By-Tor Brigade Legacy
Part 4 – Approach to the Sunken Citadel
- Chapter 1 – Into the Sunken Citadel
- Chapter 2 – Kobold Territory
See also: Session 04 Adventure Log 2013/11/01
Chapter 1 – Into the Sunken Citadel
The narrow stairs emptied into a small courtyard, apparently the top of what was once a crenellated battlement. The buried citadel had sunk so far into the earth that the battlement was now level with the surrounding cavern floor. The floor stretched away to the north and south, and it was apparently composed of a layer of treacherous, crumbled masonry, which reached to an unknown depth. To the west loomed the surviving structure of what must be the Sunken Citadel. A tower stood on the west side of the courtyard.
Dodge approached a door into the tower and successfully evaded a trap door. A 1-foot-wide catwalk allowed safe access to the door after the trap had been sprung. Below the trap door was a 10-foot deep pit from which climbed a dire rat. Dodge made short work of the rat, then climbed down to inspect the pit. He found two long-dead, goblin skeletons, and one goblin dead for about a day.
Through the wooden door they entered a circular area cobbled with cracked granite, upon which sprawled four goblin bodies, all apparently slain in combat. One stood with its back against the western wall, the killing spear still skewering it and holding it upright. Two more wooden doors led off from the area. Above, a hollow tower of loose masonry reached 30 feet, but the intervening floors and stairs were gone, except for a couple of crumbled ledges.
The investigated the four goblin bodies and estimated they are about a month dead, though rats had gnawed at them. The bodies were previously looted of all valuables, though each goblin possessed a short sword. Lee removed the spear pinning the goblin to the wall, and the body slumped to reveal deep-set and impressive runes in the wall. Kyran, could read the word “Ashârdalon” in Kimrian.
Gallery of Forlorn Notes
They passed through the southwest door and entered a 20-foot wide hall. Its masonry walls were in poor repair. The far end was especially bad, as it was completely collapsed, filling the southern section with rubble. The western wall was in much better shape than the other walls, and it held a stone door. The door featured a relief sculpture of a stylistically carved dragon in flight. It was securely closed and locked. The door contained a single keyhole, which was situated in the rearing dragon’s open mouth.
Neither the strength of Dodge nor the lock-pick skills of Lee could open the door, so Lee used the group’s Chime of Opening. Once unlocked, the door opened easily. As it opened, a hissing noise and a puff of dust around the door indicated that the next chamber had been sealed for ages.
The entered the room. The dust of ages, long undisturbed, covered every surface in the large gallery. There was a stone door centered in the west wall. Three alcoves were on the north wall, and one was located in the south wall. Each alcove contained a dust-covered stone pedestal with a fist-sized crystalline globe upon it. Although the globes in the northern alcoves lie cracked and dark, the globe in the southern alcove glowed with a soft blue light. Faint tinkling notes sprang forth from it. They concluded that no intruder had accessed this chamber since the citadel slid into the earth long ago.
When Lee approached the globe in the south wall, its faint tinkling notes began to swell into brooding music that grew louder and louder. Most of those within sound range of the globe were filled with uncontrollable fear and ran from the room, not stopping until they reached crumbled courtyard from whence they had gained entry. After their fear subsided and the sound dissipated, they reentered the room. This time, when the brooding musing began to blare, Lee touched the globe and its noise level doubled! Once again they were forced to flee to the outside, so they decided to try a different route.
Chapter 2 – Kobold Territory
Meepo, Keeper of Dragons
They went through the northwest door and walked down a long hallway, 10 feet wide and 40 feet long, which ended at a wooden door. About 15 feet from the end there was a wooden door on the north wall and a stone door on the south wall. The south door contained a relief-carving portraying a dragon-like fish swimming in an aquatic setting.
They passed through the door at the end and entered a large and irregularly shaped, crumbling chamber. Crudely executed symbols and glyphs, scribed in bright green dye, decorated the walls. A large pit in the chamber’s center showed evidence of a recent bonfire. A metallic cage in the center of the southern wall contained a gaping hole and stood empty. A small wooden bench draped with green cloth stood before the cage, and upon it sat several small objects. A bedroll lay near the wooden bench, from which the sound of whimpering was plainly audible.
They approached the sound and spied a small kobold cowering in a pitiful heap. A Kobold is a short, reptilian humanoid with scaled skin, a snout filled with tiny teeth, and a long tail. Yriadel prodded it with the tip of her spear to rouse it. It reacted with fright when it saw the fierce group of adventurers, but it held its ground since they did not attack it. They attempted conversation and discovered it could speak Westron. He called himself Meepo, Keeper of Dragons. He was generally weepy and obviously physically frightened of the group.
Meepo explained that he was the keeper of Calcryx, his clan’s dragon wyrmling – he possessed many scars, which were “souvenirs” of this role – and unfortunately, the dragon had been stolen by goblins a week prior. He was heartsick at the loss of his pet and spent much of his time in nightmare-ridden sleep in his bedroll.
He seemed willing to answer the group’s questions, but he did not have any useful information. He suggested that if they offered to rescue the dragon, his kobold leader, Yusdrayl, would answer all their questions. Once Meepo hit on the possibility of a dragon rescue mission, he perked up and offered to lead them to Yusdrayl on her dragon throne.
Magna inspected the cage. Its metallic bars were bent all out of shape and without repair it could not possible restrain any captives. He even recognized small droppings within the cage that could have come from a natural animal (perhaps a tiny dragon). Glen check on the bonfire pit, which contained charred bits of kobold bones and armor. The bench apparently served as a sort of tiny altar and held containers of green dye, a paintbrush (with goblin-hair bristles), and four small jade figurines of dragons.
The Dragon Throne
As promised, Meepo led the group through the tunnels, granting them safe passage to the kobold throne room, where he presented them to Yusdrayl, the Kobold Queen.
She sat upon a short throne which stood near the west wall, constructed of fallen bits of masonry stacked against an old altar. She was a small, horned figure in red-dyed robes. A force of six similar creatures guarded her. The altar’s top contained a variety of small items, while the portion of the altar that served as the throne’s back featured a carving of a rearing dragon. A metallic key was held firmly in the rearing dragon’s open mouth.
Yusdrayl spoke excellent Westron. She boasted that kobolds were heir to dragons, and that as the mightiest among her people, she had led a brave few to this ancient holy site where dragons were revered long ago – especially the one named Ashârdalon.
Kyran asked if any other humans had been here recently. She answered “yes” and that they had fought the goblins but never returned. It was clear she despised the goblins and hated them for stealing her dragon. She also mentioned that the goblins served a human named Baeloch the Outcast, who lived below in the Twilight Grove where they grew the magic fruit. She was quite pleased when Magna announced they planned to kill all the goblins. He asked about the key hanging from her throne, and she offered to give it to them as a reward if they would retrieve her stolen dragon. She ordered Meepo to accompany them into the goblin territory – an idea he was not excited about but had no choice but to comply.