Welcome to Wednesday night where the herald of Arbiter Zed brings to us his newest song, The Ballad of Buck Underbranch. The town of Heartsfern is in trouble and while Trent and Shelly take action to prepare themselves as much as possible there is one who thinks that its not enough. Fire in his veins and a blood on his mind he takes a different approach to the defence of his family.
So sit back, grab a coffee and let’s roll into tonight’s adventure!
The Ballad of Buck Underbranch
While Trent and Shelly fussed about the fortification of the town, with what little material they had Buck stalked the edge of the town. Not much of a builder, more of a fighter he stalked with a long bow in his hand and a short sword on his waist. It was three days until the blue moon and despite the relief the town felt when the adventurers showed up he was uneasy.
A figure stumbled down the road ahead. The jittery, stumbling hop that the figure gave was all to familiar to Buck. In fact the horrible sing-song voice from his memory also carried along the wind from the figure ahead. The undead bard had appeared again.
“You won’t enter this town again” Buck muttered to himself as he took off on a jog towards the figure. Stopping occasionally to check the range with his bow in case he needed to fire in a hurry.
“There once was a man that was brave and bold, his cloak was new but his sword was old….” the voice carried on the wind towards him causing him to stop and aim at the figure that was sixty feet away. “Despite his age he ran ahead, to gather glory and bring home bread. But the glory he sought was all for naught since he never made it home. A cunning bard holds the cards that will cut him to the bone.” the figure stopped about thirty feet away, stumbling and breathing deeply. a low laughter could be heard coming from it. “There once was a man that feared the truth.” he muttered barely loud enough to be heard.
Buck leant in, his bow trained on the chest of the creature before him. So intense was his focus on the creature that he couldn’t hear the shouting from behind him. “The man didn’t realise that every step tightened his own noose.” the figure stood up, the same rotting visage from last time greeted him, a laughter burst outwards. “There once was a man that feared no dead! But mark my words, the Ballad of Buck Underbranch ends with him losing his head!” As the final word sprang out Bucks nerve snapped and he loosed a the shaft towards the creature. But it was too late.
Two blades had been thrown from the rotting man and soared towards his head, cutting through the string of the bow both blades hit their mark as the arrow punched through the chest of the creature knocking it to the ground, in pieces. The blades bit deep, the left one into his shoulder but right one into his neck. As he dropped to his knees he gingerly felt the blade. A fatal wound.
Laying on the ground and waiting for the thundering footsteps to reach him he tried to apply pressure to his wounded throat. But even as the terrified look of Shelly’s face, the concerned adventurers and his friend, Trent, appeared his consciousness dwindled.
Sadly every story needs a trigger point for action. This one here is the injury and potential death of Buck Underbranch. The interesting part about this is that healing potions, spells or even a medicine check will save Buck. So his death isn’t guaranteed but it should push the party forward regardless. In fact I fully intend that Buck will live through this encounter.
This gives the party a connection to the people in the city and I think that could be enough to help them decide to save the town. I also plant this scene here to give the party advanced warning of the combat ahead. While most zombies are slow and clumsy these ones here show some dexterity. I think this will give the party reason to pause, think and adjust their plans.
Or not, it’s up to them in the end!
Thanks for joining me tonight. Tomorrow night we will look at the maps and extra things that make this adventure just that little bit more. So don’t forget to come back tomorrow night, and Friday while we tie the last pieces together for this week. As the week is already coming to an end I want to encourage you to prepare some time this weekend for your own tabletop. Whether its painting, building or playing make sure to set aside yourself some time for your hobbies. And as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
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