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In Defence of Chickens [IC]

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
As you had descended into the valley, the ground had become wetter and softer. Your feet are covered in mud, and a foul stench has started to assault your nostrils. Flies buzz around you constantly. The old ruined keep rises before you on a small hill, a few hundred feet to the north. A causeway of drier ground leads up from the boggy ground towards an open gate in the southern wall, and the obvious tracks you're following lead up that way too.

You've heard a lot about this old ruin. Rumours say that a great treasure from ancient times lies within, stored beneath the last remaining tower; but others whisper of an ancient horror concealed in it's depths. Some of the old stories say the place was home to a pair of brothers, Chaos Lords defeated in the great War Against Chaos, but whose bodies were never found. It's supposed to be abandoned these days, and it indeed looks untended. The walls are covered in moss and vines, and in parts are starting to crumble away. Someone, though, has hung a ragged banner, depicting a crimson skull on a black field, from the walls above the gate.

About halfway along the causeway leading to the gate, you can see what look like two dead bodies, tied up to poles stuck in the ground.
 

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thirdkingdom

Adventurer
Publisher
Yolo Swaggins, Halfling Glovemaker

"Here, now," the halfling exclaims, "that's no good. If anyones got any bows or slings you can cover me while I go in for a closer look."
 

theCourier

Explorer
Talia Eastmoor, Noble

Her boots sink into the muck, and a look of displeasure comes onto her face. Still, Talia steps up to investigate alongside Yolo Swaggins, a hand resting on her sword pommel. "Cover us. In a place like this, my senses tell me it's not safe to go alone..."

"Fleetfoot" Mac, Squire

"Let me accompany you, Lady Talia and Sir Swaggins! My sword arm might yet be handy." The lad nods at the two, and strides up to join them while trying to avoid looking too much at the bodies.

Koby, Orphan and Alice, Miller-Baker

These two look down at their hands, moving about their shoddy weapons while grimacing at the landscape around them. They hang back for now, content with staying far from the strung-up bodies.
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
Edelgard, Scribe
A large burly man with a knapsack containing the usual Scribe's materials, Edelgard feels out of place when the crimson banner becomes visible. He scoffs. "Someone or something must have taken home to the old keep. I remember old stories about something shiny or deadly in there, but nothing about a banner. Anyone?"

He glances at the others moving forward. "Fools", he thinks. He stands back, maybe some 25 feet behind, to see what will happen.

Markus, Alchemist and Margit, Healer
At Edelgard's question, Markus' bearded face and Margrit's freckled face turned to each other. They both shrugged. But not wanting to risk it, them both stand behind Edelgard and eye the surrounding nervously.

Wenzel, the Orphan
At the sight of the other three standing back, he scoffs. "Cowards," he thinks. He sees the other group moving forward (Yolo, Talia and Fleetfoot) and follows them, untying his club from his waist. He puffs his chest as Fleetfoot speaks. Wenzel puts a hand on the squire's shoulder and clears his throat. "And I am Sir Wenzel," he says playing the part.
 

Ranken Lowl
He looks up at the sky. "I feel we will do well. The Forge is in Queren tonight." He follows them group going in."

Prinx Stel
"I'll go with you," she says to Ranken with bright eyes.

Garwenandin "Garwen" Summalla
How did Ranken see the stars during this dayligh? He wonders sagely as he follows after.

Dalvishalla "Vasha" Kelladorr
"Standing here isn't going to help," she follows the group.
 

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
The eight of you advance along tnhe causeway to get a closer look, while the rest of the group hangs back cautiously.

As you get closer, those of you in front notice several things. First, you recognise the faces on the corpses - it's Alban and Keary, the smith's sons. They've been missing for a few days already now.

Next, they are not tied on to the posts with rope, but with thorny vines. And, well, they're not really tied. The vines are not wrapped around them, but through them, punturing their skin in various places. A vine has gone straight through one of Alban's lifeless eyes and another seems to be emerging from Keary's mouth.

Most alarmingly, as you get closer, you see that they are moving. The vines begin to unwind from the posts, and the boys' limbs start to spasmodically jerk.
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Calvin Littlebrook and Jack the Gongfarmer
The finely dressed halfling named Calvin looks down at the mud in disgust. "I hope I can get those stains out of my shoes and trousers. And the smell."

The lanky young man named Jack shrugs, not even noticing the smell. In fact, he reeks of far worse things and when Calvin realizes that, he takes a step back.

"Go on, you," he says to the gongfarmer. "Go with those others to see what the fuzz is all about."

With another shrug, Jack moves forward to the group inspecting the bodies.

Billy Happy and Granny Grain
"Can't be anything good," the somewhat chubby halfling Billy remarks to the old human woman next to him. "That place is cursed, I tell ya."

Granny Grain looks at him with steely eyes. "So why did you come along, Bill? Just to tell a story to the occassional passengers on that old dinghy of yours, or to actually do something about whatever is causing trouble to our village? I bet there's even friends of yours gone missing, and I'm here to put an end to it. So you're coming with me."

With that, she almost drags the halfling along with her to the front of the group.
 

theCourier

Explorer
Talia Eastmoor, Noble

Talia comes to a stop once the faces of some local peasants come in view. She feels her stomach turn, but keeps her chin up and approaches the corpses. "Most dreadful. I've never seen nor heard of anything like this before..." Talia is about to get closer for a look when the vines and limbs start moving, causing her to stumble back and start drawing her sword in surprise.

"Fleetfoot" Mac, Squire

"Sir Wenzel it is! Glad to make your acquaintance. I just wish we'd met under better circumstances." He claps Wenzel's back and continues to move forward with the group, not letting the mud and muck slow him down. When Talia approaches the viney corpses, he follows after the noble keeping a respectful distance and likewise draws his long sword. "Heavens! Why- what- how is that possible...?"
 

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
Answering requests for clarification sent by PM

The corpses are suspended only about a foot off the ground, though rapidly unentangling themselves. Those who set out at the front of the group are standing about 20ft away. There are plenty of small rocks and pebbles lying about.
 

thirdkingdom

Adventurer
Publisher
Yolo Swaggins

Yolo draws his awl and holds it in front of him in a defensive stance.

Fritze Irontooth

Fritze smacks his hammer against his palm and mutters, "it's clobberin' time" as he advances to stand beside Yolo.

Ivan Grumblebell

Ivan swings his pick experimentally and advances forward, bracketing Yolo.

Stardew Sparkletoes

Stardew gives a yelp as the corpses move, seemingly of their own volition, and fires their shortbow at the nearest one.

 


TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
Wenzel, the Orphan
Wenzel sees the bodies moving and feels the courage from his newfound title melt away. He steps back and glances at the others standing weapon in hand. He gathers his courage and goes to pick up a large pebble and throw it at the nearest suspended body.

Margrit the Healer and Markus the Alchemist
Seeing the others get ready, Margit and Markus respectively draw their club and staff and move up a bit, staying 10 feets behind the front row of party members.

Edelgard, the Scribe
At the sight of his companion getting ready to face death, he scoffs. Nonetheless, he pulls out his darts, but still stays further in the back.
 

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
Stardew's arrow goes wild, flying over the head of what used to be Alban. Wenzel quickly lobs a small stone in the creature's direction, but it lands with a harmless thud a few feet in front of him.

5!


The corpses' feet hit the ground, and they begin to lurch towards you with unnatural, jerking movements, the vines which had attached them to their posts flailing around them. They are about 20 feet in front of where you stand, makeshift weapons at the ready.

JustinCase rolls 20
thirdkingdom rolls 16
jmuchiello rolls 15
TheCourier rolls 12
TheAlkaizer rolls 11
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Billy
Being dragged to the front by Granny, Billy Happy is decidedly unhappy to suddenly be face to face with moving corpses of people he knew. He takes a few steps forward and with a howl that stems more from terror than bravery, the halfling stabs at the nearest undead with his rusty knife.

The mariners agility is obvious in the accuracy of the strike.


Granny Grain
Her face unreadable, Granny steps behind Billy and uses the smaller fellow’s stature, reaches over him with her pitchfork.

The back of the makeshift weapon hits her shoulder, however, and the attack does not come close to the zombie.


Jack
Quiet as always, Jack notes the smell most of all. It doesn’t bother him much; in fact he remembers once when a local lad had stuffed two dead cats in the bucket the gongfarmer collected, and it was far worse than this. Or maybe he was just getting used to it.

Without thinking too much, the lad advances on the undead next to the one Billy and Granny are assaulting. He waves his trowel around, appearing to be more of a danger to himself than to others.


Calvin
The other halfling cautiously advances, his hand gripping a pair of scissors that seem too clean and too small for combat.

He holds still about 25 feet away from the zombies, then goes pale.

“Keary?”

His voice is full of pain.
 

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
With a leap, Billy manages to slice right through the vine protruding from Alban's eye, severing it in two. The vine falls away, flailing weakly, and taking part of the corpse's skin with it.

The critical hit did an extra 3 damage!
 


turnip_farmer

Adventurer
The two halflings hack away at the plant monsters, cutting deep gashes into the corpses and causing the vines to spring free. They flail around in the air for a moment, before lashing back at their attackers. Vines whip past Yolo's head, just grazing his scalp. Billy is caught full on by one which wraps round him, thorns puncturing his flesh before the vine flicks away, taking chunks of Billy with it.

Attacks
Damage - Billy takes 4 points of damage
 


theCourier

Explorer
Talia Eastmoor, Noble

She's glad to see everyone else is fighting, which gives her the courage to point at Mac with her longsword and shout, "I'll strike one from behind while you distract it from the front! En garde!" She stumbles forward a bit, but regains her footing and slashes out at the corpse that Vasha, Ranken, and Garwen are attacking. Her inexperience is clear as she slashes from far too behind the thing, missing by almost half a foot.

"Fleetfoot" Mac, Squire

"Yes, Lady Talia! Understood, Lady Talia!" He gives a stiff nod and makes his way up to the fray, holding his sword out awkwardly in front of him before going in for a jab. His squire training comes in handy as he remembers several techniques to be used in the art of wielding a sword...

 
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turnip_farmer

Adventurer
The young squire's sword plunges deep into the creature that used to be Keary, causing the partially decayed body to split fully open. The two halves flop to the floor and twitch a few times before lying still. A cloud of sticky pollen bursts out as it hits the ground, coating the hair and clothing of Yolo and Mac.

The other creature, surrounded, stands unsteadily. Parts of Alban's skin are peeling off; but the vines still whipp around, trying to catch one of you. Billy gets in a quick jab on the creatures leg, before Granny steadies her feet, grabs her pitchfork firmly, and with a look of grim determination thrusts it hard into Alban's chest. The creature explodes, sticky mucus splattering over all of you.

Billy rolls a 14 to hit and does 1 damage
Granny crits!

You alll stand for a moment over the twisted and broken corpses of the two boys. The ominous black ruin looms before you, nothing else standing between you and the open gate.
 
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