The Dead of Winter - Chronicle Part 2

Scaresby, Athas Valley. October-November 1042TA - The Missing Adventurers and the Sunless Citadel.

After returning to Scaresby and selling off their treasure the adventurers spend some time deciding what to do next. As word filters around the town that the adventurers are looking for work they are visited by Kerowyn Hucrele, the owner of the town's jewellry shop. Her son and daughter recently joined a paladin and a ranger on an expedition to investigate a ruined keep called the Sunless Citadel. That was three months ago and they haven't been seen since. She offers them a reward of 150gp for their bodies, double if they are alive.

Agreeing to find the missing adventurers, they gather their equipment and search for any information. They discover that other people have sought the citadel over the years, the last being a man named Belak ten years previously. The Citadel was a stronghold for a group of dragon cultists who worshipped the dragon Ashardalon centuries ago. The Citadel was above ground, but the mages who defeated the cultists over a century ago opened up a chasm beneath and it now lies beneath the earth.

The Sunless Citadel, November 1042TA - The Upper Levels.

They reach the chasm containing the Sunless Citadel in good time. They climb down and begin to investigate. The once great citadel is now in ruins. The fabulous carvings and reliefs of dragons have been shattered and gouged. As they head deeper in they disturb a nest of Kobolds. The party battle in, slaying the kobold warriors and their chieftain, but leaving their women and children alone. Finding no sign of their quarry they head deeper inside.

Deeper in the citadel they find a small goblin tribe who have been warring against the kobolds. They fight their way through the goblins, defeating a white dragon wyrmling along the way. Finally they reach a large chamber where a the hobgoblin chief holds court. After a fierce battle they defeat the hobgoblin and his guards. In his belongings they find the signet ring of one of the missing Hucrele adventurers. In the centre of the room is large pit leading deeper into the earth. The party head down to investigate.

The Sunless Citadel, November 1042TA - The Lower Levels.

The adventurers climb down into the dark pit. The pit is lined with a strange, pale-white ivy. Despite growing in the darkness it still seems to be healthy. At the bottom of the pit they find a series of rooms filled with more of the strange plant-life, tended by goblin 'gardeners'. As they fight their way further in they come a cross a large cavern, dominated by a huge tree.

At the foot of the tree are three figures: Belak, a renegade druid, Sharwyn Hucrele and Sir Prafford the paladin. Both Sharwyn and Sir Brafford seem to be under the effects of some spell and their skin is dark and wood-like. After a confrontation, battle ensues. They kill Belak and Brafford and capture Sharwyn, who is in a mindless rage. The adventurers examine the tree and find some strange human-shaped depressions in the wood. They decide to chop down the tree. As they are chopping, Sharwyn screams and tries to struggle free. When the tree finally falls, Sharwyn's struggles cease and she lapses into unconsciousness. As they finish hacking the tree to pieces they find a mysterious skeleton in the tree's roots, pierced through by the main tap-root.

Having rescued Sharwyn, the party pack up their loot and depart for Scaresby. Upon their return they hand the comatose Sharwyn over to the Phaedran temple, sell their loot and reflect upon their adventures.

Scaresby, Athas Valley, December 1042TA - Assault on Scaresby .

Several weeks after their adventures in the Sunless Citadel the party begin to plan their future adventures. One foggy night, they are woken during the night by the sound of Scaresby's alarm bells. They gather their gear and head to the nearest gate where they find the town's militia fighting off an attack by a pack of zombies. Amongst the zombies are two undead ogres, who are using tree trunks to batter down the gates, and a flying mage who they think is controlling them.

With the help of the priests of Orloth and Phaedra the party turn back the attack, only to hear signs of battle from the other gates. Before they can lend their aid they hear an explosion and see a dim glow through the fog - someone is attacking the tower of the town's mage. The adventurers head off to see what is happening. When they get their, they see a heavily armoured man shaking the town's mage and shouting "Where is it! I know you have it!" while a young white dragon feasts on the corpse of one of his apprentices. They wade in, trying to save the mage. After a fierce fight they kill the fighter and barely manage to slay the dragon but not in time to save the mage. After helping to mop up the remaining zombies they retire for the night.

The next day they head off north, following the trail left by the zombies. After a few days they come across the mining village of Featherstone, that has been attacked recently. After searching the area they find goblin and dragon tracks, but lose the zombie's trail. They decide to follow the dragon tracks and come across the lair of the dragon they killed back at Scaresby. After looting the lair they return to Scaresby.

On to Part 3 of the Chronicle.

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