Dragonlance: Dragons of War
From the journal of Mordred Straightlance
What a great and blessed place is Palanthas, untouched by even the Cataclysm. We go to see Astinus the historian and ask him to go before the council of Palanthas in the hope that they might help the knights defending the High Clerist's tower.
Apparently Yarus, the last High Cleric played Khas with a bishop of evil. Yarus supposedly had an extra Khas piece which was magical and could destroy other pieces on the Khas board. The Tower has a strange design and was believed to house a dragon orb. Guiseppe asks if Verminaard is still alive and the answer that is that "The person we knew as Verminaard no longer exists". Astinus suggests that to sway the council a lot of wealth would be required to bribe enough members.
Astinus is said to be the first to walk upon Krynn and will be the last to leave it. We are honoured to meet with him as he is a busy man, only a event of extreme importance would shake him from his study and scribing. We leave.
We find a quality inn for the night and a real bed, food made for us. Guiseppe spends the night talking to locals and attractive women. We do a tour of the town looking at the fortifications. I get insulted by some draconian's but manage to swallow my pride. The next day we wash and when clean we see Astinus who tells us that the people of Palanthas will not help.
The High Clerist's tower was built by Solamnus himself and has been the home of the High Cleric, the head of the Order of the Sword. Only recently has Lord Gunther ordered that the Garrison be re-founded. We get some pony's and journey towards the tower. It takes two days but in truth it feels longer. The Tower is huge and the fortress spans the width of the pass meaning that to get to the Plains of Solamnia you must pass through this great fortress. We pass through some mercenary camps on the way to the tower. The weather is vile. The morale of the troops seems very low. We press onto the tower to find the refugees armed with peasant weapons in the courtyard. Inside the Knights Spur the knights reside. We speak to the three knights in charge and find that we are not being taken seriously especially when I tell of the dragonlances. Worse, their plan of defence seems to be to charge and leave the tower undefended, seeing this as the most effective form of defence. The world is going mad!
We enter the Tower proper. We venture through many chambers into the middle of the tower. in the middle we find a pedestal we find another piece of the Crown of Yaris. Shortly after we are attacked by a ghostly form. Guiseppe is hit by the ghost. I hit the ghost as Griff tries to turn it, Guiseppe hits but does not appear to harm the ghost, Trevor however does. The ghost misses this time. Windrush hits as do I, Griff attempts to cast a spell and Karanon speeds us up. Guiseppe hits again and takes it out. We move on.
We decide to go right to the top. Eventually we reach the 14th floor, but it is a long way and quite tiring. There are many pictures.
We are passed by some ghosts but they pay us no attention. We come across spectral warriors who attack us for no apparent reason. Their garb suggests they are the followers of the Evil Cleric that Yarus played Khas with. We take a defensive stance. Karanon casts his big ball spell. Guiseppe and Windrush attack then I move in and attack and then I am hit myself. Karanon does more spell work. I despatch two as Windrush steps forward. More magic from Karanon dispatches several more. The event is a forgone conclusion and we win easily. We reach the next level and find a observation platform to see the dragon army advancing, there are three dragons and a mixture of other races including Draconians, Humans, Kobolds, Ogres and undead. They outnumber us by a lot, not including the dragons! My fellow Knights want to charge. What a splendid act that will be! Futile martyrs they are. Anyway up we go! At the top is a black Owl. In it is the thirty third piece of the Kas board which I take. Down we go!
From the journal of Windrush
Down on area spells but short on time we push our luck and go on. As we enter the next chamber a group of spectral figures approach carrying lamps. They stop before us and ask "have we got it?". We hesitate and say we have most of it. This seems to be the wrong answer as they start to attack. Karanon tries to start the carnage but his spell fizzles ineffectually and unexpectedly. The fight is on!
Trevor and Mordred are in the front rank and both are taking chilling touches. It has the makings of long battle. Griff's attempt to turn the spectral figures fails and Karanon's spell fizzles again! Trevor hits again and his opponent dissipates and then Mordred does the same to his. We have their measure now. The front rank is also taking slow but steady damage, so we prepare to rotate. Guiseppe steps in as Trevor steps out. Mordred is making hay as 3 more disappear in rapid succession. Windrush heals Mordred as Karanon continues casting spells on himself for comfort. Trevor and Guiseppe rotate again and Trevor immediately adds another to his score sheet. Mordred is being whittled away but already has a tally of six. The fight quickly reaches its conclusion, with Mordred, Trevor and Guiseppe moderately wounded. Windrush is still completely fresh in reserve. A textbook tactical battle with excellent teamwork - it only took a year to get to this stage... As we are spelled out we head back to our chambers for a well earned rest.
Early that evening a commotion is heard. A black knight, Vindar, has approached the gate and issued a personal challenge to Haras a young Solamnic knight. Apparently this is a blood feud stemming form a disagreement of their fathers. Mordred steps in and offers to accept the challenge in the young knights stead, but Lord Jeffrey argues against saying it is an opportunity for Haras to prove his mettle. Mordred's eloquence wins out and convinces the lords that an experienced knight should take the field as a loss could cause a serious morale problem in the castle. The black knight accepts the substitution and sets the time an hours hence.
Mordred chooses melee combat and the battle begins. Vindar draws first blood with a flurry of blows and Mordred immediately responds in kind. Blows are traded for some time before Mordred makes a massive attack that leaves Vindar reeling. Another round of attacks and Mordred deals another huge amount of damage and the black knight is dead. A massive cheer goes up from the battlements.
We reenter the tower and make our way up to the 14th level where we left off. On exiting the stairs we find the spectral knights are once again waiting in the central chamber. We beat a hasty retreat and go down a level. Wandering around the rooms and a set of winding corridors we find nothing and are left wondering what this was all used for.
We go down another level and immediately encounter some nasty spectral figures which drain life force from Trevor as they hit. Griff turns two and Karanon casts a huge Fireball that fills the room taking out the spectres and injuring the front rank. It is considered a good trade to be rid of the spectres. Crossing the corridor Mordred and Trevor enter the opposite room. It is lined with mirrors and duplicates of Mordred and Trevor appear and attack their doubles. Whoa, who is who? A few seconds later Trevor goes down as Trevor stands reeling. Mordred stands trading heavy blows with himself. Karanon touches the wall of the room from the corridor side and it slides down in a pile of mud. Mordred then drops Mordred in a pool of blood.
Eek. Griff hastily casts a wall of good and the victors are able to pass, so we are feeling a little more confident. They destroy the mirrors and search the room before we let them out. Then we heal up Mordred and Trevor and continue our exploration of the level. After searching the battlements and outer rooms we return to the central chamber. There is a fallen pillar crushing a chair another chair and a Khas board. A skeleton sits in one of the chairs crown on head arm fused to jaw. The other skeleton lies on the floor arm outstretched. Griff complains of voices in his head asking for the crown.
Guiseppe picks off the skeletons crown with the tip of his sword and gingerly drops it into a sack. We search the other skeleton and find nothing. Karanon then has a flash of inspiration and we decide to retire for the night and learn new spells. Griff also learns new spells to check out the crown, it glows strongly of evil.
From the journal of Windrush
Next morning Karanon casts locate object and flies up until he triangulates on the crown fragment. He returns and takes us up to level 11.
After making our way up to level 11, we hear noises from the room adjacent to the stair exit. Cautiously we enter what we assume to be a council chamber to find a host of ghostly knights of Solamnia arguing amongst themselves. We are asked to council chamber and get involved in a knightly debate and vote. There is a decision to be made about a knight who made a deal with an evil knight to save the life of a maiden. The vote is currently tied. Mordred as a knight of Solamnia can break the deadlock. After some deliberation Mordred votes that the knight acted honourably. With that he is thanked handed the third piece of the crown and they all dissipate.
Mordred takes the crown fragments and as he places the pieces together they fuse. We take the crown up to the room where we found the skeleton of Yaris. As we place the crown on his skeleton a ghostly form appears with a holy symbol upon his breast. He says that now his spirit can rest, but will stay around a few days. He says that if we find the 33rd Khas piece he can help us. As we have it already Mordred immediately gives it to him. He then offers the crown to Mordred offering him the role of high cleric! After a short deliberation Mordred accepts. He is now officially religious head of the order.
Karanon and I make our way into a small room, study it, and teleport to get the orb. We return a few minutes later looking flushed. We then make our way back down the tower. We request an audience of the council and introduce Mordred as the new high clerist. This is met with initial disbelief but then Yaris' ghost appears and convinces the council, though Jeffrey looks unimpressed. Mordred takes Jeffrey aside and tells him that he will still respect his position and his guidance. Jeffrey spits at his feet. This insult provokes Mordred, challenging him to a dual at noon.
Rooms are allocated. Karanon and Windrush, Griff and Trevor, Mordred and Guiseppe. Mordred retires to his room to talk to Yaris about his duties. Next morning we go over to the hall at the base of the tower and try to work out what it is for. After a frustrating couple of hours Karanon figures it out, yay! We return to the keep and prepare for Mordred's duel. Mordred takes the early lead but Jeffrey gradually pulls it back and in the end Mordred wins by a hair. He heals himself and walks off the field.
We call a council and discuss our new plan. Mordred explains it and it meets no opposition. So we put the troops in place and practice dragon slaying in the dragon traps and put archers on the wall.
Next day the army closes and 3 dragons fly overhead. The shout goes out and 2 of the 3 dragons head our way. The archers shoot the riders as they descend and the dragons are in the trap and finished quickly. What a morale boost for the troops! The third dragon heads away.
Next day and the army arrive. After a day of fierce fighting the enemy is repelled. Again the next day and again the same result. Then there are a couple of days as the dragon army recuperate. Another day of fighting and we again repel their army. The next we rout them and the battle is won. We take the dragon heads to Palanthas and this along with tales of the battle convinces them to join the war.