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TOPIC: R1 : The Sunless Citadel (D&D.5)

R1 : The Sunless Citadel (D&D.5) 5 years 2 months ago #51

  • mikeawmids
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D&D.5 – The Sunken Citadel (Part One) – 08/01/2015

Randal (Adam) – Brooding paladin of Kelemvor, brandishes dual longswords and wears a suit of jet black chain emblazoned with a stylish, silver skull motif. Charged with ferrying the ashes of a dead hero to a distant battlefield.

Davok (Andy 1) – Well-endowed tiefling bard renowned across the land for his “massive instrument”. He carries a circle of multi-coloured stone, a token from his mysterious benefactor.

Nailo (Andy 2) - Drow wizard trying (unsuccessfully) to pass as a particularly tanned elf. She has died her hair blue but the white roots are beginning to show. Carries around a little batskin pouch full of teeth, because that’s not creepy at all.

(Two players (Viggi and Charles) were absent for this first session.)

-

Byron Brafford, lord of Braffburg is dying. His only son, the young knight Sir Benten has led a group of companions off in pursuit of rumours regarding a magical fruit that will cure any ailment. A month has passed there has been no word from Sir Benten’s party and his father’s condition worsens with every passing day. The PC’s are hired by the dying lord’s steward to find Sir Benten and bring him back to Braffburg before his father’s death.

Sir Benten’s trail leads to the village of Oakhurst. Randal makes enquiries with the locals, who recall the young knight’s visit. He and his party spoke with Kerowyn Hucrele before leaving the area. The heroes also seek an audience with the matronly merchant. She admits that every six months, she is visited by a goblin who sells her a single piece of magical fruit. One half is white and cures any ailment, the other half is black and is deadly poison. She buys the fruit from the goblin then auctions the segments off to the highest bidder. Kerowyn is not expecting another visit for three months and Sir Benten would not wait, instead he went south to seek the goblins himself. The heroes pick up his trail on the edge of the village and set off after him.

After a half day’s march, the road turns abruptly to avoid a deep, yawning crevasse in the earth. Ancient dwarven columns mark the edge of the rift, around one of which a length of knotted rope has been secured. Davok peers over the edge and can see a wide, debris-strewn ledge 50ft below. Despite being the only member of the party to lack any sort of darkvision, Randal still insists on going first. The light grows weaker as he descends and by the time he reaches the ledge his weak human eyes are struggling. He hears movement around him as unseen things creep through the rubble. Randal fumbles with his torch and manages to light it just as three giant rats attack! Realising that the paladin is in trouble, Davok starts down the rope. He pauses to launch an insult at the biggest rat. The rat is deeply wounded by the bard’s cruel words, so much so that he actually suffers (psychic) damage! Randal kills the insulted rat and cheers. His celebration is short lived as two more pile onto him and start gnawing his face. Randal is reduced to 0HP! Nailo casts Magic Missile, dislodging the rats before too much more of Randal’s face gets eaten. The rodents tumble into the abyss.

The party take a short rest before descending any deeper into the rift. Randal recovers, but is missing the tip of his nose and part of an ear. A flight of crude steps lead from the ledge. As the heroes descend, they see the ruins of a dwarven citadel spread beneath them, swallowed by the earth countless years ago. The steps end near what must have once been the keep’s battlements. Entering a tower, they find evidence of a recent battle between goblins and kobolds.

Nailo’s keen ears detect snotty, snivelling sounds from an adjacent chamber. A solitary kobold is curled up near the twisted wreckage of a large, iron cage, weeping wretchedly. Randal speaks Draconic and can communicate with the pathetic creature. He learns that the kobold’s name is Meepo and he was the tribe’s dragon keeper before their goblin neighbours abducted it. Now Meepo is disgraced. He agrees to take them to the kobold leader Yusdrayl if they promise to rescue the white dragon wyrmling from the goblins. Yusdrayl receives the heroes from her dragon throne, the remnants of an old, broken altar. She is not convinced that the heroes are strong enough to challenge Chief Durrn and insists they prove their mettle by defeating her champion. Randal accepts the challenge. A burly kobold advances on the paladin, swinging a spiked flail at his head. Randal loses a couple of teeth then clubs the kobold into submission with the flat of his blade. His merciful restraint is wasted as Yusdrayl kills her champion for being too weak to defend her. Yusdrayl attaches Meepo to the party to ensure they honour their side of the bargain. The heroes notice a glowing key clutched in the jaws of Yusdrayl’s dragon throne and enquire as to a trade. The only item that Yusdrayl wants is the holy relic that Randal carries. Randal is unwilling to give the urn away, but Davok convinces him that the kobolds can probably be fooled into accepting any old ashes.

Meepo leads the heroes into the part of the citadel controlled by the Durbuluk goblin tribe. They stumble upon the ashes of a camp fire left by Sir Brafford and company. Randal carefully scoops the ashes into a stone vessel while Meepo isn’t looking. A draconic inscription on the wall reads “Channel good to open the way”. Randal lays his holy hands against the surface, revealing the presence of a secret room! Six dusty sarcophagi line the walls – but the party decline to enter and be attacked as whatever is inside of them bursts out. Instead, Nailo casts mage hand to lift the treasure out of the room without anyone stepping across the threshold. The small chest contains a handful of precious stones and a curious whistle made of transparent metal. Nailo blows the whistle and animates a friendly skeleton from the bones in the crypt.

Venturing further into Durbuluk territory, the heroes hear dwarven swearing from ahead. A lone warrior is fending off a swarm of dire rats! The heroes rush to his aid….

To be continued….
Last Edit: 5 years 2 months ago by mikeawmids.
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R1 : The Sunless Citadel (D&D.5) 5 years 2 months ago #55

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D&D.5 – The Sunken Citadel (Part Two) – 15/01/2015

New PC! Adrik (Charles) – Heavy drinking, rat stomping, goblin killin’ dwarven fighter!

The heroes follow the sound of dwarven cussing and find Adrik fighting off a swarm of giant rats amidst the squalor of a ruined cellblock. Nailo casts Sleep and the fun-sized rodents succumb to unnatural slumber. Adrik begins squashing the snoozing rats beneath his great, hobnailed boots. Suddenly, the doors at the end of the cellblock burst open and the bear-sized rodent matriarch (Mama Guthash) barrels into the fray! Her first attack reduces Nailo’s skeletal minion into a cloud of chalky bone dust, the second leaves Randal reeling. Ignoring the pain, Randal hacks at the beast’s scabrous flank with his dual longswords. Nailo finishes it off with a Ray of Cold, freezing Mama Guthash into a block of solid ice.

Adrik thanks the heroes for their timely intervention and explains that he was part of Sir Brafford’s company before they all got separated. He joins the party, hoping that together they can find his missing friends.

The corridor into the goblin-held part of the dungeon is littered with iron caltrops. Nailo uses magic to create a clear path to the barricaded door at the opposite end of the passage. As the group advance, two goblins pop up from behind the barricade and throw javelins at them! Adrik scrambles over the low wall and splits open one goblin’s head. He is struggling to yank his axe free from the wretched creature’s skull as the second goblin escapes. Randal gives chase and lumbers straight into a trap! Four goblins throw their javelins at the paladin. Randal is impaled by several shafts but refuses to fall! The rest of the party catch up with the over-zealous paladin and join his (near suicidal) charge against the goblin’s position. Nailo casts Ray of Frost, missing her target but striking the barricade and making it treacherous to climb. Adrik and Randal glare balefully at the drow wizard before attempting to scale the slippery surface. Once across the low wall, they make short, bloody work of the goblins.

The adjacent chambers turns out to be the goblin’s gaol. Three captive kobolds have been tied to a wooden post and a distressed gnome languishes in a tiny bird cage suspended from the ceiling. Randal batters the cage like a piñata until the disorientated gnome comes tumbling out. He introduces himself as Erky Nackle, purveyor of fine spices. He had been on the road to Braffburg when goblins snatched him and his goods. The heroes give him a rusty sword and inform him that he is now their tank.

After encountering a patrol of six goblins, the heroes find their way to the foetid hub of the goblin lair. Several dozen goblinoids of all ages malinger around a ring of rude hovels. Randal announces his presence loudly and demands an audience with Chief Durrn. He botches his Persuasion roll and the goblins attack! The heroes wipe the floor with them, but the fight attracts the attention of the chief and his cronies. The heroes are unpleasantly surprised to learn that Durrn is an ogre, Meepo failed to mention that! Most of the chief’s minions are garden variety goblinoids, but two hunched and hooded figures distinguish themselves as being particularly dangerous. Shuffling forward, they spray the party with sharp, needle-like splinters. Randal and the gnomish merchant are turned into pin cushions! Davok prevents that happening again by smiting the two thorn blights with Thunderwave, destroying several ill-made goblin homes in the process. Chief Durrn bops Davok on the head with his great club and the Tiefling bard falls unconscious. In an uncharacteristic display of bravery, Meepo launches himself at Chief Durrn and begins jabbing at his ankles. The ogre lifts his foot and squashes the kobold into jelly. Despite his prodigious strength and fiery disposition, even Adrik finds himself overwhelmed by the enemy. Realising that the GM has badly misjudged the CR for this encounter (“Hey, it’s my first time running the system!”), Nailo runs away and hides to prevent a TPK. Meanwhile, Chief Durrn drags the fallen heroes towards a deep, dark pit in the centre of the village and throws them into it one after another….

To be continued….
Last Edit: 5 years 2 months ago by mikeawmids.
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R1 : The Sunless Citadel (D&D.5) 5 years 2 months ago #58

  • antidog
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Ha ha! Excellent write up. That pesky over-confident paladin will be the death of us all!
Why does my D20 only go up to 4?
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R1 : The Sunless Citadel (D&D.5) 5 years 2 months ago #59

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Yep - awesome write up. Will try and be on time this week (I'll try and not drop anything on the train this time! :cheer: )
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R1 : The Sunless Citadel (D&D.5) 5 years 2 months ago #71

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charlie67 wrote:
Yep - awesome write up. Will try and be on time this week (I'll try and not drop anything on the train this time! :cheer: )

Charlie, which information did you need from your character sheet?
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R1 : The Sunless Citadel (D&D.5) 5 years 2 months ago #75

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D&D.5 – The Sunken Citadel (Part Three) – 23/01/2015

Adrik, Davok and Randal awaken to find themselves trussed to rough stone blocks in a dank, underground chamber dimly illuminated by glowing purple fungus. A fourth prisoner groans softly from the depth of his own personal misery. Adrik recognises the man immediately – it is Talgen, another member of Sir Brafford’s missing entourage. Talgen turns to face his former adventuring companion and Adrik realises that his friend is being transformed into a plant!

“You look different…” Adrik observes, “Have you done something new with your hair?”

Two goblins enter the room, carrying between them a stone vessel brimming with slime. They force Talgen to choke down a generous helping of the foul brew.

“What about them?” the first goblin asks, motioning towards the heroes.

“Better wait for Belak to return from the grotto,” the second replies warily, “He might want to offer them to the tree.”

The goblins leave. Adrik flexes his muscle-knotted forearms and breaks the ropes binding them to the table. He quickly releases the others, including the partially lignified wizard. Randal pokes his head around the door and reports the coast is clear, but there is no sign of their gear.

“I’m not going anywhere without my axe!" Adrik grouses.

Fortunately, the goblins have dumped their equipment in an adjacent cell. The heroes gear up and starting looking for an exit. They find the shaft leading back up to goblin town and begin to climb. Talgen is too gnarled to make the ascent, he will hide and wait for the party to return.

Reaching the top of the shaft, Davok spies Chief Durrn fast asleep; his great, unwashed feet propped up on a wooden chest. An empty jug of goblin moonshine is cradled in the monster’s lap. The heroes attack the sleeping ogre and slaughter him in the surprise round. Durrn barely has time to reach for his great club before Adrik sends his fat head rolling merrily across the floor. The dwarven fighter collects his trophy, which will grant him advantage on any Intimidation rolls that he makes in the near future. Seeing that the ogre has been defeated, Nailo emerges from hiding and re-joins her companions. She determines that the chest is trapped and opens it harmlessly with mage hand. The box is full of silver!

The party notice that a nearby portal is radiating a bone-chilling cold aura. The door has been vigorously barricaded from the outside. There is something moving around inside. The party suspect they have found where the goblins are keeping the white dragon wyrmling they stole from the kobolds. Randal clears his throat and addresses the dragon (in draconic) through the closed door. The wyrmling is called Calcyrx and has no desire to return to captivity. The heroes agree to let it out if it promises not to eat them.

The heroes return to the grotto level where they abandoned Talgen. Randal listens at a door and hears giggling and squelching sounds from the other side. Against his better judgement, he opens the door; two barefooted goblins are stomping a barrel-full of fungus and roots into a foul pulp (to be fermented into goblin moonshine). Randal stares at the goblins, the goblins stare back at him. He takes a step back and shuts the door. Realising that there is no locking mechanism, he shrugs and says; “Click.”

“Oh no, he’s locked us in!” the goblins curse, after failing an intelligence check.

Beyond the door is a narrow crevasse in the wall. Only Nailo is slender enough to investigate the mysterious crack. She emerges into a large, subterranean cavern, dimly illuminated by pale, purple fungus. Suddenly, she is attacked by tiny figures seemingly composed of loose twigs and dry grass. The creatures jab at her with their thorny claws, driving the drow magician back into the rift. Davok collapses the tunnel with thaumaturgy, preventing the twig blights from overwhelming the party.

Having sealed the crevasse, the heroes must find another route forward. This entails cutting through an underground garden tended by two over-protective bugbears.

“You may be gardeners, but you smell like you’ve soiled yourselves.” Davok quips. The bugbears brandish their pitchforks threateningly. Adrik and Randal turn them into compost. Nailo blows her nephelium (rare, transparent metal) whistle and animates one of the dead gardeners as a zombie.

Beyond the garden lies a ruined library, the dusty floor of which is strewn with ancient scrolls and yellowed parchment. Nailo sends her undead henchman into the room to gather scrolls and trigger any traps. Nothing untoward occurs, but Randal can feel the presence of strong evil emanating from the general area. Adrik is not deterred by the paladin’s warning, he strides into the library and is immediately attacked by two creatures formed of living shadow! Their very touch is cold enough to burn his ruddy dwarven flesh.

“Call yourself a shadow?” Davok jeers (from the safety of the hallway), “You’re little more than the silhouette of a floppy penis.”

Randal invokes the name of his god, charging his dual longswords with radiant energy before entering the fray. The shadows disengage and flee from his righteous fury, but it doesn’t take long for the paladin to hunt them down. Searching the library, Nailo finds a couple of spell scrolls which she eagerly copies into her own spellbook and a book of draconic lore bound in the leathery skin of a red dragon.

“I used to have a pair of dragonskin pants,” Randal comments, “They were really itchy.”

An adjacent chamber contains a collection of druid spell scrolls (“We shan’t run short on toilet paper anytime soon!” Adrik says) and the journal of Belak the Outcast, primary villain of the adventure. Exposition follows! It turns out that an ancient vampire called Gulthias was staked through the heart in the bowels of the citadel, but the wooden stake was still green and grew into a terrible tree, nourished by the vampire’s blood. When Belak discovered the monstrous plant, he nurtured it and began making ‘offerings’ to it, the two most recent supplicants being Sir Benten and his elven lady friend. After an offering, the Gulthias tree produces a tumour-like growth that can be plucked from its branches, this is the magical fruit that led Sir Benten to his doom.

The party continue on and enter the twilight grotto where the Gulthias tree grows. It is guarded by Belak the Outcast and his giant toad familiar. Sir Benten and Sharwyn emerge from slimy hollows in the knotted trunk, hideously transformed by their supplication to the evil tree. Randal attempts to bargain with the mad druid but Belak is having none of it. His twisted minions attack. Adrik and Randal work together to keep Sir Benten at bay while Nailo unleashes a barrage of magic missiles at Belak, then summons a fiery sphere which consumes the creature that had once been Sharwyn. The giant toad swallows the zombie bugbear whole. Finally, the heroes are victorious. With distaste, they pick the loathsome fruit from the branches of the Gulthias tree and prepare for the long journey back to Braffburg.

To be continued….
Last Edit: 5 years 2 months ago by mikeawmids.
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rhodsey - Fri 20 Mar - 18:37

For those who want to get their RP fix in https://www.polygon.com/2020/3/20/21188141/lord-of-the-rings-online-dungeons-and-dragons-online-dlc-free-coronavirus

moc - Thu 19 Mar - 20:12

SARGE / everyone... club shut for 2 weeks till Thursday April 9th ...

Garuda - Thu 19 Mar - 16:46

Madness boys. Please see post in the Claws of Madness thread for my pathetic excuse for not being able to attend tonight. Sorry.

moc - Wed 18 Mar - 17:46

New game being posted for the ranger aka Adam's game

TheRanger - Wed 18 Mar - 14:06

Hoard of the dragon queen folks please read discussion thread

rhodsey - Wed 18 Mar - 13:23

Waterdeep players please see post in thread.

MellyMel - Thu 12 Mar - 19:41

Warning for anyone coming via Oldbury, roads are carnage. Avoid if possible

Andrek - Thu 12 Mar - 14:16

Hi, Can't make it this week, I'm in Sandwell A&E

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