A One Shot by GM Eddie
Elendril (Ee len drill) was originally founded by a paladin. He swore an oath to the gods (5 primary, and a variety of lesser) upon his holy blade, and they blessed the land. As long as his lineage wielded the weapon and was true to his oath, his kingdom would know peace and prosperity. Originally a human, all of his children have been born Aasimars, and blessed with long lives. War is practically unknown in the eight generations after, since the kingdom produces incredibly durable products and gives away a large portion of agriculture to neighboring nations. As the nation is so prosperous, there’s also less reason for widespread logging and other activities, so their wilds are still wild. Bands of adventures license their groups and are assigned to areas to be based out of. They can leave the areas, but are duty bound to return upon request.
Dark tidings have been coming from the kingdom to the north, but the rumors seem strange and conflicting. The Crew group has been based out of a small “frontier” post, and the man that owns most of it, Stenn, has requested that the Crew returns. A former adventurer himself, he retired after a particularly lucrative event and has been out near the wilds in the southern region of Elendril in the years since.
In the small outpost of Noma, the Crew gathers at Stenn’s; Juan the Dwarven Paladin, Srednalf Den the Gnomish Alchemist, Michael Jacobson the Human Fighter, Artemis the Human Cleric, and Najoa the Half-Orc Paladin. A sixth member, a human sorcerer named Odrund, is incapable of returning, having been held up by events further North. Ordrund recently sent a message to Stenn that caused him enough concern to ask that his adventurers return. He explains to the crew that the King has been murdered by what is presumably a Lich, and that a strange plague is spreading.
Concerned for other outlaying farms and villages, Stenn sends a messenger with his fastest horse to alert the nearest homesteads of potential danger. Meanwhile, the crew prepares to head north to investigate the news and gauge the threat. Stenn supplies them with only three days rations and insists that they go no more than a day’s journey from Noma for fear of them being away should the inn be assaulted.
The Crew travels North for the better part of a day and come to a stop when they note a small group approaching from the opposite direction. Attempts at communication are greeted with an increased shambling pace. Michael makes note that some of the folks approaching have mortal wounds that no mortal man could survive, and seem to be leaking a black fluid from every orifice.
Making quick work of the strange undead beings, Srednalf takes a moment to investigate the fluid. When he approaches, a puddle of the fluid reacts and begins moving toward him as if drawn by a magnet. The Paladin, Juan, instead offers to use Mage Hand to assist in the collection process of a sample.
While deliberating on their next move, a horse burst rises from the horizon and gallops down the road. The Crew recognize it as the horse Stenn sent the messenger on. Srednalf sends a drone North and it reports back a horde of similarly undead beings chasing the horse but incapable of keeping pace. The Paladins manage to wrangle the horse and calm it. They feed it and give it water.
When a second group of undead approach the Crew decide to kill two birds with one stone; they wait for the second group to pass over the remains of the first, then fireball them, effectively clearing the infections remains and decimating the new threat.
When the drone returns and reports that a significant number of these beings are following behind, the Crew decides it is best to return to Noma and secure the area. Srednalf decides it is unsafe to bring a bottle of goo back after the collected sample attempts to break free of its bottle. He tosses it into the burning remains.
After relaying the news to Stenn, the town begins preparations for the oncoming assault. The townsfolk make molotovs and spears while Artemis sets up positive energy traps at the entrances and the rest of The Crew prepare their spells and weapons.
The night falls and the Crew begin to take watches. The first two watches are uneventful, but when Artemis takes third watch he is nearly flattened by an undead being that sours through the air and splatters against the wall directly below his vantage point on the wall. Srednalf comments that something must have not appreciated his use of the light cantrip, and throws his magic stone out into the field. A moment later a second undead arcs over the wall and splats onto the ground outside the inn. This triggers the positive energy trap at the inn’s entrance and the black ooze that pours from the undead being begins to boil and evaporate. Before he can comment on this, Srednalf is knocked from the wall by a third flying body and is covered in the black ooze. He quickly approaches the inn and the ooze sizzles away just as the puddle had.
When Srednalf wakes after an uneventful fourth watch he finds he has fallen ill. Najoa cures him of disease and he feels better afterwards. This prompts him to make several Delay Disease potions that make the group immune to the black ooze for 24 hours.
After morning preparations the crew check the walls to discover that overnight, thousands of undead had gathered around the walls. They are keeping their distance, circling 100 feet out from the walls. At the main road a giant being stands, two dozen feet in height.
Najoa climbs to the top of the wall and hollers across the field at the giant; much to everyone’s surprise, it responds. It demands the daughter of Stenn. After refusing the request, the undead masses begin to approach. The Crew begins to snipe undead from the walls and are thankful that the giant keeps its distance.
The feeling of safety behind the walls immediately vanishes when a section of the front gate is disintegrated, opening a large hole for the undead to swarm through. Srednalf tries to dispense of the first wave with a bomb, but a misplaced explosive accidently blows the gates off their hinges and widens the hole. The undead begin to fry as they pass under the doorway, triggering Artemis’ second positive energy trap.
Stenn announces his intention of retreating to the inn’s second story and destroying the stairs so the undead can not follow. The Crew agrees with the tactic and retreat. Artemis holds back to assist the Tiefling blacksmith who had initially chosen to hide in their home but decided it was safer to join everyone else. They manage to get inside the inn before the masses surround them. The door is barred from the inside as the horde begin pounding at the walls and doors. Kate is the last up the stairs, and Stenn destroys the stairs behind them. The Teifling offers a potion of giant form to Artemis in thanks.
Time passes. The horde is unable to advance through the heavily magically shielded walls of the inn, but there are far too many for the crew to make an attempt at escaping.
More time passes.
While discussing possible options, a window in the back hallway shatters and is shortly followed by the terrified screams of the common locals. The Crew runs to investigate and find the end of the hallway soiled with blood. Juan approaches and as he gets near a large demonic being exists the room at the end and attacks. A fight ensues, but as the rest of the Crew begin to join the fray the demonic being turns invisible. With no way of detecting the creature, the Crew retreats to the other end of the hall.
Stenn, informed of the demise of the common folk, invites the remaining heroes into his secret room. He lowers an unmarked wall to expose a secret room with a magic lift leading to the third floor. The Crew follow him up. Najoa is the last to rise, but as he approaches the tube, the demonic being reappears and attacks. Najoa dispenses of the being in a few decisive blows, then follows everyone else upstairs
The third floor is only accessible from the magic tube. It seems to be a private room where Stenn’s daughter has been hiding out. Stenn opens a wardrobe in the corner of the room and exposes more magical items and an oddly placed tree branch. Stenn explains that the branch connects to a family farm to the west, but only those of his blood can use it for transportation. He had not used it because he did not want to abandon the Crew or the common folk. He produces a staff from the wardrobe and offers it to the Crew, explaining that it is a cursed staff of teleportation. The staff only teleports the user, not itself or others, so anyone who uses it will be stranded wherever it drops them. Furthermore, no one knows where it teleports to.
The Crew unanimously decides not to use it. The Tiefling, however, takes her chances and teleports away.
With no further options, the Crew develops a plan. Srednalf puts together several extracts of enlarge person, and one of reduce person. Najoa takes the potion of Giant Form, and the crew sneak out a back window to move along the top of the wall. Jua stays on the wall and rains arrows upon the giant while the others drink their potions, become giants, and charge the giant commander of the undead. When they are near, Srednalf uses the reduce person on the giant, putting the fight in their favor. Unfortunately, the giant commander uses a pendant on its neck to undo the reduction spell.
The Crew wail upon the commander… until he finds an opening and strikes back. With a rapid series of blows the Commander takes Srednalf down. In a moment of panic, Srednalf yells that the girl has left and there is no reason for this to continue. The Commander hesitates and the fight slows to a stop. Srednalf makes an attempt to bluff his way out of his slip up by claiming the girl escaped to a farm up north, but his bluff is called. Eventually it comes out that the farm is to the west. With no further reason to fight, the commander demands they show him the way.