May 22, 2024

The Grand “Champions of Krynn” AAR ~ Part Twelve

Michael Eckenfels, 9 July 2023

Champions of Krynn AAR: Part 12, Cavern Me Softly With This Song

When we last left our heroes, they were charging pell-mell into a cavern system that lay deep within catacombs underneath a temple adjacent to a monster-overrun city.

DnD is like onions. Onions have layers!

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This cavern system is large, running roughly east to west; we enter in it on its far eastern end. The footsteps, as indicated above, of our retreating targets are headed to the west, no doubt where they’re going to conduct some kind of last stand.

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And that thought segues right into ‘shouted orders’ heard echoing through the clammy caverns. It looks like they’re preparing for us. We press forward.

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Rounding a corner, we see in the gloom the unmistakable shapes of Hobgoblins and humans forming up in a defensive line. In a narrow cavern like this, their numbers mean nothing; our six should be more than a match for them. I hope.

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I decide to Wait, for a variety of reasons. The main one being, I don’t like engaging the enemy at long range. This includes their spellcasters. It’s better to have them close up and personal, because throwing your OWN spells at the enemy means you have to consider things like range. Stinking Cloud, for instance, I think only has a range of about three squares from the spellcaster. Sleep is about six to eight or so from them. So, engaging them on the other side of the map, they’d be out of our reach but somehow, some way, would not be affected by the same limitations. Go figure.

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In any case, we stand in place, and they charge.

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This just means they are right up in our mugs and are ready for a little melee combat.

There’s a lot of them, though. The main concern are their two spellcasters, but also to a lesser extent, their Hobgoblins are all Hobgoblin Leaders.

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They’re much more susceptible to Hold Person and Sleep spells than spellcasters, but this is not really a difficult, high-level fight. A few well-placed spells to put the enemy out of commission and voila, victory is ours with only a few cuts to show for it.

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A bit of XP and I think a bit of Steel coins, and we’re ready to press forward. I’m probably going to stop and risk a Fix command, but before I can do that…

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They panic as if we’re threatening them with a bath! 

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The fleeing creatures are so much in a hurry to leave, like rear area troops evading a breakthrough of armor or something. Maybe that was their last stand? Somehow, I doubt it. There’s always something else in store for you in these games…

They dropped a few eggs in their haste to escape. The more rescued from them, the merrier.

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It sounds like our pursuit is causing a bit of alarm and concern among the denizens of these caverns. It sounds like a veritable Looney Tunes cartoon down here.

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And here, at the westernmost point in the caverns, it looks like we’ve cornered our remaining quarry.

Unless…

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 A pair of White Dragons come charging at us, with the crowd of fleeing monsters parting like the Red Sea to let them by. It also seems a few of them have girded their monster loins enough to join the Dragons in battle.

We’ve not encountered Dragons yet in this game, so I thought I’d refer to the manual to see what it has to say about these beasties:

WHITE DRAGON

Unique among dragons in their preference for cold climates, these evil beasts can attack with their freezing cold breath in addition to razor sharp claws and fangs. Small in size and not as intelligent as their cousins, these dragons were used primarily as scouts during the War of the Lance.

I had thought White Dragons were Good-aligned, but it shows you what I’ve forgotten about D&D – the actual pen-and-paper version – to this point. Heck, I’ve forgotten a lot about what this manual has to say.

Welp. These White Dragons may be dumb and not as big as ‘regular’ Dragons, but…they’re Dragons. So I expect a lot of bruising and beating to go on.

But wait…I forgot. We have a Hulk. I mean, not a Hulk, but a Wand of Ice Storm.

Gee, I wonder what THAT would do?

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Hmm. One blast from Waxhon’s Wand of Ice Storm and both White Dragons are immediately killed. 

That was very much an Indiana Jones versus the swordsman in the marketplace moment.

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With the Dragons dead, the brave little Hobgoblins that joined their charge, now get to join them in the afterlife.

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Not a lot of XP for dealing with a pair of Dragons. But then again, they DID go down with one hit from a Wand. I suppose 323 XP isn’t too bad.

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We also get a couple of Gems for our troubles. Our treasure situation is turning out well enough, but since the game DOES count coin weight against you, we might have to start turning some of our coin into gems and such to make it easier to carry them around. Still, it’s a first world problem to have in this game.

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I think we just got bonus experience.

Now, there’s still that crowd at the catacombs exit that we have to face…

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I’m not going to be benevolent, here. We’re generally Chaotic Good, which means, well…something. I choose Attack The Remaining Force.

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Moot point, regardless. They give up easily.

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The eggs they carried away have been recovered! That should help possibly get some Good-aligned Dragons on our side.

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After dealing with all that, we exit the catacombs and find ourselves on the outskirts of Throtl once again. We return to the Outpost to talk to Sir Karl.

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Wow. A regular Sherlock Holmes, Sir Karl is.

And what’s with that nose hair? Damn.

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More marching orders and a new place to go investigate.

Before that, we have odds and ends to take care of, not the least of which is leveling up several characters.

Everyone gets to level up!

For Waxhon, I don’t think she gets Fireball spell access until level 5. For now, I select Protection From Evil, just in the hopes of a small bonus versus Evil-aligned creatures for future mega-confrontations. Every little bit helps!

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Here, you can see each character’s Armor Class and Hit Point total.

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And here is our collective treasure. Over 1200 Steel…we’ll definitely need to turn that into something less cumbersome to carry around. I’m sure I’ll forget about it though. At least, for now.

Also, let’s go over our equipment list for each character. You may be wondering what they’re all wielding, so here’s a list and analysis.

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Sir Fsup has Plate Mail, a Shield, and a Long Sword, none of which are magical. As a Knight, he starts off with these three things automatically, which saved us some Steel early on. He also has a Broad Sword and a Mace as back-up weapons in case a Baaz decides to turn to stone when dying and steal what he’s wielding during combat. 

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Smashen Grab has Chain Mail, a Shield, and a Long Sword – again, nothing magical here. Though he does have a Potion of Healing, which I thought prudent as he tends to be attacked often, thanks to placement of characters when moving to combat. (I have no control over that as a player; the game determines it based on our facing on the map at the time of the encounter, I think.)

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Wynn, our Cleric, has Chain Mail, a Shield +1, and a Flail +1. She’s not really a front-line tank, but these extra magical items will help her be a bit more potent when faced with melee combat – which she is, all too often it seems.

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Kimjong Unshot, our Cleric/Ranger, has Ring Mail and a Short Bow. I also have a Long Sword in per possession in case a monster gets next to her – in which case, you cannot wield a bow and have to go to melee. A Potion of Speed, I thought, would suit her and would hopefully give her extra arrow attacks for some encounter where it may desperately be needed. Then again, it may just sit there through to the end of the game. Who knows.

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Izzie, our resident Thief, has Leather Armor, a Hoopak +2, and a Ring of Protection +1. I kept her original Hoopak in her possession as well, again, in case a Baaz gets too close and personal with her main weapon. A Hoopak is pretty nice as it can be used as a ranged weapon OR as a melee weapon. And since she’s a Thief, a Potion of Invisibility seems most prudent to be in her possession, don’t you think?

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And last but not least, our Mage, Waxhon, has Bracers Armor Class 6, and that lovely Wand of Ice Storm. She also has a Quarter Staff, a Dagger, and a lot of Darts (which are really only useful in taking out opponents that are frozen through Sleep, Hold Person, Stinking Cloud, or similar spells). She also has a couple of Scrolls that I can’t scribe quite yet (and the spells aren’t that wonderful, really).

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That done, let’s do something we’ve not done before – go to the local bar.

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In Pool of Radiance, going to the local bar – or tavern, if you will – can cause problems because random brawls could break out easily. They’re supposedly good XP earners for low-level parties, but I couldn’t recall if that was something that happened in here, or not.

Anyway, the party goes in, has a round of Ale, and…

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Tavern Tale 28:

‘The evil forces have dragon eggs. We can look forward to more draconians if they can rediscover the corruption process.”

Well, that was hardly news. In fact, I’d like to think it was this party that discovered that, in the first place. Credit where credit is due, man!

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Tavern Tale 27:

‘The slaughtered wagon train was carrying a magic tome. Perhaps it held the secret of the corruption process.”

This one is patently false. I mean, WE were there, we would know, right? In any case, no, there’s no magic tome. Just locals making up stories at this point.

So we’re about rested up and ready to move on…to Gargath. Let’s take a look at that map…

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That’s just about due east from us where we are. Shouldn’t be too far, but I’m sure there’s plenty of things in the wilderness that would object to our breathing, and try to end it. It’s only right to make sure they stop breathing first, in that case!

End of Part 12

 


CHAMPIONS OF KRYNN AAR
PART ONE ~ PART TWO ~ PART THREE ~ PART FOUR ~ PART FIVE ~ PART SIX ~ PART SEVEN ~ PART EIGHT ~ PART NINE ~ PART TEN
PART ELEVEN ~ PART TWELVE ~ PART THIRTEEN ~ PART FOURTEEN ~ PART FIFTEEN ~ PART SIXTEEN ~ PART SEVENTEEN ~ PART EIGHTEEN ~ PART NINETEEN ~ PART TWENTY
PART 21 ~ PART 22 ~ PART 23 ~ PART 24 ~ PART 25 ~ PART 26 ~ PART 27 ~ PART 28 ~ PART 29 ~ PART 30


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There once was a game called Krynn,
With warriors, mages, and dragons within,
In Champions of might,
They battled all night,
For glory, for honor, to win.

The heroes were brave and true,
Fighting foes, both old and new,
With spells and with swords,
They faced their rewards,
To vanquish the dark and break through.

From the streets of Solace they roamed,
To the lairs where dragons called home,
With quests to fulfill,
And battles to thrill,
Champions of Krynn, on they’d roam.

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