The heroes clashed against Jorik, the Skeleton Witch, and found that the evil priest of Vecna had brought their dead allies to bear against the party themselves! The fought against the undead spectres of their fallen comrades and after bearing the brunt of Jorik’s magical onslaught, defeated the powerful undead quasi-lich and sent him back to the death he did not deserve.
In the back of the chamber they found a crystal orb swimming with a glimmering mist, through which they could just pick out the form of a miniature tower. Smashing the orb on the floor, they were brought back across the barriers between worlds to Olora, where they found themselves sitting at the foot of a large wizard’s tower. The front door burst open and the party came face-to-face with the wizard Faldred.
The arcane hobgoblin bade them come inside, and swiftly and heartily thanked them for freeing him from the clutches of Vecna’s followers. The party was treated to a king’s meal as partial reward, and afterwards they retired to Faldred’s massive library, where he filled them in on the lore behind the growing darkness in the sky, and the growing influence of Vecna’s followers.
Faldred at one time belonged to an order of wizards that was tasked with keeping the five parts of Vecna safe, as they had read and interpreted the prophecies regarding a coming time of darkness. They decided that it was best to split, and keep these pieces as distant from one another as possible, but still under the watchful eyes on their order. As the decades passed, the powerful artifacts found ways around the magical protections placed around them and slipped from the bonds of their keepers, to again wander the world at large.
The heroes gave Faldred the teleportation rune given to them by the revenant Aragrym from the Shadowfell town of Raven’s Hilt, and he quickly slipped the rune into one of the depressions surrounding his defunct teleportation circle.
Since Faldred’s tower was ripped from the natural world, the links of his circle were severed, and now only by delivering similar runes to the other members of his order would he be able to restore the links to the teleportation circles of the other members. The heroes agreed that they would help Faldred in this, and also by visiting each of these other wizards, could they find the trails to the remaining pieces of Vecna.
Faldred used his scrying pool to show the heroes the growing black void in the Astral Sea that is the harbinger of the dark times, and the thing that is allowing the powers of darkness to converge upon the forces of good in the world. The wizards warned the party that evil forces would try to stop them at every turn, and they should always be ready for danger.
The following morning, Captain Xytan of the Iron Towers arrived with reinforcements to protect Faldred. A young changeling named Oik Dren came to relieve the Dragonborn Qamodeus, who had been summoned back to his homelands. With the early light of the morning, the party set out for the crossroads village of Grovedale to stock up on provisison before moving on to Stonemeet.