Death visits the party multiple times, as they become embroiled in what looks like a simple scouting mission from Mayor Sanctid, of Deshdael. Traveling north on a commission garnered by Esma (who failed to share any details to them prior, including the rate of payment), the party heads into The Coedden, bound for the Elven village of Ardeldeuss (aka “Sweet Water Tree”). Long before arriving, they find sections of the wood turned black and dead, and others turned black, twisted, and wet with black ichor. Their presence draws the attention of a wood giant, who downs several members of the party before eventually being led away by the retreating parts of the group. Long story short, the group escapes with a single death, that of Dresden. Mosodol is downed, but recovers, and later torches the giant.
In the interim, Esma has fled back to Deshdael, while the other party members have remained behind to lick their wounds, and tend to Dresden’s body. During this downtime, Uchder prays fervently to Temis, who transforms him into an agent of badness, paling his skin, reddening his irises, and converting Dresden’s familial sword, Goldwave, into a black-hilted, ivory-bladed instrument of evil called “Bonewave.” Uchder is now an anti-paladin!
But no time for celebrations, really. Dresden’s funeral pyre attracts night zombies, with proceed to take down and tear Mosodol to shreds. Dwylo also becomes a victim, when, while trying to pilfer Mosodol’s ring from the feasting trio of deadites, he draws their attention and their attacks. Down he goes, also to be rended to bits. Uchder manages to get away despite also being taken down, aided by a passing druis named Rypen.
Death, dismemberment and despair haunt the party (as well as a revenge streak from Uchder, who wants to give Esma a piece of his sword). EVentually, though, the pale-not-paladin makes it back to civlization, where he collapses in pain.
Esma has been lying her ass off to the Mayor about the situation, delivering some parts of the story, omitting others, and flat out making other shit up. Enlisting the aid of a Cavalier named Cavalier, she ensures the council she’s made contact with the Elves. But, as she does not possess the proper writ to prove it, her word is (understandably) doubted. In the meantime, Rypen the druid makes HIS report to the mayor, corroborating the zombie part of the story, as well as the tale of the “very stupid adventurers who made a fire and attracted the zombies which killed them.”
Eventually, Esma and Uchder are reunited (and kept from fighting by Cavalier). They are then joined by the druid and a nasally, obi-wonish monk named Mort. The council outfits them to look into the Elvish zombie affair, also providing them with four retainers (the brothers Gibb—Andy, Robin, Maurice and Barry). And OFF THEY GO!
Once in the wood, they make their way into the dense, red mist where Ardeldeuss is situation. A brief encounter with a camoflagey lizard thing, resting in a black tree with druidical markings indicating they belong to “Kyume” (he gets around, don’t he?), results in one dead lizard, courtesy of Uchder, whom Mort (also a Temisian) expects to “prove himself.” Prove he does. The party’s side trek at “very big tree” area, ends with a brief bit of half-hearted searching, before they head off toe Ardeldeuss.
The Elven village, a platformed affair, shrouded in thick mist, proves a bit freak-deeky, as, in the midst of zombie growling noises, one of the deadites plummets to the ground, where Uchder summarily slays it. The party locates a grand staircase headed upward, spiraling in such a way as to promote Elvish sword defenders an advantage (a fact one of the players kindly provided the GM).:-) The party makes it stealthy, with Monkish Mort ascending to scout. Using the mist and cover to his advantage, he locates the landing, peering over its ledge to note a red-robed Dormorian signaling off into the gloom (while also noting quite a few shambling zombies here and there).
Our episode ends here, with most of the party perched on the stairs, and Mort providing intel. They have the drop on the bad guys. But will their foray end in glory, or more heinous, horrid, and frankly, embarrassing, death?
_Oh, so many BAD ROLLS! The party was constantly fumbling and getting critted. Very nearly a TPK. Would about have been, had not Stephen’s druid (a replacement for a dead character) not shown up. Mosodol was eviscerated, so no more mage.
So, we ended up levelling straight to level 2, if only to prevent the squishies. Hopefully, this will make the party hardier._
CAMPAIGN ADVENTURE START DATE: 02 APR 5YOtD END DATE: 08 APR