Moriah returns to the capital to report the results of her mission with Quill to the Prince. The Prince summons Jerok to hear the report as well, but while they were waiting outside the audience chamber a commotion erupts outside.
Jerok and Moriah rush out to see the guards holding back an elderly elf who was quite angry and threatening a spell or two. Jerok asks everyone to clam, and it was only then that he recognized the elderly elf as Benoll, but with whitening hair and a frailer body.
Shocked he asked Benoll what happened to him. Benoll explained that when he went to the Death Plane he had no immediate escape so he cast a rope trick to hide. After resting he began studying the magic of the area and a dark spirit came to him and taught him many things. Benoll stayed for a couple days learning from this spirit and others before he felt something wasn’t right and decided to return home. However upon exiting the rope trick he found a horse of dark spirits, but they were not there to harm him. A score of shadows and Nightwalkers surrounded the area with Craven standing there. Two larger shadows had him gripped by the arms. Through gritted teeth he announces, “Im here to offer you a truce Wizard Benoll. Our Lord proposes we cease hostilities to prepare for our common enemy, the greatest threat we will ever face, the Awakening of the Great Destroyer.”
Benoll saw that the spirits were holding Craven back,so he said, “I shall utterly destroy you, tell me why I should not. Tell me about this common enemy.”
Craven then told Benoll, that the Great Destroyer was a god fromthe beginning of the world but in order to allow for the gentle growth of life and civilization he was put to sleep. Events now threaten to wake him."
As Benoll told Jerok all that Craven had said, Jerok could not but become even more suspicious of the new Great Destroyer temple in Synerg city. He had already ran into their head priest, Brander.
Benoll continued that he had accepted this truce with Craven, that apparently the Great Death would not allow Craven to harm them, and to not interfere with them in anyway, but Benoll wanted to use that to trap and kill Craven. The problem as Benoll saw it was that any violation of the truce or the Lawfully aligned Great Death would break the truce and allow Craven to turn on them immediately, something he was probably hoping and planning for.
Craven would contact them when he learned more of how they stop the Great Destroyer together. Until then Benoll proposed learning as much as they could. Jerok, agreed, and told them both of the odd Creation story the insectoid shaman had told him in in the island cavern. It matched partially what Craven was saying as well as the scroll from the dwarven temple containing similar descriptions.
When they went in to see the Prince Benoll interrupted Moriah’s report to tell the Prince of the Great Destroyer threat. Test of the Dragon temple, Lennier was present and did confirm that this Great Destroyer myth was written about in the oldest of their texts. It was not taught any longer as the Great Protector and Warrior temples were much more popular and they all strove for a consensus. The Prince agreed to have Lennier and others research this issue.
Moriah gave her report [See Quill’s adventure log entry just prior] then and the Prince grew worried. “I am extremely concerned about the Dwarves. They must be rescued. I ask you all, if you were to gather your party could you get past, through, around or otherwise defeat the orcs long enough to rescue the Dwarves? [The three did not think that the best option] I cannot move my army there while the Barbarian problem on our border continues. Moriah is getting closer to solving that problem by giving aid to one particular Chieftain there, Oded Fair. However, we no longer have time for that. the other option would be if you were able to somehow solves this Barbarian problem, I could them move my army to the Dwarven capital. What do you think is best?”
Jerok, Benoll and Moriah agreed to solve the barbarian problem.
They left to consult with Oded Fair, the barbarian Chieftain and Moriah’s boyfriend. Upon greeting them he shared a passionate kiss with Moriah. Jerok and Benoll were shocked to learn the two were discussing a possible engagement.
Oded and his tribe had been getting a lot of aid from Moriah’s magic and he now controlled by far the largest group of tribes. It was a relatively loose alignment as reputation meant everything to barbarian chieftains.
Oded had not yet been able to solidify his rule over all the nearby tribes mostly due to all the success and recognition one specific group was earning. The Skull Smashers.
Through information Oded passed on Moriah was able to Scry the Skull Smasher’s leader, Tarcyrn. She watched him long enough to learn where they were going to raid next. The three left and flew there with Moriah in Dragon form. They planned an ambush of their own.
The three circled the small village and Moriah sent out her magical Prying eyes to scout the area. After dark Benoll set up magical traps of weakness and Fear in the village. After midnight the Barbarian unit crept stealthily upon the village. They sent one to scout around the village. The villagers had all gone to sleep except for four guards, one at each compass point of the town. Benoll was in the center of the village invisible with an illusory double by the village campfire. Moriah, still in Dragon form and invisible flew around above the village with Jerok on her back. She cast Dark vision and could see the whole area as if was day time.
The group of barbarians however were getting skittish. It was apparent they could hear Moriah flying around by their gestures. Benoll decided to take action. He cast Hold Person upon the barbarian scouting on the opposite side of the village. Benoll, now visible, sneaked over and quietly cut the Barbarian’s throat. He then cast animate Dead upon the body and went back into town with the Zombie Barbarian.