Eberron: Echoes of the Past

A Cold Day in Hell

Far, Lharvion 25th, 998 YK (afternoon)

Last time, the party made it to a door that had been rigged with a small bell, a rudimentary alarm for intruders. Past the door, they find a short hallway littered with caltops, ending at a short wall with another chamber beyond. Fenora and Gishkaa work together to clear a path to the wall, which Gishkaa tried to climb over. Her foot slips, and she stumbles in her climb, but not before she is spotted by a pair of goblins in the space beyond the wall. The goblins attack wildly, and when one’s attack misses, it retreats through a nearby door while the other continues the fight. The party quickly overwhelms the remaining goblin, and rushes to catch up to the one that retreated.

They quickly catch up to the goblin, as well as several of his friends, who wait to ambush the party. The goblins loose arrows as the party comes into view, scoring a few hits. But the angered adventurers rally and quickly slay the lot. A quick search of the bodies turns up a rusty metal key, which turns out to fit into one of the locked doors in the chamber. Unlocking the door, they move into the next room.

The filthy room seems to be a prison, and it holds several occupants. A small group of kobolds are bound together in one corner, while a small cage on the far side of the room holds a gnome. Gishkaa picks the lock on the cage, and the grateful gnome introduces himself as Erky Timbers. An adventurer himself, he explains that he’d been taken prisoner by the goblins a month ago, and had been held here ever since. He relates to the party that he had seen the Hercule kids as well as their companion Sir Braford, but they’d been taken away a while ago, and had not returned. He believes they have been taken to a mysterious grove on the floor below to see “the Outcast”, but he is unsure. He does, however, agree to accompany the party to find out.

The party helps the kobold prisoners escape, and escorts them back to the halls home, before they continue deeper into the goblin areas of the citadel.

Quinton Greymane: Erky, I think there’s something we ran into you might be able to help us out with.
Erky Timbers: Really, now. What might that be, lad?
Quinton Greymane: It’s a door with an inscription that said something to the effect of “rebuke the spirits to show the way”
Erky Timbers (furrows his brow): Hmm, that does sound interesting. Lead the way, then. I’ll see what I can do.

Eagerly, the party leads the gnome back to the room with the dragon fountain, and stand before the door that denied them passage the day before.

Garl Auraspeaker: Well, here we are.
Erky Timbers (moves closer to the door and inspects the inscription): Hmm, let’s see what we got here… “Rebuke the dead.” Hmm, hmmm, “open the way.”
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: Careful, there is a blade trap.

Erky looks up as Gishkaa points at the slot where the blade comes from above the door.

Erky Timbers: Oh, thank you, that looks like a much closer shave than I’d be used to. Okay, I think I got an idea here. Stand back…
Garl Auraspeaker (chuckling): Ha, he’s funny. I like him.

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Erky stands back from the door about five feet or so, holding out a symbol of the Sovereign Host as he closes his eyes in prayer. The holy symbol glows with a soft blue light as Erky reaches the end of his prayer and opens his eyes. The door begins to glows as well, and after a moment, swings open silently. Peering into the revealed chamber, the party sees that five dusty sarcophagi, three to the north and two to the south, stand on end in this silent chamber. Each of the carved stone coffins resembles a noble, elf-like humanoid in ceremonial robes. An altar, with images of dragons carved into its black obsidian, is set in the center of the west wall. A single candle burns brightly on the altar. Next to the candle are a small whistle and a crystal flask.

Quinton Greymane (claps politely): Good show!
Erky Timbers (grins widely): Thank the Host. They work through me when needed.
Garl Auraspeaker (grumbling): Graves, it’s always undead, isn’t it?

Civic moves into the room, heading to the altar to inspect the candle.

Civic: This must be magical to still be burning after who knows how long behind this door.
Quinton Greymane: Let’s be careful now. Like my pappy used to say, “don’t go out of your way to kick the hornet’s nest.”
Garl Auraspeaker (makes the blah blah blah motion with his hands): Sure, sure. So what’s the deal with the candle then, Civic?
Civic: I know this has to be magic, but I’m going to use detect magic just to get a sense of what type of magic it is.

Civic begins the ritual to detect magical auras. As he reaches the end of the ritual, he scans the room to see if anything registers as magical. As expected, the altar’s contents glow with an aura of magic. 

Civic: Ah… okay… so let me just… focus on the candle first. There are three magical items here.
Quinton Greymane: Take your time.
Civic (focusing on the candle): The candle is evocation magic. Next I’ll look at the whistle.
Civic (turns attention to the whistle): The whistle seems to be necromantic in nature, which fits in with the whole motif of this little tomb. Finally, the flask.
Meepo looks up at the nearest sarcophagus with curiosity.
Civic (focusing on the flask): It has liquid radiating abjuration magic. I really wish I had the identify spell.
Meepo: You take, we go?
Civic (nods): I’d suggest we take these with us and re-examine them when I have the spell to learn their function.
Meepo: Sound good to Meepo. We go find Calcryx now, right?
Quinton Greymane: Well, hold on, maybe we should check for traps before touching them. People tend to trap magical items
Civic: Ope! Good idea! I was just about to grab them and put them in a pack.

The party takes a few moments to inspect the room and the area around the altar for traps, but their search reveals no traps in the area. However, Fenora, who has been carefully inspecting the wall nearest the door, finds a small panel behind which she finds a small box.

Fenora Finnley (opening the box): Hey! Look at these jewels! They look like tiny little green dragons.
Fenora holds up one of the gems for the party to see.
Civic: Exquisite craftsmanship.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat (shrugs, annoyed as being shown up again) They’re alright. Probably worth a fair bit, though.
Civic (grabs the three magic items off the altar): I assume these aren’t trapped then.

As Civic removes the three items form the altar, there is a rumbling coming from all around the room. Suddenly, the sarcophagi explode open, as their occupants emerge in fury!

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Garl Auraspeaker: Told you! Always undead!
Meepo: ACK!! Boney man! Bad!! Stay away!

The skeletons attack the party recklessly, lining themselves up for some nasty attacks from Fenora, whose arrows find weak spots in the ancient boney frames; and Quinton, who slams one fo the skeletons to fragments with a swing of his longsword. Garl lines up several of the skeletons for his breath attack, critically damaging some of the enemies, just as Civic takes a serious blow from one of the skeletons. He grunts in pain as he turns to the dragonborn.

Civic: Fascinating display, Garl. I read a book about dragons and learned an interesting fact about their breath weapons, which has been found to be true for the Dragonborn, as well. The organs that create their breath weapons are surprisingly located in their tails and is a unique mixture of magical and biological factors that create the liquid that reacts with air to create the breath effect unique to each color of dragon.
Meepo stares at Civic.
Garl Auraspeaker: Kill skeletons now, lecture later!

Erky presses a palm to the side of Civic’s chest, his hand glowing as he heals the warforged’s wounds. Meepo attempts to attack a skeleton, but manages to stick his blade between two ribs. In return, the skeleton slashes its blade down at the little kobold, who catches the full force of the attack, knocking him unconscious. Another of the skeletons manages to hit Giskaa with a serious blow, throwing the goblin to the ground, also unconscious. Civic casts acid spray at the nearest skeleton, doing minimal damage, while Garl quickly casts a healing spell on Gishkaa. Back on her feet, the goblin slashes her blade through the skeleton that knocked her known, shattering the undead creature into fragments. Erky quickly moves in to heal Meepo, who leaps to his feet and charges the remaining goblin with a feral roar, his wild attack missing spectacularly. The skeleton attempts to slash at Quinton, who answers with an attack of his own, which shatters the creature.

Quinton Greymane: Everyone alright? Looked like they dished out a couple of good hits there.
Garl Auraspeaker: I’ll live.
Meepo: Thank you, Erky. Boney man hurt Meepo bad.
Erky Timbers: Quite all right, young kobold. You should be more careful, though. I only have one more healing spell left until we can rest.
Garl Auraspeaker: Yer, all out here myself.
Civic puts the whistle and flask in his pack and carries the candle as a light source.
Meepo: Meepo stay back, away from bad things now. Stupid dagger not work. 
Garl Auraspeaker: Don’t worry, let the real dragons take the lead.
Meepo rolls his eyes as he sticks his tongue out at Garl.
Quinton Greymane (shakes his head): Well suppose we oughta head back up to that storage room, only ways to continue are back there.
Erky Timbers: Sounds good. Lead on, lad.

The party makes their way back to the goblin camp to the north. As they travel, Gishkaa walks along, distractedly. She’s opening and closing her hands a lot and slowly moving them in front of her. Once they arrive at the camp, they consider the way forward.

Garl Auraspeaker: So we head through here, or through the storage room? Which is it?
Meepo: Not look at Meepo. Meepo follow you.
Quinton Greymane (points at the nearby door): I say we check for traps and head through this door.

Fenora and Quinton work together to carefully inspect every inch of the door, but do not find any traps. They do notice, however, that the door itself is slightly ajar. Satisfied that it looks to be safe, they move through the door, which open up onto a non-descript corridor. Two doors lead off from the hall, one to the north and one on the western wall. The floor is coated in a thick layer of dust, disturbed in areas by the passage of several feet, likely the goblins that reside here.

Garl Auraspeaker: Guess we keep moving.
Quinton Greymane (shrugs): Suppose so, let’s head left this time.

As Quinton approaches the door, the floor in front of it falls out from under him, dumping him into a pit. He falls several feet down, landing in a pile of rotting flesh and animal bones.

Garl Auraspeaker (calling down into the pit): You alright down there?
Quinton Greymane (coughing): Nothing hurt but my ego, and my clothes are a bit gunked up.
Meepo: SHHH!!! Make too much noise! Goblins hear you!!
Garl throws down a rope for Quinton to climb up.
Quinton Greymane (reaching top of pit): Thanks, old friend.
Erky Timbers: Our kobold friend is correct. We must be quiet.
Quinton Greymane: Well, no offense, but a bit of a moot point now. Best we just be cautious and keep moving. I’ll try the other door now. Carefully.

goblin_camp1.jpg

As Quinton begins inspecting every inch of the door, it suddenly flies open and he finds himself face to face with a goblin. It snarls as it raised a rusty scimitar. As Quinton leaps back in surprise, Fenora looses an arrow straight into the goblin’s face, killing it immediately. The goblin was not alone, however, as other goblins charge from deeper within the room. Gishkaa gives an adorable tiny goblin roar, throws her hands out to the sides and blades of purple energy burst from her hands as she charges the goblins. She spins like a dervish, her purple manifested blades slashing through the throat of one of the goblins, which falls to the ground, dead before it lands. Civic finishes off the remaining goblin with a well-timed spell, and they take a moment to look around their surroundings.

The stench, garbage, and carrion here are evidence of years of use by unsanitary tenants. Tattered hides stretched on frames form six unstable hammocks around a much-used firepit. Battered cooking equipment is mixed indiscriminately with broken or worn arms and armor.

Garl Auraspeaker (in disgust): Yeah, I’m real tired of these goblins and their filthy hovels.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat (nods in agreement): These goblins are very lazy.
Quinton Greymane: That my friend, is an understatement. Well, we should still take a quick look around before moving on. Might be something useful here.
Meepo: Meepo tell you. Make too much noise, goblins hear you. Come kill you. Maybe. You kill them quicker. Make Meepo happy.

They search the filthy room and find very little of worth. Putrid jerky, wine that has gone off to the point where it’s practically vinegar, and a pile of worthless clutter take up the majority of the floor space. However, in one of the piles of refuse, they find a grubby leather sack, heavy with silver coins. Civic lifts his hand and a 3 foot stick appears in his hand. He pokes at some hides strewn across the floor.

Civic: These must be the local rats. It’s impressive how large they grow here and there are so many of them. I’m surprised there is enough food here to support their population."
Erky blinks at Civic’s recitation, as Civic drops the stick after prodding the pelt and it vanishes.
Civic: Meepo do the rats kill many kobolds?
Meepo (looks back at Civic and shrugs): Sometimes. If catch one of the People alone, then might kill kobold. Kobold usually hunt them, though, get meat. Only in groups, bad to hunt alone.

The party moves back into the previous room. Meepo crosses the room to look over the pit.

Meepo (looks up at Garl): Meepo think maybe like other pits, from before?
Garl Auraspeaker considers the pit, then nods.
Quinton Greymane: Well, I got one more dagger.

As Quinton Greymane and Meepo try to rig the trap door as they’d done previously, Gishkaa keeps periodically looking at her hands and grinning.

Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat [whispering in Goblin]: Fucking awesome…
Erky arches an eyebrow at the enthusiastic goblin’s exclamation.

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In short order, Quinton and Meepo have secured the trapdoor over the pit, locking it in place. Satisfied with their work, Quinton opens the door to the next chamber. Mounted and stuffed animal heads adorn the walls. The mounting job is sloppy, and the assortment of heads includes cattle, rats, and other not particularly impressive specimens. A few grisly trophies share the wall with the animals, including a couple of kobold heads. Smashed and broken cabinets and small tables litter the periphery of the room, mute victims of some sort of rampage. A rusted iron spike stands in the center of the room, trailing a broken chain. Thin patches of frost coat sections of the walls, floor, and debris. Quinton goes over to look at the iron spike and kneels down feeling the ground.

Quinton Greymane: Yep, cool as ice. Betting this was done by your wayward dragon, Meepo.
Civic: Their taxidermy…umm…skills, leave something to be desired.

As the rest of the party enter the room, they quickly notice their breath fogs before their faces as if they stand outside on a winter day. They hear a shuffling noise of something shifting beneath the table on the western wall. Suddenly, a flash of white emerges as a blast of cold air shoots into the room.

Garl Auraspeaker: Oh, Khyber… We’re in it now!
Meepo: Calcryx! We found you!
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat [in Goblin]:Oh shit!

calcryx.jpg

As Meepo advances toward the small dragon with his arms wide in greeting, the dragon snarls and belches out with frosty breath! Meepo is engulfed in the dragon’s freezing breath. The party stares in horror as the little kobold flash freezes, then cracks in several places before finally crumbling to the floor. Calcryx then turns a feral stare at the rest of them.

Calcryx [in Draconic]: If you ally with the kobolds, then I will enjoy making you my next meal!

The dragon moves in to attack, as the party fans out and takes their own attacks. Fenora fires an arrow into the creatures flank, as Quinton slashes wildly with his blade, managing to score a hit to the dragon’s shoulder. Gishkaa and Garl move in for an attack, but the dragon shifts too quickly, causing both their attacks to go wide. As the dragon angrily stares around at the party, they back up a bit, fanning out to surround the creature.

Garl Auraspeaker [in Draconic]: Ally is a pretty strong word. More like haven’t decided to kill all of them yet.
Calcryx snorts.
Garl Auraspeaker [in Draconic]: Sounds like you have a grievance with the little wyrms.
Calcryx [snarling, in Draconic]: You come into my presence with my jailer. Alliance can be inferred.
Garl Auraspeaker [in Draconic]: Well we didn’t know you were being held their against your will. We just assumed you were working with them.
Calcryx roars with fury.
Garl Auraspeaker: Guys I don’t think this dragon really wants to be taken back to the kobolds.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: I wouldn’t want that either.
Fenora Finnley: Why not? Don’t they care for him?
Garl Auraspeaker: Doesn’t sound like it. He referred to Meepo as his jailer. Plus he just killed Meepo pretty good.
Erky Timbers: Not to question your intentions, but are we killing this creature or what?
Civic: I’d rather not. These are rare and majestic creatures. It would be a shame to have one less in the world.

The furious dragon continues to lash out at whoever gets too close. Fenora fires another arrow into the beast’s side, scoring a critical wound. As Calcryx roars in pain, Garl dashes in and swings down at the dragon’s head with his mace. As the blow lands, Calcryx’s eyes roll up into its skull as it falls to the floor, exhaling a frosty breath as it collapses.

Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: What do we do with it now?
Garl Auraspeaker: Good question
Quinton Greymane: So Garl, what did the dragon say exactly?
Garl Auraspeaker: Well it wasn’t totally clear.
Erky Timbers: It did seem to want to eat you for dinner, though.
Garl Auraspeaker (ignoring Erky): But it was something to the effect of the dragon being held prisoner by the kobolds and that we were also working for the kobolds. So that’s why she attacked us. Plus she didn’t like Meepo, pretty easy to understand why.
Erky Timbers: She did say he was her jailer.
Quinton Greymane: Poor Meepo.
Civic (nods): It was a fair point. I probably wouldn’t have been fond of people who held me prisoner, either.
Erky Timbers: But it does beg the question, what do you plan to do with her?
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: If we leave it here, unconscious, it is going to be a problem when we leave.
Garl Auraspeaker: Well, we ain’t sending her back to the kobolds, that’s for sure.
Erky Timbers: Even if you could collar her, how do you plan to bring her through the halls without her attacking us?
Quinton Greymane: Hmm, well now that’s a pickle.
Erky Timbers: Not to be too brusque, but with your kobold companion’s demise, why do you wish to keep the creature alive?
Garl Auraspeaker: Companion is a strong word. More like, rat that follows you around and you’re too lazy to kill it.
Erky Timbers (shrugs): Whatever. My question stands.
Civic: The kobolds presented us with an ultimatum; help Meepo return their slave <points> or be dealt with as hostile.
Erky Timbers: I see.
Civic: Based on what we’ve seen the dragon appears to be the wronged party to me, but we didn’t have a lot of options.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: Why not return her…
Quinton Greymane (turns to Gishkaa): Why do you want to return her?
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: I was just thinking that she deserves to seek some vengeance if she wants it, but she would be weakened, so never mind, it’s a bad idea.
Garl Auraspeaker: Haha, I like that idea!
Erky Timbers: You’ll need to make a decision soon. She won’t be out for long.
Civic: We need to either kill her, relocate her to where we won’t encounter her on the way out, or rouse her and convince her we aren’t enemies.
Quinton Greymane: Well that just sounds rude.
Garl Auraspeaker: Don’t think that last one would work unless one of you is more persuasive than I am.

  • Just a note to the reader. It was realized a little too late that both the age and the type of dragon Calcryx was made speech, let a lone intelligible speech, a virtual impossibility. Just got caught up in the moment after killing off Meepo, and didn’t think to clarify my knowledge of the dragon. I’m sure it won’t be the first mistake I make. :-)

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