You’re returning home after a successful rescue mission into the Mournland. With you are the surviving members of the Gray Dogs, the salvage crew you were sent to rescue. Two of them are dragging a strange device through the mud; the Oracle of War, which was unearthed from the ruins of Kalazart.
Skate asked, “Why are you dragging that box through the mud when there is a draft horse-drawn cart?” Sprocket and Durvo Tellis stopped in their tracks, looked at each other for a moment, shrugged, and put the Oracle of War in the cart.
The party started off after a long rest. This wasn’t the way you came to the ruins of Kalazart, but when a living cloud kill spell is prowling the road, you find a detour.
A flickering pillar of light briefly pierces the sky from a hilltop ahead. The Mournland is deathly quiet and your every step and breath echoes through the valley. Atop the hill, a stone cottage slumps like a frozen corpse.
A few moments later, a sudden moan breaks the silence as soldiers dressed in Cyran uniforms shamble forward, a hatred for all living things burning in their eyes. They died in the Last War, yet the blood on their wounds is still moist. Others are just charred skeletons, smoke still rising from their bones.
Several party members made snide remarks on how this miserable day just got better.
In the excitement of battle, Eldon Meatlerock fumbled with his thoughts on what to do.
Nella Halthorn, Lea’Gain, Sprocket, Kalli Alran, and Allissas d’Phairlan took turns shooting arrows into the horde of Zombies
Hak d’Tharashk with a fierce battle cry and trusty greataxe, led the ground assault. While Bheylong Soddenfut summoned a Flaming Sphere and let it loose on a group of undead.
In the mix, Hak d’Tharashk and Bheylong Soddenfut were wounded and about to be overrun with Zombies when Rosebud d’Jorasco stepped forward brandishing her holy symbol and Turned the Unholy away. As the undead shambled away, there were shouts of “Brave Sir Robin ran away!” “Bring out your dead!” and “Runaway, runaway!”
Skate joined the battle, but after his first strike, he attacked without thought. Almost as if he was disconnected from the event,
Then a bony group of Skeleton archers joined the fight, firing arrows blindly at the party.
Hak d’Tharashk was hit and heard to say “It’s just a flesh wound”
Varis Voxx and Durvo Tellis joined in striking out at the surrounding undead.
Eldon Meatlerock, finally collecting his thoughts cast Web then aided in healing some of the wounded in the party.
The battle continued with each side exchanging blows when, with a bloodcurdling roar, a set of undead ogres came stomping out from the mist. The twins wore matching blood-splattered armor of the Brelish Heavy Infantry from long ago and they each had a battering ram accessory strapped to their forearm.
The battle fray seemed to go on forever when suddenly it was over and the last undead ogre fell dying next to its companion.
As the party gathered its possessions and tended to the wounded. Kalli Alran looked off into the distance and said “We’re surrounded by undead!”
Sprocket pointed up the hill at what appeared to be a small building “There, it’s the most defensible position!”
It is also important to note that…
- Eldon tried to activate a magic item *
Which one you ask? Well, it doesn’t really matter because he…
- Was unsuccessful *
As the party moved up the hill a single-floor cottage came into view. It looked like it may have once been a pleasant, cozy place. Now its filthy, curtainless windows are like pits into a black, lifeless abyss. The front door was open, swinging lazily on its creaking hinges, inviting the party to ‘come on in.’
Looking back the way they came, a horde of undead enemies moan and shamble ever closer. With just minutes to fortify the cottage before the dead are upon them! The party sets forth barricading the cabin prepping for battle.
On the West side of the cottage Bheylong Soddenfut, Hak d’Tharashk, and Varis Voxx along with his Skeleton homunculus, find an external entry into the cellar. They open the cellar door and descend into darkness. The groaning wooden stairs give way to an earthen cellar that reeks of mud. Five bloodstained wooden tables stand on the dirt floor. The table closest to the stairs holds two corpses: A skeleton wearing leather armor, and the fresh corpse of a woman dressed in black robes. The woman clutches a journal in one hand and a quill in the other.
The cellar’s eastern wall contains large, built-in shelves obviously made from coffins. These shelves contain a dozen corpses, untouched by decay. A massive wolf head, the symbol of the nation of Karrnath, is painted in dried blood on the ceiling.
Upstairs in the main room of the cottage, a snarling head of a displacer beast is mounted over the mantelpiece in this ruined living room. Looking around, you see a fireplace, two bookshelves, a worn yellow couch, and a trapdoor leading to the cellar. It must have been the maid’s day off because dirt and dead leaves cover the floor.
Rosebud d’Jorasco spends a moment recalling sermons from the Order of the Silverflame and what she is seeing.
Allissas d’Phairlan searches a storeroom and finds what appears to be the previous owner’s escape bag. Inside is a bag of ball bearings, two bags of caltrops, two hunting traps, two vials of acid, and a flask of alchemist’s fire. Allissas thinks “Humph! A lot of good it did‘em”
Skate finds the kitchen with fresh food, perfectly preserved, sitting on a shelf next to a dresser full of utensils. A cold fireplace with a grease-stained roasting spit stands next to a barrel of filthy black water. Curious he steps back and tosses a small pebble from the floor into the barrel. Ripples softly move across the surface of the black water distorting the dull mirror reflection that was once there. Moments later the water goes still.
Out front, a Ghast and a team of Zombies have arrived and several events happen all at once…
Allissas d’Phairlan, Lea’Gain, Nella Halthorn, and others start shooting arrows at the enemy.
Kalli Alran, Sprocket, and Durvo Tellis fed information into the Oracle of War in hopes of getting advice on how to defeat the undead army, The Oracle of War starts belching purple smoke and suddenly spouts the following words at a volume loud enough for everyone nearby to hear:
Oracle of War: “When dark lanterns flicker in the light of the silver torch, the King in Green rides north on a bolt of steel. Two nations prepare for war, as all eyes turn to Sky Blue.”
The Oracle trembles, then simply repeated, “Third protocol activated. Third protocol activated. Third protocol activated …”
Nella Halthorn gasps “Was . . . was that a verse from the Draconic Prophecy?” She explains that the device has somehow revealed a portion of the Draconic Prophecy
From the cellar, Varis Voxx finds a journal and reads the last page out loud.
And it seems Shemp enjoys staying submerged in the kitchen washbasin. What a peculiar pet!
Received a visit today from an undercover agent loyal to King Kaius III, sent here to check up on field operations. She was most impressed by the beacon and the durability of the specimens it called up from the front though she was disappointed to learn that I could only safely use it during the day. Something about her seemed very sad. She has lost a sister in the war, it turned out. She brought with her a crystal skull that had tremendous power over the dead, but despite my best efforts, she would not part with it.
Today I uncovered something interesting and handy to remember in case of emergency a ritual to reverse the effects of the symbol on the cellar ceiling. Instead of calling my dead friend’s home. The beacon would keep them away from this play should authorities come poking about. All it requires are the destruction of the five necromantic foci that I used to draw power into the symbol and the spelling of a droplet of my own blook from the cut made by a magical blade. Jagged’s armblade should do the trick
Upon hearing this Hak d’Tharashk yells out “Destroy the head of the Displacer Beast”
Hearing the combat outside, Skate runs down the hallway to the backdoor in hopes of surprising the enemy from behind. Only to run into a small bedroom. Opps, wrong door. Backtracking and going through the second door the unnatural misty world of the Mournlands filled his vision as thoughts of rescuing his companions played out in is head. Rounding the East corner of the cottage, Skate was startled to see another group of undead heading straight for him.
In the main room of the cottage, Eldon Meatlerock hears Hak d’Tharashk yell out from the cellar “Destroy the head of the Displacer Beast”
Eldon grips his handaxe and chops at the Displacer Beasts mounted head. Not like a skilled warrior, more like the farmer’s wife cutting off mice tails, and misses. Strike one. Eldon steadies himself and filled with inspiration, swings again. Another miss. Strike two. Thinking time is of the essence he quickly attacks again. Strike three. No, wait, through the grace of the Gods and Hero points. Eldon climbed up on the mantlepiece, closed his eyes, bit down on his tongue as he swung one more time…with the words of his grandfather ringing in his head “you couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn.” Eldon defies all odds and buries the blade of the axe deep between the eyes of that mounted (non-moving) head. Spewing blood out like a fountain! Blood that arched out and across the room landing on party members that were nearby.
Kalli Alran stood dumbfounded staring at the Oracle of War through the purple haze. The Draconic Prophecy she thought, as the blood hit her in the eye. The horrific scream that escaped her body chilled the party members to their bones. “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!”
Even with Eldon’s (finally) successful hit, the displacer beast’s head was still intact. Rosebud moved towards the fireplace and used a radiant cantrip to finally destroy it.
This is where the session ended.