It was about 4 PM. when we came upon them. A simple farm cart alongside the road, four lifeless bodies. Two human adults, male and female, and two small children. This initial shock couldn’t have prepared us for what we saw as we moved closer, as they had been partially eaten, their brains ripped out through holes in their skulls. And worst, this had happened no more than a few hours ago. We were disgusted by the vision, and terrified as to who–or what—did this, but we couldn’t leave them lying here in this state, so we buried them. Their was little in the cart, some fresh picked vegetables probably on the way to a local market. We moved on down the road, with our hands on our weapons, alert to any sight or sound that indicated trouble.
It was right after sundown when we saw them, some human figures moving around in a mindless fashion. The stench coming from them was foul rot, causing us to retch. Our gut’s told us to run, but we were not going to leave these creatures to kill another unsuspecting family traveling along the road. Just as the sensed us, we charged them! They turned on us, but moved more slowly.
Our steadfast Dwarf Ballog was the first to strike, hacking off arms and legs with his mighty battleax, and even splitting torsos down the middle. Finestra pulled up short and began waving her arms while voicing strange sounds, and two small sparks darted from her hand and struck one of the creatures, dropping it with a disgusting squish sound. I looked for some sort of club, as my dagger would not be of much use. Finding a stout tree branch, I picked it up and entered the fray, swinging wildly, but connecting nonetheless. They still had fresh blood on them, which only made their sight and smell more gut-wrenching, and they were able to claw us with nasty nails. There were seven in total, possibly once human. We managed to bring them all down, and we burned the carcasses so they could not rise again.
Oh, to have had the companionship of a cleric, but alas, we did not.
After cleaning our wounds and resting, we continued down the road and after another hour we entered the small town of Loganburrow. We reported all of this to the local bailiff, then found lodging at the only inn in town, The Crafty Cow. For our troubles, a local healer came by and cured our wounds, with no gold nor copper required.
The next morning, after a simple but hearty breakfast, we were once again on our way. When we first started out from Khulan, nor more than six days ago, we had no idea what earning our keep as adventures meant. We were beginning to understand it was not all glory and gold. But we were certain that the paths we each had taken, the paths that had brought us together, were the ones we had been born to trod; certain that down the next road, or underground tunnel, waited bags of gold, and weapons of wonder.