the farmers harvesting their crops, the goblins looked alien and out of place. They felt ill at ease in the environment and quickened their pace.
After many days and nights the party’s destination came into view. From a flat plain rose a relatively small castle with a great city surrounding its walls. As they drew closer it became clear the castle and in particular the walls were not finished being constructed. Huge gaps had yet to be filled on all sides of the barriers. The four towers connecting them appeared to be done. The sight was most odd with the four spires stretching to the sky with little between them.
Within the walls was the castle itself. It too was a paradox. Rather than being built as a fortification, it was made to be a palace. Undoubtedly, the structure was being constructed to proclaim someone’s glory rather than protect it.