Sunless Citadel - Lost City

OAKHURST (village, Remes)


900 residents including outlying farms, human majority and sizable amount of halflings and other demispecies.

The village of Oakhurst is the destination of the Land Bridge Caravan that begins in Beluxi, Solitude.  There, they discover the town is in danger of water.  The rains have not been kind, and the seek a blue leaf that will replenish and maintain the well water for years to come.  Old history books they contain talks of Devian Ray, the crazed alchemist who lived somewhere off in the desert of Remes, was said to grow a tree somehow that would produce water as if by magic.  They are asking anyone to seek out this and save their village before they all die of thirst.

Village Hall.  Center of government includes the office of Mayor Vunror Leng, a male noble

General Store . Owned by Kerowyn Hucrele, a female human noble

Shrine. Advice, information, and healing are among the services dispensed, maintained by Dem "Corkie" Nackle, a female gnome priest.

Jail.  A stout building for miscreants, run by Constable Felosial, a female half-elf.  She commands a force of 16 guards and 4 scouts.

Blacksmith.  Repairing and forging arms and armor is the job of the village smithy, Rurik Lutgehr, a male dwarf.

Ol' Boar Inn.  Garon, a male human, is the owner and barkeep.  He serves food and drink, and the place has a few rooms visitors can rent.

RUMORS:

  • No one knows for sure what the Sunken Citadel once was, but legend hints it served as a retreat of an ancient cult.
  • The last time they heard or saw Devian Ray was countless ages ago, and he spoke of his dwelling somewhere in the Ashen Plain, a lifeless area.  (DC 15 History) – The desolation in that area was attributed to a rampage of a dragon named Ashardalon.
  • Herdsman of Desert Elk, strange antlered beasts that lack fur, graze their stock near Oakhurst in fear of new monsters that maraud at night.  Victims of people and livestock have been found, riddled with dozens of needle-like wounds.  No one has seen the creatures that cause this mayhem, nor do they leave a trail. [twig blights]
  • Only Garon, the barkeep knows of a traveler named Belak who asked about the Sunken Citadel some 16 years ago.  He was the last person to head into the desert asking about it.  He recalls Belak having a very large pet frog.

 

THE SUNKEN CITADEL (dungeon, Remes)


It is 7 miles to the boundary of the Ashen Plain.

Ravine. 30 ft wide & 50 ft deep, graffiti in the Dwarven alphabet covers most of the pillars, written in Goblin. "You stay out.  Death to you if enter."

The way passes to the east of a narrow ravine.  At the road's closest approach to the cleft, several broken pillars jut from the earth where the ravine widens.  Two of the pillars stand straight, but most lean atop sloped earth.  Others are broken, and several have apparently fallen into the dark depths.  A few similar pillars are visible on the opposite side of the ravine.

DC 13 Survival – Many small campfires have been made scattered around the area some as recent as a month ago.  Someone went to great length to hide evidence of the campfires.

1. Ledge. 250 ft wide chasm, 80 ft depth

A sandy ledge overlooks a subterranean gulf of darkness to the west.  The ledge is wide but rough.  Sand, rocky debris, and the bones of small animals cover it.  A rough-hewn stairwell zig zags down the side of the ledge descending into the darkness

Three Carrion Crawlers try to ambush through the ground.

There is a ring of stones that once held a campfire, accumulated ash of hundreds of fires, though none for a few years.  Spear tips of goblin manufacture as well as small bones filter through the ash.

DC 13 Survival reveals humanoid footprints that lead downstairs.

2. Switchback Stairs. 5 ft wide, 40 ft deep to 3.

A fortress emerges from the darkness.  The subterranean citadel, though impressive, seems long forgotten, if the lightless windows, cracked crenellations, 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.

3. Crumbled Courtyard. 30 ft wide, citadel floor.

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 floor.  That floor stretches away to the north and south, 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 Sunken Citadel.  A tower stands on the west side of the courtyard.

DC 15 Perception notes the trapdoor unmortared edge.  DC 10 Investigation deduce the location of the 2 foot wide catwalk beyond and how the pit operates (flips open on tilt).

DC 15 Dexterity, thieves' tools to jam the lid shut.  Falling 10 feet deals 1d6 damage.  Goblin skeleton corpses are at the bottom with a scimitar, shield, 9 gp and 20 sp in a belt pouch.

Anyone falling will attract the attention of two Ankhegs that are sifting through the debris.

4. Tower. 40 ft diameter, 30 ft tall.

This circular area is cobbled with cracked granite, upon which sprawl the bodies of four goblins, apparently slain in combat.  One corpse stands with its back against the western wall, the spear that killed it still skewering it and holding it upright.  Besides the door from the courtyard, two doors lead out of this room along the western wall on either side of the goblin.  One of the doors is stone with a demon's head with a gaping maw carved in relief on it.  The door has a single keyhole in the open mouth.  The other door is simpler in design made of stone

When the northern door on the western wall is open, a gust of wind bellows out and a piece of paper flies into the room

Day 73.  I am working on a tonic I believe Figgle was working on.  It could give me even more control of entering the Dreamlands, as I have begun to call it.  The tonic could be given to anyone wishing to enter.

DC 30 Athletics to defeat the arcane lock

DC 25 to bypass magical lock using thieves' tools

Key is available in ROOM XXX


ROUTE 1

5. Demon Riddle.  20 ft x 40 ft.

As the door opens, a hissing noise and a puff of dust around the door indicate that the chamber beyond has been sealed for ages.  Dust fills this hall like a layer of gray snow.  In the rounded northern end of the chamber stands a ten-foot tall sculpture of a Goristro demon carved from gold-veined black marble.  The demon's mouth begins to move as it suddenly speaks to you.  "We come at night without being fetched; we vanish by dawn without being stolen."

A secret door opens to the west showing a 20 foot long corridor to another stone door.

6. Twenty-Foot Cooridor.

The air is stale in this twenty foot-long corridor, which leads to another closed stone door.

DC 15 Investigation to spot the presence of a pressure plate, wedging anything will stop the plate.  +5, 1d10 dmg arrow.

7. Chaos Watchers.  20 ft x 50 ft.

Dust cloaks the contents of this twenty-foot wide hall.  Six alcoves line the walls, three on the north and three on the south.  With the exception of the southwest alcove, each alcove contains a humanoid figure carved in gold-veined black marble.  They resemble drow in plate armor.  An arch leads west into a chamber lit with a greenish glow.  A dark pit filled with spikes is visible before the archway.

DC 10 Perception to see the dust has been disturbed by tracks.

DC 10 Survival deduce they are tiny humanoid feet with claw-like nails that lead from the southwest alcove into the pit.  The tracks could be a few decades old.

A Shadow Demon named Jot is hiding in the pit and attacks if anyone approaches to look in.  It fleas if takes any damage "You broke the binding.  My watch over the demon priest is over!"  Becomes invisible and flies off as a bat to antagonize later.

On the southern wall under the dust reads "A demon priest entombed alive for transgressions of Chaos still retains the power of his position."

8. Tomb of the Failed Demon Priest

Violet marble tiles cover the floor and walls, though all are cracked or broken, revealing rough-hewn stone beneath.  Sconces are attached to the walls at each corner.  One holds a torch that burns with greenish fire.  A marble sarcophagus, easily nine feet long, lies in the room's center.  The coffin is carved with demon imagery, and the head of the sarcophagus resembles a demon head like the door earlier.  Rusting iron clasps firmly lock down the lid.

Each clasp requires a DC 15 Strength check to open.  If all six are open, a DC 15 Strength is required to lift the lid off (or combined 30 Strength).

In the coffin is a troll!  It's dressed in rotted finery, but its jewelry and rings adorned with tiny silver demonic decor still sparkle.  The creature's body is shrunken and elongated, and its flesh is a rubbery, putrid green.  Its black hair is long, thick, and ropy.  Its beady black eyes flash open, and it snarls.

(Can speak Elvish and Draconic)

Treasure: ceremonial dagger 125 gp, two silver rings 15 gp ea., a silver amulet 15 gp, 75 gp are scattered along the inner coffin, a command spell scroll, a cure wounds spell scroll (2nd level), inflict wounds (2nd level), and guiding bolt (2nd level).

Another note flies in with a sudden gust of wind.

After several months searching, I have located an old structure that was once on the surface of Remes, now long sunken into the depths.  After the initial sweep of the chambers, I believe it to be abandoned though not void of traps.  The first night here I began my experimenting on conscious dreaming.  It ended with catastrophic results.


ROUTE 2

9. Demon Cell. 30 ft x 50 ft.

Crudely executed symbols and glyphs of forbidden study, scribed in bright green dye, decorate this large and irregularly shaped crumbling chamber.  A large pit in the center shows evidence of a recent fire.  A metallic cage in the middle of the southern wall contains a gaping hole and stands empty.  A small wooden bench draped with green cloth is next to the cage, and several small objects rest on it.  A bedroll lies near the wooden bench, and the sound of whimpering comes from inside it.

Inside the bedroll nearly hidden is a kobold slave named Meepo, who was once Keeper of Dragons.  He has scars all over his body from his job.

The clan's dragon…we lost it.  The wretched goblins stole Calcryx, our dragon!"

Meepo doesn't know, but Yusdrayl does.  Meepo take you to meet Yusdrayl, our leader, if you make nice.  You get safe passage, if you promise to make nice.  Maybe if you promise to rescue dragon, Yusdrayl make nice to you, answer questions."

Meepo will take them to the Demon Throne Room.  If attacked, 6 Dretch demons clamber in to attack the intruders.

On the way to the throne room, Meepo keeps saying "Ticklecorn!" occasionally for no reason.  After reaching the door to the throne, he explains that is the secret password to know the passengers are to be allowed.

Sunless Citadel - Lost City

Dungeons & Dragons Zatra