Our heroes just returned from the Ruins of the Bear and Maurice Lawson was in a partying mood because of their success. (Norrin, Cole, Spender, Wolf, and Fletch.) After a celebration, they slept it off. (Spender found a middle-aged woman who had a tent and a bed, so he could sleep more comfortably.) Fletch caught a cold or something from the last adventure, and Wolf decided to tend to him instead of moving on with the group.
The Adventure Goes South
In the morning, Spender asked around to see if there were any recent refugees from the north that might know more. Lawson pointed out a man in a fancy armadillo hat, Rory, who was one of the last to come from the north. Rory had a vague sense that a famous wizard tower fell, but he was on the outskirts of town when it happened and left out of prudence rather than finding out more or trolling for rumors.
Rory looked sturdy enough, so Spender hired him to carry his pack and to be his companion. Everyone was headed south to the remaining city on the island, Claveria. Lawson was going to wait for a few days to make sure everyone from the north that was coming could join his group, so the adventurers left without him. Norrin pulled their hand cart with the Mirror of Boomaxle and their various loot.
No one else was on the eerie and deserted road. Signs that people discarded their belongings as they approached the city grew more plentiful. Bandits thought about robbing the adventurers, going so far as to confront them with a flaming barricade, but upon second thought they decided not to actually launch an attack. While the adventurers explored an abandoned residence and resupplied, Cole ambushed the shadow that was trailing the group, meeting Gavin, a sharp-shooting local from an estate off the beaten path.
Gavin lost contact with the city militia (of which he was a member) and was keeping an eye on the road to keep the looting down, but that was increasingly unimportant as the scale of the disaster settled in. Things from underground attacked, maybe. Rumors and reports were confused, from the scant survivors.
Unsettled that there was no one on the road, still, the adventurers closed in on Claveria.
The unnatural fog thickened outside the city, and the adventurers homed in on a bonfire outside the city walls. There they met Carmen, leader of the militia, a tough guy in his 50s. Gavin took the awkwardness out of the introduction. Carmen had about 50 troops. He said a mist rose after the earthquakes, and people were disappearing, there was heavy fighting against things from underground, and the undead were coordinated.
The adventurers asked for lanterns and oil, and offered to scout and report. They got directions and the rough layout of the city, and headed for Donbar’s Tower; a wizard who was into portals might know what was up here.
Heading towards the tower, the adventurers found 10 zombies clawing at a house, with a kid sniping from the balcony. The kiskov and cleric made short work of the zombies, and the vigilante kid, James, joined up with the party. They also rescued Eric, a rich kid; Norrin vowed to deliver him safely to his people.
After every fight with the undead, they lasted for about 5 seconds, then vanished into the air. They had a sort of geometric symbol carved in their forehead. Spender noticed a strange quasi-magic field lowering over the city, and Cole felt his connection to his god Preyvask strained.
Continuing on, the adventurers discovered a statue of a stone man was missing from the park; crossing the river, they found the stone man (a golem) smashing zombies in a recreational way. Chatting, the adventurers found the golem had smashed thousands of zombies. Escorted to the wizard’s tower, the adventurers found his apprentice clearing off the last of his things, leaving the city behind. The adventurers asked for resources to help deal with this, and got 3 pointy stones that could be thrown at the ground to drive off mental effects. They also found out the stone golem’s movements were bounded, and it was to destroy the tower when it was emptied, to leave no trace.
The golem accompanied the adventurers to the keep, and smashed a hole in the wall so they could enter. They confronted a handful of looters and dispatched them, Norrin claiming a prize sledgehammer with a faint enchantment to help intimidate.
Spender sent James back to Carmen to recount everything the group had discovered, and to keep the plucky lad out of harm’s way as the adventurers continued to hunt for harm.
The keep was tottering after the earthquake, with evidence here as elsewhere that small things had burrowed up out of the ground.
Unsettled by the continuing emptiness of the city, the adventurers struck out for the marketplace.
Confronting the Dead
In the marketplace, the clock tower appeared to be an empty sleeve with a strange black obelisk inside it that had some of the geometric symbols vaguely resembling those on the dead. The caustic fog seemed to be a byproduct of the friction between the home dimension of the obelisk and the undead, and this dimension that was being invaded by its weird energy. As the adventurers looked around, a hollow suit of armor confronted them, flinging magic and slashing with a mace.
Spender desperately counter-spelled as Cole fired and Norrin charged in, with Rory taking pot-shots as he was able. The silent armor was defeated, but the adventurers could tell another obelisk seemed to be pushing up out of the ground. They debated what to do next, then decided to go down to the docks and see if people could be found and protected.
A grand melee roared around the road to the docks. Norrin charged through, tossing zombies with his mighty horns, and the rest of the adventurers ran behind him. They got down to the docks to see ships leaving and arriving, but the fighting was on the road, so they engaged in that battle to save the heroic defenders of Claveria’s corpse.
As the battle heated up, they were assaulted by magical darkness and unending waves of zombies. Then the zombies vanished, and a grotesque undead spider swarming with beetles reared up, slaughtering with impunity. The adventurers attacked, with Norrin repeatedly crashing into it as Cole fired a withering hail of arrows into the cracks of its armor. The beetles repaired the spider, so concentrated shooting cleared them off. Spender confronted the monstrosity, keeping it busy as Norrin gathered himself for a last charge, and together with Cole, put the thing down.
The battle was over, but the mysteries remained, as the fog began to thin over Claveria.