Noooo why! The shriek that pierced through my skull woke me from the restless night’s sleep. Screaming, begging, and cursing, some in pleasure but most in pain. A ceaseless cacophony of voices lived in my head, roaring to the heavens their displeasure and anguish and hate! Did they live there now, or was it truly just a manifestation of the abyssal cursed crown…I was not sure. I was hard pressed to deny that it was becoming worse. In the beginning it was a continuous stream of screams, all women. This however, though unsettling, was bearable and I was able to drown out much of the noise. It did not take long though for the voices to shift into ones I knew, and that was all before they started talking.
The camp was subdued from the previous nights events. Although we had succeed in defeating the horde of undead, the Nabasu, and rescued many of captain Dann’s men, the men were shaken. Anevia and her scouts were still missing from their excursion the day before. However, I believe it was the mass of Zombies, many of which were women and children, that had many of the men’s spirits at their low. While I have no taste for the senseless slaughter of women and children, I do not quiver at the enemies use of them or putting them down like the mindless tool of the enemy they had become. In truth if Iomedae and her followers were wise enough to follow the enemies actions this war would most likely have been over for decades. I suppose that is why I am here. In either case the battle had been cleverly planned by the enemy…
As was only fitting we returned to the camp on the Twins to the chorus of cheers. We had after all returned with many of the lost men who would be able fill the holes in our ranks. It was after all from the battle to take the Twins that we had lost the men in the first place. Captain Dann understood this all to well and pledging herself and her men to our cause. Flay her, make her kneel, writhe in pain! The screaming in my head amplified to drown out captain Dann’s words and slowly transformed to match her stern voice. Closing my eyes I pushed and the voices slowly started to reseed, enough for me to hear Edoras say that Anevia and four of her men had gone missing while scouting the forward path. Unfortunately, it was to late in the day to attempt a search so any efforts would have to wait till the morning. It seemed that damned girl was in a hurry to kill herself, which was rather annoying given the effort I had expended to drag her ungrateful ass out of Kenabres. Ignoring the new screams in my head and the familiar voice they took on I turned in early for the night.
Lucius on the other hand continued his nightly vigil and forced Milo to join him. Milo instead of using this time productively decided it would be wiser to play a song on his fiddle as if no one was trying to sleep. Either way it was fortunate for us that they were awake. The night had grown eerily quiet and dark so that not even the stars shown in the sky. Given the fact that we were in the Worldwound none of these factors were too alarming, but when the sentries did not come back from their rounds Lucius shot a bolt of light out into the darkness. It revealed an entire Sakorian village of men, women, and children, who had all been turned into the walking dead. The most disconcerting part of the this army of dead was that not a single sound escaped from their shambling forms. Much can be said about such creatures, but stealth is not numbered among their virtues. Having just fought a master of the dead earlier in the day it left little doubt as to whom was behind this attack.
I am not sure who, but someone was wise enough to blow a horn signalling the alarm and waking the army. Wasting no time I found a slight rise to give myself a better vantage of the battle. Seeing that the army would not be ready in time I thought quickly and twisted reality around the Zombie army slowing their movement. It did not take me long to get the men ready on the bridge to block the advance of the dead as they make their way through the rubble. I ensured the line formed completely from the north to south walls of the bridge and that the men would be ready to relieve the front ranks as required. As we engaged the enemy I noticed how thorough the silence around them was and judged it to be some sort of magical silence. During this time Artie decided to position himself on the north wall for a better vantage of the killing field, which would prove unwise.
Swooping out from the darkness was of course Maghoula, the Nabasu demon that we failed to kill the previous day. Maghoula wasted no time and lashed out at Artie giving him a grievous wound all the while calling down a thick cloud of darkness to hinder Renli and Teer as they made their way up to aid Artie. Knowing the unnatural darkness could turn the tide of the battle, I struggled to find the strength to counter the demon’s chaotic magic. Not knowing where the power came from, but not complain of its result as a burst of light countered Maghoula’s foul darkness. From the south wall I heard Lucius scream at Maghoula and he began to vomit in fear. I am still not quite sure how Lucius has such an affect on a demon, but I suppose you must be one to fully understand one. Either way Artie took the opportunity to repay Maghoula with two arrows to the chest.
While Renli, Artie, and Teer battle Maghoula, the men and I continued the fight against the undead. The battle seemed to be going in our favor, but of course Lathander decided he had to throw one of the few remaining kegs of black powder into the mass of zombies. Seeing what he had done, without warning a soul, I ordered the men to fall back. The explosion that rocked the bridge was enough blow chunks of rubble thirty feet in all directions. The fool was lucky he did not destroy the entire bridge. Kill him! However, reckless it was affective as the zombie army was mostly destroyed.
Maghoula and the others continued to fight along the north wall. It did not appear to be going well for them as Maghoula had paralyzed Artie and was attempting to do the same to Teer and Renli. The foolish hafling decided it would be wise at this point to jump off the wall and attack Maghoula, slicing clean through one of his wings. Both Maghoula and Renli plunged into the water below, but Renli gained the upper hand and slammed his blade deep into the beast’s chest. With the battle over the men went about restoring order to the camp. Renli dragged Maghuola’s body back up to the bridge and we searched it for any useful items. However, not a one of them thought to go among the dead and search them. Fortunately I am not so foolish and I discovered three collars, which appeared to be the cause of the undead army’s silence. They are not worthy! I decided it would be wise to keep such useful items to myself for the time being.
I broke from my thoughts of last nights battle as I noticed the others were speaking of events from the night as well. Lathander had discovered that some of the men, including himself, had contracted ghoul fever. While a minor annoyance, and something I was sure even Lathander could handle, it was something that needed to be watched. Additionally, Teer and Artie had gone out before the night was fully upon us to see if they could find Anevia’s trail. What they found did not bode well for Anevia and her men. They found a trail of three wagons which had come from inland and headed north along the river much in the same direction we were heading. At the start of the trail they spotted a twisted Sakorian who had been killed by poison. The foul Sakorian was most likely killed by Anevia, but the fact that she was missing and the blood they found near by left many questions. Knowing there was not much more they could do they headed back to camp.
I had apparently missed much by going to my bed at such an early hour. When Teer and Artie arrived the sentries attempted to arrest Teer claiming that his soul had been corrupted. Fortunately for those men, and many others, Lucius was near and proved it was the armor that Teer wore which gave off such a foul aura. Lucius even had to go so far as to reprimand some men who were unhappy about Teer and his demon armor. I cannot really say that I disagree with them as Teer is a beast and should most likely be put down. However, he is a useful beast that should be guided until that usefulness comes to an end. Either way I was happy to hear the destruction of most of our army was averted and moved on to the days affairs.
As we made ready to leave Teer, Artie, and Milo decided to act as our forward scouts and moved out to investigate our path. As we would find out later they discovered a small camp comprised of three wagons, which appeared to be the same three wagon that made the tracks from the day before. Unfortunately, Anevia was nowhere in sight. Milo moved up to investigate and determined the camp was comprised of about a dozen tieflings. The one that appeared to be in charge was a particularly grotesque tiefling with a pronounced hunchback. While two of the wagons were cages the third, where their leader sat, was fully enclosed so it was impossible for Mile to know if Anevia and her men were within. The tracks showed that the tieflings were returning from somewhere further down the trail and given the cages they appeared to be slavers. However, Milo could see that they were roasting and eating human flesh so the odds were good that they were already dead.
Reporting what he saw to Teer and Artie, they all conveniently forgot the definition of the word scout and attacked. It did not take them long to kill the demon spawn as they described it, but the fools let the leader escape. This they would soon learn was a grave mistake and I would be forced to clean up after their folly.
Please! Kill them all! Bathe in their blood! Ahhhhhhh! Some days I couldn’t agree more…