Adventuring Party (Level 3)
Nuriel: Deva Invoker of Bahamut
Galanthal: Elven Ranger/Cleric of Pelor
Amarth: Human Paladin/Fey-Pact Warlock
Sten: Gnome Bard
Gertrude: Goliath Battlemind
- Galanthal returns unexpectedly, mounted on his warhorse. He has been scouting the road ahead.
- He has learned that a large band, which the adventurers have been following, entered the farmstead from the King’s Road, but a smaller group later rejoined the same road about a mile further down.
- Galanthal knows that this enclave of farmsteads, located in the midst of the wilderness between Fallcrest and Winterhaven, is a religious community of devout Pelorians founded by the fervent layman Brandon Clive.
- The farmstead to which the adventurers pursued the traveling contingent is the home of Brandon Clive and his family.
- The heads on the spikes at the gate of the farmstead belong to Brandon Clive and his teenage daughter Linny Clive.
- Entering the farmstead, Galanthal rides up to greet Nuriel, Sten and Amarth, who are standing on the porch.
- Galanthal is able to identify the headless bodies tied to the columns of the porch as those of Brandon and Linny.
- The remaining three bodies belong to Brandon’s younger daughter and his two young sons. There is no sign of his wife Leticia.
- Gertrude and Sten investigate the kitchen and the dining room.
- From the doorway, Gertrude sees two dogs laying on the floor of the dining room.
- Sten approaches one of the dogs, in an attempt to feed it and thus determine whether or not it is a threat.
- The dog turns it’s dead and mutilated gaze upon Sten, lunging at him.
- Sten recognizes the dogs as what certain tomes refer to as “gravehounds”—the undead remains of once living hounds
- The group engages the gravehounds and dispatch them quickly.
- Gertrude investigates the family china. She determines that it would probably be worth a few gold coins, but the group would have to haul it all the way back to Fallcrest without breaking it.
- The party elects to proceed to the second story.
- On the landing at the top of the stairs, they find the headless body of an adult woman in a dress and apron.
- At the top of the stairs, Galanthal hears the faint sound of several bodies shifting position somewhere beyond the door to the upper floor.
- Gertrude moves through the door, edging carefully down the hallway. She opens the first door on the right.
- The open door reveals the master bedroom. A figure in a black cloak and helmet is on its knees on the bed, with its back to Gertrude. A spear lays next to it on the bed. When the creature turns, Gertrude sees that the creature is wearing scale mail beneath its cloak. The face below the helm is covered in decaying flesh.
- The creature grabs its spear and stabs at Gertude.
- At the same time, the door at the end of the hall opens, and several more rotting zombies enter the hall. They are also clad in scale mail. They carry spears, javelins and flails.
- Nuriel senses something is not quite right about these zombies—they move like living creatures, not like the walking dead.
- Sten recognizes that their adversaries are really hobgoblins—creatures of living flesh and blood—which have been disguised to appear as zombies.
- The creature on the bed rises, wraps himself in the black cloak trimmed in scarlet, and begins shouting orders to the rest of his commando unit.
- The party makes short work of the hobgoblins. At the last moment, the commander, who is gravely wounded, attempts to escape out the window and across the roof of the porch. As he desperately attempts to shimmy down one of the columns to the ground, however, he slips and falls, breaking his neck.
- The last surviving hobgoblin follows his commander out the window. He makes it to the ground successfully, but as he is running for the gate, Gertrude knocks him off-balance a well-timed leap from the roof of the porch.
- Amarth finishes the fleeing hobgoblin with eldritch flames from the atop the roof.