The group cleared the temple to dead Moander, and captured the goblin priest of Maglubiet. The priest-named Dort-told them how a human named Turthery was paying him in Luskan gold to poison the aquifer. Our heroes brought the goblin and their loots to the Aldwyn farm, where they met a fellow adventurer. Her name is Yuun and she told them how she slipped away from Kaydan Anteos and company when some of his companions murdered a farmer. Yuun feared that they might either come after her, or attack more farms on their way to the necromancer-filled caves.
Yuun signed on with the group, and they chose to ride through the night to the farm where the attack took place. Lyssiah and Jorin took charge of caring for the poisoned farmers, with our heroes working till dawn. The farmers told them that Kaydan’s group headed north, where the hills started and the farms stopped. Lyssiah, Jorin, and T conducted Lathander’s funeral rites for the slain farmer, her body consumed by the brilliant flames in mere moments, and smoke dissipating before it blotted out the sun. Perhaps the Morninglord appreciates our heroes? Regardless, the now-owner of the farm, Kel, told the group that the slain woman’s children (his niece and nephew) were studying in Waterdeep. The girl, Liz, at the Temple of the Dawn (a Lathanderite school) and Sam at Atwell’s Arcane Academy, a mage school, and that they didn’t know what happened yet.
On the road, the adventurers were ambushed by a skeletal champion and his zombie wolves, which they dispatched with some effort, before reaching the area marked on their map. A faint wisp of smoke alerted them to some, possibly nefarious, activities. Osprey and Japheck snuck to the crest of a hill overlooking the fire, to see a tiefling necroamncer, mounted upon a monsterous skeletal steed, surrounded by ready-to-raise skeletons and zombies. Before him stood a blood-stained altar, where a wicked ritual-blade and a strange book laid upon a tattered cloth. The necromancer spotted out heroes, and began to cast his vile magics, as Osprey and Japheck raced down the hill with a battlecry. Osprey knocked the book clear from the altar with a spin-kick, and Japheck slid across the altar, kicking the tiefling from his steed. Talyria began playing an enchanting song on her lute, inspiring her friends to greater deeds, while Gen and Yuun tried to disable the necromancer’s mind. The tiefling summoned a wolf to attack Japheck and stood up, eyeing the book from afar. Lyssiah crested the hill, raced over the altar, and slashed open the tiefling’s back with her sword, while Jorin moved in behind the wolf, and waited. Osprey broke the necromancer’s ribs with a firey punch, and Japheck rolled in behind him, impaling the evil wizard on his rapier, causing the summoned wolf to vanish. A single hammer-blow from Jorin felled the steed, and all was quiet.
The group inspected the book, and Yuun found it to be radiating powerful necromantic energy. The book itself was written in a language that caused her eyes to hurt, merely from viewing it. This text was written in an ink of blood, upon pages made from flayed faces, with their eyes, lips, and noses sewn shut. Eventually, the group decided to wrap the book and dagger in cloth, and bring them back to Waterdeep, where they could be destroyed more easily. The necromancer bore a tattoo upon his chest, of a scepter topped with a skull, the mark of Orcus, Demon Prince of Undeath. Gen spotted what appeared to be Kaydan and a halfling (assumed to be Rana Tealeaf) fleeing on spectral steeds. Japheck also inspected a cave behind the altar, and found Kaydan’s adventuring group slain (aside from Kaydan and Rana) as well as a Magic Mouth repeating the following message:
“Henglorik! You will continue my work! Use the Tome of Orcus to raise more undead for my projects! Continue until I return, failure will not be met lightly by our masters.”
Jorin took the opportunity to use an Oil of Sanctify Corpse on the necromancer, then put him back in a bag and continued on to the Rutledge farm, where the occupants continued to recover from their poisoning.
Note: We’ll actually pick up from here, either on Roll20 or via email, since I skipped a scene by accident.