Rorin moves stealthily through the crypt, keeping his sharp eyes out for anything important to relay back. He was expecting something a bit... Darker to be honest... And bigger. But whatever, maybe the thunderstorm will bring more foes.
Rorin's explorations turn up little. This crypt was well built, designed to keep all but the most determined and powerful of creatures from breaking through the walls. There is a hierarchy for this crypt. It is indeed for one family. Those who died in battle are rested on the biers. But the biers are also sarcophagi, reserved for those who achieved the greatest honors. Only one of those sarcophagi was occupied before the Mor'grath cultists' arrival. Others are for family members. There are name plaques embedded in the walls.
That the cultists chose to sleep in such niches says something about them. The fact that two of them seemed to have been married while worshiping a necromancer says something else.
As Gurdain reaches the bottom of the stairs and surveys the scene, he shows obvious disgust in his face. W'll th's 's disapp'nting. 'N th' rain seems t' b' com'n 'n to. D' we head out n'w, 'n chance t' g't caught 'n it, 'r hole up here? He looks around at the rest of the group.
Rorin looks up the stairs and thinks for but a moment, before deciding against staying. "We move out. Once the strom comes in the ground will be soft again, easier for undead to climb out. Also, considering that we are below ground level right now, I'd hate for that thunderstorm to turn into a flood about now, wouldn't you?"
The thunder gets closer with amazing speed. As you reach the exit from the crypt, the reason becomes obvious: it wasn't a storm, but about fifty riders on horseback (and other mounts). At the lead are an elf with midnight blue-black skin and a dragonborn with blazing red scales. Both are wearing plate armor and the livery of the Temple of Kord. "Necromancers! They have fouled this sacred ground!" He looks ready to charge when the dragonborn leans over from his mount and cuff him on the black of his helmet. "Those aren't necromancers. If you'd been paying attention to recent events, you'd know that. That's Gem Steeler, Gurdain, and Bast of the Coldfire Knights. I don't know the other two, but if Gem and Gurdain aren't attacking them, leave 'em alone." "But they have a bugbear--" "AND WE HAVE YOU! Acting like you're freshly hatched from the Underdark. Chances are they just got finished doing most of our job for us." The dragon born dismounts and bows. "It is good to see you again Bast. And you, Sergeant Steeler. Last I saw you was from about a mile away when you pulled that stunt of yours at the last battle at the Wall. Can't believe you got away with that and lived. I had only two scales up on my uniform at the time. Got promoted to fill your spot after you left." "What battle? There's been nothing more than a skirmish there in the last decade." "Do you really believe they would announce that? They've been downplaying everything. Now shut it and listen." He turns back to Gem as the drow looks like he's about to go into a serious pout. "Sorry. He's... new. Still has yolk behind the ears. And sap in the brain." "As I was saying, we got word from the village that the followers of Mor'Grath were trying to raise an army. The paladins and templars of Errathis and Correlon were set to prepare defences and wait for the army to reach town. That didn't sit right with us, the Palies, or the Ravens. So we came out as fast as we could. There are more about an hour behind us. What happened here?"
Nodding and returning the salute to the dragonborn, "I'm glad to see you survived also kid. I fill you in on plesantries later, right now we just finished cleaning up this part here. There is definitely a necromantic presence here, and while I don't know if we cleared all of it, this town had seen better days."
Bast goes into detail of the battle, and the state of the town with Gem filling in the gaps. Omitting the burning of the church by Droth for obvious reasons, placing any blame of it if asked or mentioned on the necromancers.
As the commander pointers to the dressings on Bast's and Gems wounds, "Don't worry, the skele's couldn't touch us, but them rats were nasty!" Burtsing out laughing at that one.
As Bast begins to recount their tale with his old war buddy, Gurdain has an thought. Going back down into the crypt, he starts to go through the remaining belongings of the necromancers. He looks for books, scrolls, papers of any kind that may have notations about the army that was being built. It seemed likely that there was more than just the three combined groups of undead. If there was any more information about the size or deployment of the undead army, he was determined to find it. It would certainly make it so much easier to track down the remaining patrols and finish this "war" with a certain finality.
Droth holds back at the exit of the stairwell and allows Rorin free roam of the tomb. Being able to see perfectly in this light he sees no immediate threat. He waits for Rorin to report back about his findings but doens't really seem to care since there isnt anything worth fighting down there.
They head back up the stairwell as the sound of thunder seems to stop abruptly and neighs and whinnies of horses are heard. Droth pulls out of the crypt and sees a battle ready Drow. "More fight!" Droth draws his gouge and gets ready for a rumble. "Come fallen elf, Droth eat good, you die next." he tries to spit as far as where the Drow is standing and makes rude gestures at the only person in the other group looking for a fight.
Watching as neither of his comrades come to arms and everyone seems to greet each other peacefully Droth stands confused. "Not fight fallen elf and group?" He slowly begins to lower his weapon and disappointed for the second time in a matter of minutes, Droth keeps his eyes focused on the Drow at all times. It becomes apparent that Droth does not trust the Drow. He wanders around the graveyard picking up meatier parts of the rats that were slain to keep for later meals. Combat Stat BlockShow
Arcane Student Who Saw Too Much Benefit: +1 to saving throws to end effects that daze, stun, immobilize, or restrain you Quick Swap: Once during each of your turns, you can take a free action to draw or stow a weapon and then draw another weapon. Dwarven Scale Armor: You gain an item bonus to Endurance checks equal to the armor’s enhancement bonus. Badge of the Berseker: When you charge, your movement made as part of the charge doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks. Boots of Adept Charging: After charging, you can shift 1 square before your turn ends.
At Will: Martial, Stance Minor Action, Personal Effect: You assume the berserker’s charge stance. Until the stance ends, you gain a +2 power bonus to your speed when charging and a +2 power bonus to the attack rolls of your charge attacks.
At Will: Martial, Stance Minor Action, Personal Effect: You assume the battle wrath stance. Until the stance ends, you gain +2 power bonus to the damage rolls of basic attacks using a weapon. Level 11: +3 power bonus Level 21: +4 power bonus
At Will: Weapon Standard Action, Melee Weapon Target: One creature Attack: +10 vs. AC Hit: 1[W] + Strength modifier damage; 2d8+14 Level 21: 2[W] + Strength modifier damage (+1d8 damage on a successful charge) (+2 to damage against bloodied targets)
At Will: Weapon Standard Action, Ranged Weapon Target: One creature Attack: +7 vs. AC Hit: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage; 1d8+10 Level 21: 2[W] + Dexterity modifier damage (+2 to damage against bloodied targets)
Encounter Minor Action, Personal Effect: If you have combat advantage against a target, you deal +1d6 damage on the next attack you make against that target. You must apply this bonus before the end of your next turn. Increase extra damage to +2d6 at 11th and +3d6 at 21st level.
Encounter: Divine, Weapon Minor Action, Melee Weapon Requirement: You must have hit an enemy with a weapon attack during this turn. Target: One creature Level 21: One or two creatures Attack: +10 vs. AC Hit: 1[W] damage; 2d8+8 Level 21: 2[W] damage (+2 to damage against bloodied targets)
Encounter: Martial, Weapon No Action, Special Trigger: You hit an enemy with a melee basic attack using a weapon. Target: The enemy you hit. Effect: The target takes 1[W] extra damage from the triggering attack. Level 17: 2[W] extra damage Level 27: 3[W[ extra damage (+2 to damage against bloodied targets)
Encounter: Martial, Weapon Standard Action, Melee Weapon Target: One creature Attack: +10 vs. AC. Make the attack twice against the target. Hit: 1[W] damage; 2d8+8 Weapon: If you’re wielding a flail, a light blade, or a spear and have a Dexterity 15 or higher, make the attack a third time against either the target or a different creature. (+2 to damage against bloodied targets)
Damage: +2d8 Critical: +1d8 per plus Property: Deal +1d8 damage on any successful charge. Power, Daily (Minor Action): Use this power when you make a charge attack. If you hit with your charge attack, all allies within 10 squares of you gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and gain your Charisma bonus as a bonus to damage rolls until the start of your next turn.
Damage: +1d8 Critical: +1d6 fire per plus Range: 10/20 Power, Daily, Fire (Minor Action): The next ranged basic attack you make with this weapon before the end of your turn becomes a burst 1 centered on the target. Use your normal attack bonus for the basic attack, but against Reflex. Instead of normal damage, each target hit takes ongoing 5 fire damage. (save ends) Level 13 or 18: Burst 2; Ongoing 10 fire damage. Level 23 or 28: Burst 3; Ongoing 15 fire damage.
The Drow starts and looks with disgust and rage at the foamy spittle that lands on his armor. He looks ready to charge again, but the dragonborn grabs the reigns of his mount and holds him fast.
Gurdain's best clue is in one of the spell and ritual books that seems to also be a diary (complete with failed rituals and notes about what did not work, and speculation about why). It seems that there were eight adepts and acolytes of Mor'Grath working together. This down of Sudthatch was to be the hub of their opperations, while the other five went to the next nearest towns with sufficient materials to bring up as many as 300 undead each (though in an effort at variety, they were supposed to bring the more reluctant remains here for stronger results). They have been working for almost a week. With slower travel time (on foot) and the need for digging up the first few bodies themselves, they won't have had nearly enough time to build their starting numbers. Also, the cultists not here are each on their own.
Gurdain's assessment is that the troop before them is easily capable of dealing with even two of the other acolytes working together and their combined forces.
A gnome in robes of the Raven Queen's forces rides up and drops to one knee in front of the Dragonborn. "Sir, we have searched the town. It is empty. No survivors. The disgusting Evacuations of Beshaba's Bowels even destroyed the town temple. They are truly without any reverence. May their souls know true blight and suffering." "Right. Thank you for that, um, imagry. Make sure you use it when we go up against them. Maybe you can work that into a battle cry. Go back to Sergeant Vallourious with my regards. Tell him the back is broken, now we break the bones and cauterize the wounds."
Reigning Droth in himself, "No, no fight these men. These men are honorable soldiers."
Returning to the commander in front of him, "That is what we found also when arrived here. We are currently looking to see if there are anymore of them and where they might have scurried off to. If we find any leads, we'll share them with you, and if you can please do so with us. I'd like to remove this scourge quickly."