When last we left our adventurers, the party was trying to determine the exact location of the ogre in the adjacent room, attempting to spot him in the darkness through an open door. They hadn’t been pursued out of the room they’d briefly entered when they first encountered him.
Not being sure if he was lurking just out of sight on either side of the door, or if he was in a further corner of the large chamber somewhere else, Eluxen the elf lit and hurled a torch into the room, aiming for a stack of furs and rags that appeared to be bedding that the ogre was using. This was done in an attempt to enrage and draw out the ogre. Because of the angle and distance, a side-arm throw was attempted, which failed badly as the torch bounced back into their room with a few sparks spraying into the other one. On a second try though, the torch landed directly on the bedding nearly forty feet distant, somewhat igniting it. The ogre made an angry series of noises but didn’t reveal its position, whereupon the elf charged into the center of the room, narrowly avoiding the ogre’s halberd attack from where it had been lurking. There was some silliness as the elf ran around the room and pillars therein, avoiding yet another attack, and then rejoining the party which had now entered. At this point combat engaged, but with a moment to catch his breath and out of the front row of attack, he cast a sleep spell on the ogre. Unceremoniously slitting the sleeping hulk’s throat, the party began searching the room.
They found a secret passage with some stairs leading up to a previously discovered and searched room, a small amount of gold and silver coins in a chest by the bedding, and that their thrown torch had partially burned and destroyed what was in all likelihood a magic elven cloak of some sort (somewhat upsetting Eluxen!).
After this, some future meals of the ogre were discovered in a nearby chamber in the form of a few humans and a gnome, all of whom promised reward upon their safe return to town. So this return was made, and the party was then rejoined by the freshly healed and ready for action Ipsil, the thief.
Trading some men at arms for fresh ones, they journeyed to the dungeon, choosing again the stairs to the chamber and passageway where they’d previously encountered zombies, and unsurprisingly found them there still. Mog the cleric tried again and miserably failed to turn them, and at this point they were surrounded by a dozen of the festering creatures and a melee proceeded.
The zombies rolled well and it was a grim outcome - the first to die was a replacement man-at-arms named Murdock, who was pulled completely in two and disemboweled by the undead. This made quite an impression on the others, but they continued to fight on, the largest and most steadfast among them being the next to fall, followed by Ipsil the thief once again. I was feeling bad for the fellow, having grown slightly attached to him.
The party made a run for the stairs up, but stopped there and continued the fight in the hopes of retrieving the bodies and perhaps resuscitating their fallen comrades. This proved a bad idea, as the time spent in lingering in the stairwell and switching to missile weapons allowed another zombie to catch Narmain the fighter and nearly kill him in one swipe. Eluxen insinuated himself between the two in order to save him, and was himself then struck down. At this point, only Narmain the fighter (on the edge of death), one of the three men-at-arms, and the two mysterious strangers Qubert and Torgu were left alive. The latter two were the first to bolt (just before Eluxen fell). Once the elf had been killed, Narmain and the militia man decided they’d had enough too, and that because of the chance of dying while trying to retrieve and revive Eluxen, it would be more honorable to return to town to tell the castellan and village elders of the deaths of their mates and what they’d encountered.
About two and a half hours into playing when this all happened, nearly a TPK. So it goes, though fortunately Nick was very good natured and philosophical about the whole thing. In retrospect, he probably should have run away and developed a different plan of attack, as was done the first time that the cleric failed to turn them, but he might have just been frustrated or perhaps bolstered by the presence of Qubert and Torgu.