The Dead Rise Report
After the difficult battles in the Death Mark focus, the party returns to Custone, ready for a long rest. Although only mid-afternoon, most of the members plan to sleep. The two newest members of the party, Durdeg and Sharlot, go to the Copper Cup and secure their nights lodging. Durdeg set his steel defender, Veethree, to patrol the outskirts of the village. After eating, they each retire to the common room, exhausted enough to sleep with the sun still up.
Malcer quickly ate at the inn, then sought the peaceful sanctuary of the Quentis' meditation garden. He bedded down early as well. Carta and Sif made their way to the church, Carta looking for Janna, the woman who had lost her son. He caught up with her in the church, and informed her that he had not found him yet, but that he remained hopeful. She thanked him for his concern, but did not want to speak further. He also retired to his bed.
Meanwhile, Sif made use of the resources of the church to conjure a new familiar in the shape of a rat. She used it to search the town for any sign of the missing book, but aside from a near miss with a goodwife, she did not find anything of note. As the sun set, she headed for her bed in the church.
The silver moon, Nila, was rising full and the golden moon Mesic was waxing gibbous overhead, while Lanin was just a sliver, as the clock near midnight. Veethree woke Durdeg and Sharlot, warning of danger at the farms. At the church, a watchman ran for the doors, screaming about the dead rising in the forest. The trio sleeping in or near the church were alerted, and they all rose to combat the new threat. Sif's exploration had left her exhausted, but she did not shirk her duty.
A group of four zombies was skirting the edge of the church, avoiding the hallowed ground and headed towards the town. They were about to run into a flood of townspeople fleeing to the church for safety, but the trio there interceded, holding them back long enough for the people to make it to safety and for Father Eofred to demonstrate his power by driving the remaining undead from the vicinity. The trio then began to move through the town to the inn, looking for their companions.
The pair at the inn were experiencing problems of their own. A small contingent of the undead was attacking the inn, and they were the only ones prepared to take them on. While Sala and the other guests fortified the interior, Sharlot climbed to the roof and Durdeg went out to meet the threat. The attack came in several waves, but they were able to beat back the enemy. When they were clear, Durdeg left to check on the nearest farm, while Sharlot remained to protect the civilians inside.
While Durdeg moved to the farm, Carta, Mal, and Sif were moving through the narrow alleys between the homes of Custone. At one point, they saw a few zombies trying to break into a house, and stopped to help. They pressed forward, deciding they would be most useful getting back together with the remainder of the group to present a stronger fighting force. They caught up with two of the undead approaching the inn, and put them down.
Meanwhile, Durdeg had arrived at the farm, and found it under assault by more zombies than he could handle alone. Knowing that the people would likely be dead before he could return with help, however, he decided to attempt to draw them away. Using his magic and his steel companion, he was able to draw a number of zombies away from the front door of the building. But it took a toll - Veethree was repeatedly assaulted, and was barely able to drag itself away. Luckily, the undead are slow, and they finally made a controlled retreat.
While retreating, Durdeg came within sight of the remainder of the party, and they were reunited. They made quick work of the undead that were following Durdeg, but were too late to save the farm. It burned to the ground, but the actions of Durdeg allowed the survivors that were still in the house to escape through the front door.
Regrouping, the party traveled to the surrounding farms. They put all of their energy into rescuing as many townspeople as they could - they took one group of zombies from behind as the people in the house fired arrows from the roof, watched as another burned their own barn to the ground to eliminate the remainder on their farm, and finally helped one last farmhouse. It was there that they noticed their magic failing, and found the Orb of Grounding in the possession of a lost child who had been aged through the horrors of the previous few nights. They took the orb, and ran to the mine, hoping to stop the attack.
They arrived at the mine to find a number of dead dwarves, and Merey Stonebridge fighting a powerful wight. She slayed the creature, and turned to her fallen brother. Carta moved to their side, and laid hands upon the dwarf, keeping his spirit in place and earning the gratitude of Merey. With no time to waste, they continued in to the Death Mark, to return the Orb.
The ghost of the cleric of Carita again possessed Cart's body, and completed the ritual to replace the Orb. No more undead would rise from this, but it did nothing to anything already in the surrounding lands.
The party returned to their beds, glad to put this night behind them. They had one more piece of bad news, when they found the body of Father Eofred, surrounded by the corpses of numerous undead, including a hulking beast the likes of which none of the party had seen before.
As thanks for their help in the town, the various town leaders gathered to offer what they could. The Reeve gave the spell book that his son had created before being killed in his own magical experiment. Deacon Helmen provided the group with some of their precious paper, blank on one side and with musical staves on the other. He also passed on Eofred's shield of Uborum, a symbol of all the Gods and their favor to the city. Mari, meanwhile, provided them with a meteorite that had been found near the mine, hoping they can discover a use for it.
The Orb has been returned, and the dead can slumber again. With the success of their mission, the party has reached a milestone in their development, and can begin to acquire new skills.
Character(s) interacted with
Janna - mother to boy who took the orb; informed her of the search, and final disposition of her son
Sala - owner of the Copper Cup, helped her save her inn
Mari - owner of Custone mine, gave meteor rock
Eofred - Cleric of Quentis, died defending town
Helmen - nephew of Eofred, taking over duties as priest
Merey - member of dungeoneers, gave recommendation to group