BAND OF IRONS

A few quick fights and captives

The Drow patrol wanders right among the spread out party, from the front and back the 2 Drow males are dispatched quickly. These two Drow had nice grey cloaks on and more NOQUAR horse head pins. What loot can be gathered from their bodies is tossed in the portable hole, the bodies are moved to the latrine and thrown into the pit toilet, something may be moving down in the pit toilet, better not think about it.

Tiberious ritualistic removal of a Drow ear from each one that he had a hand in killing had not really bothered most of the party, their Chaotic or nuetral nature not generally opposed to his gristly trophy hunting.

The party finds another storeroom, the general layout of this complex is that of a “ladder” where the rungs and sides are hallways with the space between “rungs” are rooms.

Two more Drow are coming down the hallway, they are males and dressed similar to the first two. Tiberious sets an ambush and these two are quickly subdued and tied up, moved into one of the storerooms for interrogation

Tiberious is at the head of the interrogation, intimidation and occasionally letting Vinny use his smarmy charisma on them in a Good Cop Bad Cop type of work. “What house do you serve?” Tiberious threatens the Drow who look puzzled. After several minutes of betterment and threats Tiberious seems to have a good idea about the set up of this place.

1-Outcast male Drow and outcast Grey Dwarves (Duergar), have been set up in this area for some time.
2-The area is a small settlement, which functions on trading and entertainment (whorehouse and betting on fighting in the arena)
3-They aren’t allied with any larger settlement or house. They operate as a small independent collective

Tiberious then turns is attention to questions about Sterrcus. Sterccus had invited Kvothe to come here with a note, but Sterccus had not been seen since the encouter in the Lost Temple many weeks ago. Tiberious Learns that.

1-The original outpost was little more than a rabble of Drow and Dwarves clumped together for protection. They burrowed caves into the rock tower.
2-Sterccus showed up and provided leadership. Organized building of the wall and adding structures. Now they live in the homes/town aroudn the tower.
3-Sterccus lives in the mansion on the other side of the tower of rock
4-Under Sterccus leadership the collective has thrived especially in the last few years.

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Look more Drow

While the group rests they are all troubled by dreams. They are all able to get rested, but it is a bit uneasy. Turok the barbarian still feels not 100%. His mouth is dry and tastes of dust. Helm uses all his healing cantrips on Turok, yet Turok still is still a bit ill.

The group looks over the red crystal door. Tiberious feels that one of the indentations is a cross section of a sword, and one of the indentations is surly the beak of an owl bear, something they already have. There is also a round hole smooth with wax, “candle that produces no light” maybe an unlit candle goes here?

they head up the tunnel. Someone clearly bored into this temple from further inside the rock tower, as they are headed toward its center. 50 feet in and the tunnel ends in a corridor. The Corridor runs perpendicular to the tunnel, its walls smooth and well carved from the native rock, more of the small red crystals studding the walls and providing faint light.

To the right is an open room, once 30 feet wide with a 10 foot ceiling it is piled high with broken rock and debris, most likely the cuttings from the tunnel that the party just came from. The debris is piled to the ceiling, and from wall to wall. They can estimate that the room was once 30×30 as there would be 500 cubic feet of rock removed from the 50 × 10 tunnel.

To the left the corridor continues for 30 feet and then T’s. There is a door set in the wall, made from old but sturdy wood. Creeping to the T, Tiberious heads to the right, Vinny to the left and Storm tries the door.

To the left the passage turns back upon itself and ends in a 20×20 room that looks and smells like a latrine. Benches with holes are on the far wall, are most likely pit toilets. In addition several buckets filled with water and rags are strewn about, and a large polished metal mirror is hung on one wall. Cool air wafts up from the holes carrying the smell of excrement and decay. One of the benches is hinged, looking like you could raise it to throw larger stuff into the pit.

To the right is an alcove and a door, the alcove has a large stone statue of the 3 eyes 6 arm humanoid set back in it. Inside looks like a temple or meeting room. 10 stone pews sit in front of a raised dais. The corridor continues and T’s back to the right having doors set on each wall.

As Storm looks over what appears to be a storeroom with broken boxes scattered about, the others see two male Drow turn the corner in front of them, maybe a patrol the 2 are walking casually, their weapons holstered and not noticing as the party ducks back….

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Owl Bear attack! And then its nap time

The Owl Bear Skeleton rushes at the group but stumbles as it extricates itself from the blood pool, the party is on it with full initiative. Axes, Swords and Magic make quick work of it as its futile attempts to claw and bite are rebuffed by Tiberious’ shield bash, it is quickly reduced to nothing but a bloody pile of bones.

The group looks the room over. The towering statue of the 3 eye-6 arm humanoid stands stoically in the pool of blood from where the Owl Bear skeleton came. There is a cut hole in the wall, with a 10 foot wide passage extending beyond. Tiberious investigates and indicates that indeed someone with a good ability of stone cutting tunneled in here, “surely gnomes or dwarves” he says.

Most curious though is a faint red glowing door. The 5×10 door looks to be made of the same red crystal that dots the walls. On the door, in bronze inlay is a poem, under the poem there are several indentations that look to correspond to verses in the poem. It looks as though 5 items need to be gathered and placed in the openings, like keys.

Copper letters set into the glowing red crystal door

This road you cannot travel, unless these words you do unravel
Bring to me a ring which you can not wear
A sharpened word you can not swear
Light produced not from this candle
for a door without a handle
A beak that rests within the flood
of blood of blood of blood of blood
Rest and dream without sleeping
Hold in tight, without keeping
A halfling lantern glowing red,
but its owner must be dead

The group is weary from its travel here, many spell slots and Storms shape change ability have been used up. They have already fought several battles. Watches are set as the group moves away from the tunnel opening and affixes a noise maker trap just inside it. They settle in for a rest, several members closing their eyes and falling asleep with exhaustion.

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The Temple Doors

The Tunnel is 100 feet long, 50 feet wide, 30 feet high, lit by the 4 red braziers which are producing a 7 foot tall flame that seems to burn without heat, only bright red light. Shadows flicker through the dozen columns on each side of a small trench that allows blood from the blood pond to flow under the large bronze doors at the end of the tunnel

The Doors are 5 feet wide and 15 feet tall. Each has a visage of the 3 eye, 6 tentacle humanoid sculpted in them. Tiberious is studying the figure in the door, “we don’t know who or what this is yet” he says ominously. The channel full of blood goes under the center of the doors, the group is looking them over for traps. With no discernible traps the doors are tugged on, the doors open outward.

Inside is an immense room, several huge red flame braziers light it to the party’s left is a HUGE statue of the 3 eye, 6 tentacle being. It is 30 feet tall and its head about touches the ceiling. The ceiling is vaulted, the room roughly square 50×50. It stands in a pool of blood, recessed into the floor. The channel of blood leads from the doorway, takes an angle and leads to the pool in which the statue stands.

There is a huge red burning brazier directly in front of the group, the room is lit bright red like a brilliant sunset due to this 5 foot diameter and 10 foot high burning fire. On the far wall is a pile of rubble and a hole, looking as though someone dug into this room from somewhere beyond.

On the right wall is a large door. This one of the dull glowing red crystal material that is so predominant in this temple….the group moves cautiously inside wary of the flame, thinking of another batch of Hellhounds…..

But the threat does not rise from the brazier, a shout brings the attention to the blood pool around the statue, a HUGE skeleton has stood up from the pool, an OWL BEAR skeleton, it rushes at the group it beak snapping and sloughing off blood.

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HellHound Attack!

While one of the dogs tries to flank the party, the other charge straight into the fray. Torok again tries to jump on a column, and fails miserably, sliding down rather than climbing up. Vinny readies himself for the charging dog, intending on baiting it like a matador. As the dog rushes Vinny, the other characters take cover behind the columns, some trying to stab at the hound as it goes by rushing Vinny.

The dog stops and a long cone of fire rolls from its mouth at Vinny, (a MISS!) as Vinny side steps the fire and again baits the hound. Turok tries again to scramble up a column, and again fails, sliding down as if the column were greased (lousy rolling)

Ice Bolts lash at the first hound as it charges Vinny who is easily able to step aside. To the other side of the blood trench, half the party has gone to face the flanking hound. Tiberious’ axe strikes it then bashes it with his shield as the hounds fiery breath is deflected.

Vinny strikes at the hound he has baited as it rushes past him, he was attempting to get it to plunge into the blood pool, but was able to hit it with a mighty blow. More Ice bolts from Storm strike it, it is now visibly slowed to a crawl and is finished off, bursting in a cloud of black smoke. Vinny has rushed to the others who are battling the last hound.

This time Vinny is successful as the second hound chases him matador style. As he leaps out of the way the hound falls from the edge of the pier into the blood pool, steam rising from its body. It tries to scramble up onto the pier but is an easy mark for ranged weapons, its body dissolving in a hiss of steam and ash.

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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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