At the end of last session, we left our heroes in the hidden sepulchre below the First Light. After a brief discussion, they decided to explore the town more before the undead horde reached the gates!
Several of the party visited the Pact Hall—dedicated to the Lord of Slaughter—and met its priest Shiyara. She proved to be a beautiful, capable woman respectful to Heironeous’ faith. She even seemed welcoming to the party, but declined to help defend the town; her priority was protecting the Pact Hall. She didn’t seem to care about the peasants.
Over the next few hours, the party thoroughly explored the town. Cortana discovered rumours of a secret tunnel plunging under the castle walls (later discovered by Vesleng using powerful magic to assume the form of an earth elemental).
Vesleng and the others visited the apothecary, The Black Candle, and Argith’s Alchemy Shoppe. There they found the alchemist, Argith, working to produce as much highly flammable oil as possible. He was guarded by three of the baron’s men. Vesleng—sensing an advantage—bribed the guards to look the other way while he liberated half of the oil. (Later the party would bury it outside town so that they could ignite it when the horde arrived).
Other members of the party discovered the possible presence of a resistance in town dedicated to opposing Baron Vendikon’s rule, but they couldn’t ferret out any obvious members of the secretive group.
Meanwhile, Thaladan spotted a man paying much attention to their actions. He accosted the man—Bumbo—who (initially) appeared to be an idiot. Thaladan suspected the man was more than he first appeared. He extensively questioned the man, but failed to get any meaningful information from him. Eventually, the paladin had to let the so-called idiot go. However, some of the group suspected Bumbo might even be the baron is disguise—they resolved to keep an eye out for the fellow in the future!
Elsewhere, Karelia returned to the castle to speak with Captain Blacklock. Using her feminine wiles—and extremely powerful enchantment magic—she gained access to the keep and even had a sumptuous guest room allocated to her. She learnt much from Blacklock about his master. Apparently a wizard of some power, he was obsessed with his latest experiment. Just a few weeks ago he’d had several large coffin-like boxes delivered. He was also buying large quantities of herbs and concoctions used to preserve dead bodies from the Black Candle.
By this time, the fringes of the horde were in the town’s vicinity. Several of the party—Zainnis, Shardane and Vesleng—gave battle and utterly destroyed the horde’s vanguard. However, after the battle Zainnis glimpsed some kind of huge, skeletal winged creature flying in front of the moon. Disturbingly, the young ranger got the distinct impression something—or someone—was sitting on its back…