The Drow in/are the Trees

As the group moves ahead they hear the cry and flapping wings of birds taking flight ahead. Something has startled a flock of birds? It seems too dark for birds to be down here. Worried about stirges they proceed with caution. Ahead they see movement before seeing a lone tree It seemed like something moved behind the tree, or maybe the tree moved. Vinny creeps around the tree and draws daggers. Someone shouts “Barseck, behind you” from out in the dark somewhere, they group thinks they see movement in the dark.

Vinny is near the tree and it looks as though a camouflaged humanoid is standing as still as possible, Vinny tries to reason with it to surrender, but the shouted word of caution makes it move, Vinny stabs it, the “tree” seems to be covered in burlap and twigs, some sort of camouflage suit.

The rest of the party dashes at the movement, spotting 2 figures running away. Tiberious on his boar is on the first one, an axe blow cuts it down. Vinny has disengaged from his kill and dashed to stab the other in the back. All 3 “trees” lie dead. Investigation brings an odd discovery, the “trees” are drow elves, but the camouflage does not come off. Some sort of magic has bonded the twigs and leaves to the Drow’s flesh, it is like the plant is growing out of them.

The group is wary of the bonded plant material, using daggers and sticks to search the bodies they find each has a copper medallion on a chain around their neck. The medallion has an image of a stylized sun maybe? with many points coming off a circle.

The group takes a short rest and burns the bodies or the Drow where they are and the group continues to the keep

Vacation at a Dam?

The group continues on from the mine. Vincent already scheming how he will use the teleporter to move salt and goods quickly too and from this region. The party discusses some of his business plans as they travel along the coast of the Obsidian Sea. The travel is uneventful, light noise from waves lapping at the shore of the sea, occasional lights far out showing there to be several miles at least in that direction.

After several miles more travel a structure looms in the dim-light ahead, outlined by several spots of dim glow. You can make out the form of a castle like structure right on the edge of the Obsidian Sea. A turret silhouetted against the minuscule amount of light.

Closer inspection reveals it a dam. There looks to have been a river flowing out of the sea as sometime that has been damned over. The dam is massive. A large stone turret to your side is occupied by dozens of small humanoids moving about, including what looks like a ballistae on the roof.

The tower rises 40 feet above the surface you are standing on, and you feel that the occupants have seen you. The empty river bed carves 30 more feet down into the rock in front of you. There is a scaffolding on some areas of the dam and you can see more humanoids in the river bed. There is an outer stone staircase on the turret leading to the top of the dam as well as several doors and balconies on the turret.

There are areas of phosphorescent glow, enough to make out forms but not get a distinct look at anything. Tiberious approaches and hails the dwarves speaking in under-common, he is eventually allowed to talk to the Dam’s commander, Halifax Greyleader. Greyleader is very suspicious of the elf and half elves in the party asking if they have any “Damn Dark blood in them” Tiberious is easily able to convince them that the party as well hates dark elves.

Formalities aside and able to win over the gnomes, Tiberious tells the gnomes the party has been tasked with finding a keep, he describes Coldstone. Greyleader says the Gnomes have many keeps like the one he describes. Tiberious tells him of the teleport device they seek. Greyleader is puzzled, but assists. The party is allowed to cross the dam with instructions as to the keep that they seek. He will have to talk to the commander there.

The Dam is 30 feet wide with a 10 foot wide walkway atop. It looks of very old construction. As you walk over the top of it it is a massive 1/4 mile across you run into gnome sentries and see gnomes working on the riverbed side. Gentle waves lap at the seaward side, and lights are seen far far out on the water. There are control gates in the middle, which are letting a stream of water flow into the riverbed. Off to the riverbed side is a slight glow, as if the moon is about to come up.

At the end there is another 40 foot turret identical to the one on the other side, and a bronze plaque. “Thank you for visiting the Gnerbert G. Gnoover Dam, please come again” The party descends the stone stair and follows the directions of Zarlag and Greyleader. It is only another mile to the keep

Origin of a Phrase
Only the biggest.....

Donarious Thibault was a scoundrel. He had never needed friends, unless it was to gain their confidence in order to betray or use them. He lived alone, traveled alone, stole alone..a lone wolf of a rogue. He was a crude man, who’s vocabulary was mostly swears and rude retorts. The word ‘nice’ was never spoken of Donarious.

He was also easy pickings for a Drow raiding party a single loner, shot with a sleep dart and thrown in the back of a cage on on a wagon. Healthy human males sold well in the underdark slave market.

Donarious awoke to a stick poking him, he was still in the wagon. But it was not his Drow captors that he saw, for he saw no one. Just a stick poked up from below prodding him awake and a odd accented voice squeaking “Hey You, Alive?” from below the wagon. “well I ain’t fucking dead” Donarious said rubbing his aching head.

He looked over the side of the wagon in the darkness he could barely make out several 3 foot tall small humanoids. His head hurt from whatever the Drow drugged him with and his human eyes could not see in the dark of wherever he was at. He heard odd words he didn’t understand, and then his hand covered his eyes instinctively as a bright light source grew in front of him.

As his eyes grew accustomed to the light, there was more babble of words he didn’t understand. He lowered his hand from shielding his eyes. “What be you?” said one of the creatures before him that his eyes could now see. There were 5 gnomes, he knew them to be gnomes by their huge noses, but these looked as if covered in dirt and dust. They were almost uniformly grey/brown, clothing, armor, skin…everything the same color, almost like living statues. One gnome was forming his hands around a glowing ball that was illuminating the area, concentrating on its clearly magical eminence.

Scattered about the ground by the gnomes were several bodies of Drow, some had crossbow bolts buried in them, one body was still smoking and burned severely. He was in some sort of cave with a smooth floor, well worn and traveled. The gnomes babbled again in a tongue that Donarious could not understand. “What are you runts gonna do with me?” Donarious asked.

The gnomes mounted the cart, and took off with it. The cart bucked and bounced along the rock track, tossing Donarious about the cage. “Hey arn’t you little bastards gonna let me out?” he yelled his throbbing head worsened as the gnomes drove the cart at a freinzied speed…..

I first met the Deep Gnomes of Glimmerfell on a trading mission, fluent in the usual trade language of the underdark, undercommon. I greeted them, and then to gain their trust, I spoke what little gnome-tongue I knew “hail brothers, what have you got for me to trade?” is what I think I said. Surprisingly they responded in human-tongue, evidently for the same reason, but with the phrase “Only the biggest pair you’ve ever seen”

I wondered what I had said to them in gnomish, that made them say that? Better I go back to speaking under-common. But the gnomes persisted in human-speak, oddly ending many of their statements with “The biggest pair you’ve ever seen”

It was many years later that I learned that long ago the gnomes had rescued a human named Donarious from the Drow. This was at a time when the gnomes were interested in trade with the surface and wished to learn human speak. The gnomes learned all they could from Donarious before he disappeared, and unfortunately for them Donarious had a crude sense of humor, teaching the gnomes that in common human language “penis” meant friend “turd” meant good and “only the biggest pair you’ve ever seen” was a common friendly greeting to initiate trade.

It was even taught in the schools to the young…..

just another 'day' in the underdark

As the party rests Vinny produces enough food to create a fantastic nourishing stew. Later their rest is interrupted by splashing toward the marsh side. Kvothe heads out with his cloak of Elvenkind hiding his figure into the marsh toward the noise to see what is coming toward them. Kvothe returns telling of a single Deep Gnome (Svirfneblin) riding a flat bottom boat, pulled by a large spider the size of a small pony.

The group awaits the gnome’s arrival and hails him. The gnome is typical of his race, his clothing and skin and hair all ashen grey. The spider a fuzzy black monstrosity that behaves as any draft animal would, slowing as the gnome pulls on the reins to halt it.

“I’m looking for the NOQUAR trade bridge, do you know of it?” The gnome asks the party who respond with accurate directions of where it is. The gnome’s cart is full of sacks and when questioned about what is in the sacks the gnome replies “the biggest pair of balls you ever saw” Mourning Storm is not amused and draws a dagger, but feels this gnome is not worth the trouble and re-sheaths it. The gnome thanks you and continues on his way.

The party packs up camp and continues to follow Zarlag’s directions heading along the edge of the swamp. They arrive at the black river, that they once crossed with the aid of a huge Kuo Toa and his ferry boat. The river is slow flowing, its smooth black surface 100 feet across and only occasionally broken by light ripples.

“Beware the salt” is their next instruction. Several more miles of trudging through the under dark, the area is just barley lit by occasional stands of phosphorescent fungi and odd lights that swirl like mists above.

The ground rises dramatically, there is a hill 30 feet in height in front of them, and Tiberious says he smells the sea. Cresting the hill, it drops off sharply, almost straight down 30 feet below is a light colored plain, which looks to have pools of water across its surface. the wall of the cliff indeed splashed with salt deposits

Love Letters from Zarlag

After almost a month in town the party is considering returning to the underdark. They want to make sure that the evil that is below, stays below. Alynis has found several things of interest at the library.

1-A history of the region where Stercus sibling is, Nulb, seems to have seen a recent epic battle, and once housed a great evil temple.
2-Secondly that there were once 7 wizards who were scatterd about the region. They designed a system of teleportation, where each could teleport down into the under-dark, then around the underdark and up into coresponding areas.

There is speculation that the teleporter in Coldstone Keep and just outside Zulern is one of these. If they find more telporters they may be able to get about this world more easily.

Two things arrive, both from a suspicious source, Zarlag the mind flayer whom tricked the group into getting a magical cape called Fiend’s Embrace, has sent them assistance. Zarlag had said he would help the party if they helped him….

The first is a hand sized brass wheel/dial, its interior divided into 7 sections like a pizza, labeled R,O,Y,G,B,I,V. The outside of the dial is also divided into 7 equal parts, also labeled R,O,Y,G,B,I,V.

The second thing is a note. Seemingly directions from Zarlag “I know of what you seek”

The group contemplates Zarlag’s note, could it be a trap? Why would a mind flayer help us?

They gear up and use the teleporter in Mourning Storm’s cave to head to Coldstone Keep. Arriving there they find it in decent shape. They have spent several forays down here to rebuild it and nothign seems to have wandered into it to give them trouble. They set off following Zarlag’s directions.

Encountering things they already know are near, they trudge through the cold grey swamp, find the water wall and then move down it 2 miles. In the distance is a large stone structure, lit by faint red lights. It looks like a gatehouse, but it spans the water wall, rising up and over. Moving closer they see that it is manned by Drow and Druegar, including ballista installations on the turrets at each end. They also see the sigil of house NOQUAR on a sign as they approach and see banners with it hanging from the tower.

A quick examination results in them hailing the Drow. They learn that this is a trade bridge and are asked for a gold piece to cross. Vincent is able to talk the Drow into charging them only a silver. On the other side of the bridge it is no longer as swampy. Bedrock stretches away from them, altough the swamp continues to one side, a path that Zarlag told them to follow “the edge of the swamp”

They head off along the edge of the swamp, after many more miles they decide to rest.

A month in town

The group spends a month in town….

Tiberious finds a pig, he calls forth his celestial mount a giant boar

Alynis finds some info on Nulb
Nulb is a small marsh town that lies outside of jurisdiction.
It is at an intersection on a path known as “low road” and sees some commerce
Warnings of it being a bandit haven
Also sits on a shallow river

Kvothe gets a magic sword and a bow. Both are somehow connected to his family

Turok figures his sword out, it is Draconic in nature, having elements of Red White and Blue dragons

Helm finds a priestess for his temple, the healing woman whom you befriended/ crying child becomes the head priestess of the Temple.

The Mansion is Yours

A week after you return you receive some correspondence. A letter signed by the head of the banking guild indicates that the Listmoor Manson is yours. Blaine Listmoor has paid off his debts and then eloped with the banker’s daughter, the girl that had gotten him in this trouble in the first place. Blaine signed over the deed to the mansion in all of your names, before he fled town.

Tiberious, Vinny and Turok are the first to be very keen on the mansion.
Turok moves his ox Auroch to the stable and begins renovating the hayloft into a sleeping area.
Vinny envisions entertaining guests and dignitaries at the mansion
Tiberious begins plans to work in the cave section below the mansion. A dwarven sanctuary below ground

Kvothe Days after return

Kvothe has the small trunk with his family name on it recovered from the tower as well as the sympathy lamp. He is tired and just wants rest, even for a halfling who has spent time underground, he feels filthy. He meets some of the others for a drink at the cocktrice, then spend a long time resting in his room at the cockatrice.

Opening the trunk he is thrilled that it contains two magical weapons. He has never seen them before but they are clearly of halfling manufacture and very well crafted.

There is a silver short sword with “Star-Moon” written on the blade. It is incredibly light and full of magic (+1) He takes it to Tiberius who tells him this is not silver but Mithral . Just as they are speaking the sword begins to glow blue a few seconds later Ganra the half orc bard is stops by for a visit. Investigation indicates the the sword glows a dull blue when orcs are near. Kvothe quips that this could be a problem and ‘poof’ the sword vanishes (becomes invisible) reappearing when struck against something (used in combat)

There is a beautiful shortbow made of many layered different colored woods (composite). It is also magical +1 and has the word “ghostwise” inlaid in black material in the wood. THe bow is very small and light but as powerful as an ordinary short bow

Kvothe spend long time in contemplation. What are these weapons? Why are tehy in a trunk with his family name on it? Did Stercus take them in the raid? If so why has Kvothe never seen these?

Vinny days after return

Vinny sets up at the Bear Trap, inventories items collected, cleans them up and slowly moves items to the market to sell. Some of the short swords and chain mail from the Drow are in good shape and command good prices (note these aren’t the 2nd edition drow stuff that disintegrates)

Vinny is considering setting up his own trade route from Safeton to Pelagryn to Zulern. With possible trips to Harby and Narwal. He contacts merchants and traders and starts to try and work out a system beneficial to all. His ulterior motive is to keep a network of eyes in those towns and to try to assist slaves in getting out of Pelagryn and Safeton. He woudl liek to undermine the organized slave trade and eventually destroy it.

With the mansion under our control. He feels buying the area around it is important. He wants to put up a horse track and have a sizable portion of the land around the mansions he could build it on. He has heard rumors that the city of Hardby, where the assassins that came for Alynis were based has a famous calvary force, with great horses. He hopes to lure them to his track.

Helm Days after return

Helm returns to the “lost” temple and is rarely seen in town. Although you have been consulting with the leaders of the Cathedral of Pelor and assisting with healing there. But there are those among the Pelor worshipers who slightly mistrust you due to the now wide known information about ‘your’ 3 god temple to the north of the city.

You spend several days in contemplation, alone in the temple, feeling new powers surge through you. You feel that you must get someone to run the temple, so you can continue your questing.

Helm searches out the two “healing women” ___________ and her grandmother. They were receptive to his pontificating on HELM. They both agree to meet and you find out that they have contacted the Helmites, Witness the cleric has started with some religious training and Helm is satisfied that the two woman can venture to the temple to continue their studies. He provides them with the means (gold) to live for a few weeks at a time in the temple. Heading back to town occasionally when needed. The crying child is living with other relatives.


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