Adventure Log: Desnus 19, Year 4712 AR, Wealday
Meeting in the morning, the party decides to head back to the Dwarven Monastery. Before that though, they head to Ray’s house to pay their respects to the dead, borrow some books, and possibly throw a kegger. They find ray’s body still slumped in his chair, a book across his lap. Bernal attempts to loot him and finds that he is animate, and stinks quite badly. Guy, recognizes another ghoul and apologizes for disturbing him. The undead Ray ignores them, continuing to read. Maurit gazes over his shoulder and reads aloud:
Glintaxe, mighty hero of the dwarven race,
Seeker of heirlooms lost without trace,
He ventured the deeps where old evil sleeps
He perished in the halls of some dark place.
His restless spirit still stalks the night,
His shining axe still glows bright,
I’ve seen his ghost, and this is no boast,
I’ve ne’er laid eyes on a more fearful sight.
Bernal inquires whether Ray is okay with his possessions being passed to his next of kin, starting a lengthy discussion about the nature of undeath and whether they have property rights. Bernal heads upstairs, finds some cedar chips, starts a fire, and starts reading. They swap the book Ray is reading and find that the book he had was a recently published pathfinder journal by Gambozl Flinteye, detailing his adventures tracking down the Magnimaran criminal known as the Skinpeeler and fighting ogres on Hook Mountain.
Bernal and Guy get into a chat about whether or not the other victims of the plague might have become ghouls and when the hunger might set in. Guy seems rather pleased by the opportunity to share his research into the subject of undead social adaptation. Bernal checks Ray’s kitchen and finds it completely devoid of any signs of meat or meat preparation. He heads next-door and purchases a kielbasa and a carrot. On re-entry to the house, Ray animates at the smell of the hot food and lashes out, seizing the carrot and devouring it with gusto.
They arrange for someone from the nearest tavern to bring large helpings of potatoes and carrots, then head out to look for other villagers that might be afflicted. They head to the outskirts of town to check to see if the nearby farmsteads have been cleared of the dead. They head to the first farmstead and find it half-burned down, smoke still rising from the roof, with a young girl sitting in a pile of ashes with a woman lying in her lap.
Guy tries to get the girl to calm down by presenting her the fennec, which completely freaks out at the scent of the girl. A quick inspections finds that the woman had some burns, but died of a broken neck. The rail-thin girl, who called herself Jeva, had signs of having been beaten, and claimed that “it was for my own good.” The party discussed what to do with her as they searched the area, finding several torn-up child corpses in the remains of the house. They find wolf tracks and begin discussing ways of identifying lycanthropes. Guy recalls that, despite the overcast skies, the previous night was a full moon. Bernal waxes wistful about lycanthropes and the undead.
They decide to head to the next farmstead, and find several partially eaten cattle littering the hillside. Continuing on they find the farmhouse abandoned, with signs of recent flight towards town, and several more dead livestock. Bernal suggests setting a trap for the presumed were-creatures that attacked the farms, perhaps with goats as bait.
They empty out a barn, set it to be readily flammable, and camp out in the barn. Late in the night, Hugh hears howling and sees a number of eyes glinting on the edge of his vision. He pulls out his glowing axe, as Graypelt stalks into the light. He tells them that his pack attacked the orphanage after catching the scent of “half-breeds and skinchangers”. The party dodges around telling him that they have the sole survivor with them, but do enlist the protection of his pack to watch over them in case any werewolves should attack in the night.
The party retires to the loft of the barn, where, before turning in, Bernal pokes Jeva with a pointed stick, just enough to draw blood, to see if she heals “too quickly”. The wound stops bleeding before they fall asleep, though whether this is supernaturally fast is hard to tell. During the night Maurit hears the girl crying and screaming, perhaps even howling, in her sleep, though come morning no one has turned into a furred quadruped.
Adventure Log: Desnus 20, Year 4712 AR, Oathday
The party awakes to find Graypelt and his pack gone and all of them still intact. They make their way back to town where they hit Elarius up for some belladonna. Bernal makes some tea with the poisonous berries and feeds it to the girl as a possible final test of whether or not she is infected. The girl’s eyes dilate and she quickly goes rigid, falling to the ground and convulsing. Guy steps in and administers some calabar bean as an antidote, unsure of whether the girl’s strong reaction to the deadly plant was due to her being a lycanthrope or just having a weak constitution.
Next week…more wolves…