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Sunless Citadel 5e

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Sunless Citadel (from Tales of the Yawning Portal)

a Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition play by post

Author: Bruce Cordell








Kythorn (June) 13th (a week before the Summer Solstice) in the year of 1493 CR


The town of Oakhurst lies about 3 hexes (whatever the scale is) NW of the ruins of Thundertree. The area surrounding the small town of only 900 people consists of dusty plains & very little vegetation. There are some tiny trees, sapling mainly here & there but nothing noteworthy. There are a range of hills to the north. These eventually turn into mountains & the most noteworthy peak, Mt Hotenow sits in the middle of them. Also near the town is a great forest that extends to the south & the north, the mysterious Neverwinter Wood. The party, begin it's journey is the city of Neverwinter. A small parchment tacked to a bulletin board saying


"Adventures Wanted! Please inquiry at Ol Boar Inn in Oakhurst"


You have traveled the New Road to get to the small town. You are at the outskirts of the town, where the road splits into two roads, You have arrived around noon, the heat of late spring season starting to rise. The buildings are in decent shape, most noteworthy is the Mayor's building & the General Store being the best kept of the town. You recognize the Ol Boar Inn, by the large, hanging wooden sign with a stylized boar on it:




The townsfolk eye you but don't give you any troubles. You see the town consists mostly of humans, with a smattering of the other common races of the Realms. One catches your eye, a female gnome wearing a bright color robe with a pendent around her neck:




She  is at what appears to be a small temple. She sees you & offers a greeting


"Welcome to Oakhurst. May Lathander's morning light shine upon you all in the morning." 

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Durgrim will hang out at the inn, so that if any of the other members show up, he can direct them to where everyone else is.  and drink more beer.

Daton raises an eyebrow...   "Goblins living in ancient ruins, coming up twice a year to sell a solitary apple? That sounds ominous. What usually happens at the sale? To the fruit? How long

"Ah, even were you to have any Evermead I'm sure I could not afford it.  Mayhap you have something from Good Mead? "     ** Why yes, I do have a copy of Aurora's.  That was 2E though, s

Kheldarin looked around the small town, scanning the shadows as he wondered what need such a small town had of adventurers, and more importantly, wondering why the Enclave had been so insistent upon him answering the call.  He turned toward the gnome as she called out to him and grunted a reply "Just so long as he doesn't take all my shade."  With that, he turned and headed toward the Inn to see what all the fuss was about, all the while keeping a close eye on the dwarf that had approached the gnome before him.

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The gnome replies to the party.


"The Ol Boar Inn is a grand ole place. It's a place where light of the people can be felt by all. The proprietor, Garon welcomes all who need to fill their bellies, slate their thirst & need a solid roof over their head for the night. You will find something to state your thirst there."


She hears Kheldarin as he passes by & gives a light laugh & smile


"The Morninglord, does not take your shade, he only gives you light when you are in the dark."


"The name is Dem Nackle, thou everyone calls me "Corkie".


"I am a Dawnbringer. Lathander guides my way & in return I maintain one of his house of worship."


"Are you one of the Awakened?"


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"Fear not, for wherever the elf's gloomy mood dampens thing I am here to brighten things tenfold.", Daton says.


"I have but a simple question for you..."
He lowers his shield to reveal the same insignia strapped across his chest by leather straps.
"Hug or fistbump?"

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Khel grimaced slightly at the banter, it was far too early and he had far too few pints in him for such banter.  Hopefully the gnome at least was right and the ale would be capable of slaking his thirst.

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She laughs when she sees the insignia.


"Ah I see you are holy warrior in service of the Morninglord. May he show you the light in your battles ahead"


With that she lifts her holy symbol & says a short prayer to Lathander in your honor.


Afterwards she asks, "So what brings you to Oakhurst? We don't get many visitors out this way & such...Hmmm I do recall we did have someone like yourselves come into town a month ago...." She has that "I'm thinkin" look before saying "Ah yes his name was Sir Braford. He was paladin & like yourself, he dedicated himself to Lathander." He came to the shrine for a blessing, the morning the party he was part of left to go investigate the ruins of the Citadel."


"He hasn't been back since that day, nor were the people he was with, the Hucrele siblings. Local kids, their mother is Kerowyn Hucrele, she owns & run the General Store." She points across the straight.  

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"The Citadel was a castle like any other until the day it fell into the ground. It was during the eruption of Mt Hotenow when the ground opened up & swallowed the castle whole. Rumors has it, some sorta dragon cult used it as a base of operations. It would make sense if it did. A long time ago, a enormous red dragon named Ashardalon ruled these lands. Much of the devastation you see in this area was born because of that foul beast."


"Luckily the beast was defeated by a group like yours."


"Actually they were brother & sister. Two kids with high hopes of showing that they could make it without their mother's help in the world. Now that I'm talking about them I remember they met up with a woodsman that morning as well. I don't think so, at least not yet. That may be why you & your friends are here today."

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"Lost kids huh?" Kheldarin thought to himself.  Well this likely at least explains why the town wanted adventurers, didn't necessarily explain the Enclave's interest but the story of the dragon at least was interesting and could explain that.  As he pushed on the doors to the Inn, Kheldarin cursed under his breath.  "Kids.  Gonna have to go easy on the ale."

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 A white-bearded somewhat thin old man in traveler's clothes strides down the road with a gait that belies his advanced age and indicates his staff is less of a walking stick and more of a badge of his position as a druid. Though he had introduced himself as Fionn mac Tadg when he left Neverwinter traveling with the rest of the party, he had somehow gotten ahead of them and disappeared halfway through the trip, clearly more familiar with the roads and surrounding areas than the rest of the group, and with the hidden shortcuts therein.


He stops before the gnome and bows in a very courtly fashion.

"Your pardon, milady gnome, for my tardiness... Though so lovely a creature with such a kind and giving nature as yours will surely forgive me my failings, will you not?" he says with a conspiratorial and flirtatious wink. "Though I left Neverwinter with these worthy folks, I used the hidden paths known to the creatures of the land to arrive a few days earlier and have spent the time reacquainting myself with old friends of both two and four legs, and those with none at all." Turning toward Kheldarin he continues, "And I can recommend a goodly number of the last for their shade, good sir, as well as recommending the ale at the 'Boar."


Edited by Mad Jack
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The gnome priestess, smiles at your greeting


"No one really is ever tardy, they just take their time in getting where they need to be. Enjoying the journey along the way. You are most welcome to our small town. I hope your stay is a good one."


With that "Corkie" takes her leave from the party returning back into the shrine. The party makes it way over to the Ol Boar Inn. Opening the door to the place, you enter a well lit establishment. There is a bar to one side & the common room is filled with tables. There is a older male human with a large burly beard behind the counter, he is cleaning out some glasses.




There are a couple other townsfolk in the bar, they are enjoying a beverage. A  single bar maid, who is human, tends the tables:




"Welcome to the Ol Boar!" she says with a smile. Have a seat, I will be with you in moment."


(If anyone is from Oakhurst, you are at one of the tables already)


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