It was raining and miserable as the party passed the crossroads deep in the woods. The half-rotted sign pointed to a village or town not far ahead, and they were more than anxious for a bit of rest. Strange howling haunted them as they moved quickly down the road, and it was soon revealed by Umlot to be a pack of ravenous, undead wolves. Despite being outnumbered, the party made short work of them with Theren the Paladin and Umlot the Goliath Runepriest stepping forward to keep most of them from reaching the rest of the group. One slipped by and attacked Odoeta, but he was, for some reason, immune to the necrotic damage the wolf was dealing. After dispatching the creatures, they moved fast down the road and found the town of Silmar to be surrounded by a hastily erected palisade wall and a guardhouse at the front gate. The guards were obviously not soldiers, and seemed to barely know what end of a sword to hold, but the group wanted no trouble and submitted to their questions. Soon, they were escorted to the inn where they would be allowed to stay before being questioned further in the morning.
The next day, the town elder Collith was escorted into the inn to question the party about their activities the night before and to eventually plead for them to help his town. He explains that about a year ago, strange creatures began to appear in the woods to the East of the town, attacking anyone they saw. Six months ago, people began to disappear, and about one month ago his own daughter Anna vanished. Theren immediately offered his help to these people in need and the rest of the party quickly got in line behind him. Collith told them that their town had precious little to give, but he would speak to the apothecary about getting them some supplies.
Umlot took a few minutes to wander around the town, gazing longingly at the snowcapped mountains far to the East beyond the forest while Odoeta attempted to refine a few of his “spells” in the town square. Theren, Corrin and Sereya left the inn a few minutes latter and were going to proceed onto the apothecary’s when Umlot suddenly waved them over, gesturing towards a small alley between two buildings. There, a robed figure had just snatched a girl off the street, gagging her in the process and dragging her off into the shadows. As they ran towards the Goliath to join him, three more figures in matching robes moved to cut them off before they could reach the alley. Theren pointed for the other side of the building and told the two rouges and mage “Go! Get the girl!” while he ran forward with Umlot to meet the other three.
Fearing for the girl, Odoeta did not attack the robed figure directly, but instead directed a bolt of energy at the ground near the gap in the palisade wall that the figure was running towards. With an amazing amount of precision, the blast hit the wall in an exacting manor to collapse it down into the gap rather than blowing the hole bigger. It would not stop the runner, but it would force him to slow down. When it reached the wall, the robed figure dropped the girl to start ripping at the wooden barricade, and was quickly hit by bolts from Corrin’s crossbow and knives thrown by Sereya. After a few hits, the robe fell back, revealing a horrific face that looked stitched together of loose skin. A few moments latter, and that skin was completely ripped off, revealing an animated skeleton underneath that was quickly destroyed. They then ran back to the building where their outnumbered allies were holding their own against three more of the flesh-suited skeletons and helped them dispatch the creatures with little further trouble.
After making sure the girl was alright, Umlot and Corrin went to visit the town apothecary and get ready to head out as quickly as possible. They were a bit surprised to find out that Innith was a Drow, but spent little time talking to him as daylight was burning and they were hunting undead. Taking the sack of provisions, including a handful of healing potions, they set off to follow the skeletons path through the woods. Once on the trail, it was incredibly easy to follow. These creatures did nothing to hide their path and moved in an almost completely strait line. Pausing to rest for a moment in a clearing where the tracks seemed to stop, everyone was shocked when three zombie creatures burst out of the ground and four dark shadows whipped around attacking Theren and Umlot. While they fought off the shadow wisps and were taking slight, but constant hits from them, the largest of the zombies leaped up onto Odoeta, grabbing him and dragging him off into the woods. He managed to blast himself free and the creature dropped as if it were dead, but soon after stood back up again. A fierce battle raged, but the party was able to dissipate the shadows and send all of the zombies back to their graves permanently.
The largest zombie had not come out of the dirt though. It appeared that it had burst forth from a trap door of some kind covering the entrance to a tomb. Slipping down inside, they found a large open space with a small antichamber where a mage of some sort stood behind a summoning circle that held a half-formed demon within it. A sobbing woman was chained near the summoner, holding a book of dark rituals for him while more townspeople were locked up in cages along the side. The Summoner ignored the party at first, letting his minions move in. First a group of rotting zombies that were quickly dispatched by an arching blast of Odoeta’s that seemed to bounce from one to the next and a few crossbow bolts from Corrin and a thrown knife from Sereya. Two more large zombies moved in, followed by two more of the flesh suited skeletons. Sereya moved forward, intent on disrupting the ritual and secure in her safety with Theren at her side…right up until one of the large zombies grabbed him and dragged him off as far away from it’s master as it could. Having moved towards the center of the room to get a clear shot at the Summoner, Odoeta was also grabbed and dragged off by a large zombie. Corrin and Umlot took on the flesh skeletons, keeping them occupied but leaving Sereya on her own, peeking around a corner into the antichamber at the summoner.
Hands trembling slightly, Sereya let fly with a throwing knife, intent on knocking the ritual book away from the girl. She was successful, but the knife went through the girls hand first. With the book away, the Summoner stepped forward angrily and shot forth a blast of arcane energy that ripped into Odoeta as he was held by the zombie, nearly killing him. Umlot grunted and shook away from a skeleton to place a powerful Rune of healing upon his friend while taking severe damage himself. Corrin danced around the attacks of the skeletons, slipping his own blade in and out of their defenses as quickly as he could. Umlot helped to free Odoeta from the zombie’s grasp, but the zombie immediately attacked Umlot instead, grabbing him and trying to rend him in half.
Sereya took a few quick steps and flew through the air, spinning and flipping in a way that had gained her so much applause over the years and landed with her feet on the Summoners shoulders. In an instant, her hands flew down, stabbing him with a pair of knives and then kicking off, flipping back towards the corner of the antichamber, grabbing it with one hand and sliding around it out of his sight. Enraged, the Summoner began to hurl shocking energies at anyone he could see, each hit dazing anyone nearby. Umlot threw the zombie off of himself and into the stone wall of the back of the chamber, crushing it into a disgusting pulp. Theren finally finished off his zombie as well after freeing himself and being grabbed again several times. Sereya stepped back to help the others finish off the skeletons when the Summoner hit them all with a powerful, thunderous blast that shook them to the core. Only Umlot was outside the radius of this attack and did not let his safety go to waste. He ran across the entire tomb, barreling into the Summoner, grabbing him and pulling him to the ground. Sereya and Corrin quickly shook off the dazing effect of the spell and raced up to attack the exposed Summoner. Sereya hit him with a brutal stab of her knives and Corrin finished him off with a powerful slash of his short sword to his neck.
Theren, back on his feet, ignored the calls of the summoned demon to free it for great rewards and plucked the ritual book away from Odoeta…turning it right-side up in the process. He quickly found the ritual that was being performed and chanted the words of power that would cancel it and safely banish the demon back to it’s own Hellish realm. Sereya and Corrin opened the locks of the cages, releasing the grateful townspeople and assuring them that everything would be alright. The woman that was compelled to help the Summoner ran to his body and began to kick and punch violently at it, screaming and sobbing until she was pulled away. She told them that she had somehow been placed in his power and was not able to refuse anything he asked. She thanked Corrin gratefully for freeing her with his killing blow, and rewarded him with an amulet she had stolen from the Summoner.
The town threw a massive festival for the safe return of their people, and Collith rewarded the party with a few trinkets left over from his adventuring days. They are treated to a night of heroic celebration before collapsing to sleep in their rooms at the inn, each one wondering what the next day would bring.