The Thorton farmstead was overrun by thick, dark, twisted foliage—it covered the ground as far as the eye could see. The dwellings were torn apart by the rampant growth of the corrupted vegetation, split from within. The cellar was completely missing from the farmhouse and it sank at an odd angle into the wet, dark earth. Off in the distance, the zombies seem agitated and congregated around something.
The rogue elected to scout out the situation, finding that there was a depression in the earth the zombies were milling into. This seemed harmless enough except for the fact that enormous vines constantly whipped out of the pit to grab a zombie and drag it below out of sight, a horrible grinding, slurping sound accompanying its disappearance. Even worse, the necromatic sigils missing from the cellar were glowing with violet light etched onto the vines. After receiving this information, the party elected to let the unknown thing have its fill of undead. A few minutes later no zombies remained, and the earth began to shudder.
After a few minutes of trying to determine the best course of action, the thing attacked. The beast erupted out of the earth, a colossal form of vines and mud split by a gaping maw that stank of fetid earth. Several gargantuan vines reached for members of the party and sought to grip them. Those lucky enough to shrug off the attack began pelting the beast and it’s arms with steel and spells, managing to free those who had been dragged to its mouth before they had vanished into the hungering maw.
Hurt, the creature retreated the stumps of its arms and dove beneath the surface of the earth only to emerge under an unfortunate party member or two to swallow them. The party’s efforts redoubled when one or more of their compatriots disappeared into the depths of the terrible creature. They managed to force the creature to expel those it had eaten by dealing enough punishment, vomited up in a torrent of steaming, sizzling ichor.
At the brink of death, the beast employed both of its previous tactics together; the party barely managed to survive the onslaught before felling the terrible creature. After taking a short breather they burned the remnants of the creature, a giant shambling mound, and witnessed the dissipation of the necromantic energies plaguing the farm. As they made their way to the hamlet of Kellet, a new plume of smoke trailed in the sky—but this time, it originated in the direction they were headed.
Kellet was burning, yet there were no screams—only whistling was heard above the roar of the flames. Upon entering the palisade, the party found a strange sight: a huge wagon, piled high with the bodies of every single living soul in the hamlet, being loaded there by a towering, armored skeletal being. Another stood still, holding a sword to a kneeling, broken figure—Gottik. And another form, a tall, cloaked figure whistling a jaunty tune and dancing a tiny two-step. He introduced himself as Gil’nean and conversed with the party at length (in the most eccentric and flamboyant way conceivable). In the end, the party got some answers and they were offered employment under Gil’nean—Gottik began to awaken at one point and was swiftly headbutt into submission by the warlock. The party neither accepted or declined the offer, and were given a LARGE sack of gems as an incentive to consider it. Before they left, Gil’nean gave them a wand in order to “get in touch with him” and he allowed the party to leave, but not before the tiny barbarian managed to find her innkeeper friend and pull her to safety. Counting their lucky stars the party headed north, watching in the distance as skeletal dragon swooped down into Kellet and picked up the body wagon to fly it away elsewhere. Hoping to find more answers in Dagger Falls, the party set out to beat the undead horde there.