Session 52 – The End in a Barrow

The party rests for the night, and in the morning ventures into the fog. They wander for a while before the mist begins to thin, and the tunnel opens into a large room, occupied by another of the giant undead creatures they defeated in Al’whar – an Eater Lord. The heroes attack the creature and its Eater minions, and eventually defeat their enemies.

They rest again before moving on. They pass through more of the strange mist, and enter another large open room, the center of which rises to a wide platform. At its center stands a large crystal, colored deep violet. In the four corners of the room there are again huge, grotesquely animated mounds of sharp bone and bloody body parts. These barrows are surrounded by the flickering, ghostly images of other adventurers doing battle with them. Sensing the PC’s presence, the barrows advance.

Phaean is the first to examine the crystal, and discovers a familiar Eladrin woman trapped within, her mouth sewn shut with rough black thread, her eyes filled with sorrow. The barrows prove impossible to defeat, so the party concentrates on destroying the crystal to free the woman. However, they have spread themselves thin, and one by one the party members are defeated and drawn into the barrows. While trapped, they feel as if years pass, and find themselves among the ghostly figures, forever fighting a losing battle. There is a sudden “snapping” of time, and they find themselves again undamaged at the entrance to the room. Everyone concentrates their efforts on freeing the woman, and quickly destroy the crystal. As she steps clear of the enchanted prison, it turns to dust, the ghostly combatants disappear, and the barrows themselves seem to “stutter” through time to a point where they lose their evil animus.

The woman, Mindressa, was the first to suffer the ritual and be made an Eater, and all those created after her draw their power from her soul. No new Eaters will be able to be created without being able to consume part of her essence, and when she dies, they will all die with her. She tells them that only Urishtar herself now stands between them and young Jonno, and asks a favor after the heroes have rested and are ready to move on. Mindressa asks that they kill her to ensure an end to the plague of Eaters.