Return of the Necromancers

The Scourge then discovered that the Necromancers of Skahlehn were operating within Greyhawk. Wishing to avenge earlier manipulations, the Scourge set out to destroy them once and for all. Several adventures came from this, including stopping Mandraka the Living Vampire from assassinating various former priests; destroying Sarzec the Broken; uncovering Old Mother Grubb‘s bordello of vampires, and defeating three Vrock tanar’ri. A new alliance was also formed; Elric Sith, spellfilcher from Nesselentiss, joined the group. In addition, Caelynn finally met Prince Melf Brightflame, though was angrily rebuked by the Knight of Luna for having delivered the plans for the Tower of Domination to Celene.

Prince Brightflame described how Yolande‘s advisors immediately began plans to see if such a device could be erected in order to control “neighbours who are not totally sympathetic to Celene’s views”. The double effect of realizing the grave error he had made and the angry dismissal by one he considered a hero had a debilitating effect upon Caelynn, which would haunt him until his last days.

The Scourge also met an old beggar going by the unlikely name of Sucro, who displayed great knowledge of events going on in the Flanaess and possessed strength unimaginable, though he was clearly insane. They also renewed their contact with Jelenneth, whom they had freed from her prison in the Underdark. She was now studying sorcery at the prestigious University of Magical Arts in Greyhawk, and exhibited magical talents far beyond what her experience would allow, though she complained of frequent headaches.

Unfortunately, an encounter between S’Thiss, Caelynn and Mandraka ended very poorly for the heroes, with Mandraka defeating both of them and returning to the Necromancers’ hideout with Caelynn‘s body. The Necromancers then offered a trade: Caelynn in exchange for a piece of Tanamier‘s flesh from which they could clone him, having already cloned the other members of the Scourge of the Underdark. Elric Sith, not wishing to see Tanamier cloned, replaced the flesh sample with a fake without telling anyone.

At the meeting, all was proceeding well, until a group of professional criminals known as The Shapechangers attacked, attempting to abduct the unconscious Caelynn. Though the Scourge drove them off, the Shapechangers were essentially unharmed. The Scourge then attempted to track down the Shapechangers, meeting the informant “Ratter” in the process, in an adventure that culminated in a great battle within their warehouse headquarters. Only their leader, Clannair Blackshadow, escaped. The Scourge discovered that Pallistren had engaged the Shapechangers for Caelynn‘s capture, though for what purpose they were not sure. They confronted the Pit Fiend in the Gold Dragon Inn, and while Tanamier used his power to dispel the fiend back to where he came from, it was not before the inn was consumed by hellfire.

Returning to the problem of the Necromancers of Skahlehn, the heroes tracked down and defeated the aforementioned Vrock, meeting and allying with Prannik the fire elementalist, in the process. The heroes soon tracked the Necromancers down to their secret lair beneath the sewers on Greyhawk. A great battle ensued, where the Necromancers Garyne Shroudrender and Xanthi Lamman were destroyed, though the leader Andrade Mirrius, Pizentios, and Mandraka escaped. Prannik was killed in battle with an earth elemental, and he was last scryed being dragged by Pizentios within the Citadel of Bones. Prince Melf and his Knights of Luna, acting upon information provided by the Scourge, burned down Old Mother Grubb‘s bordello. During the aftermath, Ventrius was approached by Dextar Forestguard, former hierophant druid; and Senji Tul-Marin, Master of the North Wind, to complete his training to fulfill his destiny as the one who would eradicate the Shadow Circle.

The Scourge returned to Nyrond, with the exceptions of Caelynn and Elric, who was met by a former business acquaintance known only as “Passing Shadow”. A thief par excellence from Elric‘s past, she passed on to him an item known as an Ebony Skull, saying that the people she stole it from were chasing her and that they could not regain the item. Elric agreed to hold on to it for her until she would reclaim it at a later, safer, date.

Caelynn Silverleaf quickly rejoined the Scourge, though he had been through some changes. He was now garbed all in black and had shaved his beautiful silver hair, leaving only a ponytail. He now called himself “Caelynn the Avenger,” seeking to make up for his mistakes in the past. While Tanamier questioned his sanity somewhat, he welcomed him back. Brother Griften also soon rejoined the Scourge in Nyrond. The monk had been tracking his sister Xenoria Insaith, who he had tragically discovered was now a Necromancer of Skahlehn, to the kingdom of Nyrond, where she stole away her brother Darin. Griften, believing his brother was under his sister’s magical influence, sought to retrieve him and asked the Scourge to help. The heroes tracked her down to an old, abandoned keep, and found out her plans: She had herself been tracking Tryiok, King of the Death Knights. The Scourge actually caught sight of the Saint of Evil near the keep, where he appeared to be searching for something. After the death knight had left, Xenoria and Darin appeared and also searched the ruins. Griften chose to confront his sister with the rest of the Scourge. She revealed to them that she planned Tryiok‘s destruction, and that Darin was an integral part of those plans. She also explained that Tryiok was, in addition to all his other powers, a powerful priest of Thasmudyan, the Ghoul Lord and Undead Master. It was her duty as a reverer of Skahlehn to destroy him. This did not satiate Griften, and the situation became more tense, so Xenoria teleported away with Darin.

The Scourge chose to investigate the ruins. They found themselves embroiled in a battle that repeated itself every night: Undead bandits (wights) attacking the tower defended by undead knights (skeleton warriors). The battle went poorly for the heroes, with Griften‘s fear of the undead creatures causing him to flee and Caelynn‘s madness causing him to incinerate himself with a fireball while wearing a necklace of missiles. Griften regained his composure and returned to deal with the remaining undead alongside Tempus. At the battle’s end, there was nothing left of Caelynn to resurrect; the bladesinger’s death wish had been granted.

Author: Eric