My players decided they wanted to generate new characters (Lili, a Fighter, Rudolfo a Magic-User, and an unnamed Thief) and have another go at the Gatehouse outside the Village of Hommlet.
Fernac, a “long-stay guest” at the Inn, made anxious by the disappearance of his friend Rahm, decided to round-up a group of fresh faces (the PCs) to go out to the Gatehouse and look for him. “I figure he stumbled on a great pile of loot and slipped away to greener pastures . . . but just in case . . .”
Outside the Gatehouse, one of their number, Rudolfo the Magic-User was surprised and swallowed by a giant frog. So they went back to Hommlet and recruited Fizziwig, a PC cleric, and Zert, an NPC fighter.
After entering the Gatehouse, they decided to thoroughly explore the upper rooms before entering the dungeon level. In one of these rooms they encountered a lone archer, poised at an arrow slit; when the party entered the room, the archer turned and, and after dropping his unstrung bow and started clubbing them with his half-rotten limbs. This was Dexter, returned to life in undead form. After dispatching Dexter and about a dozen other zombies (the former brigand residents of the gatehouse), the party camped out in the former kitchen of the old fortress. When they were surprised by a giant rat, things got awkward—Zert was accidentally injured by another party member and returned the attack in earnest. The others intervened and Zert backed-off, still accusing the others of being robbers or killers.
Zert’s bad mood persisted as they reached the lower level. He refused to accept one of the black cloaks they found a supply room. And when the PCs discovered the prisoners—Ausric, Chiara, Aurelia, and Mapper (plus Rahm in zombie form)-- Zert quietly slipped out another door. The party didn’t give much thought to this, instead racking their brains over how to unlock the prisoners’ cells. Within a few minutes, Zert returned with a guard and the pair attacked the party. While not an easy fight, the party triumphed, found a set of keys on the guards belt, and released the prisoners (minus Rahm). They carried the guards body with them as they fled the Gatehouse, and once outside stripped him of his plate mail. Back in Hommlet, Fernac thanked them for their help and rewarded each of them with a small gem.