Level up to 13.
The heroes decide to leave Lectaris for Crisium, to deliver The Oni Mage’s head to Rodger Liathon, to collect their reward of 6,000 gp. Jolen is there as well, who they’re thinking of killing. They are able to spot an opening in the patrolling guard ships and make a break for it. One guard ship give chase, but it’s much to far away to be a threat, it turns back.
On the way to Crisium, they make a quick stop on Kerrys to drop off Ashwyn and the Centaur gang. Ashwyn gives them 2,000 gp and a +3 Mantle of Faith (Manual of the Planes p. 157, it gives +3 to fort, ref, and will, and has a daily where you can regain hit points equal to the damage you just took). If there’s any other interactions you want to have with the Centuars before leaving them, you can write that in the comments or we can play it out.
The new ship is fast. The journey from Crisium to Lectaris in the old pirate skiff took 14 days, in the new brass ship, the same journey takes only 9 days.
As they fly over the surface of Crisium and approach the Liathonian oasis of Sun’s Escape, they pass over the town of Beldium. Beldium appears to be in total chaos. There are people running through the streets screaming, bodies strewn about, and quite a few large fires.
Rodger seems agitated and impatient. His mood is curt, and he doesn’t look at the heroes too much while they’re talking. He’s eager to hear how the mission went and see the head. He knows nothing of the situation in Beldium, but he seems genuinely concerned. (Beldium is only about 3 hours on foot from Sun’s Escape).
Slammer fights off Moon Rage.
Rodger is happy see the Oni Mage’s head, and promptly hands over the reward. But he seems distracted and agitated. He seems to be trying to hold it back, but finally bursts out, “You killed the Oni Mage, sure, but the real threat was right under your nose! And you had no idea! You should be ashamed of yourselves! You’re lucky I’m paying you at all!”
When they ask what he’s talking about, he says, “What have you been in the outer galaxy or something? It’s the tragedy of our age! Tharrick, King of Liathonia has been killed! By the very Elf you delivered here, Feyrynne! That vile witch was either a spy, or just a bitter enemy of the crown and a lover of cruelty, either way, she tried to kill sweet young Jolen, the very boy she was hired to look after. Lucky for the boy, his father Tharrick arrived right at that moment for a visit. The two clashed in an epic battle, and Tharrick lost his life. Shortly after, the weakened Feyrynne fell to the King’s guards. As is our proud and ancient tradition, Jolen Liathon became the King of Liathonia at that moment. A royal envoy quickly came and whisked him to Vegolis, where he sits on the throne. Feyrynne’s body was taken as well. Of course, security is at an all-time high.
As they’re talking, an Eladrin woman runs in. She’s dirty with soot and splattered blood, she says, “Rodger of Liathonia, we don’t come to you often, but our situation is dire. The nearby town of Beldium is under attack by walking dead. Last night they rained down from the sky. Many have died, and now some of our own dead are rising up against us. Please, send any troops you can spare!”
She shows them a sword recovered from one of the undead soldiers, it nears the insignia of Liathonia. She says, “We think some of your men may be among the walking dead. Look at this sword!” Rodger replies, “We haven’t lost a single troop! Besides, this sword is an antique. We haven’t used sabers like these in generations.”
Rodger says he cannot spare any troops, as he is on strict orders to be on full defense, due to the recent attack.
When asked for more details, the Eladrin woman says, “Strange wooden pods fell from the sky during the night. Each contained a decaying corpse. They were inert until there was an attack on the temple. A chanting sound began emanating from the building. This is when the corpses awoke and started attacking. No one knows what’s in the temple, it’s surrounded by zombies!”
The heroes fly to Beldium and begin plowing through the zombies with their ship. They stop in a town square and fight a Cadaver Golem and 4 Blasphemes, earning 4,200 xp. One the the Blasphemes said something about a crown living on in death and kissed his antique Liathonian dagger as he fell. Hobart has the dagger.
They hear that a chanting noise is coming from the temple in the center of town. They cut through the zombie hordes to get to it and kick in the front door. Inside, they see 8 rather tough looking zombies, a hideously smelly ghoul about to stab a bound Eladrin child, and a brain in a jar of liquid floating above it all.