So yeah, I realize I'm getting behind again, but I've been somewhat busy or otherwise preoccupied, not to mention the fact that I'm dealing with a shoddy computer, and so posting is sometimes a hassle.
The PCs milled about Lakeside for a while, waiting for any sign of success for the ghostly villagers in finding their way to the afterlife, but it was not to be. The legion of the dead came back from the lake with heavy hearts and it was decided that they would find the cause of their fates through a divination ritual. The ghostly Cardinal of the host began his rite, along with his acolytes and Lucky, and brought forth a scene visible to all present (a great number of interested parties) which showed dark clouds being split by tentacles over a nearby town known as Ossington.
This spurred the party into action and it was decided that they would travel by means of another Swan Boat up the river to find the truth behind the mass deaths and just, exactly, what the people of Ossington are up to.
With a short voyage, the party makes it to their destination at dusk and decides to sleep aboard their boat til dawn, at which point they disembark and head up the road to the small town. This, however was not destined to be an uneventful stroll, as a scream penetrates the silence and the PCs spot a man running for his life toward them, screaming for help as a ghostly horseman comes into sight on his heels. The group prepared for a fight and readied themselves for the approach of the horseman, but palpable fear took hold of Soh and he ran, dropping his maces, which the mounted apparition used, through telekinesis, to fling at the villager and knock him unconcious. With this, the ghost then saluted in a gesture of the Silver Flame and disappeared, leaving many questions in the minds of the PCs.
After healing the man and asking him questions about his attacker, the party moves on a short distance only to find a wagon with two dead, a man and a woman, around, clearly run through with a sword. The PCs use empty flour sacks to cover the bodies of the dead and hitch Murmur's mount to it, as the ass that was pulling the wagon had broken free and run off.
Moving further up the road, the group makes it to a farmstead, where they are offered food and lodging, but are later asked to leave when Mac decides to call into question their host's honesty when he begins to relate tales of what he's heard from the nearby town. The group moves on through the night, hoping to make Ossington by midday.
On the road there, they come across a chapel that the historians among them date back to the Dhaakani Empire, a powerful nation of goblinoids that ruled before humans. Entering, they encounter a woman named Henwen, who is caretaker of the chapel and who answers their questions with other questions and riddles before calling forth (unbeknownst to the PCs) a group of shadows, which the adventurers dispatch easily, then heal Henwen, thinking they've harmed her mistakenly, before they decide to move on toward the town.
Before long, Ossington is in sight, a small town hedged in by a double row of standing stones. There, the group comes across a few clues (but seem oblivious to everything I throw at them in this respect) and decide to trace the steps of the horseman, as he, in a very much not-ghost form, had been through recently checking out the places of interest in the area.
Their explorations led them to a great barrow north of Ossington in which Talin was nearly trapped, save for the quick thinking of Devin and the clever use of a spell by Vacht.
After nearly losing their companion to the dangers of the barrow, the party decided to rest overnight in the forest and regain their thoughts and bearings.
At this point, noone had noticed that Mac was missing...