The party departed the ruined outlook tower and headed along the edge of the mists, keeping to the space between the woods and the mountains. After a few days of travel, foraging for food and shelter, the party noticed they had a visitor.
A dwarven druid approached the camp late in the evening as the party was roasting some boar and deer. After a tense exchange, the dwarf introduced himself as Orvo, a druid whose grove was near the outlook tower.
In exchange for the fire and some food, Olvin convinced Orvo to tell them a bit about himself: originally from Baruk-Ahzik, he bucked his people's traditions and abandond Baruk-Ahzik to wander Anuire for a while, eventually joining a nearby grove. He informed them that the druids were killed by undead, and he ventured forth to find out what killed them and stop it.
The next morning, Pavon woke up the group to prepare for travel. As they departed, they noticed smoke coming from over the hills. Scarlet remarked that the towns throughout the hills were generally small hamlets, some law abiding and some rogue secret holdouts, and that they tended to be either farms or supply depots. After a quick discussion, the group made their way to the theorized hamlet to either meet up with survivors or get supplies.
Along the way, they passed multiple graveyards and abandoned hamlets. Some hamlets bore the signs of struggle and death – with no corpses remaining – and some were merely deserted. Orvo mentioned the signs of struggle as the undead swarming the land and bolstering their ranks, while Adom mentioned that the conscription efforts from a few years back may have also caused wholesale abandonment of some small hamlets. Scarlet focused on determining if magic was to blame, and let the party know that strong abjuration magic was present in the mists, and the ground fairly radiated necromantic energy…which could have caused some spoilage of foods so they should be careful.
They approached the hamlet billowing smoke around 7 pm. When they arrived, they found a small hamlet overrun by skeletons – they destroyed some of the barricades and were sieging the remaining building that still had some living denizens. They noticed a destroyed forge, abandoned shop, and a burning building before engaging the skeletons.
Orvo flanked to the side to douse the burning building, dealing with 2 skeletons on his own and indirectly causing a burning skeleton to leave the building and head to the party members. The rest of the party assaulted the front gates.
With their bladed weapons less effective against skeletons than zombies, the party had some troubles eliminating the skeletons, with Adom and Olvin taking serious wounds and Strogar pinned down by undead. Eventually securing the tavern/inn – and expending some resources in the process – the party searched the town and talked to the survivors.
Meeting with the survivors, they found a rural town barmaid, a historian from Cairlinien, a herbalist and woodsman/craftsman from another land, and a blacksmith holed up in the inn. Looting the ruined town, they found 50 gold pieces, 5 heavy crossbows, 10 suits of chainmail, 10 light steel shields, and 10 morningstars. The herbalist also gifted them with her remaining stock of potions – 10 cure light wound potions – and they appraised them of what they knew of the situation.
A lord from Cairlininen was amassing troops in a somewhat functional keep a few days north, near the edge of the province. They were approached by a representative, but they were unwilling to pay the rather hefty protection toll and were left on their own. The blacksmith reacted by withholding the supplies he was making for the outpost network, and the town was soon sieged by undead.
The party then rested and regrouped, deciding what to do next.