So we are at this Stink hole and I am fed up and very tired. My nights sleep was disturbed by this damned snake which nearly eats me alive. It took all my skill in parry and dodge to keep out of its way while lover boy and Eric finished off.
At day break I had enough and wanted beer. We needed to get back to the Tavern to report our discovery and we headed back as quickly as we could despite several stops for lover boy to play with mushrooms and look at plants. His mind should be on better things….
At the Tavern Valerian was very interested in the Stink hole and what we had found on the other side. He wanted to go there straight away. He introduced us to another bloody singer!!! What on earth do we need with another dandy boy who has a rapier and sharp words but no brawn!!! The beer drowned out their orrible singing and I slept well that night.
In the morning there was a bit of fuss with some local woman falling ill but we need to press on and I remind the new chirper that we had better get going. After some time we find the stink hole but the snake is gone!!! The stone is back in place and the gateway to the fairies is closed. Well that was a waste. While the two flutist’s go down the hole together I find the trail of who has been doing all this work. Not fairies but folks from this side and eventually I persuade the party we need to be following them.
We follow the tracks and find that two folks have taken a boat somewhere and the other two split. It is getting late as we follow the tracks of one to a hamlet of some 6 hovels. We spend the night there but the talkers fail to find anything useful as to who might have mended the stone. Talking is not getting us anywhere.
So we walk back to where the tracks split and I pick up the trail again to a sheepherders cottage. I leave mouthy to do the talking while I have a poke around the back to see who might be around. I only see a small boy in the hut and he is not big enough to do much snake and stone shifting so it has to be the chap who is running rings around lover boy. Anyway I jump on the slippery bugger and give him a good talking to and he finally spills the beans on what and who has been moving the stone and snake. It sounds like he was doing it for good reasons so I leave his throat intact and gives him some money for his troubles.
We look at the map and realise that we really do now have to travel down the river. Lover boy wants to walk it and after explaining the facts of life to him we decide the tavern and beer while we wait for the next boat is the best course of action. Of course lover boy can go walking ahead of us if he likes but I and Valerian will be waiting for the next boat and we can pick him up and sort out his sore feet at the same time.
At the tavern I was looking forward to a nice kip and some more of the local brew but would you believe it we were needed to sort out some foul creature at the lake where the lady has been poisoned. Well we have to cross the river and while the boat is being prepared I sink a few brews and we get on the road again.
At the shrine the two song thrushes try to gather information and between them make a right merry song and dance of it. One forgets what he has been told and the other feathers his own nest. I will be watching out for him from now on. Eric and I will cover the lake with our bows while the two singers try and get the Taverns owners wife to the shrine so she can prey. We know the beast in the lake spits poison so they hide behind our sleeping blankets made into a wall, behind which they can shelter their pretty little heads…
Well just as they get near the shrine a sodding snake like creature pops its ugly head out of the water and me and Eric let rip. I land a first arrow on it but it seems to do little, Eric misses and with my second shot a pull back as far as I can to ensure I land a massive blow on it. I whoop with joy as the arrow thuds into the snake just as it lets out a wad of spit that misses the poets…
Anyway it does not come back to the surface and I need to make sure it is not skulking and healing itself in the mud so I draw my sword and go charging into the lake to cut the head off it. After some slipping I find the creature and go to work with my sword and drag the foul creature out so I can make a trophy of it.
Meanwhile the poets are messing around with the shrine and I go off and get a fire going to warm myself and have a little sleep as the beer and the fighting has made me a tad sleepy…
The next I knew we were at the quarry and looking for more stones to help cleanse the spring. I sensed trouble when we saw no-one working and I climbed a pile of rocks to get a good view and drew my bow. There seemed to be two dead people and then as the others went to investigate the corpses another two people started to shamble towards the group. I shouted out a warning as they were walking funny and did not respond to my greetings. It soon became apparent that they were living dead as there bodies were foul and smelly.
I let loose two arrows into the one that was swinging at lover boy and hit both it’s arms with such force that should have put paid to it!! Yet it still continued as if nothing had happened to it. I drew my sword and charged over as I could see lover boys staff was doing nought but tickle the creature. Upon my arrival Eric had taken two mighty blows on him and the party were about to flee. I threw myself at lover boy’s beast and knocked it to the ground. Then as I sprung back up I swung my sword down on its leg and hamstrung the bugger. It was still trying to fight but now it was an easier target. As it failed around I bided my time to ensure I could cleanly smite its head and dealt it such a blow that it stopped all efforts against us apart from it was still moving in an odd manner.
Out the corner of my eye I could see that Eric was badly wounded and another blow upon him would surely kill him. The new poet was playing pin a donkey with the creature and doing nought to it!!! So I left my stuck sword in the head of lover boy’s dance partner and dove onto Eric’s foe. This one was wilier but after some tricks I had learnt from my Da I had it on the floor. It was a strong bugger and we needed to finish it off quickly. I shouted to lover boy to kick its maul away so that it could not re-arm and I went for my sword. Eric was out of the fight and went to work on sorting his wounds while lover boy took a swipe with his quarter staff and tickled the creature. I got my sword to work but this bugger was dodging my blows. It managed to land some blows on my legs and I have never heard my shins crack as much with its second blow that nearly knocked me to the ground. Meanwhile lover boy not wanting a real fight went back to the immobile creature I had finished and started tickling it again with his quarter staff. What a bloody fool!!! He would be better as court jester!!
Anyway after a bit of encouragement from me he rejoined the fray and I finally managed to land a decent blow to its head that finally put paid to its attempts to harm us. We all stepped back and regained our breath while we watched these two living dead still jiggle and jaggle on the floor.
Up at the huts we found another dead body and after I decided to note any marks on the bodies so we can let their families know their fates we found two moonstones. This is what we need for the purification but again the damned poets had forgotten what quantity was needed to do the magic. Lover boy had been too busy getting a rune into him to remember the words spoken to him. How they remember the words to the songs they maul is beyond me!! So off we go with some mined stones and these new ones back to the lake to find out what they should have known!!