Monster Hunters

Feed Me, Seymore!
And the arson award goes to....

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.

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News/Updates
Rules, wikis, etc.

I’ve put up the new session recap, as well as added to the wiki pages for rules. I strongly recommend you give the wiki pages a read through to get a little more familiar with the rules to speed up play: Rules, House Rules, Combat Actions

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Benson, Henson, Lenson, Renson.....and Kenson?
MOAR ZAMBIES

Leaving the smoking remnants of the last three farmsteads behind them, the party advanced towards the Renson family land. The sound of battle could clearly be heard before the farmstead in question came into view. After taking a moment to listen further, the party determined that the metallic clanging was a bit too rhythmic for a proper battle—this sounded like training. Scouting the farm revealed that a skeletal squad of militia-men were performing sword and archery drills with the discipline of undeath.

The party stealthily made their way toward the only entrance of the camp, aiming to get behind some conveniently placed cover when the cleric stepped into a tripwire. A couple hundred pounds of rock and dirt plummeted from the foothills on either side of the entrance to batter the poor, poor cleric, but more importantly gained the attention of the skeletons. The battle was quick and dirty, with the skeletons exhibiting a level of tactics not shown by their zombie counterparts. The rogue took a fair amount of damage from the archers that waited for him to come out of hiding as he attempted to ignite the barracks with a spell. The barbarian proved EVEN MORE valuable in combat as her bone greatclub proved to be especially deadly against the skeletons. The bard sat high and dry, taking carefully aimed potshots at important targets.The warlock fell to the combined assault of several of the footmen, yet managed to escape with her life thanks to the quick casting of the cleric.

The battle over and all the skeletons reduced to scattered piles of bone, the party searched and burned every single structure within sight to the ground. After a lengthy rest, they set out for the Kenson farmstead, four trails of smoke now behind them.

The terrain grew even rockier, with enormous boulders not even the strongest of men could hope to move. However, dozens of these boulders evenly dotted the path marking the road towards the Kenson land. Hundreds more lined the edge of the farmland itself, which was the largest of all the farms the party had encountered yet. Far off in the distance two hulking forms could be seen milling around along with a clump of smaller, humanoid-sized ones. The rogue elected to sneak up and assess the situation. Upon closer inspection, the larger forms were revealed to be ogres—at least, they were in life. These creatures were missing an extremity or two, gave off the now-familiar sweet, cloying smell of a corpse sitting overlong in the sun, and mindlessly ambled about.

After the rogue rejoined the party, a plan was quickly formed. The party backtracked to a position that was just within arrow and bolt range, set up a firing line, performed their ritual of choice at the prospect of imminent death, and began to fire. The first salvo did not seem to mind the first ogre. In fact, he did not seem to take notice of the trio of projectiles protruding from his ample gut except to turn his dead gaze toward their owners and start lumbering over at a gait noticeably quicker than the average-sized zombie. The rest of the zombies began to take chase as well, the smaller ones quickly dragging behind the two giant ogres.

The party began perform tactical retreats. Fire, move back a set distance, reset firing line, fire again. In this way they managed to get off enough salvos to bring down the first ogre before even his stench reached them. This was indeed a good thing, as the ogre in question erupted into necrotic energy, showering tendrils of violet light that lanced outward in an enormous radius around him. The only other target within range was the second ogre. Instead of withering away and melting as the foliage did, the violet light began to course and arc through the giant zombie until its bare sockets burned indigo and pieces of it’s flesh began to flake off. Far from being destroyed, the ogre began to move blindingly quickly and made short work of the distance between it and the party.

After a desperate round of spells and attacks the ogre closed with the unfortunate warlock, whom had landed a particularly devastating blow against the creature. Thanks to a handy spell tossed out by the bard, the ferocious lunge missed by a hair. The party swiftly brought down the dangerous foe with a combination of good tactics, proper planning, a a little bit of luck. The resulting necrotic explosion brought many to their knees, and a couple to the ground. The zombie stragglers were dealt with easily, and the party recovered from their wounds before tending to the arson.

Collecting themselves after another rest the more experienced party set out for the final homestead. The day grew shorter as the path became more and more overgrown with thick, dark roots twisted and contorted by the darkness in the soil—one could have sworn that a few of them had moved…

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Necromancer Jeff Revealed! ...and Promptly Murdered!
Zaaaaambies

After being collected by Gottik, our adventurers found themselves in the small hamlet of Kettel in Daggerdale, one of the city states in the Dalelands. The moon was full and Gottik irritable and extremely unhelpful. He told the party to “handle it” while devouring steaks that he requested rarer and rarer.

“Handling it” took the form of conversing with the Mayor of Kettel, a tiny Halfling ex-adventurer named Iridian Tallfellow. He informed the party that there have been many reports of undead terrorizing the outlying farmsteads and that some have resulted in the kidnapping of live farmers. He mentioned how odd it was that the the clerics of Lathandar from the capital of Dagger Falls had not come down to be of assistance (since Lathandar is a god who especially hates the undead). He implored you to investigate these matters with the promise of reward. He also told you to speak to Farmer Joe Benson for more information.

One hike later the party found the homestead of Farmer Joe, who after being reassured of the party’s good intentions informed them of the undead attacks and the disappearance of his son, whom he asked for rescue and safe return.

The Henson farmstead was riddled with zombies which were dispatched easily enough after the brave Cleric was brought down swiftly after combat began. The basement contained powerful necromantic sigils which the party did not trust for a second. Throwing caution to the wind, they decided complete and utter destruction of the house and cellar to be the best course of action. They rested as the homestead burnt to a crisp and collapsed into a giant pile of embers.

A marble was recovered from one of the corpses, revealing to the Rogue several things—a figure in a black cloak had killed many people and created the zombies and the sigils, and that Farmer Joe’s son had been killed (this was his marble). Deciding to head back to Farmer Joe with the bad news, the party traveled back without incident.

After inviting them in, Farmer Joe revealed himself to be Necromancer Jeff and that he was to blame for the undead menace. After a brutal fight, Necromancer Jeff was slain and the house looted and then promptly destroyed. A perusal of his cloak gave the party insight into another 4 homesteads that held the same sigils. Deciding to finish the job, the party traveled to the next home.

The Lenson farmstead had MANY children, which attacked in concert to swarm and overwhelm the party. They proved easy enough to dispatch and the homestead was cleared of zombies without casualties. Both the main house and the playhouse were searched and burned, leaving a 3rd trail of smoke hanging high in the sky.

After taking a brief rest, the adventurers began making their way toward the Kenson homestead…

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