The missus was off for a couple of nights on her younger sister's hen do. Time for the toys to come out...
Although there was an iron shortage in the village, it had little impact on the growing group of heroes. Geoffery took Giacomo to the town healer, reducing the time he would be out of action, while the rest of the group did some trading, selling some excess weapons and the jewellery looted from the tower last turn, in exchange for light armour and a shield for Giacomo to use when he recovered (and 'get well' present?).
The old map that the party had also found in the old tower showed a old ring of standing stones on the edge of the forest, the map recently marked with strange and eldritch symbols pointing at it. Convinced this could be the source of the dark forces plaguing the village, the party tooled up and headed out.
[I rolled up Dark Shadows encounter. As this was the last points in this category it would be a 'Last Stand' against the 'Corrupt', including a Boss, Lieutenant, Sergeant and 6 corrupt, including a 'skulker'. The encounter would take place on the edge of the woods around a haunted stone, with the Party's objective to eliminate the enemy].
As the party worked their way through the scattered trees on the edge of the dark woods, snatches of low gutteral chanting started to reach them. Thomas shivered "Do you feel that? Like my blood suddenly ran cold.". Geoffery hefted the hammer on his shoulder with his right hand, his left clutching the smaller brass hammer that hung on a chain around his neck, "Something wicked is near, we must not rest until it is wiped from this land, even at the cost of our own blood".
Will spat on the ground. "Bloody knew you'd something like that" he said, but knocked an arrow to his string nonetheless.
The party split up for their attack, the archers (Will, Jocelyn and Ray) on the left; Geoffery, Robert and Guy in the middle, and Thomas, Finan and Oswald on the right.
Jocelyn drew first blood, dropping one of the corrupted creatures with a well placed crossbow bolt, then followed up with the corrupted sergeant.
Meanwhile a desperate fight broke out on the right, started by the fast but deadly corrupt skulker. Thomas wounded the vile creature, then finally cut it down, but not before both Oswald and Finan had been put down by other corrupt, leaving Thomas outnumbered.
In the centre, the bulk of the corrupt charged Robert, Geoffrey and Guy. Guy struck one down swiftly, as did Geoffrey, while Robert engaged in a back and forth due with another.
On the right Thomas showed his metal, killing the remaining corrupt. Guy fended off the Corrupt Boss, who was then engaged by Robert, allowing Guy to turn on and take down another creature.
As Will found his 'eye' and put a shaft through the Corrupt Lieutenant's heart, Robert gleefully dueled with the Boss - after serval back and forth exchanges the knight found a opening and thrust his bastard sword deep into the abomination, putting and end to the encounter.
Finan turned out to be OK (getting KO'd seems to be his default state!), while Oswald was lightly injured and would be out of action for two turns. Searching the area revealed six gold marks, a shield and some medicinal herbs, and a prisoner that was immediately released.
As Geoffrey prayed to his god to cleanse the stones, and scattered holy water liberally, the others kept their distance. Even with the corrupted creatures dead, the stone emanated a sense of unease and dread. Will turned to Jocelyn "Happy to let the priest deal with that thing, I ain't going near it. He looked around him at the bodies of the corrupted creatures, "at least this lot won't be bothering anyone no more". Thomas looked at the archer, "careful Will, I might almost imagine you're starting to care about people". "Yeah, well" Will mumbled "just don't go spreading rumours like that around, I've got a reputation to maintain".