Act I – Quick run down the halls
The party takes a short rest, taking time to dust themselves off from the hell hound residue and burns that were inflicted in that battle. Looking around, it appeared that this place was going to be nothing but another maze hunt.
After the rest, the group gathers themselves together and Gaar begins heading down the hall. Rounding the corner of the next bend, Gaar suddenly let’s out a short ‘umph’ as he is struck in the chest with a rather large crossbow bolt. A little irked and ready for the next fight, Gaar takes off down the hall, while saying something back to the group, that sounded like: “Ig ude ith owe.” Slightly confused, but ready to get into another fray, the party is quick behind him.
Rounding the next hallway corner, there is another ‘thud’ and a another ‘umph’ from Gaar, as another rather large crossbow bolt strikes him in the shoulder. Now the pace is quickened, as a fight seems imminent. Rounding the next corner, Gaar’s quick movement allows him to dodge the next bolt, and the target of his ire is now clear: a large minotaur. Finally, the corner at the end of the hall opens into a larger hallway, and it is clear that this minotaur is not alone.
Act II – Dancing with the Minotaur and rats in a maze
The battle begins as Gar rounds the corner, finding the Minotaur ready, and with friends. Some quick reactions from Gar to quickly engage the minotaur, allows the rest of the group to round the corner and begin laying the groundwork for some BBQ’d Minotaur (Mmmm, Minotaur steak sure is tasty!). Forinar begins his usual volley of arrows, as Loryn again shows her measure as a leader in manipulating the halway to everyone’s advantage. Adrah dances around the hallway in her usual affair, poking and zapping the now two Minotaur’s in the room, as well as, a few of their smaller friends who arrive, as Sorek shines some radiance on everything to get a start an early start on the BBQ.
With the fall of the last Minotaur, the party begins to look around at where Gar ran them to, and decide to start checking the place out. For the next ten to fifteen minutes, the party finds itself winding around a maze of hallways, interconnecting rooms, and even finds a one way secret door. Deciding that the door should be left for later, and finding that they had been down every hall, room, nook and cranny of this area, they decide to go back to the one last door at the far end of the maze.
Act III – The cleaners of the Black Eagle Barony
After running around in circles in the first part of the Barony, it was time to go through the one last door out of the maze. Opening the door, the party travels down the hall, goes around a bend, and then stops as the hall widens a little. Looking around and the overall cleanliness of it, Gar proceeds into the room and suddenly falls into a cantilevered pit. Unfortunately, Gar, a little taken aback from the fall, finds himself now the next meal of a gelatinous cube.
The party yet again jumps into action and begins taking the cube out to the cleaners. Darting around the room, Forinar manages to make a pincushion out of the cube, as Adrah pokes the cube with her sharp, pointy stick. Loryn and Sorek start stabbing and blasting the cube into oblivion, ending its long life as as the vacuum cleaner for this god-forsaken maze. As the cube looks like it is about to suck its last breath (note for future research: do cubes breathe?), another slimy sucker comes around the corner to join in on the cleaning party. With some more quick sword play from Gar and Loryn, fancy footwork with pointy things from Adrah and Forinar, and some radiant firepower from Sorek (whew does burning cube stink!), the second cube meets the same fate as its translucent companion.
Act VI – The big black pool (no diving allowed! heck, no swimming either!)
Moving on after a short respite (man, those cubes really kept those walls clean!), the party continues on down the hall around another corner, and finds themselves in a wide open room. Filled with a big dark pool of water, with a ledge running down one side, the party decides to let Gar lead the party down the narrow ledge. At the end of the narrow ledge can be seen an alcove with a beach that looks like a way out. As the party gets about half-way down the ledge the water begins to shift and suddenly a shambling mound decides to get in on some of this fine Barony action (geesh, these Iron Ring characters keep some very interesting pets).
With a few quick shots from Forinar, the mound decides to get close for a round. Then as the party begins to unload their usual set of hurt on the mound, it retreats into the pool to either avoid the combat or to draw the party out into the pool. Suddenly, it is apparent that the mound isn’t alone, as additional friends come out of the water to attempt to surround the party. It is at this moment, that Sorek quickly grabs into his pack to pull out one of his never (or rarely) used items. Holding the object high in the air, suddenly a large surrounding area of the water turns into ice in an instant. Now with an upper hand in controlling the terrain and situation, the party starts to tear into the mounds and return them to the watery depths from which they spawned. Soon, it is apparent that these mounds should have stayed in whatever hole in the pool they emerged from.
Making it down the narrow ledge to the beach at the end, where a door can be seen that the party hopes can lead them out of this pool area. Taking a moment for a short rest, some jokes are made as to how interesting the Iron Ring builds and maintains their keeps. Such interesting pets, a dirty pool found after a room cleaned so well that you felt bad about walking through it, and a strange maze of empty hallways and rooms guarded by very big guys with pointy horns. Perhaps the Iron Ring is run by a bunch of beasts? Is the party going to trade in their other keep for this one? (things to make you go hmmm.)
Act V – The Big Kahuna and his friends of the Black Eagle Barony
As the rest ends, the party prepares for whatever the next things this Barony will throw at them. Gar opens the door and the party moves into the entry way in front of them. Ahead of the party is a large room with a set of chairs in the center, with what appears to be a set of five well dressed individuals sitting in them. Not wasting time on pleasantries, Forinar leads into the room and opens the foray with an arrow into the priestly dressed figure who had quickly stood when the party entered (names? we don’t need no stinking names!). As the rest of the party starts into the fray, it becomes quickly apparent that this will be a fight to the death one way or the other. And right as combat begins, a slinky figure looking like a servant can be seen heading for a door in the back wall of the room and is gone in a moment.
The fray goes on for minutes, with the tide seeming to change a number of times. Gar and Forinar getting caugh out in the room at the start, as one of the enemy manages to get behind them and wrap the rest of the party in darkness. As the battle ensues, it becomes readily apparent, that the Iron Ring is not run by beasts, but rather some pretty tough and skilled characters. At one point, it appeared that Forinar was going to be the first victim of the encounter, but by Loryn’s quick reaction, he is saved from a sure death.
Gar uses his many primal abilities, along with Loryn’s help to round up most of those the party faced, as Sorek manages rain fury down on many at a time. Forinar and Adrah contribute their efforts to help bring these Iron Ring thugs down one by one. The fight seems to taking much out of everyone in the room, friend and foe alike. But in the end, the party manages to get the upper hand, and one by one, the leaders of the Iron Ring begin to meet a fitting death.
And as the the second to last member is about to fall, the shadowy elf figure, the early ire of Forinar, apparently arrives at a decision. As the last man standing, he apparently wants to keep standing, so he begins making a quick exit for the circular stairs heading up and out in one corner of the room. With a quick yell to Gar to follow his charge from Forinar (who is shifted at this point), Forinar jumps into a run after the elf. As Gar’s slowing aura is still active, the escape of the elf up the stairs is significantly impeded, allowing Forinar to quickly overtake the elf. Arriving on top of the elf at the top of the stairs, with Gar right behind, a quick ending is put to the escape of what the party hopes is the last of the Iron Ring.