BAND OF IRONS

Over to the Temple of Blood

The group now reunited descends to the blood pond. A large central opening rises at least 100 feet above them. It is dotted with 3 openings at various heights that were “balconies” from cave rooms they had descended through. Up highest was where the blood poured off and they fought the mummies.

The Blood pool has 5 rough red crystal columns, 3 feet in diameter and 5 and 10 feet high sticking at odd angles up out of the blood, they glow like “emergency lighting” giving a faint red light to everything around. All the walls are doted as well with small glowing red crystals.

They are standing on a small ledge that sticks out into the blood pool. Across from them is a tunnel like entrance to what looks to be some sort of temple. A 50 foot wide “pier” juts 40 feet out into the blood pond. 6 Carved columns that look to have once supported a roof, now long gone, stick up like fingers from the “pier”

The “pier” leads into a 30 foot high tunnel, from which a brighter red glow spills forth. The columns continue inside to the roof of the carved tunnel. There is a 2 foot wide channel cut into the floor so the blood can flow into the tunnel from the pond.

Vinny again uses his grapple and rope to swing across, Turok tries leaping to a column and fails miserable falling into the blood with a splash. As soon as he hits the blood figures rise from it, skeletons! The skeletons are a frightening sight as blood drips from their bones, but the party is sufficiently powerful enough that the 6 undead guardians are quickly dispatched.

The group slogs across the blood pond that turns out to be about 2 feet deep. All are wet with blood save Vinny, and with Turok being entirely covered. The group spreads out investigating the blood channel and the columns, moving cautiously back into the immense tunnel that is 50 feet wide and 30 feet high, its cieling supported by twin rows of columns every 10 feet

Once inside the tunnel the group can see 2 huge bronze doors at the far end of the tunnel, about 100 feet away. There are 2 huge braziers set in the wall in which an eerie red flame burns to each side of the door, and another two halfway down on each side of the tunnel, which is lit with a brighter red than the rest of the cave. .

As the group advances the braziers to the right and left in the tunnel glow bright and the flames roll like and explosion, jumping out of the fire are two immense black hounds, fire licking at their mouths and their eyes glowing bright red , they turn and rush at the party…..

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The Blood in the Bottom of the cave

Vinny sees a pond of blood about 150 feet in diameter. Faint large red crystals pierce its surface in several areas. This is where the blood poured into from above when they opened the secret door draining the blood pool.

To one side is the tunnel like entrance to what looks to be some sort of temple. A 50 foot wide “pier” juts 40 feet out into the blood pond. 6 Carved columns that look to have once supported a roof of some sort, now long gone, stick up like fingers from the “pier”

The “pier” leads into a 30 foot high tunnel, from which a brighter red glow spills forth. The columns continue inside to the roof of the carved tunnel. Vinny rappels to the pier. He notices that a 2 foot wide channel is cut into the floor so the blood can flow into the tunnel from the pond. He also notices a entrance on the other side of the pond, most likely where the winding passage from above terminates.

Vinny uses his grapple and rope very expertly (nat. 20) to get across to the smaller cave opening w/o having to trod through the blood pond. Climbing into the tunnel on the other side he is able to move upward to a door. Moving a spring loaded bar it opens. The rest of the party is on the other side of this one way door, camouflaged to look like the rock wall on the other side

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Shocks and Zombies

Vinny moves ahead to the cave/room where Storm was shocked by the statue. There is a 6 armed statue in the center of the room, and it is open to the cave’s center shaft to his left. He also feels the shock of electricity but power walks through it and takes minimal damage . The rest of the party is trying to figure the statue out from the front and Vinny from the back of it. Turok tries to push the statue over and gets shocked.

Vinny hears something behind him and sees 4 shambling humanoid figures coming from further down the passage. Worried they are more mummies, he hooks a line on the edge of the room and repels off the edge, hoping the advancing mummies wont see him.

The others wait for what turns out to be 4 zombies. Like the mummies they have brass plaques around their necks, they advance slowly and are cut apart by ranged attacks.. Meanwhile Vinny realizes he can reach the floor below and continues to rappel.

Above the others are able to strike at the statue and eventually push it over, seemingly defeating its shock trap. They move forward into a another cave room the passages continuing to wrap around the center cave shaft and descend steeply.

This room holds 7 plundered sarcophagi. The ids are cast aside and nothing in them remains save some dust and scraps of linen. Most likely this is where the corpses that became the zombies and mummies once lay.

Continuing forward and down they come to a last room, careful searching reveals a secret door at the end of the room, but try as they might they can not find out how to open it, and have forgotten about Vinny….

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Here come the mummies

The party rightly deduces that the linen wraps of the mummies may make them vulnerable to fire, firebolts from the magic users seem to support this. But the passage is narrow and the group is unable to disengage and the mummies are upon them.

Turok does his best to try to push a mummy off the ledge, but finds it just as strong as he as it resists his grapple and smashes him with a rotten fist that stings him to his core, More arrow fire and spells seems to damage the mummies but they are taking a toll on Turok.

Storm has an idea to try and boil the blood in the cave beyond, so if Turok is able to get the mummy off the ledge it will be boiled. The rest of the party does not agree with his tactic as he dashes past the mummies without attacking them, Turok is further pummeled.

Helm sees Turok’s plight and casts healing as one of the mummies slips on the blood soaked steps. Storm slips past the battle into the next room. One of the mummies finally succumbs to fire, but Turok still wrestles with an undead creature that is his equal in strength

Storm finds a statue, another tentacled humanoid, a burst of something knocks him backward as he nears it, then din of the others fighting still behind him.

A mummy fist staggers Turok, but he is finally able to push it off the ledge, more healing from Helm as the last mummy is finally slain.

Each Mummy has a brass plaque around its neck. 3 stylized eyeballs with 3 squiggles to each side. Looking over where Turok threw the mummy the party cannot see where the blood washed away to, but the cave smells of blood as moist air swirls up from the depths.

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Into the Blood Cave

As the others go inside Turok begins smashing at the Red Crystalline columns, he is chipping them away slowly. He thought he could shatter them, but they are too strong. The rest of the party has gone inside, and they follow Kothe’s previous path.

They check out the skull that the blood flows out of. It looks to be a goblin of some sorts, the blood welling up in the throat before spilling into a 2×2 foot groove cut in the floor. The blood fills it half way before gurgling slowly away 50 feet to a pool where it looks to somehow flow out of and into the wall.

The blood stream is jumped and the group goes into the large room with a large blood pool. There are 6 humanoid statues, each with 6 tentacles and 3 huge eyes. The eyes are stacked atop one another and the tentacles come from the shoulder and sides. The body looks human except for the large bulbous head. The statues are set back in alcoves in each corner and in the middle of the long wall, like the pockets on a billiard table.

There are dry blood footprints on the ground as if someone walked out of the pool. All manner of things are pushed and prodded looking for secret doors, when finally the Dwarf Tiberious, notices splashes of blood on the far wall of the pool, as if someone walked toward the wall and splashed blood from their feet against it.

Kvothe finds a handle with a button underneath the surface of the blood, the group readies itself as the button is pushed, the wall swings away and the blood pours out of the pool into a hallway beyond.

The rushing of the blood, pulls at everyone’s feet, threatening to pull them over, but everyone holds firm. The hallway beyond is a stair case down, now slick with blood. Cautiously the group creeps downstairs, the blood looks to have run off the edge of a cliff ahead, just past a small room. TO the left in the small room stand 3 creatures that look like zombies, dry decay and wrapped in dirty linen cloth the party readies fire spells……

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More Kvothe
While Storm in Tavern and Vinny at Market

Kvothe moves 30 feet down a smooth cut stone hallway 10 feet wide and 10 feet high, his form casting no shadows due to his Elven Cloak. After 30 feet the hall opens into a larger room. The room is 50 feet wide with 20 foot high ceilings, all carved from the rock. The most dominating feature is a 30 foot wide pool of what again looks like blood running the length of the room. Kvothe’s vision can barley make out the far wall in the dim light 70 feet away.

To Kvothe’s left and right are alcoves with odd humanoid form statues in them. He carefully investigates. The statues have the body of a man but with 6 arms growing from his shoulders and torso. His head is a large bulb with three evenly spaced elongated eyes.

Kvothe hears a sound, the heavy bronze door opening, he ducks behind a statue pulls his cloak tight and waits. Long minutes go by, he thinks he hears a scraping sound, but the faint gurgling of the blood stream continues.

Suddenly there is an iron warrior in front of him, just exiting the passage he came in by. He remains hidden, as the warrior pivots left and right, then slowly turns around and walks back outside. It moves much faster than the ones he encountered at the temple, but still very slowly about half the speed at which a human would normally move.

Kvothe follows it outside and watches as it steps between the two rock pillars, there is a flash of red light and it is gone. Kvothes thinks it is time to tell the others about his find and tries the sending stones to contact them. Kvothe climbs down so he can meet them on the ground.

In several minutes the whole gang arrives. Storm smells of smoke, and Turok of urine. Kvothe lets them know about his findings and the group feel this is the area they want to investigate next. Using the rope of climbing and Kvothe’s Elven cloak, everyone is safely and stealth-fully up to the ledge and into the cave mouth, near the two red crystalline columns

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The Tavern Burns

While the rest of the party is checking the area out Storm is in the basement of the tavern in spider form. He hatches a plan to cause a commotion. While the Goblin hammers away at fixing the broken chairs, Storm in spider form gets a good look at the room.

Huge casks of ale and wine. Broken furniture being mended by a goblin chained to a doghouse. A locked reinforced room that is most likely a “safe” Storm turns back into himself, hidden behind the pile of furniture. He casts Create Bonfire under the furniture pile, it bursts into flames, he slinks back into a dark corner.

The Goblin begins screaming and tugging at its chain, the upper door flings open and the hobgoblin rushes downstairs “WHAT DID YOU DO?” it screams at the goblin. Storm turns into a bear and leaps on the hobgoblin’s back.

Storm kills the hobgoblin quickly, the fire is now producing smoke and the goblin is still screaming as Storm in bear form rushes upstairs surprising a drow who appears in the doorway.

Again Storm mauls the drow and catches the other hobgoblin trying to escape out the door. There was a second drow who is already out the door as Storm mauls the hobgoblin to death then blinks out of the tavern

There is a huge commotion. Everyone who is scattered about the outpost sees and hears warnings, shouts, smoke, humanoids rushing toward or away from the tavern…..

Storm walks calmly away from his handy-work. The group is clustered about the tavern watching Drow rush inside, patrons stream outside and some smoke come out of the roof. Most likely they’ve sent someone inside with a create water spell to douse the flame.

Kvothe has returned from his foray into the cave and rounds up the others, “guys you got to see what I’ve found”

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Kvothe moves ahead

The entire underground cave is grey rock and this huge 300 foot column is no different. From what you’ve seen in town there looks to be only two buildings abutted against it, the Brothel Blackhaus and a 3 story castle/mansion most likely the leader of this outpost resides there.

Kvothe has taken some time to stealth around the rock tower and has found an area he thinks he can climb. About 30 feet up he finds a ledge with a tunnel leading to a cave entrance. From this perch he can see that this is hard to see from either guard tower to each side, ducking a few feet back into the hollow reassures him that he is inconspicuous, and his Elven cloak makes sure of it.

About 30 feet in there are two red glowing rock crystal columns, they are producing red light like everything else in this area. There are also several little rock crystals looking like red quartz that glow with the same low light dotted in the walls of the cave. Everything looks to be lit as if on emergency lighting.

Between the two columns is a large brass door set in the cave wall. The door is very wide 8 feet and very tall 15 feet. Kvothe checks it for traps then struggles to open it. The door swings freely on its hinges, yet is extremely heavy and difficult for Kvothe to open. Back marble steps descend into a rock cut 10 foot x 10 foot smooth walled passage.

The stairs descend 20 feet and then the floor flattens out, the air smells of iron, sharp in Kvothe’s nostrils. He moves ahead and hears a gurgling sound as if a stream of water is flowing nearby. Coming to a 4 way intersection, he is horrified by a rock trench cut in the floor which looks to be a 2 foot wide flow of blood slowly babbling flowing from right to left.

Down the right hall 30 feet is a grotesque skull statue 8 feet tall and set in the wall. The entire area dimly lit by the red quartz crystals in the wall. The blood wells up inside the skull’s throat and then gurgles its way over what looks to be a tongue formed as a gutter, spilling into the 2 foot trench to be carried away.

Kvothe sneaks down the left hallway, it also travels 30 feet, dimly lit and ends in a half circle pool in the floor about 8 feet wide. Kvothe jumps the trench at its narrowest 2 foot area and continues down the hallway……

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Storm's Turn in the Black Gauntlet

Storm does not recognize Vinny walking out of the Black Gauntlet, Vinny is in a disguise. Storm follows the other two Drow with boxes into the tavern. The tavern is rowdy, with many humanoids drunken, fighting, betting. Storm’s nose is assaulted with the smell of urine, and stale beer.

The two drow ahead of him move to the bar and are motioned around to a back door. A large Hobgoblin takes the boxes from them in a doorway shutting the door behind. Storm does exactly what the previous Drow did and is rewarded with a silver piece for giving his box to the hobgoblin. Storm retreats into a corner with an idea.

With the noise of the bar and no one looking at him, Storm turns into a spider, hiding in the shadows of the dimly it bar, he skitters onto the wall and then the ceiling, moving over to the door and waiting. It is not too long before another Drow with a box is greeted at the door and Storm in spider form ducks inside.

The 10×30 room is generally bare save several wooden casks of ale and wine which 2 drow and 2 hobgoblins and quickly handing out to tavern goers who are feeding them silver pieces.in exchange through the small long bar/window. There is a stairway leading down and storm skitters along the ceiling, halting when he sees a hobgoblin coming up from below. As the Hobgoblin goes by, Storm moves into a basement.

In the basement there are several large wooden casks, buckets and earthenware mugs. There is a mound of broken furniture and boxes, the sound of hammering comes from the far wall. There is a doghouse to which a goblin is chained to. The goblin is hammering nails into broken furniture, fixing it. Storm can see he looks to be a slave carpenter

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Black Gauntlet
Tavern and market

Vinny walks across the street to a large warehouse looking building. High windows red-lit from inside and a huge barn door slightly ajar is the only noticeable features. Painted on the front stone wall is a large black fist. Aside the door stands another huge white bear/wookie, breathing heavily. Yells and laughter emanate from within

It only takes Vinny a second to know what this place is all about. An armored bar is on the far wall, a slit hardly big enough to get a glass through. Dozens of mismatched pieces of oft broken and repaired furniture are occupied by every member of ugly drunken smell humanoid not really Vinny’s style.

About a dozen orcs, Hobgoblins and humans are betting on something happening in a pit to his left. A mug wizzes by his head smashing on the wall and Vinny turns to leave. As he leaves he sees 2 Drow walking up the street carrying boxes, behind them is Mourning Storm, also carrying a box. Vinny ducks by them and heads to the market

The market is small with about a dozen vendors in open stalls and another few setting up on the edge with portable stands. The vendors are all Drow or Druegar wth the Drow selling weapons and decorations, and the Druegar selling gems and collected items, foodstuffs mostly mushrooms

Food – mushrooms; meat, water; booze; bread.
Clothing – adventuring gear, cold weather items
Fuel – wood, coal, oil; luminous rocks and fungus.
Nick-nacks – jewelry, tools
Weapons – crossbows and short swords

Vinny wanders the market and makes a few small deals. There is a murmur song the crowd and there seems to be something going on back toward the brothel and tavern….he thinks he smells smoke? Vinny moves back to the tavern.

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