Humble Beginnings

Sessions 14 and 15: The Wicked and the Witless

"Oh yeah I'll be able to remember what happened after a month!"

Session 14: “I’ll just take her to my workshop”

After the attack through the night Chris and James build a cairn for the PDS sufferers. Serra and Brody keep watch.

The next day the party march to the fort. They near the fort at nightfall, approach and are let in after discussion.

A spidery cleric woman comes to collect Lydia and promises to give her legs. Keeps commenting on how pretty she is. James and Brody take her to the cleric’s workshop…medical centre then she shrilly pushes them out. Except Serra who she doesn’t notice. There are sounds of someone insane pottering about in the cleric’s next room. Lydia complains about needing to pee, the dog tries to get in the room until Serra manages to calm it.

The rest of the group meet another officer recruit who helps get them geared up. He realises they’ve already got gear, asks what sort of styles they fight with, gets flustered then sets them off to the courtyard. In the courtyard fighting with a rapier is a quipping midget. He fights Chris, sends him off to train others, then James, asks where he’s from and mentions he was in Erebaster.

The cleric moves Lydia into another room, Serra sneaks in and notices the place is full of necromantic constructs. Lydia screams, giving Serra the chance to knock out the priest. She gets Lydia back to the barracks and tries to calm her down.

James and Brody eventually find an officer and make their report. He’s more interested in the details of who died and survived than the details. Brody considers reporting the officer murder, as he hesitates James figures out what he’s planning on saying and pushes the report into the zombie attack. That shuts the officer down completely and he sends them off to train. Brody then comments on the way back about how Serra and James owe him, James snaps back that everyone’s responsible for each other’s actions. Brody threatens to march back in and report what happened. James ignores him and they head back to the yard.

The party reunite at the barracks. Serra explains to them about the cleric and the undead, James comments that it’s strange that the officer cut down the report on mention of the zombie attack, then dismisses it that it’s unlikely. Brody storms off at being ignored. The group is then arrested for interrogation.

Brody says everything he knows, Chris gives highlights of his day, as does James. Serra however gets fingered for the attack on the cleric having been spotted. As they move to chain her she attacks. Knocks them out cold and charges to the cleric’s lab. She then (borrowing a trick from James) uses grease to knock the guards at the door down and brains them too. As she approaches the cleric’s sanctum she sees the cleric, who laughs maniacally and releases all 27 zombies…

Session 15: “They’re killing my babies!”

The zombies attack the courtyard, the guards call for the recruits to clear off, putting Brody on the gate and sending James to get the cleric. James throws a glob of grease at the gaggle of zombies attacking Conan and runs to collect her, bumping into Serra en route. James collects the cleric and hurries back, to find Conan on the ground being pounded on and Brody, Serra and the dog approaching the fight. Chris, spying the scene throws himself from above into the fray, acrobatically making his slip on the grease look intentional. James gets involved in the fight to rescue Conan, the guards withdraw and order the group to do the same. Brody dutifully runs away, James pretends to not hear the order and attacks.

…and in chaos that ensues, a badly injured Chris and James, Serra and Good Dog Best Friend manage to retrieve Conan, while the mad cleric begins striking Brody, screaming on about how her children are being murdered. She then sees Conan and demands he’s turned over to her. James refuses and stands his ground against her as she threatens him with a dagger. Then a sword appears through her chest.

It belongs to the midget swordsman. Shorty, or Needle, guides the group away from the carnage into the tunnels below the fortress, which bear a striking resemblance to the tunnels the group sheltered in earlier. He then gives away hints that he’s the gnome Tim and Sylvia intimated were in their circle, specifically the blue outfit. James shows his blue scarf and the group settle down to discuss matters. Needle is surprised that Rob Arsmith’s son is associating with the resistance, wondering if it’s a double bluff on someone’s part.

He then explains that the zombies the party are encountering are legally sanctioned in the kingdom, and that as anyone enlisting gives “body and soul” to the queen in the contract they signed. This means the group all tacitly agreed to being raised as a zombie by the queen and her priests.

Needle explains his history, or a little of it, he originally came to these lands from the north coast years ago, and the war was already well underway, as it had been for years. The queen started sending out waves of recruiters, the first was a wave of merchants. James remembers this as being the time his father joined the army, shortly after his mother died. There is some evidence that the hooded clerics are yet another wave. He’s also surprised about the group originating in Burnside, as he’s never heard of it and nobody else had either.

He explains a little more about the situation in the battle for old land, specifically mentioning that the king on the other side is called Richard. The party still disagrees on what the queen is actually up to, not helped by Needle not knowing much more than Sylvia and Tim in that regard as to what she actually wants. It seems the queen has been very successful at keeping her cards close.

Needle then tells the group that they should lay low for a while, and goes off and deals with some loose ends. Eventually returning to announce that Serra is officially dead, and that the muster is happening as scheduled tomorrow. The party being in part injured decide to keep to the tunnels for the time being. They weren’t being mustered out for another month anyway.

The party settle for the night, James and Chris head to bed to rest up while Serra and Brody have a heart to heart. James overhears the entire exchange, but doesn’t let on he’s awake. Serra is amazed that Brody seems to be the only one of them who hasn’t developed some magical talent, and goes about demonstrating a spell she’s figured out. Brody tries to mend bridges for his part, claiming that he decided not to say about the guard’s murder.

After this charming scene of reconciliation, there is one, small issue. Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, Chris is still under the effect of the ritual at the statue, and knows about the resistance movement…

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AylaSmith Akhetamun

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