Part 4. Our Stalwart crusaders see the bizarre funeral, get their weapons worked on by the blacksmith, meet their first demi-human who they immediately assume is a dwarf/ vertically challenged person, not a dwarf/lives in mountains-likes gold and mining- person. The rogue offers to even help him reach things on the top shelf. We dont have any PCs of German ancestry so there was no mention of dwarf tossing in game.

They stay at the inn, the two female characters continue to pretend to be male, get chatted up by the bubbly barmaid, who they then discover was killed during the night. They first think its the baker doing all the murders but then discover she is a fairly large pastry loving woman who has trouble fitting through doors and loves spoiling everyone with red licorice and pastries. They also have arranged to go with Duncan in the bar to travel with him Port El' houre despite it only being a mile and a half away(never understood why this town was this close). They have also proceeded to ask every single person they have run into if they know where a black rose grows.

On the afternoon of day 3 they head off to the plantation and run into the macabre dinner party and the 28 weeks later scene where they are looking through the window and suddenly a red eyed monster slides in front of them to stare. Battle breaks out, paladin(who was looking through the window) manages to shatter the window and promptly get paralyzed by a ghoul. I think they are in for a rough time and start looking up the town priests info for an intervention. The rogue proves himself to be a badass and kills three out of four ghouls and wounds the fourth. The paladin actually wears his paralyzation off and then gets paralyzed again despite having the highest AC in the group. Meanwhile the cleric gets hit hard but doesnt die and avoids being paralyzed(cleric have great base saving throws for some reason). The paladin's aura of Protection really saves the day here as quite a few times I would have hit but that -1 to hit just barely saves them and claws their armow instead. They search the house, the rogue finds one of the short swords +1 that they missed earlier since he not only rolled high searching but specifically said he was searching the area I hid it in. He also stole the silver platters.

They report back to town, tell the constable who gathers a posse and heads up to the plantation. They identify all the bodies but dont locate all the missing villagers. Meanwhile, the encounter between Jean Tara'scon murdering a woman in an alley happens. The humerous 'which direction did the scream come from?" happens. Paladin thinks it was the wrong way and everyone else makes their wisdom check for the correct direction and once again the party splits, 2 go one way, 2 go the other. The correct two encounter the murderer and stop the crime but the guy escapes because the ranger spends too much time deciding what to do despite my counting up the distance he ran before being out of sight. The zombie lord night time encounter happens as the inn is having a partial party for them having stopped the ghouls and rescuing the inn keeper's daughter. Two characters succumb to Contagion effects from the zombie lord's odor. One is cured by the paladin. The other in the morning goes to the church and after talking to the priest he decides to help them with his scroll of cure disease. Despite having a cleric of their own and a paladin, they are amazed by this show of magic.

So for some reason they decide to split up again. The ranger, paladin and cleric head off to the cemetery while the rogue and Luc Taras'con go to the general store so he can sell the silver and the dwarf gives him a good deal being a hero and all. As the rogue and Luc walk to the cemetery Jean strikes from behind doing 12 damage to the level 3 rogue. In yet another display of melee masterwork, the rogue takes on the level 4 rogue and wins with only 1 HP remaining. I didnt even fudge the rolls. He then loots the body before the constable arrives gaining the potions, the +1 dagger, and a ring of protect +1. However no one has even bothered to cast detect magic despite the cleric having it memorized.

Note: On memorized spells, I allow spontaneous casting of the Cure line of spells to substitute the appropriate level. For example at level 1 the priest has detect magic memorized but suddenly has need to cast Cure light wounds, so she casts that instead. Only difference is a memorized Cure Light Wounds is 1d8+1 and a spontaneous cast is just 1d8, not a major difference.

So next adventure begins with the Storm breaking.