City of Bone: Having arrived in the Southern most city of Arabia, __. The heroes set off on an over-land journey to the ancient city of _. Barak has been very closed lipped and evasive about the city, but also very persuasive that it will be worth the journey when they get their payout. So they set off with the caravan that includes elephants, exotic foods, a small library of books, and a whole entourage of entertainers and helpers.
A very brief piece of this journey is through the desert but the caravan quickly reaches the jungles of the Southlands and spends a week or two trudging though the heat and insects. In their travels a few things surfaced about Barak: he is fairly well known to merchants, his face appears to be severely scarred which he claims came about from a childhood illness, and he has a crush on the Dark Elf (DE) even spending a large amount of money on jewelry and gifts for her. Other than that there were only two notable encounters along the way.
First the heroes were ambushed by a group of Yuan-ti, snake men. These were essentially chaos beast men to the Empire folks but instead of being a dog, goat, or cow mix they were snake and reptile abominations. Needless to say, Aaron had a great time fighting them. During this encounter Kozar nearly destroyed them with his swords power when he rolled a critical failure on his rolls. The sword effectively sucked the winds of magic out of the air and prevented any magic user from casting. Then it spat the energy out in shock waves that helped finish off several of the yuan-ti. Barak did not participate in this battle either but the heroes did hear him chanting within his howdah atop the lead elephant. The battle was won without much damage, but Barak was still furious that he had lost some precious cargo.
Second, the caravan was stopped when a giant blocked the path and demanded that they answer a riddle to prove their good intentions. This they did not do and were forced to fight the giant, who turned out to be dead and disguised with a clever illusion. The giant proved to be an easy victory for the heroes, but it was their first exposure to what was to come.
When they arrived close to the city, Barak dismounted and ordered that the caravan remain behind until he could meet with the rulers himself. He invited the heroes to accompany him on this journey and ensured them that the King and Queen would send for the good shortly. This was when the heroes got a true glimpse of what they had gotten themselves into. As the approached the city they noticed workers in the fields sluggishly baking bricks, repairing the road, clearing jungle, and reconstructing the city walls and buildings. It took a minute, but they soon realized that the workers were all zombies. Of course this prompted some tense questions with Barak, but they agreed to meet with the King and Queen to better gauge the situation. This proved to be quit interesting as well.
They quickly marched through the city and came to the Jade Palace where Kaserabet (the Queen) and Sumulael (the King) held court with an entire entourage of undead servants. They were actually greeted by Shalmaneser, the Queen’s highest advisor, and shown to areas where they could bath and refresh themselves. They were provided with rooms, clothing, and all sorts of luxury. They did not meet the rulers until later that night at dinner. Kaserabet was the first to arrive and she quickly initialed the ritual of Salt Bond, which basically ensures that nothing harmful will befall the guests as long as they give the same respect to the host. She was an excellent host and although aged a little, very attractive and amiable. They casually dinned with her exchanging pleasantries and speaking about here work as Queen and studies as a mage until her husband arrived. Sumulael entered seated on a thrown carried by four enormous zombies and flanked by , a yauan-ti diplomat sent by her people somewhere in the north. Sumulael was an incredibly large man and also very foul in his words and manners. He ate like a slob and almost blatantly threatened the characters the whole time. He was also very lewd with the DE and __.
But the most shocking discovery came as dinner was served by a zombie that the heroes recognized, one of the porters from the caravan! Sumulael enjoyed this thoroughly and it was all the heroes could do to not attack them all immediately. But, their equipment had been left in their rooms and they were outnumbered. The rest of the meal passed with only Sumulael chatting with about all sorts of experiments he had planned for the rest of the caravan.
(I think I have to read the rest of the module again to see how everything played out.)