FIRST SCENARIO: To do One’s Duty
While rumors of the horrors of the new corruption (and the means used to stop it’s spread) move and morph at a speed that some feel “borders” on imagination, there is word of a village belonging to Clan Axehound that has stayed concernedly consistent. Tales would have us believe that the Clan has rounded up all affected by the corruption and forcefully quarantined them in a single location. Whispers abound that the conditions within the village have become untenable as the concentration of corruption causes what supplies that are delivered to spoil at an advanced rate. With the warpacks “protecting” the village, firewood for cooking and funeral pyres has become scarce. “Eye witnesses” claim that the residents of the village have resorted to using their furniture and even their houses as fuel for the fires. Dark speculation hints at a permanent solution being the only course of action available to Clan Axehound should the situation not change soon.
Upon arriving at the Axhound village, it was immediately evident just how serious the quarantine was to the Clan. Ropes cordoned off an area to be a visible reminder of where the villagers were expected to stay and it was a clear guideline for any visitors where they could and could not go. Warnings were given by the warriors maintaining the quarantine were grim but clear… cross the line and you share the fate of the village. A few brave adventurers loaded with research notes and ritual details decided to take the chance and enter into the village in order to test the methods needed more easily. As time continued on, the research was slow at first but it appeared that a ritual was able to be created to cleanse individuals of the potent mordok corruption. Several volunteers from the village volunteered to be tested on with these rituals and although the methods to force the corruption from the body were becoming successful, the harm to those afflicted was severe. Several villagers died in the process, but there was proof that these rituals could work if refined.
Unfortunately, the impending cleansing with sword and fire of the village was too much for some villagers to bear. Desperation began to set in, and a number of villagers tool farming implements and utility knives and attacked the warriors maintaining the village. A brief but bloody fight left dead on both sides of this situation, and the Chieftain in charge of the quarantine made a proclamation to all within the village; come out and face death with honor, fighting to the death against his warriors one at a time. This bought the clerics and adventurers some time to try to continue the research and the rituals in the village. As the sound of honor duels and dying villagers rung out near the small fishing hut being used to conduct the research, a hard choice had to be made. Those involved needed to either trust in the Chieftain staying his hand and giving them time to refine the research which was so close to completion or to attempt to break through the quarantine and escape before the warriors could catch them. The second option was chosen and when most of the warriors were focusing on the honor duels, a number of adventurers made a break for it. Some managed to escape, presumably with the expanded ritual research, and some were caught and cut down during their flight. With no rituals, no research, and no chance to find a cure for the village, the Chieftain ordered his warriors to close in and the entire village was put to death.
SECOND SCENARIO: The Cost of Conviction
The Order of Arnath’s Fist concerned over rumours and direct accusations of necromancy at Serai has dispatched a fact finding mission to Serai. This small group has been tasked with confirming the presence (or past presence) of the undead, the penitent, or any other kind of corruption. If the accusations of unholy communion are true, the culpability of the population of Serai will be determined along with the involvement of any outside entities. Should the need arise, this party has been empowered by The Hand of Arnath to take emergency actions in defense of the greater good. The Order welcomes persons of integrity from varied communities to accompany this fact finding mission to act in the role of witness, but notes that any attempts to obscure the truth will be dealt with as the situation warrants. After months of rumors and disinformation, the Order sets its sights on finding the truth and dealing with this situation once and for all.
The combined forces of the investigation team from the Order of Arnath, leadership from the new chapter of the Order of Arnath’s Light, and allies in the form of the Archons from the Spire all moved north to Serai. As soldiers moved nearby to camp, it was evident that the entire settlement of Serai had soldiers of their own; a ominous portent that should a fight break out, the escalation could be severe.
As a plan was formed and the investigation team briefed and preparing for their negotiations with the leadership of Bos Mezar, the investigation team moved into the settlement and went to speak with their leadership. Negotiations were terse and tense as the Order and their allies were not willing to back down and the leaders of Bos Mezar not willing for them to come in and destroy their undead. When a zombie being handled by a caretaker and a small child were brought forth to be witnessed, it became clear that a fight was evident. Both sides regrouped and prepared as neither was willing to back down. As swords were drawn, shields were formed, and the undead brought forth to bear against the inquisition, a cry went out from one of the Order scouts that mordok had been seen near the settlement. The close proximity to the dirge swamp could have meant the mordok attack was isolated and small. Although flanks were protected against this new threat, both sides closed the distance and the fight was on in full. Forces clashed against each other and soldiers began to drop on both sides. In the thick of the melee, more groups of mordok began to emerge deeper into the settlement and attack any close enough. The fighting was fierce; several lay dead or bleeding on both sides, and eventually the leadership of Bos Mezar was captured and the undead all destroyed.
With no time to rest, the group gathered as many civilians as they could and took any prisoners they could and attempted to retreat as the mordok poured into the settlement and laid siege to anything nearby. The investigation team, their allies, their prisoners, and any civilians they could gather all moved south towards allied forces and barely escaped due to mordok attacking them the entire way.