With the lizards destroyed, our heroes spent a few minutes surveying the keep through the forest to the south. It was flooded and in serious disrepair, but they could see figures on the walls — and those figures were undead.
They decided to return to the canoes and make their way directly there. They kept the small boats close together and in a couple hours Dremahl heard splashing in the stream ahead. Through the vegetation he quickly saw a number of zombies pulling some kind of raft loaded with carcasses.
They pulled the boats to shore and hoped the mindless shambles would pass. But as the first group pulled their canoe into the brush, a trio of ghouls lurched out of hiding and attacked. Boomah was quickly paralyzed, while Dremahl and Kallius fought off the others. The priest turned one of the ghouls, whole fled into the jungle. Luix, Saerin and Dremahl leaped out of their canoe and joined the fray.
Claws and swords clashed, and nearly everyone had filthy wounds in short order. The zombies closed on the group and joined the fray. Luix’ mighty flail crashed into the sodden bodies with less than its normal efficiency, but Saerin was at his side to finish off what he started. Unfortunately, when his blade dug deep into the zombie’s heart, the monster exploded in a rain of filth and bone, cutting them and coating them with diseased meat.
Kallius was one the far end of the fight and suddenly was nearly overcome by a stench. A ragged bugbear ghoul in a rotting chain shirt lunged out of the brush and sunk his teeth into the elf. Unlike the lesser ghouls, this creature’s disease could affect the elder races, but Kallius did not succumb. He channeld what remained of his arcane power into his blade and faced off against the foe.
Time and again, Luix and Saerin teamed up to destroy a zombie only to be showered in its filth. Boomah shook off the paralyzing effect of the bite in time to see the fleeing ghoul lurking on the edge of the forest clearing. Drinking his mutagen, he taunted the monster in its native orcish to come out and fight. The creature took the bait and charged back into the fray.
Celeste was the first in its path and took the blow, but did not fall to its paralyzing bite. Having finally dispatched the zombie, the warriors came to her aid. Boomah came to his Kallius’ defense and it was not long before the shoreline was free from enemies.
Looking closer, they noted that some of the shambling dead were much older than the others, perhaps interred for decades. Even one of the ghouls looked as if it had been buried for a very long time, although the ghost looked of a much more recent visage (although his mail was clearly quite aged). The raft was heavily laden with several carcasses, some of which were days old. Even Boomah questioned whether it was all edible. They also realized the straps the zombies were using were magical, and could be used to enhance one’s carrying strength. They also found potions of inflict wounds on the ghost.
Concerned about what lay ahead in the keep, our heroes chose to return to the guard tower to rest, recover and craft a plot for returning.