The Company of Odd Fellows
The Iron Fortress
The next morning the party left the temple and headed up the hallway. They decided to cut through the barracks where they had left the hobgoblins tied up the day before. When they opened up the door however, they were surprised by two things, the hobgoblins were all dead and their killers were still parading around the room. 5 Goblins were rummaging around the room, but were unaware that the party had come through the secret door. The party was able to get the jump on them and killed the goblins before they even had a chance to draw their weapons and attack. In the aftermath they saw that the goblins had slit the throats of the hobgoblins, obviously there was no love lost there.
With that the party found the stairs heading up and left the lower levels behind them. As they came to the end of the stairs, they found themselves at the end of a hallway heading west with several doors along the south wall.
(Room 29) They decided on the door nearest where they came up the stairs. After a quick check of the door the party entered the room.
This room is brightly lit by continual light spells cast on orbs in the ceiling. Wash basins line the south wall behind which a mirror is centered. A small table with two padded chairs occupies the dead space on the north wall. A pile of towels, a shaving razor, soap, combs, brushes, bottles of scented water, a bottle of spirits, and other items litter the table. In one chair sits the statue of a barber, with a surprised expression on its face.
It looked like another occupant of the fortress, frozen in time. Other than the barbering equipment, the room was empty except for another door on the west wall.
(Room 30) The adventurers enterd the room after the usual door checks.
This room is filled with round tables and chairs.Each table and chair set is in a slightly different style, and each has an area rug underneath it; each rug is also unique, some being rectangular and others circular, and each having a distinct pattern.
At the far end of the room is a large fireplace, with a fire blazing within it; that end of the room appears to be illuminated magically, while the near end has no illumination of its own. Sitting around a table near the fireplace is an unlikely group: three women, two men, and three ugly, piglike humanoids. One of the men is standing up and holding out a wineglass, which one of the humanoids is filling from a wine bottle, while the other humanoids are drinking from their own glasses.
They realized the three piglike humanoids were orcs before the orcs realized they were in the room. The party decided to capitalize on the surprise by launching an attack. Two of the goblins were quickly taken out, one by Needles’ longbow and the other by a combined attack of Bark’s thrown spear and Andy’s shortbow. The last one barely had a chance to reach for his spear before Domino closed on him and crushed him with his Mace. Besides the orcs, the rest of the people around the table seemed to be more occupants stuck in whatever pose they happened to be in when the keep exploded. After a quick discussion it was decided that the adventurers were going to do their best to secure this room and keep the two hostages they rescued here, where they would be safer than following along behind the party. The dead orcs were stashed in the room next door, the doors were wedged closed using some of the furniture in the room. The party then told the two women, Sasha and Garalia to not let anyone in without the password, which was decided to be ‘Dragon’. With that they closed the door and made sure the women wedged it closed behind them.
The continued along the hallway west until they came to a 4 way intersection and had to choose which way to go. After quick deliberation they choose to head north, where they could see a door along the east wall.
(Room 31) When Andy listened at the door she thought she could hear something but was unsure what it was. Other than that the door looked clear so she stepped aside and let the fighter rush in first.
In this room you see a large, ugly humanoid sitting in an easy chair, apparently asleep, with a longsword laying across its lap.
The party thought it best to get the jump on what appeared to be a hobgoblin asleep in a chair. But as soon as they rushed in, the creature reached down and grabbed the rug on the floor of the room and yanked it hard. This caused Andy and Domino to have their feet pulled out from under them and they hit the ground hard. Bark seeing some of the party get upended, rushed into the fray with his spear and Needles risked a shot into combat, striking the goblin hard with a flaming arrow, which it definitely didn’t like. He tried to strike the prone Domino with his longsword but was unable to hit him. Kain then stepped in and struck down the hobgoblin with a two handed strike with his Katana finishing it off.
DM Note: The hobgoblin in this room is actually a Urgoblin and isn’t dead, Although it can only regenerate back to 10hp because 5 of the damage it took from Needles arrow was fire damage.
After leaving the room they continued north where they were soon waylaid by more of the glowing large rats in the hallway. They were able to quickly dispatch them without incident and continued their way north, where eventually it ended at a hallway going east-west. They decided to head east where they saw a door along the south wall.
(Room 37) When Andy listened at the door she thought she could hear faint movement in the room but was unsure what it was. After checking for any traps, she stepped aside and let Kain and Domino enter the room.
This is obviously a guard room. An open archway is centered in the east wall. An entirely empty weapon rack occupies the eastern twenty feet of the north wall; it appears to have been constructed to hold longswords, shortswords, pole arms, and bows. A table surrounded by six chairs is in the southwest corner. A desk is positioned on the east side of the room, near the south wall. A man is seated behind the desk, bent over with his head lying on his arms. His clothes are very ragged looking.
The party entered warily, unsure of who or what was behind the desk. As they approached it, even with their guard up they were caught by surprise when it lunged up and attack Domino, its claws raking his shield. Domino instantly recognized it as a wight and shouted at the party to beware its touch. Needles risked a shot into combat knowing that they couldn’t let the undead make contact. His arrow struck true, knocking the wight back against the wall, pinning it there until it stopped moving. Besides the wight and the empty weapons racks there was nothing else in the room, so they passed through the archway into the room to the east.
This room is mostly empty, but lining the east wall are several shelves loaded with ale kegs. A large open archway is centered in the west wall.
Although jokes went around the party about quenching their thirst, the kegs of ale were left alone and the party exited out of the room by the north door. This brought them further east in the hallway they were in earlier where they saw that the door the had exited was the last door in the hallway. With that they pressed on west.
After they passed the Hallway going south they had come up earlier they saw another door on the south wall of the hallway. After that the hall continued another 30’ before it turned south.
(Room 36) After Andy did her thing and found and heard nothing, she stepped back allowing Kain and Domino to open the door.
This spacious room is broad, clean and ablaze with light and color. The ceiling is thirty feet high, supported by grand arches. Colored skylights along the rim of the ceiling allow light to glare down during the day. Tapestries line the walls, along with ornate candelabras blazing with candles that never seem to melt down any further than the inch or so they have lost so far. The floor is colorful flecked marble: greens along the walkway from entrance to dais, and white-flecked reds elsewhere. Two ornate thrones sit facing north on the dais, flanked by three lesser ones on each side. Left and right of the dais are single tall human statues with pole arms with pinions. Two rows of four short, ornate statues line the way from the door to the thrones, with a ninth standing in front of one at the entranceway.
The short statues could only be dwarves! These must have been the ones that discovered the green emerald and presented it to the Duke. A quick inspection of the candelabras showed that that it was a light spell and not candles that were brightening the room. it took seeing the throne room of the Duke to really show the party the importance of their mission. They would get to the bottom of this. They found nothing else of interest in the room so they exited out the door they came in. They then followed the hall as it turned south.
(Room 39) As the came around the corner they saw a door in the west wall and decided to investigate. After the checks the party entered the room.
In this small room there are four statues of soldiers in chainmail armor, seated around a table at which they are, apparently, playing cards. Each statue has a small pile of coins in front of him, and in the center of the table is a larger pile of coins. You notice that one of the statues seems to have a card tucked into his boot.
Besides the guards frozen while playing cards, they found nothing else of interest in the room and quickly moved on. Just a feet south they found another door to the west and checked it. After opening it they saw a small hallway going west with a door going north and south. A quick decision was made to try the north door first.
(Room 40) After the usual checks the party entered the room.
This room is obviously a bedroom. It is simply furnished and neat, but the furnishings are all of very high quality. A large bed is centered on the north wall, with a large chest at the foot. An armoire stands in each of the western corners. A washstand occupies the southeast corner. The room is illuminated by two fancy lanterns hanging from hooks in the ceiling, one over the bed and the other over the washstand.
Andy checked the chest and easily found the false bottom where she discovered 50 platinum pieces and a shortsword. A check of the sword did indicate it was magic. (+1 Short Sword). Everything else in the room seemed to be mundane every day items. So the party left the bedroom and checked the door going south.
(Room 41) When Andy listened at the door she could definitely hear music coming from the other side. Not sure what was on the other side, the part entered warily.
The first thing you notice about this room is the sound of music… though you can’t identify the source, you can plainly hear stringed instruments playing a stately march. This room is furnished as a sitting room, with several comfortable chairs, a small table with a book lying on it, a large rug, and a variety of paintings and wall hangings. In addition, you see a pair of statues depicting a curly-haired little girl playing with a hound dog.
The party was intrigued by where the music was coming from and spent a few rounds trying to figure it out. They finally figured out it was coming from a painting of people playing music. They considered taking the painting but decided it would be best to leave it. Another door headed out of the room going south so they decided to keep heading that direction.
That door opened up into another small hallway with a door at the east end and another door on the north wall. They had a feeling the east door connected to the hallway going north-south they were in earlier so it was decided to try the other door going north first.
(Room 42) After checking the door the party entered the room.
This room appears to be a bath. A pair of folding screens divide the room in two, and you can see that a large tub is positioned on the other side. The nearer side of the room contains towel racks with towels still on them as well as an armoire.
The party thought they should check behind the folding screen.
The large tub contains statues of two nude women, positioned as if bathing. The tub is full of cold water.
After chuckling about being glad they didn’t have the cleric check behind the curtain, the party exited out of the door in the room going east. They were correct and this led them back into the hallway they started from. It looked like they had seen everything to the north so they decided to keep moving south.
As they continued down the hallway they came across another door to the west. They also saw that the hallway they were in intersected with another going east and they speculated that this hallway was a part of the first hallway they entered when coming up the stairs. They thought it would be a good idea to work their way back towards the room where they left the women to check on them and to set up camp for the night.
Room 43) But for now they wanted to check the door going west. They opened it and saw some stairs heading up to door opening to the north. They went up the stairs and after a quick check opened the door.
Hanging by leather thongs from the ceiling of this room is a set of three large brass horns of various sorts. Tables and chairs are in the corners and away from the openings; sitting in a cozy nest of chairs and a table in the northwest are two statues. Statues of men-at-arms in chain mail carrying axes or swords stand gazing out the windows, which are openings four feet tall and six feet wide. Shutters hang over the windows, latched out of the way.
The party was tempted to try the horns but thought it best that nobody knew they were here since they didn’t know if it was friend or foe out there. There was nothing else of interest here so they left the watch tower and went back down the stairs to the hallway. At the intersection they were able confirm that this hallway would lead them back to the room they had earlier secured.
As they went east down this hallway they came across two doors across from each other, one going south, the other north. What concerned them though was that the door going north was wide open and when Andy peered inside she saw it was a small hallway with another door opening north, and this door was also open.
A quick decision was made to check on the room first, then come back and see about this open door. As they quickly moved through the hallway and back to where they left the women, they saw that the door here was open as well, but there was no sign of forced entry. It was quickly deduced that the women left this room on their own. Not sure if those other open doors had something to do with this or not, they decided to backtrack and check on it to find out.
As they ran back past the intersection they were blindsided by even more of the giant rats. One was able to bite Clarabelle and Domino as they went by. Once the party saw the rats they quickly killed them off. They party more carefully made their way back to the small hallway going north and entered the room beyond.
This room has a large, fancy rectangular rug in the center of the floor. Arranged on opposite sides of the rug are a pair of high-backed,padded benches; they are set out from the wall far enough to allow people to walk behind them. Small side tables are positioned at each end of each of the benches. A writing desk with a padded chair occupies the southeast corner of the room. The room is illuminated by two elaborately detailed lanterns hanging from hooks on each of the side walls.
the party also immediately noticed that this room had also been used as a makeshift sleeping area lately. There were some rolled up bedrolls and other signs of a long stay.
There were two doors on the north wall, one to west and one to the east. The eastern door was also ajar. A decision by the party was made to check the other door first, in case this was some sort of ambush.
(Room 34) Andy checked and listened but didn’t hear anything on the other side. But to be safe she stepped aside and let the Cleric and Samurai lead the way.
This room is obviously a bedroom. It is simply furnished and neat, but the furnishings are all of very high quality. A large bed is centered on the north wall, with a large chest at the foot. An armoire stands in each of the north corners. A washstand occupies the southeast corner. The room is illuminated by a fancy lantern placed on a side table beside the head of the bed.
This room also had the feel of being used recently and it was in need of maid service. Andy checked the chest and found a set of thieves tools and a magical dagger (+1 Dagger). Besides that there was nothing else in the room so they backtracked to the other door.
After opening it up and looking down the hall, they saw an opening along the west wall, and another opening directly north of them. From the construction both of them appeared to be hidden doors that weren’t closed. As they moved up the hallway they could hear fighting coming from the northern doorway. Andy peered in and could see that they were back in the Throne Room (Room 36) but that wasn’t the only surprise. A fight was going on in the throne room between two females in leather armor and a hobgoblin (actually the Ur-Goblin from Room 31). After a few seconds recognition set in and she realized the two women were Sasha and Garalia, but why were they in leather armor? Then they remembered the 2 sets of leather armor they found under the bed in the room where they ‘rescued’ the two women. A quick plan was set into motion, Clarabelle came around the corner and cast sleep on the fighting trio. The hobgoblin and Garalia immediately fell to the ground asleep and Sasha looked around to see what was going on when she laid eyes on the adventurers. The look on the parties faced showed her the gig was up, she looked down at her stricken friend before making a run for the northern doors. As fast as the party was, Sasha was even faster and made it through the doors and out of sight before the party could catch her.
The Hobgoblin was trussed up tight as was Garalia. They searched her sleeping form and found a pouch bulging with gold, as her backpack contained a necklace that appeared valuable. The party pocketed both items before dragging the tied up hobgoblin and Garalia against the wall. They then decided to backtrack back to the other open hidden door they found in the hallway.
In this room you see statues of a man and woman, facing each other. Both are dressed in fine clothing, the sort which would be appropriate to wear to a noble’s wedding feast. The man is near you, facing away, while the woman is on the far side of the room, facing you; she is bent forward with a look of loss on her face.
On the floor between them lies a huge, glowing emerald. The jewel has a crack in it, and from the crack a glowing greenish mist is streaming like the smoke from a candle.
Behind the female statue are several chests of various sizes, piled against the wall. One is open, and within it you see empty sacks that recently appeared to hold coins. The sacks are marked with the standard of the Barony.
There was a lot to take in on entry into what appeared to be the fortress vault. A quick look at the figures in this compared to some of the art they saw in the fortress, showed that this had to be Duke Vadarin and the Lady Kylenne. Her face might have shown loss but his face held nothing but anger and shock. But as they approahed the figures closer, and the jewel lying between them.
Suddenly the emerald begins to glow more strongly, and you hear a haughty voice: “At last
you have come! Free me and I will reward you! Free me, I beg you!
It didn’t take the party long to decide they had no intention of freeing whatever was inside the emerald. The green mist surrounding the castle, the strange green glowing eyes of the rats that kept attacking them showed that whatever was leaking from the emerald was the cause of all this. The adventurers were even reluctant to pick the jewel up but they knew they couldn’t leave it here and risk some other creature letting whatever was inside the jewel out. They placed the jewel in the small empty chest and closed it, not wanting to be in too close of contact. Clarabelle, Bark and Domino all agreed that the they needed to find something to seal the jewel in that would contain it, something made from heavy iron and or lead. They also realized that the gold they found on Garalia and possibly the necklace as well, came from this vault, and as much as they didn’t mind pilfering here and there, it would better if the gold and necklace was put back in the sack and left here.
Now they had an idea of what happened. They weren’t sure of the specifics but from the look on Kylenne’s frozen face, the jewel had been dropped, cracking it and causing the explosion and subsequent mist. It also seemed that the jewel was calling out to the evil creatures in the area, causing them to come to the fortress.
The party headed south, back through the rooms and out the hall where they came to the door heading south.
(Room 32) The party checked the door and then entered.
You see before you a garden open to the sky, overgrown and unkempt looking. You can see the green glow above you, barring your exit in that direction.A narrow pathway of rounded river rock leads away into the overgrowth.
The path leading into the garden was very narrow so they would have to continue one at a time. At that point the party decided that they probably wouldn’t find what they needed in the garden, and decided to postpone venturing into it until they had to.
So they followed the hall east until they came back to the four way intersection. There they headed south. They came apon another door along the west wall and a quick examination showed that it also opened up into the garden. After that the hallway went to a dead end. So they backtracked back to the intersection, followed the hall west until it ended in the hallway going north-south, where they continued south, where they immediately came to a door along the west wall.
Opening that door, they saw a short hallway headed west with doors on both the north and south walls. They decided to check the door on the north wall before checking any of the south doors.
(Room 44) After checking the door, Andy stepped back and allowed Kain and Domino to enter the room.
The walls of this room are lined with long, heavy work tables, which are loaded with papers, arcane glassware, and various items useful in magical research. In the middle of the room is a statue of a beautiful woman wearing close-fitting leather armor, a sheathed longsword on her belt.
The statue looked just like the woman they had found in the vault, but this one was made of metal. The workmanship was exquisite but as the party examined it the were alarmed when it began to move and attack them, taking a swing at Domino with its iron hands, striking a glancing blow on Domino. Needles and Kain were able to strike it back, doing some serious damage. The monster punched out at Needles, hitting him hard with its iron fist. Clarabelle then connected with her longsword, finishing the statue off as it crashed to the ground.
During the search Andy found a secret door to the north which opened up into the hallway leading to the watchtower. Beside the hidden exit, they found nothing else in the room that would help them seal up the jewel so they moved on. Back into the hallway they checked on the furthest door going south.
(Room 45) After a check of the door. the party entered.
This small room is lined with shelves, and the shelves are loaded down with jars, boxes, bags, and bottles. Every item has a label, but the labels on the items nearest the door are written in an unfamiliar language.
The party carefully inspected the store room but once again could find anything of use they could seal the jewel in. There was another door opening into the storeroom on the east wall so the party decided to check that door first.
(Room 46) The party opened the door and looked inside.
This is apparently a bedroom, though it is so cluttered that it’s hard to tell. There is a large bed centered on the south wall, which is half covered with piles of books and papers. An
armoire stands open in the southwest corner, with robes and other items of clothing hanging in
and on it. A desk resides in the northwest corner, also piled high with books, papers, ink bottles and quills, the latter mostly bedraggled or broken. A lantern, apparently illuminated by continual light, rests atop a nightstand beside the bed.
The party inspected the room, but still didn’t find what they were looking for. However their investigation did find that this room belonged to Stephan DeSant, the head wizard of the fortress. There was another door along the east wall and the party moved over to it and opened it.
This room is brightly lit by a continual light spell in a lantern hanging overhead. A ceramic platter on a table beside the wash stand contains a small pile of ashes; a lingering fragrance suggests that the ashes were once incense. A simple screen stands beside the wash stand. Behind the screen is an empty chamber pot.
The party exited out the north door back into the hallway. By this time it was getting pretty late so the party backtracked to the room they reinforced, and set up camp for the night. Since the day was pretty much spell free they decided to use up what they could to get the party heeled up.