Mystery Team

Born again hard

After we were forced to flee from the undead creature haunting the chapel, we made our way back through the tomb of the dead friars. Jarvan, the priest from Lister, was in bad shape and we felt it was ill advised to rest. We continued back towards the small cabin where we had previously met the gnome and kobold refugees. We arrived near dark, and as we approached a zombie and several skeletons spilled out of the cabin. After felling the monsters we decided to stay the night in the cabin in hopes that Jarvan would feel better the next day, and that I would recover from the wounds I had sustained fighting Tom and the skeletons outside the cabin.

Late that night, while the smith from town, Dean, was on watch, a Kobold raiding party stumbled across our camp. The little shits tried to burn down the cabin with us inside. We spilled outside to meet the attack, and I was trying to grab the little bastard that tried to firebomb us for a hostage to keep us from all getting killed. As I tackled him, his friends that were lying in wait all unloaded their crossbows into my back.

I don’t know how many times they shot me, or how long I was down. I don’t even remember it hurting. I just remember being angry. Everything went black and I thought, “If I make it out of this, I am going to wear his face for a fucking hat.”
As I lay there bleeding out, I just got angrier. I knew I was dying. I forsook the lawful hunter gods of my elven mother and I prayed to Shevarash, the elven god of chaotic vengeance, hoping that he would see fit to allow me to seek this kobold out in hell and kill that little prick every day for the rest of eternity.

He must have heard me.
The world faded from black to red, and when I could finally see I was already lurching along the trail towards my enemy, coughing blood from my lungs and wretching it from my punctured gut. I took his head, and after resting in the cabin, I made good on my word. The hat is warm.

Throughout the night, Wulfchild tells me, the wolf pack I befriended several days hence had been behaving strangely. We investigated a bit, and it appeared that something had been eating the kobolds that we killed. Human sized, sharp teeth, probably undead. The bodies were pretty torn up. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of guys.

Jarvan looked bad and was getting worse fast. We made it the rest of the way to town, and Jarvan felt bad enough to take us to some old retired priest of Kord. Fella named Grant the Wildman, agreeable old coot, knew a lot of folks like him back when I was a junior ranger. Just want to grow their beards and sip their shine off in the hills. He said someone had to beat his farm hand, Egert, man-to-man if he was going to help Jarvan out. I told him I needed to get good and pissed drunk first. After being stabbed, shot, bit, and generally dick-jerked around the county by a long string of zombies, rats, gnomes, skeletons, and future hats I was ready for a slug of something fiery. When I had my lean on pretty good I went out in the ring and started laying into the kid. When I got done dropping him I went to the table and started drinking again. Grant healed the kid up and started slapping me on the back, telling me how good I did and he gave me this trophy belt that has all these pictures of his dopey human wrestler deity on it and all. Anyhow, it’s magic and it makes me better at punching and wrestling people. I drank till I was too tired to stay up any more and then I went to bed.
In the morning Jarvan was all healed up thanks to Grant, who said he was going to head to town and start making potions and keeping up the temple. We went back through town with him, and we stopped in and talked to the sheriff for a little while, who was about as helpful as he always is. He said he couldn’t do shit, urged us to do more, and sent us on our way. Real law man, that one.

We went back through the woods towards the cave and we saw some gnomes hanging around the creek. I approached and asked them what they were doing. Somehow or another it got out that we had been in the cave. They ambushed us again, and after I killed their leader and his second in command the others managed to kill the rest of them and capture one. We questioned him, and he revealed that the cave was a silver mine. All of these little shits are just fighting over money. It disgusts me. Who cares about the mine. The others made me let him leave, wouldn’t even let me cut off one of his feet to slow him down. We took his armor and weapons though. Maybe the wolves got to him.

We camped out in the woods in sight of the cabin. I managed to hide our camp from any passers by, and nobody on watch saw anyone approach the cabin. Then we went back in the caves.
We wandered around for a while and ran into that creepy old bastard Mad Harold. He was behind some big locked gate. At this distance we could tell he wasn’t human any more. Sharp teeth, smelled like death. He told us not to go that way, that we needed to find the master. I guess he is resisting whatever is making all these undead. Or it’s a trap. I don’t care any more. The master can shoot me. He can stab me. He can send all of his minions after me. I’m still going to kill him. We took Harold’s advice and turned around, towards Friar Tom’s chapel. We hadn’t managed to procure any silver weapons, so my vengeance upon Tom waits for another day.

We came upon a school house. We killed a rat in the library, and came upon the jorunal of Marcus Benjamin, one of the men executed for heresy years ago. Basically, he said there was some artifact down in the tombs. Then we found a well and a giant spider tried to run up it, but Henry threw one of the kobold firebombs we had recovered down the well and killed it.

We went in the basement of the schoolhouse. I kicked in a door and searched the storeroom inside. We found some money, which might have been of some use had we been in a town with some serious weapon and armor smiths, as well as a key. I also found a silver short sword. A gift for Friar Tom, I am convinced, from the elven lord of vengeance.

We investigated the basement further, finding a large staircase into the earth guarded by a heavy gate. We winched the gate down, but a trap on the other side snapped it shut and broke the winch. Henry repaired it, but we again broke it. As night approached we decided to leave.

As we returned to the catacombs to camp, we came across several creatures that Jarvan later identified as ghouls. It seems that Harold may be one of these creatures, and that Jarvan may have been cursed with the affliction before Grant managed to heal him. We cut the ghouls down and barricaded ourselves in the friar’s tomb for the night. A ghoul attempted to attack in the night, but we drove him off with arrows.

The next morning we returned to the basement. We descended the staircase beyond the gate. I kicked in a door and found several zombies. I began cutting my way through as the others followed. The ghoul that attacked the previous night appeared, but the others managed to kill him. I am going to find the master. I am going to kill him. And then I am going to carve his femurs into a pair of matching sword hilts.

Billiam Treeman

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Meeting Friar Tom

At this point in our journey, I feel that it’s important to keep a record of what we have seen and done. Billiam, Hank, and myself were traveling with a caravan from our homelands and agreed to protect them as far as Lister, but could not promise their safety beyond that point. Upon our arrival in Lister, we came across a small cabin with signs of a struggle and drag marks out into the woods to the West. We decided to travel into town and see if anyone had any information about what had happened. It was at this time that we also found out that the Mayor’s daughter had gone missing. The brothers Listergard were more than happy to have us help them. Whether she was kidnapped or ran away we do not know, but fingers were pointed at a local elf, Elwyn. We met a blacksmith, Dean, and local church official, Jarvan, who lent their skills to our party. We headed into the woods to find out what we could.

While walking north on the road just inside the forest, we saw some shadowy figures stumbling about. They turned toward us and started shambling our way so I yelled for them to halt, but their stench let us know that they couldn’t understand us and had no plans of stopping. We killed the zombies and hid the bodies since they were those of some local townsfolk. We then found a barn to bed down for the night and had to expel of some kobolds before being able to do so. In the morning we went back into town to find that there was an abbey to the north where some clues might be found, but were warned by Mad Harold not to bother Friar Tom.

While making the trek there, a thin line of smoke presented itself from the treetops and we had to investigate. At the bottom of the smoke lay a small cabin with no immediate signs of anything being out of sorts. We approached the cabin carefully and made it all the way to the door with no trouble. We were greeted by an odd couple, a gnome named Silvernom and a kobold named Pikel who shared with us that they were on opposite sides of a recent battle and had confided in each other to make an escape from the caves in which they fought. The gnome spoke common so we were able to learn from him that during this battle, both sides were overtaken by zombies. We steeled ourselves and made our way to the caves.

Once we were inside of the caves, we fought through a few rats and their dire leader and wandered through the tunnels until we found one with well-carved walls like the inside of a building. This led to a catacomb with several sarcophagi. After so many recent run-ins with the undead, we cautiously opened each grave to ensure that their occupants were still at rest. They were untouched and still very much dead. Since a priest of Saint Cuthbert was present, we left the graves just as we found them, out of respect. The rusted gate leading out of the catacomb didn’t put up much of a fight as we wrangled the bars apart enough to squeeze through, but poor, nervous Henrietta the donkey would have to stay behind. Along the way, we collected a leather flask of what appeared to be acid, so we stored it away for later use.

On the other side, we found a large stone blocking our way. With our combined strength, we were able to knock it down only to reveal a graveyard filled with walking skeletons and corpses, digging up the other bodies from their graves. We dispatched of them quickly and started toward the chapel which housed the graveyard. Once inside, we saw that many candles were lit all around and a strange old man was keeping vigil over them. Then it hit us; the pews were filled with the dug-up corpses from the graveyard. Billiam, demanding answers, swatted the lit candle from the man’s hand without warning and the figure, presumably Friar Tom, let out a horrible shriek. He then shed his mask of skin to reveal a charred skeleton with burning eyes.

Although we all made easy targets against such an intimidating foe, his only objective was to kill Jarvan, the priest of Saint Cuthbert. Jarvan, however, had other plans and defended himself against every blow with the exception of a glancing claw which caught his ribs, creating a burning scar. We fought and fought and fought the skeleton with no luck save for a single blow with a silver candelabra. After all of our hardened steel and wooden weapons bouncing off of him, this was the only object which made an impact. The skeleton chased Jarvan outside until he noticed some corpses lying exposed. He then calmly walked to them, picked them up, one by one, and carefully brought them inside to take their seats alongside their dead brethren. We didn’t wait around to see what he had in mind next.

We escaped back to the catacomb to Henrietta and waited for a bit, recuperating and developing a strategy to defeat him. We had tried lighting the few unlit candles, blowing out the others, throwing silver coins at him, striking him with our swords, we even went so far as to abuse a few of the corpses in his putrid congregation. Even the acid we found had no effect on him. We then collected our thoughts and remembered that we were warned not to bother the Friar. We were lucky to escape with our lives and decided to explore elsewhere before facing him again. I can’t wait to get out of this horrid place, but I’m glad we’re doing good work for the people of Lister.

Until next time,
Wulfchilde

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