Dragon+ 13: The Sunless Citadel
For the Endeavor Issue of Dragon+ (Issue 13), I created several of the fiction pieces framing the various adventures from D&D Tales from the Yawning Portal. The following prefaced The Sunless Citadel:
Perhaps the hour had grown too late, with too many drinks consumed. However it was, the patrons in the Yawning Portal started challenging one another with rumors heard. This evening, those rumors concerned the Sunless Citadel.
“Two kinds of fruit grow from the citadel’s Gulthias Tree,” Georgie Two Shoes started. “Red apples in summer, white apples in winter. One heals all illness, the other inflicts grievous harm.”
A small chorus of disapproval: “All that’s already known!”
“I wasn’t finished!”
The crowd quieted.
“Now. The story I heard concerned a grief-struck warlock, whose beloved wife and fellow explorer was stricken with mummy rot. From a mummy lord, its rot too far advanced for any expected sort of healing. No temple could help. No cleric could even risk approaching the wife without being killed or catching the rot themselves. And so the warlock went in search of the Gulthias Tree for a desperate resolution. Either he would bring back the summer fruit to heal his wife, or eat the winter fruit himself and join her.”
As with past Dragon+ fiction, I workshopped this piece with Adam Lee on the Dungeons & Dragons story team, then edited for this issue by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. My sincere thanks to them both!