Making haste across town, the party found the main gates of the graveyard and stepped through.
|Wouldn't that mean that they were dug out and not dug up?|
The graveyard was quiet, but the party noticed immediately that something suspicious was going on. The majority of the graves had been unearthed, from the inside. Tamera brought out her holy symbol of Mishakal and warned everyone to be on the lookout for undead.
Mysellia steered the party between the graves, following the path toward Sir LeBaum's office. There were signs of heavy feet dragging along the mud, and as the party got deeper into the graveyard, the stench of death became quite apparent.
A grating sound of claws raking stone sounded just ahead of the party. They stopped dead in their tracks as foul undead crawled up from the holes in the ground, snarling and hissing.
|There's something seriously wrong with this guy's legs.|
The ghouls leaped toward the party, intent on feeding their insatiable hunger for flesh. But, Tamera was prepared. Her holy symbol shot into the air. "By the power of Mishakal, I banish you foul beasts back to the realm of death!" A light of holy radiance emitted from her hand and the creatures howled in torment.
Within a few seconds, it was over. The creatures, which might have been a problem for the townsfolk, had been turned to piles of dust. Tamera lowered her holy symbol, as Wil Dhargon danced up and down and begged her to do it again. A sharp look from her quieted the kender, and he stopped his bouncing.
Eventually, the party made it to Sir LeBaum's office. Mysellia opened the door.
The office appeared as though it had been abandoned hastily. Drawers had been left open and papers were scattered everywhere. Among the papers, the party found a note that had been left behind:
"Myrtani is gathering forces in secret areas around Sanction. We won't be ready for a few weeks yet. My minions have started gathering materials for my use. Several graveyards have been looted already. Many of them have left the open grave sites unfilled. I suppose it can't be helped. Stupidity has always been our most dangerous enemy."
"Myrtani has found a Dragonlance! I urged him to give it to his strongest warrior, but I'm afraid that the draconian doesn't trust anyone who could hold that much power. Foolish. He's going to hide it away somewhere in Sanction."
At last, the party had some information on where the Dragonlance had been taken. This information would be incredibly useful to Sir Karl.
Mysellia told them that there was another large building in the graveyard, and that they might find more information there. The party agreed that it was wise to explore all the options, and asked her to lead the way.
|I guess I don't get the choice whether I want to pick it or not.|
It didn't take long for the party to make their way to the other building, a small crypt. Outside the crypt, they spied a silver rose bush. A single bloom grew from the center, shining brightly in the sunlight. Sir Karl had asked the party to recover such a flower as a personal favor. What he wanted it for was something only he would know.
Kavina Do'Arden reached out and plucked the rose from the bush. As she did, the rest of the bush began to wither and die. Somehow, this one flower had been the most important part of the whole plant, and without it, the rest of the organism could not survive.
A dark shadow seemed to cover the bush and block out the sun, drenching it in sadness. Or...was the shadow something else?
|This is why having a choice would have been a good idea.|
As the shadows grew in size, the party looked upward and realized that three large shapes were descending upon them. Dragons, black as the night sky, swirled down and surrounded the party. They roared loudly as their wings kicked up dirt and grass. Acid spewed from between their lips.
The battle happened quickly. Despite how fierce the creatures were, the party used tactics to confuse them. Weaving in and out and ducking between the dragons, Lord Benjamin and Thaddeus Durin cut the beasts with their swords. Janessa threw spells, while Kavina Do'Arden circled around to get an advantageous position behind them.
While this was happening. Wil Dhargon taunted the dragons loudly, drawing their attention away from the rest of the party. "I bet you think you're pretty scary, huh? The only thing scary about you is that terrible smelling breath! You'd think a mouth full of acid could wash away that stench, but boy, would you be wrong! What happened, did your mother have relations with a giant dung heap?"
Distracted, the dragons fell one by one as the party cut them down with swords and burned them with spells. The party gave a collective sigh of relief when the last one fell.
The party checked the inside of the building. A few undead hid inside, and were quickly dispatched by Tamera's holy symbol. The small crypt revealed no information that the party found useful.
Knowing that the information they had gained was important, the party figured it was time for them to leave Jelek and head back to the outpost. They wished Mysellia well and thanked her for her help. They found a way out of the town and headed south back toward where they hoped Sir Karl would be waiting for them.
Instead, they found that things had gone terribly wrong in their absence.
Maya, the mysterious lady friend of Sir Karl found the party and approached them. "Myrtani came while you were gone and led an attack on the base. He kidnapped Sir Karl!" A tear rolled down her cheek and she turned away from the party so that they would not see her despair.
Her voice suddenly grew angry. "I will find him, wherever they have taken him! And, I will wrest the life from Myrtani myself!" She pushed away from the party and ran out the gate of the outpost. "Do not follow me!"
NEXT TIME: The party heads out to rescue Sir Karl...