As we move onto the next story arc in our campaign I wanted to sum up the situation as we last left it and provide a bit of history on what Darian has been up to…
After defeating Kos, Garados’s imp familiar who was masquerading as Garados, and his flesh golem in the Seekers of the Lost lair it’s clear that Garados has been an embarrassment to the Lich King both for failing to create an undead horde in Eldolan and for creating a pumpkin head zombie which brought more laughter than fear to the townsfolk. The One-eyed Lord has now tasked him with going to Horizon to find evidence of a conspiracy between two or more of the icons that was intended to keep a powerful magic secret from the Lich King and perhaps other “evil” icons.
Meanwhile Darian has been communicating with Illyrio, a member of the Mage Council in Eldolan (after having to explain himself in regards to the loose ochre jeffy in the sewers) and has also discovered information about what appears to be an ancient magic formula for creating something called Wizard Lockets or Maleficus Medallions. These items are created through a combination of artificing and distilling the essence from magically imbued creatures. The Lockets or Medallions act as wearable spells, giving the wearer some magic benefit (like becoming invisible/translucent in the case of the ooze) and don’t require attunement, meaning virtually anyone can harness their power.
However, the exact formula and associated rituals appear to have been purposely hidden away. Illyrio has discovered a “legend” in the arcane university archives in Horizon that indicates the Dwarf King and Elf Queen conspired ages ago to hide the details for creating the Medallions in order to keep the secret out of the hands of the icons with evil agendas.
The final missive from Illyrio, which is magically delivered to Darian’s rooms at the Inn while the party helps the Silver Shields round up the now leaderless Seekers of the Lost, contains the final clues as to next steps:
The rituals and associated foci necessary to create the Medallions were “scattered to the woods and left in the hands of the Keepers of Secrets”.
The artificing secrets and fomulae were entrusted to a small, secret group of gnome wizards the last surviving member of which, Inego Sharpe, was a high ranking member of the faculty at the Imperial Magic University in Horizon until he disappeared about one year ago. Several that knew him say he mentioned the Strangling Sea and was making plans to travel there but was, of course, secretive about his reasons… most wrote it off as the ravings of an ancient and eccentric gnome, but Illyrio thinks he may have been trying to hide himself and his knowledge far away from civilization.
Knowing that Garados has gone to Horizon on behalf of the Lich King and that he’s searching for a lost secret is making Illyrio very nervous that the One-eyed Lord may also be on the trail of this powerful lost magic. After all, if he has been able to track down this much information then others probably can as well. He implores the party to look into the Keepers of Secrets (which appear to be associated with woodlands) or to travel to the Strangling Sea to look for Inego… before it’s too late…