Rothelar, Fiona, and Dreyhan headed North toward Janik’s Tower. Davik had felt it best for him to stay in town and discuss a few more things with Salibard. He planned on catching up with the group later.
The ride started out simple enough. The rain had stopped, but the road was very muddy as it climbed its way up out of the valley. A heavy mist filled the gaps between the trees, creating a foreboding feel to their trek. They crested a hill and could see Janik’s Watchtower in the distance. Even from that far away, they could tell it had seen better days. As they got closer though, they realized how lacking their initial assessment was. The tower was downright decrepit. Parts of the walls had crumbled away and there were no obvious signs of life.
They dismounted, and Dreyhan crouched, studying the ground closely. He was able to make out bootprints in the mud. They were fairly recent but led away from the Watchtower in a Northerly direction. A brief discussion ensued with the consensus of exploring the tower being decided upon.
Fiona crept up to the closed door, gently opened it, then slipped inside, disappearing into the shadows. She made her way around the room, not seeing any signs of life. She stumbled upon several chests which she gingerly opened, but found nothing of worth inside. Rothelar entered the tower as well, the tip of his mace glowed red, illuminating the room. Dreyhan followed and scoured the floor for any signs of activity. He was barely able to make out faint boot prints heading up the stairs.
Motioning silently to the other two, he led the way up the staircase. As his head poked through the floor above, he was assaulted by the stench of death and rot. Through the darkness, his wolfen eyes picked out several human bodies hanging from the ceiling by chains. Rothelar brought up the rear of the group and as his shone his light into the room, the heads of the bodies lifted as one and they spoke in unison,
The Reign of the Deathless One shall begin anew. The Blood-forged Blade will call the legions. The abomination that is Life shall end in blood and sorrow. All is slaughter. All is ruin.
As they finished, they lowered their heads back to their chests and were silent once more.
Dreyhan moved into the room but failed to notice the thick coating of blood on the floor and slipped and fell. The thud of his body echoed through the framework of the watchtower and the group heard cackling laughter from the level above them. Dreyhan scurried to his feet as the sound of metal on metal screeched down the stairwell opposite of them. Heavy footfalls descended the wooden staircase and a man entered into view. He was bare-chested and blood covered his torso. He grinned wildly at the three and motioned toward them with a curved blade, “Such pretties to add to my collection! The Gray Man will most certainly be pleased!”
Shaking her head, Fiona moved into the room and pulled out a bongo. The lively beat she bangs out stirred the other two to action. Rothelar cast a blessing upon the monk, who moved across the room and slashed at the man, leaving jagged wounds across his chest. He fell back against the stairs and looked down to see his own blood mingling with that which was already there, and his grin grew even larger. He waved his hand toward the wolfen and the human bodies dangling from the ceiling suddenly dropped to the floor, landing on their feet.
When they dropped around her, Fiona’s percussion changed tempo and she suddenly hit the drum as hard as she could. A concussion rocked through the room, raising the blood and gore off the floor in an expansive wave that hit three of the zombies, the man, and Dreyhan. The power of the sound wave picked up the man, throwing him hard against the wall. The vibrations ripped through one of the zombies, tearing it apart inside. It fell to the floor motionless. The other two staggered slightly, and Dreyhan yelped as his eardrums came close to bursting.
As the thunderous sound wave dissipated, Rothelar strode into the room, only to slip and fall on the bloody floor. From where he lay, he raised his arms and cried out, “Resuscitabo Immortui!” Light coalesced around him then exploded outward in a silent flash, tearing every one of the zombies completely apart. As the light faded, there remained only small clouds of dust where the zombies once stood.
Dreyhan launched himself at the man, delivering a flying punch. His outstretched claws entered the man’s ribcage, clenched around the beating heart, then yanked free. With a gaping hole in his chest, the man sank to the floor, a grin still plastered on his face. Dreyhan looked at the heart for a moment then tossed it aside where it landed among the other viscera littering the floor.
A search of the body revealed a potion of the same color as the healing potion that Dreyhan had with him and a letter. They opened it to read,
Meet me at the battlefield with the new acquisitions in one week’s time. Don’t be late.
They moved up the stairs to the third and final floor, but found nothing else of worth. They dragged the man’s bedding to the first floor where they used it as kindling to start the tower on fire.
They stood a short distance from the tower, watching the flames dance for a few minutes before turning and following the bootprints on their Northward journey.