The group had a decision to make, either to inspect and search the tunnels, or follow the villagers and pursue the feral ghouls to the southwest. The group of adventurers were split in their desires, with some of the group voicing a desire to pursue the ghouls, some of the group wanting to explore the tombs in the graveyard.
After some debate, the group decided to split up in order to investigate the tunnels under the tombs. Now that the party had learned from Ted Boxer that the escape doors in the tombs slid on retractable rails they devised a plan. The rogue and cleric went to the westernmost tomb, while the monk and fighter stayed in the southernmost tomb. The druid went outside to smell what traces of the nighttime feral assault he could track, while the warlock decided it was good to take a smoke break.
The monk and fighter opened their door and gave a shout, the rogue and cleric did the same in their tomb. Yet neither groups could hear one another. It appeared at first attempt the tunnels were not connected. The cleric decided to drop into his tunnel to further investigate. When he dropped he disappeared from the rogue’s view, surrounded in the complete dark of the tunnel.
Fearing that the tunnels were not connected, the fighter and monk quickly hurried to rejoin their compatriots and compare notes. As they left, the helpful villager Buddy Treh asked if he could help, the adventurers asked him to “hold the door”. As they walked out they could hear Buddy’s slow, methodical chant “Hold...da...door, hold...da...door”. The druid smelled a change in the air as he joined the others. Upon entering the westernmost tomb, the monk, fighter, druid, and warlock heard and saw the figure of the rogue disappear as he jumped into the tunnel, following the cleric.
The monk jumped into the tunnel following the cleric and rogue. Meanwhile the fighter and druid began to notice a dark mist creeping over the graveyard from the south west. As party members were jumping to the tunnel, the sound of many tramping feet could be heard rushing from the south west. For a moment the druid contemplated his ability to fight this oncoming horde. Girding his loins, he beset his face on the doom at hand, and then after realizing that he stood no chance against the undead feral mob. The last party member jumped through the tunnel into the darkness.
Almost as soon as they had gone through the tomb’s trap door, the darkness was gone and the party was in a large study. The room was adorned with drapes along the walls, furnishings and tapestries hanging about from the ceiling. There were two massive book shelves filled with books of varying sizes. Above one of the book shelves was a painted portrait. Between the bookshelves was a large window, and across from the window was a mirror. Opposite of the mirror was a door that had several framed pictures surrounding it. In the middle of the room had a large central table. The table was set with food and drink, the food looking quite appetizing.
As the party investigated the room, they found scrolls of notes scribbled and strewn about the study. The notes contained the following messages:
Note: The apprentice
Frontside: Donnarunamurra, remember who you are, and remember your apprentice! If you’re reading this and cannot remember your apprentice, they have deceived you, bewitched you, or sent some foul poison into your mind. Do not allow the young one to finish what you’ve strived for! You’re ageless life is only years away, your escape from the grasps of death is not long to be found! Continue your work and destroy your unfaithful apprentice at the first chance!
Backside: Words that cannot be read or recognized in any language you know.
Note: The creations
Frontside: Donnarunamurra, remember who you are, and remember your apprentice! the dead have come to life! I have succeeded in cheating death! They breath, they move, they do not so much as speak as growl. They are unaccustomed to the light and seem to fear the flame of a torch or lantern’s beacon gaze. They were quite excited when first breathed air again. Their passion for flesh seems to be as zealous as my apprentice’s passion for knowledge. Insatiable and gluttonous are their appetites. Had I and my apprentice not been surrounded by torches we would have undoubtedly been the first meal of our new creations. Upon the night of their conception I made haste to have my apprentice butcher and prepare cows. They will require a steady diet of flesh, although I cannot determine if they feed out of a need to regenerate, or out of some other compulsion.
Backside: Donnarunamurra, remember who you are, and remember your apprentice! These creations are foul creatures and will not serve my purposes for Godin or it’s surrounding provinces. They have no ability to obey, communicate, or follow orders. Spells have no effect on their minds. When I delved deeply into the mind of the most recent creature that was risen for testing, I had to withdraw quickly as I felt physically ill. My weakness was more than mental, as when I withdrew from the mind of the creature my faithful apprentice had to quickly catch me as I physically fainted from exhaustion. When I awoke moments later I was famished and dehydrated. My body barely could handle the illness of hunger that beset me from delving into the mind of the risen creature.
Note: The plague
Frontside: Donnarunamurra, remember who you are, and remember your apprentice! My apprentice has come up with a fantastic solution to the problem of the feral lives of the creatures brought back to life. After several tests and trials, the apprentice has determined that while the life of the person dies in the moment they die, their will carries on. Some have written about this as the soul, the spirit, or the eternal indomitable breath of life. The essence of a person carries on beyond the cessation of physical life. It is this indomitable will that seems to animate the new creations I and my apprentice have risen. It is this will that has been distorted, tortured, and been twisted to dwell on only two thoughts - to eat, and to dwell apart from the light.
Backside: Donnarunamurra, remember who you are, and remember your apprentice! The plague potion has been completed and is prepared for use. The apprentice has theorized that those who die either due to this plague, or die while under the spells influence have a reduced resistance to suggestions and dominance of their will. As such, I and the apprentice are beginning to use small test cases to study the effects of this plague, both on the living, and the dead.
Note: The betrayal
Frontside: Donnarunamurra, remember who you are, and remember your apprentice! the tools and traps have been laid. Should you need to, make haste to the tombs and tunnels of the fishing village. The apprentice doesn’t know about their existence. You can hide for many moons and stay dry under the tombs of the fishing village. Bide your time and return to the temple in Godin to find the final artifact when you are certain the apprentice is either dead from your traps, or dead from their hubris.
Backside: Donnarunamurra, remember who you are, and remember your apprentice! They have betrayed you! It has all gone wrong! All is lost! Run to the temple in Godin! Secure the final artifact! Only by denying this last component can you stop the deceitful betrayal of the apprentice grasping your life's work! If the apprentice finds this final piece, he will certainly unlock the mystic secrets of denying death and inhabiting life in the incorporeal state rather than merely physical. The common folks speak of this as a curse, but I know it to be life! I must remember myself Donnarunamurra, I must remember the treachery of my apprentice, and I must acquire the temple’s artifact to unlock the key to everlasting life!
The last note only says these words....
“Master, I’ve found you, I’ve unlocked the secret. I will find the artifact, I will destroy the temple, I will rule the Etruscan continent, I will live forever...you shall not”
After reading the notes, the Warlock began perusing (and by perusing I mean taking) books from the shelves. The rest of the party search for a way out, specifically interested in the window. The cleric (now carrying the halfling monk on his shoulders) and rogue went to pass through the window. By the time their curiosity had run out, four members of the party were through the window and in another dark tunnel. When they looked up, they heard a voice chanting methodically “Hold...da...door”. Buddy Treh was above they, holding open the sliding trap door from the southernmost tomb!
The warlock and druid had not yet passed through the window. It was only a moment before the last of the party members had left when two massive ghouls came in from the door to the study. The druid quickly gave cover to his warlock and they began to make for the door. After a victorious fight and a reunification of the party in the study, some of the party members contracted the disease of the plague poison of Donnarunnamurra! This poison was beyond any in the party’s medical ability to cure.
No sooner had the party begun to head for the door of the study, than the halfing noticed whilst perusing (yup, she was doing the same thing the warlock was doing), the eyes of the portrait above the bookshelf were moving and following the parties movements!
As the party took notice of the portrait, three familiar figures came flying in through the window. Ted Boxer, Franklyn Gutter, and Molly Riba all seemed to be in a state of shock and confusion at being brought to this room. Franklyn explained how Buddy was still holding the door open, and it had been hours since the adventuring party had left him holding the door. The eyes in the portrait avoided the gaze of Ted Boxer, fixed themselves on Molly, and then several unusual things happened all at once. Molly disappeared, Ted reached out to save her but was left only holding clothes, the party sprung into combat action, readying spells and weapons!
After a day of rest the party ventured out from Big Man Cran’s inn at the center of the seaside Village they met another adventurer. Woflgang Hasslehoff the Dwarf fighter had been in the village for a fortnight prior to the parties arrival. Having greeted and welcomed the dwarf’s company, the party then made their way speedily to the Village graveyard.
The graveyard was laid out with incredible meticulous precision. There were hundreds of gravestones and graves dug in rows and half circles. There were 5 mausoleums built throughout the graveyard, two on the north most side, one on the east and west perimeter of the graveyard, and one that was slightly larger than the others on the Southernmost side.
As it was evening, the party began to investigate the graveyard, suspicious of undead activity. Upon reaching the southernmost tomb the party’s rogue attempts to bash open the tomb. His attempts fail to break open the tombs southern facing door. The pride of the rogue is surprisingly not shaken, although his knuckles seem to have left a smidge of blood with the stone home of the dead.
After the battle with the southern tomb’s door, the party began to explore the gravesites and tombs, two ghasts ambushed the party, one emerging from both the westernmost and easternmost tombs. As the party turned to face these creatures they quickly realized these creatures were surrounded by gaseous mist. The party engaged the creatures, with Monk, Druid, Rogue, Warlock, and Fighter all making use of their combat spells and craft.
As the party was laying waste into the undead creatures, they heard heavy footsteps coming from the direction of the village. The rogue went to inspect and saw the party’s faithful dragonborn cleric rushing to join the fray. With the added reinforcements, the party quickly dispatched the ghast from the westernmost tomb. Meanwhile, the Warlock rendered the second ghast from the east tomb confused as he was covered in a magical darkness. The creature, beside itself with rage and confusion, ran headlong back into the tomb, stumbling as it went.
Some members of the party went to investigate each of the tombs to the east and west. The doors opened on their own as members of the party approached them and desired to open them. Inside both of the tombs there were lanterns burning and shelves for the dead to lay rest on. The rooms were ten by ten, with room enough for a dozen or so bodies. As the party members were investigating the rooms, they noticed the center of the floors had doors with handles. As some of the more curious members went to pull open the doors, they were interrupted by screams of terror from outside.
The screams came from the southwest and sounded like a frightened child. As the party emerged from each tomb, they gathered together again outside the largest tomb, on the edge of the southern border of the graveyard. The panic stricken child is none other than Molly, a member of the village that the party had met along the roadside of the village the day before. She was being chased by a horde of ghouls. A hand came out from the southern tomb, pulled Molly into the tomb, shout “Get in here, and get safe quick!”. The voice belonged to Ted Boxer, the village grave digger.
Most of the night was spent in the tomb discussing the matter of the dead with Ted Boxer. Ted explained several points about the graveyard:
The trapdoors in the tombs are an escape/emergency exit for anyone buried alive.
These tomb exit tunnels lead to the sea
These tomb exit tunnels fill with the high tide
There are at least two hostile creatures that roam at night
“eaters” which feed on flesh,
undead villagers, who come back armed and fierce.
After having a long conversation with Ted Boxer the group was left with two options. To pursue the trail scent of the feral horde, or investigate the tunnels.
Twas the night of the first encounter!
The Lord Mayor of Godin has hired a band of misfit adventurers to investigate a local village that has refused a call to arms. The adventuring band is made up of a Halfling Monk, a Dragonborn Cleric, a Tiefling Warlock, a Half-Elf Druid, and a Half-Orc Rogue. Having been tasked with their mission the group set out.
The band of fellows had traveled for two days without mishap. As the sun began to set at the end of the second day’s journey the party decided to make camp near a bend in the road. With the sea on the west side of the road, and an immensely dense forest to the east, the party pitched tents and set up a rotation for nights watch.
The Druid had volunteered for the first watch of the night covering four hours, with the Rogue volunteering for the second watch. The Druid’s first watch was rather uneventful, hearing only regular night activity of nocturnal creatures stirring, hunting, and gathering. The Rogue’s second watch had an uneasy sense to it. Noticing several humanoid creatures moving along the distant southern forest treeline, the Rogue took cover, but didn’t want to startle his sleeping compatriots.
The subtle seen of serene forest tranquility all at once became a full on action sequence. The screech was loud, long, and blood curling. The Rogue was quickly engaged in a sword exchange with an undead hobgoblin that had snuck up on the party. There was combat, and the blows between swords awoke the rest of the party, none too soon! Several feral ghouls came from the south of where the party was sleeping to attack.
The Cleric and destroyed a Ghast with a great swing of his mace. The Rogue pierced another Ghast with an upward thrust of his sword. The Druid used his bear form to maul some of the undead hobgoblins. At the moment the battle seemed won for the heroic party, the remaining undead hobgoblins fled from the seen, with at least one feral ghoul also following suit.
The party then came to a fork in the road. They could follow the ghoul, or continue along the road. After much discussion and debate, the group decided to track the ghoul; in the darkness there wasn’t tracking to be done. The party eventually emerged from the thick forest to find the path they traveled brought them to an open field just west of the seaside village. The party met a group of villagers led by the local gravedigger, Ted Boxer, and were able to find their way to the Big Man Cran inn at the center of the village. The group procured beds and rested before setting out for the graveyard to investigate the plague.