At the end of the last session, the PCs were resting in Ratikhill after heroically fighting at the Battle of Loftwood. They rested for six weeks, recovering after their travails and in Krortz’s and Adoven’s cases learning new skills and abilities.
As the weather turned colder, talk turned to the party’s next plan of action. Hemgor was understandably keen to travel to the coast and investigate the state of the fief of Tumbledown. After much discussion, Krortz, Klara (and Maban), Oreal Nanther and Rayne (a half-elf ranger) decided to accompany Hemgor on his quest.
Preparations were made and as the Ready’reat weather turned colder the party set out to the north. Their first day’s travel was uneventful and they rested that night in a small, unremarkable village.
Their next day’s travel was similarly boring and unremarkable and that night they stopped to rest in the village of Trellmont. Sadly, the village’s only tavern – the Traveller’s Rest – was full as a large merchant caravan had recently arrived in the village. The innkeeper was apologetic but there was nothing he could do – even though the party comprised three lordlings. However, a farmer – who later introduced himself as Korolard – overheard the party asking for rooms and offered them the use of his barn for the night.
The grateful party agreed and spent the night in farmer Korolard’s barn. The next morning they were invited into the farmer’s house for breakfast but as they were enjoying their morning repast one of Korolard’s neighbours arrived. The man was shocked and quiet and had clearly been crying. It transpired that the demon spirit of the village had returned and that the man’s son had been taken. The party immediately volunteered to help – to slay the foul beast – although Krortz spent some time muttering about the lack or reward on offer.
A faint dusting of snow covered the surrounding fields and so, the party easily found the spot where the farmer’s son had disappeared; his tracks simply stopped. Theorising that the demon could fly they then visited the village’s wisewoman, Marcella. She told them much of the beast – that it returned to the village nine years and that it killed three men before resting. She also suggested that demons lived under or near water and a decade ago it had been seen flying into the hills to the north.
A single stream gushed out of the hills and so the party followed it northwards to its source. They discovered nothing of interest where the stream flowed out of a small natural, rubble-filled cave in a hill, but Oreal’s keen eyes spotted a dried up streambed that lead to another pile of rubble that did not look natural. The party removed enough rubble to crawl into the small cave they discovered beyond.
Within the cave, Krortz discovered many, many bones and some small treasures. He searched the cave in more details and discovered a small tunnel choked with bones in the floor. As he began to clear the bones away and collect up some of the treasure scattered about, a terrifying, incorporeal winged demon emerged from the side hill and attacked his companions!
The creature at first seemed to be a ghost, its terrible attack passing straight through the adventurer’s defences to drain their strength and vitality. Within moments, much of the party was injured and the beast remained undamaged. Then, Klara identified the beast as a berbalang, but sadly she couldn’t remember any more about it. The beast seemed incredibly difficult to injure and at the start of the battle only Klara’s positive energy could harm it. Eventually, the party discovered magical silver weapons could injure the beast. After several minutes of hard-fought battle during which both Klara and Oeeal came close to death an arrow from Rayne’s bow seemingly slew the creature…