Cora and Alma
You pause only long enough to suggest to Cora that she should investigate the rest of town before leaping through the alchemical inferno that is quickly spreading across the front of the barn. The roaring flames painfully lick at your body as you spring through them and land neatly on the packed dirt floor. The last of your mirror images winks away as it passes through the heat.
Though the area immediately before you is well lit, much of the farthest recesses of the barn are consumed by darkness.
You yell to Brianna to jump and the girl appears at the edge of the loft, though her face is pale her eyes are filled with relief. She leaps into the air, and you catch her readily enough, noting how slight she is. Her face is a hands-breadth from your own as you lower her to the ground by her slender waist.
I owe you my life.
She whispers in a trembling voice, her eyes looking up into yours, her breath warm against your cheek.
Before you can reply there is a banging at the back of the barn and Peter Frund bursts through the door. The portly mayor rushes through the blood-soaked barn, a look of immense relief on his face as he crushes his daughter in his arms.
Though the moment is touching, you note that the fire has nearly spread to the thatching and soon the entire building must be consumed. A quick scan of the stalls reveals no living animals to let free. Everywhere there is blood and slaughter.
The three of you make for the large back door, bursting into the night. As you catch your breath, Peter begins to speak.
I can see how Jarmel Hoffsteader came to be one of those wretched creatures, seeing as what those foul goblins did to him, but what of Mrs Pavelan. I saw her alive and well not two hours ago at the tavern!
The mayor, his face streaked with soot, and his thin hair hanging limp and sweaty about his head gives you a troubled look. Suddenly your concern for Cora doubles.
Fire damage (1d6): 1 point of damage
10 foot long jump (DC 10): 21 Successful
Catching Brianna (DC 15): 23 Successful
Cursing your luck you race from the barnyard and past the mayor’s house to the centre of the small village. The twenty or so building that cluster around the highway are dark, with shutters closed against the chilly night. The air is crisp and smells of woodsmoke.
A tall man, dressed in hastily donned tunic and breeches bursts from the front of the inn with a lantern in hand.
FIRE!!! FIRE!!! THE MAYOR’S BARN IS A BURNIN’!!!
His hollering fills up the darkness as he moves to stir the sleeping village.
No sooner have the words left his mouth though, then a trio of ghoulish figures leap from the shadows of a nearby house, bearing down on him. Oblivious to the danger the lanky villager rushes towards a stone well, presumably to draw a bucket of water.
He never gets there.
Before you can even scream a warning, the trio of savage undead pounce on him. Knocked to the ground with a grunt, he opens his mouth to scream as the creatures pummel him with gnarled and boney fists.
In the light cast by the fallen lantern you see the three undead. Two were once males, one an elderly man with whispy white hair, you recognize as Zeke, the cantankerous old timer who had hassled Alma, Sebastian and the others upon their first arrival in Tundrein. The third is a girl of perhaps ten.
Hidden in the shadows by the front porch of the mayor’s house, you can only watch as the assailed man shrivels beneath the hungry, battering fists of the undead. Even as he grows pail, withers and expires they seem to grow stronger.
You are confident that none of the undead have yet seen you-they are still intent upon their kill-so you scan the rest of the village. Suddenly you are attune to the sounds of splintering wood and screaming coming from a nearby house. The roar of fire from the burning barn and the final, agonizing groan of the dying man are testament to the madness that has overcome this once-peaceful town.
What do you do?