Burnt Offerings

How the hero Traegus and his traveling companions saved the world!

Now I want you to understand that I took a pretty hard shot to the head, so I’m going to tell this as well as I can remember it.
So the cop wanted us to check out the nastiness that was supposedly happening to the south. It was supposed to be connected to the recent killings that have been happening. You know the ritualistic murders? So anyway, we started out for the area that people had been seeing scarecrows running around in their fields, but we decided that we would start at that sanitarium on the way. One of the victims from the place where those con men were killed had been caught wandering around, muttering crazy jibber jabber. So he was taken to the sanitarium and we were going to check that out first. So we ride out there, with a couple of the town constables. It was a pretty nice day, a little breezy, sunny, it was nice to be out of town for a while. Anyway, you should go get some doughnuts! So, we finally get there and after a time the halfling rings a bell and the guy comes to the door. He tells us some mess about how the patient is crazy, and he’s sick and probably contagious, but my quick wit got us past the door man. You know? So I schmooze our way into seeing the guy, who’s up on another floor. He’s strapped to a chair with guards on both sides, which I think is kind of excessive seeing as how the guy was in a straight jacket, tied to a chair and all, but whatever, this is probably the most excitement any of these folks have seen in a while. Oh yeah, the guards were filthy with sickness and waste, you guys might want to send like a sanitarium boss out there to make sure that the place is clean, you know? So there isn’t problems with disease and vermin and the like. Anyway, the victim is all babbling and crazy, then I think it was the halfling sprinkled the nut with holy water and the guys milky white eyes rolled over from crazy to only partly crazy, and he started talking to the cleric like she had a special invitation to the murder party that’s been going on. I think that the halfling might have a touch of the nuttiness too, he’s been shaking holy water all over the place, but that might just be something else, I’m not really sure. So, the guy seems fairly lucid at this point so I showed him my new necklace, which is in the shape of the seven pointed star that’s all over in this whole story. It’s a symbol of the old religions that were perverted by the rune lords or whatever. But, I’m not afraid of the symbol itself, I figure it’s all what you do with it that matters. So the guy goes especially nutty when he sees the star, and starts talking about how jealous he was of the cleric, at least, I think he meant the cleric, but he was jealous and then he starts struggling against his restraints. The guards look like they’re about to slap him around when the halfling flips the guys chair over. I guess I should have been impressed by that little guys strength then, but I didn’t really think twice about it because the guy bursts out of his chair and straight jacket as he transforms into what the cleric would later tell us was a ghoul. We all freak out a little bit, but then the fight was on. My memory gets a little fuzzy here, but I brought Gramsci out and everybody ran off. I’m pretty sure the halfling went after the guy who let us in, and the others left too. So The ghoul is dead and the guards turned out to be tieflings, who naturally follow me toward the battle sounds coming from the next room. When I get there I see what I’ve been told was a were rat playing with a sword, the cleric and the ranger were trying to fight it, when one of the tieflings goes by us to engage the rat, the rat slashes him viciously and drops him to the floor. I realize how dire the situation has become and grease the sword the rats got which obviously clangs to the floor. The rat falls out of it’s seeming berserker rage not sure whether it should go back for the sword or fight against my allies. Needless to say after I took care of the sword situation my friends were then able to finish the job. I commanded the other tiefling to follow me down to the main floor where there were yet more sounds of battle, but he mustn’t have heard me because he went to throw the unconscious rat back into it cage. When I get downstairs I see my friends in dire peril from the guy who had let us in and an obvious necromancer behind a line of zombies. My friends were again in great danger but luckily I was there. I created a pit at the feet of the necromancer who was greatly injured by the fall. My friends made quick work of the zombies and I accepted the necromancers surrender. He didn’t even think of putting up a fight now that I was there. Nobody really knew what to do with him, so I made him tell us all he knew about the goings on. He admitted that he knew the victim was going to be turning into a ghoul, he also implicated the guy who let us in. I demanded his magical accoutrements which he turned over without incident. Among his belongings I found a map with X written in spots that had been said to be experiencing ghoul activities with the scarecrows, there were also markings around the foxglove manor. I decided that we should start at the easternmost edge of the sightings and head west toward foxglove manor. I then placed him under arrest as a person of interest in our ongoing investigation. The constables who were escorting us took my prisoner back to town for trial. We headed south east to investigate the farmhouses that were supposedly experiencing frightening things at night. We found sign that one of the families, the Smiths I believe, had fled west toward foxglove manor, but they were to far gone to warn them about their dangerous travels. We approached the first farmhouse in the late afternoon. It was a fortified farmstead with a aerie at the roof. Several heavily armed, stout, hardy farm folk began pouring out to meet us. We were clearly outnumbered! Their leader, a large burly man, who was bulked up with a life time of farm labor demanded to know who we were. I could see the others bristle against us as their strong country folk hands gripped their weapons tightly. I stepped out from our group and announced proudly that I was Traegus from Sand Point. Though the farmsteaders were rough edged, and used to many of natures abundant trials, I could see their demeanor shift into a grateful ease. “Traegus, the hero of Sandpoint?” the leader asked. At this I could sense my companions tension ease as well. I offered them assurance that I was the elf of their stories. These rugged country folk knew me by my incredible rescue of their relations during the goblin raid. We were all welcomed into their home with gifts of gratitude. We decided to camp with them for the night. Some of my companions got their rest while I went with some of the capable men to look for signs of the evils that plagued the area. I thought I saw some movement in the corn fields but I wasn’t quite sure. With the heartfelt gratitude of our valor at bolstering their courage and numbers, we set out the next day to learn of the fate of the Hambly household, a little further to the west. As we neared the Hambly place we began to see more and more scarecrows, I tried to use my talents to see if they radiated magic, but they didn’t. They were also terrible at scarecrowing because they seemed to attract the crows rather than repel them. Again, I should have probably seen them for what they were, but I was probably distracted by the conversation and the sporadic sprinkling of holy water from my traveling companions. shortly before we reached the Hambly place the scarecrows started wrenching themselves free from their posts and started to chase us. Knowing that it would be a disadvantage to be caught out in the middle of these fields on a small path I urged my companions to run for the openness of the Hambly farm. It was my hope that we might be greeted there by other able bodied farm folk, but to our chagrin the place was already over run by ghouls, lead by a large undead creature known as a ghast, who was missing an ear, and had a key around his neck. As the ghouls from the field, you see the scarecrows were actually victims of the ghoulish scourge and were hung out in the fields to transform into their undead forms. Anyway, as the field ghouls set on us from all directions I leapt from my horse, and with a graceful flurry of hand motions I tore open the veil of reality to create a giant pit at the feet of the ghast and his crew from the house. I bravely dodged most of the ghouls attacks as they closed on us, and using the tiny moments I created, summoned several horses to crush the undead in my pit. The cleric used the favor of her deity to blast many of the ghouls out of existence and through our actions the rest of the party was left to fight the much more manageable numbers. Even with the numbers thinned it was a pitched battle. The ranger and I would need healing from the cleric, who believed us to have contracted ghoul fever from the wounds we had suffered. We decided to return to the farmers to warn them of the dangers that they were facing. After being healed, I came up with a plan for the cleric to consecrate and bless as much of the water in their well as possible, and we spent the remainder of the day teaching the farmers how to defend themselves against the undead. We left them prepared for what might come as we strode out to put a end to the evil that had taken up residence in this part of the world. Alright, I’m going to need to use the privy here before I get to the meat of this story. I’ll be right back!

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