The young knight turned in his bed. The straw was too full in one place and too sparse in others. He made mental calculations about how long the church would take to build and laughed. If the carpenter didn’t come back, the knight will need to carpenter himself.
His man-at-arms, Gerard, lay snoring in another bed. The carpenter had an unused room that he normally let out to travelling workers, but they were the only two now.
This all came about from Sir Michel’s challenge to the templar. The religious knight bested him in single combat and as a result Sir Michel would help build the church. The young knight was brash and cocksure. He’d never been beaten since he had earned his arms. He felt the lump on his head and the pain in his shoulders. The templar could certainly swing a deadly morning star.
The knight lay in the cool darkness, thinking of the combat, and then he jumped out of bed. Even before the alarm bell pealed, he knew by the rider’s pace that trouble was looming.
Sir Michel threw open the door of the cabin and saw dozens of shambling shapes in the moonlight. “Gerard! Up! Sword and shield! The enemy comes!”
Grabbing his arming sword and heavy shield, the knight knew he had no time for armor. He yelled to the carpenter an alarm and then heard the bell in the village ringing wildly. Gerard was ready in an instance and Sir Michel kicked the door open to meet their foe.
The village was in chaos. Flames lept up from the buildings to the east. Four creatures spied the knight and man-at-arms and walked with jerking motions towards them. They spoke no word but moved forward slashing with rusted sword and axe.
Sir Michel positioned himself beside a wooden fence to keep them from surrounding him. Gerard readied himself behind the knight.
Two against four. The knight and his man held their ground with shield and sword. Two skeletons arrived first, moving faster than the slower zombies. Eyeless sockets stared at Sir Michel as the creature stabbed at him with short sword. Sir Michel’s shield held, but the knight could not land a telling blow on the creature. Gerard was having better luck and was able to cut the head from a skeleton’s body.
The slower zombies joined the melee. Sir Michel and Gerard were able to best them but not before being cut. [Gerard was down to 1 hit point! Sir Michel faired better, but lost a few hit points.]
As the two stood back to back, swords covered in rotting gore, they saw many of the other undead turn back as if heeding their master’s call. In the distance he could see perhaps a dozen black clad men spurring their horses northeast towards the forest.
A few moments later, mounted soldiers from the Keep thundered into the village. Some of the slower moving zombies were engaged and destroyed before the knight could get to them.
He raced for the stables to find his warhorse. The knight pulled open the doors and many horses raced out of the burning stable, his own as well.
Martin, the templar, found Sir Michel shortly after. He said to him, “the church is burned to the ground. I have nothing for you to work on now.”
Sir Michel stood tall and said, “my sword and shield are at your disposal. Let us cut the head off of the snake.”
“Aye,” said Martin, “let us do just that.”
Game Notes~I had forgotten that the knight was still at Coot’s Mill. Instead of having him flee to safety, I had him risk combat with some of the undead horde. He and his man-at-arms did well. They took a few lumps, but it helped thicken the plot.