Episode 13: OMG Zombies!
The crowds have calmed, the agitators have been subdued and tied up. They've largely given up after having lost the crowd and faced with the unexpected challenge of the former students. Boethus is tasked with guarding the five captives, while the remaining students work with the former slaves to build the pyres and load the bodies. As night approaches, all but 35 of the bodies that have been retrieved from the city have been placed on the pyres. Citizens, freemen and slave are placed together, grouped by family or household where possible. As the sun begins to set, Kallisto gestures and the flames are kindled in each pyre. The crowd watches on somberly as the pyres burst into a towering blaze. As darkness settles, a scream is heard from the back of the crowd. Interactive Map Link The unburied dead laid out in several rows, begin to stir and rise. The rear of the crowd cries out and chaos erupts amongst the gathered refugees. Magnus is the first to react, moving to interpose himself between the rising dead and the group of refugees closest to him. Cille similarly moves to guard the second group. The remaining students begin to work together to clear the refugees from the field, but it is slow going. Magnus draws attention to himself by setting his sword ablaze with holy light. The dead in turn cease moving towards the crowd and begin to sprint towards Magnus. As the group fights, screams are heard in the darkness from where the prisoners are tied up. However in the chaos and the darkness it's difficult to tell what's transpired. Vulcan moves near the shambling zombies, and unleashes a spell of thunderous force. The spell pushes back several of the zombies, before he unleashes his cannon and burns several of the remaining zombies. Combat continues, with Magnus being surrounded by Zombies. While none of the zombies are able to do significant damage, the attacks wear on him over time. Finally, Magnus also unleashes thunderous force upon the zombies, killing the majority of those surrounding him. As the crowd clears, Otlyn is able to engage and unleashes a ball of red-hot fire on the zombies surrounding Vulcan, vaporising them. Vulcan has to dance out of the way to avoid serious harm, while the returned citizen closest to him (citizen 1) is on fire, which Vulcan quickly dispatches. Cille continues to engage with three more of the risen dead citizens. (citizens 2,3 and 4) She slices through the shoulder and down through the torso of the closest citizen (citizen 4), and it shatters apart with a thunderous boom. As Hermione frees up, she launches a surprise attack on the unengaged living dead citizen (4), punching an arrow through the back of the skull and out the mouth. Magnus moves to engage, and with a crackling strike brings down the remaining citizen in reach. Eunice reaches Magnus and calls upon the healing spirits to revive him, while the remaining students move to support Kallisto and Kyros, still fighting near where Boethus and the prisoners were kept. On arriving they see the last undead citizen (citizen 5), and a new combatant, which looks disturbingly like one of their former teachers returned from the dead. After trading blows back and forth, the dead teacher disengages and flees behind the cover of rocks and into the night. Magnus rushes over to Kallisto and attempts to heal her. Her body seems to reject the healing, as if drained of her life's energy.
Cleaning up the messAjax goes to check on the refugees and ensure that they've found shelter at the camp away from the city, near one of the farm houses. Kyros, also injured and resisting healing, stays back to tend Kallisto. Eunice begins to organize the remaining students to begin the arduous task of moving the remaining bodies, and body parts, onto the pyres to ensure they stay dead. During the process, a discussion begins on how childhood tales could actually be happening. Eunice turns to Cille. "I've never heard of the dead rising, have you ever heard of creatures returning from the dead?" Magnus interjects. "There are stories among my people about such creatures. But they are supposed to wither away in the light of Dieu. I've never heard of incidence of such creatures within my kingdom, within my lifetime." Eunice chimes in. "Nor I. I thought the necromancer was simply animating the corpses." Cille concurs, considering them things of fantasy. "Neither I nor my parents have experienced the dead coming back to life on their own as well." Hermione steps over. "The dead rising is something we told children to scare them. Something must have occured to allow this." Magnus finishes. "And I bet it happened in the empire." He turns to Kallisto and Kryos. "The creature that attacked you, where did it go?" Kyros and Otlyn describe the creature fleeing around the rocks and losing site of him.
Returning to campAfter wrapping up the last bodies, the group leaves the pyres and rejoins the refugees at the camp. The refugees treat the returning students like saviors. Several saw the dead ripping the captives and Boethus apart, and the stories of the horror have spread to those who haven't seen it. Others have shared stories of the brave hero Magnus shielding the refugees while the others helped them escape safely. The night passes without issue.
The next morningThe group awakens after sunrise. Kallisto and Kyros look significantly better, but are still exhausted from their encounter with the dead teacher. The group, after a discussion, agrees that Kallisto and Kyros will remain with the refugees in the camp while the others go to explore the city.
Tracking the deadOn the way to the city they follow the tracks of the escaped wight. When the tracks hit the road, they become impossible to follow. Either the creature possesses enough intelligence to cover his tracks, or he had aid.
The group has completed a long rest and levels up (from previous session) to level 9.