Shadows of Erasc

The Caravan Raiders
The heroes suffer a luck deficit

Heading back to Ragan’s Gate to tell Lord Manelmore of the evil that befell Meadowbrook, the heroes encountered a caravan of the Tiefling Merchant House Bael’Marric. The caravan had been attacked by a small group of Orcs who had slain several of the pack animals, stopping the caravan. Imagining the Orcs to be planning another attack and unable to both mount a defense and get the caravan moving, the Tieflings ask the heroes to destroy the raiders in exchange for the thanks of the most powerful merchant house in the area.

The heroes track the Orcs up to the lair in an old mountain cave, using their knowledge of Orcs’ living habits and knowledge of the history of the area to determine the most likely location. Though there were several misadventures with trees along the way, the characters manage to arrive stealthily, not warning the Orcs of their approach. The quickly hatched a well-thought plan using the skills of the Scatha’s Art to distract one of the sentries then quickly dropping him. The remaining Orcs responded quickly, taking the fight to the party without pause. Though they fought valiantly, Aderam’s dice favored the Orcs that day and the halfling was gravely injured by an Orcish axe. Running to help his companion, Avelyn was struck down by another of the vicious brutes. Knowing the situation to be rapidly disintegrating, Gareth managed to intimidate the leader, a vicious one-eyed Orc to back down in exchange for the fine set of armor that he had found in the damned chamber beneath the temple of Lemaat in Meadowbrook. While they tended to their wounded, the party heard a might roar within the cave and felt a blast of cold air. Scatha quickly deduced that a white dragon was the leader for whom the one-eyed Orc had demanded Gareth’s armor.

The party fled back towards the caravan and Scatha’s suspicions were proved correct as the beast flew above them. Luckily, they managed to avoid the creature’s notice and made it back to the caravan to warn of the danger. Cervak, the caravan master agreed to watch over them while they rested so that they might together fight the wyrm.

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How Deep the Corruption Runs
The heroes descend into the darkness below the temple

The heroes continued to search through the temple and found a hole beaten through the floor in the rearmost chamber, exposing a hidden chamber below the temple. Determined to discover the truth of what had occurred, they descended into the area below. It turned out that someone had apparently tried to protect something here, trapping the corridor with deadly pressure plates which sent spears up to skewer the unwary. As though this were not enough to contend with, the group found that a small community of Kobolds had been attracted to the trapped subterranean chamber, as is their tendency. Eventually, they forced the cowardly creatures to surrender and were told that the creatures had only recently moved in after the “big ones” had vacated the area. They also said that they had not ventured past the large double doors at the end of the hall since the first group to enter had not returned and from the sounds of things had died horribly.

Letting one of the cowardly creatures lead the way, the group found an empty room, inhabited only by a body missing its innards looking to have died in terrible pain. The situation proved to be other than they thought as the leading Kobold was grabbed by something from the darkness and the dead body stood up to attack. Not content with the Kobold, the creature from the shadows showed itself to be the innards of the unfortunate victim who quickly moved to attack the halfling. Meanwhile, Gareth fought valiantly against the grasping viscera of the organ beast and Scatha and Avelyn provided ranged support. It seemed as though victory would be quick and simple as they put down the unfortunate soldier, but it quickly rose to its feet and continued its attack. Though badly hurt, the heroes found themselves victorious.

After catching their breath and making absolutely sure that the zombie would not be rising again, they examined the room and found it positively bristling with magic and the power of the Gods. A closer examination of the altar revealed two small indentations now empty, which seemed to reinvigorate the creatures they had fought. They found a ominous message written in the blood of the unfortunate they had put to rest reading simply, “He is Coming”. The nature of the scene did not, however, stop the halfling from gathering up many of the riches adorning the room.

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The Village Destroyed
As the dead attack, a new hero lends his strength

Arriving at the edges of Meadowbrook and looking down upon an empty town, the heroes decide to leave their mounts of somewhat questionable quality and proceed stealthily to the temple on foot. They do not get very far before they encounter a halfling – and the pack of undead hounds pursuing him! Their blades, spells and especially the purifying light of Melora ensured that no others would be so pursued. The halfling quickly introduced himself, several times with several different names, to the others. He had proven quick with a blade, and frankly he seemed a bit confused, so the group decided to bring him along as they searched for both his good and theirs.

As they reached their goal, the temple of Lemaat, they were greeted by evidence of terrible rituals and brutality outside. They found stones, covered in the gore of an unknown number of sacrifices. As they moved inside to see if any had survived the slaughter, they found themselves in a charnel house filled with bodies and the stench of death. The heroes quickly learned that this ruse was meant to hide the true threat in the temple, as some of the bodies stood up in a mockery of life to confront the investigators from Ragan’s Gate. Skeletons and zombie rose to attack as one particularly disgusting zombie began hurling rotting chunks of itself. After a pitched battle, the heroes found themselves victorious. They also found the body of the priest they had been asked to find, slain by whatever wicked hand was at work in this place.

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The Adventure Begins
A tavern brawl leads to much more

Gareth MacManus warrior of the Wallguard, Avelyn Cleric of Melora and Scatha the Aspiring Mage were sharing the welcoming atmosphere of the Wayward Apprentice in Ragan’s Gate (at least the first two were) when their peaceful evening was interrupted by some rather intolerant young noblemen seeking a brawl. The noblemen got more when they bargained for when the three drew arms. Aldous Manelmore will certainly think twice before he tries to use his uncle’s title to bully those of other races again!

The fight was hardly over, however, as the group found themselves and the citizens of the town being attacked by angry undead in the town square just outside. These enemies too fell before their onslaught, earning the recognition of the Lord Regent Sern Manelmore himself. After being escorted to the Regent’s Manse by Gareth’s friend and sometime commander Sergeant Farstrider, they were told that some of the undead attacking the town square had been positively identified as members of a small farming village to the West, known as Meadowbrook. The party was asked by the Lord Regent to go investigate and see what transpired there to cause such evil.

After agreeing to check in on a priest of Lemaat known to Farstrider and browbeating a poor merchant into lending them horses, the trio set off. On the way there, they were waylaid by a group of bandits, to the bandits’ detriment. After the battle, they noted that all the bandits wore a peculiar pendant picturing a broken skull upon it which none could recognize. There, they stopped, gathering their strength for the evil that lurked ahead.

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