While preparing to set sail onboard the Eclipse, William spots the personal flag of Baron Zandakar raised then quickly lowered on a vessel moored a couple piers over. Knowing it would be a little while before the ship left, along with the orb, he quietly ducked out and paid a visit to his patron. Baron Zandakar looked over William’s notes and confirmed that the orb was indeed the object he had been seeking. However, for his part, he was unable to obtain enough information to be anything but dangerous with the item. So, he informed Will that the safest place was onboard the ship, where it would be hidden and protected until he was ready for it. He instructed William to stay with the group and protect the opb above all else. He also made an enigmatic reference to the blood of Magus’ family being somehow important. Frustrated by the classic “so close, yet so far” scenario, William nevertheless resolved to see the mission through to the end. He knows that his family will forgive his absence in service to the king; now he must trust that they will survive the current events until he can return.
Meanwhile, after some oddly probing questions from Alexi and the eyeless cloaked man, the party still on the ship met Joseph Wright. Joseph had been a witness to the events at the temple earlier, and was willing to place his fate in the hands of Terron. Steve filled him in on the tenants of Terronism, along with things such as proper saluting and a favored weapon (the gun.) Joseph readily accepted the instructions and left to spread the word and start a following of Terronists.
With those lose ends tied up, the ship set sail. Sort of. it was suddenly obvious that there was no wind at all. Nothing but dead, still air. They decided to row out of the harbor, and let the slow current of the river take them south. Hopefully, they could upgrade to a steam powered vessel prior to reaching the open ocean.
Several days go by, the current slowly taking them at its own pace. They see distant battles, and terrible creatures in the sky, but they themselves remained unmolested. Well, except maybe Roxy. Steve has busy hands. After a few days, they stop at the small village of Dinas just inside the forest. It was the last place of note before the mining city of Morkain on the other end of the forest, and the party decided to stop and stretch their legs and spread the Good Word. As they approached, the fires in the sky burned out and were replaced by a starless night and blood-red, lightless moon. They learned that the people had been mostly left alone by the more dangerous creatures, but they were under constant attacks by bandits. The heroes (especially Steve) saw an excellent opportunity to gain some more followers. They promised to seek out and destroy these bandits in the name of Terron. Unfortunately, the starless night seemed to unnerve the bandits and the village slept peacefully. The next morning, Steve sought out the destroyed temple of Melora and carved out the symbol on the stone alter. William, on the other hand, offered the town fifty gold pieces to help the recovery. (The town of Dinas was within Elundul borders, and William felt honor bound to help his countrymen.) That morning, the sun proved a savage counterpoint to the dark nights. Shining bright white in the sky, the sun was a scorching, merciless testament to the anger of Pelor. From the safety of the god-hidden ship, Steve gave the sun the finger. That afternoon, the party set forth to hunt down the bandits. What they found, however, was a bit surprising. A savage cult worshiping the Devourer Wurm attacked them from the trees. The battle was easily won, and the village’s mayor seemed satisfied that those were the bandits. They took a list of needed supplies and some gold with which to purchase them, and promised to bring them in the name of Terron in exchange for a small favor. Along with the supplies, they would send some iron. With this iron, the village will be expected to build a black obelisk as an alter to Terron.
And so, the heroes set out once again. The dark nights made for harrowing navigation, while the fierce days forced the crew to spend as much time below decks out of the sun as possible. Thankfully, the protective symbol did it’s part and kept them hidden from the gods. Unfortunately, the journey took a terrible turn. Rounding a bend, they sighted the city of Morkain and its docks. Unfortunately, they also saw that the drawbridge on the other side of the man-made harbor was down and bore a symbol carved into a giant piece of steel. The symbol was not well established, but it bore several traits that Magus recognized. With a sinking feeling in his stomach, Magus informed the crew that symbol was that of a cult of Orcus.
DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUN!!!!!