After their stay in Buckwell, the party plan to journey southwards to Farcrest through Velen. They pass the outpost in the Krimm Pass, and find it guarded by Gnomish soldiers from Buckwell. They explain the retrieval of Janos is not a priority, but is possible in the future.
Reaching Velen, the party spend the night, and make their way on to the Halfway Inn. They reach the Inn, and notice there are banners hung on the side of the building. They read: “Under New Management”. Intrigued, the party decide to stay the night, instead of heading straight to Farcrest. They find the inside renovated, and the bartender replaced by a jolly looking dwarf. He greets the adventurers as they enter, throwing up his arms. “Hello, I’m Big Dick! Welcome to Big Dick’s Halfway Inn!”
Everyone is slightly taken aback, but they greet him, and inquire about his new Inn, and his business. He tells them he owns a brewery in Oldfield, where they make Cider. It is the best drink in the place, called “Big Dicks Halfway Inn Cider”. They spend the night in the Inn before making their way on to Farcrest.
On the journey, they are attacked by Gnolls, who come bounding out of the undergrowth and trees to attack the party. With the help of their new companion Torhm, who proves his worth, they fend off the Gnolls, and soon arrive in Farcrest safely.
Farcrest is a simple port town, and is relatively small. The adventurers were directed to the Lord Mayor, who will inform them of the details of the attacks, and give them any help they need.
The attacks have been conducted by crews of undead creatures, and focus on the military escort ships that protect trading vessels in the area. They leave few survivors. They recently have attacked a few civilian ships after there was a lapse in escorts. He tells them of a shipwreck which happened recently, a civilian ship. It was particularly brutal, and there was a message in the remains. He offers to send some men to take the party to see it.
The party make their way to the shipwreck, and find a disturbing mess of debris and corpses littering the beach. Scrawled on the side of the ship, broken on the shore, is a message: “For the drowned of Farcrest”. The corpses are covered, and a couple of watchmen pick through the wreckage, trying to find any information or hints as to where the murderous crews come from.
Searching the wreckage, the party find several sets of bones, complete skeletons, which are old and weathered. The bones also have a faint magical aura, suggesting they’ve been animated for this purpose. They also discover the cargo of the ship has mostly been left alone, so the attacks are not motivated by monetary gain. The only cargo missing is two crates of preserved meats.
Returning to town, the party visit the local bar, The Morning Cock. It is frequented by sailors and fisherman of the town, and is a rowdy place. They talk with the barman a while, who tells them of a survivor of the attacks, and after many drinks during a drinking competition, he tells the adventurers he knows of where they may be able to borrow a ship.
The following morning, the party talk with the survivor of the attacks on the ships, who lives in the north of town. He is timid but open, and tells them all he can. They then return to the barman, who has managed to source the adventurers a fishing ship, from a fisherman’s widow, who would rather see the ship go to some use, since they have no children. The party hire a few sailors in the bar who will make up the rest of the crew, and set about readying themselves for a voyage.