BAND OF IRONS

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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One for me boss, and me boss, and me boss.....

Kvothe steals ahead of Tiberious and Turok, the odor from the latter was affecting his halfling sensibilities. He uses his cloak to move in the shadows toward the front. A draft spider drawn barge pulls to the edge of the mire and its two Drow occupants begin unfastening cargo.

2 Drow move from the gatehouse toward the barge. Kvothe watches as they take crates off the barge in their arms then move toward the front gate. Storm rushes past and holds out his arms to take a crate as if it is his job….the boatmen place a crate in his arms.

The rest of the party takes the hint and also get in line to move boxes toward the front door. The boxes a wooden and fairly heavy. Everyone shakes theirs trying to guess what is inside. Some clank from inside as if coin or metal rolling about, others are muted or silent.

The party follows the two original Drow, the guards at the gatehouse paying them little heed. They only go so far though, then once inside, deposit the boxes in the portable hole once they are out of site. Storm continues to follow the 2 original Drow as the others begin to wander about the city in smallish groups.

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BlackHaus
Brothel

TO the right of the road sits an impressive stone structure. Looking like a fortified mansion it has a sweeping stone front staircase flanked by two guard towers. Large red burning braziers light the base of the steps atop of which is a smartly dressed Drow and some kind of huge White Wookie/bear which is breathing heavily. They stand to each side of huge bronze doors.

Drow and Druegar are atop the turrets and there is a large sign say BLACKHAUS in the ground out front. Vinny ascends the stairs just as two Drow in leather robes come out the front doors, they pass as he is greeted by the smartly dressed Drow standing near the front door.

“Business?” the Drow asks and Vinny again answers “pleasure” To which the Drow responds "We have lots of that here and opens the door for Vinny. Inside is a 40 × 40 room with a high 20 foot ceiling supported by 6 columns that lead to a second set of bronze door on the far wall.

These doors are flanked by Drow guards wearing chainmail and carrying crossbows. There is an orc and a Druegar near one of the columns, they seem to be arguing, but quietly. Vinny approaches the next set of double doors and pushes the m open. A cacophony of voices and noise comes from inside.

Vinny sees a worked but elegant room, red tapestries adorn the high walls, at dozens of matching tables at leas 40 various humanoids are drinking and talking. To each side is a long bar manned by Drow and Drueagr, to the far side some sort of armored cupola and behind that 2 doors set in the wall, both with Drow and Druegar guards.

Chandeliers burning red and torches light the place with a low red light. Tehn Vinny notices the women. To the far side is a bathtub, two statues of succubus spray water on a Human and Half Elf female who are naked and kissing.

Wandering about the table are females and a few males of various races, scantily clad carrying drinks and rubbing up against patrons. Vinny wanders to the bar and buys a pint of good ale. He asks the bartender if there is a place to get a good game in around here. the bartender chuckles and replies this is a whore house, gambling’s is across the street.

Vinny sips his ale and wanders about the room, watches as the girls and boys slide in and out near all the male patrons. Occasionally a patron rises with a companion and moves back to the cupola, Exchanges money and goes through the first door toward the back. Vinny then sees the balcony above the room. It is dark and not prominent, but he can see guards overlooking the room.

As his drink is finished he sees a human male emurge from the second door toward the back. His clothes are mussed had his hair assunder, he looks to have a fat lip. He moves to the bar and buys a drink. Vinny finishes his and walks back outside

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Monty Turok's Flying Urine

The remainder of the party has scouted the outside perimeter. The "island’ is a half mile diameter with a 25 foot high defensive wall that stretches all the way around, dotted with 30 foot high stone turrets. There is a good field of fire on all the “beaches” with good visibility for the troops in the turrets. It would be hard to assault this fortress.

At the rear is a small gatehouse. Two 30 foot towers side by side with a heavy closed portcullis between them. There looks to be no travel in and out of this area, but it is heavily manned. The group decides to enter, sending Toruk and Tiberius Hammersmyth first, the two walk toward the gatehouse.

The Drow and Drugar atop it shout down “What is your business?” Turok answers “We want to come inside” One of the Drow looks down and says “You have to go in the front” The Drow returns to speaking with someone that can’t be seen atop the tower.

Inexplicably Turok lowers his shoulder and crashes against the portculis. He bouces off alerting the Drow on the turret. “Hey what the fuck are you doing there?” the Drow yells down clearly agitated. Turok ribs Tiberious, saying softly “Hey Tiberious aint those the guys you don’t like?” Tiberious head shakes in anger as he desperately tries to suppress the need to kill some Drow.

Turok yells up again “We want to come inside” The Drow looks over, crossbow in hand and speaks slowly realizing he is dealing with an idiot “Go….around….to the….front….” he motions with his crossbow around the outside of the wall.

Turok stands there motionless looking up, seemingly unsure what the word ‘front’ means. Another Drow steps near the first and slaps against his helmet with his two gloved hands and sticks out his tongue. “Fetch the piss bucket” says the first Drow to the oddly behaving second who moves off.

“We want inside now!” Turok bellows as Tiberious sees the second Drow reappear holding a stained and dripping wooden bucket. “Run away” Tiberious says and backpedals away. Toruk isn’t running from anything, as the second Drow dumps a latrine bucket over the barbarian. Urine and feces cover him.

Toruk finally moves back to Tiberious position, “Should we go around to the front?” Turok asks…..Tiberious shakes his head “Come on” he says leading the now very foul smelling barbarian back toward the front gate…the others of the party shadow them.

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Vinny into Danger

Vincent Rhodes dons the disguise of a tall blond human, one of his trading personas, and wanders out of the mire toward the front gatehouse of the compound. The central column is truly impressive stretching into the blackness above.

The gatehouse is a thick-walled stone structure, turrets flanking the open courtyard behind which a tunnel goes through the building to the outpost behind it.. Vinny notices numerous fighting positions

He is challenged at the gatehouse by a young male drow in chain armor and brandishing a crossbow, two heavily armored Druegar with short Halberds back him up.

“Business here?” says the Drow. Vinny answers he’s here for fun. The Drow does not smile but says “there’s lots of that to be found here” The Drow looks Vinny over then says “Don’t cause trouble” and Vincent moves inside

Vinny walks through the courtyard, two half orcs are arguing and several Drow and Druegar are atop the battlements. The building behind has a tunnel/passage with multiple open portcullises and many murder holes in the ceiling. He casually walks through and into the “town” beyond.

The road little more than a more worn area of rock, forks left and right, with the massive stalagmite ahead. Humanoids come and go and Vinny sees Orcs, Hobgoblins, Humans, Drow and Druegar, most armed and most mean looking.

To the left the road rises slightly and the buildings are larger generally clean. Vinny passes what looks to be a decent Inn but these buildings look mostly like homes. The area is mostly Drow and Druegar occupied, Vinny sees only a couple other humanoids, and he sees regular patrol of Drow and Druegar soldiers.

At the top of the rise is a large 3 story mansion, well guarded by Drow and Druegar. Its regal appearance may indicate that it is the “governor’s” mansion. It butts up against the central column. There are large braziers of burning red flame to either side of the doorway. Like the rest of the compound, there are numerous red burning torches giving the whole of the place a red tint

Vinny turns and head back toward the gatehouse, the road slopes slightly downward and the buildings are a bit more ramshackle. There is a larger variety of huminoids including goblins and more orcs. Vinny sees a pony sized spider being used like a draft animal pulling a wagon loaded with rock.

The road widens into a market place. Vendors in open stalls are selling numerous items, it is just as the world above, except the humanoids here are a bit concerning. Vinny presents himself as a buyer and wanders the market. After the purchase of some poison he sees two items that eat his interest. A vendor is selling minor rings of dark vision His sales pitch is for those slaves that can’t see in the dark. The rings are greatly inferior to the actual ability dark vision, BUT vine knows this will allow the two humans in the group to be able to see in the darkness that they will be in for sometime. Vinny haggles and haggles, even walking away before the vendor gives in. “Hell no one needs these down here anyway” he says selling the rings to Vinny at half the cost he had originally asked

Past the Market are more ramshackle domiciles and then two larger buildings, behind which is a coliseum of some sort.. Vinny wanders to the coliseum “Next Challenge in 3 days” says a sign. Vinny returns to the two large buildings….

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To Coldstone!

The group holds hands and teleports to the tower in Coldstone keep. Tiberious has filled the bag of holding with mortar and tools and they set about piling debris in the rear collapsed wall. Securing the gatehouse and bricking up the entrance to the tower that contains the teleport pedestal.

After a long rest the party climbs to the top of the teleport tower and uses the rope of climbing to descend into the brackish cold water of the mire they head off in the direction in which they encountered the thick mist.

The group is unable to find the swirling mists that menaced them with falling notes, but they do find the mound of long dead skeletons and rusting armor, where they slew the banshee. It is only 2 miles from the keep leading them to believe they were walking in circles while in the fog.

The glowing arrow marker is still in the ground and they head off in that direction, finding a second one a half mile later. Another mile and the outcropping overlooking the rock tower is found.

As before there is a large island rising up form the brackish water. The island slopes slowly from 50 to 100 feet before the 25 foot high stone walls topped with battlements and occasionally dotted with 30 foot high towers is located.

Past the walls are numerous stone buildings as the ground continues to slope gradually toward the center of the island then abruptly rising in a shear rock column, like a huge stalagmite that disappears in the black of the sky. You have no idea how high it goes as you can not see the roof of the immense cave you are in.

The column is at least 1/4 mile in diameter and has several openings on it which faint red or yellowish light is flooding out of. The whole of the area seems bathed in dull red light, torches and braziers of burning red cast an “emergency lighting” over the area.

Drow and Druegar man the turrets and walls, there is a gatehouse and as you watch a group of orcs in battle gear slog out of the water and mover toward the gate, they appear to be greeted and let inside.

Vinny is off to infiltrate the area and says little as he leaves, the rest of the party deciding to head around the perimeter and check everything out while Vinny scouts the inside of the outpost.

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Chandarian/Cambion review

When they meet near the teleportation cave Kvothe gives a review of the Chandarion/Cambion. Several of the demon lord Iuz children have been loosed on the world to cause havoc. Rotcod’ohw has tasked you with trying to stop them as some of their paths have crossed your younger selves. Most notably Kvothe, who knows one of the Cambion, Stercus, to be the leader of the raiders who killed his father.

Kvothe has read as much as he can in the Library but can find little info

You trapped one (Cyphus) in the Vampire Lighthouse
You killed one (Ferule) at Standing Stones
Kvothe has been invited by one (Stercus) to “come inside” You has previously seen him at The Lost Temple
Kvothe has dreamed about one (Usnea) “awakening”

Kvothe DOES KNOW that there are 7 total and the others are named
Dalcenti, Alenta, and Alaxel

He also has some hints from a poem, of which Alynis also has

Cyphus bears the blue flame.
Stercus is in thrall of iron.
Ferule chill and dark of eye.
Usnea lives in nothing but decay.
Grey Dalcenti never speaks.
Pale Alenta brings the blight.
Last there is the lord of the seven:
Hated. Hopeless. Sleepless. Sane.
Alaxel bears the shadow’s shame.
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