Under a bright full moon, an old church stands stoically on a hill overlooking a small farming village. A solitary lantern moves slowly up the road towards the church, swinging back and forth in rhythm with the footfalls of the hunched figure that grips it in their hand. The figure reaches the entrance to the church yard. A 10 foot high, rusty gate makes an agonising, high pitched screeching sound as it is pushed open. A barn owl cries out in response to the gate’s painful wail and the figure stops, listening, holding their breath. The barn owl does not call out again.
Silence. Four men open their eyes to darkness. Arms shoot out in response to a primal, suffocating panic and feel a hard, confining, wooden surface on all sides. In desperation they push against these walls desperately.
The figure takes a few steps and stops again, another sound now reverberating through the still night air. A rumbling sound. Tentatively, the hunched figure moves towards the church’s graveyard, seemingly the source of the noise. The sound increases and the ground begins to shake. He stops, staring at the earth in stunned shock, the muscles of his legs twitching, begging him to move, to run. A skeletal hand suddenly bursts from the earth nearby, rotting flesh clings to white bone, and it grabs at the figure’s leg, tearing his cloak.
Galvanised into action by this grotesque sight, the figure kicks out at the clawing hand and runs, sprinting towards the church building. To his left, an arc of electric blue light explodes from the earth, streaking into the sky and sending huge clods of earth spraying upwards. The figure reaches the large double doors of the building, breathing heavily, and throws them open as hunks of soil and small stones begin to rain down from above, thudding against the building’s thatched roof and making loud clacking sounds as they ping off of the stone tower.
Nestled in one corner of the graveyard, between a dilapidated crypt and the church tower, fresh mounds of earth are thrown aside by scrabbling hands and three figures rise from under the ground, their hands bloodied from punching through the wooden coffins in which they awoke. A fourth leaps out of the hole created by his magical blast. All four were seemingly buried with their weapons and armour, but their packs are missing. The Risen Adventurers remember nothing of how they came to be buried and have no idea where they are. Before these matters can be addressed, they take note of the horde of rotting corpses shambling towards them.
Encounter: Shattered Glass
The zombie masses are defeated with relative ease, but as they finish a desperate cry for help emanates from the church. Inside, a giant, hulking zombie lumbers towards a terrified figure. The creature is quickly put to rest, and then put to rest again several minutes later. The man cowering in the pulpit is the church’s grounds keeper, a man named Zud. Though quite shaken, and terrified by the idea that the adventurers themselves had risen from the ground with the zombies, he points them in the direction of the nearby village of Raylack and even dispenses some information on the church’s history, as well as recent goings on concerning the absent priest (who vanished after losing his wife in horrific circumstances).
He unlocks the priest’s room at the back of the church so that it can be searched for clues. Unfortunately, the only item of interest is a diary entry; “My darling Bonnie, I will be with you again” and a wardrobe full of robes. Lumen explores the churchyard for anything of interest, and notices the words “Bango Skank” scrawled onto the stonework of the church wall. When he runs his fingers across the letters and muses over this odd graffiti, pain suddenly explodes through his skull. An image swims in front of his mind’s eye, called up from his memories. A rocky valley. The words Bango Skank carved into the face of the valley wall. The image vanishes as suddenly as it appeared and the pain subsides.
The adventure continues as the group set off for Raylack…