Michael Eckenfels, 24 September 2023
Champions of Krynn AAR: Part 20, Neraka Roll
We’ve rushed off to the town of Neraka on intelligence from Maya, whose love, Sir Karl, was apparently kidnapped by bad guys and has been brought here. We were not offered much choice…well, we WERE offered a choice (yes or no), but seeing as how I said ‘no’ the first time and Maya ran off crying in response, I decided to restore a save I’d done JUST before that inquiry to make sure we did the right thing here, and selected yes in order to help her.
Maya led us to a town square, but said there is a secret base to the south. After a bit of exploration, we find a door to that very lair.
I doubt the ‘secret base’ is lightly defended, and my doubts are unfortunately turned to truth.
And a new revelation is made during this battle…
Maya is a Dragon.
We manage to slay this little guard unit, with a Bozak trying to run away when things go against them. We’re able to surround him and take him out, though these Dracos did injure several of our PCs.
Hey, like we’re going to argue against a Silver Dragon?
The dragons most beloved by mankind, they can polymorph into human or elven form. Silver dragons attack with claws and teeth or use either of two breath weapons – a cone of frost or a cone of paralyzation. Many are also proficient in the use of magic.
If she’s on our side, I ain’t questioning nothin’.
After her short explanation, we complete a Fix command and then proceed into the base. However, we only get a few steps inside before more Dracos come running to join the party.
Fortunately, they don’t last long, though they got some severe licks in on the PCs. Especially with Izzie.
We wander about a bit, trying to see if we can find Sir Karl anywhere. One room is a kitchen and we find Dracos there trying to build makeshift fortifications.
Their fortifications do them no good. Heh-heh-heh.
Continuing to explore, we find a flight of stairs going down, and find the man we were here to look for.
Journal Entry 49:
Sir Karl’s dying monologue:
“They tortured me to get information, but I gave them nothing. Killed my guards when they came for me again. Afraid I didn’t quite make it all the way out. Things getting dark . . . Hard to concentrate. There are slaves down there. They must be freed from this evil place . . . Remember me to Maya . . .” His breathing stops.
Ugh. Poor guy.
Brace yourself. Maya is NOT going to be happy.
Alright, bye then! No, it’s okay, we got this!
As Maya’s wing-beating disappears into the distance, we gird our loins (with our patented Loin Girding Tighty-Whitey Girdle +4) and head down the stairs to certain doom. I mean encounters. Certain encounters.
At the bottom of the stairs, we see Sir Karl’s handiwork. He probably took some killing blows in this battle, poor guy.
We search the area for the prisoners. Eventually, in the northern part, we come to an area with jail cells.
And find that all the cells are empty, save one.
Empty except for some romantic notions.
Journal Entry 56:
Sir Karl’s last message to Maya:
“I realize now that I shouldn’t allow our differences to interfere with our feelings. I suppose at my age it takes a while to adjust to new things. Remembering your beauty and bravery has helped me withstand the tortures they have subjected me to. I now go out to gain my freedom. If I fail, then know I held you in my thoughts to the end.”
There’s not much else here in the northern area of the cells, so we head south, through a door.
The guard post isn’t much of one, and we manage to clear it out quickly.
This was guarding the entrance to the southern cells, which are chock full of prisoners. After freeing them all, we find Tanis finishing up.
Journal Entry 74:
“I had heard of slaves being taken in the area, so I disguised myself and arranged to be captured. I have just managed to free the slaves here, but more are held to the south. I will organize the slaves here while you free the others. Then we will arrange a diversion to allow the slaves a chance to escape.”
Okay, like we have a choice, here!
We’ll go further south to free any other slaves we find.
We access every cell we find, just to be safe.
And often, we’re ambushed by Draconians, though not in large groups.
The only real threats are the Bozaks, whom can cast spells; the Baaz and Silvak, at least at this point, are not a concern any more really. Though the Baaz still have an incredibly annoying way of ‘stealing’ our weapons from the main melee guys, when they turn to stone. It maybe happens in about 25% of the fights with them. But even once is incredibly annoying.
The Stinking Cloud spell seems to have great effect on Draconians, thankfully.
Moving further south, we find a chamber where they play Ska music.
We free them, and they seem to appreciate that.
There’s several large prison chambers and it requires a bit of time to get everyone out of their chains.
We can always tell what cells have prisoners in them, fortunately. Though, I open each one just to be safe.
Which…isn’t exactly safe, because Draconians ambush us more than a few times. But, they’re not much of a challenge at this point.
Well, we have yet more marching orders thanks to Tanis. We’re heading into the southwest portion of the map to create a diversion, so Tanis and the escaped prisoners and slaves can make a getaway.
We head south, finding a room next to a cave system we need to enter. Before we go into the caves, we check out the room.
The Prison Lord is apparently straight outta Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
The fight has a couple of evil Mages, the Prison Lord himself (who’s a steroided-up fighter), and lots of Evil Fighters.
A few Hold Person spells work wonders here, allowing us to pick them off at our leisure and eventually surround and down the Prison Lord himself.
We get a nice tidy amount of XP and treasure for this little outing.
And look! A piece of intel…
Message on body of Prison Lord:
It has come to my attention that the bodies we receive here in Sanction from your prisons are in a highly deteriorated condition. We realize that information must be gained by torture and that it is a useful way to relax, but I would prefer it if a majority of the bones remained uncrushed. I will not repeat this request.
Hmm. Sir Lebaum is into some rather kinky and shady things, apparently. He’s dealing in dead bodies, which tells me he’s a lich of some kind, but with the title ‘Sir,’ more likely he’s a Death Knight.
As we mull over this revelation, we head back out of the room and go deeper into the caverns south of the prison.
And, we find a nasty surprise.
Green Dragons are no bueno.
These dragons are notorious even among other dragons for their cruel natures. Green dragons exhale poisonous clouds plus attack with claws and fangs. They will obey orders, but only from leaders whom they respect. Clever and subtle, green dragons prefer to use trickery and magic on an enemy rather than all- out assault. For this reason, they were rarely used in any major evil offenses, but were often called in for more sinister purposes.
So we’re in for a fight.
All we can do is spread out and apply some hefty amounts of Fireball and Wand of Ice Storms. This 1-2 combo tends to put dragons down easily, and this happens here, too, fortunately.
We’re ready to proceed further with the dragon threat eliminated.
End of Part 20
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.