09 May 2010

Chapter the Fourth: Escape Through the Lowcitadel of Khavash

The brave party made ready their plans for escaping the city and returning to New Roeblini City with information about the Condraconacy's incursion into Roeblini territory. One-Eye Morgrin provided the doughty companions with the address of a ruined Godslayer Imperium villa, alleged to access the sewers and the Lowcitadel of Khavash, as well as sketches of these tunnels drawn by the eladrin explorer Yslir. The group avoided Condraconacy patrols reaching the broken manse by sunset, as they explored the invaded interior of the villa, they heard the stealthy approach of a large dragonborn patrol, led by the insidious voice of Captain Blackfang.

Ulmo found a set of doors hidden behind the rubble and the party quietly exited the star roofed hall, bracing the doors behind them. They found a twisted corridor in the same antique style of the shattered hall. A single door brought the hallway to stairs leading to dark tunnels below the villa. They explored the narrow corridors coming upon a moonbeam lit well, the guttural voices of the dragonborn echoing from above. As they waited in ambush the dragonborn soldiers were attacked by a hag residing in the pool and the two enemies clashed. The party snuck away in the melee coming to a stout wooden door, but would later return to this pool to find a large clear diamond.

The door had a great iron mask, coarsely painted in red. As they opened the door it spoke, "The key from the Goblin's Gate is three parts greed." These words made little sense until they found a portcullis barricaded gate blocking a bridge stretching to a tower disappearing into the depths. They could not force or open the mystical metal of the bars but looking at the goblin caricature door leading to this chamber they found slots for three gems. The brave band ventured back into the tunnels to find the gems necessary to open the gate. A greater urgency placed upon them after what they had overhead from the dragonborn guards at the well mouth, that more troops would be coming to search the tunnels.

The party backtracked coming upon the villa's familial crypts. In one of the funeral coffers they found a midnight opal. They explored further climbing stairs into the hill next to the razed mansion, finding an ancient temple to the Godslayer's dichotomous practices. The temple was home to a rare demonic shade whose lava-like sinews were only half of its dread arsenal, its shadow too was a fierce assailant. Only the combined mystical and martial of might Ulmo and Tyrian could put down this threat.

The temple's sacrificial altar opened into a pocket dimension caught somewhen between the Planes of Fire and Earth, now used as and Efreeti Rookery. Here they found Izael, an efreet youngling, a child with the undeveloped powers of a god. Floating in one of the miniature volcanos of the Rookery a fiery ruby lay waiting. However Izael was not so willing to relinquish his bauble and only some cajoling with treasure from Tyrian allowed the party to liberate the gem for their purposes.

Tyrian, Ulmo and their companions returned to the Goblin's Gate placing their acquired stones in the gate's receptacles, allowing them passage to the bridge spanning the void to a thin tower stretching into the depths. The tower contained a narrow stairway to an elevated platform, under which a hobgoblin mercenary and his goblin minions waited in ambush. The party engaged the humanoids in melee, only to have the hobgoblin trip a lever bringing the tower down. The collapse buried and slew Mara the Whiteshade while it destroyed the lower half of the undead paladin S'Smuliss. The few remaining goblins scurried down the hall.

The party pursued their escaping foes, catching all but one of them in the twisted tunnels of the Lowcitadel of Khavash. They finally came upon the last goblin clenched in the jaws of the black dragon named Constellation. The dragon told them of its curse, bound here as a guardian until four gems were inserted in its collar. Ulmo noted that one gem already lay clenched in the claws of the dragon, the party travelled back into the depths of the Lowcitadel to find the remainder of the gems necessary to unlock the curse collar. They found them spread through the ruins below the crippled tower as well as having to ascend to the level before the Goblin's Gate.

The gems unlocked Constellation's collar and then they used the chain to scale down to the sea caves below, granting access to the Khavash docks.

No comments: