The expedition has arrived! Sure the first attempt met with failure before they even left the gates of New Scarum, but thanks to the accumulated resources of financiers, wounds were mended and the wounded were tended to, the dead were buried, weregild was sent to their surviving family, and replacements were found. Others can solve the mysteries of the strange attacks, for now, there is an old city to reconquer! The trek took the better half of a fortnight, as the supply wagons were heavily laden, and the first day was spend clearing from underbrush and trees to set up pickets, and some semi-permanent structures. Namely an inn/tavern combination for those who were not staying longer than a few nights, a barracks for lower paid workers, a healing house, fire pit, market, and a mott and bailey in case the encampment was attacked. The following day saw more work done on these structures, thoug ha lively tent city had sprung up, awaiting the first few forays into the ruins.
That was how much of the first day would go for most people, but for the various adventurers and mercenaries hired on, it would be a touch different. The terms were simple, discovered wealth would be yours, back at camp you would have free room and board, though other supplies you’d have to purchase, the brother’s made sure the merchants kept their prices at standard. The real upshot though, beyond the loot you might find, or the bounties for various historical documents or heirlooms that might be found, is the fact that you might gain ownership of a number of buildings or land depending on how well the group does. One could choose to sell it, or arrange to build it up and run business out of it, or simply live there. It’s really up to the group in question.
One group consisting of an Elven Monk named Jack Aketchi, a Human sorcerer by the name of Slims, an Elven Druid named Twilleger, and a rather strange Human wizard who goes by Gloom, set off to get a head start on clearing out some of the city blocks. It would be simple, small potent groups would go through and sweep through a building to find any threats, whereas numerous mercenaries would then go through and clear any stragglers. The intention being that the tougher people would take on the tougher threats, while those a little less equipped might handle anything left behind. The first buildings on this groups list? An old church to Eira, goddess of life and healing, as well as an inn and tavern.
The group opted to seek out the church first. The area without seemed clear, Jack took the lead and opened the front door which gave a loud resounding screech on its rusted and damaged hinges, then proceeded inside. Directly across from the door was an old tapestry, the once vibrantly painted figures were muddled and faded, claw marks scratching out their faces. Likely it had been a work of art when the city thrived, now it was little more than dirty rags. The windows in the entry way were dirty, the light of the morning only dimly illuminating the interior. He crept forward and tested one of the doors leading into the main chapel, it was locked. He dealt with that swiftly, opening the door to reveal what lay beyond.
The chapel was a ruin, the ropes holding the bell had rotted long ago, sending it crashing to the floor below, many of the pews were broken, and the windows look like they were painted over with some sort of dark paint. There were figures in the pews as well, and as Jack moved to investigate one, it stirred and lashed out. Soon the room was alive with screeching and hissing bodies, withered husks with sharpened claws and moved with more agility than they liked sported in life. The putrescent odor of their forms caused stomachs to churn and noses to wish they lacked the ability to perceive smells.
Jack leaped away from the one he awoke and lashed out at another before he seemed to melt in the shadows and appeared over by the alter at the front of the room. Twilleger unleashed a bizarre blast of flame that illuminated two of the undead beasts, while Gloom unleashed far more standard flames burning those two and one other. They all surged forth, three towards the door containing Gloom and Slims, seeming to not notice Twelligers presence, while three more rushed towards Jack where he stood behind the alter. He had bigger things to worry about, for from the alter came a thump, followed by the stone lid being shoved aside as a creature rose from within.
During the next flurry of action, Jack held back while Twelliger rushed forward, his sickly Elven frame shifting and morphing abominably into a bizarre large lizard like creature that some scholars called an Allosaurus, leaping into the air and lashing out at the bizarre undead that rose from the altar. His clawed foot struck, but failed to take the creature down. Jack lashed out, striking the creature multiple times before vanishing into the shadows once more, appearing instead atop one of the rotted beams. The creature struck Twelliger, then pulled him in and bit his neck, sucking the very life out of his tainted blood. The vampires wounds were mended and soon Twelliger was set upon by the ghasts that had surrounded him. Blow after blow struck, and though he was wounded, he failed to succumb to their poisonous claws.
Gloom was not so lucky, he succumbed to the first blow, his body going stiff as he felt his muscles cease and freeze him in place. Slims unleashed his magic, blasting pews to splinters and burning the ghasts with a fireball. He followed it up with more bolts of energy, putting even more power into an otherwise basic spell and unleashing them upon their foes. Jack let loose with his daggers, cutting down another ghast and wounding two others while striking the vampire firmly before he stepped into the darkness again only to appear down near Gloom and Slims.
While Twelliger in his dinosaur form fended off the ghasts surrounding him, the vampire leaped to a wall and began climbing towards towards Jack who wounded him so. Gloom recovered and let loose with magic missiles, taking out yet another ghast, and then another fell while Slims let loose with his own version of the same spell. The sickly Elf, Twelliger let out a pray to an unknown primeval god before bathing the chapel in the radiance of the sun.
The vampire hissed and screeched from it’s perch on the wall as the scathing light burned it’s flesh. Slims moved and let loose with a bolt of fire while Jack shot the unholy fiend with two arrows. Gloom had his vengeance for the earlier slight, pouring all the energy he could into his spell, he unleashed five bolts at that creature. It let out an ear shattering scream, the defiled stain glass windows shattered, and as the natural sun shown in, the creature exploded into ash.
The two remaining ghasts fled, but between the rest of party they were able to slay them before they could hide from their wrath. The church, as it was, was purged.
And it wasn’t even noon.