The party decided to see if they could get more information from Elias’ friends Alina and Edwin who, according to Elias, were two newly-married farmers, both 18 years old. They followed Elias’ directions and found themselves at a small farmhouse at the end of a short track. Unlike many of the farmhouses the party had seen that day, no smoke emanated from the chimney. The main door stood ajar. “Has something happened here?” wondered Bonnie out loud.
Within Alina and Edwin’s nicely-kept farmhouse, their decapitated bodies lay on the blood-covered floor of the
kitchen. There was evidence they were dragged from their beds, although there were few signs of a struggle.
“There’s blood but not much blood for a decapitation,” observed Eric. “Why is that, I wonder?”
“They were decapitated elsewhere?” suggested Igo.
“Or not much blood in their bodies when they were decapitated?” suggested Goldi.
“My parents must have done this,” whispered Elias. He seemed to be in shock.
Igo was able to find footprints in the mess, heading out of the building and then found faint, bloody footprints leading in the direction of the farm of Elias’s parents; the blood disappeared after a few feet, and it was starting to get dark, but the trail through the muddy fields was clear enough to Igo’s skilled eyes.
“Looks like the boy was right,” grunted Igo. “The parents did this.”
“Right, let’s go back and sort this out,” growled Bonnie.
They marched back in the gathering twilight to Elias’ parents’ house and banged on the door.
“You are murderers!” yelled Bonnie. “Explain yourselves!”
“Go away,” yelled Elias’ father. “Run away from here, you are in danger!”
“Explain!” yelled back Bonnie again. Behind her, Elias started coughing and gasping for breath. Eric saw to him and thought his skin was cold and clammy. The boy sank to his knees, shaking. Eric thought he could have pneumonia. It was starting to get very cold.
The door opened again, this time wider. Elias’ father appeared, wide eyed as if afraid. He pointed a shaking finger at Elias.
“He will change! We couldn’t behead him like we did poor Alina and Edwin. We had to do it after they had been bitten, before they changed. We couldn’t do it to our only boy! We staked him up, hoping the sunlight would kill him, but it was overcast, no direct sunlight!”
Eric suddenly remembered the strange sunburn on the boy. The cleric hurriedly backed away from the boy kneeling on the ground who was now silent, head drooped down. He had stopped shaking. Then Elias’ head snapped up, his eyes were pale, his skin even paler and his nails had grown long and black and become like talons.
“Shit!” yelled Bonnie, “he’s become some kind of undead!”
“The master visited us last night,” said Elias, rising and stalking forward. “He gave us the gift of eternal life. But THESE low born stole it from my friends!” He leaped forward towards his father who fell backwards into the house and slammed the door shut. Elias turned towards the party.
“I’ll kill you first, then these inside, and I’ll join my master in ruling this area,” Elias growled, becoming more feral and less human with each passing moment.
The battle was a challenging one for the party. Elias was now a vampire spawn, a weak version of a vampire (Eric would tell the party later), but was still resistant to non-magical weapons. His claws were strong and sharp and he could penetrate strong armour. In addition the vampire spawn could regenerate wounds. However, Bonnie had her golden axe, which Elias quickly learned to be afraid of. Likewise he had no defences against Fizbo and Goldi’s spells. Igo’s arrows did less damage because they were not magical, but they still hurt the vampire spawn. Eric cast spells to help and heal the party, and at one point used his holy symbol as a channel for his goddess’s power to drive off Elias so the party could quickly reform and recover before attacking again. In the end the creature was destroyed, and it lay on the cold earth, twisted and evil looking.
“Don’t we have to put garlic wafers in it’s mouth or something?” asked Fizbo.
“I think vampire spawn are different,” said Eric. “Once it’s dead it’s dead.”
“Let’s cut off it’s head to be sure,’ said Bonnie. She hefted her undead slaying axe and severed the head from the body. “We’ll throw it into the river.”
They made the half mile trek to Neverwinter River and threw the head in, which sank from view. Then they returned to the farm. Elias’ mother and father were grateful their son had been laid to rest, and provided lodgings and food for the night. The party left the following morning. Abner and Milena – Elias’ parents – said they would have to give up the farm and go join Abner’s brother’s farm about 10 miles away. They would give the farm to Abner’s nephews and nieces who could claim it when they were a bit older.
The party continued onto Thundertree, wondering about the vampire who had turned Elias and his friends into vampire spawn. Did he live in the area or just passing through? Would he track the party for killing his spawn? These questions may be answered in time.