The Search for the Fruit Edit
Day One Edit
The heroes, each for their own reasons, had been seeking out a mystical fruit, said to possess the power to heal any infirmity. They followed the rumors to a caravan of halflings, who had been traveling up and down the New Road, visiting the towns and villages along the way. The caravan had stopped, for the midsummer festival, at a town called Oakhurst, located in the north of Theyonwy. Upon arriving in the town, the heroes split up to investigate. After spending some time around town, they learned the following information:
- The fruit comes from a tribe of goblins, the Durbulak, who live in a sunken fortress a day's travel west of the town.
- Every year, the goblins come into town, just before the Midsummer Festival and sell the fruit to a wealthy merchant family in town, the Hercules. The Hercules then sell the fruit to the caravan.
- This year, the goblins have not come, and the townsfolk, and the caravan, are getting worried. The fruit brings a good deal of wealth into the community.
- The matriarch of the Hercule family, Kerowyn, is deathly ill. The town cleric, Brother Ash, is unable to do anything to help her.
- Kerowyn's two children, Keo and Sharwyn, set out for the goblin's home with a group of companions, including a halfling from the caravan, to bring back the fruit to save their mother. They set out a week before and have not returned.
- There have been mysterious deaths among the farm animals of nearby farms, starting about six months before. The animal corpses were found sliced to pieces, with much of their blood drained from their bodies. Two weeks ago, two children were found killed in a similar manner.
The heroes agreed to set out for the goblin fortress to recover the fruit, and to save the Hercule children, if possible. They spent the night in town, but were awoken by screams coming from the edge of the fairgrounds. They investigated, and found nothing but a corpse, mutilated in the same way as the animals, blood drained from the body. They also found small tracks, leading west into the plains beyond. They decided to wait for the morning to follow the tracks, which were headed in the direction they had planned on going in the first place.
Treasures Found: None Edit
Party Level: One Edit
Day Two Edit
Upon awakening, the heroes set out west and south, following the tracks, which fortunately were headed in the same direction as the "Sunless Citadel", the goblin's lair. The journey was set to be about a day's march away, and so they set out with the rising sun behind them. They had traveled for several hours when the tracks suddenly ended, in a small grove of gnarled and thorny shrubs and trees. Without warning, the small trees came to life, and surrounded them. A quick battle ensued, but the heroes defeated the creatures without much trouble.
They pressed on and, encountering nothing more, arrived at the ravine which led to the goblin's home. They descended into the darkness of the ravine, only to be attacked by hideous rats, much too large to be natural. They slew the rats, and descended further, carefully making their way down narrow carved steps, until they arrived at the top of what was once a broken and cracked castle parapet. Before them, rose the crumbling remains of what was once a castle, the Sunless Citadel.
After dealing with a very sophisticated pit trap, in which they found the body of one of the previous adventurers, they made their way into the castle, entering through a tower. Inside, they found a scene of some previous battle. Several goblin corpses lay about the room, one still stuck to the wall with a spear. Two doors led from the room, one to the northwest and one to the southwest.
The heroes investigated the room, and discovered that, behind the goblin on the wall, a Draconic word had been carved into the wall, the name Ashardalon. When they touched the runes, a secret compartment opened in the wall behind it, revealing three skeletal bodies, which rose and began to attack them. At the same time, they had opened the southwestern door and several giant rats had charged at them. They dispatched these enemies, but were shaken by the appearance of undead.
They investigated the southwest room, but found an impassible stone door, locked with an ancient mechanism they could not open. Beyond, they could hear the faint sound of tinkling bells, but, unable to continue this direction, they exited, and explored past the northwestern door of the tower. As they passed through, they sealed the door to the exterior of the tower, bracing it with spears.
Passing beyond, they found themselves faced with three doors, one ajar, and the room beyond empty save for rubble and wall carvings. They investigated one of the rooms, and found what was once the water source for the castle. A large iron barrel sat in one corner of the room, with pipes extending from the walls and connecting to it. A large metal "cork" sealed a hole in the top. When they approached, they realized that it was hot to the touch, but decided to investigate anyway. As soon as the container was opened, a small creature, seemingly composed of steam, attacked them, but they dispelled it very quickly.
Continuing on, the heroes entered into the next room, a large chamber, with several doors and a dark passageway leading out. In one wall was a large, broken cage, and in front of this cage, slept a small figure, a kobold. After capturing this figure and questioning him, the heroes decided that they could not trust him, and slew him. At that moment, a large party of kobolds entered the chamber, and demanded that the heroes surrender. They did so, and the kobolds took some of the heroes with them to meet their queen, and left a small group to guard the remainder.
The heroes who remained behind quickly subdued their captors, and set off down the passageway to find their companions, who had been taken before the queen. The captured heroes learned several things:
- The kobolds and the goblins have been fighting for control over the citadel for months, with neither able to gain the upper hand.
- The goblins are working for someone called "the outcast", who lives down below the citadel in deeper caverns.
- This outcast arrived about six months before and offered the kobolds a chance to work with him, but the queen refused. He then went to the goblins, who agreed to help him.
- The goblins captured the kobolds' pet dragon, named Kalkryx.
The kobold queen demanded that the captured heroes rescue their dragon, and set them off down the tunnels toward the goblin section to recover him. After waiting a bit, the two captured heroes managed to escape, and stealthily made their way back out to the other group, which had managed to rescue a trio of goblins from the kobold cells as well as a halfling named Corky, who had come with the Hercules' group to investigate the fruit.
The party, now reunited, made their way into the goblin tunnels, fighting off a few creatures here and there. However, they stumbled upon the goblin trophy room, where the captured dragon was being kept. It attacked them, and they were forced to slay it. After the brief battle, they entered the goblin warrens.
The goblins, ruled by a fat hobgoblin, demanded that the heroes slay the kobolds. In reward for doing so, the hobgoblin chieftess promised them something from the Durbulak treasure cache, as well as a meeting with the outcast. They agreed, and promptly returned to the surface, where they headed back to Oakhurst. Upon arriving, they dispersed to rest and recuperate.
Treasures Found: Edit
- Large quantities of silver and copper coins
- Several jade statues, one of which emanates magic
- A magical arrow and bowstring
- Several spellscrolls
- A sealed scrollcase, carved with dwarven runes, which, when translated read, "The Hall of the Hunting Axe"
Party Level: Two Edit
Day Three Edit
The majority of the day was spent resting, and wandering about the town gathering material and supplies. The heroes decided to travel through the evening in order to arrive at the ravine before sleeping for the night. They planned to enter the Citadel again the next morning.
After spending the day wandering about, the heroes set out for the Sunless Citadel once again. They debated which side of the conflict to join, but ultimately decided on the goblins. Thus determined, they arrived at the ravine, and camped for the night, ready to descend into the depths come morning.
Treasures Found: Edit
- Two potions of healing purchased in town
Party Level: Two Edit
Day Four Edit
Awakening on the fourth day, the heroes entered into the ravine once again, and made their way into the Citadel. Upon entering the tower, they began their assault on the kobolds. They cleared the tower of the kobold guards who were stationed there, and then proceeded into the room with the broken cage, where they slew a large party of kobold soldiers, led by a shaman. They were tired out by this fight, and so decided to rest before the final assault on the kobold encampment.
Fully rested, the heroes passed through the dark passage and into the kobold halls. There, they encountered the bulk of the kobold tribe. They were ordered to surrender, but they chose to fight instead. A fierce battle ensued, in which three of the heroes were nearly killed. However, they managed to slay the creatures, but were extremely wounded. They could hear the queen and her "royal" guards approaching, and rather than face her in their current state, they retreated back to the room with the cage, where they rested.
After regaining a measure of their strength, they returned to the chambers of the kobolds, where they found the queen and her royal guards. Seeing most of her warriors dead at the hands of these newcomers, she surrendered her tribe to them, and asked that they be spared. The heroes agreed, but demanded that the kobold tribe leave at once. While the kobolds withdrew, back down tunnels leading into the Underdark, the heroes decided to take an extended rest to recoup their strength.
After their long rest, the heroes explored the kobold caverns and found many treasures left over from their swift withdrawal, including a intricately carved key. Assuming that the key opened the stone door they had found near the entrance, they made their way back to it and opened the door. Beyond were a series of rooms devised to test any who entered. They managed to pass through the various traps and puzzles and found themselves in a long, statued chamber, at the far end of which lay a pit, and beyond, a dim greenish light. Approaching the pit, they were attacked by a small, devilish looking creature which, upon being struck by the heroes cried, "You've freed me!" and promptly disappeared. The heroes could hear the sound of its leathery wings above them, but eventually, the sound faded, and they proceeded into the room beyond the pit.
They found themselves in a high-celinged chamber, centered around a massive sarcophagus, carved to look like a dragon. Carved into the massive edifice were the words, "A Failed Dragon-Priest Still Retains the Honor of his Position". Large iron locks prevented the sarcophagus from being opened, but after some time, the heroes were able to open it. Inside, they found a huge, leather skinned creature. As soon as the lid of the tomb was off, it leaped to its feet and began to wildly attack those standing around. After a fierce battle, the heroes managed to slay the beast. Inside the tomb were many treasures, which the heroes divided among themselves.
After this, they made their way back to the goblin warrens to report on their success in driving away the kobolds. To their dismay, the goblin chieftess refused to allow them to descend into the earth to meet with the outcast. Instead, she told them that they should depart, although she did give them a reward from the Durbulak cache.
The heroes left, but were about to storm back inside and slay the creatures, when the chieftess' advisor, a goblin shaman named Grenl, came to them and offered to show them a secret way into the caverns below if they would promise not to slay the tribe, as they had slain the kobolds. The heroes accepted, and promised to meet Grenl at the entrance to the caverns after they had rested again. It being the early hours of the next morning, the heroes camped in the goblin's old trophy room and slept through until the afternoon.
- Quite a few arcane and divine scrolls
- A bronze armband that exhibited magic
- A magical earring
- Many gems and rings
- Two tomes, one on alchemy, one on the history of the Sunless CItadel
- A vast number of gold, silver, and copper coins
- Heatless ever-burning candle
Party Level: Two Edit
Day Five Edit
After resting in the goblin trophy room, the heroes made their way to the place where the goblin shaman promised to meet them. She was waiting for them, and after explaining how to navigate the dark tunnels below the citadel, she fled back to the goblin warrens. The heroes advanced into the dark, and made their way into the chambers below the Sunless Citadel.
They passed through many smaller chambers, and fought several creatures, including "The Hunter" and his pet rats, and several goblins who tried to stop their passage forward. As they moved forward, they began to see strange plants and fungi, which looked as if they were being cultivated by the goblins. They traveled through these lower caverns, until they came at last to a small room, that opened out into what was once the castle grounds.
The grounds had been transformed into a huge grove of trees, with thick underbrush underneath. The trees and the underbrush looked dead, but when the heroes cut open the bark, sap poured out, as well as a faint copper smell. In the far distance, they could see a massive tree, growing up through the midst of the others like an island rising out of the ocean. They decided to move towards it, concluding that this was their destination.
Arriving at the giant tree, they found themselves facing an old man, dressed in simple brown robes, several of the tree creatures they faced on the surface, and two other humans, who looked to be the children of the merchant Hercule. High above them, perched in the branches of the giant tree, a giant frog also watched them
cautiously. As soon as they approached the clearing around the giant tree, the old man hailed them and asked what they were doing in his grove. He seemed friendly, but there was a touch of madness in his voice. Talking to him, the heroes learned the following information:
- He, Belak, called the Outcast by the goblins and kobolds above, arrived here over six months ago and has been working to "perfect" the fruit of the tree ever since.
- The tree grew from the still green shoot of a stake, used to kill a creature in ancient days know as Gulthias.
- The fruit of the tree heals, but now he has changed the fruit, allowing it to "perfect" life.
- The two humans, Keo and Sharwyn, serve the tree, even as he does, even as the vicious shrub creatures do.
- The tree is nourished by the blood of living things, and Belak has tried everything on it, even the blood of the intelligent races.
Before they could learn anything else, battle broke out, in which the plant-creatures, the giant Frog, and Belak were all killed. Keo and Sharwyn were rendered unconscious, but otherwise unharmed. After gathering several of the old fruits, the healing ones, the heroes burned down the Gulthias tree, and escaped the Sunless Citadel before anything else could befall them. They brought the two siblings with them, and once they reached the surface, returned to the town of Oakhurst, bringing with them the fruit needed to save Kerowyn Hercule, and bringing her children back to safety. A rich reward awaited them upon their return.Treasures Found:
- Many arcane and divine scrolls
- Three pieces of fruit from the Gulthias Tree
- A sword, carved with dwarven runes, given by Keo Hercule as a prize for rescuing him and his sister
- Two-hundred and fifty gold pieces each, as a reward for bringing back the fruit
- A letter, written to Belak, signed "S". The letter reads, "Good work finding the Tree. The master would be pleased. Although we no longer need the power of the fruit, we might be able to use it. Bring it to Raven's Hill as soon as possible. Now that the Dragornian is out of the picture, we have a free hand here."