Shortly resting, the party is preparing to return to the Old Owl Inn, when two of the town guard approach the party informing them that they are wanted at the Chapel of Peace. Brother Zelan has requested to speak with the party.
The party arrives at the chapel and the old priest introduces himself and tells the party that they came recommended by Grimbold. Since he acknowledges the party as shadow slayers, he tells the party that he possibly has something that may aid them in the fight against these foul creatures.
He firstly asks the party what has been happening in Duponde. He tells the party that he would be out there with them, if he did not have all these people to protect in one of the many strongholds of Duponde. The party described what has been happening and on the odd occasion the priest pipes up and comments about the things the party has seen.
After the adventurers have told their tales, the priest is more than willing to share one of his own.
"All this trouble started in the graveyard just down the hill. Just before the shadows came, I heard dark voices chanting in the distance. I came out on eht steps to look, and I coule see the ghost lights dancing around the trees and dark figures skulking about the tombs. I think I saw that the wizard fellow whose bee staying at the Old Owl.
I started toward the villains, but before I could confront them, I heard a terrible cry. A wave of hark power swept out from the cemetery and chanced the night to ...this.
Enough talk though. I have a gift to aid you. When I was a young acolyte here, fifty years past, the wizard Vontarin came to the chapel and put this in our keeping just before he disappeared. He said that this was a potent talisman against the power of shadow, and that if shadows ever threatened Duponde, it could be of service. Maybe you can go to the graveyard and put it to use?"As he is finishing his story, the priest reaches into his robes and hands the characters a golden holy symbol containing a red gem. He then encourages the characters to go and see what has happened at the cemetery.
The characters make their way to the cemetery. Unnatural gloom hangs here and the fear surrounding this place of death is almost palpable. Movement catches the corner of a PC's eye. Several clumsy looking figures dressed in some dirt stained garb were aimlessly walking through the shadows. Upon closer look they look to be freshly slain.
The paladin lets out a cry to his god and rushes forward to dispose of these atrocities. He swing at the middle one of the zombies and squarely hits it in the jaw and does not phase the zombie. The paladin looks over his shoulder and realizes his mistake: ghouls have jsut stepped out of hiding and are going to split the party. Valenae and Naivara are both targeted by one of the ghouls, and both are knocked to the ground. The ghouls jump on them and hold them down as they attempt to take mouthfuls of flesh from the prone characters.
The rest of the party move in to help take these creatures off their party members. The artificer launches a power that hits the ghoul squarely between the eyes. The blackguard manages to miss the opponent stuggling on top of Naivara. A small rustling from the trees alerts John, and looks over his shoulders. He looks back to the party and cries that company is on its way. It is more of those shadow stealers.
The whole party groans at Johns' mention of the leechers. They slither out from their hiding spots from the trees and attack John. One shadow manages to make contact. Naivara sees John in trouble and attempts to break the grab by the ghoul and manages to release herself and blasts two of the minions with her area attack.
Soon the tide of the battle turns, with Elhorn having used his second wind as the ghouls keep piling on the damage. The blackgusrd is being pummelled by the zombies. The leeching shadows are causing enough distraction to allow their other allies to get in some solid hits. Valenae keeps running around and trying to shake one of the two shadows that have attacked themselves to her. The party is in total disarray and soon the dragonborn paladin is wallopped and dead. It only gets worse from there. The party fights valiantly, and manage to vanquish many of the foes. Valenae is knocked unconcious, followed by the blackguard with John, and Naivara remaining to fight a zombie and a ghoul.
Unfortunately, with only the ghoul and four HP remaining, it manages to knock both the artificer and the wizard unconcious, both party memeber having missed it with two attacks each.
It was a sad conclusion to an otherwise great first chapter. Till next week when the artificer returns with a whole set of new companions.