BAND OF IRONS

That's not Pooh, it's the Viet Cong
There's Kobolds under that tree

The party ventures down the other path and comes to an escarpment that slides away toward the river. It is a giant cliff to them in their current size. Almost at the edge of the escarpment are the roots of an upturned tree. the roots make a sheltered cave like entrance and the path leads inside.

The party spends a long time scouting out the entrance. There are brambles stacked and woven as a partial wall and a narrow choke point at the entrance. The party is not very stealthy in their observance and they see 2 creatures dart out from behind the brambles carrying what look like leather eggs ‘footballs’ they place them on the ground near the entrance and dart back inside.

The creatures looked reptilian, almost like small dragons or bipedal lizards. “Kobolds” says Tiberius Hammersmyth great and industrious miners, but they are little bastards of hate.

The party attempts to get a better look and sees the Kobolds have a fortified fighting position consisting of a wall behind which glimpses of several can be seen moving. More disturbing is that there is a much larger Kobold whose skin is white tinged with blue. He appears to be a leader who yips some orders to the defensive position then retreats into a cave behind

The party is concerned with the eggs being some kind of trap, arrows are fired into them, eggs contents leak from several arrow holes. The party then tries some fire on the brambles. it lights quickly smoke obscuring the cave.

But this gives the party an idea to attack. Mourning Storm takes the form of a giant spider, he will use the smoke as cover and climb the cave ceiling and drop on the Kobolds from behind. Kvothe adds to the plan. He climbs onto the spiders back and prepares a spell.

The spider Halfling combination creeps atop the cave ceiling getting to a point where the Kobolds are exposed from above. Kvothe looses a thunderclap spell which bursts in their midst. The 4 Kobolds are flung against walls smashing their bodies…the defenses have been breached

The party lets the smoke clear and the brambles are easily passed. The party finds a pit trap that they would have had to cross probably under fire from the Kobolds. The dead Kobolds are armed with nicely built small crossbows and lots of bolts tipped with sharp glass like material. The wall that they were behind is made of sturdy brick. This would have been tough to assault.

the Kobolds appear crocodile like with ruddy brown skin with small white horns. THeir tails are smooth with small scales looking almost rat like. They have crude short swords and spear with them as well.

A smallish cave is behind the defensive barrier 4 to 4 1/2 feet high and as wide it presents a challenge to most of the party…the Halfling is the obvious choice for pointman, the cave stinks of wet dog and brackish water…

View
Let's Play Chess!

Vincent Rhodes in overwatch barks a warning to Mourning Storm awaiting still in Dire Wolf form in the village. “Something just appeared up here….it looks like a giant game board.”

The party is emerging from the mushrooms now, dirty from brushing up against the cave walls, the orc Zugthor is with them. The party moves to Vincent’s position and as they approach there is a HUGE wooden base atop which statues depicting horses, castles and other unknown shapes (not everyone in party knows what chess is)

Alynis, Kvothe, Mourning Storm and Vincent Rhodes have seen or played chess before and describe it to the others.

The base is wooden with the pieces “halfling” sized, the party realizes that this is a regular sized chess board, it just appears large due to the party’s diminutive size. There are no pawns on the board only Rooks, Bishops, Knights, Kings dan Queens. They are scattered on the board and several are toppled over

Each piece has a protrusion on its base that fits into a correspondingly shaped indentation in each square of the chess board. All are the same shape so that any piece can be placed on any square. The party looks over the 3 scrolls they have and speculates that they have something to do with the placement of pieces on the chessboard

Reknirhs the evil wizard did challenge them to “a game” and the party is speculating that the pieces must be put correctly into the game to make them big again. The consult the orc Zugthor and he agrees. Zugthor tells them the chessboard appears at noon and at midnight for a few hours then goes away. At night the Kobolds and Xvarts would sometimes come out and try to destroy pieces, but all they could do is knock them over.

The party feels there are more scrolls with more clues down the other fork in the path and leaves the chessboard for later investigation.

Zugthor the orc shaman is in rough shape. Multiple cuts and bruises are a testament to a savage torturing at the hands of the Xvarts (smurfs)

As the party moves Zugthor begs the party in general and then appeals to Helm in particular. He speaks broken common with some unintelligible orc words. “Please umpristi, I have not communed with my god in days, my umoya grows weak.” Helm asks for Ganra the half orc to help with translation. Ganra says that he appealing to you (Helm) as a fellow priest. Without contact with his god, his spirit is growing weak."

Helm thinks about this for a minute, his god HELM has just begun to commune with him, and has gone days without hearing from HELM. Maybe this orc god is more in need of attention? Maybe this orc god listens more often.

Helm is slightly suspicious but also sympathetic when the orc Zugthor begs, “Umpristi, please my abasebenzi” Ganra says “He wants his staff back”

Helm looks back at Alynis who is carrying the staff and looks at the orc, “We are in a dangerous place and your kind has just tried to kill us. Of course we see you have been in a bad situation as well, but we need to know that you are on our side before we give you back what appears to be your power source.”

I understand Umpristi what can I do to prove my gratefulness to you and your friends? Helm is quiet and the party arrives at an upturned tree root system, , he tells the orc to be quiet for now, they will discuss his staff later

.

View
When shadows attack!

The party moves cautiously into the torture chamber. The orc hanging on the wall is indeed Zugthor, the orc shaman who is thought to hold the key to becoming regular sized again. Zugthor is secured to the wall with leather bands and is clearly in distress, labored breathing and his body covered in bruises and cuts indicating he has been tortured.

The party assists him binding his wounds and doing a bit of clerical healing. He thanks them and begs for his staff back. Alynis is holding the staff and the party elects to not give it back just yet.

Zugthor explains how the Xvarts captured him after he fled the group of orcs and were seemingly torturing him just for fun. Although they did ask him some questions about “the scroll”

Inside the room are several small tables and on one of the the party finds another ivory scroll case, rolled up inside is another parchment with words on it, Alynis reads it aloud to the group….

PROMOTE HARMONY!
LET THEM SEE ROYALTY DANCING WIHT THE ENEMY
TAKE YOUR RIVALS QUEEN TO THE DANCE
LET HIM DANCE WITH YOURS

The party talks with Zugthor and he tells them the scrolls have something to do with getting back to normal size. He knows of three but suspects there are others. Marrowthok had one (party has that one) and the Xvarts had two (party has the one they just found)

Zugthor is allowed to remain in the cell, unbound, the party says they will return for him, he is weak and injured and can barely walk. The party moves deeper into the tunnel.

From ahead flickering lights of torches make the adventurers shadows dance on the walls. The cave opens into a large room with two posed rat skeletons. The Skeletons are roughly put together and unnerve the party.

To several members horror, Kvothe‘s shadow begins moving independent of his actions, the shadow’s hands curl around Kvothe’s throat he feels the pressure and gasps as his shadow is choking him…

Helm Tallstag knows how to dispel shadow, calling on his god of light he warns the others to cover their eyes, the room turns as bright as high noon dispelling the shadow that was choking Kvothe.

From inside of one of the rat skeletons a pathetic cry of pain is heard and a Xvart is seen writhing clutching at his now very painfully light blinded eyes. A quick stick of a sword and he is no more. Beneath him another scroll tube is found.

EXCITEMENT FOR ALL!
KNIGHTS MUST JOUST
THE EXCITEMENT OF POWERFUL HORSES
CHARGING HEADLONG TOWARD EACH OTHER.

There is nothing else in the room, and the party retreats gathering Zugthor and heading to the surface glad to get out of this claustrophobic cave environment.

View
UnderSmurf
Heading into the tunnels beneath the mushroom village

With Vincent Rhodes staying in an overwatch position and Mourning Storm still in the form of a dire wolf and too large to defend into the smallish caves, the remaining party heads down one of the caves.

The caves are carved rom packed earth and reinforced by sticks and twigs to keep them from collapsing, the smoke comes from ahead and a flickering firelight faintly illuminates the tunnel. Creeping ahead the party finds a large common room, several other tunnels, some front he mushrooms intersect here.

There are a dozen sleeping mats/nests made from dried grass and scraps of cloth. Several have piles of shiny shards of pottery(?) near them. It is the same kind of material that the crossbow bolt heads are made from. Several characters feel they may be currency used in this small world and collect several

Two tunnels lead deeper into the earth. Kvothe creeps up one of the tunnels that opens into what appears to be a nursery. He sees 2 smallish Xvarts (children?) pushing a very small baby xvart into a very small possible escape tunnel. As he looks a regular sized Xvart leaps from a hidden position at him (rolls a 1)

A female Xvart lands with a THUD in front of Kvothe, the Xvarts dagger clatters away as Kvothe stabs at the prone figure. The young Xvarts escape and Kvothe rolls the now dead Xvart who attacked him over, a female. There is a slight trepidation as he feels the party is invading the homes of other creatures….

Down the other tunnel the party finds a more well appropriated room. Two better constructed bed/nests and a wooden box full of more shards of broken pottery. Mounted on the wall are what appears to be 3 small dragon skulls (Kobolds) and more disturbing the skull of a Halfling painted blue. Kvothe’s trepidations about where they are dispel quickly with the find.

Rummaging in the box the dwarf finds 3 rocks that he says if they can find a jeweler to polish them could be worth some money. The party continues into a passage at the rear of the room.

The passage forks and one fork is set with a crude cage door, made from bound twigs. In the room on the other side is an orc, appearing to be unconscious and lashed to the wall. Scattered about the floor are various sharp shards of pottery and the orc appears to have been cut/tortured.

The party speculates this is the orc shaman Zugthor, and moves in to realease him……

View
Attack the Smurfs!
Players do their best Gargomel impersonation

Fearing missile fire from the mushrooms with windows atop them being possible observation post, the druid Armand creates a wall of fog to advance behind. Vincent Rhodes Stays behind in the “woods” with a longbow in overwatch.

The party is able to get within 50 get of the village when the mushrooms disgorge a small company of blue denizens (Xvarts) A dozen or so of the evil looking blue meanies armed with crossbows take cover against the mushrooms…Vincent begins firing arrows.

A larger Xvart with a long sword on the back of a rat emerges from one of the mushrooms and commands the Xvarts to attack. The dozen Xvarts break cover, charging with drawn swords.

Bad command decision by the Xvarts, chromatic orbs and thunderclap spells bust among their ranks as the party steps from the fog with area effect spells cast at the advancing ranks. Mourning Storm is still in the form of a dire wold and Tiberius Hammersmyth jumps on his back to rush at the large Xvart on a rat.

A short mounted melee ensues with the wolf/dwarf combination defeating the Xvart leader/rat and the village is secure. Mushrooms are gone through and are found to be hollowed out to be used as shelters. The group finds many small well crafted crossbows and dozens of bolts with glass ceramic tips.

Some of the mushrooms have holes dug into the ground inside of them, light smoke comes from the tunnels. Next step for the party will be to defend into the tunnels of the Xvart village

View
The Smurf Village

Feeling that they have to find Zugthor the party heads out the mouse hole to the outside world. They pass the two dead orcs they found earlier, now knowing these were Zugthor’s cohorts killed by Marrowthok’s followers in a confrontation over whether to stay small or not.

There is a light indication of a trail leading away from the ground sloping away from the museum wall, down toward Darmal’s Spill. Grass blades now come up to their belts and weeds tower above like trees.

The trail forks right and left and the party takes the left fork which heads into a forest of weeds which reach 20 feet over the party’s head. After several hundred feet of the “forrest” the weeds stop as the ground continues to slope away. The trail heads down this slope into a fairy ring of huge mushrooms 120 feet away.

8 mushrooms with grey stalks and large brown caps tinged with bright colors of red, blue and purple grow in a circle. The party spends several minutes observing the ring. A small rivulet of water curves around the ring and appears to have two “bridges” one of twigs and one of stones built across it. More obviously constructed is a dam made of larger sticks. 20 sticks are secured together vertically as a wall, holding back the water into a pond, although much water leaks through and around the dam, it holds back enough to create the pond.

Further observation sees holes cut, carved, chewed into the base of the mushrooms, more mouse holes. Some of the mushrooms seems to also have windows cut in their caps. Several of the mushrooms seem to have wisps of light smoke curling out of their doorways.

Suddenly movement in the “village” as a blue humanoid figure, even smaller than most members of the party emerges from one of the mushrooms. The figure appears goblin like with bright blue skin and large yellow eyes. It is bald save wisps of black hair in a monk ring about its skull. Black claws and fangs complete the look of the creature as something mean and possibly evil…but looks can be deceiving. It is wearing a loose fitting dirty tunic and carrying a bucket which it dips into the stream, then returns to one of the mushrooms.

Xvart.jpg

View
Hobgoblin's knob

The party readies for the fight agains the Hobgoblin and the orcs. They are worried about the magical barrier that is at the close end of this little chapel that the hobgoblin named Marrowthuk is giving his speech in. Marrowthuk is still conversing with the remaining orcs but not pontificating anymore.

Vincent creeps to the edge of the room and fires an arrow hoping to both kill the hobgoblin and see if things can pass through the barrier. The arrow stops in mid-flight in the “wall” and slides quietly and slowly to the floor, it at least stops missiles.

Vincent and Kvothe sneak inside hiding behind the jumble of items used as furniture/pews in the room. After some investigation the barrier seems to just be anti missile as Vinny can pass through it easily. They signal the attack…..

Mourning Storm and Tiberius Hammersmyth CHARGE! The druid taking the form of a dire wolf as the two thieves fire arrows to support their attack

The orcs and Hobgoblin are unprepared for the swift and savage sneak attack, the orcs being killed quickly. The Hobgoblin takes several sword hits and attacks from the wolf before Tiberious uses the flat side of his axe to subdue him.

After reviving the severely wounded Marrowthuk, the party is surprised by his willingness to talk. He starts with the surprise that the party was able to get through the barrier, he though it made them invincible in here.

Marrowthok was a low caste born Hobgoblin until while exploring some ruins to the north of Narwell he came across the rusty armor which bears the seal of Helm several months ago. Encountering a wandering band of orcs lead by a shaman named Zugthor. Marrowthok “took over” leading the band on a few small successful raids before breaking in to this museum and being shrunk by the evil wizard.

After clearing out the mouse warren they discovered they could ask for items like the protection barrier and food….occasionally they would receive them. They ventured outside and killed bugs and the snake that he was speaking from atop. Marrowthok felt that the gods had put them here and they were safe and should stay.

Zugthor on the other hand was not convinced this was from the gods and rebelled, leading a small band of traitorous orcs into conflict with Marrowthoks followers. Eventually there was a fight, Zugthor’s followers were killed and Marrowthok captured Zugthor’s cleric-staff.

The party has the staff, a gnarled branch wrapped in leather bands with a few dirty feathers and topped with a skull of some rodent like animal which has a red crescent moon painted on it. Marrowthok says Zugthor was intending to make the orcs large again, but needs his staff.

As the party listens to the story, they notice two dull lit orbs one ahead of them and one behind. Marrowthok says these are how the gods hear their wants and needs occasionally granting wishes. Vincent says “I’d love a ham sandwich” POOF behind the party a carving board appears atop which is a large ham hock, a block of cheese and a loaf of bread.

Marrowthok seems even more deflated, “I thought the gods favored us, I thought he barrier would protect us…Zugthor was right, anyone here can receive the gifts.” Marrwothok asks the party to spare him and he will give them something in return. With the party agreeing, Marrowthok produces a scroll case which the party opens and reads:

BE QUICK WITH COMMERCE
CONSTRUCT YOUR CASTLES AS CLOSE TO ONE ANOTHER AS POSSIBLE
FOR BEST TRADE ROUTES BRING REWARD

The party leaves a stabilized but incapacitated Marrowthok, gathers the staff and scroll, and heads outside where they think Zugthor has fled……

View
Which way did Zugthor go?

Ganra leading the orcs run right past the party lying in ambush, Ganra yelling "Let’s kill Zugthor now and the three orcs chanting “kill kill kill” following him. Ganra reaches the ladder and begins to descend…the three orcs stop at the top looking down at him…..

Ganra yells up at them “COME MY BROTHERS KILL ZUGTHOR!” The orcs dimwittedly look down and say “but Zugthor that away,” pointing down one of the other tunnels, and the parts STRIKES!

Bolts, arrows, axes and swords smash into the 3 orcs from behind as their wounded corpses tumble over the ledge Ganra has to dodge the falling bodies. The party spins to repel the rest of the orcs but they never come…..they hear Marrowthok begin his frenzied speech again.

The party heads down the passage the orcs pointed to as where Zugthor was. The passage leads outside, a hole chewed? hacked? all the way through the brick to the outside of the museum. Just inside the entrance there are two dead orcs, one with a broken off spear sticking out of his fresh corpse

The party has to decide to head outside to try and find Zugthor…or go back inside and deal with Marrowthok. From what they’ve heard:

MARROWTHOK is a Hobgoblin who is the orcs leader. He wants to stay small and kill Zugthor. He has Zugthor’s staff, which could be the key to growing large again

ZUGTHOR was the group’s cleric/shaman. He found a way to grow regular sized again and had to flee the group. Marrowthok has his staff which he needs to grow big again

View
There's orcs in them there walls

The party moves into the mouse hole. There is a wooden facade a few inches away from the brick wall of the museum, allowing travel of small creatures such as the party is now. The party turns right and finds a hole chewed in the actual brick, two mice now equal in size to the party begin moving toward them menacingly….bolts of fire stop their attack. The mice were in a small dead end hole so the party heads back the other way.

The party finds a rough section of wall that looks to have been chewed? hacked? into the brick, and easily climbable surface “ladder”, there is a “mouse hole” above the ladder and the party begins to climb.

The ladder leads to a large room with a 4 way intersection leading off in each direction of the compass. But from the passage to the right shouting is heard, Ganra Mortwog identifies it as orc….sounds as though an orc leader is calling troops to battle, the party readies itself and creeps forward toward the sound

The passage ends in a great hall, high ceilings are hacked from the stone and scattered about are small baubles and pieces of wood which appear to be used as furniture as this appears to be a lecture hall. There is a HUGE GOBLIN dressed in rusty metal armor and holding a staff, he is shouting a speech to 7 orcs standing in front of him who are waving rusty spears and swords. Of course they are all the same size as the party. The huge goblin is standing atop a coiled dead garter snake, which they must have killed recently as it appears fresh, Gahnra translates…

HUGE GOBLIN “You now all realize that I Marrowthok have your best interests, Zugthor was leading you astray. We are here by divine fate. We have food and safety, this is where we belong. Zugthor wanted to return us to our large size BUT we stopped him and have his staff, now without this staff. TOMORROW WE KILL ZUGTHOR.”

Ganra turns to the party and says “are you ready?” without much warning Ganra rushes into the back of the room shouting in orc “YES MY BROTHERS KILL ZUGTHOR, KILL ZUGTHOR NOW! COME WITH ME!” The orcs turn to look at him as Marrowthok the huge goblin yells “NO WE HAVE A PLAN, KILL ZUGTHOR TOMORROW

Ganra shouts more encouragement to get Zugthor and 3 of the orcs rush, seemingly to join him, Ganra turns and runs hoping the party is set in ambush….as the 3 orcs leave the large room you see them pass through some sort or magical? electrical? invisible wall. As their bodies hit the wall it becomes visible, briefly clinging to the edges of their bodies as they pass through it easily, it then becomes invisible again

View
Reknirhs Appears

As the party wanders around investigating the museum, pushing this and pulling that a corporeal image wavering in blue light of a bearded man in flowing robes appears hovering at the far end of the museum.

Saruman_guardians_of_middle_earth_001-480x330.jpg

“Welcome to my museum I am Reknirhs the curator and I welcome your traveling group. Feel free to look over my displays that I have collected over many years and as you wander I want you all to know I HAVE BEEN WATCHING YOU! I know you all and I have news for you…….”

The voice fades and a minute goes by with the party nervously awaiting what happens next

Kvothe, son of Arliden ," says the image using Kvothes full name," REVENGE? put all the Chandarian back and you will have your revenge"

Alynis MOTHER? Seek the City of Sigil, someone there knows where she went"

Helm Tallstag ATTONE FOR PAST SINS? Rebuild the temple to save the undeserved? The light….I CURSE the light."

Vincent Rhodes STOP EVIL? EVIL MAGIC? Good luck with that, stick to your gold collecting. Anytime you wish I will be here"

Armand Tanzarian SEEK ACCEPTANCE? Your strength IS fire, accept it and BURN your foes."

Toruk ADVENTURE? Found it you have"

Quick Archer Ganra Mortwog ACCEPTANCE? FAMILY? LOYALTY? Found it you have"

Mourning Storm POWER OF NATURE? Continue your path, you are most promising."

Tiberius Hammersmyth HOLINESS? Your god will forsake you"

The party stands listening to the image berate them and then it asks “Do you like games?” then asks louder, “DO YOU LIKE GAMES? Then let’s PLAY THE GAME!”

“Do you like cats?” the voice says and someone answers meekly yes. 2 hidden small doors open in the far wall and in each are 2 house cats, 4 cats total that leap down to the floor. All of a sudden the displays start to grow and the party realizes that everyone is shrinking

Down Down Down the party shrinks until they are mouse sized and behind several of the display pedestals. Someone spots a mouse hole, someone casts wall of fog and someone yells RUN!

The party dives inside the mouse hole just as a cats paw comes striking down outside, the party moves deeper inside the mouse hole to avoid the cat……..

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.