Blades of Rudo
Before first light Beleen, Fubar, and Onuriz meet Lieutenant Armand Fletcher and his 6 men at arms at the Falcon’s Gate. These men of Rudo are volunteers taken from their normal duties of keeping the peace for this special assignment. Armand Fletcher is apparently a career soldier and he believes that the more dangerous the mission, the more likely-hood there is for advancement and reward. He favors a polearm named a ranseur and his men speak highly of his combat style. The other guardsmen think it unlikely that they’ll find the elusive cleftwood few and accepted this duty to escape other mundane tasks. These men are afoot so the hike to the estate of Labast is an all-day afair. Beleen constantly sends her hawk to scout but to no-effect.
They are warmly welcomed, fed, and well housed by the servants but the master of the house is apparently not to be disturbed when he visits the old ruined castle proper.
With another handful of soldiers, by order of Arthur Desven, our small force begins the treck to Dryfort where the halfling caravan of Rattledeep is lightly besieged. Parn, the young shy priest of the wandering god, Farlagahn, also tags along to help the injured and clear the road. Gods will be done. Vanwafeya spent these last few days training the halflings and strengthening the feeble defenses. There were a few dead men walking in the night but only in ones and twos. Vanwafeya leading the halfling slingers and spearmen were able to see them off. On the Morning of Frigg’sday she decides to scout the road…
Beleen’s hawk, Ruehl, begins circling ahead of the group at noon, indicating traffic on the road or people of some kind. Onuriz slinks into the trees as soon as the news is delivered and says to follow slowly behind, quickly should they hear his whistling arrow.
Fubar and Beleen Trot ahead of the men-at-arms and priest. If it is the Cleftwood few, they want to lure them out into the open, not scare them away with a column of armored men.
The sight we see is a cottage built astride the common road, clearly where there had been no home before. Laying dead around the small house are the men of the lost rudonian patrol. Onuriz witnesses it from the trees, unknown, Beleen and Fubar see it clearly over a rise in the road, only 80 feet from the nearest corpse. Beleen notes the oddity of the situation, the lost men of rudo were gone weeks ago and now here they lay, unmolested by predators and in a place clear of bodies not for days past.
The Sorcerer and Druid Lass ride their mounts slowly and hug the treeline as they approach. As they near the first corpse a feeling of dread overcomes them and their horses. Then a hail of rocks fly down from the rooftop pelting them as the dead men drag themselves shambling to their feet. Beleen and Fubar ride for the cover of trees and Onuriz let fly a whistling arrow into a zombie.
The dead men give pursuit and skeletal slingers on the rooftop harry our heroes with stones. Beleen and Fubar summon flaming spheres and the battlefeild becomes alight with magic and mayhem. The footsoldiers here the whistle and start the hustle to the fight. So too does Vanwafeya, approaching from the far side of the battle. The cunning lass moves quickly and quietly through the trees to investigate what she does not yet understand.
Fubar blasts the slingers with arcane bolts of primal energy and Beleen on her mount meets steel with the undead soldiers. Seeing her plight Onuriz charges in, slicing a zombie to peices with daggers and then using it to block a flurry of stones.
Vanwafeya sees her friends fighting but senses something amiss. She strikes out at an invisible force taking refuge near the cottage. Raven Fischer cries out and fights back but weakly.
Armand Fletcher and his soldiers storm the hill and fight their fallen comrades and a strange bluish bird erupts a flash of holy light, destroying the rooftop slingers.
After the Bloodshed, we find that Raven Fischer is dead, his holy symbol of Erythnull, God of Slaughter, displayed and covered in the blood of it’s master. Parn cracks it and buries it’s remains as well as giving final rights to the undead warriors. The slingers seem to have been skeletons of goblins from an old battle. Luckily not the halflings we were sworn to protect.
The rest of the walk to Dryfort was joyous. We’d defeated foes without a loss of life. The halflings quickly abandoned their makeshift fortifications and set their multihued wagons toward Labast and Rudo. Beleen, Onuriz, Fubar, and Vanwafeya allowed their horses to be yolked to replace those who were lost.
Satur’sday: Back in Labast, each character was awarded one hundred gold peices and the thanks of the Desven household. The halflings were escorted by Armand Fletcher and his men back to Rudo to sell their wares and partake in Baynock’s Darkmoon Dance in a few days time.