Delving into the Bandit Barrow, cont. 3

During their latest foray into the ominous barrow mound, the party faced off against its lingering inhabitants. Tragically, the hired help met their untimely demise in the mound’s depths, raising fears that they may rise from death. The undead within the mound appeared driven by a strong desire to return to life, with several mentions of a “Master” hinting at the ability to possibly restore their flesh. The party also encountered an undead treant in a cavern connected to the barrow, though the relationship between the undead treant, the statue, and the barrow’s other undead remains unclear.

A new guardian—a stone statue—animated when glass eyes were placed in its sockets, now stands sentry at the main entrance. Ironically, the party barricaded a potential alternate entrance/exit with stone and dirt to secure the site from a carcass crawler, also blocking their own return without confronting the statue or digging back into the mound. The party planned to perform final rites for their fallen comrades, but they were driven out by the stone statue before completing them.

In a heroic act, the party rescued six traveling merchants trapped inside the mound. Their bravery was duly recognized. The expedition also yielded significant treasures, including gems, bronze bowls, tobacco, assorted plates, and silverware.

Rescued merchants recounted overhearing a younger figure, known as ‘the Master‘, discussing the use of crushed dragonroot from a ruined inn. This root, believed to contain ancient energy, was integral to the Master’s experiments. However, one such experiment ended in grotesque failure. Instead of achieving the desired effect, it caused a captain’s ribcage to burst open, releasing a vile yellow mold.

The captor also confided in the merchants a deep-seated fear of the Fleshed Ones and Bones growing increasingly suspicious of him. This fear compelled him to maintain a facade of control and power. The captor feared that he might soon become a victim of his own dark magic, ensnared by the very forces he sought to manipulate. This irony was not lost on him, and his admissions painted a picture of a man trapped in a web of his own making, struggling to maintain a fragile deception in the face of growing danger.

Significant Findings and Lore

  1. Thorlok discovered that he possesses the Delwarfang, a bronze longsword historically wielded by a former army captain from the Duchy of Arik.
  2. Stray and Fern learned more about their navigational items: the beacon bracers and the wayfinder ledger amulet. The Beacon Bracers and Wayfinder Ledger are tools used by the Wayfarers of St. Iseryn, aiding in navigation and retracing steps in complex environments.
  3. Father Alfrick uncovered a necromantic curse on the barrow, likely causing the dead’s animation. He also learned that the Deadfens, once a verdant forest, turned into a land of death following a century-old battle between the Duchy and the Empire.
  4. Contracted from Deadfen Rats, the Barrow Plague causes a loss of Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution over several days. The antidote involves grinding purple quartz and soot snail shells into a fine dust, mixing it with an unspecified liquid, boiling, and recondensing into a curing substance. It is unknown if barrow plague is contagious.

Ten days have passed since these events. It is now noon on Knight’s Day, the 14th of the Hierophant. Despite it being summertime, the Scrublands are cold and wet, with a temperature around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a persistent drizzle.

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