At home in the monastery with zombies

After the fight with the unknown assailant Pidmerion pushes the arm into the wall close to the book. They begin to assess their position and realise that the monastery is too big for their small number to maintain and defend. As a solution they invite villagers to learn the healing arts taught by Vestorius. Additionally, Vestorius reorganises the brewing of the apple liqueur with the help of workers from the village. Pidmerion sets up a small forge in the base of the tower under the tutelage of Belzon and starts work on reinforcing his defences. Crannoch decides to go on a hunting expedition with Tiagra leaving the two nobles Vestorius and Pidmerion to set up the monastery.

After four days the two nobles have set up a working community and the monastery breathes with vitality and purpose. On the fifth day they are visited by Rayaki, the commissioner for the assassins’ guild, appears at the gates. He states that he is acting on behalf of Tal-Lorren and has come in peace to negotiate with the two nobles. The two men allow him in and are hospitable if wary. He claims that Tal-Lorren wants the book and his arm back and that he is prepared to negotiate rather than fight. However, the two men deny any knowledge of the book and that there are therefore no grounds for negotiation. They also suggest that as Tal-Lorren was the aggressor they would have no confidence in anything that he could offer them. As the meeting draws to a close they promise to search for the book and that they will contact Rayaki if they wish to further the negotiations. Rayaki thanks them for their hospitality and courtesy and promises to convey their message and hopes that there will be no further bloodshed. The week passes without further incident and the monastery goes about its business.

During the second week the two noblemen’s efforts at gaining strength start to pay dividends and Vestorius is pleased to notice a significant increase in his strength. Later in the week Vestorius’ first attempt at distilling the liqueur is ready for tasting. Unfortunately, it tastes awful and he is obliged to make alcohol for use in the murder holes from it.  The week ends with Rayaki’s return. He says that there can be no negotiation without the book. This information puts the two young men on their guard but they reason that the safest and most defendable place is the monastery.

The third week passes without any incident.  The two men work on reinforcing the windows and Pidmerion gains the art of healing under Vestorius’ direction.

A fourth week sees the successful distillation of the liqueur and they decide to scale up production and endeavour to sell the liqueur in Sendat. A runner from Sendat arrives with a letter addressed to the present occupiers of the monastery stating that if the book is not surrendered to Tal-Lorren then he will rain hell down on them and all they love. This gives the young men pause and they are concerned about Shyren and Shynken’s safety. They decide to send two villagers to Sendat to sell a barrel of liqueur and to persuade the young women to come back by boat. Pidmerion decides to build a space in the rock to house the bracer and ring separately from the arm and the book. He lays a fire rune to be triggered if the earth rune is disturbed.

The week ends uncomfortably for the two nobles who are expecting their friends from the town, but there is no sign of them. However, Belzon turns up with the completed portcullis and a couple of workmen to help intall it. It is Vestorius’ skill with mechanisms that allows the fitting to go smoothly and the companions start to feel much more secure as Pidmerions’ efforts at the forge have allowed him to reinforce all the windows.

On the third day of the fifth week a small boat appears at the foot of the monastery and the two noblemen are relieved and delighted to see their friends alive and well. Pidmerion moves the rock sealing the base of the tower allowing them to enter. The friends spend a day welcoming their new companions and relating the story of their travails. They give the women daggers and some leather armour to protect them should they be attacked. During this time Vestorius gains additional dexterity from his study and application of the knowledge contained in the library. Shyren explores the stores of herbs and supplies with the intention of teaching herb lore. Pidmerion begins to manufacture vambraces.

A sixth week passes without incident and the friends fell at home in the busy monastery each with an area to research and develop skills and abilities and the monastery working to produce healers and apple liqueur.

On the first day of the seventh week Shyren has a terrible dream of murder and destruction and is inconsolable for the rest of the night. In the morning the friends find the tortured and murdered body of Sarazan, Shyren’s mentor in the orchard. On the remains is a note demanding the return of the book. The note states ‘I have the key give, me the book.’ The following day the friends build a funeral pyre and say farewell to the witch and Pidmerion burns Tal-Lorren’s arm.

The party continue with their training focusing on constitution. On the third day, nobody comes to work or train at the monastery. From their position in the monastery the four friends see no sign of life in the little village.  However, that night at midnight they are appalled to see a group of twenty shuffling bodies milling around the gates on the landward side of the monastery. Pidemrion fires a lighted arrow to gain a better view exploding it over the crowd only to discover pallid skin and unblinking eyes that show no sign of intelligence. The night passes with the group in a state of extreme agitation. The following day they set out a guard rota and stock the murder holes and wait for an attack. Vestorius pours some of the liqueur into the hole in the altar and is surprised to see it disappear before his eyes. This gives the party a small crumb of comfort as they think that the altar is active and that they might be able to call on Athiss for support or succour. In the meantime Pidmerion experiments with his skills with the fire rune. He discovers that he can set triggers and lay the runes at some distance from himself. 

In the evening the zombies appear again but do not appear to have any intent. However, there is a knock on the door and the hunter Torarg walks in nonchalantly. They tell him their story and he adds information that they didn’t know, that Tal-Lorren is in Sendat employing assassins of a much higher quality than the group that stormed the monastery months ago. After a long discussion, Torarg states that he will help the friends but that he would be more effective outside the monastery rather than besieged in it. Vestorius states his hope that the authorities in Sendat will send help. Torarg takes his leave promising to return in a week with provisions and word from Sendat.

The following week is tens in the monastery with the friends maintaining guarding rotas and barring gates and windows. They settle in for a long siege knowing that to leave would be to invite danger. A week passes in anxiety but ends with the promised return of Torarg who brings two pigs and news that he has told their tale in the town making it harder for Tal-Lorren to recruit more assassins or at least much more expensive.