The party begins the journey to Farhold on the river barge “Halstyn’s Folly” of which Tiadora is the undisputed mistress, taking the only cabin. For twelve days the barge slowly makes it’s way across Lake Tarik, stopping each night within sight of a village or keep. Upon leaving, each village is either burned to the ground or the mourning wails of it’s people can be heard into the early morning hours.
On the twelfth night, Tiadora approaches the party and tells them “The Master is here and commands you attend him.” Upon entering the cabin they see their master, Cardinal Adrastus Thorn. He greets them, praising them for a job well done. Due to their efforts the Fire-Axe and his horde has invaded and already three battles have been fought and won. The villages of Ambryl and Tarrington Fields lie sacked and the Fortress of Lorringsgate is in ruins.
Cardinal Thorn then gives them their next mission and that is to find the Horn of Abaddon, an ancient temple which once housed a death cult known as the The Sons of the Pale Horseman, themselves overthrown by Markadian I eighty years before.
The Sons of the Pale Horseman served a powerful daemon prince known as Vetra-Kali-Eats-The-Eyes who had made a masterpiece of plague that he was about to spread across the world known only as the Tears of Achlys. Before he was able to complete his mission Markadian I defeated and banished him from this world using a great seal of silver crafted and blessed by Mitran priests.
Cardinal Thorn commands the party to break the seal and summon Vetra-Kali back to the world and obtain the Tears of Achlys. Once they have obtained the Tears of Achlys they will give it to him and in turn he will give it to his agents to spread in the southern cities of the kingdom.
He tells the party that he had sent his fourth knot to find the Horn and according to his last report they had actually discerned the Horn’s location (less than a day’s ride from Farhold) but they have not been heard from for quite some time which leads the Cardinal to believe that they have been destroyed.
He also tells the party that he has commanded the seventh knot to journey to Farhold as well, the seventh knot will keep anyone from interfering with the party while they attempt to break the seal. He mentions that there is someone in Farhold that they will be introduced to by Tiadora, that being Baron Arkov Vandermir a very well connected nobleman in Farhold who may be able to assist them. He then dismisses them and leaves the barge.
They dock in Farhold the next morning and leave with Tiadora telling them that they will be attending dinner at the Baron’s home the next night. Leaving they explore Farhold just a bit and purchase themselves clothing and other goods.
Staying the night at an inn they manage to pick up some rumors
- On the northern edge of the Caer Bryr are those strange hills called the Karst. It is said that somewhere in those hills is lost a great treasure!
- The Caer Bryr is full of living trees — it is common knowledge but it’s rare for one to be seen so far north. One has been rumored to live within a days ride of Farhold.
- An elf staying at the Wandering Friar Inn wandered into the Bryr and has not been back in the last three weeks.
- Before Lord Welshire left for the war he had a priest of Mitra conjure an angel to defend the town should it be threatened.
- Ex-watchman Halack Amon paid off his dead father’s debts but it left him almost penniless.
- A Mitran cleric Sister Marta is a devote cleric of Mitra and has saved several peoples lives in Farhold.
- The fortress of Lorringsgate has been destroyed by the monster horde.
- The Knights of Alerion have gone mad and are blaming the invasion on the temple of Asmodeus. They’re burning anyone with a black cat at the stake! It’s maddness! There hasn’t been a cult to Asmodeus in Talingarde for twenty years. Someone’s organizing the bugbears surely, but Asmodeans?
- The Baron Vandermir is the most generous man. Because of him the town has an orphanage.
- The kids at the Vandermir Orphanage are little more than thugs! It is said that the corrupt old baron sometimes uses them as muscle.
The next day Zeitram goes to the Wandering Friar and pays the inn keeper into letting him into the Elf’s room. In the room he finds a map of the northern part of the Caer Bryr with the location of the Horn pinpointed on it. He then takes it back and shares it with his companions.
That night the party meets Tiadora at the barge and walk to the home of Baron Vandermir where after surrendering their visible weapons are let in. After a few moments of fine wine and hors d’oeuvres, they are led into the dining room where they meet Baron Arkov Vandermir.
As soon as dinner is served and the servants are dismissed the Baron turns to the party and says. “You come to me as beggars, the last remnants of a forbidden faith. You will promise me much, of that I have no doubt. But all that I am likely to earn from helping you is the inquisitor’s pyre. Tell me, why should I help the likes of you?
The party successfully convinces the Baron to assist them assuring him that all of their activities will be in total secret and totally untraceable to him. This suits the Baron at which point he agrees to help them by giving them access to a secret tunnel from his manor to a hovel in another part of town, allowing them to move unobserved.
After the meal Tiadora reminds the party of the clay tablet given to them by Cardinal Thorn, “Break it when you need to speak with the Master. Be sure not to waste his time. He can be most unforgiving about that. The Seventh Knot is already close at hand. They arrive tomorrow on a river barge named “The Lucky Lady”. You should probably meet them and come up with a plan for seeing our Master’s will done. It matters not to me of course, Not my problem. Goodbye dearest, and good luck." With which she teleports away.
The next day the party is informed of the arrival of the Seventh Knot and is requested to me with them. Going to the Auld Briarhall in Auld’Irey. They meet with Elise, Trak, Dostan, and Trik
She lays out her plan to the party “It is my intention in the next few months to have spies set up in every inn, tavern and anywhere else adventurers and explorers might congregate. When you do find the Horn of Abaddon, contact me. For those groups I can’t personally dispatch, I’ll send a messenger with any information I can gather”.
After the meeting they track down where the leader of the Fourth Knot had been staying before his disappearance and there they find a map with the location of the Horn of Abaddon clearly marked. The party departs for the Horn early the next day.