ACKS: In Search of the Unknown

You ACKS-ed For It, Part Two

After being left behind in the Village near Blackwall Keep, Tyrannyth Serpenthelm waited for his companions to return. After a few days, the liveryman dropped off Hans the war dog, now fully healed. Hans and Tyrannyth set off into the Mistmarsh and ended up in Ravenloft, where they were reunited with Keyrock of the Cave People, who was on his way into Marais d’Tarascon, followed by the catatonic youth from the pole house.

Arriving at the Full Moon Inn, they met up with Feredir and Berik Ironfist, who had been doing some investigating on their own. While the group caught up over drinks, a foul odor overcame everyone in the inn. Most resisted the stench, but Feredir was horribly sickened by it. Worse, one of the other patrons dropped dead. As the group moved to examine the poor man, he rose as a zombie and attacked them. Fortunately, the party was able to dispatch the creature quickly and without major injuries.

Later, they heard a scream from outside. In a nearby alley, the group found a hooded man stabbing a young barmaid. He ran, some of them followed, and he escaped. The others stayed to help the barmaid, but she died anyway.

The party went on to investigate some other leads, including the licorice that had been left at some crime scenes. As they broke into the Tarascon townhouse, the hooded man caught up with them. He defeated Tyrannyth, but the others were able to take him down before he did any more damage. The hooded man turned out to be none other than Jean Tarascon, owner of the plantation, driven mad by his twin brother’s death. With his death, the village celebrated the party as heroes, assuming the string of deaths was at an end.

That night, as everyone celebrated, the storm that had been brewing for days reached its peak just as an army of zombies descended on Marais d’Tarascon. Constable Gremin and Shaman Brucian offered to protect the villagers if the heroes would find the final resting place of Marcel Tarascon, which (based on a prophecy found on a scroll, as well as another prophecy given by the Vistani to Luc, the young catatonic lad) they believed was linked to the zombies.

Feredir, remembering the noises he had heard coming from the old graveyard at night, suggested they search there first. After some initial missteps with normal zombies in various crypts in the old graveyard, the party entered the Tarascon family crypt to find Marcel Tarascon the zombie lord waiting for them, with a small army of his own zombie minions. As most of the party retreated, Berik Ironfist called upon the power of Moradin to repel the minions, and the zombies fled. Encouraged by this, the rest of the party positioned themselves to attack the zombie lord. Marcel, frustrated by his minions’ failure and by his own failed attempt to turn Keyrock into a living zombie minion, entered into melee combat with the party. He killed Berik and took down Keyrock, but then part of the Hyskosa prophecy came to pass, and as the moon disappeared, Marcel was unable to move, giving the remaining party members the chance to attack him freely and pour holy water on him. Despite his wounds from this, the zombie lord regained his senses and continued his attack, killing Tyrannyth. He was on the verge of victory, when Feredir’s final attack with a silver dagger brought him down. The remaining zombies, free of their lord’s influence, wandered off.

Shortly after the battle, and with the army of zombies no longer attacking the residents of Marais d’Tarascon, Shaman Brucian showed up, and in exchange for a portion of the (large) treasure found in the crypt, used his final two scrolls to restore life to Berik Ironfist and Tyrannyth Serpenthelm. Both came back somewhat changed, but they came back. And there was much rejoicing.

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