January 21, 2017

The Ruins of Thundertree

Nick Silvestro

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Having gathered a few hours rest holed up in a ruined cottage, amongst the corpses of the twig blights just barely slain, our adventurers patch their wounds from their recent tussle with a young dragon, and continue forth.

Remembering what was told to them by the druid Reidoth, they decide to seek out more information about the strangers seen lurking on the east side of this rotten village. However, what they found was definitely not what they expected. And especially not what they expected to hear.

After finding what appears to be a heavily fortified building, with heavy bolted door and shuttered windows, the dragon cultists inside find a common ground with our dragonborn friend, and invite the him and his friends inside. They eagerly explain that they are here to worship the dragon in the nearby tower, but were not aware that our adventurers had only very recently scared it off.

On hearing this news, the cultists invite our group to the back room for some, er, lemonade. Our cleric - a lover of all things lemonade - falls swiftly into their trap. The dragonborn takes particular umbrage to the trap, and with a somewhat confusing battle cry of "FOR SPARTA!", he sets one cultist alight in a blaze of wasted brandy, before running him through the mouth with his greatsword and carrying the flaming body around like a torch.

Stabbing backwards beneath her shoulder, and pirouetting with her scimitar directly into the shoulder of one of the cultists, our ranger draws second blood and concretely plants the fact that combat has begun. The barbarian acts on his instincts - or a lie from our fighter - and barrels the door with a shoulder-forward attitude, in search of a cherished item. Finding no such thing, he takes his rage out on the cultists inside, also saving our cleric in the process.

After deftly dispatching the cultists, our heroes set out north to discover the secrets of the remaining areas. Finding a statue and not much else, our fighter and barbarian decide they would really, really like to pull this statue over. Succeeding with the aid of some rope and a swift one-two pull, the dragonborn topples the weathered wooden statue, and our barbarian takes his place on the now bare plinth.

Meanwhile, our cleric has decided to investigate the fortified building to the north, what he believed to have once been a barracks. Upon opening the door, he is immediately greeted by two ash zombies. Slamming the door in his face, he turns to the group and stammers, "z-z-z-z-zambies!"

Unfortunately, our level headed hunter is not in earshot and doesn't seem to take notice, and our fighter and barbarian have other plans than to bother with a couple of meddling zombies. They instead hatch a devious plan, and begin to attempt to pick up each end of the statue that now lies silent - and very, very heavy - on the ground.

Our cleric takes a few good wallops from the zombies while attempting to fire off whatever arcane defenses he has, but in such short range and high stakes, he appears to be utterly useless. Our ranger finally takes notice and fires a pinpoint accurate longbow shot across the square. The barbarian and the fighter both repeatedly fail to pick up the statue.

When all seems lost for our cleric and the zombies decide that he is no longer a threat, they change targets and begin to descend upon our barbarian. With a sort of divine kismet, he and the fighter somehow simultaneously succeed in lofting the statue high off the ground, in a sort of battering-ram style, and begin to run forward towards the lurching creatures, while our ranger gives her assistance in the attack.

However, it was simply not meant to be. The fighter's once-tight grip slips and he cops a groin full of statue, causing him to yelp in sudden pain and let out a short breath of flame which singes the statue, and also our ranger. Having one end of the statue suddenly slam into the ground, our barbarian can only do so much and only barely taps the zombie, before also losing his own grip. The statue, mercilessly mocking them from the ground, now rendered useless by our adventurers exhaustion.

Upset by his battering ram plan falling apart, and inspired by his previous flame-based dispatching of a cultist, our fighter decides his next course of action should be to shove a lit torch down the throat of the closest zombie - an action he somehow pulls off with the finesse only seen when someone has clearly practised this moved previously.

At this point, the remaining zombie is dispatched in two or three strikes from the rest of the group's more... traditional weaponry. Where's the fun in that, you may ask?

It's in the adventure.