Cast- The King’s Recruits: Horam, Kriv, Edran, Hemmingway
Guest starring: Mok
Rings of NPCness: Mia, Nimaketh, and Gareth 2.0
Noteworthy NPCs: General Fletcher
General Fletcher meets with the party and discusses their next course of action. With the wererats effectively beaten out of the fight, the Platinum Knights need to use their momentum to find ways to rout Mepo’s forces in Erelhor. According to Intel the leader of the undead, when not personally overseeing his various forces typically resides and operates within the Midnight Marshes, located in the east of the realm.
Recent reports have suggested that a Temple of the Raven Queen, located on the edges of the marsh realms, has been overrun and sequestered by the undead forces.
This report disturbs Horam and Kriv, both worshippers of the goddess of death and natural order. Horam in particular cannot abide the fact that the temple is being defiled, and the dead are being raised to bolster Mepo’s forces. The party accept orders to investigate and reclaim the divine temple. Fletcher provides the party with horses owned by the Platinum Knights. Even on the horseback, the journey will take 5 days to reach the temple.
Planning to leave at first light the next day, the party make their own plans for the rest of the day. Horam takes the time to tend to the dying refugees, victims of the wererat attacks. He administers last rites and help to ease the transition for those who are bound to meet the Raven Queen. Hemmingway makes his way to the city council and assists with the relief efforts to provide food to the new refugee sectors that are being established in the city. The war general also makes suggestions to the city council to erect quarantine zones within the refugee sectors, to separate the sick and injured. The council agree wholeheartedly to implement these ideas
Kriv takes the time to visit the capital and listen in on the local politics. During a session with the King and Privy Council, Kriv overhears that the local police forces are concerned with growing reports of kidnappings and murders. This underbelly of Rovnol have been murdering random civilians and refugees, often removing ears and leaving unique mutilations as calling cards.
Edran remains at the Platinum Spire to speak to General Fletcher about their destination. The Midnight Marshes, located to the east, are a dangerous and untamed wilderness. It represents the eastern frontier of the kingdom of Erelhor. Humans and kingdom races sparsely populate the marsh, as the geography is more suited to lizard folk. The Lizard folk inhabit the marshes, and they regularly trade with the nearby kingdom settlements.
Being close to the Temple of the Raven Queen, large sections of the Marsh borderlands are devoted to cemeteries and tombs. Latest reports suggest that the area is now thick with necrotic energies, a result of Mepo’s actions.
THE NEXT DAY…
The party buy extra rations for the journey. General Fletcher presents the party with their new capes, symbols of their status as a Platinum Knight.
The party are to be accompanied by a fellow Knight, a half-orc barbarian called Mok. The half-orc is impressed with the party’s actions at Thedanwald and wishes to help them in their quest.
Departing at first light, the party travel north through sparse farmlands. Many of the fields had been abandoned during the wererat attacks, and are now being reclaimed by the farmers, the area now safe again.
The day is uneventful and the group set camp at the northern crossroads at evening.
Kriv takes first watch. While on second watch, Edran, feeling uneasy, uses his arcane to detect a small life force very close to the camp. He rouses the others awake immediately. No one spots anything, but the figure is still close, apparently invisible. Kriv breathes fires into the air, creating a smoke screen. Edran again spots a shape flying through the smog, but it quickly departs out of range.
As the party settle down, Horam observes with insight that Edran appears unhappy with Kriv. The avenger takes the dragonborn aside and inquires whether he has done anything to anger Edran. Kriv responds that he is unsure, and remarks that he can only differentiate two emotions on the quiet eladrin—happy and neutral.
Horam decides to keep this quiet and continues to observe Edran.
As the camp settles down, Edran performs the alarm ritual over the campsite, to alert them if the creature returns.
THE NEXT DAY…
The rest of the watch is uneventful and the party break camp at first light. Heading east now the group travel beside the towering Yorgnole Mountains, home to the dwarves of Erelhor. Kriv begins to try and educate Mok on his worldviews pertaining to the hillfolk.
The weather becomes very cold this far north and some of the party members cannot endure the cold temperatures.
The day is uneventful and the company set up camp again. Edran casts the alarm ritual again.
The alarm is triggered during Mok’s watch. The camp rouses and begins to search for the creature. Edran’s elven eyes spot the creature in flight. Kriv identifies the creatures as an Imp. The older members of the party like Horam, Kriv and Hemmingway, suggest that the Imp may be a servant of Terios, a rogue cleric who has betrayed the party some weeks ago in Sparrowsport. It appears that Terios is tailing the movements of the party, this being his second infiltration .
THE NEXT DAY…
The company continues east. At midday they begin to cross the famous dwarven bridge. On the far side they spot an overturned wagon. Horam sneaks ahead and smells corpses. It appears that these farmers had been trying to flee the wererat hordes days ago, and had not been successful. Horam wishes to bury the dead, assisted by Edran and Hemmingway. They administer the last rites to the dead, scavenge the wagon and continue to head east.
As the party journey on, they begin to spot road signs covered in thick spider webs. Mok thinks that this is unusual, spiders being this far west of the marshes.
They spot smoke rising in the direction of Til.
By evening the party are riding over the mountain pass adjacent to Til. They observe that the small trading town has been overrun. The deathly quiet village was covered in spider webs and ash. Presumably the town had been attacked during the wererat attack. Believing the town to be lost, its population having fled or been slaughtered, the party consider launching artillery magic to kill the spiders and undead that roam the streets.
Mok is against the idea, and they decide to approach the town to make sure that there are no survivors.
Horam sneaks ahead of the party. The entire town has become a feeding ground for the undead and spiders. Corpses live on the ground, either eaten by the undead or cocooned by the spiders. The ground is covered in thick spiderweb, making the terrain difficult to cross.
Peering from underneath a windmill, Horam spots two undead lizard ghouls mutilating a corpse in the street.
The ghouls spot Horam (with a critical roll!) and the battle begins.
The two ghouls rush Horam, overpowering his defences, managing to stun and immobilise him with their necrotic poisons. Mok, Hemmingway and Kriv join the battle. As they do, several spider swarms descend from the adjacent roof and surround the party. The spiders begin attacking from all sides. One large albino spider shoots a web and immobilises Mok to the side of a nearby barn. Edran recognises the albino spider as a Fey Spider, a deadly arachnid from the fey wild, unique for it’s teleporting abilities. While Hemmingway and Kriv attack the ghouls, Horam continues to be stunned and immobilised by their poisons. Kriv makes a daring move to shift the avenger out of danger, breathing fire down the alleyway. Edran, from behind the fighters blazes the spider swarms with scorching bursts. As he does so, the windmill begins to catch on fire, the old wood acting as fire to arcane flames.
While one spider retreats, the Fey Spider teleports behind Mok, and covers him in thick webs. The large albino begins to draw the half-orc closer to its gnashing mandibles.
Mok, still covered in thick web, spins around and unleashes his full bloodseeker’s rage upon the Fey Spider, smashing its head in with his stone hammer. He kills it outright in one massive hit.
Edran tries to immolate a ghoul and the spider swarms simultaneously in fire, but he also manages to scorch Kriv with fire damage.
Meanwhile, as Hemmingway kills one ghoul, Horam, finally free of the necrotic venom that had stunned and immobilised him, obliterates the last ghoul by abjuring the undead creature.
Edran concludes the combat by using his beguiling strands to launch the last spider off the burning windmill, causing it to fall 60ft to the ground.
The creatures have been destroyed, but it is obvious that Til has been destroyed. The party search the remaining houses in town. They recover a suit of armour, and accumulate 50gp. In one house, the party cut open some cocoons to find a rage drake and a female human. Both are unconscious, poisoned by the spiders, but still alive.
Edran spots a dragon mark or tattoo on the woman’s cheek. He recognises this as a common mark amongst sorcerers, wildling folk who have been self trained in the ways of magic.
After the unconscious wildling and drake are loaded onto the wagon, Horam leads the others in the task of recovering the dead. The last rites are given to the bodies. The bodies are then placed on the smouldering windmill of Til, turning it into a ceremonial pyre. The innocent people who died defending their homes were honoured and prayed for, and the pyre was set on fire.
As the pyre began to burn, sending smoke and ash into the night sky, the party mounted up and continued to head east. They did not dare look back at the remnants of Til….
1. 50 gp to be divided amongst party
2. -3 day rations from personal kits
3. -10 gp residium from Edran’s personal stores.