Tharnulf’s Crypt – Part 2

“Where have you been?” the Paladin snapped. “Spiders, roaches, ogres, all manner of creepy crawlies coming out of the stonework, and you’re upstairs looting bodies.”

“Scared of bugs, are you?” the Dark Elf corsair smiled thinly. “Don’t tell me I have to hold your hand.”

***

The party was joined by a Dark Elf Corsair, (Max) who probably was looting bodies. He arrived just as his woodland cousin the Druid handed the keystone to the Orc mercenary who unlocked the pillars blocking the way into the rest of the crypt. Together, the five of them advanced down the corridor to the library.

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Advancing cautiously, the group entered the library, weapons ready. When nothing dropped down out of the ceiling or sprang from the shadows, the proceeded to search the bookshelves in the far wall and the pile of debris on their right. The only unusual thing about the room was the loose flagstones under their boots – as if the library’s floor was poorly set on sand – and a strong odor of freshly turned dirt.

“That’s human masonry for you,” the Dwarf muttered. “Shoddy work. Doesn’t even last two centuries.”

A search revealed several items including a tome of engraved copper plates, half a dozen strange gold coins, several jars of mystery ointments, and a thin, silver letter opener.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” the Ork asked. “Help a werewolf open his mail?”

Before the Paladin could come up with a snarky reply, the floor erupted in a shower of dirt and rocks…. a carrion worm!

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The ensuing battle lasted a number of rounds, with the worm retreating back into its hole only to reappear somewhere else. Consequently, the fighting moved from the library to the next corridor to the large pillared room outside Tharnulf’s Chamber.

As the larger half of the party moved down the passage in pursuit of the worm, they triggered the next wave of hostiles: a mob of goblin scuttlers, backed by a gibbering shaman and a drooling brute.

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“Never split the party”  is time-worn, proven advice. But they did and it almost cost the adventurers the game. Fortunately, some good rolling and a Gruesome Kill helped our heroes fight off the attack.

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When the last surviving scuttler had fled wailing down the dark passages, the bloodied, exhausted party found themselves outside Thernulf’s Chamber. The passage however, was blocked by a mysterious well. An eerie glow emanated from its depths and the head of an ancient goddess was carved on the standing slab behind it. From one angle, it appeared the goddess was smiling at the viewer – from another, she snarled.

“Wait a minute…” said the Dwarf. “That looks like the face that’s stamped on those weird coins I found in the library.”

Yes. It is.

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Dark Rituals

Our ASOBH game continues as the adventurers come upon the Necromancer Varro Desecrae conducting an dark ritual at the Shrine of the Sky Stone.

In addition to his Hell Knight bodyguard, the vile mage hired a goblin shaman and a mob of goblin scuttlers (backed by a Toad Demon) to insure the ritual is goes off uninterrupted.

The forces of evil dominated the first portion of the game with the goblins swiftly advancing on the attack and Varro Desecrae banking 6 successful actions to summon a skeletal giant.

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The battlefield
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Goblin mob with extra demon power!
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Minions of the Necromancer
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Desecrae invoking the power of the gibbering dark.

Our heroes responded sluggishly. (poor dice rolls, esp by the Elf Druid and Werebear) While the Dragonkin cleric squared off against the Toad demon, the two Ork trackers were overwhelmed by the goblins.

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Fierce combat see-sawed back and forth. The Dragonkin couldn’t catch his breath to summon his dracolisk.
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It was like fighting a mob of 6-year olds. Death by a thousand cuts: a brave attempt but the Orks eventually succumbed to the incessant slice and jab.

THE TIDE TURNS

Perhaps it was the Orks’ death. Maybe it was sheer bloody tenacity, but there was a distinct sea change midway through the game. The slow and steady Dwarf advance paid dividends as they felled the Hell Knight, then advanced on the Shrine itself, interrupting the Necromancer at his fell purpose.

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Down goes the Hell Knight!
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Down goes the Skeleton Giant.

Bodyguards dead, Dwarf warrior approaching, Desecrae flees the field and leaves the ritual unfinished and a mysterious icon on the shrine dais.

Squealing in triumph, the goblin scuttlers attack the Druid and Werebear, only to be bloodied by spear and broad axe. The survivors scatter.

On the other flank, the Cleric finally lands a solid blow with his mace, crushing the demon’s head.

With heavy casualties and their leader gone, the forces of darkness flee. A near thing but the adventurers claim victory.

The severely wounded Orks will recover but have to do battle next week with penalties to either their Q or C. (their choice)

Hard fought, hard won. Game over.

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However this campaign turns out, the consensus is the Dwarf Warrior’s victory over the Giant Skeleton will be remembered in song and saga for generations to come.

Figs for Sale

28mm Fantasy figs, that is.

Consolidating the collection of Reaper figs used in our Song of Blades and Heroes games, I’m offering four sets of player character miniatures. These are metal, painted and satin sealed for protection, and are mounted on 40mm bases.  (I find the larger size gives enough room for the oversize, dynamic Reaper figs.)

$40 per set. That price includes shipping in the ConUS. I will combine shipping on multiple lots. TERRAIN IS NOT INCLUDED.

PRICE REDUCTION: All five sets for $125, shipping in the ConUS included. Thanks

A: Thematurge and Barbarians. 

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B. Elves and Ranger

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C. Clerics and Mage

TrioC

 

D. Wizard and Warriors

TrioD

 

NEXT UP is a set of Reaper Bones Orc Warband. (Actually the Shaman is from Wiz Kids DnD line) Seven (7) figs total. Painted, Sealed, on 40mm bases. $40. Includes Shipping in Con US. Terrain is NOT included.

 

 

Feel free to contact me with any questions. First Come, First Served. PayPal Only. Contact me here or at Gmail. (CCGlazier)

Thanks.

New Terrain Piece

Saw this Star of Chaos bouncing around online late one night and thought I should do something with it. So…

 

A scrap of 1″ insulation foam, a couple hours with an X-acto, some house paint, and voila! an Evil Dias.

Mantic ghouls scrounged from my bitz box make appropriate Tormented and Damned climbing from the flames while a Reaper Bones skeleton on throne adds a dash of underworldly tyrannical menace. I might fuss with it a bit more but right now it looks like a good place for a final Boss fight for one of our mini-campaigns.

A couple more shots:

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NEXT UP: FREE TERRAIN TO A GOOD HOME

3:10 to Yharma

A Song of Blades and Heroes Bat Rep

***

“That’s a ‘4’!” Brynar insisted. 

“No you thick Northman, that’s a ‘3’,” the grizzled cleric replied. “It says the caravan leaves at 3:10. The caravan we were paid to escort.” 

The barbarian shrugged his massive shoulders. “It’s not my fault the attendant scribbles. You’re the educated one in this crew. You should have deciphered the note sooner.”

Lazarus Stern bit his tongue. He looked into the faces of the rest of the party – Hrodor the Druid, the two Rangers, Quinn and Terryn, his own comrade, the Paladin Jorgen. 

“Nothing to do for it now except get a move on, he sighed. “They’re only a half hour down the Yharma road.  We hurry now, we’ll catch up before supper. I mean, what can go wrong in a half hour?”

***

A new player joined us for this week’s gaming session, bringing the total to five. He’s an old hand at DnD, so I opted for a quick ASOBH scenario. We all enjoy the rules, are very familiar with them, they’re easy for a first-timer, and we have plenty of terrain and a variety of miniatures.

We split up, 3 v 2. John and I would play the Baddies while Derek, Matt and Anti-Patrick each controlled two members of the adventuring party.

The game area was split into two sections. The first was the now looted caravan at the turn in the road. The second section was the ruined abbey. Each would trigger attacks by hostiles (Me and John)

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While Matt took his Rangers strolling through the woods toward the Abbey on the right, the other four gathered near the first wagon. This kicked off the first attack, with a small Gnoll warband coming in from either side of the table.

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While fast, ugly, and very smelly, the Gnolls failed to do any serious damage to the party.  The older Ranger (that Matt insisted on calling ‘Grandpa’) took down three attackers by his lonesome in the woods on the left, while the other Ranger watched from the hilltop. Meanwhile, the other Canines were easily dispatched near the wagon. A quick search showed signs of a struggle, as well as a trail leading to the old Abbey.  Oh and a couple of recharges for the members’ Healing amulets.

Supremely confident, the party hurried down the Abbey Road to rescue the survivors.

The second set of Hostiles rushed out from the ruins the moment the the first Adventurer neared the stone gate: a Death Priest, two Warriors of Chaos, two packs of ghouls, and a giant Were-Rat.

“Oh look, they have a Were-Rat.”

 

The battle was quickly joined. The Death Priest sent one pack of Ghouls to swarm Grandpa while the rest of the Tainted surged out of the gates and attacked in a head-long frenzy.

 

Fierce combat raged back and forth inside and outside the Abbey. The air rang with clashing steel, savage howls, and ferocious battle cries. Both Rangers died under the filthy, blood-soaked claws of the Ghouls, selling their lives dearly and buying precious time for their comrades.

Barbarian met Barbarian. Mage fought Mage. Blinded by a murderous frenzy, the monstrous Were-Rat launched itself tooth and claw at anyone in it’s line of sight.

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Slowly, surely, the Adventurers’ skill and discipline drove the forces of Darkness back, first slaying the evil barbarian. Then the Chaos Champion Gurn Gravehand fell under Jorgen’s the Paladin’s flashing coldsilver blade. Victory teetered on a razor’s edge. But it was the Druid’s Gruesome Kill of the foul Death Priest that sealed evil’s fate. The wretch’s death-scream shook the remaining forces of Darkness to their withered, blackened souls and they fled the field of battle.

Victory.

***

There’s a reason why Song of Blades and Heroes is our go-to fantasy skirmish game: fast, versatile, robust, easily learned, fun… Anti-Pat picked it up by turn three and jumped right into the flow of the game. His Druid and Barbarian were brawling it out alongside veteran players figs in no time. It was a good fun with good people. We’re all looking forward to doing it again soon.

If you’re in the market for a fast and fun fantasy skirmish game, pick up a copy of Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes. You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks and have a good week.

 

 

The Summoning – Chapter 3

  1. Black Smoke, Red Sky.

Safely across the bridge, the Adventurers head to the border town of Jarl’s Knot to purchase supplies and confront the man named in the letter found on the Ork warchief. Following the river path, they exit the forest in the late afternoon and find themselves on a well-traveled road passing through cultivated farmlands and orchards.

As they near the town, they spy black smoke billowing into the sky. The sound of battle rings from over the next rise. Back at the homestead, the Duke’s men had mentioned a surge in raids. Jarl’s Knot is under attack.

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The Road to Jarl’s Knot
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Plot Point 1 – the Abandoned Wagon
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Not abandoned after all! A Gnoll raider surprises Brekr.

The party advanced down the first stretch of road to find an abandoned wagon, signs of a struggle and traces of blood. Whoever was driving it is long gone or dead nearby.

The Barbarian mercenary was the first to reach it. He was no more than five paces away when a Gnoll raider leaped out and attacked. The Skald immediately charged forward, Gnolls being his mortal enemy, but Brekr swiftly dispatched the beast.

Alert, the party moved to the first turn. There they found a fighter beset by two vicious raiders. He is holding his own but yips and barks in the underbrush mean more enemies are fast approaching. Iobus the Mage – now Leader of the party –  decided they would come to his assistance.

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Putting the hurt on the rabid puppies.

Figuring the Barbarian and Skald could help the fighter with a few Gnolls, Iobus and the Ranger head to the third Plot Point further down the road near the split. Bad move: more Gnolls emerge from the trees, accompanied by an Ogre.

Iobus calls back to his comrades. “If you’re done cleaning up that dog mess, I could use a hand here.”

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The Ranger fires at the Gnolls with deadly accuracy as the fighters advance.

A nasty brawl see-sawed back and forth between the Ogre and the Mage, with the Mage taking two brutal hits. Only his Healing Amulet saved him. Shoved back a third time and about to be hit by that massive club again, the Barbarian rushed to Iobus’ rescue. It was a tough fight but Brekr finally takes the Ogre down.

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The Mage did better than expected but some enemies are better left to the brawlers.

Finally, all enemies were either dead or fleeing. The Skald put his Horn to good use this game. (Deamir’s Horn: Character may spend 1, 2, or 3 Actions to blow the Horn. All enemy models in applicable range must test for Morale, 1 die per Action Spent. Failure = Retreat S/M/L depending on Actions Spent. Enemies currently in Melee may be subject to Free Hack.)

The party agreed to hire the Fighter for 10 GP. He now joins their quest to rescue the Duke’s  niece.

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The Adventurers

Another good game: supplies replenished. the party reinforced, Advances gained for enemies killed, but what awaits them in Jarl’s Knot?

***

Two new fighters from Bronze Age Miniatures, shown here with Reaper Barbarian for scale. The dynamic and detail is great. I’ve got a couple dogs in the painting queue and I’ll put them with the guy on the left and make a Tracker. I’m thinking they’ll make an appearance in the near future.

Thanks for looking.

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The Summoning – Chapter One

  1. A STILLNESS TO THE TREES

The Duke of Lorica has requested that you and your companions investigate a simple family matter.

His niece, Aolynn, summers at the farmstead of a retired member of the Royal Guard near the frontier town of Dunnhaven. The dispatch rider bearing the weekly correspondence from her is two days overdue and the Duke is concerned. He has ordered a troop of Border Guards to the area but your party is nearby and he wants assurances sooner rather than later.

The Duke is offering a respectable sum of Gold Crowns, but only after the party secures evidence of the niece’s safety. To sweeten the deal, he has sent additional supplies with the messenger bearing this offer.

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The Frontier Homestead.
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Plot Point: The Barn
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Plot Point: The Outbuilding
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Plot Point: The Field
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Plot Point: The Main House

Time constraints require we continue with a familiar rule set for our weekly sessions, so Matt, John, and Derek elected to continue with ASOBH. They are beginning this campaign with a single character each. Matt elected to play as the Journeyman Mage, Iobus Graymorn. John went with Barbarian Mercenary Brekr of Icehelm, while Derek decided to play the Skald, Alrick Tenloch.

The Party arrived at the farm early in the morning to find it seemingly deserted. There are no signs of life, human or livestock. The area is eerily silent and a strange fog is lingering over the place that seems unaffected by the rising Sun.

GAME EFFECT: ALL LOS is Limited to LONG. You detect Noise/Movement but Identity of enemies is not revealed until models are within LONG range.

Each PLOT POINT location contains a Risk and a Reward, i.e. an enemy that is triggered when a model elects to check the area, and an item reward and critical game information once that enemy is defeated.

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Our Heroes

Of course they ignored the first Plot Point location (The Barn) just outside their deployment area and headed straight to the Outbuilding instead. Brekr triggered a swarm of Giant Locusts and he and the Mage were forced to fight them off while the Skald took his sweet time getting down the road. (New boots?)

Eventually they killed the last  locust, searched the area for salvage and information, then headed straight to the Main House.

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The Mage, still queasy about the bugs, peeled off to the Field Plot Point, shouting words of encouragement to the Barbarian and the Skald. He was confident the two of them would make quick work of any threat that appeared.

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Ghouls lope in from a nearby copse of trees while a Raider busts out of the Main House shouting a blood-curdling war cry.
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This is my Angry Face!
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May the Gods grant you a good death.

Meanwhile, the third Ghoul hopped the hedge and sprinted toward Graymorn, who was mixing it up with a Giant Spider.

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Combat was short and fierce, but our Heroes prevailed. All the Plot points were Searched, the meager loot gathered, and the crucial information discovered.

***

Inside the house you find the body of an Older Man surrounded by the bodies of three dead Raiders. In the back pantry you find the body of an Older Woman and one dead Raider. A SEARCH yields

1 Healing Scroll, 1 Weapon Boost, 1Fire Bomb. AND a hastily scrawled note that reads:

“They have taken her. Warn the Duke the Black Hand has returned.”

***

Duke’s niece kidnapped, her guardian and his family brutally slain, all carried out by a mysterious enemy called the ‘Black Hand’. Who is this shadowy foe from the Duke’s past come to haunt him anew? Tragic as it is, could it be that more than the life of one young girl is at stake?

Tune in next week.