26-30th days of Pelor, 816
The heroes were glad to be home in Greystone after over a month and a half of traveling. They wasted no time, however, in continuing on with the clues gleaned from Chasselbury. Krolok, Melancthon and Calvin went to see old comrades Sherlock Gnomes and Watson, while Monitus went to report with what he had found to Reyd Eichenteld.
Sherlock Gnomes and Watson had never heard of anything related to the Red Hand, nor could he find any connection to the mysterious playing card left by whoever stole the mysterious orb. Voryn Askello however, the sorcerer believed to be leader of the Red Hand, he did have information on. Mr. Askello was supposed to be investigated by the judges, to find any general wrong-doing. Strangely, the request for this investigation came directly from Aten Delrod, leader of the Circle of Magi and Voryn Askello’s superior. The group then left Gnomes to meet back up with Monitus.
Reyd Eichenteld was happy that Monitus had ended up in Chasselbury and had been able to gather some information on the Red Hand. He confirmed that the books Monitus had taken from the laboratory underneath the library were indeed accessible only to the seven Grand Wizards of the Circle, of which the suspected leader Voryn was of course a member. It was decided that Eichenteld would ask for an audience with Askello and that Monitus and his companions would use this opportunity to sneak into his house to look for damning evidence. Monitus, Krolok, Melancthon and Calvin staked out Voryn’s home and waited for nightfall.
When Askello left, Krolok of course took the direct approach and smashed in one of his windows. This unfortunately drew the attention of two guards, but they were easily dealt with by a couple of Suggestions from Melancthon. There was nothing of note to be found in Voryn’s private library, but a secret passage was found in his room, leading underneath his garden. While Krolok and Monitus examined this, Melancthon decided for some inscrutable reason to sink Askello’s fountain down into the secret room. A the only door down there radiated magic, so the cautious crew dispelled whatever spell was in place and proceeded.
Inside what was undoubtedly the secret lair of Voryn Askello, the group was attacked by its guardian, a large dragon skeleton! However, Krolok had already worked himself into a massive rage to break down the door, and the undead beast did not last long against his fury. The usual post-battle searching and looting was cut short when Grand Wizard Askello himself teleported in. There was a bit of confusion when he accused the party of being members of the Red Hand, and this was compounded when a trio of Herzou demons (the same type the group had fought in Chasselbury) teleported in as well. A retreat back up the stairs was made, with Voryn in tow, who used powerful magic to force the demons back to their home plane.
With that business out of the way, it was time to discuss what was going on and who was on whose side. It turned out that Voryn was not a member of the Red Hand and had in fact, been working against them all along. He had just returned from a covert mission similar to the party’s, except that he had sneaked into the secret sanctuary of the Archwizard, Aten Delrod. There he had found the other half of the teleportation circle from Chasselbury and other incriminating evidence before he was chased off by the group of demons that Delrod had summoned. He welcomed our heroes as new allies in the fight, but warned against an open confrontation at this time. He advised them to lay low for a while, possibly even out of the city, while he would gather strength for the coming conflict against Aten Delrod and the Red Hand.
It was at this point that Lord Melancthon brought up the quest he had asked for assistance with when he first joined the group and produced a map and directions in the form of a strange rhyme. This seemed like a good time to help out their new friend, so the adventurers set off for the closest landmark, the village of Lonsalindel, hometown of Ampersand.
Investigating Voryn Askello
Breaking and entering the home of a Grand Wizard
26-30th days of Pelor, 816