Again the undead zombie lunged towards Altain and Fin, as each desperately attempted to avoid the creature’s dangerously sharp claws. A thick fog still eerily clinging about the deck of the mysterious gray ship as a level of discomfort continued to seep into each companion’s psyche. Hearing the commotion Mongo soon made a running jump to the mysterious ghost ship in order to check up on his companions. It was then that all three companions began to make out the sounds of shuffling feet through the thick fog. Soon two more zombies lunged from the surrounding veil of gray. The group was now beginning to doubt whether these three undead would be the only ones to pay them a visit. Then one of the zombies was struck down, and collapsed in a heap upon the ship’s deck. The companions felt a rush of hope believing they were equipped to handle the unexpected undead. But this was merely a fools hope, as the creature suddenly arose from death once again and began slashing wildly at each member of the group! Fear began to course through each of the companions, and strangely some began to feel lethargic, while others confused, angry, and mad. Each companion sensed the changes taking place inside them, but seemed ill equipped to deal with the confusing emotions that were taking hold. Finally the group dropped several of the undead and the zombies failed to rise again. Altain’s sword Moonfire also proved helpful due to it’s enchanted blade wreathed in flame, which apparently destroyed the unholy creature’s ability to rise again. Fin too found success with his ability to channel the radiant holy powers of Bahamut. Despite this sudden success however the unholy and rotting zombies continued to assault the group as they one by one slowly appeared from the ubiquitous gray fog. Then as Fin moved toward the ships mast a large hand suddenly burst though the deck from the cargo hold below in an attempt to tear at the paladin’s legs! Luckily the quick reaction of the paladin avoided the creatures massive claw. Then with a quick look below Fin suddenly jumped through the hole! Standing amongst the oppressive darkness Fin began to feel the creature’s gaze upon him but feared the fact that he couldn’t see his enemy, so he quickly sheathed his enchanted sword Moonbane. It was in those final seconds of light that Fin thought he saw a human sized shadow to his right, but then passed it off on an over active imagination. With the soft glow of his blade sheathed the paladin hoped the large green creature he had seen below was as blind as he, and if the creature was a troll, as he had anticipated, he believed the playing field had now been balanced. This was a miscalculation however, as a large clawed hand suddenly swiped through the darkness nearly raking Fin across the face! The paladin quickly drew Moonbane bathing the immediate area in a soft white light. But what he now saw standing before him was not what the holy fighter had expected. Instead it was a ten-foot tall zombie of rotting flesh that appeared to be more ogre-like than troll, and its next strike sent Fin prone upon the ships wooden floor. The paladin of Bahamut quickly realized his mistake, and his mind began to race in an attempt to figure out how he might survive a battle alone with such a powerful creature? Then another massive swing narrowly missed, smashing a nearby barrel instead, and spilling its contents upon the wooden floor. It was filled with what appeared to be black soil?
Above, Mongo and Altain continued their struggle with four zombies, while Robyn jumped over the rail to assist his companions on the ghost ship’s deck. It was during this desperate fight that the companions suddenly heard a blood curdling scream from the Raven Queen’s decks. Whatever it was none could be certain, but one thing was sure – it wasn’t good. Then a short time later another scream echoed into the lightless gray sky. Robyn feeling the need to react quickly made his way back to the Raven Queen, and then called out for all hands on deck to make their way towards his voice. Captain Burgoyne and his crew were quick to answer, but three members were now missing. Two of the deck hands and the captain’s girlfriend were nowhere to be found. It was an ominous sign, and each crew member now began to fear for their lives.
Back on the deck of the ghost ship the dwarf Mongo and his eladrin counterpart Altain continued their struggle with several zombies. Then a wolf suddenly appeared, leaping through the mysterious mist! It’s canines ripping into the unsuspecting Altain. But the wolf quickly disappeared into the fog as quickly as it had appeared.
Meanwhile, below the deck of the ghost ship Fin continued his struggle with the ten-foot tall zombie, and the situation was beginning to appear hopeless. The towering undead creature’s strength was immense, and the paladin was beginning to wonder how much longer he might be able to withstand the brutal beating? But his mind had little time to contemplate as another crushing blow landed knocking the Fin to the floor, but not before something else struck the paladin from behind! Quickly Fin turned to look up in order to see his assailant. In the soft white glow of his enchanted blade what he saw he could not be sure? The strange humanoid creature seemed to be nothing more than a non-descript, featureless form with a elongated face and deep dark penetrating eyes. It was then that Fin began to tremble, and his heart began to race as the paladin’s strength began to waver. Then before he was able to understand the magnitude of the situation Fin suddenly lost consciousness, and fell into darkness…
Up above, Mongo and Altain had now gained the upper hand as the continuous assault of the undead finally began to lessen. Looking through the hole to the cargo hold below Altain spotted Fin’s motionless body laying in the soft glow of his blade, and two strange creatures flanking him. Quickly Altain lept to the paladins aid, with Mongo close behind. Desperately the two companions flailed away at their enemies in the hopes of saving their hapless friend. It was then that the strange humanoid creature known as a Bodak suddenly turned and began walking away, and then vanished into the darkness beyond. But the towering zombie remained, knocking the companions to the floor more than once before finally falling in battle. Nervously the companions scoured their dark surroundings hoping to catch sight of any trouble that might be lurking nearby. Meanwhile Mongo began working on Fin, who lay nearby, and began attempting to revive the paladin. The dwarf’s words of inspiration soon proved effective as Fin began to stir, but then the unexpected occured as the large zombie suddenly rose! Quickly the companions brought their weapons to bare, and desperately fought off the brutally tough zombie once again. Finally the unholy creature was put down, and the three exhausted companions began to inspect the dark recesses of the huge cargo hold.
It was during these tense minutes that Robyn continued to scour the deck of the Raven Queen in an attempt to discover any of the missing crew. Those that had been located now closely followed the rogue towards the stern of the ship, all the while fearful of becoming lost in the thick fog. It was then that the group discovered the badly mangled body of one of the missing crew. His body had been torn to shreds, and now lay in a pool of blood. Robyn continued to lead the group towards the stern of the ship where they soon discovered the unharmed pilot still at the wheel. Robyn then asked the captain where his girlfriend might be found. He explained that she was most likely right below them in his captain’s quarters. Robyn quickly disappeared, and soon returned with the frightened woman. But Robyn apparently felt a need to continue his inspection of the fog covered deck, as he told the group to remain where they stood, as he promised to return soon. Shortly thereafter the half-orc screamed suddenly, and a short struggle could be heard from the thick fog before all fell silent. Then a half-hearted scream ended with what sounded like a gurgle, and something began to thrash violently about the fog covered deck. The crew was too terrified to inspect whatever the commotion was, and instead stood in fear where the rogue Robyn had told them to remain.
Over on the decks of the ghost ship the remaining three companions continued to explore the second deck. There they discovered at the ships stern several chambers elegantly decorated with numerous candles burning brightly. A desk was found containing serveral writings, and bookshelves lined two of the walls. It was then that Altain began to read a few random pages about the Shadowfell, and then it suddenly hit him. The varying degrees of grayness, the dark shadows, the mysterious fog – their ship had somehow found a rift on the high seas, they were all in the Shadowfell! Somehow Altain had missed the subtle clues, but now it all made sense. But there was little time to ponder their current circumstances, and soon the group moved to a nearby door that led to yet another chamber. Inside several chairs and armoirs where discovered along with a rectangular wooden box. Suddenly each of the companions blood ran cold as each of their fears came to fruition – the box was in fact a coffin! Unnerved, yet still curious, the group continued to scour the room for anything important or valuable. The dwarf Mongo spotted a chest sitting on one of the nearby armoirs, and moved in to take a better look. Suddenly the chest suddenly attacked! Quickly Mongo gathered his wits about him, and began bashing the thing to pieces with his axe. The dwarf had suffered a nasty bite from the strange creature, but soon proved the better. Altain and Fin then moved towards the casket. The inside was lined with silk, and was padded beautifully, an unexpected sight if one were to judge the simple wooden frame of the box from its exterior. It all seemed to confirm the groups suspicions – there was a vampire amongst them! It was then that the group spotted a crimson colored animal hide hidden under the casket’s interior. Further inspection revealed the tanned animal skin to actually be an elegantly fashioned set of hide armor. Thankfully the group had noticed the armor, since shortly after the discovery Altain threw a flask of oil into the coffin’s lavish interior before Fin added one of the nearby candelabras. The casket was soon enveloped in flames. Mongo excitedly claimed the crimson colored armor perhaps believing he knew something of its make. Then suddenly the three companions heard numerous screams peircing the foggy silence above deck! Quickly Fin, Altain, and Mongo raced above deck to see what the commotion was all about. But to their surprise when the arrived at the ghost ship’s rail the Raven Queen was nowhere to be found!!!
Below deck the casket fire had now begun to spread thoughout the lower quarters of the ghost ship. The three companions could hardly believe their luck, and began to respect the resourcefulness, and intelligence, of their advessary. But there was little time for reflection as each of the three began to realize that time was of the essance. Fin then spotted the grappling hook that had tied the two ships together hanging from the ghost ship’s rail, the rope hanging down to the dark water below. The rope had been cut. Desperately the group took out another fifty-foot rope and began knotting the remaining twenty-feet to it. Then they quickly heaved the grappling hook into the distant fog in the hopes of catching a hold of missing Raven Queen, but only the splash of the heavy metal hook could be heard at the end of several desperate attempts. Things were beginning to look bleak when one throw finally resounded with a heavy thud. Hope began to take hold amongst the companions, and they slowly began to gather up the rope’s slack. Then the rope suddenly went taut, as the grappling hook thankfully grabbed hold! By the groups estimates the Raven Queen was nearly fourty-feet in the distance, and with little time to delay Fin began to prepare to make his way across the tightly drawn line. But before taking to the rope his companions began shouting an alternative plan – perhaps pulling the ship toward them if all three joined their collective strength?
The flames were now licking through the deck from below, and there was little time to waste. A decision needed to be made quickly, for not only was the ghost ship being quickly engulfed in flames, but others aboard the Raven Queen were apparently in desperate need. Not to mention the groups missing companion Robyn, who had earlier gone off to protect the Raven Queen’s crew. The group now realized that the rogue might very well be up against a dreaded creature of the night, a vampire!…