On the Road
The next morning at dawn the PCs headed out along the west road toward the town of Moul. While on the road they came across the other group of adventurers that they had met briefly during the dinner with Tenzikil. On the road though they looked different with their easterner clothing linking them to a much closer location, specifically the province just to the east of Mulkaeran, Druledk.
They stopped to chat briefly, with Tixe and Zykir speaking with the humans from the east, while Evayne studied their belongings. Hanging from one of their saddlebags Evayne saw a pair of Arcane Shackles designed for suppressing Magi and Wizards. Evayne brought this information up to the rest of them and they confronted the Druledk mage hunters about the shackles to which they admitted that they had crossed most of Mulkaeran looking for an escaped prisoner. They urged the PCs to keep an eye out and to avoid him if at all possible.
The meeting ended with neither party liking the other very much, and with the PCs heading off for the town of Moul. They stayed the night in one of the outskirt inns and did not spend any time in town.
Early the next morning they moved out east from the town into the wilderness and hills of the Highlands. They made for the coastline cliffs of the Highlands to follow the coast east toward Camp Draedus.
After a day and half of travel as they peaked over one of the small hills, they could see that over the next hill were two large humanoid creatures standing tall enough that they could make out their heads just over the hill. Evayne spotted an ambush however and brought them all to a halt as they realized that much of the shrubbery wasn’t in fact shrubbery at all, but camouflaged hobgoblins.
The PCs took up a defensive position, though without any real cover there wasn’t much that they could do. As they were trying to decide how to move forward they heard the raised voice of the giant humanoids calling someone “Kale” though who that was referring to and what the argument was about they couldn’t make out.
They were in a poor position and so they decided to sneak up on the giants over the hill and saw that they weren’t giants, but Ettins arguing with a single man that seemed to be holding both of the Ettins off at a distance. The PCs approached the conflict and brought the argument to a halt as the Ettins and the man looked at them.
Both the Ettins and the man pleaded for the PCs to join them. The lead Ettin identified itself as Chokol, and he identified the man as “Kale” the wizard. The PCs refused to assist either as neither side seemed trustworthy to them, but in doing so, “Kale” gave up on his argument and triggered a magical trigger to release the other Ettin from some form or magical binding. With that a necklace that matched those Tixe had removed from the Ogres back in Veik, fell to the ground.
Chokol thanked the PCs and turned to lead the other Ettin and the hobgoblins away to the north. The PCs approached “Kale” who was moderately displeased with them. It was obvious upon their approach that he was a powerful wizard and they presumed that he was in fact the wizard that the mage hunters were after.
The Hunted Wizard of Questionable Morals
“Kale” explained that he too was heading east and wondered if the PCs would travel with him for protection. When pressed as to what he needed protection from, he explained that he was the mage the hunters were after. The PCs then turned to questioning him about the necklaces, and he admitted that those too were created by him and they were enchanted to cause the wearer to obey a specific set of commands pre-assigned to the necklaces. He explained that if they wanted some, he still had three more and would happily make them necklaces to use.
When asked, he explained that he had been using the local goblin clans as a hiding spot from the mage hunters, but that in return they were demanding he grant them more and more power. Upon learning that the mage hunters were in the Highlands, due to a goblin spy, able to look like a human because of him, he gave three necklaces to some Ogres with an enchantment forcing them to seek out and hunt down the hunters, which is why they came to Veik.
The PCs were disgusted by his actions and refused to travel with him. Whatever his problems were, they were his, not theirs. They turned their back on “Kale” and left at a quick trot to put a sizable distance between them and the Wizard.