The camera shifts to events and places not that far away from the characters. Unbeknownst to them, a strange scene emerges.
Two shadowy figures walking through a forest, arrive at their destination, an enormous Toad statue with water cascading down it in a stream.
Whispers too faint to hear followed by the robed figure lifting up a small glass vial, shaped like a unicorn, filled with blood red liquid.
“AGREED” comes a deep voice, sourced from the un-moving statue. The robed figure dashes the blood filled vial against the stone Toad. The blood sprays across it, then seems to become absorbed by it.
The scene fades back to the group.
The team rested beneath the ground then gathered their gear and loot and moved to the Portal to the Shadowfell.
Illium, carrying her large bowl, of acidic goop, Lady Bururu put on the enchanted cap that caused her own body to become comatose, but allowed her to take control of the flesh golem in the near by room. She had the golem carry her own body to the circle of runes on the floor.
The rest of the team met them at the portal. Saying the activating word, “Shadow” the team opened the portal, a curtain of green light began to shimmer in a circular shape above the runes on the floor.
The team stepped into the circle, and out of it, into the shadowfell.
As the team took stock of their surroundings, another large dark chamber, with several corpses in it, several things happened in rapid succession.
The enchanted sword taken from above the bar by the intelligent undead in Loch, explodes into black flames, glowing blue runes suddenly visible along its length. Jaxx dumps his back pack and quickly detaches the sword that was beginning to burn it.
Upon holding the sword, he found the flames could be extinguished simply by willing it.
An armored warrior burst from the portal suddenly, and halted his sprint before the group.
“Who are you?” the Jaxx questioned the man.
“I am Paladin in service to Valador, God of Justice. Who are you?” Began a somewhat odd and awkward conversation.
The Barbarian challenged the new arrival to strike him with his sword which the Paladin was not disinclined to attempt.
After swinging his blade at the huge man’s face but not anticipating how quickly he could move that big body, the Paladin caught only air and Jaxx seemed some how satisfied that the new-comer’s violent tenancies would be sufficient to his liking.
“You can come with us then.”
A round of questions and answers and demands to destroy the abomination that was the stitched together corpse parts (still controlled by Lady Bururu), Estellia mentioned she had read in one of the looted Tomes that the thing was an early weapon in the First Necromancer war called a flesh golem. She calmed Paladin’s fury by assuring him that it was a fight fire with fire attempt by wizards of the day to create weapons to fight in those trying times against the tide of the undead.
“These Flesh Golems were created as weapons against that which you hate,” she proclaimed. The warrior, finally taking stalk for a moment, introduced himself as Cain Stormgard.
Whilst the commotion about of the room was going on, the adventurers noted with some alarm that the portal had closed and no similar runic circle existed on the floor on this side of it. There was no way back to their home plane.
Looking about the room, they found several bodies, apparently undead humans that had been “killed”, perhaps by spell and sword.
Walking up a set of stairs they found themselves, once more in a tower, though a much bigger one than the ruin in Loch.
The tower was essentially hollow walls with an open ceiling. A damaged, spiral stair, twisted up toward the top, and a single large door way granted access to the outside. Outside the tower was a grey cloudy sky that well masked a pale Sun. Their best guess was that it was morning here just as in the world they had just left.
Looking about the outside, nothing moving was immediately visible, however mounds of stones, ancient cairns dotted the hill side.
Deciding to try to gain a better vantage of the surrounding terrain, Jonas and Jaxx volunteered to climb the tall crumbling stairway. The stair was quite treacherous, but nothing they could not handle until they reached a portion of it that had fallen away.
Taking a running start, Jaxx was able to leap across and haul himself up on the other side. Jonas was not able to jump across quite as easily, however Jaxx was able to help catch his arms and get him hauled up on the other side.
Scaling stairs to the top, the sighted a large forest to the north and west. A road lead to a bridge and beyond toward a possible lake where dark smoggy clouds seem to have gathered. They also spotted what looked like a mine or a cave with structures outside on a distant hill.
They noted clusters of undead seemed to be roaming the nest of hills they found them selves in the middle of and a particularly large cluster of them gathered on the aforementioned bridge. A dry stream bed, one in the north and the south within the hilly area seemed to hold some promise of cover, especially as they seemed to get deeper as they proceeded to the east, but they would be stuck in those natural trenches if they chose that direction.
Mulling over their options, Jaxx just said to Jonas, “the Mine – lets go there.”
They descended the stair once more. This time as they approached the gap, Jonas leaped first, it seemed a lot easier to leap down than up. Jaxx followed but some stones broke away on his landing and he started to fall. Jonas grabbed at his arms as he tried to keep him from falling forty feet to the tower floor. Unfortunately he just did not have the right combination of strength and balance at that moment to keep the barbarian from falling and fell over as well!
Jonas landed atop the huge man, both of them grunting as the wind was knocked out of them and their body smacked into the hard floor with terrific force.
Jaxx was made of stern stuff and sat up. A pool of blood was spreading out from Jonas however as he coughed and sucked in air. With a grim look, Cain came over to Jonas and placed his gauntlet-ed hand upon his chest. A white glow emanated from his hand taking away Jonas’ pain allowing him to sit up and rest for a moment.
Estellia, Lady Bururu and Illium had been looking around while the climbers were busy. They noticed a group of dwarven undead – skeletons carrying rusted weapons walking among the hills. They also noted that behind the tower, toward the west there seemed to be a trail of foot prints and a number of slain undead skeletons.
The group quickly decided to follow the trail left behind what seemed to be a pair of travelers in the direction of the Forest. Jonas, still rubbing his injuries did not even notice that they were not heading toward the mine. He and Jaxx explained little of the other terrain features they noted from the tower top aside from the road, the forest and the undead that seemed to be wandering the hills.
As the team progressed through the hills, relaying on Illium’s tracking skills to follow the trail, they encountered several more clusters of skeleton “corpses” where battles had obviously taken place at some point in the past. They could not tell for certain when, maybe a couple days.
At the edge of the hills, they found themselves at the edge of a flat grassy expanse. The tracks they were following had mysteriously disappeared, and they could see to the south west there was some kind of tall monolith at the forest edge where a road ran into the forest.
As they progressed toward the road, a band of dwarven skeletons saw them.
The team battled the skeleton’s with good tactics, first attacking the approaching enemies with ranged weapons and spells, and finishing them off as they closed in. Lady Bururu was directing her golem whilst her body remained mostly unprotected in the grass.
As the last of the first band was defeated, a second group of undead, more skeletons, had been attracted by the sounds of combat and approached. A second battle ensued but with similar results. The team seemed to be working very well, even their recent addition Cain.
Before more undead could come upon, them the group proceeded as stealthily as they could to ward the tree line and roadway as they could (which was not very stealthy as they gloem carrying its new owner’s jangly armored body, and the clinking sounds produced by Cain’s armor proved).
Fortunately they did not run into any more undead and made it to the cover of the forest.
After walking around for a couple hours they heard growls and barking, then a sudden silence. Stealthily approaching a clearing, they sighted a naked, harry man standing in a field full of broken and smashed undead. Obviously not surprising the man, they approached him.
“What are you doing in my wood?” he barked the question at them.
A short conversation ensued where the naked man demanded the leave, but mentioned a witch wondering if they were looking for her. He left them in the clearing not staying around to see if they would be leaving or not.
The party started to follow the man into the forest, not wanting to leave it there, and readying their weapons.
A short distance into the brush, their quarry detected they were following them. Some snapping and disgusting popping sounds were heard by the team, who found themselves suddenly confronted by a large black furred wolf.
With an angry growl, the beast charged toward the leading hunter, Jonas. What followed was a flurry of blades and blood. Jonas’s quick reflexes saved him from being gored in the werewolf’s initial assault. Cain channeled his god’s hole energy into his silvered two-handed sword and slammed home some very powerful hits. Jonas fought with his rapier and scimitar, the rapier didn’t seem to arm the beast at all, but the scimitar cut into the beast’s tough hide rather well.
Jaxx’s two-handed sword was like wise ineffective, but the attacks raining down on the tough beast were too much for it to bear. Vindictively it made a final attempt to gore Jonas and was rewarded with ripping of his tender flesh and the taste of his blood. Injured, but not out, Jonas sliced home with his enchanted scimitar, just as the were-beast turned to flee.
He struck the beast in the side ripping open its guts. Intestines spewing onto the ground, the dying beast’s body convulsed as it twitched, popped and twisted back into the form of a man, blood and gore stretched across the ten feet he had managed to move before collapsing.
Jonas, barely alive himself from the bites and claws, could not resist taunting the beast in death. He stood over the beast and bobbed up and down, a gleeful smile on his face as he tea bagged the fallen foe.