BAND OF IRONS

Market, Rotcod'ohw, Guards

Vinny is sent to the market to gather provisions. He stocks up on his usual restocking of chalk, charcoal, paper, ink, and pen. Making sure there are things like shovel, broom and crowbar are in good working order and in bag of holding. He has a grappling hook and line too, even with the rope of climbing he can’t be too careful. Water, rations, even dry socks.

Tiberious and Helm head to the watch commanders keep to the south of town They meet with the commander of Zulern forces. They go over the Kou Toa emerging in the library and then again in the marshes to the east by the mansions. They explain about what they found under the mansion and about the teleportation cave.

Fortification against Kou Toa
The commander is hesitant about stationing men in Coldstone, in the Underdark. He says that unless they had control of the stone and its ability to teleport at any time he will not send men down there. He is also concerned with this 2nd mansion that no one seems to know where it came from

BUT he will station an outpost at each location and build fortifications to see that if anything comes out of the water in the mansion basement, or the cave would have to fight through a fortified choke point.

Rotcodohw
Kvothe’s Rotcodohw ring is used for a call on two separate days

Where is Alynis?
She has traveled out of this town, to a small town to the east, by choice. She does not look to be in imminent danger, yet there is danger there. And there are magical forces surrounding her. The magic is a barrier that I am having difficulty seeing through. She is in contact with the dead, but I do not know what the dead want from her.

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Meeting at Firestrike

Tiberius Hammersmyth has been workign at the premier blacksmith in town called FireStrike. It is a large building dominated by a large forge on the first floor. Firestrike primarily produces armor, but also works in weapons. Firestrike is owned and run by a female dwarf named Gola Firestrike.

There are several other humanoids who are working there, most notable two gnomes and a half ogre. Over several hours the party assembles at Firestrike.

When all are assembled Tiberious climbs onto a table adn begins an empassioned speech about the evil that is Tharizdun, the evil that must be held at bay by the continued existence of the lost temple not becoming “lost” again. With that he says that even if you have no allegiance to this town or to the order of law, if Tharizdun gets free, the world will end.

Helm Tallstag follows with a much more concise, “we are going back into the under dark to try to secure this area” supporting Tiberius’ ideas, and then prays for HELM’s protection over the town.

Mourning Storm informs you he has moved his druidic shrine into the teleport chamber to watch over the device. Since we have that magical bag of putting a lot of shit in, he suggests that we use it to transport the crab woman statue into the underdark to see if that helps stop the migration of the Kuo Toa to the surface.

Kvothe says he received a note from Stercus, one of Iuz Cambion sons who you saw at the Temple. It said

Saw you checking my place out,
Why didn’t you come inside?
Come on, we’ll have a bunch of fun
Talk about the old days
-Stercus

He then says he had a dream about another of Iuz children Usnea, it was his father’s voice saying Usnea awakens

Toruk says the Alynis has left town, no one knows where she went

Tiberius wants to tell the town of the danger and see if they would send a detachment of guards to Coldstone. The group agrees and decides to provision up and meet at the teleport chamber tomorrow

Helm recommends we contact Rotcod’ohw to see if he has any insight or way of locating Alynis and/or seeing if she needs assistance or is in any danger.

He also asks Vinny is his network has any insight into her whereabouts.

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Back to Zulern

The group goes their own ways once back in Zulern, but not before a sending stone idea is agreed on if the stone knocks twice meet at Firestrike the Blacksmith’s

Storm moves his druidic sanctuary into the teleportation cave.
Tiberius works at Firestrike, and assists at the Pelor hospital and Lost temple
Helm is at the Lost temple and Pelor hospital
Alynis goes back to work at the Library
Turok and Kvothe are at The Cockatrice Inn
Vinny starts selling items at the market, or is at The Bear Trap
Armand is at his druidic sanctuary to the west of town

Everyone notices
When you “saved” the town of Zulern, there was a female Paladin doing a great deal of fighting before you got there. You watched as she was killed and ascended, seemingly taken by her god which was Pelor

For the religious this was a powerful sight. Tiberious especially sees to die in battle and have your god choose you as the way things should end

In the months since this battle, there has been a new group that has semi broken away from the church of Pelor, they haven’t left Pelor, but they are worshiping this Paladin whose name was Mayaheine. Some in the church do not like it anymore than the discovery of a temple where 3 gods one being Pelor were worshiped together. These are trying times for the Church of Pelor, the dominant religion in this town.

Kvothe
Kvothe awakens from a dream, the only memory of it is of darkness and his father’s voice “Usnea awakes, Usnea awakes Usnea awakes….” Kvothe has seen Sterccus in the HELM temple and Sterccus saw him, but he has had no leads on where he could be.

Chandarian so far:
Cyphus-imprisoned in the sarcophagus in the Vampire Tower
Sterccus-last seen in temple
Ferule-killed was disguised as a bard
Usnea-awakens?
On the heals of his dream saying that Usnea is awakening, Kvothe is told by the innkeeper of the Cockatrice that a messenger delivered a note for him

The note is of rolled parchment sealed with red wax, a large stylized C is stamped in the wax

Kvothe opens the note which is written in Halfling

Saw you checking my place out,
Why didn’t you come inside?
Come on, we’ll have a bunch of fun
Talk about the old days

-Stercus

Helm
Library Study:

Tharizdun is a God of insanity, chaos, and nothingness.

Tharizdun was imprisoned ages ago by a coalition of deities to prevent the destruction of existence itself. Some of those dieties were evil. Tahrizdun is so dangerous that he thretens the very existence of everything good and evil.

Although imprisoned, Tharizdun still has a degree of his original multiverse-threatening power.
Some had begun to "leak’ into this area through a black cyst. Representatives of three Gods (Pelor, Pholtus, Helm) came together to keep Tharizdun at bay. Using Light and vigilance to keep the evil below. They built a temple atop the black cyst to hold it below.

An invading army destroyed the temple

What you also know from finding the temple is that subterfuge from Tharizdun cultists from below also helped “lose” the temple. The three gods representatives worked together. Tharizdun must have truly been dangerous for those three to work and to worship together. Now that you have “found” the temple the original mission to keep Tharizdun below should be accomplished. As long as the temple remains “found” and does not get lost again

Two large human tribes here are Flan and Oeridian. Pelor is a Flan god and Pholtus is Oeridian
Your temple with the three gods (Pelor, Pholtus, and Helm) only works for those who believe in the danger of Tharizdun.

HELM
Helm knows that HELM is active in the temple in so much as to be vigilant to keep Tharizdun below. Helm was called by HELM to accomplish this. You have found only the 2 other worshipers of HELM (Watcher and Witness) and the Two “healing women” that now frequent the temple. You know HELM wanted you to do this and you feel you have gained favor with him due to it

PELOR
The Catherdral in Zulern is the seat of Pelor power, although there has been some pilgrimage to the temple, only a handful of Pelor worshippers have assisted you. Many believe that this a trick or false in some way. Althoguh both Helm and Tiberious are in good standing at the Cathedral of Pelor in Zulern. The Priests have sought to control any worshipers venturing to the temple until more information is known.

PHOLTUS
As per JPs background, Tiberious does not hear Pholtus in the temple, nor anywhere else. But he does fear Tharizdun. He sees HELM as a tool of the gods to watch over this area.

He is not surprised that the Pelor worshipers are skeptical, he is skeptical himself BUT fears Tharizdun and will defend the temple purely for that reason. He feels the Pelor worshipers have some old Flan vs Oeridian racism going on, as well as a protectionist racket to keep them bound to the Cathedral of Pelor, rather than the potential to hear the one true god, Pholtus

Tiberious is able to semi convert several or the Pelor faithful who journey to the temple. Although difficult when he is unsure himself of his god. There are 12-15 general worshipers of what is being called the TEMPLE OF VIGILANT LIGHT In addition to workers and guards Helm has hired.

Toruk,Kvothe, son of Arliden , and Vincent Rhodes find out Alynis has left town

A runner comes to all members with a note from Tiberious to meet at FireStrike

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The Spire

The group wanders for a bit trying to gather their bearings when they find a faint glowing arrow on the ground. 3 feet long and looking to be made of stone, covered in glowing lichen.

Those with dark vision see it as a light source and can see it from far away as if it were a torch.
It is clearly pointing in a direction, the group walks in the direction the arrow indicates You follow the arrow after walking for a half mile you see lights in the distance, there is another glowing arrow on the ground.

About a half mile the lights roughly outline a rock spire which reached upward. There looks to be some lit “windows” on the rock, some as high as 50 feet. (think office building at night)

The spire is much wider at its base, making the spire look as if it is growing from a large island. On the Island you can see many torches burning with an eerie red fire that lights the whole of the area, you also notice that the air is no longer as cold, (not frigid, but still underground cold)

On the Island there looks to be a complex of some sort. A protective wall snakes around the outside dotted with guard towers. There looks to be buildings inside and a main gate.

You get within a few hundred yards and notice that the entire complex is manned with Drow (dark elves) and Druegar (Grey Dwarves) The all seem to be guarding together, watch towers are manned by both. Since Druegar females also have beards it is difficult to tell but you are pretty sure all the Drow you see are male

You spend some time looking at the Drow/Druegar encampment

Notice it manned by Druegar-Grey Dwarves and Drow-Dark Elves

Several times small groups and in one instance a caravan of flat bottomed boats pulled by large spiders come to the front gate and are allowed inside the complex.

You see a few other underdark denizens among the visitors, Orcs, Deep Gnomes, and goblins as well as 2 humans come in the caravans and groups.

This looks to be some sort of trading hub, a small outpost or city.

This looks to hold at least a hundred humanoids in a living community, with maybe another 50-100 there at any time trading

The group heads away from the encampment and after a bit of searching is able to find Coldstone again. They teleport back to Zulern

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Snow White and the Seven Adventurers

The group is still unconcerned that they are lost or not, and continues slogging through the mire. It begins snowing again and the familiar leaflets fall from the sky

There is no escape
There is only a way in
Danger level 1
The HOLLOW BEAST shall knock, knock, knock

Flum Flum Flum something is “knocking” and the sound is coming from above. Faint purple, lights swirl slowly high above. An arrow is loosed at the lights and a cloud of stinking gas descends on the group as the lights fade

Alynis says she thinks she still sees one light, but no one else can see it. The group moves and it snows again

Countdown zero
The Hollow Beast is with you
Extreme Danger

The mists slacken and before you is the low island covered with skeletons and rusted weapons, it seems you’ve been walking in a circle. Even the humans can see a blue light rise from the center of the island, in it a female form comes from the ground. She turns toward you quickly.

The hideous face of a twisted female elf, nose broken, eyes bulging a wave of fear sweeps over the group, Helm turns and runs blithering “SHE’S COMING TO KILL US” then the form wails, a loud remorseful moan that pierces through the skulls of all those near, it shakes the earth and Storm, Alynis, Kvothe Vinny and Tiberious crumple to their knees. The wailing looks to have drained their minds of sanity (Everyone failed saving throws)

Turok stands alone, he rushes the form his broad sword raised. He begins slashing at this banshee, it claws him in return. His sword slides off the translucent form of the banshee, he strikes it again and again with little effect.

60 feet away Helm shakes his head, “Why am I running? I must go back and fight!” (made his save) He turns and sees the barbarian in trouble, blood is pouring from slashing attacks the banshee is hurting him, yet he bravely swings his sword.

“BY THE POWER OF HELM BE GONE” Helm’s holy symbol thrust ahead of him does its job, the banshee turns to run. Helm kneels by Alynis and Tiberious touches of helming and they are back on their feet, Alynis hurling Magic Missile and Tiberious running after the banshee. The rest of the group is raised and the banshee succumbs to their attack….

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More Snow, More Woe

The group does not feel they are lost, and continue traveling mostly blind in the mist. It begins to snow again, and as before leaflets of paper fall from the sky.

Point A is broken
The light, it should be backward
Danger is increased to 4
The HOLLOW BEAST approaches

The group thinks for a minute, trying to make heads or tales of the note, then continues moving. A moon seems to materialize, low on the horizon and the heat lightning continues to flash in the mist.

the group argues whether to head toward or away form the light, away wins out. Screams are heard in the mist ahead, the group takes defensive positions and waits as the scream nears. There is a Drow running full tilt, Tiberious bashes him with his shield as another comes from in the mist, soon felled by Tiberious’ axe.

Two more Drow see Tiberious and turn to flee, the group cuts them down, they looked to be terrified, something could have been chasing them. None of them have cold weather gear on, one is even bootless. As the group adds the Drow weapons to the portable hole it begins to snow again, leaflets falling along with snow.

The Iron pages are blank
Make a decision in the minutes given you
Energy level 3
The HOLLOW BEAST hungers

More speculation about the notes. Is there a time limit? Is there a countdown? They slog off into the mist still following the “moon” Tiberious again kicks a dead body, this time a skeleton, here a long time. Nearby there is a literal mound of skeletons, sitting on and around a small island rising slightly from the water, rusted armor and broken weapons. The group begins looking the scene over….

It begins to snow again, leaflets fall from the sky

Broken Flowers line the path
Don’t listen to your eyes
Danger Level 2
The HOLLOW BEAST sees you

Vinny finds dozens of black roses growing on the mound covered in the dead. Helm is ready to turn undead, worried the skeletons will rise. The black roses are growing in a line, they assume these are the “broken flowers” that the note tells of. They follow the line of flowers, away from the “moon” which still hangs in the sky. Worried that the numbers in the last few notes 4,3,2….are a countdown. They slog off into the mist

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A Night in Zulern, then down into the snow

The group spends a night in town with the idea that they will fortify Coldstone and use it as a base of operations in the Underdark. They still aren’t sure if the overworld and the under dark are directly above and below each other. There was the quake like shifting of the under dark when they were down there.

The next day the group has met back at the teleport cave and heads back below. Tiberius has brought stone working tools with the idea of salvaging bricks from one area of the castle to fill the hole in the wall. Lowering the portcullis and making it generally secure.

The group also decides to recon the area around Coldstone. See if there are any areas that are of a concern nearby……They find one almost immediately.

The group encounters a fog that swirls up for all sides obscuring even the dark vision of the demi-humans Blue Heat Lightning crackles quietly around, lighting the mists, but not providing anything but another level of confusion as it bursts from dark to light.

Tiberius in the lead kicks a body. There is a leather clad short stout figure lying face down in the water, 3 crossbow bolts sticking from his back. Rolling him over, its a dwarf, with ashen grey skin and beard. “Druegar” Tiberious says, “grey dwarf of the under dark, wicked and evil”

The Druegar body hasn’t been here more than a day, the bolts are Drow and he has tattoos indicating he has been exiled from Druegar society. Someone says ’what’s this?" Everyone notices that it has begun to snow.

Thick flat clumps of light grey snow are falling about, then someone notices that there are also pieces of paper scattering themselves about, and it has writing on it.

Swords may be the answer
proceed to oint A
Beware!
The HOLLOW BEAST has awakened

The group is moving in a widening circle about Coldstone, thinking they know the way they are traveling. The snow stops and they trudge for another 10 minutes.

ZIP, CLANK! A spear comes from out of the mist and deflects off Tiberious armor, there is a shout and 4 hulking figures rush at you from the mist. They are shouting and swinging Pick Axes. Their 8 foot tall giant bodies, grey with long beards….some type of ‘smallish’ giant?

The 8 foot tall attackers, fight the group mercilessly, but Tiberious axe fells one as does magic missiles and Vinny moving around to backstab one…..As the bodies fall into the water, they shrink in size, back to about 3.5 get tall. Druegar, grey dwarves, but with the ability to double their size.

The group gathers the dwarves weapons into the portable hole. The Druegar look to be similar to the dead one found earlier, tattoos of banishment

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Teleport Station

As the flames die on the tree, reducing it significantly, there is a stone pedestal with a round surface. The Round Top is divided into 7 segments, like pizza slices. One segment has a mauve triangle stone in it.

Helm removes the stone. The group watches Helm vanish. Helm is in a cave, the others are gone. Thick Vines hang at the cave mouth and he smells fresh air. Moving the vines he sees Zulern in the distance. There is a similar round stone here, he tries the triangle stone in different indentations, but it only fits in one. BANG! he is back with the rest of the group at the Coldstone.

Alynis contacts Rotcod’ohw and askes about the device. He informs her it si a simple teleportation device, the stones are keys and are “keyed” to take you to just one location. The group has to join hands to all get to the cave.

They can now travel between Zulern and Coldstone. They will fortify Coldstone so they can travel back and forth

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Plant Monster and Barrels of Arrows

With Helm’s light spell leading, Turok, Helm and Alynis move to the turret nearest the stable. On the gourd floor there is nothing,just a stone stair rising to the second floor. Halfway up the stair, they notice tendrils of vegetation. It is more green than grey, the first thing they’ve seen that isn’t grey grey grey.

In the 2nd floor of this 30×30 tower is a HUGE dull green tree like plant of some sorts. Tendrils snake in all directions, headed out through every opening. The “tree” is 5 feet wide with tendrils and pods and stalks dotting every portion of it.

A vine lashes out at Turok and he is able to smash at it with his axe. Something grabs Helm from behind and everyone hears the clatter as Helm tumbles down the stairs. Rushing to his aid Alynis and Turok see a vague humanoid shape, composed of green blobs, attacking Helm. Magic Missiles from Alynis drive it away it runs into the courtyard where Kvothe sends an arrow through it, scattering the green blobs as the figure looses cohesion…the blobs do not reform

Helm Sacred Flames the bush on the second floor.

Kvothe and Storm have found the other tower to be in bad shape, seemingly ready to fall over. There is nothing inside except for barrels full of rotted arrows.

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Water Monsters

“NO!” Valen screams as Turok tosses the helpless captive into the water. Valen struggles against his bonds but starts to sink. Several seconds later nothing has occurred. Storm secures his gear and jumps into the water with a dagger, he ends the life of Valen with a slash to the throat, and climbs out…..

Helm Turok and Alynis move toward one of the turrets, while Kvothe and Storm head to the other. Vinny has swum down and found a tunnel in the well, a tunnel that leads to an area with a air trapped inside. Tiberius is still at his watch, fear inside him that the Mnd Flayer would return.

No one notices the slight turbulence in the water as the “monster” greedily receives Valen’s corpse.

Vinny emerges in a crumbling basement room, there is air here. He has swam up through a hole in the floor, which has a few inches of water on it. Vinny notices an eerie slime of bubbles moving toward him, he moves quickly away from it….into a room next door that is in better shape. There is a door frame that sticks above the water, the bubbling slime can not get by.

This area stinks of rotted fish and urine. Vinny notices several rotted barrels, some containing slime and fish bones. There is a short hallway, which clearly has another flooded hole in the floor, maybe access to some other underwater area.

There is a room on the other side, a workbench of some sort and nests of vegetation. Vinny jumps water hole to look over the room. Once in the room he finds two Hobgoblin bodies, both of their mouths torn asunder, their brains removed like the woman above.

These Hobgoblins are different though, they have fish like gill slits on the dies of their necks, Vinny surmises they are some sort of Aquatic Hobgoblin. Just then there is a commotion at the water hole. Something is crawling out, Vinny ducks into the shadows.

A Hobgoblin surfaces and is dragging a body, tied to a chair, Vinny waits until the Hobgoblin is fully vested in raising the body out of the water and BACKSTABS the Hobgoblin who dies quickly. Vinny investigates the rest of the room.

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