Ties that Bind

The First Job

hunting for a necromancer

The six of you exited Faganheim plaza as the guards closed the portcullises and saw to the removal of those decorations that had not escaped the robbery without charring, intrigued by the meeting you had just come from, and the impromptu job you have just been assigned. You searched for a place to eat and found the Lamb and Lion, a bright tavern on the opposite side of the square. Here you dined on fine food and good wine and beer and got to know one another better. Ave perplexed Selene and Helios with her description of her heritage while Godot and Tyne sloshed back tankards of rotgut and grilled Laila about her family. You joked and caroused until the tavern closed, some of you taking a room in the inn while the rest returned to their own inns.

In the morning the majority of you (Tyne and Godot were having trouble sleeping off the Lamb’s rotgut) met Faganheim Jr. at the plaza, where he gave you the compiled information on the thief who stole the necrotic items from the plaza. Isaiah Dailen, so he was called, a necromancer from Xiuula had commissioned Faganheims to create for him various apparatuses for raising large numbers of undead, as well as partner with him in business deals, all of which were declined. Most likely this burglary was his attempt at availing himself of such items without interference, and his escape route meant he was likely fleeing the country either through the Blackburn Mountains into Tyndahl, or across the border into Siperene. Your goal was to track him down, retrieve the items and bring them back to Maidenpool before Faganheim Sr. returned for the solstice festival. Whether or not Isaiah was captured was left up to your discretion. With dossier and train tickets in hand, you left the city by way of the new marvel of Castrellon: Railcar.

The train took you across the country to the southern hub known as Bardford, a colorful cousin to Maidenpool and home to a large barding college. Here you split up in search of information regarding Isaiah’s whereabouts.

Selene and Helios asked the town’s merchants if any of them had done business or seen the tall man in a dark cloak, with a few saying they might have seen such a person moving through the city in the evening. They also procured a map of the area.

Tyne and Ave grilled gamblers and low-life’s in the less savory parts of town, eventually bribing out a memory of a black clad individual making their way out of the city under cover of night while most folks were at the concerts at the college.

Godot and Laila ended up traveling all over town for several hours delivering letters and packages, eventually ending up at Zindello University, the bard college. At that time the rest of the group had met at the prescribed meeting point, exchanged information, and gone searching for the mail carrier and magus figuring that both, once again, were lost.

At the college the group wondered where to go from there. The trail was cold with only a vague sense of where the necromancer might be headed. Fortune seemed to smile when a passing bard student, one Elijah Bosk, overheard the word ‘necromancer’ and asked whether or not any of you were one. After denying such and clarifying you were searching for one, the young student offered his knowledge of necromancy. As a student of stories and legends of such mages and their art, he knew a great deal about both Isaiah Dailen and the area he was likely travelling through. The necromancer was an up-and-coming Xiuulan politician originally from Castrellon who was trying to worm his way up the ladder of power through use of illegal magic such as high level necromancy and gate spells, and his choice of escape route only made such information more believable. The southern regions of Castrellon were once major battlefields during the Abeyance and the more recent War of Tears between Siperene and it’s neighbors. As such, the land was home to more graves and ghost stories than nearly any other place in the country, and would be the perfect place for a necromancer to go about raising undead if they were so inclined. You all rushed out of Bardford on horseback as soon as you could, heading for the low mountain in the distance that Elijah had said was home to a heroes mausoleum.

It took several days of travel, during which you each continued to feel each other out, still not fully sure how to handle each other member of the group. When you came upon a small village close to the mountain, you heard screams of panic. Each of you rushed into the village to see what was causing the ruckus to find a hoard of zombies making their way through the town. Helios made short work of the majority of them, and while everyone else dealt with those that remained, she asked the villagers what had happened. The village elder, an old woman, told you that the undead creatures had been roaming around the village for a couple days, and had gathered en masse to march through the village. She thanked the gods that you had arrived to save the village. Thankfully, no one had been hurt.

You all continued to ask for information on Elijah, knowing that he must have been through the village and tested his stolen magic on the village. Some had seen the black cloaked figure making his way through the village, stopping at the cemetery, and making his way towards the mausoleum. the zombies had appeared shortly after. as night fell, you made your way to the mountain, refusing all repayment from the villagers save for food for the journey.

Upon reaching the mausoleum, you saw the entrance alight with a pale green glow. As you entered, weapons drawn, you saw the necromancer standing amid the stone sarcophagi of fallen heroes, his stolen staff drawn and emitting the green light that shined over a hoard of zombies clad in armor, and more numerous than the one’s you had seen in the village. With a single glance and not a word, the necromancer pointed at you, and the hoard attacked. You each fought diligently despite the instantly obvious superiority of these undead from the one’s before. Bad luck seemed to follow you into the tomb as Tyne was slammed against a wall and Ave lost her grip on her axe and lodged it in a coffin. The battle continued slowly with only a few undead falling to your attacks. Something didn’t seem right, and as Selene, Helios, and Laila sought answers in bodies of the fallen, it became clear. They zombies were not in fact zombies. They emitted no evil presence or necrotic energy. The only place such magic was felt was near the necromancer himself. Were these live men enchanted to do Isaiah’s bidding? What were they? As you made your way through the hoard to face Dailen himself, you determined that the zombies were in fact some kind of constructs: mechanical in nature and under his control. As soon as you all realized this, the battle ceased. The zombies froze, Isaiah deactivated the staff, and began laughing. As he removed his hood, he revealed himself to be a Warforged. His laughter died out and was replaced by a yet unseen voice. With a flash of light from behind a corner coffin, a dwarf with wiry hair streaked with gray emerged.

His name, he revealed, was Walgrim Faganheim Sr. and it was he who had orchestrated the both the burglary of the plaza and the subsequent chase as a means of testing potential candidates for a company of individuals that he hoped would be able to change the world for the better, both with their strength and his patronage. None of you was pleased with this news at first, considering the strange dwarf nothing short of mad. Walgrim carefully explained that these tests had been taking place for several months now (suddenly the cryptic musings of the plaza guards made sense) and that nobody had ever been in any true danger, though admittedly some of the effects might have gone too far this time. The plaza thieves were only to have caused a disturbance, no real graves had been desecrated, the zombies had never been ordered to attack anyone beyond self defense, and Isaiah, for that was in fact the Warforged’s name, had seeded rumors of a necromancer and provided the suspicious persona as a favor to Walgrim for helping him escape from Siperene. Though these lengths were above and beyond crazy, his intentions were clear, and you all decided to accept Walgrim’s offer of becoming contracted adventurers for Faganheims.

Walgrim offered transport back to Maidenpool so that you could finalize your contract and enjoy the festival. He offered a ride back on the railcars, or through teleportation. Eager to experience the rare and heavily regulated magic for yourselves, you all joined hands and found yourselves instantly at the gates of Maidenpool. Walgrim bid you a good rest, greeted the guards at the gate, and disappeared into the busy streets.

It had been a long and confusing week-and-change of work, and as you entered the city for the second time, it could not be said how much longer and confusing life might become.

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