Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Eagles of Sigmar - Part 3

The story so far

Carnelian, Lord Celestant of the Eagles of Sigmar, has pursued his quarry Ahalyon the Infidel through a mysterious hole in the fabric of space. He awoke to find himself in a different age where he witnessed a Khorne wargang slaughter an aelf band and was only saved himself by the intervention of some mysterious skeletal warriors...

Carnelian relished the warmth of the fire spreading through his body.  The evening was glooming and a cold mist was rolling through the forest. He was sitting around an impromtu camp fire with only one living being for company - the grievously wounded aelf that he had seen during the battle, whose name he had learned was "Vanaprasa". 

Surrounding him and Vanaprasa in a tight circle were about 15 ancient bone warriors, armed with bronzed halbards and bedecked in time-worn finery. They faced out from the circle, as if peering out into the depths of the surrounding forest. They were eeriely still, although Carnelian knew they were simply waiting for an order from their leader. 

Their skeleton leader stood inside the circle of bone, towering over the sitting Carnelian and Vanaprasa. She was a broad, towering Tomb Queen and she swung a giant blade casually at her side with one arm, her ease with the weapon belying it's considerable weight. 

"You both look much happier and fatter now, friends. There is no meat on me but I am stronger that ever I was before. You can see that death has it's ... upsides too".

Carnelian found Merneith, a queen of ancient lands, to be unexpectedly jovial in manner - although having earlier watched her dispatch Khorne warriors with her blade, he was left in no doubt as to her brute strength.

Vanaprasa moved stiffly, one arm holding the straps he had wrapped around the wound in his left thigh - a wound received from the wrong end of a wicked hooked blade. The expression on his face was brittle as he described the fate that had befallen his kin to Carnelian.

The aelves called themselves the Earth-touched and had lived for many centuries in the ancient forest that surrounded the camp fire that Carnelian was now sitting at. They held the trees and soil of the forest to be sacred. They had long fought for the independence of the woodland from those marauders who would impinge upon the borders of the forest.

In recent months however, the Earth-touched found themselves facing more and more intruders into the forest - those looking to defile the woods but also refugees. There were many refugees fleeing from a new breed of depraved warriors in red plate armour , which Carnelian recognised to be the Khorne warriors he had witnessed fighting. 

As the Khorne warbands ventured further and further into the depths of the forest in search of resource and fuel for their sacrificial rituals, they had met fierce resistance at the bows of the Earth-touched. However, the strength of the Khornate warriors was too much and they appeared gifted with an evil resilience, suggesting they were blessed by great power.

Within weeks, blood hungry killers were roaming the forest freely, hunting the Earth-touched as if they were no more than wild animals. Eventually the Earth-touched held counsel amongst their remaining elders and agreed that a final stand must be made in the hallowed heart of the forest, where the Earth-touched were at their most powerful.

That final, desperate, stand was the slaughter that Carnelian had witnessed. It had been a rout and Vanaprasa feared that he was now the last survivor of the Earth-touched.

Carnelian turned to the menacingly tall Merneith, his expression saying everything without words – why had she intervened with her brigade of skeleton warriors?

“Can’t you tell?” she questioned of Carnelian. “Can’t you feel it? I can feel it even though I’ve been dead for years. Even a goddamn fooled can feel it There is a presence here – here, in the heart of this forest. Something precious ...something worth fighting for. Something that should not fall into the hands of those idiots who worship their blood god.”

Even though Carnelian had only known Merneith for a few hours, he had grown accustomed to her cut-throat sense of humour and to hear her speak with such serious passion shocked him. She went on:

“As you can probably tell from my most fine dress, I am as old as this forest. This was all once my land – at least that’s what I would told you when I was alive – and I have fought to bend this kingdom to my will many times.”

At this, Merneith sounded ferocious and animal like. Carnelian glimpsed her iron strength. She turned away from him.

“This infestation” she spat “of blood warriors is unlike I have come across in all my un-life.  They have spread across my land and they care only to despoil it. There is a dark and awful power at work. I do not normally care at all about the wars of the flesh...but I felt I must intervene. The blood warriors do not understand the power of the heart of this forest – and they must not discover it or they’ll grow strong enough to cut us all down - one-by-one.”

Carnelian slept poorly that night, despite the silent guard given to him by Merneith’s bone warriors. Thoughts rush unheeded through his mind as he contemplated whether he would ever return to Azyr and lay eyes upon his warrior king again. His faith was lacking. As he eventually drifted to sleep, he was haunted by flashes of bloodbound warriors feasting on the flesh of innocents and stripping the forest bare of its fruits, flashes of cruel barbed blades cutting into flesh. These images intermingled and merged with impressions of Ahalyon, the mortal that Carnelian had pursued from the Mortal Realms into this new world.

The next morning Carnelian awoke with fresh resolve. He felt some guilt for not following the mission that Sigmar had given him. He might not have any idea where Ahalyon had disappeared to but he trusted that the aelf fought for good. He was not so sure about Merneith's motivations but she was strong and he needed that for now. He would do what he could to assist the fight against these chaos marauders.

He found Merneith already in deep conversation with Vanaprasa, discussing their next steps. Merneith seemed certain that there was an individual in control of the bloodbound and stated bluntly that only killing this commander would end the plague of blood that had spread across the land.  

The aelf was not so certain – not certain that this was the best plan and not certain that his body was strong enough to carry it out. He felt that protecting the forest heart was the key task.

“If the forest heart falls into the hands of Chaos, then the spirit of the forest will be corrupted. We cannot leave it here un-guarded.”

“It is only a matter of time before the heart falls to the blood god warriors”
Merneith countered. “We act now or never – and I act now!”

Both aelf and undead turned towards Carnelian as they noticed his presence.

“Perhaps there is a middle path” suggested Carnelian. “Merneith are you able to leave a band of your skeletons here, under the control of Vanaprasa to protect the heart? If  so, I will pledge myself to the cause of ridding this land of the chaos scourge.”

Merneith’s skeletal face turned slowly towards Carnelian.

“You got yourself a deal. Let’s move out.”

Battle of the Damned Plains

Dropping his Zombie Dragon from the sky, Lord Karashock landed heavily behind his Knights of the Pale Moon. The orders had already been given, "seize the plains". In the center he had left trusted lieutenants, with the bulk of his strength. He and his knights would ride around the flank and cut off the head of the demonic forces opposing them. Once their ties to this realm were severed, mopping up the remnants would be no challenge... 

Little was in view but for the haunted ruins and a Skull Keep of the damned. The sway of the dark gods was heavy even here. He had resolved to clear these plains, in preparation for further expeditions from Stilluna.

Outpacing his retinue, Lord Karashock landed by the Keep. As his mighty steed rounded the corner, a host of demons came to view! Bloodletters! The plains were not abandoned, and he had found his first prey. There was little joy in the slaughter of Khorne's demons, but perhaps one amongst them was worthy a challenge?

Wasting no time, the scions of the Blood God hurled themselves into combat. With reckless abandon, their blades struck at the once-proud mount of Lord Karashock. Despite its sloughing flesh and cracked bones, the beast offered no quarter. Moving with great speed, the Dragon dodged nearly all the demons attacks. Those few blades that struck it could only crack the bone further, their swords too weak to unbind the mighty spell that kept it animate.

Despite their hatred, they were no match. Lord Karashock's lance howled as it pierced the demons flesh and tore their bodies apart. The dragon was silent, but the violence of it's actions created sound enough. In a single minute of combat, twelve of the twenty bloodletters were slain. Red ichor filled the plains as their ethereal corpses dissolved back to their god.

Lord Karashock was done. These lowly demons were not the guardians of the foe he sought. As the Dragon beneath him spread its wings, the Knights of the Pale moon caught up and rode into the remaining Bloodletters. Not a single capricious demon survived the onslaught. Flying to a new perch, he sought new prey. Perhaps he had found it, for as he landed he saw two great demons, lords of the blood host.

As the rotted dragon landed, Lord Karashock found a foe worth the challenge. A Soul Grinder of Khorne! So quick was it that the dragonrider had no time to think, only to react. Roaring its mighty challenge, the demonic machine charged into the Vampire. Shocked by the speed of the monster, the Lord could not drive home his spear. Nor could the undead dragon find perch upon the demonic flesh. The Soul Grinder tore rotted flesh from bleached bone, but could not slay the dragon.

Unfortunately for the lord, the leader of our foes was at hand. The Demon Prince Ax'Kheel'Sash, raised by the Blood Gods own hand, was near. As the Lord was distracted battling the mighty soul grinder, the foe struck! Driving his screaming axe into the shoulder of Lord Karashock, the lord was nearly slain. Understanding the better part of valour, the Vampire took from the field.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Hearthguard Bezerkers of Lofnir Lodge

The Hearthguard Bezerkers are the first warriors to leap into battle. Swinging their broadaxes at any enemy who dare lie in their path. Ever faithful and protective of their Runefather, the Bezerkers crave glory to please their leader. At the first sounds of battle, the Bezerkers are the first to muster their weapons together and charge into a full frenzy. The Hearthguard Bezerkers of Lofnir Lodge are no exception to this, they love nothing but fighting large monsters, the bigger the better!

Monday, 28 March 2016

Hidden Artefact - Skaven vs Bretonia - campaign game 3

"Droppings and warprot!, the man-things had it all along, that dead-thing was right." Arch Warlock Trask raged. 
"Had what? Most wise master." His aprentice Cog asked. Snapping his attention back to his apprentice, Trask mulled over wherever he had said to much, but Cog had proved his usefulness holding the gate. 
"No time to explain now lackey, a new task, you have. Hurry-scurry to Grey Seer Xylo, tell him the dead-thing spoke true, but the horsemen are runningwith the artefact." 
"Yes-yes benevolent-one." Cog turned of his heel to obey. "And send in the the re-enforcements."
Beast master Scaw, headed into the town herding the massive abomination. Followed by the fiends, alongside rolled the doom wheel. 
"The men-horses flee-run form us,but we will chase-catch them, you must be the fangs of the trap. Go wide and close on them." With a roar and a whir they set off, the beasts going east and the doom wheel west. "Stormvermin with me, we pursue!" Trask commands

Playing the hidden artifact scenario this week. The Bretonnians are making a run for it with something the Skaven want. 
Playing through this town
Seeing the approaching skaven the rear guard of the Brettonian army turns suddenly and charges
Stormvermin and Arch Warplock start on the deployment line, hot in pursuit of the enemy. When suddenly the knights of the realm wheel about, to face their perusers.
The artefact is held by the Grail knights, who are escorted by the Men at arms, Damsel and Brettonian Lord.
Turn 1 Bretonia
Bretonian lord commands his rear gaurd to hold back the Skaven.
Rear guard Knights of the Realm, charge the stormvermin, and ride over the Stormvermin and kill them all.
 Leaving Arch Warplock Trask alone to face down the lances of Bretonia.
Trask is unable to flee (enemy command ability) so he piles in and kills 3 knights.
Turn 1 Skaven
Fearing he won't be able to do so later the Skaven general use his command ability to call on all his encircling troop. Abomination, Stormfiends and pack master come on the east flank. Doomwheel rolls on from the west.
Still unable to flee, Trasks plays the long game, he casts mystic shield on himself, and then blasts the knights with Arcane bolt, levelling his warpfire thrower at another knight he incinerates the equine rider. In melee combat the knights get 2 wounds onto the Warplock, But in retaliation he kills another knight with his stormrage halberd.
On the east flank the flesh formed beasts attack. Stormfiends armed with rattling guns open fire blasting into the grail knights, killing two. The Abomination, smashes into the men at arms devastating them.
Stormfiends weave through the casualties to strike at the knights but the power of the artefact proctects them.
Turn 2 Bretonia
Grail knights flee the monsters, Damsel charges past the fiends to gaurd the grails rear.
Bretonian lord, orders his knight to disengage and protect the Artefact, but un-willing to to leave the Skaven general loose, he charges back himself. Wounds are exchanged but no winner emerges.
Stormfiends chomp at the grail knights heels, one is dragged from the saddle. Damsel is knocked from her horse in the crush, and is out of the battle.
Turn 2 Skaven
Sick of being kept from the prize the Skaven general arcane bolts the bretonian lord, he falls from his horse, allowing the Warplock general to persue his true objective.
Doomwheel and abomination are blocked by the buildings, so attempt to lap around to catch the quarry.
Rear gaurd knights ride hard to assist the Grail knights.
Fiends Shoot, pile in and attack the grails, one more is killed and the final one is wounded but alive.
Turn 3 Bretonia
Last surviving Grail knight runs from the fiends, desperate to get the Artefact away from the Skaven.
Rear gaurd catch up with the Skaven monsters,
And make a long charge and are able to spread out, and hit all the skaven monster and machines.
Mass of Lances smash into the Abomination and take it down, Doomwheel is damaged.
Fiends retaliate and kill a few knights.
Skaven turn 3
Pack master chases after the last grail knight, but for some reason none of my units retreat to pursue the last Grail knight. but hang around to kill the knights. (Rookie mistake)
Turn 4 Bretonia
Grail knight runs for the board edge.
Fiends have had enough of the knight and the shock gauntlets spark and arc electrict warp lightning, killing many knights.
But  it's to late, the Grail Knight has escaped  with the artefact.
"You featus brained dolts, you let him get away." Flesh former Scaw screamed at the brain rat symbyotes on the fiends backs "I sent my prized Abomination to guard the rear, all you had to was chase that last man-horse. But you can't even rein in the dullards fiends blood lust for one moment to complete your mission. Fools!" He screamed.

A metallic cough and a whir of cogs behind behind him , announce Arch Warplock Trask arrival. "You let them get away?" He menaced.
"Not now Trask, I am not in the mood." The flesh former rage was palpable, and after the wounds and damage to his armour, he was in no state for a confrontation. Scaw stormed off to the body of his beloved creation. Casting his eyes over the feinds, "I should strip you for parts." he snarled, but a cough drew his attention, something moved underneath a broken horse. Approaching cautiously he found trapped under the horse was the Breeder-witch of the man-horses. Red blood flowed from gash in it's head, and it coughed weakly, blood misting in it's breath. He grinned in his helm at his fortune. "Praise the messiah.!" He said in queekish. She looked defiantly at him.
"You never find it now, monster." She spat on bretoni.
"You will tell me where they are taking it, witch" She gasps as the rat monster replies in archaic broken Bretoni.

Switching back to queekish, "take her prisoner, do not eat her!"  he tells the reigned in Symbyotes, looking over at Scaw, He is scurry over the felled abomination, "Ah ha," he squeeks "the dam regen injectors where knocked lose."  Plugging in the fluid injecter back into the abomination, he then uses his shock prod to restart the Abominations hearts and get the refined troll blood flowing back through his massive monster, as it lies twitching and healing, he and Trask scheme their next step.

Warplock Trask makes the minor repairs to the Doomwheel, and kicks out it,s slaughtered driver. "Bring the witch, back to Grey seer Xylo, she knows where the artefact is being taken and Xylo knows how to get information out of witches."

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Death Tomb Opens


There are many stories of the Death Tomb, most end in blood.
There are, however, very few tales in which brave warriors have managed to survive the monstrous tomb with many riches to show for their courageous effort. 
For lying deep in the Death Tomb is mountains of Ur-Gold stretching out as far as the eye can see.
This is the tale of the Death Tomb.

 DEATH TOMB is a custom battleplan written and devised by Tim Davis (dezartfox). It is a special battleplan for Age of Sigmar. You take up to four heroes and the aim of the game is to make it to the centre room, collect as much Ur-Gold as you dare and make it out alive. All at the same time whilst contending with surprise encounters of monsters, devastating events and unknown rooms. Rooms disappear and appear as you leave and enter. As you enter a room, you draw a room and an encounter card (or roll on the room and encounter chart) and prepare for what lies ahead; either a particular event or a certain amount of monsters. This may include exploding rooms, cave ins or dead ends to Spirit Hosts, Zombies or Crypt Horrors!

Four decks were created for the game; the event deck, the monster deck, the encounter deck and the room deck. 

The room tiles and monsters awaiting to enter the Death Tomb.

The set up of the game. The centre room awaits in the middle. Each player or team has an entrance room in each corner.

Whispers of piles of Ur-Gold made their way into Lofnir Lodge. The Fyreslayers live and breathe for Ur-Gold. The Auric Runefather sent out his bravest warrior, the Grimwrath Bezerker to take on the deadly Death Tomb. Ira-Grimnir knew that whilst he was a very capable fighter, there had been many tales of the Death Tomb in which warriors stronger than him had not made it back out alive. Thinking about their recent alliance pact with the Ogors of Mount Fang, Ira-Grimnir called upon one of their own deadliest warriors, the Ogor Butcher, whose own taste for blood encouraged him to march forth to compete inside the Death Tomb.

As they approached the entrance to the Death Tomb, they were greeted by the presence of a Nurgle Lord of Plagues and Skarr-Bloodwrath, a crazed Chaos fighter ready to spill blood to gain riches galore. Normally, the Grimwrath Bezerker, a devout hater of Chaos would have fought them instantly. However, everyone was here for a common aim. Ur-Gold, and plenty of it, lay very close beyond the entrance to the Death Tomb. The teams decided they would put their differences aside, for the transfixing lure of Ur-Gold was enough to lure any warrior to unwise decisions... 

Thirteen players, split into five teams, took part in the Death Tomb. The other warriors were of an eclectic mix including; Elves, Goblins, Skaven, Dwarves and Chaos.

One member of each team had to be designated to carry a torch to manouvere their way through the unnatural darkness of the Death Tomb. Each turn every player rolled a dice, all of the results are added up and divided by the number of players to determine the range models must remain within their Torch Bearer, otherwise they would disappear forever into the darkness...

The first team to enter the Death Tomb was the Grimwrath Bezerker's team. Lying ahead of them were three Crypt Ghouls... 

Meanwhile, the Elves and Skaven encountered Spirit Hosts in their first room.

The team of Goblins and Elves entered a room which exploded on entry damaging the warriors. As the dust settled, they found themselves staring at a Banshee and a Zombie!

Dealing easily with the Crypt Ghouls, team Lofnir ventured into the next room empty of monsters and managing to avoid any ill-fated consequences.

The Chaos team, however, struggled to get moving in the Death Tomb approaching a locked portcullis which they had to break down.

Team Lofnir could not believe their luck. Ira-Grimnir could sense the close proximity of Ur-Gold. They ventured into the next room, again luckily encountering no monsters and managing to narrowly escape any devastating events.

There appeared to be somewhat of a bad luck streak hindering the team of Goblins and Elves, who entered a room which took them even further away from the Ur-Gold, not to mention they encountered more monsters.

It was almost as if the Grimwrath Bezerker knew the exact way to the Ur-Gold. They approached the entrance to the centre room, the magical essence of Ur-Gold made Ira-Grimnir's eyes glow with the power of their god, he could sense the riches were within touching distance.

The bad luck for the Goblins and Elves continued...

...and got a whole lot worse!

Meanwhile, the Chaos team were still trying to break down the portcullis...

As they approached the central room entrance, two new warriors appeared (a latecomer player randomly selected to join our team, quite the luck!) Team Lofnir managed to break into the central room. The rumours were true. Piles and piles of Ur-Gold lay awaiting. It appeared the luck was on the side of Team Lofnir who managed to stay in the central room for two turns without encountering any monsters, gaining 120 gold!

The Goblins and Elves, valiant in their efforts entered the next room to Spirit Hosts, they wouldn't let this trouble them though their longing for Ur-Gold was strong.

The two other teams were making good headway towards the central room. The Dwarf and Chaos team were lucky to encounter a magical event which allowed them to steal the gold from another team, clearly blessed they managed to steal 120 gold from Team Lofnir without entering the central room!

The only other team to make it to the central room were the team of Elves and Skaven. Defeating monsters which appeared out of the darkness, both teams collected up as much gold as they could. Team Lofnir collecting back more gold.

Hungry for gold, the Ogor Butcher charged forth to attack the team of Elves and Skaven, however they proved too powerful for him and he went down in a blaze of glory. Team Lofnir managed to retrieve gold to make it back to their previous total of 120 Ur-Gold. The fight ended in a draw between Team Lofnir and the team of Dwarves and Chaos, both escaping with 120 Ur-Gold each.

Following this, the rest of the teams, either satisfied with their amount of collected gold or too afraid to carry on, decided to escape the Death Tomb for staying any longer was a feat too frightening to endure.

This was, fortunately, a positive tale for the brave warriors of Lofnir Lodge. The doors to the Death Tomb were sealed once more, however the tantalizing lure of Ur-Gold was enough to tempt warriors to return despite the horrors they had endured. 

When the doors would reopen was a mystery...