The party set out from Sage Breygon’s Tower and headed northeast, stopping briefly at Caeron before continuing to the machine city Vathis. Once there, they spoke to Aubin, the guildmaster of that chapter of the Sentinels, who set them on the right path for their mission.
After telling them about the joint investigation (involing the Sentinels, Vathis Law Enforcement, and the Thieves’ Guild) regarding the surge in trade of magic items in the black market, he put the group in contact with Kriver Whiteknife, the Sentinels’ contact in the Thieves’ Guild.
The party met Kriver at the Fat Rooster Tavern, but he wasn’t about to just give them entrance to the black market — they needed to do him a favour first. He sent them into the old waterways, deep beneath the city, to find out what happened to a Thieves’ Guild member named Matthias who went missing the day before.
Finding what remained of poor Matthias didn’t take long, but it was an ambush — the party was attacked by a three-legged, three-tentacled creature (they later learned it was an otyugh), and Beckett the cleric nearly died during the fight. They found the otyugh’s treasure hoard, which included:
- A Wand of Scorching Ray, with 42 charges left (unclaimed)
- Two Rings of Protection +1 (both unclaimed)
- A Cloak of Resistance +1
- A Scroll of Burning Hands (unclaimed)
- A potion of Cure Moderate Wounds
Upon returning to Kriver, he confirmed that the magical dagger they found belonged to poor Matthias, now dead. He led them to the black market, where they quickly discovered a third black skull being sold by a merchant, right out in the open.
A brief conversation with the merchant revealed that a wizard had recently come to Vathis, but had done something to cross the Thieves’ Guild, and Kriver Whiteknife killed the wizard personally. The Thieves’ Guild then sold the wizard’s possessions on the black market. The dwarf agreed to give them the skull and the wizard’s book and personal notes if they bought something, so they picked up a
- Least Ring of Fire Resistance (resists 5 points of fire damage).
The wizard’s book and personal notes revealed that he is, indeed, part of a much larger organization of necromancers. They’ve been deliberately gathering those mysterious black skulls not only because they give a significant boost to necromantic ability, but also for some other dark purpose that is only vaguely alluded to. The notes included correspondence with other necromancers, speaking of grand plans to infiltrate Palhast, Zalam, and Aradain, and to raise a grand army of the dead. Another disturbing piece of information was that there’s a grand catacomb on the southern continent, and that another one is planned for the Northlands.
Perhaps the mysterious ruler of the isolationist city of Sanarro will know more about this necromancer cult?