Crown of the Dead [D&D v.3.5] – Part 6

This adventure was Friday March 13, 2015. All players were present except G.R., T.R., and B.P.

There is no business to conduct in the waning hours of the day. The zombie swarm outside the enclave poses no immediate threat. The adventurers turn in for the night; Wee Jack comfortable in the stables, the rest of the group in the bunks of the barracks.

Wee Jack is the first to rise early the next morning. From the narrow lookouts on the enclave wall, the Gnome Barbarian is surprised to find that the crowd of zombies left hours ago. Under a partly-cloudy but otherwise fine Spring sky, he sees smaller, random clusters of zombies wandering the plains.

Paladin Raygar Brightblade insists on a decent breakfast before adventuring. Ranger Xorn is slower than usual to be ready. They, Wee Jack, Jere Collado, and Rogue-or-Cleric-or-Wizard Noomfoodle Gobbliegook Pann (this Gnome has taken to being amusingly evasive about his occupation) leave the enclave by mid-morning.

The garden is their first stop. Survival checks are all disappointing; no-one finds any edibles. Xorn searches for hops but comes up empty. A close cluster of zombies – three undead Orcs, a half-Orc, a Halfling, and a Human – takes notice of the adventurers. In lieu of finding breakfast, Wee Jack’s group attacks them.

An Orc zombie in shoddy scale-mail drops Rogue/Wizard Pann with a heavy chop of its battle-axe. Jere Collado Turns half of the zombies before healing his fallen comrade. All the zombies are defeated, some in melee, the rest as they flee Collado’s holy invocation. The half-Orc zombie hit Wee Jack and Brightblade; both succeed on their Fort save to avoid infection. Various items of mundane value, plus a Masterwork dagger, are recovered.

In the near-distance the group Spots another band of zombies. Raygar Brightblade and Xorn see that these six are undead Elves, and they wear matching green scarves. These zombies are shambling in the group’s general direction. Collado helps Pann to his feet, and the adventurers fall back to Riddley’s Crown.

Xorn and Wee Jack visit Sister Janus; the absentminded Cleric is rearranging her collection of religious icons. She bestows healing and asks again after licorice-root. Unfortunately she cannot enlighten them about green scarves, but suggests dwarf Dredburn might.

Jere Collado comes in after they leave. Again Collado finds Sister Janus much more focused with him than with his associates. She asks of his group’s travels outside the walls, and if the young Cleric has found an old church in a farmstead cluster further east. She suggests Collado come talk to her when he does.

Noomfoodle Gobbliegook Pann enters the blacksmith’s shop to find Riis in meditation. The smith quotes the Gnome Rogue a price for a pair of Small-sized light maces that is more than he can afford. The frugal Gnome leaves to search the enclave wood-piles for logs to use as clubs. Wee Jack collects his completed great-club, which Lanna Riis has carved with special care and attention.

Dredburn has useful information for Wee Jack and Xorn. The Dwarf is familiar with the green scarf motif – it is the distinctive symbol of CORELLON’S 13th LEGION. The “13th” is a non-military guild, or gang, or association, of Elves. Many such teams make regular visits to Riddley’s Crown, hunting treasures in the wild. Dredburn does not recall the 13th here last year, but does remember a platoon of them two years ago. The enclave hosts many visitors who come and go by their own schedules; residents are never sure when adventurers have left for the season, or if they have come to a gruesome end.

Xorn wishes to sell two awful-smelling sets of Hide armor taken from this morning’s zombie hunt. Dredburn flatly refuses the disgusting wares, but pays Xorn two gold pieces to prank Lanna Riis with them. The Dwarf watches gleefully as the Ranger Moves Silently around the back of the meditating smith’s house, leaves the rank suits of armor hidden by her forge, then successfully Moves Silently away from the scene of the foul-smelling crime.

Cash in hand from trading gems and selling items, the group pays for tonight’s lodgings. Noomfoodle Gobbliegook Pann grumbles about how expensive it is to stay in the enclave. He fails an INT check and the linen document in his pocket does not occur to him.

The zombies of Corellon’s 13th Legion are the adventurer’s next target. Wee Jack climbs the wall and looks east – he can make out the six undead Elves, now about seven hundred yards to the northeast. The Gnome Barbarian and his associates make haste, passing the garden and running swiftly across the grassy plains until within a hundred feet of their prey. The rotted Elves turn to attack.

While not fast, these zombie Elves are more agile, even despite their unusual Brigandine armor. Half carry shields, the others have crossbows on their backs and fight unarmed. The adventurers spread out and force the zombies to break ranks and approach in ones and twos. A tough Elf with a Masterwork khopesh harasses Pann. The Rogue is slashed and struggles to stay out of the zombie’s reach. Wee Jack is clawed twice by a zombie Elf, Jere Collado as well. Both will resist the infection.

Xorn is a dervish of zombie-killing efficiency. The half-Orc Ranger slays two on his own, then drops a third and hurls his sickle to finish off a fourth. The khopesh-wielding Elf zombie requires the combined effort of the entire party before it is cut down.

Wee Jack hacks the zombies into bits while Jere Collado and Xorn search the bodies for treasure. Besides scimitars, daggers, Masterwork light crossbows, shields, and the Masterwork khopesh, the group finds a backpack on the lone female of the zombie horde. In the pack are seven Elvish-labelled potions (two Endure Elements, three Cure Light Wounds, two Protection From Evil) and one Elvish-labelled potion marked, “Some day”. As well, there are three nice gems, more than two hundred gold, almost two hundred silver, and some mundane items like soap, a crowbar, and a hooded lantern and lamp oil.

 

(end of Part 6)

 

Noomfoodle Gobbliegook Pann is now Level 2.

 

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About d20horizons

D&D player.
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