Part I: Getting Started
Dark Queen of Krynn (or DQK for short) is somewhat atypical for
a gold box game. In particular, where the usual AD&D product
pretty much leads you by the nose so you have no trouble staying
on track, DQK goes in the other direction, not giving you much
help at all in deciding what to do or where to go next.
Sometimes, even when you think you know where to visit, nothing
seems to be happening there (or at least, nothing of much
Also, a number of events are triggered by doing certain things,
some of them not very obvious. This is especially the case in
the Tower of Flame, where getting from one level to the next may
be a frustrating experience.
In addition, there are several set-ups in the game that you need
to know about so you can survive the experiences. A lot of
gratuitous damage gets tossed at your party, and knowing when
it's coming can help your people stay alive.
The first thing you need to know about is the nasty bug in
regard to multi-class characters. Usually, when a character has
enough points to go up a level, his or her name shows pink on
the screen. However, the bug prevents this from happening with
multi-class types. So the character is accumulating points, but
never seems trainable.
In fact, that character CAN be trained (if race limits have not
been reached), even though the name has not changed color. You
will have to keep track of the experience points for
multi-classes, and train them when they have enough points for
the next level. This was more of a problem for dual-class types,
since my triple-class characters usually got the color change.
If you are creating a party from scratch (instead of bringing
one over from Death Knights, which is better than making a new
one), you don't want Silvanesti Elves unless you plan on
bringing them in as single-class mages, clerics, or rangers, or
as multi-class in those professions. Those are the only ones
they can max out (unlimited advancement) in; as plain fighters,
they will get only up to level 10, which is not really very good
for this game. You want at least level 14 fighters, to get that
double hit per round. For the usual F/Mu combination, Qualinesti
elves are the better choice.
My own party consisted of one human knight, 3 F/Mu's (two red
mages, one white mage), and two triple class F/Cleric/Mu's (both
white mages). So everyone could fight, and everyone could also
cast spells. The knight (of the rose) was especially important,
since having him in the party let me control the various NPC's
who joined us for varying periods of time.
Of course, the triple-class guys went up slower than anyone
else, but they were still worth having. You are going to need a
lot of magic, and also a lot of healing, to get through this
game....and there will be times when you can't sit encamped and
fix everyone up; you'll need individual healing spells. The more
you have, the better.
I went through DQK at the novice level, mainly because I found
out about the training bug too late to do anything (we were in
the Tower of Fire by then), so for most of the play, I was under
the impression my mages were never going to go up in level. With
mages of only 13th-15th level, I figured we needed some sort of
advantage. Even with that, many of the combats, especially with
enchanted Draconians, were hard.
While you now know about the bug, and won't be stuck like I was,
you may still want to lower the difficulty level, especially in
certain areas like the Tower of Fire, where there are several
tough encounters with Draconians and others. In addition, you
will find that low armor class (-10 or lower) is not as good
protection against hits as you might expect. Your party will be
absorbing a lot of damage throughout the game, one way or
Money isn't of much use in DQK. After awhile, there isn't any
reason to pick up the steel, gems, and jewels that are offered
after a combat. The only things you need money for are (a)
getting items identified and (b) buying passes at Hawkbluff. The
inns are free, training is free, and equipment offered for sale
is mainly mundane stuff you don't want to bother with. So don't
weigh yourself down with a lot of useless treasure.
If you are bringing a team over from Death Knights, you may be a
little short of magic arrows. There was only one place in DQK I
could find to buy arrows, and they were a bit expensive (15,000
for ten +2 arrows)....and that was well along, when we were in
the Gnome tower on the Burning Sea. If you need arrows(or good
bows, or both), the simplest thing to do is play the old game of
Create several fighters (stats, name, etc are irrelevant). They
all come with +2 composite bows and 40 +2 arrows. Bring them
into the group, trade off what you want, and then dump them.
This is about the only way you'll get magic arrows in the game
(there is a place where you can get some +4's, but not many, and
As usual, the best stuff comes after combat. However, you'll
notice that many of your opponents only carry mundane items, or
no items, just some gems, jewels, and/or steel. Even the Dark
Wizards have junk for treasure; you can't even pick up bracers
from them (which makes me wonder how they got that armor class
of -1). Accumulating good equipment will be a slow task.
DQK features some nasty monsters, many of which can do
considerable harm to your party. These include Dark Wizards, and
Dark Wizards are high-level (I'd hate to guess how high) mages,
and they come into combat with all their defensive spells up and
ready before the fighting even starts. The spells they have in
effect are Fire Shield (cold), Mirror Image, and Globe of
Invulnerability. For some time, these guys are going to be a
pain to kill.
Mirror Image makes it very hard to target them with arrows. The
Globe will protect them from the usual damage spells such as Ice
Storm, Fireball, and Lightning Bolt. Fire Shield will generally
keep them safe from the Delayed Blast Fireballs (or DBF), and
bestow double damage on anyone who hits them with a hand weapon.
One way of handling them in the early going is Cone of Cold. If
you can get someone close to a Dark Wizard, and have time to get
off the spell, this will usually kill them, since the Cone is an
area spell and too high in level to be stopped by the Globe.
This is tricky, though, since the Wizards tend to lurk in the
back ranks, where they are hard to reach. Also, THEY throw
DBF's, and as we all know, the DBF is an instant spell (like
magic missile). One of those, and your party could be in bad
shape (not to mention, unable to cast any spells of their own
Another way to get to them is an arrow barrage. Enough arrows
will disperse the various mirror images (or you may even get
lucky on a shot and hit him in spite of the duplicates). Once
the images are gone, he is a sitting duck for arrows.
The last, and best, way won't be available for awhile. When you
get a white mage high enough, have him (or her) learn Power Word
Kill (for some reason, this choice only shows for white mages).
Power Word Kill is an instantaneous spell, and it works first
time, every time. One of these, and you won't have any more
trouble with Mr. Wizard. You will have to get fairly close to
use it, since the range is only 1 square for every four
experience levels of your mage (ie, a 15th level mage can only
toss it about 3 squares away).
The other problem comes from the Enchanted Draconians, which
have been put in the game to make your life much more difficult.
Not only do Auraks blow up when they die, so do Sivaks, Kapaks,
and Bozaks. Of these, the Bozaks (which I always thought of as
Bozos) are the worst. I cringed whenever these guys showed up in
First, Bozos have a Fire Shield up, so you don't want to hit
them with hand weapons. Second, they can cast spells. Third, and
worst of all, the damage they do when they explode can reach 20
or more hit points, and there is no protection against it. You
just have to sit there and take the pain, hoping the guys won't
go down. Bozos can be a serious threat when several are in the
enemy party at one time.
Sometimes, if you have a high-level mage, a DBF will get through
the Fire Shield and possibly knock them out. However, between
the shield and their own natural magic resistance, this doesn't
happen too often. All you can really try to do is put them down
with arrows before they get close enough to damage the party.
Sivaks blow up like a Meteor Swarm, but the damage they do is
generally not more than 5-10 points per shot (at least, that's
what it was when people had rings of Fire Resistance or were
under a Resist Fire spell). They can, however, get the same
people more than once if the area is crowded. Still, since they
have no other special powers and can't cast spells, they are not
as dangerous, overall, as the Bozos.
Kapaks splatter into acid puddles when they die. The direction
of the splatters is random, and the acid itself generally does
somewhere between 1-5 points of damage. The Kapaks are therefore
the least dangerous of the "bombardier Draconians".
Auraks, enchanted or otherwise, are always dangerous. Properly
handled, though, they can be less of a problem than the other
critters. Auraks need to be put down twice. In their natural
state, they can cast spells (and enchanted Auraks are especially
fond of DBF), so you want to bring them down into their berserk
state as soon as you can.
In this form, they can attack, but do not cast spells. When they
go down a second time, they enter the energy form. In this
state, they are stationary menaces, incapable of movement or
attacking, except they have a magical zap that can hit an
adjacent character. The zap of the enchanted Aurak is quite
damaging, so you don't want anyone standing next to it for very
long. You especially don't want anyone standing next to the
enchanted variety when it blows up, because that's 16d8 damage.
My rose knight got caught in such a blast once, and he took 80
hp's damage. Fortunately, he had most of his hp's at the time,
so he was still living after that.
The regular Auraks have a natural invisibility that prevents
them from being targeted by spells or arrows until after they
have made their attack for the round. On the other hand, these
Auraks are more susceptible to DBF, so if you can get one or two
off near them, you may not even have to worry much about them
for the rest of the combat. Also, any mages with Detect
Invisibility active will be able to target the Auraks for spells
Enchanted Auraks do not have this invisible ability (at least,
we were always able to target them). However, they are much more
likely to resist any spells cast against them (you do get
through from time to time). Arrows and melee weapons are
generally the best way to deal with enchanted Auraks.
Part II: Taladas
Caergoth and The Caves
When the game begins, you are in Palanthas. The first thing to
do is go to the inn and memorize spells (and possibly visit the
training hall, if you brought your team over from Death
Knights). The shop has nothing of interest (all mundane items),
and you aren't likely to need the services of the temple.
After your meeting with the general, you hustle along
automatically to Caergoth, which is in pretty sad shape, having
just been blasted to rubble by dragons. You'll have one
encounter with a few dragons here. Then you can go to the boat
at the end of the dock.
This vessel is run by Captain Daenor (a paladin, of all
things!). Ship out with him, and before long you're on the trail
of a bunch of nasty Draconians. You'll have to track them
through the caves, with several tough encounters along the way.
Fixing on the upper level of the cave is hard to accomplish, as
you're likely to be interrupted by Draconian patrols. I did find
it possible to rest and renew spells by encamping just inside
the cave entrance. When you get to the lower level (where the
Umber Hulks and other delights abound), fixing is usually
possible, although getting spells back is chancy. That's another
reason to make sure you have a full slate of spells before you
start on this little jaunt.
There's nothing tricky about the caves; it's a straightforward
matter of mapping and combat. At the end, Crysia will get away,
but you'll see her again much later.
There's nothing like a shipwreck to make life interesting, and a
storm at sea sinks the Silver Shark. Fortunately, your party is
saved by Sea Elves, who put a spell on everyone to allow them to
breathe underwater. Unfortunately, it doesn't help with
movement. Underwater, your team will not have a very good
movement rate, except for whoever equips the Ring Of Free Action
(if you have a dragonlance in the party, give the ring to
whoever has the lance).
The Elves are currently having some problems with Sea Dragons,
who are rampaging through the city. While this is going on,
you'll be asked to do little errands and good deeds by the
populace (once you find your way to one of the two safe halls).
In the safe halls, you can rest up and memorize spells. During
this part of the game, you may want to dump your regular
fireball spells, and load up on lightning bolts instead.
Underwater, fireballs aren't much use (heh). The lightning
bolts, however, will work, although not in the usual fashion.
Instead of zipping off in a straight line, they explode,
covering an area similar to that of an ice storm, but doing
regular electrical damage.
After awhile, you find out that the dragons are rampaging
because the evil Sauhaugin stole their eggs. So of course you
have to go and get them (isn't that what heroes are for?). Be
careful in the tunnel linking Naulidus with Celanost, as you'll
have a couple of encounters there with sea critters.
Eventually, you'll make it to Celanost and the air shaft.
Explore the rooms above carefully. When you come to one that
appears to have treasure in it, camp out and put Resist Fire
(and Fire Shield, for those who have it) on the party. As you
move around this room, you'll have an encounter, and a Dark
Wizard will be among the enemies.
Beyond this room, you'll find the place where the eggs are
stored. Whoever dives down and brings up one or more eggs gets
experience, so send down whoever needs the points most. That
takes care of Celanost, and you can head back to Naulidus when
you have all the eggs.
Near the entry to Naulidus is one encounter with Sauhaugin,
followed by a meeting with a horde of sea dragons. Just hand the
eggs over to the dragons, and they will depart in peace.
Of course, you aren't quite done yet. After you are escorted by
the Elves to the prince's private chambers, you may want to camp
and save the game. Fixing and/or resting won't be possible,
because Prince Talhook and his merry band have set up an ambush
in this room. "Looking" will trigger the encounter, which is the
conclusion of the Naulidus portion of the game. When the
fighting is over, you'll get a dragonlance (a handy weapon to
Hizden and the Lighthouse
Hizden is also straightforward. Talk to Ezra, rest up at the
inn, save the town from marauding Sauhaugin, train if you need
to, etc. Then make your way to the lighthouse.
This is certainly one of the meaner parts of the game. There are
few things as frustrating as fighting your way up eleven levels,
past enormous spiders, Beholders, gorgons, iron golems, and
other dangerous creatures, only to find that nothing - nothing
at all - will open the door at the top. The only reason you
might want to go as far as the tenth level is to find the dying
Elf woman, who has bracers AC 2 and a couple of other items.
The real way to the top is to walk around until you find a
poorly-concealed pit in the the floor and drop through it. This
lands you on a mound of garbage (doing damage, too, of course).
Then you fight a veritable army of Greater Otyughs, purple
worms, and such like. There are a LOT of these critters, but
fortunately your DBF's will work wonders here, and you should be
able to clean out the monsters in short order.
Once they've been dispatched, climb up the garbage pile to a
small, enclosed level. Turn on Search and do a little mapping.
You will find a false wall with a teleporter behind it. This
teleporter will send you back to the main level, not too far
from the door out. Mark that on your map, turn off search, and
then start walking into walls. You do that because there is a
*second* teleporter in this area, and the false wall that covers
it will NOT show up when you have search active; you can only
find it by walking through the wall. This second teleporter will
send you to the top where you can talk to Fastillion, and get
the two crypt keys. That's all you need to do here, and then you
can use the teleporters to get out again.
This lovely place is under the domination of minotaurs. The
minotaurs are big and tough, and ready to pound you anytime you
get out of line. I never found a way into the palaces of either
the king or queen, and suspect that they're there just for show.
However, if you want to start a fight to earn some experience
points, you can try entering the queen's palace. Don't do this
too often, though, or your party will be marked as
troublemakers, and minotaur patrols in the town will start
attacking your group from time to time.
In the eastern (minotaur) half of the city, you will see an old
minotaur abusing his human slave. If you get involved, your
party will end up having to fight in the arena (that's the only
way to get in there, by the way) against some very tough
minotaur opposition. This encounter does not advance the plot,
so you can skip it unless you want their armor (all the minotaur
champs have +2 helms and other gear).
On the outskirts of the city is the home of Eshalla, who looks
like a hag but isn't. Be nice to her and she'll tell you her sad
story. If one of your party volunteers to kiss her (several
times), she'll be restored to her rightful self. She also falls
passionately in love with whoever kissed her. This is not as bad
as it sounds, since she bestows (over several encounters) some
Neat Things on the party, including a cloak of displacement and
a helm +3.
The really important thing about Kristophan is the tombs below
the city. These can be reached only by having the thief from the
pub join your party. His joining will trigger the Dragonstrike,
where you all make a mad dash north to reach the safety of the
abandoned temple (only the thief can open the way in to the
What you are looking for down here are the five pieces of the
Oracle. Each piece provides a cryptic clue or hint. You get one
piece from the spectral minion guarding his wife's cell, another
from a ghost, a third when you visit the crazy lich's "sideshow"
(the piece is in Tightrope Walkers; "look" after you have the
spider combat), a fourth in the tomb of Kristophus ("look"
around for it), and the fifth after a fight with a very nasty
bunch of vampires in the caves beyond the tomb.
In the vampire room are two teleporters. One will send you back
to the tombs proper. The other, with a warning scrawled in blood
in front of it, will send you to a maze of pillars and
teleporters. Many of these pillars are hollow, and have treasure
chests inside. Most of the treasure is gems and such, but one
chest has Eyes Of Petrifaction (work like a Flesh to Stone
spell), and another has the real prize: a belt of cloud giant
The fake walls of the pillars do not show up under Search; you
just have to try all sides of each pillar (a couple are solid
and have no way in). There will, of course, be encounters with
various critters as you make your way around this area.
Fortunately, they are all "regular" monsters; no Draconians are
among them. To get out of this place, you will have to find the
pillar with the teleporter inside it.
The Hulder are unfriendly Elves, worse in some ways than those
of Armach. At least the Armach Elves warn you away from their
land. The Hulder have the pleasant habit of letting people in
and then smirking as the unfortunates slowly starve to death.
Sorry to say, you are going to have to enter Hulder territory.
By the way, having Elves of your own in the party is no
advantage here; they're treated as outsiders just like anyone
You can find it by going east from Trilloman to the mountains,
where you enter a cleft in the rocks. In a short time, your
people will begin taking damage from lack of food (and probably
some sort of spell effect, since the damage is almost
continuous; really friendly, those Hulder).
Camping and fixing will heal up the party temporarily. At each
camping, you will be approached by the Elf woman Elea. She
teaches the party some important Hulder words. When you have
learned all of them thoroughly (ie, when you are told the
journal entry that has the words and their meanings), head off
to location 7,11. Looking at the journal entry ahead of time
won't help; you have to go through the entire routine of hearing
the words, repeating them back, getting the meanings of them,
etc., before the Elves appear to talk to you.
You will also find Tasselhoff Burrfoot as you wander through the
forest. He joins you temporarily (only for your stay in Hulder
land). Tass is no better off than you are (he's also starving
and unable to find a way out), however you need him in your
party, so you might as well invite him in.
When you meet the king and queen of the Hulder, you'll notice
that the king isn't a bad sort, but the queen doesn't like you
at all. At her instigation, the party is sent to count the
leaves on the Mother of Trees. Fun stuff.
The Mother of Trees is due east of 7,11. This is fortunate,
since you will have to make four trips in all to the tree to
count the leaves. Tass, having more brains than anyone else in
the group, will refuse to help count. On each visit, he will
make a suggestion, such as burning the tree or cutting it down.
Since your party pledged not to harm any trees, following these
suggestions is not recommended.
However, on the fourth visit, Tass will suggest stripping the
leaves off the tree. Since it's almost autumn and the leaves are
falling off anyway, this is what you should do. One leaf will
remain, and that's all you need to tell the king. The rigmarole
is finally over, and you'll receive some gifts (+4 arrows, a +4
bow, some nice Elfin chain mail) as well as a ring of deception
and a dragon scale. This scale will be important later when you
visit Blackwater Glade. The ring will help you to uncover Auraks
masquerading as someone else.
That takes care of the Hulder, and you won't have to visit them
Bai'or, way down in the SE corner of the map, is a city beset by
dragons and Sharkmen. Talking to the people there will give you
some idea of what is going on, although no one ever tells you
exactly why the Sharkmen want all those boats built.
In any case, what you want to do is find the librarian in the
secret room of the library. Tell her you can take care of the
dragons. This will start a riot in the town square (so be
prepared for combat when you leave). After you polish off the
Sharkmen, heal and rest up, because a small army of dragons will
appear when you try to leave town.
When they've been dispatched, another dragon will show up. This
one you should talk to; he'll tell you there are good dragons to
be found in Blackwater Glade. However, don't go running off
there just yet, because right now you won't be able to find
New Aurim is a vicious town, with bodies all over the place:
hanging from the walls, lying in the streets, dangling from the
roofs. Almost makes you wish you were back with the Hulder. At
least the forest was a clean place.
You'll find that most people here stay behind locked doors and
are reluctant to talk to you. This is because temple press gangs
roam through the city, grabbing people to be made into undead.
You'll come across one or more of these press gangs as you
ramble around New Aurim. Defeating them will get you some Thenol
army uniforms, which come in handy (you only have to fight one
gang to get the uniforms; further combats are optional on your
In one building you will find a man who says he isn't accepting
petitions today. Your ring of deception will glow, because he's
actually an enchanted Aurak in disguise. You can fight him (and
his friends) if you like, but you won't get anything more than
experience from the encounter: there is nothing of importance to
be found in the room.
In the western section is the Quiet Kender tavern, where you can
talk to the cleric of Myslaxa. He sends you to free everyone in
the city jail. Since you're wearing the uniforms (you DID put
them on, I hope!), you can get in easily by pretending you have
prisoners. Of course, after that, you'll have to fight the bad
Freeing the prisoners requires a thief. Knock spells did not
work on the cell doors, nor did bashing (even bashing by someone
wearing the giant belt). I had to create a thief character
specifically to pick the locks (which he was able to do with no
trouble at all).
When you return to the Kender, the cleric will give you a token,
so that the people behind the locked doors will talk to you. One
of them will hand you a clay pass to get into the palace.
Another, across from, and a little south of, the jail, will
train mages in the party. I found it necessary to use his
services when some of my mages were ready to go up a level, but
the regular training hall wouldn't do the job.
Now that you have the uniforms and the clay pass, you can get
into the palace by the back door. In one room on this level,
you'll be asked if you want to take on a special assignment.
Agree to it and accept the Palace Guard uniforms. The odd thing
here is that you're told to report to the Draconians upstairs.
However, the only Draconians up there are guarding the stairs to
the king, and they want nothing to do with you.
Be careful up there on the second floor. One of the side doors
outside the palace leads to the lair of a lich and his undead
friends. In the NE is a room with some mundane treasure in it;
this is the lair of some undead dragons who will attack if you
enter their area. In the same area, but to the east, is a second
door; approaching it will set off an ambush by undead.
Where you're really supposed to go is downstairs, via the
guardpost in the center of the entry level. Showing your clay
pass will get you past the guards. Down below, you are escorted
by a small army of Draconians to a big hall, where you are asked
(ordered would be a better term) to escort some Draconian
recruits to Hawkbluff.
This, friends, is a setup. After you and your retinue get back
upstairs and past the guardpost, you are attacked by Thenolian
soldiers, who start beating on the Draconians. Actually, these
are not soldiers but rebels. The setup is that no matter what
you do, all the recruits are going to be killed. It doesn't
matter if you fight the rebels, run, or wait, the result will be
the same. How nice.
Sometime after this, you will meet Grunschka, a female Dwarven
fighter. She's good to have in the party (not the treacherous
type), except that her armor class is pretty awful. Do what you
can to get her better stuff as the game progresses (she will
stay with you right up through the end game, so it's worth the
effort). You should also get her a bow and arrows. While she
comes with a crossbow, that weapon only gets off one shot per
round, where the bows get off two per round. Since there are
occasions where arrows may be lifesavers (and I don't mean
candy), everyone who can use one should have a bow.
Now that you've lost your recruits and met Grunschka, you will
be able to get up to the king's level. When you go to the
Draconian guard post on the second floor, the urchin seller will
be there. One of his critters slips through the gates, and the
Draconians open it for the seller to go after it. This gives
your party the chance to also slip through and nip upstairs to
visit the queen (the king isn't worth seeing).
The queen turns out to be working with the rebels. She gives you
a signet ring and tells you to show it to the jeweler in
Hawkbluff. Then she tells you about the secret passage behind
the fire place that will take you down below the palace. Use
those stairs to get down to the area where you received your
recruit assignment. You can skip the crypts on the lowest level,
as there isn't really anything worth taking down there.
In the temple, you will have several fights with Draconians, but
some of them will escape with the dragon eggs. Further
explorations down here will lead you to one room with a lone
cleric, and another with Trandamere himself. Unfortunately,
Trandamere will escape (while his loyal friends try to kill
you). All you can do now is follow the trail to the next town.
This place isn't any cheerier than New Aurim, but at least there
aren't any bodies in the streets. The inn is a safe place to
rest and renew spells if you need to do that before attempting
Actually, there is only one dungeon here, with three entrances:
the military offices to the north and west, and the temple of
Hith to the east. Each of these requires a different pass for
you to get in, and once inside, you will come across guard posts
on all the levels that require other passes. You cannot get by a
guard post unless you have the necessary pass.
The Outer Temple of Hith does not, however, lead to the rest of
the dungeon. When you go up, you end in the room of a lone
cleric. Killing him provides a keyhole pass, but the other door
in the room is "securely locked", and you aren't even given a
chance to open it.
While you will need to buy several passes, you can also pick up
a couple of free ones. On level 2, there is an empty room in the
functionaries area where you can grab a lantern pass and a
release form for Davik the architect. Also on this level is a
room with a man who asks if he can help you. Saying "yes" nets
you a sword pass.
In most of your wanderings around the dungeon, you won't be
bothered unless you start trouble, so take advantage of this to
map thoroughly and carefully. Once you have the place mapped
out, you can go downstairs to the cells and get Davik. He
doesn't show up in the party roster, but he's with you.
As the architect, he knows all about the secret passages and
doors in the dungeon. The only problem with using these passages
is that from time to time you will run into an undead patrol.
This is more likely to happen the longer you stay in the secret
areas, so try to use them sparingly. Camping in these areas is
Once you have Davik with you, sooner or later the real guards
will come for him, and when they see he's gone, the alert will
go out. After that, you can expect encounters at any guardpost
and also randomly on the levels (these random encounters will,
however, temporarily clear out any nearby guardpost).
If you do manage to get out before they seal the doors, you
should leave Hawkbluff, which will remove Davik from the party.
This goes on under the surface; you don't get any message that
he isn't with you any longer. If you didn't cause any other
trouble while in the dungeon (such as fighting with any clerics
or Draconians in the rooms), you should be able to get back in
and walk around without having to fight.
You may wonder just why you're in here in the first place.
That's easy: you want the Book of Amrocar. Once you have the
book, you will be able to get into Tremor's lair in Blackwater
Glade. Without the book, you don't have a chance. Currently,
this volume is in Trandamere's hands.
Trandamere can be found on the fourth level, in room at the end
of the hall west of the generals' lecture room. After the
expected combat, Trandamere will toss the book into the
dumbwaiter and take off. It isn't worth following him; all that
happens is several encounters with guards, ending up with
Trandamere escaping through a portal that then blows up in your
face. Far better to hurry down to the kitchens and grab that
Since Davik will be with you again, you can take the fast route
from that room (where you just had the combat) by going through
the secret door by the torch. This will take you quickly and
with a minimum of fuss to the kitchens, where you should find
the book in the dumbwaiter. From there, have Davik lead you to
the exit (which can now be opened, as the instructions are also
in the book), and you're out of Hawkbluff, with no need to
This one is pretty quick and simple. Now that you have the book,
just go through the ruins to Tremor's lair. You may come across
some Bakali watching another one fight a crocodile
single-handed. This is their manhood rite. If you don't do
anything hostile, one member of your party gets to bear witness
to the Bakali's successful fight. This is a by-the-way thing,
and doesn't advance the plot.
You can explore the rest of Blackwater if you want to, but there
really isn't anything of interest outside of Tremor's lair and
Clematra's place. If you entered the Glade in need of R&R, stop
off at her room to heal up and renew spells before going to
Along the way, you'll run into Baldric the Bard. This is really
Baldranous the silver dragon in his human guise. Grunschka
doesn't trust him, but he's really quite harmless. You can take
him into the party if you want (it will be temporary anyway).
At Tremor's door, he will meet you in person and demand tribute.
Whatever you offer will not be acceptable, and Tremor will
breathe on the party before disappearing into his cave. The word
to open the door is on the map; just type it in backwards. The
word is HABO!LJX, type exactly like that!!
Inside, just keep going until you reach Tremor. You'll learn why
he and his dragons are such cowards, and what has to be given
him to restore the dragons' courage (bet you already guessed
it's that dragon scale you got way back when in Hulder land).
There is one encounter here with Thenol troops, after which you
can trade the dragon scale for a Ring of Wizardry.
Then Tremor has to reassert his authority over an upstart. He
does this by asking one of your party to put a vorpal sword
across his neck. Do it gently, and the sword is yours. With all
this taken care of, Baldric directs you to visit Clematra.
Usually, you would have a chance to rest there, but that
opportunity will not arise. Baldric returns with urgent news,
and before you can say "huh?", the dragons are winging you along
to the Gnome tower on the Burning Sea.
Part III: The Burning Sea
In the Gnome tower you will be reunited with Captain Daenor, who
is still searching for Crysia, and is willing to rejoin your
group. Before you go in to see the king, however, take time out
to fix up the party and save the game. The reasons for these
precautions will become obvious when you go to kiss the Gnome
king's hand: your own ring of deception glows, indicating
(probably to little surprise) that the king is a fake.
Your party has two combats here, back-to-back: first with a
small contingent of Gnome thieflords (easily disposed of with
spells), then with the Aurak and his friends. With that taken
care of, you must now search the Gnome tower for the real king.
First, however, you may want to go to the Guest Room level,
where you can fix up and renew spells at the Sleepy Siren. If
people are in need of training, there is a training hall on the
Workshop level, past the pub. The first time you visit the hall,
you'll have to kill off some Gnome thieves. After that, you
won't be bothered.
There is an old crone in one of the rooms on the guest level who
has some magic items for sale at outrageous prices. However, she
will also perform the usual item identification services for the
standard fee of 20 steel.
Going to different levels is a pain (literally), since you have
to drop down a shaft (taking damage) before you can go up again.
Usually, though, you can encamp and fix up right there to take
care of the injuries.
As you explore the tower, you will find it is crawling with
Draconians. They are all over the place, sometimes in disguise
and sometimes as themselves. Most of these combats are optional;
if you'd rather, you can skip them and go right to the door that
leads (eventually) to the Gnome king.
This is on the guest room level (handy, since you don't have to
drop down the shaft!). There is one locked door, which can be
opened with knock or bashing. Beyond is a second door, magically
charged. One dispel magic will take care of that.
Past the door is the first encounter, with several Draconians
and a pair of Dark Wizards. After you win this one, go right
back to the Sleepy Siren to heal up and renew spells (make sure
you learn plenty of healing spells), because it's about to get
Return to the room where you just had the combat. At the far
door, encamp, cast all the protective spells you can, and save
the game. When you walk through this door, everyone in the party
will be hit with spells for anywhere between 15-30 or so points
of damage. This is another setup; there is no way to avoid the
damage, even with a Globe of Invulnerability. Everyone is going
into combat hurt.
This fight is with more Draconians and a Dark Wizard. When you
get through this one, don't end combat right away. Heal up your
people as much as you can, because there's more to come.
After the treasure screen, you will see the Gnome king come
running into the room with a cube in his hand, apparently about
to attack the remaining Draconians. You get several options
here. Pick whatever you like, because as it was with the
recruits in New Aurim, your choice means nothing at all: all
choices lead to combat....and that Gnome King is another fake.
He tosses the cube at you, and again the party takes damage
before fighting even starts. This is why you must continue the
first combat and heal people in the party.
When this combat is concluded, go back again to the Siren for
R&R. Once your people are fixed up, you can return to the combat
rooms and go through the final door. Here you see a teleporter
that will take you to where the real king is being held.
Naturally, there is a fight almost as soon as you arrive,
featuring yet more Draconians (those dragons sure are prolific
After the fight, you will be faced with two kings, one real and
one fake. I don't know if the choices here are also fake ones
that lead to the same result; I liked the option to "see who
bleeds red" too much try anything else (heh).
This will expose the Aurak, who teleports away before you can do
anything. After that, you can leave safely with the Gnome king
through the teleporter in the next room.
At this point, heal up, renew spells, get any training done,
roam around looking for combat if party members are near
level...because once you reach the Tower of Flame, there will be
no opportunities for training, and not too many for resting and
regaining spells. And it will be awhile before you get back to
the Gnome Tower. When you're ready, go down to the entry level
and meet the king in the windship yards, and you're off.
The Tower of Fire
The windship drops you off at the top level of the tower. You
won't, however, be seeing too much of it this time around. As
you try to cross the bridge, Crysia appears on the other side.
Daenor, forgetting all caution, goes charging ahead. Your party
is given several options, and I'm sure by now you know that
whatever you choose, the result will be the same: the bridges
falls and your party with it.
This puts you on level 0, and you will have to fight your way up
to get back to level 4 (Daenor mysteriously disappears, and you
won't see him again until you're almost finished with the
Tower). Down here are Fire Giants who are constructing huge
siege machines and the like for the Draconians. Just go through
the entire level, wiping out all the giants and golems. Then
take the stairs up to level 1. This is the only time you will be
able to use stairs to ascend; all the other staircases have been
sealed off with lava blocks.
During your journey through the tower, you will occasionally
find rooms or locations where "look" will tell you the place
looks defensible, or defensible and out of the way. This usually
means you can fix up here, and renew spells. That, however, is
not an absolute. You could still be interrupted by a black
patrol when you try to heal the party or recover spells. Always
save before you try to use fix or rest. Those black patrols, by
the way, only showed up during such occasions; I never ran into
any while wandering around the tower passages and rooms.
On level 1 you will have several encounters with Beholders, Fire
giants, and golems. Aside from clearing them out, you must also
open the siege port in the SE corner of the level. This will
admit a contingent of Gnomes into the tower. You are also
offered the services of six Gnome warriors. I did not consider
it worthwhile to have them with us. They are 14th-level
fighters, but come equipped with plate mail, giving them only 6
moves per round. Also, having six extra people to control was
too much trouble. It's up to you to decide if you really want
these extras or not, but if you choose not, you won't be offered
their services again.
When the level has been cleared out, go through the lava wall
into the area inhabited by various fire creatures. Resist Fire
(ring or spell) will keep your characters from taking damage.
Alternatively, you could wait for the Gnome bucket brigade to
make a temporary opening in the wall, but that may take awhile
Walk around this area until you find the spot where the Gnomes
are setting up a ladder. Use this ladder to ascend to the next
level (this is the only way you can get up there).
On level 2 you will have encounters with Draconians and dragons.
It is also necessary for your party to clean out the nest of
evil mages in the NW, just below the cells. One encounter with
mages will occur when you first enter this area (so be prepared
with defensive spells). After that, head for the SW corner of
the area for the big confrontation.
There are two ways to reach level 3. The first way is to visit
the cells, and free Elea's mother (behind the barred door at the
end; all the other cells are empty. You may be able to fix and
rest up in an empty cell). She'll get you up to three by using
the mattress from her cell as a trampoline (after which, she
promptly disappears). The area of 3 that you reach is very
small, and the only way out is the door to the north. Going
through it is a one-way trip, as a pit opens behind you when you
stand on the square in front of the door.
The other way to reach level 3 is in the flame critter area
beyond the lava wall. In about the center of this area is a sort
of elevator that runs between levels 2 and 3. Stepping on the
platform automatically takes you to the other level.
On 3 you will have some very tough fights, all in about the same
area. South of the elevator is the place where Draconians become
enchanted by bathing in the powerful rays of the Grathanich.
When you pass through the first archway, you have an encounter
with Draconian guards. After this is over, find a safe place if
you can to heal and rest up.
The second encounter occurs in the font room, which has a skull
on the back wall. This will be a tough combat with enchanted
draconians. Again, heal and rest up after the fight.
The final encounter happens in the area east of the font room,
where you take on the font master and friends (all Draconians,
of course). When they've all been wiped out, fix up your party,
then head for the nearest shaft room. Any one of them will do.
A windship will come up the shaft and take you aboard. This
should happen immediately you enter the room. If it doesn't,
that means you missed an encounter somewhere, and you'll have to
go looking for it. Since there are only three encounters on
level 3, the likely place to look is level 2. This happened to
me, since the first time, I didn't clean out the evil mages down
there. I wandered around level 3 for a long time (after killing
off all the Draconians) with nothing happening. Finally I went
back down and cleared out the wizards. Bingo! That caused the
windship to make its appearance. Of course, I still had to look
in the shaft room (I was feeling desperate by this time and
thinking of jumping down a shaft, just to see if that would make
When you reach level 4, an interesting scene unfolds in front of
you. Daenor comes rushing into the room, followed by a small
horde of Draconians, along with Crysia, who is still in their
power. Naturally, he comes to a stop at the open pit in the
floor. No one sees your party, as the windship is floating above
Crysia is ordered to burn Daenor. Your party has the opportunity
to stop her. The best way is to cast Dispel Magic on Crysia.
This dissolves the Charm Person spell, and she will abort her
fireball. Then, while the Draconians are in some confusion,
attack them. Daenor will join your group automatically (Crysia
does not take part in the combat).
When it's over, Daenor escorts Crysia to the windship, but a
small mishap sends the ship with all aboard up the shaft and out
of the tower. You will have to go on alone from here.
Where you are at the moment is where you were way back when you
first entered the tower. However, this time, the bridge will not
collapse on you. You should find it in the other pit room (just
exit and walk around to the other one).
This will take you to a corridor that has lava wallson both
sides. Follow the corridor around until you reach the center,
then go south through the wall. Continue south until you reach
the end. Here you will have back-to-back combats with a variety
of monsters, including several Beholders. These are not,
surprisingly, as bad as you may be expecting (although, of
course, not exactly easy ;).
When the combats are finished, you will be pulled into the
You may recall that way, way back, when you were adventuring in
Naudilus, there was a moment when Daenor and Crysia were
mentally in touch with each other. Then someone else looked
briefly through Crysia's eyes at the party. That someone was
Raistlin Majere, currently a prisoner in the Abyss. Despite his
situation, he has managed to summon you here to rescue him.
The moment you arrive here, camp out, save the game, and do the
usual R&R to restore hit points and spells. Once you have freed
Raistlin, you will NOT have the opportunity to do any fixes or
spell renewals, so get it done now.
After that, start walking east until you see a wall. Follow it
around to the door. Inside is a free-standing cube. Three of the
walls are fake walls and you can walk right through them. Since
a hard fight is about to happen, I suggest entering the cube
from either the east or the west to give your party the best
Inside the cube is Raistlin and the critters that guard him.
Some are Draconians. Others are not. Things are not what they
seem in the Abyss, and while these other creatures look like one
thing, they are really something else. For instance, the white
dragon is actually a death dragon. The Disliki are actually fire
minions. You can find out what things are by targeting them. The
Draconians, though, are real Draconians.
This fight will be tough because magic is damped in this room,
so spells don't work. Of course, that means the Draconians can't
cast spells either, but with several enchanted Bozaks and Sivaks
around, that hardly matters. Try to get at least some of the
Bozaks down before they get too close to your group.
When it's over, you can free Raistlin and be on your way to the
chambers of Takhisis. Do NOT try to fix up the party from this
point on. Every time you try, you will be attacked by several
Dark Wizards (who look like skeletal warriors), and your people
are not likely to survive all those DBF's.
Takhisis is further east of where you pick up Rasitlin. Camp out
in front of the door, and heal up everyone in the party with
individual healing spells. Try to get everyone back up to
maximum or as close as possible.
When you enter, Takhisis is doing some business of her own and
won't notice you. Since she's a god, I do not recommend trying
to attack. Instead, sneak around her (going to the left worked
for me) until you come to the cloudy mirror. This is the portal
back to the Tower of Fire.
You can't use the portal until it becomes clear, so just wait
awhile. Rasitlin will throw a rock at the bell and miss. Pick
someone with good dex to make the next try. When Takhisis wakes
from her trance, move towards the portal (or you'll take some
damage, which you can't afford).
Then she'll become aware of you, and she and Rasitlin will start
their magical duel. Don't get involved in this; these two are
well above any magical abilities you have. Just keep waiting
until the mirror is clear. You will take some damage while you
wait; this can't be avoided. When the bell goes off, jump
through the portal.
Tower of Fire Redux
So now you're back on level 4. Around you are Gnomes, kneeling
before the tripod that contains the legendary Grathanich. DO NOT
investigate that tripod just yet. Camp and save the game!! You
won't have a chance to fix up the party, so if you have any
healing spells left, use them now. Also use any protective
spells, as well as any scrolls of protection from Dragon Breath.
Okay, now you can send someone up to look at the tripod. What's
in there is an egg (the Grathanich is below it). The egg will
hatch, and something REALLY mean comes out. Can you say Tiamat?
I knew you could. For those unacquainted with the AD&D monsters,
Tiamat is the chromatic dragon of five heads: green, blue, red,
white, and black, each corresponding to that type of dragon,
with that dragon's abilities. Tiamat will go first in the
Don't even think of going after the body. With an AC of -40, you
aren't going to hit it. Just go after the heads. You have to
kill all five of them to kill Tiamat. Even with dragonlances, it
will not be an easy task.
Now, you may think this was the big ending battle. Nope. There
is more to come. While the Gnomes watch, the Grathanich floats
out of the tripod, then sinks through the floor. They all go
running after it, leaving you alone. This is a good time to fix
up the party (I hope they all survived Tiamat).
What you have to do is find the Grathanich. I spent a lot of
time wandering through the tower, looking for this thing. As it
turns out, the big action occurs down on level 2, in or near the
dark wizard area, so that's where you should head (the Gnomes
have forced openings in the sealed stairways, so you can now use
them to go between levels).
Along the way, you will come across a pair of Draconians who ask
for a parley. They set up a mirror so you can communicate with
Takhisis (she won the fight with Raistlin). It doesn't matter
what you do here, since you'll have a combat with Draconians and
others. Rest up afterwards.
Finally, you get down to where the action is taking place. An
odd contraption is slowly enclosing the Grathanich. Draconians
and dragons are all around to keep interlopers (like you) from
interfering. Naturally, you have to interfere, to the tune of
two or three (I lost count) back-to-back combats with the evil
In the midst of all this, a windship arrives and tries tipping
the iron flower (which has enclosed the Grathanich) into the
depths of the earth. A line becomes snarled, and one of your
party has one chance to free it before the windship is dragged
down with the flower. As usual, I picked one of the Elves (that
19 dex is so useful) to do the job.
The remaining evil critters are then trashed by Takhisis, who is
slightly less than thrilled by the failure of her minions. After
this, you can board the windship for the trip back to the Gnome
Gnome Tower Redux
Once back among the Gnomes, get your people healed up, rested,
and trained as necessary. You will be pleased to know that the
regular elevator is now working again, so won't have to drop
through the shaft to get around.
When your party is fit and ready, head up to the palace for the
big celebrations. In the middle of all the fun and joy, there
comes a rude interruption.
Remember Tremor? Well, now that he has his courage back, and the
Draconians have been defeated, he has decided to take over,
starting with the Gnome tower. Then Baldric shows up, assumes
his regular dragon form, and he and Tremor duke it out in the
skies above the tower...leaving your merry group to take on the
small army of dragons that Tremor brought with him.
After all you've been through to this point, the dragons should
be a piece of cake, especially since you can really go to town
with your spells. When it's over, you can watch the conclusion
of the Tremor-Baldranous event, where Baldranous rips the iron
scale from Tremor's chest, depriving him once again of his
intestinal fortitude. Tremor and the remainder of his dragon
horde slink off into the sunset.
That finishes up Dark Queen, although you are still able to
wander around, and even go back to Taladas if you wish.
Unfortunately, I didn't find any special areas that opened up at
the end, and you still can't get into the lands of the Armach
Elves. Hawkbluff is deserted, with the dungeon entrances shut
off. New Aurim is closed, period. Kristophan is still under the
minotaurs. Etc. If anyone does happen to chance upon something
special that appears after the finale, please let me know.