So we played yesterday, and while we didn’t have any combat there were a decent of developments and things moved along pretty well. Also, the day saw Jarvic, Dhagri, and Rhys all go up a level from accumulated experience.
The party made their way back to Phandalin to return Gundren’s body to Sildar Hallwinter, even sans head there is the small chance he could be Resurrected and at the very least his body could be returned to his clan if his brothers don’t return to claim it. They also hoped to be able to dispose of the collection of loot that they had accumulated and was at this point starting to significantly weigh them down.
On the way back they ran into a patrol of Duke Blackadder’s soldiers led by a Lieutenant who seemed quite familiar with the Tresendar family and lands, who had a quite a time trying to figure out what to do with the group. The one mounted knightly-looking fellow was a henchman of the walking elf sorceress, the younger brother of the local Baron was walking around dressed like a commoner, and there was also a dwarf, two gnomes (one of whom was at least a member of the Cartel in good standing), and even a half-goblin that the Tresendar was willing to vouch for! Eventually the patrol just decided to move on and report the presence of the rather large adventuring company or mercenary band or whatever it is to higher authorities.
Upon returning to Phandalin, they met with Sildar (and Garaele Half-Elven, the local Druidess), filling them in on what had happened since they were last in Phandalin – omitting the encounter with the Maiden of Storms and the prophecy of the oncoming Age of Worms. Meeting with Linene Graywind of the Lionshields Merchant House and Halia Thornton of the Miner’s Exchange they were more than able to exchange their loot for script.
Except for Dhagri Khazann, who doesn’t trust “paper money” and loaded up with gold instead.
After some discussion, the party decided that they needed to go to Kingsholm, the nearest actual city (which many of them had actually come originally). It’s actually a pretty small city, the seat of Duke Blackadder, himself a rather minor Duke, but it’s closest thing to actual “real civilization” within a month’s travel. As a relative whole, the party realized that they need to get their guild memberships in order, probably get some sort of charter for an adventuring company. The encounter with the Duke’s patrol convinced them that their days of running “under the radar” were done – and especially since they were likely to get lots of attention from the “Powers That Be” when they get to Kingsholm and reveal the prophecy.
They spent a day in Phandalin, then started on the road to Kingsholm, where they were introduced to a whole new level of “Powers That Be” – because they had the distinction of being the first players to meet the Necromancer in something like fifteen years. He’s actually a former player character from the Padawan Campaign who went bad in the search for power and has been lurking around behind the scenes as an NPC ever since.
His arrival announced itself with the death of the small creatures and the silence of the grave and his presence brought with cold and mist that surrounded the whole campsite. A tall man, dressed in the blackest black, with ivory-pale skin, and bearing the wand and kris of a wizard. He came, knowing of the Maiden of Storms, and inquired as to Her prophecy, also seeming to know who had been present for Her warning of the Age of Worms. Seized for a moment Jarvi was suffused with a radiant light, lifted by the winds, and the Maiden of Storms repeated Her warning to the Necromancer. There was more, the Necromancer plucked the troubling memories of the writing from Jarvic’s mind, warning him that there were “thing man was not meant to know, that can be a very a cancer upon both the mind and soul.” He also warned the group that they were now part of the larger world, that would be attracting the attention of powerful forces – “if they hadn’t already done so” he said with a smile both wry and grim.
The Necromancer also managed to spark a memory for Gwyneth when he mentioned the Wormgod, of her fighting a gaunt human with blazing red eyes with sockets full of writhing green worms and skeletal, clawed hands of bare bone. He suggested that it was time for her to return home, where more of her memories might return. Lastly, Rhys asked how they might contact the Necromancer again if they needed to (after no one else asked the question) – after which the Necromancer drew him close and whispered something in his ear – Words of Power that shook Rhys to his core, revealing his mortality both to himself and everyone watching.
And then the Necromancer left.
The remainder of the trip to Kingsholm was uneventful.