In Defence of Chickens [IC]


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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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."


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.


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.


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.


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.


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...?"


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.


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.


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