Thursday, 28 February 2013

Dragon Warriors - Session 5

In which the Bandits are Found (27th February 2013)

The Dragon Warriors
Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight
Solaran – Elementalist (absent)
The Silent Man - Assassin

A Return to Worsted (Day 32 – Late morning)

Sir Erich, Aethelfrith and the Silent Man drew the cart to a halt in front of the tavern and stepped down from the board. Solaran, their sometime magical companion had disappeared back into the woods again to carry out his own quest.

Just as they were unloading the wares they had gained on their latest foray into the forest, they were approached surreptitiously by Becky, the girl who had asked them about the wise woman of the woods. The party had to answer that they had been busy hunting down bandits and killing orcs and had not managed to find the wise woman thus far. Becky pleaded with them to please try harder and Sir Erich, a sucker for a sob-story, promised that they would look for her the next time they ventured out.

A few moments after Becky had left them, Mary approached them with a savage scowl upon her face. She began to berate Sir Erich for not letting her go with them and for turning her over to her mother. Sir Erich tried to placate the ferocious child whilst Aethelfrith and the Silent Man entered the tavern for a well-earned lunch; smiles on their faces that Sir Erich was the one being beaten up over the slight.

After lunch, the party headed down to Beckett’s trading establishment and ran through the inventory of goods they had managed to accumulate on their journeys. They suggested he sell them on their behalf, take a modest trader’s fee and pay off their debt with the proceeds. The party agreed to this as they did not have the time or wherewithal to get good deals with the soon to be arriving merchant caravans.

The party spent the night in the tavern, telling tales of their derring-do, Aethelfrith boasting at every chance he could to impress the villagers. After a goodly few ales and haunches of venison had been sunk, the party wandered off to their cots in the chapel and prepared for their journey into the northern foothills the following morning.

An Encounter with a Bear (Days 33-36)

The following day, the party headed north out of the village towards the foothills of the mountains. They were going in search of the old wise woman for Becky’s sake, but also were travelling in the hope that they might pick up more clues as to the whereabouts of the bandit camp.

The party travelled for a couple of days but encountered no person or beast. However, just as they were about to make camp for the night of the third day out from Worsted the Silent Man motioned for them to be quiet as there was a disturbance ahead. The warriors drew their bows in emulation of their silent companion and nocked arrows onto the strings. Suddenly an angry bear burst through the undergrowth. Simultaneously, all three let loose with their shafts. Two of the darts hit their intended target which raised the bear into a state of frenzy, and it proceeded to bear down on Aethelfrith. After a short and brutal melee, during which Aethelfrith picked up a nasty bite wound to his arm, the bear decided that it had had enough of being stuck with sharp spears and swords and made to run off back into the woods. Aethelfrith would have none of this and set off in a pell-mell chase through the hills, his companions struggling to keep up. Eventually they caught him in a small glade, a bear corpse at his feet and a triumphant look on his face.

Sir Erich skinned the bear, whilst Aethelfrith bound his wound the best he could. The party decided to head back to Worsted to allow their injured companion to heal.

A Village Militia (Days 37-39)

An uneventful day’s travel brought the companions back to Worsted. Upon walking into town, they noticed that the first of the merchant caravans had arrived and Beckett was seen busy trading both the village’s wool stock and the party’s goods with them.

Aethelfrith retired to the chapel to rest up for the next few days in the hope of recovering from the bear attack. Meanwhile, Sir Erich paid a visit on the mayor to discuss the formation of a village militia. He said that both he and Aethelfrith would be happy to train them in some rudimentary combat to allow the villagers to at least be able to put forth a respectable response to any bandit incursions that appeared after the mayor had left on his quest and the party had done their best at reducing the numbers of Reivers in the area. The mayor agreed that this was a good idea and immediately set about calling in any who would be interested in such a venture.

The following morning, five people were gathered upon the village green to begin training; Mary (the wannabe adventurer), Andrew and Aaron (Beckett’s two sons), Richard (a scrawny young lad) and Timothy (a quiet but very capable apprentice). The blacksmith looked on from a distance with a scowl on his face; he had finished Sir Erich’s sword for him but Sir Erich had chosen not to pay for it – in the confusion of the negotiations when it was made, a misunderstanding had arisen.

A Solitary Venture (Days 39-47)

Whilst Sir Erich and Aethelfrith were training the militia (and healing), the Silent Man decided the spare time he had would be best spent trying to explore a bit more of the forest to the east and south in the hope that he could find some clues of his own to help out the party in their quest.

He wandered around for several days, quartering the ground in search of clues to the whereabouts of the wise woman and the bandits (and just maybe the lost prized ram). During this time he encountered a few wild forest animals, which he escaped by climbing trees and a party of two well-armed knights, who were also looking for something. He saw them on several occasions during his journey, and they seemed to be using the same methodology in their hunt for magical beasts to destroy.

Realising that time was getting short now he decided he should return to Worsted with his news. However, one particular evening he espied two more travelling warriors and decided to follow them to get a closer look at who they were. Whilst following them from the cover of the trees, he noticed a very faint wisp of smoke from deeper within the forest; he decided to investigate this on his way back after following his new quarry.

He realised they were dressed and armed in a remarkably similar way to the Reavers the party were hunting down. He followed them for a day or so to work out where they were headed and then returned back north to Worsted. On his way through the forest he paid a visit on the glade from which he had seen the wisp of smoke rising.

In the middle of the glade was a turf constructed hovel with thatch for a roof. There was no chimney, and the smoke made its way through the thatch in a leisurely fashion. He crept up to the door to knock but before he got there a voice from within called him into the hut. Perplexed, he decided to follow the instructions and entered the building. Inside was a small hearth area. The fire, with a cauldron bubbling with foul smelling liquid upon it, was being tended by a bent old woman. She called him in to take a seat and asked him what brought him this way. As soon as he mentioned Becky’s name she moved to a small shelf, took down a small vial and mentioned that she must drink it soon to be relieved of her condition. He also mentioned the mayor, and she replied that if the mayor wanted to resolve his quest he but needed to pay her a visit. During all this time she would not look up and meet the gaze of the Silent Man. His final question before leaving her was about the location of the bandits known as the Reavers. All she could tell him was that they were located to the south and were holed up in a run down manor house. He thanked her for her wisdom and headed back out into the wilderness.

The final leg of his journey was interrupted by a large orc patrol that scouted south of the village of Worsted.

Back on the Bandit Trail Venture (Days 48-50)

Upon his return to the village, the Silent Man paid a discreet call upon Becky and handed her the potion that the wise woman had given him. She couldn’t thank him enough and skipped away with a big smile on her face.

When he got back to the chapel, he saw that Sir Erich and the now fully restored Aethelfrith were putting the finishing touches to that day’s militia training. The drill was coming along well from what he could see, and the trainees had a small crowd watching them appreciatively.

The following morning the adventurers headed out of the village with renewed hope in their hearts. They were determined to find the bandit lair this time now that they had several more clues to its whereabouts.

They travelled south into unexplored country for a few days before they got the feeling of being watched. The Silent Man realised that they were being trailed so slipped off the trail at the first opportune moment. The two bandits following the party continued to follow Sir Erich and Aethelfrith who were oblivious to all this going on.

Suddenly a cry went up from the bushes at the side of the woodland path they were following; the Silent man was being attacked! The two stalwart warriors quickly spun round and noticed two bandits had drawn their bows and were aiming to loose arrows at them. Aethelfrith charged straight towards the bandits but not before they had both loosed their shafts. The two adventurers were struck by the arrows but their newly won armour caused the darts to skim away without causing injury.

Combat was joined and after a short flurry of blows, the Silent Man burst from the undergrowth to join his companions on the path closely followed by two more bandits. The melee was short lived as the two mighty warriors quickly struck down two of their assailants whilst the Silent Man kept another busy with his dagger. Eventually Sir Erich was able to cleave down the third bandit with his two-handed axe whilst Aethelfrith beat their last assailant into unconsciousness.

The party now had a prisoner from whom they could gather information about the bandits and their location. Unbeknownst to them, though, a fifth Reaver had seen what had happened and was at that moment winging his way back to inform his fellow cohorts of the approach of the party.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Dragon Warriors - Session 4

Session 4: Orcs Galore (20th February 2013)

The Dragon Warriors
Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight
Solaran – Elementalist
The Silent Man - Assassin

A Ferocious Fight in the Forest (Day 27 – Late morning)

Sir Erich, Aethelfrith and the Silent Man all drew their bows and loosed a volley of arrows into the screaming ranks of the advancing orcs. When they counted the arrows, however, they noted that four had been sent sailing through the air. They swiftly looked askance to find the source of the extra dart, but noticed that the boggart and hobgoblin had not produced any missile weapons. They looked around behind them and noticed that their comrade Solaran had arrived back in the nick of time. In the meantime, the boggart and hobgoblin had cast a couple of enchantments; a handful of the orcs towards the back of the war band had fallen upon each other in mesmerised antipathy and a swarm of bats attacked one of the others at the front of the advancing tide of grey-skinned menace.

A second volley of arrows sowed confusion amongst the ranks of the orcs, but did not slow their advance. The adventurers dropped their bows and drew their melee weapons just as the horde reached the shield wall. The air crackled with magical energy as brambles erupted from the ground to engulf one of the orcs and a lake of ice formed around the hobgoblin causing many of the orcs to slip and lose their footing just enough for him to be able to join the ranks with the rest of the party.

The orc charge hit home and a flurry of blows led to Sir Erich being wounded. However, the party had chosen their ground well; between the cart and the shield wall, there was not enough room for the orcs to use the full advantage of their numbers.

The adventurers, with their faerie support, traded blows and magic with the orcs, gradually reducing their numbers until the orcs were finally overcome and their morale broke. At this point, their numbers had been reduced due to the magically induced in-fighting and the wounds caused by the fey magic and human steel. The sudden volte face gave the party a reprieve and they made the most of it by cutting down several of their retreating opponents. The retreat turned into a rout and only three of the orcs escaped the carnage, but not without injury.

In the aftermath of the combat, the party asked what their new found friends wanted from the cart; both the boggart and hobgoblin decided they wanted all of the honey that they could carry. This played nicely into the hands of the party who then proceeded to right the wagon and reload it with the spilled cargo it had carried. They then stripped the bodies of the orcs and divided the spoils amongst themselves – the rest they put onto the wagon to trade at Worsted or Glissom to allow them to finally pay off their debts. The boggart healed Sir Erich and the company parted their ways.

The party made their way to a safer locale and camped for the night, securing the wagon and taking stock of their situation. They decided they would head to Glissom to get the best deal for their gains and that the route they would take would be the safest possible.

A Repeat Encounter (Day 28)

The following day, the party retraced their steps of a few days before and headed towards the glade where they had encountered the talking trees. For some reason they felt that it would be a safe bet, and that it would offer some protection from attacks of opportunity.

The party travelled all day and finally made it to the glade when they were halted in their tracks by a challenge from the leader of another war band of marauding orcs. Not wanting to show weakness or wanting to give up their new found wealth, Aethelfrith and Sir Erich shouted back their defiance. The orcs advanced slowly, confused that so small a number of warriors would dare to challenge their obvious superiority. The leader began to brag about what he would do to them when he captured them. Sir Erich let fly with his own challenge and an arrow that hit the orc square in the chest. Not one to be out-boasted or out-shot, Aethelfrith also let fly with an arrow. It also found its mark in the chest of the orc that proceeded to crumble to the ground. The Silent Man found a couple of spears in the back of the cart and threw them at the advancing horde, both finding their mark and bringing an orc close to his death. A stream of elemental magic put another orc out if its misery before they decided they had had enough of the challenges and charged in for the kill.

Just as the orcs let out their wild war cries, the forest erupted in a cacophony of sound. The trees began to rustle wildly, stags were heard stampeding and snorting through the forest nearby and wolves howled and charged through the undergrowth.

The orcs, unperturbed by the commotion, carried on with their attack and tried to press home their numbers advantage. Just as the combat was joined, one of the orcs was crushed beneath the feet of a giant tree. Seeing that they were now surrounded, the orcs attempted to make a break for freedom, but did not make it far before they were cut down by the giant tree beings and the creatures of the forest. For the next few minutes the party could do nothing but listen to the agonised cries of orcs being brutally slain; they thought that their turn might be next so they prepared for further combat. When the last orc cries died away, the forest returned back to an eerie silence.

The travellers made camp in the same glade as they did before, and felt safe in the knowledge that the woodland creatures seemed to hate orcs to the point of destroying them on sight, but also tolerated other beings that happened to be just passing through.

A Third Meeting in the Forest (Day 31)

The next few days passed uneventfully and the party made good progress on their journey back to Worsted. However, after they had made camp on the evening of the third day after the woodland battle with the second war band of orcs the peace was broken by a call from the trees. Sir Connor and his cohorts cautiously advanced into their camp. The party were a little perturbed by the frosty demesne that Sir Connor and Counsellor Jarus showed them. However, after explaining how they had come by the cart of goods they had suddenly acquired and showing them the orc heads things warmed between the two parties.

The following morning, Sir Connor again bade the party farewell and resumed their journey to report on what the grey-skinned creatures were; all scepticism had been brushed away and the party’s amazing stories were believed by the lord and his party. They could report back on who was attacking the merchant caravans around Glissom.

The adventurers packed their camp and after a leisurely journey, arrived in Worsted the following morning; day 32 of their adventures in this new land.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Skeleton Command group

I managed to finish off a few more minis from the 80s lead pile today. Here are three skeletons that I bought to start off an undead army. My friend Colin actually painted the first two for me, but wear and tear over the years had caused a few chips and a bit of fading. I refreshed the paint job to get them looking a little less worn, then varnished and based them.

This one I designated as the general or leader of teh undead warband...

This one is the banner bearer..

Finally, here is what I designated the champion. It was originally painted as a sea-pirate, but I painted over the blue theme (which didn't fit in with the other two) with the black and red scheme...

Unfortunately, this is as far as I got with my undead army. I had a quick look on the Mirliton site today to see what else was out there Old Skool style, and saw that they did some fairly good minis that should fit in with these. I will probably pick up a few to make up that small warband of undead afterall, and perhaps a few more to make some HotT bases to bulk out any armies that are not quite up to size - I'll have to grab a necromancer of some sort too to 'lead' them.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

15mm Holiday Madness

I am off work this week as it is half-term at school. In between feeding the kids (a full time job in itself) and running them to the park etc. I have been catching up with my comics and trades reading, DVD watching, and figures sorting and painting. Today, I pulled together several boxes of figures I have around the house in order to bring some semblance of order to my collection.

Whilst working my way through my 15mm stuff I found I actually have enough for four armies for HotT for my Doggerland campaign. I was going to paint these all up and then run some tabletop battles but just never got around to it. That said, I did come across a few bases of Two Dragons' Anglo-Saxons that I had made up for some game I obviously never got around to playing. I have decided to put these up on the blog so they can be compared to some bases I started painting today.

First up is the General's base - the flesh colour looks very washed out compared to the Dwarf Flesh I currently use for most of my figures these days.

Here are three bases of Spears - I'd gone for a red theme for some reason.

Finally, here is a picture of all the miniatures I have so far painted. A small army (12 APs: General, 2 Blades and 3 Spears) ready to take on either Viking or Norman invaders.

The basing was just some green paint and sand mixture, but it obviously served its purpose back when I painted them. I am not sure if I will get around to adding to these but I am definitely going to work towards a different paint job for a 24APs HotT army of Doggerland for some future tabletop gaming. I will need to work out the amount of Blades, Spears etc. but I will theme each army differently just to see how they get on against each other.

Hopefully I should be able to get a bit more painting done through the rest of the week, and I will update the blog as and when i get something else completed.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Dragon Warriors - Session 3

Session 3: Arboreal Adventures (13th February 2013)

The Dragon Warriors
Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight
Solaran – Elementalist (absent)
The Silent Man - Assassin

The Village of Worsted, Glissom (19th Day - Noon)

At noon three days after the Silent Man left the village of Worsted on his own searches for the mayor there was a knock at the door of the chapel. Solaran had risen early and disappeared to who knew where, and Sir Erich had stepped out to try to rustle up some lunch, so only Aethelfrith was in to answer it. Standing at the door was a young girl dressed in clothing more suited for a boy. She asked whether she could accompany the adventurers on their mission as she hated the village and its dreary day-to-day grind of chores and back-breaking work. She longed for adventure. Not one to turn down a pretty face or to curb anyone’s freedom, Aethelfrith agreed to her accompanying them when they had healed up. Arrangements were made so that she could drop off her travelling gear over the next few days so that her mum did not notice and they pre-arranged a meeting point should the adventurers have to leave in a hurry.

Meanwhile, Sir Erich had called into the blacksmith’s to see if his sword was ready – perhaps in another few days was the blacksmith’s answer. Continuing on with his chores he headed towards the tavern to pick up some broth for the afternoon meal. He spotted three well-armed travellers striding through the door, so decided to follow them in.

He chose a table close enough to overhear their conversation and realised that they were talking about his companion, the Silent Man. He casually walked over, introduced himself and joined in their conversation. The three newcomers introduced themselves as Jarus, Councillor of Glissom, Sir Connor, Marshall of Glissom, and Michael his squire. They had only had to travel a few miles after leaving the Silent Man and had come looking for his compatriots. They asked where the rest of the party had got to, so Sir Erich led them from the tavern and took them to the temple to introduce them to Aethelfrith.

After a brief introduction, the newcomers seemed to know quite a bit about the party already, Jarus healed the pair of them fully and led them back to the tavern for an afternoon of drinking and talking – most of which involved their hunt for the grey creatures that were raiding the caravans to and from Glissom. Sir Erich and Aethelfrith agreed to keep them informed of any sightings they had of the grey beings before the newcomers headed for the trail again. The two companions returned to the church to rest up for an early start the following day.

Just as they were preparing their weapons and equipment for the following day, the pair of adventurers heard a commotion outside. They poked their heads out of the door to the chapel and spotted their companion, the Silent man, returning to the village with another person leaning heavily against him. The villagers had congregated around the pair and were cheering the return of their mayor. The Silent Man accompanied the mayor to his fortified manor house and was paid a gold crown for his troubles. The other two party members joined him at the gateway to the manor and corroborated their stories with the mayor. They asked about the large cat that accompanied him but the mayor said that it would be fine and they would not be attacked on their travels. They asked if they could help him in any other way as they still had to repay their debts to the traders but he replied only if they could rid the area of the Reivers once and for all. A little more coaxing got the mayor to reveal that he was on his own quest and would be leaving the village soon anyway, so ridding the area of bandits would save him the job and he could get on with his quest much quicker. Aethelfrith puzzled over the answer and asked if his quest was to rid himself of a curse. The mayor was truly puzzled as to how he figured this out but said that his quest did indeed involve a curse being lifted.

Encounters in the Forest (Day 20 to Day 26)

The party left early the following day, with the young girl Mary in tow. Sir Erich was not completely happy that she was tagging along with them and feared for her safety. He thought that it might perhaps stand them in poor light should they leave the village with her. Her mother would not be best pleased to say the least, especially if she was returned in a casket. Aethelfrith, as blunt as ever, thought no more of it and carried on walking out of the village. Sir Erich and the Silent Man quickly called in on the mayor to explain the situation and as they left his manor, bore the brunt of Mary’s mother and sisters’ wrath for trying to take their beloved sister away from them. Whilst a big family argument carried on around them, the two warriors quickly slipped away to join Aethelfrith at the meeting point they had agreed the day before.

The forest was remarkably quiet for the first few days. The third day could have turned out more dangerous for the party, but rather than risk injury the three adventurers climbed a tree to avoid being attacked by a large pack of wolves as they made camp.

Whilst travelling on through the forest on the fourth day unease fell upon the travellers. They couldn’t quite put their fingers on it, but there was a tension in the air. All three felt as if they were being watched and readied their weapons in preparation for a surprise attack. Suddenly, from ahead of them the bushes started to rustle as if something very large was moving through them. A loud, booming voice called for them to “Hold” and two very large mastiffs burst from the undergrowth before them.

A huge pale skinned man followed the dogs out of the forest. Standing at around five metres tall, wielding a large battle axe and wearing a chain hauberk with a huge white cat pelt around his shoulders the Frost Giant approached them. His large purse of coin, elaborate hunting horn and lushly decorated human-sized hammer amulet tucked into his belt jingled as he came to a halt. He asked them what they were doing in the forest and fearing the worst they decided to tell the truth. They mentioned that the three of them were hunting down a community of about twenty bandits called Reivers. This impressed the giant and he fell into an easy conversation with the party. He said that he was hunting a huge “fire cat” that he had spotted in the forest a few weeks ago. The party deemed it wise not to mention that this was most likely the mayor’s cat but said that they would give word to him at his steading in the east if they heard any news of it. In return he gave them the location of the wise woman of the woods they were looking for; she was located just north of Worsted in the foothills to the mountains. He bade them a merry “Farewell” and continued on his quest.

Around noon the following day the party surprised a large bear attempting to feast on the grubs from a bee-hive he had knocked down from a tree. He didn’t take kindly to the intrusion and charged them with an almighty roar. The Silent Man slipped away into the bushes whilst Aethelfrith charged headlong into the fray. His attack drew the bear’s attention whilst Sir Erich stabbed it with his spear and the Silent Man hit it from a distance with his arrows. A couple more blows from the stalwart warriors had the bear turn tail, allowing them to bring it down from the rear. Sir Erich and Aethelfrith then argued over who should have the bearskin and as a result, they spoilt the pelt a little with their squabbling over what it was to be used for thus reducing its trade value.

On the seventh day in the woods (the 26th day since they had been magically summoned to the kingdom) they bumped into Sir Connor and his cohorts again. As it was approaching evening and they were due to make camp for the day, they decided to share food, ale and tales of the last week or so. Whilst they swapped news of their encounters and lack of success in their own missions, the squire Michael sensed that something was not quite right. The glade in which they had camped seemed ordinary enough; a soft green sward surrounded by large protective trees. However, he noticed that there was no breeze in the clearing but some of the trees were creaking and swaying. First one would creak on one side of the glade, and then several minutes later another would begin to creak on the other side. This to-ing and fro-ing lasted for several minutes but nothing else happened. It was only when Sir Erich climbed one of the trees whilst it creaked that all sounds ceased completely. They spent an uneasy evening around their camp fire but nothing else happened that night.

Orcs! (Day 27)

The two parties split again early the following day to pursue their own goals. The marshal and his followers headed north whilst the adventurers changed direction for the first time since leaving the village. The decided to head east instead of carrying on with the south-easterly direction they had been sticking to until then.

After a few hours of walking, the trees began to thin out and the undergrowth started to become a little thicker. Just before noon, as they made their way through the undergrowth, they heard gruff voices arguing in Vasic, the common tongue of the party. They crept closer to the commotion, concealed by the bushes and tall grasses, and spotted two ugly creatures arguing over a pot of honey in front of an upturned cart with no sign of any draft animals. The whole scene was covered in footprints of man-sized creatures who had only been there maybe an hour or so previously. Both of the arguing creatures had sharp teeth and long talons but were of different colours; one grey with yellow eyes and the other black with golden eyes. They were definitely of the same species but not something anyone had encountered before. As the party thrust their way into the clearing the argumentative pair looked up, puzzled looks came over their faces due to the interruption, but they soon carried on arguing over the pot of honey again. Aethelfrith grabbed another pot of honey from the cart and gave it to them and said that they now had one each. Again, this brought a puzzled expression to their faces but they seemed pleased that they had one pot of honey each.

Sir Erich and the Silent Man started to check over the cart to see what was on it and Aethelfrith sat watching the little critters with a smile on his face. Suddenly, they heard a movement coming from the undergrowth ahead of them. Before they could retreat into cover, a war-band of man-sized grey creatures burst from the bushes. The well-armed and armoured beings spotted the party looting their cart and charged towards them. The little creatures looked up at Aethelfrith as he and Sir Erich formed a small shield wall flanked by the cart and asked if there was going to be a fight. Aethelfrith answered in the affirmative and braced himself for the first impact. The Silent Man, meanwhile had headed back towards the nearest cover, but he had been seen too. The orcs screamed war cries at the party and charged home across the clearing.

300th Post!

I noticed when I posted my last Dragon Warriors game write-up that I had nearly hit the 300th post mark. This is truly amazing. I really did not expect to get to so many posts and so many views either (44,000+). I would like to send out a big thank you to all my readers and the 37 subscribers who give me the feedback that encourages me to keep posting.

The nature of the blog has changed over the years; from being primarily a repository for my painting efforts to becoming a place for me to write up the RPG adventures I am currently involved in. I am still painting miniatures, albeit slowly, so there will be more posts on those in the near future. Also, I am hoping to start playing more tabletop battles, so they will also make an appearnce this year I hope.

I think our niche hobby is something that attracts the ephemeral. The multitude of gaming manufacturers and the very idea that history is virtually limitless in its depth and wonder allows us to game whatever period we wish; and that is before we start on all those wonderful fantasy and sci-fi worlds out there and in our imaginations. As a result we all 'get into' a new period or game very quickly, play it for a few months, and then at a time we are just getting set in our ways a new 'shiny' game or period wafts our way.

Our friends are usually the catalysts in us moving from period to period and game to game, but none of us complain about the time, effort and money that the last project cost us and what the next one will, we just get on with it with full gusto as if it is the only thing in our lives that matters. Does this make us single-minded, bloody-minded or something else entirely? I don't know, I just think we like to enjoy ourselves and experience new things. We are all still kids at heart, even though many of us are parents ourselves.

Anyway, enough of my rambling on. This was really just a short post to celebrate a couple of small milestones and to thank each and every one of my readers for sticking by me in my random little corner of the webiverse.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Dragon Warriors - Session 2

Session 2: Return of the Mayor (6th February 2013)

The Dragon Warriors
Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight
Solaran - Elementalist
The Silent Man - Assassin

The wolves had taken a large toll on the health of the band of warriors, so much so that they decided to head back to Worsted to lick their wounds and see if they could salvage some monetary value from their encounters. They quickly stripped the bodies of the bandits of anything useful and then turned their skills to skinning the wolves for their pelts.

They returned to Worsted using the same route they had got to the clearing, and as a result there were no further encounters.

The Village of Worsted, Glissom (13th Day - afternoon)

It took them a day to travel through the woods and their first port of call upon return was the tavern. The innkeeper said that they could rest up for a short while in his spare room to recover from their wounds and re-equip themselves for further searches for the mayor.

After they had taken stock of their purloined goods, they decided to head to the trading post and blacksmiths to see if they could off-load some of them in part payment for the money owed for their weaponry and clothing presently on hire from Beckett’s Trading Establishment.

However, just as they headed out of the door of the tavern they spotted the magic using nobleman, Brannon Byrne, again. He had just completed some ritual when another of the statues around the pool in the church yard came to life. Again, the person was dressed as a monk and only had a habit and an amulet to his name.

Brannon Byrne was negotiating the release of Solaran’s amulet as the rest of the adventurers approached them. Solaran was prepared to hand over his amulet for study in return for a sharing of the knowledge that it brought forth, and after meeting the adventurers and hearing that their story was the same as his own he also managed to negotiate for them all to be healed. Brannon Byrne was happy with the trade and he cast a spell that closed all of their wounds and returned everyone to full health. The noble Byrne then took his leave and headed back to his home in Glissom.

After this second meeting with Byrne, the adventurers headed off to where they were going in the first place; Beckett’s trading establishment for Aethelfrith, and the blacksmith’s for Sir Erich. Aethelfrith was able to negotiate a few items of clothing and a piece of pumice for Solaran in return for the wolf pelts and equipment they had recovered from the bandit’s bodies in the forest. The surplus went towards paying off the rest of their debt. Meanwhile, Sir Erich put in his order for a sword with the blacksmith, and was informed it would take around two weeks to make.

On is way back to join the others at the trading post, Sir Erich was called aside by a young girl. Hiding behind the village buildings, out of sight from the main thoroughfare, she asked if the party could look out for an old woman in the forest and let her know that Becky was looking for her. Sir Erich, chivalrous to the bone, agreed to pass on this message for the damsel.

The Elk and the Wolves (Day 14 to Day 16)

The party stayed the night in the room offered by the tavern keeper; Aethelfrith got roaring drunk and boastful, but was dragged off to his cot before he could start a fight with the locals.

The following morning they collected together their equipment and headed out of the village and back into the forest. Before they had got too far, however, they were approached by two farmers who asked them to look out for their prize ram whilst they were on their travels. Again, the party agreed to keep an eye out.

Two days passed but they could find no trace of the mayor, the wise woman or the prized ram. Towards evening of the second day, the party had stopped and were about to make camp when they heard a rustling in the bushes. Aethelfrith and Sir Erich prepared their weapons whilst the Silent Man headed into the shadows. The assassin moved quietly and was able to sneak up on a stag elk and its two does. He made a couple of shots with his bow which struck their mark and the stag ran for freedom with Aethelfrith and Sir Erich in hot pursuit. After just a few minutes they were able to catch up with the wounded animal and dispatch it. They returned to camp where they skinned it and started to fill their bellies.

Unfortunately, the smell of the kill had attracted predators of another kind. An hour or so after they had started to eat their prize, the party heard the rapid movement of several large creatures approaching through the forest. The warriors readied themselves for battle and Solaran began to focus upon his pumice stone.

As soon as the wolves burst out of the forest cover, the assassin started to shoot arrows into the midst of their pack; his arrows picked out wolf hides whilst his companions fought tooth and claw with cold steel. Eventually, the numbers of the wolves started to tell and the adventurers started to take many serious wounds, especially Aethelfrith and Solaran who were in the thick of the fighting. Solaran cast a few minor fire cantrips but they seemed to have little effect on their assailants. Eventually, Sir Erich, fighting on the flanks, gave the killing blow to one of the wolves which freed up Aethelfrith so he could attack with his spear rather than defend with his linden shield. His flurry of blows felled another wolf just as Solaran turned up the heat and blasted the lead wolf with a cone of fiery energy. A final arrow from the assassin forced a fourth wolf into the path of Sir Erich’s mighty blow, and Aethefrith skewered a fifth wolf with his ashen spear. The last of the pack turned tail and fled, leaving the spoils to the victors.

The wounds that Aethlfrith and Solaran had taken were quite severe, so the adventurers decided to head back to Worsted once again to heal up, carrying several wolf pelts and an elk’s rack of antlers and hide for their troubles.

The Mayor (Day 17 to Day 18)

The weary travellers headed straight to the tavern for refreshment and a place to lie up whilst they recovered, but the room that was offered up to them so eagerly before was not forthcoming this time. The village was not hostile to the party but there was an air of disappointment and possible frustration about the place. This forced the party to consider alternative accommodation, so they headed to the chapel and made camp there.

As it was going to take Aethelfrith and Solaran a long time to heal properly, the Silent Man decided to try his luck searching for the mayor on his own. He knew where they had covered already and where still needed searching, so he fancied his chances.

The following morning he headed out alone to continue on with the searches. He was not gone long before he spotted a small group of people in the distance through the forest greenery. He approached them cautiously and hid himself within the bushes close. He began to eavesdrop on their conversation. The three were adventurers looking for some strange grey-skinned creatures who had been raiding the caravans and villages around Glissom. Realising that these adventurers posed him no threat, the assassin stepped out of his hiding place and approached them. He found out that they were a knight, his squire and vizier on the hunt for what they could only describe as not-humans. The Silent Man offered information on the Reivers but they concluded that they were not the same people they were hunting. The knight and his party decided that they would head to Worsted to talk to the rest of the adventurers to see how each party could aid the other.

The Silent Man continued with his searches in the forest and the following day, just as he was about to give up on that particular area he espied a person in the distance, stumbling along the path in the direction of Worsted. He approached carefully and saw that the man was naked, wounded and confused, but not confused enough that he was able to tell the assassin that he was indeed the mayor they were looking for and that he had been lost in the forest for many days. The assassin offered him his cloak, some food, and a shoulder to lean on whilst they headed back to the village and safety.