This adventure was Friday February 6, 2015. All players were present.
The scene opens on a caravan coming from the civilized lands towards Riddley’s Crown. It is the middle of March, the worst of winter has passed but the weather remains wet and gloomy.
Several rowdy passengers were ejected from the wagon-train a few days previous, leaving only the caravan-master, his drivers and security-men, and the seven travelers (WEE JACK, XORN, JERE COLLADO and his donkey, NOOMFOODLE GOBBLIEGOOK PANN, JACOB LIGHT-BRINGER, PFRIEM DARKSTRONG, and ARIANA).
About ten days after leaving the capital city, caravan stops at an unremarkable signpost beside the bumpy trade route. Here, a footpath disappears north into a bog. Two armed half-Orcs (swordsman NPC TEMSZ and archer NPC BLENTS) wait by the signpost.
The caravan crew unloads cargo. The caravan master and half-Orcs exchange small parcels of valuables and correspondence. The characters overhear a disagreement between them. The half-Orcs are angry because the caravan is hours late, and arrives without laborers to carry supplies to the enclave. The caravan master feels this is not his problem; once the passengers and supplies for Riddley’s Crown are off his wagons, the caravan is on its way again.
The characters lend a hand – everyone takes at least one bag or box or canvas-wrapped parcel. Jere Collado loads up his donkey. The half-Orcs lead the group into the bog, following a kilometer of winding trails. There are three sagging foot-bridges -poorly constructed, slick, and dangerously narrow- spanning deep, still water. One by one, the characters must Balance their way across. Sorceress Ariana uses spells to teleport Jere Collado’s donkey across the first two. The last one is wide enough for the beast to walk.
Urged to hurry by the half-Orcs, the group manages to safely cross almost all the rickety walkways. Pfriem Darkstrong fails a Balance check and slips off into the cold bog water. His armour helps him fail a Swim check to tread water. Then he fails a Fort save to hold his breath, and falls unconscious and sinks deeper. Wee Jack, thinking quickly, dives in after the drowning Human. The Gnome Barbarian recovers Pfriem and pulls him to safety. The Cleric coughs up some nasty bog-water and is soaking-wet, but is otherwise unharmed.
Reaching the edge of the bog, the group emerges into low hills. It is only a couple kilometers’ hike to Riddley’s Crown. Off in the distance, some characters hear what sounds like a trumpet blast. This makes the half-Orcs even more anxious to make haste.
A cluster of zombies is close by! Sighting the group, the undead shamblers make their way over. The half-Orcs hang back near the nervous donkey and its cargo. The group moves in to fight, but Jacob Light-Bringer decides to Turn the zombies. His display of divine power drives off the interlopers.
The hills flatten out into grasslands as the group moves north. Off in the distance, despite the low cloud and mist, they spot other clusters of zombies, aimlessly wandering in random directions. The characters can now see Riddley’s Crown. It looks smaller than expected. A glow of light comes from within, but no light sources are directly visible from outside.
Near the entrance to the enclave, Jere Collado’s donkey panics and bolts as soon as the last of its burden is unpacked. Ranger Xorn lands a quick slash on the donkey as it streaks past him, but the half-Orc Ranger does not kill the beast.
The group passes excavations of a trench, a wooden palisade wall, a field of sharpened stakes, and stops outside the barbican gate at the tall stone wall of Riddley’s Crown. They notice two lines of colored stones delineating a cone outside the gate. Ordered to stand within this cone, a half-Orc guard up on the wall casts Detect Undead on the group. They are okay; the main gate is opened to quickly admit the incoming group and its cargo. Entering the enclave, the group stops as instructed beside the administrator’s building.
(end of Part 1)