For a moment Ebellos hooded his eyes like a snake studying Stryne, then he smiled again, as he rose, “Well, yes. Yes, of course. You see, I have interest in seeing the spellwriters found, though I shan’t say more on that. Let us say knowing your colleagues’ whereabouts or ultimate fate would—help me—in a certain way. It may potentially profit me, while greatly—inconveniencing a rival of mine. You see?”
“And so yes, good-man Stryne, if you would act upon your own curiosity and search, I would merely ask that you do so with my interest in mind as well. And so,” Ebellos came to the point, “A small donation of supplies and—some funds, shall be yours of course. You may think of me as your patron.” He grinned.
“A token gesture then…” he added, then took a silver tail from his kaftan pocket swirling it in his fingers for Stryne to see. He then handed the cylindrical coin to Stryne, and as he held his palm out, the silver Tail was no more, but now a platinum Bezoom.” Ebellos grinned again.
Pausing to listen, Ebellos studied his friend as Zuan spoke. Then in reply, “Yes, yes. The truth of it, you deserve that. Like in any good trade, Zuan, I seek to maximize my odds at profit. Truth be told I was hoping..”, he paused to make sure the others were out of earshot, “that you could lend a hand to the Midnight Guardsman with my sister. While his Order’s reputation is impressive, still no one can out-bargain a follower of the Divine Broker. And after all Zuan, demons, they barter and haggle twist words and lie, and I am too old and sick to travel myself, you see? Your tongue is of silver gilded in gold, Zuan, and I thought you could help with the poor wretch’s Dispiritation.”
They had entered the menagerie now.
“I was not sure how to ask you, really. Offering you payment, seemed—banal—so I thought, why not offer you the Canagadi spice route in return.” He smiled then, as if the Canagadi route was suddenly his to assign. "The rest of--this--is odd coincidence, Zuan."
"Now, gentle-friends" he turned to address the others and raised his brandy goblet, "Shall then we seal this venture with a toast? I am sure you are all eager to prepare for the journey in however way each of you do."