Last Saturday, February 6, Nerdstrong Gym hosted our first Chapter in our new Campaign, Night of the Zombie King, a 5-week combination roleplaying game story and workout. We had an absolute blast. The story of that chapter is below.
Night of the Zombie King
Chapter 1 - Attack at the Inn
Your adventuring guild had been hiring themselves out as caravan guards these past five years since the end of the Great Gnoll Wars. You all spent three months on the road, guarding a huge caravan of dignitaries from the Free City of Greyhawk as they surveyed the local countryside. It was an exhausting mission, not because of danger, or bandits, or monsters - there were none. It was just three months of sheer boredom. You had never been so glad to finish a job and get on home to the small hamlet of Dunhearst.
Your first day home was spent entirely in your beds, catching up on sleep. When you finally awoke, you were famished. You headed to the local inn, where you found almost all of your fellow caravan guards had the same idea. You’ve known each other for years, and traded all of your stories from your mercenary adventures, the wars you’ve fought, and especially your love for a local war hero, the battle-wizard Dan Jenkins, under whom many of you had served in battle, but who died during the Great Gnoll War a five years ago.
Having heard all of your stories a hundred times, you sat mostly in silence, enjoying the evening comforts of the inn, alongside a handful of farmers and merchants, appreciating the return to your normal life.
Suddenly, the front door banged open. A boy stood in the doorway, frantic, wide-eyed.
He cried, “The dead have ris-“
Before he could finish his sentence, a rusty sword plunged through his chest and he fell to the ground, dead. Standing behind him, in a dented chest plate and mouldering robes, was the shriveled but familiar face of your beloved, dead commander, Dan Jenkins!
“Dan!” Kevin cried out. "What have you done?"
With a gravelly voice like knives raking across glass, Dan whispered, “There is no Dan Jenkins. There is only Azerak, the Zombie King. And this town is mine!”
With that, Azerak/Dan raised his arms, and a flood of zombies and other foul creatures rushed past him into the tavern, slavering black ichor, dead eyes filled with bloodlust! The creatures swarmed the tavern, converging on the villagers, raking and tearing with claws and teeth.
You leapt into action, drawing the stout clubs from your hips (the only weapon you are allowed to carry in town). At once you were a party of well trained soldiers - your bodies knew their warlike jobs and your hearts knew their duty: with only your wits, and your stout clubs, you fought to save the villagers in the tavern from the Zombie King and his Minions.
For nearly half an hour you fought, cutting down Skeletons (Seal Jacks), Zombies (Air Squats), Wights (Steel Club to Guard), Mummies (Push-Ups), Shadows (Steel Club Spellcasters), and Ghosts (planks). As you were able, you rescued villagers, carrying them (30-70lb gym implements) out the inn’s back door, where they could escape into the forest.
While the party fought their undead, the first party member deposited her last villager behind the inn. (At 9AM, this was Pooja, followed quickly by Brian, at 10AM, it was George.) As the old woman hobbled toward the forest, a voice like steel on stones screeched behind her. She turned to face what had become of her old commander.
The Zombie King rasped, “You were ever the strong one. It is too bad your companions are still occupied - this night you must die alone!”
He waved his hand over his head, and a pale green glow surrounded his body. He drew his rusty sword, and as he waved it across his broken body, it burst into flame. You gripped your club, and rushed to defeat him, dodging his swings and striking when she was able, many of her blows glancing off his glowing magical armor.
She gritted her teeth in determination and resigned herself to battle, hoping her companions would join her soon - she knew she would not be able to defeat him alone!
For the remaining time, you battled the Zombie King. As each of the party members vanquished her undead and saved her last villager, they joined in. (To battle the Zombie King, as a group you had to perform hundreds of burpees - the number was determined by the size of the class.)
In the end, a chorus of moaning and screeching came from the direction of the town, and the Zombie King laughed a piercing laugh. “The rest of my children emerge from their slumber!”
On the road from town you saw a wave of undead surging toward the inn. Looking at each other, you realized you could not win this battle unprepared - you must flee so you could regroup and face this threat at full strength. Grabbing up your clubs, and the last straggling villagers, you fled into the forest (230m run with clubs and, for some, 30-70lb implements).
You fled into the forest, agreeing to re-group at an old guard post abandoned since the Gnoll Wars. You saved many villagers, but hundreds were left behind - you cannot leave them all, or your old friend Dan Jenkins’ soul, to whatever fate this Azerak the Zombie King has planned!
Join us this Saturday (February 13) at 9 and 10AM for NOTZK Chapter 2: The Mausoleum.
~ Coach David