With the demon defeated our heroes found themselves returned to the material realm, surrounded by the corpses of those the demon had taken. They searched the mutilated bodies, 14 Defenders, 12 commoners, 5 Magi, and 2 House Lajana guardsmen. The Defenders had standard swords and armor, nothing particularly interesting. However, the mages had much nicer equipment. The fire mage had a mage-crafted longsword. The air mage had a magical amulet and sword. The earth mage had mage-crafted full plate and a mage-crafted mace. The water mage had slither scale armor and a magical staff. The party took the swords and staff, but left almost everything else. Then they went back into Millkeep and alerted Lord Muciel of what had happened. They also sent another letter to Grand Magus Alain.
Having found out that the necromancer had stolen one of the crystals that had sealed the demon away, our heroes decided that they had to track him down and recover the crystal. First they headed south to Stoneforge Citadel, home of House Garen. The trip was not long, but they left late in the day and night fell without them reaching their destination. Already close to Stoneforge, they decided to press on through the night. However, not long after full dark they spotted winged forms coming at them from higher up the mountains. Ten gargoyles, armed with bloody spears, descended upon them. After a fierce battle our heroes managed to kill the gargoyles, but were left bloodied and bruised. They staggered on to Stoneforge and spent the night at the local Healer’s guild.
The next day the local healer mage examined them and used his magic to heal their wounds. After thanking the healers and giving a gracious donation to the guild they began to ask around town about the necromancer. From the guards pointed them in the direction of a merchant of ‘unusual ingredients’ in the lower city who had reported seeing someone matching the necromancer’s description. The merchant told them that the man he met had had a list of items he wanted and had appeared to be preparing for cold weather travel. The items were the sort used in alchemical formulations or arcane rituals.
Continuing their investigation in Stoneforge, Lord Rheoban met with the local alchemists guild to ask about the ingredients. They knew of no formulation which would use such ingredients and said that they was more likely to be used for arcane purposes. They also made the exhaustive climb to the Eerie, frequent stopping point of Salos, Elemental Primarch of Air. The Eerie, high in the mountains, was a large open area of structures, clear, crystal-like columns, and wind chimes. Here the Followers of Salos learned how best to serve the Primarch. The Followers of Salos at the Eerie had not seen or heard of the necromancer, so the party rested their for the night.
The next morning the party awoke to the wind chimes sounding loud notes. Salos had returned to the Eerie and our heroes were given the opportunity to speak with it. The swirling mass of wind and cloud that formed the elemental spoke with clear almost musical voice which hinted at unknown amusement, as though it saw something funny that no one else could see. Salos had not seen the necromancer, nor did he seem to care. When the party listed the ingredients the necromancer had purchased, Salos told them that it sounded like the ingredients for troll soup. Salos did tell them about a conversation it had had with a red dragon residing high in the mountains to the east. Salos also helped them return to Stoneforge Citadel by throwing them off of the Eerie and catching them back at the bottom.
With no further leads in Stoneforge Citadel, the party continued on to the town of Eriley. The guards there immediately reported having an encounter with the necromancer. He had raided a local crypt. The party investigated the empty graves. The grave keeper was missing, but his notes indicated that 23 people had been buried in the now vacant crypt. In the basement beneath the grave keeper’s home they found a tunnel, formed with magic, that led out below the town. Outside they easily found the tracks of a couple dozen barefoot humans leading up into the mountains. The tracks were less than two days old. Our heroes draw close to their prey.