Brash Young Fools
It transpires that I am still alive. Moreover, for the first time in many days, I am actually in good health. Alas, the same can be said for Boris.
No sooner had my odorous companion seen the ambulatory remains of Stichelm and his necromantic puppet master through the open doorway then he had the rare good sense to shut the door and hold it while his betters devised a plan. As Boris demonstrated his brutish strength in holding closed the door against the undead monster behind it, Karl followed my lead in whipping down a nearby curtain while Victor prepared his bow. Boris released the door just as Karl and I threw the curtain over Stichelm, impeding his sight and motion both, and dragged him through the doorway, leaving Victor with a clear shot at the necromancer beyond.
Sdly, Karl lost his head in the heat of the moment and clung on to Stichelm, receiving a severe blow that slammed him against the wall before knocking him out cold. But Victor’s aim was as true as ever, and he felled the vile thing with two well placed shots, severing its head in the process, and causing the Stichelm-zombie to collapse to the floor.
I utilised my medical skill to stabilise Karl before turning to the priest, Grabbe, whose comatose body lay beside the fallen necromancer. In no time at all, I had both me in a stable condition and fit for transport back to more substantial medical facilities in Stromdorf.
Before leaving we retrieved the amulet worn by the necromancer and, on finding it impossible to destroy, decided to take it with us. Boris agreed, as the most disposable member of our party, to carry the amulet in case something untoward might befall anyone bearing it. We also recovered Stichelm’s gravestone/shield, which on closer inspection appeared to be another lightning stone (per my earlier suspicions). Once Boris and Victor had loaded the horses under my direction, we set off back to Stromdorf.
A crowd greeted us on our return and seemed suitable dumbfounded when I explained how we had saved them from certain death at the hands of the necromancer Lazarus Morn. Thankfully Kessler arrived to save them from the need to display their gratitude spontaneously (spontaneity being a weakness of the solid peasant class). Kessler took us directly to Adler, who expressed his sorrow over the fate of “his dear Madriga” (the relationship between those two being highly suspect, if I am any judge) before going on the query the new breastplate worn by Boris and sword born by Victor, both of which were trophies taken from the Stichelm zombie.
I explained to Adler in clear terms that the zombie form of Stichelm, once freed from the necromantic control of Lazarus Morn, had enough self awareness to bequeath those items to us as his saviours before any semblance of life left him. While it is technically fair to say that the Stichelm zombie collapsed before any such pronouncement could be made, from what we have heard of the former hero of Stromdorf, it seems reasonable to assume he would wish to see us rewarded for saving him from an undead existence. Besides, the breastplate and sword are both of good quality, and it seems wasteful to let them rot – if these trifles will keep Boris and Victor amused then let them have them! If only Boris could be convinced to wash the grave smell out before wearing the damn thing.
Thereafter thing went past rapidly. The townsfolk organised another celebration, and Kessler arranged appropriate medical attention for our ills (although at a cost to us, Sigmar damn him!). The only downside was the infuriating mage, Schulman, who happily took receipt of the tombstone without offering any recompense in exchange. He assures us the the completed stone will result in riches enough for all, but I have my doubts. Doubts aside, I also have the sense not to argue with a wizard. Boris however has no such good sense which is why, to my amusement, he found himself on the receiving end of some odd piece of magic when he tried to take back the stone.
After a few days of medical care, I feel quite my old self and have spent some time in the company of what passes for the social elite of Stromdorf. At least they recognise a nobleman when they see him.