The Barrow Mound

Player Characters
  • Kay, age 9 - Krisella, Level 1 Halfling Thief
    • Finn, Human Torch-bearer
    • Hurgar, Human Torch-bearer
  • Sue, age 13 - Sealamin Axeager, Level 1 Dwarf Fighter
    • Killo, The Human Man-at-Arms
  • Tess, age 44 - Baz Moonblade, Level 1 Dwarf Fighter
    • Hamish, The Human Man-at-Arms
This entry is part 1 of 15 in TD2β - Barrowmaze

Leaving Naerie, the party traveled north over the grasslands. Outside the fog was dense and a light drizzle began to cover their armor. The further north they traveled the quieter the surrounding area became, until there was not even the sound of birds or insects.

Once they reached the moorlands, they came to a broken stone road. Grass jutted through cracks in the stone pathway; stone cairns were on either side. To their left in the mist was a small hill – the first barrow mound.

I gave them a run down on how sledgehammers work in this module. The girls are very thorough with their preparation and it would be annoying for them to have to go back to Naerie and buy some.

Dwarf Pirates

However, I did not mention shovels or other excavation tools. Every pirate should know this, right? I thought Kay would think of bringing shovels, since we often talk about sailing the high seas as pirates, not to mention falsely complaining how we always forget our shovels when we go to In-N-Out.

They left the pathway, approached the barrow mound and came to a sealed stone door embedded in the hillside. The two dwarves pulled out their sledgehammers, while the rest of the party stood back.

Heave, ho! Heave, ho!

The stone door cracked under the weight of their powerful dwarven blows. The dust settled, dissipating in the surrounding mist. Hamish shouted out a warning.

Atop the barrow mound three giant black scorpions had come to investigate. They snapped pincers, while looking down at the group of noisemakers.

Tess: I knew noise would cause trouble.

Clash of the Titans

Baz reacted first, pulling out several darts in succession. The dwarf hurled them at the giant scorpions and skewered two of the black arachnids. Killo joined in the ranged attack with his daggers, while the halfling dropped back into the fog.

DM: I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone use darts.
Tess: I have more chance to hit since I can throw three per round. They don’t do a lot of damage, but half of my rolls don’t either.

After a flurry of thrown weapons, only one giant scorpion was able to scuttle down to face the party. With club and broadsword, Killo and the Baz beat and swung at the black creature.

Fighting Fantasy Scorpion Swamp

As the two fought in front of the broken stone doorway, the halfling appeared on top of the hill over the entrance to the mound.

Krisella lept on the back of the remaining giant scorpion and drove her dagger into a median eye. The scorpion’s tail quickly curled over the creature’s body, the stinger coming down towards the halfling’s head, and then halted as the lifeless creature collapsed.

Sea Axe: Wow. Nobody got hurt?
We can use the poison from the stinger on our blades.
Sue: Killo needs to collect his daggers first. I’ll have him pull out your darts.

Later, inside the barrow mound, they saw two stone slabs. On the slabs, coated in dust, rested two skeletons draped in burial shrouds. A bowl was at each skeleton’s head and there was a decorative amphora at their feet.

Kay: What’s an amphora?
DM: Large vase. Wide at the bottom. Skinny at the top with handles.
Tess: They’re Greek.
Kay: So we can carry them?
Baz: Don’t touch anything.
DM: You can, but they’re pretty brittle on inspection. You’d have to be careful.
Kay: What’s inside of them?
DM: You’re too short to see. You’d have to climb up on the slab.
Baz: Stay off the slab.
Sue: I’ll look.
DM: Empty, but the piece itself seems valuable.
Tess: We’re not hauling a bunch of brittle amphorae back to town. We just got here.

The Delvers Podcast B-side