Ispitan and Eyjolf have escaped Valdemar’s pursuit and move into the heart of the Border Kingdoms on their way to Acromerinth. The Encounter Rating is 3, and there are no seasonal modifiers; I roll 4, 4 and pass 0d6, so there is no encounter this month, and the much-reduced party returns home without further incident. As there is no encounter, there are no rolls for improvement.
A much-muddied and travel-stained pair march into the tower of the Sable Mage to report. That worthy is advised of their presence and meets them in the Great Hall. He takes in their condition, and calls: “Meat and wine for these men. And draw hot water for a bath.” He approaches the pair.
“Do you have my herbs?” he asks. Ispitan hands over a worn leather satchel containing the material components they set out to find, eight months ago.
“Excellent. And the rest of your party?”
“Dead,” says Ispitan, who fears the wizard less than Eyjolf, a lowly footman. “All dead. Are these herbs worth four lives of our own, and twice as many others?” The Sable Mage draws back his head, puzzled.
“Well, of course. It’s not like any of them were wizards, now, is it?” Eyjolf glowers, but Ispitan holds out a hand to stay him; there can be no good outcome to a confrontation here, at the heartt of the Mage’s power. “At any rate,” the Mage continues, “As we agreed, you are now a journeyman. Consider your apprenticeship served out in full. What would you now? Would you stay, and further your studies?”
“I have not yet decided,” says Ispitan. “Although the quest was not without profit for me, also. I think I shall move into the Brass Dragon Inn for a while to consider my options.”
“As you wish,” intones his former master.
Ispitan turns to leave. “Coming, Eyjolf?” But Eyjolf shakes his head. From what he can see, the life of a journeyman wizard is short, and that of his travelling companions even shorter. A return to guard duty seems preferable.
“Very well. May the Sun shine on you both.”
Standing taller and straighter than before, and with a harsher visage, Ispitan leaves the tower.