May 22, 2024

The Grand “Champions of Krynn” AAR ~ Part Fourteen

Michael Eckenfels, 23 July 2023

Champions of Krynn AAR: Part 14, Jeepers Keepers

We’ve just moved into Gargath Keep, keeper of keep…uh…secrets and stuff, I guess. 

Actually, it’s the central part of the now-overrun-by-evil Draconians and their evil allies city by the name of Gargath. And apparently, there’s a Dragonlance here within this Keep.

So naturally, we’re off to take what’s not ours so we can poke lots of evil dragons with it.

We wander about inside the entry of the Keep as there are no obvious doors, but it doesn’t take long to find a hidden one.

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These rooms and corridors don’t make much sense – they’re just kind of laid out as if made by some crazy computer programmer from the late 1980s.

Ahem.

We continue to explore, finding little of anything except more hidden doors. And yet, of course, some hidden doors seem to be like slot machine payouts, around here. Try to open it and out pours a bunch of enemies.

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These bad guy ambushes are pretty lame, actually, comprised of a handful of Draconians which aren’t too much trouble to deal with.

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We wander around, exploring and mapping, finding a light ambush or three around the place, but nothing otherwise of import nor note. I figured the Keep would have stairs somewhere within, but apparently, the stairs upward are nowhere near the middle part. Rather, they’re to the north, along the north end of the area. 

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So, we finally find our way and explore towards that part, finding that resistance becomes stronger the closer we get. We find a bit of a group guarding a hallway that goes to where we suspect further access to the Keep is located.

Bad Elf ~ “We are minions of Takhisis!”

Wynn ~ “You’re minions of ISIS? What?!?”

Bad El ~ “No, TAKHISIS!”

Waxhon ~ “Talk to Isis? What?”

Sir Fsup ~ “No, no, no! Now, come on. They’re not with ISIS.”

Bad Elf ~ “Thanks! Yeah, what he said!”

Sir Fsup ~ “Shut up, you Xanadu background-looking dancer! Make way! We are here for the Dragonlance!”

 

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So much for diplomacy.

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And so much for them.

Heh-heh-heh.

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The wall that this group was nonchalantly guarding ended up being a secret door. Go figure.

I mean, why bother with all the hidden doors? We’re going to find them anyway. And when you plant a bunch of B-grade guards around what you think looks like a blank wall, what are PCs going to assume?

And wait, there’s more! At the end of the hallway, we see more activity going into and out of what looks like a major access point.

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With real doors and everything!

They mention Myrtani, a name we’ve heard before, I think. And obviously, Evil Villain #1 that we must confront and defeat to continue the game.

But first, we must dispatch the guards around this entrance.

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The Stinking Cloud spell comes especially in handy here, as there’s a couple of spellcasters in the group.

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A bit of smelly smoke and a few well-placed melee hits, and we’re starting to overcome resistance here.

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And then, before we know it, though with some injuries, we are victorious.

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Gee, it seems awfully quiet around here, now.

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Something tells me I should Save the game here, as well as cast a preparatory spell, Prayer.

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Then we brazenly enter the front doors of the Keep.

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And apparently those that live there take umbrage to our entry.

All we need to do is fart in their general direction…

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…and the battle’s tide turns in our favor rather quickly.

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After the air clears (literally), we’re greeted with an empty anteroom to the Keep. We caught a few dings from that battle, but a simple Fix command and a prudent Save means we’re making good progress. Now all that’s left is to wander about to try to find the main room here, or stairs upwards. It IS a keep, after all, so there’s multiple levels here to access, I’m sure.

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Our wanderings don’t go unnoticed, apparently.

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This random encounter of a veritable wall of rats harkens to entry into some random hole in the wall Manhattan eatery. But unlike New York rats, these rats fall quickly. Our melee front line PCs (Sir Fsup and Smashen) can ‘Sweep’ against them, meaning they get to attack each one that they have adjacent. They make short work of the rats here, though to be honest, they miss. A lot. I think Wynn, the Cleric, is far better at hitting things, though she does sport a magical weapon to be fair.

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Our wanderings to locate some central room or stairs upwards (or downwards, even) result in some discoveries that allow for us to continue practicing this thing called ‘Diplomacy.’

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And by ‘Diplomacy,’ I of course refer to the backstabbing board game of the same name that destroyed far more relationships than Monopoly ever did.

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It doesn’t take much to yell a few epitaphs dealing with vague bloodlines and lineage to really tick off these bad guys and goad them into a fight.

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This battle, however, took a while to complete. The Evil Fighters had an Armor Class of 2, and seeing as how even my best melee fighters in this party struggle against simple AC (Armor Class) 8 Giant Rats, we made a lot more swishing noises of weapons hitting air. 

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Eventually, though, we beat this encounter, scrounged what Steel pieces they had laying around waiting for us, and wandered around a bit more to locate some stairs going upwards.

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The next floor up looks pretty empty, though we do discover a row of doors in one room that look like prison cells.

In one of the cells is a surprise, in the form of a near-dead prisoner.

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Journal Entry 42:

The prisoner is extremely weak. He barely croaks out some broken phrases: 

” . . .the Castellan is alive. He’s being held here on this floor. . .” ” . . .an Aurak. . .silver eggs . . . black dragons. . .book. . .”

Unfortunately, the prisoner dies after gasping out these few nuggets of information.

An Aurak. This would be the same Draconian that we saw early on, the one that made an appearance, stole a tome, and then disappeared in a puff of smoke.

So much for discounting the ‘tome’ theory before. I’d totally forgotten about that little gem until just now. The Aurak is probably a very dangerous Draconian. I wonder if it’s Myrtani. Hmmm.

We poke around a bit more here and find yet another person hiding in the gloom.

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Journal Entry 36:

“Thank Paladine you’re here. They’ve taken everything! My poor family, my friends and retainers. Gone.” He breaks down. After a while he looks up in anguish and says, 

“There’s an Aurak who seems to be in charge. He’s had his minions scouring the Keep. He’s looking for my dragonlance! He’ll never find it. It’s hidden. Hidden very well. Nobody can find it. But I’ll tell you. Yes. Yes, I’ll tell you. You’re from Caramon? Of course, of course. Look on the sixth story. As you come up the stairs you will see a door directly ahead of you. The wall to the left of that door has a secret door in it. The Dragonlance is in there.” 

He looks around in fear. “Where are they? Where? They were here. I saw them. My little ones. Where are they? I must go, I must. I will slip out down the stairs. Goodbye, goodbye. Get the lance!”

That pretty much nails that Myrtani is the Aurak, I think. Plus it doesn’t bode well if he’s looking for the Dragonlance, as well. We’ll need to hurry.

We look around the floor a bit more and find more stairs going up.

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We’ll continue this story later, however.

End of Chapter 14


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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