Upon returning from their night in the woods the party slept, Aveline and Brynjolf retired to the great hall as Auric and Lawrence left for a tavern in town. Brynjolf sat, regaling those around him with his feats of ‘bravery’ as Aveline took her place at Ylsa’s side, inquiring about the demon she had witnessed just hours before.
The next morning the council held a meeting to discuss both the demon and the half men and as Aveline listened in she learned of their fears and proposals of how to deal with the abominations. An heir to the Jarl’s true bloodline, it was said, could keep the spirits at bay.
A hunting party was organised to follow any signs of the demon or its beasts. Laurence had asked the wise women of the council who would know of these creatures whereabouts. It was said that an old witch lived in the Gull clan’s beached boat that lay just outside the city. Aveline, Laurence and Auric ventured to the boat as Brynjolf readied his men (and ‘saw to’ his woman).
The witch informed the three that the spirits had awoken and that they would find them higher up the mountains. She also warned of a strange power that had taken up residence in the beacon tower on the Jarl’s isle.
The three returned to Brynjolf, who would not spare no time to investigate the tower. Instead, they headed out at once, Brynjolf at the head with Aveline, Auric, Laurence, Oleg, Raif and three warriors in tow.
Upon returning to the sight of the demon’s appearance the night before they discovered bare footprints that lead both towards and away from the site as well as a ring of what appeared to be ash marking the exact site the demon had stood when Aveline had faced it. Auric attempted to determine the nature of the circle but was unable to.
The party decided to follow the footprints, leading deeper into the mountains. As they trekked on they soon sensed that they were being watched by an unearthly presence. Auric attempted to lure it out as bait while Brynjolf scouted the surrounding area but their search came up empty.
As they pushed onwards the party soon came to two standing stones that stood at the entrance to a gully. The superstitious amongst the Xanthar warriors were afraid of the symbols that adorned the stones and yet again Auric was unable to use his magical knowledge to read what the symbols meant.
Fearing no evil, Brynjolf and Aveline pushed the group forwards into the gully, lighting torches and leading the way onwards down the dark and eery path. They saw no sign of any life or anything of note for that matter as they ventured deeper into the gully before approaching a cave.
Deciding to go inside and stay together, the group entered only to find a dead end into a submerged passageway with three corpses near the water. As they approached the corpses revealed themselves to be half-men as they began shambling towards the group. Laurence grasped his holy symbol, commanding his god to banish the creatures but only silence answered him.
Dumbstruck at his abandonment Laurence was grabbed by one of the creatures and failed to escape before it tore into him with its rotting teeth. Brynjolf knocked an arrow and let it loose towards the beasts, striking true and hitting the abomination in its festering eye socket. The creature seemed to ignore the hit, continuing its unholy march towards the group.
As the rest of the party rounded the corner Auric attempted to stop the on coming foes with a barrage of tiny missles torn from the very walls of the cave but the monsters kept coming. The Xanthar warriors however did not live up to their legends, turning tail and running as soon as they saw the undead monstrosities.
Aveline, seeing the priest in danger, unslung baby Oleg, handed him straight to Auric and charged into battle, decapitating the half-man who had Laurence in his grip in one fell slash of her sword. Even this onslaught didn’t deter the beast however as it thrashed around, flailing in an attempt to still harm those who disturbed its slumber.
Brynjolf, using quick thinking, lit one of his arrows and fired it at another of the half-men. It struck it dead center mass, igniting the dry peeling flesh in an instant like parchment. The monster seemed to react to the pain instead of shrugging it off like the mortal wounds the others had been inflicted. The fire burned, destroying the beast and turning it to nothing but ash.
Discovering their enemy’s weakness the group retreated, Aveline holding back the foes with her shield and unflinching nerve as Brynjolf fired on them from the fire he had prepared. The forces of darkness fell easily but as the party rested for a moment after the fight was won, Laurence still bleeding and Oleg howling, they all drew the conclusion that this would not be the hardest, nor the last encounter they would have with these fiends…