We arrived back in town after everything was over. Someone had risen skeletons out of the cemetary, and there had been a battle, now over. Although it wasn't obvious at first, the skeletons wouldn't actually attack unless they were threatened. Why would you raise skeletons who would only fight in self-defense? At any rate, there were plenty of injuries to our party as well as those townspeople who had rather naturally fought the skeletons who suddenly appeared in their houses.

I checked on Carmella, first, of course. She appeared to be unconscious in the inn, but was actually standing up. And if I took her by the hand, I could lead her slowly. If I moved too quickly, she'd fall on her face. I guessed that she had retreated somewhere safe, deep into her mind, when confronted by the horror of the skeletons. Physically, there was nothing wrong with her, so I ensured she was in a safe place, and then I went to take care of rest of town.

I searched through the village for anyone who was injured and took care of them. I couldn't afford to push their bodies to completely heal themselves, but I did what I could with my traditional healing skills and just gave them a head start to ensure they would heal quickly and cleanly. As I cared for them, I kept a running commentary. They were mostly very frightened, and my chatter kept them preoccupied. I mostly convinced them they weren't really hurt as badly as they thought, to help cover up subsequent quick recoveries.

A few had caught rather frightful infections from the injuries, mostly the ones who had been cut in some way rather than just bashed. I was able to clear the infection away with my special skill, and simply never mentioned that there had been any infection at all.

Clearing the infection was more difficult than the usual wounds I'm confronted with. After connecting with the mind and body, I had to search and destroy red, angry threads that tried to hide from me. A few times, I nearly missed them, and had to expend more energy tracking them down again. It was tiring work, and I wearily returned to the inn when I was done, seeking a chair to sink into for a while.

Jason and Prestley went to go to check on Gherig, who hadn't emerged or opened his gate. Miara, Hy, and Goldrim searched the town for any stray skeletons. José and Ash went back to the cemetary to look around for what really happened.

Once everyone reconvened at the Red Bull, we discussed what had been found out. I also had the chance to take care of Jason's hurts, and discovered he had the infection as well. I took care of it, and healed him completely, and told the group about the infection problem. You never know when knowledge will come in handy down the road. Should anyone be attacked by skeletons in my absence in the future, they would at least know that there was an additional, unseen danger.

At Gherig's, his footman Stapmi answered rudely (as if he knew any other way to answer). He told them there were no skeletons there, and he had stayed to defend the house. Against the skeletons that weren't there? It reminded me of a priest of several hundred years ago who had traveled to an island with no snakes. From then on, they always said there were no snakes because of the priest's presence. At any rate, Gherig himself showed up at the door. He, of course, hadn't seen a thing.

In the cemetary, José and Ash found nothing: no undistrubed graves, no footprints. Ash did catch the same scent as he had when he was looking for the beastmen. José started to consider necromancy and illusion. It could be one sorceror well-trained in both disciplines, or two working together. The skeletons were real, but hiding tracks could be done with illusion, as well as "beastmen", of course.

From the inn, we saw a constant stream of people leaving town with whatever they could carry or push in barrows, or carry in wagons for the lucky ones. This was clearly the last straw, the beginning of the end for the village. The dorfrichter wasn't leaving, nor was Gherig. Stapmi was being unusually friendly and helpful, telling people he'd look after their houses "until they returned". There was only one sign of the militia captain, so to speak: he had left a note on the guardhouse door saying "gone for help". The watch captain also was not leaving. He laughed and said we wouldn't be seeing the militia captain again: he would've run to Nuln in fear. He and the dorfrichter helped the villagers in any way they could. All the boats were leaving, carrying away anyone who could buy or beg a place.

We called a town meeting at the Red Bull, drinks and dinner on the house. That didn't look like it would be much of an expense.

Prestley visited the graveyard and looked under the earth, paying special attention to Ziggy's grave. His body is still there. But, he reported that Bastiens' grave was empty; the coffin was there but it was empty. We needed to talk to the undertaker, who lived in Weilerburg.

In Weilerburg, almost everyone had left, despite the fact that the skeletons never got that far. Dagmar was still there, and she thought that the undertaker left just before the screaming.

They didn't find anything interesting in Weilerburg, and it was almost the dinner hour when they returned. Carmella had woken up, but was rather dazed, so I gave her a mild tranquilizer and sent her to bed for the night.

As I thought, there were only a few hardy souls left in the town, and they all came to the Red Bull for a free meal. Leafglow, the baker and his wife, the doctor, the dorfricher, the watch captain, Old Mother Eberhauer who lived out of town in the woods, Dagmar, the Sangioveses, and Johan. All his employees had left, as had ours. José and Benito cooked the dinner.

We discussed what was going on. We stood by our belief that someone was trying to drive them out of town. But who and why?

Ravenna, A Monk of the Biancan Order

Part the First:
Blood and Mud

Part the Second:
Murder and Mayhem

Part the Third:
Puzzles and Crystals

Part the Fourth:
Dwarves and Rocks

Part the Fifth:
Diplomacy and Daggers

Part the Sixth:
Crystal and Chaos

Part the Seventh:
Sheer Insanity

~ The End ~