26th of Ascending War
The party crouches behind the walls of the stairwell, as the undead shamble their way into the lobby. First a few zombies, then some skeletons, and then a ghoul. When the last of the zombies exit the staircase, Reyacrogan and Salob spring to attack, screaming their battle cries. Sikram shifts into a bear form, and starts swiping wildly at the animated corpses. Stuck between a bear and a solid wall, Almorn drops to a firing crouch, and starts sticking zombies full of crossbow bolts. With the surprise and fury of the party’s initial attack, short work is made of the zombies. After a quick breather, the party makes its way down the stairs.
There’s a small landing below, cluttered with detritus. Cautious about doors, Salob listens carefully – there’s a distant clanging of metal, but nothing distinct. He carefully opens the door, and the party cautiously explores the hallways beyond. In one direction, there’s on open room, with large, insect-like creatures. Salob’s seen these before – Rust Monsters. Feeding on a diet of metal, they’re especially troublesome to fight – your hard-paid-for weapons could melt in your hands. The party elects to try avoiding a confrontation altogether.
Sikram, Frambard, and Reyacrogan manage to sneak past the open room, and go further down the hallway. The hallway ends in a set of double-doors, and on the other side of those doors is a gaggle of zombies, this time armed with swords and axes. One in particular is especially large, twice as tall as the other zombies. Progress is halted, as the party tries to group.
Almorn tries to sneak past the open room, but a noisy trip over a divet in the stone attracts the attention of one of the monsters. It waves its antennae in interest. Almorn tries to back up slowly, and the rust monster advances. In an attempt to distract the beast, he throws out a handful of bronze coins. However, these just pique its interest more.
Then, Frambard is struck with an inspiration – he quickly whispers his plans to Sikram and Reyacrogan, and motions at Almorn. Almorn throws out a few more coins, forming a breadcrumb trail leading to the double doors, while Reyacrogan kicks open those doors, and shouting for the zombie’s attention. These tasks completed, everyone dashes for the stair landing, and holds the door shut behind them.
At first, there’s no sounds but the echos of the door slam, and their own heavy breathing. After about half a minute, though, sounds of battle erupt – zombie groans, the clash of metal on stone, and rust monster squeals. It’s a few minutes before things quiet down, and the party emerges. A handful of rust monster corpses are scattered about, and the zombies are nowhere to be seen – though the many pieces of trash and scattered body parts could be evidence of the recently re-deceased.
The room that held the zombies contains nothing of interest, and the party continues on. The very next room contains a squad of skeleton warriors. They immediately turn to attack, but are bottlenecked at the doorway. The adventurers make use of this terrain advantage, and dispatch the skeletons with little difficulty. In the course of the battle, Almorn strikes a skeleton with his quaterstaff, and the blunt, crushing trauma seems especially effective against the tissue-less foe, shattering bones.
Tired out from the fighting, the party heads back to town to rest for the night.
Frambard constructs a makeshift spear.