Sixth of Sunharrow, 474
The next morning, Maudrin rose early and went out to visit the temples and shrines to Pelor in Indiss, and meet some of the priests and monks therein. Largely underwhelmed, he did meet a few good, dedicated men and women, including Brother Tarol, a monk at the Church of the Sunrise Over Water, a dockside temple.
Meanwhile, everybody else gathered at the Maw. Jorlim was absent, but Hedra, his young servant and assistant, was working the common room. As they debated which problem to pursue, Maudrin returned from his walk and joined the discussion. As they debated, a town cryer paused on the street outside to read his missive. Lord Mayor Fronc Derlain was offering to pay well for any information relating to the zombie attacks! The offer of a reward tipped the debate and the group set out to investigate the Zombie plague.
At the scene of last night’s battle, Anu recovered some black mud from the corner of a wall where a zombie had fallen, while Alaric found some rotten black leaf residue. Maudrin’s blessed vision revealed powerful evil in the blood spilled by the zombies. Meanwhile, Dove put a frightened local at ease and was told that the zombies had all come up the road from the east. He also told her about an old tale, the story of the Necromancer’s Garden, but he was certain that it was nothing but a story to frighten wayward children.
The group decided to visit the Scriptorium, a repository of knowledge where learned sages were known to spend their time in the perusal of old scrolls. Along the way, a suspicious squad of guards accosted Anu and accused the hapless Tiefling of being in the wrong part of town, but Alaric’s bluster and Dove’s silver tongue convinced them to leave her alone. But even these tools were of no use at the Scriptorium – there was simply no way that Anu and Fiona were getting in.
While Maudrin, Dove and Alaric entered and sought advice on their problem, Anu quickly found a side window and scaled the wall effortlessly. Finding an open clerestory window, she found the temptation to grab at a scroll too much to resist, and ended up in a precarious position.
Meanwhile, the other three companions were introduced to Guthrim, a sage knowledgeable in mythology and history, and Sigrun, a botanist by profession. From these two, they learned that the leaves were likely a variety of marshwillow that grows on the shores of Greenwater Lake, and that the Necromancer’s Garden was a legend with roots in fact – an ancient shrine to Nerull the Deathgod, razed years ago by a Pelorian crusade, which once stood on the western shore of Greenwater. Perhaps the ruins could still be found?
Their education interrupted by the sudden arrival of Anu and Fiona from above, the group said their hasty thank yous and good byes and left for the lake shore. As the shops and tenements grew sparser and the ramshackle huts more common, they realized that somebody was following them. in the lakeside shantytown they sprung an ambush on their pursuer, who claimed to be an adventurous young cobblers apprentice who heard them talking and wanted to join them. But when Fiona took him off behind a hut, he turned the tables on her and drove a knife into her gut! Luckily, she was able to wound him and her friends finished him off; the wound was not as bad as it had appeared, and the party began a search of the lake shore.
A few hundred yards to the south, they found a pile of old stone that resolved itself into a ruined estate of some sort – a large, collapsed structure with four mausoleums, all surrounded by a wall. Could this be it? As a tremendous storm broke over the city, skeletal figures crawled up from the mud and attacked. This had to be the place.
The battle with the skeletons was hard fought but victorious, and Maudrin’s vision revealed an aura of evil inside one of the mausoleums. After resting for a bit and patching up, the group entered the mausoleum. A clear trail led to the back wall, which contained a secret door. Opening the door revealed a dark spiral staircase, leading down into darkness…