Just the Tip

Episode 12

Necromancers and Werewolves

Having found the secret door, Daemon Kaaw stepped forward and attempted to break the magical wards that kept it locked. He was able to break through several wards before he misspoke an incantation and the doors wards struck out at him with necrotic energy. Again he tried and again he felt the energy drink away some of his life force. Finally, on his third attempt, Daemon was able to open the doors and reveal the hidden crypt. Visible in the gloom was a large stone sarcophagus, possibly belonging to a long dead noble. Smaller coffins were located in niches along the walls, likely lesser family members of the noble. The crypt was illuminated by two torches of eerie blue flame. In the flickering light the group can just make out a hunched figure working at an altar covered in bones, bits of flesh, and unidentifiable filth. The figure wears a gore-spattered robe, his long beard is matted with blood, and he appears to be a Tiefling from his long curled horns.

The group debates in whispers how to proceed, indicating that the Tiefling does not look like someone to start a conversation with. Ky’Vruck steps forward and looses a magic arrow, only to have it miss and the figure turns towards the group. “Who…who dares disturb Melech…Melech Darksoul? Are you from the Fell Court? I’ve told you before, I have no interest in Devils, my work is Death…Death and re-animation! I shall kill you and send you back to your masters as corpses…Corpses a-risen!” With that he unleashes a chilling blast of necrotic energy, hitting the most of the group, many who have rushed forward to attack. The entire time he is muttering incantations under his breath, and it is Quinn Quernes who first feels as if someone has taken over his body and forced him to retreat away from the necromancer. As Paul of Quar finally gets close to the Tiefling, two charnel zombies burst from the coffins beside him, keeping him from getting any closer. From the altar that the necromancer was working at rises a corruption corpse, recently reanimated by the Melech Darksoul, which beings to throw its filth at the adventurers. While Thorn attempts to help Paul of Quar, Quinn Quernes again charges towards the necromancer, only to feel the strings of an infernal puppet master pull him away. Beltumal Silverclaw and Ky’Vruck are able to stay out of the range of Melech’s attacks, picking off the corruption corpse and keeping Melech somewhat at bay. Quinn is eventually able to get in close, while Thorn is able to rescue an unconscious Paul of Quar from the charnel zombies, pushing them away so that their dying grasps don’t hurt the already shaken cleric.

As his allies fall and he is surrounded by the adventurers, Melech Darksoul pleads for his life, saying he will show the group a hidden treasure if they spare him. There is a quick debate, but nothing unifies Just The Tip like the talk of treasure, and it is soon agreed to spare the necromancer. Melech removes a pair of fire-gauntlets and hands them to Daemon Kaaw, then move to where the treasure is hidden. Beneath the large stone sarcophagi, Melech unveils a significant treasure, including a casque-of-tactics, which is eagerly claimed by Grok Thornsteed. While the group is distracted by their haul, Melech Darksoul slips away, it is unclear whether this will come back to haunt Just The Tip.

A thorough search of the crypt also unveils a coffin belonging to a Paladin of Pelor, who wears a symbol-of-the-sun. Paul of Quar, already feeling somewhat tainted from taking a shield from the dead earlier, figures it can’t be any worse to take the holy symbol as well.

With their new found loot, the adventurer’s return and inform the Lord Warden they have completed the task of cleaning out the Tombwood, though they figure mentioning they let Melech go is probably not a good idea.

They proceed to do some resupplying, and after Thorn buys some claw-gloves, they proceed to Grifnar’s Arms. Hoping to negotiate a good price on equipment, they ask if he has anything he needs doing in trade for goods. Grifnar, usually a fairly tight-fisted businessman, actually jumps at the chance to give the group a quest worth 5000g. All they need to do is escort his nephew along the Trade Road as far as Silvergrail. Realizing this offer sounds too good to be true, the group pushes for more information, and eventually learns that the stretch of road between Fallcrest and Silvergrail has been severely troubled by werewolves of late, so much so that Grifnar has had to put of his regular trade runs to Hammerfast. He is running low on goods because he doesn’t have the necessary raw materials that he gets from his cousins in the Dawnforge Mountains. The group feels that the benefits of a large credit with Grifnar make the danger of the trip acceptable and agree to leave with the caravan the next morning. Paul of Quar buys a raiders-crossbow as well as silver tipped bolts in preparation for any lychanthropy they might encounter.

The journey to Silvergrail is actually surprisingly quiet, it is only once they arrive that they learn from town sheriff Zirka Havenstone of the problems besetting the town. The brother of the town’s priest has returned as a werewolf, and he has been terrorizing the countryside and killing townsfolk in an effort to force his brother to willingly join him and become a werewolf. Zelgar Lightborn is a Cleric of Pelor and Erathis who is well liked by the townspeople of Silvergrail, they have been doing what they can to assist him against his brother Ulmar Lightborn. Yet people continue to go missing and it seems that Ulmar has spies in town, making it difficult for anyone to deal with the problem. Zirka would like to put Ulmar down for good, but Zelgar has convinced her to let him try and do a Remove Affliction ritual on his brother, but to do this he will need help. Just The Tip is recruited to corner and subdue Ulmar, but first they will have to get through the night.

Deputized into the Silvergrail Guard, the group patrol the city streets to make sure none of Ulmar’s spies are at work, or worse, Ulmar himself is in the town. Yet before they can find anything Zelgar comes running with two guardsmen, he’s had a strikingly real dream of Ulmar eviscerating the adventurers and he had to make sure it wasn’t actually happening. As the group tries to convince Zelgar to return to the safety of his room, Ky’Vruck hears something moving on the rooftops and then a woman bursts from a nearby alley, claiming to have been attacked. Zelgar recognizes the woman as Clarissa Myles, whose house is nearby, Paul of Quar moves forward to investigate. As he presses a crossbow bolt head against her flesh, she writhes in pain and strikes out at him with a clawed hand. Paul of Quar is knocked back, and from several directions appear a mix of werewolves, dire wolves, and moon crazed townsfolk. A pitched battle ensues, with Paul of Quar stuck in the middle and the other members of the group trying to save him. The fight rages, but Just The Tip is eventually triumphant, thanks in a large part to Zelgar’s surprisingly good combat skills.

While the group is able to take one of the moon crazed townsfolk prisoner, they kill both the werewolves. Discussing their next move after the battle, Zirka arrives and suggests that maybe they should question the prisoner, and Zelgar says that he has a Speak with the Dead ritual that may allow them to question one of the werewolves.

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