Fist in the North

Session Three!

Session Three

We join our adventurers just after their melee with two magic wielders. This wider section of the crevice that splits this mountain top had only the four re-dead zombies, two torches, and a metal brazier remaining after the pair of casters fled. While some tended to Flitt’s grievous wounds, others quickly searched the area and came up empty. Rowan’s raven, Jasper, flew after the fleeing older man, but was unable to locate him on the opposite side of the mountain. Jasper did note a plume of smoke rising in the direction of town. The vote to head back to the village for assistance was universally in favor, so the party headed back.

Outside once again, Brother Kesh located the head of the defeated, slimy creature that had attacked them on their way into the crevice. Baalor wrapped the grisly trophy in a ruined waterskin and all quickly moved down the mountain path. Nearing the bottom, the party determined the smoke was from the gravedigger’s house. Proceeding with caution was wise, but unnecessary as dozens of townsfolk were present to fight the fire. No word about the cause was determined from these people. The party headed to the monastery.

Sister Julie, second in command of the monastery, met them and advised the party to head to the temple for proper healing as Flitt looked like he needed serious aid. As the party entered the large temple’s circular center they noticed the head of the monastery, Master Harold, the head of the temple, Father Phineas Crotus, the Mayor, Malcolm Freeley, and a man the monks of the party recognized as Captain Norton Kincaid of the City Guard, engrossed in conversation. At first, they moved forward cautiously, but Baalor found it more direct to simply drop the head of the beast at these men’s feet.

Learning the cemetery had been raided and necromantic creatures were involved, the Mayor immediately ran from the temple. Suspicions among the party were raised. The elder monk asked Father Phineas for medical aid for Flitt while the others described their recent encounters. Flitt was taken aside and the Master suggested the others seek rest at the monastery.

Morning brought Flitt back to the party, fully healed except for a pair of half-moon scars on his cheek where the monster had latched on with its teeth. Captain Kincaid arrived soon after with a very small companion, a gnome attached to the City Guard. He then suggested a tour of the areas of the party’s adventures of the previous day, starting in the cemetery. Outside waited a half-dozen City Guards, fully armed and armored in chain mail hauberks.

At the cemetery, the party decided to first investigate the gravedigger’s work building again. Upon entering the main room, it was evident someone had been moving things about chaotically. A quick search of the closet and room turned up little of use until Pru, the gnome, noticed an opening beneath the prayer pew. The pew was easily moved and a tunnel, complete with a ladder, was revealed. The now familiar stench of rotting bodies swept up into the room.

The team of 13 moved into the tunnels beneath, far too many to be effective in the narrow passage. The Captain sent his six men left, towards the south, while he and the party moved north, into the cemetery. The excellent tracking skills of the party came into play and a single set of fresh bootprints was followed through the various splits and cross tunnels. Eventually, these tracks led to a fairly wide passage that headed straight for a long distance.

The angle of the tunnel began to rise after ten minutes of walking and light was seen ahead. The party asked Rowan to send Jasper ahead, which she agreed to quickly. The raven flew the final 100 feet to the opening and immediately turned back. Upon landing on her shoulder, the raven indicated that she shouldn’t go that way if she wanted to live. Rowan indicated to the party that something so awful was ahead that the raven was afraid to describe it to her. Using all their stealthy tricks, Flitt and Baalor crept ahead to see for themselves.

Spreading out down the hillside beneath the tunnel opening was an enormous number of undead citizens of the village. They seemed to be just standing there, so the pair of stealthers moved back to spread the word. Pru indicated that she could cast a protective spell to keep the undead from noticing her and a pair of others. Captain Kincaid volunteered, protesting that he needed to see this for himself to believe it. Pru cast her spell on the Captain, herself, and Rowan. The three walked to the tunnel opening and looked out.

Rowan saw enough and quickly headed back down the tunnel. The pair of monks were waiting a few yards past her when they all heard the unmistakable sound of chanting. It was the same kind of chanting they heard when encountering the spell casters. The Captain seemed suddenly still, then the protective glow around both he and Pru evaporated and the undead started moving towards them. Baalor turned and sped back down the tunnel, not stopping, but passing the two monks and elf. Suddenly, the air around the gnome and Captain exploded with flames. She managed to avoid part of the blast, but the Captain took the full blast and caught on fire.

The monks charged ahead, grabbed the Captain, then dragged him back while the gnome ran at full speed with them. The entire party ran until they arrived at the cross-tunnel room below. The Captain’s paralysis faded and all decided discretion was far greater than valor and a return to town was the only choice.

Back at the cemetery, the party met up with the Captain’s men who described the other tunnel as swinging around and likely ending up beneath the gravedigger’s house. The Captain gathered everyone up and headed back to his headquarters. Upon arrival, he sent a runner away with a message, then suggested the party head back to the monastery as he needed to marshal his resources.

Sister Julie met them at the monastery and led them to the Master’s cell. It was decided that the monastery and the party were not up to the task of defeating a zombie army alone, but he would think of a way for them to contribute to the rectification of this wrong. The party then went to speak to the Mayor.

Using her skills with diplomacy, Pru talked their way past the Mayor’s secretary and into his office. Father Phineas was there, lost in thought, while the Mayor was arguing with several other men. The party got his attention and filled him in. He immediately sent sentries to guard the cemetery and western edge of town against any incursions.

end of session

Session Two!

Session 2 recap:

After returning to the monastery for some much needed rest and recuperation, the intrepid adventurers took on the task of deciding what to do next. Should they seek the aid of the authorities or continue pursuing information on their own.

Knowing most, if not all, of the townsfolk would not believe their stories of dead bodies coming back to life, plus the possibility of becoming suspected graverobbers, the party decided to continue on their own. It was then that a cowled figure entered the monastery seeking refuge.

It took little time for the elf of the party to realize that here was a kindred, or at least another non-human individual, so she removed her own hood to reveal her elven features. The newcomer did likewise and a degree of trust established. It turns out, this half-elf had spent the night sleeping in the cemetery, not knowing where else to stay. In seeking shelter from the cold, he entered a crypt, noticed the missing bodies, and, subsequently, the tunnels beneath. He agreed to join the party to seek out answers. His name, Baalor.

A quick trip to the mayor’s sister-in-law’s house delivered the exact location of Fred Barger’s house. Fred was the village gravedigger and lived on the southwestern edge of town, near the cemetery. His house was to be found at the end of his road, tucked into the trees. The party immediately marched there.

The road and neighborhood appeared deserted, but that was to be expected in a farming and fishing village for midmorning. A few cows and a lonely dog were the companions only encounters.

Reaching the white house, the party decided to knock on the door while calling out Fred’s name. When no answer was heard, Rowan and Baalor went to the back while the others remained in the front. Baalor tried the backdoor and quickly realized that it was unlocked and partially open. The others moved to the back as he investigated the kitchen within. Rowan sent her raven on a fruitless scouting mission, Rhox stood guard, Baalor, Kesh, and Flitt searched the house. Other than some scattered papers and the graveyard ledger, they found nothing. So, they exited through the backdoor.

It was then strange words were called out from the woods and everything first went black, then the party felt themselves covered in a gooey mess. Kesh managed to avoid the goo, but the others were tangled up completely. The fear they felt was tangible as they had never experienced such a darkness, nor did they know if something more dangerous than sticky webs would appear from nowhere. Kesh moved about and eventually was able to help the others free themselves.

Throwing caution to the wind, the party advanced down a newly discovered path that led to the mountains.

The path remained quite narrow, much like a game trail, but there were clear signs of recent passage. They bravely moved up into the rocky hills.

Unlike their previous encounter with relatively fresh dead coming back to life, they were accosted by long dead come back to life. Several skeletal figures rushed from the underbrush and attacked the center of their marching column. Finished off rather quickly, these skeletons were left where they lay and the party marched onwards.

The path led to the top of the hill where the party could see the peak had been split. A long, narrow crevice ran from the top to the base of the peak and the path seemed to lead right to it. Flitt moved ahead furtively to investigate while Rowan’s raven flew to a treetop for a better look. The raven reported the scene that Flitt encountered: a single rotting body was standing and wobbling near the crevice, among some large rocks.

The party moved forward, Rowan and Baalor bringing their bows to bear. With a unifed twang of their bowstrings, the zombie was destroyed instantly. Flitt took this opportunity to investigate the body while the others were closing the distance. Unfortunately, Flitt hadn’t noticed the other two zombies standing nearby and was attacked by surprise. The party managed to destroy the two, but not before Flitt took a hit or two. They dusted themselves off and peered at the crevice opening.

Other than the crevice seeming to run through the entire hill and a few larger rocks above it, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, so they moved ahead. Just as they reached the crevice, a body fell among them. By now, the party couldn’t be surprised, but the creature’s appearance did send shivers up their spines. It’s yellow skin was covered in pustules and seemed semi-rotten, while a terrible aroma poured off its body. Long claws and teeth became visible as it latched itself onto Flitt’s face. Down in a heap they went while the party beat on the thing with their weapons. Rhox’s mighty right foot took the ghast in the chin and sent its head tumbling into the underbrush some distance downhill.

Baalor and Rowan patched up Flitt the best they could, but the would on his face was quite severe. The party determined to keep Flitt as far out of trouble as possible by keeping him in the back. It was then they marched into the crevice.

Some distance was covered when several party members began hearing voices up ahead. They couldn’t see the source, but Kesh recognized the name of the evil deity Y’kruth The Destroyer being invoked ahead. Baalor crept ahead and signaled the party to close when he could see a widening of the passage.

The crevice widened to roughly 30 feet and was lit not only by a pair of torches, but a brass brazier as well. The floor was covered by a semi-luminous grey fog that clung to the legs of the quartet of zombies moving towards the party. Behind the zombies and beyond the brazier stood two men, both speaking strange words and moving their hands in patterns. A hazy blur hung around these two. The older man, on the left, was wearing something that looked like black, shiny armor, but the younger was clad in normal clothes.

In a flash, the battle began.

Baalor immediately fired his bow at the older man. Rhox battled the zombies with Kesh. Rowan summoned a wolf to fight the zombies while she drew her bow to attack the two men. Flitt hung in the back, hiding from all.

The elder man spoke loudly and with a foom sound the fog across the floor grew in intensity while the zombies’ muscles seemed to puff up. The younger man said only “burn” and laid his hands out flat, palms down. A spray of fire engulfed everything in front of him. The pair of monks managed to dive beneath it while the elf and half-elf partially dodged, but poor Flitt was lit up like a bundle of kindling. He fell to the ground, smouldering.

Kesh moved to attack the younger man as the fire had incapacitated the zombie near him, but the man jumped straight up 40 feet and hovered there. The older man attempted to cast another spell, but Baalor’s arrow nicked his arm and scattered his thoughts.

The younger man cast another spell, this one striking his ally in the back. It caused no damage, but the older man began to grow larger, quickly! Rowan’s arrow hit the young man in the thigh and he flew up and out of the crevice. The older man saw the zombies all fallen and his ally fled, so he cast a spell, obscuring himself from Kesh, and fled as well.

The party put out the fire on Flitt and bound his wounds enough to keep him barely alive.

Session One!

The Village of Cwansit hugs the variable shoreline, its docks and wharves competing with one another for access to the sea.
To the West lies the rocky shoreline where the mountains meet the sea.
In the great semi-circle southward, the village extends out to meet the farmers’ fields and the thick forest that carpets the foothills.

Off the to the East, one can easily see the powerful outline of the Fist rising above the landscape. Through the haze of cookfires and road dust between here and there, few details can be discerned.
The Fist only rises to a quarter the height of the mountains beyond, but still towers over its surrounding villages.

The streets of Cwansit extend out from the docks, at first like spokes in a wagon wheel, then with seemingly random turns and cross-streets breaking up the outline.

In some places, a ten-foot high wooden palisade wall rises within the village.
It seems the population, over time, expanded beyond a protective wall that encircled the village and disassembled sections for building materials.
It’s been a very long time since anyone felt they needed a wall.

In the center of town, a temple of all-faith stands.
Being the only three story building in the village makes it easy to see.
Stone statues to each of the major deities stands upon the edge of the roof, gems and gold bringing a sparkle and glitter to the heights.
This building also houses the garrison of the Fist, a detachment of city militia that serve as street patrol and protectors of the peace.

On the western edge of town sits a cloistered monastery.
Its disciples wear the same colored robes and mostly keep to themselves behind their stone walls.
More important to the villagers than worrying about what may lay behind those walls, the monastery lends two of their members each day to the street patrol.
Their presence always bringing a balanced, just resolution to interventions.

The city militia is also bolstered by a volunteer brigade of villagers, men with more heart than skill, but dedicated to keeping the peace in Cwansit.
The mayor leads this brigade in spirit, but each year a Sergeant-at-arms is named from the volunteers who acts in the village’s best interest.

Normally, the militia spends its days playing dice and stepping between arguing family members.
Today is not a normal day.
Today, the forest is on fire.

Session 1 recap:
Here’s a barebones version of what occurred during the session:

When the fire is noticed, the senior staff of both the monastery and village militia run south to assist in its containment and aid citizens in need. They leave behind Rhox and Kesh, two members of the monastery and volunteer squad of the militia, to man the monastery in case of further need. Their friends, Flitt and Rowan happen to be visiting.

Soon, the mayor’s sister-in-law, Sabrina, appears seeking help in a missing persons case. Unfortunately, the missing person is supposed to be dead, but was seen walking through the western woods. Since the mayor and the sergeant-at-arms are off fighting the fire, she settles on asking the four youths present for their help. In describing the situation, the team realizes something strange may be going on… Rhox remains at the monastery while the other three move out.

Hikes to the woods and back don’t turn up any clues, so Rowan called upon a neighborhood dog who started sniffing its way from the western woods towards the now extinguished fire. The team marches to the fire site and meets up with the sergeant-at-arms who delivers one piece of information: a single death has been determined. He points out a charred human corpse mixed in with equally cooked animals in a burned out barn. The team waits for the sergeant-at-arms to wander off before investigating. They find a wedding ring on the hand of the corpse.

Returning to the monastery, the team find Sabrina and show her the ring. Of course, she faints when she sees its her dead husband’s wedding ring. Dead for almost a year, that is.

More investigation leads them to the village cemetery. The team searches the gravediggers’ building, but turn up no leads. They eventually find the mausoleum of the dead man’s family. Despite Kesh’s objections, they open the door and let themselves in only to find it completely vacant. Where placards show the name of the person lying upon each bier, the team finds no dead people. Now, they start to worry.

Searching the crypts to either side of the first reveals a dank smell from one and a moveable statue in the other. Again, NO BODIES! Moving the statue is difficult but that reveals yet another thing: a dug out tunnel descending straight down! A miasma of charnel stank rises out of the hole, but the team decides to climb down. They find a tunnel going in either direction, so they head right until they see another hole in the ceiling, right under the original crypt. Further walking confirms their fears that each crypt has a tunnel dug underneath.

Kesh makes a marker out of a burned piece of wood and the team proceeds down the tunnel, always choosing left whenever a choice is presented to them. At regular intervals, holes rise up from the ceiling, leading the team to believe each goes to another crypt. Eventually they come into a nexus of tunnels where six of them come together. The smell is overpowering. For good reason too, there’s a pile of dead bodies lying to the side.

Flitt determines to investigate the bodies for anything of note *coff*value*coff* and is grabbed by the hand of one of the dead bodies! Suddenly some of the bodies are rising up and trying to grab the whole team! Kesh knocks one back, while Flitt pops one in the head. Rowan first slices the arm off one, then nearly decapitates another. In all, four bodies rose up and were put back down.

The team decides discretion is appropriate and follows their charcoal markers back to the first crypt. They crawl out into the fresh air and debate their next move…

Session Log
Session notes for real!

I’ll be adding summaries of each session here once we get started. Each player SHOULD be able to edit the stories to add details or conversations. We’ll find out later!


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