[Scarlet] Sunless Citadel (Chapter One)



  • The kobold stares at the point of the sword and answers quietly, his ears folded back in submission, "The clan's dragon ... we've lost our dragon. The wretched goblins stole Calcryx. Meepo crying for Calcryx"
  • I give the kobold a menacing scowl and gruffly ask, "Where have the humans gone? What happened to them?!"
  • Meepo shirks away from your threats, Ba. He whines quietly, "The pinkies came in, fought the evul goblins. Meepo never seen them again. Honest." Meepo looks at each of you, "Clan leader help you. Meepo take you to meet the leader, Yusdrayl, if you make nice. Grant you safe passage, if you promise not to hurt Meepo. May be if you promise to rescue dragon, leader make nice to you, answer your questions?"
  • While atop the kobold I'll shift my satchel forward and pull forth my length of rope. I quickly secure Meepo's hands and then rise up.

    I lean in close to Laughing Crane, "What do you think? Should we parlay with these kobolds?"
  • I sit back and take a deep breath. I look at Ba with my eyebrows raised.
    "Dragon? There must be some kind of mistake. Dragons are..." I wave my hands in a gesture to indicate enormous size, "...huge. And powerful. How does a kobold clan have their--"

    My words trail off as I stroke my chin.

    "Meepo. How can we trust you? How do I know Yusdrayl wont kill us as soon as he sees us?"
  • Meepo's eyes narrow slightly, his ears stand up a bit straighter, "Meepo is the Keeper of the Dragons! Meepo is honored..." he pauses, then his ears droop, he begins whimpering again, mewling a bit, wiping his large nostrils on the blanket, "Meepo is dirt without dragon. Yusdrayl wants Dragon back! Meepo is... loser."
  • "How big is this dragon?"

    As he answers, I want to take a closer look at the stuff on the table.

    "Wait, is the dragon a living breathing, well dragon? Or is it a like these?" I point to the ones on the table.
  • The accusation rouses the kobold from its weeping. Meepo looks over at the cage, replying with a little irritation, "It was real. Meepo no lying! Big and white Dragon baby we raise! Kobold cousin to dragons, you know. Meepo teaching it words already."

    "Please... Meepo good tracker. Know the ways. You strong, you kill evil goblins, bring back dragon with Meepo! Meepo help you. We allies."
  • I stroke my chin thoughtfully. I'm trying to look thoughtful because inside I am jumping up and down in excitement. There is absolutely no way I am going to pass up something this wonderful. This has the makings of a legendary adventure. Financial gain will only be the beginning of the reward. Fame, acclaim, adulation. I will have my pick of the best warriors to be my followers.
    A grin passes to my face.

    "Master Ba, I say we let Meepo lead us to the goblins, recover his dragon, and parlay with the leader of the kobolds."

    Just saying that out loud gives me a thrill!
  • I'm a bit surprised by Laughing Crane's suggestion. I rub my chin as I briefly consider.

    Guessing based on the size of the cage, this isn't a large dragon. There probably isn't much they can pay us to return their dragon. But, on the other hand, they might have information about Jiaohua or Jianmin. At the very least we might speed up our search.

    "Yes, Laughing Crane, I sense the wisdom in this course of action."
  • edited April 2014
    You both agree to let Meepo lead you to his leader, the great and powerful Yusdrayl. He rises from his bedroll and quickly dresses in his little armor, belts and knives, and meekly leads you both to the western passage out of this room. He takes a quick right, telling you quietly, "Meepo bring you through the Hall of Dragons. To sneaky sneaky around to Yusdrayl there," he gestures further west down the hallway, "would only make her angry. She use the big magic. No, this way safe."

    You enter the Hall of Dragons (room 19 below).

    Deterioration and decay thrive here as everywhere; however, a double row of relief-carved marble columns march the length of the hall. The worn carvings depict entwining dragons. Three small, dog-headed humanoids constantly patrol the area. They see Meepo, and he hisses to them in an odd language. They respond in kind, but do not block your passage.

    You head further west (to room 21 below).

    A short throne stands near the west wall, constructed of fallen bits of masonry stacked against an old altar. A proud kobold female in red-dyed robes sits in the throne, and a force of six similar creatures guards her. The altar's top contains a variety of small items, while the portion of the altar that serves as the throne's back features a carving of a rearing dragon. A metallic key is held firmly in the rearing dragon's open mouth


    Meepo calls ahead when the kobold guards bring their weapons to bear, "No! No fighting! These humies come to help! They allies! Looking for dragon for us!" He drops to his knees, bowing his head and drooping ears.

    Yusdrayl looks down at both of you, cocking her head a bit, curiously.

    What do you do?
  • Interesting that Meepo took up down the hall of dragons. It shows these creatures have a sense of order and respect. As the scion of a noble clan, I find that comforting and familiar.
    When Meepo speaks to Yusdrayl, I drop to one knee, wrap my right fist with my left hand, and bow. [picture the "kung-fu" bow, from a one-knee position]
    I will stay in this position until someone indicates I should rise or I should need to defend myself.
  • If Meepo doesn't bundle up the jade figurines and If it seems possibly, I'll descretely slip them into my belt pouch.

    Otherwise, I'll follow the tied up Meepo and take notes of the doors we take (and don't) should we need to quickly exit.

    During the conversation between Yusdrayl and Meepo, I'll remain upright. My main hand is on the hilt of my hook sword and the left is gripping the rope holding Meepo. When Yusdrayl looks us over I'll give a slight bow. I do not recognize whatever sort of law or hierarchy these kobolds adhere to but I am not above showing some courtesy.

    I glance down at Laughing Crane. Based on his actions, I imagine that Liu will want to converse with this overlord of the kobolds. I look back to Yusdrayl and give a toothy smile.
  • Ba, you're able to sneak those jade figurines into a pocket while Meepo is busy getting dressed.

    The pair of you stand and kneel before Yusdrayl and she addresses you in an imperious shrill, "Rise, human. It seems Ashardalon has blessed us with your arrival. Is it true what Meepo says? That you will hunt for the dragon, return him to his... family? Why would you do this? What do you demand in return?" The kobold's ears are perked as she waits for your answer. Her guard eye you suspiciously, waiting for treachery any moment.
  • I rise and answer her, "Your magnificence. A great lady has sent us here to find her missing children. They foolishly came to this place seeking adventure. She has asked that we return them to her. What Meepo says is true. Just as our benefactor has asked us to return her children, we will seek out and return this dragon. Once we have done this, we ask that you share any knowledge of these young humans. "
  • Yusdrayl steeples her claws as her elbows rest on the little throne. She smiles a wide smile, showing pearly teeth, "Ashardalon is wise in her benevolence. The humies you seek made battle with the same goblins who stole our dragon. It has been long since we saw them, so they're probably rotting corpses. I am sorry for your loss. But you will find them if you hunt for the dragon. It is... fate."

    Her ears twitch and pulls her paws into the sleeves of her robe. "Take the Keeper of Dragons. He will lead you to the foul goblins' lair. He must return the dragon to us. If you aide him, I am sure Ashardalon will grant you information on the humies."
  • I pull Meepo a step back towards me and undo the knots at his wrist. I look to Laughing Crane as I coil the rope and slip it back into my satchel. "This should prove an interesting adventure, Laughing Crane. I have never delved into such a place with a kobold guide."

    I glance back to Meepo. I guess he has little to lose in leading us through these ruins. I look around the room, counting the kobolds and taking note of the condition of their gear. Finally my gaze rests on Yusdrayl and then I notice the dangling key in the dragon's mouth. I wonder what that opens. Surely there is some treasure hoarded by these kobolds. My mind begins to drift as it considers what and where such a treasure might be hidden.
  • Yusdrayl inclines her head to you, "May Ashardalon bless you in your search for our dragon and your lost humies." She indicates for her guards to "escort you out", hissing something to them in their weird sibilant language

    Meepo rubs his wrists, thankful for the freedom. He leads you away, back through the Hall of Dragons, "Come come. Meepo show you back way to gobbies. We hunt and kill gobbies for stealing dragon? Evil. So evil."


    Meepo draws his "short sword" and leads you out of the Hall of Dragons, back into the room where you found him, then through the northeast door. With your lantern light, you can see there is foot traffic here, this hallway has been used frequently. There are signs of past battles, a broken arrow shaft, drops of blood, spatters of blackish ichor on one wall in a spray pattern like someone about Meepo's size got their head mashed in.

    He cautiously opens the door to the north at the end of this hall, moving quietly. It opens (to room 25).

    Empty and lightless, this lonely chamber is home only to rat droppings, crumbled flagstone, and nameless stains. Searching this area reveals that several Medium-size, booted humanoids moved through here within the last six months. They headed north.
  • I'll motion for Meepo and Laughing Crane to stand back as I softly cross the room to the door on the north. As I reach it, I crouch low and lean against the door listening for sounds. I'll also check the door for traps and to see if it is locked.

    If there are no sounds or signs of traps, I will slowly open the door.
  • There are no signs of traps here, Ba. You open the door and head north.

    Dust and odd bits of stony debris and rubble lie scattered on the floor. An ornate fountain is built into the eastern wall. Though cracked, stained, and dry, the fountain's carving of a diving dragon retains its beauty. A relief-carved stone door stands on the western wall.

    Further north, beyond the light of your lantern, the passage heads further on.

  • Lantern in my left hand, sword out in my right.
    "Lead on Meepo. How much farther?"
  • Meepo answers quietly, "Trapsie that way," he points towards the west, at the stone door. "Crazy swords come from the floor to cut you up." His ears droop, "Lost two cousins."

    He heads up north, and you hear his voice echoing as he points towards the passage as it continues up, "Many, many, many rats that way. We go this way." He points to the west.

    He creeps ahead to the door leading to Room 25 (part 2), opens it and then enters. It is empty.


    Meepo says, "Gobbies set bells on this door, and they watch. We go there, they know."
  • "I can see why those kids got lost," I whisper. "This place really is a maze."

    I walk over and check out the door. I crouch down and listen at the door. What do I hear? From this side can I disable their alarm without setting it off?
  • While Ba is checking the door, I ask Meepo, "Is there another way around? I'm wondering if we could use this alarm to our benefit. Maybe set it off from a distance, then come in the back door or something."

    "Also, just how many gobbies are there?"
  • Ba,

    You could disabled it without setting it off. There is space between the door and the stone "jamb" of it, so you can peer through. Can't see far, and you need to keep the light carefully angled, but you see there is a tripwire and some bells on the other side.

    Give me an simple check against the trap (difficulty 9) to disarm it.

    Laughing Crane,

    As Ba looks over the door, Meepo walks back with you a ways. You ask about another way around, his ears droop a little and he shakes his head. Pointing north towards the unexplored corridor, he says, "Ratsies that way, lots and lots. And Momma Rat, big big ratsie we call Guthash. She's bad, bad."

    About the number of goblins, he bounces his head a few times, doing calculations, "Maybe dozen, maybe more. Evil gobbies been here since before we came. We fight back and forth for rooms, sometimes hold hostage, trade them back, call names, fight some more." He shakes his head again, sadly, "Bad cycle. Meepo just want to raise dragon. They don't get it."

    Meepo leans in, "Gobbies dug in, humie. They have spikies on floor in next room, then hidey wall with guards. Gotta be sneaky sneaky or big fight." He pauses, then adds, "Next room is guard post, many throwing spears. Meepo not make it past them."
  • "I see. Well, sneaky-sneaky it is."

    Is there anything to bar this door with if we need to make a hasty retreat?
    If I find something, I position it close to the door. Regardless, I want to stand near Ba in case my sword is needed.
  • Disable Trap
    #DiceRoller( 2d8+2 )

    Just a dex modifier there. I'm trying to do this quietly, so would I add in my "Quiet as a mouse" +2 trait, as well?
  • edited April 2014
    Yes, Ba, you'd add that in, makes total sense to me.
  • Laughing Crane, you can find nothing really big and stout enough laying around to bar the door. You stand near Ba, and Meepo stands a few steps back, his dagger at the ready.

    Ba, the trap has been disabled. You can open that door without it going off now.

    What do you do?
  • From my satchel I pull out a rag and quietly tear it into small strips. I reach through the opening and gently clutch the closest bells I wad the rag inside the bell and then twist it around the outside to tie it off. I repeat for each of the bells on the string. This should sifficiently dampen any sound they would make.

    "Okay, this won't be a problem anymore," I whisper.

    I push open the door slowly and step into the room, crouched low. Can I make out where the spikes are that Meepo is warning us of, or is that in the next room? If it is this room I'll sidestep them and listen at the door across the room? if there are no sounds, I'll try to open it softly.
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