The party arrived in the small village of Karn’s Depot. The ridge of land the road had been paralleling developed a new feature – parallel metal tracks separated by wooden beams. When they got to the town, they found a platform built next to the track with a small building on top.
The PCs investigated the town, and found it on first glance to be abandoned. The party began to hear low groans, then quickly found themselves surrounded by zombies dressed in the tattered remains of white robes. The zombies were faster than expected, and one threw hideous globs of necrotic matter at them. The party managed to put them down with little trouble.
As soon as the last zombie was destroyed, the door to one of the houses flew open, and a middle-aged man with stark white hair came running out. Jer Smithson introduced himself and thanked the heroes profusely for killing the zombies that had killed the other villagers and left him trapped in his home for six days. Jer told the party that the zombies were dressed in the robes of the brothers of the Ancient Order Of the White Tiger, a monastery a few hours southwest of Karn’s Depot. Jer’s celebration was premature – more zombies quickly appeared in the center of town.
Jer and the party ran into his home and barred the door, though Jer was the only one who ran upstairs and hid under the bed. Several members of the party took positions at the upstairs windows and began sniping at the zombies who rapidly moved to house and began bashing at the front door. One of the hideous undead was actually a ghoul who had retained a small amount of intelligence from his former existence. The ghoul moved to the side of the house and began climbing.
The ghoul quickly burst through the window and landed on the bed. The smell of warm urine wafted gently from under the bed. Balthazar was prepared, and a quick Thunderwave blew the ghoul, the bed, and Jer through the wall and onto the ground. The ghoul made short work of Jer while the party took shots at the hideous creature. Soon enough the heroes had destroyed the remaining undead.
The party decided to investigate the monastery. A quick trek through the forest found them in the fields surrounding the ancient walled compound, looking at over a dozen zombies wandering the grounds. Lloyd did some recon work and found upwards of fifty zombies in the clearing and evidence that the monastery gate had been battered down.
The PCs devised a plan to dig a large pit and try to get as many of the zombies into it as possible. It was a two day effort, so after several hours of work everyone returned to Karn’s Depot. Just as they returned, Balthazar and Thorgrim began hearing an odd rhythmic noise coming from the north. A strange vehicle soon appeared, running along the tracks. The PCs hid in Jer’s house and watched from the upstairs window as the train stopped and several dwarves hopped out.
Thorgrim and Ka’Shaun approached and began speaking to what appeared to be the head Dwarf. The Dwarf introduced himself as Vitali, the foreman of the last train on the Grand Treaty Line. Vitali showed clear disdain for his fellow Dwarf, saying that he wasn’t really a Dwarf at all, having grown up in the “Glorious State of Ainsbury.” Vitali explained that as part of the treaty that ended the Dwarven Wars he was legally bound to provide rail service to this small town every three days, and that although he stayed for the legally required ten minutes each trip, it had been years since anyone had taken the train. He hadn’t seen or spoken to the villagers in years either, as they had taken to hiding when the train approached.
Though he maintained constant disdain for Thorgrim, Vitali was marginally more polite to Ka’Shaun. He told Ka’Shaun that he was legally bound to inform all Eladrin that they were eligible to receive free passage to their city of Caterglen, on the far side of the mountains to the north. Ka’Shaun asked for and received a schedule of stops and fees for the rail line. Vitali explained that the train used to travel further south, but that the “citizens of the Glorious State” had vandalized the tracks and stolen them for building materials. He made a point of stating that even though the humans had clearly broken their side of the treaty, the Dwarves maintained their part of the bargain.
He never stopped checking his pocketwatch while he was speaking to them, and as soon as his ten minutes were up he got back aboard the train and ordered it to depart for the north.
The next day the party returned to the monastery, with a brief encounter in the woods along the way. More zombies were dispatched, including a nasty one who generated an aura of cold. The PCs completed the pit, then went back to Karn’s Depot and rested one more time. The following day they returned to the monastery grounds and Balthazar filled the pit with the smell of human blood. The zombies came quickly and soon the fight was on.
The party fought valiantly, but there were far more zombies than in their previous encounters. First Thorgrim went down, and then Lloyd. Almost immediately Lloyd returned to his feet, ready to continue the fight. Thorgrim was not so lucky. His injuries were too severe, and he quietly died on the field of battle.