The rooms were small and bare here in the fortress Elversford. Parin of the Aedri Forest had very generously given the heroes more room to recover and collect themselves than he allowed himself. They were not lavish rooms, but they were comfortable and warm. The forest could be seen from every window, shielding the small fortress against the wind that whipped across the Great Kingdom without abandon.
The heroes discussed briefly what their next course of action should be. Ever-present was the threat of the Scarlet Brotherhood making good on their promises to bring back The Dark One. So too did the weight and responsibility of The Clones’ actions rest heavily on the heroes’ hearts. It was quickly decided to issue a Sending to Pizentios, seemingly the most level-headed of the Necromancers of Skahlehn. He would concur that the next course of action for The Scourge should be to take down Nyeru Darkspring and his control of the heroes’ clones.
The heroes knew only too well of the Necromancers’ distaste for their former traitorous colleague. Upon receiving Tempus‘ message, Pizentios agreed to meet the heroes and told them to convene at the Wizard’s Hat Inn hours later in Greyhawk City. Thankfully, the heroes commanded the magicks necessary to make such a long trip in such a short time…
Kaelis Goldenchord and ‘Gil-Galad‘ voiced their reluctance in allying with the Necromancers as part of their plan, but Tanamier and J’afrock quickly made it clear that it was the lesser of two evils. “Evil destroys itself, and so it shall be with Nyeru.” said Tempus, High Priest of Agravelenon.
The heroes Teleported to their safe-house location in Shacktown, just north of Greyhawk City and discussed what to do there. Arriving hours early, they decided to address personal interests until the time came to meet the Necromancers at the inn. Kaelis went looking for areas of the city that he might like to erect a bardic school of learning, and found some… at a reasonable enough price to pay for the deed right then and there. Tempus & Tanamier began silent prayer to their brotherly gods, Gil-Galad studied his tomes of magic, and J’afrock tested his skill against invisible foes with his twin axes.
Meeting later as dusk fell on the city, the heroes proceeded to the Wizard’s Hat Inn where they were asked to disarm at the door, Kaelis opened his Portable Hole, and the heroes were allowed entrance. Pizentios sat, calmly sipping a glass of wine and motioned for the heroes to join him. Kaelis walked to the bar to engage in more tolerable conversation with the barkeep and a young lady there.
After brief discussion, the heroes agreed to coordinate an attack on Rinloru, and upon hearing that the heroes wished to begin their assault quickly, the frustrated Pizentios quickly left to gather his comrades. Satisfied, the heroes finished their drinks and departed, stopping short just outside the inn, staring across the road at The Necromancers of Skahlehn…
Obviously taken aback at the Necromancers’ readiness, the heroes were greatly displeased when Mistress Yola stepped out from the ranks of her companions and in the midst of conversation taunted The Scourge openly. Discussion was tense, but Pizentios asked her to desist and the heroes agreed to receive a Sending when they were to commence their attack. In the heat of the moment, the heroes neglected to query the secretive band for a timeline…
In the meantime, the heroes rented a small meeting room at the Wizard’s Hat Inn so that they might Teleport back to their safe-house unnoticed. Told that the room was currently occupied but available minutes later, the heroes stood outside and bided their time until the door finally opened…
Three (3) mysterious figures emerged from the room. Saying nothing but looking very keenly at the heroes, they each left quietly saying nothing. The innkeeper said five (5), but only three left. Looking inside, the heroes saw a fourth man, who the heroes quickly realized as the Shadow Mage. He welcomed the heroes in, seeming completely at ease. He explained that the meeting was concluded on a bad note, and had gone poorly; the fifth man had just left and that the heroes should be thankful for it. But he continued to comment on the heroes and their pressing issues, but when asked why he did not take an active role in preventing the return of “He Whose Name Cannot be Spoken”, he simply shrugged his shoulders and said that we had no indication that he was not doing just that. True to form, the Shadow Mage left the heroes confused once again.
The heroes Teleported back to Shacktown, and waited the evening with strained discussion and a building claustrophobia that made the situation even more tense. The heroes waited until the morning, still with no word from Pizentios and the Necromancers. Needless to say, they were anxious to vent their building tensions on the minions they could expect to encounter in Rinloru.
J’afrock wisely suggested the heroes should use the time they had to procure for themselves magical items that might help them in the coming battle. Kaelis offered to go, and summoned his djinni, Anwar to accompany him. The powerfully built magical spirit issued forth, and Kaelis told it to render itself Invisible and to watch for anyone that might be following Kaelis through the city. Casting Alter Self, Kaelis donned his Cloak of Elvenkindand slipped from the warehouse into Greyhawk City where he was to find Kondrandis Bubka, Magic Trader of Greyhawk.
Kaelis met with the magic trader and learned that a woman had been there the night before and purchased all the magical items she could to ward off and control undead creatures. Kaelis rightly assumed this to be Greyanna, and propositioned Kondrandis for some other items he was interested in. At the mention of trade and not purchase, Kondrandis became more reasonable, and Kaelis said he would return later to deal with the trader.
Returning quickly to the heroes in Shacktown, Kaelis told them all that transpired and while telling them what happened, the heroes received Pizentios‘ Sending to join the Necromancers in their assault. With a sense of foreboding, the heroes used their magicks to Teleport themselves to the Necromancers’ location. The dark-clad Necromancers stood, wind whipping about them on the open plain of the Great Kingdom, and Rinloru could be seen, black against the grey sky, looming in the distance….