Or… “A Tomb: Where the Hobbits Should Stay.”
Last night when I finished my big project, I let myself paint some guys. So here’s some barrow-wights.
The twins of my Dungeons & Dragons campaign embody fire and ice, and their paint schemes reflect that. After a nice Thanksgiving break (full of grad school apps and visiting my girlfriend), I finally got around to finishing up a painting I’ve been trying to get done. I now have the pair of twins, Carter and Amora, fully painted and tabletop ready!
I’ve posted this picture a few times, but this is where Amora’s model started, as a femme fatale from Reaper Miniatures. Coming from their Chronoscope line, which is defined as “everything that isn’t fantasy,” it was obvious that conversions would be necessary. So conversions were done! Using a ball of green stuff and a sprue of spiked chains, and lots of careful gluing, a model with a pistol and a clenched hand was turned into the wielder of a dangerous flaming ball and chain. Then I painted it. Observe below!
Now my interest in both D&D and LotR: Strategy Battle Game is not a mystery to this site, and those who know me personally know my interest in game design. So it should come as no surprise that, when I looked at the D&D minis sitting on my desk, I thought that it would be cool to be able to use them in a SBG scenario. So here I went and made profiles for them all. The party is pretty balanced, power-wise, and I figured they’d be about equivalent to Legolas or Gimli as far as effective strength (with some being more like glass cannons and others more like solid tanks).
As I get the models painted up, I’ll include pictures of them in this post, and as abilities change in the adventure I will edit this page to reflect that.
Milo Khazarad, “Stormhammer”—110 Points
Milo’s Warhammer—Milo’s warhammer is a 2-handed weapon (-1 on Duel, +1 to wound) that also counts as a throwing weapon.
Clockwork Heavy Armor—Milo moves at a speed of 6” as though he were a Man.
Grappling Hooks (+5 pts)—Milo does not suffer the -1 penalty to his Duel roll for wielding a 2-handed weapon.
Steam Jets (+5 pts)—Milo gains the Terror special rule
Smoke Grenades (+10 pts)—If Milo or anyone in base contact with him would gain a cover save, treat them as having total cover (they cannot be seen)
Hasty—If Milo is ever capable of charging an enemy model with less Fight value than him in the Movement phase, he must do so. If there are multiple enemies he could charge, you may choose who he pursues.
Oldrian of Instag—95 Points
Flaming Short Sword (hand weapon)
Locke the Owl—Oldrian counts as being able to see the entire battlefield
Rapid Shot—Oldrian may fire three arrows in the shooting phase.
Woodland Stride—Oldrian can always move through forest terrain at full speed
Entangle—Range 6”, Success 4+
All enemies within 6” of Oldrian are knocked to the ground. One foe resists for everyone.
Channel: All affected enemies also suffer a Strength 2 hit.
Carter and Amora—90 Points
Clothes and light armor
Koia the snake, Flaming ball and chain (elven blade)
Resistant to Magic—Carter and Amora may resist Magical effects without spending Will. If they do so, they roll one die to resist.
Time-travelers—Carter and Amora are time-travelers whose enchantments protect them from harm. To represent this, they do not have wound values; however, if either of them ever reaches 0 Fate then they are both immediately removed from the board as they port out to a new point in the timeline. Treat them as casualties as normal.
Koia—With Carter comes a small snake model. This model may be moved as if it were an independent model (4” move) during the movement phase, but must always end its move within 6” of Carter. Carter can move away after to increase the distance; if Mori cannot end his move within range of Carter he must get as close as possible. When casting a spell, range may be measured from either Carter’s base or Koia’s.
Grapple—At the start of the Fight phase, Amora may grapple any single model in base contact with her. If she does, she immediately completes a combat against that model using her full attacks. If she wins the combat and the enemy model is not killed, it must stay in base contact with Amora until the next Combat phase. As long as it remains in base contact with her, treat it as though it were Immobilized (as the spell). If there are any other models in base contact with Amora when she initiates a grapple, she fights them as normal but with Fight and Attacks values of 1, and if she wins the combat she will not strike to wound.
Obscuring Snow—Range 6”, Success 2+
For the rest of the game, if target would offer cover to anyone, it offers total cover instead.
Channel: The target and anyone within 3” can only be hit by ranged attacks on a 6.
Hold Person—Range 12”, Success 3+
Target can’t move, halves their Fight & Attacks, and won’t strike to wound. Lasts 1 turn.
Channel: Target has 1 Fight and 1 Attacks instead.
Sap Will—Range 12”, Success 3+
Target loses 1d3+1 Will.
Channel: Target loses all Will instead.
Suggestion—Range 12”, Success 4+
Target is Immobilized (as Hold Person) except Carter also moves them half their speed.
Channel: Target has 1 Fight and 1 Attacks instead of halved as normal.
Unluck—Range 12”, Success 4+
Whenever target would roll a die, they roll 2 dice and take the lowest possible. Lasts 1 turn.
Channel: Lasts until Carter is Exhausted instead.
Shivering Touch—Range 6”, Success 5+
For the rest of the game, target moves at half speed, has their Fight & Attacks halved.
Channel: Target has 1 Fight and 1 Attacks instead. Target also suffers a Str 3 hit.
Chava Bhairravi—80 Points
Stealth—Chava counts as always wearing an elven cloak. She cannot be seen by models more than 6” away from her.
Sneak Attack—If Chava wins a combat and her side outnumbers that of her opponent, she treats her opponent as if they were trapped.
Yantse the Anansi—90 Points
Bluff—All enemy heroes within 6” of Yantse must spend 2 points of Might to modify a die roll or use Heroic abilities instead of 1.
Sneak Attack—If Yantse wins a combat and his side outnumbers that of his opponent, he treats his opponent as if they were trapped.
Hall, Yantse’s Guardian—70 Points
Greataxe (2-handed weapon)
Bodyguard—As long as Yantse lives, Hall passes all Courage checks.
Fury—Range 6”, Success 3+
Hall & all Men (humans) in 6” automatically pass Courage tests & recover lost wounds on the roll of a 6. Lasts until Hall is exhausted.
Channel: Targets recover lost wounds on the roll of a 5 or 6 instead of just a 6.
Herren “Akorn” Oakbreaker—80 Points
Ring of Invisibility (+25 pts)—Akorn may put on the Ring of Invisibility during the Move Phase, in which case he becomes Invisible (as it were the One Ring). It does not require a Courage check to remove, and works even against Sauron and the Nazgul.
Poisoned Knives (+5 pts)—When rolling to wound with his throwing knives, Akorn must re-roll all ones.
Assassinate—At the end of each round, if Akorn neither shot nor fought in combat, he may choose an enemy model that is not in complete cover and place a token by it. A model may have any number of tokens. He may spend these tokens to re-roll attempts to wound when he attacks the targeted model later.
Sneak Attack—If Akorn wins a combat and his side outnumbers that of his opponent, he treats his opponent as if they were trapped.
Tero the Necromancer—65 Points
Studious—Tero recovers 1 spent point of Will per round if he does not move or fight.
False Life—Range 12”, Success 2+
Targeted ally gains one point of Fate. Ally need not have lost Fate, or even be a hero.
Channel: Targeted ally instead recovers one lost Wound.
Drain Courage—Range 12”, Success 3+
Target loses 1 Courage permanently.
Channel: Target instead loses 1d3 Courage.
Sap Will—Range 12”, Success 3+
Target loses 1d3+1 Will.
Channel: Target loses all Will instead.
Animate Dead—Success 4+
Place a zombie in base contact with Tero. They may move this turn but not charge.
Channel: Place 1d3 zombies in base contact with Tero instead.
Enervation—Range 12”, Success 5+
Target suffers a Strength 9 hit.
Channel: A wounding hit will deal 1d3 wounds instead of just 1.
Soul Vessel—Range 12”, Success 4+
Target is Immobilized (can’t move or shoot, halves his/her Fight/Attacks & won’t strike wounds) except Tero also moves them half their speed.
Channel: Target has 1 Fight and 1 Attacks instead of halved as normal.
Shambling Husk—Zombies have a move speed of 4”. They are mindless and cannot fail a Courage check for any reason. If their summoner is not on the battlefield, they must always move towards the nearest enemy and attack.
Kara, Angel of Chaos—85 Points
Knives (hand weapon)
Diplomacy—Whenever an enemy hero within 6” of Kara takes a heroic action, they must roll 1d6. On a 1-3, the heroic action fails.
Resistant to Magic—Kara may resist Magical effects without spending Will. If she does so, she rolls one die to resist.
Seductress—Enemy models in base contact with Kara get -1 to their Duel Roll (minimum 1).
Banishment—Range 6”, Success 4+
Targeted Spirit or Undead unit suffers 1 wound.
Channel: Target suffers 1d3 wounds instead.
Cast Blinding Light—Range 12” Radius, Success 2+
Negates darkness in range. Targets shooting at Kara or anyone within 6” of her only hit on a 6. Lasts one round.
Channel: Instead lasts until Kara is exhausted.
Dominate Person—Range 6”, Success 5+
Move target up to their full speed, even if they have already moved. Target cannot charge its allies or take shots in the shooting phase; otherwise treat target as one of your own models this round.
Channel: Target may make charges against its allies and shoot them in the shooting phase. It will strike blows as normal if it wins a Duel.
Renew—Range 12”, Success 3+
Targeted ally recovers one lost Wound.
Channel: Target instead recovers 1d3 Wounds.
Kieran the Wanderer—105 Points
Cyw (+25 pts)—Cyw’s movement speed is 10″
Life Bond—Kieran may spend Fate points to prevent wounds dealt to Cyw. Cyw makes all Courage checks using Kieran’s Courage value, if necessary.
Nature’s Champion—Kieran gets one free point of Will every turn.
Woodland Stride—Cyw and Kieran always move through forest terrain at full speed
Cast Light—Range 12” Radius, Success 2+
Negates darkness in range. Targets shooting at Kieran or anyone within 6” of him only hit on a 6. Lasts one round.
Channel: Instead lasts until Kieran is exhausted.
Entangle—Range 6”, Success 4+
All enemies within 6” of Kieran are knocked to the ground. One foe resists for everyone.
Channel: All affected enemies also suffer a Strength 2 hit.
Panic Steed—Range 12”, Success 2+
Steed throws rider and flees battle permanently (roll on Thrown Rider table).
Channel: Also affects all enemy models within 3” of target.
Renew—Range 12”, Success 3+
Targeted ally recovers one lost Wound.
Channel: Target instead recovers 1d3 Wounds.
Strengthen Will—Range 12”, Success 4+
Targeted ally gains one point of Will.
Channel: Target gains 1d3 points of Will instead.
The party awoke, having just escaped Laketown, with only a few hours of light remaining in the day. They were still unsure where they would go next. Yantse wanted to travel to Eaglemure, a proposal that reminded the rest of the party about the teenagers that they had heard about the last time they were in the town. Of course, there was the issue of them being wanted, but with several rogues they figured they could disguise themselves well enough. Milo, strangely enough, didn’t want to return to Azad-Roahk for the time being; he needed time to think on what had happened (and he was pretty fed up with the Dwarven nobility). It was ultimately Tero who suggested a larger goal: travel across the country to Silaïri, the Ruined Metropolis, where he might be able to find more spellbooks to add to his collection.
Silaïri was once the capitol of the region, a vast and prosperous metropolis ruled by the wise elven aristocrats who promoted education and civilization across the land. All the greatest academies had been in Silaïri, where wizards of all sorts—including Tero’s uncle Malakrian—carried out arcane research. This had ended, of course, when the Trazan Magi rose into power and turned against Silaïri with spellcraft and fire, razing the city and destroying vast culture which had grown there. There was nothing left but ruins now, with squatters living in what stone structures survived. If there were spellbooks to be found anywhere, this would be the place. At Tero’s explanation, the party agreed that this was worth doing; should they decide to turn on the Trazan Magi, they would want Tero to be as powerful as possible, and Tero appreciated the group’s desire to assist him. Perhaps these brigands and outlaws could become his friends after all.
On the way to Silaïri, the group decided to stop in Eaglemure so that Yantse could take care of his… business, while the others would free the imprisoned and rebellious teenagers. However, they had only traveled a few hours on the road before they once again made camp, attempting to reset their internal clocks after sleeping all day.
This night turned out to be more eventful than they might have expected, thanks to the keen eyes of Oldrian, who was on watch. The figures he spotted were a long ways off in the dark, lit by their own glowing rod as they searched, slowly and carefully, along the roadside. Scouting by his owl revealed that they were three travelers (a young human woman, an older human man, and a keen-eyed elven crone) in adventuring clothing similar to that worn by many of their own party members. Yet when he doused the fire and awoke the party, Chava snuck off and overheard them bickering about whether or not to use magic to fuel their search. It seemed they had not escaped from Laketown much after all.
Oldrian had also spotted, hiding up in a tree, the same black cat they had been seeing. The appearance of this cat had also set off Milo’s “cat-sense” and woken him… (I kid you not, he rolled a Spot check to see the cat while he was asleep, since he always seems to spot it, and rolled a critical.) When Oldrian pointed the cat out to Carter, the sorcerer immediately approached it… but it disappeared into the darkness.
The party debated what was to do next, and they decided that if they stayed quiet, the three searching magi would probably pass them by and not notice. Yet even so, Carter, Yantse, and Chava wanted to stay awake with Oldrian on watch. The searching magi grew close. That was when one of them spotted the group across the road, and the man in the group (named Jhohir) stepped across to investigate.
In attempting to keep her crossbow trained on him while keeping to her perch in the tree, Chava slipped and tumbled out—directly onto Jhohir. In his surprise, he reacted two ways: first to dodge aside, evading the young falling woman, and second to lash out with a transmutation spell on whatever it was that had just attempted to strike him. The result was the collapse of Chava’s equipment, as it all tumbled off of what was now nothing more than a firefly.
He took the moment to bottle up the firefly before the wrath of the party was on him. A barrage of arrows knocked the bottled Chava from his hand. Yet without a sense of his attackers, Jhohir retaliated with overwhelming force. The fireball which exploded in the center of camp scorched everyone, compounding between Carter and Amora and sending them both away as their life-protecting contingency enchantments took effect.
In the calm following the explosion, it was the black cat which dropped down from the trees and landed on the sorcerer’s back. By now, of course, the other sorcerers were aware of the skirmish and racing to join, but before they could arrive the cat bit Jhohir’s shoulder… and they both disappeared. It took a moment for the two women to locate their companion, who was now down the road being puppeted by the cat. Crying out that their target was getting away, they both raced away from the battleground. The party recuperated and quickly agreed that they needed to get out of here. Despite it being the middle of the night, they packed their things and set off once again towards Eaglemure.
The party’s flight to Eaglemure was fueled more greatly by need now than it had been. With two party members gone and a third trapped in the form of a firefly, they needed to find a church where they could have the enchantment upon Chava broken. Fortunately for them, Carter and Amora reappeared just outside of Eaglemure, and upon discovering that Chava had been cursed by a Baleful Polymorph, produced a scroll of Break Enchantment which Tero excitedly took and copied into his spellbook. Then, carefully casting off of the scroll, the young necromancer restored Chava to her proper human—and now naked—form. The group regeared their companion before moving into Eaglemure and establishing a place for themselves. Yantse set off to take care of his own, personal business (with the man whose house they had broken into last time they were here), while the other rogues disguised Tero, Milo, and Oldrian. Carter also took this moment to produce a ring he had acquired from Tero’s catacombs, one which conferred invisibility upon its wearer. This was passed on to Milo for the time being.
In town, they learned that the teenagers they had come to set free were already released… but that they had been tortured, and many had been killed. One in particular was the mayor’s son, who hadn’t spoken since his release. Humbled by the aftermath of the Magi’s brutality, the group decided to go see if they could learn anything from the mayor’s son.
The mayoral manor was easy to find amidst the run-down aspect of the town, though it was clear that the mayor was only marginally better off than anyone else. When they knocked, a haggard old housekeeper answered, who, after taking stock of the adventuring party, allowed them to enter. Once inside, she revealed herself to be Mayor Troiani, a woman in her late 30s who looked markedly older than she should have. It was late, and she did not want to talk about her son just yet, but she allowed them to stay the night. They could be safe here from Trazan intervention, and in the morning they would talk.
That night, while Troiani worked and the party slept, an invisible (and armorless) Milo snuck around to see what he could learn, accompanied by the naturally-stealthy Chava. The two turned up little new information beyond a lot of documents which indicated Troiani’s role in opposing the Trazan’s wishes through bureaucratic stalling. They also went out into town to check on the prison, this time accompanied by Carter, but found only a small chamber with restraints and an excess of spell residue: scorch marks and arcane energies that lingered from an overwhelming amount of localized magic. To the surprise of no one, the Trazan Magi had been torturing these teenagers with excessive magic.
The following day, the group gathered to speak with Troiani. She told them about how horrible the Trazan Magi were, and how their treatment of the town’s teenagers—teenagers whose rebellion had been in words only—had completely crushed the hope of the town. The magi had indiscriminately burned down the upper floors of one of the inns, and the brutality of their retaliation had demoralized even the most optimistic of townsfolk. Her son had been released five days prior, but had not been able to speak since. Nevertheless, she permitted the group to see him.
As expected, he was quiet, his gaze slightly distorted as though a part of his mind had been taken away during his time in prison. Carter produced a potion of Lesser Restoration for him to hopefully cure his muteness, and fortuitously it encouraged him to finally speak. The party’s questions were gentle, for the most part, but also ceaseless. What had happened to him? Why did they revolt? Were there rebellions in other parts of the kingdom?
He answered sparingly and with halting speech, the toll of the Trazan’s magical and physical torment still visible as he suffered through the guilt of having led the small band of rebellious teenagers that had wanted to see the Trazan’s presence removed. They had been unprepared for the retribution, and the fate of the teenagers of the entire town rested on their shoulders. Trazan magicks had toyed with his flesh and flayed his mind, and even the mention of opposing them drew fear and anxiety—for what if it was traced back to him? There could be no retaliation against the magi here, not in Eaglemure. Not when their vengeance might find him again.
There was no word of any rebellions in other towns, and upon learning that Tero had been from Eaglemure (the burnt-out farmhouse at the edge of town which Amora had visited back at the start of the campaign had once belonged to his family), the party became nervous that the Trazan Magi had ulterior motives for going after the teenagers of Eaglemure. Fortunately the rogues’ disguises had worked so far at keeping notice away from Tero, but they did not want to linger. Finally purchasing horses (Milo had to get two, since his armor was so heavy), the group thanked Mayor Troiani and offered their assistance should she require it in the future. With that, they were off to the north, where they hoped they could find something to stem the horror of the Trazan’s rule.
A few days north of Eaglemure, the party came across the equally-poor town of Selesen. Here they stayed the night, asking around to see if there was anything new they could learn. Chava took to a curious figure in purple robes, who she tracked to a bar across town. There the figure seemed to be meeting up with several other hooded figures—and she immediately feared a cult in Selesen’s undercity. Several drinks later, she learned that they were a cult of something called “BMR,” which involved a great many sparkles and lots of singing. She may or may not have been inducted, but honestly she can’t quite remember.
Milo and the others, meanwhile, learned that the Trazan’s taxation was hitting Selesen as hard as it was Eaglemure, though no rebellion was growing here. They had heard news of Eaglemure’s plight, and so people were a bit more cautious. They also shared a cultural tidbit: in the southern town of Golgaria, no one went out after dark, and Stensia had been suffering from recent bandit troubles. They learned nothing of Silaïri, however.
While traveling through Selesen, Carter took the chance to explain what the deal was with the black cat they kept seeing, which the three sorcerers they had encountered had been tracking. It was not the horrible omen of the Trazan that the party had expected; rather, the cat was the familiar of Carter’s mentor. If he could capture it, it would be proof that he had completed his training and could return home. This seemed like an odd criteria, but Carter pointed out that when the cat had bitten Jhohir earlier, it had stopped time and Dominated his mind—this was the familiar of a very powerful wizard, and so trapping it was no easy feat. But it was also a proxy of his mentor, watching in the background in case he ever was in dire need.
After restocking and recovering the party, they continued north to the ruined metropolis. It took them again several days to reach it, and when they did they found it more wondrous and ghostly as they had imagined.
Stone ruins, stretching as far as the eye could see, marked the remains of a once-great city. It was Chava who noticed, a ways off, that someone had built a shelter of some kind over the stone remains of the old city. Unsure exactly what their next step was, now that they had arrived, the party entered the bounds of the city…
…and were promptly set upon by elven (and a few human) bandits. Weapons and armor were drawn, and the fight immediately ensued. There was a bandit leader who stood atop a ruined ledge, flanked by archers, and after the appearance of a huge swath of spikes from the ground in the center of the party (which somehow managed to avoid hitting anyone), he descended to the fight himself. Milo and Amora were sweeping up foes without too much trouble, and when Akorn nabbed Milo’s magic ring and slipped it on, making himself invisible, he found his assassin skills finally paying off. Chava mounted a pile of rubble and set to picking off archers where she could (while they returned fire), while Carter and Yantse worked alongside Oldrian and Tero to protect the group’s flank. Tero’s magic didn’t become apparent until the end of the battle, when it became clear that he had been possessing one of the bandits to turn the bandit against the others. Just when the fight was over, before anyone could interrogate the remaining bandit (not realizing it was possessed by Tero), the elf stabbed itself through the neck and sent Tero’s soul back into his own body.
The party had little trouble dispatching the bandits (who fled once only a few archers remained). This was in no small part also due to the arrival of a rather unexpected figure: the immense, 6’3″ frame of a human barbarian, his enormous axe intimidating even on its own. The barbarian had arrived and set into the bandit leader, cleaving through the elven warrior’s blades as he cleaved through the bandit himself. He introduced himself on friendly terms, a barbarian from the north by the name of Hall. He had come from Bloomingburg to find Yantse, who had been getting into trouble and whom he had come to protect. With one more member in the party, the group took stock of their stone surroundings and began brainstorming their next move.
So in case you didn’t follow cinema or Tolkein news, you should know that Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Hobbit is coming out on December 14. It’s also film one of three, so be prepared for two more years of exciting Middle-Earth filmography. And with a new film (after 10 years), everybody who holds a license to produce derivative material is going nuts… which includes Games Workshop! So it’ll soon be time to welcome in the Hobbit Strategy Battle Game (which I think, and hope, will be largely identical to the Lord of the Rings SBG).
But for today, that means spoilers. December 1 is the release of the first line of Hobbit miniatures, and in the White Dwarf preceding it, which comes out tomorrow, the new line is being shown off. Of course I shouldn’t be able to share this, since I don’t get Games Workshop’s magazine and it’s not even out yet… but through the wonders of the internet, I can show you the upcoming Hobbit spoilers!
This is the first of a slew of blog posts, so hang on for more Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and Warhammer 40k!
The session resumed within Tero’s crypt, from where the party had agreed to travel to Laketown. As the crypt was protected by powerful anti-scrying magicks, Tero suggested they stay the night and head out in the morning. This would give him a chance to finish his homunculus, which would be his familiar (and which he took to calling Lizbeth). During his work, Carter approached the young necromancer in private for a brief conversation. While Tero worked, other members of the party descended into the lower levels of the crypt to continue looting the sarcophagi that Tero had not yet gotten to. Among the gold and gems they found were two rings: one plain gold and the other studded with four tiny, clear, diamonds. When Milo ignored them entirely, Carter pocketed them in case they could be useful later.
The following morning, when everyone was ready to leave, the group departed for Bloomingburg. Shortly after leaving the crypt, much to the group’s surprise, Carter and Amora disappeared. Knowing they could do nothing but wait for the twins’ return, the group continued towards the town.
At Bloomingburg, the group searched for an inn where they could stay the night before heading towards Laketown (as the trek back to town took all day). Along the way, while moving through the rich district of town, Oldrian noticed a young guard emerge from one of the mansions, look around as if trying to evade notice, and slip off towards the docks. Thinking nothing of it, however, he didn’t bother mentioning what he had seen to the others. That evening, Milo spent several hours constructing new equipment from his material collection: a steam jet attachment for his armor (to break grapples) as well as a device that, when thrown, would launch cables in every direction as a means of entangling or tripping multiple opponents. It even was equipped with a chamber for a smoke grenade (several of which he had already made).
The following morning, the group was awoken when someone knocked loudly on their door, proclaiming, “I apologize for waking you all, but you’re going to have to come with me.”
After arming themselves and preparing for an ambush, the group opened the door to find two Trazan sorcerers, one a casual-looking hobbit, the other a young and fiery-haired human woman. They were here to take the group to the guardhouse, for they needed to ask each of them some questions regarding a young human sorcerer dressed in blue who had been seen with them.
The group attempted to evade the interrogations about Carter, who was conveniently not with them, which only frustrated the young woman (and her electrical lizard familiar). However, Yantse and the hobbit (whose name was Dan) were able to reach an agreement: they would first go to a tea shop where Yantse could get some tea, then they would accompany him to the guardhouse for questioning.
Dan proceeded to interrogate the group, but it was readily apparent that between feigning ignorance and evading the question, they were not going to give up information on his target. So, as secretively as possible (which is pretty irrelevant when you’re making gestures & invoking words) he cast a spell on Yantse… and the merfolk was now convinced that the hobbit was one of his closest friends. He admitted to Dan that the sorcerer had been with them some of the time, but they did not know where he went when he left them. Meanwhile, Kieran and Milo attempted to create a distraction to prevent Yantse from giving the group away; one which was unfortunately overheard by the two sorcerers. Hearing retaliation, Dan attempted to arrest Kieran, and the entire group exploded into chaos. Milo threw himself to the floor to distract them as Yantse, still under Dan’s spell, utilized what will he did still have to begin an extended declaration of praise for the hobbit who had enchanted him. Kieran tried to talk his way out even as Dan was attempting to retain control of the situation. As he attempted to take Kieran into custody, Yantse broke free of his spell.
“What did you do to me?” Yantse demanded. His declaration silenced everyone, including Dan. But the human woman, her fists suddenly crackled with electricity, was ready to respond.
“You weren’t cooperating, and we know you’re hiding something. Tell us what it is.” Lexi’s familiar was also crackling with electrical energy.
Yantse, enraged at the magic used against him, immediately entered into an aggressive argument with the sorcerer about their actions in using magic to force the truth out of him. The shouting escalated until Lexi’s aggression broke, and a fist to Yantse’s face delivered a violent jolt of electricity. Momentarily stunned and on the ground, Dan took the chance to reclaim control of the situation and cast a new spell, one which struck Yantse and echoed out to affect the entire party (who shrugged it off). This time, the merfolk was compelled to answer his questions.
“Who is the sorcerer who was accompanying you?”
“Carter. He is sometimes with us. We don’t know where he goes.”
And with that, the sorcerers were gone. As soon as they were out of sight, two motes of light exploded into shape behind them, and they were rejoined by the time-traveling Carter and Amora.
“Carter, we need to leave,” declared the distraught Yantse, fully aware of what he had shared. Carter, who only barely knew the party (they had been with the party for only 10 minutes before now), cautiously agreed. He was still learning who was who, and his sister was complaining of a horrible hangover. Apparently they had just been preparing to fight a vampire, and when she had left there had been flying giants shooting fireworks. Also, she may or may not have slept with someone named Rasmus.
In the early morning, the group lent a cloak to Carter and hastened to the docks, where they (minus Yantse, who took advantage of his chance to swim) took the day-long ferry down the delta to Laketown.
As the ship approached Laketown, it became apparent that there was some sort of festival going on. Some inquiry on the ferry revealed that the weekend was a multi-day Festival of the Harvest, dedicated to the harvest god, Yondalla. It was a massive gathering of merchants from across the kingdom, and with the festivities and packed marketplace, it seemed likely that they could buy whatever they wanted in Laketown. On the opposite bank, the group saw a lone black cat with purple eyes, its face scrunched angrily as it attempted to follow while keeping clear of the water in the lake.
Almost as soon as they entered, however, someone recognized Milo’s armor and immediately he was swarmed by people. As there hadn’t been any Mechanists in town for several years, they all wanted him to buy their wares… or to buy gadgets from him… or to have him commission things for them. Milo had become quite the celebrity. The group quickly made their way to an inn where the dwarf could shirk his things and retain his anonymity for the time being.
Then Milo explained to them why he had wanted to come here. He was from a community in Azad-Roahk (the dwarven kingdom) called the Izzet’s Mechanists. They were inventors, designers, and “crazy steampunk guys,” and they operated as a completely egalitarian community led by their elected head, the Izzet. Until several years ago, the Izzet had been a benevolent dwarven man named Drynn—Drynn also being Milo’s uncle. However, that had ended several years ago when Drynn had been mysteriously assassinated. Milo was here searching for his uncle’s killer. He had learned from the son of one of the dwarven nobility, and had confirmed it with several supportive accounts, that the assassin had been a mercenary with a scar across his eye and a distinctive scowl. The mercenary had last been seen in Laketown—and Milo was here now to get his revenge.
Given the chaos of the festival, it seemed like it would be difficult to find a single man whose name they didn’t know. However, Yantse revealed that he had a contact in this town, a merfolk who had once been a part of his roving band of landpirates (though he didn’t admit to that much!). Saying that Milo now owed him two favors, Yantse agreed to meet up with his contact and see if Daetir could find them Milo’s target. While Yantse did that, the group went off to go shopping in the festival.
Yantse’s meeting with Daetir went well, as the two caught up on each other’s adventures. Daetir had settled in Laketown as a textile merchant—placing truth in their go-to cover story. He also said that while he did not know a dwarf of that description, he had other contacts in town who would be able to find this man for them, and later that evening he would have an address. Wishing each other a familiar farewell, Yantse set off to let Daetir resume his swindling.
The party spent the rest of the day doing shenanigans in the market. Most of them bought new equipment, particularly weaponry, now that they were in a place where they could get magic items for at least a more reasonable price than normal (though the price was still quite unreasonable). Milo, also, found someone who would give rides on “lake serpents” (the smaller, freshwater cousins of the famous giant sea serpents). In his adventures, he managed to spot, on the lakebed below, the giant skeleton of a long-dead dragon, belly-up beneath Laketown. That gave him all sorts of ideas—starting with Tero’s necromancy.
The most successful venture of the marketplace, however, came from Kieran. Assisted by the oratics of Yantse and Amora, the young elf offered to let people ride dinosaurs for a “reasonable” fee, and as this was likely the first dinosaur the people of Laketown had ever seen, it was quite a hit! The three of them raked in some legitimate cash, while Amora also busked for gold. That evening, Daetir passed on the information to Yantse that Milo would need: his target worked as a middle-man who sold food grown from the farmlands. He had a stationary address in Laketown, and would be easy to find.
That evening, Milo’s demeanor changed from his normal cheerful nonchalance to a deadly seriousness. He called upon assistance from Carter, Amora, Akorn, and Oldrian’s owl to infiltrate the house of the assassin he had come for. Amora would be his backup, while Akorn and Oldrian’s owl served as reconnaissance. Carter would be at Milo’s side, ready with his detaining spells at every moment. At 1am, the owl scouted out when was the best time for them to enter undetected by the guards (who were keeping an eye out for the many drunk festival-goers). Akorn slipped into the back of the house, struggling for quite some time before he picked the lock and entered. The first floor seemed to be a grocer’s, but the dwarf ignored it as he slipped to the front and let in Milo and the twins. Leaving Amora to guard the stairs, Akorn took point and scouted out the top floor. It was empty and dark, and only the bedroom had not been checked. Milo and Carter’s snake followed, Milo’s armor making enough of a racket (despite his attempts at stealth) to awaken the man in the bedroom.
That was when Milo busted open the door and two spells from Carter paralyzed the assassin and his wife. Muted by the spell, the assassin’s wife was unable to say anything as Milo gripped his fellow dwarf by the neck, growling,
“Did you think you could escape?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” came the strangled reply. Milo threw the dwarf against the wall.
“You know what I’m talking about, rotten murderer. Don’t tell me you don’t recognize a Mechanist when you see one.”
“I’ve only seen the ones who come through here,” he muttered, trying to get up, Milo grabbed him and hauled him up against the wall.
“You’re going to pay for what you did to my uncle.”
In the darkness, the dwarf seemed confused and frightened. “I don’t know you. I’ve never even been to Azad-Roahk!”
Looking at him, Milo’s confidence dipped.
“Carter, Akorn, is there anything that might prove if he’s telling the truth?”
The pair searched, but found nothing indicating he had ever been. There was also, however, nothing to indicate where he had been around the time Drynn had been murdered… so he had no alibi. Afraid he had been duped, Milo dropped the man and punched the wall, opening up a hole. He had come here on a tip from the Dwarven nobility—and now he was certain they had misled him.
“It’s time to go.”
About that moment, however, there was a knock at the door, followed by it crashing open. From where she waited in the shadows, Amora could see the silhouettes of more than half a dozen guards entering the house. Realizing they couldn’t escape that way, Akorn, Amora, Carter, and Milo had to figure out a new escape route. For a moment they considered Carter’s blinding snow again, but Milo took charge—this was his debacle. Tossing a smoke grenade down the stairs, he allowed the guards to be caught in blinding smoke. Carter and Amora, on the first floor, slipped out the back door while Milo and Akorn burst through a second story window. Milo’s armor took most of the impact while Akorn landed in a roll. Meeting back up with the twins, the group set off at a run. The shouts of guards followed.
Alerted to the trouble by Oldrian’s owl, those who had been staying in the inn quickly packed their things and hurried for the docks. No one was there, of course, as it was nearly three in the morning, but they would have to figure that out on their own. The guards were on their way, with Milo and “Team Vengeance” close behind.
It came down to Milo’s new trip disc, along with an inserted smoke grenade, to trip the guards and delay them long enough for the group to escape. At first they planned to escape on one of the larger ships, but when it came up that Tero could polymorph someone into one of the lake serpents, they hopped into the largest feasible boat and let Tero polymorph Carter to make their getaway. Yantse had since disappeared under the water’s surface. Using Amora’s rope skills to create a tether, the serpent pulled them off from the harbor, pursued by the shots of Trazan crossbows as bolts pursued them. A few party members were hit, but after several tense minutes they were out of range.
Shortly after that, Amora fumbled with the ropes and the boat, precarious as it was with seven people and a dinosaur on it (one of whom was also clad in heavy armor), instantly capsized. Struggling against all odds to stay afloat, it took all of Carter and Amora’s effort to keep Tero, Oldrian, and Milo from drowning in the dark and cold lakewater. Thanks to the timely support of Yantse, who returned the boat to its proper orientation, the group managed to evade drowning long enough to escape to the shore. Shortly after dawn, they collapsed onto the bank, Tero’s spell dissolved, and the exhausted travelers decided they probably couldn’t return to Laketown anymore.
I know all of my posts have been D&D for a while. To nobody’s surprise, I expect, I have been struggling with a rather large load of schoolwork, punctuated by my taking the GRE yesterday evening! But I’m starting to get back into painting when I have a chance (rarely), so you can expect some more painted miniatures to go up in a bit. Hopefully I can keep a regular painting schedule going for a bit after this!
The party had arrived at a decrepit monastery of Pelor, where they expected to find the Necromancer they had been seeking. Indeed, when they arrived they found a rather large number of fallen undead, all of whom had clearly been slain by now-familiar weapons. At the top of the hill behind the monastery stood an equally overgrown and decayed chapel to Pelor, and outside the front of the chapel fought the same four bounty hunters with whom the party had scuffled at the tea shop back in Bloomingburg. On the hillside leading up to the chapel, however, a stone doorway into the side of the hill signaled a more direct entrance to the crypt. Hoping to bypass the other bounty hunters and find the necromancer first, the party made for that doorway. As they entered, a wisp of glittering red sorcerous light flashed from Amora’s mouth and raced around the back corner further into the crypt.
Inside, Amora gave them light by enchanting Milo’s hammer and her own ball and chain. They passed through a small antechamber with memorial plaques along the walls into a long narrow hallway, a single wall bisecting the hall into two parallel ones. The central wall was another memorial, names engraved on both sides and on the walls opposite. But what drew the party’s attention were the zombies and skeletons shuffling towards them down both corridors. Milo and Amora took point on each hallway, smashing through undead with what little help those behind them could offer. Lacking the bad luck which seemed to be plaguing the dwarf, Amora was the first to break through her line of undead, and she immediately raced to the back of the hall. Doorways led off to her left and right and a stairwell before her ascended to the chapel above. As she raced after her magical light, the rest of the party followed, only Oldrian staying behind (at first) to help Milo clear out the undead.
When she reached the doorway, she found herself suddenly face-to-face with a teenage human boy, his blonde hair unkempt and his (shockingly) scrawny frame draped with ratty peasant’s garb. He was carrying a large cloth-swaddled package along with what appeared to be several tomes. The two collided in the doorway and tumbled to the ground. He managed to keep ahold of everything he had, despite landing on top of Amora, but when he pushed himself to his feet and attempted to run past her (through the other door), he ran into Chava’s ready grapple. This one he failed to evade, and his package and books exploded out of his hands. The young rogue detained him long enough for Amora to push herself to her feet and join the grapple, hugging him tightly and pinning his arms to his sides. Her affection was… unexpected.
That was when Simon the sorcerer and Kerrard the mercenary descended the stairs and found themselves face-to-face with Yantse, Oldrian, and Milo (who had ditched the last skeleton and made his way around the other side of the memorial wall to join the party which was gathering at the base of the stairs). Behind the sorcerer and fighter, Yaevos the hunter and Jina the burglar camped the stairs, their bow and crossbow armed and ready. When the bounty hunters saw their rivals, hatred flared. Simon flew at Amora and Chava, who were in the process of dragging the squirming teenager down the hall he had been trying to flee towards (and away from the battle), fiery rays peppering the rogue. Kerrard followed, too weak to effectively fight (especially now that he was armed only with a mundane scimitar), but shielding nonetheless to prevent anyone else from pursuing Simon. Yantse, however, was the subject of his full wrath as he recognized the merrow who had stolen his enchanted sword. The two dueled, the less combat-skilled Yantse continuing to wear down the already battle-weary human mercenary.
Milo, meanwhile, spotted Yaevos the hunter and immediately had his target. Arrows peppered dwarven armor, as did the bolts of Jina’s crossbow, but his hammer had a score to settle. Ignoring the zombies who had approached from other regions in the crypt, Milo set his sights on the archer.
Kieran, meanwhile, had been scouting out stragglers with Chompy, and now they found themselves rejoining the battle. Immediately he saw the clusterfrak of people squeezed into the end of the hallway, so tightly that Oldrian, Carter, and Akorn were barely able to contribute. Targeting the zombies assaulting Milo, Kieran and Chompy raced down the hall (completely ignoring the lone skeleton who was ineffectively trying to follow Milo around the crypt) and the dinosaur set upon the undead. In a moment of consideration, Kieran glanced back behind him to see what should become of the lone skeleton, when he saw, seemingly from nowhere, a familiar black cat with purple eyes leap from the shadows onto the skeleton’s shoulders. In a queer vision, the cat seemed almost to have a negative silhouette, with its features prominent while everything else became shrouded by a dark purple glow. Then the skeleton disintegrated and vanished into ash.
Letting Chompy attack the zombies, Kieran dismounted and ran to the cat, using the same ritual Oldrian had used to be able to speak with it. As he approached, the cat glared at him in an aggressive fear.
“Stay away from me!”
“It’s fine, I’m not going to hurt you. Who are you?”
“No, no, my mistress will punish me for talking to you!”
But the cat was gone, only a wisp of purple smoke marking where it had been crouching. Disappointed and confused, Kieran returned to his animal companion.
The fight against their rival bounty hunters, however, was not going well for their rivals. Unable to strike back effectively due to a potent poison which had struck him in the chapel, Kerrard was slowly being worn down by Yantse’s attacks. Simon the Reckless was living up to his name, heedlessly chasing Amora, Chava, and the teenager down the hall (towards stairs leading down into the catacombs). His fiery rays, meant for Amora, burned into Chava and the rogue disengaged herself from the grapple to return fire from her crossbow. Already weakened by zombie attacks, Simon did not take the hits well. His familiar, too, had been pursued—Carter’s snake had it out to destroy Simon’s wolverine, despite the odds against it. Just as Simon began to recognize his threatened position (despite the damage he was inflicting on Chava) and as the familiars joined battle, however, Kerrard gave out the call: “Simon, get us OUT OF HERE!”
For what Simon could not see was the battle between Milo, Yaevos, and Jina.
The two bounty hunters were raining arrows and bolts into the dwarf’s armor, wounding and aggravating the dwarf. Jina’s offensive taunts did not help his mood. So, when the chance opened up, Milo heaved his hammer with all of his strength in a vicious uppercut, letting the jets propel it at the last moment into a heavy blow to Yaevos’s chin. The elven hunter flipped backwards, blood pouring from his mouth as he landed on his back on the stairs. (That’s a critical blow for 40 damage to a guy with 31 hp.) Jina instantly shut up.
Fortunately for the dying elf, Simon took that moment to cast his teleportation spell to get them all out. Suddenly it was just the party again, with some zombies fighting Milo and Chompy. Amora had dragged the teenager down the stairs and into the catacombs.
Leaving Milo, Chompy, and Kieran to finish off the zombies, the rest of the party lit a torch and pursued Amora. They saw her flit around a corner in the rectangular catacombs, but Carter (who had been here before… lol time travel) led them down a shortcut which managed to cut Amora off from the stairs further down. With them blocking her way, Amora finally stopped. Seeing the overwhelming forces gathered before him, the teenager finally gave up his struggle as well.
It became apparent then, to whoever had not figured it out already, that this teenager was the necromancer they had been seeking all along. His name was Tero, and he had no native magical talent; he had taught himself to be a wizard from his great-uncle’s spellbooks, found in his basement at home. He was, then, the inheritor of the wizard orders of old, who had been destroyed by the Trazan Magi when the sorcerers took power. The spellbooks he owned (now in Yantse’s arms) were quite possibly the only spellbooks left in Illos. The package that he had been carrying, also held by Yantse, was revealed to be an unfinished homunculus, a little human made of flesh, magic, and essential salts. It disgusted Amora (who had by now professed her love of the awkward teenage necromancer), and so when the party finally agreed to accept Tero into their numbers rather than turn him over, Yantse forced Amora to be the one to return it to him.
Convincing Tero to join them was not the most straightforward task. After all, they had captured him and dragged him down into his own lair. Milo and Kieran had joined them at this point, and it came as a surprise to some when Milo, Akorn, Carter, Amora, and Chava were all in support of teaming up with him. After all, they had initially joined forces to find him and capture him, and now that they had accomplished this, what was next? Carter explained the situation in as straightfoward a manner as could be done: They were all wanted somewhere, many in the Capitol, and everyone by now had a grievance against the Trazan Magi (or at least didn’t care for their rule). Why not join forces with this fugitive necromancer, seek out other seeds of rebellion, and move against the magi themselves? If anyone could destabilize the Magi’s rule, it was them.
That prospect was not unwelcome to Tero, who had been on the run from them for quite some time. He still wasn’t sure he could trust them—any of them—but if their next course of action was to move against the Trazan Magi, he would be willing to assist them. He couldn’t keep running forever.
The crypt they were in was mortared with heavy enchantments which protected against scrying and magical detection, making it a perfect hiding place. Yet two bands of bounty hunters had already found it, and he could not keep hiding here. Nevertheless, he offered it as a sanctuary should they ever need to regroup somewhere. And in the meantime, they could stay and prepare for the next step. Milo had business in Laketown, and Yantse also wanted to go there. The rest of the party, thinking of no better place than one of the trade hubs of the kingdom, agreed on that next step.
As they prepared, the party scoured the catacombs they had seen, looting the collections of coffins in the walls (most of them empty of bodies). They found lots of gold and gems, as well as a few unidentified small items (potions, scrolls, antique armor) in the coffins.
Step 1: Recruit Necromancer
Step 2: Go to Laketown
Step 3: ???
Step 4: BRING DOWN THE TRAZAN MAGI
Author’s Note: THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T SPLIT THE PARTY @___________@
“You see his tail?” Milo said, gesturing to Chompy, who stood complacently on the roof of the inn beside them, “Now… that’s a good tail. But I could make it better. What do you say?”
It was one of many such requests Milo had made of Kieran of his dinosaur, for the mechanist was full of ideas for a “Chompy 2.0.” But Kieran was having none of it. Chompy, for his part, didn’t seem to be giving a clear sense that he fully understood the inventions Milo was describing. New eyes, a new tail… a mortar launcher? It was Oldrian who suggested an alternative. He could, after all, speak with Chompy for a brief time, as an ability he had learned in the wilderness. And so the four of them conversed; Oldrian with Chompy, Kieran and Milo with Oldrian.
Oldrian: So, uh… What do you call yourself? We’ve been calling you Chompy… Is that your name?
Chompy: What does Chompy? Name, Cyw
Oldrian: How did you meet your master?
Chompy, er, Cyw, er, we’re still calling him Chompy: Kieran come live with me in snowy homeland.
Oldrian: Do you like your master?
Kieran good hunter, so Cyw join him. Kieran best friend.
So, Cyw, One of our party members… You know the silly stupid dwarf? In lots of metal?
Food guy? Food guy taste bad.
Who breaks things a lot? He wants to help you. He wants to make you stronger.
Food Guy flails a lot. How he make me stronger? He have special food?
He wants to make special armor for you.
Sort of like what we wear. The shiny metal stuff.
Shiny metal clunky. Make Food Guy give food.
At this point, when Oldrian shared to Milo Chompy’s request, Milo produced an exorbitant amount of sausage that he had been keeping, giving it to Chompy. The dinosaur, having more than he could take, tried to give the rest to Kieran to keep, but the elf child just gave it back to Milo—what the hell was he going to do with it?
Oldrian: Happy now?
Chompy: Food guy friend.
He wants to give you special weapons that will make you hunt faster and get more food.
What’s a weapon?
It kills things. Quickly.
Fangs and claws kill things. Why you need “weapons?”
But you can have more things.
Why I need more things? Hunt great with claws.
How about armor? It will protect you, make you stronger.
Armor silly. Very loud. Makes bad hunter.
I see. Food man thinks that he can make very quiet and light armor. What do you think?
Food man wear heavy loud armor.
He does, it’s true. He’s a good food man.
He is good food man.
But he’s a bit stupid. He just wants to help.
He should keep giving food. Armor good for squishy dwarves.
Bad for Cyw. Cyw good hunter.
What do you think of me?
You good hunter. Kill disgusting people.
So you value people who are good hunters?
You no look so good tho. Good hunters are good packmates.
At that point, the conversation was ended. And now that Chompy was pointing it out… Oldrian really wasn’t feeling all that well. He felt stiff and queasy. But his discomfort and lethargy had to wait, for Chompy was motioning to something a few buildings away. Milo’s keen eyes spotted the hawk suspiciously hovering overhead, just before he and Oldrian saw the elven hunter who crouched, several buildings away, and watched them keenly. Milo called out to him excitedly and the elf disappeared around the roof. With a new lead to follow, the group descended from the roof to chase him.
Amora, meanwhile, was wandering town on her own. Eventually she came across a young elven man, dressed in bright colors and expensive silks.
“Hello, Simon,” she taunted. Shocked by the stranger’s successful identification, the sorcerer stopped in his tracks and looked at her with confusion. She continued taunting him, with a touch of seduction, making references to his brother, to his familiar, and to the group of bounty hunters with which he traveled. Unsure who she was, he took charge, demanding she accompany him to a place he knew: a tea shop across town.
The rest of the group, being Carter, Akorn, and Yantse, had meanwhile gone to the jeweler’s, where the assistant jeweler was the old man who had been attacked on the road by zombies. When the trio entered, passing a guard stationed to ensure civility around the town’s newest celebrity, they found two other adventurers interrogating the old man. One was a handsome human fighter, armed and armored with beautiful steel, while the other was a hobbit in the trappings of a rogue. With them was a fierce-looking wolverine. Both men had questions, and the jeweler’s assistant seemed to be pretty upset at the constant barrage of questions.
Yantse was the first to interrupt, standing up to the adventurers on behalf of the (thankful) old man. The human, in a comment about having once visited the Kingdom of the Pearl Trident, caught Yantse’s attention. The merfolk suggested they all relocate to a tea shop nearby, but the hobbit explained that he was not affiliated with the human, and that he was not finished gathering information here. Meanwhile, Carter had important business for the jeweler’s assistant. It ended up with only Yantse and the fighter making their way to the tea shop after all, the wolverine in tow. They bantered, each seeking to out-play the other. The human introduced himself as Kerrard the mercenary, while Yantse explained that he was a traveling fabric merchant. Despite his skills, the fighter did not notice the merfolk’s deception.
Back in the jeweler’s, the hobbit had taken an interest in Akorn. Carefully questioning the still battle-worn dwarf, the hobbit slowly worked out the confession that Akorn had been attacked by zombies on the road, a piece of information that this adventurer (clearly another bounty hunter) was adamantly seeking. Carter, who had been wary of the hobbit and the fighter from their initial meeting, entered the conversation to attempt to turn the discussion into an investigation into the hobbit’s identity. But the hobbit gave up little, and Carter’s inability to distinctly identify the hobbit (or force the hobbit to reveal a hidden identity?) frustrated him. Finally, when the rival bounty hunter gleamed the information he needed from Akorn, he departed. As he left, Chava joined them.
They inquired of the jeweler’s assistant, and heard his story: he was a trader whose wagon had been set upon by zombies at dusk when he was just outside of town. He had managed to outrun them into town, where they broke off and retreated into the wilderness. He actually knew very little of the zombies, but he had been “attacked” near town coming from the north, while the party had been attacked near town coming from the south. The zombies were clearly nearby. Thanking the assistant for the information, and promising to return with payment for the job that Carter had commissioned, they set off to join Yantse at the tea shop.
Yantse and Kerrard, however, discovered very quickly that their tea shop was in fact the same as that to which Simon had been leading Amora. They discovered this when they arrived at the outdoor tables to find Amora standing behind Simon, her chain pinning him to his chair. She explained that he had attempted to cast spells on her, and she was just restraining him. He, on the other hand, had shit himself and was calling for help from Kerrard—blowing his ally’s cover. The wolverine, Asine, was immediately growling at Amora, and it was revealed to be Simon’s familiar. With nothing for it, the fighter went to draw his sword on Amora. This was about when the other two groups: Milo, Kieran, and Oldrian, as well as Chava, Carter, and Akorn, arrived. Carter, immediately seeing the absurd shit his sister had started, approached and subtly cast a silencing spell on Amora’s mouth. Yantse, meanwhile, raised his voice as necessary to stop an immediate brawl.
The shock of Yantse’s proclamation, however, loosened Amora’s hold on Simon and as soon as Yantse was finished speaking, the sorcerer cast a summons. Suddenly a hellhound was on one of the tables, and everything had gone to shit.
Milo went after the hellhound as Yantse, Chava, and Amora went after Simon. Crossbow bolts to disable parts of his body began to weaken the sorcerer as Amora reaffirmed her pinning hold. Kerrard the fighter identified the enemy spellcaster, Carter, as the bigger threat and attacked. Yet Carter’s response was to paralyze the fighter, just as Chompy charged and pounced, sending Kerrard to the ground and giving the dinosaur free reign to tear him to pieces if desired.
With some assistance from Akorn, Milo quickly dispatched the hellhound and turned to see two guards approaching quickly. At the same time, he spotted someone else in the shadows—the hunter he had seen on the rooftops. This time, the hunter had two arrows notched. With a warning shouted to Chompy (at whom the arrows were pointed), Milo threw himself in the way of the hunter’s shot and called upon the guards to pursue the shadowy figure. They were, after all, merely defending themselves. The guards demanded the group cease hostility against the paralyzed fighter while they sought out the hunter and the party acquiesced. Simon the sorcerer had managed to squirm free of Amora’s chain long enough to cast a spell that would teleport him to safety, leaving only the paralyzed fighter in their ministrations.
Before leaving Kerrard in the tea shop, Yantse relieved him of his bastard sword, one which Carter recognized was capable of emitting sonicbooms whenever it made a critical strike. The merfolk also recovered a set of documents in Common regarding an old monastery to the Sun God Pelor which was out a day’s march from town. When the party inquired of the documents, however, Yantse explained that they were plans of a hospital. Calling bullshit, Carter paralyzed Yantse and took the documents, revealing their true information. Yantse explained that he had lied for their own benefit, as they were prone to acting before they thought and as this was likely the Necromancer’s hold, he wanted to make sure they didn’t get themselves killed. After a tense standoff, the merrow agreed to cooperate with the party and Carter released the spell.
Amora, now with direction, immediately began to run off towards the town gate. Chava and Akorn pursued, finally catching her and talking privately with her. She was ultimately only stopped by her brother’s Hold Person spell, and once pulled off the road by the rogues, she informed them that the necromancer was a good guy after all—and that she was in love with him.
Meanwhile, Oldrian informed his companions of his illness, and Kieran looked it over. It turned out to be the same disease that they had seen and cured in Akorn, but now that it was affecting him, their herbal drought would not be sufficient. They decided that they could go see a priest to have it cured, but before they set off to the nearest temple, the young ranger gave Oldrian the scent of a simple crushed leaf that he carried, and suddenly all his disease seemed gone.
Once the party regrouped, they agreed that it was best they stay out of town that night, and made the first half-day march through the woods towards the monastery. That evening held no surprises for them, despite their decision to start keeping a watch, and after noon on the following day they reached the overgrown and forgotten monastery to Pelor. At the base of a hill, they found its small enclosed space dotted with slain undead, killed by familiar arrows and spells. It was Oldrian’s owl which spotted the overgrown chapel at the top of the hill, outside which four figures battled through oncoming zombies. They were all familiar: Simon the sorcerer, the mysterious hunter, Kerrard the fighter (now wielding a notably mundane scimitar), and a crossbow-toting hobbit woman. Their rivals had beaten them here after all.
Today I have more pictures for you. It took me a while before I finally got around to fixing it up, but now that I’ve repaired the broken pieces and cover up the serious chipped paint it had, my Fell Beast-mounted Nazgul is fully painted and displayable. I painted it a couple years ago, and it’s interesting that I’d do it differently were I to paint it now, but it’s certainly still good enough to not warrant repainting.
So I give you the Fell Beast of the Nazgul.
Meanwhile, my girlfriend went ahead and ordered miniatures for the rest of the D&D party, which we were unable to use last session, but will be using extensively this Sunday for our all-session dungeon crawl! I have to order more primer before I can paint them, but several of them are converted to be most similar to the character they are dedicated to. Milo even has a hammer!
Next up is painting Amora, but first I have another D&D session writeup to do…