From The Green Tome, as written by Waldrick Maestrum
As Hanten turned to Thalen , the four of us found ourselves continually more restless at the oddities appearing in town. It was obvious the four of us craved some form of movement, whether through curiosity, righteous, vengeance, or some combination of all three. This restlessness seemed to posses Ashvact the most. He continued disappearing for days at a time. I assumed one day he would leave and never come back. He continued coming back to Falco’s, though, and the four of us began taking on small tasks to break up the monotony of drinking and dining. Barick and Ralpheo often helped Falco at the bar.
The four of us even went so far as to collect herbs for Delcar and Reswold, two local brewers. While we were in the woods collecting the materials, Ralpheo was nearly devoured by a giant snake. I was engaged in the task at the time and did not see Barick kill the beast. When I finally arrived, Barick stood over the severed head, his axe in his hands, a look of blood-red glee about his face.
Back at Falco’s rumors were running rampant about those poor souls in Fishtown. The Fishtown section of Trastenfen is home to the fishermen of the village. The shacks and shanties of that section our humble, but in my frequent walks I found the people pleasant enough, if a tad malodorous. We heard news that a girl wad bitten by a large rat near a guard station in Fishtown. The guard station was subsequently burned down.
Around this time, we were also witness to a scuffle in Falco’s between some humans and the half-orc Grimvock. Grimvock was a particularly ill-tempered orc, but had caused no problems up until that point. Barick was glad to see him go, but we all thought it somewhat strange. It was even more disconcerting when we learned later that Grimvock had killed a man. Some of the human regulars at the bar, however, told us the guard was seen near the guard house just hours later. Our collective curiosity was piqued. We made the decision to investigate the guard house.
The night of our investigation, I met a local mage named Fliban. Fliban is apprentice to the baron’s mage. Fliban was arrogant and condescending, speaking to me in a tone of which Maestrum’s are not accustomed. I bought the mage some wine, sat with him, and was quietly grateful for all of the dry gatherings I was forced to attend in my youth. They proved excellent preparation for my conversation with Fliban. Fliban proved helpful. He seemed suspicious of the guard house being burned to the ground. It seemed like a rather odd and lazy solution to a infestation problem. Fliban also told me of a Captain Kisto, one of the few local captains never to see a ship sunk in these waters.
My companions were already watching the guard house from the woods when I arrived. Barick informed me that he had heard a girl talking to her father on his way to our rendezvous point. She told her father of “walking bones” near the guard house. We began exploring the burned out guard house, eventually splitting up briefly. Barick and Ralpheo searched the armory while Ashvact and I investigated movement in a heavy tangle of trees and bushes nearby. I cast a simple sleep spell and the two of us foolishly went into the woods. Two animated skeletons met us on the woods. We made short work of them and met up with our companions.
The guard house was obviously infested. We saw rat tracks quite frequently. We also discovered a cavern system below the ruins. It appeared to be some sort of abandoned hideout. We encountered more skeletons and the most foul creature I had encountered up to that point in my life, a ghoul. Ralpheo raised a trembling hand and began to mouth some incantations. He hesitated at first, but then the words picked up forced. The undead fled before the young cleric. The rest of us looked at each other with raised eyebrows. I thought I detected the beginnings of a smile on Barick’s face. We continued onward into an old pantry, filthy with rotten food. Before we knew what was happening, a host of zombies and ghouls were upon us. A pitched battle ensued in the tight quarters. A ghoul pushed forward, nearly knocking me to the ground. The ghouls hands clawed at me, attempting to land a paralyzing bite upon my arm. If not for the strength of Ralpheo and the impressive battle-hardened determination of Barick, I might very well have lost my life there in that foul cavern. We immediately left the cavern and returned to Falco’s. I fell into a deep, dream-filled sleep. I dreamed I saw the sails of the Maestrum’s out at sea, burning and slowly sinking, being dragged to a watery grave by a host of ghouls too fiendish to describe here.