Where the heroes begin to defend the town against the Undead invasion.
Meander drives the tall, ungainly wagon, bristling with the other deputies and the elemental priests, around the last grove of trees, revealing the edge of town across the plain. The church bells ring across the plain, alerting the town of danger, and filling the Deputies with dread as they race to save the town. Fires had been built at the openings in the walls, and there are people crowded around them. Between the wagon and the gates, several packs of dark forms slowly shambling towards the town.
Meander looks back at the passengers spread out atop the wagon. “Can you guys attack those Zombies as we ride past?”
After a long pause, Broken says, “Well.. Yeah.”
“Unleash unholy fire or what not..” Meander catches the eyes of Ember and the other priests. “I mean holy fire! Holy Fire.”
“Well, it’s not like the wagon is going to race past them. It rather crawls at the moment.”
Meander mumbles, “Yeah, I wonder if we will even catch up to them.” Then he says louder, “I think we still need to ride the wagon in to the gate. It’s too useful as a barricade.”
Broken says, “I say we just go. Do it! When in doubt, if it looks like we won’t make it, then the faster people can run up faster. What else is there to do?”
Meander asks again, “So is that our plan?”
“I don’t have a clue what the plan is for us,” Spring says.
Ember says, “I say we kill them.”
“So…” Meander drawls. “I can’t attack them at range, but I can drive a wagon like a mad man. So, I’ll drive the wagon up there, and you guys take them out as I’m driving.”
Ember says, “Well, I can’t attack them at range either.”
Meander gasps back, “What? You throw fire!”
“I can’t effect them with that fire.”
“I thought that was the whole reason you studied for two days.”
“Oh right!” Ember considers for a moment, “Well, I can’t throw it yet.”
Meander tries to sum things up, “Ahh. ToughBark, you lob arrows. Scorch? Torch?”
“Flint.” He says with an eye roll.
“Flint… Ahh, sorry – wrong priest. I’m assuming you can throw fire at them.”
“Great! So, Broken, I assume you have all kinds of flying mayhem ready.”
“I got new battle-axes ready to go.”
“Oh crap. Alright, Wonderful. So Spring?”
“Alright.” Meander pauses for a moment as he turns the wagon to drive past the nearest group of Zombies. “So is that yep I know what I’m doing?”
“Well, there is only one thing that I can do.”
“And that’s throw up walls in front of them?”
“No. I can fire force bolts.”
“Can you trip them?”
“I don’t think I have anything that works like that.”
“I mean just knock their legs out from under them.”
“Well… that would be a little harder.”
“Ok, whatever. Just don’t push them towards the gate.”
“Well, I could try to disrupt magic and see if that does something to them.” Spring fiddles with his glasses, then looks at the nearest group. He doesn’t see any forms of active magic on or around the group of Zombies.
“Shock?” Meander asks.
“My attacks are not ranged.”
Flint quips, “What a shock!”
Meander asks, “Can you help anyone who gets tired?”
The nearest group is shambling down the middle of the road. Meander makes a quick decision to stay on the road and ride the Zombies down. ToughBark gets out his bow and aims down the nearest of the Zombies, trying to adjust for the bumpiness of the wagon. He manages to get two shots off at the last Zombie, causing it to stumble and then fall. It clambers slowly to its feet, hampered by the arrows lodged in its chest and thigh.
Looking at the nearest gate, the first groups of Zombies have finally reached the town and are surrounding the gate. The sounds of combat and men shouting can be heard from the gate. The guards are no longer visible in the sea of undead, black silhouettes in the fires at the gate.
Ember yells at Meander, “Can this thing not go any faster!!!”
Meander grimaces, “I’m trying.”
The wagon is slowly catching up to furthest group of Zombies, but the progress is agonizing. As Meander nears the lone Zombie that had trailed from the last group, he veered to hit it with the wagon, but swerved off the road. He ran over the trailing Zombie, but had to spend some time getting the wagon back on the road and under control. They are very close now to one of the groups of Zombies. Broken begins speaking arcane syllables and gesturing complex figures over his battle-axes. One of the axes swirls out and cleaves into a Zombie’s arm. ToughBark aims down another Zombie and lodges an arrow in its chest, causing it to stumble and fall. Spring gathers arcane energy in his hands and throws a bolt of pure energy at a third Zombie. The Zombie falls from the impact, but the rest of the group of Zombies continue the march towards the gate.
The scene at the north gate worsens as more groups of Zombies pile in behind the other Zombies. The Zombies begin to spread out against the walls at the gate and some begin to climb over the chest high stone wall around the town. More groups of Zombies can be seen to the east, approaching the northeastern gate as well, but those haven’t reached the gate yet. Another group was spotted to the southwest in the river.
They close with the furthest group, and Ember grits his teeth in fury and hatred and decides to hang off the side of the wagon to try to swipe at some of the Zombies as they pass by. Spring cast another force bolt at the Zombie as it clamors to stand back up. It gets knocked back to the ground. Broken launches another axe at the Zombies, striking into the Zombie’s back. ToughBark looses an arrow into a Zombie’s arm.
Broken ask Meander, “We are running over more Zombies, right?”
Broken turns to StoneMan. “Wait at the back – when you see the Zombies pop out the back then hit them.” StoneMan moves to the back of the wagon.
Meander begins to steer the wagon back towards the group of Zombies. A gem embedded in the wagon lights up red as he nears the group. Meander tries to ignore it as he aims the wagon at the next group.
Ember begins to chant and gather arcane fire in his hands. The fire begins to course up the blade of Sky Breaker. He lets loose a primal scream of rage and chops the sword down at the Zombie, hacking into its right arm, just above the arrow. Sky Breaker pulses with electrical energy, shocking the Zombie as well. The Zombie falls to the ground, singed and twitching with energy. All the Zombies nearby turn to look at Ember.
Meander crashes into the three Zombies on the road. They crumple to the ground and the wagon bumps over them. Meander glances over at the gem. It is flashing red. Chaotic sounds of thumping come from underneath the wagon. StoneMan stands at the back of the wagon, but the Zombies never emerge from the back.
Broken announces to the group, “The situation is under control. The wagon’s defense system has engaged the Zombies under the wagon.”
Ember turns to the priest, “I’m about to burn. You might want to step back.”
Wave backs up quickly, however Flint looks hungrily at Ember with anticipation.
Ember yells up to Meander, “How do you plan on doing this?”
Meander says with glee, “I’m going to slide up into the gates!”
Ember pauses for a moment, eyes sparking with anger, “My side towards them.”
“You got it. You’ll go right into them.”
Everyone backs away from Ember.
ToughBark aims at one of the Zombies trying to climb over the wall and knocks it back down with an arrow to the chest.
Meander, waiting for the last moment to maneuver into the gate, casts a shield spell to get ready for combat. He planned to join the fight as soon as the wagon stops. Everyone else is bracing for crashing into the gates. Ember begins to concentrate deeply on his symbol. Flames begin to flicker up Ember and he is quickly engulfed in flames. He smiles with divine clarity as he hangs off the side of the wagon, waiting for the horde of undead. “Hold the line. We are coming!”
Broken yells out, “What are you doing? Are you going to break my wagon?”
Meander answers, “It’s our wagon.”
ToughBark seizes the moment and manages to strike the Zombie again in the chest, just before Meander pulls up on the reigns and hard to the side. The wagon slides sideways and glides to a hard thump against the town wall. As Ember’s side is turned towards the gate, he watches as a large group of Zombies are knocked under the wagon. Two of the militia men are down on the ground being eaten. Three more militia men have spears and are fending off the frenzied Zombies. Ember is thrown from the wagon, lands and rolls up near the standing militia men.
Spring looks down at the chaotic undead mess, and the height of the wagon, and decides wisely to stay up top and throw spells at the Zombies. He puts on his glasses and looks for active spells on the Zombies. Nothing. They aren’t being controlled or directed by active magic.
Meander turns quickly, “Wave, can you heal those militia men from a distance?”
“No, I have to touch them. But those militia men down there are dead.”
Spring says as he puts up his glasses, “Guys, I just don’t see any magic on these.”
Meander jumps off the wagon, over the wall and lands. He swings out with his axe, hacking into the groin of the first Zombie and felling another with two arrows sticking out its chest with a chop to the shoulder. Broken throws out a battle axe and it chops into a Zombie, spilling its guts. It looks down at the carnage with confusion. Ember runs up to the nearest Zombie and lashes out, striking one with Sky Breaker in the arm. Sky Breaker crackles as it touches the undead, and the fires that surround Ember flare up as he attacks. Meander runs over near Ember and buries the axe into the Zombie’s chest. Ember backs up as the Zombie tries to grab him and then lunges out, sword crackling with energy and zaps the Zombie’s foot. The Zombie falls, twitching with energy as flames begin to curl around the wound briefly.
Spring gathers more magical energy, readying another Force Bolt and unleashes it at the confused Zombie. It staggers back a bit and then begins to approach the militia men again. Broken directs his axe at the same Zombie. The axe bites deeply into the Zombie’s arm. The Zombie falls to the ground.
ToughBark turns towards the broken groups of Zombies approaching the gate and starts firing arrows. His first one strikes one of the Zombies in the hand. His second draw strikes the Zombie in the stomach. It staggers and falls, not getting back up.
Stone Man jumps solidly out of the wagon. He turns to wait for the Zombies crawling out from the bottom of the wagon. Then he quickly spins his sword down, striking through the chest of one of the crawling Zombies. The rest of the Zombies crawl out from under the wagon. They begin to scale the sides of the wagon, drawn by the life forces atop.
The militia men look about, relieved to receive support. They ready their spears, standing back behind the Deputies, waiting for something to draw close enough to stab. Meander looks around more Zombies, seeing the bulk of the Zombies of the other side of the wall. He glances down at the fallen militia men and sees them moving slightly. “These dead guys ain’t dead.”
Spring turns to the nearest creeping Zombies and conjures a force bolt, but the impact to its chest does not stop it from climbing up the wagon. He yells, “Huh?”
“The militia men… they ain’t dead. Wave… Can you get down here and heal them?” Meander runs over to the wall and jumps over it, rolling to his feet on the other side, ready to engage more Zombies. The other militia men begin to drag the fallen men out of the combat.
Broken’s battle-ax swung out and cleaved down into the Zombies shoulders, causing it to loose its grip and fall to the ground. It lies unmoving on the ground. Shock reaches out and touches one of the Zombies climbing up the wagon. Bright blue light crackles around the Zombie, leaving the smell of charred dead flesh. Flint intones words of power and an intensely bright but thin red light emanates from his finger tips. The light strikes one of the Zombies and burns through, causing it to fall off the wagon. StoneMan approaches another Zombie crawling up the wagon. His large stone sword lopped off one of the Zombies legs, falling helplessly.
Ember grits his teeth as he looks between the Zombies and the fallen militia men. He looks hard at the fallen and decides they look really bad. They have been chewed apart by the feeding Zombies. He decides to call upon his faith and begins to channel healing magics into the first militia man.
Some of the Zombies breech the top of the wagon. Flint and Shock are both grabbed by Zombies. Shock screams and lights up with blue energy sizzling the Zombies flesh, but it continues to hold onto him. Wave jumps back, out of their reach for the moment. Spring moves quickly around one of the Zombies as it gropes his way. Nervous about the Zombies, he quickly creates a crackling ball of magical energy and then spreads out his hands forming a magical bubble of pure energy to shield himself from attacks.
The last Zombie drops down from the wagon and tries unsuccessfully to grab Meander. Meander lashes out at the Zombie that dropped down in front of him. He swings the wicked Dwarven axe and cleaves into the Zombies head, dropping him instantly. The ropes on the wagon whirl out, grabbing one of the Zombies off the top of the wagon. Broken points to the Zombie threatening Spring, and the battle-ax flies out and cuts through the Zombie’s left arm, rendering it useless. Spring, addled by the Zombie lurching in front of him, gathers more energy for a force bolt but it fizzles away as he tries to form it.
Ember finishes his healing spell. A soft glow settles over the militia mans form. His flesh begins to sizzle and his eyes pop out. A gurgling scream issues forth from his lips. Ember turns to the standing militia men and yells, “Kill him, he’s going to be a Zombie shortly.” As the newly formed Zombie begins to roll as it is dragged across the ground, Ember is chagrinned by the fact that he probably has one behind him as well. Thinking through his knowledge of undead, Walking Dead usually have to be buried before they come back to life. What kind of undead does this? It isn’t normal, not that undead are normal.
ToughBark pauses for a moment as he targets another Zombie from the approaching group. The arrow lodged in the Zombie’s temple, knocking it onto the ground. It slowly clambered back to its feet, moving towards the group with the feathers sticking out its forehead.
Meander, pulling out the chain whip he took from the Kobolds, lashes out at one of the Zombies on the wagon. The talons at the end of the chain bite into the Zombie and with a quick jerk, Meander pulls it off the wagon and smashes it into the ground.
Broken directs the axe at the Zombie grappling with Shock. Shock is on the ground, with the Zombie leering over him. The axe sweeps in, barely missing Shock, biting into the Zombie’s stomach. Shock looks over at Broken with a warning glare, obviously noticing the dangerous move. Broken says, “Don’t worry man. I got you covered.” After a short pause, he adds, “But don’t let the blood get in your mouth.” Shock is doing all he can to keep the biting Zombie at bay, waiting for a spare moment to unleash more lightning.
Ember stares down the three standing militia men. The two dragging their comrades free from the melee are probably not ready to turn and stab them even if they rise up. The other one who had been looking under the wagon to make sure no Zombies were crawling this way underneath, he looks back with a grim expression. Ember swings Sky Breaker down at the Zombie Militiaman, crackling with energy as it pierces the leather armor in its thigh. Ember then backs away to put his back to the wall, watching both the Zombies begin to rise.
Flint struggles under the unnatural strength of a Zombie and tries to conjure a fire spell. He can’t get the energies to flow with the Zombie grabbing and biting at him. After trying to cast the spell, he screams in horror as the Zombie manages to bite his waving hand. Wave runs back to the far side of the wagon and cowers.
StoneMan looks around for an available target, and after some hard spent time, deduces the best option would be to get back on the wagon and look for enemies. He crawls back into the wagon.
The Zombie approaching Spring grabs his arms and pulls him in for a bite. Spring winces from the deathly grip and struggles to get free. His arms are pinned and he can’t cast any spells. The Zombie is trying to bite exposed areas. As the Zombie comes in for a bite, the Zombies teeth are sparking on Spring’s force shield, keeping the unnatural creature at bay. Also, his bracers begin to tingle and get warm, the defensive magics obviously helping fend off the Zombie’s attacks. Spring jerks again to get free, but the Zombie’s grip is too strong.
The Zombie Militiaman rises and turns to Ember. It bears its teeth and lurches at Ember. Ember tries to get Sky Breaker between them, but the Zombie grabs his arms and begins to pull Ember in for a bite. The two Militiamen who were dragging their companions jump back in horror, grabbing at their spears. The remaining Militiaman already had his spear ready and turns to stabs at the other rising Zombie Militiaman.
Meander yells up to the wagon, “I apologize in advance for what’s about to happen.” He swings his chain whip at the Zombie grabbing Spring. The talons wrap around the Zombie, bitting into its flesh. Meander jerks hard, pulling both the Zombie and Spring off the wagon, landing them in a heap next to Meander and the wagon.
Shock still struggles under the Zombie’s grasp, but has managed to keep from being bitten. Broken directs the axe to fly out and strike the Zombie again, this time piercing through the Zombie’s mid-section. The Zombie releases Shocks arms and slumps down as Shock rolls out from underneath. He jumps up and intones a few words of power quickly as he slaps a hand down on the Zombie grabbing Flint. Bright blue light flares up around the Zombie, which once the smoke clears lies charred and smoldering on the floor. Flint jumps up and shivers, “That doesn’t feel right when you do that.” He straightens his robes a bit and looks about for something to burn. Wave scurries over to heal Flint, since all the Zombies are clear from the wagon top. There is one Zombie wrapped up in ropes on the side, being slowly squeezed by the wagon into pieces.
Ember grasps his holy symbol, brandishing it between him and the Zombie. “FLEE FROM THE POWER OF MY DIETY!” The Zombie visibly shakes from the power emanating from Ember and his holy symbol. Ember struggles with his sword and strikes out as best he can while struggling against the Zombie’s grip and cuts across the Zombie’s arm. The three remaining militia men strike out at the two Zombies. Brandishing their spears, they pepper the Zombies with new piercings.
ToughBark yells out those around him, “Hey! It looks like that other group of Zombies is going to the other gate. So I’m going to go up there to try to get a better shot. If someone wants to come with me… that’d be good.” He runs to the edge of the wagon, nocks an arrow, and let’s it fly into the darkness at one of the Zombies approaching the northeast gate.
Spring, rolling around underneath the Zombie next to Meander, tries to break from, but the Zombie’s iron grip holds tight. Another Zombie tries to grab Meander, but he slips easily out of its grasp. “Oh my god! Somebody help me,” screams Spring. He thrashes about on the ground underneath the Zombie, the dead bodies all around him saturating his senses and filling him with icy fear. Meander sidesteps the Zombie trying to grab him and embeds his battle axe into the leg of the Zombie grappling Spring. It leans in closer, trying to get in position to bite Spring.
Broken skirts around the top of the Wagon, looking around to scout for more enemies. He scans the fields and sees more packs of Zombies approaching the gates. He sees what looks like five more packs of Zombies heading towards the northeast gate, with some stragglers approaching this gate. “ToughBark, Kill the two nasty looking Zombies. Use your judgement, but BRING THEM DOWN!”
Ember swipes across the stomach of the Zombie Militiaman, the sword crackling as it touches the undead flesh. He manages to get a step back to get some space in between them.
Spring continues to struggle with the Zombie. He focuses on just pulling out one arm, but even with his fear, the Zombie’s grip is just too strong. It drools closer to bite Spring’s face. Meander swings low through the thigh of the Zombie groping for him, and continues the strike into the back of the Zombie attacking Spring. He has to shake the dead Zombie loose from the axe as he readies for the limping Zombie’s attack. Spring screams out with relief, “Oh my god!” and struggles out from underneath the dead zombie.
ToughBark jumps down off the wagon and starts running towards the Zombies at the northeast gate. He stops for a moment, and then launches another arrow at the same Zombie. It thunks into the back of the Zombie’s head and it finally falls. Broken jumps down, and follows ToughBark towards the northeast gate.
The militia men are keeping the Zombie militia man at bay, as Ember stabs the leaf bladed sword into the belly of the Zombie. Lightning crackles around the wound and the Zombie slides off and falls to the ground. Ember yells at the remaining militia men, "Remember! “Don’t touch the wagon.”
Stone Man leaps from the wagon and crashes into the remaining Zombie by Meander. He flattens the Zombie into the ground, splattering Meander’s legs with rotten gore.
Spring asks, “Did all these animate from the graveyard?”
“Is there another graveyard?” Meander asked, looking into the town. “What if somebody buried somebody in town?”
“I don’t think we know if these are animated townspeople. But regardless, we need to get to that next gate.”