The Company of Odd Fellows
The party left the tower early on the second day of the lumia festival, escorting the captives they rescued back to the lumber camp. In exchange for their help, the captives helped carry the armor and weapons taken from the dead lizardmen. The party was relieved when they made it back to camp that afternoon without encountering anything but mosquitoes. They reported in to Risran, saying they had rescued some captives, employees of the camp and their families. They also gave Risran the armor and swords they had recovered from the lizardmen, with the strong suggestion that he come up with some sort of nightly armed patrol with his employees. They brought the shields back to the warehouse where Domino and Bark used their healing to bring Needles and Clarabelle back to almost full health before settling in for the night.
The next day the party rested throughout the day to try and get the entire party back to full strength. Needles did venture out to gather the herbs he needed for his salve but that was about the extent of it. They wanted to be good and ready when they left the next morning back to the tower.
On the Second Day of Aft-Lumia the party once again left for the Crooked Rock Tower. Their travels through the wood that day were uneventful and they arrived at the tower during the late afternoon. They decided to set up camp a bit further away from the tower in case their were more guards watching for them from the roof of the tower.
Early the next morning they sent Andy back in, using another 1/3 of the potion of gaseous form. She returned back to them shortly letting them know that the tower had not yet been refortified. The party followed her back to the entrance where they took the maintenance ladder down to the tower basement to keep their presence quiet as long as they could.
They followed the long stairs down into the lower level under the tower until they came to a intersection with a large open area with two doors and hallways heading off east and west.
1. The Entry Room:
This area is filled with thick, dusty cobwebs, filling the room except for the lowest four feet or so of the room. Lying shriveled on the floor is the corpse of a giant spider, a black widow it appears; lying beside it is the corpse of a giant bee. Several more insect corpses hang from the webs, bundled in more webbing. You can see two huge, translucent spiders in the webbing nearby, and possibly another one further in.
The husks they saw turned out to be just the empty husk of a spider. But as they moved away they could hear the sound of of skittering and 3 giant spiders attacked them from the webs. Luckily the party was able to handle them quickly.
The decision was made to follow the hallway going east where they came to another door on the south wall and another large area just east of it with a door going north and further down the hallway what appeared to be a double-door going south right before the hallway stopped. Andy headed back to the first door going south and did her thief checks for traps while listening for anything on the other side. After nothing was heard the party entered the room.
9. Bone Room
The walls of this room are lined with bags and bundles; you see bones sticking out of some of them, and a few piles of bones and skulls lie unwrapped here and there.
The party was already leary so it came as no surprise as they were investigating the room, that some of the bones began to join together to form 7 full skeletons. Domino rebuked them and 4 of them clattered to the floor, bones spilling everywhere. The party quickly dispatched the rest and finished up checking the room, where they found nothing but the bags of bones.
the party wanted to follow the other hallway before they checked the doors on this side so they headed back towards the west where they came back to the large alcove with a door on the west and south wall. Checking the south door and finding nothing, they opened it up and entered.
6. The Warriors Den
In this room you see a desk, a chair, an empty weapons rack and a large chest.
While Needles kept an eye on the other door in this room the rest of the party investigated the chest and desk. The chest was empty except for an old pair of broken sandals. On the desk they found a a dried up ink well laying on top of some blank parchment. There was also a note laying on top of the desk.
I never signed on for the killing of women and children. You can keep whatever you owe me
for your protection. I couldn’t keep it in good conscience anyways..
They decided to continue on through the door in the room going east and after a quick inspection opened it.
7. The Warriors Bedroom
The found nothing in this room except for a rotting bed covered in rotting bedsheets. There was another door going east that was slightly open but as they approached it they heard noises from under the bed before 6 flying creatures flew out from it and attacked them. Kain cut one down and needles connected solidly with another but one of the creatures was able to bite Bark. Bark felt a little woozy but was able to fight back against the creatures poison but he yelled out a warning to the others to beware their bite. Domino killed another and Needles finished off the one he had hit earlier. Domino hit another and Andy snuck behind the last one, sticking it with her shirt sword, it survived that attack and another by Bark and lashed out at Kain, biting the soulforged but doing no other damage. Finally Needles cut it out of the air. Kain bent down to examine the creatures.. "Vorts… or as others called them, “Winged Serpents”. A nuisance to us since their poison did us no harm, but for others not immune, it knocked them out, allowing the creatures to eat while the victim still breathed’. With the creature dead, they examined the half open door to the east.
8. Warriors Armoire
This room appears to be empty. You see tendrils of gray, oozing slime come dripping down from overhead, and looking up, you can see a sickly gray fungus covering the ceiling.
Andy who was inspecting the doorway quickly jumped back thinking the dripping fungus was grey ooze but her fears were unfounded as it turned out to just be disgusting fungus of the normal variety.
With these set of rooms explored they headed back to the first alcove where they checked the door going west before opening it.
This room appears to be used for storage; a stack of wooden boxes is piled in the middle of the room. You notice the ceiling of this room is higher than in the hallway, probably about thirty feet.
Since the boxes in here looked precarious it was decided that Needles and Andy would inspect them since they had the best chance of dodging out of the way should one fall. This seemed to be going great until both of them came running out of the room screaming ‘GET IT OUT!’. It would seem that two giant centipedes had crawled out of the boxes and into the armor of both Andy and Needles. The rest of the party surrounded the two unlucky characters and began slapping them with their hands. Bark heard a resounding ‘splat’ as he smashed the one on Andy before it could bite her, but hit had to hit it hard enough to bruise her as well. Needles did get bit once before Domino could kill the centipede inside his shirt, but his tough orc hide was able to resist its poison. Andy and Needles reported that all they were finding was old and rusty equipment anyways so unless somebody else wanted to go back in and finish looking, her and Needles were done.
The party left the room and alcove and headed east down the hall they were at earlier where they followed it to the end and the set of double doors heading south. When Andy was listening at the door she could hear the sounds of what sounded like metal hitting stone, almost as if there were mining going on behind the door. Cautiously the party opened the door and headed inside.
11. Cell Block
The double doors open onto a ten foot wide corridor that runs south for fifty feet. The first ten feet of the corridor is featureless; then, off the east wall are four cells, each ten feet square, with grillework doors facing onto the corridor. Inthe west wall there is a door ten feet south of the entrance. At the end of the fifty feet the corridor turns west.
The sound of stonemasonry stops abruptly, and you can see ten animated skeletons round the corner at the far end of the corridor. They are holding large picks of the kind used for stonework.
Needles was in front of the party so he pulled out his axes and charged into the fray. connecting with the skeleton in front of him and shattering it into pieces. Andy fired an arrow into the crowd but failed to connect with anything, but Kain following Needles lead, waded into the fray and destroyed another skeleton. Bark also grabbed his staff and cracked a skeleton with it but was unable to bring it down. Domino attempted to turn some of these undead but they almost seemed immune to his commands and came on even stronger. the fight bogged down in the narrow room as the skeletons bunched up on one side and the party on the other. Needles slid back to extricate himself from the front lines but took a swipe from a skeletons axe in the process. Andy lobbed a burning flask of oil to the back of the skeletons but didn’t seem to do much damage to the creature she hit. Kain slid over to take Needles spot and cut his opponent in half. Bark also slid back and let Domino slide in front of him, where the cleric crushed the skeleton in front of him with his mace. Bark took a side swipe at the Skeleton attacking Kain, hitting it but not enough to stop it while Domino destroyed another with his mace. Kain then finished off his opponent. Finally Clarabelle was able to get into the fight, taking out another skeleton while Domino continued to wade into the thick of things, striking down another skeleton. But the skeletons finally were able to give some damage of their own, as a pickaxe struck Clarabelle. That was to be the final blow as Domino and Clarabelle finished off the remaining two skeletons.
With the fight done, the party pushed the skeleton bones to the side and inestigated the corridor where the skeletons came from. There they found an unfinished hallway which is what the skeletons must have been working on before they attacked the party. The investigation of the cell blocks found the remains of a dryad, a centaur and an owlbear, a very odd combination of creatures indeed. However that’s not all the party found, as they came across a very old secret door in the back of the first cell block in the room. A quick investigation showed stairs leading down that appeared to be even older than the level they were on now. The party figured those could wait until they had searched this level completely because it looked as if this door hadn’t been opened in centuries.
There was another in the cellroom going east and the party checked it over before opening it.
10. Torture Room:
You see a table to which a mechanical thing made to resemble a man is strapped. Its arms and legs have been disassembled at the knees and elbows, and you see what are apparently the missing parts piled on the floor beside the table.
The first thing the party noticed was the uncanny resemblance between this mechanical man and Kain, as though this thing on the table was some sort of descendant of the soulforged race. Kain looked troubled by this discovery. They were surprised when what they thought was a non funtional being spoke them.. ‘Hello my name is Argent, or as my master tended to call me ’Number 1’, are you here to help me?’. The party was stunned by his speech, which was very metallic sounding. much different then what they heard when Kain spoke. He then instructed the party on how to put his missing arms and legs back on and since Andy seemed to have the touch for these types of things, she volunteered to do the job. However when she first touched Argent, she went still for minutes causing the rest of the party to become concerned and pull her away from the mechanical man. She told them she was fine and that somehow the thoughts of Argent flooded through her when she first touched him. She then paraphrased to them what she had seen.
Thousands of years ago a mysterious technomancer came to the rock and caused a great tower to be raised upon it. Beneath the tower his workers carved a tunnel down through the rock, and then built a dungeon beneath the adjacent soil. Within the dungeon the technomancer created a manufacturing facility for his mechanical men, until disappearing suddenly and without any reason a few year later. A few centuries after the technomancer’s disappearance, the wizard Garand Walgren learned of the tower, and, believing that a mechanical army lay hidden beneath the ground there, he came to the tower to loot it. He never discovered the secret way into the facility, though he did capture Argent. He tried everything he knew to coerce Argent to reveal the secret way, even attempting to torture it; but Argent was still loyal to his master, and refused to tell Walgren what he wanted to know. Walgren did learn that Argent was compelled to act to save humans whenever possible, so he traveled to a nearby village and kidnapped a woman with her young son and daughter. He told Argent that he would spare the lives of his captives in return for the secret of the dungeon; when the mechanical man refused, Walgren killed the mother. Again he demanded an answer, and again Argent regretfully refused. Walgren slew the girl, and threatened the boy, but when the Argent refused yet again, he realized it was no use. So he spared the boy’s life and made him a servant in the tower. This proved his downfall ten years later, as the boy, grown to be a man, killed Walgren with his bare hands in a last final act of revenge. But Argent was left there, partially dismantled and restrained, for the boy still blamed him in part for the death of his mother and sister. The young man then left the tower.
Afterwards she had no more visions and with Argent’s help was able to put him back together. He thanked them and then before they could ask him anymore mentioned needed to check the tower and took off. The party followed the mechanical man until he took the hallway back towards the stairs going up. They backtracked to the east hall and the only door they hadn’t checked, the one in the small alcove going north.
2. Corridor Room:
The ceiling of this room is lined with the honeycomb of giant bees. An alcove in the north wall leads to ornate double doors of brass-bound oak trimmed with copper.
As you enter the area, six giant bees fly at you from the darkness.
the party wasn’t expecting the bees as they swooped in from above and the bees got a free attack on them. Luckily nobody was stung. The party quickly took down the bees afterwards before checking the door to the north. After not hearing anything, they entered the room.
3. Chapel Anteroom:
Tapestries of deep red line the walls to the left and right; each is embroidered with a white sickle moon, dripping with blood.
Domino recognized the symbol of the Goddess Esra, The Goddess of Darkness and Magic. It would make sense that from what Andy saw from Argent’s thoughts, that the wizard Walgren would be interested in the dark side of magic. Domino wanted to tear down the curtains, but when he struck them with his mace, it was as if the fabric resisted the damage. There was another door to north so the party checked it before opening it. Andy could hear the roar of something on the other side of the door, possibly a large fire. They opened up the door and entered.
4. Chapel of Esra:
A huge roaring fire burns on the dais, though there is no fuel for it to burn.
The fire burning on the dais was so loud that the party had to yell to hear each other. Also the heat radiating from the fire, made the entire room uncomfortable. Andy and Needles inspected the room but couldn’t find anything of value, and the party quickly stepped out.
It looked as if the east side of this level had been explored so the party backtracked to the west hallway where they came to another open area with a hallway heading south.
12. Corridor Room:
Scuff marks on the floor indicate that shelves about 2 to 3 feet in depth may have once lined the west wall of this now empty nook.
There was also the remains of a campsite here as well, in fact it looked as if whoever left the camp here had plans on returning to it. They rummaged through the stuff left here and didn’t find anything of any importance except for a curious note.
My good friend Slurra..
The last shipment of captives you sent to us were
exactly what we needed. I hope the armor and
weapons you received in return will meet your
expectations. I would love to continue our
relationship and would gladly provide you more
weapons in exchange for more captives. Please
bring whatever you can gather to our usual spot.
So the assumptions that this was the campsite of the Lizardman Chief and his guards proved correct and now they had the name of the slaver the lizardmen were selling the captives to and that the lizardman chief was named Slurra.
Following the hallway south they came to a door on the west side while the hallway continued down before stopping at a Tee. deciding they wanted to explore the hallway first they passed the door and went down to the tee. The hallway going west ended at a door and the hallway east held a door going south, and a door at the end before it turned south.
The party headed towards the door going west and had Andy inspect it. She said she could hear sounds from the other side but was unsure what it was. With weapons readied the party opened the door and surprised a group of skeletons sitting around a table playing cards.
15. Skeleton Room:
A round table is centered in this room, with a gaudy white chandelier overhead, shining down
brightly. Sitting at the table are five skeletons, apparently playing cards.
As the party rushed into the room one of the skeletons turned to them and asked ‘Care to play some 12 Hand Slap?’ before Clarabelle’s mace came crashing down on its head, destroying it. It was the parties turn to be surprised as what they they thought was the chandelier came crashing down to the table and appeared to be another skeleton. Once again Domino was unable to turn any of the skeletons and Bark and Kain were both unable to connect. Needles fired at one of the skeletons in the back, the arrow not doing much damage, but the fire that came with it was able to do a bit more damage. Clarabelle scrabbled over the table and hit another Skeleton and destroyed it as well. A Skeleton climbed onto the table to get a better shot at Bark and connected with its skeletal hand. Andy fired at another skeleton in the back with her bow, hitting it but not doing much damage. Another Skeleton climbed over the table and attacked Clarabelle, able to scratch with his bony claws. Domino, frustrated by his inability to turn the undead lately blasted the skeleton in front of him with mace, shattering pieces of it all over the wall. Another Skeleton over the table and now Kain took a hit. Needles switched to his axes and jumped into the battle but wasn’t able to connect. Bark took another good shot from the skeleton in front him. Kain popped his opponent with the butt of his katana, taking it out. bark swung his staff and knocked the one in front of him off the table where it clattered into a pile of bones. Needles jumped up on the table to finish off the last one but was unable to do enough damage to bring it down but Domino did right afterwards.
There was a door to the south in this room and after investigating it and not finding or hearing anything they opened it up.
16. Wine Room:
This room is apparently a wine cellar. Wine racks cover all the available wall space. However, there are only a few bottles of wine here. There is some broken glass on the floor just to the left of the door.
Domino knew his wines and found that 7 of the 15 bottles in the room were fairly rare and would fetch a good price if they were hauled out of here. There was an empty crate in the room and they used it to pack up the wine. The party thought that this would be a good time to take a look at their wounds and heal up. Clarabelle and Bark had a few heavy wounds from the last few encounters so Bark healed Clarabelle and Domino healed Bark.
They decided to follow the hallway east where they came to a door going north and a door going east where the hallway turned south. They decided to check the north door first.
17. Bone Room:
Wooden shelves about two to three feet in depth line the walls of this room. They are stocked with bones sorted by type and length. A wooden bin in the center holds a jumble of bones waiting to be sorted.
The party had already been down this road so when 7 skeletons formed from the bones, they were prepared. Domino turned 5 of the 7 skeletons and the other 2 were quickly dispatched. The room contained nothing of consequence, other than than the bags so the party moved on. They exited out of the room and decided to check the door going east.
18. Zombie Room:
Andy could hear something coming from the room, but it almost seemed to be right next to the door. Kain reared back and kicked the door in, hopefully to take whoever was on the other side by surprise. He was surprised when the door splintered into pieces and went flying into the room.
This room is empty except for tables lining the walls. Lying on eight of them are what appear
to be human forms covered by dusty sheets.
It didn’t take long for 4 of the human forms to rise off the tables and lurch forward to attack the party. Domino couldn’t turn any of the zombies heading for them and a fight commenced. A zombie crashed into Domino as he drove his mace into its skull, staggering the creature but not killing it. Needles hit one of the zombies in the back with an arrow but was unable to fell it with one shot. Kain also laid into his opponent with his katana but also left it standing. the zombie paid him back in full, striking Kain in the chest with its claw. Domino finished his opponent off but another zombie filled its spot. Needles fired another arrow into the last zombie in back, pinning hits head to the wall and killing it. Kain’s attacker was the next to fall, sliced in half at the waist and Domino finished off the last one with a crushing mace to the face. There was nothing else in the room so the party continued south. At the dead end of the hallway they were confronted by either going through the door to the west or the door to the east. They chose the west door and after checking and listening, they entered the room.
20. Crypt Anteroom:
This room appears to be empty, save for a huge pair of double doors centered in the south wall. They are plain but well-made, and secured with a large gold seal.
the party was struck by the ornate doors and almost didn’t see the zombies standing still against the east wall. Luckily the movement caught their eye and the were able to prepare. Needles and Andy ran to the back of the room and released arrows into the horde, hitting two of them. Kain stepped in to keep the zombies off the archers. A zombie lurched forward from the crowd and went after Bark in the back. He wasn’t counting on Clarabelle coming into the room late and she gutted the zombie with her sword. A zombie was able to get another swipe at Kain, and was becoming obvious that his wounds were getting bad. A zombie skirted Kain’s defense, going after Needles with his claws. Needles dropped his bow and switched to his axes, striking his opponent. Kain, angered at being a zombie punching bag, sliced his opponent in half with a two-handed katana stroke. Andy continued to pepper the zombie in the back with arrows while Bark used his last healing to prop up Kain. Domino crushed his opponent and Clarabelle took a huge chunk out of a particularly large sized zombie. Kain and Needles finished off another and the rest went down uneventfully.
The massive circular gold seal is engraved with strange and unfamiliar symbols. It radiates a
sensation of coldness that can be felt several feet away.
The party got a distinct feeling that nothing good was going to be behind those doors so they chose to explore the door across the hallway first before attempting to open the double doors.
19. Zombie Room
As the party approached the opposite door, it swung open slowly as if somebody was leaving the room, but nobody came out. This put the party on their guard as entered the room.
This room is furnished as an office, with a desk, a chair behind it, and large easy chair in front. A solitary figure stands behind the desk.
It was no surprise when the lone figure rose up and showed itself to be another zombie. Domino immediately rebuked it and the zombie fell to the ground, dead again.
With that room explored the party decided to get whatever was behind the large doors out of the way. Domino used his last healing on Bark and Needles used the two healing salves he made on Kain. Domino cast bless on his friends and bark readied a spell. After struggling to remove the seal and open the large door, Kain was finally able to do both and get the door opened.
21. Crypt of Walgren:
Four monstrously large undead humanoids stand guard around a sarcophagus here. The ceiling
and corners of the room are thickly hung with spiderwebs.
The party was surprised by the monstrous creatures in this room which allowed the Ogre Zombies to rush from their guard at the party, two of them swinging mighty fists and Domino and Kain, luckily neither of them were able to land one. Bark produced a flame in his hand and lobbed it at the Ogre in the back, catching it on fire. Needles seeing an attack of opportunity and a chance to thin the ranks, fired at the same zombie staggering it back with an arrow, yet it still remained standing. Kain sunk his katana deep into the zombie in front of him, but it too remained standing. The Ogre Zombie in front of Domino punched out at Domino, luckily only getting in a glancing blow. Andy also decided to make a target of the same zombie hit by Needles and Bark, and her arrow was able to finish it off. Clarabelle fired off a magic missile at the last remaining Ogre in the back, hitting it but not even fazing it while Domino also returned a glancing blow on the Zombie who attacked him. The remaining Zombie in the back closed at the door and struck Kain a wallop with his fist. Bark risked throwing another ball of flame at the zombies in close melee combat with Kain and Domino but was successful in hitting the one facing Kain, the flames engulfing it, until it fell to the ground dead. Needles followed Bark’s lead and shot the zombie in front of Domino, hitting it with an arrow. Kain decided to step into the room and face the zombie that hit him earlier, hitting it with his blade. Andy thought it would be best if she didn’t fire into combat so she put her bow away and made her way towards the fight. Clarabelle stepped into the spot recently vacated by Kain and helped him out by slicing the head off the zombie he just faced. With only one Zombie left, the party quickly finished him off.
After all that work they found nothing of any value in Walgren’s crypt but felt pretty good that they got through that encounter, relatively unscathed. Looking at their map, there was only one door they hadn’t checked so they backtracked to that hallway and checked the door. Andy could hear a faint noise but it was too hard to discern what it was. With their hands strapped to their weapons they opened the door…
A haphazard collection of wooden beams lean against the wall and lie in piles in the outhwest
corner, along with some mining tools, wooden barrels and other items.
What they also found in this room was 13 stirges and 1 Lizardman warrior dead on the floor as well as 4 emaciated lizards stuck behind a steel barred doorway to the north. The sound Andy heard was the loud ticking of some device coming from this room. A larger Lizardman approached the doorway and begged them to help him and his companions escape from this room. He explained that they had entered the room, the doors came down and the clock against the wall would begin ticking down. Not sure what would happen if the thing counted down to zero, they could push the button to reset it, but it would immediately begin counting down again. They tried everything but could not escape the room and it had been days since they were trapped in there. When the party asked him if his name was Slurra he acknowledged that he was. They said before they could help him, they would need to know as much as about the slavers, where they took the captives etc. He said he would help. While Clarabelle and Kain tried unsuccessfully to budge the bars using strength and magic, Andy found a strange set of numbers behind a barrel in the room, the number 836. Afterwards peering through the bars she asked if the dial could actually be turned and the lizardman reported that it could. She had them turn the dial so that the number 8 was on top, then 3, then 6.. A loud clank surprised them as the bar retracted back into the ceiling and an overjoyed group of Lizardmen exited the room. They were both dehydrated and starved and didn’t put up much of a fight as the party tied them up. What the lizardman failed to notice was that when the bars went up, so did a small door beneath the dial. Andy went back into the room and found a locked chest.She drug the chest out of that room and back into the room they first entered. She was able to unlock the chest and they found that it contained 2554 gold pieces.
The party led the captured Lizardman back to the cells they found earlier. There they locked them up the best they could then gave them some food and water. Slurra also provided the party with some information about the slavers they dealt with, a hand drawn map showing where they were located, a small island called Manacle Island on the outskirts of the Mire Wood. With the lizardman locked up, the party ate, set up a watch and got some rest before exploring the secret hallway heading down they had found earier that day.