The episode began as the players, along with Donal the leprechaun, touched down when Donal’s Tenser’s Floating Disk spell fizzled. They had successfully escaped the wolves from the end of the last encounter, but their mad-cap flight left them disoriented. Without any real means of navigation, Devin finally used his knowledge of burrow-speak to talk with a mole who told him about some digging to the south in exchange for some tasty worms. The players arrived at a grave-digger’s cabin just before dusk, finding the cabin ransacked and the attendant slain. Careful investigation led to the discovery that the cabin had been tossed after a ranger, who had suffered similar wounds to both the grave-digger and the horseman who collapsed in Breekforge. Donal was adamant that the man was not killed by wolves, but something else. Back tracking the clues, the characters found a giant barrow-mound and dug their way inside.
Within, all of the bodies had been decapitated and half of them plundered. A cruel mist began to materialize around the players, taking on the gaseous shape of an undead Donal dubbed a “marrow-wight”. The creature attacked the party, each swipe of its misty hand drawing moisture from their very bones and making it increasingly solid. Devin channeled the power of Lugh to turn the abomination and Alann killed the foul vight. Moving deeper into the tomb, they found the niche where the woodsman was buried, but no body. Donal wondered about the lack of a guardian.
The characters heard a noise and moved further into the ruin. They found a giant wolfhound, almost 6 feet at the shoulders, bound by a steel collar and a magic circle. The dog was apparently the guardian of a set of entombed snake skeletons, identified by Alann as the remains of the druids who died a thousand years ago to kill the rats that brought the Black Death to the land. The party was ambushed by a robed figure who bore a staff and wore a medallion of a rat-creature he referred to as Kirgi. He bragged about finding a ranger camp where the woodsmen had captured some strangers and using some sort of toxin to kill two of them. A battle was joined, and the party attempted to free the tomb guardian, known as Gaoga.
Polito summoned up a pair of marrow wights who continued to draw on the heroes’ vim and vigor to gain a solid form. Donal was able to free Gaoga, and he managed the help the heroes defeat the wights and Polito, even though the dog died from his wounds.The figure’s last words were, “Die as a man, rise as a beast!” Gaoga bit Alann’s sword as he departed the mortal coil, and the blade became the enspelled sword known as the Gaogabrand, the Hound’s Tooth. A burst of dark light from the fallen amulet animated the bones of the mice and rats in the tomb, and these small skeletons swarmed over Polito’s body, eating it and growing marrow, meat, sinew, and hair—a swarm of living rats fled the tomb, led by a giant wharf rat who carried the Kirgi-amulet with him.
The heroes garnered enough XP to advance to level 2.
The following plot points, in addition to the ones from session 1, lie unresolved:
1. What, or who, is Kirgi? 2. What happened to the woodsman buried in the tomb? 3. What about the body buried in Breekforge yesterday? 4. Why do none of the bodies in the barrow have heads? 5. Why did Polito make the poison that killed the two rangers? 6. What about the travelers Polito mentioned?
Join us next time for episode 3, Ranger Rick’Rolled, or Disease are the Days of our Life…..