Veniset: Town Square
For a long moment there is silence as the local men stare sullenly at Matrim. A fearsome gust of wind howls about the square, driving a shift of snow across the body, covering it like a thin shroud.
Captain Gregor’s chest rises and falls furiously as he eyes the members of the Company of the Manticore. The mayor, removing his thin fingers from fur-trimmed leather gloves leans over the body, drawing the scarf from its face and wincing. In his reedy voice he says:
’Tis Thobias Barlow. He had a farm ten miles west of here. He was married to my cousin.
Mayor Cultiss stands drawing his gloves back on as Father Talton and Father Sim emerge from the church, hastening towards the side of the body. The entire square has the feeling of a courtroom as those present await a verdict from the two men of the cloth. Though no words are spoken between the priests, much is said in a series of looks. The lack of blood from the wounds, the withered condition of the skin and muscles and the pale complexion and blue-ish hue to the lips speak of a body that has been dead far longer than a minute or so.
Rising and addressing the gathered men with the grave tone of a sermon, Talton first reveals the nature of the dead man and the hideous desire to kill that had possessed it. He tutors them in ways to discover the presence of the undead and urges them to strike if life is proven false. His voice rises zealously as he proclaims their barriers fit and demands that the defenders return to them.
Father Sim nods his agreement and offers the blessing of Pelor and Saint Lucius on all of those present.
Satisfied the men return to the barricades and the eyes of those on the rooftops once more turn outwards, scanning the night for signs of intruders.
While Sebastian’s voice urges the men on with words and song, T’alen, Matrim, Mayor Cultiss, Captain Gregor and Father Sim cluster around Talton. The elder priest growls at them:
We must make sure that the rest of the village is secured and that all of the villagers are behind the walls. We can’t risk anymore lives…if people die they become enemies. We are down three men already…good…strong…battle tested men. I’m guessing this wight was just testing our defenses. The real attack will be brutal.
The others nod and turn to renew their posts. As they move away, Gregor doffs his lamb skin cap and extends a hand to Matrim.
My apologies. I was just taken with surprise is all. I mean what should one think when…
Whatever the captain was about to say dies in his throat. A chorus of screams, muffled by the stone walls, issues from inside the church. Two men closest to the heavy oak doors are already at them, straining to pull them open to no avail.
Father Talton had warned that the next attack would be brutal. It numbs the mind realizing how brutal it could be.
Veniset: The Church
A worried rumble runs through the women and children in the church. The tidings of first blood have deeply unnerved them. From where he stands in the shadows near the front of the chapel, Terrence watches as the two priests step through the main doors, heading into the storm to help deal with the confusion. A trio of guardsmen move to close the doors behind them.
Wasting no time, Terrence moves to the pile of supplies scooping up a few items that could be valuable.
Obeying the orders from Talton to continue bringing up supplies from the undercroft, the young boy and two other men plod down the narrow steps into the crypt.
From the far end of the chapel one of the three guards-a man heavily mantled in furs, with his face masked by a deep hood-grasps the iron bar and sets it in the brackets of the door. Before a question can be uttered by the man next to him, the cowled individual turns, striking the other guard full in the chest with both fists. A howl of excruciating pain issues from the stricken guard as he sinks to his knees. The terrible effect of the assault is revealed as lines criss cross a face that was once smooth with youth and a grey pallor replaces the blush of red that coloured his cheeks.
The screams of the women and children as they surge from their seats fills the air and Terrence finds his view of the assailant blocked. Scanning the chapel he sees four men, all with swords drawn, attempting to force their way through the sudden press of bodies.
Grimly he realizes that the church, a sanctuary until a moment ago, has now become a pen with the bulk of the village’s defenders locked beyond its sturdy door and thick walls.
The Logging Camp
The bodies of three loggers slump upon the snow, their blood pouring forth a red stain on the fresh snow. Howling with rage, the remaining men cluster around Alma and Lornaal, hacking at them with heavy, if untrained, blows.
Carving a space about him with the cruel edge of his great sword, Alma returns to the offensive. He slashes at a young man with a shaggy blond beard and ropy muscles clad in a wool tunic and fur cloak. The blade catches him in the neck, lopping through sinew, flesh and bone before carrying on to catch Ulof heavily in the chest. The blond man’s head falls face first into the snow while his body goes limp, crumpling to the ground in a geyser of blood. Ulof fares little better, the blade opening a gaping rent in his chest that issues a deep red fountain.
Sinking to his knees, Ulof curses and spits blood.
Lornaal, wades into his opponents, swinging the large axe in a wide, wicked arcs cutting down two more loggers with a gruesome efficiency.
Seeing the rapid decline in their numbers, and the heavy wounding of their master, the men seem little interested in continuing the battle. They back away carefully, fear clotting their features.
From his knees Ulof continues to curse in a voice strained with pain. Already his face has paled as the amount of blood lost nears a mortal quantity.
Despite the grimness of the task, Alma feels a thrill of victory run through his veins. Twenty armed opponents defeated in mere seconds time! A bloody pride swells within his chest. Disturbed by the feeling, he struggles to master it. Looking to Lornaal, Alma sees that the wound in his shoulder is wide, but not crippling. In truth the large northman hardly seems to notice the blood flowing freely down his right arm.
Drawing in a breath of frigid air Alma looks to the frightened men and the spreading flames of the logging camp behind them. From the main building the panicked cry of horses cuts through the storm, drawing the Cyonian’s attention. As he looks to the building, however, Alma’s eyes settle on the tree line of the camp. Perhaps two hundred feet away, arrayed in a loose line, nearly thirty figures of various sizes stand, observing with cold, dead eyes the men of the logging camp.
Attack #1: 15(d20) + 12 = 27
Damage: 7(d12) + 7 = 14
Attack #2 11(d20) + 7 = 18
Damage: 5(d12) +7 = 12
Cora, you remain cloaked in shadows next to Terrence as the two priests hustle from the church. Events seem already to be rolling. Fearing that Nargash might be drawing close you look to the corridor at the back of the church that leads to the small, sturdy back door. Before you can decide to move however, the commotion with the guard breaks out.
Hearing the sound you turn to see the familiar sight of the life draining attack of a wight being employed on the unfortunate guard. As the crowd in the church leap to their feet and struggle to move away you too lose sight of the attacker.
What do you do?