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,