Benders

Dead Bodies in a Mausoleum

The pseudo-zombies returned to their peaceful state of death, the Benders turned their attention to the other two buildings. The south one had a stone sarcophagus that was closed and no one rapped back in response to Ice’s sword.

The north one had four recently dead bodies, completely devoid of color that would indicate life. Each of them had several arrows in them but not a single drop of blood near the wounds. There was also a backpack just inside the door.

Ice moved beside the healer as she stood up from the bodies of the victims. He then laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “We’ve avenged their deaths,” Ice said quietly. “But we won’t rest until we’ve beaten and put an end to the true mastermind behind this mockery.”

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Notorious Z.O.M.B.I.E.

The Benders moved around so that they were more strategically placed and Ice put the blade of the longsword between the lid and the casket. He glanced around one more time to make sure everyone was in place then looked back at the coffin. With a mental shrug, he pushed down on the sword and popped the lid up and pushed it open. It fell to the floor on the other side with a clatter that echoed around the stone room.

Inside was a zombie or a semi-zombie or something. It was apparently trying to come back to life but was twitching in place. Its eyes locked onto Ice’s. The warrior couldn’t tell if the zombie was pleading for its life or coveting his brain.

JohnM looked at Linora. “Have you ever heard of undead stuck in this in-between state? Do we need to destroy these bodies to release the trapped souls or is there another way? In their present state they don’t seem to be much of a threat but we can’t leave them like this. If there’s a peaceful way to return them to their rest, seems like it would be worth trying. Restoring the natural way of things, and all.”

Linora nodded and moved forward. CB tried to reach out to the Zombie’s mind but there was nothing there but cold emptiness.

Ice, somewhat creeped out by a supposedly dead person staring straight back at him, decided then and there to make the most out of the encounter. “Um, hello there,” he said.

Linora placed a hand on Ice’s shoulder, letting him know she was there as well as signaling him to relax. She looked at the pseudo-zombie in the casket and said, “Rest”. She held both hands in front of her, palms up, and closed her eyes. “All of you, rest,” she said.

The zombie in the open casket quit struggling and the squirming sounds from the other caskets stopped. The zombie in front of Ice closed its eyes as if going to sleep. Once “asleep”, the muscle started falling from the bones of the skeleton and then the skeleton turned to dust. What had been hideously restored by the magic of the blue circle was returned to its natural state.

The Benders let it be quiet for a few seconds then searched the building. There didn’t appear to be anything of value or interest in the mausoleum. CB didn’t turn up anything unusual in her search either. The only footprints in the building, other than the Benders, seemed to be from the two zombies that were successfully brought back to life by the magic circle.

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What's Behind Door #1

The healers made their rounds with the Benders bandaging people up the best they could and Sister Linora using the last of her magic healing ability on Ice (11 hp) and JohnE (9 hp). It was all they could do and, quite frankly, seemed completely inadequate should more zombies show up.

To that end, Bex kicked and threw dirt on the magic blue circle. With each toss of dirt, more of the liquid was absorbed and the glowing faded a bit. When it was covered, Bex wrote his warning in the dirt.

CB tied up the dead archer, feeling a bit weird about it but at the same time freaked out that the archer might “wake up” at any second and try to eat her brain. As CB was tying the elf’s feet together, Leisha twitched. CB stopped for a second and watched but Leisha didn’t do anything else. CB exhaled, not realizing that she had been holding her breath, and finished tying the archer’s legs quickly and then moved away from the body.

The Benders looked around and it seemed that there was little else that could be done at this point and except make sure the cemetary was safe. They went into the biggest building where the five coffins were. Two of them had their lids on the floor but the other three seemed to be closed still, although the wood was rotting to the point where even one of the weak-ass skeletons could escape. A zombie could just bust out at will, probably sending the lid flying off to land on the floor. You know, like the two open coffins.

;;; Any special precautions?

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Loot and Pillage

“When everyone went to the south wall as the skeletons marched around,” Linora began, “Leisha stayed put and when she thought no one was looking, she went over the wall. I followed her to see what she was up to. I found out.” She smiled weakly. “Yes, the magic circle pulls the endead from their resting places. It will die if it isn’t fed anymore blood.” (;;; CB – roll Sense Motive).

Mark didn’t find much on Leisha. She had her bow, the two quivers, her sword, a dagger, and her clothes.

CB looks her friends in the eye and nods once, to indicate that she believes Linora is telling the truth.

Bex breathes a sigh of relief… He shuffles over to Linora, touches her arm and smiles. “You really shouldn’t have run after her alone,” he says. “I’m just glad we got here when we did… in any event, we need to look around for clues. Let’s heal up as much as possible, then check out the remaining crypts.”

Ice’s brows furrowed a bit when he heard of the magic circle’s purpose. “Linora,” he said as he looked worryingly at the archer’s body. “Is it possible for the circle’s magic to, uh, you know, ‘affect’ our erstwhile companion here? I’d really, really hate to have a reunion later on with Leisha, if you know what I mean.”

Linora looked at the circle and at the body of Leisha. She shook her head and added, “It shouldn’t be able to bring her back but it would probably be good if we buried the circle.”

Ice nodded once. “Alright, that settles it. We smother the circle first with anything and everything we can find: dirt, rocks, whatever is convenient, so long as nobody steps into the circle’s periphery. Be wary. Disrupt the channels if you can, but don’t risk it. Judging from what we’ve observed earlier, the magic may seem to have some level of sentience when it comes to detecting living things. As Linora said, it should die eventually when starved.” He then turned to Bex. “Bex, after everyone tries to spot and listen for anything out of the ordinary in the crypts, let John E and I go first. Same tactic as last time. You guys can cover us. So long as the circle retains power, we can’t be sure if there are any more undead waiting for us. Linora’s safety is our primary objective in addition to finding out more about these undead attacks. We can take Leisha with us when we get back to Winterhaven. Lord Pedraig would want to hear of everything that’s transpired.”

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Cemetaries Are For Dead People

JohnE shrugged out of the grasp of the zombie and it fell to the ground, eh, dead. The flesh nearly burst forth with maggots, as if the eggs had been waiting impatiently for this day to happen, and the body was quickly reduced to nothing more than a skeleton.

JohnM, aided by the one-round world famous surgeon Bex, opened his eyes to see that the cemetary was once again quiet except for the sound of the Benders trying to catch their breath.

Mark bent down to stabilize Leisha but she was dead (his hit put her at -9 and she failed her stabilize save).

“aw SHIT!” says mark as he stands up from Leisha’s body, “now we’ll never know what the hell was going on here!” He looks to the others and asks “does anyone know if there is anything we can do like in D&D or is she gone?”

“Linora,” Bex says, “what the heck is going on? What do you remember?” Bex is still not quite sure who to trust here… and hopes CB can use her Investigate skill to see if Linora’s story holds together… or if this was just some kind of elaborate trap.

Ice winced a bit from his injuries and bent down to search the now dead elf. “I’m sorry it had to come down to this,” he said to no one in particular. “Guys, we’ll need to do a full sweep of the cemetery for anything pertinent to the situation. Leisha may have had set up something else within the area in case things didn’t go favorably with her plans.” He then turned to Linora. “Linora, is the magic circle the source of the undead attacks? What can you tell us about it?”

After shakily getting to his feet, JohnM says, “Linora, I’m sorry we left you alone with her. I didn’t think she was really in league with the necromancer. I’m sorry I trusted her. I’m just happy that you are ok after all that.” Then before he started feeling woozy again, he opened himself up to the life energy around him and felt it restoring him (12hp). After that he felt well enough to give the last of his magical healing energies to his friends (1hp to Bex and 1hp CB). “If folks want to rest for a bit before we start searching this place I can pull out my medkit and do it the old fashioned way. :)”

“There’s probably no more undead… or they would have attacked by now. Nevertheless, there might be some kind of boobytrap in the crypts. So, we should probably take a moment to heal up. In the meantime, we can go through Leisha’s belongings to look for clues, and come up with a plan for the blue circle.”

CB will scour the area for any clues and assess what they do know. She will question Linora to see what happened to her, and correlate her story to what the physical facts say about this event.

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Cemetary - R10

New Map

Bex dashes to the square just west of JohnM, and grabs his feet, dragging him West as far from the magic circle as he can. The last thing we need is Zombie John. Bex isn’t not the healer that Linora is, but he tries his hand at stabilizing JohnM’s wounds (Treat Injury d20 = 20!!!).

Mark moves forward 5 towards the only remaining foe, levels his x-bow and hits the zombie, knocking its jaw to the ground (-2hp).

Ice skirted the westward edge of the magic circle (5 squares) towards the rotter and with his longsword went snicker-snack. (attack: 13+7=20, damage: 4+8=12)

(CB – roll Fort save)coughs and hacks and shudders, then seems to rest easier (roll of 15 for fortitude save)

Johne gives a roundhouse kick to the zombies head.Attk:23 Dmg:10 …And before anyone can even see his hands flash out he also delivers a couple fist jabs.

The zombie (def 14), being absolutely pummelled, lunges forward biting into JohnE ferociously (-9 hp; roll Fort save), and like his now deceased partner, the zombie stopped moving. (Johne Fort save:19)

JohnM – (Fort save=22)

Devon swung again at the zombie but missed this time (AT=12 defensively).

Linora placed a hand on CB’s forehead and allows the healing power flow through her (+9 hp).

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Cemetary - R9
The Tide Turns

New Map

Bex takes a step southwest to get some distance between him and the fire zombie, and fires with his glock, unfortunately missing his flaming mark by a wide margin (att: 4)

With newly found confidence mark takes aim at the remaining zombie, nailing it squarely with a bolt from his new best friend, his fickle x-bow (att: 20, dam 10).

Ice awoke abruptly and sat up. He felt for his belly and found that the arrow wounds had already been knitted by Linora, who knelt beside him. Shaking his head in disbelief at how close he was to letting his friends down (by almost dying), Ice helped both the healer and himself up, gave Linora a brief nod of thanks and picked up his sword which lay just a few feet away. Ice then spied CB’s prone form to the South and Leisha’s still writhing-in-pain-but-(un)fortunately-unconscious figure to the northeast. His face hardened in anger. “Look to CB,” he told Linora. He then turned to face the remaining undead near the magic circle.

CB continues to lie in a pool of her own juices, slowly bleeding out (-1 hp).

Johne runs straight north, winds up and punchs said undead directly in the mouth. The skeleton’s head absolutely exploded.

This time, the zombie spit made it past JohnM’s clothing and burned right into his shoulder (-4 hp) causing enough pain to cause the shaman to black out and fall to the ground next to the glowing blue circle. Magical glowing tendrils reached outside the circle trying to reach JohnM, seemingly drawn toward the bleeding shoulders.

The zombie didn’t miss a beat and charged at JohnE and tried to bite the martial artist but JohnE dodged out of the way of the bite.

Seeing JohnM hit the ground seemed to galvanize Devon. He maintained as much of his defense as he could while bringing the staff around at the zombe. The adrenaline helped him rap the zombie right in the head (-4hp).

Linora ran to CB and knelt down by the slinger.

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Cemetary - R8

Leisha (def 22) took another stepped back and turned her attention to the slinger. Pulling the first arrow from her the left quiver and the second from the right quiver and let them fly, one right after the other. The Universe must have shifted in some way because CB’s luck had run out. Both arrows hit CB squarely (-22 hp) and one of them blew up.

New Map

Bex awakens to find Linora holding his hand, and then spots both the remaining undead. “Let’s try something different, here,” he thinks, as he scorches the Zombie with a Burning Hands spell (7pt, reflex save for 1/2), igniting the Zombie’s remaining clothing. He tries hard to the “thread the needle” and hit the Skeleton as well, but without hitting JohnM or Devon. This is gonna be close…

The blast hit the zombie square on and lit the dead guy’s clothes on fire. The flames missed the skeleton but also missed the friendlies in the area.

Mark moves to the north and springs around the corner with an “A-HA!” to take a shot at Leisha. Steadying himself with all the thoughts of Shooting Sports from years of 4-H and trying to make his dad proud, knowing this might be do or die, he let’s fly: (base roll of 12 + 11 from 2 action points = 23, damage: -11hp). The bolt entered Leisha’s body at the base of her spine. She arched back and tried to turn around to see who had snuck up on her but she fell down before she could get all the way around.

Bex looks again at Linora, and says, “we’ll be OK! See if you can get to Ice… he’s not looking too good.”

The downed and unconscious Ice spasmed then coughed; a worrying bubble of blood briefly appeared from his mouth (-1 hp). (Fort. Save: 15)

CB was enveloped in the fire from the explosive arrow (-6 hp) and fell down.

JohnE runs around the side of the building, takes aim at the far zombie(5?) and prays that his bullet will rip the damn things head off(Attk:16 Dmg:9) (Fort save:16). No luck this time but he did forget to command the zombie to die like he did the last one.

The skeleton (def 16) punched Devon again. Poor kid was getting the snot beat out of him.

The zombie (def 14) tried to bite JohnM’s face but got the other shoulder instead (-9 hp). The bite and the sizzle of the spit kind of sounded like, “Brainsssssss.” Couldn’t be.

Zombie Love Song

JohnM could hear the zombie spit sizzling on his clothing and, while nasty sounding, nothing seemed to really be happening (you know, other than the fact that he had just been bitten by a dead person). The flaming zombie made a really nice target and the scimitar felt so right in his hand. He landed a solid blow against the thing, scoring a line across the remains of its chest (-6hp).

Devon looked dazed from his wild swing and did just as badly when he tried again to hit the bundle of bones that was scratching at him. But at least this time he regained his composure more quickly and looked ready to try yet again.

Linora crawled away from the zombie then ran to Ice. She knelt and put her hand on his forehead sending the icy cold wave of healing magic through his body (+11 hp)

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Cemetary - R7

Leisha (def 22) wanted to stand her ground and stand on the sword but she was hurt too badly to stay in combat with Ice. She stepped back and zipped two more arrows at the warrior with both of them hitting (-12 hp) and stopping the immediate threat to her. Now she was free to take down Benders from a distance with her bow.

New Map

Bex continues to sizzle from the Zombie spit, and exhales a death rattle (Failed Fort save – losing 1 more hp).

Mark shifts back another square, levels his “trusty” x-bow and lets fly at the Zombie (hits 14+4=18, 7 points of damage). The small rational part of his brain wonders why the hell he agreed in the first place to this stupid canoe trip!

Ice’s eyes widened as the pain from the two arrows lodged in his gut slowly but ever so inexorably bloomed throughout his body. With a fading glance towards Linora and the remaining Benders positioned at the circle, he sank to his knees before finally collapsing to the ground. (Fort. Save: 13 – losing 1 more hp – DC is 20)

CB spins up her trusty sling, and really nails Leisha this time! Now that Ice isn’t blocking her line of sight, she’s able to smack Leisha squarely on the forehead (Att: 25, Dam: 5).

JohnE screamed at the Zombie “Fall down you bastard!” (Attk:18, Dmg:8) and gives him a firm kick to the head. The zombie reeled back from the blow, shook its head, and lunged back forward and bit hard into JohnE’s shoulder (-9 hp).

The remaining skeleton (def 16) punched Devon in the ribs (-2 hp).

The zombie (def 14) that bit JohnE’s shoulder was just sort of hanging there by its jaw. JohnE hit the zombie’s head to get it to let go and, amazingly, it did. It let go and fell to the ground.

The other zombie lunged in and bit JohnM (-8 hp).

Since he threw away the quarterstaff that was crawling with the blue liquid, JohnM draws his scimitar. Swinging through a complete spin, he slashes through the rope between Linora’s feet and the post, yells at her to “Get to Bex!” and returns to face the zombie.

Devon swings himself completely off balance in his attempt to deal a killing blow to the last skeleton. (fumble) JohnM can’t help but shake his head. They are all going to die…

Linora crawled toward Bex, grabbed his hand, and let nature flow through her into him (+11 hp).

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Cemetary - R6
This Bites!

Leisha (def 22) moved to the northeast and stood on Ice’s sword. The elf fired two arrows at CB, who had tried to pelt the archer in the back, but, oddly, both arrows missed CB.

New Map

Bex shudders as he falls to the ground after the last Zombie bite (and fails his Fort save: -3 hp).

Mark shifts back again and tries his gambit one more time missing badly (1+4=5, seriously this roller rolls more 1’s and 2’s for me than is statistically possible! I may as wield a machete!). He screams in frustration “what the gaddamnhellfuckshitmotherfuckingcrap”!

Ice spied his longsword laying at Leisha’s feet. As the elf was preoccupied with trying to hit CB, Ice stepped in (1 square E) and dealt a quick punch to her temple. “We’re not done yet. Your fight’s with me,” the warrior snarled. (8 damage) As Leisha reeled from the sudden head strike, Ice focused upon his past experiences in MMA training and made a devastating palm strike (ATK: 20) directed at the elf’s lower jaw. (Damage: 4+4+2=10) (Total: 18 Damage. Lethal.)

(CB) step to the northwest to fire a sling bullet at the zombie standing over Bex’s still form, not knowing if Bex is alive or dead (although, if this was a bad zombie movie, the next thing Bex will be saying is ‘braaaiiiiinnnnnnnssssssss’). Alas, the shot goes wide (roll of 3+6 to hit=9 for a miss)

Johne moves up next to Mark and bury’s his foot in the zombies remaining brains. This fucker better be dead…er. Unfortunately, while the kick was forceful and the zombie was, eh, dead, it was still animated.

The skeletons (def 16) pressed their attack, one throwing a punch at JohnM and missing , and the other turning around and smacking Devon (-2 hp).

The north zombie (def 14) jumped over Linora, who had opened her eyes and was trying to get her bearings (which was not made any easier when the first thing that she saw was a flying zombie), and tried to bite down on JohnM’s neck like it had done with Bex. JohnM heard the teeth chomp shut right next to his ear. Freaky, but other than losing a few strands of hair, the zombie got nothing this time.

The south zombie turned its attention on the new attack and bit JohnE in retaliation to the kick (-4 hp; roll Fort save).

JohnM is unable to make it to Bex this round, but knows he can help if he gets there quick enough. There are just too many undead around. So he blasts one with the wand (O2 for 5hp). Maybe that would give him some breathing room.

Devon swings again and can’t believe that the skeleton is able to dodge out of the way without even looking at him (AT=8). He feels like a pansy.

Linora looked around and saw Bex lying a few feet from her, bleeding from a wound in the neck that was also sizzling with zombie spit. She tried to reach out to him but her feet were still tied to the stake. She reached for the knife that she kept on her belt but it was gone. She turned on her side and curled down to the knot on her foot and started untying it.

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