This is the adventuring journal of Timoura Silverstrings, Bard and Harper, as we make our way through the sixth season of the Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League: Tales From the Yawning Portal. Reading beyond this point may result in spoilers if you are playing or plan to play through this adventure.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
As tasked by the Harpers, I arrived in the town of Oakhurst to seek out any information concerning one of our agents that has gone missing, part of an adventuring party looking into the mysterious Sunless Citadel. Beyond that small tidbit of information, my contacts gave me nothing further, so it falls now to me to uncover the truth of what has gone on…
In true bardic fashion, I installed myself at the local inn, playing for pences and listening to any and all rumors that circulated among the ebb and flow of ale. I heard bits and pieces about a “Sir Bradford” and how he had ties to the missing party, but there seemed to be some confusion as to whether or not he was captured with them or not. He seemed to be fairly distinctive, a member of the Order of the Gauntlet, someone not local to Oakhurst, with a magical sword called Shatterspike. Before I could garner much more, however, my gnomish compatriot and fellow Harper, Purloin Scattersprocket, made a friend out of a local half-orc. A man by the name of Awsht. As it happens, his purpose and ours coincided for he, too, was investigating the matter of the missing party. So, Purloin and I threw our lot in with him.
Our nosing around took us to the local General Store, run by a noblewoman, Kerowyn. She, too, had a vested interest in finding the missing adventuring party for her daughter was one of their number. She offered us a considerable reward for any information about her daughter, but offered double if we could bring the girl back alive. Not entirely my purpose here, but a little extra coinage in the effort wouldn’t be dismissed out-of-hand.
As Kerowyn made her offer, we also learned of a goblin who comes into town once a year to sell a single, magical fruit. Rumors say that the fruit cures all ailments and illness and is reputed to be reliable in its healing properties. However, any who have attempted to plant the seeds of this fruit find that their trees eventually get uprooted and stolen. I couldn’t imagine what this town would be like with an unlimited wellspring of healing.
At the very last, the noblewoman gave us information about some children who had discovered a nearby ravine and in the very bottom of that ravine was a dilapidated fortress. It was to that fortress that the party we all sought had gone looking, so it fell to us to follow in their tracks. (Purloin tried to filch one of the woman’s teacups, but I returned it before it was missed. It’s no wonder the Harpers told me to keep an eye on her.)
We made our way over and discovered the presence of goblins and kobolds. There was a rope that hung down into the ravine that had clearly been there a couple of weeks. However, among the tracks I found evidence of human tracks, one set of which was female. The missing party, perhaps?
Purloin bolted down the rope before anyone could stop her. I followed, and as that crazy gnome landed, a bunch of giant rats came out of nowhere! Between the orc, Awsht, the wizard, Erxidor, and the druid, Conkin, two of the three rats were dispatched quickly. We learned the fighter, Morn, has unorthodox tactics, falling from the rope to squash the last rat.
Upon this sandy ledge we found an old fire ring that hadn’t been used in years. A stairwell led down from here and a crenelated battlement could be seen far below among huge fields of debris. This would be difficult going. Purloin got stuck in the shale but Awsht managed to pull her out. She managed to stake out a pit trap in the first room, so the rest of us made it safely to the door across the way.
Beyond the door there was a room that was the scene of battle; four goblins lay dead, likely for days. Awsht found a spear in one of them, and as the body slumped forward, there were strange runes on the wall. The only decipherable word was: Ashardalon, the name of a great, red dragon. As the orc continued his inspection, he found that there was a brick that was out of place. Our dwarven cleric, Ingwynn, agreed with that assessment and found a lever. Awsht pulled the lever and found a needle trap, but managed to avoid it.
In the small chamber we discovered on the other side of the wall there were three archer skeletons…That came to life! Our party made quick work of them with little trouble, leaving heaps of broken bones everywhere. In their quivers there were twenty arrows; each quiver had a special socket and an arrow with the same.
To be continued…!