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"Undead Whispers" is the eighteenth episode of the Lightfall campaign for High Rollers D&D. It was broadcast live on the Yogscast Twitch channel on June 25, 2016.

In this episode, our heroes head to Whisper's Walk to help both Korak and Trellimar. However, an invasion of the undead has occurred within the district, so they must first help the two religious groups to quell it.

Campaign SummaryEdit

Walking UndeadEdit

The adventurers are making their way to Whisper's Walk. During this time, Cam continues to blasts at Trellimar for his prank in asking the genie to shrink his endowment. He is unaware that a couple of bakers, who have heard him along the way, are making fun of him. Cam tells Trellimar to quicken his search for the mask so that he can use it to cover up his embarrassment. Trellimar decides against this, claiming that he may need to wear the mask.

The clouds overcast the sky before noon as the adventurers approach Whisper's Walk. Elora feels that it may start to rain. They noticed that, unlike the other Talis'Val districts they have visited, Whisper's Walk is barricaded by high stone walls etched with runes and topped by pointed iron fences, with only one entrance sealed off by a large heavy gate.

A large crowd, but not by ordinary citizens, have gathered at the gate and are causing a commotion. There seems to be a divide between two factions: Sister Superior Annabelle Culenwistle and the Order of the Burning Lanterns, and Sir Jonathan Knightsbrook and the Mournravens. Jonathan argues that the graves cannot be destroyed as it belongs to families. Annabelle retorts back by saying that the undead, if left out of control, could overrun the city.

However, when the adventurers got closer, their arguments cease and Annabelle, thinking that the adventurers are ordinary citizens, warns them not to proceed due to an unfavourable situation. Elora offers to help, but Annabelle insists that merchants and travellers should not interfere for their own safety. Cam tells Annabelle that she should respect Elora as she is of royalty. Annabelle apologises, yet insists that they should not proceed.

Trellimar speaks up and tells them that they are seasoned travellers and are sent by the Government to locate an artefact to save Korak the Champion's life. Upon hearing this, Annabelle is taken aback and looks at Jonathan. He says that they could use the adventurer's help and asks them to clarify the artefact they seek. Cam tells him that the artefact is the Scroll of Greater Restoration. Elora, knowing that Korak's condition should not be leaked out to the public, tells Cam and Trellimar to refrain from revealing Korak's condition. Jonathan assures Elora that the Burning Lanterns and the Mournravens are agents of the city and will not leak out the information. Nonetheless, he tells them that they should be careful on leaking out such information to the public.

Jonathan voices out that the Burning Lanterns and the Mournravens could use the adventurers' help to eliminate the impending attack by the undead, and at the same time locating the Scroll the adventurers seek. However, both sides offer conflicting solutions. The Mournravens suggests to find and destroy the source that is disturbing the undead. On the other hand, the Burning Lanterns suggests wiping out the entire district off the undead in one fell swoop via a Pelor's ritual. The Mournravens disagree with the Burning Lanterns' plan on the basis that the undead should still be treated with respect as they belong to their respective families.

After much persuasion, Annabelle later reveals to Jiǔtóu, via a private discussion, that a device located in the Ancient Temple of Pelor, once activated, will send a shockwave of radiant energy that will wipe out any beings tainted with necromancy. This means both the dead and the undead will be affected, but it does not harm the living.

The two factions bicker amongst themselves while the adventurers step to one side to discuss which solution should they agree upon. Cam and Trellimar both side with the Burning Lanterns' plan, while Elora and Jiǔtóu side with the Mournravens' plan. With the knowledge that Jonathan knows the location of the source and Annabelle's confidence of the Pelor's ritual, the adventurers reached a compromise and share it with the two factions. The adventurers will assist the Mournravens to seek and destroy the source, failing to do so will then allow the Burning Lanterns to conduct the ritual as a fail-safe.

Annabelle remains not pleased with the proposal, insisting that she knows the Temple's location, but the source requires some time to search for it. She also fears that the undead might have climb over the walls even before the adventurers could destroy the source, preferring that the undead be taken out first, then locate the source. Nonetheless, Annabelle decides to go ahead with the proposal, but only giving them one hour since sufficient time is needed to perform the ritual. Until then, the Burning Lanterns will assist the Mournravens to hold back the undead, as well as searching for any citizens still trapped in the district.

Jonathan now orders his troops to lure the undead away from the walls and centralise them in small pockets. With a nod, his troops then transform into a flock of ravens and flies off to execute their mission. Regarding rewards, Cam prefers to discuss it after the whole battle.

Battle against Ghasts and GhoulsEdit

Annabelle opens the gate for her troops and the adventurers to enter the district. This attracts some of the undead as they try to make their way to the gate. The Burning Lanterns use their shields to hold them back. Jonathan then leads the adventurers to the potential location of the source, as Elora casts Pass without a Trace to the group of five, allowing them to blend in with the surroundings. Cam also casts Aid on Jiǔtóu, Trellimar and himself.

High Rollers 18 Whispers Walk

A street in Whisper's Walk where the group of five encounters their first major battle in this episode.

Rain starts to pour with flashes of lightning and sound of thunders. The group of five make their way down several muddy streets, with a scent of decomposed flesh enveloping them. They then halt in their advancement as Cam, Elora and Jonathan suddenly pick up the overwhelming stench of rotting flesh. Elora and Jonathan can also hear faint sounds of bones being crunched a few buildings away. The group can now see a mixture of fresh and decayed bodies littered across the open space, all with huge chunks of flesh bitten off them. Jonathan suggests ghouls must be nearby and tells Cam and Jiǔtóu that they, including himself, should be careful since ghouls can greatly affect those without elven blood. Elora guesses that there could be several ghouls behind a mausoleum up ahead.

Before proceeding, they decide to send Granamyr to scout the path ahead. At first, nothing abnormal can be seen while Cam casts Invoke Duplicity. All of a sudden, Trellimar receives urgent telepathic messages from Granamyr, warning him that several monsters have spotted him. A ghast and two ghouls emerge around the corners of the mausoleum, tracing Granamyr's path as he swoops down to Trellimar, while two more ghouls climb onto the roof.

First Round of Battle
Jiǔtóu glances at the building on her left and starts to climb it. However, the rain makes the stoneworks slippery, causing her to slip off and falls prone. Elora casts Moonbeam on the ghast, as Cam orders his duplicate to move up 30 feet. Cam also moves up and takes cover behind a fence, throwing his new dagger Nimbus at the ghast. However, as he is still getting used to Nimbus, the attack does nothing and Nimbus returns to his hand.

The 4 ghouls now stand in front of Cam and his duplicate, attack both of them. They realise that the duplicate is fake and two of them attacks Cam. Fortunately, Cam's armour and the fence protects him against the attacks. Jonathan dashes forward with both his longsword and shortsword, and stabs one of the ghouls beside Cam with his two weapons, injuring it badly.

The ghast screams as it barrels through the Moonbeam, leaping over Jonathan, and claws at the prone Jiǔtóu. Although she blocks the attack with her guandao, the overbearing stench from the ghast caused her to vomit. Trellimar fires Eldritch Blasts the ghast, rupturing its chest, yet still conscious. The ghast now focuses angrily at Trellimar.

Second Round of Battle
Jiǔtóu, still poisoned, stands up and attacks the ghast with her guandao, slicing its head off. The four ghouls are now angrier by the ghast's death. Elora moves the Moonbeam to the ghoul attacking Cam.

Cam moves his duplicate behind the ghouls. He then casts Destroy Undead and raises his fist into the air as his ring glows. The glow emanates outwards, yet it is not as powerful as Cam expected it since he still does not have favour from his deity Avandra, causing him to be unlucky. For a moment, the ghouls were about the escape, but they return to focus on attacking the group.

Two of the ghouls attack Jiǔtóu, paralysing her. One of the two then bites into her neck, tearing a chunk of flesh off her and rendering her unconscious. This triggers her Hellish Rebuke as flames erupt from her neck, scorching the ghoul that bit her. Cam is also paralysed as another ghoul attacks him.

The fourth ghoul misses its attack on Jonathan. He retaliates by slicing the ghoul's head off, while injuring the ghoul attacking Cam. Trellimar fires Eldritch Blasts at the two ghouls attacking Kim, misses one yet injures the other. The two ghouls now focus on Trellimar.

Third Round of Battle
With Jiǔtóu remains unconscious, yet no longer paralysed, Elora casts Cure Wounds on her and then shape-shifts into a bear, shielding Jiǔtóu from the ghouls. Cam's duplicate moves beside him as he is no longer paralysed. His attack on the ghoul is ineffective as the fence limits his range on the ghoul.

One of the ghouls injuries Jonathan, but he maintains his rhythm in attacking the ghouls. The ghoul in the Moonbeam continues to receive damage, but it moves behind Cam and attempts to attack him. Cam dodges the attack just in time. The other two ghouls attack the bear, but one stumbles over Jiǔtóu's leg. The other strikes the bear, paralysing her.

Trellimar gestures both his hands into a shape of a gun and fires Eldritch Blasts the ghouls attacking the Bear, evaporating the head of one of the ghoul, while injuring the other. He then blows the imaginary smokes of the hand "guns".

Fourth Round of Battle
Jiǔtóu, now conscious, gets up and tries to smack the nearest ghoul in the face, but misses. She then grabs her guandao and slices it in two, killing it.

The bear, still in control with her mind, moves the Moonbeam to the only ghoul left standing just beside Cam, narrowly missing him as he screams in worry and fear. Even inside the Moonbeam, the ghoul lunges towards Cam. Yet, the Moonbeam slices the last ghoul into thin strips as it goes through the beam. Cam, in fear, peed in his pants.
End of Battle

Jonathan congratulates the adventurers while drawing back his swords. Cam tells Elora, still in bear form, to not pass moonbeam near him. The bear just grins. Jonathan then asks Jiǔtóu if she is in good shape to move on, after him seeing her falling in battle earlier. Just as Jiǔtóu was about to reply back, Cam plants his hand on her face and casts Healing Word on her.

The MausoleumEdit

Jonathan, pressed for time, hurries the group. Cam tries to get on bear, but she shakes him off.

It is not long before the group reach the site, where the funeral procession was attacked by the undead earlier in the morning. The ground is scattered with bodies of Talis'Val citizens and the undead. Upon closer examination, Trellimar notices that the remaining pieces of clothing on the undead is not of similar design to Talis'Val, not even the city's historical fashion. The clothing, some in thick furs while others in desert types, suggests that the undead came from another climate dissimilar to Talis'Val.

Amongst the varied smells, the bear picks up a scent of a magic source, a mixture of smells of sulphur and old, wet stones. She follows the smell as Jonathan follows track marks to the same direction, leading both of them to a mausoleum with its doors that seems to be smashed open from the inside. Inside the mausoleum, the sarcophagus is left open, showing a narrow flight of stairs to the underground. The group now follows Jonathan down the stairs. The bear has to shape-shift back to Elora as the bear size could not fit through the narrow passageways.

The group reach the bottom, now standing upon a long corridor with multiple alcoves by the side. The room brings memories of the elven barrow to some of the adventurers. The group walk along the corridor to another flight of stairs leading them down deeper. They enter another corridor as cold air fills the area. This time though, the corridor seems to stretch endlessly, the colours of the wall shows more signs of discolouration and blurred textures further down. The atmosphere felt familiar to Jiǔtóu, similar to how she was pulled into Arborea after her death. The others find it familiar to when they were teleported from the feywild back into the Surface.

Trellimar felt a similar feeling, but based on his experience from his patron, he knows that the corridor leads to a portal to the Shadowfell, rumoured to be the home of the demon lord Orcus. Trellimar also know that the Shadowfell, although it does not affects time, it can affect those with weaker minds, making the person more depressed the longer he or she stays on the plane.

After Trellimar shares his knowledge to the group, Jonathan is now certain that this is the source of the undead. Trellimar also guesses that the portal can only be destroyed from the inside. Jonathan is certain that even though Annabelle performs her ritual, it will have no effect on the Shadowfell. Jiǔtóu, on knowing Annabelle's secret plan, suggests moving her device into the Shadowfell. However, as Jonathan is the only one in the group that does not know of Annabelle's plan, he queries Jiǔtóu. She keeps her promise and refuses to spill the beans. Both Cam and Elora also refuses to answer, forcing Jonathan to look at Trellimar. Trellimar sighs as he is forced to play the bad guy, revealing to Jonathan that the device gives out a shockwave of radiant energy that will wipe out beings of necromancy origins. Upon hearing it, Jonathan gives a thought and believes the device could work in the Shadowfell to counter its negative energy. However, he fears that his suggestion will take too long, since they will need to send their findings to Annabelle, bring her into the plane and give her time to activate the device.

After a brief discussion, they write their findings on a note and attach it to one of Granamyr's leg. Trellimar sends Granamyr off to inform Annabelle on their findings, hoping that she will allows them time to eliminate the source. Meanwhile, the group agrees that they should settle the issue fast before the Shadowfell's effect on their mind overwhelms them. Trellimar telepathically tells Granamyr to come through the portal once he is back. The group then enter the portal to the Shadowfell. Everyone, except Elora, manages to shake off feelings of bad thoughts. Depression starts to blanket over Elora. She starts to think of home, fearing that she may not have done enough to help the other elven spires.

Demi-ShadowfellEdit

HighRollers Shadowfell Cathedral

Map of the unnamed cathedral in the Shadowfell

The group is now in a large, ruined cathedral, with a massive pile of corpses in the centre. Haunting organ music echoes throughout the room, which seems to come from the other side. At the far end, they see a thin skeletal man in tattered clothing playing the enormous organ with black metal pipes etched with images of screaming bodies. Its organ keys are not made of ivory, but of bones. Trellimar looks closely at the man and catches him shudders once in a while, hearing faint sobbing from him.

Cam, with his ears plugged with small rolled up parchment to block the sound of the eerie music, raise his voice as he suggests to go up to the man to tell him to stop playing. The man seems to hear them and stops playing momentarily, but resumes playing. Jiǔtóu tells them that they should be cautious. The group then splits into two, walking along the edges of the walls to the other side of the room.

As they get closer to the sobbing man, he urges them to kill him now. Sharing his name as Zachary, he explains that he was once a pianist from Sigil. Unaware of where this place is, he shares that he was once hired by his patron to play some music while she works on her studies. Still playing the organ, Zachary goes on to say that he worked for her for a long period of time, but as he grows old, his tune is no longer as grand as before, causing her to rage. She then reveals her works, sharing that she works for Orcus. She then kills him and imprisons his soul into a gemstone, as he points to the red ruby embedded onto the organ, dooming him to play organ pieces for eternity. He then says that the organ is the thing that powers her to use necromancy to animate the undead and that they are in a demi-plane, a sectioned off Shadowfell, yet not the actual plane itself. He also shares that it is only recently that an unknown disturbance awoken the undead, allowing them to enter into the plane Arrak is from.

Cam intends to destroy the gemstone in hopes that it will bring Zachary peace. He whips out his dagger Nimbus. However, at this point, the pile of corpses beings to animate. Upon noticing this, Cam draws back his dagger. The pile of corpses roar into existence, revealing as the Shambler.

First Round of Battle
Jiǔtóu jumps onto the organ and tries to smash the gemstone with her guandao. A small crack forms on it. Zachary encourages her to keep hitting it. Cam hides behind a pillar and casts Bless on Jiǔtóu, Trellimar and himself.

The Shambler charges towards Elora and Trellimar, hitting both of them with its arms. Trellimar hits back with his dagger and stabs at it. Elora casts Moonbeam on the Shambler, but it leaps away in time, lunging towards Jiǔtóu. As it lands, due to its huge size, it damages part of the organ as Jiǔtóu leaps off just in time. Jonathan also attacks the Shambler with limited success.

Second Round of Battle
Jiǔtóu hits the Shambler with her guandao, slicing it. Multiple bodies fall off as zombies and they start to crawl towards Elora. Jiǔtóu then lashes another strike with her guandao, ending off with multiple arm strikes.

Cam uses Spiritual Weapon by slamming his hand on the ground and pulling out a spiritual golden javelin. He hurls it at the Shambler, piercing through its body. Several more bodies fall off. Cam shouts at Jonathan and tells him to deal with the zombies while he and his companions deal with the Shambler.

Two zombies rush to Elora, which Jonathan manages to injure one of it. The two plummet on Elora, injuring her. Trellimar uses Eldritch Blasts and beams one of it at the gemstone and the other at Zachary. A large crack appears on the gemstone, while Zachary yells in relief as the blasts kills him, ending his misery. Zachary slumps backwards, but his hands detach from the body and continues to play.

The Shambler leaps over Jonathan and knocks him over. Elora moves the Moonbeam to over the Shambler and shape-shifts into a bear. Jonathan gets himself up and, listening to Cam's advice, dashes towards the zombies attacking Elora earlier. The Shambler gets an opportunity to strike Jonathan, injuring one of his legs. Jonathan holds back the pain and plunges his swords onto the two zombies.

Third Round of Battle
A few more cracks form on the gemstone as Jiǔtóu takes several strikes at it. Cam directs his javelin at the gemstone. This time, a large crack appears and the whole cathedral begins to shudder. He then throws Nimbus at the Shambler, slashing it. The Moonbeam injuries the Shambler further as another body falls off it.

The Shambler moves out of the Moonbeam and walks towards Cam, hitting him twice with decent amount of damage. One of the zombies attacks the bear. Trellimar runs towards the organ and attempts to pull the hands off, but it does not budge. His action, however, attracts the attention of the Shambler and it lunges at Trellimar, dealing a significant amount of damage and knocking him to the ground. The bear just thought of an idea and moves the Moonbeam over the hands. Jonathan kills one of the zombies.

Fourth Round of Battle
Jiǔtóu aims at the Shambler's leg and slices it, weakening its leg. With another strike and a punch, another body falls off. Cam directs the javelin to slice through the two hands. The hands now disintegrate into dust, as the cathedral shudders more violently. The gemstone also shatters. Yet, the Shambler and the zombies remain unaffected.

Cam now dashes towards the portal, shouting at his group to escape. The Shambler throw punches at Trellimar and Jiǔtóu. This knocks Trellimar unconscious, but not before he gets to casts Hellish Rebuke, engulfing the Shambler in flames and partly revealing its heart. The bear takes this opportunity and aims for its heart, tearing chunks off it which fully exposes it. She then gnaws at the heart, crushing it. The Shambler and the remaining zombies now collapse onto the ground.

Fifth Round of Battle
The cathedral continues to rumble as parts of it now starts to vanish into nothingness. The Shambler and the zombies disappear. The bear dashes towards the portal, picking up the injured Jonathan along the way.

Jiǔtóu lets Trellimar drinks a Potion of Healing, making him conscious. Using Step of the Wind, Jiǔtóu dashes towards the portal. Trellimar gets up and also dashes towards the portal. With the cathedral vanishing fast, Elora drops Jonathan at Jiǔtóu to go back for Trellimar. Cam and Jiǔtóu, with Jonathan, exit the Shadowfell.

With only parts of the floor left visible, Elora carries Trellimar and dashes towards the portal. She just got out of the Shadowfall as the nothingness engulfs the remaining sections of the floor.
End of Battle

With the group now back into the corridor, a burst of magic occurs and the portal vanishes. All that is left is just a bare wall and the corridor returns to its original colour.

Featured CharactersEdit

The AdventurersEdit

NewEdit

ReturningEdit

Notable MomentsEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Rolling Out of the Dice Tray: Despite Mark providing a dice tray for Kim and Trott due to their constant habit of rolling die off the table in the past, both of them still manage to roll their die out of the tray, much to the others' disbelief. Ironically, Katie also rolls her dice out of her tray.[1][2][3][4]
  • Very Unlucky: In rolling wisdom saving throws after Cam casts Destroy Undead, Mark rolls two 19s on the D20 dice for two ghouls, and another two more 19s for another two ghouls after he applies unlucky effects on Cam's action, effectively cancelling out Cam's attack.[5]
  • Alternative Ending: After the end of the episode, Mark shares with the rest that, should they destroy the gemstone first before going after the hands, the cathedral will start to crumble. However, the Shambler will still attack them since the hands are the one animating it.[6]
  • Errors & Mistakes: There are several errors and mistakes that happened in this episode:
    • In clarifying if Cam did trade his Javelin of Lightning in the previous episode, Mark mistakenly said that Cam still has his Javelin even though Katie points out that it was traded away.[7] This was later clarified in the next episode.[8]
    • When levelling up Jiǔtóu in the previous episode, Mark forgot to increase Jiǔtóu's HP by 5 to 28. This means that during the first battle of this episode, Jiǔtóu technically would not have fallen unconscious.[9][10]
    • Trott tells Mark that he misread the instructions for Spiritual Weapon when he used it during the second round of attacks against the Shambler. Trott can only roll two D8s, which he did if he uses 4th level spell slot. However, Cam has up to 3rd level spell slot, which means Trott's attack would not be possible, meaning that the attack should have been weaker than what was played out.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Kim's first rolling dice out of the tray, Undead Whispers - HighRollers D&D: Episode 18 at 1:06:44
  2. Kim's second rolling dice out of the tray, Undead Whispers - HighRollers D&D: Episode 18 at 2:41:27
  3. Trott rolling dice out of the tray, Undead Whispers - HighRollers D&D: Episode 18 at 2:54:33
  4. Katie rolling dice out of the tray, Undead Whispers - HighRollers D&D: Episode 18 at 2:59:00
  5. Undead Whispers - HighRollers D&D: Episode 18 at 1:11:19
  6. Undead Whispers - HighRollers D&D: Episode 18 at 3:04:52
  7. Undead Whispers - HighRollers D&D: Episode 18 at 2:17:50
  8. DON'T TOUCH THAT! - HighRollers D&D: Episode 19 at 0:22:13
  9. On revealing Jiutou's HP, Undead Whispers - HighRollers D&D: Episode 18 at 1:33:44
  10. On clarifying Jiutou's HP, Undead Whispers - HighRollers D&D: Episode 18 at 2:32:18
  11. Undead Whispers - HighRollers D&D: Episode 18 at 2:33:09

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