BAND OF IRONS

Carved Faces and Vampires

While Vinny and Tobold have eliminated themselves, Storm has shape-changed into a spider to move to the face at the end of the upper corridor. The face looks to be androgynous and has a hole in the mouth that goes back in a smooth shaft like a pipe. The face is surrounded by 6 colored gems Red Orange Yellow, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. There looks to be a missing Green gem, and storm remembers that they found a similar gem in a old backpack in some debris, Kvothe has it.

Storm scurries inside the statues mouth, but finds only a metal closure which may be a flap at the back, he cannot get through. He returns to the outside to see if the gems are a key of some kind.

Tiberious and Turok are opening the sarcophagus, unaware that Tobold and Vinny are trapped in the shafts. Vinny is in great pain in his contorted shape, Tobold is not hurt, but worried that he will not be able to get himself out.

Tiberious has removed the pins in the coffin lid as he and Turok use their strength to move it. BAM! ANOTHER TRAP! Fire explodes from under the lid as they have set off a glyph of some sort. Several are burned by the explosion but not too severely.

As the lid falls to the side a figure rises from the coffin. 7 feet tall it looks to be the humanoid from the lid, androgynous, bald with black eyes and flowing grey robe. It cocks its head back and hisses lunging at Tiberious with clawed hands and a mouth full of sharp grey teeth. The scene painted by every color of the rainbow except red, in sparkly fashion.

Turok is on the creature, activating his sword to flame and smashing the creature. Fire erupts around the creature, it screams an unearthly wail as Turoks crushing blows tear it apart, it catches fire and turns to ash, quickly destroyed by Toruk’s might.

Storm having no clue of the battle nearby has returned to elf form and is prying the gems out of the wall with a knife. He eventually leaves and spots a pressure plate in the floor, easier to see coming the other way. There is a trap here, but he does not know what the plate activates.

The creature looks to have been a vampire, it is dead. There is nothing in the coffin.
Storm is trying to activate the trap without hurting himself as he thinks that there is a way through the face.
Tobold and Vinny are entrapped

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Vinny and Tobold Trap themselves

Most of the party is concerning itself with the sarcophagus, as lights swirl reflections from the lanterns the lid seems to have 5 metal pins with symbols of runes on them. The pins look to hold the lid in place and must be pried out before the lid can be moved. There is a figure on the lid in bas-relief, a androgynous humanoid, about 7 feet tall, one of his fingers has been broken off.

Storm has discovered something down one of the passageways, that the end of the ceiling is 10 feet higher and there is a 10 foot opening in the blue passage, he retrieves the rope of climbing and crawls up there, there is a 60 foot passage with a carving of a face at the end, the passage looks to have many scruff marks as if something was dragged back and forth up and down the passage.

The others have found out that the sarcophagus moves. It spins on its dais. locking into place at each of the hallways, there is even a stylized arrow at the head of the sarcophagus. It is currently pointing to Orange, they spin it to where the Red would hang and a 5 foot diameter shaft at the end of the corridor slowly rises from the floor. It pushes the chain the lantern would hang on to the side as it extends 10 feet in the air, with a hiss of air a doorway parts in the shaft.

The coffin is moved to Orange nothing occurs, then Yellow, and again a shaft arises from the ground 5 feet in diameter and opens. When it gets to green there is a thunderous and ominous shaking, as if a mechanism is broken, the coffin is turned to blue, where no shaft arises.

When the coffin gets to indigo, a shaft arises and Vinny inspects this one more thoroughly than the others. There are the remains of bones and scraps of leather in this one. THe bones are pulverized and the leather seems to be from clothing and maybe a boot. It has been here for a long time, Vinny climbs inside.

TRAP! Vinny missed the obvious signs of crushed bones and as the doors slam shut the structure sinks, but the floor rises up to the ceiling, Vinny’s last gasp is that of himself being smashed into a 1 foot x 5 diameter area. He makes himself as small as possible and curls up. The ceiling pins him to the floor, but does not crush him completely. He is held, unable to move, and trapped and will surely die in here without assistance.

The party has no idea why Vinny got inside this thing without more investigation and has already turned the coffin to Violet which producers another shaft, and opening. The opening is searched and this time Tobold the gnome gets inside….ANOTHER TRAP!

Acting just like the previous trap Tobold is a bit more lucky. His smaller statue is able to not take any damage, but is still trapped inside and will die in here without assistance…..

But the rest of the party becomes busy

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Spider Webs lead to a tomb

Tobold the Gnome and Tiberious the Dwarf descend the spider web choked stairs. They know that the webs hold an army of flesh stripping spiders that will magically appear if the web is touched. As they descend the webs look to be regrowing behind them, very slowly but closing the passage back off. From ahead the flickering green light grows in intensity.

At the bottom of the stairs another 50- feet down sits an immense room. It is octagonal with passages running off in each direction. 80 feet away a single green lantern flickers with light. It casts an odd hue about the room, glinting off what looks to be glass embedded in the walls, sparkling like starlight or green falling snow.

The roof of the room is domed, rising to 40 feet, and at its center sits a huge sarcophagus. The two begin looking about, Tobold skirting the perimeter and Tiberious moving toward the sarcophagus. The floor is thick with dust and what could be bone shards. As Tobold looks down the first hallway, it looks to be a short alcove hung with a lantern from a chain. He goes to the next one and it too looks like the first, 30 feet back there is only a chain. the third hallway on the right has what looks to be a dust covered bowling ball out front. At the far end a lantern on a chain, one has several skeletal remains scattered about the floor.

At the Sarcophagus Tiiberious notes it is carved lid looks to be a humanoid figure, hairless, about 7 feet tall it looks mostly human, but bald and huge. One of the fingers of its hand has been broken off,. There are 5 metal pins which look to hold the lid in place. The lid looks like solid marble and will take several people to move

The rest of the party are burning the webs away and descending the stairs.

As they enter the room and use some deductive reasoning they see the room is just as the painted room is above. Lanterns hung at ends of hallways, colored like the rainbow. “Fuckin Roy Gee Biv” says Helm in a gruff voice, some question as he explains how to remember the order of the colors of the rainbow. “Roy, Red-Orange-Yellow….Gee Green…BIV Blue-Indigo-Violet. Roy Gee Biv” he says coughs and then walks toward the sarcophagus.

Vinny moves to had the blue lamp back on its chain and various members move to different hallways to check them out. Vinny remembers that the painting had the lanterns lit, and begins to fill the lanterns with oil and tears strips of cloth for wicks. Soon all the hallways have burning lamps in them except for red. The red lamp is missing.

With the lamps lit the tomb is sparkled with multi colored snow, the a Borealis mixed with fireflies and falling crystals like snow, all the colors of the rainbow…except red.

The Red Lamp is missing

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Meeting Roy G Biv

Three locations peaked your interest and the party of course split up to look.

Vinny moved to the left climbing a short 3 step upon a dais. The end of the hallway was pained in a rendition of a sprawling room with 7 short hallways. The painting was so real that when you stood on the dais it gave a 3-D effect that you were actually in a huge room, even though feeling the walls indicated you were only in a 30 foot wide hallway. Each painted hallway was hung with a glowing colored lamp at its end, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Indigo and Violet. The artist had even painted the ceiling and floor to appear as if the light from the lit lanterns was flooding out toward you.

To the front Tiberious is inspecting the webs. From somewhere inside a pulsing green light is illuminating them. The webs are gossamer but unnaturally dense. The ragged hole where the ghoul fell into it is about 5 foot in diameter and equally tall. The magic fire that hit the ghoul has burned all the spiders away, but Tiberious sees no carcasses. Hundreds of tiny black spiders were on the ghoul, yet none remain. Tobold the gnome approaches and dismounts from his fox, he begins prodding the web with a torch….

Kvothe and Turok move to the right, where the ghouls had jumped from behind some debris. There is a passageway in the debris and there are drag marks and maybe blood droplets leading in. Kvothe pulls his elven cloak over his head, disappearing from sight and creeps back behind the debris pile.

Two wolf skeletons look to be sleeping in the left corner,m while to the right there is a pile of mangled bones, most likely the ghouls had been eating unfortunate victims here, a gnawed gnome head is visible in the rubble.

Helm is called in, in case the skeletons are undead, but they turn out to be just long dead wolves, Turok pushes past intent on making sure the are dead, he smashes at the bones, and then picks through trying to get a rib to stick in the web.

He finds something much more interesting. Under the wolves looks to be another long dead corpse, a rotted backpack on its back holds something about the shape of the football. Prying the pack open there is a magnificent lantern, its glass facets a brilliant indigo. Kvothe has found something too, a broken finger off a statue, about twice the size as a human finger. There is also a nice sized cut gem, green.

The group must trick Turok into giving up the lamp, tossing some silver to him in exchange. Turok has grown increasingly difficult, his barbarian nature coming through. Vinny sees that the lamps in the painting are the same as this actual lamp. He tries in vain to make the painting accept the lamp, or magically come to life, shinning light through the gem and lighting oiling and lighting the lamp to no avail.

Meanwhile Tiberious and Tobold the gnome have begun burning the web out of the stairway and descending a staircase hidden by the web, Mourning Storm stands watch at the top of the stairs as they go down…..

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Into Hell

The Gnomes have indeed broken into something ancient. The floor is collapsed and below it is a pile of rubble with a passage leading off. There is the persistent sssh sssh sssh sounding like whispers, it is louder from below, but still could just be tricks of wind across something. The passage is 20 feet wide and domes to a 20 foot high ceiling.

The walls bear simple geometric designs, elongated lines and shapes that snake in various directions. They once look to have been painted In colors purples and yellows, but the paint has flaked off. Some of the lines have as well broken away from the walls, heaps of plaster line the corridor.

There are some ropes attached as if someone had lowered themselves in here. Away from the pile of rubble you see several sets of footprints leading inward. 50 feet in the corridor comes to a 4 way. To the left and right are large alcoves, 20 feet wide and 30 feet deep. . the several footprints lead around in here as if this area has been investigated. To the right is a long dry bedroll, hardened to almost petrification by age.

Ahead you think there is a faint flickering light.

The corridor continues another 50 feet and 4 ways again. To the left and right are longer alcoves, still 20 feet wide but now 40 feet deep. The one of the left holds what looks like a smashed picture or mirror frame. To the right the end of the passage has collapsed. The frame looks to have once held a mirror, full length dressing mirror. There looks to be no shattered glass and only 1/3 of the frame remains. A careful inspection turns up what look like glass, possibly very highly polished stone., only a few small shards though.

Ahead you now are sure you see a faint flickering light.

50 feet on and the corridor 4 ways again. This time a huge octagonal room 50×50 with 30 foot wide corridors going off in 4 directions and a 30 foot high domed ceiling. . Ahead is seemingly a wall of spider webs, behind it a flickering green light. There is the faint smell of decay in the air. As the other 4 ways the left and right end in alcoves.

There are footprints and drag marks leading to the right, and footprints turning and running from this area. the whispers you have heard increase, echoing in this larger chamber.

To the right are two piles of rubble, the ceiling has partially collapsed, the drag marks and footprints go behind the rubble. To the left 3 short stairs lead to a marble dais. There is a fresco scene painted on the wall, a shout comes from behind you. Turning 3 ghouls emerge from rubble.

The Ghouls rush the party, Helm uses his holy symbol and turns them. Ones runs into the spider webs and the other 2 flee back toward the rubble. Melee weapon and spells cut down the fleeing ghouls, one manages to pull apart a lot of spider web. You see a multitude of small black spiders coursing across its body. In the hole it made you can see stairs descending.

session break

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Head to the Gnome Mine

Your next task is the gnome mine. You had been there with Zarlag so the mine personal will know you. It is a long slog to what you suspect is the north. You meet up with the young fighter Igneight, who had remained at the at the Inn while you had adventured into the Troglodyte area.

You travel through many miles of tunnel before exiting into the large area of the underdark. Leaving gnome fortifications behind you travel into the rock waste and eventually come to the cold swamp.

Ahead the rock tower looms, it is dark and looks abandoned. As you near you see the 3 entrances, one on the left has a rope ladder lowered, obviously the defenses are down. The other two entrances have evidence of something trying to climb….

There is a splashing and a wail behind you, in the dim light you see what looks like gnome minors running toward you. Most of the group thinks to retreat into the mine, climbing the ladder and using the ropes of climbing….but the young human fighter Igneight at first turns to great the gnomes…but his human eyes are not wick to adjust to the dark and he is set upon by 5 gnomes who are now ghouls…..

The ghouls claw an bite Igneight who fights back, but is soon paralyzed. Hatching a reluctant plan to save the wayward fighter, the cleric Helm warns of fireball, the druid Storm will try to use a damaging ice spray on the fighter, hopefully saving him from some of the fireball’s blast. At the same time the Paladin, leaps into action, hoping to drag the injured fighter to safety.

All goes as generally planned, the magic ice does not kill the paralyzed fighter, but the fireball blast blows him over, his damaged paralyzed body in danger of drowning in the cold grey muck. Tiberious the paladin moves faster than anyone has seen him before, ‘blinking’ as Storm has done to the spot of the injured fighter, scoping him up and caring him back to the safety of the tower. All the ghouls lie dead from the blast.

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A taking Ghoul ?

The Gnome Clerics mutter words and present holy symbols toward the ghoul in the cell, it hisses and yelps. Eventually you hear it swear in undercommon, clearly it has some ability to speak.

Vinny questions it repeatedly trying to get some sort of hints as to where it comes from and why it can speak. The ghoul is snotty in its response as the negotiations break down the ghoul repeatedly saying “we will bury you” and threatening to eat everybody. Turning the ghoul is successful and it spends a minute trying to claw out of the cell and flee from the multiple clerics. Even that does not convince it to give up any information. King Greybeard eventually agrees with you to kill it with fire.

The ghoul is killed using magic and holy fire, it chars into ash. Greybeard allows you to go with his clerics who invite you to a library. They give you a rundown on ghouls, how to battle them and why they are dangerous.

GHOUL
You currently know from battling ghouls:
They can cause paralysis with their claws
They are fast and dexterous
They do make noise, howls, grunts and wails.

The Gnome Clerics fill you in
They crave flesh, both living and dead, but prefer living flesh, torn fresh.
The bite of a ghoul can infect any race but elves. But you have seen Drow elf ghouls.
One bitten by a ghoul will rise as a ghoul the next night unless cured (disease)
The claws can paralyze. Ghouls will paralyze their prey then feast on the living body.

A ghoul resembles an emaciated version of whatever creature it was in life, but with a large jaw.
A ghoul’s skin is possessed of a deathly grey pallor often covered in blotches.
Ghouls are skin and bones with abnormally long arms that end in hands with long spindly fingers and claw like fingernails. These fingernails drip with a black ooze which acts as a poison that causes paralysis.
Ghouls have no body hair and their teeth more closely resemble canine teeth with massively exaggerated canines and incisors.
A ghoul’s skull actually has a longer mandible that protrudes. As a result, a ghoul’s skull vaguely resembles that of a dog or wolf yet maintaining its humanoid appearance.

Anyone bitten by a ghoul, who becomes hungry for raw meat should be cured of disease immediately. Other symptoms include hair loss and pale skin. The curing of disease is more effective if given by a cleric or paladin of Lawful Good alignment.

They don’t understand why a ghoul hungers, as they do not seem to need food to survive.

GHAST
They have occasionally encountered a more powerful ghoul called a ghast. The ghast has more necrotic energy, and puts off the stench of decay that can sicken.
While the ghoul’s paralysis is caused by poison, a ghast’s comes from necrotic energy, and can even paralyze elves.
This nuecrotic energy, even a slight amount can turn anyone into a ghoul.
They think ghasts are ghouls who have eaten a lot of living flesh, developing into ghasts through rudimentary forms of necromancy. .
Ghasts tend to be more intelligent, and even lead packs of ghouls.

The clerics think this is a more intelligent form of ghast. It does not have the stench of decay, but has the ability to speak.

COMBAT
Take off the head
Take out the stomach
Don’t need silver or magic weapons
Poison doesn’t work on undead

They further tell you the lore:
Of all the creatures of undeath, ghouls are one of the most fearful. Long ago an elven necromancer began to eat the flesh of other elves, he was worshipping the demon Orcus, the king of undeath. As a twisted reward, the undeathly king turned the elf into the first ghoul, with the power to make more ghouls, an undead army for the king of undead.

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King Greybeard and the ghoul

The group rises and meets Grey beard at the castle early the next day. Since you are in the underdark there is no true sunrise and sunset but due to the gnomes modification of their environment there is a semblance of time passing in 24 hour “days”

You enter the King’s round chamber, heavily flanked by guards including more o the balcony than you saw last time here. King Greybeard thanks you for finding his son-in-laws body and the information you brought back. “It will help keep our kingdom secure” he tells you solemnly. But there is something else that has come to my attention and you may want to see it too.

The king and a heavy contingent of guards including several clerics lead you outside and around back of the spire. You enter a second heavily guarded portcullis and descend into a dungeon like environment. A gnome cleric in flowing grey robes is near you and explains, “We have a prison for those who have done wrong in society, but this is for extreme traitors, or those who wish to destroy our city.” The cleric thumbs his holy symbol, something you’ve seen before a 6 pointed star in a ring, golden in color it is the symbol of Calladrun Smoothhands the patron of the deep gnomes.

You are led through corridors past many security posts and locked doors. eventually a room with 3 barred doors on the far wall. There are implements of torture in the room. The doors are mostly solid metal with smallish barred windows , two clerics stand by the door on the right.

At their beckoning you peer inside. What used to be a Drow, now clearly and undead in ghoul is hunched in the corner. it turns slightly acknowledging your presence. Its skin is ashen, and long black fangs hang from its grotesque mouth, similar to the claws on its fingers. It wears the remnants of leather armor, and a long black worm of a tongue darts from its mouth.

“You shouldn’t have that thing here, warns some of the party, if it gets out….” King Greybeard looks back at you, “I know but this is of concern, MAKE IT TALK!” he yells to the clerics.

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Glimmerfell

After the funeral banquet the party moves about Glimmerfell City taking a look at some of the amenities. The area seems to see much trade, as there is a large open air market but most of the humanoids you see are Deep Gnomes. There are a few Druger caravans that stop, but no Drow are seen, reasoning that the Druegar tend to be more Lawful than the Neutral Evil Drow, but are still watched by gnome guards as they ply their trade.

There are a smattering of overworld races, seemingly single traders or emissaries, halfling, dwarf, gnome here and there. The market has a great amount of foodstuffs, dozens of varieties of mushrooms but no spices except for salt, a lot of salt. Gems and crystals are numerous, as are worked metal weapons and armor. You do find a variety of silk that is unlike any you’ve seen before. It is very expensive, but Vinny thinks this would be a good mover in the above ground world.

Vinny
Rare here:
Wine/fruit/grain
Wood/paper
Spices besides salt

Abundant here
Gems/crystal
Mushrooms (food)
Salt

You are put up in a large tavern hostel that has numerous rooms for larger creatures, but the ceilings are still low and the doorways a little small.

You quickly grow tired of the many varieties of mushrooms as they all taste the same to you. Seemingly coming in 3 varieties Unsalted (bland), salted, and heavily salted. They are served raw or grilled, or in a broth soup

The primary alcohol is a frothy mushroom potent, weak in alcohol with a musty-moldy taste. Tiberious drinks gallons of it all the while saying “this stuff is terrible” Turok also consumes huge quantities, but seems to like it.

The next day a runner comes and you are requested at the King’s castle. The runner tells you there is something of concern to all in the under-dark. When questioned about it, the gnome tells you you will have to wait until the King sees you

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Back to Glimmerfell

After a good rest in the stalactite, the party heads back to Glimmerfell.

With a solemn respect they return the body of Kai Rifter, alas too far gone for resurrection to his family. King Greybeard looks sad and his wife Hrodel bursts into tears.

After several hours you are asked to see the king and you go over what has transpired. The party informs the King about the nefarious plans of the Illithid and that Kai Rifter was a hero in death eliminating the threat BUT the Troglodytes have been scattered and the Kuo Toa will continue to pose a threat.

The King thanks you and tells you to get some rest, a banquet will be held in your honor the following day

The King thanks you and tells you to get some rest, a banquet will be held in your honor the following day. Town criers are heard throughout the city, calling the citizens to mourn the loss of the city hero and announcing a funeral procession tomorrow “morning”.

The following “morning” a funeral procession is held through the city for Kai. A wagon drawn by a large lizard caries his body slowly though the town. Many mourners throw gifts into the cart (mostly mushrooms) until his coffin is covered. Hrodel walks alone behind the cart, draped in a purple gown and veil

King Grey beard gives a speech in the far area of town in a natural amphitheater. He speaks of many of Kai’s noble deeds, and tells (whatever you told him) and based on the journals that Kai was a hero in death. He also warns of the threat that the Kuo Toa now pose

He gives your party a little praise, Turok, Tiberious, Storm and Helm are in attendance, the king has a ceremonial “key” that will give you general access to the city as a VIP and a discount on goods and services.

After the funeral procession and large outdoor banquet is held, food and drink and gnomes singing the praises of Kai Rifter’s life.

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