Tales of the Righteous Vanguard

Part Seven: Vale of the Mage - Chapter 14

It was on Godsday, the 4th day of Flocktime, in the Common Year of 580, that the Righteous Vanguard battled and defeated the Six Necromancers in the Valley of the Mage. With the aid of the wizard, Arthur Finch, the First Protector and the Black One himself, two of the so-called necromancers, Promiss Reynolds and Red Morgan, were killed, two, Nyeru Darkspring and Albion Aalkrost, were feebleminded, and two, Elock and Tracy Windstruder, managed to escape.

When the battle was over, the Black One took charge of the situation and made sure that both of the feebleminded mages were tied and bound, while injuries were tended to on the opposite side. Neru was still invisible and unconscious though his condition was not growing any worse due to the fact that he was not actually bleeding. So the Black One dispelled his invisibility allowing Gildor to begin healing him up. Aejiri, on the other hand, did not respond to Gildor’s efforts at healing his injuries and it was soon discovered that his body no longer contained his soul. The Black One realized that the necromancers must have somehow trapped or destroyed Aejiri’s soul in the last attack against him, and that, for the time being, there was nothing that could be done for him.

Once the party had been healed up and all the bodies and their possessions had been gathered, the Black One summoned his current home, which turned out to be a magical instant fortress that suddenly rose up before them. The Black One opened the door to the fortress and invited everyone inside. They all stepped in and made themselves at home while the Black One explained to them all that he knew about the Six Necromancers and how he had been observing them, as well as the Righteous Vanguard. This included his disguise as the dryad who spoke to Nicholas a couple of days before. The one person that none of them knew anything about however, was the wizard, Arthur Finch. Arthur then explained to the group that he had been hunting after the Six Necromancers, in the hopes of acquiring the mage’s spellbooks.

Despite the Black One’s evil reputation, he did not appear to be a particular threat to the band and he, in fact, invited them to stay the night in his fortress while he interogated the two captured wizards and identified the magic items taken from the necromancers. The band agreed and allowed the Black One to go about his work.

He started off by curing the minds of the wizards with Limited Wish spells. Then he questioned them while using spells to read their thoughts. It did not take long to learn a great deal about the Six Necromancers and their motives. And with this information, combined with the magic items they had and the spells found in their spellbooks, it was relatively easy to learn how the necromancers accomplished what they had.

After interrogating the necromancers, the Black One then spent some time, identifying the properties of the recovered magic items. By the following morning, all of the items had been identified and the Black One was satisfied that he had learned all that he was currently able to about the Six Necromancers.

It was the next day then, Waterday, the 5th day of Flocktime, that the Black One and the Righteous Vanguard came to an agreement on how they would part ways and conclude their business concerning the Six Necromancers. The Black One agreed to let the band take the bodies of the two dead members of the Six Necromancers, as proof to the Margrave of Bissell that they had defeated them, while the Black One would keep the captured mages, Nyeru and Albion, to do with as he pleased. The Black One then destroyed two of the magic items that had to do with undead, and got the first two picks of the remaining items, Red’s staff and Albion’s short sword, both of which were evil in nature. The remainder of the items, including all the spellbooks and monetary items, were divided up between the Righteous Vanguard and Arthur. The band would also be taking with them, the body of Aejiri of course, which the Black One cast a spell on to preserve in case the band could somehow retrieve Aejiri’s lost soul. And finally, the Black One agreed to repair some of the band’s magic items, which had been damaged in their latest adventure, in exchange for allowing the Black One to cast a Geas spell on them with the condition that they were not allowed to reveal to anyone the nature or whereabouts of the Black One’s current residence.

The Black One also wanted to be able to call upon the Righteous Vanguard and use them as an outside contact in the future, revealing to them that he was aware they had originally been hired by the Circle of Eight as well as his on-going enmity with Drawmij whom he considered to be an enemy. But the band was less enthusiastic about this proposal and only agreed to work with him on a case-by-case basis. The Black One accepted this and allowed the band to leave on these terms.

From here, the band made their way back to the village of Ebonwood, where they had promised to meet up with the valley elf, Ael once again. Upon the band’s return to the village, they extended an invitation to Dravos, Ael and Arthur to join their band and were accepted by all three. That night, they spent one more night in the Valley of the Mage.

But before the night was over, a messenger arrived in the village with a letter addressed to Nicholas. The letter was from a dwarf by the name of Dougan Krafthammer, an old friend of Nicholas’ father. It said that Nicholas’ father had been injured and asked for the assistance of Nicholas and his companions. Nicholas showed the letter to the rest of the band, who agreed to go with him, but only after they had concluded certain other matters that needed to be dealt with first.

The following morning, on Earthday, the 6th day of Flocktime, all but Nero and Arthur climbed into Nero’s portable hole and Arthur teleported them all to Thornward, the capital city of Bissel.

They then proceeded to the central palace where they spoke to Walgar, the Margrave of Bissel and assured him that the Six Necromancers had been soundly defeated. With only two of the necromancers having escaped, the Margrave agreed that it seemed very unlikely they would see any more of the necromancers, at least for a long time to come. The bodies of the two dead necromancers were left with the Margrave, and the band was awarded the remainder of the money they had been promised. Aejiri’s share of the reward was divided amongst the newest members of the band.

When this was taken care of, Arthur cast a Teleport spell into Nero’s newly acquired ring of spell storing. Then he, utilizing the portable hole as they had before, teleported everyone to his tower just north of Greyhawk. From there, the group entered the city of Greyhawk.

Once inside the city, their first stop was at the home of Otto, who fortunately happened to be there. Otto invited the group inside and the band gave him a brief rundown of all that happened in the Valley of the Mage, but making sure to omit certain details such as where the Black One was currently living. Otto was pleased with the band’s report and promised to inform the other members of the Circle about their successful mission.

The band then went on to take care of other personal matters in the city. Nero, for example, visited the River Rat tavern to make sure there were no messages there for him concerning people who may be looking for him. Then he took Arthur with him to the Wizard’s Guild, where Arthur signed up to become a member of the guild and the two of them began negotiating over magic items.

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