What led the group to Illmarsh?
WAAAY back in Book 3: Broken Moon you had tracked the Whispering Way, along with multiple packs of werewolves, to the battle-ruined town of Feldgrau. You know they had collected a few items along your pursuit:The soul of the warden of Harrowstone Prison The Seasage Effigy, stolen from Lepistadt University The heart of the packlord Kvalka Sain
After defeating the necromancer Auren Vrood, at the cost of two party members, you were able to take his body to the ghost of the local innkeeper. The innkeeper, perpetually tormented by his complicity in the destruction of the village, agreed to read the mind and memories of Vrood. There you saw him packing items into two chests – the Seasage Effigy into one and the soultrap and heart into another. Two dark riders took the chests and fled south.
Your pursuit took you to Rozenport and then Thrushmoor…there you met a noble patron of the Esoteric Order of the Palentine Eye, Adivion Adrissant. He is not a member of the Order, but he supports them in whatever way he can. He arranged for Arlad’s resurrection and hosted a dinner to meet you and hear your tales. He was nearly killed in an assassination attempt, but the party was able to kill the assassin on the next rooftop fairly easily.
Your hunt for the dark riders led you to a stable on the edge of the city where another assassin nearly killed Stephan, but he and his ghouls were killed and you found information in the stable log books that told you that one rider was headed to the swamp town of Illmarsh. The other went west along the lake to eventually reach Caliphas. (see map)
You chased the rider to Illmarsh, eliminated the entire local church, drove the local sheriff to suicide, ruined a 1000 year bargain between races, doomed a village of skum to a slow extinction by taking away their only means of reproduction, unleashed a trans-dimentional winged horror on the countryside, and nearly witnessed the manifestation of an other-wordly god. But you also managed to get the Seasage Effigy and the artifact known as the Raven’s Head mace.
So the trail leads to Caliphas at this point.