In short order a host is marching back along the road to Grennich Castle and while on the move one of the Dwarven healers approaches the group. Delbela Thunderhead, mother of Gilius Thunderhead has heard of this group and inquires as to his whereabouts. The best Nala, Salvatore, and Abey can do is assure her that when they last saw him he was in fine health and they’re expecting to see him at their shop in Dawnstride.
The Dawarven army encamps outside Grennich and the Roadwardens present themselves, victoriously returned, to the gathered Lords in the Castle. The worthies are rewarded for their pains and turn over the requested tome to Highwizard Chandler. The party breaks up, each to see to his own business before the dawn sees them on the move again. Luckily for Salvatore, Slider is still in ear-shot when he’s set upon by an assassin. As Salvatore recovers from a poison dart, Slider and soon the whole group, pursue the assailant across rooftops learning only that he’s Avenging a temple destroyed at their hands before he is pulled screaming into a void.
Now heading a column of troops, Nala, Salvatore, Saeryljana, Senechia, Abey, Slider, and Norbert strike out on the road to Dawnstride. Lord Bronzebottom now commands the combined force of Freehold Dwarves and Grennich Castle militia on the march.
A shadow is cast over the departure however as Salvatore shares with the Roadwardens and Lord Bronzebottom word from the prior of the Erathis Temple that Lord Harcourt covets the Dawnstride throne. This, shortly after word arrives at the Castle from Grennich scouts of another Hobgoblin force headed from the West.
After two days uneventful march the column comes across the village of Redshore Crossing only to find it razed. Only ashes remain of the town and most of its fields, its bridge and piers burnt to the water. After extensive searching it’s found that while there is blood scattered about there are no bodies, but plenty of drag marks. A young girl named Madge is found in a ruined basement who reveals the town’s people were dragged away across the river. Further, there seems to be some sort of warding on the far shore of the river.
It is decided that the army must find a ford further down river and one is found one hour east. While the army crosses, the Dawnstride Roadwardens backtrack and find the other end of the warded zone. Thru holy and arcane divination our heroes are horrified to find that the inhabitants of the town have been zombified and trapped under the road. The moment the ward is broken they will claw to the surface and consume whoever has been unlucky enough to find their resting place. Warnings are posted on hastily made road signs (instead of carved into the trees after Sereleana’s pointed protest).
The road dealt with for the moment, the team rejoins the encamped army. The next day’s march sees them arriving at the village of Clearwater just after sunset. There they find the village turned fortress and the townspeople corralled as hostages. What will our intrepid heroes do? Find out next week! Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!