Determined to prove themselves to the Velkar, the leader of the Scaly Death Tribe, the heroes set off into the Mere of Dead Men in search of a foul necromancer.
With Snapjaw leading them, they walked for several uneventful hours into the misty swamp. As dusk settled they heard in distance the hissing chants of some indecipherable religious incantation. Creeping closer for a better look, Jarrus Stormrider, Ossendar, The Hideous Osterius and Rowen Evenwood could make out three female humans around a small altar. Jarrus’ foot fell on a twig as he worked to get a better look at the three lovely ladies and the jig was up. They each beckoned to the hunter in turn, eventually breaking his will. The enchanted human stumbled forward and laid down on the altar, primed for a sacrifice.
Looking on in horror, Rowen and Ossendar could see these women were no human enchantresses, but Yuan-ti Purebloods! Their patches of scaly skin and snake-like eyes gave them away! Ossendar leaped to his friends aid and came in swinging before the foul females could dig their blades into the enchanted ranger. Perched in the trees above them, two Yuan-ti Malisons rained down arrows on the heroes, their lower bodies had the form of tails and they used them to wrap around the tree. Channeling his Ki, Ossendar snatched an arrow from the air before it found him and hurled it back with deadly accuracy. Cain Sundersword charged in swinging at the Purebloods, hacking them down one by one as Rowen unleashed a volley of her own up into the Yuan-ti sentries. Frustrated and unable to reach the two, Cain dropped his shield and channeled his divine fury, magically bridging the gap with his Fade Step ability and catching himself on a tree branch near one of the creatures. He then slashed at the beastly snake man and forced him to the ground. It wasn’t long before the heroes dispatch the whole Yuan-ti group and resumed their walk towards the necromancer’s lair.
They had been walking carefully forward in the darkness, Snapjaw and Ossendar leading the way for nearly an hour when they came upon a small clearing in the dense swamp. At the clearings center a small domed sepulcher stood, around which a dilapidated fence enclosed an array of scattered and broken gravestones. Snapjaw looked back at them nervously and whispered,
“This is the resting place of the human people who once dwelt near the Mere. The swamp has taken it and now a wizard desecrates it. We should be cautious…he breaks the order with his magics.”
Cain wisely delved into his holy magics and perceived that scores of undead were somewhere within the yard. Ossendar crept closer, and could make out the glow of enchantment emanating from within the Sepulcher. A horrid stench of death was about the place and as they all closed in on the necromancer’s lair the yards inhabitants crawled up from the loose mud and attacked! Charging in bravely to take the fight the evil necromancer, Cain and Ossendar were soon trapped when several rotting lizardfolk bodies staggered up from where they lay and attacked. The necromancer cackled as he disappeared from the dark crypt,
“So, you’ve come to join Narkem’s collection? Excellent!”
Bobbing and weaving, Ossendar’s fists crushed the brains of a zombie before it could make a meal of his. Cain hacked another zombie in two with ease. Outside, the necromancer kept Rowen on the defensive with his Counterspell charms and Snapjaw and Jarrus managed to keep the skeletal forces at bay.
“To the Shadowfell with you!” Narkem screamed and with an outstretched finger he leveled a foul incantation on Ossendar and Rowen. The pair faded from sight completely! The battle raged on in the graveyard and after a brief moment they reappeared, but their cheeks were pale and they were visibly horrified by what they had seen in their brief time in the plane of Death and Sadness.
The necromancer rained down vile sapping energies on Jarrus but the heroes converged on the madman and cut him down. The undead didn’t last long against the heroes and soon Narkem and his budding legion was in utter ruin. When investigating the dead mage’s lair they discovered some potions and other assorted valuables, and a Tome of Resurrection!
Not wanting to brave the trek back to the village through the swamp by night, the five made their camp there in Rowen’s enchanted enclosure. They were safe from any unwanted visitors, but the effects of their trip to the Shadowfell still weighed heavily on Rowen and Ossendar.