Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)


The place to post your battle reports with gorgeous pictures of old painted lead

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar

Posts: 35

Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:48 pm

Location: New Cross Gate

Post Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:40 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

More wonderful stuff here Padre. Keep 'em coming, I'm waiting with bated breath!
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear an idiot than to open it and remove all doubt.

Posts: 39

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:57 am

Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:51 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Just like to say how much I've loved this campaign report; it's actually one of the things that got me back into wargaming again after a long break.
User avatar

Posts: 715

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:28 am

Post Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:06 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Thanks, Land Annex and Outsider. Your kind words spurred me on a little faster with this next installment ...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The End of Spring, IC2403

5. Karak Borgo


Image

King Jaldeog III of the dwarven mountain realm of Karak Borgo was not the most imposing of dwarfs. His beard looked the part, the very essence of a royal chin ornament, being suitably grey and cultivated to a width almost twice that of his head. Not that his head was small, but a size perfectly satisfactory for dwarven royalty. In particular, his nose could hold its own, a proboscis to be proud of, which indeed he was. It was the rest of him that let things down, for he was almost as short as a full-grown dwarf can be (if such backwards reasoning makes any sense), making his companion, his chancellor Obor Darkforge, seem quite massive in comparison. Even seated upon his throne, which raised his majesty’s feet a good foot and a half above the ground, his head was no higher than Darkforge’s.

Image

Perhaps this was why Jaldeog favoured somewhat humble attire, unlike most other dwarven monarchs? No golden crown for him, nor even a horned-helm edged with silver filigree. No armoured plates of engraved mithric, nor even a cloak trimmed with the shaggy fur of some legendary beast. Instead, upon his head he wore a simple cloth cap, and his armour was an entirely unadorned mail shirt. Did he believe he would look ridiculous in the garb of a hero? If it were ever possible to encounter him alone upon a mountain path, a stranger would presume him to be a mere old soldier, and of the lowliest kind. As he himself was fond of joking, he was not mutton dressed as lamb, but lamb dressed as mutton.

Two braziers smouldered behind him, the warmth of which gently penetrated his stone throne, warming his royal arse. He fiddled with his pipe and belt bag of tobacco, both being companions even more constant than Darkforge. Before him stood his two most important thanes, Asgrod Steelshaper and Narhak Thundersword, and the master of the watch, Vagroth Ashhelm. Chancellor Darkforge had summoned them to be questioned concerning matters military and political, especially the progress of the plan to re-open the iron road trade route by defeating the wizard Lord Niccolo of Campogrotta and his army of ogri.

After a sniff, a cough, and some more fiddling with the spent ash in the bowl of his clay pipe, the king eventually spoke.

“The Bretonnian. Let’s start with him, eh?”

Vagroth, Master of the Watch, answered. “My liege, word has come concerning the force he commands. As you yourself suspected, it is not impressive.”

“Nor is his claim to Campogrotta,” said Asgrod, Thane of Deephall.

“True,” said the king. “But if the king of Bretonnia has given his blessing, that lends respect to his name in the realms of men. I won’t go to all this effort only to have the humans entangled in a civil war afterwards. As long as he’s a legitimate contender, I’m happy to have him as an ally.”

“The Ravolan way has always been that might is right,” said Vagroth. “They fight tourneys to decide upon a new lord. Baron Garoy is not what anyone would call ‘mighty’.”

The king gave a sound, half snort, half laugh, dropping some of the tobacco he had been stuffing into his pipe. “He doesn’t have to be mighty. Not if there’s no-one else to fight the tourney. No-one of consequence, anyway. Once Ravola is taken, he’ll rule long enough to make a start putting things back the way they were. That’s all we need.”

“He promised much more, my liege, than what he brings,” said Vagroth. “He has merely a handful of mounted men-at-arms, the rest of his company being only the Brabanzon mercenaries we paid for, archers and spearmen, a villainous looking lot too.”

“We don’t need him to bring a big army. Our own gold has bolstered his meagre force sufficiently. Besides, we have even more mercenaries - a whole army of them!”

King Jaldeog fixed his eyes on Narhak, Thane of Dravaz, who was now standing by the thane of Deephall. Both thanes held hammers in their hands, the first a warhammer of iron, the second a large mallet of oak. The latter was an ancient and magically blessed artefact gifted by the elves of Tettoverde Forest to Narhak’s father during an old alliance against the Skaven. It had no runes inscribed on it, nor a scrap of iron, steel or even brass about it, and yet it could break stone, and had once killed three goblins with one swing. The fact Narhak was proud to bear an elven-made weapon marked him out as unusual amongst dwarfs. He was stubborn enough to ignore the petty slights – apart from direct insults of course. His unusual link to the elves was the very reason he had been ordered to take command of affairs to the south.

Image

“What news, Narhak, of the Compagnia?” asked the king. “Are they bringing what they promised?”

“They have crossed the sea,” answered the thane, “and landed all that was promised, perhaps more. The crossing was not easy, for the ships’ captains are somewhat reluctant to venture into those waters, what with the war against the zangrunaz duchess, and more sightings of thagorakki vessels.”

“Wisht, Narhak,” ordered the king. “I’ve enough to think about with these ogri. Let’s deal with one problem at a time, starting close to home, eh? We can contend with the undead abominations and the scuttling horde later.” The king seemed to have forgotten his pipe. “Will the mercenaries reach Campogrotta before Razger returns?” he asked.

“They’re upon the march, by way of Scorccio,” said Thane Narhak. “I know not how they intend to get past the zangrunaz’s forces. I suggested they use the same way Boulderguts used when travelling south. He avoided entanglement with the undead.”

“Ah,” said Darkforge, “but that might be because of an alliance between the zangrunaz duchess and the wizard lord.”

“That may be, but the route will keep them some distance from Ebino,” said Narhak. “Granted, it will take them longer to skirt wide enough, my liege, but I reckon they can get here unmolested. My own rangers report it is very quiet along the Tarano and the Bellagio, and both rivers are low for the time of year. Tettoverde is quiet too. I suggested to the rangers that they might lead the army through the forest as there is an ancient path from where the Bellagio bends north up to Tarano Keep.”

“Well and good,” said the king. “But I ask again. Will they get to Campogrotta before Boulderguts?”

Narhak hesitated, so it was Thane Asgrod who answered,

“No-one can promise that, my liege. The news from the south is confused. The ogri appear to be almost everywhere, the zangrunaz everywhere else. But by your leave, my liege, might I suggest that perhaps the mercenaries do not need to beat Boulderguts in the race? From all the reports it seems the ogri have rampaged far and wide, burning a wide swathe of destruction upon their … what was the word Baron Garov used … ‘chevauchee’, aye. Boulderguts has done this without reinforcements from Campogrotta. If any such had left the city our rangers would have seen them – the ogri are not exactly quiet, nor sneaky. And no more ogri have come through the Appucinni passes. Boulderguts has fought several battles, no doubt enriching himself considerably in the process, but each time he fought his force must have dwindled. It is reported his hireling, Mangler, is dead, and both ogri armies have been severely mauled. Between our own warriors, the Condottierri Mazallini’s soldiers and whatever Baron Garov brings, we can surely defeat whatever force he limps back with. And if …”

“Ah,” interrupted the king, prompting Asgrod to fall silent, “yet is it certain we can defeat both him and the forces his master Lord Niccolo has at Campogrotta?”

At first, no-one spoke, and the king took the opportunity to put his pipe to his mouth, having forgotten it was not yet lit.

Image

“Can we not destroy them piecemeal, my liege?” asked Asgrod.

“Aye, likely so,” said the king somewhat nonchalantly. “That means we must ensure they do not join forces.” He held his hand to his mouth, as if pondering, but also perhaps signalling that the others should remain silent as he did so. “Best to begin with Boulderguts’ army. Defeat him first, at some remove from Campogrotta. If instead we besiege the city and the work becomes protracted, that could give bloody Boulderguts all the time he needs to return. Then we’d face them all, front and rear. Defeat Boulderguts first and we shall have all the time we need to take the city.”

There was nodding and a murmur of agreement from all those gathered. The king took the opportunity to rummage for more tobacco from his pouch and to further pack his pipe’s voluminous bowl. He may have been small for a dwarf, but he made up for it by doing nothing by halves. When he slept, he slept several hours longer than most. When he ate, he feasted upon sufficient to satisfy two. And when he smoked, he liked to send fumes curling into every nook and cranny of the hall.

At last, Darkforge noticed what the king was doing and stepped up to take the pipe to the brazier. While he did so the king leaned forwards upon his throne and asked,

“Besides what’s at Campogrotta, what forces does Lord Nicolo have elsewhere?”

“Nothing much, my liege” said Vagroth, “and that only in Ravola.”

Image

“Are you certain?”

“Those few Ravolans who escaped into the mountains looking for succour …”

“Which alone shows how desperate they were!” interrupted Darkforge.

“Aye. Well,” continued Vagroth, “those that did told us there are very few ogri at what remains of Ravola. My rangers report that the ogri ate almost everything, man and beast, and stole all else of worth.”

The king was nodding. “Which would be why there’s little in the way of forces there. Why bother to garrison in strength if there’s nothing left to guard?”

“It is not entirely abandoned,” said Vagroth. “I reckon they left a company or two simply to keep an eye on the Nuvolonc Pass.”

“Didn’t they destroy the fortress at Maratto?” asked the king.

“They did, my liege, so they now garrison Ravola instead. I have warned Baron Garov, and ordered my rangers to bring him another way. Should be easy enough in summer. They could probably defeat what few ogri are there but then we would lose the element of surprise.”

Again the hall fell quiet, as King Jaldeog drank in the first pull of smoke from his pipe. Having released a pleasantly coiled cloud, he asked,

“If there’s an alliance between the zangunaz duchess and Lord Niccolo, then Boulderguts might be reinforced upon his return journey. Or perhaps the wizard lord will call upon his allies to relieve him of our seige?”

“My liege,” said Darkforge, “would even he invite the likes of her foul followers to his realm?”

Vagroth raised his hand and spoke.

“Some say that Lord Niccolo is a zangunaz himself, which is why he stays so hidden, and why he has lived so long. If so, he might have his own undead forces, and would not forbear inviting such into his realm.”

“As far as we know,” said Narhak, “the ogri and this zangunaz have not fought side by side before. The reports of their alliance are but speculation, never mind the claims that he himself is undead.”

“Aye,” added Vagroth. “That’s true. The ogri even fought against the zangunaz Adolfo at Viadaza.”

Image

“That may well have been trickery,” offered Asgrod. “Lulling their real enemies into a false sense of security, while they planned their great raid. If they had not been slaughtered by the army uprising at Viadaza, they most likely would have turned against their Reman ‘allies’, perhaps an act of assassination, or treachery at a crucial moment in battle?”

“We shall assume nothing,” said the king, authoritatively. “And we shall act quickly. Our warriors must be ready to march as soon as the Bretonnian arrives. We’ll march to meet the mercenaries, and if we cannot get to them first then we’ll pincer the enemy between us.”

There were ‘Ayes’ all around.
Last edited by Padre on Tue May 01, 2018 5:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar

Posts: 728

Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 8:54 pm

Post Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:24 am

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Great update.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
User avatar

Posts: 35

Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:48 pm

Location: New Cross Gate

Post Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:45 am

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

About time that the stunties crawled out from under the mountain to get involved! Brilliant as ever Padre, such a high level of story telling, I feel like this should be a novel. I am awaiting the next installment, as ever, with keen interest!
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear an idiot than to open it and remove all doubt.
User avatar

Posts: 1841

Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:14 pm

Post Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:43 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Lands Annex wrote:About time that the stunties crawled out from under the mountain to get involved! Brilliant as ever Padre, such a high level of story telling, I feel like this should be a novel. I am awaiting the next installment, as ever, with keen interest!
I was about to say the same thing. It really does feel like you could work up the novelization pretty quickly!

Posts: 39

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:57 am

Post Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:07 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

ardyer wrote:
Lands Annex wrote:About time that the stunties crawled out from under the mountain to get involved! Brilliant as ever Padre, such a high level of story telling, I feel like this should be a novel. I am awaiting the next installment, as ever, with keen interest!
I was about to say the same thing. It really does feel like you could work up the novelization pretty quickly!


Just tweak it to be unique and not GW stuff; get new names for the Gods, change it from Tilea to Aelita, etc and you'd be good to go. It's been done before too; a number of fantasy books started out basically as dramatised versions of games played.
User avatar

Posts: 715

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:28 am

Post Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:03 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Thanks guys. It is what it is, and I'm enjoying the creation of it immensely. Here's the next installment ...
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The End of Spring, IC2403

6. They were going the other way!


Image

As always, they were riding a little way ahead of the army, scouting out the intended route. Being the Compagnia’s fastest troops, well-mounted but lightly armoured, it had always been their job to act as outriders and scouts, and they had done so a hundred times in Estalia. Here, however, back in their own homeland, it was different. The razed villages were familiar enough, for such destruction was to be found anywhere a war was being fought, and there was no shortage of ruins: barely a plank of sawn wood that was not charred, nor any door that was still fitted properly to its hinges. It was how they felt that was different. Back in Estalia they were searching, unsurprisingly, for Estalians. Here, however, they were scouring the terrain for signs of brute ogres or the foul servants of vampires, both of which were very different prospects compared to your average Estalian - the stuff of nightmares made real.

The company’s ensign, whose guidon bore the Compagnia del Sole’s Myrmidian emblem, was up at the front with the sergeant, while the rest of the company rode loosely in pairs behind. Apart from the ruins, the land was otherwise green and pleasant, what with it being late Spring, but eerily quiet, there having been no sound of birdsong, or ought else, for the last quarter of an hour. Dotted along the route were several copses of trees and one or two good sized woods, and the sergeant insisted on riding close to each to see what might lurk there, which meant they were tacking their way through the valley like a flotilla attempting to sail close to the wind. Twice now they had turned almost back on themselves because the sergeant had noticed a clump of trees they had earlier missed. This was a level of caution the sergeant had never exhibited in Estalia, and although he tried to hide his nervousness, his actions very clearly advertised his true state of mind. There was one good thing about their exertions – at least the journey back should prove a short one, as not only was the army itself moving up behind, but they could return by a straighter, and much shorter, course.

Amongst their number rode Ramondo Pisani upon his dun-coloured mare Pulce. For the last half an hour or so he had been deep in thought, allowing Pulce to much of the work following the rest of the company. He wasn’t the only quiet one – just about everyone else had been silent for some time, the only sounds being the dull thuddering of the horses’ hooves, the clattering of harness and trappings, and the occasional snapped command from the sergeant to wheel here or incline there. The quietness of the land had somehow pervaded them. It was not a peaceful sort of quiet, however, but ominous, imbuing them with a growing sense of foreboding.

Ramondo’s thoughts had definitely taken a darker turn. He had begun the day by waking from a dream about Gianetta. She had been laughing at him from her window in Urbimo, happy to see that he had returned as he promised, and that he now wore a cuirass of steel marking him out as a mounted man-at-arms. There had been some tomfoolery during breakfast concerning what Lazzero had said in his sleep, which had everyone laughing, and then there was the need to harness Pulce and prepare for the ride. Almost as soon as they had left the sounds of the camp behind, the rest of the army being tardy in their preparations for the march, Ramondo’s mind had begun a journey of its own. He began by pondering what the rocky realm of Campogrotta might be like, and whether they would be required to march into the mountains to the dwarven realm, but this soon turned into a contemplation of the enemies they might face along the way. Would the ogres be like the ones he had encountered before: huge, strong, clumsy, loud and sweaty, with a cruel streak and a taste for human flesh, yet mercenaries nevertheless? Or would they be wilder, crueller, and crazy in battle like the stories of the savage brutes from the eastern lands? Then he wondered whether they would have to face the undead before they even reached the ogres. It seemed they were attempting to stand well out from Viadaza and Ebino, taking the more direct route to Campogrotta, one without roads or even, for much of the way, paths. But as no-one knew exactly where the vampires’ forces were in the first place, the precaution was merely a best guess strategy.

If only to distract himself, for a while he had joined in his comrades’ conversation, limited as it was to occasional shouted jokes and jibes. They talked of events in Urbimo: of the women, the drinking, the gaming, but then someone said something about an old Urbiman grandmother begging them to stay, to keep her family from falling into hell, and their enthusiasm for the topic paled, then died. Then they talked of the sea journey from Estalia, of the sea sick pig sliding around the deck in its own vomit, and the flying fish that knocked the flux-ridden Donnino from the head into the sea, his pants left dangling behind, but then someone mentioned the shadowy ships seen at night and the eerily threatening shout, part chirruping, part squealing, that came from the darkness and once again the conversation died. When someone mentioned the vampire duchess, they were met by immediate silence, which became prolonged and so toppled Ramondo back into his own gloomy thoughts.

Image

That was when Ramondo noticed the smoke in the large wood to their left. Someone up at the front shouted,

“Have a care! Fire!”

Everyone looked, their trotting pace slowing a little, but then someone else declared,

“No, it’s fog.”

Ramondo knew immediately that something was not right. It was surely too late in the morning for fog to appear. They had seen no sign of it until now. Besides, why was there no fog in any of the other copses they could see?

As they rode on, nearly every face turned to the fog.

Image

“That ain’t natural,” said Arrigo, riding just ahead of Ramondo. “That’s wizardry, or elves.”

“I pray you’re right,” said Franceso, from behind. “For if it ain’t, then its necromancy!”

“Necromancers don’t summon fogs, they summon the dead,” argued Arrigo.

Ramondo rolled his eyes, wishing Arrigo wouldn’t talk about summoning the dead. It could not be good luck to mention such things.

“I don’t know,” said Francesco. “They mess with the etheric winds, which makes all sorts of funny stuff happen, not just what was intended. Remember that time Albiete tried to conjure fire against the crossbowmen on the walls of Vizeaya and burned half the …”

“Keep your eyes peeled!” barked the sergeant. “Ramondo, Francesco – rear-guard!”

Ramondo pulled on Pulce’s reins to slow her down, as did Francesco, and they fell back to the rear of the little column.

“It’s always us!” complained Francesco. “You and your nimble eyes, and me to look after you.”

Ramondo managed a wink, as if untroubled by the situation, and then set about scouring the tree line.

The fog thinned then thickened, then thinned again, giving Ramondo hope that it might not be so sinister at all. Maybe it had rolled down the slopes of the hill to the north, a heavy cloud grown too tired to remain aloft? The thinning never lasted, however, and each time it thickened up they slowed a little, falling incrementally further behind the others. He narrowed his eyes to peer into the misty gloom of the trees. If he had allowed his imagination to run wild he could have seen anything he liked in there, for the branches stretched, bent and criss-crossed to fashion up all sorts of possibilities: there a huge face with ragged holes for eyes, and there a man kneeling in prayer before a rock. Each image was momentary, as Pulce trotted on and the branches no longer played their trick.

Then he saw two grinning faces, looking right back at him. They were white like the fog, misshapen, imperfect representations of human faces. Grown used to the playfulness of the branches and their shadows he looked with simple curiosity at first, but this changed quickly into fear, for these faces did not melt away with his motion, and indeed they had a motion of their own. They were not imperfect due to the lie of the branches and the fronds upon them, but due to their lack of flesh! Worse still, there were bodies below the faces, weapons in their hands and bony horses to carry them.

Image

Ramondo felt his body weaken in fright, his insides seeming to shrink, his grip upon the reins threatening to loosen. Pulce could not have noticed, for she ran on like before, but when she sensed the change in Ramondo, her stride faltered a little. He could not speak, being only able to watch as he rode one way and they the other. Their heads turned to keep their eyeless sockets fixed upon him, and as they moved into a thinner patch of fog he realised there were more than two of them. Their mounts wore barding of an ethereal hue, and flecks of green fire speckled both their weapons and bony bodies.

Image

Coming to his senses – at least all those he could muster – he spurred Pulce on, and began to gallop towards the rest of the company.

“What is it?” shouted Francesco, as he joined the gallop. “What’s wrong?”

Ramondo’s answer was merely to gallop faster. He had to tell the others, and quick. The vampire duchess’s servants were much, much closer than anyone had thought!
User avatar

Posts: 326

Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:00 pm

Location: Edinburgh

Post Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:08 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Amazing photos! Very atmospheric.
I am a servant of the Secret Fire
User avatar

Posts: 35

Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:48 pm

Location: New Cross Gate

Post Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:50 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Agreed on the pics, really great stuff. For clarity, I didn't mean in my previous post that I thought it should be a novel, I think it is superb as it is, just that it has the feel of a novel. Excellent work as ever Padre!
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear an idiot than to open it and remove all doubt.
PreviousNext

Return to Battle Reports

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Designed by ST Software.