Saturday, 20 December 2014

27 Thaumont 1000 AC - Siswa, bandits and a treasure

Broneslav went first.

"Watch my back, Alki. I'm trusting you here and Rahasia won't be pleased if we fail."
"Don't worry. I'm right with you, and I hope we can do better than my previous attempt."

Broneslav looked around the corner of the wall carefully and peered up the corridor. It was another dusty stone corridor filled with cobwebs and nothing shiny to attract a newly-Sheared Traladaran. After passing several alcoves he stopped short of a junction in the corridor (7). Ahead was a long corridor which flickered with light. Two shadowy figures could be seen at its far end. To the right was another corridor, again with two shadowy figures at its end. To the left was a corridor with a curtained doorway. Broneslav decided to check the curtained doorway before moving up the corridors to deal with the guards at the end of them.

The two heroes stealthily approached the curtain (8). Low muttering and a scraping noise could be heard from beyond the curtain. Broneslav gently lifted part of it and looked in. He could see part of a long room. Moving silently to the other side of the doorway he peeked from behind the curtain at that side. A small group of robed figures were now visible. They were sharpening curved daggers of a type popular in Ylaruam. Broneslav stepped away from the curtain and motioned to Alki to move back.

"There's five of them," he whispered, "With surprise I think we can take them."
"If they are Siswa, we must capture them alive," Alki whispered back.

Broneslav was not happy, but he agreed. The two allies lined up on either side of the curtained entrance. Broneslav nodded to Alki and leapt into the room with Alki close behind. He swiped with his shield and slammed one enemy to the floor, while knocking a second out with the return swing. A boot to the groin disabled a third, who staggered into a fourth whom Broneslav punched in the face with his sword hilt. The last of the enemy had gathered his wits by this time and fended off Alki's attack, before stepping inside his sword and stabbing him in the belly (1 DAM). Broneslav stepped in and ended it with a savage blow to the back of the head that left the Siswa in an undignified heap on the floor.

Broneslav and Alki quickly tied their unconscious foes up, before tending to Alki's wound. Then he turned his attention to two sacks with a black panther design on them. They contained gold which Broneslav quickly loaded into his pack. No point letting it go to waste or be used by the forces of evil after all!

With the Siswa still unconscious, Broneslav left Alki to guard them while he scouted the end of the corridor. He was worried that the sounds of the fight might have attracted attention from the guards he had seen. Sneaking back the junction (7), he noticed that there was now one guard along the corridor ahead of him. As he peered around the corner to his left, he spotted a guard poking his head around the end of the corridor. This seemed odd to him. Why would the guards be poking their heads around the corners like that? (Passed a difficult test to spot the guard's head. Good job that Broneslav is sharp-sighted! This may help him later.).

Broneslav backed away from the junction. In doing so, he noticed that the other guard directly ahead of him was also backing away from something. The guard seemed to be keeping pace with him too. He turned and jogged back to the room with the Siswa. Alki was still there and the Siswa were not awake yet, so Broneslav decided to investigate the other end of the corridor (9). To his right and ahead of him the corridors ended just twenty feet beyond the corridor. To his left the corridor continued back to the shrine containing the alter with the hole in it (6). As he paused at the junction, suddenly four armed men emerged from the dead-end corridor to his right.

Broneslav reacted immediately and without thinking. His sword ended the life of two of the men in one great sweeping arc. The remaining two attacked Broneslav but he easily fended off their blows with his shield. With time to think more he realised that these were not Siswa. He thrust with his sword, driving it through the body of one of the men. As he withdrew it, the body slumped to the floor, and he slammed the other man with his shield. The man was hurled back into the wall. Suddenly the man threw his sword and shield to the floor.

"I surrender! I see now you are no Siswa!" he yelled, backing away until he could move no further because his back was against the wall he had come through. (The man failed a morale roll in the face of a red-handed hero)

Broneslav quickly disarmed him and escorted him back to the room with the Siswa where he hoped to find out what was going on here. He learnt that the men were thieves who had sought treasure in the temple. They had entered, as Broneslav had, through the main entrance, but had found themselves lost after entering a long corridor. They had turned to look back and found that the corridor behind them was blocked by a solid wall, so they could not return. Investigating further, they had wandered around only to find that at various crossroads in the temple the corridors could only be traversed in one direction. Each time a wall appeared behind them as they moved through an area where the light in the temple shimmered slightly. The man who was called Teikus explained that all he wanted now was to escape the temple with some of the treasure he had gathered. Broneslav could keep the rest if he would only let him go. Broneslav agreed but made Teikus show him the shimmering light. As suspected, it was at the start of the long corridor (7). Moreover, when they looked down the corridor, they could see two figures in the distance, where previously there had been only one. Broneslav jumped up and down. One of the figures did the same. Yes, he was clearly looking at his own back from a great distance. Intriguing magic, he thought to himself.

He escorted Teikus to the entrance to the temple without mishap and watched the bandit leave. Then he returned to Alki before investigating the corridor near where he had encountered the bandits. Off the corridor to his left were a series of deep alcoves, while in the corridor, brown and dry flower petals had been strewn in front of the statues that occupied the alcoves. Investigating more closely, he found a golden pendant around the neck of one statue (10). Set in the pendant was a black jade stone of obviously great value, if only because of its size. Broneslav tried lifting it off the statue, but it would not move at all, no matter what he did to it.

When he returned to Alki, the Siswa were now coming to. Time to question them. From them, Broneslav learnt that they had a set pattern for entering the temple and that the shimmering light was in fact a magical door to a different part of the temple. Well, he would investigate that next by following their directions. But first he secured the Siswa so that they could not come after him. If he returned alive he would return them to the Kota-Hutan for justice. If he did not return alive, well, he would be beyond bothering about their fate.

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 8/9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)
XPs: 358

Traits:
Torenescu Family Member 1
Hunter 1
Keen Vision 1
Good Education 1
Empathy with Animals 1

Goal: Prove that he is an adult following the Shearing Ceremony
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village

Ally
Alki (HD 2, AC 4, Att 1, DAM 1d8, Skill Bonus +2)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

27 Thaumont 1000AC - An Ally

Broneslav pushed through the doors into the main temple. He was now under the hill and it would have been dark in here, were it not for the lit torches in brackets along the walls. These showed that people still inhabited the place and that he must be careful. Curiously, there was an ornate compass rose on the floor in the entrance and, on the wall opposite the entrance, a glowing drawing of a hand pointing to the right.

N.B. In the following description, bold numbers in parentheses refer to the numbers on the map accompanying this post.

He paused and listened before drawing his sword. He felt no desire to harm the Siswa, but you never knew what else might lurk here. Using the sword blade he lifted the curtain on the alcove to the left (1). As he did so, a sword slashed through the curtain at him, succeeding only in cutting the fabric. Broneslav reacted instantly and dived towards the attack. As he did so, he realised that his opponent was an armoured Elf who blocked Broneslav's blow with his shield. His opponent then opened a cut in Broneslav's leg with a deft flick of his sword (3 DAM! Ouch!) but Broneslav hammered the Elf with his sword pommel. His attacker's eyes rolled up in his head as he collapsed bonelessly to the floor. With the aggressive Elf unconscious, Broneslav took time to bandage the cut to his leg (heal 2 hit points) and then checked the Elf.

Remembering the pool outside (2), he quickly disarmed the Elf and slung him over his shoulder. Moments later, he had thrown the Elf into the disgusting water. The Elf thrashed around a bit, spluttering and choking but clearly conscious once more. Suddenly the water itself reared up and started forming around the Elf who struggled to his feet as Broneslav grabbed for him. Aided by Broneslav, the Elf staggered backwards out of the pool, still choking and coughing, but now covered in slimy green algae. The pair of them backed away from the pool which was now thrashing tendrils of water at them (Water Weird: HD 3, AC 5, Att 1, DAM Save or take 1 point of damage from drowning each round). Once at a safe distance they paused to catch their breath. Broneslav had a thought.

"You," he said to the Elf, "Wait here or I will hunt you down."

The Elf nodded assent as he sought to clear his lungs of water.

Broneslav dived in towards the creature and swung his shield at its watery limbs. His clumsy blow thudded into the creature and the limb collapsed to the courtyard splashing suddenly normal water everywhere. A second liquid tendril struck at Broneslav but he ducked beneath it and riposted naturally with his sword. Wet from the previous blow, his hand slipped from his sword's hilt and it went flying into the pool. (I rolled a 1 and invoked DM's fiat to make it a critical failure because it amused me) Stunned by this lack of dexterity, Broneslav forgot to duck as the water creature grasped him with its remaining limb and hauled him into the pool. As he was dragged under, Broneslav managed to take a huge gulp of air. He flailed at the creature to no avail as it kept him under the water by sheer force. Suddenly it stopped holding him down and his head cleared the water. The Elf was now standing over him with Broneslav's own sword in hand. Clearly the Elf had slain the creature. Now the point of the sword was directed at Broneslav and the Elf's face was grim. Time stretched out until the Elf quickly reversed the sword, returning it to Broneslav.

"You're not one of them. I'd be dead if you were. So, who are you, stranger?"

Broneslav introduced himself quickly and explained his errand. The Elf grinned.

"I was one of the rescue party. I'll help you, if you will have me. We failed our mission, but you seem made of sterner stuff. It takes guts to take on a water weird like that. My name is Alki."

Broneslav snorted as he suppressed a laugh. Alki sounded like the Traladaran word for someone a bit too fond of their beer.

"Yes, join me. But first, I noticed a lot of gold in the bottom of this pool when I was dragged in, and I am going to need money for new clothes, I think. These are a bit too blood-stained and mucky for polite company."

The pair quickly gathered the coins from the sludge at the bottom of the pool. There was around 60 Royals extra in Broneslav's pocket as the pair returned to the room where he had encountered Alki. As they entered the temple once more, they came face to face with a skeleton warrior (HD 1, Att 1, AC 7, DAM 1d6) (3). Broneslav swung wildly at it while fending off its spear with his shield, and then stepped in and smashed it to the ground with his shield. It did not stir again.

Once inside the room, Alki re-armed himself and the two warriors stepped out into the corridor to face whatever challenges the rest of the temple had to offer. They could see rooms to their left and right at the ends of the corridor they were in, and there was another room behind a curtain to the right of the entrance. The curtain offered concealment, so our intrepid hero and his sidekick stepped quickly through the curtain to surprise anything that might lurk there (4). The candles in the room did look rather startled but the chests under the table were impassive. The pegs on the walls suggested that this was once a cloak room, and the piles of mouldy cloth on the floor suggest that the clothes have not been word in some time. A quick search of the room found a lot of copper coins and a dozen or so silver ones which Broneslav quickly put in his pack. Waste not, want not, as his uncle still often said!

From the cloakroom, he led the way to the right hand room (5). Moving cautiously along the wall, he pulled up short to listen but heard nothing. Poking his head round the corner, he saw that the room was lit but empty. A statue stood on a platform with an altar in front of it. A dusty pile of old cloth lay in front of the altar. Checking them quickly, he realised they were robes and not in bad condition either. They were on the small side for Broneslav, but would fit Alki perfectly.

"These look like the robes of the Siswa," Alki told him, "Perhaps I could wear one and we could try to bluff our way past anyone we meet. I fear that your size would give you away immediately though, but this one might fit."

Broneslav donned the robe, cut a slit in the side to make it fit better and was then content that he had done what he could.

Sneaking to the other end of the corridor they found another room with a raised platform, altar and statue (6). This time the altar was round and had a hole in it some four feet wide. Broneslav felt into the altar but could not feel the bottom. It was pitch black as far as he could see and went a long way down.

With the two rooms scouted and the options being one of two corridors, Broneslav decided to follow the direction of the glowing hand on the entrance wall. He headed back to the other shrine and prepared to follow the corridor out of that room ...

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 8/9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)
XPs: 186

Traits:
Torenescu Family Member 1
Hunter 1
Keen Vision 1
Good Education 1
Empathy with Animals 1

Goal: Prove that he is an adult following the Shearing Ceremony
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village

Ally
Alki (HD 2, AC 4, Att 1, DAM 1d8, Skill Bonus +2)

Saturday, 6 December 2014

27 Thaumont 1000AC - Entering Kota-Hutan Temple

Broneslav reached the temple gates without incident. As he approached, he realised that they were decorated with animal and plant motifs. The walls of the temple were covered in vines and Broneslav thought that it would be better to climb the wall and scout the interior before he entered. He tested a vine and it fell quickly. A different one felt firm enough and he began to climb, only to fall on his backside as it too would not bear his weight.

Are the vines climbable? Unknown quantity. The oracle says that they are not but that something the hero believes is actually wrong. Thus he thinks he can climb it but falls.

Nothing for it but to charge the gates then, he thought. Checking them, he found that they swung open easily. He stopped and listened before stepping quickly into the apparently empty courtyard. Small wooden sheds stood on either side of the courtyard and two stone structures occupied the external corners of the courtyard wall. Above him the rock towered over the double doors that must lead to the temple interior. The dirt floor was well trampled and showed signs of neglect. Weeds grew everywhere and rubbish had been left haphazardly around the place. There was a large reflecting pool in the centre of the yard. The water in the pool looked manky and algae-ridden.

Turning to the left, he stalked panther-like along the wall to the stone building in the corner of the courtyard, pausing only long enough to admire the delicate dome that roofed it. It was a shrine with a statue on a dais and a small altar in front of the statue. He recognised it as Elayas, the immortal from the shrine.

Following the courtyard round clockwise he moved stealthily towards the four wooden shacks next to the shrine. They were empty and long unused.
1 square equals 10 feet
He retraced his steps round to the stone building on the other side of the courtyard where he found a shrine that mirrored the one he had already investigated. This, too, looked deserted, so he skirted round it and moved to the wooden shacks on that side of the courtyard. These appeared empty until he checked the last one. Two sacks lay discarded at the back of it. Upon investigation, these turned out to contain a couple of hundred copper coins. Although the sacks were rotting, a black panther symbol was visible on them and the word 'Tithe' could be made out. Broneslav pocketed the cash and moved towards the stairs leading up to the temple's main entrance.

There's little point spending ages checking everything out like most D&D players would do if this were a live game with DM and players, so I figure to race through the empty areas. Broneslav has missed being ambushed by a gargoyle at this stage because he did not see anything worth investigating in the shrine at bottom right of the map. Perhaps it will emerge when he is on his way out. We shall see.

The map is made with Campaign Cartographer, as usual, using the Jon Roberts dungeon style that was issued with one of the annuals. I am still only moderately competent with the software and could do with learning an awful lot more about it, but I reckon it gives great results despite that, although I have just noticed that two of the movement arrows have disappeared beneath the stairs. Time to add a new layer to the map for the arrows. That way I can keep them above the other map symbols. I have also just realised that I left the grid switched on but that it is not visible in all parts of the map. No harm done, eh?

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)
XPs: 60
Traits:
Torenescu Family Member 1
Hunter 1
Keen Vision 1
Good Education 1
Empathy with Animals 1
Goal: Prove that he is an adult following the Shearing Ceremony
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Picts invade Vikingland - a Dux Bellorum mini-AAR

A couple of weeks ago the Picts and the Vikings had a rematch. If you recall, the Vikings trounced the Picts in the last game. This time around the Vikings were a more settled bunch, having invaded and taken land from the Picts, so I used the Saxon army list.

I decided to try some different strategies, so I opted for some War Pigs (War Dogs in the list) and I chose to try an Assassination. Steve had chosen War Dogs and Veterans, and I believe that he opted for very large numbers of Leadership Points (LPs) too. My army was bulked out with Ordinary Warriors to give me greater numbers. I feared that Steve would have loads of troops and that I might get surrounded and cut down rather too quickly.

The assassin was rubbish and failed to kill even the enemy leader's teddy bear, let alone assassinate the enemy leader, so we began the battle.
Note: Assassination is expensive. It costs almost as much as a unit of Noble Warriors. It also only has a 3 in 36 chance of success (causes the enemy to lose 3 LPs) versus a 10 in 36 chance of costing you 1 LP. The effect if it works is great, but I do wonder about its cost-effectiveness given that you have a three times greater chance of hurting yourself than you do of hurting your opponent, and even without an effect you are down a Warrior unit on the field. I'll still use it though. It would be worth it to see my opponent's face when it does eventually succeed!

With the pre-battle assassination attempt out of the way, we set up. I was the defender and had chosen a piece of impassable ground and a lake as the terrain.
The Vikings are in the foreground. Black dice are my LPs. Red dice are Steve's LPs.
I anchored my right flank on the lake and deployed my Nobles mounted together with their trusty War Pigs. I planned to defeat Steve's light cavalry and circle behind the enemy line, using the big rock as cover. Steve set up to flank me with his light troops while hammering me down the middle with his War Dogs and Warriors.
The Pictish light cavalry took fright at he approach of the War Pigs and headed for the centre, while the Pictish archers fired desultorily at my flank and failed to score any hits at all. My cavalry clashed with the light cavalry while the War Pigs headed round the big rock as planned. The Pictish War Dogs charged straight down the middle and hit my skirmishers. It was at this point that I started consistently failing to put my LPs in the right place. Note that the War Pigs have 3 LPs allocated to them and no way of using them. I managed to do that a lot in this game!
Blue dice represent Viking casualties. White dice are Pictish casualties.
The battle progressed. The Pictish warriors began to advance as the Viking cavalry sought to cross the battlefield. Casualties mounted and I really wished I had a traffic plan as my troops got in each other's way and I continued to place my LPs with the wrong units. Still the Pictish archers failed to score any hits though. Around this time I turned the War Pigs around to try to support their Noble masters on the horses.
Sadly, the War Pigs failed to reach the Noble Riders in time, and I once more managed to put my remaining LPs in the wrong place. At the end of the battle, the Pictish line had been broken and their numbers massively reduced but the Companions and the Veterans still remained. They were battered and bloodied but still they fought on, each declaiming their ancestry and great deeds as they fell to the Vikings. At last they were so worn out that the Pictish general fell. His veterans took to their heels and fled. The Vikings held the field and retained their small hold on Pictland. I had won despite every mistake I made!

It is clear that Dux Bellorum suits us well. The playing time is short enough for our regular gaming sessions and the strategies add the kind of colour that we like to see in our games. The armies are small enough that we could easily collect several too. It's like DBA but better!

Saturday, 29 November 2014

27 Thaumont 1000AC - The Approach to Kota-Hutan Temple

At first light Broneslav arose and breakfasted well. It would be a busy day and he would need all his energy for fighting. He packed only what he would need for the day and left the rest of his supplies in the room at Rahasia's house. He figured that he would be able to carry more treasure out of the temple that way. No doubt Rahasia would want her stolen dowry returning, so he needed to make sure he could carry that as well as the vast wealth that would soon be his. Evil sorcerers accumulated wealth, did they not? Or was that dragons? Oh well, he would find out soon enough.

"I am ready," he announced, "lead me to the fray."

With that he, Rahasia and a couple of the larger Elves set out on the trail to the temple. It was another cold and dreary day, lifted only by the unnatural light that seemed to pervade the Elven forest. Thaumont was always cold and dreary, at least it was when Winter was not trying to prevent Spring from arriving by snowing again.
Broneslav's map of the route to the temple
After an hour's walking the going got tougher as they entered the hills south of Kota-Hutan. Half an hour later they had reached a small shrine by the trail.
"We stop and rest here for a short while," declared Rahasia. She herself entered the shrine and placed several pieces of fruit on the altar in front of a large statue of strong-looking man with a huge and imposing beard. She murmured a short prayer and returned to the others. Broneslav stuck his head through the door. The shrine was wooden and built in the Elven style. The statue and the altar stood in the middle of it facing the door. To either side of the door were unoccupied and unused alcoves.

Glancing into the shrine past Rahasia, Broneslav noticed something odd about the two alcoves (Successful Hard check versus his Keen Vision attribute). He tried stepping past her to check what he thought he had seen but she stepped in his way.

"I'm sorry, but you must not pass the Old One's gaze. It is disrespectful to him. He was once Elayas, a wizard of great power who founded the Quiet Way that was followed in the temple until the Rahib arrived. Elayas was the spiritual leader of the Siswa, but it is said that he disappeared in a terrible battle with three witches. He is one of our immortals now."

Broneslav considered pushing past Rahasia anyway. There was something funny about the patterns of dust in the alcoves that intrigued him. However, good manners won out and he stepped outside the shrine. Maybe he could investigate later when she was not around. (I thought it unlikely that he would be so ill-mannered as to ignore Rahasia's wishes and the oracle agreed with me)

The group continued up the hill towards the temple that was now visible. It was cut into the hillside with a wall around it some twenty feet high. Great silvered gates dominated the centre of that wall and reflected the sunlight down into the valley. Broneslav wondered how far into the hill the temple was cut. Well, he would find out soon enough.

Rahasia announced, "I shall wait for you near the shrine where I can hide and watch for you. Take care and please succeed. If you do not then things will go much the worse for us."

"Yes, and if I fail then things will have gone pretty badly for me too, you know," Broneslav responded snippishly. Then, more gently, "Don't worry. I shall do everything I can to rescue your loved ones and the Siswa."

He hitched his belt up, settled his pack on his back, and set off up the hill through the bushes beside the road. It looked like there was only one entrance, so he would have to use that, but there was no sense in not being careful too. There might be hidden watchers nearby.

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)
XPs: 60
Traits:
Torenescu Family Member 1
Hunter 1
Keen Vision 1
Good Education 1
Empathy with Animals 1
Goal: Prove that he is an adult following the Shearing Ceremony
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Meeting at Longlier - CDTOB AAR Part 3

We completed the Meeting at Longlier scenario some weeks ago, but I have only now managed to edit the photos and write the game up. I am such a slacker! Anyway, this is the final part of the scenario write-up. Part 1 and Part 2 were posted some time back on the blog. At the end of the last turn, the Germans were pushing hard on their left flank and things looked grim for the French on that side. The town of Longlier was hotly disputed in the centre with both sides occupying half of it. The battle on the right was much more open and the German cavalry had broken round the flank and were aiming to capture the French regimental command.
The situation at the end of Turn 7
How it looked to us
As the French cavalry chased the German cavalry, a French company was dispatched to intercept the Germans, Meanwhile another French company captured a village near the railway bridge and a third company of that battalion was moving to capture the village on the ridge, but it was going to have to fight through a German company in the woods first.
French infantry move to intercept German cavalry
The battle in Longlier saw the Germans pushed back and taking losses, while two French companies closed the pincers on the town to ensure that the Germans would have nowhere to go but into the bag. Artillery and machine-gun fire were doing a good job of suppressing the Germans to ease the French advance.
Longlier from the south (The beige markers show pinned German units. The French are on the left of the photo)
Longlier from the north with the French on the right of the photo
On the French right flank, it was a completely different picture. The fight in the woods had heated up and lead was flying everywhere. The French 75s were working overtime to try to suppress the Germans, while the battalion commander was busily rallying one of his companies. The Germans were starting to take heavy losses here too, but the French definitely had the worst of it with damaged and demoralised companies trying to hold the line and give the artillery time to escape.
The battle for the southern woods. Beige markers show pinned German units. The other pin markers are French and the red and green markers show demoralised French troops
Fortunately for the French, the German infantry had found the whole affair too hot for them too and their entire left flank became pinned down. At this point, the German commander decided to cede the day to the French and regroup his troops. There was be time enough another day to assault Longlier.
French losses
German Losses

Notes
French losses in this game were very light, as the photo shows. The Germans took horrendous losses. This was one reason why Steve called it a day and ceded the game to me. I got lucky in that his morale rolls at the end of turn 7 were terrible, resulting in a very large part of his army pinning. His morale might have held out better had this not happened, because he could then have driven home against my battered troops there. This would have freed up his left flank to relieve Longlier. He would have had between 1 and 5 turns for this, depending upon the game end die roll, so it could have been feasible. Having to rally and regroup his troops first meant that he probably would not have had time for this.

This was a good fun scenario. It worked well as a training scenario to teach Steve the new rules and to remind me of how Command Decision works. I am now keen to play the rest of the scenarios in The Death of Glory, but I also wonder about reducing them in size. They are all really too large to suit the available time we have for gaming, so we need to consider how best to reduce the size of the forces and still play an interesting scenario.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

25-26 Thaumont 1000AC - Rahasia

Broneslav kicked back for the day in Reedle following a long lie in. Reedle was a village that provided services for caravans making the arduous trek along the Duke's Road, as well as having a very healthy agricultural background that had made many of its farmers very wealthy.

The ice that was still forming on the puddles in the muddy streets encouraged Broneslav to seek his entertainment indoors and he soon found himself a couple of Royals up in a card game when a yell in the street had him moving from his seat to see what was going on, just as a cartload of logs shed its load against the wall of the Rusty Sword tavern. The tavern was flimsily built and the wall gave way quickly. Skipping out of the way of the logs, Broneslav took this as his cue to leave. The rest of the day passed uneventfully.
The following day, he got up early, shouldered his pack, and set off northwards on his errand. He made good time, encountering only the usual travellers on his way and reached the smaller road into the woods that Sindar had instructed him to take. As he followed this road, he noticed that the trees around him soon seemed taller and more imposing. Spring seemed to be arriving early in this part of the forest, because he noticed that some trees were even now in bud. Wondering at this, Broneslav rounded a corner on the path and the low afternoon soon glinted off something metallic in the undergrowth beside the trail. He stopped to check. It was an Elf. His coat of mail was badly damaged and the blows that had caused the rings to break asunder had done similar damage to his body.

Checking to see if the Elf carried anything that might identify him, Broneslav noticed a scroll tucked into the body's belt. He read it quickly and realised that the Elf had been a messenger coming from Kota-Hutan. Someone called Rahasia had sent the Elf to seek help, and the message was a call to arms for any brave enough to face the threat that Rahasia's village faced.

"Aha!" thought Broneslav, "This looks like the first step on my road to glory, and it goes in the right direction too, for this package I carry is to be delivered at this self-same village. So, I shall defeat this Rahib and then be able to return covered in glory and gold to my beautiful Milka, she of the rose red lips and snow white skin. I shall rest my head on her breast with my reputation established and all shall be well."

He pondered who and what the Rahib might be as he followed the path further. He or it was certainly some kind of sorcerer, for the curse seemed real enough even allowing for hyperbole. The acolytes at the temple, the Siswa, may have been turned by the Rahib's magic, hence their refusal to permit any of the villagers to visit and the disappearance of this Rahasia's father and of her fiancee Hasan. Yes, this was shaping up to be a proper adventure, and Broneslav could be the hero that saved the day for Rahasia and the two other maidens that the Rahib had demanded. Damsel in distress: check. Evil sorcerer: check. Hero with sword: check. Perhaps accounting himself a hero already was a bit much, but Broneslav was prone to such daydreaming. It was better than the cold, wet, muddy alternative of actually being on an adventure.

With his thoughts occupied by dreams of glory, gold and the reddest of lips, the last part of the journey to the village passed quickly. A few Elves were abroad at this time and Broneslav was quickly able to meet with Rahasia. She was incredibly beautiful, even by Elven standards of ethereal grace, but Broneslav's tastes ran to more substantial women.

"Bit too skinny for my liking," he thought uncharitably, before agreeing to sort the problem out as Rahasia requested. He thought he noticed some doubt in her face about his ability to cope with the Rahib, but he quickly dismissed it in his own mind. After all, three feet of steel sticking out of his chest should severely discourage the Rahib from continuing to live.

Rahasia had food brought for Broneslav and talked about the temple as he ate. She announced that she would guide him to the base of Grey Mountain where the temple lay so that he would be on the right path, but she did not dare go further in case the Rahib captured her.

With food in his belly and Rahasia's instructions in his ears, Broneslav took a hot bath and went to bed early. Tomorrow would be a busy day.

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)
XPs: 60
Traits:
Torenescu Family Member 1
Hunter 1
Keen Vision 1
Good Education 1
Empathy with Animals 1
Goal: Prove that he is an adult following the Shearing Ceremony
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village