Journal of Bordo Smallburrow
Today I met up with Aila, who said that the two siblings we work with once in a while wanted to meet up with us at the pub. I’m never one to turn down a pint, so off we went. We got there and met up with the two of them, had a few and shot the breeze. Then they tell us that they’ve really appreciated our help over the years and wondered if we’d like to make this a long-term partnership. I’ll admit I was a little wary about the paladin. The problem with those guys is that they don’t really take too kindly to me nickin’ stuff here and there, but Aila said he was an alright sort so I agreed in the end.
Then they tell us that the mayor (the mayor! That’s means that there’s gonna be a lovely sum lining my pockets if things go well!) has a job for us. Apparently some bloke that was either very brave or very daft made his way out of his town that’s beset by zombies. Now, that’s not the strange bit. Apparently these deaders aren’t even hurting the townsfolk! No head-munching at all. Now, that’s a bit strange, if you ask me. Anyway, the mayor only wants us to go and have a look-see, and if we can take care of the problem, all the better. Not bad! If we can’t sort it out, then all we gotta do is turn tail and tell him so, and we still get paid. That’s well sorted, innit?
So we set out on our way. Along our way, though, we saw a bunch of farms and such that looked like the people left in a right hurry. Now, that don’t sit right with me. My brother Largo’s a rancher, and I know that even if things were goin’ tits up in a hurry, he’d still at least open the barn doors so’s the animals wouldn’t starve to death. Y’know, let ‘em graze a bit. But the paladin said it weren’t nothing that needed worrying about. I don’t really agree with him, but he’s a good enough bloke so we went on.
Eventually, we made it to the town. Fishing village. I hate these sorts- always too close to the dratted water, and I can’t swim! Right, anyway, so we creep closer to have a bit of a look and see that the deaders are just milling around in groups of ten or so. Most of them aren’t even doing much of anything, really. Then we see that there are some that are carrying wood, and others that are carrying deer. Now that made the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up, because what I’ve heard of zombies says that they aren’t too smart- definitely not able to do this sort of thing.
Anyway, the paladin and the scary lady stay back a ways, and me an Aila sneak further in under cover of darkness to do some recon. Now, we didn’t have any trouble sneaking into the town, but that didn’t do anything to put me at ease, tell you what. The dead ones were all… I don’t know. They looked like they were standing guard around the buildings or sommat. But the really weird thing was that there were lights on inside the buildings, and chimney fires going. Were the townsfolk really just hanging out inside the buildings, having a bit of dinner while there’s zombies around? That’s a bit weird, if you ask me.
So I climb up on this roof across from what Aila and I figured had to be the big cheese’s house. Aila tried some of her magic to get the one dead thing guarding the servant’s door away from it, but it didn’t seem interested at all. I shot a few bolts off into the darkness and it went for that, although it was really daft and just beat a poor bush within an inch of it’s leafy life. So Aila gets inside the house and I stay put just in case she needs back-up. She wasn’t in there too long and the dead thing came back after a minute or two, so I had to shoot another bolt off so Aila could get back out again. The door clicked, though, when she got out and the thing spotted her.
I won’t lie here, journal. I thought Aila was done toasted. From what I heard in pubs and such, zombies munch on your brains and I know Aila’s pretty attached to hers. But I kept my cool and managed to nail the damned thing right in the head. It dropped like a rock, which made me feel a bit better. Apparently these things aren’t too different from everything else, in that a bolt to the head tends to kill them.
Aila and I made our way back out to the siblings and Aila tells us what’s up. We all decide to see if we can’t take care of whatever bastard’s animating these things, because that seemed a lot simpler than trying to take out a town full of zombos. So we took off towards the south-east, where the zombies had come from. The first few hours weren’t hard at all, except for a crossing of a river, but I was on Snuffles so it was okay. (Good pony, Snuffles.) After a while it got too dark to be carrying on so we stopped and made camp. It was uneventful except for the rude awakening that happened on Aila’s watch, where one of those blasted creepy crow buggers squawked as loud as it could. I hate those things. My ma told me once that crows and ravens are the souls of the damned, made to go about the earth and spy on little boys and girls. Now, I’m not so little anymore, but it still gives me the willies.
Anyway, after that we got back on the road and went our merry way until we heard what sounded like a horse galloping up the path towards us, so we scampered off into the woods. Aila was well hidden, I saw, but the thing that came up the road saw her all the same. It was a skeleton on a skeletal horse. It was right freakish, and the damned thing stared at Aila the whole time it was passing. I was glad I was hid better than she was, and Valeria (that’s the scary one), was well back towards the horses, but she’s a good shot with a bow so I figured if things went badly me and her could at least cover Aila until she could get out of there.
Only then Aila did something very stupid but really cool. She threw a dagger at the damned thing! It didn’t even notice except when it bounced around inside of its ribcage. It didn’t even seem bothered then, except to throw her the bird. I nearly pissed myself laughing. So we set off again and eventually we come to something that looks (pardon my language ma, if you ever read this) like it got right fucked up. There was this huge ditch/crater looking thing, just full of ash. The trees in the forest had been burned back hundreds of feet as far as I could see. But that wasn’t the worst part. In the center of it all was a wall, about ten feet high surrounding a big building. It… well. It didn’t look too good. We went a bit closer (I wasn’t too pleased about this, no cover to be had!) and eventually we saw that there were more bony suckers patrolling the wall. Well, Valeria, Aila and I did the smart thing and stood well back, but the paladin went on ahead.
It looked like he was talking to the skeleton on top of the wall for some time, and eventually it put down a sign that said “NO LAWYERS OR SOLICITORS”. That didn’t seem to perturb the paladin none, because he yelled something else at the skeleton, but it just gave him the two finger salute. The paladin came back and said that it didn’t go well. We discussed a few different ideas for getting into the base, but eventually decided that it wasn’t going to happen and that we’d probably have better luck returning to the village and clearing out the deaders. I figured if it happened again it’d be good for return business and Valeria agreed with me. I’m starting to warm up to her. She’s a lass after my own heart.
Anyway, so we journey back to the road and set up camp. There was a barn nearby and it sounded like the cows were mooing. They couldn’t have been milked or fed for a few days. I felt bad for them, but I’m small and don’t like to get near them, as they tend to step on me. The Paladin was a good guy, though, and went and took care of them. I teased him a bit about being a milkmaid, but secretly I was quite pleased. I always feel bad when animals aren’t taken care of. He’s a good sort.
We waited until night fell, and then Aila and I went in for some more recon. I got her into the count’s house again, and then back out of it, then I took off for the east side of town, taking the roofs instead of the streets. It was a bit of doing, but I managed to get there. I couldn’t really see anything, so I decided to take a chance. I took out one of my sunrods (so handy!) and chucked it as hard as I could onto another roof. It did its job and lit everything up nicely. I saw the zombies carrying more wood towards something in the distance, but it was outside the light so I couldn’t see. It looked a bit like they were building something, but then some skeletons started looking my way so I scampered. Anyway, journal, I only sat down for a bit of a breather on a chimney before I finish sneaking back towards the others. I’ll update later.