Godsday 11th Coldeven, to 4th day of Growfest, CY 591 (Spring)
After dragging the bodies inside, Corvin and Idni reach the top of the stairs leading to the dungeon below and are spotted by a pair of guards coming up to investigate. They back off as the guards hesitate; and are pushed aside as Ungrid charges down the stairs and buries his axe in one guard’s chest, killing him. His brother, Zarkov, loose a bolt, the quarrel grazing the other guard’s arm; and then Ungrid finishes him off with an axe to the head.
Inside the dungeon a third guard barely has time to lift his sword before he is cut down by Ungrid, and they find the smuggler, Morten, in one of the cells. They free him, loot the sheriff’s chest upstairs, and set fire to the place as they leave. Luck is with them, and the party manage to sneak back to the inn without anyone seeing them, hiding Morten in one of their rooms until they can take him to the safe-house in the morning. They carry Halmary along, acting as if he is drunk, and lay his to rest. Thankfully he survives the night, and awakes in the morning, but is in no fit state to do much more than rest.
In the morning, leaving Halmary to recover, the rest of the party take Morten to the safe-house. There they arrange the delivery of various goods, mostly raw materials to allow Corvin and Zarkov to craft their own armour and weapons; all to be brought to the Smugglers Cave in about a month’s time. They collect the other equipment they ordered, and a couple of days later, with Halmary still in bed, they decide to investigate the cemetery where bodies had been going missing.
They discover a few graves have been dug up, and some news ones freshly laid. They hide in the trees and bushes, Idni helping everyone camouflage themselves. Then they settle in for the night, to see what happens.
At midnight, the entrance to a tomb opens, and three corpse-like creatures crawl out, accompanied by a figured dressed in armour and a horned helmet. The undead immediately head for the fresh graves, and start to dig. Idni decides its time to act, and shoots the horned-one with an arrow, cutting a line of red across its leg. It hollers, and shouts out to the undead, ordering them to attack: every single party member is spotted, their hiding skills unless against creatures with infravision.
Idni continues to shoot arrows at the horned-one, who retaliates by commanding him to ‘fall’; and the explorer promptly falls out of the tree, straight past the undead that has started to climb up after him. The other undead rush to the trees, some climbing, others about to, and Zarkov fails to turn any of them.
Idni scrambles to his feet, grabbing his spear and thrusting at the undead creature in the climb, hitting a branch instead. The horned-one turns on him again, and Idni finds himself held in place as his limbs suddenly stiffen! One of the other undead reaches Zarkov, and with a vicious swipe of its dirty claw, the dwarf finds himself paralysed, and the party realise that they are up against ghouls (the bane of many adventurers). Another badly wounds Corvin, who shouts for help, attracting the two guards who were meant to be keeping an eye on the cemetery. As they rush in, Ungrid gets the first kill, hacking the head off the ghoul climbing to reach him. The dwarf jumps down from the tree, moving toward the evil priest; who simply points at him and commands him to sleep: the dwarf collapses, momentarily out. Corvin tries to flee, but the ghoul trips him up; but the guards arrive in time to prevent the thief from being mauled, injuring the ghoul as it turns on them.
The evil priest calls for a retreat, and the two surviving ghouls and himself disappear back into the tomb. None of the party wish to follow, and tell the guards that they can deal with it now. So they return to the inn, tend to their wounds and sleep.
After a few more days of rest, Halmary recovers well enough to travel, and the party move out. They take the long way back home, avoiding patrols on the way, and after two weeks they arrive home without mishap.
However, all is now well. They discover that their mentor, Hochtritt, is dead; he was caught sneaking in by the ogres and paid the price. After an interrogation his head was stuck on a tree in the town square, and his body given to the ogres to eat. The safe-house was discovered, looted, and trashed.
Driven out of their town, the party make the Smugglers Cave their new base of operations, and over the next few days get messages to the 100 or so able-bodied men and women of the town, seeing who is still willing to fight. Most of them do.
And so the resistance fighters start to make plans, left alone to determine their fate and that of the town.
End of Session
Kills: 3 guards; 1 ghoul.