30 Starfall 508
The party has spent the past three weeks in Aldasar retraining skills and professions. Savaric has become a Horizon Walker and released Victor into the wilds. He now has a new companion, a wolf named Ghost. Rilka has a new magic belt and new look. Mõrvar has reforged his greatsword into a magic weapon and retrained some of his skills, including his unarmed strikes under the former Shandorian monk Rohin Devasi. Surm has trained under the bard Kyril Oberon and managed to get a reference to the nobleman Lord Cannach Ma’leod, who may have a job for the troupe.
Lord Cannach owns lands right outside Aldasar and near the Slayt Mountains. Surm performed at the birthday celebration of another minor noblewoman where Cannach was in attendance. The nobleman was impressed with Surm’s tales of Captain Rilka and her troupe. He wanted to meet her and thought he might be able to do business with her and wanted Surm to set up a meeting. Surm brought the idea to the rest of the party and they all agreed that the idea held promise. So a meeting was set up and the party headed out to Lord Cannach’s estate.
Lord Cannach Ma’leod’s estate lies just outside the city of Aldasar, nestled in amongst several other estates belonging to other minor nobles. The manor house is a fine, two-story structure lying in the middle of fields of wheat and sorghum as well as an orchard. A narrow cobbled road leads up to the house from the main road out of the city.
As they approach the house, they can hear the sounds of dogs barking. When they get closer, you can see that Lord Cannach has a kennel. An older man is out feeding what look to be three wolf-hounds. The hounds begin to growl as they get closer to the manor and the man turns and says, “Good morning. You must Captain Rilka’s band. You are expected. Just give me a moment to finish here and I will let you inside.”
True to his word, the man finishes up with the dogs and lets them into the house. He directs them to a small parlor and invites them to sample the wine—it’s from Lord Cannach’s own vineyard. He says that he will fetch Lord Cannach and bids them to be comfortable while they wait.
Savaric enjoys the wine, careful not to spill or wrinkle his uniform. Surm avoids the wine and just sips water while he waits. He eyes the parlor with an eye to identify pieces as art for conversation value. He notes that all of the pieces in the room are expensive, but not ostentatious and are bought with an eye to comfort. Mõrvar assesses the exits of the room and looks to see if there are any weapons on display (there are none). Rilka sits calmly and sips her water. Savaric notes that the wine is pleasant and slightly fruity.
After about 10 minutes, Lord Cannach comes in the room. He is a handsome man in his early thirties with sandy blonde hair and close-cropped beard. He is dressed well, but not flashy. He wears a masterwork dagger on his belt.
“Welcome to my home. Surm, I hope you are doing well. This must be the Captain you’ve been telling me about.” He turns to Rilka. “I enjoyed hearing about the escapades of your troupe. Such strength and daring. I do hope we can do business.”
He sits in one of the chairs and motions for them all to sit.
Savaric happily takes a seat; complimenting the wine. Mõrvar sits. Rilka sits down directly across from the nobleman. She nods. “Thank you taking the time to see us. Your reputation speaks well of you. I look forward to possibly doing business with you..” She then makes formal introductions for the rest of the group. As she does, she tries to get a sense if he is bothered by her race or gender. She gets no sense that Lord Cannach is discomfited with speaking to her.
“To the business, then,” he says. “I have a decent parcel of land near the Slayt Mountains. I have a small mining community there that I have a man overseeing. I recently received a dispatch that a ruin has been discovered inside the mine. Not to put too fine a point on it—I don’t wish to send any of my miners into this ruin; I don’t know what’s in there. I suspect that it’s a Duindir ruin.”
Savaric knows that Duindir is a term associated with Leilior, but he’s not sure how. Surm knows that the Duindir were one of the ancient races that make up Leilioran stock. They were associated with the Slayt Mountains.
Lord Cannach continues. “So, frankly, I wish to hire more adventuresome types to explore these ruins.”
Surm says, “That’s wise. Leave it to the professionals.”
“Are you just wanting it mapped out? The depths of it plumbed? What are you hoping to find?” Rilka asks.
“Well, there may be treasures, which I would like safely removed,” Lord Cannach says.
“And brought to you, I assume,” Rilka says.
“Yes,” says Lord Cannach.
“So just for clarification, because the mine is on your lands, and the ruins are in your mine, you’re laying claim to the treasures in the ruins,” Surm says.
“That’s right,” Lord Cannach says. “Now, I would be willing to share treasures found as part of your price or if you have another price that your looking at, or there may not be treasures. That’s the risk.”
Rilka looks at Surm and Surm asks Lord Cannach, “How would you be willing to share treasure, assuming there is some?”
Lord Cannach says, “I would be willing to share fifty percent of the treasure with your troupe.”
“Is that including coin and the worth of whatever objects we may find?” Rilka asks.
“Yes,” Lord Cannach says.
“Is there a town or a base or operations we can work out of nearby?” Surm asks.
“There is a small community. A hamlet,” Lord Cannach says.
“A hamlet that will be able to support a troupe?” Surm asks.
“I believe you said you had seventeen in your troupe?” Lord Cannach. “How do you mean ‘support’?”
“Food. Housing. Do you know how big these ruins are?” Surm asks.
“No,” Lord Cannach says.
“So we have no idea how long we’ll be exploring these ruins,” Surm says. “So during that time we’ll be camped and I assume the hamlet will be a place where we can resupply. I have no idea how far the hamlet is from the mine…”
“It’s five miles from the mine,” Lord Cannach says. “It would probably be able to support you in a basic fashion. Food, water, housing.”
“Assuming we are able to find treasure, how will the shares be broken down?” Rilka asks. “What will be our ability to keep items if we desired to keep them?”
“Do you have a proposal?” Lord Cannach asks.
Savaric says that he likes the idea of appraising all of the items and purchasing each item at its value.
Surm says that he would think that would whatever artifacts were found would be appraised and their value be split as shares.
Lord Cannach says that he would be amenable to that.
Everything would need to be brought back and an agent would need to be selected that both parties would be agreeable to in order to appraise the goods.
“Was the ruin a ruin of a structure or of a city?” Surm asks.
“I’m not sure. I told my men to stay away from it,” Lord Cannach says.
“Is this just a cursory survey of the ruin or is this a clean out of the ruin?” Surm asks.
“Clean out,” Lord Cannach says.
Surm proposes that along with the fifty percent of the potential treasure that they would need 500 gold plus expenses plus food and water while at the hamlet.
After a moment’s pause, the nobleman says, “That’s fair. When do you plan on setting out.”
“We’ll need a day to supply and then we can head out,” Surm says.
“Do we need a letter or will you be sending someone with us?” Rilka says.
“I’ll send a letter with you recommending you to my man down there named Anghus Norren. He’ll know of our arrangement concerning the hamlet,” Lord Cannach says.
“Does he run the hamlet or the mining community or both?” Surm asks.
“Both. He runs both operations. He is my Reeve. The hamlet is called Leodin,” the nobleman says.
Lord Cannach stands. “Pleasure doing business with you. Hopefully there will not be too many hardships on you doing this. I wish you good journey. And hopefully we can both profit from this.”
Everyone else stands and there are handshakes all around. The nobleman exits the room and the man who escorted everyone in appears to escort them out. The party leaves the estate and heads back into Aldasar.
The party spends the rest of the day buying supplies for potential ruins and mine exploration and making preparations, including paying the soldiery.
Rilka consults with Savaric about the types of creatures that live deep in the Slayt Mountains. He tells her that they could run into kobolds, goblins, maybe even orcs. If you go deep enough, you could run into the Underdark with Drow, Duergar, Dark Creepers, and other such creepers. There are also dragonkind.
1 Transformation 508
The troupe leaves Aldasar for Leodin. There is no road to Leodin, so travel is cross-country over the plains of Leilior. The day is pleasant and passes without incident.
2 Transformation 508
Another day of travel over the plains. Up on a hill is sighted a shrine to the god Hathras, Lord of the Winds, patron of travelers. Rilka identifies the god for the others and provides the insight that people provide some bit of gear as sacrifice at these shrines to aid travelers. Savaric spots movement at the shrine and points it out to everyone else. Savaric wants to check it out, but the others are not as interested.
So the rest of the troupe ride on and Savaric rides up at an angle to the shrine. Savaric approaches the man on the horseback. The shrine is open to the sky. The symbol of Hathras, a bisected disc of blue and white hangs on the frame. The man is placing something in a box inside the shrine. He turns and sees Savaric and says in Tradespeak, “Don’t hurt me! I have nothing! I have nothing!”
“Don’t be alarmed,” Savaric says. “I just saw you from afar and wanted to see that everything was okay.”
“I have no weapons!” the man declares.
“Okay,” Savaric says. “That’s why you’re here. Are you okay?”
The man thinks for a moment and says, “Yes.”
The man has his hands up and starts backing up.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you. I just wanted to see that you weren’t in danger…” Savaric says.
He turns around and starts running, yelling, “Orcs! Orcs!”
Meanwhile, Mõrvar, Surm, and Rilka hear someone yelling, “Orcs! Orcs!” They look up to see Savaric looking confused at the top of the hill and a man running away from the shrine. Savaric returns to the rest of the group and they continue on toward Leodin.
5 Transformation 508
Based on the directions given to them by Lord Cannach, they should reach Leodin by noontime. As they are traveling through the wooded foothills, Savaric hears panting and quickly-moving footsteps out of the woods. It is probably a running man.
“Someone is coming,” he says.
The soldiers circle up at Alasir’s command and Mõrvar stands menacingly with his greatsword. Rilka and Savaric stand ready. Surm stands surrounded by soldiers.
Breaking out of the woods is a man in fine clothes that have seen better days. It looks as if he’s been running in the woods for hours. You see a blood stain on his clothing. He comes up short and says, in Tradespeak, “Turn back! It’s horrible!”
“What’s going on, sir?” Rilka says. She sees a dagger and an empty rapier sheath on his belt.
Mõrvar puts up a hand and says, “Calm yourself and explain.”
The man says, “We let it out! It killed them all! We didn’t know!” He covers his face with his hands. “We didn’t know!”
“Who are you? Where are you from?” Surm asks.
“I’m Anghus Norren. I’m the Reeve of the hamlet of Leodin,” the man says.
Rilka tells Alasir to let him approach. Mõrvar lets him approach.
“We were just coming your way. Your lord has hired us to explore the ruins that were discovered,” Rilka says. Surm produces the letter from Lord Cannach. Anghus takes the letter.
“You may be too late,” Anghus says.
“Well according to Lord Cannach, he instructed the ruins not to be explored, that why he was sending us. What happened?” Surm asks.
“We didn’t explore them. We followed his orders. But in finding them, we think we let something out,” Anghus says.
“Can you be more specific? What do you think you let out? What happened?” Surm asks. “Tell your story, man!”
“It happened last night. The screams started. And then there was fire from some sort of sorcerer. But no sorcerer like I’ve ever seen. He looked like Death. He had blue glowing orbs for eyes. His skin was withered, almost to the bone,” Anghus says.
Surm and Mõrvar are thinking along the lines of a Lich. A Lich tends to be a spellcaster that has defeated death and become undead. They are very old and powerful.
“Did someone witness him come out of the ruins?” Surm asks.
“Yes, I did,” Anghus says. “I saw him come out of the mines.”
“It killed them all? Did anyone flee? Did anyone put up a fight?” Surm asks.
“Some men put up a fight and they fell,” Anghus says. “I was lucky to get away with my life.”
“So you don’t know if others got away,” Surm says.
“I suppose it’s possible,” Anghus says, dubiously.
“How many people are we looking to account for?” Surm asks.
“Thirty-six,” Anghus says.
“Men, women, and children?” Rilka asks.
“And this is the entire population?” Surm asks.
“Yes,” Anghus says. “Plus me.”
“How far are we from Leodin?” Surm asks.
“About a mile,” Anghus says.
“So this all just went down?” Surm asks.
“Last night. I ran and I hid. And I ran,” Anghus says.
“Did you see where it went? What it did?” Surm says.
“It came out and through up a wall of fire. It threw fire, more fire, fire into buildings…” Anghus says.
“Alright Anghus, I guess we’re heading back into Leodin,” Surm says. “I’d appreciate it if you’d head back in there with us since you’re from there and can be kind of a guide, but I understand if you don’t want to. But I don’t know if you want to continue running across the plains of Leilior.”
“I’ll go,” Anghus says.
“Is it hills and woods all the way up to the hamlet?” Surm asks.
“Yes, for the most part,” Anghus says.
Rilka offers to let Anghus up on her horse with her. He accepts.
Rilka and Mõrvar confer and let the party know that their safe bet concerning hurting undead is using magic weapons, that there are a variety of things that harm them, depending on the type.
The troupe goes back to where they found Anghus and Savaric and Ghost go forward ahead of the troupe 100 feet, dismounted and stealthy, Savaric taking his magic arrows with him. They try to follow the path that Anghus took back to the hamlet with the troupe following.
As Savaric makes his way, he comes upon the top of a hill and can see down into a cleared out valley where the hamlet is. He can smell smoke and burnt meat. He sees smoldering remains of some of the houses. He can see a large market hall near the center of the town and milling about in front of the market hall are about ten people. He and Ghost stealthily backtrack their way to the troupe and Savaric reports what he saw.
Savaric thinks that there is something wrong with the people milling about. Surm says that its strange that they’re hanging around, that maybe the Lich is gone. Rilka theorizes that perhaps the Lich is in the market hall and using the townspeople as guards. Surm proposes to check out the outlying buildings for survivors, leaving the troupe in the treeline. Rilka agrees. Surm recruits Savaric to go with him to look for survivors. Savaric commands Ghost to defend Anghus and Ghost positions himself near the nervous Reeve. Surm and Savaric head down out of the treeline into the hamlet.
Surm pokes his head into houses and announces “Hey! Anybody here? We’re here to help!” in a low voice, looking for survivors. Savaric does the same on the other side of the street. In some of the houses, there is burn damage. In one of the houses that Surm pokes his head in, he sees a small bed and he spots the mattress rise and lower once. He stealthily makes his way into the house and lower his way down into the doorway and looks down under the bed. He sees a small form staring back him. It gasps and backs up toward the wall.
“Okay. I’m here to help. Anghus Norren sent me. He ran the mines. Remember him?” Surm says. The form nods slowly. “Well, I have him outside. I’ll take you to him. There’s a big group of us. You’ll be safe. You can’t stay under the bed forever. We’ve got some food. Aren’t you hungry?”
The form edges sideways out of the foot of the bed, watching Surm the whole time. Finally, the form emerges from the foot of the bed and Surm can see that it’s a little girl, about six years old.
“Are you ready?” Surm asks.
She watches Surm and comes forward. Surm sticks his hand out. She comes forward slowly and cautiously and takes his hand. He makes his way out as cautiously as he can, leading the little girl out.
Rilka spots Surm leading the little girl out of the house. She orders the soldiers to be ready. Surm makes his way back up and takes the girl up to Anghus. Savaric finishes his houses and makes is way up as well.
The girl looks around wide-eyed, takes in Rilka and Savaric and goes even more wide-eyed. Anghus informs everyone that her name is Hellyne Borwyn. Anghus asks her if her parents are down there in Leilioran, which Rilka translates. Hellyne shakes her head and says that the ghost man took them away.
Rilka says, “This changes our tactics a little bit. We’re not taking a six year old onto a battlefield.” She sighs, “So we don’t know if the Lich can just enthrall people?”
“If he’s a spellcaster, he can,” Surm says.
“So we don’t know if those are zombies down there, they could just be enthralled,” Rilka says.
“They could be in some way,” Surm says. “I’d have to look up every spell to know how, but…”
“No, if they’re enthralled in some way, not just dead, is there a way you can break that?” Rilka asks.
“There’s ways to break it, I don’t know if I can. I don’t have Dispel Magic,” Surm says.
“If he was dead, would that break it?” Rilka asks.
“If they were enthralled and he was dead, it would break the spell,” Surm says.
“I don’t know how much time we want to spend here versus taking people back to the city. I don’t know if we want to scout out the hamlet for more survivors hiding and take people back before we go to the mines if the Lich is not found here. Otherwise we’re going off of our rations for everybody to survive. I don’t know what’s left that can be scavenged,” Surm says.
Anghus says, “There are some stores in the market place.”
“I feel like we need to get this hamlet under some kind of control before we decide anything. If he does have them enthralled then he is using them for a purpose then its three days to get here and I’m sure they’re not feeding themselves or anything…” Rilka says.
“Well, they’ve only been in this condition since last night,” Surm points out. “And when we were scouting out the houses, there were no bodies.”
Rilka asks Savaric if the people in front of the market hall were injured and he says that he didn’t get close enough to tell. Rilka says that they have to get closer. Surm suggests picking a house to station troops and Anghus and the girl in that’s safe to use as a base of operations. So the troupe moves down out of the treeline and positions itself around one of the empty houses and the non-combatants go inside and hunker down, surrounded by soldiers and the party.
As Surm and Savaric make their way down, they see the crowd in front of the market hall start to wander toward the houses. Savaric wants to take a shot, but Rilka says no. Surm has the troops position themselves in a line along the road to wait for the crowd. Then he and Savaric climb up on roofs of the nearby houses to get a look at the oncoming crowd and see if they are indeed undead.
Surm sees people with extensive burns, bloodstained clothing, and very blank stares. Savaric sees a figure emerge from the market hall. The figure has long, silver white hair. It has blue glowing orbs for eyes. Savaric points the figure out to Surm. Surm sends a Message to Mõrvar that the ten people are indeed undead and that the Lich has emerged from the market hall. “Unless we’re ready to engage the Lich, we’d best hide and not engage the zombies,” Mõrvar passes the message on to Rilka and says, “Let’s take it on. I’m ready.”
Meanwhile, the ten undead are slowly making their way toward the road.
Rilka, Surm, and Mõrvar discuss plans on how to take on the zombies. Surm keeps pointing out that if they take on the zombies, that that will alert the Lich. Mõrvar wants to take the fight to the Lich.
Suddenly, a voice calls out in a language none of the party understands. The undead crowd turn around and start heading back toward the market hall. Surm Messages Mõrvar “Good hiding!” Mõrvar tells Rilka that the group is going back. Rilka wants everyone to come back and Mõrvar Messages Surm to that effect. Surm suggests that Savaric go back but that he stay and keep an eye in case the Lich comes back out. Savaric stealthily climbs down and comes down.
Rilka wonders if the zombies will revert to corpses once the Lich dies. Surm, who has an Animate Dead scroll, disavows her of that notion, informing her that the zombies would wander about attacking anything that moved or would follow the Lich’s final order if the Lich died, but they would still be zombies.
Then the party decides to talk strategy. They ask Anghus about the structure. The market hall is like a big barn. There’s a loft and a single-wide back door. There are sliding doors to the loft that are usually locked. There is access to the roof from the loft that is usually barred. First they discuss the possibility of roof access. That idea is scrapped in favor of running in invisibly. Then they come up with the idea of a diversion to draw the Lich out. Then Mõrvar can bull rush him back into the market hall and the rest can rush in invisibly. Savaric can fire upon the Lich as well from a distance. For the distraction, they can have a soldier ride out on horseback to lead the zombies around the building.
Alasir is updated on the plan. Once the party is inside the building, the troops are to take up position on the road and be ready to take down the zombies once they come back around from the distraction. Take them down rather than let them mass back up again.
Alfhild volunteers to be the distraction rider. Surm casts Mage Armor on Mõrvar and Rilka. Alfhild takes off on her horse. Mõrvar casts Bull Strength. The zombies begin following her around the corner. Ilona makes Savaric invisible. Surm casts his Invisibility spells. Then the Lich emerges from the market hall.
Savaric fires multiple shots from his position, some with magical arrows, some without. He hits him with the magic arrows. Then Mõrvar bull rushes the Lich back into the market hall, pushing him twenty feet into the room. Surm runs in and sees Mõrvar push the Lich into the room and also sees two zombies in the room. He also sees six other creatures in the room. They look like withered corpses—he can identify them as ghouls. Surm yells for Mõrvar to “Drag him out!” and casts Grease to disrupt the footing of the ghouls. Two of the ghouls fall, a third does not. Rilka gets inside the hall and channels positive energy to harm the undead.
Rilka then attacks one of the ghouls and fells it in the first hit. She then attacks one of the prone ones, dispatching it as well. One of the ghouls attacks Rilka with two claws and a bite and misses. Another three attack Mõrvar and miss him. Surm then casts Grease again, this time centered on the area around Mõrvar and the Lich. Mõrvar keeps his footing, as does the Lich, but a ghoul and a zombie fall. The zombies attempt to get back up. Mõrvar takes the opportunity to hit one of the zombies as it rises and knocks it back down. The other zombie rises and attacks Mõrvar, but misses. The Lich fills the room with a burst of negative energy, damaging everyone in the room. Mõrvar attacks the Lich with his magic sword, Deathblow. The Lich is intimidated by Mõrvar’s mighty blow and is shaken. Savaric comes into the hall and shuts the door and bars it.
Mõrvar critically hits the Lich with Deathblow. Then the Lich is intimidated again attempts to flee. He does not fall on the grease. Then Mõrvar fumbles with his attack of opportunity as the Lich tries to get away. He is now standing under the loft. Surm notices that there are corpses lined up under the loft as well. The ghouls attack Mõrvar and miss. The ghoul on Rilka attacks and misses. And then one attacks Surm and claws him once. Rilka hits her ghoul with a mighty blow and fells it. The zombie slams Mõrvar hard. Then the Lich utters a word and disappears.
Surm recognizes the spell as a Teleport. Surm and Rilka curse under their breath. Surm casts Magic Missile defensively against the ghoul in front of him. The ghoul is staggering about. Savaric shoots the ghoul that is staggered, felling it with two arrows. He then turns his attention to the ghoul next to Mõrvar. He fires on it and fells it as well.
Rilka takes a step and attacks the prone zombie. She hits it hard and takes it out. Mõrvar moves out of combat, backing away from the ghoul. The ghoul swipes at him and misses. He manage to keep his footing in the Grease spell and moves away. The ghoul moves and falls in the Grease spell. Savaric fires on the now-prone ghoul and kills it.
Mõrvar and Rilka stand in front of the door and prepare to open it. Savaric positions himself in front of the door so that he can fire out of it when the doors open. They open the doors and see six fallen zombies in the courtyard. Four of the zombies are still fighting with the guards surrounding them in small squads.
Savaric runs through Rilka and out the door and fires at one of the zombies. It begins to stagger on its feet. Then Sorcha gets slammed by a zombie. Then a zombie falls. And another. And another. And the final zombie falls.
Everyone gathers outside in the courtyard with the soldiery. Rilka channels positive energy for healing. The party then discusses whether they want to go into the ruins now to chase down the Lich while he’s down. Rilka wants to search the village and look for more survivors. Surm agrees and suggests everyone pair up in groups of four to search. Rilka suggests that the two soldiers continue to stay with the Reeve and the little girl, just in case. Then Surm adjusts his parties to groups of three.
They search out the rest of the houses and find no survivors or bodies. In the loft are the corpses of four men, four women, and four children. With the ten zombies and the undead they fought in market hall, they believe that there are five villagers unaccounted for. They bring out Anghus to identify the bodies found in the loft. He has a hard time keeping his composure, but he manages it. Surm tells him that he can only account for 32 of the 37 of the hamlet.
Discussing the situation with the party, Surm asks what they are going to do: charge in or rest up and recharge, and thus give the Lich an opportunity to do the same. Part of the problem is that they have to go through the mines, and the ruins, which they have to search, and then he’s going to rest up. Rilka wants to do something with these bodies so that the Lich can’t raise them. Surm is adamant about burning them. The Reeve will make note of the names for the records.
Savaric, in the meantime, finds six sets of tracks leading out of the hamlet. One set was Anghus’ trail leading out. The others was a pair of people, another pair of people, and a single person. Savaric takes a couple of soldiers and follows the single trail while Rilka takes a couple of soldiers and follows a double trail and Surm takes a four of the soldiers and follows the other double trail.
Rilka follows her trail and sees two figures trying to hide themselves in some foliage. “Hello, villagers,” she says.
A man and a woman emerge from the brush. “You’re not going to kill us are you?” the man asks.
“No,” Rilka says. “I’m here to take you back to Anghus. Your lord sent us to check out the mines. Obviously something bad came out of it. We chased it off. We’re trying to get it back together. So far we have a young girl named Hellyne. And Anghus. And now you two.”
The woman says, “It’s dead?”
“No, we chased it off. We think it went back into the mines. Tomorrow we will kill it,” Rilka says.
“We will come with you,” The man says.
Rilka introduces herself and the soldiers. The man and the woman are Tolan and Livia. Rilka places them in the middle of the formation and they march back to the hamlet. Rilka gets them hooked back up with the girl and Anghus.
Surm follows his trail and spots a couple of sleeping forms in a natural overhang. As they approach, he calls out, “Hello in the shelter!”
The forms stir, and one says, “Who’s there?”
“I am Surm Ulrich, sent by Lord Cannach to investigate the mines. I encountered Anghus Norren on the way here and he awaits your return to the village.”
“We can’t go back there!” one of the people, a man, says.
“The Lich has fled,” Surm says, reasonably. “Under our mighty show of strength.”
The people come out of the overhang, a couple. “Very well, we will return.”
Surm tells them how safe they are, much safer than wandering through the woods. And he leads them back to Leodin.
Meanwhile, Savaric follows his trail with Ghost and two of the soldiers and he comes to the end of the trail and he sees no other sign.
“Hello? We were sent by Lord Cannach. There were some problems with the mines. If you’re out there, We’re here to help.”
A face emerges from the foliage. A man says, “Lord Cannach sent you?”
“That’s right! We ran into Anghus Norren. We heard what happened to the hamlet. We’ve dealt with the Lich momentarily. It’s fled from the battle for now. So we were looking for survivors,” Savaric says.
“Alright, let’s go,” the man says and steps out from the brush. “I’m Kando.”
Everyone converges back on the hamlet with their survivors. Mõrvar has been watching the village in case the Lich returned. It has not. He also makes sure all the bodies get burned.
The party has a group meeting away from the villagers. Surm thinks they need to take the villagers back to Aldasar. Savaric asks how they’re doing on food. Surm reminds them that they can use the stores here in the hamlet for food. Surm and Rilka are afraid these villagers are just going to be targets for the Lich if he returns. Surm thinks he’s going to return. Rilka suggests sending a small group of soldiers with the villagers while the party stays behind and puts pressure on the Lich. Surm agrees, saying that that what he was going to suggest.
They will send five guards, with Mahgnus and the seven villagers, back to report to Lord Cannach. They will equip the leaving party with enough food to cover them for their journey. Alfhild will lead the soldiery contingent, made up of Halvor, Jerrik, Leif, and Sigrid. Mahgnus is given orders to report how things were found and how the party rounded up all of the survivors. Surm allows them to use his horse so that they can all have horses to ride.