Escorted by the Dassen military, the party entered the town of Rego and recuperated within the comfortable confines of the Silver Chalice Pub. Although the Dassen soliders were well-trained, mainly because of the rising threat of the Ragesian Empire, Dassen itself was clearly not a militarized society. In Rego at least, Dassen appeared to be simply readying its military defenses. Rego felt like a normal town relatively unaffected by the Ragesian war. Pub owners and blacksmiths, farmers and travelers, and other merchants and townsfolk went about their business as usual. The only other sign of the Ragesian conflict was the crowd of refugees from nearby regions, including Gate Pass and Ragesia, housed on the bottom level of the Silver Chalice.
Within the pub, the party encountered an old crone and her warnings of the apocalyptic legend of the “Eater of the Dead” who had apparently awakened and intended to consume the world. In addition, Nameless and Snow discretely tore down a hand-drawn, wanted poster showing Vennman in good detail, a poor rendering of Baffin, and three blank silhouettes. Examining the back of the poster, the party deduced that Samantha Baker, the necromancer with a personal vendetta against Vennman, was offering 100,000 gp for the party’s capture. Lastly, the imp – who had contracted for the case holding the Ragesian military plans – paid the party, mainly Snow, another annoying visit.
Though Moog spent most of his time drowning his grief and anger at the Silver Chalice, the rest of the party took the opportunity to sell the weapons, armor, and other equipment they had looted from their fallen enemies. They were also able to purchase healing potions and other magical resources. While running their errands, the party noticed a military headquarters outside of town and the busy movements of soldiers entering, leaving, and training.
At the request of Sergeant Trajan, the party, except for Moog, visited Captain Adolphus, commander of the headquarters. Defusing a tense showdown with the very cautious Adolphus and his soldiers, Ophelia, an eladrin agent of Shialis, saved the party from a night’s detainment inside the jail cells of the Dassen military. Ophelia had worked with Adolphus before, and he trusted her judgment in this matter. Unknown to the party, Shialis, who had agreed to allow the party to take the Ragesian case to the Lyceum, had sent Ophelia to follow and monitor that the party fulfilled its agreement.
Upon returning to the Silver Chalice that evening, the party learned that Hayden had, sadly, passed away. He lay stricken on the pub floor, his skin turned unnaturally gray and waxy. Although the old man was in very poor health, magic was involved in his death, but the party could not determine whether the magic was an attempt to save or … to kill. A heartbroken Krystin pleaded to stay with the party and attached herself to Snow. The little girl also appeared to put her grief behind her rather quickly.
As the party discussed possibly leaving Krystin in Rego, the danger she posed to Rego’s citizens, the danger she posed to the party, the manner of Hayden’s death, the poster placed by Samantha, the desire to avoid a change of heart by Adolphus, … the party came around toward wanting to leave Rego as soon as possible, preferably at first light when horses could be first obtained from the stables. When Baffin prodded Moog about the goliath’s moroseness and disinterest in aiding the party, Moog responded with the belief that none of his companions were real and that he did not know what reality meant anymore. So Baffin, the strongest voice against taking Krystin along, changed his mind and planned to send Moog back forever to his more pleasant reality. After the party left the pub and went to sleep outside the stables, Baffin convinced Krystin to sleep near Moog and try to dream about Moog living with his dwarf family. Torrent refused to leave the girl’s side, despite her own experience with being transported and more warnings from the party. In the morning, Torrent was still by the girl, but Moog had disappeared.
The party readied to leave on horseback for the Dassen city of Sequin, where the Lyceum was located some 200 miles away, when Moog re-appeared, looking older and more beat up than the previous night. He seemed, however, more amenable to continuing the journey with his comrades. Afer 40 miles of travel, the party reached the edge of the forest surrounding Rego and began moving through a hilly region.
They followed a twisting path weaving this way and that through the strange hills, while the temperature dropped and snow flurries filled the air.
A man – sitting on the path and wearing a cloak that hid his face – blocked the party’s progress. The party cautiously approached and parleyed, but the man suddenly and magically teleported everyone to within a few feet in front of him. Forced to engage in a riddle contest with the mysterious Watcher, the party nearly failed the challenge, but Moog and Nameless brilliantly solved the fourth and last riddle.
Shortly after passing by the Watcher, the party was attacked by wraiths – including a giant wraith wielding a 14-foot long broadsword – and giant ghost spiders. Torrent refused to join the fray, and instead, retreated with Krystin and protected the girl from the monsters … and possibly Moog. Vennman and Baffin were decidedly not thrilled by their lack of support during the battle. Still, the party handily defeated their enemies. With the day ending, the party prepared to make camp for the night.