Lucien pulls the carriage up to a dark mansion after a day of travel and Lucien gets down off the carriage. A human walks out of the house to greet us and he's wearing keeper of the dead robes. The robes are immediately recognizable since Lucien is a Keeper. He directs us down to the barn, which Lucien and Toughas go about unhook Pickles from his harness. The guys talk about the human and can't make sense of him, something seems off. The place was or is owned by Bert and Greta who are hillmen. Hester had told Lucien and Toughas about the place, and some of the normal burial rites of hillmen.
Hester doesn't recognize the human and the guys caution her to stay hidden in the carriage for the night. Lucien puts an alarm spell on the carriage and feels that magic has been cast in this barn recently. After inspection of the barn, Lucien sees that blood has been shed - hillman blood. While he's casting spells, the human comes walking down. Toughas hears the footsteps and intercepts the human so he doesn't see what Lucien is doing.
Lucien and Toughas start heading up the hill toward the house, in the rain and lighting two guys intended to jump us. They’re spotted and they both end up attempting to run. The guys catch them both and tie them up, then take them to the barn. Toughas goes up to the house to check on it to see if it’s safe or if there are more ambushers. He finds the hillmen couple tied up. The poor couple are very startled by the appearance of such a gruff looking trogger. Toughas attempts to stoop and make himself small and friendly looking, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Bert faints. Toughas gives the man a heal potion and leaves so the couple can get their bearings. ….He walks back down to the barn and starts talking with Lucien about what on earth they’ll do with these two humans.
The woman rides a horse to town to get the constable. Bert comes down to the barn to thank us and offer food. Hester is still tucked away in the carriage hiding. After Bert leaves she grumbles about not getting food and “proper treatment” but Toughas reminds her about all the food she has in the carriage.
Bert goes up to the house to get the food and comes back down around the same time as the constable and Greta come riding up. Toughas and Lucien tell the story of how they're here with the dead to be buried. The constable finds this odd, a human and a trogger, but their stories line up and he believes them. He leaves with the humans in an open air cage intended for hillmen. The humans have been stripped down to their underwear and are stooping in the small cage. The sight is quite pathetic.
(Later they are murdered by someone "on the inside" in the jail…but our adventurers don't know that.)
The home is intended for hillmen and Toughas has to stoop everywhere he goes. He’s quite umcofortable, and even the beds are far too small for his larger than average frame. He chooses to sleep in the carriage "so he can stretch out" but really to make sure Hester is safe.
Morning comes and everyone has breakfast and discusses burial plans for "our friend" (the pillows), then drive the carriage into the cemetery. There are helper zombies that are controlled by the thoughts of the individual who holds the zombie talisman. Bert had passed this talisman on to Lucien on their way in with instructions about how to use it. They get to the assigned grave and four zombies with collars are already digging the grave. One tries to come toward us. Lucien thinks them all back to work. He finds this magic quite enticing and smart.
Another zombie comes shambling towards the trio and once it’s a little closer they can see that it's collar has popped off and is just hanging open, draped across its shoulder. Lucien tells the four zombies under his control to hold the wayward zombie and Toughas carefully snaps the collar back into place. He almost got bit, what was he thinking getting that close to a zombie’s mouth!? The collar appears old and worn and will likely pop off again. So Lucien directs the zombie to lie down in the grave and the four others bury it with the coffin full of pillows.
Once done they start to look around. They’re up on top of the hill and can see down to the richer part of the graveyard. They can see the mausoleum in the center and there are two human soldiers in front and a tent off to the side.
Hester shows the guys the map of the tomb. She talks about the how she was brought here by Lady Densmeal’s men before and how the security system was triggered so she could get out. So they're going to have to reset the security system, as well as get the wand from Grandpa's crypt.
Here they sit, on the hill overlooking the bad guys in front of the crypt. Many ideas were discussed to try and come up with a plan of action. Lucien eventually comes up with an idea to send zombies under his control to distract the men. The plan is for seven zombies to go mess with the guys. There are four guys total; two came out of the tent and two were already on watch.
Two of the zombies had been sent to molest the men. That’s right, Lucien sent zombies to attempt to touch the men’s balls. What is wrong with Lucien?! This, of course, freaks the men out. They scramble away from the zombies and in the melee one zombie gets his collar knocked off, and starts to attack the men in earnest.
This zombie succeeds at biting some of the men and they turn into zombies themselves, so there are now feral zombies all chasing the one remaining man who has climbed up a statue, screaming. They're pawing at him and groaning for brains and balls. It's a successful enough distraction that the “heroes” can sneak down to the mausoleum and Hester gets in with the key. Not a single sword had to be swung. The zombies did all the work.
To be continued....