Badlands Session #3

Bloodied and battered, the party decides that they need to rest for a few hours while spells are cast, and bandages applied. They hole up in a bedroom that looked like it hasn’t been used in quite some time due to the thick layer of dust.

For the 8 hours the party rested, splitting time between sleeping, healing, praying, and keeping watch. During that time, the party heard much activity as day faded into night.

Sounds of construction echoed throughout the stone halls. Clanging of shovels, pickaxes rang throughout the break. Additionally, the party could hear things being dragged, wood on stone.

Just as the party decided that they had rested enough, they heard a halfling voice scream for help. Gwan, being slightly slow in the mind, decided to poke his head out and see what all the commotion was before anyone could stop him. Opening the door, Gwan sees a small halfling being dragged, hands and feet bound down the corridor. Responding in pure rage, Gwan attacks the two undead dragging this living being.

Dispatching the guards, and freeing the prisoner, pleasantries were exchanged. Introduced as “Elvis”, the party decided adding another adventurer couldn’t hurt, especially one with mage ability.

Together, they party decided they should get back to town to report what they found. Sneaking around the corridors, they spot Gwendolyn, Kardon’s daughter they were hired to rescue. Sending the rogue to shadow Gwendolyn, much information is discovered:

  • The well that was discovered earlier had been opened up to be much larger. This must have been the sounds of construction that was heard all night. The bottom of this well was a grisly sight: fresh corpses were being dumped from above, landing with a sickening thud. The rogue observed several bodies being dumped, bringing the count of the corpses to well over a dozen bodies.
  • A skeleton was seen dragging a sled down the corridor with 3 very large glass beakers of red-thick liquid. This looked similar to the items they found earlier in the laboratory.
  • Gwendolyn seemed to be free to walk around the undead without fear of being hurt…

As the party followed Gwendolyn, she dipped into the room that houses the black altar they discovered earlier. Saril, the hand maiden, upon seeing her lady disappear from sight, runs to catch up. Choosing to rush into the room without knowing what is to discovered, the party turn the corner to see a gruesome display.

A caster stood in the corner, performing arcane rituals – a freshly dead corpse lay upon the altar, limbs bending in ways they do not normally bend. The skeleton who dragged the sled with the urns of red liquid are unloading the urns near the altar.

Gwendolyn doesn’t even acknowledge the party’s entrance. Now that she is closer, the party is able to see that she is undead. You can see flesh starting to decay, the skin so transparent that you can see the muscle underneath. The smell of death in this room is familiar.

“I am Zelinth Starlis – you will not stop me. This is my families right…”. After a very difficult few rounds of combat, Starlis casts invisibility. The adventurers lose track of him in the fray, and one of the mages spots a chalice being dipped into the urn, filled with the red liquid and then being poured into the mouth of the corpse on the altar. A few moments later, arms and legs begin to twitch. The invisible being drops the chalice, its deed done and attempts to escape.

Luckily, Elvis using his big brain, grabs some dust/dirt from the corner of the room and blowing it over the room, landing on the invisible caster. Now that the mage is visible, the party quickly dispatched the caster. Very pleased with their performance, they loot all the bodies, and drag all the corpses they can find and pile them on the altar. Gathering up damaged furniture, and burnable items, they create a funeral pyre, set it on fire, and add a half bottle of the elixir that Godwinn gave them earlier. Within moments, the fire turns blue-green, and quickly consumes the corpses.

After a few minutes, the altar cracks from the intense heat. The amulet’s red glow subsides. Surprisingly, the hammer vibrates, glows light yellow, and slowly fades.

However, the fire quickly gets out of control, and black bellows of smoke quickly force the party to escape before they expire. Barely outrunning the flames, fleeing to the well room, they get a grappling hook up, working as a team, they barely escape before the fire completely engulfs the building. Trying to get to the front door from the outside, it is clear that the fire is burning through the entire building. Without spell protection, it is impossible to go back into the building.

Making their way back to town, they are greeted by a very bloody scene. While the party was looking for the source of evil, the town was in a battle for their survival. Around the town are evidences of terrible combat. While the town won the fight, the cost was very high as townsfolk bodies are tossed onto burning pyres. Upon the destruction of the altar, many of the undead just collapsed to the ground, no longer animated. This allowed the town to overcome the remaining undead putting them down with what remained of the defenses. Brother Godwinn is spotted performing funeral rites, and tells you to meet him later.

Kardon is sought out and the sad tale of his daughter is told. He asks the party if a proper burial is possible. Upon being told no, that she was burned on the altar to prevent further reanimation, Kardon is distraught. He agrees to pay the amount agreed upon, and the handmaiden joins him at his side. A few hours later, a messenger brings the party a huge sack of gold from Kardon. Apparently, he had extra gold, but was not willing to spend all of it to rescue his daughter and blames himself.

After a few hours, everyone meets again at the church. Godwinn heals all the hurt members, and listens to their story.

The party asks him to identify items – Godwinn, a cleric, normally has no ability to do so, but said he will pray upon it.

In the morning, Godwinn seeks out the party, gives them their identified items, and tells them that he has had another vision, and believes he knows where the source of evil is.