We managed to squeeze in two game sessions during the holidays, during which the characters arrived in the town of Vermisport, two days west of Avarice, after winning a map of the tomb of the notorious Urgoth warlord, Hafgrim Bloodslakir. As the players were keen to avoid the wrath of the cultists of Atlach-Nacha in Avarice, an extended vacation seemed in order.
While in Vermisport, the party established themselves at the Dragonfire Inn, owned by the dwarven innkeeper, Drungard Aleson, who is inordinately fond of his own brew, Dragonfire Ale ("burns going down, burns coming out") and never passes up an opportunity to drink with his guests - whether they invite him or not. Of the party, only the doughty dwarf, Hrothgar the Red, was brave enough to quaff Dragonfire Ale with their host; the others stuck to gentler libations.
In preparation of exploring the Barrow Hills north of town, the party stocked up on supplies at the local outfitter: Madam Marigold's Muffins & Sundries (free muffin with every purchase!). Marigold, a matronly hobb, expressed an interest in purchasing any artifacts or curios recovered from the barrows, and also offered to sell the party a map of the tomb of Hafgrim Bloodslakir - an exact duplicate of the map Kragar the rogue had won back in Avarice. Rather than a rare, one-of-a-kind treasure, the map was a scheme concocted by the Vermisport JCs to promote adventure tourism in the economically depressed town. The mayor and local shop owners felt that a steady stream of adventurers spending their loot in town was a business opportunity too good to pass up, and if one of them happened to put down the wight that had been haunting the Barrow Hills for years, all the better!
After hiking into the hills, and exploring a few of the lesser barrows, the party finally came upon the one they sought: the crypt of Hafrim Bloodslakir. At the first intersection after entering the barrow, they found another party of adventurers buried beneath the rubble of a pitfall trap. As these adventurers were all dead there was only one thing to do: go through their pockets and look for loose change. In addition to loose change, one of the corpses also had one of the copies of the barrow map. Thus forewarned that the crypt contained deadly traps, the party became even more paranoid than usual, afraid to put a foot down lest they trigger some unpleasant surprise.
After thoroughly exploring and looting the crypt, the players confronted the final room in the northeast corner of the map, which they correctly believed to be the resting place of the wight. They ignored the four alcoves on the north an south walls of the antechamber, and went straight to the room farthest east where the wight awaited them. This was a wise choice, for had they opened any of the alcove doors all four would have swung open, dropping a portcullis at the entrance of the chamber, and releasing the zombies within, so they would have those to contend with as well as the wight. As it was Bloodslakir, by himself proved to be a challenge, though he was eventually defeated without serious harm to the party. Bloodslakir's treasure, a chest full of rubies was protected by a poison needle trap, which Kragar was clever enough to discover without being stuck by it and killed.
Their mission accomplished, the party returned to Vermisport to celebrate and lay plans to explore the ruins of the abandoned wizard's tower north of the old graveyard.
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