[Scarlet] Sunless Citadel (Chapter One)



  • "Indeed, my friend, the ancients have filled such places with many "gifts" to keep out unwanted visitors. I will lead the way."

    I'll take the lead and slowly, carefully walk up the stairs. I'm looking for tell-tale signs of traps.
  • At the edge of sight, a fortress top emerges from the darkness. The subterranean citadel, though impressive, seems long forgotten, if the lightless windows, cracked crenelations, and leaning towers are any indication. All is quiet, though a cold breeze blows up from below, bringing with it the scent of dust and a faint trace of rot.


    The narrow stairs empty into a small courtyard, apparently the top of what was once a crenelated battlement. The buried citadel has sunk so far into the earth that the battlement is now level with the surrounding cavern floor. The floor stretches away to the north and south, and it is apparently composed of a layer of treacherous, crumbled masonry, which reaches to an unknown depth. To the west looms the surviving structure of what must be the Sunless Citadel. A tower stands on the west side of the courtyard.
  • I want to look for any recent tracks or sign of adventures passing this way. Especially a party of four. I assume they went directly into the structure to the west, but it would certainly make our job easier if they explored the ravine and left a trail of breadcrumbs.

    If there are no tracks, or they lead west, I will go toward the structure, unless Ba Jiao has another idea.

    I have my sword unsheathed at the ready in my right hand. In my left hand is a lantern. As I step, I am careful not to make unnecessary noise.
  • As we enter into the darkness I whisper a prayer, "Watch over us!"

    I have my hook sowrd out. In my off hand, an iron spike is readied.

    Laughing Crane and I are as one. If we see recent tracks we'll follow those, otherwise we'll go west.
  • edited April 2014
    The masonry underneath your very feet are unsteady, shifting slightly with each step.

    There are signs of movement towards the rotting wooden door to the west. You also see areas where the stones have fallen away, making the path treacherous. Also, you hear the skrich skrich of more dire rats moving underneath you.

    I'd like to see a Sneaking and Balance check from you both to make your way to the door. I think Dexterity applies here.
    To make a check, the player rolls 2d8 and adds their most relevant attribute modifier and their most relevant trait. If multiple traits apply to the situation, apply only the highest of the traits.
    EDIT: The difficulty is 9 (A tricky feat for an unskilled hero, but no serious challenge for an experienced veteran.)
  • Sneaking and Balance check
    #DiceRoller( 2d8+1 )
  • edited April 2014
    Sneaking & Balance check
    #DiceRoller( 2d8+4 )

    (+2 dex & +2 quiet as a mouse)
  • image

    There are signs of foot traffic here, could very well be the party you're following, but impossible to know for sure at this point. There are holes in the "floor" leaking bits of lantern light into rubble ten and twenty feet down.

    Laughing Crane, you follow Ba as he nimbly moves across the stones. His feet are whispers, and his movement sure.

    Ba, you not only leave no trace, your canny senses discover what appears to be a pit trap. There is a one-foot wide catwalk allowing safe access to the door.

    Ahead you see a rotting wooden door. What do you do?
  • I am impressed with Ba's agility. I will follow his lead here.
  • I gesture to the pit trap and, via a route that avoids it, stealthily walk to the wooden door. Once at the wooden door I will press my ear against the door.

    Is there any sound on the other side? Is this door locked?

    I'll examine the door itself for signs of a trap.
  • You both look at the pit trap area and carefully pass it by. Ba. the door does not appear to be trapped. It is also not locked. You push on it to open, and it swings inside.

    With your lantern's light, you see inside a circular room

    This circular area is cobbled with cracked granite, upon which sprawl four goblins, all apparently slain
    in combat. One stands with its back against the western wall, the killing spear still skewering it and
    holding it upright. Three wooden doors lead off from this the area. Above, a hollow tower of loose
    masonry reaches 30 feet, but the intervening floors and stairs are gone, except for a couple of crumbled ledges.
  • Is it possibly to determine from the footprint in this room which way was last traversed by people?

    If not, I suggest we search the door to the northwest. If it seems free of traps, and no noise on the other side, we head through to what lies beyond.
  • Investigation reveals that the four goblin bodies are about a month dead, though rats have gnawed at them. The bodies are looted of all valuables, though each goblin possesses a short sword.

    Laughing Crane, when you you move the spear pinning the goblin to the wall, the body slumps to reveal deep-set and impressive runes in the wall. Laughing Crane, for some reason, perhaps your knowledge of the classics, you recognize the single draconic word written on the wall behind the goblin's body: "Ashardalon."

    Entering the northwest door, you find that it opens to a forty foot long hallway. There are two wooden doors, one to the far west, the other to the north, near the end of the hallway.


    As you slowly work your way down the hallway, you find that across from the north door, there is another door. The stone relief-carved door sealing this chamber portrays a dragon like fish swimming in an aquatic setting. The door is securely locked.
  • Unless the spear is broken or rotted, I want to take it along.
    Does the word Ashardalon mean anything to me?`

    I want to examine the stone door. If it hasn't been opened in a long time, I would expect some cobwebs or dust to have settled on it. Are there any signs it has been moved recently?
  • Laughing Crane, why don't you roll a check on the classics on how much you know about Ashardalon. I think Intelligence bonus works here.
    To make a check, the player rolls 2d8 and adds their most relevant attribute modifier and their most relevant trait. If multiple traits apply to the situation, apply only the highest of the traits.
    The difficulty is 9 (A tricky feat for an unskilled hero, but no serious challenge for an experienced veteran.)

    As for the door, it is covered with dust and cobwebs. It looks as if it has not opened in centuries. The door is securely locked.
  • Knowledge of the classics. (trait "Versed in the Classics 2")
    #DiceRoller( 2d8+2 )
  • Laughing Crane, you think perhaps Ashardalon was a demon or a devil. It was worshiped by a cult centuries ago, this much you recall.

    Ba and Laughing Crane, where do you wish to go now?
  • In a low voice, I say "I say leave the stone door for now. Obviously Lady Hu's children didn't go that way. "

    I gesture to the door on the north side of the passage.

    "Let's see if that's a room or a passage. Either way, I'd rather not have it at my back."

    I want to take a moment to listen at the door. If I hear nothing beyond, I will try to open it.
  • edited April 2014
    The north door is quiet, and unlocked.

    This ruined chamber stands empty of all but a litter of rocky debris. It has been undisturbed for a very long time.
  • "Yes, Laughing Crane, most prudent"

    Having examined the door for possible traps I brace myself and firmly grasp the door. I slowly push the door open a few inches. Enough so that I might peer into the room and ascertain the immediate area on the other side of the door. Does there appear to be any traps? I'm looking for stonework that appears out of place or wires.

    If the room appears empty and clear of traps I will push the door further open and side step into the room, next to the doorway.
  • edited April 2014
    The place is covered with dust. A bit of water stained the stones on the west wall many, many years ago.

    Room 13 has no traps.
    You have not tried to open the locked stone door to the south.
    You have not tried the door to the west.

    What do you do now?
  • Having cleared this room, I move on to the doorway at the west end of the passage. I will do the same thing: listen, look carefully, then let Ba Jiao take a look. As I have a lantern in my left hand and sword in my right, I will be ready for action as he opens the door.
  • edited April 2014

    Crudely executed symbols and glyphs, scribed in bright green dye, decorate this large and irregularly
    shaped crumbling chamber. A large pit in the chamber's center shows evidence of a recent bonfire, and the place reeks of charred flesh. A metallic cage in the center of the southern wall contains a gaping hole and stands empty. A small wooden bench draped with green cloth stands before the cage, and upon it sits several small objects. A bedroll lies near the wooden bench, from which the sound of whimpering is plainly audible.
  • edited April 2014
    I gesture to Laughing Crane that I hear something near thebedroll. Slowly I make way to the bench. I'm looking for trap and also trying to make out what type of whimpering sound this is.

    Is this the sound of a terrorfied or wounded person, some sniveling goblin, or something unkown?

    Can I make out what sort of objects are on the green cloth as I approach it?

    This bedroll, is it fairly new or old and tattered? Does it look like equipment that might have belonged to the nobleborn kids we were sent here to find?

    I'm not yet pulling aside the cloth. Whatever is whimpering I will try to not yet disturb. First I want to gleen what I can from the items in view and wait for Laughing Crane is readied by my side.
  • Ba, It sounds more like the sound of some sniveling goblin than any of the others.

    The objects on the green cloth are small tools, like children-sized tools (a hammer, tongs, a small file; looks like a matched set, actually) as well as three containers of green dye, a paintbrush and four small jade figurines of dragons (each worth 15 gp).

    The bedroll is old and tattered, roughly sewn and been through hell and back, not well kept.

    You both stand near the figure in the bedroll. He's small, maybe four feet tall and lying on his side.

    What do you do?
  • I think the two of us can overpower this churlish figure and maybe learn some useful information. I gesture to Laughing Crane that I will pounce on the bedroll. I tuck my hook sword into my belt. My left hand is still holding an iron spike.

    Slowly I countdown from 4 with my fingers then pounce. My intention is to immediately cover up this goblin's mouth with my right hand and the blanket. If it squirms loose from underneath me or make a shout, I'll try to strike it on the head to knock it out.
  • Ba, you jump on the creature and effectively silence it. It was completely surprised.

    Turns out it isn't a goblin, but a kobold. Outside of the blanket, it would look like this:

    Of course, it isn't wearing the stuff either, that's in a bag at his feet. His eyes are wide with fear, and he's no threat. He tries to make a sound, but your hand is firmly over his big mouth.

    What do you do?
  • edited April 2014
    I took the silent message easily enough and help Ba trap the kobold.
    "Do you speak the tongue of men? Nod your head if you understand me."
  • He nods his head quietly, no longer struggling, hoping you won't kill him. Since, well, you haven't already.
  • I hold my sword point toward him and ask "What are you doing here? Answer quietly."
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