Rebels, Thugs, and Szek SCum

Another NIGHTWATCH Battle Report

Episode IV – In the Shadow of Balaur Mormant

RECAP: Our heroes are currently in the remote border province of Mos Tolna to investigate reports of brutal murders and sightings of unnatural creatures. Adding to the danger, long-simmering ethnic tensions in the region are threatening to boil over into full-blown revolt, and the recent crimes only add more wild rumors, suspicion, and accusations to the already volatile situation.

In the previous session, our heroes traveled to the mountain village of Kopsou to locate a merchant named Sando Prede. Allegedly, Prede witnessed the scene of one such horrific crime: the bloody slaughter of a trade caravan in the Folt Pass.

Our heroes found Prede grievously injured, barricaded in his home, while a necromancer and a pair of undead champions killed/reanimated the rest of the villagers. Hilarity ensued as the party was mobbed by Prede’s former neighbors. After a brief but nasty fight in which grenades and Elemental Fury spells featured heavily, the party rescued the witness, bound his wounds, and made plans to bring him down the mountain to testify before the military governor and garrison commander. The party also found and bound the recently zombie-fied village blacksmith to offer as further proof of arcane malfeasance.

Both the unconscious, wounded merchant and the undead blacksmith were placed in a commandeered cart for easy transport to the capital.Together again after the long holiday hiatus, our victorious heroes headed down the mountain with the vital evidence. Last Saturday’s session opened with a group perception check to see if anyone noticed the zombie trying to eat Prede’s face.

Two of them did. Thankfully. The rest were too absorbed in the rugged mountain vista, having flashbacks about ravenous swarms of revenant peasants, or simply wondering what’s for dinner. Who knows for sure?

Regardless, that snafu was sorted successfully and the party returned to the capital, Kistilek, just before sunset.

L-a>R: Hannah’s Alchemist, new player Dillon’s Alchemist, Tom’s Tracker (now with longbow), Chris’ Barbarian Blade, and Matt’s Mancer. Seamus and Jasmine had scheduling conflicts, so their characters were sent to scout out safe paths further up the mountain.

At the Governor’s Mansion

As the party approached Kistilek, they noticed smoke plumes rising from the riverfront and heard the clamor of large crowds. Trouble on the waterfront, no doubt. However, their first order of business was with Governor.

A quick Show-n-Tell of one traumatized merchant plus a reanimated blacksmith confirmed the Governor’s suspicions. He readily agreed our heroes’ expedition should proceed, and promised to reinforce the party with a squad of soldiers. The garrison was currently dealing with an angry mob of striking workers, rabble, and malcontents at the Docks. Any assistance rendered there would certainly make Garrison Captain more favorably disposed regarding the quality of those reinforcements.

At the Docks

The Garrison Commander is ready to hand out blunt trauma lessons on civic responsibility. “They’ve already torched a warehouse, a customs booth, and three barges. Anymore, and I’m gonna start busting heads. Don’t give a wharf rat’s arse what the Governor says about tact and diplomacy.”

The Captain is highly skeptical of mages and so-called ‘monster hunters’. She tells the party if they really want to help, they can try and get around the mob to the rear and find the ringleader, Dock Boss Slavo. Otherwise, they should stay the hell out of her way and let real soldiers do their job.

Sneaking thru the alley…

The party makes their way behind the barricades, the angry mob and the soldiers. The air along the riverfront is heavy with water-rot and wood smoke. Lurid flames light the night sky and illuminate the roofs and gables of the crowded buildings. Informants say Dock Boss Slavo is in this area. Most of the windows are dark or shattered, but lights glow from two of the largest structures, and raised voices can be heard within.

Our heroes enter the area. Three guards can be seen across the plaza, picking through the leftovers of a looted market stall.

Round One: Owls and Arrows.

Muttering something about the better part of valor, Hannah sent her owl companion, Scowl, to peer in the lit windows of the first building in hopes of locating ringleader Slavo. Three armed thugs but no Dock boss. In the meantime, Chris’s Barbarian noticed the ‘occupied’ sign on a nearby outhouse. Throwing caution to the wind, he attempted to kick in the door – and Crit Failed. Not only did he end up face down in the muck, he alerted the three ruffians across the square, who started forward to investigate that weird noise. “Kinda like a loud THUD, then a squelch and some cursing.”

Tom’s Tracker shooed Scowl away and climbed to the top of the stairs. Three shots with his new longbow and the ranks of churlish and discontent were swiftly thinned.

Unfortunately, the three punks in the tavern spilled into the street looking for a fight. Once Chris’ Barbarian got to his feet, they were dealt with in the same manner.

“No one thought to keep one of them alive, at least long enough to interrogate?”

Nope.

Round Two: Feathered Friends and Peeping Toms. er.. Peeping Matts, I mean.

With that unpleasantness handled, Matt’s Mancer opts to get away from the tussle (and smell) and goes with Scowl to peer in the window of the second building. Hannah and Dillon follow. Four surly looking rabble spotted. One of them is the Dock Boss. (Oddly enough, two of them are carrying large, military cross bows – unusual and illegal – for commoners. A third figure is wearing foreign style clothing and armed with knives. Lots of knives.)

Another boot to the door – successful this time – and those four fighters come out looking to brawl.

Round Three: Scum and swift blade assassins.

This one ain’t all bunnies, hugs, and muffins: whoever the foreign dude is, he’s good with those knives. Very good.

He and the Barbarian square off. Slash, stab, and skewer… Chris staggers back, bleeding heavily. (Dual wielding Szek assassin double-strikes every attack.)

Crossbow bolts are thrumming through the night air, Slavo, jerk that he is, tries to beat up Hannah. Matt’s Mancer readies a spell, hoping to turn the tables on these vicious bastards. Dillon’s Alchemist lobs a grenade and takes down one of the crossbowmen. Tom’s Tracker takes down the other.

Hannah takes a hit but drops the Dock boss with the help of Scowl. “Who this, mutherf-…

It takes a superior healing potion to get Chris’s Barbarian on his feet, but he roars back with vengeance and cleaves the swarthy little man with the sharp knives in two.

Aftermath

The party spends a Revive potion on Slavo so they can hand him over alive for interrogation. (altho, by the time the garrison captain is done, he’ll probably wish he’d stayed dead.) This success insures them a higher quality of soldier for their push into the mountains to locate the source of this unnatural threat.

The party manages to find famed hunter and woodsman, Vikrir Stotte, who knows these mountains better than anyone alive. With the tensions soothed and rioting quelled – at least for the moment – he agrees to join the party as a hired sword and guide.

nothing says ‘I’m a guide!” quite like an aloft torch.

That’s it for this episode. New installment next month. This campaign is part of the play testing for the upcoming Nightwatch supplement, Blood and Bone. If you’re interested in monster hunting, you can pick up the core rule book in print at Amazon or a PDF at WargameVault.

Thanks for stopping by. Have an excellent day.

3 thoughts on “Rebels, Thugs, and Szek SCum

    1. Thanks very much. I aim to please.
      Nightwatch is a fairly simple, straightforward minis game. Blood and Bone is the next iteration of the same mechanics tweaked for more detail and variety. It also incorporates a parallel, rules-lite RPG system for narrative scenes.
      I’ve been hammering out the kinks with this very gracious group over the course of the campaign. I think people will enjoy the finished product.

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