Tag Archives: Fantasy Gaming

Demise of the Liche King

From the first confrontation with Gnoll raiders at the Seer’s Farmstead, to Orc warbands on deep forest trails, swarms of mutated vermin, a Giant’s lair, vampires, werewolves, ruthless mercenaries, waves of hideous rotting minions spawned by the evil magics of Necromancers, our heroes have waded through carnage, sorrow, and trials to finally confront Dal’Kosh the Undying.

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Skeletons, Barrow Knights, Undead Lords, a reanimated Giant, the Liche King’s force stood ready to destroy any who opposed him.

The two original parties were reinforced in the final portion of the quest by a third band of valiant warriors led by Thaumaturge, Malik ‘D’Orr.

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The party prepares for battle.
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Latecomers but vital to the campaigns’s triumph.
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Tried, tested, battle-scarred, yet resolute, these clerics carried the day against the Undying Triumvirate.
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This warband hacked and hewed a way through the relentless tide of skeleton warriors, carving the path to victory.

Though  every one of the adventurers persevered against great odds and prevailed over the most dreadful, unholy creatures, standing when any other mortal would fall, let it be known that one name will echo in the halls of royal power for decades. One name will be on the lips of kings, priests, lords, and ladies for generations. It shall ring in the streets, hailed by grateful crowds. This man –  a first among equals –  will be woven as the golden thread in the epic tales of seers and hallowed throughout history, immortalized in statue, the historian’s tome, and in the songs of bards for generations to come. That man is…

NORBERT THE NOVICE! 

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Norbert brings the pain down on the Liche King

Occasionally a plan does survive contact with the enemy.

Our intrepid heroes squared off against the Liche King, advancing cautiously in the face of a rushing tide of death. Skirmishes broke out on the left and right as clerics and fighters battled skeleton warriors, Barrow Knights, and the Skeleton Giant. The Liche King’s lieutenants advanced their army across a broad front, supremely confident they would soon hoist the corpses of the meddlers as trophies before their liege lord. But alas…

Steeled by a holy fury, aflame with righteous indignation, guided by the hand of his God, Norbert sprinted across the battlefield on the path cleared by his fellow warriors. He shrugged off multiple attacks from the left and right, and climbed onto the Dias of the Black Moon.

Seeing this impudent mortal approach, the Liche King’s cruel, mocking laughter sounded over the din of battle. He stood and loosed a powerful blast of foul magic. But to his astonishment, Norbert stood steadfast.

Battle swirled all around. Friends fell under the wicked blades of the undead horde. Resolute in the face of ancient and arcane terror, Norbert raised his blessed mace, charged the Corpse Throne, and swung with every fiber of his being.

Ever hear a 300-year old skull shatter?

Sounds like a clay beer jug hitting the floor; an oddly homey noise to signal the end of a centuries-long reign of evil.

And thus did the Liche King fall.

***

Turns out Derek had been saving up every ward, holy anointing oil, potion, amulet, and talisman he looted in treasure caches for the past three sessions and  put them all on Norbert. All his eggs were in the Norbert Basket. 

+ 11 against Undead. WHACK! Gruesome Kill. Game over. 

 

Nal-Rog of the Nine Hills

We had a new guy with us last Tuesday night, so we did a quick one-of scenario for ASOBH. John is an old hand at RPGs but fairly new to TTGs. One of the many things I appreciate about the ASOBH system is how easy it is to teach newcomers.

Matt, Derek, and John each had a pair of heroes, all of whom banded together to chase the Iron Jaw Orcs and the infamous giant, Nal-Rog of the Nine Hills from the ruins of Gray Maarten’s Tower, near the rune stones locally called the Four Sisters.

Real slugfest. Heroes for the win. No AAR but here are some pictures.

Painted up two new Shadowrun-type crews, so ‘Song of Mirrorshades and Shadows’ on the docket for tomorrow night.

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Gray Maarten’s Tower and the Four Sisters – the field of battle.
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Chain Fighter Piotr Nevsky faces Nal-Rog. Bold move. 
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Cleric Lazarus Sturn goes to meet the Orc Warchief. 
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Barda, War-Priest of Numor faces the Orc Brutes. His faith is strong, his sword sharp and fast. 
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Brawl around Gray Maarten’s Tower
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Quinn of Montfort grabs the treasure. 
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Hrodor and Brynar at the Four Sisters.
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Iron Jaws advance!

 

Terror in Tendale Wood

Derek was called into work, furiously cooking gluten-free alternatives for customers’ Thanksgiving celebrations, but Matt and I got together over a quick ‘one-of’ ASOBH game last night.

***

Hrodor the Druid and his nephew Brynar have been tracking the evil necromancer Heinrich Klutch for months. Following him to the quiet hamlet of Tendale, the Northmen hire two sturdy rangers to reinforce their party and follow the sorcerer into the woods. Little do they know the wretched man plans on desecrating the ancient Shrine of the Skystone with dire incantations and foul majiks.

After an hour in the woods, the rangers suddenly report the old man has stopped in the shrine’s clearing a quarter mile on and seems to be preparing to enact some kind of ritual. Worse, he has been joined by unnatural allies: two cursed spirits, a gibbering ghoul, a brawny ghast, and a large, ugly warrior armed with a heavy battle ax and a deadly hand scythe. Six against four – they’re outnumbered.

“No matter,” Hrodor said. “We will stop this desecration, cut Klutch’s black heart from his body, and finally put an end to his vile schemes.”

Brynar hefts his sword and ax. “Ja. And I’ll cut down anyone or anything that gets in my way.”

Reluctant at first, the rangers pluck up their courage, unlimber their bows, and stalk into the woods.

***

The battle began well for Hrodor. The Rangers crept forward on the right as he and his nephew went left. The Ghoul was the first to spot the intruders and raced to confront Brynar. Garn Gravehand, the large pestilent warrior, and the unnamed Ghast followed after, leaving Klutch and the Cursed spirits to finish the ritual.

Brynar cleaved the Ghoul in half, spraying ichor and black blood among the trees. The Ghast attacked one of the rangers but was forced back. Gravehand’s bulk slowed him down and he lumbered through the underbrush toward the fighting.

Eventually Gravehand and the Ghast reached the Druid’s warband and began slugging it out. The battle was evenly matched with neither side gaining an advantage – until the Cursed spirits showed up.

Aura of Terror. That’s what cinched it for the forces of Darkness. A simple spell but so effective.

Frustrated at the interruption, Klutch sent the spirits to help Gravehand. The spirits floated swiftly on dire winds toward the fighting. Before they landed a single blow, their eerie, forlorn wailing and unearthly glow forced Hrodor’s compatriots to make morale checks. First one Ranger panicked, then Brynar flinched. Next, the Northern warrior was forced back by the Ghast. Another ghostly wail, and he fled off the nearest board edge. That left the Druid and the second Ranger, who fired ineffectively at the creatures advancing on them before retreating themselves. A rather ignominious conclusion to noble intentions.

Like the old Northern adage goes: Run, run, run away. Live to fight another day.

Hrodor’s vengeance was thwarted but not quenched.

*Notice if you will, the fallen rune stone on the right edge of the board. If Matt had bothered checking it, (it was marked with an objective stone) he would have found Piotor, a former mercenary come on hard times. Not above rolling the occasional drunk or lone traveler for a few extra coins, Piotor had followed Klutch into the woods thinking him an easy mark. Once the uglies showed up however, he wisely decided to back off. Some assistance and the promise of a a share in the spoils/reward, Piotor would have gladly have given Hrodor and crew a hand. But did Matt check? Nooooooooooo. 

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Skystone Shrine in the Tendale Woods

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Apparently, the old man brought some friends.
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Desecrating the shrine. Is nothing sacred these days?
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Druid and his party.
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“Take your nephew on a quest. It builds character!”
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“We ain’t getting paid enough to face a necromancer.”
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“And here I thought the old man was an easy mark…”
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Bad Guy Backup
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No wonder they widdled their knickers.

The White Monk’s Tower

“on we went, with every step a voice

whispering in our ears that this

was all folly…”

 

Our Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes campaign continued last week with our intrepid adventurers hiking into the foothills to locate the White Monk’s Tower. Rumors of treasure helped pull them on but a scroll hidden beneath the feet of the White Monk’s statue reveals the hidden passes to Storm Crag Keep – the lair of the Liche King.

Here’s some shots

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table with new terrain  piece- a nice Hirst Arts kit from an eBay seller
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Close up of the kit. My first time with one, so I’m grateful I picked ruins. 
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Lazarus Stern faced Jorek the Red. 
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Elf Death-seeker trying to ambush enemy.  Didn’t work out. 
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Elf Mage and Rogue watching the Death-Seeker run away with the scroll after almost having his death-wish granted. 
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Rogue tried for the treasure, but with three barbarian marauders on his heels, he decided he didn’t need the GP THAT bad. 
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“Stop chewing that gospel of Saint Udolf!”
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It’s been a long, hard road. Norbert the Novice is no longer a noob. 

Toil, Toll, and Trouble

Resuming our ASOBH campaign, our intrepid adventurers faced random encounter with an Black Ork warband. A bit more than the old ‘toll booth shakedown’, these orks were perfectly content to take heads for their belts as silver for their coin bags.

As far as encounters go, this was a  straight up brawl. The clerics kept on the straight and narrow, aiming for the gate while the elves and hired ranger advanced through the wooded hills on the right.

Not ones to be shy, the Orks surged to meet them bellowing war cries, bashing their weapons together.

Combat turned into a rugby scrum in the open ground in front of the gate. The adventurers drew first blood, with Norbert the Novice bashing an ork brute to the dirt near the way stone. In fact, it seemed our heroes would carry the day as the orks were consistently sluggish in their combat and movement. Two more orks went down – one to grizzled cleric Lazarus Sturn,  the other to the hired ranger’s sword. (earning his pay, that guy.) Even the massive Ork war boss was beaten back as he attacked the exiles. It looked like a black day for the greenskins, except…

Thing about orks is they’re tougher – and stupider – than a wagon full of rocks. They just don’t know when to stay down. And they didn’t.

The brutes from the old fortification finally got into the fight and the raw power of ork muscle began to tell. The ork warriors engaged the clerics, driving them back. In the woods, the huge War Boss just wouldn’t die. Beaten back, knocked down repeatedly, he got up again and again. He kept coming, swinging that massive ax like a harvester trying to beat the rain.

Through brute strength and stubbornness, the tide turned. First Norbert went down, bashed by an ax. Then the War Boss scored a gruesome kill on the pesky Ranger. Lazarus Sturn was felled next, fighting two brutes. The elf rogue dashed in to engage the War Boss as it lumbered toward the elf spell caster. A vicious dance ensued but in the end, the rogue’s speed and cunning was no match for raw orkish rage and savagery.

The last turn saw both the head cleric and the elf caster fleeing the board with the orks braying crude insults at their backs.

The adventurers will definitely need time to recover before continuing their quest to find the Lich King’s Crypt.

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The Empire Gate on the old West Road.
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St. Cuthbert’s Faithful refuse to yield to highway robbery.
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The hired help: Ranger with a long sword and short bow.
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The Exiles, lead by the elf formerly known as Prince Elathrion.
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Exiles stalk through the woods on the right while the cleric advance up the road. Orks move to greet them.
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Swirling melee in front of the gate.
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Orks take casualties but still keep coming.
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War Boss and Brutes
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More brutes looking to collect.

The Desecration of St. Cuthbert’s Abbey

“Orcs… only good thing about fighting ’em is you can smell ’em long before you see ’em.”

***

In the midst of the Seer’s treasure was an iron key engraved with the symbol of St. Cuthbert. It was wrapped in a scrap of vellum on which were inked the words ““Kneel in the chancel at the feet of the saint and there you will find strength for your journey.”

You and your companions are two days west of Wolford town on the Old King’s Highway. Following a rutted dirt road through the forest, you come upon the ruins of an abbey, its walls battered, roof caved in, sacred statues thrown down. A nearby graveyard is overrun with weeds and sickly yellow grass. You hear grunts and coarse laughter from inside the crumbling chapel. The musk-stench of ork is on the wind, mingled with the acrid tang of  campfire smoke. An small ork warband has definitely made camp here – most likely in preparation of raids on nearby human settlements. Three greenskin scouts loll by the ragged hedges outside the old abbey – the rest are inside.

Derek of Dunwich hefts his mace. “We’ll attend to the wretches desecrating the chapel.  You circle around through the graveyard and deal with the sentries.”

You slip your sword from its sheath, nod, and stalk forward.

THE BATTLEFIELD AND FOES

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TURN ONE: ORKS ADVANCE

The greenskins spot the approaching adventurers. The ork warchief leads two brutes out to meet the cleric’s party. The ork shaman lingers back to provide support. Meanwhile, the ork scouts seek cover behind a graveyard wall.

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ADVENTURERS ADVANCE

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The Elven exiles advance on their traditional enemies, blades drawn. The air around the elf mage shimmers as he prepares to cast a spell.
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The clash of steel as clerics and orks swirl in melee at the hedges outside the abbey.
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Ancient hatreds fuel vicious combat. The elves swiftly cut down the orcs.
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Bolstered by their war chief, the orks hold fast at the hedges. Combat see-saws as neither side can gain the upper hand.
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Scouts dispatched, the elves charge in on the ork’s vulnerable flank. The war chief goes down under the Night Hunter’s blade. Of course, the elves take credit for the victory.
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Treasure cache near the graveyard.
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And in the Abbey too.
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War chief dead, the shaman and a warrior run away.

***

Your chest heaves as you lean on your sword and  watch the last two greenskins flee. The clerics fall to their knees, giving thanks to their god for victory. You and your companions are bruised, bloody, but alive. There is treasure and provisions within. Perhaps even loot from the ork corpses. All in all, a good day.

Tonight you will bind your wounds, mend your armor, sharpen your blades. The riddle of the key and mysterious promise can wait until tomorrow. Now it is time to rest and recover.

 

 

Wire Cutter Test Pieces

With a ruined castle looming on the horizon of our SOBH campaign, I picked up a hot wire cutter off Amazon. I made two very simple  test pieces to get a feel for how it works.

It’s a very handy tool with loads of terrain-building potential. Nasty fumes aside, it cuts  1″ and 2″ insulation foam like a dream, and now that I’ve got some mistakes out of the way, the next batch will be that much better. Now I get to hunt down inspiration for the Storm Crag Keep – a very cool problem to have.

Next SOBH adventure Tues eve: “The Desecration of St. Cuthbert’s Abbey.” Have a great weekend.

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