After Petunia Gladiolus' abortive attempt to enter Sandgrave and acquire artefacts, it was her twin sister's turn to try. Peony Gladiolus was certain that she would succeed where her sister had failed. She had recruited the best soldiers she could find, and, like her sister, had a budding apprentice whose skills should be up to the task.
As she approached the old temple, she espied the witch that her sister had warned her about. Curious how both should seek to plunder these ruins at the same time. Perhaps the witch was a rival to House Gladiolus too. She would have to sort that out.
We rolled the Complex Temple scenario. This one requires six pillars on the board that must be 'fought' to gain the treasure they contain. We marked the objective pillars with treasure tokens. Steve's warband was four levels higher than mine, and had the advantage of around 500gc for buying troops, as well as having several magic weapons. Therefore I planned to use my Chronomancer's 'Fleet Foot' and 'Leap' spells to grab the loot and run. If I could avoid fighting too much, I could survive the fight and perhaps close the gap between the two warbands.
As both warbands approached the temple, The apprentice cast a Leap spell on Kurt the Thug and transported him immediately to a likely spot for finding treasure. He quickly found the treasure and started running for home with it. Peony cast Fleet Foot on Young Kurt the Mendacious, her warband's thief, who sprinted towards the treasure too. Meanwhile her thugs formed a shieldwall intent on defending the treasure grabbers.
Gunnhild the Knight was Leapt to the treasure but failed to find it. All too soon she was surrounded by the enemy and cut down. However, while this was happening, a combination of bow-fire and Bone Dart spells was whittling the enemy numbers down to the point where the enemy witch had to cast Fog to give his troops some cover. However, this was not enough. Peony and her troops, though bloodied, ganged up on and picked off piecemeal the scattered enemy. Soon she held the field and half the treasure. Her first foray into Sandgrave had gone well.
Yes, the game was a draw with each of us getting three treasure tokens, but I had successfully taken out three-quarters of Steve's warband. I was happy with that. However, the treasure rolls were not so good. I got two grimoires, a Horn of Destruction, and 300gc. Steve got something like 700gc or so. The grimoires are useless to me right now, although they will be useful later in the campaign if my wizard survives. I would have been happier with more gold so that I could bring my warband's level up to that of Steve's.
Current campaign standings:
Peony Gladiolus (Level 3 Chronomancer) with warband worth 810gc.
Rasgor (Level 7 Witch) with warband worth approx 1000gc.
My plan for the next scenario must be to inch back a little bit of ground. If I get the opportunity to take out his Witch with my Chronomancer then I shall be particularly pleased, but playing for a draw until I have enough gold to match Steve's warband size might not be a bad idea for now.