The beginning of this series of adventures saw the party go from Stormy Bay to the tower of the great Sage Breygon, master of arcane arts and prolific instructor, running an academy out of his tower. Once there, they discovered that the mysterious black skull artifact can’t be destroyed by conventional means. Breygon told the party he has a book that might reveal more about the origin of the skulls and even how to destroy them, but soon discovered it was missing from the library.
A furious Breygon berated Yashua, the chief librarian, and used his divining pool to discover the location of the thief: The nearby fishing town of Stengart. On arrival, the thief turned out to be a huge coward who immediately gave up not only the stolen book, but also the location of the man who hired him: A necromancer!
The thief led them right to the necromancer’s safehouse, but upon entering, were attacked by the necromancer and a trio of ghasts. It was a vicious battle, but the party emerged victorious. They found not only a second black skull, but also some totally sweet loot (not to be confused with the Totally Sweet Lute, which is a mighty bardic artifact spoken of in legends).
- Morningstar +1
- Handaxe +1
- Heavy Mace +1
- Heavy Steel Shield of Light Fortification +1
- Druid’s Vestment
- Belt of Giant Strength +2
- Headband of Inspired Wisdom +2
- Ring of Protection +1
- Elixir of Vision
- 1000 gold worth of alchemy materials
The book revealed that the black skulls — plural, since there seem to be multiple skulls — are an ancient artifact as old as civilization itself that seem to surface only occasionally throughout history. They do indeed enhance necromantic ability, specifically the creating and controlling of undead of any shape and size, and are known to be able to allow even weak necromancers to control powerful undead like vampires.
As for destroying the skulls, the book offers only speculation: the fiery breath of a dragon, hurling into a volcano, shattering with a holy undead bane warhammer during an eclipse, and other fanciful rituals.
Sage Breygon was a gracious host to the party, allowing them to stay in empty faculty quarters during their visit, and offering to identify the magic items (listed above) free of charge. He even offered to purchase the ones they didn’t want.
The party’s next stop after recuperating is the machine city Vathis, to check in with the Thieves’ Guild and petition them to gain access to the Vathis Black Market, where there has been a recent surge in the trade of magic items.