Friday, May 25, 2012


In the last installment, the party had returned to the outpost to discover that the annoying draconian named Myrtani had come and kidnapped Sir Karl.  His lover, Maya, had left in a rage, vowing to kill Myrtani and all his followers.  The party, feeling some manner of loyalty to the man, vowed that they would do what they could to rescue him.

But first, they had to get permission from the new outpost commander.

Wait...if Myrtani kidnapped Sir Karl, wouldn't it be wise to search for him since it would lead to Myrtani?  I'm confused.

Sir Mathias made it clear to the party that they could help search for Sir Karl, but only if it did not interfere with their mission to uncover what Myrtani was up to.  Overall, the party was not happy with what Sir Mathias had told them, but they agreed it was wise not to abandon the whole mission.

As they left the office, though, Maya returned...

Of course we know what happened.  You told us!

Maya informed the party that Myrtani had taken Sir Karl to Neraka.  How she had come about the information was anyone's guess.  She suggested that with the party's help, they could penetrate the enemy headquarters in Neraka and free him.  Without a moment of hesitation, the party pledged to help Maya.

She was grateful, and lead them out the gate.  She told the party to follow her and she would show them the way to Neraka.

The party wisely avoids the road.

Though the journey took nearly a day, the party pushed themselves toward Neraka.  For Maya's part, she barely spoke during the trip.  Any attempts to engage her in conversation ended quickly, as she informed any who asked that she did not want to be bothered and instead wanted to focus on the task ahead of her.

Wil Dhargon attempted to cheer her up by showing her a magic trick, but somehow the kender only managed to set fire to to his own cloak, which slowed everyone down while they stopped to put him out. 

Eventually, the party arrived at the gates to Neraka.  As they approached, they quickly discovered that the place had not been left unguarded.

What a surprise!

Shouting in glee, Draconians descended upon the party as they approached the gate.  Lord Benjamin ordered everyone into formation and lead the group into the attack.  But, something happened that he did not expect.

A loud roar sounded from behind.  As the party whipped around, they saw Maya changing shape.  Her body twisted and grew until she took on the form of a large silver dragon!  She howled loudly as ice flew from between her lips and struck at the Draconians.

Love the new look, Maya.

The Draconians were no match for the might of an angry dragon.  With the party's help, the Draconians were quickly defeated, as Maya used her incredible strength to knock aside the gate.  Once the battle was finished, she transformed back into her human form and approached the party.

Why would he be embarrassed?  It's obviously awesome!

She said: "Well now you know, I am a silver dragon who loves a mortal man.  I dislike keeping secrets, but I knew Sir Karl would be embarrassed if my identity were well known.  I hope you will understand."

The party agreed that her secret was her own business.  They told her that, for now, the top priority would be rescuing Sir Karl.  She agreed.

"He will be in the main headquarters.  We should head there."

Finding the headquarters turned out to be easier than the party thought.  Once there, Maya once again transformed into a dragon and defeated the few guards who stood in the way.  The party opened the door and headed inside.

As soon as they entered, they were met with a terrible sight.

Well, this rescue isn't going as planned, is it?

Sir Karl staggered up the stairway ahead of them, covered in blood.  He collapsed at the top of the stairs as the party rushed over to him.  "The slaves...they must be freed from them..."

Tamera tried to aid him with divine healing, but it didn't seem to do any good.  He kept speaking:  "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...."

"Maya, I love you," he whispered.  His eyes suddenly glazed over and his breathing stopped.  With those final words, Sir Karl Gaardsen was dead.

She is understandably upset.

Maya broke down and started crying.  Then, her face contorted angrily.  She shouted loudly that she would kill Myrtani and the other Draconians. 

With a scream of anguish, she transformed into her dragon form while the party watched.  She reached out and picked up Sir Karl's body, cradling it between her claws.  Her wings shot out, and she kicked off the ground, flying back out the front door and into the sky.

With that, Maya and Sir Karl were gone.

Stunned, the party quickly regained their composure.  If nothing else, Sir Karl would want them to rescue the prisoners.  It had been his dying wish.  The party pulled themselves together and headed down the stairs.

As soon as they hit the bottom of the stairs, they heard the sounds of battle from somewhere nearby.  Weapons ready, they rushed down a dark hallway.

At the end of the hallway, they found a single half-elf wiping out a group of Draconians. He had a couple of prisoners in tow behind him.  He was surprised to find the party behind him, but recognized that Lord Benjamin was a Knight of Solamnia by his markings.

"I don't know who you are," the half-elf said, "but if you are champions of good, then you are friends of mine.  As for myself, I am called Tanis."

Sounds like a plan!  Who are you again?

He told the party: "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."

The party agreed, remembering that they were doing this in memory of Sir Karl.  They vowed to Tanis that they would return soon with the rest of the slaves.

NEXT TIME:  The party helps Tanis free the slaves...

Friday, May 18, 2012


Aided by the mysterious thief named Mysellia, the party has uncovered that things in Jelek aren't quite what they seem.  An annoying man named Skyla, who the party suspected might be part elf and part kender, led the party straight into an ambush.  Barely surviving, the party has thrown in with Mysellia to uncover information about someone named Sir LeBaum, who apparently has an office in the town graveyard.

Making haste across town, the party found the main gates of the graveyard and stepped through.

Wouldn't that mean that they were dug out and not dug up?

The graveyard was quiet, but the party noticed immediately that something suspicious was going on.  The majority of the graves had been unearthed, from the inside.  Tamera brought out her holy symbol of Mishakal and warned everyone to be on the lookout for undead.

Mysellia steered the party between the graves, following the path toward Sir LeBaum's office.  There were signs of heavy feet dragging along the mud, and as the party got deeper into the graveyard, the stench of death became quite apparent.

A grating sound of claws raking stone sounded just ahead of the party.  They stopped dead in their tracks as foul undead crawled up from the holes in the ground, snarling and hissing.

There's something seriously wrong with this guy's legs.

The ghouls leaped toward the party, intent on feeding their insatiable hunger for flesh.  But, Tamera was prepared.  Her holy symbol shot into the air.  "By the power of Mishakal, I banish you foul beasts back to the realm of death!"  A light of holy radiance emitted from her hand and the creatures howled in torment.

Within a few seconds, it was over.  The creatures, which might have been a problem for the townsfolk, had been turned to piles of dust.  Tamera lowered her holy symbol, as Wil Dhargon danced up and down and begged her to do it again.  A sharp look from her quieted the kender, and he stopped his bouncing.

Eventually, the party made it to Sir LeBaum's office.  Mysellia opened the door.

The office appeared as though it had been abandoned hastily.  Drawers had been left open and papers were scattered everywhere.  Among the papers, the party found a note that had been left behind:

"Myrtani is gathering forces in secret areas around Sanction.  We won't be ready for a few weeks yet.  My minions have started gathering materials for my use.  Several graveyards have been looted already.  Many of them have left the open grave sites unfilled.  I suppose it can't be helped.  Stupidity has always been our most dangerous enemy."

"Myrtani has found a Dragonlance!  I urged him to give it to his strongest warrior, but I'm afraid that the draconian doesn't trust anyone who could hold that much power.  Foolish.  He's going to hide it away somewhere in Sanction."

At last, the party had some information on where the Dragonlance had been taken.  This information would be incredibly useful to Sir Karl.

Mysellia told them that there was another large building in the graveyard, and that they might find more information there.  The party agreed that it was wise to explore all the options, and asked her to lead the way.

I guess I don't get the choice whether I want to pick it or not.

It didn't take long for the party to make their way to the other building, a small crypt.  Outside the crypt, they spied a silver rose bush.  A single bloom grew from the center, shining brightly in the sunlight.  Sir Karl had asked the party to recover such a flower as a personal favor.  What he wanted it for was something only he would know.

Kavina Do'Arden reached out and plucked the rose from the bush.  As she did, the rest of the bush began to wither and die.  Somehow, this one flower had been the most important part of the whole plant, and without it, the rest of the organism could not survive.

A dark shadow seemed to cover the bush and block out the sun, drenching it in sadness.  Or...was the shadow something else?

This is why having a choice would have been a good idea.

As the shadows grew in size, the party looked upward and realized that three large shapes were descending upon them.  Dragons, black as the night sky, swirled down and surrounded the party.  They roared loudly as their wings kicked up dirt and grass.  Acid spewed from between their lips.

The battle happened quickly.  Despite how fierce the creatures were, the party used tactics to confuse them.  Weaving in and out and ducking between the dragons, Lord Benjamin and Thaddeus Durin cut the beasts with their swords.  Janessa threw spells, while Kavina Do'Arden circled around to get an advantageous position behind them.  

While this was happening. Wil Dhargon taunted the dragons loudly, drawing their attention away from the rest of the party.  "I bet you think you're pretty scary, huh?  The only thing scary about you is that terrible smelling breath!  You'd think a mouth full of acid could wash away that stench, but boy, would you be wrong!  What happened, did your mother have relations with a giant dung heap?"

Distracted, the dragons fell one by one as the party cut them down with swords and burned them with spells.  The party gave a collective sigh of relief when the last one fell.

The party checked the inside of the building.  A few undead hid inside, and were quickly dispatched by Tamera's holy symbol.  The small crypt revealed no information that the party found useful. 

Knowing that the information they had gained was important, the party figured it was time for them to leave Jelek and head back to the outpost.  They wished Mysellia well and thanked her for her help.  They found a way out of the town and headed south back toward where they hoped Sir Karl would be waiting for them.

Instead, they found that things had gone terribly wrong in their absence.

Smoke poured from the buildings and soldiers ran around tossing water onto small fires.  There was chaos everywhere.

Maya, the mysterious lady friend of Sir Karl found the party and approached them.  "Myrtani came while you were gone and led an attack on the base. He kidnapped Sir Karl!"  A tear rolled down her cheek and she turned away from the party so that they would not see her despair.

Her voice suddenly grew angry.  "I will find him, wherever they have taken him!  And, I will wrest the life from Myrtani myself!"  She pushed away from the party and ran out the gate of the outpost.  "Do not follow me!"

NEXT TIME:  The party heads out to rescue Sir Karl...

Thursday, May 17, 2012


After the last adventure, the party made its way back to the outpost to report to Sir Karl.  To their dismay, they discovered that he had left to investigate some problems to the west.  But, he left them a note with the following instructions:

"My friends, I'm afraid I will be away for a few days.  In the meantime, continue searching for the Ogre base, as it is vital that we uncover what is happening there.  Also, there are rumors of trouble down south in the town of Jelek, but nothing we can confirm.  You should also investigate what is happening there.  I will see you again in a few days."

Taking a few minutes to stop into the outpost's tavern, the party discussed what their next move should be.  It occurred to them that despite their intentions to go and find the Ogre base, they actually had no idea where to start or where it might be located.  So, after a few quick drinks, they headed out to the town of Jalek, deciding that they would definitely look into the Ogres as soon as they got back.

At the town gates of Jelek, though, they were stopped by guardsmen.  They demanded to know what the party wanted, and told them:

"We've had a lot of unsavory characters passing through town lately.  The good armies have left us in the lurch and we are forced to take the law into our own hands in order to protect the citizens of the town.  All persons entering Jelek that are unknown to the guards shall be assigned an escort for the duration of their stay.  They will be restricted to the public parts of town.  The burial grounds are strictly forbidden to all strangers."

At that point, they called over the man who would be assigned to accompany the party in Jelek.

Is it my imagination, or is that Jeff Goldblum in drag?

The man introduced himself as Skyla.  He gave the party a goofy grin.  His entire aspect seemed dignified enough, until he began to talk.  At that point, the party began to question his ancestry and wondered if maybe he hadn't suffered a terrible fall on his head as a child.

He babbled on about the party going to visit a friend of his who could offer a great deal of information and items to the party.  "My friend has many objects of value for sale.  And you should see his frog collection.  It's amazing!  He even has a sword that seems to be magical.  Or, at least undead creatures seem to run in terror from it.  He also has a lot of potions for sale.  He might even have information about some things involving recent activities in the area.  Oh yeah, and his daughter is really beautiful.  C'mon!"

Skyla grabbed Janessa Waylan by the hand and began to pull her through the streets on his quest to locate the house where his friend lived.  The rest of the party quickly followed.  It was then that Tamera noticed something.

What crowd?

A shadowy figure seemed to be watching the party from the recesses of an alleyway.  The figure slipped into the crowd and disappeared before Tamera could get a bearing on where they went.

Toward the front of the party, Janessa spotted a shop dealing in magical items and pulled Skyla to a stop.  She told him that she wanted to go into the magical shop and see what they had for sale.  Skyla did not seem happy with the detour, but relented, as the rest of the party steered their way into the shop.

Is this a magical shop or the local Hooters?

Skyla waited impatiently while the party browsed the wares and bought a few scrolls.  He tried to talk the party out of the purchase, exclaiming loudly that his friend had much better scrolls at half the cost.  If only the party would follow him there, they would see that this whole shop was a waste of money.

Janessa bought the scrolls anyway, but promised that if Skyla's friend had any items of real value, she still had plenty of gold left to purchase a few things.

Eventually, the party finished shopping and headed back out into the street.  Skyla seemed distracted, looking back toward the main gates.  He shook his head and said he thought he saw something, but that it must be his imagination.  He then urged the party onward toward his friend's house, recounting what a great guy he was and how many things the party would find that they would like.

A sudden noise behind the party brought everyone to a stop.  Behind them, a large food cart had been overturned and several merchants were squabbling.  A shadowy figure darted from near the food cart and headed into the alleyway.

Skyla suddenly became very serious.  "I'll return in a few minutes.  Please continue down this road until it ends and turn left.  I'll catch up to you in a minute." With that Skyla headed back toward the direction of the food carts and disappeared into the crowd. 

The party headed down the road, following the instructions they had been given.  Sure enough, withing a few minutes, Skyla returned, giving the party a big smile.

Hard to find?  The party followed his instructions to the letter...

He apologized for having to leave so abruptly, complained about how hard the party was to find, and then urged them to continue their trip to his friend's house.  The party headed down about a block, when Skyla held up his hand and stopped them again.

He apologized again, but told the party that he had to leave again.  He promised it would be the last time and darted down a side street, leaving the party standing in the middle of the road.

The party started to question whether Skyla was all there.  It was highly possible that he was not mentally well.  He seemed to sometimes be pleasant and coherent, and other times to be completely insane.

As the party discussed this, they were suddenly surrounded by rough looking characters.  Without warning, these shady people drew weapons and charged the party.

Okay, maybe they weren't "surrounded."

Even though the party had been caught unaware, they still managed to hold off the group and defeat them rather quickly, especially given that Janessa used a Fireball spell to thin their numbers.  The crowd that had been in the streets had suddenly disappeared.

Skyla returned very quickly afterward.  He noticed the dead bodies on the ground.  "What happened here?  Well, no matter.  We are overdue to meet with my friend.  Come, let's leave the streets before someone thinks you're responsible for this mess."

He pushed the party onward around several corners until they approached a large building.  He opened the door and stepped inside, gesturing for the party to enter.  After they stepped through the door, he slammed it and locked it behind them.

Skyla turned and laughed.

Why, Jeff Goldblum, why?!!

"We have known about you group of troublemakers for quite some time.  Myrtani is not pleased with how you have been disrupting his plans.  I must leave now and tell Myrtani of our success.  My friends will deal with you."

He waved his hands.  Armed warriors, armored clerics and dark-garbed mages came out of the shadows.  As he slipped away, they fell upon the party.

The party backed against the wall and prepared to defend themselves.  Suddenly, a woman shot out of the shadows and took out one of the mages.  She came up next to the party and attacked one of the warriors.  The party didn't waste time and capitalized on the stunned reactions of the enemy.

The battle went by swiftly.  And though a few of the party members had been lightly hurt, they had come out victorious. Only Janessa Waylan had been seriously hurt and knocked unconscious, but Tamera was certain she would survive with some magical healing.

The shadowy figure has a real figure.
The woman introduced herself as Mysellia, and began to explain why she had been following the party.

"Listen, I've been following you for some time now.  That Skyla character is the leader of a faction of guards that has taken over the city.  He looks stupid, but don't let that fool you.  He knows exactly what he looks like, and he knows how to use it to his advantage."

"He takes his orders from Sir Lebaum.  Lebaum took over about a week ago.  It was slow and insidious how he did it.  No word got out at all and, initially, there was lots of business for our shops.  Everyone was happy.  Except that now he's cut off all contact with the outside.  Anyone that comes in here either joins the guards or is killed, as you almost were."

"There's another disturbing thing.  I've done some digging around and nobody has even seen this Sir Lebaum character.  Most people have never even heard of him.  There was a Knight of Solamnia of that name that was corrupted by Takhisis many, many years ago, but legend has it that he died---horribly, they say."

"I'd like to get into the graveyard and examine his office.  Are you willing to go with me?"

The party took a minute to take all this in.  After a few minutes, they decided that they would accompany Mysellia on her mission and get to the bottom of the trouble in Jelek.

NEXT TIME:  The party heads to the graveyard...

Friday, May 11, 2012


After having received word that a group of ogres were causing trouble in the area, the party agreed to look into the problem.  First, though, they spent a night at the outpost resting and reclaiming their precious spells.  As the sun broke over the horizon, they gathered their gear and prepared to head out to find out what was going on with the ogres.

But, before the party could depart, Sir Karl approached them with an urgent matter.

Good morning, Sir Karl.  Thanks for getting straight to the point.

Sir Karl told them that a messenger that was supposed to return from an outpost to the south hadn't checked in and no one knew where he was.  Because the information being sent was important, he asked the party to delay what they were doing and head down to the outpost and report the information to the Commandant of the Southern Outpost in person.  This, he figured, would be for the best because the party had first hand knowledge of everything that was going on.

The party agreed to deal with the situation and put exploring the ogre situation on hold.  They headed out and turned southward.

A day later, they arrived at the gates of the Southern Outpost.  The guards seemed unusually edgy and demanded to know what they wanted.  The party informed them that they had been sent by Sir Karl to report on the situations up north and they relaxed a bit.  "You can never be too careful," one of them said.  "Follow me, I'll take you to see the Commandant.  He'll want to meet with you."

The party followed the guard and eventually were lead into the office of the Commandant.  He greeted them pleasantly and listened intently to what they had to say.  The conversation turned to the subject of the messenger that had gone missing.

The Commandant assured the party that it was not anything to be concerned about.  "He has been seriously ill.  The clerics are doing what they can.  No one should disturb him at this time, though.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I must get back to more pressing matters."

The Commandant curtly lead them out of the office and shut the door.  Thaddeus Durin expressed that he felt the Commandant seemed a little bit nervous when they asked about the messenger.

The party is famous.

At this point, the party began to notice that everyone on the street was paying attention to them and watching their every move.  Something odd was going on.

"I'm feeling thirsty," Tamera said.  "Perhaps we should check out the outpost tavern and see if the locals know anything."  The party agreed.  After all, taverns were a good place to hear the local rumors.  Maybe they could find out something more about the messenger's illness there.

But, as the party moved down the street, they were stopped by guardsmen.  When Lord Benjamin asked them what the problem was, the guards demanded that they leave the area, as it was off limits to outsiders.  The party quickly retreated, not wanting to start any issues.

"I've never seen an outpost locked down like this," Kavina Do'Arden pointed out.  "I mean, there aren't even any children playing in the street.  That's unusual, don't you think?"

The party agreed that it was.  They noticed a large group of guards moving toward them from the main entrance.  Lord Benjamin guided the party around the Commandant's office to the alley in the back.  They hid there until the guards passed by.

While hiding out in the alley, Wil Dhargon noticed something and called the party's attention to the wall.  A secret door had been concealed in the back of the Commandant's office building.  He suggested that the party sneak in and get some information about these weird happenings.  And possibly rummage through the valuables inside.

Better than prisoners filled with cells, I guess.

Slipping inside, the party discovered a small jail.  Hands reached through the bars of the cells inside, calling for the party's attention.  Stepping toward the bars, the party discovered that the outpost's guardsmen were inside the cells!

One of the guards recognized the party and told them the story of what had happened.

"We were captured by draconians disguised as the merchant band that comes through here every month.  When we were sleeping, they killed the guards at the gate and captured us before we had a chance to even fight.  They took our leaders to the barracks and interrogated them.  They've all got to be dead now.  Be careful!  I saw one of the draconians kill the Commandant.  As the Commandant died the draconian's shape changed and then he looked and sounded just like the Commandant."

"The draconians have captured our children and are holding them hostage.  We dare not move against them so long as they have them.  If you can kill the draconian leaders, perhaps we would have a chance."

Angrily, Lord Benjamin pulled his sword and swore that the draconians would pay for the atrocities committed with in the outpost.  He called for the rest of the party to follow him to the Commandant's office.

Whose enemy?  Yours or ours?

The party opened the door and overheard the 'Commandant' addressing some of the soldiers gathered in his office.  He mentioned something about enemies moving on the city of Sanction before realizing that the party had entered.   The fake Commandant shouted in alarm as the party rushed in to engage those inside.

As they did, the Commandant laughed.  His face twisted and the shape of his body began to change...

That's no way to hold a sword.

As the party engaged the others, he transformed fully into a draconian.  He shouted at a wizard to warn someone named Jadefang while he held the party off.  With that, the battle was engaged.

Fueled by the anger of what they had heard, the party fought hard and quickly brought the Commandant down.  He died with a gleam of hatred in his eyes as he melted into a pool of acid.  His guards fell down around him.

Janessa Waylan mentioned that the wizard had fled out the door to the east.  The party knew that the fight was just starting.  They headed off after him.

Not just evil.  Immense evil.

Once the party reached the door, however, they were overcome with a feeling of fear and dread.  Only Wil Dhargon, the kender, seemed immune to the effects.  He rushed forward and opened the door.

A blast of warm wind hit the party as they stepped outside.  A large shadow fell over them.

Why is the dragon in the barracks?

A large green dragon dropped down in front of them.  It sneered and spoke to them in a deep voice that rattled the windows.

"Welcome.  I am Jadefang.  I have been assigned to capture this hole and convince you humans that you still own it.  We did this so we could gather information and keep the southern road open.  Since you have given us a lot of useful information, I thank you."

"However, you have also discovered our secret.  That means that I have no choice but to kill you.  Alas, your meddling has brought you to this bloody end."

The large creature spread its wings and flew into the air.  As it did, guards rushed from the nearby barracks to help attack the party.

Weapons ready, the party met the attack head on.  The dragon dropped low, spewing burning acid from between his lips and burning Thaddeus Durin.  Janessa spoke loud incantations and hit the encroaching guards with a fireball.  Chaos erupted as the party was surrounded.

The battle went on for many minutes.  In the end, three members of the party managed to finish off the guards.  Kavina Do'Arden, Thaddeus Durin and Wil Dhargon had all been badly wounded and were slowly bleeding to death. 

Lord Benjamin hit the dragon with the killing blow.  As it died, it roared in defiance.  Its large frame fell to the ground with a thud.  In the distance, draconians and fake guards began to abandon the outpost.  With their strongest ally defeated, the enemy's morale had dropped.

The party had freed the Southern Outpost.  The guardsmen were freed and reunited with their children.  A few hours later, the newly elected Commandant offered the party healing and a place to rest, which they gladly accepted.

The new commandant looks like the old commandant.  What's up with that?

The Commandant thanked them for coming to the outpost's aid when they needed it.

Tamera Beldon replied:  "If Sir Karl hadn't caught us when we were leaving, we would have been somewhere else, investigating some ogres.  Come to think of it...we should probably get back to doing that..."

NEXT TIME:  The party starts looking into the ogres...maybe...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

School's Out!

Whew!  School is finally done for the semester.  It was rough.  Really, really rough!  The final for Financial Accounting was so rough that I think I got bruising.  I feel like a truck ran me over.

But, now I have some free time and I will have time to resume blogging my way through Champions of Krynn (and I look forward to it).  In the meantime, if you have any interest in the CRPG that I'm programming in my free time, feel free to check out my other blog: Lands of Adventure