Having no way to avoid the encounter, the circle unleashed all of their arcane might upon the party of zealots. Despite the best efforts of a group of Nehemiate warrior-priests, the circle was able to prevail. In the shattered wreckage of the camp, they stopped for the remainder of the day to repair their boats (theirs because the actual owners had fled or been killed in the fighting), scour the camp for anything of value, and “recruit” additional laborers.
After several more days of travel down the river, they finally reached the eastward bend that signaled they were nearing their destination. They debarked all of their personnel and equipment and set the barges to drift back down the river to confuse any possible pursuers.
Now traveling overland, an advance party of the circle spied a sizable village at the base of a hill, with a small castle overlooking it from the summit. After some routine investigation, it became clear that there was something unusual about the lord of this place. Randy determined to confront the innkeeper and attempt to coax some additional information out of him, despite the advice of the rest of his companions. Once at the inn, they succeeded only in terrifying the poor man, who begged them to leave them alone, lest they draw the attention of their lord.
This they did, although they soon realized it was too late, as a bailiff from the castle came down and made to kidnap the innkeepers daughter. Rieko was incensed, transforming himself into a great boar of the forest, he charged after the mounted man and his prize, chasing him all the way up the hill to the gates of the castle. The rest of the circle joined him in time to confront the master, a powerful and merciless necromancer and his apprentices and retainers. Through both skill and a seriesof unlikely but fortuitous coincidences, the two young wizards and their boon companions managed to defeat the necromancer and evict his mundane servants.