During a prequel to the main campaign, Melanth and Alva are attached to a scouting unit of the Red Scale mercenary company. Sent to locate the origin of Undead raids in the area, they sweep ahead of the main column, searching for traces of the foe.
Beginning by looking for traces of their enemies, they detect concentrations of Blight energy and movement in a strand of nearby trees. Approaching to investigate, they move quietly into the forest and scan their surroundings with eye and ear, weapons at the ready. They make use of some surrounding pants to form crude camouflage, they stalk forward to investigate the source of a crashing noise in the undergrowth. Through the undergrowth they spot a large, undead treant accompanied by a pair of undead wolves.
Opting to sidestep the patrol and search in deeper, Alva is overcome with a sense of unease and becomes increasingly nervy as the concentrations of blight increase. Though their blight protection continues to function normally, Lorn becomes increasingly weak and erratic, showing signs of panic and disorientation. To keep him focussed, they elect to send him off ahead to sweet their path for potential ambushes. They crawl forward behind, stopping at a treeline opening out into a large tangle of blighted briars. They are momentarily startled when Pernunculus crashes into a nearby tree; the bird had been observing them.
Conversing with the bird, they try to convince it to scout their forward area. After some diatribe, he explains to them what he saw; a glowing crystal charged with blight energy, beneath a briar dome. Wary of his past experience with Blight Gates, Melanth orders him to call for reinforcements.
As he does so, Lorn detects something in the undergrowth and barks an alarm. A pack of undead wolves emerge from beneath the dome, but fail to detect the crouched squad as they are camouflaged and have the wind on their side. They notice blighted symbols carved into the wolves’ putrefying flesh, and Melanth recalls from his military time that the symbol corresponds to stealth and skirmishing oriented Aegis. (TG)
They hatch a plan: use Pern’s ability to translate his master’s spells to burn the briar dome that is shielding the artefact and flush out the enemy. The burning attempt doesn’t go as planned; instead of setting the entire dome ablaze they only manage to scorch out a small patch. However they judge it will serve as a distraction and make their break in through the front door.
They find a strange necromancer smoking some kind of plant matter, obviously inebriated. Though he fails to notice Mel or Alva, he does spot Lorn and tries to coax the wolf over to him. Not liking the situation, Alva decides to attack. Melanth agrees.
The initial round opens with Alva hitting him with two arrows and Melanth lodging a throwing axe in his gut. The strange voodoo necromancer is injured, but responds by summoning two undead wolves and two Blighted Earth elementals. Alva fires again, but one of his wolves leaps up and takes the hits, falling to the ground dead. Lorn and the other wolf engage and bite at each other, whilst Melanth steps forwards and cleaves at the necromancer with his greatsword. One of the elementals manages to engulf Melanth in its putrid mass despite his attempts to leap out of the way. Another elemental also tries to body-slam him, but misses. The necromancer takes advantage of the chaos to transform into a boar.
Alva takes her shots against the newly transformed boar, and hits with one hitting the animal with deadly precision. Lorn joins the melee and succeeds in dragging one of the blight elementals off of Melanth, who then manages to escape its clammy grasp and spits fire over the two creatures, burning them to ash. The boar-necromancer then charges at Alva and gores her badly with its tusks.
Alva in retaliation draws her dirk and stabs at him, puncturing its bristly hide and inflicting some nasty puncture wounds. Lorn joins in the attack but doesn’t manage to hit the enraged animal. Melanth takes a swing at the necromancer-boar with his greatsword, but the remaining wolf intercepts the full force of the blow and is sliced to pieces.
The necromancer tries to attack Alva once again, but misses her. Alva takes point blanc shots at it, striking it in the chest and killing it. With its final gesture, the boar transforms back into the Necromancer and casts a spell to shield the blighted crystal.
As their mission is complete they fall back rapidly towards their camp and make their report on the incident. Returning later with a full complement of Redscale guild members and support, they raze the site to the ground.