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Part 1,

The Sunless Citadel

Party Members

Darius Darkhammer, Male Dwarven Cleric of Moradin
Dzindra (Dizzy) Daggersmith, Female Human Monk
Paks, Female Half-Elven Paladin of Yondalla
Shaidarol, Male Elven Psychic Warrior

Sunless Citadel, Day 1 First Game Session

The party arrived in the town of Oakhurst to answer a call for adventures from the town’s Mayor, Verner Ling.

In discussions with the mayor the party learned:

Since the goblins did not arrive this year, the mayor has been planting the seeds from the previous Golden Apples in hope of growing new apples. So far, these efforts have failed. The saplings begin to grow, but once they reach 3-4 inches tall, they disappear. None of the guards stationed around the saplings have seen or heard anything.

The mayor wants the party to determine why the goblins have stopped selling the Golden Apples to the town and to reestablish the Apple trade. The mayor is willing to pay each party member 50 gp and to provide some services to the party (specifically, those of the Gnome Healer and Rurik, the Dwarven Blacksmith).

The mayor also suggests the party speak to the merchant Corelin Hucrele.

The party spoke with the Gerrin the Barkeep and learned the following:

The party spoke with the patriarch of the Hucrele merchant family and learned the following:

The Hucrele family would like the party to rescue the other adventures if possible. The Hucrele family offers the party full salvage rights and 125 gp per Hucrele family signet ring returned (there are two such rings). The Hucrele family will pay 250 gp per signet ring if the family members are also returned alive.

Darius spoke with Rurik, the Dwarven Blacksmith and learned that a strange human named Belak traveled to the Citadel several years ago and was never seen again. He traveled alone except for a large pet tree frog. Belak knew about the Apples.

The party left for the Citadel and traveled a half-day before camping for the night. During the night, Darius heard noises in the woods and woke the party just before two “twig” creatures attacked. The party destroyed both twig creatures, but Shaidarol was wounded. It appears that the twig creatures inject a sap-like substance when they wound someone.

Sunless Citadel, Day 2 First Game Session

The party continued traveling to the Citadel and arrived just before nightfall. The Citadel is at the bottom of a deep ravine. A number of pillars line the edge of the ravine. There are runes on some of the pillars in the dwarven alphabet; the runes are warning in the goblin language. A noted rope hangs over the edge of the ravine and leads to a ledge about 20-feet below.

Shaidarol descends to the ledge and, after a short battle, slays a dire rat that attacked him.

Dzindra wished to bury the rat, but since she did not have a shovel she settled for placing the body under a cairn of stones; she said, One must have respect for all living things. The carcasses of the rats are cankerous and somehow too large for their skins, handling the things invites a gag reflex.

Darius perceives that the rats are touched by evil and warns, interment may spoil the ground they are buried in.

The party descends to the ledge and camps for the night.

Sunless Citadel, Day 3 First & Second Game Session

The party followed a staircase that descended into the ravine from the ledge. The stairs led to a paved courtyard (a part of the roof of the sunken Sunless Citadel). As the party approaches the courtyard, three dire rats attack – and are slain.

Shaidarol was severely wounded in the fight and was felled; Darius used the power provided by Moradin to heal Shaidarol wounds and return him to the fight. After the battle Dzindra thanked Shaidarol on behalf of the party, for bravely going in front.

Shaidarol replies, Dzindra, a warrior's place is often at the front. I oft am there, as I will in many endeavors, near the front to test and prove my abilities, and to learn the error and benefit of my ways. He chuckles ruefully and nods to Darius... Though it always useful to have those with the ability to heal near, as well as others to share the brunt of an assault with, at times he adds with a faint, wry smile.

In response to Shaidarol, Darius said, I will always be near and ready to use Moradin’s gifts to aide a brother in battle - standing back and watching others is not my way. I will be beside you, helping to vanquish our common foes.

Across the courtyard, an open archway leads into the tower.

Courtyard (#3)

The party spreads out to search the courtyard and Darius heads for the archway – and falls into a pit. In the pit, Darius finds the remains of a goblin, 4 gp, and 23 sp.

Entry Chamber (#4)

In the first chamber, the party finds the bodies of four goblins, apparently slain by the previous adventuring party. One of the goblins is pinned to the wall by a shortspear. Behind the goblins body, written on the wall in draconic is the word Ashardalong. (Paks took the Shortspear.)

A secret door is found in the center of the southern wall. When the door is opened, three skeletons animate and attack. Darius succeeds in turning the skeletons. As Dzindra and the rest of the party move to dispatch them, she nods to Darius and says, I see your faith in Moradin is strong. While watching the skeletons destruction, Darius replies, My faith in Moradin is absolute. I am the weak link. I only seek to be worthy of the blessings that HE bestows upon me - and see that they are not wasted.

One of the skeletons attempted to flee, but Shaidarol put on an amazing burst of speed, caught the skeleton, and slew it before it could escape.

Dzindra looks at Shaidarol, eyes-wide, and asked, How did you do that?

Shaidarol replied, When the mind and the body are strong in unison, feats such as minor bursts of speed are but a useful benefit. The mind itself is nary a thing to be trifled with.

Dzindra looks at Shaidarol all aglow - he couldn’t tell whether it was admiration or infatuation or both...

Two other doors lead from the chamber – one to the northwest and one to the southwest.

Game Note: The Party is awarded 250 XP

Room of the Rearing Dragon Door (#6)

The southwest door leads to a chamber with a door carved to resemble a rearing dragon – with the keyhole in the dragon’s open mouth! When Darius entered the room to examine the door he was attacked by a dire rat hiding in the rubble. Darius and Shaidarol slew the rat.

After examining the door, Dzindra believes the door is carved to represent a black dragon.

While in the room, the party feels as if the “Dragon Door” is watching them.

A magical force protects the keyhole. When anyone tries to reach the keyhole, the hand or item slides aside and a buzzing/hum is heard – nothing seems to be able to reach the keyhole.

Room of the Kegged Water Mephit (#14)

The northwest door leading from the entry chamber opens onto a long hallway with several doors. The first door on the right (north wall) opens into a deserted, ruble filled chamber.

The first door on the left wall of the hallway (south wall) is carved with a dragon-like fish in an aquatic setting. The door was locked, but Shaidarol was able to open it. Inside the room was a metal keg with a large bung in the top. At Darius’s urging, the party wrestles the bung out of the keg and releases a water mephit that attacks the party. After a few minutes of combat, the party fled the room and locked the mephit inside. After Darius cast magical stone on three rocks, the party opened the door and attacked the mephit again. The party was finally able to defeat the water mephit, but in the battle Darius was nearly killed by the mephit’s Melf’s acid arrow attack. Shaidarol and Dzindra dunked Darius in the keg to rinse the acid off and save his life.

After facing the mephit, the party returned to the room of the Rearing Dragon Door and rested for the night.

Sunless Citadel, Day 4 First & Second Game Session

Room of the Kobold's Pet Dragon (#15)

The door at the end of the hallway opens into a chamber with five doors, a fire pit, and a caged in area (the cage has been broken open). The party found green dye, paintbrushes, and five jade dragon figurines (15 gp each) in the chamber (4 on a bench, 1 in the fire pit).

The party also met Meepo, a kobold from Clan Dragon. Meepo told the party that the goblins stole Calcryx, the clan’s dragon; he describes the dragon as the color of Meepo’s eye – black. Meepo wants the party to rescue the dragon from the goblins. He offers the party safe passage through the kobolds domain in return. The party agrees to help. Meepo leads the party through kobold territory to meet with Queen Yusdrayle, the ruler of the kobolds.

Before leaving the room, Shaidarol opened the door in the south wall, the door that Meepo said led to the dragon’s food – eight rats charged out of the room and attacked the party. They were quickly slain.

Queen Yusdrayle's Throne Room (#21)

Meepo led the party through the kobolds domain to the Queen’s throne room. The kobold Queen agreed to give the party a reward (any two items in the throne room) for the safe return of the dragon. The Queen sent Meepo with the party to act as a guide – she isn’t interested in his safe return.

The Queen told the party that:

In the throne room are the following items: a key in the mouth of a rearing dragon statue, three scrolls, a flask, and a feather. Queen Yusdrayle indicates she might be willing to sell some items to the party.

Fountain Room 1 (#26)

Meepo guided the party back to the Room of the Kobold's Pet Dragon and the narrow hallway (behind the door in the east wall) that leads to the goblin’s domain. Meepo has never been down this hallway before.

The trail of the goblins led to a room with a dry fountain. There is an inscription on the fountain in draconic: “Nainaya” which translates to “Let there be fire”. When Shaidarol spoke the inscription aloud, a red liquid pours from the fountain’s mouth. Shaidarol filled an old oil flask with the liquid.

A door in the west wall of the room has an inscription in draconic that reads, “Tana Aman Heka Men” which translates as “Channel Good, Open the Way”. Darius channeled some divine energy into the door and it slid open.

Sarcophagus Room (#27)

Behind the door is a room containing an altar and five sarcophagi. When the party entered the room, the sarcophagi open and five skeletons moved to attack the party. Darius invoked the wrath of Moradin and turned the all of the skeletons; the party then dispatched the skeletons.

In the room the party found a candle that emits no heat, a crystal shard, a whistle with an inscription in draconic that reads “Night Caller”, and a small chest containing 6 gems carved in the likeness of dragons (10 gp each).

Caltrop Room (#31)

Exploring the various rooms and halls in the area, the party came upon an alarmed door - when the party opened the door a loud warning bell was rung. Behind the door was a room where the floor was covered with caltrops. At the far end of the room was an archway blocked by a short wall (about 4-feet tall). A goblin stood behind the wall and attacked the party with javelins. The party slew the goblins with ranged weapons. Darius recovered a javelin.

Javelin Training Room (#33)

Continuing along this path, the party came to another room with a 4-foot high barrier across the exit – and at the opposite end of the room were human sized straw dummies obviously used for javelin target practice. Behind the barrier were three goblins.

The party charged the barrier and slew all three goblins. The party recovered 3 javelins and 45 sp from the goblins.

Prison (#34)

The door on the west wall of the Javelin Training Room led to a prison. The party freed four prisoners: Erky Timbers, a gnome cleric, and three kobolds. The gnome seems addled. He can’t tell the same story consistently – first he’s been in the prison a week, then a month.

The kobolds ran off, but Erky decided to travel with the party. Erky equipped himself with a small flail from the slain goblins.

Erky did tell us that Belak sells one Golden Apple and one White Apple each year, that the Apples come from the Gulthias Tree, and the tree is in the Twilight Grove.

Belak is a Druid?

Hall of Pillars 2 (#39)

Continuing after the goblins, the party enters a hallway lined with pillars carved like dragons. The hallway has five doors and was filled with smoke that limited vision to short distance only.

Shaidarol went to explore the far end of the hall (over Dzindra’s objections) and was attacked by goblins. Darius, Paks, and Erky moved to help while Dizzy remained behind with Meepo. As more goblins and hobgoblins arrived, Dizzy also moved forward to help. After Dizzy joined the fight, additional goblins attacked from behind; the party heard Meepo yelling and then nothing.

Although the goblins and hobgoblins only attacked to subdue the party, the party used lethal force and slew all of their opponents. Dizzy and Darius were both rendered unconscious, but not before felling several opponents. Shaidarol utilized his potion of fire breath to incinerate a goblin and two hobgoblins.

After the fight the party looked for Meepo, but there was no sign of him – the goblins may have killed him or taken him prisoner.

The party decided to rest for the night in the Javelin Training Room. During the night a dire rat attacked the party and was quickly slain.

Sunless Citadel, Day 5 Second Game Session

Hall of Cells (#28)

Dzindra wished to explore in the other direction before returning to the Hall of Pillars where the party was ambushed. The party found a hall lined with cells; as the party moved down the hall, three dire rats attacked them. The party slew the rats and searched the cells. The party found 15 gp, 21 sp, and 12 gems (5 gp each).

Fountain Room 2 (#29)

The Hall of Cells opened up into a room with another dry fountain. This fountain also had an inscription in draconic; the inscription was a rather dark one and Shaidarol was reluctant to speak it aloud.

After some urging, Shaidarol did read the inscription and a stream of poisonous gas burst from the fountain and envolped him. Shaidarol survived, but was weakened by the gas.

The room also contained two pit traps that had been spiked open by previous adventurers.

Dire Rat Nest (#30)

A door in the west wall of Fountain Room #2 opened into a chamber filled with a dire rat’s nest. The party slew three dire rats and a “mother” dire rat attacked. In the fight, Dizzy was infected with a disease that the dire rats carried. Darius treated Dzindra and she should recover shortly.

In the nest the party found 68 gp, 300 sp, 3 gems (40 gp each), and the remains of human body.

The body was that of a human ranger; a signet ring with his name confirmed his identity as Karakas. The party recovered the following items from the body: a signet ring with the name Karakas inside the band, a suit of studded leather, five daggers, a short bow, a quiver with six arrows, a potion of cure light wounds, 17 gp, and a sack containing a waterskin, a day’s ration, a bedroll, flint & steel, and three torches.

The party camped for the night

Dzindra rouses Shaidarol for his turn on watch. Once awake, she says to him, Listen, I can tell you have great prowess and a keen mind. But you lack discipline. There is a fine line between being head smart and headstrong. I can teach you, if you would like, what I can.

Shaidarol glances at Dzindra and chuckles slightly, giving his chin a jerk with his hand to loosen his neck with a sharp crack... We are what we are he replies. And though I may be somewhat overeager... do not mistake it for lack of discipline. A person is most potent if they are true to themselves... There may be some drawbacks to my actions...But being false to myself is not one of them.

Dzindra replies, Fine. You did seem to be able to handle all those goblins and hobgoblins by yourself anyway. I apologize. I was the fool to rush in, thinking you needed my help. I won't make that mistake again. She spits distastefully and tries to get some sleep. She tries to imagine her mother giving her some wonderful soup, which always made her feel better.

Shaidarol sighs deeply, then chuckles faintly and says I didn't say I didn't err... Thank you for the assistance. However... Such battles are a part of my nature and what I seek to test myself against for my own betterment. If you do not wish to aid in the future, I will understand. Rest well, Dzindra. He then begins going through his meditation and katas as he stays on guard, working through his weakness as well as his skills.

Game Note: The Party is awarded 1025 XP. Party members advance to 2nd-level.

Sunless Citadel, Day 6 Third Game Session

Erky wakes the party to start another day, Welcome long time companions! Welcome to another day!

Carrion Room (#36)

Continuing to follow the trail of the goblins, the party found a room with six hammocks and the rotting pieces and parts of a number of creatures. Within the room the party found 40 gp and 100 sp.

Trophy Room (#37)

Traveling along the corridor to the west, Darius suddenly pulled Paks back – he felt something was wrong about the floor ahead. Shaidarol examined the area and believed that a pressure plate would triggers an arrow trap. After Shaidarol attempted to disarm the trap, Dizzy stepped forward to test the area – and fell into a pit trap. Dizzy managed to avoid getting injured and explored the pit while she was down there; she found a gold ring (actually lead painted gold) and 25 gp. Dizzy tried the ring on - and it felt stuck, although she eventually got it back off, she started to get nervous.

After the pit was triggered, it was obvious that there was a safe ledge running around the edge of the pit to the door – which felt very cold.

Behind the door is a room with stuffed and mounted animal, monster, and humanoid trophies lining the walls. A white dragon wyrmling hides under a table in the center of the room and thin patches of ice coat everything. As Shaidarol approaches the wyrmling and Paks tries to entice it with food, the dragon breathes on the party, flies up into the air, and lands on the wall 80-feet up.

Shaidarol and Paks fire arrows at the dragon to try and force it off the wall; Paks hit, injuring it, although it stays on the wall. After Dizzy hits the dragon with a sling stone for subdual damage, it swoops down to attack Paks. As Paks fends off the dragon, Darius steps up and dazes it out with the mace. Paks grapples the creature while the rest of the party ties the creature up in Paks’ bedroll.

In this room the party also finds 20 gp, a crystal goblet, 24 pieces of fine silverware, and a carved bone scroll case with dwarven runes on the outside. The runes say Khundrukar which translates to Glitterhame. Inside the case is an old crumbling scroll that reads ...the remaining few. By order of Durgeddin the Black, we have created a secret dwarven redoubt. None shall find us; however...

Queen of the Kobolds (#21)

The party returned to the Kobold Queen’s throne room (where she is now protected by 12 Kobold warriors) and returned the white dragon wyrmling Calcryx to her. In exchange for returning the dragon, the party took as payment the dragon door key and the feather (Quaal’s feather token with a tree motif). The party purchased the flask (Potion of Disease Resistance) from the Queen for 50 gp.

The scrolls in the throne room contained arcane and druid spells.

Room of the Rearing Dragon Door (#6)

The party returned to the room of the Rearing Dragon Door where the dragon key obtained from the kobold queen dispelled the magic shielding the keyhole and unlocked the door. The door split in half and opened outward with a gust of stale air.

h4>Hall of the Blue Crystal Globe (#7)

Behind the Rearing Dragon Door, the party found a room with three alcoves on the north wall, one alcove on the south wall, and a door in the west wall. The three northern alcoves contained stone pillars with the pieces of broken crystal on and about the pillars. The southern alcove contained a stone pillar with a blue crystal globe. The globe seemed to be emitting a tinkling sound. As the party approached the globe, the sound it emitted intensified; Paks, Dizzy and Erky fled the room in terror. Darius and Shaidarol attacked the globe, but failed to destroy it; the globe continued to emit the sound and Shaidarol fled the room. Darius seized the globe and threw it against the wall – shattering it.

After the globe was silenced, Darius went in search of the party. He found them in the Courtyard. After a short discussion, the party decided to continue on, although Erky refused to accompany them – he would await the party’s return in the courtyard.

h4>Hall of the Dragon Statue (#9)

The western door from the Hall of the Blue Crystal Globe led to a short hallway with an arrow trap. After some experimentation, Shaidarol was able to disable it. The door at the far end of the hallway opened into a room with a 10-foot tall dragon statue carved from red-veined white marble. As the party approached the statue, the dragon spoke, We come at night without being fetched. We disappear by day without being stolen.

Shaidarol quickly answers Stars and a click is heard as a previously undetected secret door opens.

The party decides to rest for the night before proceeding; the party returns to the Hall of the Blue Crystal Globe to sleep.

Sunless Citadel, Day 7 Third Game Session

Hall of Elven Warriors (#10)

In the morning the party passed through the secret door in the Hall of the Dragon Statue and found a room lined with six alcoves (3 on the north wall and 3 on the south wall). All of the alcoves except the western most on the southern wall contained lifelike red-veined white marble statues of Elven warriors in plate mail armor. A 10-foot wide, 10-foot deep pit lined with spikes stretched across the far end of the room. On the other side of the pit was a 5-foot wide ledge and an archway leading to the next room from which a green glow was emanating.

Dzindra leapt over the pit with a rope – and was attacked by a small winged humanoid; we later learned that it was a quasit – a demon – named Jot. The demons attack knocked Dizzy backwards and into the pit – but she miraculously managed to land on her feet and avoid the spikes.

A hide-and-seek battle followed with the quasit going invisible, attacking one of us and going invisible again. We finally started to cause some damage to the creature and it fled; we attempted to follow it, but it managed to elude us.

Hall of the Dragon-Priest's Sarcophagus (#12)

The party crossed the pit and entered a large room that contained but a single sarcophagus – a large sarcophagus with a rearing dragon’s head. Paks detected evil within the sarcophagus, but the party decides to open it anyway. The sarcophagus was locked shut with six latches. All members of the party tried to force the latches, but Dizzy was the only one who could manage to open them.

When the last latch was released, there was a large roar and a small troll threw back the lid. The troll focused its attacks on Dizzy and Dizzy kept its attention while the party tried to destroy the creature. Darius landed many blows while Shaidarol doused it with oil and Paks ignited the liquid. The troll finally took down Dizzy, but Paks shielded Dizzy (and Darius healed Paks) while Shaidarol delivered the final blow that defeated the troll.

In the sarcophagus the party found the following items: a masterwork dagger, a ring (5 gp), a pair of silver bracelets with a dragon motif (15 gp each), an amulet (10 gp), 4 divine spell scrolls (command, cure light wounds, inflict light wounds, magic stone), 50 gp, and 220 sp.

In the south wall of the room was a secret door and a passage that lead back to the Hall of Elven Warriors – it opened in the empty alcove. In the passage’s floor was a message written in draconic, A dragon-priest entombed alive for transgressions of the Law still retains the honor of his position.

It is believed that the troll was the dragon-priest (the troll was dressed in robes, perhaps the robes of a dragon-priest) and the six-latched sarcophagus was a temporal stasis chamber – which entombed him alive.

Why there was a troll here remains a mystery.

Chamber of the Goblin King (#41)

The party collected Erky from his camp in the Courtyard and returned to the iron door they had found in their earlier explorations. Behind the door the party found the Goblin King’s throne room; a circular chamber with a door in the south wall and a large circular pit/shaft in the center of the room. Some type of plant growth or root system seems to be growing up and out of the shaft.

In the chamber the party met in combat and slew the Goblin King, 3 goblins, 3 hobgoblins, and a twig creature (which uprooted itself from a pot at the beginning of the combat). Paks offered the goblin priestess - the king’s consort – a chance to surrender. The priestess accepted the offer and the party honored it – some reluctantly.

The party questioned the priestess and learned the following:

The party recovered Talgen’s signet ring and a suit if medium-sized scale mail armor. In the goblin king’s chest (which Darius forced the goblin priestess to open, or take a short flight down the shaft) the party found the following: 231 gp, 2 onyx gems (30 gp each), potion of cat’s grace, an arcane spell scroll (scroll of open door), and a non-magical herbal anti-toxin (2 doses).

After examining the chest’s contents the party proceeded through the southern door; they found a large chamber with many goblins – women and children. After some debate, the party allows the goblins to flee along with the goblin priestess.

Shaidarol, unhappy about the priestess getting away, attempts to slay her with a thrown dagger. Even as Shai’s dagger misses the goblin’s back, Dzindra attacks Shaidarol and him unconscious; Dizzy agreed to release the goblin and could not stand for Shaidarol’s attack on the priestess.

Dzindra stands over Shaidarol, tall and strong. A smile creeps over her face as she realizes how well she executed her maneuvers, how powerful she felt doing it, and admits to herself how she'd looked forward to doing it ... then she slaps herself. Hard.

Tears flow down her cheeks. She curls up in the corner in a little ball, crying hysterically, What have I become?

After Darius heals Shaidarol, Shai looks up from whatever his position on the ground is with a mix of expressions... Anger, pleasure, vengeance, happiness. He rubs his jaw and chest as he slowly retakes his feet. He looks quite pointedly at Dzindra.... Nice shots... I wouldn't suggest doing it again. he says... then a pause... What say we direct such skill to those who require such action, than to each other? he says... a hand held out as if to shake. Behind his eyes, there's a solid hint of anger... but he keeps it contained with little effort.

Dizzy comes to and composes herself. She says to Shaidarol, This ... this whole thing isn't going to work unless we do it as a team. She looks to Paks for aid in handling this.

In response Paks says, While I think what Shaidarol did was despicable, dishonorable, and demonstrates a lack of control of his emotions, I really don't think attacking each other is going to solve anything Diz. At some point, we may be forced to go our separate ways because of our different beliefs, but until that time, we should maintain calm and friendly relationships amongst ourselves. And while I disagree with Shaidarol's actions, well... she was a goblin, and evil. I think we should forgive, forget, and move on.

Shaidarol looks over Paks and Dzindra. As it's my actions which are in question, I'll explain them. As Paks has mentioned... they were Goblins, and hence evil. Also, they are an organized race as we've seen. I'm not particularly keen on leaving any kind of leadership to flee to where they can gain reinforcements should they wish to return within the next short period as we move on to the rest of our mission. Also, he begins looking to Paks... I may not be as honorable as you... But goblins have far less than either of us. I prefer to watch my back to 'known' enemies. he finishes. Finally he looks to Dzindra... hand out once more offered in peace. I have no direct qualm against you... and I'd much rather you by my side than opposing me in battle. I'll try to hold myself in check for your mores... but know that they are not the same as mine.

Darius finally speaks up on the subject: She was a goblin. She was evil. She would have shown us no mercy. If she has the chance in the future, she will kill us. If she had continued to resist us, any of us would have slain her. It may have been better for the world if we had destroyed her and the other goblins. The goblin warriors have been defeated, much of their leadership is gone. They will have a difficult time ahead and, if the Gods will it, may not survive. There is always a chance they will reform their ways, though I believe it not, and we or others may have to slay them.

I have no disagreement with Shaidarol wanting the Priestess dead - I desired the same. I had difficulty in letting her live. At the same time, I have difficulty slaying one who has surrendered or those who cannot defend themselves - such as the goblin children. They may become warriors of evil, as their parents were - but they may not. I will slay them when it is appropriate.

I do have some difficulty with slaying a creature whose surrender the party has accepted. Especially when that attack is from behind without any warning. Destroy the creature in honorable combat. I know they would not do the same, but we should rise above them.

Having said that, there will be times - a particularly evil or hated foe - where I will not let them surrender or escape.

Shaidarol you shouldn't have attacked the goblin. Even though it was an evil and dishonorable goblin, you knew how Dzindra felt.

Dzindra, you should not have attacked Shaidarol. We are a group. We need to work together. Shaidarol has different beliefs and we need to try and work with them. If you cannot do that, then you and Shaidarol will need to go your separate ways - but not now. Now, you must work together. We are in this place for a reason. We must try and rescue the other adventures - the ones the goblins delivered into Balak's hands.

Now stop acting like children and take each others hands and pledge to one another to try and do better.

Erky watches the exchange nervously, his pudgy gnome fingers restlessly fiddling with a small rock. These days are too dangerous to travel alone.. he mumbles, almost out of earshot.. since the great machine tore the empire apart, most heroes died putting some semblance of order back in our lives.. shiver me timbers if it aint a rare thing to have reliable traveling companions.. and all this about a bottom feeding low-life stinkin' blood-cursed goblin.. gaa! I hate those buggers!

Suddenly realizing his voice had slowly grown to a shout Erky falls silent, eyes scanning your faces to see if he was heard above the sounds of your own conversation.

Dzindra listens to what everyone says, and leaps to her feet. Agitation pours from every crevice of her body, and her self-loathing of moments ago is entirely gone, replaced by righteous indignation. I have had ENOUGH she starts - barely managing to keep her fury to a harsh whisper - of hearing about how goblins are evil anyway, so of course we're entitled to have killed them. My grandmother is a DROW elf, for crying out loud. She is also a kind-hearted, decent elven-being. But according to YOU people, whole races are categorically stamped as evil. If so, kill me now.

She awaits an attack and when it doesn't come, she continues. Besides, our mission wasn't even to come eradicate the goblins. We came to re-establish trade with them for Heironeous' sake! They refused to do so, which they have every right to do, and from then on defended their home against us. What did they do that was evil? But Shaidarol here attempted murder because his pride was injured when he succumbed to a minor spell. And he thinks he can toss off his attempt at cold-blooded murder by saying she was a goblin and deserved it? Well you're not fooling me, mister!

She stares around at everyone, making sure she's made her point, then packs up her gear, ready to adventure again.

Darius replies to Dizzy, in a friendly, but serious tone, We came here for two reasons: to reestablish trade, if possible, and rescue the previous party - which you keep reminding us of.

We tried to parlay with the goblins, even after they attacked us without warning or provocation. When we tried to talk, they lied to us and attacked again. As a whole, the goblin race - and the drow race - are evil. These goblins, by their actions, have not proven themselves any different. In fact, their actions tend to prove the generality.

As for your grandmother, I know her not. I take your word she is a decent elven-being. There are exceptions to any race - good among the generally evil and evil among the generally good. Would you trust all - or even most - drow not to slay us? Especially yourself - someone they might consider a half-breed and a stain upon their kind?

As for you Dizzy, you have proven yourself many times. I could never call you evil. Stubborn maybe - but that is not necessarily an insult among my people. I will call you a fine companion - and possibly, in time, friend.

Shaidarol listens patiently through Dzindra tirade, and the reply to it. Listen... my 'pride' was hardly wounded because I was affected by the spell she cast. And even you, Dizzy, have to admit that there are general races of whom the main masses are evil... Yes, the Drow, Goblins, and many others. No.. perhaps not each and every member is evil of those races, but it's to a point where they are the exception. He sighs.. And yes... we did try to parley with the goblins.. and no, they didn't listen, merely attacked.. So drop the bit about renegotiating trade.. It won't happen, not with the goblins. And as to the priestess. I'm fine letting the women and kids.. and noncombatants run. But anything of an officer.. will likely come back to haunt us. If you were going to let her go. You should have done it after we left this place for good. So she can't bring others back on our backs while we're down below. He finally finishes saying his piece in a mostly calm voice... then sets down to sharpen his weapon.

Having no snappy rejoinder to Shaidarol or Darius, Dzindra sulks a bit in righteous indignation, muttering prejudice and presuming evil based on race is wrong in a distasteful manner.

Diz suddenly hears the voice of the demon Jot giggling in her mind like chalk scraping on a blackboard: I'm on your side, young idealist.. creatures should be judged by actions, not by race. heehee! Dzindra is alarmed that this could mean Jot is still in hearing distance...

Darius interrupts her, Diz, you are correct that it is wrong to judge a race as a whole. I will attempt not to due so; it will be difficult. As a practical matter, by waiting to see how the so-called evil races react to us, we may place ourselves - and possibly others - in greater danger. As a philosophical matter, it is how we should act. I will attempt to do better.

Now, Darius says, on to other matters. I have been thinking about some of the information we have gained. Darius counts the points off on his fingers, as he rattles off the following. First, the Golden Apples. Second, the mayor plants the seeds, they grow to 3-4 inches, and disappear - the guards see nothing. Third, the rumors of cattle being slain in the area with needle-like claws. Fourth, the twig creatures that attacked us in the forest - with needle-like claws. And fifth, the twig creature in the goblin King’s chamber. This creature uprooted itself from a pot to attack us.

Darius continues, It is my belief that the seed/saplings the mayor has planted have not died or been stolen - they have walked away. The seeds from the apple become the twig creatures. I could be wrong, but with Belak being a Druid, beware the trees - or any plants. Also be wary of any animals found; they could be allies of Belak - or Belak himself.

When Darius tells the party his theory about the seeds, Dzindra brightens up and says, Way to go Darius! Not very nice of that Belak character to sell these apples without explaining the horrible side-effects of planting the seeds!

The party camps for the night in the king’s chamber before proceeding further into the Sunless Citadel.

Game Note: The Party is awarded 600 XP. Darius receives an additional 50 XP for solving what happened to the seedlings.

Sunless Citadel, Day 8 Fourth Game Session

Compost Room (#42 & 43)

The party climbed down the vines from the Chamber of the Goblin King into a large chamber where the floor is covered in a layer of thick compost. Two cloaked figures were filling a wheelbarrow with some of the compost. The figures did not notice the party and began to leave the area. The party moved to cut them off, but two of the ‘saplings’ in the room erupted and the twig creatures moved to attack the party; at the same time, the cloaked figures – skeletons – turned to attack. While the party engaged these foes, a bugbear wearing antlers, Balsag the Hunter and his two dire rat ‘hounds’, Grip and Fang, entered the chamber and attacked. The party defeated all of these foes and recovered the following: a magical morningstar that glows with a faint wintergreen light and a potion of protection from the elements, fire.

A chamber off the north side of this room appears to have been Balsag’s quarters. Inside the party recovered 60 gp, 168 sp, 2 spears, 6 javelins, 1 longsword, and 1 bastard sword.

Old Shrine (#46)

The party took the southern door from Compost Room and followed the hallway south. The hall eventually lead to a door that was jammed shut. Erky managed to force the door and inside the party found an old rusted iron statue of a dragon.

Thoqqua Chamber (#45)

The hallway that lead to the old shrine was bisected by a rift – a natural hallway. The party followed the rift southwest and found a natural chamber. The walls of the chamber were covered with holes about 1-foot in diameter - small tunnels leading deeper into the walls of the cavern. A glow was coming from one of the holes. Paks reached in to see what could be found and a thoqqua – a worm-like creature whose body glows orange-white with heat – attacked and set her on fire. Shaidarol and Dzindra slew the creature while Paks drank the potion of protection from the elements, fire to protect herself from the flames until they could be put out. Paks gutted the worm and found two sapphires (50 gp each). After the battle, Jot speaks to Paks telepathically and teases her about her recent encounter.

It appears that Jot is following us.

Hall of Goblins (#47)

After following the rift to the northeast, the party came to an empty chamber. The chamber’s only door opened onto a wide hallway with 6 other doors; the party heard the sound of goblins from many of the other doorways.

The party attempted to quietly move out into the hallway to look around, but Darius does not have a light tread and two goblins in the central chamber on the north wall heard something. Shaidarol and Darius rushed into the room to silence the goblins before an alarm could be sounded. Shaidarol and Darius found two unarmed goblins; Shaidarol slew the first goblin while the second took cover under a table. Darius threw the table aside and, using the goblin tongue, ordered the remaining goblin to surrender.

The rest of the party followed and Paks attempted to shut the door to the room before the sounds alerted the rest of the goblins – unfortunately, she was a little slow. When Erky saw the goblin, he attacked it, but failed. Darius ordered him to leave the goblin alone so that he could question it; Erky seemed to understand and reluctantly left the creature alone.

Paks looked into the hallway to see if the other goblins were alerted and a number of the creatures stood in the hall unarmed; Shaidarol went out into the hall to order them to surrender, but they had already fled back into the other chambers and calls to grab weapons could be heard. Shaidarol was moving to the room across the hall while Darius and Paks moved to block the door that lead back into the Compost Room when six goblins reappeared – armed this time.

While the party battled the goblins in the hall, Erky slew the prisoner. Dzindra was upset, but there was nothing she could do about it.

The rooms off of this hall were the goblins barracks (NW room), tailor room (N), the brewery (NE), a laboratory (SW), and an armory (S). The party recovered 80 gp, 5 short swords, and 30 javelins.

Chamber of the Cross 1 (#48)

The brewery had a second door that led to a large room shaped like a cross with additional doors in the north, east, and south walls. The room’s only occupant was a bugbear gardener. Shaidarol attempted to daze the creature, but failed; the bugbear roared, Stop messing with my mind and moved to attack. The party slew the creature and recovered 20 gp, 20 sp and a scythe.

The eastern door led to an octagonal chamber that only contained fungus and other plants.

The southern door led to another octagonal chamber. In this room the party found four goblins burying the kobold Meepo alive. Dizzy, outraged, rushed to the attack, brutally slaying two of the goblins before they could react. Shaidarol slew one of the other goblins and Dizzy then slew the final goblin. The party recovered 20 cp.

Chamber of the Cross 2 (#48)

The northern door lead to a second room shaped very similar to the room the party just left with doors in the north and east walls. Again, the room’s only occupant was a bugbear gardener. Again, Shaidarol attempted to daze the creature and failed; the bugbear roared, Stop messing with my mind and moved to attack. The party slew this creature also and recovered a scythe.

The northern door led to an empty octagonal chamber with a door in the southwest wall.

Hall of the Dragon Statue 2 (#50)

The southwest door led to a chamber that contained a marble statue of a dragon with red-glowing eyes and a door in the north wall. The back of the statue was cloaked in a darkness that could not be penetrated by any light. On the floor in front of the statue is a square red tile with an inscription in draconic written around the perimeter, Ea serpenta rau kaluva nyawisti. The inscription translates as Let the sorcerous power illuminate my mind.

Library (#51)

The northern door led to a small room, which appeared to have once been a library. The party found a book entitled, in draconic, Tome of Dragon Lore (150 gp), and two arcane spell scrolls, Melf’s acid arrow and pyrotechnics. The northern wall of the room contained another door, which led to a long passage that ended with two doors in the east wall.

Entry to the Twilight Grove (#54)

The more southern door led to a room with no southern wall and a door in the north wall. Inside the room were four goblins that the party slew. Looking out the south wall the party saw a large chamber covered in brambles and other plant growth.

Balak's Office (#53)

The door in the northern wall was locked. Shaidarol picked the lock and the door led to a room containing a desk and bookshelves. The party recovered a velvety green potion of plant fertilizer, two divine spell scrolls (entangle and slow poison), and a book entitled in draconic, Treasure of the Fire Lords.

Chamber of the Cross 2 (#48)

Before continuing into the Twilight Grove, the party returned to the Chamber of the Cross #2 and explored the eastern door. Behind the eastern door was another octagonal chamber and within were three skeletons. Darius turned the skeletons and the party dispatched them.

The party rested for the night and then returned to the Entry to the Twilight Grove.

Sunless Citadel, Day 9 Fourth Game Session

Twilight Grove (#54, 55, & 56)

The party entered the grove with Shaidarol and Paks using the captured scythes to cut a path through the thick growth of brambles. After only a short time the party was set upon by a group 10 twig creatures. The party continued on and after an hour of cutting came to a large clearing.

In the clearing were Belak the Druid; Kullet, Belak’s giant tree frog companion; Sir Bradford; Sharwyn; and four twig creatures. Both Sir Bradford and Sharwyn had a dull look in their eyes and their bodies were covered by wooden growths. Behind them all stood the Gulthias Tree.

Belak was more than willing to talk with the party about his plans and what had been happening. We learned:

Shaidarol grew tired of listening to Belak and tried to daze him; Shaidarol failed. Belak warned him to stop, but Shaidarol tried again, and failed again. Belak then cast entangle on the party. Both Erky and Dizzy were caught by the spell but the rest of the party escaped the spell. The twig blights moved to attack. Darius cast shield of faith on himself and moved towards Belak and the twig blights. Sharwyn cast magic missile on Darius. Shaidarol moved to engage the twig blights and Paks moved to engage Sir Bradford, the fallen Paladin. Kullet, Belak’s frog leaped behind Paks and attacked her. Belak cast flaming sphere and directed it at Darius and Erky; Darius managed to avoid the sphere, but Erky was caught. Darius cast a cure light wounds spell on himself and continued to close on Belak. Shaidarol slew a twig blight and continued to battle the other. Sharwyn drew her bow and began shooting at Paks as Paks fought Sir Bradford and Kullet. Erky, freed from the entangle spell by the flaming sphere, moved to help Paks. Dzindra broke free from the spell, moved up to engage the other two twig blights, and destroyed them. Belak directed the flaming sphere at Darius again, and this time Darius was unable to escape. Darius, severely burned, moved and attacked Belak. Shaidarol, after destroying the last twig blight, also moved to attack Belak. Belak called Sir Bradford to attack Darius and Kullet to attack Shaidarol. Erky charged Sharwyn and was felled by a magic missile spell. Paks and Dzindra subdued Sharwyn; Shaidarol killed the frog. While Paks healed Erky, Dizzy defeated Sir Bradford and Darius and Shaidarol slew Belak.

After gathering the bodies of their defeated opponents, the party burned the Gulthias tree.

The party recovered Shatterspike, Sir Bradford’s magic longsword; a wand from Belak; Sharwyn’s signet ring; Sharwyn’s Short Bow; Sharwyn’s Dagger; Belak’s sickle; and Sir Bradford’s scale mail armor. The party also recovered a letter to Sir Bradford.

Sir Bradford,

Once you have Shatterspike, bring it and the map to me in Blasingdell. Untold riches await you in Durgeddin's stony redoubt ... ... ...and, I fear, the chance to be a hero. Your fall from grace will not be in vain ......


Sunless Citadel Fourth Game Session


After defeating Belak, the party rested and then returned to the Hall of the Dragon Statue 2 (#51). There the party defeated a shadow and learned that the red tile increased a person’s Charisma for one day. The party also recovered 30 gp.

The party returned to Oakhurst where they informed Kerowyn Hucrele of all that happened and returned the family signet rings. She rewarded the party as promised (250 gp).

The party informed the mayor of all that happened, and although he didn’t initially believe the story, he accepted it in the end. He refused to pay the party anything since he hired them to reestablish trade, not to destroy the source of the apples.

The party also spoke with the dwarven blacksmith, Rurik Lutgehr. They told him most of what happened and asked him if he knew anything about a dwarf named Durgeddin, Blasingdell, or Paks' whistle. He informed the party that, according to fairy tales, Durgeddin was a legendary dwarf leader. Blasingdell is a small mining community about 200 miles to the north and that there is an orc horde troubling that area; he drew the party a map to Blasingdell. He could tell us nothing about the whistle, but suggested we could talk to the diviner Cassiopeia when we reach Blasingdell.

The party also learned that Jot was still with them. Jot said that he was going to stay with the party for a while. He had talked to powers in the know, and they indicated that the way for Jot to return home – to the lower planes - was to stay with the party; when the party died, the way would open.

Before the party set out for Blasingdell, they sold much of what they recovered and purchased some new equipment.

Game Note: The Party is awarded 2,500 XP. Party members advance to 3rd-level. Each party member receives 511 gp, 232 sp, and 5 cp.

The threat of the Sunless Citadel is no more. Four young new heroes have emerged from its depths .. The Selfless Paks, The Pious Darius, The Idealist Dzindra and The Forceful Shaidorol. Up and down the extent of the New Road are whispered rumors of the new players in the history of the Fallen Empire of Fleodese, on the world of Gheddon.