Last time, having been brought before Yusdrayl, the leader of Meepo’s kobold tribe, the party is charged with the task of locating and rescuing Calcryx, the tribe’s pet dragon, from the clutches of the goblins that also reside in the Sunless Citadel. Much to his dismay, Meepo is ordered to accompany the party, with the admonishment that they are not to return without the dragon. Reluctantly, the party agrees, and heads back the way they came.
Meepo leads them into the goblin’s domain through a barred door in the room the party had first encountered the little kobold. Meepo warns them to be quiet going forward so as to avoid alerting the goblins to their intrusion into their territory. As they pass, they notice several tracks in the dust on the floor, several of them humanoid made in the last month or so. In one of the chambers, they find a fountain with a draconic inscription on its base which, when read aloud, causes a fluid to pour from the mouth of the fountain’s dragon ornamentation, which turns out to be a potion of fire breathing. Collecting the potion, they continue on.
To the north, they enter a foul-smelling hallway which leads to a room with several cells. As they continue past the cells, they are accosted by several giant rats, which they quick eliminate before moving on. A trap door stands open at the end of the hall, with another one across the room near yet another fountain. The party leaps over the trapdoor safely (all but Garl, anyway, who almost tumbles into the open pit), and inspects the fountain. Civic finds and reads the draconic inscription he expected to find, only this time it was not beneficial. A cloud of poisonous gas erupts from the fountain, sickening everyone in the room except Meepo. The party rests for a minute or two to heal up, before they continue into the next room.
The next chamber is a filth-laden mess, with bones and scraps of flesh littering the floor. As they move into the room, a snarling hiss is heard as a giant rat emerges from the nearly picked clean rib cage of a dead goblin. Answering hisses echo through the room as more rats emerge from the shadows!
Meepo yelps in surprise as he narrowly misses being bitten by the rat closest to his foot. Quinton advances, attempting to slash at the rat, but the verminous creature scurries out of the way. Fenora steps up to the door an unleashes an arrow into the largest rat, scoring a critical blow. Garl dashes into the room, unleashing a ray of lightning breath which scorches the wounded rat and one if its companions, as Gishkaa skewers another rat with her rapier. The biggest rat bites at Quinton, scoring a blow but failing to infect Quinton with its diseased saliva. Quinton retaliates, and slices through the beast with his longsword, ending the creature’s existance. Civic unleashes a spray of acid on the remaining rats, singing the hide of one and causing another to leap out at Gishkaaa, teeth gnashing in a fury. Before it can bite the goblin, Meepo unleashes a stone from his sling, killing the rat in midair. As the kobold cheers his kill, Quinton wordlessly ends the last rat, and silence falls in the chamber.
Quinton Greymane: And that’s that.
Meepo: HA! Gotcha, stupid rat!
Garl Auraspeaker: Bloomin ‘ell, he got ’em!
Meepo looks at Garl smugly.
Garl Auraspeaker (ignoring Meepo): Phew, these rats are persistent!
Quinton Greymane: They sure are. I think we need to scout out a good spot to rest for a while.
Fenora Finnley (looking around in disgust): Preferably not near the dead rats…
Meepo (pokes at the corpse of the largest rat): Meepo seen this one before. Nest queen, Meepo thinks. Rats in citadel her pups.
Quinton Greymane: Maybe that’ll keep the rat attacks down a bit now.
Civic (looks around): This seems to be a fairly secure room, though. Should we maybe just move the rats out and use this room?
Meepo (looks at Civic): We can if you want, but Meepo think rat nest pretty stinky. Even for kobold, it yucky.
Garl Auraspeaker (nodding in agreement): Yer, just because you don’t have a sense of smell doesn’t mean we don’t.
Meepo: Have idea, if you want.
Civic waits patiently to hear Meepo’s idea.
Fenora Finnley: What are you thinking Meepo?
Meepo: Even if rat nest not smelly, bad idea camp here. In goblin territory. They scout halls, kill anything that not goblin. Kill many Meepo kin. So sad.
Meepo looks down at the closest torn apart body and starts when he realizes it’s a kobold.
Meepo (points at dead kobold): See!?! Kobold dead, like Meepo say! Stay here, BAD idea!
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: That one looks like a victim of the rats.
Fenora Finnley (turns away in disgust): Rats probably got to him after he was dead…
Quinton Greymane: Still, it’s a good point.
Meepo: Best idea, go back to Meepo’s camp. Can bar door, keep out smelly goblins, come back tomorrow.
Civic: Do you propose we go back to your area to rest, because your queen made it clear we’re not to return without your dragon.
Quinton Greymane: I reckon that makes sense. Let’s give the place a once over before we move on, though.
The party makes a thorough investigation of the rats’ nest, and discovers that the remains strewn across the floor are of four humanoid creatures: two goblins, a kobold, and a human male. The human is wearing tattered green and brown leathers of the type often associated with forest folk or rangers.
Civic: Is this…ah…is this corpse one of the children we’re searching for?
Quinton Greymane: Don’t look like it to me. Dressed all wrong for one of the people we’re searching for. Too bad for him, though.y?
Fenora Finnley (sadly): No, Civic. I recognize him though. He passed through town every so often selling hides and such. His name is… was… Karakas. He was always very kind to me.
Civic: That’s good. Well, not good that he died, but good that this isn’t one of Kerowyn’s children.
Garl Auraspeaker: Local ranger or trapper or something?
Fenora Finnley (nods): Such a generous person, I can only imagine he must have come here to try and help Lady Karowyn find her children…
Garl Auraspeaker: Poor sod.
As the rest speak, Gishkaa manages to find some adventuring gear (likely belonging to the late Karakas) as well as a collection of coins and gems. She separates the gear from the money, as calls over everyone to see what she’s found. Meepo’s eye land on a pile of daggers, and he eagerly snatches one up.
Meepo: Good, now Meepo can fight close if need to. Stupid rats.
Quinton Greymane: Well, best we get to headin’ back before we run into any other trouble.
The party travels back toward Meepo’s campsite, taking a moment to wedge a couple of the newly found daggers into the southern trapdoor to keep it closed should theyu need to pass this way again. Arriving back at the camp, they prepare to bed down for the night.
Meepo (snapping at Garl): Dragonborn, help Meepo block door!
Garl Auraspeaker: Oh, so now that you need manual labor, I’m a dragonborn.
Meepo grabs one end of the heavy brace as he rolls his eyes.
Garl Auraspeaker (grabs the other end of the brace): Ready when you are, short stuff.
Meepo: One…two… THREE!
Together, Meepo and Garl place the bar into the brace, securing the door from intrusion. The deed completed, Meepo brushes his hands together in satisfaction.
Meepo: Okay, you do what you need to, Meepo going to sleep.
Quinton Greymane: Alright, we’ll head out in a few hours.
Civic (watching the others make camp): I’ve traveled some among the goblins. I’m hoping they aren’t as violent as Meepo makes them out to be. In my experience, they are a kind people in general.
Quinton Greymane pulls out some trail rations and begins eating them.
Garl Auraspeaker: Don’t match up with my experience. More than my fair share have decided they’d taken a personal issue with them not having my stuff.
Meepo (nods in agreement): False dragon right. Goblins nasty.
Garl Auraspeaker (snorts in derision) : Not like kobolds are anything to write home about.
Meepo (shrugs): The People protect what’s theirs. Not like goblins, who kill and take everything.
Civic (mumbles softly): That is not historically accurate.
Meepo: This place dragon home, so naturally belong to kobold, being closest to dragon kin. Goblins invade and not leave. The People do what can to survive, keep stupid goblins from taking all of dragon home.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: Every race has some place in their past where they take what isn’t theirs, claim it as their own, and then try to rewrite history to make themselves justified in their actions. All of these lands once belonged to my people. We’re a shadow of what we were before the others came and took it from us.
Civic: Hmm, maybe I’ve just been lucky then. But I don’t think so.
Quinton Greymane: Maybe, but there’s all types everywhere.
Meepo: Meepo not know why goblins come, but hear talk say they help the Outcast with funny tree. But Meepo not know for sure.
Garl Auraspeaker: Who’s this Outcast, anyway?
Civic: Who is the Outcast?
Meepo (shrugs): Meepo not know for sure, but heard Outcast like this one… (points at Quinton) …and does strange magics in the deep of citadel. Yusdrayl know more. No one tell Meepo nothing, cuz Meepo nothing in tribe, really. That why got stuck watching Calcryx.
Quinton Greymane: A human, ay? Hmmm, could be a necromancer.
Meepo (shrugs): Not know necomasser, but Meepo hear bad juju.
Quinton Greymane: Either way, sounds like they’re not going to be friendly.
Meepo (shakes his head emphatically): Not friendly, for sure.
Meepo yawns a wide toothy yawn.
Meepo: Meepo go sleep. You all be quiet now.
Meepo pads over and flops down on his bedroll, covering himself with a scrap of a blanket, as the rest of the party makes their way to their rest. The night passes peacefully and without incident. Early the following morning, they awaken and gather their gear, everyone ready to continue on deeper into the citadel. Almost everyone…
Garl Auraspeaker (snores): zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Civic: I find it so interesting that you all just sit there for hours at a time not really doing anything. It seems so wasteful.
Quinton Greymane (yawns): Beats the alternative. We ain’t all made out of magic, or whatever warforged are made out of. You know, never really figured out what the deal was with warforged.
Civic: We have no need, or urge to sleep.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat (looks at Fenora): You going to let him get away with all that sleeping?
Fenora Finnley (looks up groggily): I could use more sleep too… not exactly a comfortable inn here.
Meepo (holds up his dagger): Meepo wake him up??
Quinton Greymane: Alright now, that’s a might bit too far.
Meepo walks up to Garl’s foot with a (slightly evil) grin, and jabs Garl’s foot with the tip of his dagger. Garl Auraspeaker scrambles out of bed with a shout.
Garl Auraspeaker: Bloody flamin’ Khyber’s bones! The abyss is wrong with you people?!
Meepo (looks up at Garl innocently): What happened? Time to go?
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat (snickers as she mutters in Goblin): This kobold is not going to last long.
Garl Auraspeaker (narrows his eyes at Meepo): Time for Meepo stew, is what it is!
Garl Auraspeaker spits out a spark.
Civic: Oh my! You may be right, Gishkaa. We should be more gentle in our wake-up calls in the future.
Meepo: Meepo dunno why you so moody. Meepo just walk by and false dragon kick Meepo’s dagger.
Quinton Greymane (puts his hand on his head): Y’all are just too much. We got some kids to find, remember?
Garl Auraspeaker (growls): Fine.
Meepo: And Calcryx! Don’t forget, you find Meepo’s dragon!
Garl Auraspeaker (points at Meepo his finger shaking): One day, Meepo…
Meepo: One day what?
Quinton Greymane (interupting the brewing confrontation): Yep, we’ll find Calcryx too alright. Alright let’s head out now.
Meepo: Good. We eat now, then go find dragon.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat (pointing at a closed door in the room) What’s in here Meepo?
Meepo: That is guard room, where guardians of the People sleep when there is possible goblins in area. No one been there since Meepo got sent here watch Calcryx. Not know if anyone in there now, though.
Meepo walks over to the door and throws it open wide. A small pit of embers, built of broken masonry and portions of shattered stone sculptures, smolders in the center of this chamber. Arrayed around the pit are several small rugs woven of matted hair and dead fungi. The room is unoccupied.
Meepo (sighs heavily): See? No one here. Leave Meepo all alone, they did.
Garl Auraspeaker (whispers): I can’t imagine why….
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: What jerks!
Civic (unbars the door): Shall we continue our explorations ladies and gentlemen?
Meepo (angrily): You ready to go?!
The little kobold stomps over to the door and opens it in a huff, leading the way back into the corridor. As everyone begins to follow, Fenora nudges Gishkaa and points out a small pile of silver coins on one of the tables in the watch room. The goblin dashes into the room unseen and snatches the coins, before she and Fenora quickly catch up with the rest of the party, heading back in the direction they’d traveled the day before. As they reach a turn in the hallway, they can hear some guttural speech in the distance. Meepo stops suddenly, putting up a claw to call for a halt.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: I hear goblins ahead.
Meepo: Meepo hear them too. Think they know we were there.
Garl Auraspeaker: Let’s just run in and bash ‘em good!
Civic: Should we send Gishkaa ahead to greet them? Maybe bloodshed is unneeded.
Meepo (eyes widen in alarm): BAD idea, metal man! Goblins know their kin. Kill all outsider. I mean… sure, let her go ahead.
Meepo side-eyes Gishkaa.
Quinton Greymane (whispers): Yeah not sure that would be too good for Gishkaa’s health.
Meepo: It don’t sound like there a lot of goblins. Maybe we surprise, kill them quick?
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat just stands there looking angry as everyone talks about how horrible goblins are and makes plans to kill them in cold blood.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: I’d at least like to give them a chance to talk before we just fill them with arrows.
Meepo [in Draconic]: Your funeral.
Quinton Greymane: Well, if ya want to try, we’ll back you up.
Meepo (sighs, slips a stone into his sling): Meepo think this big bad idea, but Meepo back up goblin lady if need to.
Gishkaa walks around the corner, calling out a greeting in her native tongue. Entering the next chamber, she can see that the door on the other side of the room is still open from the previous day. Further down the hallway, she sees a single goblin standing with its back to the door. Gishkaa calls out again, and the goblin whips around with a snarl, stomping down the hall toward Gishkaa.
Goblin [in Goblin]: Who you!?
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat [inGoblin]: My name is Gishkaa. I was sent by the Sharaat clan to investigate what is happening here. There are reports that your clan has run into troubles of some kind here.
Goblin [in Goblin]: Sharaat clan?! We know no such clan! You not part of Durbuluk tribe, you not belong here! Intruders die, feed tribe.
The goblin draws a rusted scimitar from its belt, and steps slowly into the room, advancing toward Gishkaa. She spins on her heel and runs back around the corner.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: I was wrong. They are horrible.
Goblin [in Goblin]: Get her! She must die!
The goblin dashes up behind Gishkaa, stopping short as it finds himself nose-to-nose with Meepo.
Goblin [in Goblin]: Uh oh…
The goblin attempts to slash at Meepo, but the little kobold deftly avoids the blade. Meanwhile, suspecting the goblin’s companions may be nearby, Civic slips past to the door and sees a pair of goblins and some twig blights advancing.
Civic (waves wand around and sings): Hush, little goblins don’t make a sound, we’ll wait to kill you on another round.
The advancing goblins begin to yawn widely as they both drop to the floor asleep. The twig blight, however, are unaffect by Civic’s spell, and continue to advance. Meanwhile, Gishkaa engages the goblin in the hall, snarling angrily in its face.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat [in Goblin]: You’re giving goblins a bad name and you should be ashamed!
Fenora advances to the door, and aims an arrow at one of the prone goblins, piercing its skull and killing it instantly. Quinton slices cleanly through a twig blight with his blade, as Meepo engages another twig blight, managing to wound the strange creature. Civic uses a spell to hit the twig blight with acid, melting the creature away, as Garl moves behind the goblin engaged with Gishkaa and finishes it off. With their enemies eliiminated, the party moves into the next room, and surrounds the remaining, but sleeping, goblin.
Civic: Well we now have a captive if we want to find out more about their disposition of forces in the rooms ahead.
Gishkaa takes the sleeping goblins weapons away as Quinton attempts to tie up the goblin. The movement jostles the creature into consciousness, and it begins to wriggle, attempting to escape! The goblin shifts wildly, managing to pull its hands free from the ropes as, with a backwards roll, it throws itself against the back wall.
Goblin [in Goblin]: I’ll kill you all!!!
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat rolls her eyes.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat [in Goblin]: Yeah, that’s not going to happen, dumbass.
Goblin [glares at Gishkaa and snarlsin Goblin]: Traitor!
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat [in Goblin]: Traitor? You attacked me! I’d tied you up so you couldn’t do anything foolish like threaten to kill us all. Look at your buddies. Look at us with not a scratch on us. What are you going to do?
The goblin dashes forward in a fit of rage, and Quinton steps in, slashing down with his longsword. The goblin’s forward momentum carries it through the slashing cut, severing the goblin’s head form its body. As the head comes to a rest as his feet, Quinton sighs.
Quinton Greymane: Damn shame. Didn’t have to go this way.
Garl Auraspeaker: He was an animal, Quint, an animal. There weren’t nothing for it.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: Ok, I guess there is no reasoning with this tribe.
Garl Auraspeaker: Glad we’re in agreement
Meepo (dashes into the room, swinging his sling in a wide circle): Let Meepo at ‘em!
Meepo (stops short when he see everything dead): Oh. Now you know why Meepo say need be quiet here. This just a scouting party, tho not know what stick things are. More goblins as we go, not so easy next time.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat [in Goblin]: Shut up MEEPO! Nobody asked you.
Garl Auraspeaker: Good, I’m ready to kill some goblins
They make their way past the fountain and the carved door, which Gishkaa gazes at longingly as they pass, to the next passage. There, they find the door to the next chamber wide open, likely left that way by the goblin party they just encountered. The chamber is home only to rat droppings, crumbled flagstone, and stains. Entering the the room, they move toward the door on the far side of the room. Gishkaa and Fenora take turns inspecting the door frame for any traps, and Fenora discovers that a small bell is attached to the door about three feet off the floor.
Fenora Finnley: There’s a tiny warning bell here. Gishkaa, think we can we cut the piece out to silence it?
Gishkaa steps in and easily manages to unhook the wires used to attach the bell to the door, rendering it silent for its intended purpose. Once she has the bell loose, she wraps it in some cloth before tucking it in a pocket. The alarm now rendered silent, she opens the door. The ten-foot-wide hall beyond the door is liberally strewn with sharp caltrops. On the northern wall, passage to the room beyond is partially blocked by a roughly mortared, three-foot high wall, complete with crenelations.