The return voyage to the Rock of Bral was an uneventful flight through The Flow. Boccob’s Barge passed several traders, all intent on keeping to their own business. Meanwhile the crew discussed what they were going to do with the pommel stone from the Wand of Orcus. They decided it would be best if they try to find a temple of a powerful good-aligned power to take possession of it.
Boccob’s Barge arrived at the Rock of Bral to find a smoldering drakkar in the berth next to theirs. Lizardfolk scrambled to quench the last of the embers. The crew discovered they were attacked by a ship of ghouls who searched their ship as they attacked. They abandoned the drakker when they couldn’t locate what they were looking for, leaving the lizardfolk to drift. They made port at the Rock of Bral for repairs so they could continue their search for a new home world, a world said to orbit a black star.
The crew wished them luck and proceeded to the market to sell their trade goods. There, they encountered Herzog. He approved of their initiative in finding profit, but suggested there were better places to sell the furs than a city where the temperature was mostly constant. He happened to have a friend on Oerth, in Greyspace, who traded frequently with northern nomads, and winter was coming. He told them to seek out Dalshar Stormstone on Flinterlord Island in Lake Quag.
That night, Sumner dreamt.
You fall into a deep sleep, a sleep more restful than you can ever have cruising through Wild Space or the Flow.
A dark void.
Endless stars dot the background, like pin pricks in a black cloth hanging in front of a sun-flooded window. A shape comes into focus, approaching you from the endless black. It is everything and nothing at once.
An untempered schism.
It engulfs you, fills you and surrounds you. For a moment, you know the unknowable, see that which you cannot comprehend. A vision fills your mind: an emaciated man wearing fine robes that would not be out of place on royalty. His fingers are bent, sharp talons. His mouth is fill with cruel teeth flecked with dried blood and ragged flesh. He throws back his head in silent laughter and holds up a blood-red human skull.
The man stands atop a stone platform, surrounded by ancient columns. The columns lined an avenue leading toward a statue of a grotesque, ram-headed man with an enormous belly and cloven hooves. A black star rises behind him.
He told the rest of Boccob’s Barge’s officers of his vision from his patron, Krivbeknih. After breaking their fast, they sought out and divided their time between the Pantheist Temple of Tyr and the Library of Spheres.
At the Library of Spheres, Straxius researched the Wand of Orcus. He learned what it would take to destroy the artifact: it must be cast into the Positive Energy Plane by the hero whose skull tops the wand. Obviously, no small task. His research revealed nothing about why the wand was broken or where any other pieces might be. There was no mention of the hero’s, Hrothgar the Penitent, final resting place. He did find a reference to Varlden Dod, a world orbiting a Black Star.
At the Pantheist Temple of Tyr, they spoke to priests who shared their concern over the reappearance of the Wand of Orcus. They pledged to aid the crew of Boccob’s Barge when they were ready, but would not take possession of the pommel stone.
The crew returned to their ship and prepared to shove off once more….