Dragonclaw Barony

The Village of Stull

The Ninth day of Ere-Lumia, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

The Village of Stull

The party arrived at the village the next afternoon. When they asked a few villagers about what they had heard, they were directed to talk to the Mayor of Stull, Chriztopp Barclay. They found him in the Town Building and told him what they had heard from the refugees on the road. The mayor confirmed the rumors and told them that the undead had been plaguing the town for about a week and the production of the lumber mill is way down because of it. If they can’t get rid of the undead problem, the owners, The Laquins, will shut the mill down, effectively bankrupting the town. He says he can’t offer them much, 500 gold, but they would be saving the town if they assisted.

The party decided to take the mayor up on his offer, and were inquiring about where they could rest for the night when a breathless villager ran into the office screaming that the undead were attacking the school! The party quickly told the villager to lead them to the school. When they arrived it looked like they were too late. They saw a group of skeletons tearing apart the body of someone on the ground while a group of children shrieked in terror in the corner while other skeletons attacked them. Needles attacked the nearest one with his axes but was unable to take it down. Meanwhile 4 of the skeletons moved towards the children and attacked, killing one of the children and injuring another. As Domino rushed forward to try and turn them, Kain and Clarabelle dispatched two of nearby skeletons. Domino called upon the power of Chordax and 5 of the remaining skeletons stopped their attacks and ran cowering from the clerics power. This left two skeletons left. Andy sprinted towards the children trying her best to close the distance while Bark did the only thing he could think of, he cast entangle right on top of one of the remaining skeletons, trapping it and some of the children in the vines. It was risky but he knew it would keep the skeleton from being able to attack. Needles threw down his axes and drew his bow. He knew he would have to risk a shot near the children but he had to take out the last unfettered skeleton. His aim was true and the arrow struck the skeleton, engulfing it in flames, where it fell to the ground, destroyed. The last skeleton struggled against the vines, even more so when Domino once again called upon Chordax to turn the undead. As it tried to get free to flee, Andy struck it down with her short sword, killing it.

Once the threat was clear, the villagers ran in to the school yard to grab their children, a mournful wail coming from the mother of the one child the party couldn’t save. Domino pushed his way through the crowd to heal the other child injured by the skeleton. It was during this time that they found out the other other dead body was that of the school teacher Bertrude, an acolyte of Eliador, who died trying to protect the children.

The clamor and screaming from north of them drew their attention to the lumber mill. The party took off at a sprint towards the mill. When they arrived they could see the body of 5 villagers on the ground, as well as the dead remains of two zombies. A pounding at the door above them told them where the rest of the zombies were. When the party ran up the stairs they found the zombie horde pounding on the doors to the saw room. Shouts from the other side meant that some of the workers were still alive behind that door. The zombies single mindedness gave the party the surprise on the first round.

All the fighters quickly rushed the Zombies, hitting them, but only Clarabelle’s blow was enough to kill her target. Bark summoned fire into his hand and threw it at one of the zombies, catching it on fire and destroying it, another globe of fire taking its place. Domino once again called out to Chordax and a ray of light flew from his holy symbol, shaking 7 of the zombies and causing them to run into a dark corner of the room. The 3 remaining turned on the party and attacked them. All but Domino were able to dodge the first attacks. The party returned the favor killing another 3 zombies, allowing Domino to turn the rest. But with the zombies trapped in the corner the party knew they could leave none standing. They chased the zombies and mopped the rest of them up with only Needles taking some additional damage. They knocked on the barricaded door and let the workers know the zombies were dead and they free to go.

But their troubles didn’t stop there. They were told another group of zombies were seen heading towards the mayors house on the other side of town. It took them what seemed like forever to cover the distance and when they got to the house they could that it had already been attacked. The front door was knocked off its hinges and when they entered they found the body of a woman and two children laying dead in the front room. They could hear yelling and screaming coming from another room and followed the sound to mayor fighting off 3 zombies with a broken broom stick, the body of two other zombies lay on the ground in front of him. The party reacted quickly. moving in and destroying the zombies surrounding him. A very distraught mayor ran into the other room and found his dead wife and two sons laying on the floor. He then began to look around frantically before running up the stairs yelling ‘Maya’. The party thought it better to follow him in case there were more zombies around. They didn’t find any but they did find the Mayor’s daughter Maya hiding in a closet. A very relieved Chriztopp took his daughter into his arms.

Thinking there may be more of these attacks the party moved to the center of town, that way they could react to another attack as quickly as possible, no matter where it happened. But no more attacks came. A very thankful and relieved town put the party up at the Hotel Scholding free of charge. Before heading to bed, they questioned the innkeeper about these undead attacks and where they seemed to come from. All accounts said they originated from the graveyard south of town. It was quickly decided that is where they would head tomorrow morning.

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Heading Home?

The Sixth day of Ere-Lumia, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Once Duke Halvdann’s men had assisted in mopping up the remnants of creatures drawn to the area because of the emerald, they were ready to head back to Newton. Since they had offered the escort the Company of Odd Fellows as far as Newton, the party joined them as they set out.

It was an uneventful trip for the first few days until on the third day they began to come across refugees on the road. At first they thought they were just villagers misplaced by the upheaval in Freestead but some inquiries found that most of them were from the village Stull, a logging village nestled along the edges of the Bramblewood forest. When asked why they were fleeing the village, many spoke of the recent rising of the undead in and around the village. The party tried to explain to them that they had contained the artifact that might have been causing the problem, but were told in no uncertain terms that the issue was still occurring, long after the jewel had been sealed.

The party had a decision to make. Continue on the road with the troops or head north and investigate the disturbance. It didn’t look like there was going to be much money made in this venture but the knew they couldn’t let this go with investigating at the least. They let the Captain know of their intentions. He said he didn’t have much he could do to help but he gave each of the party a weeks worth of rations to help them out.

With that the party headed north towards the village of Stull.

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The Fortress of the Iron Duke: Day Five

The Twenty-eighth day of Thrice-Milce, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

The Iron Fortress

The party was awoken by a loud crash as the door to north came bursting open and 4 hobgoblins streamed through. Kain and Clarabelle were on watch and immediately jumped up to engage what looked to be 4 hobgoblins. Clara let loose a magic missile striking and killing the first hobgoblin through the door. The second hobgoblin dodged Clara and Kain and started heading towards the sleeping party members. The other two tried the same thing but Kain was able to cut another one down. Andy shot the nearest hobgoblin but was unable to stop him, But the arrow shot right after by Needles was. The last hobgoblin was able to close with Andy but his weak attack didn’t even come close. Andy was able to drop her bow and grab her shortsword as he came at her, and after his weak attack on her, she ran him through. The party dragged the dead bodies out of the room, boarded up the door and continued to try and get some sleep.

The next morning the party backtracked to the hallway they were at when they decided to rest for the night. Andy followed the hallway south, where it eventually turned west before turning south once more. At that bend they saw a door along the west wall. After checking the door the party opened it. Here they saw some stairs going up that then opened up into a wider area.

(Room 48)

Bookshelves filled with books line the walls of this narrow room. A small desk with a chair are positioned in the inside corner to the right of the stairs, with a few papers, a bottle of ink, and a quill pen atop it. A comfortable-looking armchair with a small side-table occupies the opposite end of the room, surrounded by windows on three sides.

This was a pleasant looking study and although there was nothing in here that could help to seal the gem, Clarabelle decided to cast detect magic to see if there was anything of interest in the room, when suddenly the whole area began to glow. From past experience they knew this was never a good sign and began to back out of the room. As they backed down the stairs they saw the table and chair pursuing them as books came flying into the area above. The party was unsure of whether to laugh or not as the chairs came at them, they changed their mind when the chair cracked Domino. Kain was finally able to hack away at one chair until it finally was destroyed. A few minutes later the second chair was destroyed as well.

(Weirdest encounter EVER!)

After backtracking to the hallway they followed it south. They found another door on the east wall and saw that it also opened up into the garden.

(Room 54) Continuing on they came to another door on the eastern wall and after checking it. opened it up and entered the room beyond.

This huge room is obviously a grand ballroom. Many small tables, each having four chairs around it, line the eastern and southern sections of the room; each table has a single candlestick having an unburned candle in it. In the southeast corner of the dance floor is a group of seated white statues, a string quartet apparently.

The party entered the large room to investigate it further when they began to hear music.

Suddenly, you hear music. Faint, ghostly music, which grows stronger moment by moment. A
fog arises from the dance floor briefly, then clears to reveal ghostly dancers performing a
stately dance.

The rest of the party was surprised when Clarabelle and Domino began dancing along to the music and were soon joined by an ethereal partner. As they both moved into the center of the floor with their partners, they began to flicker and before the rest of the party could react, turned ethereal as well. Everything was tried to bring Clarabelle and Domino back but to no avail. The party had to hope that when they finally sealed away the gem, their friends would return.

With heavy hearts, the party exited the ballroom from the same door they entered. just down the way in the hallway they saw another door going west and entered it. There was another small hallway here with a door in the north and south wall. The party decided on entering the north door first.

(Room 49) Nothing could be heard from the other side of the door so the party entered, Kain and Bark first with Andy and Needles in the back with bows drawn.

This room appears to be an alchemical laboratory; worktables laden with alchemical gear line the walls, except for the diagonal wall where you see a bed, a footlocker and an armoire. The alchemist himself is here, working at one of the far tables. He turns toward you and says, “Welcome! I was afraid I was the only man left alive in this place!”

The alchemist introduced himself as Harcus. The party was glad to find the alchemist alive and explained how they had found the jewel, that something evil was inside of it and that they needed a strong iron box and some lead to seal the jewel in. The alchemist said he had just the thing and after digging around the laboratory produced an iron box. He then asked to see the gem so he could place it in the box. Kain pulled out the chest and allowed the alchemist to remove it and place it in the iron box. He then walked over to a shelf by the door, saying he was getting some lead. Suddenly when he was by the door, the alchemist took off out the door carrying the iron box with him. Kain was the only one that was able to react as the ‘alchemist’ took off. Luckily Andy was able to make up a bit of time and saw the alchemist open up the east door to the north, going into the garden. Andy and Needles gave pursuit and when they got to the door leading into the garden they saw the alchemist just standing next to a plant that had a tendril wrapped around it. With a slight sniff Needles whispered ‘Blood Rose, don’t go any further. Aim for the alchemist, we can deal with the rose later’. Needles then pulled back his bow and shot the alchemist dead. They watched as the creature fell to the ground, turning into a grayish slender humanoid. ‘Doppleganger’, they muttered together. The rest of the group shortly caught up with so they explained the situation. When told about the Blood Rose, Kain said ‘Those things don’t affect my kind’. He wandered down the trail with his Katana raised. An ugly battle ensued as the Rose battered Kain with its tentacles until he eventually killed it. Kain then picked up the iron box and brought it back to the hallway.

DM Note: Because Kain doesn’t have blood, I halved the damage each tentacle made.

The party made their way back to the Alchemists room and set the box on one of the tables. They then began hunting for lead to seal it. Luckily they were able to find some and soon they began work on sealing the box, as the last of the lead dried, they heard a muffles cry from inside the box as the spell was broken.

As the party left the alchemist room and began heading back, they were happily surprised to see Domino and Clarabelle standing in the north-south hallway next to the door going into the ballroom. But they then heard a loud slamming and Clarabelle and Domino turned to the south and drew their weapons. Bugbears coming up the south hallway from another doorway. Needles ran down the hallway and released an arrow, hitting one of the bugbears in the back of the group. Domino and one of the lead bugbears met in the middle and Domino was able to score a hit, just as Bark drop his entangle spell behind him. A melee battle ensued with Needles and Andy picking off the back while the entangle kept most of the front from being able to attack. Bark took one good hit from a bugbear but other than that the party won the fight handily.

The party worked their way back towards the throne room where they left the duke. They could see confused people coming out of various rooms so they knew whatever spell that froze them had worn off when the Gem was sealed in the iron box. They found the Duke in the throne room, who looked confused but determined. It seemed a few of his men had found their way back to the throne room as well and they had Kylenne in chains in front of them. When the party entered the room, swords were immediately drawn and it took some smooth talking from party to get everyone calmed down. It didn’t help when the Duke asked why Domino was wearing his armor and Clarabelle his sword. A hasty explanation that they were taken from an evil party down in the lower levels seemed to make the Duke happy for now. Domino excused himself to strip out of the armor and Clarabelle handed the Duke back his sword. They then told the Duke the story about the green emerald and how it was asking them to free something inside it. They then presented him with the sealed iron box and told him that once they sealed it inside, whatever curse on the fortress was broken. He confirms most of the story with what he remembered happening before the jewel was cracked. He explains that he caught Kylenne trying to steal the jewel from the treasury, she dropped it and thats when everything went fuzzy. The duke set the party up in the spare room (Room 34) to rest while he did his best to get the fortress back in order. It looked like there were a few small groups of creatures to destroy but that the Odd Fellows had taken care of most of them. They even found the crazed soldier the party had to tie up in the lower level. The party took the time to relaz and heal themselves up but eventually they were called into the throne room by the duke. He presented each of them a Dragon’s Claw medal for their assistance in rescuing his fortress and for sealing the jewel. He also gave each of them 1000 gold pieces. he presented Clarabelle with his long sword as a gift and told Domino that he was pretty partial to his armor but that he would be sending him a replacement as soon as it was ready.

The company of soldiers sent by Duke Halvdann had arrived shortly after the party freed the fortress and they quickly mopped up the few creatures that didn’t run back to the Dragonclaws once the curse was broken. The adventurers were invited to accompany them back on their march to Newton. Since it didn’t look like Arias was going to provide them with a magical way home, they accepted the offer.

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The Fortress of the Iron Duke: Day Four

The Twenty-Seventh day of Thrice-Milce, in the year 400 BY

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 doort 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.

(Room 38)

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 statutes 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.

(Room 33)

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.

(Room 35)

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 statute 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.

(Room 47)

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.

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The Fortress of the Iron Duke Day Three

The Twenty-Sixth day of Thrice-Milce, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

The Iron Fortress

The next day the party decided to backtrack to where they found the stairs going up. In looking at the map there was another passageway going east they hadn’t explored. The passage only went east a few feet before turning north. There they saw some stairs heading down where the hallway continued, but before the stairs was a door on the east wall. It was decided to check that room first.

(Room 20) When Andy checked the room, she could definitely hear sounds of shuffling and muffled talking on the other side. She came back to where the party was and let them know. It was decided to just bust open the door and try to surprise them. Clarabelle planned on using one of her sleep scrolls to hopefully help the odds.

Rows of wooden framed bunks line this room — three beds high, two bunks per ten foot section. Under each set of bunks are three wooden boxes. The northeast corner is clear of bunks and has a table and five chairs, while the southeastern corner is partitioned by a wooden wall that stops a foot short of the ceiling and has a three foot wide opening facing north. Moving about in among the bunks, rifling through the boxes, are seven man-sized humanoids.

Kain rushed in and barely took a look at his surroundings as he annihilated the surprised hobgoblin by the door.Domino also came in as Clarabelle rushed right in, she glanced to the north and saw a group of 5 hobgoblins by the bunks and dropped her sleep spell on them, all 5 of them falling to the ground in a deep sleep. They thought they had gotten all of them when another came around the partition with his arms raised in surrender. Nobody had the stomach to kill the magically sleeping hobgoblins or the one who had surrendered so they decided for now to tie each of them to the bunks for now. Afterwards they searched the rest of the barracks but found nothing else. Even the hobgoblins were broke.

(Room 21) After leaving the room the moved northward and followed the hallway down the stairs and to the north. Past the stairs they saw another door against the east wall. Andy checked it and after finding and hearing nothing, moved out of the way for Clarabelle and Kain.

Rows of wooden framed bunks line this room — three beds high, two bunks per ten foot section. Under each set of bunks are three wooden boxes. The southeast corner is clear of bunks and has a table and five chairs, while the northeastern corner is partitioned by a wooden wall that stops a foot short of the ceiling and has a three foot wide opening facing north. Trussed up on two of the bunks are female figures in summer dresses, gagged and pleading with their faces for rescue.

The fact that they were in more barracks didn’t even register on the party as they rushed in to save the two women. After untying them the woman told them that the hobgoblins caught them and were planning on doing something dastardly to them. They said they were here at the Fortress to attend to the wedding. Their names are Garalia and Sasha. They did say they had seen the hobgoblins come in from a hidden door in the southeastern corner. The party also found a weeks worth of rations, a lantern, two flasks of oil, a flint & steel and a usable backpack. Andy also found what appeared to be two sets of leather armor, two short swords and two daggers in a box stashed under two of the beds.

DM Note: With the thief successfully finding the two outfits under the beds, the players already suspect these two aren’t what they seem.

Since the area of the secret was pointed out to them, the secret door was found and behind it they found a hallway heading north and south. The party decided to head north.

(Room 27) After the usual door check the party entered the room..

The walls of this room are covered with murals depicting scenes of battle. Standing on a dais in the southeast corner of the room is a statue which appears to be of Chordax, the god of battle; the head of the statue has been smashed, but you recognize the god by the battleaxe in his hands.

As the party got close the statue, they were attacked by some giant centipedes hiding behind it. Luckily the party got the best of them early and were able to take them out quickly. The party decided to backtrack and follow the hallway up north. As they came up to where the secret door was, Andy spotted another party coming down the hallway. She spotted what looked like two men at arms with some others behind them. They saw her at the same time and shouted at her to halt.

Kain charged to get a good angle where they hallway went north as Bark dropped his Entangle spell on the front line of the fighters. One bullied through and took a swing at Kain but missed. A female fighter pushed her way through and chucked a dagger at Bark but missed him. Needles took a shot at a one of the male fighters, killing him. Unfortunately a cleric in the back saw Clarabelle and caught her with a Hold Person spell, freezing her up in the middle of 3 enemies. Bark jumped behind her and physically grabbed his held compadre, moving her behind him. However right after that, the female fighter blasted him with her axe. Clarabelle was able to shake the Hold Person on her. Needles targeted what looked like the magic user in the back and blasted him with his bow, killing him. Bark was shaken by overwhelming fear and ran south down the corridor. The female fighter hammered Kain with her battleaxe while Domino finished off the last man at arms. The lightly clad enemy in the back fired an bow at Andy striking her hard. Unfortunately for him, that put him in Needles sight and he was able to take out the archer. The menacing man in the armor in back came striding forward, slowed by the entangle spell. Kain could not lay a weapon on the elusive female fighter but Clarabelle getting frustrated hit her with her Fire Bolt, not missing at such a close range. Domino marched up to what appeared to be another cleric and met him with his mace. Needles pulled out both his axes and jumped into the fray, able to sink his axe into the female fighter. Kain was then able to finish her off with his Katana. This only left the enemy cleric to deal with and Domino with the wrath of his God behind him, finished off the other cleric. As the party was getting their breath, a confused and slightly embarrassed Bark returned from the southern hallway.

The group they fought had many magical items on them, Armor (+ 1 Leather and + 2 Plate), weapons (+ 2 Longsword, + 1 Battleaxe and a + 1 Dagger) and a magical ring (Ring of Protection +1). They also found a variety of Gold, Silver and Copper coins worth 160 gp. They split this among the party, giving the two kidnap victims 5 GP each.

Dm Note: The +2 Plate belongs to the Duke and was stolen by this other group, however the party doesn’t know this and only thinks it was the spoils of war.

The adventurers went back to the room in the south to gather up the two ladies who took off running in that direction as soon as the fighting started.

They worked their way back up the hallway the other party had come out of. The hallway eventually turned west and at that point they could see two separate hallways going north joining it. They followed the first northern hallway where it ended in a door.

(Room 24) After she listened and the door and checked for traps, Andy stepped aside and let Kain and Domino open the door.

Many white linen towels hang from racks on the east wall of this room. Against the west wall you see a large washtub and a white statue of a woman leaning over it. She’s dressed in the clothes of a servant.

From how lifelike the statue was it was assumed that she was also a human caught in whatever had happened in the fortress. A quick search of the room found nothing else except for another door going north.

(Room 26) After the usual door checks, the door was opened and the party came in.

A large sunken bath occupies much of the northern end of this room, from which steam rises invitingly. Several stone benches with marble tops are in the southeast area.

The party was tempted to hop into the bath but were unsure if it was safe so they decided against it. They noticed that they didn’t need their torches as a number of light spells had been cast to light up the entire room. They noticed another door exiting to the east and after not finding anything decided to head that direction.

(Room 25) The party entered the room and immediately noticed the disarray

_ This room appears to have been a changing room at one time. A row of benches line the outside walls with pegs set into the walls at evenly spaced intervals, most likely used to hang underclothes and weapons. However one of the inner walls seems to be almost destroyed and there is debris and rubble all over the floor._

A quick inspection of destroyed wall showed another room that normally would have been hidden if not for the giant hole in the wall.

(Room 27) The party ducked their head and entered the other room.

This room looked as if it might have been used as a hidden vault. There are two large empty chests against the South wall. On the eastern wall there is a board with names written on. Below it there is a running total of numbers in what most likely may be deposits.

DM Note: The money the party took off the NPC party they met in the hall came from this room. The other party deduced there had to be a hidden room since the map didn’t line up and destroyed the wall to get to it. This room was actually used as a small bank for the soldiers in the Duke’s employ. They could drop their money off with the quartermaster, he would give them a deposit slip and the money would be held here.

Since the chest was empty, there was little of value in the room, they backtracked through the hole back into the other room and tried the door going south.

(Room 23) After a quick check of the door it was opened.

The walls of this room are lined with stone benches. A large brazier occupies the center of the room, and an empty bucket rests on the floor near the south doors. The walls and floor of this room are tiled; the tiles on the wall form a mosaic depicting clouds in the sky.

The party investigated the room but didn’t find anything of interest. From a quick check of their map, it looked as if they had did a pretty thorough job of exploring the lower level, so after a nights rest in the temple to the south, they would head upstairs in the morning.

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The Fortress of the Iron Duke: Day 1

The Twenty-fourth day of Thrice-Milce, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

The Iron Fortress

(Room 1) The party appeared right outside the entrance to the fortress. After a few seconds to get their bearings they checked the entrance.

The entrance to the fortress is carved into the side of the mountain itself. It’s about thirty feet wide and perhaps forty feet deep, and closed by a single large portcullis on the outside and two smaller ones inside. The green glow covers the outer bars. You notice that something really strong has bent the outer bars enough that you may enter one at a time, if you dare to brave the green glow.

As they penetrated the green glow, they felt their skin tingling like bugs were crawling on them but that was the only effect they felt.

The entry hall is empty, save for dead leaves and a couple of stains that look suspiciously like blood. There are two portcullises ahead of you, one to the right and one to the left, with hallways visible beyond.

Both of the smaller portcullises were shut and seemingly locked but with the combined effort of Kain, Domino and Clarabelle they were able to get the right door open and the others passed under while they held it. Once they were clear they let the door slam closed behind them. There was a hallway heading south and another going west down some stairs. After looking down the hall going west and seeing a door they decided to head that direction.


(Room 2) After listening at the door going north they decided to open it.

You see an armored guard wearing the livery of the Duke sitting on a bench beside two large levers protruding from the far wall. As you open the door, he raises his eyes to you, and you see a dagger hilt protruding from his right eye socket. He grins horribly and stands, slowly lifting his sword.

Needles pulled back his bow and sunk an arrow into the lumbering zombie (25/1+4hp fire) as Bark hurled his spear and struck the zombie down (2/4hp). Finishing off the zombie they entered the room and found two levers in the up position, one marked A, the other B. Pulling them both down seemed to not do anything so they left the room. They followed the hallway as it turned south and saw another door ahead on the west wall.

(Room 5) A quick check of the door didn’t reveal anything so Andy stepped back and let Clarabelle and Kain open it and enter.

This room appears to be some sort of storeroom. A number of smashed crates and barrels may be seen. There is also a shiny green puddle of liquid on the floor near the wreckage.

Clarabelle quickly recognized the green puddle as being a green slime and her and Kain slowly retreated out of the room.(I did a quick ability roll using Int to see if they would recognize it, Clarabelle passed). after the room the hallway turned and headed east to what looked like the long hallway going south they saw when they first entered. This was soon confirmed as they were back in the hallway. 20’ further down the hallway they found another hallway branching west, dead ending at a door going south and decided to follow it.

(Room 6) A quick check of the door didn’t reveal anything so Andy stepped back and let Clarabelle and Kain open it up and enter.

This room appears to be a storeroom for ammunition. Crates marked “Arrows, Shortbow,” “Arrows, Longbow,” “Bolts, Heavy,” and “Bolts, Light” are piled up against the side and back walls. Just inside the room, beside the door, is a mop, a scrub brush and a wooden bucket.

The bins weren’t full but had enough arrows and bolts to refill the party’s missile supply. After stocking up and not seeing anything else of value they moved on.

Back to the hallway going North-South they followed it south until it turned west. Andy waited until the party caught up and then went ahead west. When the hall went west 80’ and then dead ended, Andy knew something was up and her and the rest of the party began searching for a secret door. It took them awhile but they were finally able to find it at the end of the hall in the west wall (took 5 turns).

(Room 7) After finding it, Andy pulled the secret handle and opened it.

This room appears to have been used for warrior training; weapon racks line the walls, and a variety of large mats are visible on the floor. In the far right-hand corner, someone has piled up weapon racks and benches to form a sort of barricade, and you think you see eyes looking out at you from behind it.

The party had a feeling something was behind those barricades but were still surprised when daggers came flying out at them as they approached (gave the kobolds one surprise round). Domino was the only one who got hit(CRIT/4hp) as the battle began. Domino rushed to come around the corner of the barricade as a Kobold moved to engage him, taking a stab with his shortsword but missing. Bark came down and impaled that kobold with his spear,killing it (CRIT/10hp).Needles shifted and took a shot at a kobold behind the barricade but missed. A loud Yark Yark from the other side denoted that one of the kobolds was the leader and was directing the others. Andy notched an arrow but decided to wait to see who would come around the corner. Kain moved next to Bark basically trapping the kobolds behind the barricade, well until one of the kobolds leapt it and attacked Bark (gave a 1/2 movement speed to jump barricade) hitting him (18/1hp), the other jumped and did the same, hitting Bark as well (19/3hp) as two larger kobolds engaged Bark and Kain from the front. Finally Clarabelle engaged the kobolds attacking Bark but missed. Domino did the same and crushed one under his morningstar, killing it (19/11hp). Needles risked firing into the fight but was able to kill the other kobold attacking his brother (25/9hp). Another larger kobold leaped over the barricade and landed right in front of Clarabelle, but he didn’t even try to attack her, he kept on running. the surprise was enough to keep Clarabelle from hitting him (missed parting shot). Kain and the large Kobold exchanged blows hitting each other. The other big kobold missed Bark. Clarabelle decided it was her turn to leap the barricade to try to get behind the bigger kobolds. Domino pursued the big kobold as it was moving out of the room thumping it (15/6hp) and Needles finished it off with a short range shot from his bow(16/6 hp). The battle up front continued, the two big kobolds not affected by their leaders defection and subsequent death. One hit Kain again(17/2hp) with Kain unable to find his mark but the next round Bark found his target and killed his opponent (18/4hp) and that was all Kain needed to take his out as well(25/9 hp).

Since there was nothing in this room they decided they would backtrack to the portcullis. They had an idea they might be missing a secret door but thought they would cover more territory before looking. The gates seemed a bit more easier to raise this time (Only used d12 for the strength check since the lever in room 2 was pulled). They entered the Entry way and saw a passage heading east with a door on the north wall a few feet ahead.

(Room 3) Andy checked the door and not finding anything opened it up and let Clarabelle and Kain in. They followed the short diagonal hall until they came to a room.

Lying on the floor of this room is the dead body of one of the Duke’s guards, being eaten by giant rats!

The party quickly dispatched the rats..

Now that you have a chance to look around, you see a bench against the far wall, with two large levers protruding from the wall above it.

The levers were just like the two they saw in an earlier room so they pulled them down. When they pulled the Lever marked A they heard a loud screeching coming from the direction of the portcullis’ so after checking the room they went back in that direction. They saw that the smalller portcullis were now open but the larger one at the entrance was still closed. The hall continued east for about 20’ before turning south. Along that hall they saw a door on the west side.

(Room 12) Andy checked the door for traps and after finding nothing, pushed it open and allowed Kain and Clarabelle inside.

This room contains a small fountain centered along the west wall. To the left and right of the fountain hang tapestries; the one on the right depicts Duke Vadarin, sitting on his throne in his full ducal regalia holding a large emerald in his right hand. He appears to be regarding it thoughtfully. The other depicts a woman in silver plate mail armor riding a white dragon; Kylenne the Courageous, no doubt.

An inspection of the room found nothing but the fountain. they checked the contents and it was just ordinary cold water so they took the time to fill up their water bottles before exiting the room and continuing south. About another 40’ down they found another door on the west wall.

DM Note: Earlier in the adventure I got this room and room 7 mixed up as far as the contents and descriptions went, so I just had to roll with it.

(Room 8) Andy did her usual check for traps as well as listening. She didn’t find any traps but did hear something on the other side of the door. So they prepared themselves for a possible battle on the other side. Kain kicked in the door and the battle began.

Five small, ugly humanoids are in this cluttered room, apparently eating preserved meats and fruits from jars they have broken open. They look at you with obvious malice…

Kain immediately charged in and decapitated one of the goblins (goblin4) with katana (18/9hp) but took a hard shot from another goblin (goblin2 CRIT/6hp). Andy fired an arrow into the room but missed hitting any goblin. Another goblin connected with Kain (Goblin5 17/5hp). Needles stepped into the room and eliminated another goblin (goblin3) with his bow. Domino and Bark entered the fray but couldn’t land a hit but Clarabelle’s magic missile took out another goblin (goblin1 4hp).The fight left the goblins at this point and they bolted for the door, but Domino hit one (goblin2) as he ran away (17,11hp) killing it. The other goblin (goblin5) didn’t fare any better, taken out by Bark as it tried to flee (21/7hp). As the battle wound down the rest of the party entered the room.

This room appears to be a pantry; shelves line the walls and are loaded down with various foodstuffs.

Kain took a beating in this room, so Needles used two of his salves to heal him up (8hp) before moving on.

(Room 9) Andy checked the door going south and after not finding anything stepped back and let Kain and Clarabelle enter.

You are pretty sure this was the kitchen. Amazingly lifelike statues of one male and two female cooks are posed as if preparing a meal, and foodstuffs, apparently real, are arranged appropriately. The stoves and ovens appear cold, however, and vermin appear to have spoiled the food.

The party entered the room, curious about the statutes but couldn’t find anything to explain them. Andy posited that maybe these were the real cooks but something happened to them. As the party examined the rest of the room, they disturbed a large cobra but luckily it was more interested in leaving the room, than attacking them. Another door was opened to the south so they kept following it.

(Room 10) After her quick check, Andy opened the door and let Kain and Clarabelle in.

This appears to be a dining room. A large table dominates the room, and arrayed around it are statues of noble men and women apparently eating dinner. There is real food on the table, though it appears to have been spoiled by some vermin. You notice that there are several seats left empty, including the seat at the head of the table as well as the seat to the right of the head.

More statutes began to confirm that Andy’s theory was right. They did wonder why the head of the table and the one next to it was empty. They would have to wait as a Tentacle Worm came out from under the table and attacked Kain, luckily missing him. Bark jumped up on the table and stabbed at the Worm but missed. Needles fired off his longbow, zinging it between Clarabelle and Kain, striking the worm(24,8hp), Clarabelle then delivered another stunning blow to the worm (20,8hp) and Andy, tired of sitting in the back came around the side and delivered the finishing blow (15,5hp).

The party decided that the old dining room would be a good place to rest for the day. They set up a watch schedule and spread a few of Bark and Dominos heals to get everyone but Kain at full strength.

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Back at the Odd Fellows Hall

The Twenty-Third day of Thrice-Milce, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Odd Fellows Hall

The company was able to limp back to the Odd Fellows Hall a few days later. The trip to the Insect Warren was a success and they sent Andy and Domino to sell the items they found in Edgemont. They returned a few days later and Andy split the proceeds of the sale among the team. While they out adventuring, Alaktyrr had finished up brewing up his first batch of healing potions. He had created 3 of them and offered them to the party for 200 gp each. Knowing that potions had been the difference between life and death in the past, they purchased them.

Their rest was to be short. Later that evening their old friend Elias teleported in with some dire news. Something had happened at the Iron Fortress in Freestead. Recently a large emerald had been found by Dwarven miners, they called it Freestead’s Glory and presented it to the Duke. He was so pleased that he was going to throw a celebration at the end of this month. Not long after a woman arrived in his kingdom on the back of a white dragon. Her name was Kylenne and Vadarin was immediately smitten. So this celebration was also to be the day he married her. Unfortunately it never happened. A huge explosion ripped through the keep and when the local militia reached it, they found the keep enveloped in a glowing green that burned when they touched it. Before nightfall monsters of all types began moving into the valley. The militia and Duke’s forces outside the keep tried to hold them back but were driven east away from the keep. Duke Halvdann has sent some of his men from Newton to help out. However Elias knew of a backdoor into the Keep’s lower level and he wanted to send the party in to investigate what was going on. When they questioned him on the speed they would have travel, he pulled out a scroll and tapped it against is other hand. ‘Get your gear and let me know when you are ready’

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Insect Valhalla Day 3

The Fifteenth day of Thrice-Milce, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Insect Warren

The next day the party roused themselves from their makeshift camp in the Trap Door Spiders den. It was decided quickly that Andy and Bark were not healed well enough to venture out and would need some additional healing. So both Bark and Domino used one of their heals to get Bark and Andy back in fighting shape (CLW: 4 hp/5hp).

(Area 13) The party decided to continue following along the corridor. At about 20’ past the Den the corridor began curving south. Needles had an idea of where it was headed based on the map they had made so far. Needles hugged the right hand wall and as it turned south he peered around the corner and could see the second Guardian plant they had encountered on their first day. He could also see something in the chamber in front of the plant, it looked to be humanoid skeletal remains of some sort but he couldn’t make out much more than that. Needles reported his findings back to the party and after some deliberation they decided that they were going to engage the plant while they were fresh and because there just might be something worth finding on those dead skeletons. They discussed what they remembered of their first fight with the plant. It shot out thorns when they are further away but as Domino and Kain got closer it sprayed them with acid. With the way the passage was formed they could use the wall as cover quickly in case of emergencies and stay far enough away to not have it engage its acid attack. the first round of combat Bark, Needles and Clarabelle jumped out from behind cover to attack. The Plant fired its thorns, one of them striking Bark (24,3hp). Bark launched his spear and struck the plant and Clarabelle let loose with her Fire Bolt, also hitting it. Needles was off the mark though. Bark dodged behind the wall as the plant let loose another volley. Clarabelle was clipped by another thorn (21/1hp). Domino took his time to bless Clarabelle’s crossbow and handed it back to her for her next attack. Needles next attack was on the mark (21/8hp) and Clarabelle’s enhanced crossbow also found the mark(20/7hp)and with an oddly animal scream, the plant fell dead. The party was very pleased with how they took it out with very minimal damage to themselves. To be safe they sent Needles ahead to scout the passage but he didn’t see or find anything to worry about other than the dead plant in the upper chamber.

The bodies appeared to be that of the trapped mining party and an investigation of the bodies, showed one of them to be the remains of the ranger, Niroth. Among his decaying possessions, they found the bow, Mauranya. It was covered in dirt but after a quick wipe down it appeared almost as new. The party, with the insistence of Needles and Bark, gave Niroth a proper burial in this chamber, and Needles set his old bow as the grave marker before hoisting Mauranya on his shoulder.

(Area 11) At the intersection of the two chambers there was another unexplored passage going east. The party decided to head that way and see what they could find. Needles came upon some giant shrews in a chamber ahead and Bark decided to see if he could befriend them so they could pass unhindered. It took a bit but Bark was able to calm the shrews to where they could pass through without being attacked. As they were moving through the area they did find 2 silver hand-axes worth 50gp). Needles took one to replace his mundane hand-axe and stored the other in his backpack. The passage dead-ended into another passage going North-South. It looked like most of the area to their south had been explored except for a small section. They decided to check that section before heading north.

(Area 2) Needles proceeded ahead, doing his best to extra careful, he didn’t want a repeat of yesterday. As he came around the corner into an unexplored area he noticed the trip wires laid across the floor (find traps 28). They appeared to be made of some sort of silk spider webbing. This had him on his toes so when the large Black Widow spider dropped down from the ceiling he was ready for it. He released an arrow from Mauranya and it took flight, catching fire in midair and striking the Black Widow as it came down its web.(25/11 hp). As the arrow took flight Kain came down the passageway inserting himself in front of Needles. The spider bit Kain but due to his nature, it could not poison him. (19/3hp). Once again Clarabelle delivered the killing blow, hitting the spider squarely with her Mace, killing it (18/11 hp). After its death they looked at the alcove the Spider had set up. They saw that a great tree had taken root in the opening and the spider had claimed it as its territory. Hanging from one of the roots was a mummified human sized skeleton and when they cut it down they found it wearing a silver holy symbol, a Magical Mace (Mace +1) and a small pouch containing 3 gems worth 100 gp each. The mace and Holy Symbol were given to Domino and the 3 gems to Andy.

The party started backtracking back towards where they first came in. They stopped by the Waterfall chamber (Area 16) to refill their water on the way. They eventually came to a passage heading west they hadn’t explored yet.

(Area 19) Sending Needles ahead he soon came to another passage heading south. Since they were moving north towards the entrance, they thought it warranted some investigation. Needles went ahead not spotting any traps or creatures and soon came to the place, that was attracting the miners in the first place, a large tubular chamber that looked to be recently dug into. He saw that in some of the walls were what could only be uncut gems. The rest of the party joined him and with some digging and prying were able to remove 5 gems from the wall, 3 of them were worth 100gp each, and two larger ones worth 250 gp each).

(Area 20) Working their way back to the passage they were beset on by 3 beetles that had been waiting in the area above. Clarabelle rushed forward and hit the lead beetle with her mace but was unable to kill it. One of the beetles in the back then engaged her, both biting her and spraying her with its hot noxious gases(17, 13hp, no save). Needles took aim at the beetle that just attacked Clarabelle, killing it with one shot(18/12hp). Andy shot at the rear beetle but was unable to hit it. Domino rushed up to Clarabelle, casting a heal on her (CLW, 3hp). Kain then finished off the lead Beetle(22,10hp). Bark hurled his spear at the last remaining beetle. It then came from the back and attacked Kain, biting him and blasting him with its gas (17,10hp,no save). Needles was then able to move into Melee, killing the last beetle with his axe. A qucick check of the area found a Necklace worth 500 gp.

(Area 21) The party was pretty banged up after this encounter but knew they were almost back to the way they had come in. Needles followed the passage out of this chamber east. He came across another large chamber filled with giant bees. However another passage went north before the chamber. He didn’t see anything in the chamber worth arousing the bees for so going back to the party it was decided they would sneak past them(1d8 on a 1 the bees attack). The party was able to sneak past the bees and followed the short passage until it ended at a T.

(Area 22) A quick investigation of this area to the west found it infested with large ants. There appeared to be nothing of value here so the party left it alone.

(Area 23) This area would be more problematic. The area to the east was covered in large locusts and they would have to pass thru in order to get to the passage leading them to the exit. The party decided to try again see if they could sneak by these without disturbing them(6 on a 1d6). it was nervous going, but the party was able to sneak through without disturbing any locusts.

Once through they worked their way back through the passages to (Area 9). Unfortunately it wasn’t going to be easy getting out as 4 giant mosquitoes assailed them as they entered the room. Luckily the party was able to finish the 4 creatures off quickly. They then had Needles scramble up the hole and drop a rope back down, allowing the rest to climb out. They had survived this ‘Insect Valhalla’.

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Insect Valhalla Day 2

The Fourteenth day of Thrice-Milce, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Insect Warren

After setting up a watch rotation, the party rested the night in the chamber with the pond to the south (Area 8). The next day they worked their way back to where they battled the ants the day before. There was a large passage heading south they wanted to explore.

(Area 5) As they headed south Andy and Needles came across an area streaming with sunlight. The brightness of the area kept them from seeing the Giant Beetle in the small alcove and it came charging out at them before they could react(both failed surprise). It sunk its pincers into Andy (18/8hp) causing her to cry out in pain. Kain came to her aid, running down the hall and delivering a solid blow to the beetle(18/7 hp). But it wasn’t enough to kill it. Domino also came down the passage to give Aid to Andy, but it was too late, The beetle attacked Andy visciously again, literally cutting her in half with its pincers, her body falling lifelessly to the floor. (CRIT, 12 hp, Andy -5).Needles was unable to hit the creature as Bark ran to Andy’s side, casting a heal on her. The wounds closed up some, but she was still not breathing (CLW 3 hp, Andy -2). Clarabelle missed her attack but Kain was able to deliver yet another devastating blow, killing the beetle (20/8hp). Domino was then able to get to Andy and laid his hands apon her (CLW 3hp, Andy 1), Andy began breathing again, but she was in a world of hurt. They investigated the alcove the beetle had come from and found a spilled coin purse containing 300gp, a old rusted short sword and a silver dagger in fairly good condition. They split the gold among them and put the silver dagger in Andy’s backpack.

Now the party faced a tough decision, with two of their possible 4 healings used already to revive Andy, did they want to continue or head back to safety. It was decided to use one more heal on Andy and continue at least a bit longer, but putting her in the back and out of harms way. Domino healed Andy once more (CLW 7hp, Andy 8) and they carried on.

(Area 3) The passage continued going south until it split into two. The party decided to take the passage to the right. Needles who was scouting ahead saw movement and saw giant spiders darting back and forth attacking creatures that crawled into the chamber from various small holes. He headed back and told the others, who decided to try the left hand passage instead.

(Area 4) Needles went down this passage and discovered a passage strewn with leaf foiliage and crumbled wood. He could see movement on the floor and could see beetles moving to and fro. He readied his bow because it seemed that the beetles were aware of his presence, yet they didn’t attack. Needles went back and told the rest of the party of what was up ahead. He said they didn’t seem to be aggressive so he thought the party could try to go one at a time through the floor. He then marked where he saw the beetles at (I decided each member would have to walk through 3 10’ squares occupied by beetles. If they rolled a 2-8 on 1d8 they were OK but a 1 would trigger an attack of the beetles in that square, I allowed Andy & Needles a 1d12 since they are stealthier). It didn’t start well as Kain made it almost through before he disturbed the last beetle and it attacked him(18/2hp). He quickly dispatched it with his Katana(15/7hp)(The ‘good’ thing was the rest of the party only needed to do two rolls now since only 1 beetle occupied the 3rd 10’ foot area). The rest of the party was able to make it through the cavern without disturbing the beetles.

(Area 1) The passage joined back with the other below where Needles had spotted the hunting spiders and it headed southwest. At its end was a rough, crudely hewn cavern full of insect husks. The dried, empty corpses of beetles, spiders, ant and more were scattered in odd heaps here and there. Most were old and brittle and torn apart. Others were fresher. It almost appeared to be an insect graveyard of sorts. Quiet inspection of the cavern revealed nothing but these dead insects.At the other side of the cavern, a passage continued to go west as another went back up towards the north. The party decided on checking the passage going west.

(Area 14) As the party passed through what they thought was just more passage heading south, Bark was attacked by a spider that seemed to come out of nowhere, making an attack on him before he could react, pulling him into its lair. Lucky he let out a yelp, alerting the party but by the time they turned around he was gone. While the party was looking for where Bark went he was behind the door fighting for his life. The spider bit him (5hp) but was unable to poison him. The next round Bark was able to break the spiders grip and a few seconds later stab it viciously with his spear (19/10hp). The spider attacked back, biting Bark again (20/10hp) but still unable to deliver its poison. Just as the rest of the party found the secret door and opened it, Bark gave the spider a killing blow with his spear(20/10hp). Bark was seriously hurt after this encounter and used his last healing spell to heal himself(CLW 6hp). Needles quietly investigated this small warren they found on the other side of the door and found another spider just up the way. Since it was waiting for its dinner in the other direction, the party was able to get in attack before it knew they were there. They scored a few hits but not enough to kill the creature. it turned around to engage the party. Needles risked a shot into melee but was able to strike the spider with a well placed arrow (CRIT, 8hp). The spider bit Kain (22,6 hp) but found Kain most resistant to its poison. Clarabelle then placed her Mace squarely in the head of the spider, striking it down (17,10hp). In the clutter of the dead spiders den they found 100 gold pieces and two gems worth 200gp each).

Kicking the dead spiders out of their own den, the party shut the two trap doors decided to hole up here for the rest of the day, healing their wounds and recovering their spells.

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Insect Valhalla

The Thirteenth day of Thrice-Milce, in the year 400 BY

The Company of Odd Fellows

Insect Warren

While the construction of Odd Fellows Hall was occurring it became quickly apparent that the Odd Fellows would need to fill their now empty pockets. Needles spoke of an insect warren deep in the Norwood that might help their current budget crisis. It was rumored to be filled with gems, however most who went in hunting for them rarely came out. A few years ago a respected Ranger in Norwood named Niroth went in to rescue a mining party that was trapped and was never seen again. It was said that he was carrying his magical bow called Maurunya, the “Flame Finger” at the time of his disappearance. While Alaktyrr stayed to oversee the construction, the rest of the party headed out to find the warren. Since Needles and Bark were very familiar with the Norwood they were able to guide them directly to where it lay.

The ground in the area was riddled with holes but it took them awhile to find one big enough they could climb down. Eventually a large entrance hole turned up and they clamored down it.

(Area 9) The hole opened up to an underground pond and as soon as they entered it they were attacked by two giant mosquitoes but Kain and Andy were able to swat them out of the air with their weapons. The party figured they were living in the pond so they followed the shore along the north wall and headed through a passage going north. They decided on a marching order of Kain and Clarabelle in the front, Domino and Bark in the middle and Needles in the back with his bow. Andy would scout a bit ahead of them.

(Area 27) As the passage turned east it became carpeted in leaves and the leaves and debris were covering small deep holes. Unfortunately Andy had to find out about them the hard way, having her leg go in one and injuring herself (rolled a 1 to fall in and 3 hp damage). Once she fell in one, she was able to use her swortsword to find the other covered holes. She signalled the party to be careful crossing. After they were across, it was decided that Needles would take point for awhile.

(Area 24) At the zig zag in the corridor Needles could see a large fern growing along the walls and ceilings. That was all he could see before had to dodge a wall of thorns being shot at him. One got through his defenses and struck him (20/2hp). He quickly sought cover around the corner of the corridor. A quick discussion ensued. Whatever the plant creature was, they weren’t sure they wanted to face it but there was no other way to go on, except through it. The assumption was that plants hate fire so Andy,Needles and Bark made fire bombs out of two of the Oil Flasks she was carrying. Kain and Domino would close to attack and Clarabelle would fire off her Fire bolt. All 3 of the flasks struck their target as did Clarabelle’s Fire Bolt spell but it became obvious to the party that the plant wasn’t taking as much damage as it should (1/2 damage on fire based attacks, 10 hp total). Andy and Domino closed on the creature when it let loose another barrage of thorns. Andy, bark and Domino were hit (2,4,1) by the thorns. Andy and Needles fired a volley from their arrows and Bark threw his spear but only Andy was able to hit. The oil from the last round sputtered and burned out doing a little more damage to the plant (5hp). Clarabelle fired her magic missile at the creature hoping do some more damage. As Domino and Kain almost got in range to attack the monster, it had another nasty surprise, belching out a shower of acid at them. Domino didn’t get out of the way in time and took the full brunt of the attack (12 hp) but Kain was able to dodge and only took some (save vs DR 6hp). Andy and Needles fired another volley of arrows, both striking the plant creature true, immobilizing it, allowing Kain and Domino to crush it with their weapons. Domino was near death from the acid so Bark lent his healing skills to the poor cleric (8hp healing).

The plant was hiding a T intersection, with the passage they were on continuing west and another going south. The party decided to try the passage going south. It went south about 40’ before turning into a Y, one going SW and the other E.

(Area 25) Trying the east passage it quickly turned south but where it turned the walls were covered by various berries. Both Bark and Needles declared them edible and the party grabbed what they could and had a quick snack. While the others kept watch, they allowed the more injured to take a small rest. They then packed up as much as they could for later and carried on.

(Area 26) The passage zig-zagged going mostly south until it opened up into a larger chamber. Needles and Andy were taking point and saw 5 very large Ants in the middle making a home here. When they reported what they had found to the others, it was decided they would backtrack to the Y and take the SW passage. Following that passage brought them to another Y with on passage going W and another going S.

(Area 18) Following the S passage it opened up into a large cavern. There Needles and Andy saw a giant Snake hanging from the ceiling, but it also saw them. Andy ran back to tell the rest of the party while Needles fired an arrow into the snake (19/1hp). The snake attacked Needles but was unable to get a bite into him. Needles fell back to shoot another arrow but not before the python was able to bite as he slipped away (parting shot 25/5hp). Needles returned the favor by burying another arrow in the snake (24/6 hp). It then ran into the business end of Clarabelle’s mace, finishing it off. After killing off the creature, the party found the two crushed and mostly digested corpses of two dwarves. A quick check of the bodies and their possessions turned up a potion of healing and potion of gaseous form.

(Area 17) Following that chamber South the party came upon another Y, one going SW, the other SE. However that wasn’t the only thing they found. In this area the soil beneath them was rich and dark, and when Bark stuck his hand in the earth, he pulled up one of the biggest earthworms the party had ever seen. The place seemed to be full of them and luckily the worms didn’t seem to be anything other than big, and were of no harm to the party.

They followed the passage going SE but it quickly came into a larger passage going N-S. They could see another passage entering from the W and with the short distance assumed the other passage they were just add fed into this one as well. They decided to head West down the passage and soon it turned south.

(Area 12) As Needles and Andy came down the passage and into a larger chamber they were greeted with the sound thorns flying at them again. Andy dodged out of the way but Needles caught one before he was able to get to cover. It looked to be another one of those plants. Quickly deciding they didn’t want to deal with another one of those plants right now they backtracked to the large W-E cavern heading E.

(Area 16) Just before the passage began heading NE, There was an opening to the south, inside this room they saw a large pool of water being fed by a waterfall coming from the surface. The water was cool and fresh and the party filled up their water skins here before proceeding.

The NE passage dumped out into a myriad of passages going in every direction. They decided to follow the northern passage which turn back west before going north then west as it narrowed down to only 5 feet.

(Area 26) At the end of that passage was a large chamber opening up to the north. There they saw the same ants busily working in the chamber. However some loose dirt came loose from where they were looking from, alerting the ants to their presence. Luckily Needles and Andy were able to react before the ants, deciding that this wasn’t the place for a fight, running back down the passage they just came. The ants gave pursuit but soon stopped and wandered back to the room(using pursuit/evasion rules, Needles and Kain doing a double run put enough distance between them so the ants did not see them at the end of the round)

Quickly leaving the northern passage they followed another going East. It had a few small offshoots that lead to dead ends before stopping a chamber to the North and another passage going south.

(Area 10) The chamber to the north had another two passages leading off to the North and West. It was full of leaf litter and muck. While they were going carefully checking for traps and holes, the floor began bubbling up and out of the muck came 12 giant centipedes. It was a quick fight with the party dispatching the centipedes with only Bark taking a small bite from one of the creatures (2hp).

(Area 7) The party followed the west passage but it soon turned north as well. At the end of it, it looked as if the other passage going north came into this area as well. This area was getting filtered sunlight and therefore small trees and grasses were growing from the floors and walls. Needles spotted a Giant Praying Mantis hiding inside the area. He whispered for Andy to go back and tell the others while he would take a shot at it. Needles hit the Mantis and soon the rest of the party had joined the fray.The mantis sensing this was a fight he couldn’t win, suddenly took flight and squeezed through one of the small holes in ceiling(failed morale).

(Area 8) Following another passage north they came across a pool. In roughly comparing it to the map they made they saw that this pool was most likely the same pool they saw when they first entered the warrens, but on the other side. They weren’t sure if there was a way to get to that side from here but decided to come back later and find out.

(Area 6) Backtracking to where they fought the mantis, they followed another passage going east. This opened into a large cavern where more giant ants were going about their business. As quiet as Andy and Needles were trying to be, the ants detected their presence. As the ants charged the passage Needles backpedaled and fired an arrow as one of the ants closed the distance and attacked Andy, biting her hard (16/6hp). Clarabelle charged up to fill Needles spot and to block the ants from coming down further as Bark cast entangle right in front of her and Andy, trapping the ants and allowing Andy to fall back without being attacked. Kain stepped up to fill her position and him and Clarabelle began their attack on the entangled ants. Andy quaffed the healing potion they had recently found and took a breath. Needles was firing on the frontline of ants knowing that if he missed, he could hit his partners but so far his aim had been true, and between him and Kain they finished off one and hurt the one that took its place. Domino took the time to bless Needles longbow, making it even more deadly. Kain struck a flurry of blows killing another ant. Clarabelle took out another two and soon there was only one left. before it could even think about escaping, Kain connected with both weapons, finishing it off. They searched the area but found nothing other than the dead ants they killed.

With the party pretty banged up and both Bark and Clarabelle out of useful spells, they decided to backtrack to the area with the small pond and camp their overnight. Domino healed Bark and Needles (5hp/6hp) and Needles had two batches of his salve to help heal Kain. Clarabelle decided to go strictly offense the next day, prepping her Fire Bolt and Magic Missile spells.

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