Thursday 11 April 2024

Icing the Dragons of Ice

 So we're still playing what I like to call Lamentations of the Qualinesti Princess - a game of classic Dragonlance modules remade and arguably improved with the help of LotFP rules, and some LotFP and compatible books. 

Our latest adventure was Dragons of Ice, written by Douglas Niles. 

A party of adventurers consists of a Qualinesti red mage, a hill dwarf cleric of Kiri-Jolith, a kender bardess, and a kender druidess who recently joined the others in the frozed plains of Icewall. 

They fight the dragonarmies. 

The Dragons of Ice go like this - you bring the heroes to Tarsis, they find some clues in the long-forgotten library, the city is conquered by dragonarmies, the heroes are urged to go south and look for the Dragon Orb at the Icewall Castle. Simple enough. 


Part 1. Rebuilding Tarsis

Tarsis is a big city. It's fallen on hard times since the Cataclysm because they used to have a sea and now there's no sea, and there are beautiful ships just rotting for centuries because there's no sea. Still, a big city. 

The amount of things that you can do in Tarsis, according to Dragons of Ice, is this: 

stay at the Red Dragon inn, where you meet princess Alhana Starbreeze, a Silvanesti elf who, like many racists, secretly is aroused by interracial stuff and falls in love with the human knight Sturm;

visit the governer in his palace; 

find a secret library with Fizban's help; 

choose to rescue a nice elderly couple from thieves or leave them to be robbed; 

run to the south to get the Dragon Orb or stay in the city and eventually be captured by draconians and either escape or be executed. 

Thrilling.Though it could be fun to play a variant of Casablanca in a draconian-controlled city, maybe one day we'll go there. 

Anyways, I wanted Tarsis to be a city with places you can go, people you can meet, things you can do. 

I used Vornheim, of course. 

So under my wise government, Tarsis now has: 

a palace and an inn that we inherited from the old regime;

a library - but not just some boring old library. Indeed, it's the legendary Library of Zorlac, complete with the librarians and magic insanity-causing rugs; 

some fancy stores that sell fancy stuff; 

an elaborate maze of streets and alleys; 

barracks where the draconian troops are stationed; 

an old temple once dedicated to the sea gods, now long-abandoned, which the characters chose as a meeting place with their adversary. 

In other words, it's a real city. 

2. Messing with the NPCs

Since the Heroes of the Lance are replaced with the four above-mentioned meddling kids and their three dogs, I felt free to switch around some of the NPCs and enemies. Goldmoon and Riverwind are still there, doing what they're supposed to do, acting as the heroes' loyal followers since Dragons of Despair. They were joined by Sturm Brightblade with his Solamnic sword and Solamnic code of honour and Lolla Mesmer, an elven cleric that I rolled using Vornheim tables who was converted by the dwarf into true faith of Kiri-Jolith. Note: due to the dwarf's missionary activities, Kiri-Jolith is now the second most followed deity on Krynn. 

Laurana is supposed to hang out with the characters, being a bratty girl who still hasn't grown into her role of the heroic Golden General. Fine by me. By now, Laurana has gotten over her childhood crush on the Qualinesti wizard (which is what the previous modules had recommended for her - if  there's a Qualinesti elf in the party, boom, Laurana's all ready and willing to marry him), and now has a teenage passionate romance with Tika who is her SOULMATE and they're VERY HAPPY and will live happily EVER AFTER. Which is okay for everyone, especially the wizard who was really uncomfortable when Laurana fawned over him.

Kitiara is supposed to appear and disappear without much interaction, at this point in the story, she's just the mysterious and menacing Blue Lady, the Highlord of the Blue Wing. But since the heroes saw her and decided to kill her, why not let them? I gave them Kitiara at her best - charming, manipulative, smart, looking out for number one and not giving a damn about her superiors' master plans. 

The Dragon Highlord that the heroes are meant to really mess with is Feal-Thas, the lord of the White Wing, a dark elf who holds the Icewall Castle. He's okay. But I had something else in mind. Our wizard grew up in Qualinesti, he knew Laurana and her brothers, Laurana fancied him to be her betrothed - so what was up with Tanthalas at the time? I bet he wasn't all that happy, growing up as a half-elf in Qualinesti. In fact, Tanis is now the Dragon Highlord, Kitiara's sometimes-ally, sometimes-rival, bitter and angry at the elves who treated him like shit just because he was not racially pure. Can't really blame him. 

3. The Sinister Secret of the Spider Sity

The kender druidess wanted to find a spider city. She also rolled the "you know where to find the thing that you really wanted, four sessions away or sooner" on Zak's Random Character Advancement table. 

Which is why Silvanesti is now, apparently, taken over by spiders, and the heroes are flying there on top of a rather large and grumpy red dragon whom they freed from Tanis's magical prison. 

I have some ideas about what will happen there but it's a story for another time, besides, the players probably don't want to know ahead of time. 

There's going to be some horror stuff, obviously. 

And now a word from our sponsors. 

The cast of Lamentations of Qualinesti Princess originally appeared 

in the playtest of All Dogs Go To Hell, published by LotFP. 

A lot of animals, people, bacteria and magic artifacts 

suffered during the playtest, but the dog survived. 

 Buy it now and get a complimentary "Why, thank you!" 

from the writer, the cast, and the dogs. 

Or get it for free, it's pay-what-you-want.

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