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Van'Kyln's Estate Experienced
by Kwetak

The manor house of Van'Kyln rises from the forest dark and ominous, and has been strangely silent for a good many years. Rumor has it that a plague swept through there, killing everyone indiscriminately nobility and peasant folk alike, but strangely enough the estate has remained intact even when neglected for so long. My town decided to investigate and see if there could have been any valuables left behind - after all, how could the plague still be around when everyone has been dead for decades? It seemed like an easy opportunity for wealth, plundering the ancient home of the Van'Kyln family.

Upon arrival, we were blocked by a heavy iron gate with a crumbling lock holding it shut with chains. We attempted forcing it, but the gate would not budge; the lock could not be picked either, so we searched around the gates of the estate for a key. Sure enough, we found a man, the undertaker, long dead from the plague. However, as we approached to remove the key from his stony hands he sat upright, with murder in his eyes. Several of the dead rose from where they had fallen, and a battle ensued. We rushed to where we heard Nystarial call, and were surprised to see that the dead walked again. They proved easy foes to defeat, as long as we did not cast Harm on them (it heals the undead). The key that the undertaker bore did indeed fit the lock on the gates, and we proceeded with caution - who knew how many more had returned from the dead?

We were right to fear, for just past the gates an undead lich surrounded by undead peasants waited for another victim. We saw that he must be vanquished, and it was no easy task to defeat the undead cleric. We still could not enter the manor, another locked door stood in our way. However, this door had no key, which puzzled our leader. Wandering some more, we stumbled across the master chef, still clutching his carving knife. His great size blocked our way, so we knew he must be protecting something. Beyond him we could hear the sobs and moans of a mourning revenant, who we promptly put out of her misery. This person held the clue we needed - a piece of paper with a time scrawled across it. Returning to the broken grandfather clock, we moved the hands to the time written- sure enough, it worked! In the darkness that followed we were separated, but stumbled up the stairway to the estate's main hall. Even more of the undead walked about here, and a rather fearsome undead Hall Monitor barred the way. We knew now that the source of the evil most likely resided in the top levels of the estate, and proceeded to end the butler, Van'Kyln family, and finally reached the fearsome Lord Van'Kyln on his balcony. He was a fierce foe, almost destroying us one by one with just a glare and rapidly changing form between a bat and a man to catch us off guard. We repeatedly were forced to leap from his balcony into a pit of flames, and many fell in the struggle, but in the end our numbers and skill paid off. We also had some weapons against him on our side, a golden cross and wooden stake to plunge into his heart and end the battle, that we used to great effect.

However, the count we found was not the source of the evil- what could it be, we wondered. Following the smell of death, we stumbled upon a dark underground burrow in which resided the Vampire Lord, the one who brought the plague that transformed the residents of the estate into vampires. Our thieves alternated stabbing the evil creature and running back to us for healing since if was too dangerous for all of us to go. In the end, the Vampire Lord succumbed to our skilled thieves' stabs, and all was right in the realm; we returned richer, better equipped, and more experienced than before.


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