The Upper Citidel
I will now briefly explain what I know of this map before moving on to the more interesting part of the story... where I join in.
The whole upper level was bright enough to see without aid as, during daytime, there was sunlight streaming through numerous holes in the roof. So far 'sunless' is not really an apt name for the citadel. 'Shoddy', perhaps. Also 'Stinky' given how long it has been occupied by goblins and kobolds.
1. This area is where the party landed after 75' climb down the cliff (I don't rely on human account of that, I made the climb, it was 75'). At the bottom their mage/mapmaker fell into a hole. Apparently they decided to get him out again.
To the left of the entrance was a chamber with a large door in one wall. The door had a stylized dragons head in which a large key would fit. The door could not be made to budge otherwise.
2. Here the party met resistance in the form of small unorganized bands of kobolds. After meeting death at the hands of the party's valkyrie the kobolds quickly decided negotiation was the best idea and they were taken before the chief of the tribe.
6. The throne room. With all the splendor you would expect from a kobold chief. That is, they had a bugbear skin on the floor in front of their rock throne. The chief obviously did not rise to his position on strength alone. He was quick to make a deal. Goblins neighbors of theirs had in the recent past stolen their pet baby dragon, and the kobolds, worshiping the thing, want it back. Should they get the dragon back they would be rewarded with the key for the dragon door at the entrance, behind which was promised to be great treasure. Skeptical at the idea of what kobolds thought of as 'great treasure' let alone the honesty of the information the party took the deal. Why not, they were going that way anyway.
5. So, with a kobold guide they were taken into the goblin lairs room 5. I have wondered why the kobolds did not take the party a more direct route... Perhaps they thought the party might be worn down enough on the return that they could be taken? In any case the guide was used. He was valuable. Not so much for his knowledge as for the fact that Mirage could get someone else to fall into the traps.
Along the way there were three rooms of interest. The first was sealed such that only a cleric of good could open it. Their cleric somehow managed to do it. Inside were several undisturbed sarcophagi. At this point would you expect a cleric of good to preserve the sanctity of the dead? Perhaps you might, but if you hesitated you would certainly lose out as their cleric speed forward to grab whatever riches the coffins might contain.
That room, sealed against evil. Then became a convenient resting spot throughout their exploration of the citadel.
The other two items of interest nearby were two fountains. Apparently representing 'death' and 'fire'. Someone of low wisdom decided to activate the 'death' fountain with the command word inscribed on it. Not surprisingly a noxious poisonous cloud of vapor engulfed the room. Fortunately for them it claimed none of them.
The fire fountain proved a little more useful, as when activated it produced a liquid that seemed to allow the imbibe to breath fire for a short time. Sort of like what a good strong dwarven ale will allow if you hold your pipe close enough and spit.
7. This area is the center of the goblins domain. The party made there way slowly, the pathetic goblins were not strong or organized enough to pose much resistance. Oh how I wish I'd been there for that! After slaying many a goblin most fled through the northern passages, leaving behind one very active and annoyed young white dragon. With a little frostbite the party managed to capture the thing and fulfill their bargain with the kobolds, who in turn, surprising everyone, fulfilled theirs.
Now the choice... chase down the goblin remnants or see what's behind the dragon door? Had I been there it would have been no contest... but, smelling treasure, the greedy band headed for the door.
3. Behind the door they found a strange room with one softly glowing sphere to one side. Wary (and wisely) they sent the gnome mage in to test the air. Soon enough they found a repelling magically force which kept them out of the room. Through persistence and effort they slowly managed to over come the sphere and remove it from the room, where it lost it's power. It is interesting to not that there was 5 other broken spheres in the room... If they had been active there would have been no chance of gaining entrance. Something valuable... or dangerous.. indeed must lay beyond. Did the party turn back? Of course not. Greed drove them on.
4. This room had, what appeared to be, a collapsed pit trap at one end, meant to be a final defense of the sarcophagus in the far room. After a short conversation about how far one could throw a gnome it was decided the cleric, as an agent of good, should be first to approach. This turned out to be unwise. No sooner did he climb up to the far room did a small shrieking demon fly out of the darkness at him. The demon, it was later learned, was something called a 'quasat' and a powerful one too. Overcoming it was difficult, as the party had no silver with which to hurt it and it seemed to draw an unnatural energy from the room it guarded. Before they were finished with the creature the cleric had been paralyzed with poison... an effect still apparent when I joined the party later... tho' he stoically tried to shrug it off.
I gather their trials were worth it and they found something good in the sarcophagus, tho' they have not mentioned their contents to me. Which is fair, I have only been with them a short while.
8. The last part of this foray into the citadel was to drive the goblins into this room and take the goblin children and women hostage. While deciding how to proceed the goblins counterattacked... and they brought friends. Hobgoblins and bugbears. Knowing they could not overcome these odds in their weakened state they fled.
Back to the village to recuperate and reprovision. At this point their cowardly gnome mage left them, taking his portion of the treasure. They believed they would have to return to the dungeons with less than their full strength, and against a foe who was strong enough to repel them once and would be watchful of further attempts.
But they were in luck. They met me.