BAND OF IRONS

Clean Up!
There is a dead Drow in isle D

Tiberious and Storm move back to the wounded Turok, who is recovering under Helm’s healing spells, and stand guard by the red crystal door and the tunnel where they came in. Kvothe sits in silence near the fallen figure of Stercus, who is breathing in very shallow sucking breaths and appears to be semi-conscious.

Kvothe, wounded from Stercus’ fire blasts, kneels beside him, “My father is avenged,” Stercus seems not to hear, as Kvothe demands to know where the others that killed his troupe are. Helm is healing Kvothe as Kvothe futilely tries to get information out of Stercus. A smile comes to Stercus’ lips, he coughs and dies.

Helm begins prodding at the armor that Stercus wears. Sterccus is armored in some sort of banded mail that looks as though it is made of iron, riveted together. But the straps and cloak that would be of leather or fabric look to be this same “iron” material. It seems to flow as if fabric, but was hard as iron when you struck it. The armor all looks to be one piece, as you take a closer look it is almost like a “onesie” You haven’t tried to remove anything yet, but all the parts look connected all the same color iron grey material

He has no helm and his face is that of a handsome albino elf, with silver hair yet he has two small horns protruding from his forehead belying that he is spawn of a demon, you know his daddy to be Iuz.

He had been attacking with a ray of fire that shot from his right hand which is unarmored
His left hand has a metal gauntlet on it He has no other weapons or equipment on him.

Helm eventually figures out how to remove the armor on Stercus’ corpse. Small latches connect the pieces. When a latch is unlatched the armor piece changes back into “regular” armor rather than the malleable iron fabric it is now

He undoes a boot first, as he unlatches it the boot “hardens” into steel and looks to be as any other scale mail boot

Now to what he was interested in, THE GAUNTLET! he undoes the latch and the gauntlet slides off Stercus hand. Helm recoils, “what the fuck….” Stercus wrist and hand look like opaque jelly, he even thinks he can see the outline of bone beneath.

Helm remembers when The Cuckoo died, his body decomposed into odd green worms that burrowed into the ground. Rotcodohw warning then not to touch it, but to apply fire. Kvothe readies fire bolt and Helm readies sacred flame …fire is applied until the hand is nothing but ash.

The result is similar to when you fried the “Kou Toa” shaped jelly mass that was locked in a cell. The jelly sizzled and burned away into a black mass looking and smelling of burning grease, like animal fat used to cook with that has caught fire. The other parts of Stercus body have not (yet?) become gel-like. His head, hand he was shooting fire out of and foot that Helm removed his boot are still his ashen white skin.

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Vinny investigates the Chamber

Vinny teleported in onto a red pentagon in a corner, then ambushed two drow “scientists?”

Vinny has the two Drow who look like non combatants at knife point. They have various implements and tools, some crude medical and others crude mechanical. They are dressed in cloth jerkins with leather pouch belts.

They have babbled about Sterccus insisting that they get this facility functioning again

There are hundreds of bodies side by side by side, row after row after row.

Most of the bodies look like dry husks, many are humanoid; elf, orc, human, gnome, halflings, and goblins but there are a few lizardfolk, and other monsters.

All of the bodies have thin black tubes that go into their necks and thighs.

The tubes then bundled together run along the floor, in front of the bodies. The bundles getting larger and larger as more tubes join from more bodies all feeding to one end all going into a huge porcupine looking creature. Like this creature has shot its “quills” out and all have been threaded into the bodies. (Also pictured)

The porcupine creature itself has a large tube in its belly that runs into the floor

The bodies also have a large tube inserted in the mouth and a diaper like contraption over the groin and butt.

The mouth tube ends in a simple funnel, the butt tubes run to the other side of the room along the floor but behind the bodies

In one corner there are a few bodies that are not dried out husks, they are colored with life and warm to the touch

Off to one end of the room there is a glow from a doorway a small 20 × 20 room with scrolls, books and several arcane looking instruments, along with a “wizards laboratory” of equipment on a large table. Two of the bronze plaques like the one you wear around your neck are on the table

In that room is a small red pentagon

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A Fight

As the party attempts to get back to Stercus, they run headlong into his 6 Drow guards that are rushing back to attack them. Kvothe is quick with an illusion of the 3 eye god behind the Drow, several freak out at the sight and break rank

Helm has flanked around one of the rooms, and runs into fleeing Drow as the main body of the party begins smashing at the ones who did not flee. There is a short confused fight as magic and steel defeats the disorganized Drow.

The group pushes past the vanquished Drow to where Stercus was. As the group enters the room they find a pile of ash with several black articles in it. Storm had cast another Moonbeam and destroyed the box of ‘keys’ for the door. The keys look to be undamaged by the magic.
Ex-Wooden Chest (now just ash)
A candle of black wax, it is cold to the touch
A Owl Bear Beak
A small bronze bell
A small hooded lantern that glows faint red (Kvothe family heirloom)
A hilt of a short with a few inches of shaft. Looks to have been broken

Stercus has fled back toward the blood pool, the group gives chase. Stercus has one guard with him who turns and stands defiantly as the group pursues. Toruk attacks the guard telling the others to go get Stercus. But the guard is no push over and Turok and the Guard have a strong long lasting combat

Kvothe and Tiberious are trying to get to Stercus. A ray of fire from Stercus wounds Kvothe. Stercus has stopped to fight on the other side of the blood pool. Kvothe and Stercus are trading magic.

The fight does not go well for Turok. A blow from the Drow sword cuts him down, he feels life ebbing away. But Helm is there! Helm steps in an finishes off the Drow with a sacred flame. He spares the dying Turok who feels life returning to his body.

Kvothe is now severely wounded, but Stercus is too. It is the last blast of magic missile that fells Stercus as Kvothe is narrowly missed by one of Stercus blasts of flame. Storm and Tiberious have shown up to assist, but Stercus lays dying….

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Vinny appears

Vinny appears on a pentagon in a pentagon shaped room off of a dark chamber. Inside the chamber lit with the dull red light of the ever present crystals, there are rows upon rows of bodies ’

The bodies look like dry husks, many are humanoid; elf, orc, human, gnome, halflings, and goblins but there are a few lizardfolk, and other monsters. All of the bodies are on a table set at a 30 degree angle. All of the bodies have thin black tubes that go into their necks and thighs. The tubes then bundled together run along the floor, in front of the bodies. The bundles getting larger and larger as more tubes join.

As he moves into the room he notices two Drow at a far end. One is writing something and another is prodding at one of the bodies on a table, this body looks to be more ‘alive’ than the other dry husks.

Drawing daggers he creeps up behind the two drow. A dagger at each of their backs and he has them captured.

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The Pit and the Cambion

The rest of the group is not interested in seeing if that was a teleporter or a disintegrator that Vinny jumped into. They head back to the temple and go down the other passage.

the passage widens into an observation deck over a huge pit that looks bottomless. There are 4 benches to sit on the deck . The pit looks to be a well crafted 75 foot diameter well. They can see outlines of what looks to be a spiral path along the outer wall. Helm spits off the deck, and eventually one of the benches is hurled over the edge. The bench strikes something invisible about 30 feet below. It slides as if there is an invisible dome above the pit

Further on the group comes to another observation deck. This one overlooks the room that they fought the owlbear skeleton in. They are eye level with the 30 foot tall 3 eye god statue in the room. As they look, several Drow, followed by Stercus come into the room (Darth Vader behind Storm-troopers) His ‘iron’ cape flowing as if made of fabric

One of the Drow has a wooden box and is taking items out and handing to Stercus, they are the keys for the Red Crystal door. The party fearful that Stercus will get through the door and awaken the god they feel may be here somewhere leaps into action.

Raif Windgate (Mourning Storm) throws a moonbeam above him. The others rush back through the complex

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3 Eyed Temple, Vinny disappears

The passage widens into a huge temple dominated by yet another statue of the 3 eyed 6 armed god. 60 feet across and 80 feet long with vaulted ceilings stretching over 30 feet high in the middle it is lit by two enormous fire braziers flanking the doorway.

As is everything in this compound, the walls are speckled with faint glowing red crystals. The walls have columns carved in relief. There are 6 large desks in the room as well as benches. On the desks are writing implements and some blank scrolls. Hallways lead out of both sides left and right.

The statue is 30 feet high, a short flight of 3 stairs leading up to it. The ceiling above its head is carved a few more feet upward so its 30 feet height makes it larger than the room, dominating over the area. A quick look over of the room revels nothing more than dusty, long disused writhing items.

The party heads to the left, the hallway immediately turns. The walls are now covered with relief carvings and the hallway doubles back upon itself, like the entrance to a maze. THe carvings are seemingly telling a story

A— 3 eyed god surrounded by clouds
B— 3 eyes standing on a globe, wrapping its tentecles around
C— 12 smallish humanoids falling out of 3 eyes stomach onto the globe

The passage turns after that relief. The PCs notice that the smallish humanoids faces have been expertly, but deliberately smoothed off at some point recently. As if to remove their identity, make them ambiguous

D— 1 humanoid larger than the others, pushing 3 eyes into a hole in the globe. Other humanoids fleeing in all directions
E—3 eyes in hole, the larger humanoid is in a partially built castle. Other humanoids toiling breaking rock, mining, tilling the earth. Their work flying toward the partial castle
F— Larger humanoid now LARGE with a fully built castle, other small humanoids still toil

The hallway ends in a 20×20 room but also doubles back upon itself, still feeling like a maze. There is a huge banquet table set with silverware and heaping food. It smells wonderful and looks fresh. There is a relief carving of the 3 eyed god in the wall with a mouth that spouts red liquid into a decanter surrounded by crystal glassware. The food looks to be a huge portion of roast meat, surrounded by beans, cooked shrimp, raisins and peas

The group assumes that this is an illusion or a trap and stays away from the tempting food. Continuing down the hallway there are more carvings

G— The small humanoid figures are poring liquid from urns into hole, 3 eye god is floating upward.
H— 3 Eyes is now leading the humanoids against the castle
I— The castle falls and 3 eyes and the humanoids are triumphant

The passage ends and loops back upon itself again. As it loops back there is another table upon which sits several copper bowls. The bowls have dried residue in them, some vegetative and others powder The party again feels that this in not worth a long instigation.

More relief carvings lead to a 30 × 30 large room

J— 3 eyes is lifting the humanoids up in celebration, wrapping its tentacles around them
K— 3 eyes and the humanoids are looking down upon globe

The room has a raised dais in the middle atop which is a large 10 foot wide red crystal pentagon. There are several portable folding wooden walls and some furniture pushed to the outside of the room. Vinny thinks this is a teleporter and jumps on it…nothing happens.

An investigation of the room reveals there is a smaller ante-chamber whose entrance is covered by a wooden screen. There is a smaller red crystal pentagram inside. Vinny has gotten one of the brass plaques out from the bag of holding and jumps on the large red crystal pentagram, there is a flash of red light and he is gone

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Red Dwarf, reboot

The pull back of the red curtain reveals another luxury room, with nice place settings and furniture, on the stairs leading to the statue in the alcove are 2 more Red Robed Dwarves, their lower halves shimmering and translucent. Spells fly from the party and the fight is on. Turok’s electrical scepter and Kvothe’s spells bring the two down, both flashing in a pop of red light before disappearing. These dwarves were similar to the other. but moved faster and had bright red eyes.

Looking over the room and moving to the 4th room, they find a similar set up as room 1&2. Two opulent rooms connected by a secret passage that allows one room to be spied upon. They also find spy holes in the wall

Vinny has opened the doors in the hallway and found two libraries. They look to have been gone over as the locks have been jimmied but most of the contents still look to be there. Vinny does not even give the rooms a once over as he feels that whoever broke in here would have taken all the worthwhile items.

The hallway bends past the library and the 4 luxurious rooms, ahead looms some sort of chapel….

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Red Dwarf

The group moves from the blood soaked room to the next room. It also has an alcove that leads to a heavy red drapery that covers the entrance. Cautiously peering through the curtain, Kvothe sees a lone dwarf, his back turned to the curtain 15 feet ahead. The room is opulent like the first and there is the same short flight of stairs up to an alcove holding a huge 3 eye statue, almost the same room, except for the dwarf.

The Dwarf is dressed in red robes, hood up around his head and muttering under his breath. His stance and visible beard is all that really identifies him as dwarven….Tiberious parts the curtain and attempts to speak in the dwarven tongue.

As Tiberious starts with "Hail dwarven brother…..The red robed dwarf wheels about now screaming, possibly in jibberish, in a manner that was similar to the voice that boomed out of the statue in the other room.

Tiberious can see his is a Druegar a Grey Dwarf. His beard is matted and his eyes black and hollow, his mouth opens in a twisted scream as he lunges. His Robes now become as red mist, or swirling fog. He flies at Tiberious clawed hands outstretched….

The battle is quick as the red spectral dwarf pops in a flash of light and disappears when hit with Turok’s electrical scepter. The room is looked over, nice place settings and furniture as the previous room.

The statue at the back is investigated and eventually pulled over, revealing a secret passage behind it. The passage leads to the hollowed out statue in the previous room. Several passages that look to be verbal spells are carved into the inside of the statue, and the room can be viewed though the obsidian eyes. Kvothe copies the spells, hoping to discern them later.

Back to the hallway they move onto the 3rd room and pull back the heavy red curtain

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Rooms of Worship

The group heads down a 20 foot wide hallway that stretches back behind the 3-eye statue/column. There are 4 alcoves each has one or three small red burning braziers and The ones with one also having a small statues of the 3 eye god. To the back of each alcove, is a thick red drapery, covering the entrance to a large room beyond.

The curtain is slowly pulled back and peeked behind, joking speculation about the Wizard of Oz being back there are not fulfilled. There is a large 30×30 room, to its rear a set of shallow stairs that lead to a 20×20 room. The 30×30 room is furnished opulently, overstuffed chairs, a large dining table, a regal bed, all old dusty, cobwebbed and brittle looking.

Behind that the 20×20 room has a huge statue of the 3 eye god, the statue has 3 black eyes set in it, possibly made of obsidian. There has been some activity in the room, but not recent. Some items have been disturbed and there are many old boot prints on the floor, now gathering new dust.

As the party looks about a voice BOOMS from the statue, no open understands the language, and it could be just gibberish, although there seems to be a few words of common or undercommon scattered about. Cautiously advancing the party sees the wall behind the statue turn blood red and move toward them, racing and splashing as if a wall of blood was headed toward them.

The characters in the front try to dive to the side, while those in the back retreat out the curtain. Tiberious, Turok and Helm are caught in the wave, all of them are able to stand against it, but are battered with what seems to be a wall of blood.

The blood knocks over furniture, sends smaller items flying and splashes out into the hallway beyond the curtain. The whole room is awash in a bloody mess, Tiberious Turok and Helm all covered in wet cold blood…..

But the blood has also knocked open a part of the wall. There was a secret door that is now exposed and slightly ajar.

Half the group is looking at the statue, which seems attached to the back wall as if it were carved out of the same rock. The others have gone into the secret room 5×10. Inside is a desk and bookshelf, with several dusty tomes, scrolls and tablets, along with writing implements and candles. There are two books one in under common, leather bound and nice and another in an odd tongue, pedestrian and on rough and strong paper.

There is no access behind the statue and the group seems to get that the books are a translation of the odd tongue into undercommon. If they can figure out what the other language is this could be a “rosetta stone” for it.

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A talking skeleton?

The torture chamber is a standard affair of rack, manacles on the wall, fire pit (cold) with iron pokers in it. There is a table with pincers and forceps and small knives clamps and so on…..But what is interesting is there is a complete skeleton hanging from the manacles on one wall.

Some are drawn to the skeleton right away as the bones should not be together. The skeleton moves slightly and then speaks startling the group. “I will not give in no matter how long it takes” the skeletons head raises, its jaw moving, yet there is no tongue or anything that would indicate it was capable of speech.

The party attempts to engage the skeleton. “Who are you?” and “Why are you here?” At first it seems the skeleton is answering their questions with various statement s of defiance, like “You will never break me!” and “I shall hold out for as long as it takes” Poking and prodding the skeleton does nothing but bring more statements of defiance. The party finds the keys and unfastens the manacles. The skeleton continues to stand there, its arms in the air as if it were still manacled, still making defiant statements.

There are 3 more cell doors to the back of the chamber. 2 are empty and one holds a shimmering blob in the shape of a Kuo Toa. Appearing as pink tinged jelly sculpture, the Kuo Toa moves slightly shuffling in the cell. Speculating that the Kuo toa has been eaten by some sort of slime or jelly they blast at it with fire magic through the door opening.

Finding nothing more they retreat back to the larger hallway.

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