Travelling north of Lug River, the party soon came upon what appeared to be more of an estate than a farm. A building, similar in construction to those in town but far larger, appeared before an open expanse of ground with what appeared to be orchards behind it. Rocking chairs sat on an open porch and a trellis surrounded the entrance. A number of workers loafed about nearby, taking their time driving poles into holes in the ground, conceivably for the eventual hanging of more scarecrows.
The group took a moment to interview the workers about who was at the the house, and learned that the lead merchant, Beddrick, was inside with the lady of the house. Coming to the house and ringing an aging brass bell produced the frustrated face of Beddrick Moorstar, who thought he was being interrupted by his workmen. Realizing his mistake, he shut the door, calling for “Risi,” and a moment later the door was opened by an elegant, if tipsy, mature beauty who introduced herself as Risi Voreni, the widow of late Korrene Voreni, and madame of the house.
The interior of the structure was far nicer than the outside, stocked with a small library, expensive furnishing and rugs, and the heads of all kinds of animals mounted on the walls. Inviting them inside, the widow offered them drinks. While Faelar captivated her with song, Vahn and Ke’shin cornered a visibly troubled Beddrick and began to quiz him about the scarecrows. It was revealed that Beddrick was being forced into service by another man, Prulekai, and that his family was being held magically hostage. Forced to murder a servant, Prulekai enacted a spell which caused her hand to animate and separate from her body, wandering around as an undead thing. When it returned to her, she had no memory of the experience, but it was all the leverage Prulekai needed to turn Beddrick into a slave to his will. When Xarrai returned from a short excursion upstairs and reported sounds of chanting, the group suggested that Beddrick and the Lady leave the house, for they had business to take care of.
Vahn asked his horse, Animus, who’d been tasked with patrolling, if anything was amiss outside. After an initial all clear, the horse said that he spotted someone exiting the back of the house via window, then screamed in pain. Vahn charged upstairs, followed by Asade, Ke’shin and Xarrai, while Faelar turned himself invisible and went out the front to ward of possible danger from the opposite angle of approach.
Bursting through the washroom, Vahn leaped through a window and landed on Animus’ back, hammer in hand, shouting his warcry. As he chased down the necromancer, Xarrai lobbed fireballs at approaching undead in the distance. Summoning all his minions, the necromancer fought at close range with Vahn while undead wolves, bears, scarecrows and the giant armored construct from the Hinkelmann farm appeared. A combined effort from the group destroyed the lesser minions, while Faelar dispelled the large construct magically. As the necromancer neared the end, the final blow was struck by Animus, and death was delivered by the sharp hooves of vengeance. The horse and his two-legged minions triumphed.