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I've never understood this, and it seems so logically inconsistent that I'm inclined to believe this is a typo on Wizards' part.

To give some background to this question, Jobal is one of the Merchant Princes who deals specifically with guides. All guides who work 'legally' in Port Nyanzaru pay a fee to Jobal. If the situation comes up, Aazon, Jobal's "trusted spy, confidante, and consort" will take the party and introduce them to specific guides around the city.

If the characters follow Jobal's advice and accompany Aazon, give them copies of handouts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 (see appendix E) as Aazon introduces the party to various guides in the city.

However, handout 8 introduces the characters to River Mist and Flask of Wine, unregistered guides who have this to say in their handout:

Beware Jobal and his no-good flunkies! That merchant prince is as trustworthy as a sack of snakes, as are most of his “guides.” If you choose us, we will never lead you astray. “River and Flask are up to the task!” That’s our motto! Chult is our playground. We’re fast, reliable, and know what we’re doing. Five gold pieces per day and a 30-day advance is what Jobal’s flunkies demand. We’re happy to serve as guides for only 4 gold pieces a day with no payment up front. Even better, we’ll waive the fee entirely for equal shares of whatever treasures we help find.

This introduction makes no sense for a variety of reasons:

  1. River Mist and Flask of Wine are unregistered guides. Unregistered guides are "...beaten, blinded, or beheaded.." by Jobal.
  2. River Mist and Flask of Wine have no respect for Jobal. This reinforces point 1.
  3. River Mist and Flask of Wine are shady, and will only meet in the seedier areas of the map like Malar's Throat or the warehouses at night, mainly because they are afraid of Jobal's punishment.
  4. Aazon's loyalty to Jobal is "beyond reproach". It makes no sense for him to introduce the party to guides this disrespectful.

With the above observations, I'm inclined to believe that there was some sort of printing error, and Salida (handout 9) was supposed to be introduced in place of River Mist and Flask of Wine, which makes much more sense.

Are there any lore reasons why Aazon would introduce the party to these two guides?
Are there any clarifications on the part of Wizards' that perhaps elaborate on this logical incongruity?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that there are still a few too many spoilers in this ... (Interesting question) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 8 at 1:15
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I don't have a definitive or authoritative answer, and can't seem to find one, but I also have been running Tomb of Annihilation and I considered this as a print error.

The logic you state above makes the Tabaxi duo completely at odds with Jobal. It's clear to me that the point of Jobal is to introduce characters to the guides

that do not have greater affiliations and that have short side quests of their own.

I'd argue my theory is supported by the fact that Salida doesn't have any sort of natural introduction to the party in any other way. Salida just exists in the world, and (in my opinion) is one of the coolest guide options.

The other guides introduced by Aazon also just exist within Port Nyanzaru and Chult. Their stories are tied to the continent itself, rather then being representatives of larger organisations.

Qawasha and Kupalué (handout 7) exist as part of the Emerald Enclave, which is relatable to characters (that are aware of the Forgotten Realms).

Similarly

River Mist and Flask of Wine exist as part of the Zhentarim. I believe that the PCs are meant to discover these two guides "organically" by seeking out these two organisations in Port Nyanzaru. They almost definitely will know about the influence these organizations have from Syndra or Wakanga.

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