Waking up in the early morning, I had thought it was going to be a good day, the sun was shining, and the weather seemed to be taking a break. Going downstairs and having breakfast seemed pleasant enough, Dr. Elveret was still pouring over some glass shards, and Sir Hollander seemed a bit out of sorts, but all in all it was a pleasant start to the day. I had heard the lady of the house talking with the cook about going to the general store to collect the supplies for the house, and offered to help. My generous offer was taken and I prepared a cart for the journey into town to collect foodstuffs and assorted supplies. The others decided that helping would be a welcome distraction from the events of the past few days and joined me in the short trip to the general store.
Once we arrived at the general store, we were all greeted by the proprietor and his wife. Handing over the list and making small talk, the rest of the party started to explore the shelves of the store, looking for useful items that may or may not be of value to an explorer/ghost hunter, such as holy water. During the course of exchanging the list of goods and asking questions about the recent string of events in town, the children of the proprietor came bustling out of the back room, 6 in total, and scattered around the store, some hiding to view the newcomers to town, and a few going about the duties that had more than likely been assigned to them by watchful parents. Taking the opportunity, I slipped away to speak with one of the older children about the song that I had heard the other day. Something about a killer that fed the blood of his victims to stirges. At first the young woman was not forthcoming with information, yet I managed to coax some of the song from her with a few copper coins.
I know that I have some strange fixation on the song, yet a part of me thinks it is the key to everything happening here in town. I didn’t have much time to focus on this however as everything changed in an instant, and all hell broke loose in the store. It appears that in our moment of peace, the dead have risen in the town of Ravengro. Two zombies shuffled toward the proprietor and his children, one of the girls kept saying grandma, so I am guessing that they were blood relations at some point. Moving quickly Khaluu jumped in front of one of the children and was ferociously attacked by the grandmother, as rotten fingers and flesh tore into her back. Sir Hollander also stepped up to the task of stopping another zombie from assaulting the proprietor. Being quick to act, I also moved to help stop the undead assault, moving to help Khaluu since she seemed to be in the most immediate danger.
There was a small rat man that was in the store when we had arrived, and I think that he was talking with Hollander when I went off to speak with the small girl. As I ran past it looked like he was trying to hide from the conflict among the shelves. Not having time to dwell on the actions of the rat, I charged into the fray, attacking the grandmother. It did not take long to eliminate the threat posed by the zombies inside the building, yet the sounds of conflict from outside were easily heard once our own fight had ended. We also heard sounds of a struggle from the back room, deciding to split up, three went into the back room, while two of us, Khaluu and I, ran to the front to see what we could do to assist the town. Opening the front door, we were greeted with a full scale invasion of the dead. Five skeletions has surrounded a poor man who had decided that they best way to escape the undead was to climb a pole in the center of town. He was now trapped, and the skeletons seemed to be having a great time, poking at him with spears, while chopping at the pole with axes and swords.
Seeing that the man would not last long without assistance I rushed out to draw the attention of the group, fortifying myself with some divine magic that protects against the forces of evil. My presence was quickly noticed and I was set upon by the skeletons, one of which was riding an undead horse. I had anticipated being alone outside with the undead, as Khaluu could easily stay within the protections of the walls of the shop, firing out into the group as needed, yet she followed me outside. This proved to be her undoing as she was now within reach of the mounted skeleton, who rode her down, driving a spear into her chest. Khaluu collapsed, and I did not know if she was alive or dead, as I know that sometimes when a thing dies, it still twitches for a few moments after the killing stroke. Now surrounded, I was very worried about the likelihood of my own safety. Luckily the rest of the group, led by sir Hollander, came charging out the front of the shop, and the battle was truly engaged.
While the rest of us dealt with the skeletons, the rat man, ran off to help a child surrounded by a swarm of disembodied hands. The rat was able to extinguish the unnatural life from the hands about the same time we eliminated the skeleton threat. Taking a short reprieve we listened for more sounds of conflict, and unfortunately, were not disappointed. The whole town seemed to be under assault. After a quick consultation with one another, we decided that the best course of action would be to head to the chancellors building, as they had no guards or magical abilities to protect themselves from the undead. Moving through the streets as quick as we could, stopping periodically to help when someone seemed in especially dire need, we eventually made it to the chancellor manor. Sir Hollander was the first to arrive, as he had taken the opportunity to mount the draft horse we brought with us to gain more mobility, and attempted to protect one of the chancellors, who had rushed from the house, followed by an ectoplasmic entity.
The ghostly thing said something about betray and having his head taken, just before he was banished from existence by the good doctor. He threw one of the Haunt Siphons, and the negative energy of the haunt was absorbed completely by the green liquid inside the siphon, turning it black in the process. It was at this time that I heard the sound of a violin playing in the distance, and from what I could tell the general direction was that of the graveyard. Mentioning this to the others, we made all haste toward the graveyard, as if the music was connected to the dead, the graveyard would be the most likely place for this event to be occurring. Along the road we ran into the simpleton from the church, a good lad but not all there, and he mentioned that the priest of the village was trapped in a tomb.
While the others wanted to send the simpleton away, I felt that he may prove useful, as those not blessed with the strength of mind, are occasionally blessed with strength of body and spirit, both of which would be useful if the undead in the graveyard had risen in numbers to overwhelm us. As we approached the boundary of the graveyard, all of us could hear the haunting melody of the violin, and see the silhouette of the person playing among the forest of tombstones. Moving quickly through the marble and granite forest, we approached the fiddler and saw a woman, so engrossed in what she was doing, that she did not acknowledge our presence, or the sickly stench of death and decay as the undead rose from the graves she passed in her dance.
Seeing how quickly the dead were rising, we attempted to stop the woman with physical force, landing multiple blows upon her back and legs, with sword and claw, yet each wound seemed to be healed by the strange music. Taking this as a sign, both Sir Hollander and I, started trying to break the violin, but had much the same effect, any damage we did to the violin was gone a moment later, as dark magic’s worked toward keeping it whole. As a last ditch effort to stymy the tide of undead overwhelming us, I tried to wrestle the woman to the ground, only to be pushed aside by the garment she was wearing. Luckily Sir Hollander was able to knock the violin out of her hands, through the distraction that I had provided with my attempt to knock her to the ground. As soon as the violin left her hands, the undead fell apart, as the magic animating the decayed flesh and bones, was now gone. Hate and rage seemed to fill Sir Hollanders eyes, and for a moment I thought he was going to slay the now catatonic woman. Yet something deep within his mind must have brought the knight to reason, as he stayed his blade, and allowed the rest of us to take her into custody.
The simpleton was moving quickly toward one of the mausoleums in the graveyard, mentioning that the priest was inside. Looking at the barricade of tombstones propped up against the door, it looked as though someone or something did not want the priest to be lose while the song was playing. We sent the Simpleton off to town with the catatonic woman in tow, while we tried to figure out how to free the priest. It did not take long to notice a crude trap behind one of the stones, a bomb set to explode one the stone was moved. Once the trap was taken care of, it was a relatively simple matter to leverage the stones off the door. The priest was surprised to see us, as he had not noticed that anything was amiss, they were still in the process of preparing the tomb, oblivious to the events outside. Once he was brought up to speed, he agreed that the best course of action for himself and his assistants would be to return to town and help the wounded.
I had hoped that the excitement for the day was over, yet it seemed that one last play needed to be resolved before I could rest and recover from the trials of the morning. The woman seemed to be something of a legend in the town, a lone survivor of a massacre that took place over 90 years ago. Now the town wanted blood, and were willing to risk the wrath of the sheriff to get “justice”. It took some effort, but Sir Hollander was eventually able to talk down the town, protecting the now defenseless woman from a mob of very angry townspeople. While I do not think that our efforts in protecting the woman, a victim of evil magic, will be well liked by the town, it was the right thing to do, and I am proud that we were able to avoid any more bloodshed on a day that was filled with death.