Our heroes’ successes, moderate though they were, allowed the remnants of the Empires’ Army to gather and march north to the Long Road. This puts Sunstrider Camp as well as the Barrak Mines in reach. The first is a source of new recruits for the much reduced regiments. The second, the only known supply of badly needed Black Powder.
Our band of adventurers decides to scout out the entrance to the Mines while sending a second party to the Camp. The Cinder King is readying his legions to cross the Tigeria. Raiders have grown more vicious and bold these last few days – but the question at the front of everyone’s mind is ‘have they reached this far north?’
Our Heroes deployed in two sections. The first, larger portion sought the advantage of a low rise just outside the entrance, while the two mages approached along the rutted dirt track on the right. No sign of miners, but there are several raiders in sight.
The party advances and the blood thirsty raiders charge. There’s movement among the huts and supply shacks, and another group of crazed barbarians burst out of the shadows.
Lazarus heft his mace. “So much for a nice, quiet sneak and peak.”
These raiders obviously have anger management issues; rather than wait for the adventurers to come to them through the narrow entrance, and fight in the cover and tangle of buildings, they charge out, swinging axes and howling like rabid wolves.
The battle is on. Taking a cue from the previous mission, the Ranger and Guard stay on the hill firing crossbow bolts and arrows at the lunatics while the Assassin and Cleric wade in with scimitar and mace.
More stirring in the shadows as a Death Priest and Raider Champion emerge.
Seeing reinforcements, (“look at the size of that ugly bastard!”) the fighting on the dirt track turns frantic. The Druid summons his Timber Wolf to deal with the Hell Hound. The Mage is slinging spells where ever, when ever he can, wielding his short sword when he can’t.
Combat see saws back and forth. It’s a slugfest, with a lot of battering, recoiling, parrying and blocking, but the Cleric and Assassin are backed by ranged missile fire from the rise and hold their own.
There’s a shift in the air as the first raider falls. Then another. The Death Priest and the Champion arrive but has the tide of battle turned?
On the road, the Death Priest falls, first stunned by the Mage’s Chain Lightning Spell, then dispatched by his blade.
On the right, the Assassin faces the Champion. Arrows thrum over his shoulder, driving the monstrosity back. A cross bow bolt knocks the giant off guard, then in a flurry of blades, the Assassin cuts him down.
The Druid cast Entangle on the Hell Hound while Lazarus shows the final raider the error of his wicked ways.
The path to the Barrak Mines is clear.
2 thoughts on “Cinder King: Raid at the Barak Mines”
I’m curious how these scenarios are unfolding. Is a GM setting up a series of games with consequences and knock-on effects? Do the players reach decision points and steer the direction of future games? Do tell!
Remember I’m borrowing the backdrop from the Band of Blades RPG, so some of the material is already done for me. This is also more narrative wargame than RPG campaign sessions.
The simple-ish answer is the players decide when the army marches and which missions to undertake in the locations adjacent to the retreating army’s current location. They decide the week before. I then create enemies/surprises for the next combat mission. (Usually new troops types/miniatures) Their decisions alter what route the army takes, what resources become available/ and what terrain and adversaries they might face.
In terms of the meta narrative, successes or defeats effect the state of the army and the follow-on missions. I also interrupt the ready-made mission options with raids/attacks by the Cinder King’s forces.
Mashing ASOBH and BoB, walking that thin line between RPG and Wargame, I’m mostly improvising. Plus it gives me a reason to get figs painted up.