Dead, or mostly dead? Whatever the things are, it's clear the party is going to have to fight!
Ohwatoo begins casting a spell!
As the party prepares swords, bows, crossbows, holy symbols, and spells, the creatures charge, closing on the party's front rank. The mules scatter back along the path, and one yanks Jonquil off his feet as he tries to control it. Thinking fast, Gorvil shifts into the gap left by the fallen Jonquil and sets his trusty pole arm against the charging foes from the second rank.
The creatures and their stench close in, two on Maro, two on Mordikarr. Rawon dances aside, still trying to pull out a vial of the burning ichor to light up his arrows.
One of the creatures is stupid enough to charge straight into Gorvil's pole arm, neatly impaling itself on the blade [7 damage]. The enraged creature tries to slash and bite at Mordikarr, but pinned as it is, it only manages a glancing blow with filthy claws [1 damage]. The remaining creatures attack, unimpeded by large pointy bits stuck in their guts, one clawing Mordikarr [3 damage], one clawing and biting Maro [5 damage].
Spell ready, Ohwatoo unleashes a magical bolt at the impaled creature (which is far too close for his taste), which shudders and goes still when struck [6 damage]. Maro and Mordikarr both realize missiles are useless now, they draw main weapons and attack their nearest foes. Maro hits [6 damage], but Mordikarr misses, and as he swings he realizes something's wrong. His arms and legs feel heavy and stiff. The momentum from his swing carries him off-balance, and down... stiff and unmoving!
"Oh dear!" says Locky, circling around the downed creature, trying to get behind Mordikarr's remaining foe. He stabs at the creature's back, well, back of its leg, but the blow goes wild. Meanwhile, Durego and Dagmarten have finally gathered themselves. As one they step forward, holding their holy symbols before them and shouting prayers of protection.
The creatures are not impressed. "Agnia protect us," mutters Dagmarten, gripping his quarterstaff.
Meanwhile Ingvild has followed Locky's lead, circling behind the two creatures in front of Maro. He stabs at the nearest, and hits! A solid stab to the back [4 damage]. The already wounded creature shudders and falls to the ground, dead again.
"Durego, when are you going to do this turning you spoke of?" asks Raúguey, as he works to get his crossbow loaded.
"It didn't work!" shouts Durego, pulling his mace.
"No, it didn't," says Saurabh, who whirls his sling and fires at the wounded creature, a miss.
Round two - enemy initiative
Ohwatoo prepares a spell!
The two remaining creatures shift their attentions to new foes, one turning to attack Locky, the other attacking Ingvild. The halfling ducks and dodges aside, but Ingvild is not so lucky, he's struck by two claw attacks [3 damage].
Rawon finally gets the burning ichor out, but seeing as two of the creatures are down he hesitates, unwilling to waste the precious substance. Instead he tosses the vial onto a convenient pile of leaves and draws one of the silver arrows from his quiver instead. "Silver arrow! Let's see what you can do against these things." He fires at the creature in front of Locky, but the shot goes wide! [yes, that was a natural 1]
Raúguey and Saurabh both take shots at the creature near Maro, and both hit! [4 and 1 damage respectively].
Ohwatoo's second magic missile is ready. He fires it at the creature attacking Locky, since the little guy isn't much of a fighter. [7 damage]. Locky swings desperately at the same foe, scoring a solid hit! [5 damage]. The creature drops, whack, dead!
Maro and Ingvild concentrate their sword blows on the other creature, but neither can connect. Durego and Dagmarten close in and attack as well, with an equal lack of success. Even completely surrounded, the thing continues to fight without any sign of fear. As it gathers itself for another attack, Jonquil finally regains his feet and pulls Ohwatoo away from the melee. "No need for you to stand so close master!" he says as he picks up his dropped spear.
"Hrrmph. Indeed," mutters Ohwatoo, scanning the surrounding undergrowth. "I wonder if any more of these things are about?"
Round three - party initiative
With the last creature surrounded and outnumbered, those furthest from the fight turn their eyes to the woods, scanning for any new foes. Gorvil grabs the unmoving Mordikarr and drags him away from the melee, while those in range swing with blade, mace, and staff. Durego, Maro, and Dagmarten all hit, [3 damage each]. The creature drops to the ground, its head pulped and spattered.
"I guess that one won't be getting up again!" says Dagmarten. He turns to his brother, "You all right Ingvild?"
The thief nods as he wipes black blood from his sword. "I feel fine, must be all those immunities to poison I've developed. Nightshade, Iokane, Arsenic, they all run together."
Meanwhile Durego tends to Mordikarr, and casts a curing spell. [6 healed, paralysis removed]. Dagmarten does the same for his brother [7 healed] and Maro [6 healed], leaving everyone healthy and whole.
"There's no signs of any others nearby," says Rawon, who has climbed onto a boulder for a better view of the area. "At least not right nearby," he continues, taking a sip from his flask. "It looks like these came from the northwest. I can see some bent and damaged underbrush in that direction."
Mordikarr stands, fingers and toes still tingling from the paralysis. He growls something at Suren, who is still sitting on a branch 20 feet up. "Suren say, no smell dead things. But Suren no see far. Tonight when Ava catch us, she look for dead things." He looks at the four dead, really dead now, things sprawled around the path. "Where these come from?" [OOC: Mordikarr has not seen undead before.]
The ghouls, Dagmarten, Maro, and Dagmarten agree that the things were ghouls, have been undead for quite a while. Even the necromantic energy that created the creatures can't hide the damage caused by many years in the wilderness. The creatures' leathery hides have been scratched and gouged by countless thorns and branches, and all manner of insects have moved into the open wounds. The rags and bits of leather still hanging from the near-naked remains might once have been clothing, or even armor, but they're unidentifiable now.
"We should burn these," says Maro, "burn them and cleanse their taint from these woods."
Ingvild has been poking through the creatures' scant garb with a stick. "But before we do that we should take this," he says, lifting something that's wrapped around the neck of one of the ghouls. "Might be valuable. Locky, give me a hand here."
"Eeew," says Locky. "I'm not sure I want to touch that."
OOC: We'll stop there. Let me know what you want to do with the remains, and if you want to alter your plans for caching supplies at the tower. A search of the ghoul remains turns up the necklace (tarnished silver) that Ingvild found, plus a gold ring.
Everyone is fully healed, but Ohwatoo has no spells left, and the clerics have one heal remaining.
Also note. If you're in the front rank, and you've just encountered an enemy, missile weapons may not be the best choice. The group may want to double-check your marching order outdoors, as your melee types are mostly in the back.
End Date: July 19, Year of the Badger, mid-morning
End Status: Just a walk in the woods
End Location: Near the ruined tower, the Wilds