After Thang had finally calmed down from his rage, the five surveyed their surroundings. Before them lay the broken skeletal bodies of their opponents—in front of them by just a few steps was the mysterious mound of dirt that they had first stopped to investigate before being attacked. They decided to dig, to see what was buried under the ground. As they dug, they eventually hit a solid wooden box, about four feet long and two feet wide—recognizing it as a coffin, they carefully hoisted it up and laid it on the ground.
After some debate, they decided to open it up. Inside they found Remulus, badly hurt from his encounter in Badger but still alive! As he regained consciousness, he told them of his tale—of being set-up, robbed (alas, all of his gold was gone) and beaten. He asked to join their group, and they happily accepted him, seeing as how his healing skills could be very important for battles that may lie ahead.
The group decided to move on and try and find the burnt out home that they had been told about by the husband and wife back in the pub in Badger. As evening came upon them, they found the homestead, but strangely enough, noticed that there were no signs of recent fire—in fact, the homestead appeared to have been abandoned for a very long time.
Sensing a trap, Aspen suggested they explore the grounds carefully. A few members of the group decided to remain outside while Crulamin and Thang explored what was left of the inside of the home. As they entered the home, they noticed that all of the walls were still standing, and most of the roof was still in place. The inside was dark and musty and nearly all of the furniture was in a serious state of disrepair. Suddenly, Crulamin noticed a shiny locket on a dusty dresser—he went over, and with some hesitation, picked it up. Nothing happened.
Crulamin and Thang decided it would be wise to take the locket outside to seek out the advice of the rest of the group. As they were all discussing what they should do with it, Crulamin opened it up—suddenly, a great light and deafening noise were let loose, and all of them fell to the ground. After a few seconds, they noticed what looked like the husband and wife they had met in Badger coming out of the woods. They approached the house in silence.
All of the members of the group began to pepper them with questions, but the couple did not respond. Then suddenly, right in front of their eyes, the two people merged into one being—a short, nasty looking goblin shaman. Aspen demanded to know who he was, and as it turned out, he was more than happy to chat with them. He told them how happy he was that all of them had fallen into his trap and that he was looking forward to adding them to his undead army. Suddenly several skeletal warriors were raised from the ground around them—the fight for their lives had begun!
As the fight began, the goblin shaman immediately turned his attention to Hobb—he attacked Hobb with such great ferocity that he was knocked unconscious rather quickly. Thankfully, due to the quick action of Aspen, Hobb was stabilized although he remained unconscious for most of the battle. The goblin shaman then turned his attention to the other gnome in the group, Remulus. Having still been badly injured from his fight in Badger, Remulus was also knocked unconscious, but was stabilized by Baru.
Meanwhile, Thang, Aspen, Baru, and Crulamin waged battle upon the goblin shaman and his assorted skeletal warriors. Although the battle went back and forth for some time, the goblin shaman and his warriors were finally defeated. After the last enemy had been slain, another loud noise and great light appeared, and suddenly, the homestead disappeared and was replaced with a small hut.
The group entered the hut and discovered the badly beaten, but still alive, body of Mirko. After regaining consciousness, he explained to them that after he had lost the ambush he was in back in Badger that the goblin shaman had been using his powers of sorcery to maintain the illusion of the abandoned homestead, so that the goblin shaman could trick people into taking up the “quest” of the married couple. Grateful for his rescue, Mirko offered his services to the group and joined them.
After hearing his tale, the group rummaged around to see what they could loot—there were mostly minor healing potions and ointments strewn about. Off in the corner, they spotted two chests—after checking for any traps on the chests, they opened them. One of them contained several pieces of gold, which they distributed amongst each other. The other contained the Scroll of Azerul. Although they could not fully translate it, Baru and Remulus determined that the scroll contained what appeared to be marching orders as well as the words “Badger” and “cemetery.”
Being tired and weary from the battle they had just faced, they all took turns on guard while the others got some sleep. They woke early in the morning to head back to Badger to investigate the scroll further.