When last we saw our intrepid heroes…
…they were sleeping off the effects of spider venom and blood loss. Their 22 hours of rest was uninterrupted, and they once again rose with the sun.
A lot has happened since that early morning, and as I’ve been remiss in my duties as chief chronicler I’ll just quickly synopsize the party’s heroics (or heroic attempts at least).
Unlike the previous morning, Ough remembered to pray; during that time the rest of the party continued their search of the chapel. During their search, they encountered a druid and barbarian down from the mountains also tracking orcs. After much discussion and finding common purpose, the two parties joined together to bolster their strength.
After moving from the chapel to the graveyard to find and eradicate the source of the zombie infestation, the party unwittingly opened a crypt harboring a malicious wight protecting a sizable treasure, the glint of gold just visible in the dank corners of the crypt.
The party defeated the wight in time, but not without incident: Rolf once again received the brunt of their enemy’s wrath, giving up a small amount of his life force in defense of his companions when the sharp, fetid claw of the evil creature tore into his shoulder. Weakened, Rolf sought his cleric for healing, and though Ough could mend Rolf’s physical wounds he could do nothing for the bone-deep weakness that overwhelmed him.
During the battle with the wight, Mismoul the half-elf druid, located a secret door to an ancient buried tomb which held the remains of the fabled draconian hero Bakashar Al Jarrah. The party found Bakashar’s remains untouched by time and adorned in his resplendent armor. To the dismay of others in the party, Rolf was the only one deemed worthy to claim the legend’s battle gear, for as he lifted Bakashar’s sword from its resting place (something everyone else failed to do), Bakashar’s remains fell to dust and his spirit appeared, shimmering in radiance before Rolf whom he saluted and in a booming voice ordered, “ON YOUR FEET!”
After the spirit faded back to his eternal rest, Rolf struggled into the new armor and knew immediately that he would never choose another set, that this armor was his armor now, and always would be. He also knew, somehow, that no matter how much he might want to, he could never willingly dishonor the armor, Bakashar’s legacy, or himself by deceit or deed.
While all watched in wonder as Rolf claimed his prize, Collin slipped unnoticed back to the wight’s crypt and removed, and hid, a large part of the great horde the band had fought so hard to obtain. And surprisingly, no one else in the party seemed to notice the reduced gains which they split evenly among themselves. With pockets full, the newly formed party began the trudge east back to Hamptonshire.
Back in the safety of the town walls, each sought the comfort of sleep in his own way. Early the next morning Collin promptly and secretly hitched his cart to his pony and began to travel back down the West Road to recover his loot. How he wasn’t attacked by rogues or bears of any other number of things go bump in the night—or the day—is a mystery. The gods must be kind, indeed.
But during this time, suspicious of Collin’s absence when he could not be found in the Frothing Frog Inn trying to wrangle a free meal; Rolf hired some urchins to keep a watch for Collin and report anything they learned back to him. He further tried to persuade local shopkeepers to report to him any business that Collin might try to conduct in the sale or purchase of valuable items. Only the urchins were swayed by the meager silver Rolf offered in payment and quickly ratted-out Collin upon his return.
Mismoul and the barbarian to the opportunity to eat heartily and converse with Bombal Strunck, the keeper of the Frothing Frog, about the region and current happenings. It was they that learned of Farmer Johnson’s demise at the hands of an orc raiding party and that his son was missing, presumably taken by the orcs. The two also decided to use the lull in activity to search the countryside for an animal companion for Mismoul who was missing at night the warmth of a furry friend. And so, in the nearby forest, Mismoul befriended a wolf just in time to fight and defeat some bandits who had been preying on unwary travelers in the area.
That evening all the party met back at the Frothing Frog to discuss their next step. Upon hearing of farmer Johnson’s son, Rolf vowed to recover the boy or uncover the truth of his demise and would not be swayed from his purpose. Mismoul argued to keep the big picture in mind and wait until morning to venture forth. During their discussion, Mismoul also suggested that Rolf might have sympathies for the orcs due to his mixed heritage and might be trying to deter his investigation into the increase of orc activity in the region. Of course Rolf took great umbrage to the slight and duly reacted by severing ties to the two adventurers and immediately leaving town with Collin and Ough to find the Johnson Boy.