A continuation of the tale a Wednesday prior commenced at Pawn & Pint.
The party, happy with the results of freeing people likely destined to feed a bloodthirsty bowl, took stock of their situation and decided to remain in the area for the night.
The prisoners that survived the lightning blasts accepted the general kit of mundane gear the Senzar had and most of them departed quickly. A few decided to stay for a short while and fill the party in on what they knew.
Some of the prisoners were captured in Esland when the Senzar first came ashore. Others were captured in Ipith or in Cothel as this group of Senzar moved further inland. The prisoners who did well and worked hard survived, those that did not, ended up having their blood drained into the bowl and were replaced with new potential victims.
This group of Senzar, who appeared to not be aligned directly with the main Senzar forces, believed they had a better way of locating whatever it is that the Senzar were looking for. Instead of taking prisoners to dig in the mountains, they were making use of the bowl, sacrificed people, and a bone to take readings on the direction of their target. While the party asked what it was the Senzar sought, the prisoners were never certain of that information, they only picked bits and pieces they heard over the weeks of travel.
The flying lizard thing they killed had on occasion been referred to as an Asi. It was one of four such creatures. The Asi were being used to fly around and make detailed maps of the terrain and the mountains. The dead one, and two of the others, seemed to be the property of another of another Asi.
The last oddity the prisoners mentioned was that initially, recent readings from the bone pointed to the barrow a little distance away. The Senzar had to sacrifice three additional prisoners to the bowl before the bone pointed in the expected direction. Normally, they would only kill two people to take a reading.
Howl, wanting to investigate the barrow and was curious of the bowl. Because several people were hurt, he set up his magical hut a mile or so to the north of the site where the Senzar had taken the reading. Joined by Elrik, the party huddled together for the casting, then Wilby and Elrik took up positions outside the hut (Unferth and Rowan had gone off hunting for food).
Quai attuned himself to the ring he found and Howl tried to find out more about the bowl. He then used his glass eye to spy upon the internals of the barrow, finding a body and remnants of weapons and armor. Once those tasks were done, the party went to sleep.
In the middle of the night, the party felt a shuddering in the ground that lasted for a good twenty seconds. After the earthquake passed, the party searched around, but found nothing unusual and went back to sleep.
An hour or so later, the hut disappeared because Howl had summoned it early in the evening. Not wanting to move, they decided to simply continue to sleep. A little while after that, they were woken by a blistering ball of fire exploding around them.
Even before they could get up, a second ball of fire enveloped them. Everyone in the camp was suffering from burns and was badly injured. Overhead the sound of wings can be heard.
Gemma, reacting quickly, leaped into the air, hoping to avoid a third ball of fire. Elrik, in a nearby tree, turned invisible and decided to hold his position. With his excellent night vision, he sees two lizards flying off to the southeast while a third one is flying toward the camp.
Quai, hoping to generate a distraction generated a sound off to the west.
Wilby, using his own excellent night vision, fired three shots at one of the lizards who is circling around to make another attack. The archer struck with all three arrows.
Ishen moved away and healed herself while Howl moved to a tree and climbed up a little way before concealing himself behind the illusion of being a tree.
One of the first two lizards flew in Gemma’s direction and she backed away before moving toward Ishen. Elrik also moved to the ground and over to a different tree as Quai enhanced Howl’s sight, letting the caster see in the darkness.
Wilby fired his bow twice more, striking the same flying lizard that was moving a bit shaky after the first three arrows. The two additional arrows bought the monster cashing to the ground.
A third explosion of fire hit Wilby as one of the lizards flew overhead.
Ishen healed herself again as Howl tried to steal life from one of the lizards.
For those who can see well at night, the larger of the lizards disappeared from view and then reappeared moments later as he flew past Quai, striking the monk with his sword before flapping his wings to climb back into the sky.
Gemma, risking drawing attention to herself, blasts the other lizard with crackling energy.
Elrik, moved to the lizard that Wilby brought down and searched the body. He also grabs the only arrow that survived the crash landing.
Quai, not wanting to let the lizard that attacked him get away, uses the darkness to fling himself up and at the lizard. He tries to stab the creature with his dagger, stabbing three times, but hitting only once before he drops out of the air and to the ground. Fortunately for him, his acrobatics allows him to land safely.
Wilby tries twice to hit the lizard flying over his head, but both arrows miss.
Ishen heals Gemma as Howl sucks more life from the lizard over his head.
The larger lizard summons forth a fireball, this one coming from his hands, unlike the other explosions that came out of nowhere. The ball of fire envelops Gemma and Ishen. Gemma is able to deal with the blast, but Ishen has fallen to the ground. Gemma, diverts her attention away from the lizards and attempts to stabilizable Ishen.
Elrik, having seen Ishen go down, also uses his powers from afar and restores life to Ishen.
Wilby takes aim at the lizard he attempted to bring down with the last two arrows and plants one arrow up the lizard’s rear end and as it starts to fall, Wilby’s second arrow skewers the lizard in the neck, sending it crashing to the ground.
Howl, focuses his life stealing power on the remaining lizard, using his owl to distract the lizard. The lizard, angered by the small creature, vaporizes Howl’s owl with a blast of lightning.
Gemma, burned again, holds where she is at while Elrik offers aid to Quai who once again uses the shadows to launch himself at the lizard, punching it twice before he falls back to the ground.
Wilby moves to get a clear shot and then fires twice more at the remaining lizard, missing once, and then shattering his arrow with the second shot, shooting multiple shards into the lizard.
Howl manages to steal a little more life before the lizard before it angles to the north and flies away. Quai, Howl, Elrik, and Wilby attempt to pursue and they do so for a while, but the lizard climbs high into the air and then turns toward the mountains. After an hour or so, they party turns back to regroup at the campsite.
They manage to survive the rest of the night and rest well into the morning to recover after the interrupted night.
In the morning, Howl convinces the rest of the part to investigate the barrow. They spend the day digging a hole into the twenty foot long and fifteen foot wide mound that stands ten feet high. As night starts to fall, they manage to get down to a level of horizontal stones that cover over the burial. As they break the seal, a noxious cloud of gas billows out of the cracks between the stones and Quai starts to chock and cough.
Everyone falls back as a skeletal form shoots out from the burial.
From a safe distance away, Ishen and Elrik hold while Gemma shoots her crackling energy. The speed of the creature causes Gemma to miss.
Wilby calls forth protection from Felis as Quai moves toward the creature.
Howl, tries to craft an illusion to conceal himself as well as bringing up a magical barrier to protect himself. However, the undead form jumped and lands on him, slashing deep cuts into his flesh.
Ishen calls for a blessing from Felis for Wilby and Gemma, which allows Gemma to blast it with energy, but is not enough of a blessing to allow Wilby to cover it in holy flames.
Elrik continues to hold, looking for an opportunity.
Quai uses the shadows to again launch himself at his enemy and manages to land a blow against the creature only to then be slashed by the creature himself.
Howl, attempts to steal life from the undead.
Ishen, not seeing any avenue to help, remains a safe distance away while Gemma unleashed another blast of power. Wilby, still near Gemma and Ishen, manages to summon Felis’ power and covers the skeleton in flames.
Elrik summons up an energy form, activates one of the stones he found on a lizard, and gives it to the energy form to carry toward the creature. Quai, having acquired some stones previously, throws one at the creature and lodges it into the rib cage where it explodes in a ball of flames.
Howl attempts to steal more life but the creature moves forward toward Gemma, Ishen, and Wilby, where it draws the energy from the area, freezing the three of them with extreme cold.
Ishen moves away as Gemma and Wilby stand their ground. Gemma, standing face to face with the undead, hits it with only one of her energy blasts, but Wilby, blessed with Felis’ power, burns it with sacred fire yet again. This time, the bones crumble and fall to the ground as Elrik’s energy being changes direction and drops the exploding stone into the hole that had been dug.
When the flames settle from the stone, they find nothing else in the barrow save for some rusty weapons and armor that are mostly deteriorated.
The party decides to move away from the barrow, leaving the bowl, and they find a place to camp. In the morning, they plan to head back to Gemma’s cave.