Aeron and the Wrekin Border

Into the Barrow Downs Session #5...

... and Out of the Barrow Downs Session #6

The heroes having dispatched the stirges and werewolves, they set about patching themselves up and checking the rest of the barrow. The first burial chamber had an empty kist with some rotten and worthless grave goods, and the party was quick to move on. The chamber at the end of the long corridor had some indecipherable pictograms on the door and a strange four armed bone fetish in a niche to the side of the entrance. A short discussion and the door was quickly pulled aside.
In the chamber were two tall (six or seven feet) metal statues which were pitted and scarred from some sort of wear but showed no sign of tarnish or rust. There were also three more kists. Carefully, the Ashen Blades spread out across the chamber and examined the statues and the kist coverings. The Anti-Paladin attempted to remove one of the statues weapons, and barely perceptibly at first, both started to come to life. The Blades leapt into action, engaging the nearest statue in melee, while trying to discourage the other with missile fire. Less than a minute into the combat, the kist coverings started to move, and the fetid claws of three wights could be seen as they attempted to emerge from the kists. The Nightblade quickly imbibed a potion of undead control and induced the wights to fight the statues. While the foul undead had no effect on the statues (the animated statues had been placed explicitly to prevent the wights from arising), they provided a significant distraction for the remaining combat. After the statues had been destroyed, the wights were sent far away using the remaining duration to put as much distance as possible between the wights and the party.
The final chamber, which led off the wight burial chamber was more ornate and had a more significant burial kist. Inside the kist was a well preserved, but long dead body, and a range of expensive grave goods. Swiftly gathering up their ill-gotten gains the party retired to the empty barrow and prepared to wait out the night.
The night brought more trouble. A gang of ogres arrived down in the vale and examined the various carcasses. They then set up camp barely a hundred feet from the entrance to the Ashen Blades’ bolt hole. Making a plan the party sent out the Nightblade and Hench-thief to assassinate the ogre watch. While they both managed to get their shots off, the ogre survived the attack and awoke his brutish brethren. The rest of the party charged down the hill, casting Sleep at any target of opportunity and engaging the sleep-addled ogres in melee. The combat was short and sweet and the ogres were despatched.
The trip back to Deerbye was eventful. The caravan of horses, beastmen and adventurers attracted the attention of a solitary wyvern and a hungry cave bear. Both were despatched as quickly as possible with prayers to various gods that only one of each of the creatures actually tracked the party.
The Blades used some downtime in Deerbye to hire an expensive sage to translate some scrolls, do some research on a magic item command word and learn a new spell. They also sold off a pile of goods. Finishing up their tasks in Deerbye they then returned to Hommlet and the repaired Moathouse. The hobgoblin Legio XX Valeria Victrix is now encamped outside Hommlet and several hundred mercenaries, human and beastman, have arrived with the Castellan.
Recruitment of mercenaries for the Moathouse garrison is slow (only four crossbowmen and four infantry were available to hire). Alex Dai has outgrown his employer and the local Thieves guild and has left the Ashen Blades for Rixham. Dranet the hench-fighter has now been placed in command of the Moathouse garrison and preparations are underway for a new expedition to Pecsaete and the Elven Barrow discovered on one of the treasure maps.

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