After a short, sharp fight with the undead dwarven soldiers, the party takes stock of the situation and makes some quick introductions to the newcomer. Elestrynna, Hamish and Sharat each examine the rapidly decomposing bodies of the undead dwarven warriors and each comes to the conclusion that these dwarves bear arms and armor that dates back to the time of the Orc Wars, nearly 100 years ago. They look at each other, their concern obvious.
Hamish thanks the party for their assistance before speaking up. “I still have at least two companions still trapped in the Fiveleague House, I will not abandon them.” The party is busy welcoming Trek back into the fold, but Sharat and Jai both turn and look at Hamish, unspoken questions on their faces. “Perhaps you should fill us in on what’s going on around here.” says Rassimohn.
Hamish and Trek tell the story of what has happened at the Fiveleague House, how the inn was overrun by spectral dwarven warriors, how Hamish’s two companions were last seen beating a fighting retreat back towards the inn’s kitchens. The disappointment is tangible as the party realizes that the hot food, dry beds, and cold beer that the Fiveleague House promised will not be a part of this evening’s plans. Sharat nods quickly, “Then we should press on. There may be others still trapped in the inn and I’ll not abandon them to their fate.” Jai puts a stong hand on Sharat’s shoulder and nods in agreement. Wounds are quickly bandaged as Cygnet leads the horses forward and, after answering the concerned girl’s questions, the party sets off at a rapid pace and quickly travels the mile between them and the inn.
A grim sight awaits them. The Fiveleague House, a large, walled inn stands alongside the Thane’s Road, about a day’s journey from Hammerfast. It is normally a busy place, sitting on a low rise beside the road in a clearing carved out of the thick trees of the Dunwood. But tonight it is a different place: the inn is dark, its tall glass windows shattered and the front gate sundered. A portion of the main entrance has collapsed, bringing a small section of the greatroom’s wall with it. Only one window in the back of the inn glows with a yellow light. A latern perhaps? Could there still be survivors within? Wandering aimlessly about the mucky ground in front of the inn are packs of spectral dwarven warriors. They seem confused, dazed, and unsure of their own actions and they wander about the field, howling and cursing in a strange, strangled language.
Among the undead dwarven warriors wanders a far more sinister form. It is a massive creature molded from flesh, body parts, and other gobbets of unknown materials. It drips a clear gelatinous fluid and “steams” with a pale blue-white light in the chill night air. It stands about 8 feet tall and is mostly humanoid in form. Elestrynna sets her jaw and the other soldiers look grim. “A Corpse Ogre, I think?” asks Rassimohn. “Not been seen in these parts since the damned Witch King’s armies were sundered by King Gareth.” Elestrynna nods sharply. She knows that this terrible undead golem is a hallmark of the Witch King Zhengyi himself – no other necromancers in Faerun are known to have created them. She fears the implications of this beast’s presence.
Beyond the walls of the Fiveleague House, to the southeast, a blue-white glow emanates from the trees. Those of the party that have travelled these parts of the Nentir Vale know that this is where the grand monument built to commemorate the final battle of the Orc Wars stands. Hamish and Trek recall that this is the direction that the first attackers came from earlier this night. The party debates their course of action: check the inn for survivors or press on to the monument and likely attack the source of this event.
While the party debates, a figure emerges from the stable doors on the front of the inn. It is short, wide, and heavily bearded – likely a dwarf. It creeps through the darkness, heading right towards the edge of the forest where the party is concealed. For a few moments, the undead warriors do not notice the sneaking figure, but then one spots it and lets out a strangled shout. The rest, including the corpse ogre, turn as the dwarf begins to sprint, frantically, towards the trees. Hamish and Trek recognize him as Tego Trollender, a merchant that was expelled from Hammerfast and was biding his time at the Fiveleague House.
Jai growls, “Let’s go” and draws his bastard sword, heading quickly in the direction of the fleeing dwarf. It is clear that Tego will not make the trees before the undead catch him unless the party helps. The rest of the party steels themselves and set off after Jai…