Sunday, 6 July 2014

Rogue Trader - Vlad Kirby's enslaved Orks verse Silver Skull Space Marines

Long time opponent Optimus (the one) returned to Aus. We plan on playing a short Rogue Trader campaign while he is here.

We needed a scenario and rolled on Rogue Trader's inspiring generator. I fully expected Abdul Goldberg or the Space Pudding to make an appearance. Instead we rolled a scenario where a space vampire had enslaved a 'crew' and had to be put down before he did anymore harm. It hinted at an Aliens bug hunt but we took it in another direction turning the crew into orks. Rolling on the complication chart we ended up with a number of storage sites with the chance that one of the sites contained the one's excellent Hellsreach Walker.

Space vampire Vlad Kirby had enslaved a space ork mob through the use of his insidious psychic powers. His lair had been discovered by Imperial forces who immediately teleported three squads of Silver Skull marines to his location in a surgical strike. Would they be able to best Vlad and his orks?

Vlad Kirby watches over his 30 enthralled orks. They await the arrival of the marines who would teleport down in 3 x 4 man squads.
The Silver Skulls beamed down on the left of the battlefield. They intended to search the supply bases located in each corner hoping to discover the Hellsreach Walker to turn on their foe. Zeta squad teleported off target and appeared in woods close to ork lines. The marines opened fire and a lucky deviating plasma missile hit the ground next to Vlad Kirby. The vampire was not wounded when struck nor at the start of his turn as he scurried away from the roiling plasma sphere.

Ominously Commander Lucius and Silver Skull Beta squad did not beam down with their battle brothers. A third of the marines would not show up until very late in the conflict. The orks weight of numbers would prove telling.

Zeta squad is routed in the woods and falls back to the supply dump behind the hill.
Fleeing from the advancing orks the remnants of Zeta squad discovered the Hellsreach Walker. They boarded and unleashed the deadly MACRO-CANNON! It proved ineffective in the hands of the marines, firing two rounds and killing 0 orks.
The Hellsreach Walker hits the board but with only two crew can do little to turn the tide.
Alpha squad was eliminated in a hail of lucky bolter fire. 5 shots, 5 hits, 5 wounds and 4 failed armour saves saw the entire squad cut down. Vlad Kirby first mentally blitzed the walker pilot before turning his attention to the marine manning the macro-cannon. The space vampire augmented his psychic powers to ensure the marines had little chance of passing their psychic saving throw.
The macro-cannon is silenced and Alpha squad cut down. Where is Commander Lucius and Beta squad?
Optimus had to roll every turn to work out what had happened to Beta squad and their teleport mishap. On a 6 they teleported down late but safely, on a 1 they suffered a serious mishap. Beta squad finally beamed down as a single multi-limbed living organism. The mass of flesh was barely kept sentient by the supreme will of the Silver Skull commander Lucius, who battled the other minds for control.
So that's what happened to the Beta squad.
Lucius wrested control of the mass of flesh he and his battle brothers had become. He willed the arms holding the missile launcher to aim at Vlad and let lose. The plasma missile struck home followed by a salvo of bolter rounds. None managed to wound the resilient vampire who stepped unharmed from the boiling field of plasma.
Beta squads fate revealed. Four marines become one thanks to a teleporter incident.
From the top of Vlad's tower an ork with a heavy bolter lined up the space marine monstrosity and plugged it with a high explosive round. Vlad commanded his orks to fire and a hail of bolter rounds put the heaving mass of flesh down.
The monstrosity that is Beta squad is put down.
A fun if one sided battle. Vlad had the numbers and his psychic powers provided reliable kills. We hoped that teleporting and the Walker would give the marines a boost. Teleporting proved a disaster leaving the marines undermanned and the walker's crew were easily picked off by Vlad's mental blitz power.

Scenario two will be Vlad verse the marines in his underground lair which we intend to represent with Space Hulk tiles. Should be good. Now if we could only convince a friend to GM the battle for us.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Episode 15 - The Enemy Within - Evacuating Wittgendorf

Castle Wittgenstein looms over the decrepit town of Wittgendorf.
This is an actual play recording of Death on the Reik, a chapter in Games Workshop's classic campaign The Enemy Within.

Download Episode from Goggle Drive (32.5 MB)

Heroes present were Esmeralda the Shallayan initiate, Herdan the vampire hunter, Joten the dwarf veteran, Walter the halfling agitator, Solomon the halfling smuggler and Magnus the dwarven prospector.

We left the heroes in the crypts of an abandoned Sigmarite temple on the outskirts of the cursed town of Wittgendorf. They had discovered, through their interactions with Red Crown cultists, that Wittgendorf was the likely site of a sizable chunk of warpstone. The group intended to seize the stone to prevent it being used for foul and corrupting purposes.

Key points from Episode 15

(0:50) Ominous hand dug tunnels were discovered in the crypts beneath the abandoned Sigmarite temple. Magnus put his mining skills to work and collapsed them. 

(3:10) Further exploration uncovered the towns records in the temple's library. Walter, being the only literate party member, read through Wittgendorf's history. He learnt that the town had once been prosperous but two years ago a ferocious gale had enveloped the lands, the eye of the storm being the local castle. This was followed by a week of black rain. Since then the region had suffered from crop failures and increased mutations. The records also spoke of an expedition to the Barren Hills by the then Baron's son and known astronomer Dagmar Wittgenstein. The expedition had occurred three years ago and ended with Dagmar returning alone hauling a lead lined box. Finally the records provided a full lineage of the local nobles the Wittgenstein's.

Ghoulish villagers, when there's no food in Wittgendorf what do you eat?
(8:08) The band rested in the altar room feeling reassured by its holy presence. As they settled in they heard voices from the temple's foyer. Solomon crept as close as he dared to eavesdrop on a pair of dishevelled villagers who muttered in low tones about their hunger and complained about the collapsed tunnel into the crypt. As they spoke it became clear that they had turned to cannibalism to survive Wittgendorf's famine.

(11:18) The heroes confronted the villagers about their cannibalism. The unfortunates protested their innocence all the while refusing to enter the altar room to discuss things. Even the promise of food could not get them to cross the boundary into the temple proper. Their apparent fear of Sigmar sealed their fate in the adventurers eyes and the party attacked. In the ensuing slaughter a wretch was allowed to flee into the night, the dwarves could hardly catch him.

Two headed sheep are much sought-after by the beggars of Wittgendorf.
(21:49) The following morning the group considered heading straight to the castle but instead chose to observe the village first. It wasn't long before they saw a cluster of crippled beggars chasing a two headed sheep in their general direction. As the group of unfortunates came closer it was clear that they were afflicted with an assortment of minor mutations. The group usually killed mutants on sight but they held off. Killing every mutant in Wittgendorf promised to be long and bloody work. They gave the beggars a wide berth.

(24:42) Wittgendorf's local inn was called the Shooting Star. Despite the early hour is was crowded with locals. A word with the innkeeper let them know that many in the village wanted to leave but couldn't. The innkeeper explained that the commotion they had seen yesterday outside the inn was Lady Magritte Wittgenstein seizing the local Miller who she accused of being an outlaw collaborator. The inn keep also explained that these outlaws harassed the Wittgenstein soldiers from the dubious safety of the woods. The group formulated a plan to evacuate the entire town, all except the somewhat mutated beggars. Perhaps this act would provoke the Wittgenstein's into leaving the relative safety of their castle.

After seeing the locals is it any wonder the group didn't trust Wittgendorf's physician?
(32:27) The town physician Jean Rousseaux entered the inn, introduced himself and welcomed the group to town. He invited them to dinner that night and sang the praises of Magritte Von Wittgenstein. The group were non committal and the physician left.

(37:41) Walter used his public speaking skills to tell those gathered in the inn that the heroes boat would arrive at dusk and that anyone who wanted to leave was welcome to board it. The villagers should tell their friends but avoid telling the physician at all costs.

(40:51) As the group set off to get their boat Esmeralda the Shallyan initiate was approached by a distressed woman. It was the Miller's wife. Her baby was ill. She told Esmeralda that the town physician was useless and his aid had worsened her child's condition. Esmeralda agreed to help and examined the child in the safety of the abandoned temple. There she saw that the child was covered in fur and had taken many arachnid features. This was Esmeralda's second encounter with a mutant baby! The child was very ill and not long for this world. Esmeralda broke the news to the mother as best she could. Herdan put the child out of its misery.

(49:34) While the halflings fetched the boat the warriors watched the town. Joten spotted Jean 
Rousseaux waddle his way to the Wittgentsteins castle. Soon after the physicians arrival three heavily armoured guards headed from the castle and made their way to the inn where they menaced the locals. The group raced to the rescue and after a long melee put the guards down.
"We will return for you beggars of Wittgendorf." <fingers crossed>
(62:39) That evening the locals gathered at the inn. As dusk approached the heroes boat arrived at the dock where Herdan ushered the villagers, and not the towns slightly mutated beggars, onto to the vessel. A days sailing later and the townsfolk were resettled in the slums of Grissenwald.

(65:23) Now that she was a safe the grief stricken mother, whose baby was a mutant and whose husband was taken by Wittgenstein guards, confessed to aiding the outlaws. She offered to take the group to the outlaws as long as they tried their best to free her husband.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Episode 14 - The Enemy Within - Visions in Wittgendorf

The heroes would soon visit the unpleasant town of Wittgendorf.
This is an actual play recording of Death on the Reik, a chapter in Games Workshop's classic campaign The Enemy Within.

Download Episode from Google Drive (28MB)  

Heroes present were Esmerelda the Shallayan initiate, Herdan the vampire hunter, Joten the dwarf veteran, Walter the halfling agitator, Solomon the halfling smuggler and Magnus the dwarven prospector.

We left the heroes standing victorious over the corpse of Etelka, a witch they had hunted for some time before stumbling across her path at Kemperbad's Cat and Fiddle inn. Before her death Etelka had revealed some of her plans to Herdan. She had intended to travel to Castle Wittgenstein where she believed the Wittgenstein family held a meteorite of corrupting chaos magic.

Key Points from Episode 14

(0:52) The party discussed how best to deal with Etelka's apprentice Urnst. The scrawny mage had surrendered rather than suffer his mistresses fate. The group bound and gagged the wretch and turned him over to the watch to interrogate. The watch, who had been on hand at Etelka's arrest, helped the group loot Etelka's still warm body and in the process kept half her wealth for themselves. Much coin was liberated and Etelka's dangerous artifacts turned over to the Sigmarite priests for burning.

(4:20) At the watch house Urnst was interrogated under the supervision of a cheerful Joten and a squeamish Solomon. Meanwhile Walter mixed with the gawking crowd and spread word that the Champion of Kemperbad had slain a witch. The mob were suitably impressed by the actions of their local hero. Before becoming a broken blubbering mess Urnst revealed that Etelka belonged to the Red Crown Cult, that he intended to betray Etelka and that they had intended to visit Castle Wittgenstein in pursuit of a sizable chunk of warpstone; a meteorite that had devastated the Barren Hills many years ago. In the end Urnst's cover story moved from undercover sanctioned wizard to independent hedge wizard on a mission of vengeance against Etelka. While Joten and Solomon believed the cultist, his motivation didn't matter as he was destined to burn in the fires of Sigmar regardless.

(10:25) Haggling ensued and Etelka's jewelry and perfume collection was sold off. Once again the party were rich. Magnus donated a generous 10 crowns to the Temple of Shallya to finance the rebuilding of their temple at Grissenwald. Esmerelda one-upped the dwarf by donating 100 crowns to the same cause. The warriors kitted themselves out in plate mail and Solomon pondered upgrading their boat with a deck sweeping blunderbuss.

(12:03) The group discussed the note that had been left pinned to their door the night prior. This note was intended for Herdan's body double Kastor Leiberung. Herdan became understandably worried that Purple Hand cultists were watching him and insisted they leave town. 

(17:45) Solomon invested his wealth in cargo. In order to trade he purchased a 'legitimate' traders licence from his criminal contacts under the name Axle Schnitzel. He would have to use this false name when conducting business. The halfling smuggler went on to buy discount lumber that he planned to sell in the ship building town of Grissenwald. [The trading rules proved a complex time sink which I thankfully edited out of the podcast.] In the end 10 trade units of wood was purchased at the bargain price of 160 gold crowns.

(22:28) The group talked about leaving Kemperbad in a hurry but instead spent time shopping, haggling and taking on lumber. As this dragged on Herdan was constantly looking over their shoulder in case the Purple Hand struck. Walter re-assured the group that they had plenty of time before the cultists came calling as the warning note had given them at least a week to deliver a large sum of gold to Middenheim. Finally they set sail. Favourable winds meant it wasn't long before they arrived at the miserable town of Wittgendorf.

(24:30) Their ships crew were promised a bonus to assuage their fears of approaching the infamous Wittgendorf. They chose not to use the towns docks, instead they anchored out of sight. The group made their way through the forest towards the town and on the way noticed a foul corruption had gripped the land. Trees were twisted and overgrown with fungi while bloated beetles and grubs swarmed across the forest floor.
Lady Magritte Von Wittgenstein loves harassing peasants.
(30:34) The group hid on the outskirts of Wittgendorf and kept watch. Some distance off Solomon spotted an noblewoman atop a horse, surrounded by heavily armoured guards. She seemed to be conversing with a mob of ragged peasants. Given the distance they could hear only indistinct shouting before witnessing a villager struck down and hauled off in the direction of the castle.
(35:17) The group decided to explore the abandoned temple to Sigmar on the village edge. They did so stealthily with Solomon sneaking in and then throwing a rope through a back window so his companions could clamber in. The temple was rundown its floor scattered with bones, rats, rubble, ashes and detritus. Miraculously the altar room remained undefiled.

(41:38) Walter read the classic script illuminating the domed ceiling of the altar room. It told the tale of the founding of the temple, for it was here that there had been a key battle between the armies of Sigmar and the forces of Chaos. On this site a Templar of Sigmar, Siegfried Von Kesselring, had slain a Chaos Warlord, an act that shattered a chaotic horde. Alas in victory the Templar had been fatally wounded and upon passing, Siegfried was buried, along with his blade Barakul, in the crypts of this very temple.
Walter read the passage and received a vision from Sigmar.
(43:20) Walter read aloud a passage concerning the dwarves relationship with Sigmar and as he did so the statue of Sigmar that stood watch over the altar spoke to him. Only the halfling could hear Sigmar's words. The god asked if Walter would be ready to stand against chaos when the time came. The young agitator answered in the affirmative and was bade to find the source of chaos that afflicted Sigmar's lands. The halfling had received a vision from Sigmar!
Sigfried Von Kesselring. Templar of Sigmar.
(51:30) The heroes ventured into the temples crypts. The crypts themselves had been smashed open and, judging by the bones on the ground, their contents devoured. A glow visible only to Walter led the halfling to a niche marking the final resting place of Von Kesselring. Former grave warden Herdan said a prayer to Morr as the tomb was cracked open and Von Kesselring exhumed. Joten reverently took the long sword Barakul from the Templar's bony hands. The dwarf swore to put it to good use against Sigmar's foes.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Episode 13 - The Enemy Within - Executing Etelka

This Episode took place in and around the Cat and Fiddle Inn. An inn a bit bigger than this.

This is an actual play recording of Death on the Reik, a chapter in Games Workshops classic Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying campaign: The Enemy Within.

Download Episode from Google Drive (20MB)

Heroes present were Esmerelda the Shallyan initiate, Herdan the vampire hunter, Joten the dwarf veteran, Walter the halfling agitator, Solomon the halfling smuggler and Magnus the dwarven prospector.

We left the hero's at Kemperbad's Cat and Fiddle Inn. An inn run by crime lord Luigi Belladona. Luigi is Solomon's smuggling contact. Etelka, the witch they had been seeking, had entered the inn with her entourage. She sought a strong warrior to accompany her south to Castle Wittgenstein and so hired on Herdan. As a result Herdan had learnt some of her plans and now the group plotted her downfall.

Key Points from Episode 13.

Villainous Witch Etelka and her suspicious cat.
(01:04) The planning began with a discussion of lobbing a poison wind globe, found last session, into Etelka's room and holding the door shut. The idea was discarded as the group didn't know what the gas would do or if it might hurt others staying in the inn. There was some discussion about taking Etelka alive in order to learn more about the broader conspiracy but they decide not to risk it. There was conjecture that her pet cat was a disguised demon along with concern over Luigi's reaction should they kill someone in his inn.

(13:10) The heroes settled on the following plan. Solomon would pretend to be a crusty river captain plan who would offer to take Etelka's party south; no questions asked. Once Etelka left the inn the ambush would be sprung. The town watch would also be informed to ensure no miscreants escaped. Herdan, Joten and Magnus were expected to do all the killing. As an undercover member of Etelka's entourage Herdan is not informed of the plan. He spends a restless night guarding Etelka's chambers waiting for his companions to act.

(14:28) The watch are visited during the night and just like the law in the town of Bogenhafen they are surprising accommodating. This could well be the result of Herdan's town wide popularity having become the Kemperbad Champion. The Watch Captain agreed to clear the streets and be present in case things got out of hand.

(19:32) The plan swings into motion with Etelka heading downstairs the following morning for a meeting with Solomon the Ships Captain. Prior to this meeting
 a note was left under the door to Walter's room. It was addressed to Kastor Leiberung (Herdan's look alike). The note promised to further complicate things.

(24:08) Solomon's negotiations with Etelka were interrupted by a Purple Hand cultist who cast something at Herdan, which the warrior resisted. Everyone including Etelka looked bemused as the robed figure then dashed for the kitchens. Not wishing to complicate their ambush plans the group let the cultist escape. 

(29:05) Solomon extorted an exorbitant sum of coin from Etelka for the hire of his boat. They left the Cat and Fiddle Inn and the ambush was sprung.

(30:45) In the plan Walter had one task to do, bring out the warrant for Etelka's execution and announce it loudly for all to hear in the hope that her guards would back off. He neglected to do this so he could focus on breakfast. With Walter's inaction it was up to Magnus to start things. The dwarf stood casually from his position near the inn's door and followed the witch and her group outside. Once on the street he hefted his two handed pick and swung for Etelka's back. Thus mission 'gank the mage' began. A surprise round left Etelka on death's door.

(34.49) Walter remembered his lines, drew out the warrant and scared off Etelka's guards. Walter's words were backed by a volley of crossbow bolts fired by the town watch. Etelka's weedy looking assistant Urnst was struck by a quarrel. He weighed up his options and promptly professed to also be after Etelka and that he would aid the hereos in their effortst. Etelka remained defiant.

(38:06) Magnus' initial swing of his pick had embedded itself in Etelka's back. He withdrew his weapon and struck again ripping straight through the witches left arm, leaving it so much pulped meat. Etelka swigged a potion in response levitating ever so slightly off the ground before her kneecap was blown asunder by a well aimed sling stone from Solomon. Etelka was no more.

Urnst knew the game was up but could do little to extract himself from the mess.
(41:05) No one believed Urnst's terrible 'Undercover Imperial agent' story. He was roughly handed over to the Sigmarites for trial. Etelka's cat hissed and spat at the group; guarding her dead mistress as best she could until Jotan cut it in twain with his blade. Harsh but to be expected in the cruel Old World.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Episode 12 - The Enemy Within - Hunting the witch Etelka

The logo I am using for the podcast.
This is an actual play recording of Death on the Reik, a chapter in Games Workshops classic Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying campaign: The Enemy Within.

Download Episode from Google Drive (35MB)

The characters were Esmerelda the Shallyan initiate, Herdan the vampire hunter, Joten the dwarf veteran, Walter the halfling agitator, Solomon the halfling smuggler and Magnus the dwarven prospector.

We left the hero's victorious in the foyer of the witch Etelka's tower. The witch herself was long gone. With the help of dwarfs from the shanty town of Khazad Slumbol they had purged the tower of goblins and looted plenty of valuables in the process.

Key Points from Episode 12.

(1:16) We reminisced about Gutbag the goblin hero from last episode and his missed 'surrender lines' wherein he blamed society for his evils. We discussed ways that Gutbag could have survived and agreed to grant the plucky goblin a second chance.

(2:39) Herdan and Joten explored the possibility of recruiting the ex-farmers and 
former captives of the goblins Hans and Gretl. Herdan uncharacteristically asked 'Can they take an arrow?' A quick reminder of "What would Shallya think?" stopped this line of thinking. Which was for the best because, despite the manic gleam in their eyes, the farmers were poor warriors.

(5:12) Magnus broke with his clan citing irreconcilable differences. He turned his back on Gorim Greathammer and his clans drunken ways. While exiled it was considered a minor exile; no need to shave his head and hunt trolls, much to Joten's disappointment.

(8:25) The group returned to Grissenwald to hock Etelka's jewellery and silverware at Luigi and Salvatore's. There they haggled with Boris. For once their stories of the 'Emperor's own silverware' didn't work and they were comprehensively out-haggled much to their chagrin.

(14:15) Lucky charms were purchased. These took the form of pieces of a mast from a wrecked ship, sanctified by priests of Sigmar as well as blessed river pebbles that if you look at them from the correct angle seem to contain the visage of Sigmar. Brother Hertzis supplied these charms for a suitable donation. They came with his blessing and small passages of scripture which were tacked to the heroes armour.

(17:23) The group contemplated turning in Etelka's heretical books to Brother Hertzis but saved them for their favourite book burning priest in Kemperbad.

(18:10) Grissenwald's dilapidated and vacant Shallyan temple was discovered much to Esmerelda's shock. She and the warriors settled into the ruin for the night in order to pursue tales of ghosts. The halflings returned to the luxurious Pfiefferroucher hotel, where Walter had arranged to perform. 

(21:15) Joten and Herdan did ghost impressions to scare off locals looking for a late night thrill at the abandoned temple. After an uneventful night Magnus, an expert miner, skillfully moved the rubble from the temple stairs.

(21:48) The temple's cellar was uncovered and the group were attacked by four skeletal skaven who laired within. One landed a lucky blow on Magnus but otherwise the skeletons were trounced. A mysterious glowing orb full of swirling mist (Poison wind globe) was discovered along with the gnawed bones of a child.

(34:20) The watch, known as the Pfieffers and the local Sigmarites were alerted. Esmerelda declared the temple could be reconsecrated but unfortunately as an initiate she wasn't qualified to do it. Alas she needed to move on but promised to tell the temple at Kemperbad to send a Shallyan priestess urgently.

(36:30) The party pooled their coin to purchase a boat. The man to see to buy a vessel was Gerlich Fuchs, the racist and misogynistic head of the Fisherman's mission. The un-savvy Herdan was coached on what to say and then sent to negotiate on his own. He hefted the boat funds, a sack of 480 crowns, through the rough streets of Grissemwald's Altdstadt all the while trailed by his anxious companions. Esmerelda contributed 90 crowns to the purchase of the vessel and Walter and Joten 40 crowns between them. Solomon had the largest stake in the vessel and was declared the captain.
The group now proudly own 'The Hammer'.
(37:48) Gerlich Fuchs sold them a boat called 'The Hammer'. A small fast sailed vessel with little cargo room. Before the purchase the group had hired an expert called Ulric to assess the vessel. When questioned on the vessels worthiness Ulric replied 'Why yes Master Gerlich you have kept this ship in tip top shape'. The sailed vessel was 12m long and could house 30 people in the hold if they all stood. Herdan was assured the rot on the vessel was cosmetic 'Surface rot, cleans right up that does.'

(42:40) Two crew, Ulric and Sigfried were hired. The group took it upon themselves to form the remainder of the six crew required to sail the ship. Passengers were booked by the halflings who acted as touts. The boat wasn't kitted out as a passenger vessel yet so they could only comfortably take on four passengers. This made for tight profit margins.

(45:08) Ulric and Sigfried harnessed the power of a localised storm, avoided mishap on the river and made excellent time to Kemperbad. They arrived in two days instead of three, which allowed for a profit from the passenger fares. On the way they passed accursed Castle Wittgenstein. The crew warned the heroes that they wanted nothing to do with the location.

(48:44) The group were waved through 
Kemperbad's gates as Herdan was recognised as the local champion. Solomon explained that the poison wind globe was being kept in a box beneath their boats waterline. 

(49:35) The group visited Father Erkhart who spoke of Kemperbad's growing independence movement, the recruitment of militia and the general sense of excitement in town. He told them other provinces have defied the mutant loving edict but none had done so as aggressively as Kemperbad. They surrendered Etelka's heretical texts and a potion that part time apothecary Esemeralda couldn't identify.

(51:41) The halflings worked their contacts looking for a sanctioned wizard to explain the significance of a ring they had liberated from Etelka's tower. Its 
crown and beast design intrigued and confused them. They learnt of the presence of Herionymous Blitzen, an astrologer of the Celestial College who was in town. The wizard told them a wealth of information on cults. He also informed them about the stars last night 'the hammer constellation is looking a bit sad right now and is not in its dominant position. While the stars above Kislev, the northern stars, have gone dark.' Finally he identified the purple hand as a likely cult symbol.

(60:18) Etelka arrived at the Cat and Fiddle inn while Walter was performing his routine. She was intrigued by Herdan's Champion of Kemperbad status and as a result Herdan had an awkward job interview.

(65:15) Herdan infiltrated the witches band and learnt Etelka's plans. She intended to head to Castle Wittgenstein to acquire a meteorite. No doubt for nefarious purposes.

(74:27) Walter eloquently introduced himself to Etelka and promised to arrange a meeting with a discrete ship captain who could sail her south. Etelka agreed to meet the captain in the morning.

(76:28) Etelka's group, along with Herdan, settled in to their rooms for the night. Herdan had first watch and announced it loudly in the common room so his companions could hear. The party feverishly plotted Etelka's downfall.

Friday, 4 April 2014

The Enemy Within - Death on the Reik part 6

The Twisted Maw tribe, allies of the witch Etelka, were about to have a very bad day. 

Here's a link to part 6 of our groups Death on the Reik play through. 

We left the protagonists at a farmstead on the outskirts of the Imperial town of Grissenwald. They had just defeated a raiding party of wolf mounted goblins from the Twisted Maw tribe. Etelka's tower in the Black Peaks was their next stop and they intended to arrive on her door step with an angry mob of slightly inebriated dwarves led by a warrior called Gorim Greathammer.

Heroes present were Walter Cinder Corbit the halfling agitator, Esmerelda the Shallyan initiate, Solomon the halfling smuggler, Joten the dwarf veteran, Herdan Van Helsing the vampire hunter and Magnus the dwarven miner.

Key points from part 6

  • 8:05 The assault on Etelka's tower was planned. The tower had no windows so a frontal attack was deemed best. The halflings were awful climbers so scaling the roof to descend via the skylight was ruled out. Much to the DM's chagrin the group had the assistance of ten dwarves from Khazad Slumbol. They split their force into four groups. Two groups would flank the main attack and focus on clearing the side rooms, Gorim would take point and a few dwarves would act as a rearguard.
    The dwarves gave the group the layout of Etelka's tower.
  • 10:35 The goblins noticed the large group approach and slammed the tower entrance shut while shrieking for assistance. Doors are no match for dwarven axes and soon Gorim and friends had barged in.
    Gutbag Stoat-throttler!
  • 14:15 Gutbag Stoat-throttler led the goblins in the defence of the tower. The greenskins let loose a hail of arrows from the towers balcony to little effect. Combat was joined and it became apparent that the goblins were outnumber and outclassed. All except the oddly attired Gutbag Stoat-throttler who began a deadly duel with Herdan. Gutbag wore a fine tiara and exquisite red dress that was much too long for the goblin. The bottom of the garment had been trampled and ripped. 
  • 31:15 The assault on the tower had not gone unnoticed as a band of goblins mounted on great wolves sped from the neighbouring coal mines. The mines had once belonged to the dwarves of Khazad Slumbol but had been 'stolen by the witch Etelka!' The wolf riders peppered the rear guard with arrows slaying an unfortunate dwarf. Solomon, who had been with the rearguard, was left dangerously exposed and fled into the tower.
    Wolf riders barely lasted a round.
  • 39:15 While Gutbag and a pair of goblins held the balcony the wolf riders sped into the towers foyer and were ambushed by the dwarves who had hastily prepared for them. Despite being surprised, one of the wolves unleashed an Ulric's Fury on Magnus. It appeared as if the dwarfs entrails had been torn from his belly though later it would be revealed that he had merely suffered a flesh wound and fainted [Fate point spent].
  • 53:20 The ambushed wolf riders were slaughtered and fled, leaving the parties dwarven allies free to break out their crossbows and assist Herdan and Joten. The heroic pair continued to battle the goblin champion Gutbag on the balcony. The dwarves of Khazad Slumbol unleashed nine aimed crossbow bolts in the greenskins direction though they either missed or were deflected by Gutbag's shield.
  • 63:00 Gutbag made a heroic stand. He fended off the heroes Herdan and Joten while landing telling blows on both. In the end he suffered the ignominy of being shot twice in the gonads by dwarven crossbow bolts before a final shot ruptured his internal organs. The brave goblin had left such an impression that the players demanded I somehow have Gutbag mysteriously escape death. We shall see.
    Etelka and her cat. Hardly the ugliest of villains.
  • 71:20 Etelka's tower was searched and everything of value taken; cutlery, ruined finery, loose earrings, the lot. A painting of Etelka was found. It's the groups first glimpse of the witch.
  • 75:30 Etelka's personal chest was searched and a false bottom revealed. If there is one thing D&D taught us it's that important chests always have a false bottom. Inside they discovered a signet ring with cult markings. It was at this moment that Esmerelda got a 'magic' vibe from the dwarven shield Gutbag had used to great effect. The shield was emblazoned with magic dwarven runes of defence.
  • 83:20 Etelka's study was ransacked. Solomon was disappointed at the destruction of a number of stuffed animals as his fellows insisted they be torn asunder in the hope of discovering a secret cache. A stuffed alligator and bear were ruined and a good source of coin wasted. Important correspondence was discovered in Etelka's desk which went some way to soothing Solomon's disappointment at their financial vandalism.
Dumpling, Etelka's personal chef.

  • 91:35 While the heroes searched the top level and secured all the good loot, their dwarven allies searched the ground floor. The dwarves discovered Etelka's personal halfling cook, Dumpling Hayfoot. Dumpling shared a similar accent to Esmerelda and the ensuing conversation took a confusing turn. The halfling lass confirmed that Etelka and a weaselly looking man had left the tower weeks ago leaving the cook alone with the goblins, who subsequently ran riot. The group confirmed their suspicion that Etelka was looking for Morsleib's spittle up north in the Barren Hills. Given her head start, she'd probably already found it. They would need to come up with a plan to find and stop her.
The note found in Etelka's study.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Alternate Armies: Fir Bolg

I frequent the Oldhammer Forums soaking in the old Citadel goodness and posting pics of my "little mans". Out of the blue I received a PM from fellow forumite LeadAsbestos asking if I would like to paint some minis in return for some 1980's Lord of the Rings lead. I agreed to paint some Fir Bolg as the chance to stock up on minis without delving into Ebay was appealing. These ugly bastards are Alternate Armies sculpts. Their rough charm grew on me and by the end of the project it was sad to see them go.

The models have a Celtic/Aztec vibe which had me try my hand at painting woad. All those swirls and whorls annoyed me and I went with Woodland Indian war paint about mid way through the project.

Test model

All fifteen Fir Bolg prior to their flight to the USA.