Recap of session 1 – As told by Rindil
After a short stay in Greyloch, Shadgith, the caravan master, moves us (the caravan) out of Greyloch heading south to the Innsha Mire marsh. The first day passes without incident, despite the fact that we have a number of groups “tagging along” with the caravan for protection. I hope Shadgith is at least charging them for traveling with us. Some elven treasure hunter joined us along with his 8 personal guards. It seemed rather extreme for a “treasure hunter” to have so many guards but he might be some eccentric that searches for treasure as a hobby. What a waste of time. I’ll have to challenge some of his guards to a duel in order to keep honing my skills. I doubt that they’ll be much of a challenge but it’s better than nothing. Travelling with this caravan has been nothing but boredom week after week. Even our last trip through Innsha Mire marsh was uneventful. So much for the “zombie infested marsh” that the locals are so scared of. Bunch of cowards; they probably just found the body of some twit that got lost in the marsh and assumed it was a zombie. Fools! The biggest things we’ve had to deal with are mosquitoes and rats. What a waste of time. We also have bunch of orphans and their nanny travelling with us. Trying to get to Byflower I hear. No doubt they’ll get on my nerves before too long, bloody little gnomes. Maybe we’ll get lucky and some of them will wander off and get lost in the marsh.
We reach the edge of the marsh without incident and meet up with that witch Nedavin. Shadgith makes a deal with her to protect us from the mosquitoes and rats, I mean zombies; bloody joke. Nedavin lights totems along the path that we’re supposed to travel. The totems probably don’t do anything other than give off an eerie glow in the dim light. At least it doesn’t seem that he’s paying her in gold. The old crackpot (Nedavin) seems to just want various supplies; probably a bunch of cow hearts, chicken intestines and dog droppings. God she looks like a mess. Shadgith should throw in some soap as well and maybe she’ll get the hint. Nedvin also had an apprentice witch “Shadow” with her this time. It’s a bloody drow and it sounds like she’ll be traveling with us through the marsh. The damn witches will probably put a curse on us at night and harvest our organs for their soup. I’ll have to tell the other guards to keep an eye on her; drow can’t be trusted. Hmmm, maybe they’re just after the orphans…This could be funny.
We traveled all day without incident, again, just like the day before and the day before that…sigh Hard for a person with my skills and reputation to stay focused when the most threatening thing we saw today was Shadgith’s wife Yarla; that one is almost as hideous as Nedavin. I can’t help but feel sorry for her personal guard Lady Gwenevere. She seems to be quite a capable knight but for some reason has opted to guard the fat lady (Yarla) who spends most of her time ordering Gwenevere around like a common servant. shrug She must trying for sainthood as well as knighthood. I guess we’re all here for our own reasons. Hessil, the owner of the bookshop, has a new assistant named Pietro. Poor Pietro is stuck dealing with that rambling old fool. Pietro seems to have developed some skills of his own though. He seems quite nimble, for a human, and seems to be able to move through camp without anyone seeing him when he wants to. Maybe I should spend some time with him in the next town we stop at. I bet with our abilities we could sneak into some lord’s mansion and wreak some havoc on the old fool.
This seems to be a caravan for apprenticeships. Even the priest Fharlanghn has an apprentice with him named Corbin. I wonder what he can do. He seems to spend most of his time studying and in prayer; probably just another nosey priest like Fharlanghn. Fharlanghn dons his armour once in a while but it’s mostly for show. The biggest challenge he’s faced is curing a group guards from food poisoning.
Then there’s poor Tro Darkeyes. Bad luck seems to follow him around like he’s been cursed or jinxed. Agar, the leader of the guards, is getting fed up with him. I’ve managed to stay on Agar’s good side by keeping the caravan from getting lost a few times and with my hunting. But it seems that Tro is never in the right place at the right time and Agar just gets mad at him. So much so that he has Tro trailing the caravan on “crossbow” duty. It’s too bad; he seems to be a skilled warrior. I’ve seen him practicing and he calls himself a “hexblade”. I’m not sure what that is but he seems to be able to handle a sword. Hopefully he’ll get a chance to prove himself soon.
Well, on to the waypoint to sleep with mosquitoes and rats…I wonder if mosquitoes can be zombies sigh
The caravan stopped for the night at the waypoint halfway through Innsha Mire marsh. We setup camp and circled the wagons for protection. Most of us were sleeping when, around 3 am, we were awakened by the screams of the orphans. The screams shocked most of us so that Tro, Agar, the rest of the guards, and I raced out of the wagons with weapons drawn but without our armour. There was a small fire burning in the middle of camp and so we were able to see that the children in the centre of the camp were being attacked by what looked like zombies. A quick survey of the camp showed us that the guards on the night watch have been killed and their torches have fallen to the ground and were almost out. As well, Nedavin’s magic totems seem to have been extinguished. Was this a trick by the witches or is something else at work. With his dark vision, Agar is able to better see what is happening and he starts barking orders at us. The guards surround the caravan and replant the torches so that we can see what we’re dealing with. The light shines out into the swamp and we can see dozens of figures moving towards us. The guards form a perimeter and prepare to fight off the invaders.
Mean while, Corbin and Lady Gwenevere have also jumped from their covered wagons. Lady Gwenevere sees what’s happening in the centre of the caravan and moves to help the orphans but then hesitates. Knowing that her first duty is to protect Shadgith and Yarla, she moves back to the wagon and pounds the side of the wagon telling them to get up and to come outside with the others. She then moves to the outside of the wagons and prepares to protect her Lord and Lady from whatever comes out of the swamp. In contrast Corbin doesn’t hesitate; he grabs two guards and charges the zombies in the centre. They throw themselves at the creatures and quickly cut down two of them. His presence alone (bless) seems to bolster the guards around him.
Agar continues to bark orders and positions himself at the entrance to the camp with several guards. Agar is fearless and continues to command the guards as he engages the zombies. Tro leads a group of guards to the east side of the camp to engage a group of zombies charging out of the darkness. Tro finally gets an opportunity to prove himself and, along with the other guards, cut down the first wave of attackers. Rindil moved to the northwest side of the camp and quickly disposed of the attackers. The zombies have the numbers on us but they’re just flesh and bones with no real fighting abilities. We all make short work of the first wave.
The first wave seems to have been a just sample of what is to come. More zombies pour from the swamp and this time there are several different kinds. Some are smaller and faster and others are stronger. Regardless of what they are they charge the camp without fear. The guards fight valiantly and are able to hold them back. Pietro also jumped into the fray and fights alongside the guards. He and some guards quickly dispose of some more of the zombies. Shadow also appears in the camp and starts casting spells. Without time to focus on her carefully I couldn’t tell if she was helping us, the zombies or just herself. Drow witch, I knew we should’ve kept a closer eye on her.
The zombies continue to charge the camp. Their sheer numbers seem to startle a number of the guards, including Tro. They break from the line and race toward the centre of the camp and coward in fear (failed save against fear). Damn Tro, this was his opportunity to show Agar what he can do. Agar will put him in charge of urinal duty for Lady Yarla for sure this time. This is when Corbin shows his true value to the caravan. He moves towards the wagons holding a holy symbol in front of him and a holy light emanates from him (turn undead) forcing a number of zombies to run away from the camp. Corbin does this twice and chases off half of the zombies. This gives the guards a short reprieve but still more zombies are rushing towards the camp.
Shadgith and one of the guards pull the oxen from their pen and start to attach them to the wagons. All around the caravan members decide that it will be better to start moving and to fight the zombies from the wagons rather than sit here and be overwhelmed. That’s when Nedavin reappears. It seems that the witch appears out of the darkness and hands a wand to Lady Gwenevere. As she holds the wand, images appear in Gwenevere’s mind and she learns how to activate it. Shadow also races to her side and further explains what the wand will do. It seems that the witches are on our side after all. Nedavin quickly explains to Shadow that her magic is being nullified somehow and the totems are unable to hold back the zombies. Nedavin then moves to the centre of the camp ready to join the fight.
Lady Gwenevere holds up the wand and activates it. An almost invisible bubble of energy forms around her and then spreads out 60’ in all directions pushing back the zombies. Gwenevere moves to the centre of the camp in order to protect all of its inhabitants. The battle stops as all of the zombies are held at bay by the powerful shield emanating from Gwenevere’s wand. Seizing this opportunity, the travelers gather up all of their belongings and load them into the wagons. It’s at this time that more of the night’s events become clear. Pietro and Shadow search the bodies of the fallen guards and realise that they were killed from behind with bladed weapons and not with zombie claws. The group also notices that the elven treasure hunter and his guards are gone with all of their supplies. It seems that they got out of the camp before the zombie attack. At this point Pietro and Lady Gwenevere mention that they had noticed that the treasure hunter and his guards had a chest with them that they wouldn’t let anyone near. They group wonders if the chest has anything to do with what is happening to Nedavin’s magic. Rindil and the other rangers in the group do a search of the area and uncover a faint set of tracks leading from the camp. They suspect that the treasure hunter and his guards left the path and headed through the swamp.
The group decides that it is best to get the caravan out of the swamp before trying to determine what really happened here. So they attach 4 oxen to each half of the caravan (8 wagons each) and begin to make their way south on the path.
End of session 1