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Old 09-04-2015, 03:31 PM
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The Sunless Citadel

Chapter 1: The Sunless Citadel



Prologue: The Ol' Boar Inn

Oakhurst is a rather small town, if it is even large enough to earn that title. Were it not for the merchants travelling the New Road, Oakhurst likely would have faded into obscurity decades ago. As it was though, the town saw enough travelers to warrant it a somewhat comfortable position as a way station. Peddlers, merchants, entertainers, and a myriad of other travelers were a not uncommon sight in Oakhurst. Farms dot the landscape in the miles surrounding the town center, but times have been hard over the past few years. Several farms stand abandoned, with wild grass and other weeds growing where crops had less than a decade prior. The midsummer festival, usually a good excuse for merchants to stop in Oakhurst for more than a single night, seemed to have been forgotten by the locals. Other than a few flower plants in the town center, none of the normal decorations had yet been put up. The typical travelers had taken note and had already made plans to move on well before they had intended to.

The shadows had grown long by the time you finally reached the Ol' Boar Inn. The light of the setting sun cast the largest building in Oakhurst in a fiery red tint that made it somehow look slightly more welcoming than in full light. It had been a while since you had eaten, and while the road had been clear, you ate while travelling without pause. Your foresight paid off, as you will sleep in a bed tonight instead of camping on the side of the New Road once again. Your nose could have led you to the inn even if you hadn't been able to spot it from well outside of the town center. The smell of stew and bread wafted through the air, beckoning travelers and locals alike. A few horses are hitched in front of the inn, and the sounds of people gathered can be heard from inside.

As you push the door aside and enter, the light of the hearth illuminates the interior. The Ol' Boar Inn is small by most standards, but the patrons that are there don't take up every seat. A bar maiden is nowhere to be seen, which is of little surprise given the size of the town and the inn, but the owner, a tall man who looks to be in his mid forties, gives you a passive waive indicating to sit wherever you can find room. A group of men who look like they haven't been more than ten miles from Oakhurst in their entire lives are taking up two of the bigger tables near the center of the room. A gruff looking dwarf, still wearing his blacksmith apron, is sitting by himself at a small table nearest to the hearth. Some of the other tables are taken by small groups, all looking like locals or travelling merchants. One table does have empty seats though, a round table near the back window with only a few people sitting there who look like neither locals nor merchants.

As you sit, talk, and drink, you discover that those who have shared a table and a meal with you also share a similar goal. For one reason or another, each desires to set off for the Sunless Citadel for reasons each their own. But in times like these, a common goal can create friends quite quickly, and you learn much of your new comrades throughout the night. Before each of you retires for the night, the group agrees to meet in front of the tavern the next morning and set off to see what adventure brings you.



Day 1, shortly after daybreak
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You awake and gather your things. You read your spell books and sharpen your weapons before heading out to meet with your new group. A quick but hot breakfast fills your stomach and your water bags bulge. The sun peaks over the distant mountains, and the dew is just beginning to lift. A slight breeze rustles the bushes along the buildings. The smell of eggs and bread being cooked lingers in the air about the inn, but the breeze quickly carries it away and replaces it with the smell of fields in the morning. It is a cool morning, but the sun will quickly bring the temperature up to an almost uncomfortable warm. Your new companions are there, and it would appear that everyone is ready to begin the trip to the Sunless Citadel. From the information you had managed to gather from the villagers, the citadel is only a few hours away from Oakhurst down the Old Road.
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Last edited by Giot; 10-02-2015 at 11:12 AM.
  #2  
Old 10-02-2015, 12:06 PM
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Libitia Melandron awoke with a stretch and a yawn, feeling more rested than she ever felt sleeping on the New Road. Earlier that night, she had offered to provide some entertainment to the inn's patrons with her instrument, and her beautiful voice, and met her new companions a short time after. After slipping into her lightweight robes and sandals and gathering the rest of her supplies, the half-celestial took some time out of the morning to study her spellbook and prepare her spells got the day ahead.

Walking down to the main part of the inn, Libitia politely ordered a breakfast meal for herself, nothing too hearty or greasy. "Hello everyone! And good morning to you all." she greeted the others with a smile that practically radiated warm and friendliness, looking upon them with her vibrant, piercing blue eyes. "Did everyone have pleasant dreams and sleep soundly last night? I suspect we'll need to be at our best for the journey we are about to undertake."

After downing the filling breakfast, the Aasimar left the inn to wait for the others as they gathered outside. She breathed in the fresh air as she waited. "Aaah....You know, I quite love the warmer seasons. Something about them just feels....well....alive, I suppose. What do you think?"

Libitia would ask this of anyone who was with her at the time, and would be free and open with whatever questions were asked if her.


 
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Last edited by Clockwerk66; 10-02-2015 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 10-02-2015, 05:29 PM
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”Ughhh” Archibald moaned as he turned on the sorry excuse they called a bed. He sat up and poured himself a glass of water from the canter by his bedside. ”Why did I go here again?
He stood up and rose a little too quickly, feeling all woozy from a night of heavy drinking. If you do something, do it with all your effort. That was one Archibalds philosophies. So that also included the consumption of liquor.
He stumbled to his clothes, that were dumped one the only chair in the room, and dressed himself. The used-to-be-noble washed his hands and face in bowl of water and figured that was good enough for what they were about to do. He still felt quite dirty, but he was almost accustomed to living like a slob after a couple of weeks from home.
He grabbed the rest of his belongings and made his way out, giving one last glance at the dump he just slept in. He made his way towards the restroom and relieved himself. ”Nothing beats a morning piss. he said blissfully to no one in particular.
Archibald stumbled into the dinner area of the inn, stuffed himself with whatever they were serving as fast as he could and made his way outside. There he hoped his hangover would clear faster than inside the stuffy inn.
Soon he was accompanied by the gorgeous blond from last night. ”Ehhhh. Seasons don’t really matter that much to me. It is the company you keep.” he said with a sly cocky smile. ”And I must say I like the company this morning. “
He ran a hand over his head and through his Mohawk and looked at the woman. There was something off about her, but he couldn’t quite get what it was. ”Soo uhmmm, what was your name again? And what makes you want to go to the citadel. If there is one thing to say about these country ales is that they pack a punch.” he said sheepishly.
 
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:04 PM
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Kalvin awoke as the first rays of the sun were beginning to peek over the horizon. Making his prayers to Kord, Kalvin settles on his daily spell selection and then proceeds to wash himself thoroughly. Once cleaned both spiritually and physically, Kalvin dressed and went down stairs to get some food to eat. Afraid that he was enjoying the food a little too much, he turned down an offer for seconds and simply gathered his gear and went outside with the others to begin their journey to the citadel. The beautiful woman and the drunk were conversing when he arrived, so he simply waited quietly awaiting the others.

 
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:22 AM
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Libitia giggled softly at Archibald's compliment before reintroducing herself. "You don't remember? I'm Libitia, the girl with the viol last night. Pleasure to meet you, Archibald."

She then put a finger to her chin as she pondered how to answer the sorcerer's question. "Well....you could say that....someone prayed to Sune, the deity whose domain I'm attuned with....and I was sent here to find out why things here have been happening the way they are. What about you?"

The aasimar wizard nodded to Kalvin, welcoming him with a warm smile as he approached.

 
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:10 AM
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”Ahhh yesss. Libitia. That was it. I sort of remember your performance now.” while scratching the back of his head.

"Ok, makes sense. I think.” Archibald said with little confidence when Libitia explained her motives. ”What? As if that makes any sense. Ahhh whatever.” he thought.

”Me?” he asked while pointing a finger at his own chest. ”I am just looking for some adventure. I am just as bored as can be. I heard all kinds of stories and figured I should check this place out.”

”Ahhh another one of our freshly formed party, I presume.” acknowledging Kalvin.”And may I ask who you might be?” he said, getting some of his manners back. ”I am afraid some of last night has slipped my mind.”

 
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Last edited by Magpie Manny; 10-03-2015 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 10-03-2015, 07:55 AM
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Kalvin smiled back and waved when the beautiful woman smiled and nodded at him while still talking to the other guy. Standing around unobtrusively simply waiting for the others to show so they could leave, Kalvin was momentarily startled when the drunk politely asked him his name. "I am Kalvin, known as The Cleric. I am a proud servant of my lord Kord and I am at your service. Do not worry about last night, there is nothing like a good jog through the woods to get the blood pumping and burn off that alcoholic fog." Kalvin says in an extremely chip, cheerful, and supremely optimistic manner.

 
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:13 AM
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"Well, The Cleric, it is my pleasure to go on this adventurous endeavor with you. So what is your reason to visit this Sunless Citadel? Did your god perhaps command you to?" Archibald said looking Kalvin in the eyes with a curious look. Archy always asked what he wanted to know. He was also quite used to being answered.

He tried hard to remember the classes he received on theology, and he had to admit they were not his favorite. "As I remember Kord sounds like my kind of God. Sports and everything right?"

 
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Last edited by Magpie Manny; 10-03-2015 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 10-03-2015, 03:35 PM
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Olfactra had quickly learned who was interested in investigating the Sunless Citadel by the simple expedient of walking up to every single individual in the tavern, interrupting their private thoughts and conversations, and loudly asking them. Her uncouth manner and pungent aroma certainly hadn't won her any friends, but she neither noticed, nor cared.

She had arranged with a strangely shaven human, and a well-armored halfbreed city-elf, to meet the next morning and set forth. Ordinarily she'd have hunted alone, moving through the forest like the marsh stoat weaves through the rushes. But her visions had been so powerful, and she was so far from her natural haunts, that she would turn away no ally no matter how strangely "civilized" they might be.

But to some lengths Olfactra would just not go. The thought of sleeping under a roof, in a bed, much less paying to do so, was simply beyond her ken. Gathering her wicker rucksack she set out into the surrounding forest and spent a pleasant night in the crook of a spreading maple.

****

Rising at dawn the next morning, the elf quietly thanked the tree for its shelter, and prepared to meet the others at the inn. First, though, she went to one of the pastures on the edge of town where cattle had been slain. Clicking her teeth, and giving a low whistle, she Casts speak with animals as ritualcalled to a passing thrush. "Twee-hail my chirp-winged friend. May you find cheep-seed and chir-worm a-plenty this day. Tell-me-twit-kindly, have you seen or heard what prowls this two-wee-two-two-wee and kills the ones that sing the moos, in the night?"

After learning all she could from the thrush, she met her new companions at the inn and related the fruits of her investigation before sitting quietly as they ate and made ready.

Last edited by Graknar; 10-03-2015 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 10-03-2015, 03:45 PM
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The thrush lands and bounces a bit, tweeting a sweet sounding ee-oh-lay ee-oh-lay at Olfactra
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Last edited by Giot; 10-03-2015 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:05 PM
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Looking back at Archibald, Kalvin's smile seems to spread with every word as if he was enjoying himself just at the thought of what he hoped to accomplish. "Well my good man, oh I did not catch your name. What did you say your name was? Anyways, I am here for reasons two-fold. First, and far more importantly, I am here to investigate some rumors of magical apples being sold by goblins that reportedly cure disease in the summer and cause disease in the winter. I find this rumor extremely curious and intend to find out whether it is simply rumor passed around or if it has merit. Secondly, I am here for the citadel, it sounds like a great place to visit and investigate. With any luck we may even find some great artifacts that will explain how people lived so many years ago. " He says exuberantly. "So who all else is coming with us, I am really excited to get this started. How about you guys? You ready for great adventure and for sagas to be written about us?" He adds hastily, typical of his hyper puppy syndrome.

 

Last edited by Klar Slasher; 10-03-2015 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:04 PM
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Libitia offerd her slender hand to Kalvin in greeting, before introducing herself to him with another warm smile, her piercing eyes seeming to almost look THROUGH him. "Libitia Meladron, aspiring illusionist in service of Sune, at your service. I confess the mystery of the "magical" apples has perplexed me as well. Somehow I doubt the goblins have good intentions."
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:36 PM
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Leaning against the outside wall of the inn, Zintara watches the exchange between the motley band of adventurers she met last night in the common room. Causal observers would probably call her expression, aloof, although the obvious overtures of the mohawked man brought on the slightest of eye-rolls.

Eventually, the rogue sighs and interrupts the banter by calling out. "So we are all here then? I know we are missing the half-elf paladin, but he seemed kind of a loner anyway. Maybe he is already on the road? Anyone know if he is coming? If not, perhaps we should start moving."

She walks a few paces toward the Old Road, pulls out a crossbow bolt and begins fingering the feathered shaft, then brings it close to her face, parallel to her nose, as if testing how straight the dart is.
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:45 PM
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Akon descended from his room much later than those he had met the previous night. Unlike the others he had not partaken in the previous nights drinking, though he had sat among them. Despite the lonesome and gloomly demeanor that he held, he had enjoyed watching the rest of them drink and talk. It had reminded him of the days of old, before he gave up such a life. It had even made him smile a bit, a rarity for the half-elf, as he thought on the many nights he had spent with a cheap bottle of dwarfish whiskey, and a few stolen coins. That was before, when he had been no better than a street-rat, before he had taken a hold of his vices.

Sweat can be seen on his brow, as he makes his way towards his new companions. The morning had been spent in a set of complex military drills, which had surely woken up many around him. To keep his form, he spent each morning perfecting his strikes, going through the twelve count parries, and the various salutes. It was the only way to ensure that he didn't become rusty. Attempting to take up a regal pose, something he still had to perfect, he joins the conversation.

I am sorry for my delay. He spoke plainly. My morning rituals always take longer than I suspect. I hope that my delay has not been problematic. I will take my food for the walk. He stops, listening to those around him as they speak their mind. Yes, I cannot see goblins having any trustworthy aspects, and these apples seem only to be a ruse. I am interested in seeing exactly what is behind this.

Ah, but I have been rude. My name is Akon, at your service.
He follows this with a curt but respectful bow. I know I didn't partake in the festivities of last night, but it seemed that the like of you would be pleasurable company for my travels, if there is no issue I wouldn't mind accompanying you since we head to the same location. With a warm smile, one that seems off-putting, he turns to the young illusionist. Miss Melandron, is it? I must say I greatly appreciated your music of the night before. It reminded me of some of the music I heard as a child. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of listening to it again, at a later point. But now, if we are all ready, I suspect it would be best for us to start making moves, the day might be young, but they are only so long.

OOCSorry for delay in posting, this weekend has been a drunken haze between work, my birthday, my closest friend's birthday, and a wedding. Funny my character doesn't drink, maybe that's why I haven't been able to post him until I was done with my festivities. Have barely had time to check, let alone post! But here we go!

Looking forward to the adventures that will come from this. Let's make some stories.

Last edited by sageheart; 10-04-2015 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:26 PM
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"Of course. My name." Archibald says. "For now Archy will suffice. That's what my friends call me." He gives Kalvin an honest smile.

"Hey! We totally missed you." he says as he turns to face Zintara. "What's your name by the way? If you were standing there for some time you know yesterday was bit foggy for me" he says with a wink.

"Little bit of a serious fellow, are you not, Akon?" he says, greeting the Paladin. "Well if we are all here. Shall we hit the road. Even though you are quite interesting people, I am getting a bit bored."
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