Sons of a Lost Empire

The Sunless Citadel
The sunken fortress holds more than just secrets...

The_Sunless_Citadel.jpgThe adventure so far…

Four adventurers left Oakhurst for this strange place called the Sunless Citadel along the Old Road. They found a great crevice in the ground that ran for miles in either direction and where the road came closest, wooden pillars and a rope.

They sent the dwarven cleric, Brega, down first. He easily descended down the knotted rope to land on a ledge 50’ below. Then dire rats leaped from the rubble and savagely attacked him.

The_Crevice.jpgPell, the Stout Halfling rogue quickly made his way down and slew the rats, but it was too late. The giant rats had hungerly ripped out the dwarf’s throat.

The three remaining heroes took Brega’s body back to the tiny town and gave him to the healer, who buried him the next day.

That’s when they met Gamar, a human cleric of Pelor who was passing through. They immediately struck up a friendship and he joined their fellowship.

meepo.jpgDown below they fought more rats then met Meepo, a kobold who had lost his dragon whelpling to a goblin raid. They decided to get the dragon back and went to the kobold queen to ask her to point them in the right direction. Pell paid her 52 gold for the pleasure of returning the dragon.

Calcryx.jpgThey fought many goblins, including their boss before discovering the dragon. They tried to restrain the beast without harming it, and eventually knocked it unconscious, but in the process two of their group, Pell and Gamar were left terribly wounded and unconscious. Blackfang decided to return the dragon to the kobolds quickly. He never returned.

Oakhurst.jpgWhen Gamar awoke he healed Pell and believing that Blackfang was dead, they tried to find a way out. This led them to other goblins they slew quickly and eventually to an exit. They ascended the stairs and rope, and made it back to Oakhurst. From there they traveled east two days to Easthaven.

In Easthaven they met Leldelorian, a human paladin whom they purchased a suit of banded mail for, got items identified, sold goods recovered in the ruins, and rested.

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Rats!
A Dire Sitatuion

The road from Easthaven was devoid of danger this time. Upon returning to Oakhurst the heroes heard another tale of the Sunless Citadel. The townsfolk spoke of a perfect apple sold each Midsummer’s Eve by the goblins to the highest bidder in Oakhurst. They were worried that with all the goblins dead there would be no more apples. The apples were highly prized because they could heal any disease. The townsfolk had tried to grow their own magic apple trees but when they buried the seeds the goblins would steal the saplings before they were much more than two-feet tall.
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Except one of the townsfolk mentioned that some saplings went missing while the heroes were in Easthaven. The goblins couldn’t have taken them.

The next delve into the Sunless Citadel found a nest of dire rats. Quarianus attracted even more with the deafening boom of his thunderweave spell. This included a huge direrat with drooping teets, a mama-rat. All were burned and hacked to death.

Then the heores returned to Oakhurst.

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The Prisoner
When the undead explode and a gnome is found.

Another delve into the sunken citadel brought the heroes to a stone door opposite a dry fountain. They discovered the fountain imbued with magic but were unable to determine what it did. Leldelorian did sense that there were undead behind the stone door.
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After being scythed by a trap, Pell picked the lock on the stone door and found a room full of sarcophagi. By opening one all five opened and animated skeletons leaped out with rusted swords in hand. Gamar brought the power of Pelor to bear and four of the skeletons exploded. The last was quickly dispatched.

Another delve into the dungeon found that Meepo’s old room was once again occupied by kobolds. A quick fight ended them, though Meepo pleaded with his kin not to attack the heroes. Meepo and his pet dragon (now back in the repaired cage) were allowed to leave. The dragon hissed at the party, remembering how they hurt him and returned him to the kobolds, that though worshiped him, kept him in a cage.

Coming upon a room with pit traps spiked open they found another fountain. This too they found to be magic. Pell found a secret compartment and inside a metal canister which he unscrewed… and released a noxious gas that affected Quarian terribly. Leldelorian was able to neutralize the poison with his paladin powers.

They also found the room where the mama-rat and her many dire rats nested. They scavenged the junk and collected loot.

gnome_fighter.jpgThen stumbling through the once goblin-occupied rooms they found a locked door that Pell picked. On the other side was a dungeon where several dead kobolds were tied up and a gnome was kept in a cage. With the goblins being all slain some ten days ago the gnome only survived by creating food and water for himself. For the gnome was a cleric!

Erky Timbers offered his services and let them know that there was a level beneath them where the goblins spoke of the “Gulthias Tree” where the fruit came from. They spoke of it in hushed voices as if afraid to speak its name aloud.

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Facing the Tree
Where the heroes defeat the kobolds, twig blights, and the Master of the Grove.

Bugbear_and_rats.jpgThe heroes came back to face the kobolds and face them they did. All of them. At once. But by now the heroes were experienced enough to wipe out the kobolds letting only one escape. They found a water elemental creature and defeated it after it breathed caustic water on them.

TwigBlights.jpgThey went into the Twilight Grove with their newfound friend, the fighter/cleric gnome, Erky Timbers. They defeated the bugbears, twig blights, and goblins they found there to confront Belak the Outcast. Belak tried to convince them to give up and let the tree “take them” but they refused and fought.

belak_crew.gifUnder the spell of the tree were two of the lost adventurers they were looking for including one of the Hucreles they had been tasked at finding by the merchant Kerawyn Hucrele. They defeated the evil druid and all his minions including the Hucrele whom they rendered unconscious and tied up.

When he awoke he had the mind of an animal and could not be reasoned with. Even after they burned the tree (with the magical fruit growing on the side of it) it did not release poor Sir Bradford, the now ex-paladin. They left Sir Bradford tied up down below and left the grove.

dragonsarcoph.jpgThe last place they cleared out was a part of the dungeon that had not been opened since before the citadel fell into the earth. There they fought a small devil-creature and a troll-like priest trapped in a dragon-carved sarcophagi.

When the heroes returned to Oakhurst Kerawyn was angry that they had “killed” her family member instead of bringing him back. They got their reward but she was now cool to them and they realized they needed to leave town.

They traveled to Easthaven and sold much treasure.

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The Mountain Door
Forge of Fury - Chapter I

250px-TSR11644_The_Forge_of_Fury.jpgAfter a week in Easthaven the heroes were looking for a change of pace. Leldelorian had been fitted for and received his suit of banded mail and the group just wanted to hit the road. They took a job protecting two wagons for a family of Stout Halflings to Thornhall.

The job was easy until the weather changed. They awoke in Dumere with storm clouds gathering. The summer storm struck in the morning and continued through the afternoon and evening. The storm slowed their progress so that they just reached the Mezdros Mountains. The adventurers and the halflings all tried to huddle under the wagons while lightning struck the mountains to the south and southwest.

While Pell was on watch one of the lightning strikes revealed something about a mile away up on a rocky hill. It was like a tree or rock that wasn’t there before and when the next strike lit up the sky it was gone. Pell woke the others but they didn’t believe him. Gamar told Pell to go to sleep and that he would take watch. Pell huddled under a wagon and watched.

A few minutes later a lightning strike lit up the field next to them and revealed a figure 10 to 12 feet tall walking toward them holding something in one hand and dragging a log in the other. It was about 150 yards away.

2e_Hill_Giant.jpgThough he could no longer see it, he commanded the giant to stop. In response a huge rock came flying overhead just missing one of the wagons. Pell aroused the other adventurers and they all decided to run into the night to confront the giant away from the wagons.

What ensued defies logic. The heroes pelted the giant with arrows, sword slashes, and magic arrows. The giant swung his great club mightily but was never able to hit the elusive adventurers. A shortsword to the gut ended the giant. The 11-foot humanoid fell back into the mud with a splash.

They took the sack of treasure from his belt and left the severed heads tied there by their hair.

In the morning they worked hard to get the wagons out of the mud and on the road. The storm continued until the afternoon so that little progress was made reaching Thornhall. It wasn’t until the next late afternoon that they reached it.

They parted ways with the thankful halflings and took up residence at the Blackshale Inn. The three story building overlooked a stone-lined pool and river that ran through the heart of the town. Finding a post from Baron Althon seeking men who would hunt items of value, they waited until market day when the baron arrived.

The adventurers agreed to go up into the Mezdros Mountains looking for an abandoned dwarven stronghold called Kundrukar. The stronghold was built by a smith named Durgeddin who made masterwork blades over a hundred years ago. While the stronghold had been overrun and sacked, Baron Althon believed that some of the finest blades lied deep in the fortress waiting to be found. The adventurers agreed to a price of 500 gold crowns for each blade they returned intact.

The next day the headed up into the mountains looking for a mountain called the Stone Tooth.

On the first day they saw it in the distance. On third day they began traversing up the steep mountainside when they ran into four orcs. They quickly dispatched them on the mountain trail. When they reached the top they came to a ledge where two more orcs waited.

Pell lured them down the trail by pretending to be alone. The orcs took the bait, rounded the corner and were slaughtered.

The adventurers then continued into a huge fissure where they found a set of large double doors. Before they could enter they were pelted with arrows from arrow slits above. Gamar went down but was quickly healed and they ran inside only to find a room split by a huge ravene and a rope bridge. From the other side arrows began to fly. They slowly tried to traverse the rope bridge while being pelted by arrows. Quarian refused to cross for some time, tramatized by being shot with an arrow from outside. When he finally decided to try two secret doors opened and orcs piled out firing longbows. Quarian went down.

orc_archers_squad_by_daroz-d5oi7u9.jpgGamar was stuck in the middle of the rope having a terrible time trying to not fall to his death. As Quarian went down Gamar became the next target and found himself full of arrows and swinging wildly on the rickety ropes. With his last breath he stepped off the bridge and healed Quarian.

The others made it across and they killed the orcs.

The heroes were clearly at the end of their collective rope and they hurried from Kundrukar, down the mountain trial for nearly a mile until they found a place to get off the trail, camp, and rest.

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