So Vandien and company set out towards Homestead, with the three loaded wagons. Their progress is slow but steady and the first village they come too, greets them warmly. The Rangers set up a guard with a few village militia-men to make sure none of the doubtful cargo is taken.
They make it to the next village, Esouro, two days later. The villagers are very glad to meet them and quickly ask them for help with the strange events that have happened lately. A week has passed since the young Theressa Balemont has disappeared. A few night ago some children say they’ve seen strange shapes moving just outside their homes and the previous evening, the old widow Jannet Uller thinks she saw her dead husband staring at her just outside her window before fainting.
The Rangers immediately jump into action. Vandien and Toji stay with the wagons and speak to some locals while Vanessa & Malen go to Mr. Balemont’s home to talk about it all. Vanessa manages to get the mother to open up about how Theressa seemed to be more withdrawn and quiet, locking herself up in her room, no longer seeing her fiancé Romney Kylen, the blacksmith’s son before disappearing.
Meanwhile, Malen goes upstairs to investigate the girl’s bedroom. It’s messy but no signs of a struggle. With his gift of Arcane detection active, he senses something under the bed. A few old pieces of parchment and the leather hide that was wrapped around something big but no longer there.
The parents admit that these items may have belonged to Theressa’s great-uncle who dabbled in the dark arts about 60 years ago but was stopped by a group of Rangers. They buried his body at a crossroad about an hour out of the village. After a quick trip there, they find no evidence of recent activity near his grave marker.
They return to the Balemont residence and enlist both Mr. Balemont as well as the Mr. Kylen and his son to join them towards the cemetery, after they’ve locked up the wagon in a nearby barn, or course. By the time they get to the village cemetery it’s just past sunset and they spot the 15 or so open graves and are set upon both former villagers as zombies and ancient skeleton warriors from the nearby burial mounds where a large battle took place about 100 years ago.
After a protracted battle, they manage to put down the corpes and follow the tracks to the burial mounds. They spot a group of more zombies and skeletons and both groups rush each other. As the battle is joined, the spectre of the Kal warlord Razul emerges from the mound and obscures the area around his undead minions. Theressa is nowhere to be seen.
Razul fades back into the ground and reappears near Malen and Vandien, swinging his bloodsteel sword. But with a combination of skill from the Rangers and maybe a weakness of Razul, he fails to inflict any wounds upon the heroes.
Meanwhile Vanessa and Toji are in the fog fighting the zombies and the eventually take them down despite the obscurement.
Vandien manages to inflict serious wounds upon Razul and then Malen applies deadly life giving healing gifts upon the core of the spectre, dispersing him in an explosion of ectoplasm.
After making sure no other corpses are moving with hostile intent, they search and find Theressa in a shallow cave, surrounded by candles, and a few other ritual items and still clutching the book of dark rituals of her great-uncle’s. She seemed catatonic, but they manage to bring her back to her home to heal and separate her from the book.
They also melt down Razul’s blade of blood-steel in Master Kylen’s forge, once the blacksmith is reassured that his forge will not be cursed or haunted. Malen performs a simple ritual to bless the area and calm any spirits. He also performs a healing ritual in order to bring some peace to both Theressa, her family and the villagers.
They then head out the next day, with they wagons of contaminated grain, etc and continue towards Homestead to investigate the cargo’s destination and the list of names that the lead Necromancer had.