SESSION 007 - The Road to Hommlet
MOONDAY, 03 NEEDFEST (MID WINTER) 579CY
Duerin watched as Erehwon’s great axe cleaved the head off of the zombie that once was Malek. The severed head sprayed bloody ichor as it tumbled through the air, landing a few feet away from its headless torso.
“He-Who-Watches … AAARGH!!” roared the half-orc in a triumphant. In a final defiant act, the lifeless corpse poised its sword ready to strike.
Erehwon readied his great axe in anticipation to counter the blow, but watched as the headless corpse faltered in its footing, dropping to its knees, before slumping to the ground in a pool of black ichor.
The dwarf watched the severed head flying through the air it landed with a wet, sloshy thud; the black ichor flowed freely from the severed head to mingle with the freshly fallen snow. He swore he could see dark magic fade from the things eyes. The severed heads lifeless eyes stared back at him.
Black Wolf grasped his holy symbol in pain. The touch of the cold metal gave him pause; he knew he had to make his escape. He held his holy symbol aloft and recited the words he had been taught. A blast of unholy energy ripped through the graveyard.
“AAAR-G-H-H-H!!!” cursed the half-orc, moments before the energy slammed into Markus.
Erehwon’s cry of anguish refocused the younger ranger’s thoughts on matter before him. The half-orc staggered forward, his legs faltering, his wounds making his legs feeling like lead, fatigued from exertion of the battle. He could feel his strength draining from his limbs from his many wounds. Erehwon brought his great axe around for one last mighty cleave in an attempt to sever the priest in two. The effort made his head reel in pain. Roderic moved at the last moment, anticipating the manoeuvre. Stepping inside the path of the blow caused the blow to glance off his armoured shoulder.
Erehwon’s found himself falling to the cold wet ground. His strength spent, the half-orc blacked out.
Roderick watched the half-orc crash to the ground before him. He spotted his mace lying in the snow next to the spent half-orc, he took the opportunity to retrieve his weapon before making his escape.
Markus caught site of his insidious uncle’s escape towards the crypt, the uncle he now knew was Black Wolf.
The young ranger hesitated in indecision, his reactions dulled with conflict. He looked back over his shoulder to see his mother still bound. She lay with her back towards him in a shallow grave, her clothes bloody and torn and whilst his uncle was fleeing before him.
His instincts told him to chase after his uncle, but his heart told him to tend to his mother and get her to safety.
“Duerin, Darius follow him,” shouted Markus as he made his way to his mother.
She just lay there, not moving. Markus carefully slid alongside his mother in the shallow grave. He lifted her head to his chest, holding her in his arms he looked for signs of life.
A shallow heart beat could be felt …..
Suddenly her eyes opened and stared up at him. It was at that moment he knew that the person before him was NOT his mother. Confused, scared and repulsed, Markus pushed the woman away from him. Before his eyes, the woman before him started to waver and change. The young man blinked and wiped the back of his hand across his eyes.
The person before him was no longer a woman, but a man. The man resembled his mother’s features. He recognised the man to be one of his uncle’s guards from the manor house. Then man was called Jonas. Markus was suddenly filled with anger, an animal rage overcame him and it was Jonas who paid the price.
Markus stood in the shallow grave his fury spent, his hands bruised and covered in blood. He looked down at the body of the guard at his feet. The bile rose up in his throat. The once handsome Jonas with raven black hair lay in the wet snow, his face beaten to a pulp; the only sign of life was the frothy blood that flowed from where his mouth and nose once were.
Black Wolf had come close to retrieving the dagger. If it hadn’t been for the meddling old man, everything would have gone to plan. The priest climbed down the mettle rungs that led to the crypt and made his way further into the crypt. He would gather up his men, what he needed and head for Hommlet.
“The slavers could have the bitch; she was of no more use to him anyhow. Maybe he should just slit her throat himself. Now the same could not be said for young Markus and his friends. They would all die and slowly at that,” vowed Roderic.
The priest had watched as the undead had risen from the ground to his aid in the graveyard, not at his command. He had felt the call of the dagger in the graveyard. He had seen what effect the dagger had on the dead, and now he wanted the dagger for himself.
The dusty, rutted road lined with closely-grown hedges of brambles and shrubs. Here and there it cut through a copse of trees or crossed a rivulet. To either hand, forest and meadow have given way to field and orchard. A small herd of kine graze nearby, the woman noticed as show walked the road. In the distance she could see a hill dotted with the wand stone chimneys with thin plumes of blue smoke rising from them.
A road angled west into the hill country, and to either side of the road ahead are barns and buildings, “Hommlet at last!” she thought, pulling her cloak tight around her shoulders as she made haste for the warm common room of the Welcome Wench.