So, with the Hope Blighter research bit of business taken care of, the group started thinking about what other adventuring opportunities to undertake in the coming year. We met a monk named Asilles at the Chessman, the Inn in Medea’s Gate, who we became fast friends with. He told us about an abandoned wizard’s tower near the headwaters of the small tributary to the Dormant Lady Lake, the Lady’s Finger. This was near where we had run aground in the previous session. He also said that he would be willing to guide us to it but probably wouldn’t go any further than that. He said the massive wizard’s tower sits on a hillock whose walls are made of strong basalt and covered with indecipherable runes encircling the fortress. We considered this and decided it might be worth investigating at some point.
We also received word from the Sorinus family of another adventure possibility and offer of employment. One Septimus Sorinus, of the prominent and wealthy family, invited us to dine with him at the Scepter and Rose, one of the finer dining establishments in Medea’s Gate. He thanked us for bringing word on the plight of his family’s ship that had run aground in the previous session and awarded us with platinum medals for the deed. These medals, he told us, are actually passes for free passage aboard his family’s fleet of ships for a year as a reward for our help in saving the ship.
He explained that the city of Cinnoros, also known as Harbor Reach, is a port city which sits on an arm of land that reaches into the ocean far to the east. The lands around it are a protectorate of Thebos and it is a very busy trading port for his family’s fleet. The city is quite young and surrounded by untamed lands but well located to defend itself and acts as a center of commerce along the coast. The port and shipping running out of Harbor reach, however, has recently been plagued with acts of piracy which has gravely affected his family’s business doing much harm to his family’s fleet and fortune. Apparently, the Karakara, green skinned people given to violence and superstition, have been causing a lot of trouble lately. They are among the founding stock of orcs and have been raiding the shipping lanes regularly. A small community of them has given rise to a strong leader who has risen to power and possesses strong supernatural abilities. They offered us 5000 g.p. each if we could successfully eliminate this troublesome leader which would undoubtedly quell the piracy threat in the area.
We also received a communiqué from Ahmet, the current prefect of the Surgeons of Hecate in Medea’s Gate. It said that he had an opportunity for us to return the favor they granted to us in raising from the dead our fallen henchman, the Elf Cyrcla a few sessions ago (see Day of the Ice Toad). A little while later, we were contacted by Marut, our benefactor in the surgeon’s guild, who said they may need our help sooner rather than later. They were ready to call in the favor and send us on an errand in the lands outside the Anvil in the Gorgon’s Trench to the south of Limus Town. When we met with Ahmet, he said there are many minor kings in the trench and that they are good friends to have as clients and customers for the guild. He went on to say that the King of Cephasos was in the process of putting down an uprising and required the aid of the surgeons. He contacted us since the surgeons did not want to be seen as directly involving themselves in such matters of a political nature. We decided that we would to take care of this problem first to clear our debt to the surgeons and then travel to Harbor Reach later to assist the Serinus family with their piracy issues.
According to Ahmet, the kingdom of Cephasos is centered around the town of Spirythol which is about the size of Herrari (very small), in the midst of the moors and marshes that are common in the Gorgon’s Trench. The lands of the small kingdom include a series of small villages and hamlets that radiate around twenty miles outside of the seat of local power in the town. Ahmet said that the surgeons would arrange transportation via Dragonship (a hot air balloon type of dirigible) to the kingdom and that our contact, Decula Aerulus, was an associate of the guild and the local owner of the inn there.
He went on to tell us that the good king Oldevan reigned for many generations in Cephasos and was a great and powerful warrior in his prime but that now he is old and frail. The recent uprising has sapped the military strength of his kingdom which is why he now requires assistance from the surgeon’s guild. In the final battle with the rebels, the king’s armies defeated his foul challenger, Richard Dirklok and his army of brigands, hobgoblins, and gnolls. Dirklok brought ruin upon the land razing neutral villages with much slaughter but when defeated, he fled into the moors with what few followers still remained. We found out later that he fled into the ruins of a fallen keep and burial mound known as the barrow of Gravemoor deep inside the swamp.
Shortly before leaving, we received a package from Marut. It contained a pair of scrolls and a message that said “do not accept this package unless you are willing to accept the assignment”. We weren’t exactly sure what this meant but it implied that it was a very dangerous mission for our group of adventurers and that we would need the assistance of the scrolls contained in the package. Since we were determined to pay our debt to them we opened the package. Brummbar examined the contents and determined that it contained two scrolls of the cleric spell Restoration! This was dire news indeed since that spell is a 7th level cleric spell used to restore levels drained by undead creatures and other negative energy based level draining spells. We were starting to think that accepting this assignment was a mistake and that someone in the surgeon’s guild, like Ahmet, was trying to get us out of the way or worse, killed by sending us there.