In the village of Cresthaven, having won the annual boat race against Jarbark across the Iris River, is throwing a big autumn harvest festival known as Winter's Eve. The villagers for both villagess are in Cresthaven attening the festivities, Cresthaven has a little over 200 people, Jarbark have just under 150 people. Evelyn Marthain and Bulldog are on duty as church members. It is now night time.
Leo, a 12 year old bullied kid, is by the river alone and spots a boat with a man lying limply in it. Leo calls out and there is no response. Leo tries the sling and there is no response. Leo approaches the boat and sees the man has had his throat ripped out. Leo runs off and gets Evelyn. Evelyn covers the body in canvas and carries him into the village. Evelyn the briefs Bulldog then calls over Undertaker Chase to take care of the body and see if he knows what animal caused the damage. The Undertaker goes off to collect supplies from his home.
Evelyn then updates Sheriff Ulrich and Mayor Basil and keeps the party goers happy with a song. The undertaker comes back and takes bare of the body. Evelyn & Leo takes the Mayor and Sheriff to the boat at south of the Riverbed tavern. The Major asks for Bulldog to get Ron and Leslie Knope, and asked Leo to get his parents.
Everyone gathers up at the Sheriff's Office. The Undertaker reports the wounds looks like a human bite mark, and suspects murder. The Mayor then talks with Ron, Leslie and Leo's parents since the boat was found near their houses, they all deny involvement.
The Mayor asks Evelyn, Leo, Leslie and Ron to head upriver and investigate. Leo wants to comes along too, but his parents object. The Mayor convinces the parents this could be good for Leo. The Mayor and the others in village see if they can identify the body while the others gets supplies, including borrowing 2 lanterns.
The party head up river on the rowboat with Ron and Leslie rowing in the night. After time time Ron spots 2 people, a man and a woman. hunched over over 3 dead bodies. The boat pulls up, thinking their are murders, Evelyn charged and grapples the man and Leslie grapples the woman. Both of the people somehow break the grips with superhuman strength. Evelyn detects an evil aura from the pair. They are zombies.
The party fight with the two zombies and take them down, finding they have more strength and health than a normal person. They inspect the dead people, a woman and 2 children. Evelyn give them a burial under a pile of rocks.
The party continue further up the Iris River in the rowboat.
At dawn they arrives at the next village, Ashwald. It is the largest Village along the Iris River area with 500-600 people. But when they arrive there is no sign of life in the town, no smoke from he chimneys. 100 yards from the village they pull the boat onto the shore. Leslie and Leo sneak into the village quietly to recon. There is no sign of anyone on the streets. Leo hears noise from the nearby barn. Leslie looks down from the Hayloft window and just sees 2 horses and a couple of pigs. It looks like the animals have no food and there have very little water left, the horses look skinny.
Leslie and Leo head deeper into town and see 4 zombies looking town a well. Leo throws a rock at a nearby window and the zombies lurch off the direction of the sound. Leslie and Leo sneak to the well and see a small boy, Little Jimmy, hiding inside. The get the Little Jimmy out before the zombies turn around. Everyone flees out of town from the slow zombies. four more zombies join the chase.
The party all meet up at the rowboat they all rush inside and row off. They start questioning the Little Jimmy. He says a couple days ago a couple zombies came into town and started biting people. The town fought them off, but the dead bitten rose the next day as more zombies. The party panic, knowing the dead man they found int he boat was bitten. They row fast back to Cresthaven down the Iris River.
3 hours later downstream they arrives back in Cresthaven and everything looks normal. There is a group of villagers on the decks waiting for the party, including Leo's parents. By the time the boat docks there are 30 villagers. Evelyn rushes to the the Sherif and Mayor and ask where Undertaker Chase is. The Mayor Basil wants more details, but Evelyn expresses the urgency so they rush off to find Chase.
The party, except Leo and Little Jimmy who stay behind with Leo's Parents, find Chase digging a grave, he looks unharmed. The body is stored in Chase's house. The party express that the dead body could turn into a zombie soon and they have to take care of it.
The body looks inanimate when they check it, Evelyn detects no evil. The whole town gathers outside. The party tie up the body and carry it to the jail to witness how the transformation takes place. At the jail the dead man is shackled to a post.