They snuck into the town from the north, and Caiphon scouted ahead, spotting several undead denizens lurking in the main square. As Brel attempted to join him, he was spotted and a brutal battle began. They were unable to stop the undead guards before one of them set off a bright flash of light, some sort of signal. The guards were soundly defeated. Sensing danger, Caiphon quickly picked a lock on a nearby abandoned home and ushered his comrades inside. After waiting a bit, a large vampire thrall Jarek recognized as Yannit, a particularly vicious warrior in the service of the vampire lords. Yannit was leading a two human familiars with leashed patrol drakes. They investigated the remains of the battle, and Yannit muttered the new mayor wouldn’t be too happy at the news.
Brel created a distraction, sending one familiar and drake into a nearby alley and then Regdar struck by teleporting behind Yannit. They had the element of surprise. All five men brutally attacked Yannit, taking him down quickly. The rest of his patrol fell in short order. Unfortunately, they were unable to kill Yannit, due to his vampiric heritage and the lack of sunlight. They left his body behind and headed off toward the Reeve’s estate.
When they arrived, Caiphon again picked the lock but discovered something was blocking the door. Caiphon and Jarek forced it open and discovered a charnel house. A large carrion crawler, carcass eaters and corpse rat swarms feasted on the bodies of Manoli’s honor guard, all brutally slain. The men cleared out the vermin, but not before Caiphon was infected with filth fever from the bite of a corpse rat. He was severely weakened and in terrible danger. Regdar and Jarek quickly searched the rest of the house, only to find it empty until they heard a thump in the wine and root cellar below.
They moved Caiphon to a bedchamber and left Brel to guard him, and then set off to investigate the noise. They found the door to the cellar barred. Jarek called out a few times to whomever was on the other side of the door, but to no avail. Realizing discretion was the better part of valor, the two men returned to the bed chamber where Caiphon slept, fighting his infection. They barricaded themselves in the room and took turns on watch.
In the middle of the night, Regdar heard something on the steps. He woke Brel and Jarek and the three set up an ambush, only to discover it was Captain Anthad, the head of Manoli’s honor guard.
Relieved by the sight of his rescuers, Anthad told the men how he barred himself inside the basement and further hid inside a large barrel when it was clear the battle was lost. He said vampire spawn broke into the house by first masquerading as an old crone in need of aid. When the guards opened the doors, the spawn descended on them rapidly.
Jarek asked Anthad if he knew of “The Mayor” Yannit spoke of. Anthad only knew a name—Lord Graw. Jarek knew of Graw, but by reputation only. He was someone the Vampire Lords held in high esteem but it was because he entertained them. The men returned to the bedroom, replaced the barricade and rested for a few hours. Caiphon eventually awoke, his fever broken. However, he had changed. Pelor, he felt, had abandoned him in a time of need. Perhaps, he thought, Pelor was not necessarily a merciful God, but a vengeful one, and perhaps Caiphon should be the agent of that vengeance.
Rested and recovered, the men, with Anthad’s aid, decided to set out to the town hall to confront Lord Graw.