Hidden in Arteign’s room, Balen and the wharfrat “Spunk” tell he and Kratos of their ordeal in captivity. They had been forced to work hard labor on the docks, and show deep gratitude and relief at being freed.
“Spunk” cries when she mentions how badly she misses her farm animals.
Balen speaks of the day Jorn took him from the orphanage, promising to deliver him to his new “family”. Little did he know the family was his new “owners” aboard a work barge, who forced him to separate raw ore from dirt. Broken hearted, he worked alongside many others that were shackled along with him. He remembers seeing King’s Port for the first time from the deck of the barge, eventually arriving only to be forced to work the docks, loading and unloading ships. They have worked many ships over these many months, unloading the ore that is taken inland and loading on the ships heavy crates that are marked with this symbol:
One of the ships they helped to load is a large black dragonship, but he has only seen it once.
They are constantly under watch by their captors, but are most afraid of the large hooded figures that like to rough them up. They are very tall, somewhat hunched over, and smell badly. Balen can not understand what they say, but all speak with a gravelly voice.
Balen is worried that the other children at the Orphanage may be in danger of the same ordeal. He urges Kratos and Arteign to save them.