Reacting quickly, the party leapt into action.
Cass stood firm, hefting her greataxe in her hands and blocking the southern corridor. Beside her, Aran swiftly shot two arrows down the corridor, both finding their marks and dropping two of the oncoming horde.
To the west, Fangorn charged forwards and bludgeoned another zombie with his maul, splattering it’s brains across the wall. Des moved centrally, trying to keep all his friends in view.
Elwanen acted impulsively as usual – teleporting a past the oncoming undead to engage the Underpriest directly. Sneering, the Underpriest stepped back and hurled a blot of shadow energy at him, and Elwanen was almost forced back a step from the impact, his shoulder burning where he was hit.
Theron chanted and placed a flaming sphere at the end of the north corridor, instantly immolating one lumbering opponent. Smiling to himself, he awaited the rest, confident he could keep them at bay.
The zombies, in turn, began to strike home. Two powerful brutes lumbered towards Cass, pummelling her with powerful fists. Behind them, she dimly saw the rotting corpses pull a glob of filth from themselves and hurl it towards her. Before she could dodge, she was hit twice. Crying out in pain, she realised that she could feel the filth starting to spread throughout her body, weakening her muscles. Her axe began to feel heavy in her hands.
Fangorn also suffered, as the Underpriest infused one zombie with shadow before it stepped up to him and battered him. The sound of it’s fists echoed off the walls as they crashed into his wooden form, and Des responded with an assault of his own – his psychic strike biting into it in return.
Zombies began to pour down the northern corridor, despite Theron’s spell taking down a few, and he was forced to back up a step to keep clear of them. Meanwhile, more zombies took advantage of Cass’ weakened state to press forwards on the south side, neatly trapping the party in the central room.
Aran hatched a quick plan. Drawing Fang and Talon, he sliced and diced at the zombie blocking the route to the south, calling upon Cass to help. She swung her axe in a huge blow, and with a final deft twist of a blade Aran took off it’s leg and it crashed to the floor. Grinning, Aran dodged past the other zombie and heading towards the rot-flinging pair that had stayed further back, seeking to draw fire away from Cass.
Des took a second to bolster Cass’ resolve, quietly urging her to continue, as Fangorn and Elwanen continued to battle to the west. Fangorn was striking out in great blows, shattering zombie bodies around him, but taking hits in return. Seeing that he could force a way past, he took off down the corridor as space opened up, trying to come around and join Aran in taking down the corruption courses that were working so hard to kill Cass.
The Underpriest and Elwanen continued to exchange taunts as they battled, but as Elwanen was distracted by another zombie coming in from his side the priest checked the situation and backed off down the corridor, calling behind him “You may have won this day, but my Lord Orcus shall still have your souls when you die!”
With Fangorn and Elwanen otherwise engaged, one large zombie was able to push through and engage Theron directly. Stepping forwards, it delivered a powerful blow to the Wizard’s chest, slamming him back against the wall. Theron gasped for breath and passed out on the floor, his flaming sphere disappearing too.
Fangorn also found himself in trouble, as the zombie he had pushed past followed him and similarly laid him low. A spot of light occoured as Des selflessly moved to support the fallen Treeforged, distracting the zombie from taking a final blow and issuing a Healing Word at distance to stop Fangorn from dying.
To the south, Aran obliterated one corruption corpse with a stunning display of swordwork, his blades dancing through the air. The other made room for itself and then launched another glob of foulness at him, but with a cheeky grin Aran activated the power of his new armour, taken from the Hobgoblin torturer and the attack was foiled.
Elwanen, despite triggering a magical rune and feeling panic course through him, resisted and beat down the zombie that had menaced Theron. However, this rune affected Cass much more severely and she fled down the corridor towards Aran. Happily, the effect wore up in time for her to join him in killing the second corruption corpse.
Des found himself on the receiving end of another slamming punch, which dropped him, but from behind the zombie Fangorn, revitalised, smashed his maul through it’s side and watched it collapse.
Carefully, the various members of the group checked around them. The walls and floor were covered with dismembered corpses, some twitching slightly as the remnants of the magic that had powered them left them. However, despite the desperate nature of the battle, none of the party had suffered any lasting wounds.
DM’s note: One Orcus Underpriest, 2 Corruption Corpses, 5 Zombies & 14 Zombie Minions – this was by far the toughest fight they’ve had to face.