Campaign of the Month: September 2018

Shadows of the Rift

Session Forty-Five

Final Death


28 Transformation 508

The Lich has just Teleported away after a battle with the party on the grounds of Lord Cannach’s estate. The party is debating what to do next…

The debate is whether to track him to tonight or in the morning. And whether or not he teleported to his phylactery or not.

Rilka asks if there is anyway to keep him from casting Teleport again and the possibility of counterspelling it (by casting Teleport at the same time) comes up. So they discuss buying a Teleport scroll and using it against the Lich.

Mõrvar asks Surm about Ulfric, the son of Ulrich of Barth that was sacrificed, according to the folios they found. Apparently Mõrvar remembered their uncle Thormax talking about an Ulfric in regard to family history. Surm gives Mõrvar a blank stare and tries to keep his composure, as Surm was not discussing their findings in the folios with the other party members.

Then Surm comes upon the idea of shutting him up—keeping him from verbalizing the spell. They could buy a scroll of Silence and cast it near him to keep him in its spell effect, but disallow him from resisting it. In this way, he could not verbalize his spells to cast them. The trade-off is that anyone else in the area will not be able to cast spells either. At first they think about casting it on something on Mõrvar since he will be up in his face and will keep the Lich within the radius. Mõrvar doesn’t like that idea because he wants the ability to cast his spells.

They go and report to Lord Cannach the results of their battle and their future plans.

They decide to forgo taking watches with the guards as it will leave them fatigued the next day, so they leave that task to Lord Cannach’s house guards.

When they get a private moment, Surm takes Mõrvar aside and pops him upside the head. “I haven’t talked about that shit with the others! That was a private conversation! Don’t talk about shit I haven’t talked about with the others!” Mõrvar actually manages to look chagrined.

29 Transformation 508

Surm heads to the University to talk to Mother Olanan about some leads on some Silence scrolls. The others stay behind in case there is any danger at Lord Cannach’s estate.

Surm rides into the city, pays his gate taxes, and goes to the University. Once there, he walks to Mother Olanan’s cottage and raps on the door. “Enter,” she says from inside.

“Mother Olanan,” he says as he steps inside.

“Master Ulrich,” she says, looking up from her desk.

Surm takes a seat and catches her up on the events involving the Lich since their last meeting. “So he got away again. I don’t where he went, but I imagine he’ll be coming back,” he says as he sums up.

He also brings up the fact that Savaric’s arrows seemed to have no effect on him. Is this a power of the Lich or was that a spell?

“Ah,” the priestess says, “that could be amongst his powers because, like many undead, he could be impervious to piercing weapons. It could take, say, a bludgeoning weapon—and a magical one at that—to do him harm.”

“My first priority is Silence. I’m looking for a Silence spell to stop him from casting Teleport again, should we meet him combat for a fourth time,” Surm says.

“I see,” Mother Olanan says. “I take it you’re wanting this in the form of some sort of…”

“Scroll or wand,” Surm says, nodding, “preferably something in multiple scrolls or a wand with multiple charges since it lasts only a short time.”

“I take it time is of the essence,” she says.

“We’re hoping to track him today,” Surm says.

“Normally I would like to help you in this regard myself. I am a scriber of scrolls in my own right. However, I do not current have that spell in repertoire at this time, and therefore it would take me a day to have it available. That would delay you, which I do not wish to do. However, there are many shops in the marketplace which would be able to assist you in a more timely manner. I can recommend one that is a fair dealer, but they are a dealer. Abad and Lida’s Scriptorium.” The priestess/sage gives him directions to the shop—it lies in the University district.

Surm thanks her and bids her good day. He then leaves the University and heads for the Scriptorium.

The shop is marked out front with a traditional swinging sign that reads, in Tradespeak, “Abad & Lida’s Scriptorium”. However, there is also a stone obelisk with Acheran characters in front of the shop marking it as such. Surm heads inside and sees behind the counter a balding Southron man and a Southron woman behind the counter with him. People peruse glass cases with various scrolls in them. Behind the counter are pigeon-holes containing scrolls. There are books in cases around the room. There are fine quills on display.

“Welcome to the Scriptorium! How can I help you?” the man says as Surm walks in.

“Are you Abad?” Surm asks.

“I am,” the man says.

“Ah, I am in need of scrolls. I need Silence spells,” Surm says.

“I see. Let me check my inventory,” Abad says. Then he calls to the woman in a language that Surm doesn’t understand and the woman heads into the back room of the shop. After a few moments, she returns, nodding to Abad.

“We do have such items,” Abad says.

“Excellent! Do you have three?” Surm asks.

Abad turns to the woman. She nods.

“Only scrolls?” Surm asks.

“That is my merchandise. It is my specialty,” Abad says with a bow.

“Then I would like to purchase three of them,” Surm says.

“I see. Then that will be 450 gold pieces,” Abad says.

Surm pulls out his Rod of Wonder. "Perhaps you would be interested in purchasing this and will defer some of the cost. I know you deal primarily in scrolls, but you are in the city and do business with other merchants. This, my friend, is a Rod of Wonder. "

“May I examine it?” Abad asks.

“Please,” Surm says and hands it over. Abad looks the device over and hands it back, whistling.

“That’s quite an item,” Abad says.

“It’s quite an impressive item,” Surm agrees.

“Come to my office,” Abad says and leads Surm to the back of the shop.

The office has a desk and a couple chairs. Abad takes a seat and offers one to Surm.

“I usually don’t like to do this size of dealing at the public counter,” Abad says.

“I completely understand,” Surm says.

“This is quite an offer you’re making with this rod,” Abad says, “in light of that, I’m prepared to give you the scrolls and more than half the rod’s worth. To be sure, I stand to make quite a tidy profit on this rod. Never let it be said that Abad is an unfair dealer.”

“No, never. In fact I was given word from Mother Olanan that you were exactly the trustworthy sort,” Surm says.

“I have dealt with the University many times,” Abad says, nodding.

“You have that cash on hand?” Surm asks.

“I do,” Abad says, a little warily.

“Well, here’s my situation. I don’t want to carry that kind of cash out of the city by myself. So, I’m prepared, because I’m in a hurry, to accept this offer, but ask that you hold my pay-out. I’ll take the three scrolls and return for the cash,” Surm says.

“I am amenable to that,” Abad says.

“Do you need me to sign anything? I am Surm Ulrich, if you need a name. You probably don’t need anything signed since you’re holding the rod…” Surm says.

“No, I don’t need anything signed. I’ll just hold the rod,” Abad says.

“Very well. I will take the scrolls and return,” Surm says.

“Very good,” Abad says.

Surm collects the scrolls and says, “I will be back as soon as I can. Feel free to sell the rod if you wish.”

“I will start making inquiries,” Abad says.

“You go ahead and do whatever you’re doing,” Surm says. “And you can hold my platinum.”

Surm leaves the shop, crying out about how fair a dealer Abad is, telling all who will listen.

While he’s in the city, Surm heads over to where Toliver Yew’s tent was sent up in the marketplace. He sees Yew packing up his tent into his box wagon. Surm rushes over and says, “Master Yew!”

Yew looks up from his work and says, disappointed, “Oh. You’re a day late.”

“I am a day late and I bring bad news,” Surm says.

“This is frequent,” Yew says, obviously put out.

“It’s becoming that way,” Surm says. “Our dealings are not yet complete; we are still wrapping up our dealings with Lord Connach. However, I wanted to inform you as quickly as I could and to let you know that, while you are under no obligation to wait, should you decide to wait for your escort, we are prepared to knock another 20 silver per day off of the price. That brings it to 19 silver per day. As soon as I leave you, sir, we set out to track this enemy, and hopefully deal with him in finality. If you can’t wait, I understand, and our apologies.”

Yew mulls this over.

“Have you already sold all of your wares, sir?” Surm asks.

“Very nearly,” Yew says. “How long do you think this will take?”

“Unfortunately, this fellow is wily and is quite troublesome to track,” Surm says.

“He’s very troublesome to me, I can tell you,” Yew says.

“Well, if you decide to wait, I’m sure, well, I can’t make this promise, but, if you decide to wait, if we are more than three days, Captain Rilka will still escort you free of charge,” Surm says.

Yew seems pleased at this prospect. “I will wait,” he says.

“Very good, sir,” Surm says, and hops on his horse with a sense of urgency and speeds out of the city.

Meanwhile, at Lord Cannach’s estate, all is quiet. Surm makes it back and reports that he has retrieved the needed scrolls.

The party gathers at the site of their battle last night and put Savaric on the trail of the Lich. He finds a trail and he and Ghost begin to follow it, with the party following close behind on horseback.

He follows the trail through the fields outside the city. It follows a circuitous route back toward the city wall—not to a gate, but to an older part of the wall. It doesn’t appear to be very well patrolled. The smells of the city are particularly ripe here. It’s probably the “bad” part of town.

Savaric looks around the area outside the wall for signs of the Lich. He finds a bit of tattered cloth caught in the stones of the wall, like someone climbed the wall and it got snagged along the way. They speculate that the Lich climbed over the wall and walked to Lord Cannach’s from somewhere within the city. Mõrvar suggests that he may be hiding in a graveyard.

Surm suggests that Savaric use Ilona and climb the wall. Ilona says, “Yes! Yes! Why don’t you use me?” The wall is about 15 feet high and made of rough stone. It will take about a minute for him to climb it. They decide to have Savaric climb over the wall and attempt to pick up the trail on the other side. The sorcerers can Message to him to keep in contact in the process. Then the rest of the party can come around to the city gates and catch up with afterwards.

As Savaric is climbing up, Surm spots a helmet coming toward him on the catwalk. He Messages Savaric to stop climbing, that someone is coming. Savaric holds strong to the side of the wall as the guardsman passes, clearly bored and scraping the tip of his spear against the stone of the wall as he passes. Soon, the guard is out of sight and Surm Messages Savaric that all is clear. Savaric continues his climb up the wall.

When the ranger gets to the top of the wall, his ring makes him invisible. Then he examines the catwalk for signs of the Lich. He finds nothing. Looking down below, he sees a hovel, some piles of garbage, and beyond that a narrow, trash-ridden street. He climbs down the wall and starts looking around for a trail. He finds a very faint one. He finds a piece of garbage and marks his trail. Then he starts following the faint trail.

Surm Messages Savaric to get an update on what he’s found thus far. He tries to get a sense from Savaric where in the city he’s located, but nobody knows Aldasar that well. Surm suggests he figure out where he is and get back to them so that they can come into the city and find him. Savaric leaves the marked trail behind and looks for a landmark, or a sign, not trusting his diplomacy to ask for directions.

About two blocks away, Savaric sees the hanging sign of a tavern. Its scratched up and barely legible Tradespeak script says “The Dented Mug.” It also has, affixed to it, a dented pewter mug. He reports that he spots the tavern as a landmark. He’s told to sit tight outside the tavern and the others will meet him there.

Surm, Mõrvar, and Rilka head around to one of the city gates and pay their gate taxes to get in (along with the taxes on the horses) and make then make inquiries about The Dented Mug. One of the guards says, “You don’t want to go there, sir.”

“Well, unfortunately necessity dictates that I go,” Surm says.

The guard begrudgingly gives him directions. Surm thanks him for the directions and for the warning.

As the party follows the directions, they notice the quality of the city starting to decline. The streets are narrow and in disrepair. There are far fewer guard patrols noticeable. People keep to themselves and don’t make eye contact. They look at the party leading their horses through the narrow streets and then look away quickly so as not to draw attention to themselves. Surm averts his eyes while Mõrvar gives people dirty, nasty looks. But, eventually, the party does see the sign of The Dented Mug.

Meanwhile, Savaric hangs out outside the tavern. Inside the tavern is a lot of raucous laughter, what sounds like fighting, and loud music. Savaric fights off the temptation to go inside, but does look inside the windows. A couple of people are thrown out while he waits.

The party sees Savaric standing outside the tavern and they reunite. They head back to the pile of refuse and the marked trail. Surm casts Detect Magic to see if maybe the phylactery is hidden in the area. Savaric begins to follow the trail and gets as far as the street before losing it. There is just too many people that have gone through there and it is too difficult to get a distinct trail.

Rilka suggests that maybe someone saw the Lich—he is pretty distinctive with his blue, glowing eyes and such. They go back to where the trail starts and look about, noticing the hovel again. Surm wonders if someone lives there. He goes to the hovel and knocks on the frame of the curtain-down. An old, humpbacked woman pokes her head out and peers at them.

“Hello. I’m Surm Ulrich. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions,” Surm says, smiling.

She says nothing, but puts out her hand, expecting payment.

“Ah, of course, I don’t want to waste your time. You’re obviously busy,” Surm says, and drops a silver piece in her hand. The coin disappears and she asks, in a gravelly voice, “What do you want to know?”

“I was wondering if you noticed any strangers passing through your alley, or climbing the wall? Dressed in tattered black robes? Perhaps during the night? Perhaps with strange-looking, as if they glowed blue. Probably an intimidating fellow. Chill you to the bone,” Surm says.

She puts out her hand, hands him back the silver, and says, “No, no, I didn’t see anything. Go away.” And she shuts the curtain.

Surm pockets his silver and takes a gold and pokes his head into the curtain and says, “Good madam. It is of dire importance that we find this fellow and stop him from terrorizing others.”

“Only a fool seeks out Death,” she barks.

“Captain Rilka and Company is that fool,” Surm says. “And we seek out Death to put a stop to him.”

Surm leverages his fame of being associated with Captain Rilka and Company, and his particular affinity for Aldasar, as well as pulling out a second gold piece and tells her, “Captain Rilka and Company intends to destroy this creature so that it will terrorize Aldasar no more. But we need your help. In no way will it track back to you. I don’t know your name, nor do I want to.”

“I don’t want it coming back here,” the woman says.

“Our intent, dear lady, is to destroy it. Its trail comes here. It will come back—unless you help us,” Surm says.

She takes the gold and says, “It comes and goes from east.”

“From the east. When’s the last time you saw it?” Surm asks.

“Last night,” she says.

“Leaving the city? Climbing over the wall?” Surm asks.


“You didn’t see it return?” he asks.

“No,” she says.

Surm knows that east of their location is the religious district of the city. Mõrvar knows that east of there are some of the larger temples in the city as well as a large necropolis known as “Sadum’s Hill”.

Surm thanks the old woman and they step away from the hovel. Then they discuss their next move. They debate whether or not they want to head to the necropolis now or watch Lord Cannach’s. Do they think it will be better if the LIch knows that they are on his trail so he doesn’t head back to Lord Cannach’s. Surm suggests leaving a message on the wall letting the Lich know that they are on to his path that will make the Lich run to his phylactery to make sure that it is secure. This could also make sure that he doesn’t bother Lord Cannach as the Lich will know that the party is not there.

So Mõrvar writes him a note in Elven, “Followed your trail to here,” and draws a picture of a nut and signs it “Mõrvar Ulrich.” They then post this note to the wall and start heading toward the necropolis.

Along the way, they decide to stop off in the University district to recruit the help of Mother Olanan. She sees them in her cottage.

“Did you find the scrolls you were looking for,” she asks Surm.

“I did. I found the scrolls, but I’ve discovered that the Lich is actually in the city. We followed his trail back to the wall. And rumors say that he comes from the east. And we know that there is a necropolis to the east and we are going to go there,” Surm says.

“Ah yes, Sadum’s Hill,” Mother Olanan says.

“Yes. We have left a message for the Lich at the wall so that he will be alerted that we are on to him. Hopefully he will not go back to Lord Cannach’s and will, instead, check to see that his phylactery is safe,” Surm says .

“I see,” Mother Olanan.

“So we are going to hit the cemetery today. And we wanted to see if you would be able to lend a hand, as we are about to enter the realm of quite a few undead recruits,” Surm says.

“Oh, well,” the priestess says.

Rilka suggests that if she can’t get away herself, if there is another cleric she can recommend, that would be helpful as well. Mother Olanan says that it’s not that she can’t get away, it’s just that she is primarily a scholar, not a “field cleric” and, as such, the spells that she has on hand are not of a combat nature. However, she is ready and willing to help as she can. She does have the ability to the Turn Undead and to channel positive energy. Surm says that if she feels she is prepared to help, then they will be happy to have her. She asks to be allowed to get her things.

She goes to a cabinet and puts on a silver holy symbol, a ring, a cloak, grabs a staff, and a satchel and says, “Shall we?”

The party then proceeds toward Sadum’s Hill.

As they approach the gate to the necropolis, they can see large mausoleums, large tombstones, obelisks, edifices, some very old and some more recent, There is a ten-foot wall around the necropolis that looks to be locked at night. They start investigating the outer wall that corresponds to the direction facing the hovel to the west of the cemetery. Rilka finds a smear of ink on the outer wall. Surm does not Detect Magic emanating from the ink. The party speculates that the Lich may be trying to recreate his spellbook. Surm knows that if he were to purchase or steal the accoutrements he could write down the spells he has prepared to do just that.

Savaric finds a single, bony footprint near the wall. They go inside (leaving the horses outside) and start trying to find signs of the Lich on the other side of the wall. Savaric finds a trail of bony footprints. Mõrvar pulls out his dwarven warhammer. Surm points out what Mother Olanan said about bludgeoning weapons and the undead. Savaric follows the trail and the others follow him.

Rilka commands her horse to guard the other horses and Mõrvar does the same with his steed.

As Savaric follows the trail, they see people paying homage to others at gravesites and various trails and paths leading throughout the necropolis. Finally, the ranger leads them to a mausoleum. Once there, he also finds a slightly older second trail, leaving the mausoleum. Both trails are coming and going from the mausoleum, but the other one is definitely an older trail—probably two or three days old. Mõrvar believes that he planned to come here straight out of Leodin.

The party then debates whether or not they want to go in and get him or if they want to find his phylactery first. Mother Olanan confirms that they do not wish her to Turn him and make him flee—but perhaps they wish her to help handle any other undead that he has raised.

The mausoleum is a large box-shaped building with iron doors. Savaric starts checking the doors for traps. He finds no traps but does discover that the door is slightly ajar. He listens and hears nothing on the other side. Surm casts Silence from the one of the scrolls on the iron door. He slaps Savaric on the back and points to the door. Savaric opens the door.

A bar of sunlight falls into the room, but the half-orc has darkvision so he has a clear picture of the room anyway. There is a stone slab in the center of the room and standing at the slab is the Lich. Sitting on the slab is an open book. Also sitting on the slab are a series of quills and vials of ink. He says something—but no one can hear it as he is within the radius of the Silence spell.

Mõrvar moves forward with his hammer with a big smile on his face and attacks the Lich, smashing him twice. Surm moves out of the range of the Silence spell and then uses the Wand of Magic Missiles against the Lich. Mother Olanan moves forward and touches Mõrvar, giving him a Resistant Touch. The Lich then fills the area with negative energy, causing the Mother, Mõrvar, Rilka, and Savaric pain. Once again, Savaric is shaken by the presence of the Lich and is negatively affected by his fear of him. Rilka comes forward and attacks and hits him once, but then misses. Savaric waits outside with Edgefrost drawn.

Rilka swings again and hits once, then twice. Savaric continues to wait. Mõrvar attacks with his warhammer once again, and fells the Lich.

Savaric starts searching the room. Surm casts Detect Magic and starts looking about the room. Everyone can see that there were vases and other such vessels on pedestals around the room that have been violently knocked to the floor. Surm detects magic in the corner of the room. Investigating, he finds a loose stone in that area of the room. Looking for traps, he finds the corner of a piece of paper poking out from beneath the stone. Surm is a aware that there are spells that are magical symbols that, when gazed upon, trigger magical effects. Unfortunately, it not as easy as simply crumpling up the piece of paper and not looking at it to get rid of. It usually takes the expertise of a expert trapfinder to get rid of such things.

Surm warns everyone about the trap and steps out of the mausoleum. Mõrvar follows him, taking the nascent spellbook with him. Savaric follows, leaving Rilka alone with the trap.

Once outside, Mõrvar casts Read Magic on the spellbook to see how far the LIch got in completing his spell book. It appears he completed two spells, Create Undead and Eyebite. He had started a third, Magic Jar. Then he decides that he and Savaric should clean out the mausoleum before Rilka reveals the trap and possibly destroys it so they clear out the quills and inks and Savaric and Surm search the room. Amongst the inks and quills they find a vial with a clear liquid inside it and a piece of cured leather. They then leave Rilka alone with the trap.

Rilka casts Bless on herself and then flips the stone. She sees a magical sigil written on piece of paper and feels a pulse of magical energy burst through the room. And nothing else happens. Beneath the paper is a hole and within the hole is a tiny, metal box on a thin chain. It glows with a strange, purple-black luminesce about it. She picks it up and takes it to the others.

Surm looks to Mother Olanan for instruction on how to destroy the phylactery. She says that as far as she knows, there is no special way to destroy the thing, that they should be able to just smash the thing. So Surm suggests that they put it on the slab and have Mõrvar smash it with his hammer.

They set the phylactery on the slab and then Mõrvar pauses in thought. “Goodbye, Ulrich of Barth,” he says. Then, finally, he raises his hammer and brings it down on the tiny box. Then brings it down again. Then he brings it down a third time and the purple-black luminesce gathers and scatters and then dissipates. A foul wind blows through room. Mõrvar has a look of satisfaction on his face. Rilka says a prayer to Bruni and Mother Olanan says a prayer to Cereth. In the remains of the phylactery are two shredded scraps of paper. Mõrvar gathers them up and uses his Acid Splash to destroy them.

They opt to leave the Lich’s corpse in the mausoleum and leave. Mõrvar chops the head off the body. Mother Olanan asks if anyone requires if anyone requires healing, but no one takes her up on it. Surm asks the priestess if they are done. “If we destroyed phylactery, which we appeared to have done, then I believe we are done.”

“Finally? It’s done?” Surm says, incredulous, hardly believing it.

“Based on my knowledge of these creatures, yes,” Mother Olanan says.

“Then we’ll gather the broken pieces of the phylactery, Mõrvar has the head, we’ll take these to Lord Cannach and we’ll declare it done,” Surm says, triumphant.

They leave and shut the doors of the mausoleum.

“If it comes back after this, it’s a different lich,” Surm declares.

The party leaves the necropolis and head back toward the city center. They take Mother Olanan back to the University. As Surm turns to leave her, Mother Olanan tells him, “There’s a deeper story with this Lich, isn’t there? But it’s your story to tell, not my story to take. Should you ever want to tell it, you have an open ear with me.”

“I just don’t know the story yet. That’s what I’m hoping to find out. We have a collection of his writings we’re deciphering. We’ll investigate from there,” Surm says.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious, I wouldn’t be a scholar if I wasn’t a curious soul. But if in your travels you come back to Aldasar, feel free to call on me,” she says.

“I’m fairly certain I will be back,” Surm says.

Rilka thanks her for her help and gives a donation to the temple of Cereth.

They then head to Abad and Lida’s Scriptorium. Surm heads in with Rilka in tow.

“Ah, Master Ulrich,” Abad says as he heads in.

“Abad, I’m here to collect,” Surm says.

“Excellent,” Abad says, “Come with me.”

And they all head back into his office. Surm introduces Abad to “Captain” Rilka. Abad hands him a pouch with the agreed-upon funds of 570 platinum. Surm thanks the man and they head out.

The group then heads to the bad part of town and remove the note they posted on the wall. It’s already covered in garbage. Surm goes over to the old woman’s hovel and knocks on the frame again. She pokes her head out and he tells her thank you for her help, that “it is done.”

She looks wide-eyed and says, “You killed Death?”

“Well, he just looked like Death,” Surm says. He gives her five gold for her trouble.

She takes it and says, “I thank you.”

“I thank you for your assistance and your bravery,” he says.

And, finally, they head out of the city and to Lord Cannach’s estate.

At the estate, they are announced and the nobleman comes out to meet them. The party is all smiles and Surm announces that they come victorious.

“Victorious? This is fine news!” Lord Cannach says.

And Mõrvar produces the severed head of the Lich and Surm produces the smashed phylactery.

“So that should be it. If there is a Lich on your property, it is another Lich,” Surm says.

Lord Cannach chuckles at that and says, “This is definitely cause to celebrate. You seem hale and hearty. There seem to be casualties.”

“We caught him unawares. He did not expect to be caught in his lair again,” Surm says.

“Please come inside, rest. We simply await the return of the goods and the soldiery. Welcome back!” Lord Cannach says.

So the party heads inside the manor house and rests.

30 Transformation 508

Surm heads back into the city and goes to the University. He wants to employ a sage to look into Ulrich of Barth and any information he can get before he leaves in the next day.

The soldiery and the workers Lord Cannach employed to gather the goods from the Lich’s lair return on this day. When asked for a report, Alasir reports that all was quiet. Rilka and Surm report to him that the Lich has been found and destroyed and that they will be heading to Kalimsport. He takes this all in stride.

The party figures that the trip to Kalimsport will take about 13 days, so long as they stick to the road. That’s going at the speed of Toliver Yew’s wagon.

1 Chillwind 508

Lord Cannach has received all of his funds from his buyers, so all pay outs have been made. Surm shakes Lord Cannach’s hand and says that it’s been a pleasure. “Perhaps we’ll swing back by here when we return to Aldasar,” Surm says.

“Feel free to,” Lord Cannach says.

A runner is sent from the University that information is available from the sage. So, as they are going to have to go into the city to pick up Toliver Yew regardless, they all load up and head into Aldasar. The entire entourage heads to Master Yew’s tent. Surm heads to Master Yew and says, “We’re here. We’re done. I have to make one stop at the University and then we’re ready to go.”

Master Yew looks surprised. “Well!”

Surm introduces Captain Rilka. Yew goes a little wide-eyed and then says, “Yes. Well. I didn’t realize the troop was so big. Yes. Well. Good. So, you said you have to make a stop?”

Surm flags Mahgnus over. “This is my man, Mahgnus. He’ll be happy to assist you in any way until I return.”

Mahgnus nods curtly.

“Good. Good. I just have some last minute preparations and then I’ll be ready to go,” Master Yew says.

Then Surm and Mõrvar head to the University and meet with the sage that Surm hired.

“I have found some information that will be of interest to you,” the sage says.

“Excellent,” Surm says.

“You asked about Barth,” the sage says. “Very difficult finding references to Barth. The only references I found was to a village that no longer exists. It was located near the Slayt Mountains. It was a Duindir village. It lay to the north of modern Leilior at the northern end of the Slayt Mountains.”

“What became of this village?” Surm asks.

The sage shrugs, “It’s lost to time.”

“But it was just a village,” Surm says.

“Yes,” the sage says.

“Of no importance?” Surm asks.

“None that I could find,” the sage says. “However, the references I found were to an Ulrich of Barth. He was a notorious adventurer.”

“Notorious?” Surm asks.

“A hard man. A wizard. He traveled extensively. He apparently had several sons. It’s hard to say how many, but more than one, according to the tales. He sought infamy,” the sage says.

“Not fame? But specifically infamy?” Surm asks.

“Yes,” the sage says.

“Wizards,” Surm says, with disgust.

“He was active some 400 years ago,” the sage says. “Some tales say that he achieved immortality. That’s all I was able to find in such a short time.”

“Genealogy? Names of the sons?” Surm asks.

“Once again, in such a short time? No,” the sage says.

“I would like you to research this Ulrich of Barth. Specifically relations, family. We’d like to see the family tree and where they are,” Surm says.

“That would be interesting,” the sage says. “That could take some time.”

“Alright,” Surm says.

“I can work on that,” the sage says, confidently.

“Very well. I am leaving the city and heading south. But I will be this way again and then I will pay and see what you have learned,” Surm says.

“Very well,” the sage says. “That is acceptable.”

The two shake hands and Surm gets the man’s name, which is Levan Elhan.

Mõrvar puts out his hand as well.

Surm introduces himself and Mõrvar does as well. The sage raises an eyebrow at that.

“I suspect we’re related,” Surm says. “So I could tell you that some family currently resides in he north. Jossia.”

“Ah. That could make things more difficult,” Levan says.

“More difficult?” Surm asks.

“There are fewer family records in the Northron lands for me to access,” the sage says.

“Then is this even doable for you? Should I go north and seek a sage there?” Surm asks.

“I said, difficult, not impossible,” Levan says.

“Very well. We will swing through and see what you have found when next we come to Aldasar,” Surm says.

They take their leave of the sage and head back to the market district.

Master Yew’s preparations are complete. Alasir has the troops positioned around the wagon. Surm rides alongside the wagon while Rilka and Mõrvar ride point. And the procession heads out of Aldasar on the way south towards Kalimsport.


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