The Merchants Guild have a matter they wish to be handled delicately, and seek the aid of the adventurers to investigate. What they found was a nasty mess which led to an adventure in the dark woods surrounding an old DePiercy fortress.
Those who answered the summons by the Merchants Guild were:
- Draken of the Scouts Guild;
- Aiden Lockwood and Jorum Townsend of the Mercenaries Guild;
- Guild Protector Ash of Stocktown, Baronet Seabric, of the Guild of Alchemists;
- Hitoshi Murasame of the Guild of Blacksmiths;
- Hector Pryce of the Guild of Physicians;
- Mara Brack-on-Hill of the School of Demonology;
- Sir George Stennet and Tomas DeVaughn, feudal vassals;
- Mother Evelynn Echart of Vleybor;
Setting out from Newcroft they travelled onto the DePiercy lands heading towards an old fortress near Willows Deep that now belongs to the Merchants Guild. Used primarily as a dump for members of the Alchemists Guild to dispose of their potion waste and failed products, there was no reason the Merchants knew that their people there would fall silent. On the way they met a group of local villagers who were torn between being glad for the opportunities provided by the site, but angry that undead activity was increasing and that the river had dried up as a chasm had opened in the ground. A group of McTavish men were found dead on the ground, but the corpses rose up at the adventurers approached – another sign that undead were roaming the highways and byways.
At the fortress they met with a wandering bard and the foreman who reported that the undead had been growing in number since the dump had been opened. Yes the dump had been extended down into the earth but surely that couldn’t have anything to do with it, could it? It’s not like digging too deep on an old fortress could potentially unearth tombs or dangerous things, right? The alarming thing that had to be resolved was the fact the undead were organised, and a tactically minded group had been spotted roaming through the local area. Find out what was behind this and see what they could do to stop it! The adventurers advised the foreman return to Newcroft to inform the Merchants what was going on and had a quick look around the camp, finding a box which they picked up to look over later on. Reinforcements for the McTavish men arrived and warned the adventurers of the undead further up the chasm, and our heroes set off into the brooding darkness.
They were surprised by a pair of DePiercy militiamen sent to investigate the undead roaming the Baronial lands, and a local villager who was eager to learn more about them on her night time wander. A host of undead were fought, a box guarded by a bunny retrieved, and a long dark path filled with undead gnawing on poor unfortunates navigated. At a clearing a pair of Piercer death knights, called from their tomb below the keep, challenged the company to a duel. Arthur and Harold Piercer were once notorious duellists, undefeated in the tag-team event, and would have remained so if not for the tactics of our heroes who put them down as Sir George and Tomas fought them two on two. Patching themselves up they continued on and met a strange figure lingering in the moonlight. He offered to help them solve their problem with the trade of a scroll, and yet he was a creature of undeath. Angry, frustrated and unwilling to work with the monster the religious members of the company were appalled as the scroll changed hands – the deal was done.
Onwards they went towards a narrowing of the chasm spanned by a crumbling ancient bridge when a strange and horrifying terror struck them. Hitoshi, carrying the box taken from the undead and the bunny, suddenly felt something crawling under his tunic and cried out in pain as the dead finger, now animated, began to dig its way into his flesh. The party worked to save him from the disgusting object and destroyed it, before patching him up and settling their rattled nerves. At the bridge they found a pair of McTavish men puzzling over instructions on how to destroy said bridge whilst under attack by undead. Rushing to their aid they learned of the plan to bring down the bridge and collapse the chasm in on itself in the hope of keeping the undead at bay, but as they were attacked a familiar monster sauntered onto the scene. Although swaddled in bandages, Tobias Penwood still had his sarcastic tongue. Unwilling to listen to him ramble on, Mara used the scroll and destroyed him before he could monologue for too long, and the company continued to pick over the puzzle. With no guarantee their assumed starting point was correct, and concerned that a mistake could kill them all, the adventurers decided to leave the bridge and inform the Merchants of their findings.
But as they began to trek back towards Newcroft they were found by the DePiercy and McTavish men from before and both parties were greatly displeased. Accusations of theft flew thick and fast, the two militia groups turning on the adventurers and each other over a set of missing documents from the fortress – the McTavish men claiming rights on behalf of the Merchants who now owned the Keep and documents, the DePiercy men claiming rights to documents that belonged to their Lord and could not be considered part of the fortress goods. The adventurers handed the box to the DePiercys to the anger of the McTavish group, and the angry knot parted company with the adventurers agreeing to take the matter up with their hirers and the courts upon their return.
But peace did not last long as the DePiercys soon returned having examined the box and finding the documents still missing – only a note on the soup of the day to be found – and demanding the correct document be returned. Insults flew, knives were drawn and soon the two milita were at each others throats with Mother Evelynn roaring at them all to stop! The McTavish gave ground as Sir Ash waded into the fray with warnings of dire consequences to all who continued this fracas, but the milita man who bore the brunt of his rage would not be stopped and as the party turned to leave he attacked the adventurers until he was put down.
Picking up the DePiercy man the McTavish dragged him back for trial and the adventurers returned to the bridge for one last stab at the puzzle. With luck and courage they pulled the chains holding the bridge in place and with a crumble and a roar it gave way, bringing the edges of the chasm down with it and sealing the breach for now.
They returned to Newcroft and reported their findings to the Merchants. What will become of the matter with those documents though, and why were the DePiercy men willing to die for a scrap of paper?