Aeron and the Wrekin Border

Into the Barrow Downs Session #4

Shouldn't we be on our way home by now?

Having defeated the bugbear marauders, taken their treasure and recruited the survivors, the Ashen Blades recognised that some rest and recuperation would be necessary. A night was spent bedding down in the bugbear burrows, but during the night a pack of wolves arrived and started scavenging from the carcasses that had been carelessly thrown down the hill towards the pond.
With over a dozen wolves and some badly injured fighters it became apparent that a plan would be needed. The plan involved Sleep spells and targeted bow shots at the alpha male pack leader. The plan started well. The first Sleep spell affected 6 of the beasts, the shots across the dale generally found their mark and the alpha male took some arrow wounds. The morale of the pack was uncertain, until the last shot of the volley killed the alpha male and sent his bitch and the rest of the pack into a frenzy. The wolves came loping across the dale heading straight for the cave mouth when the second Sleep spell went off. The rest of the pack dropped in a slumberous heap and were quickly despatched when it became apparent that the Anti-Paladin could treat the wolves for the effect of Sleep and arrow wounds, but couldn’t train one. Some curative magic was cast, but again it seemed likely that another day’s rest would be necessary.
The day passed with little event, but again during the night, some creatures arrived in the night. The bestial, bipedal creatures were quickly identified as werewolves who, upon discovering the slaughter of the pack set up a howl to call more wolves to the dale. While the wolves were arriving the party set a fighting line and sowed the corridor with caltrops. Interestingly these caltrops magically appeared because nowhere in Wrekin sells them and no-one had arranged for their production. As the first of the wolves entered, the Nightblade prematurely released and wasted a silver arrow on an ordinary wolf. The wolves struggled crossing the caltrops and were slowly worn down by bow shot and the occasional stab when they came within range. As it became apparent that the werewolves were about to join the fray, the Spellsword cast his Stinking Cloud and all three lycanthropes failed their saves. They backed out of the caverns, but the remaining wolves were more confused. Three were finished off in combat while two were confused and badly affected by the noxious smoke. The outcome was foregone.
Applauding their own efforts the Blades set off across the dale to the barrow entrance. Time wasted detecting the presence of good identified the menhir entrance stones as “good” in some way and barely inside the barrow entrance a body, desiccated, bloodless and with several significant holes pierced in his leather armour was discovered by the hench-thief. In his backpack three scroll cases and some equipment in poor repair were discovered. The first case contained a wand of some sort, while the other two contained maps and notes written in an ancient tongue. The Blades moved a short way up the passage to a stone-marked entrance in the left wall. Listening carefully against the stone the Nightblade discovered that the stone was badly propped and it nearly fell on him. Meanwhile, the Anti-Paladin having determined that there was no more good within 20’ of the last place he detected good, threw a lit torch towards a stirge’s nest. They swarmed the Anti-Paladin and his hunting dog scoring two hits and latching on to drain blood. As the rest of the Blades turned back, three familiar bestial shapes appeared outlined in the entrance to the barrow. The werewolves had returned!
The combat was yet another where Sleep spells proved their worth. The stirges were despatched by the party, although not before the Anti-Paladin was practically drained. Two of the werewolves were dropped by Sleep spells, while the last fell to a well-placed bowshot and a backstab attack from the Nightblade, having made yet another acrobatic leap. The Blades picked themselves up and dusted themselves off, and prepared for whatever may await them further up the barrow.

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