Upon returning to Styrewood after rescuing the missing merchants from the Iron Circle, our group was summoned by the newly returned, Charles Wolfe, the young lord of Styrewood, with what seemed to be a rather tedious, if relatively simple, assignment.
Wolfe, fearing that the various political entities are engendering the recent bandit troubles with the Iron Circle, requests that the party meet with his chancellor and go through a variety of documents pertaining to the Circle, including some research into cults. The party accepts only because of the vast sums of gold involved in such an endeavor, and Koradar is quickly bored by the very prospect of reading.
Upon diving into their research, Koradar, Grakk and Virgil were able to piece together, through their collective knowledge of historical and religious context, that the Iron Circle appeared to be the military arm of an entity known as the Jade Brotherhood, which had abruptly gone silent some 70 years past due to assumed internal strife. Upon returning to Lord Wolfe to report this disturbing discovery, the party was informed by Lord Wolfe that the centerpiece of the Styrewood crown jewels was missing: The Jade Warrior.
Determined to recover this item and discover any possible connection to the Parrot of Akhanat (as well as take out Koradar’s frustration at being shut in a small room for several days), the party set out in hot pursuit of the thieves, following them through the countryside and into the eastern forests. In the forest, the party found a set of stone ruins from ancient times, held by a group of Iron Circle Soldiers. The party set an ambush, but Koradar gave away their position and a vicious struggle ensued that saw Virgil nearly killed. The Circle men were found to undergo some sort of accelerated decay when killed, with a strip of flesh across their brow turning grey. One man, who had been slashed across the face by Koradar, survived the battle long enough to spit defiance at the half-orc, who summarily spit him on a sword.
A letter found on the man’s body identified a Necromancer among the enemy, but none was found. Trace informed the party that a small group had fled the ruins as the attack began and the party set off in hot pursuit. As they reached the edge of a waterfall, the enemy trail abruptly disappeared. In their confusion, the group was ambushed with magic, stunned, and approached by The Necromancer.
The Necromancer told the party that it was in their best interests as mercenaries to stay alive, rich, and away from anything to do with the Jade Brotherhood. To add emphasis to his point, he had his men break Koradar’s leg. The party was informed that Sultan Hakim had sent the Jade Parrot across the sea to the Brotherhood’s agents, but also added that his involvement ended there, perhaps in an attempt to make the party focus on Hakim the man as opposed to Hakim, the potential ally of this cult. The Necromancer finished his warning by informing the party that if they should hear the name “Hadron Graves”, they would not long survive the hearing.
Following this highly polarizing experience, the group limped back to Styrewood.