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Episode 5

Nazeel and Maur’tion burst through the door of the morgue where they found the ancient coroner Brian huddled in a corner, shaking with fear. Loud moans from the magically refrigerated cabinets could scarcely be heard over racket caused by metallic slamming that also came from the cabinets.

“Brian!” Maur’tion exclaimed, “Are you all right?”

“Wh-what in the nine hells did you rapscallions bring to my morgue!?” Brian responded, his voice wavering in fear.

“We’re so sorry, Brian,” said Nazeel as he knelt down to the old man’s level, “It’s this damn skooma! There’s something wrong with it, but we don’t know what. Not only does it kill whoever smokes it, but they reanimate into zombies afterwards.”

“That’s terrible,” said Brian. “Please, do what you can to put these poor souls to rest.” Nazeel nodded at the wizened coroner and straightened himself back up.

“I think we should get some backup!” Nazeel said to Maur’tion. Without waiting, Nazeel unfurled his wings and launched himself across the room. The beat of his wings held him just over the constabulary’s floor as he flew. Arms outstretched before him, Nazeel exploded through the morgue’s door and into the corridor, where he had to come to a skidding halt to avoid colliding with a young half-elf wearing a crisp constable’s uniform.

The half-elf looked at Nazeel’s talons, then at his wings, then at his beak until their eyes finally met.

“A-are you Nazeel?” the half-elf asked. “I’m Alton – Sergeant Rodrick sent me to find you and Maur’tion. I just transferred in from the Academy.”

“Great, great – we can talk about that later,” said Nazeel, “Now come on!” he shouted as he motioned for Alton to follow him. The two ran back through the door Nazeel had just exited.

The situation was quickly explained to Alton, who nodded and immediately moved to one of the refrigerated cabinets, grasped its handle, and yanked it open. The moment the cabinet opened a rotting body launched itself at Nazeel from its cold prison. The zombie slammed its fists angrily down on the aarakocra. A resounding crack was heard as Nazeel’s clavicle broke and he wailed in pain.

Maur’tion rushed forward to Nazeel’s aid. The large minotaur laid his hands on his injured comrade, muttered some words of prayer, and channeled divine energy into the birdman’s shoulder, mending his wound some. Maur’tion then held his hands out and concentrated as he spoke the words to yet another holy rite. A wave of energy rippled through the air and Alton could feel the hair on his body stand on end as Maur’tion became a vessel of divinity – a thing the undead could not stand.

The reanimated corpse cowered in primal fear at the intangible light that emanated from Maur’tion’s being. It tried to run, but it was surrounded by the three rookies who set upon and destroyed it. As they were about to congratulate each other on the task, the corpse slowly rose to its feet, and again they pummeled the creature until they felt its life force leave it. But the corpse rose yet again, bewildering the rookies – they’d never before seen anything like this. Again, they struck at the thing until it ceased to move and yet once more it rose. When once more they allowed their weapons to hang by their sides, their breath heaved from their sweaty bodies as they waited for the corpse to rise another time. When the corpse finally did rise again, Maur’tion muttered under his breath and a flash of radiance filled the room as the creature was struck by the power of his holy incantation. The reanimated corpse fell immediately to the ground, never to rise again.

One-by-one the three rookies went to each the cabinets where they’d stored the corpses, opened them, and dealt with the undead creature they found within. When they had finished their unenviable task, they apologized to poor old Brian and went to find Rodrick to deliver a report.


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