The Barrows: Part 1

The heroes travel to the ring of stones known as the Blood Sisters and come across several dead fir darrig, a few days old and ravaged by some wild animal. They find bear prints but nothing else. So they spend time chanting away to activate the portal and use the teleporting ring to travel to the linked stones all the way South near the Inn of the Dancing Donkey. There they chat to the innkeeper and learn that the Lord Inquisitor has sailed off to the Empire mainland to raise an army, and that goblins have been sighted reinforcing the ruins at Ravenscar.

After a night’s rest they head off to nearby Appleby, purchase rations and arrows, pay a visit to Bartholomew and learn that the two surviving mummies they freed (awakened) have gone to the capital, and that the Lord has set sail to bring back army. His Lady remains at Landfall, the capital on the coast (several days travel away) and that she also has the Raven statuette that they left with the Wordsmith-priest. They think that’s an excellent idea and leave the other statuettes with him, so that he can take them personally to the Lady where they’ll be perfectly safe.

They then head back to the stones and use them to travel to Six Spears and from there head North to the Barrows, where they expect to find the feathered helm, whatever that is.

It is mid-afternoon by the time they reach the clearing, where ten barrows sit amongst the tall grass, in two rows. They notice also that there is a campsite by one of the barrows, and an old stone building jutting out of another. Willow uses their recently ‘stolen’ Cloak of the Raven to turn into a bird and scout the area: he discovers that the three people roasting rabbits at the camp are actually three lizardmen, armed with spears and shields. They seem content to roast their dinner. He also sees marks in the grass where large and heavy objects had been moved about.

The heroes cautiously and stealthily sneak into one of the barrows, finding it empty but with a tunnel leading down and under. They follow it but stop when they see it is guarded by a skeleton and a zombie. They backtrack and try another, the one adjacent to the stone building. They find a side-tunnel that leads into the building itself, another empty barrow, and a further tunnel disappearing below: this too is guarded by a skeleton and a zombie. They leave them behind and climb up into the ancient stone hut, finding it overgrown with weeds, leaves and mushrooms. A rusty iron door (ajar) leads outside, and another is rusted shut and jammed. Jacob kicks it open, making a rather loud noise, and reveals an old laboratory and workshop that hasn’t been used in decades, maybe longer. The equipment looks intact, but before they can investigate further, the noise attracts attention.

From below the guards climb up the stairs: the skeleton first, the zombie close behind. Meanwhile, outside, two lizardmen come to investigate, demanding to know who is inside. The skeleton attacks Willow, and as he does so, Alf rushes outside and yells for help, telling the lizardmen that they’re under attack. They demand to know who he is and what he is doing, and order him to drop his weapon.

Inside, Willow, Ratkin and Callum manage to take out the skeleton, although Willow gets struck in return. Then the zombie shambles up and attacks, too clumsy and slow to land a hit. However, when Ratkin tries to shoot it, Willow gets in the way and takes an arrow in the back instead.

Outside, Alf runs back inside and Magnus steps up, casting a sleep spell that drops two lizardmen; a third appears around the corner and quickly retreats as he sees his friends fall.

Deciding that getting trapped inside is not their best option, the heroes retreat, leaving the zombie and sleeping lizardmen behind, and vanish into the surrounding forest.

End of Session

Note: Callum and Jacob finally went up a level whilst in Appleby.