Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)


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Post Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:41 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Anxious to see what's happening next. Keep it coming!
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Post Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:24 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Will do, Vonkortez. And in fact, have done so ...

The Battle of the Isean Hills Continued

The great mob of ghouls, who now equalled the enemy’s regiment in size thanks to the brute Horrors’ attacks and the cultists own murderous flagellations to maintain their state of crazed frenzy, charged headlong into the defences.

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Maria cantered without undue haste to the side of the hex-wraiths and watched as Captain Bernhardt and his knights turned to threaten the Reman soldiery within the camp.

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Whilst the winds of magic proved little more than a gentle breeze, so that not one spell could be successfully conjured, the fight between the ghouls and the dedicants proved very bloody indeed. Seventeen dedicants dies in the initial assault, and eighteen ghouls! (Game Note: The ‘End is Nigh’ roll meant the dedicants could re-roll to hits and to wounds for their 38 (yup!) attacks. In light of this, perhaps 18 seems like a bad result!) Two more ghouls collapsed from the weakening of the magics that kept them whole.

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Captain Vogel knew he had to act decisively, before the enemy riders could launch themselves at him and his men. But when he ordered a charge, his so-called professionals proved wanting, and the hesitant lurch that resulted meant that the initiative was lost. The vampire Bernhardt and his knights were already spurring their fleshless horses into action. Standing with the Remans, Father Lorenzo quickly realised that something had gone awry, and so prayed for Morr’s Holy Protection to be gifted upon the men with him. He sensed its power as it enfolded them.

Upon the bastion-battery on the Disciplinati’s right, the cannoneers had shoved packets of grape shot down their pieces’ muzzles, and now both guns blasted the skeletons below them, shattering seven. (Game Note: 10 + 10 shots, but with 8th ed rules, you have to roll to hit as well as wound.) The bony warriors barely noticed, which in truth was the case most of the time!

The broken machine trundled about behind the defences, it’s crew’s shame exacerbated by the knowledge it was highly unlikely they would ever to get the chance to prove themselves or their machine in future battles, due to the fact that they were almost certainly going to die in this one.

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The Morrite dedicants fighting the ghouls, however, were so gripped with bloodlust that no such defeatist thoughts impinged upon their minds. They now slaughtered the last of the ghouls before them, to the loss of only one of their own to the foe’s vicious claws, but at a cost of two of their own to flagellation. The hexwraiths to their left, however, had cut down another four dedicants amongst their brother regiment, who despite their manic efforts could cause absolutely no harm in return. Meanwhil, Maria rode very close by as if nothing of consequence were occurring!

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(Game Note: I was still amazed at what the hex-wraiths were doing, and could only imagine how frustrated I would have been about it if I had commanded the other side! BTW, we had toyed with the idea that the campaign player helping out by commanding an NPC army should command the undead, but as his player character, Lord Alessio Falconi, was currently engaged in a war against Maria’s servants in the south, it seemed only right that he should command here enemies in this game too!)

Maria was smiling, but there was not a soul alive who could see. She blew a kiss to Captain Bernhardt as he glanced at her upon the threshold of his charge, and then she joined him in hurtling headlong into Vogel’s hesitant Remans.

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The Necromancer Saffiro had watched the slaughter of both the brute Horrors and the ghouls with interest and was now satisfied to see that only a few dedicants remained upon the defences. “My turn!” he thought to himself, then raised his hands to command his skeletons to charge.

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In they went, scrabbling over the piles of corpses strewn before the barricade without a care in the world, to stab a veritable forest of spears at the poor, tired souls on the walls!

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Before long there was but one cultist remaining. He stumbled back, his pointed hood so obscuring his sight that he had no idea he was the last. Whatever idea he did have, however, was his last.

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While the Hexwraiths’ scythes continued their bounteous harvesting of souls …

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… Maria fatally cursed four of the Remans, then momentarily lost control of her magic while resurrected the missing knight. She was only saved from injury by her magical wards. Several more Remans died to the vampires’ and knights’ blades, and two of the knights were cut down in return. Somehow, the Remans had survived the initial impact, but the situation did not look good.

As Maria’s fight went on, cannon balls were fired to little effect, more dedicants were hewn by the wraiths, and crossbpw bolts clattered ineffectually against the corpse cart. Barone Pietro and his company rode to the rear of the undead and watched, aghast, as the slaughter went on. The riders dreaded the thought of charging in. Luckily for them, the barone gave no such command.

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Maria now allowed a fury to course through her and she personally cut down six of the Remans. This, added to the bloody work done by Bernhardt and the knights, was too much for the Remans, and they turned to flee. Father Lorenzo was one of the first of them to be cut down in that flight, then Captain Vogel’s head was removed deftly by Bernhardt, while the remainder joined them in death soon enough.

As the crossbowmen on the hill wished they had run away when they had the chance, and the gunners abandoned their pieces to tumble pell-mell down the far slope, Barone Pietro suddenly realised that he and his men might be the only ones to escape the slaughter!

If, that is, they fled now.

Which is what they did.

End of turn 6
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Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:08 am

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Oh my lord what an unholy slaughter! I hope you will forgive me if I find it almost . . . satisfactory, now that I've learned a little more of the history of the dedicati de Mors, or whatever the capped crusaders call themselves. Bloody awful lot! Truly a case of the lesser of two vile bunches, and I'm not sure I care to pick.

You do wonders to this game, sir! Very well planned and very well played. Your players are a lucky bunch indeed.
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Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:11 am

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Yeah, they were a bit nasty, weren't they? My 8 year old sometimes asks me who are the good guys, and I have to admit that isn't how it really works!
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Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:19 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Padre wrote:
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Please can you tell me what miniature that vampire bishop is?
Something in my aspect and speech seemed to excite vague fears and aversions in everyone I met, as if I were a being infinitely removed from all that is normal and healthful.
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Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:24 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

West Wind GH00057, from one of their 'The Antagonists Vampire Counts/Slayers' sets.

I had to cut off a bunch of 'stuff' to make him look like this.
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Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:33 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Many thanks!
Something in my aspect and speech seemed to excite vague fears and aversions in everyone I met, as if I were a being infinitely removed from all that is normal and healthful.
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Post Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:19 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

There’s More to Come
Luccini, Summer 2403

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“Not bad, this stuff,” declared the Cooper Artur Scharff. In one hand he clutched a tankard, in the other a flask he had tapped some of the wine into so that they could all have a taste. Only the carpenter Gerino had refused, for he was distracted by a bottle of port he had found.

“Not bad at all. If the other barrels are as good, we should be selling this, not drinking it. With the price this’d fetch, we could buy five times its weight of the kind of wine our boys’d be happy with.”

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“You saying we’re cheap?” asked Geoberto. “’Cos I’ll have you know my palate is as sharp as any connoisseur’s when it comes to drink.”

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“You long since burnt away any palate you ever had with strong liquors,” laughed Artur. “Did for your hair too!”

“That was practice, long and hard,” said Geoberto, “which makes me the perfect drinker.”

They were discussing their ill-gotten gains on Luccini’s southern outskirts, where a wide path led from the city down to the Almond Sands. The city had a fine harbour, with wharves a-plenty for ships of every size, but it was guarded by two stone artillery bastions, so the Sartosan pirates had disembarked from boats on the sands then marched up to assault the city from the landward side. Now that Luccini was taken, most of the vessels had moved to the city harbour, but a couple of ships and their boats, those belonging to Captain Garique, had for reasons only the captain himself really knew, remained at the sands. Which was why Garique’s crew were trudging back and forth from the beach, hauling their considerable share of the loot on the way down.

Not all of them, though, just the younkers and the foremast men. The sea artists and officers were busy drinking and talking. Artur was sniffing the wine, then allowing it to roll around in his mouth before swallowing. The others were either humouring him or had failed to notice.

Artur stroked one of the barrels and nodded in appreciation of the cooper’s skill.

“Seems to me,” he declared, “that we’ve already taken enough loot to satisfy the captains. We could disperse the fleet right now and there’d be no one a-complainin’, no bitterness nor disappointment and only praise for the admiral. And we took it easy.”

“Tell that to Oskar Furst,” said Gerino, who had started listening. Some of the port he had been sampling a moment before was dribbling down his black beard.

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The admiral’s first mate, ironically named Furst, along with a number of Volker’s own crew, had died before the Sartosans even got off the beach, shot by a troop of Luccinan pistoleri left behind when the young king had marched off to war against the ogres.

“Someone was bound to be hurt,” said Artur. “You can’t expect to take a city like this without a little blood spilled. But think, if the king had been here with his army, however meagre it might be, there’d have been a lot more of us than Furst an’ a few of his lads piled at the garden’s gate.”

Geoberto laughed. “The pile’s big enough, what with all the Luccinans.”

“Their fault for arguing,” said the gunner, Isacco. “If they’d have had the sense to yield immediately, then everything would have turned out just the same, but they’d all be here to watch us.”

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A pistol shot cracked from behind them, and they turned to look over the fence. One of Admiral Volker’s crewmen was responsible, from Furst’s watch, and was now stood over the man he’d killed.

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“Another fool arguing, no doubt,” said Isacco. “People should know when they’re beat, furl their sails and run before the wind.”

Isacco always had a sombre tone, a consequence of his somewhat pessimistic philosophy. It was said he had been a proper scallywag in his youth but had changed when a gun he was tending shivered and killed everyone around him, somehow leaving him with not a scratch, other than a missing toe.

“Maybe so,” said Geoberto, “But wouldn’t you complain a little if you were being robbed? There’s no need for real nastiness, just the show of it would suffice. We’re taking everything else they have. We could at least leave them with their lives.”

They watched as the shooter rolled the corpse over with his foot, perhaps to see if he was dead.

“Let the fellow grieve,” said Gerino. “Furst was well liked.”

Gerino took another swig from his bottle, and Artur drew some more wine from the tapped barrel.

“You said we should sell it, not drink it,” said Geoberto.

Artur looked up as the red fluid trickled into his flask. “Can’t sell this one, now it’s been tapped. There’s plenty more.”

“This is all our share, then?” asked Geoberto.

“It is. The captain made good choices when it came to laying claim to portions. We’ll get some carts to take this lot down to the beach.”

Gerino pointed down to where a little stream crossed the path. “They didn’t wait for a cart.”

Peering down, they could all see two fellows struggling with a barrel just on the other side of the water.

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“That’s but a little one, and it ain’t the same vintage. Still, I’ll see to it that they’re the last to try that. If they drop the barrel it’ll ruin the wine even if it don’t break right open.”

“That one’ll be for the captain to drink,” said Geoberto. “They’ll not drop it. Not just now anyway, what with him so close. He took a barrel for his cabin last time.”

“As was proper,” said Artur. “It’s in the articles.”

They could all see Captain Garique standing near the two with the barrel, with Tito Álvares by his side, toting his beast of a gun.

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Garique had been supervising the removal of goods, utilising his unsheathed cutlass to point out which loot was to be carried next; ordering the tardy men to hurry up and those being careless to slow down. He was one of the oldest captains in the fleet, before that first mate to the admiral back when the admiral was only just elected captain himself. For some years he had been a captain in his own right, never once voted out, and well respected by his crew as a stickler for fairness (which was why it was only a small barrel he had taken for his own cabin). Bitter experience - the witnessing so much treachery, cheating and trickeries - had made him very suspicious of the other captains, even the admiral. Tito was often by his side, and thus Tito’s many-barrelled handgun, just in case a point needed making in no uncertain terms. It rarely did.

Garique’s share included much more than the wine. Several chests of precious metal and gems had been allotted to him, from which each of his crewmen expected their own shares.

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As per the articles, the captain would receive four shares in the prize, the sea artists and officers two, the sailors one and the boy (being only half a man) half a share. Some of the chests were huge, so big that a single man could no hope to lift them.

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Those who were not lugging the loot were guarding its transit. The larger chests had blunderbuss and handgun armed escorts, while watchful sentinels were dotted all along the route.

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Luccini’s pistoliers had successfully scarpered after their brief assault, and so could conceivably return. As it was not known where exactly King Ferronso and his army were, no one could be sure he was not on his way home right now. Mostly, however, they were keeping an eye out for other Sartosans. Driven by greed and possessing of some flimsy excuse about gambling debts or compensation or some such, it was entirely possible that some other crews might choose to interrupt the loot’s journey to the sands.

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“The fleet’ll not be splitting up now, Artur,” said Isacco. “This has been just a taster of what’s to come. They say the brute Boulderguts took everything from the cities and towns inland, which leaves the coast all to us. I say Luccini was easy, and the next place will be easy too. The noble lords have taken their armies north. There’s nothing to stop us.”

“There might be plenty to stop us,” said Gerino. “I’ve been to Remas, and Portomaggiore and Alcente. They’re great powers. They can march an army away and still have an army at home if they choose to.”

“So where is next, then?” asked Geoberto.

Artur swallowed his biggest gulp yet. “You might be right about Alcente and Portomaggiore, Gerino," he said, "but Remas has been wracked by rebellion and riots, and has sent armies north, south and west. If the Remans have anything more than Luccini had to defend their walls I’ll eat my hat.”

“And wash it down with wine?” grinned Geoberto.

“It’s all about surprise,” said Isacco. “Remas is too obvious. Rich, old, battered to buggery, it’s where everyone will be expecting us to go. We could take somewhere smaller next. Maybe Volker knows we can take Alcente or Portomaggiore? Maybe we only took Luccini first because it was the closest?”

“Or the admiral wanted to try us out,” suggested Artur. “Flash our pans to make sure we’re ready for a real fight?”
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Post Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:57 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Superb as always Padre, loving this sea-salty story as an aside to the slaughter on the field. Love that Garique model too!
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear an idiot than to open it and remove all doubt.
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Post Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:07 pm

Re: Tilea IC2401 (Campaign#8)

Yeah, LA, I too like that model muchly.

Now for another 'activation' introduction story ...


The Message-Letter
Somewhere in Tilea.

Three of the Grey Seer’s servants were making their hurried way to him. For an otherwise abandoned stretch of tunnel, there was a lot of noise as they progressed, what with the crunching of the gravel beneath their feet, the clattering of the lantern the servant Bolk held aloft to illuminate their passage, and the strained wheezing sound of Gradger’s mask-assisted breathing. All this was amplified by the close stone walls around them, conjoining and reverberating, so that when they did speak they had to shout – or, more accurately, squeal.

“Your message-letter, Farrgrin, important is it? Yes, yes?”

“Never look, never read, just carry. That is my task-burden. Not for my eyes, see?” Farrgrin glanced back to indicate that they were being watched even now, for Bolk had more responsibility than merely lugging the lantern. Whether or not Gradger, his vision restricted by the small, thick glass lenses of his mask, noticed the gesture, Farrgrin did not know.

“Has to be important. It is for the lord-master. He will not look upon petty gossip and chatter-drivel.”

“You are asking what you should not be asking,” snapped Farrgrin. “Best be silent, or I might suspect-believe you to be a spy-traitor.”

“Not-ever I,” said Gradger. “Always obey, never shirking.”

“Well and good, best for all,” declared Farrgrin, nevertheless tightening his clutch upon the scroll.

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They were in one of the lesser tunnels, leading from a little used exit. There were no breeding pits, slave pens, mine entrances or fungus caverns along this stretch, and nor had there ever been. Perhaps it had originally been intended as a sally port, or an emergency escape route? Farrgrin cared not, to him it was simply a satisfactorily secretive option.

Gradger’s mask let out a strained hiss as he took a deep intake of breath, and Farrgrin knew another comment would follow.

“I ask-enquire only because of Josgrach,” he said. “His was important news - the collapse, shoddy work-failings, fools in charge - which angered the lord-master. Rightly so, yes, yes, rightly so. Important news it was and the end of Josgrach. Bearer of bad tidings and killed-dead because of it.”

“It is not-ever for us to question the lord-master,” said Farrgrin.

“But yet what of us, I ask and plead, if this is grave and disturbing news? Are we to be blame-punished for the mere carrying of it?”

“The lord-master knows-sees that which we cannot. Failings, you said? Perhaps Josgrach failed, see? Late-delayed, or talk-chattering too much, see?”

Farrgrin picked up the pace a little, and began to outstrip Gradger, running almost beyond the limit if the lantern’s light.

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“Listen well, listen hard, understand,” he continued. “Learn from Josgrach’s fate, not fear, but sense. What is important is that we carry this message-letter prompt, quick, secret. So keep up! And shut up! See?”

They were approaching the end of the tunnel, where it met with a well-used passageway close to the Grey Seer’s cavern-chambers.

“Here, now, the guards,” hissed Farrgrin. “Remember my advice-words and live.”

Gradger allowed himself to drop back further, so that Bolk was between him and Farrgrin. A moment later they rounded the bend to the junction.

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