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Jade Forgetting
The boy is safe now. His glow has gone down by far and so has the big one, who has introduced himself as "Dega." He is good and cares for the boy but I do not know if that is what I am going to be called to do. The boy reminds me of a group Amatha spoke of: The Chosen of the Stars. She was not very keen on their kind. I will keep my heart distant if actions must be taken.
----
The boy's name is Einar. A sweet adolescent who wishes nothing of the life that has been laid before him. The shifty one brought back meat and has also introduced himself as "Xhangda." He is previously of the Immaculate Order which might serve my duties to the Pact well. As we talk, Xhangda speaks of this life as if he has been cursed and all who live the same life are also cursed. I feel pity for him that he does not feel blessed. Maybe that is a journey he must take soon.
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Xhangda and I left to go take care of some business in the village. Xhangda to a home to take some goods, and I to put up the threatening orders to warn the village of their doom. I think Xhangda is a better person than he thinks he is. He treats my spirit shape well without even thinking. Only those with good Heart's Blood have done that for my Spirit shape before. This is a good sign
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Who is this boy? He waves at me and smiles to both Xhangda and I but I have not memory of him. I try not to stare but his joy of us does not make sense. Xhangda and Dega say I know him but why can't I remember? We must be protecting him. I will keep him close and try to not forget again. Amatha will wish to hear of this.
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A Piece of Cake
Flossin was sure that the upcoming job would be easy. Gerry seemed to think things would turn out all right. While he didn't find a turtle, he was sure that Foosten would be at the party. Flossin and the rest would grab him before he could cause trouble, and voila they would be the heroes of the city. Piece of cake. Of course, it never occurred to Flossin that Foosten might not show up to this shindig. So when the trouble started, he did the best he could with what he had. I guess it turned out ok in the end. Even if the house didn't get set on fire, or he didn't get to ride a war turtle through the garden. Better luck next time.
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Epic!
Ever Onward
While we were resting, another kobold named Aga wandered in, escorting Trinique. Sparrow and Smalls leapt up to escort her back. Meepo was still looking pretty bruised from the revenant fight, so I used some of my magic to heal him. It wasn't much, but it was nice of him to act so impressed. Frank and I examined the black candle a bit closer, too. It was weirdly cool and wouldn't go out or catch on anything, and covered in arcane runes. Frank decided to take it along for more light, and Trinique left to scout ahead.

The eastern side of the hallway up ahead ended in a cave-in, while the western side had another door. Shuffling tracks that looked like they came from the twig blights went south down the hall towards us. Further north the hall was lined with cells, with scurrying noises coming from the inside. I wanted to avoid those. At the end of the hall it opened up into another room, but a large open pit trap blocked the way. Another one was open on the west end of the room too. Trinique said she could see a similar looking dragon fountain as before, but according to Candy this one read, "Let there be death".

We decided to avoid the rats in the cells and the pit traps, and instead took the first hall door leading west. It was plain and nondescript, and none of us heard sound beyond it so we proceeded onwards. It opened up into another empty room, but we found more human-sized boot prints leading to another door on the north wall. I noticed some damage on the door, like someone had hammered three nails in a triangle formation about two feet off the floor. We thought the door might be boarded up, but it opened easily when I tried the latch.

I slowly eased the door open, and found the source of the nails to be a large metal bell nailed to the center. If anyone swung the door open too quickly it'd ring and let anyone up ahead know we were coming. The room up ahead was completely dark, but by the light of my lantern I could make out scattered caltrops on the ground just in front of me. Jax walked on ahead without taking any light, wincing as he accidentally stepped on one caltrop, then crying out when he hit another. I could barely make out his shadow 30 feet in front of me when two arrows shot out from the darkness beyond, clattering against the wall. It was another trap!

Trinique threw Frank's candle to get some more light in the room, and I ran to to bring my lantern as well. Just beyond the edge of the lights radius I could make out two shadowy figures hiding behind a battlement wall. We all returned fire but the darkness and the wall made it hard to land a hit. Meepo ran in to help Jax and I in the attack, but two more goblins joined the fray and rained down arrows on the three of us. Screeching, "Retreat!" Meepo ran back to the cover of the door, just as another arrow got me in the stomach.

Next thing I knew, Jax was leaning over me, softly singing a healing song. Candy took down one of the goblins, and I threw out a pinpointing spell on the three ones left. But it failed.

I panicked. I ran. Obad-Hai, I thought Jax was right on my heels. I should have grabbed him. I should have made sure he made it out with me. I should have been better. Gods damn it.

Three arrows sank deeply into his chest as Jax sprinted forward with a strangled cry. He went barreling over the wall, and another goblin shriek rang out as he took it down, then eerie silence. A moment later, a low whistle from Frank using the Night Caller.

I peeked out. Incredibly, Jax was up again! He bashed the brains out of one goblin while another, also risen from the floor, attacked the final creature. My heart leapt to my throat but Jax looked... wrong. His movements were jerky and unhinged. Jax was gone, and whatever magic Frank called upon with the crystal whistle turned him into someone awful. Finally it was silent.

I pulled the bell off the door and stuffed it in my pack. Trinique swept through the room and collected all the caltrops. We made our way across the room to the battlement to survey the remains. Beyond the wall, another door opened into a hallway leading south. Around the corner to the west side we found a larger empty room covered in straw, with the zombified bodies of the goblin and Jax lying still in the center. Globs of glowing ooze dotted the walls, casting a dull green glow. I could make out 5 practice dummies lines up against a similar battlement wall, with 3 doors to the north, northwest, and southwest. Frank suggested we burn Jax's body before the goblins could find it, so Candy, Trinique, and I helped sort through his belongings.

Jax had an interesting collection of supplies on him. Deep in his pack we found a very fine set of robes, like what a noble would wear. Candy found a letter that looked to be for a noble from Brindol, and a surprisingly delicate, elven-looking signet ring. Maybe those will help us find his family when this is all over. I added his song sheets, ink, and quill to my own writing bag. I'm sure his relatives will want his music. As a memento.

We set a pyre and continued onward. There are people we can still save.

The southwest door was held shut by a heavy lock, and we could hear high pitched voices just beyond. Frank managed to break the lock, and inside were four small cages. Three of them held kobolds, and Meepo eagerly bounded in to open the locks. The last one held a gnome, and his face broke out in the biggest smile at us.

The gnome introduced himself as Erky Timbers, and said a goblin ambushed attacked him on the Old Road a few months ago, and he's been forced to dig tunnels as a prisoner here ever since. Obad-Hai, I can't imagine being underground that long. The constant darkness is getting to me after barely a few days. I asked if he'd seen any human prisoners recently, and he said Talgen, Sharwen, and Sir Braford were here a few days ago, but were taken to Belak. Karakas was killed before they were taken prisoner. We're too late. Again.

Erky thinks Belak is some sort of spellcaster, and he and the goblins have an enchanted grove where golden fruit grows from something called the Gulthias Tree. The name doesn't make much sense to me; history says a man named Gulthias secretly lived as a noble in Brindol by day, and vampire feeding on the common folk by night. He was a scourge in the city until he disappeared, and no one knows what became of him. I don't understand how a tree named after such a monster of a man grows a fruit that brings life. The deathly white apple does make some sense, though.

Erky and Meepo eyed each other uneasily, and the gnome seemed on edge at the idea of us rescuing the kobolds' pet dragon. I tried to explain it, but I think I just made it worse. Now Meepo was upset too. Frank said something in gnommish to Erky, and he seemed to relax a bit.

The northwest door led to where the goblins live, according to Erky, so we went through the north door instead. Beyond, we found another hallway leading to the west, with a door directly ahead and another at the left end of the hall. More ooze lined the walls, and when I took a closet look, it was weirdly solid and rough, almost like bark, and smell like dirt and sulfur and something else I couldn't place.

Trinique and I heard goblin voices from the northern door, while the west one just had quiet thumping beyond it. Meepo said it smelled like sweets! None of use could pick the lock on the door, so we had to resort to breaking it down again. Loudly. The door swung open to reveal a small white dragon crouched on a table! Meepo was ecstatic! Frank and I, not so much, as the white reared back to unleash a flurry of icy breath in our direction. We managed to slam the door shut just in time, but turned around to see four goblins had joined us in the hall from the northern room.

We were surrounded. Uh-oh.

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Epic!
Unexpected Allies
Candy translated Meepo's cry of "Ticklecorn!" for the rest of us. Apparently it's draconic for "coming through, don't shoot" which is good to know moving forward. Meepo rushed ahead, and I guess we lost Trinique in the twisting tunnels. She left a note, though, saying, "back soon". Of course she'll be fine. She kept her head and turned our encounter with the bandits around. Someone like her can hold her own here. I hope.

Sparrow was right behind us heading into the ravine, and joined us as we moved through the kobold tunnels. Eventually we reached a large marble room lined with marble columns made up of intertwined dragons. Murals or dragon scenes decorated the walls, depicting dragons soaring in the sky, raining fire down on villages. One central mural illustrated a dragon with five different colored heads; one red, black, blue, green, and white; surrounded by hooded figures bowing down before it. It would have been beautiful if not for the thick layer of dust and cobwebs covering every surface, and piles of trash and crumbling stone lining the room. Three more kobold stood guard in the room, but relaxed once Meepo called out the signal word again. There was an open doorway with a huge curtain drawn across it, separating the room from the one beyond. Meepo lead us through, chattering in draconic to any kobold we passed. Candy translated again, and this time he was saying, "They are going to find Calcrex. They will help our tribe."

We passed through the curtain, and the next room held a raised dias with a huge stone throne. A stone dragon leered over the top as if to pounce, holding a large stone key in its mouth. Another kobold, this one wearing white robes, sat on the throne. Meepo said something and bowed, so we did the same. The kobold on the throne switched to Common, thank Obad-Hai. She introduced herself as Ustriel, leader of the kobold tribe.

I asked if she or anyone in her tribe had seen a troupe of humans traversing the tunnels recently, and she replied that the humans were captured by goblins a few days ago, and some of them were injured. She offered us a deal: if we recover Calcrex, the kobolds will assist us in rescuing our people since we'll be friends of the tribe. In the meantime, Ustriel offered Meepo's aid in finding Calcrex and bringing her back. As a further reward, she showed us an altar with a magic feather, 3 scrolls, and a flask containing healing elixer; we can choose two of the items to take with us later.

Now in agreement, we tried to gather as much information as we could before moving forward. Calcrex is a young white dragon, and kobold consider themselves mighty beasts heir to all dragons. They came to this holy site where dragons were worshiped years ago, and found Calcrex along the way to guide them. When I asked about the Red Hand, Ustriel said a few moons before the goblins stole Calcrex, some kobolds saw human-sized figures in dark robes who came down on the goblin side of the tunnels.

Thoroughly exhausted, we decided to make camp with the kobold colony for the night and start fresh in the morning. Meepo led us to another area that housed at least 50 kobolds, some clearly small children and others old and wrinkled. For all the mess and trash everywhere, the kobolds were so earnest in their hospitality! They offered us dinner and drinks, and even told us the stories of their tribe. Moons ago, the tribe lived far away but still had Ustriel leading them. She had a vision of a dragon that directly served Tiamat, the five headed queen of chromatic dragons. The tribe traveled from the north through the Thornwastes until they found the hole in the ground hiding a mighty fortress. The tribe was much larger before, but ongoing war with the neighboring goblin tribe has reduced their number to a quarter of what they were. The goblins live in a part of the fortress called "the Grove" under the leadership of someone called the Outcast. Another name they've heard the goblins call him is Belak. Could this be the same person Garon said was asking about the Sunless Citadel a decade ago? It's too much of a coincidence not to be. I wonder if his pet toad is still around somewhere too. The kobolds said the only pets of the Outcast are the twig blights roaming the area. Apparently this whole fortress used to belong to a cult of people led by a goblin hundreds of years ago that worshiped Tiamat. The kobolds found Calcrex when she was newly hatched and took care of her as she grew many times their size. The two tribes lived in relative peace before the Outcast showed up and started the attacks.

*****

We left early in the morning, and went straight back to the room we found Meepo in. A small door on the northeast wall led to the goblin area. Past that, we found another twisting hallway leading to an empty room with more boot prints, with another room beyond it containing an ornate dragon fountain on the eastern wall. A large stone door stood on the western wall, and directly ahead to the north the room opened up to another hallway. Sparrow was intrigued by the fountain, and found that it was covered in a strange sulfurous residue and draconic runes reading "let there be fire". It seemed dangerous to me. The stone door contained more draconic, saying "rebuke the dead, and open the way". Since the door was decidedly colder than the rest of the room, I thought the white ice dragon might be hiding beyond the door. Unfortunately, Frank triggered the trap before Smalls could open it, but we pushed onward.

Inside we found another altar with a single black candle casting flickering shadows around the room. Five coffins lined the north and south walls. The altar seemed to have something else on it, so Sparrow and I went in to take a closer look. He found a crystal whistle that said "Night Caller" in dwarven script, and explained that duergar made whistles that could animate the dead if blown in darkness or under the night sky. I was just examining a flask I found on the altar when the coffins started to open. It was a trap!

Meepo, Candy, Jax, Smalls, and Frank all poured in to fight the undead creatures. Sure they surprised us, but we could make short work of them if it's just five against seven. At least that's what I was thinking until one of those skeletons knocked Sparrow out, and another hit me from behind.

Darkness.

The face of an orc, then swirling shadows closing in. The skin faded from green to tan, a long beard instantly growing on his cheeks. Deep heavyset wrinkles around his eyes. It was a dwarf now.

The rhythmic clink... clink... of a blacksmith working at his forge. Echoing in the darkness

The scene explodes in fire and smoke, the ringing is gone again.

From the flames five interlocking rings rise. One blue, one black, one red, one white, one green. Each gleaming like steel in the flickering light.


I woke up with a start. Sparrow was still unconscious, and now Meepo was too. I made my way across the floor to Sparrow and gave him my healing potion, and he lurched awake as I sighed in relief. We cut down the revenants, but Candy had barricaded the door from some twig blights who heard the commotion and lumbered over to attack.

We stabilized Meepo, and the kobold explained to us that the blights are dumb creatures, walking through fire without even noticing their bodies burning up. At his suggestion, we gathered up the cloaks of the revenants in front of the door, doused them in flame, and I readied a burst of fire as we swung the door open and braced for another fight. Luckily, this one was won much more easily that the first, and everyone fired arrows as I set the cloaks aflame. The twig blights did exactly what Meepo said they would, and crumbled to ash before reaching even halfway across the room. Victory!

We decided to take this opportunity now for a short rest, and I examined the flask more closely. It smells like cinnamon, and the words "essence of the dragon" are carved into the side. I'd say it's definitely something that could come in useful. We've still got a dragon, Belak the Outcast, and who knows how many goblins up ahead.
Session: Game Session 4: In the company of Meepo - Friday, Feb 08 2019 from 11:00 PM to 3:00 AM
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Descent to the Citadel
We found the ravine easily enough. There were broken pillars covered in goblin graffiti hanging over and around the edge of the cliff, and strangely an outdoorsy-looking fellow was taking a nap at the base of one. The man, Frank, claimed cliffs are an excellent place for a nap, since the views are fantastic. Never mind the inherent risk of rolling over the edge, but to each his own I suppose. He offered to join us in our quest to rescue the Hucreles and their companions, and took the lead in scaling down the ravine. Almost immediately a swarm of rats sprung out from the rocks and attacked! I fumbled my slingshot and dropped it over the edge, so I tried scaling down the rope while Trinique, Smalls, Jax, and Candy shot arrows down at the rats. I thought maybe I could at least defend and heal our new friend, but I lost my grip and fell. Next thing I knew the fight was all over, and Frank and I were lying on the ground surrounded by rat bodies. Not exactly a promising start to the day, but at least everyone else made it down the cliff in one piece.

The platform below the cliff edge led to a winding staircase the went even further down the the bottom of the ravine. I could just make out a large building in the distance ahead, with a courtyard leading to a smaller mound directly in front of us. Derrick took the lead this time, and triggered a pit trap in the yard and leap out of the way just in time. Two more rats were in the pit, waiting to attack anyone who fell in. I took care of them with my lantern fire. Better to put the pests out of their misery now than get another bite taken out of Frank or I later.

Inside of the mound was eerie. Small goblin bodies, probably dead for a few days, were scattered around the room. There was even a spear pinning one of them to the far wall! I'm guessing the party we're following is responsible for this. That's at least one fight we know they won.

There were 2 other doors in the room, with some shuffling boot prints and a strange claw print leading to the one on the right. We followed the tracks, and came across a hallway with three doors; one straight ahead and 2 others leading left and right. The left door had a crude drawing of a dragon, or maybe it was a fish? It was locked, with a low hissing noise coming from behind it. The door on the right opened to what looked like a meat storage locker. It was empty of anyone, so we turned to focus on the door straight ahead. Trinique swore she heard crying from beyond the door, so she snuck ahead to take a look, then reported back.

The room beyond had a depression in the center, like a pit. Off to the side there was a small hut, where the person we heard was hunched over, crying. He was covered in scales and was speaking draconic to himself. So there's definitely more people down here than just goblins, it seems. Jax took the lead in speaking to the creature, who introduced himself as a kobold named Meepo. Apparently a tribe of his people live down here as well, and the goblins stole their pet dragon, Calcrex, from them. Meepo immediately latched on to the idea of us rescuing his pet, and jumped to introduce us to his leader, Ustriel. He said if we rescue Calcrex, Ustriel will like us, and help us in our quest. I'm not sure how a dragon would even fit in the tunnels down here, or how we'd even go about finding a lost pet, but any help in finding the Hucrele's party would be good.

I hope we find a source of light somewhere up ahead. These dark tunnels are making me anxious. I really don't like being underground.

Meepo is running ahead and yelling something. It sounds like... ticklecorn?
Session: Game Session 3: Into the Sunless Citadel - Friday, Jan 11 2019 from 11:00 PM to 3:00 AM
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