Part 9: Noxious FumesUpdate 6: Noxious Fumes
Well, since we've decided to shirk all responsibility and just do whatever we feel like, it's time to make a little visit to the third outpost. This place is seriously RIGHT in the middle of the mountains for some reason.
"We.. uh.. we can kind of find our way ourselves. You just have to point the way out to us."
"No, no, we insist."
"What's wrong wif' 'I'm? Imma cleric, can fix him right up."
"Worry not, our own clerics are seeing to him. You should go back and see about that Myrtani fellow. Quickly."
"Well, that was not suspicious at all."
"This is likely to end in murder."
"I really hate this feeling."
"Maybe we should go somewhere a bit quieter, now that I think of it."
"The local inn is probably our best bet, although even that's not precisely secure."
"This is just a bit too convenient."
"It even came with a strange man in shredded clothes. I think they got our order confused."
"Out with it, then. What the hell is going on here?"
"They left them alive? This is most unusual behavior for draconians and the forces of evil."
"Why on Krynn would they be keeping them prisoner?"
"All the reasons I can think of are reasons I don't wanna think of."
"You've got to rescue them! Here, I've made a map showing a secret door to the jail."
"Hmm. This shouldn't be too hard, then, as long as we can get over there."
"You were saying?"
"We keep looking. I have an idea."
"This'll do. Alright, let's get to murdering."
"I'd object to the fact that all of your plans involve murder if it weren't for the fact that all of our problems revolve around people and creatures who need to die."
"How interesting, I believe this is the first time we've seen one of these alive."
I nearly forgot to get a shot of the fight. The enemy fighters are actually pretty beefy, since "evil champion" is the game's way of describing a 7th level fighter. Sivaks aren't much less dangerous, since they get three attacks per round, but on the plus side they're at least less durable.
"Children too? What were they doing here?"
"Why did you have an appreciable number of children at a combat outpost in the middle of what used to be the enemy's base of operations?"
"Less talkin, more rescuing!"
"Wait, the children or the intruders?"
"I'm tired of this crap. Both."
This fight is a lot larger than the one outside, but it's also conveniently set up for a well placed fireball. We'll.. uh.. pretend there weren't a bunch of children in the room.
"Huh this map looks very familiar."
"This confirms it, then. We'll just have to be careful not to run into anymore guards on the way there."
"Alright, you kids just uh.. hide until all the noise stops."
Several stealthy minutes later...
"Unless there are other secret doors in this small outpost, I think we have found it."
"There really shouldn't even be one, especially not into the prison."
"I just hope they don't ever seal it up, just in case I wind up in the jail here."
"Is that all? We'll have this sorted out inside a minute. Right through that door, you said?"
The right answer here is obviously to listen, and the choice is backed up by 5,000 bonus experience points. At this point it really becomes the case that "quest" type rewards far outpace fighting and magic items. Rescuing the guards has already gotten us a bonus of 3,000 experience unfortunately right now it's taking 20-30K experience for each level.
"You aren't the sharpest spoon in the drawer, are you?"
"Would anyone care to place a small wager on the species of this 'Jadefang'?"
"Only thing I got to bet is medicinal whiskey, and I wouldn't bet it on a sure thing."
"Now, about this holding off "
This isn't quite all of the enemies, but it's a pretty decent spread even so. The clerics and wizards are fairly high level, and there are enough kapaks to have a decent chance of one or two getting lucky and paralyzing somebody. Unfortunately, there's a glaring problem with the enemy formation. I'll give you a second...
If you're guessing that they're standing in parallel rows facing a party with two wizards who know lightning bolt, you win a prize. After this it's pretty much a matter of mopping the remainder up.
Naturally, we're not going to deal with Jadefang immediately. Now that the guards are loose and the shit has hit the fan, there are little knots of violence like this all over where there used to be enemy checkpoints. This means we have free reign to explore the outpost.
The only thing of real interest is a draconian ambush in a building by the gate. They get surprise, but for defeating a small ambush we get 1,000 additional experience. And with that...
This is the game's nice way of warning you that there's a fight in here that can seriously stomp your shit in.
"I'm sssorry, I wasssn't paying attention. Could you sssay your ssspeech again, pleassse?"
"I don't think ssso. I'll jussst kill you twissse as hard for making fun of my ssspeech impediment, you bassstard."
Jadefang is noticeably tougher than the other dragons we've faced thus far, although he still falls within the same age category. In addition to having more hit points he's also got another, more dangerous, surprise.
Unlike all the other evil dragons, whose breath attacks are basically linear, green dragons breath a cloud of poisonous gas. As a result, everyone except for Elon in front of Jadefang takes the same amount of damage. If our casters hadn't cleared out to try and take him down quickly, this could have killed them outright. The only silver lining is that the gas doesn't discriminate and takes down a couple of his soldiers as well.
The reward is well worth it. Most of this is actually from the jewelry and gems that Jadefang was toting around, but there was also a mace that didn't look like it belonged to any of the enemy fighters..
"Y'know, this actually does make you feel like a hero."
"Also, here's a couple of scrolls and a healing potion we had knocking about. Not like we were doing much with them."
"In some ways, this is almost as disturbing as having the fake ones watching us all the time."
"I I love you guys!"
And with that, our adventure in the Southern Outpost draws to a close. As a final note, that mace turned out to be a Mace of Disruption. Its property is that any undead struck by it must make a saving throw (at a penalty) or be instantly destroyed.
And with that, it's about time for things to get a bit more linear. The God of Quarters has decreed that we shall finally carry on with the plot and see what's going on in Gargath.