City of Gath in the middle of the no-man's land of the Southern Freeholds. For a variety of reasons, they were incarcerated: Joe had been involved in a brawl. McFee was caught in a police sweep and held, forgotten in the cells. Sir Aerik was there as a result of a "mild" family disagreement. Father Ashley for public drunkenness. Edwin for insubordination and desertion. Keldon for theft and Rick for brawling. Nostro was thrown in for conspiracy.
The PCs had spent a number of months, most of the summer, in the cell. As fall came, the tenor of the jail changed. The hard cases (murderers, rapist, etc.) were all taken out, hung and their bodies burned.
The one friendly guard to them told them that the rules had changed, since the Kings of the Iron Crown had come. They were taken to the Hall of Justice and given a less-than-5-minute trial, all resulting in a sentence of death, to be carried out immediately.
The PCs were loaded onto a wagon and taken out of the city, to a desolate hill with a hangman's gibbet and an unlit pyre. The sergeant unloaded them from the cart and announced that they had been charged and found guilty and the City of Gath had every right to hang them on that gibbet right now.
They were given a chance, however. If they continued the fight against the Kings of the Iron Crown and their necromancer's allies during the winter (and managed to survive), then they would receive a full pardon. As expected, the PCs decided to take that chance.
Their friendly guard reloaded them onto the wagon (still in chains) and took them farther out, where a donkey and cart, loaded with what little supplies the City could spare, as well as the PCs own equipment, awaited them.
The guard expressed that they will be hung if found as bandits or if they attempt to flee the area (the rest of the Southern Freeholds had their descriptions). If spring comes and they're alive and fighting on the right side, then they'll be free. He left them there and went back to Gath.
The PCs decided to head out immediately and find shelter. The snows hadn't come in yet but were expected soon. They were attacked by zombie dogs and the fight was deadly - Father Ashley used his holy power to destroy many of them and the rest of the PCs took care of the rest.
Sir Aerik knew of a farm nearby and they went there. The farm turned out to be occupied by troops from one of the Kings of the Iron Crown, a group called Malarkey's Crew (they knew that Malarkey had been killed a few months before, but had no idea who was running the band).
A quick fight later - with Joe fighting four bandits at once, Nostro cleaning up with his magic, McFee tripping and pinning a bandit to the ground with his twin swords, and Edwin shooting a fleeing bandit in the back - they took the farm. The bandits had some good equipment, as well as horses, longswords and longbows. There was food still in the fields and they spent some time collecting that as well. The next week, they spotted an undead force heading towards the farm.
A cloaked figure on an undead skeleton horse lead a group of zombies and a gigantic spider against the farm. The initial volley of missile fire scored some minor hits on the spider but Sir Aerik succeeded in slaying the monster with an excellent bow shot. The PCs then retreated into the defensible house, closing the shutters and laying in wait for the zombie hordes. The enemy fired the barn and the outbuildings, as well as the remaining unpicked fields and the zombies attacked. The melee was over fairly quick but when the PCs emerged from the house to put out the barn and save the horses, the mysterious rider and the corpse of the gigantic spider were gone!
The session ended with a fire fighting action and the horses were saved as well as most of the grain they had harvested.
Next session: The Smugglers' Cave!
Gamma Red Death World
4 years ago