Crown of the Dead [D&D v.3.5] – Part 5

This adventure was Friday March 6, 2015. All players were present except G.R. and T.R.  A.T. has joined the game.

The morning’s encounter took a lot out of the group. They are lounging around the Main Hall, recovering their strength, when a newcomer arrives in Riddley’s Crown. He is RAYGAR BRIGHTBLADE (played by A.T.), a stoic, no-nonsense Human Paladin in splint armor with wooden shield. Administrator Lumberg seems pleased to have a Paladin in the enclave, and is delighted to omit large parts of his welcoming speech regarding most of the rules.

Inspired by the Paladin’s zeal to go find and fight undead, the adventurers will join him in a foray back out into the wild. Ariana and Pfriem Darkstrong elect to go on guard duty for the day; everyone else arms up and meets at the gate. Gnome Rogue Noomfoodle Gobbliegook Pann convinces the group that there is considerable profit to be made constructing new bridges in the bog. The Gnome believes he can build safer and stronger crossings; first he must examine the build sites and take measurements.

The group encounters no zombies on their trek south to the edge of the bog. The low hills of this area are vacant, as when Raygar passed hours ago. Cautiously the group follows the winding path into the bog, returning to the last bridge they crossed when coming north from the trade route. This is the crossing where Pfriem slipped and fell in, to be heroically rescued by Wee Jack. Splint-mailed Paladin Brightblade stays well back of the water’s edge. It is debatable whether he or heavily-armoured Jere Collado would fare worse if they fell in.

Noomfoodle Gobbliegook Pann sets to work sizing up the job. The existing bridge is hopeless; the wood is weathered and warped, the supports are inadequate, it is too narrow – everything about the crossing begs to be torn down and replaced entirely with new. Wee Jack suggests species of wood to use. Xorn believes the new bridge should be wide enough for carts to cross.

As they discuss, the group makes Spot and Listen checks. They notice nothing. A minute later, another Spot and Listen check. This time, Wee Jack and Jere Collado are alerted to movement in the dark water.

They have noticed four Lizardfolk warriors, mostly submerged, sneaking up on them. The group braces for a fight. Hoping to head off conflict, Jacob Light-Bringer and Xorn address the reptilian fighters in Draconic. This gives the would-be ambushers pause. One Lizardfolk, the toughest-looking and presumably the leader, emerges alone from the water. It has a spear in hand, but not brandished in a threatening fashion. The scaly creature looks over the landfolk with suspicion. Then it, Jacob, and Xorn engage in cautious but ultimately peaceful dialogue.

The Cleric and the Ranger learn that the Lizardman and his scouts are on patrol at the edge of their territory. They come from a village deep in the bog to the east. The reptilian leader is curious why the Humans and short-Humans are at this site. Jacob explains about rebuilding the bridges. The scouting leader expresses concern that the “offerings” made to his people may stop if a new bridge is made. Jacob translates this odd statement into Common for the benefit of his associates. Wee Jack realizes that the Lizardfolk believe the items accidentally dropped into the bog or sunk on drowned adventurers, are ritualistic offerings made to them as tribute.

For the sake of peacemaking, Jacob Light-Bringer makes vague assurances that the “gifts” are sure to continue with a new foot-bridge in place. Xorn even offers the possibility of trade between the enclave and the Lizardfolk village. This receives a lukewarm response.

Seeing no threat from these adventurers, the Lizardfolk scouts move along, disappearing back into the murky depths.

Noomfoodle has all the measurements and visual reference he needs. There are some questions he would ask of Administrator Lumberg back at the enclave. The group hikes out of the bog and heads north. They run into a pack of seven decently-equipped zombies, among them dead Elves, Humans, a Halfling and half-Orc. It would be a challenging fight had Jacob Light-Bringer not blasted them instantly to dust with his Greater Turning ability.

Aware by the sound of horn-blast that the gates will be closed in an hour, the group quickly loots the powdered remains. As they leave the low hills behind and reach level plains, the adventurers spot a large swarm of zombies, perhaps fifteen or twenty, milling around the outer wood wall to the west of Riddley’s Crown. This swarm is slowly edging around toward the main gate.

Rushing to beat them there, the adventurers just make it through the defenses and the Detect Undead scan before the zombies get too close. Safely inside the enclave, the group is a bit surprised at the nonchalance of Riddley’s Crown’s residents. Lumberg is reclining on his porch lounger, absently calling to Norrick for updates. The half-Orc guard captain and two of his men are up on the walls, monitoring the swarm. Even Jenny, cooking up dinner in the Main Hall’s tiny kitchen, is barely interested in the undead’s proximity to her home.

The gate of Riddley’s Crown is locked for the night, and accommodations have been paid for. Collado sells off some items to Dredburn and has gems appraised that were found on the zombies. Pann sell off weapons to Lanna Riis. The smith is obsessively carving a Gnome-sized wooden greatclub. Newcomer Raygar Brightblade visits Sister Janus, who seems amused by the presence of a Paladin in this region. He then looks in on the blacksmith, and asks after unique weapons, such as a Scourge.

 

(end of Part 5)

 

Xorn is now Level 2.

Wee Jack is now Level 2.

Jere Collado is now Level 2.

 

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D&D player.
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