Harkin explores the entrance of Ashardalon (The Sunless Citadel). Immediately after the launch of Dungeons & Dragons, 3rd Edition, Wizards of the Coast published a series of adventure modules to support their new product. The Sunless Citadel is one such module for 1st-level adventurers:
Hmmm. This set of ruins looks identical to the one Borgil is pictured exploring. Could they be portals between Middle Earth and the Forgotten Realms?
Harkin's Baptism of Fire:
A ranger from the wilds of Comyr, Harkin encountered fellow adventurers on the road to Oakhurst: Pilga, the Half-Orc Cleric of Ilmater; Shem, the Halfling Sorcerer and a Dwarven Rogue, known to them only as "The Dwarf with no Name." (In actually he was Ondahl the Silent Killer).
The four stopped a band of Zhentarim thugs from severing the hand of a farmboy in the village square. This was "punishment" for not paying tribute to Zhentil Keep and the Church of Bane. Unfortunately the accidental heroes were too late to stop the brutes from poisoning Oakhurst's well.
A local sage informed the party that only the White Apple from the Golthias Tree will cure the poison in their well. This fabled tree is said to be rooted in the center of the ruins of Ashardalon, a citadel swallowed by earth long ago.
Setting out immediately, the party followed the trail of two other adventurers: Sherwin the Human Sorceres and Sir Bradford the Human Paladin. The heroes discovered the "Sunless Citadel" at the bottom of a deep crevass and fought their way past goblins and bugbears inhabiting the ancient ruins.
They discovered the Golthias Tree was corrupted by the evil Druid Belak while Sherwin and Sir Bradford were turned into "Bark Minions." After killing Belak, along with putting Sherwin and Sir Bradford out of their misery, Harkin found one white apple. After plucking the precious fruit, the party set fire to the deformed tree.
Their return to Oakhurst however, was not a happy occassion for they found the village razed to the ground. All the villagers were either killed or carried off. Wanted Notices bearing their names were scattered among the remaining bodies. A bounty of 1,000 Gold Crowns was offered to anyone delivering their heads to Zhentarim Agents or Bane Cultists.
Harkin dropped the White Apple into the well. After hearing the lonely splash, he turned to his newfound companions and said "Maybe life will return here someday."
Avoiding Zhentil Keep's dark minions, the heroes made their way to Blasingdell reportedly terrorized by bands of roving Orcs. Once within the town's walls, they were joined by the Elf Warrior, Thelanis Menelmacar (the subject of a later post) and Selinda, the Bardess.
Blasingdell's Elders inform the party their town is practically beseiged by Orcs from Stone Tooth Mountain, located between the River Surbrin and the Moonwood Forest. The next morning the party set out to investigate.
As Blasingdell's inhabitants anxiously wait, Zhentarim Agents scour the roads and trails hoping to collect the reward when the heroes return...
(Note: A friend of mine started running a Forgotten Realms Campaign. Unfortunately we haven't been able to re-connect with him since he moved after we started the second adventure).
Campaign: Forgotten Realms Class: Ranger
Race: Male Half-Elf Alignment: LG Level: 3
Height: 5' 7" Weight: 140 lbs Eyes: Green Hair: Brown
Initiative: +1 Base Attack: +3 Speed: 20
Saving Throws: Fort-3, Ref-2, Will-1
Attack Bonuses: Ranged +5, Melee +4
Abilities: Str-12, Dex-13, Con-11, Int-10, Wis-11, Cha-10
HP: 25 AC: 16
Favored Enemies: Goblinoids
Special Abilities/Feats: Point-Blank Shot, Weapon Focus (Composite Longbow)
Skills (Trained): Handle Animal, Hide, Intuit Direction, Jump, Move Silently, Ride, Swim, Use Rope, Wilderness Lore
Languages: Common, Elven, Damarran, Giant, Gnome, Orc, Sylvan
Weapons: Mighty Composite Longbow (+1 to dmg), Shatterspike Longsword (+4 to dmg), dagger
Armor: Scalemail, Shield (small)
Ammunition: 60 arrows, 10 drugged arrows (w/sleeping potion), 10 silver arrows
Equipment: Quiver (for 20 arrows), Backpack, Rope, Mapcase, Waterskin, Bedroll, Signal Whistle, Oil Flask (x2), Flint & Steel, Belt Pouch, Traveler's Outfit, Cloak, Crowbar, Steel Mirror, Chalk, Hammer, Pitons (x12), Tinder Twigs (x5), Torches (x2)
Potions: Endure Fire, Cure Moderate Wounds
Money/Treasure: CP-200, SP-180, Gp-67