When the party arrived in the town square, they found a crowd drinking from a strange fountain and paying homage to a new, evil god, Hith. The fountain’s keeper, Garlan, was obviously a charlatan of some kind, but he did seem to posses the powers of a true cleric, which Qillathe and Donovan found unsettling. Qillathe and Igraine nabbed some water from the fountain for later use. A messenger then appeared and delivered a note from Sir Liam Ehrling that asked the adventurers to meet at the inn that evening.
Signs of Conspiracy
A few hours before the meeting, the party spotted Aardman, the Inquisitor from Hopeful, sneaking off into the woods. The trail lead to a secret bunker housing dozens of draconians! The bunker was also magically linked to a house a good distance away, and the party had to fight to escape. Igraine, Donovan, and Prawndipple saw Aardman leap from the house’s window, but were not able to catch him.
At the inn, an agent of the Solamnic Knights presented the party with a token that would give them passage into Castle Uth Wistan. As he explained the dangers they faced, he was suddenly assassinated by a cloaked figure who disappeared into the night before the party could react. Donovan dumped beer on the body and made a show of walking him around the town like a drunkard until the commotion died down, then he enchanted the body so it could finish its message. The most important fact: Draconians were massing all over the continent in unexpected places.
Several party members secretly received signed letters from Garmond Lothe, asking them to join his quest for powerful relics and turn against the party. “If you accept,” it read, “Hang a bedsheet out your window at the inn.” At the party’s request, Donovan responded to his letter… but was he the only one?
The party eventually arrived at Castle Uth Wistan, where they had an audience with Sir Liam Ehrling, the knight in charge of protecting the Sapping Sword, should it every be recovered. He showed off the defenses they had built for the sword, but the party chose not to reveal it was already in their possession.
Liam explained that an expansive group of treasure-seekers were scouring the land for rare artifacts and caught the party’s interest when he suggested the staff of Raistlin Majere might be among the items in their sights. The knight could only speculate about the treasure-seekers’ motives, but none were good.
The Draconians Move
After spending the night at the castle, Liam requested the party revisit the draconian bunker. He explained those draconians were now marching on the castle, so while his knights dealt with the threat, the adventurers would be free to explore. This time, the party found the bunker infested with undead, but there was little else of note besides a stolen painting of a ship.
A Tragic Rivalry
On their first day in town, Qillathe and Donovan independently befriended Gruthan the potions master, who had information about Aardman, but wouldn’t talk until something was done about his business rival, Carlax the wandmaker. Carlax had prayed to Hith and received potion making tools and guides which allowed him to undercut Gruthan’s business. What he didn’t know was that the equipment was cursed and the potions defective and dangerous.
The next day, the party revisited the rivals and convinced Carlax to give up his potion making. He explained the voice of Hith had spoken to him and said a terrible fate would befall him if he ever stopped, so the party escorted him to the temple of Paladine, thinking the god would protect him. Unfortunately this proved false—on the way to the temple, Carlax was struck dumb by a powerful curse. The party could do nothing but leave him with the clerics and wish for the best.
Having succeeded in closing Carlax’s shop (in a manner of speaking), Gruthan now shared his information. Aardman, he said, bought up every last potion of true seeing in town. The party pondered this; did Aardman need the potions, or simply wish to keep them from others? The party resolved to expose Lothe’s treasure-seekers and protect/examine/acquire Raistlin’s staff, but they would have to make a stop along the way. Just as they set out, a messenger had appeared with an urgent message for Igraine—a summons to the Tower of High Sorcery!