Erky Timbers, where art thou? - The Sunless Citadel

ENygma93

Villager
Preamble:

Brallin Morigak, a dwarven cleric, sent out a call for assistance for anyone brave enough and willing enough to help in his rescue mission. Brallin's friend "Erky Timbers" has not been in contact for over a month and half. The last time the two spoke Erky invited Brallin on a quest to seek treasure in a ramshackled Citadel near Oakhurst, however during this time Brallin was unable to join in the adventure.

His call for assistance drew forth five interested parties, who for various reasons, were willing to venture forth to "The Sunless Citadel."

The Beginnings:

The misfit group of adventurers met in the town of Oakhurst, after briefly speaking to the townsfolk they deduced that the missing Gnome “Erky Timbers” had left a little over a month ago to investigate the Citadel north of the town. The townsfolk warned that the outcast was last seen in that direction, as were goblins who surfaced every midsummer to sell one apple, an apple with magical healing properties.

The adventurers were intrigued by this, but were more focused on rescuing Erky, who they were sure was now in mortal peril.

The adventurers reached the Sunless Citadel after an hours walk from the township and attempted to use a rope to abseil down 50ft to a ledge below. Artin was not prepared for such a laborious task and slipped whilst descending on the available rope, falling 25ft and landing upon Brallin. The fall caused a loud thud, alerting a giant rat that was in the area. The party managed to survive the encounter, however Artin sustained substantial injuries and required healing from Kayle. After reaching the second landing along the winding staircase, Gramps and Artin’s chatter attracted the attention of another giant rat which was quickly destroyed.

The doors to the citadel opened into a large circular room containing two doors. Gramps was able to use his telepathic link with his Raven Cacaw to discern that a hidden door was situated along the southern side of the room. Gramps wisely produced mage hand which opened the door without getting skewered by a 3ft needle which thrust outward from the wall when the lock was pressed. Within the secret room were two reanimated skeletons. The party were able to decimate these skeletons with ease and were rewarded with 40 arrows and two special (+1) arrows.

Artin chose the left door and the group followed, however as the adventurers were distracted by their recent battle they failed to notice the pressure plates until they had already walked along them. An arrow shot from close to the door, missing Brallin but striking Elaria in the shoulder. The party were able to recognise the final pressure plate and crawled along the floor to ensure that there would be no further injuries incurred.

Within the next room was a dragon statue which offered the adventurers the chance to solve a riddle. Gramps, with his age and wisdom, was able to answer the riddle with barely a thought. Once the answer was uttered a secret door on the western wall opened into another room with a spike pit at the far end.
Cacaw was able to stealthily investigate the room, he was able to relay to Gramps that a Sarcophagus lay just beyond the spike pit, as well as a hiding Quasit which lurked within the shadows of the room contained the sarcophagus. He also advised that a secret door was present on the south wall near the final alcove. Gramps conjured an apparition which lured the Quasit into the open. Upon seeing the six adventurers the Quasit exclaimed “You broke the binding. My watch over the dragonpriest is over!” He then shape-shifted into a bat and fled the room.

Filled with trepidation the adventurers searched the room for the hidden door. The door swung open with a push revealing a wooden trap door on the floor. After a short debate the group decided to deftly leap across the pit to investigate the sarcophagus before braving the crawlspace beneath the trapdoor.
 

ENygma93

Villager
The lithe adventurers cleared the spike pit without a problem and proceeded to discuss the best course of action regarding the stone sarcophagus that laid in front of them. Artin argued that they should leave the sarcophagus alone, as it was held closed by four latches the being held within was likely to be more dangerous than they could handle. Wisdom was outvoted in this instance and Brallin, Elaria, Bleys and Artin each successfully broke a latch that held the lid closed. The troupe decided to attempt to slide the lid off of the sarcophagus slightly, to view but hopefully not wake whatever was being held inside.

As soon as the lid was slid open by more than 1ft a green light emanated from within the sarcophagus and the lid was violently pushed off by the being. A tall Dragonpriest stood silently, looming over the group of adventurers. Looking disdainfully at them he asked,

“And what can I do for you?”

The group were taken aback and started discussing amongst themselves whether they should immediately attack the Dragonpriest. Gramps was especially in favour of attacking the Dragonpriest and cutting his hands off, to avoid any use of magic during the scuffle. The Dragonpriest had little patience for this and simply said,

“That would be unwise”

The group decided to engage the Dragonpriest in a discussion to try to gain any information he knew about the Citadel, and hopefully Erky Timbers. They discovered that L’kira (Dragonpriest) had been an important member of the Cult of Ashardalon, the Dragonpriest had displeased his god (Ashardalon) and had been punished, this involved the collapse of the cult and the ruining of the Citadel. L’kira refused to elaborate further on what he had done to enrage the Dragon. The group queried L’kira on Erky Timbers, however unfortunately L’kira had been asleep within the sarcophagus and was unaware of any events that had transpired since he was forsaken. He offered the group a deal before they left, he advised that if the troupe were to bring him the soul of a dragon he would reward them with great power. The group also managed to persuade L’kira into giving them a “down-payment” on their services which involved two silver rings, a silver amulet and a spell scroll with command.

Upon reaching the main entrance of the Citadel once more, the group agreed to continue their investigation for Erky Timbers. They opened the door on the northern-most wall and followed a corridor through to a well-lit room which included a broken cage that seemed to have scorch marks along the bars and walls. There was also a bedroll with a covered figure that was sobbing and whimpering as they entered the room.

Gramps brazenly walked up to the covered figure and began prodding them. The figure rolled over and stood to reveal a young Kobold. He advised the adventurers that his name was Meepo and that his dragon Calcryx had been taken by the awful Goblins who lived nearby. The group inquired about Erky Timbers and Meepo replied emphatically that he remembered a kind gnome called Erky Timbers who came through over a month ago. Meepo sadly hadn’t seen him since his group had traveled towards the Goblin camp. The group tried to convince Meepo to take them to the Goblins but Meepo refused to take them without checking with his leader Yusdrayl.
 

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