The tide of the battle turned for the heroes, as Callum, Jacob and Willow took out the remaining skeletons and zombies, and Magnus engaged the lizardman trying to skewer him. Blows were exchanged, but one-by-one the walking dead fell to ruin, and the wizard held his own long enough for Jacob to move in and decapitate the lizardman from behind.
Meanwhile, under the barrow, Ratkin charged after the lizardman struggling along with the paralysed Alf, and used his terrifying presence to send the lizardman fleeing for his life. The fir darrig grabbed Alf and dragged him outside into the dwindling daylight.
Surrounded by the chopped limbs, lopped heads and shattered bones of the dead, the heroes decided to use the stone building with its old laboratory as their camp, since dusk was settling over the land. They chopped branches from the trees and used them to fill the stairs to the tunnel, blocking access that way, and then took the rusty door off its broken hinges and leaned it against the doorframe to seal themselves inside. Magnus inscribed a circle of protection and they set guards and camped.
During the night Jacob heard movement down the tunnel, but nothing disturbed them further. He warned Callum as they swapped shifts. When it came to Alf’s turn, the warrior peeked outside and spotted several figures in the dark, waiting outside but not doing much else. He warned the others, but when nothing happened they went back to sleep. In the morning Willow peeked out and saw two skeletons and a zombie standing guard, within arm’s reach of the door. They got ready to attack, and Jacob pulled the door aside, stepping out to take on the undead: he took out the two skeletons with a double swing of his two-handed sword, and Alf and Willow jabbed the zombie with their spears, taking it out.
The heroes moved outside and saw no one save the scattered dead bodies stinking in the light of dawn. They decided to head down the tunnel of the barrow, and walked straight into an ambush: Alf, in front, found himself fighting a couple more skeletons, a zombie and another ghoul. Jacob moved in to help, and Magnus followed, illuminating the barrow with his mage light: he followed up with a blast of magic missiles that took out the ghoul and a skeleton, leaving the others to Jacob and Alf to finish off. With those dead, they carried on, following the winding tunnel until it opened into a larger, domed cavern with a stone table in the centre: this was surrounded by another couple of wights, a ghoul, at least two lizardmen, and a larger wight wearing a feathered helm.
The helmed wight called out as he saw Alf appear, and the light from the others: “Who are you and what do you want here?” They briefly considered just rushing in and taking them on, but Magnus wondered if they could be a potential ally, and so they start a dialogue. The wight identifies himself as The Barrow King and he is not an ally of the Raven King but does plan on raising an army of the dead to conquer the forest. He also is planning on heading to the ruined city and for a moment the heroes considered going with him, but decided maybe not. Instead they told the Barrow King that they needed to talk it out amongst themselves first, then come back and let him know; they quickly retreated back outside, and decided that actually, they should probably head back in and take them out.
They gathered themselves, readied their weapons, and prepared to head back inside…