After a few weeks the adventurers are visited by Yarret, a Warrior Priest of Donblas. He questions them closely about Fiorgan, because the party were the last to see Fiorgan before he left, leaving behind a demon-summoning octagon and a sacrificed child. After several minutes of intense questioning, the adventurers managed to convince Yarret that they were not involved with Fiorgan and that they were at least law-abiding persons if not Law -abiding. He asked them to let him know, via any priest of Donblas, if they heard anything more of Fiorgan.
At some point the adventurers met Dask Valdour, and since he impressed them as a man of pluck and daring, and them he likewise, they all decided to adventure together.
Not long after that a messenger found the adventurers as they reveled and summoned them to the tower of Ralthus in the Straasha’s Spoke, telling them of a job they might obtain. Having run through most of their money by now, the adventurers quickly agreed to to. Ralthus turned out to be a fairly powerful sorcerer, and particularly interested in them because of Tomara. Treating her as the leader and the rest of the adventurers as her servants, he hired them to gather some rare mosses from the hills and valleys of Belrain County in the south of the Isle, not far from Utkel and the sea, a task that would probably take five days or so. He stressed that they should keep what they were doing secret. Tomara recognized the mosses as some that could be used, among other things, for poisons and for necromancy.
One day as the adventurers are gathering mosses, a storm blew up. Spying a small castle far to the west, they rode headlong for it to escape the storm. Some were too slow, and got thoroughly soaked. They arrived at the castle to find a celebration in progress, and were welcomed by the lord of the castle, Gomrick Sternbrow, and his lady, Listoria, for they celebrated Gomrick’s famed ancestor, Lady Aglarana Sternbrow. Although surprised by the presence of a Melnibonéan in his hall, Lord Sternbrow nay-the-less seated Tomara at the high table in deference to her status, and the rest of the adventurers at the lower tables according to their statuses.
Soon the adventurers were dried off and seated. Plenty of excellent food and wine is supplied, and all attending the feast seemed merry, and of good cheer. Or did they? As the feast continued, the adventurers learned that it was on this day two hundred years ago that Aglarana Sternbrow slew Tzimik Marghul, a Pan Tangian sorcerer and Chaos Priest who had invaded the Isle, and burned the tower he had established in the forest not far off. They also figured out that a quit desperation lingered below Lord Gomrick’s gaiety, and that Lady Listoria regarded the adventurers with suspicion. They learned that Lord Gomrick is well thought of by his vassals, a wise and generous one, though stern when roused, and that Lady Listoria is the only child of a wealthy Utkel wool merchant. Furthermore, they learned that although Lord Gomrick and Lady Listoria have been married for six years, neither Lady Lassa nor Salik the Potent, Lord of Law, had seen fit to send them a child.
Eventually, pressed beyond endurance by the questions of the adventurers, or perhaps just by the atmosphere of the party, Lady Listoria burst into tears and fleed the hall. Behind her the revelry died like the flame of a match. Lord Gomrick smiled drunkenly, and begs the assembly to pay no mind to his wife. He explained that when his illustrious ancestor slew the Pan Tangian sorcerer, the sorcerer cursed Lady Aglarana and her line for all time, and that tonight being the anniversary and devisible by twenty, his wife feared that the curse might fall upon him! After requesting the gathered assembly to continue to make merry, he leaves to comfort his wife. After some time, the feast winds down, and those attending sleep in the hall. Tomara was given a pallet and a fur robe for the night by Elgar, the steward. The others slept on the floor, where they could find room.
In the middle of the night, long after everyone was sleeping, the adventurers were wakened by the screams of a woman. The screams led them to the bedchamber of the Sternbrows, where the adventurers found guards trying to break down the door. With the adventurers help they broke down the door in time to see Lord Gomrick in his nightshirt being dragged out the window by a horde of withered skeletal things. Another lay severed on the floor, cut down by Gomrick. As the door opened Lady Listoria swooned, but Newt managed to catch her before she hit the floor. One of the adventurers noticed a terrible facial resemblance between the corpse on the floor and the missing Lord Gomrick, which started the guards muttering about the Sternbrow curse and Chaos-sorcery.
The adventures quickly decided to pursue the creatures, and set off on horseback accompanied by two of the guards on foot. The other guards begin to make up a mounted search party, but from the number of drunk guards falling off their horses (including Trent Kelgar, the captain of the guard), the adventurers knew it would be some time before they could count on any help from that area. The storm had broken and the moon occasionally peeked through the clouds to cast a pale light upon the scene. The adventurers soon came to the forest, and the trail led inwards.
As they trudged through the forest the guards began to mutter, and made the sign of the Arrow of Law, for the tracks led straight towards the ruined tower of Tzimik Marghul. After about an hour the party reached the clearing encircling the tower, and there dismounted. Along with the tower was a graveyard, and the tower itself was without a roof, and the only entrance was a rubble strewn gap in the wall. Entering they found Lord Gomrick, reduced to tittering laughter. Upon seeing them he fixed them with his cracked gaze, and said “What, do you seek to take me from my family? This is my home! Here I belong!” He then hurled himself at the adventurers.
Well, Gomrick turned out to be easy to subdue, and was soon unconcious at their feet, but in the excitement the party was surprised by a group of those withered creatures, sneaking up from below through a trap door. The party fought valiantly, but several received severe wounds, and when the Chaos-tainted things were reinforced by several of their kind from the graveyard outside, blocking the only exit to the tower, things looked grim indeed. However, Tomara levitated the party to the outside in groups and then escaped herself. Fleeing back to their horses, the party found them missing, except for Pierce’s, which was partially eaten by the Chaos-things. After a quick round of healing, the party engaged in a final furious battle with the remaining things, and after much struggle defeated them.
Knowing that they had not yet totally eradicated the taint of Chaos from this place, they re-entered the tower and crept into the cellar, where a hideous idol dominated one side. It was Chardros the Reaper, Chaos Lord of Death and necromancy! Tomara pointed out that it must have been this animating the hideous things, and opined that until the idol was destroyed there was always a chance that the things would be reanimated. The adventurers fell to with a will, and soon had broken the statue in two. When they left the cellar they noticed that the corpses of the things had all crumbled to dust. They then set off on their way back to the castle with Lord Gomrick unconscious over one of the horses they had managed to find. Once back in the castle they arranged for a party to return to the tower and completely pulverize the statue and scatter the dust far and wide.
Lord Gomrick recovers from his madness, but it takes two weeks for him to recover fully. In the meantime the adventurers are hailed as heros, and enjoy the hospitality of Castle Sternbrow. When Gomrick recovers fully, thanks them publicly and gifts them each with 500 bronzes, a paltry sum he acknowledges, but all he can affort, and promises them the lasting friendship of the Sternbrow line. Lady Listoria grants each adventurer a token and a letter of introduction to her father, Rampkin of Utkel, the famous woolstapler, and promises that he shall treat them well should they call upon him. Moreover, those who lost horses have them replaced.
When the adventurers finally returned to Menii and the tower of Ralthus, he gave them a querulous glance and wondered aloud what could have possibly kept them for so long. He was, however, pleased with the mosses they brought back, and quickly paid them the agreed upon sum, again dealing with Tomara. He also stated that he would be seeing the adventurers again.