2-01. The Dead Walk

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1. The Dead Walk – 3rd October 2014

ghost-scholar   Let me introduce myself. I am Kenar Hevathar, former apprentice to the great Valthren of Winterhaven.

I met our heroes at the completion of their last adventure, though it was by no means the first, for they had but recently defeated the notorious Kalarel who had been planning all sorts of unsavoury necromantic acts on the countryside and its people.

Now in a less corporeal form due to an accident with a large pile of heavy spellbooks, I am in the perfect position as scribe to document the happenings of this group without the troublesome problem of physical discomfort or harm.

But let me tell you of their most recent exploits, the one in fact that brought them to my attention and started this campaign to glory.

As I mentioned, this adventuring group came back from the Keep on the Shadowfell as heroes, having defeated the necromancer Kalarel, follower of Orcas. By all accounts the man was not only despicable, morally destitute but also highly irritating. I am personally glad never to have met the man. But our heroes did, and it is just as well for the rest of us, for surely Winterhaven would have been wiped off the map otherwise.

Deeply happy as well as exhausted after their triumph, the heroes headed back to Winterhaven to celebrate and regain their strength. Some of their number, fresh with bulging coinpurses and triumph moved on from Winterhaven leaving only half their number behind. Aael Skeeverbane; warlock, Gwenn the Destroyer (as she likes to be known), and Orag son of Ugg.winterhaven_map_small

However, for these remaining heroes respite was brief, for soon the next evening a great uproar in the town called them from their rest to once more save the town.

Lord Padraig was gathering together every able bodied warrior in the town that was not already part of the militia or guard to help deal with this new threat. The dead, it seemed, had not stayed buried, for some had been seen and he feared a great influx to the town. This had come as quite a shock to Lord Padraig, who had thought all current necromantic threats dealt with.

The town was small, and only those left from the adventuring party were available, along with a dwarven shaman who had been staying at the Inn. Although they had never before met, our heroes banded together to defeat the threat. The dwarf, whose name was Ulrik Burmek had been so outraged by the knowledge of undead in the area, had flung his table, laiden with good food and beverage, over, quite shocking the locals in the process.

Heading out to the cemetery beyond the city walls, everything seemed calm. From a distance it seemed like nothing was untoward, although many of the graves seemed to have disturbed soil. It was only when they ventured deep into the cemetery that they saw a familiar face. An elf by the name of Ninaran who had once before led them into a trap. No sooner had our heroes spotted her, than she once more closed a trap around them.map

From all around the bodies of the dead rose from their graves, twelve in all, some sporting bows while others favoured swords. If this were not enough two gravehounds appeared at the entrance to the largest mausoleum and the elf drew her bow. With only four against so many, it seemed near impossible that our heroes would survive.

Trapped they were, between the two small mausoleums, with gravehounds and skeletons on either side and the elf in front of them. The elf, it seemed, had the upper hand, but she had not banked on such stalwart and ferocious adversaries. Even as I watched, unable to keep a corporal form for my fear for them, I had to watch as even my own body shambled towards them, only to watch it being cut town like so much wheat at a harvest. Such a strange thing to see your body being slaughtered. 

While most of the group fought off the hoard of undead, the dwarf had noticed something across the graveyard, being drawn, as he was to the glowing mystical light that emanated from the circle. He soon deduced that it was this circle that was animating the undead, and soon began to unravel the spells that kept it functional while the rest of the group lessened the number of undead.

The tide of battle had turned against the traitorous elf, for soon even the few undead remaining suddenly fell down, their unnatural animation put to an end in one instant when the spelled circle was disabled by Ulrik with the aid of the rest of the companions in the group. Now standing alone, hemmed in on both sides, trapped within a small mausoleum, the elf soon fell as all the undead she had raised had done.

k letterUpon her corpse, the adventurers found this note. Kalarel, it seemed had been her employer, or perhaps coerced her. It seemed that she was still following his commands even after his defeat, perhaps not knowing of it, or perhaps fearing him so much as to carry them out on the off-chance his God found some way of bringing him back.

Either way, she failed, but in doing so, these brave and resourceful heroes proved their worth.

With the undead once more resting, and the threat gone, I was able to gather my thoughts enough to become visible for them. It had been her raising of my body that had brought me back to consciousness, but now that the matter was sorted, I found that I was no longer happy to rest peacefully, but craved the life of a researcher and scholar far more. So the decision was made. I would follow these heroes on their adventures to document them. Fame and fortune only come with notoriety after all, and my works that would tell of their adventures would ensure their heroism was never forgotten. 

What adventures await them now? It seems Ulrik has chosen to stay with the group, having been impressed, as we all were, at how well they handled themselves. Aael mainly keeps to himself, though I am told that this is usual, while Gwenn has been fending off the advances of Orag, who seems to have decided that a new conquest is in order. Will he succeed? Only time will tell.

Continue to Chapter 2

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