At the end of last session, our heroes stood triumphant having driven away the strange creature that had attacked them. However, many in the party – particularly Oreal and Rayne – had much of their vitality drained by the berbalang. Not really wanting to investigate the bone-filled cave they had discovered for fear of encountering further foes they elected to retreat to the village.
Taking the frozen, eviscerated corpse they found atop the bones they made their way out of the hills. By the time they reached the village square, many of the villagers had gathered to meet them. With a heavy heart, they gave over the body to Marcella and retired to the in to rest (the merchants staying within having left that morning).
There they rested for a week or so, regaining their strength and preparing to return to the hills. Oreal, in particular, was busy making more silver arrows from melted down silver coins. By the time they were ready to return into the hills, the weather had got even colder and more snow had fallen, but the party knew they had to explore the cave – to make certain nothing else lurked within to terrorise the village.
They reached the cave without incident and after a brief conversation decided to remove the rest of the boulders from the entrance and recover the bones within before exploring further. This they managed without incident. Within the cave, they discovered a small passageway still choked with bones. They cleared the passage and proceeded to crawl/climb down it. The first section was quite steep and Hemgor bravely went first.
At the bottom of the slope he found a skeleton of some kind of huge worm-like creature. Luckily the skeleton wasn’t animated and so after clearing it out of the way they crawled onwards. A short way on, the passageway entered a natural chimney of sorts. Above, the party’s lights revealed a larger passage.
Here, Rayne took the lead followed by Oreal. As he climbed into the cavern, disaster struck as the party discovered they had in fact not slain the berbalang. It’s insubstantial form had been lurking above the chimney exit and as Rayne entered the chamber it struck, draining his vitality again. However, this time he was armed with magical silver arrows and when Oreal joined him battle was truly joined. Hemgor shortly thereafter emerged into the chamber – although Klara was unable to climb the chimney! The berbalang feasted on all three of the warriors’ vitality, but eventually a well-shot arrow by Rayne destroyed it (or so they thought).
As the party took stock and thoughts turned to getting Klara into the chamber, a rock fell away from one of the walls and the berbalang again emerged into the chamber! This time it was not insubstantial, however and it attacked with claw and fang. In this new form, however it could not drain its foes’ vitality. However, it did have a strange paralysation power which first caught Rayne and then Oreal. As Hemgor fought on – and Klara offered what aid she could from the chimney – Hemgor also fell to the things fell touch. However, at that very moment Rayne threw off its effects and returned to the fray. Eventually, the thing fell and this time its body did not disappear.
Once the paralysis had worn off the Oreal and Hemgor, the party helped Klara into the room and they searched thoroughly. They found another skeleton in the chamber – this once still clutching a magical shield. Taking this, the skeleton and the berbalang’s corpse they returned to the village where they received a heroes’ welcome…