Tiadora contacted the PCs at the end of the last adventure. She has been commanded by her master to escort our band of villains to their next mission. She leads them to a ramshackle river barge “Halstyn’s Folly” tied to Lake Tarik’s bank. The captain and three man crew of this shallow-bottomed barge are all thoroughly under Tiadora’s control (the PCs identify this as an enthrall spell or spell-like ability). They are certainly no threat.
Tiadora tolerates no delay. “The master commands you board. You will learn more later.”
Accommodations are crude. There is only one cabin and Tiadora has already evicted the so-called captain and made that her own personal domain. She is not particularly adept at sharing. That means that the rest of the PCs must sleep with the crew on the deck of the barge. There is a roof but no walls and at night on the lake and rivers, it can be bitterly cold.
“The Folly” is bound for Farholde, a three hundred mile journey through the great scar that almost cuts the isle of Talingarde in twain. The barge is sluggish allowing the PCs many days to rest and enjoy the leisurely journey.
Though “The Folly” is adquately provisioned and never docks, every night the barge anchors within sight of a village or keep. The PCs notice that Tiadora is no-where to be found during these stops (although no boats leave or return to the ship).
On the twelfth night, Cardinal Adrastus Thorn finally shows himself. He teleports into Tiadora’s cabin and spends a few moments getting a complete report from her. He then sends her to summon his ninth knot.
Once more they meet the devilishly handsome bald man clad in black and burgundy robes. He wears black gloves and openly displays his silver unholy symbol of the Lord of Hell. He sports a wicked and knowing grin. He makes a speech and answers the PCs questions.
Here is a summary:
1. Find the Horn of Abbadon, break the seal that binds the Plague Demon Vetra-Kali, and summon him back into our world.
2. When Vetra-Kali is here, bind him to your will and retrieve the Tears of Achlys from him and bring them to me.
3. Once a thriving cult of Asmodeus existed in Farholde. It was led by a half-elvish noble – the Baron Arkov Vandermir. Tiadora will introduce you to the Baron. Don’t trust him but he may prove useful.
4. The Horn is less than a day outside of Farholde in a spire of stone.
5. I’ve already sent other minions to seek the Horn of Abaddon. They failed me. Now I will send two knots in place of one. The seventh knot will remain in Farholde and see that anyone who tries to find the Horn and interfere with your work meets an unhappy end. Thus, you will have time to do what must be done.
6. Don’t fail me!
Cardinal Thorn does not linger long aboard the craft. He is quickly gone, teleported away. The next day the barge docks in Farholde. Tiadora has already contacted Baron Vandermir and arranged for the PCs to have dinner with him tomorrow night. “Best to find something presentable to wear,” she sneers. This gives the PCs some time to investigate Farholde, buy supplies, and so forth.