In the morning, the party wakes to the sounds of Dylan loudly praying to Pelor. Once he finishes his prayer, the house falls silent. Too silent. The party quickly realizes that they are distinctly not hearing the sounds of a large manor being readied for the day; no servants bustling around, no sounds of pots and pans being used to prepare the morning meal. The house is as quiet as a tomb. One by one they check all of the second floor bedchambers, only to find vacant beds with their covers thrown aside carelessly and chamber doors standing ajar.
Making their way downstairs, the truth becomes apparent. The large oak entry door stands open in its frame, there is no sign of a single other living soul, the house is deserted. “Did the peddler return in the night and take those to whom he sold the pendants?”, they wonder. They check for signs of a struggle, but find none. It seems that everyone simply got out of bed and walked away in the dead of night.
Rounding out their search of the manor, they discover, down a hallway off of the kitchen, a single door still firmly shut. The cook’s quarters. Without a word, Dolvira kicks the door open into the room. A figure moves in the bed, sitting up and turning to look wordlessly at the group of people who have just appeared in the doorway. The party addresses the cook but receives no reply, only a blank stare. The cook swings his legs over the side of the bed and begins to stand. At that moment both Erimil and Dylan notice the absence of life in the old cook’s eyes. With no hesitation, Dylan steps into the room, clutches his holy symbol tightly and raises his other hand to the sky, “BY PELORS LIGHT, BEGONE UNDEAD!” The cooks reanimated body recoils immediately, it’s face twisting with horror. It immediately flees to the opposite corner of the room, cowering and trembling. Hektor leaps into action; charging toward the zombie, he swings his greatsword mightily, connecting with the zombies neck and separating its head from its shoulders.
The old cook’s body crumples to the ground and lies motionless. The party checks the body for any indication of what caused him to turn undead. They found no signs of injury, but they notice a circular area of blackened skin, with small tendrils radiating outward, which appears to match the size and shape of the pendant. The pendant is missing from the leather cord, which still hangs empty around the old cook’s neck.