Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 8: The Eritherean Graveyards


A couple weeks and a vacation ago, we played game 8 of our 2018 Ghost Archipelago Campaign - The Eritherean Graveyards.  Only four out of our regular group of eight players were ale to make it with a couple last minute cancellations.  With four of us, we set-up the table with two graveyards set on either side of a small ruined temple building.  I was lucky enough to get first choice of starting locations.  I was surprised and glad when Fortrywn set-up across the table - a chance to renew our friendly rivalry.  To my left was the Heritor Molly Malone and to my left front was the villainous Heritor Herndon (whose name is still in the Book of Grudges).

Click here to read Fortrywn's Report

A view of the game table with starting locations (courtesy of Chris)

The Report


Skorri stepped out on the deck to observe Agger talking with several seagulls.  He fed them a couple of fat minnows and off they flew.  A few hours later, there was a pounding on his cabin door and in burst an excited Agger.  "My pets searched out and spied on some of the Heritors in the immediate area.  One of the seagulls landed on the lower spar of the aft mast where he had a bird's eye view.  He watched as Fortrywn was studying some kind of map that got him pretty excited and he changed course to the southeast.  Another seagull found the Heritor Griffon's ship, he was sailing in the wrong direction (Griffon was unable to attend game 8).  And a third seagull landed on the mizzen mast of Molly Malone's ship which looked to be recently careened and repaired.  She was tacking back and forth toward the southeast as well in some kind of odd search pattern." he reported.  "Hmmm, Molly hasn't been seen in the archipelago area for some time now, she must know something," mused Skorri.  "Well done Agger.  As you leave, please tell Kukala to set course to the southeast."

The following morning found the Raven's Beak near a large jungle island with no other sails in sight.  Hoping this was the right island, Skorri commanded the helmsman to turn into the wind.  With sailing flapping, he ordered the anchors to be dropped.  The heavy anchors plunged into the crystal clear waters and as the wind pushed the Raven's Beak to the leeward, the flukes dug into the sandy bottom.  When the ship stopped moving, Skorri ordered the boats to be lowered.

After several hours of cutting their way through the hot and sticky jungle, harassed by mosquitoes the size of vultures, the terrain opened up a bit.  Off in the misty distance, Skorri could just make out the top of a ruined temple towering above the vegetation.  There appeared to be two additional ruins, one to each side of the temple.
Part of the temple complex
Skorri and his crew slowly moved closer to examine the temple complex.  The ruins to the right of the temple consisted of crumbling walls interspersed with a few columns.  A hundred years ago this was probably a grand looking building.  Now it was a crumbled mess of stones.  Scattered throughout were piles of bleached and partially decaying bones belonging mostly to some large creature.  The overgrowth of vines and weeds made it hard to identify them.  There appeared to be a small chest sitting on top of a crumbling wall.  Skorri whispers to his crew, "I want that chest".
One of the graveyards with a chest on the wall
He then spots movement in the jungle on the other side of the ruins, looks like some of Fortrywn's crew.  As they move closer, a loud snorting or grunting could be heard emanating from behind a dense clump of jungle growth.

With his enhanced eyesight, Skorri spies a glimmer of metal in a bunch of thick brush to his front.  He steels himself for a quick dash as he feels his blood begin to burn (Surge).  Skorri then bursts forward.  As he passes around the vegetation, he spots the source of the noise they had heard, a creature with big flapping ears and a long trunk.  It was an Eritherean (placed there courtesy of Fortrywn's low initiative roll).  Skorri pulls out his bow, notches an arrow, and releases it - all without missing a stride.  Unfortunately he did miss his target.  The Eritherean let out a loud bellow.

An Eritherean appears near Skorri's crew
Seeing Skorri's actions, the other three bow armed members of his crew move forward one at a time and take shots at the Eritherean.  Between the three of them, all they managed to do is make the big creature mad by slightly wounding it (4 damage).  As Amrod releases his arrow, he is struck in the back by a cowardly shot from Fortrywn himself (8 damage).

Watching the dismal performance of the three so called archers, Agger closes his eyes and casts about psychically through the nearby jungle, reaching out to see what animals may be lurking nearby.  With his mind he can sense a screamer monkey sleeping in a nearby tree.  Agger mentally nudges it to wake up.  The monkey chitters as it scurries through the trees to join the crew (successful cast of Summon Animal).

Blue Boy moves forward into the dense patch of jungle near the Eritherean and reaches into his pouch.  He withdraws a Jade Figurine of a crocodile and dashes it on the ground.  With a loud "WHOOOSH" and a large puff of smoke, a crocodile materializes between himself and the Eritherean.  The crocodile rushes forward to attack.  After a couple of attacks, each creature comes away with various cuts and bites (Crocodile takes 11 damage, Eritherean takes 6 damage).
Skorri recovers a large urn
Skorri continues to move forward and reaches the shiny object he had spotted earlier.  It turned out to be a large sealed urn.  As he bends down to pick it up, he hears the "twang" of a bow string.  He looks up and sees Fortrywn shooting at Amrod.  "The nerve of him shooting at one of my crew" he thinks, which starts his blood to simmer.  As his blood burns, Skorri Surges and draws his bow to return the favor.  As he draws back and releases, Fortrywn's hunter steps forward from behind a pillar.  The arrow meant for her boss struck her in the upper thigh (7 damage).  She quickly ducks out of sight as does Fortrywn.

Alaniel watches as both Fortrywn and one of his crew move towards the center of the ruined temple.  He spies what they are after, the small ornate chest sitting on top of a crumbling wall.  The thieving scoundrels were trying to recover the one Skorri spotted earlier.  He pulls an arrow from his quiver as he observes the crew woman hopping up on the wall to retrieve the chest.  He pulls back and releases.  The arrow flies straight and strikes the crewman in the upper chest (8 damage).  The crew woman crazily windmills her arms to keep her balance but manages to fall on her butt atop the wall.

At the same time, Blue Boy rushes in to distract the Eritherean, deftly avoiding the crocodile's wildly swinging tail.  "Alaniel, we need some help" yells Amrod.  Alaniel looks to his left and sees Blue Boy engaging the creature.  He draws his dagger as he moves to assist.  Amrod also draws his dagger and runs forward to assist.  The Eritherean turns towards Amrod and swings at him with a large club.  Amrod nimbly dodges and goes down on his knees as he slides under the Eritherean's club.  He quickly leaps up and thrusts his dagger under the creature's trunk and into his neck.  The Eritherean stood there with a surprised look on its face for a couple seconds before toppling over into the jungle brush.
The Eritherean falls to the might of Skorri's crew...and a crocodile
Skorri notes the battle with the Eritherean and is proud when they defeat the large brute without taking any casualties.  He then notices one of Fortrywn's crew women crawling along the top of the wall with an arrow sticking out of her chest.  Skorri pulls out another arrow and smooths its feathers.  He carefully notches it and aims at the unsuspecting crew woman.  "This is not your day young lady" he thinks as he shoots.  The arrow strikes her hard in the leg just as her hand reached for the small treasure chest.  She teetered for a moment before falling off the wall and out of sight with a loud "Ooof".  Skorri saw Fortrywn scaling the wall to claim the chest.  "He's after my chest" he thought as he Surged and shot an arrow at him to discourage such action.  He wasn't sure if Fortrywn even noticed the arrow whizz by within an inch of his head as he dropped out of sight behind the wall (Skorri rolled a 24 shoot, Fortrywn rolled a 25).  Kukala (Hunter) moved forward towards Fortrywn's position to keep an eye on him.  He had our chest.
Things get interesting......
After defeating the Eritherean, Chen Lee and Wu spot a small chest lying among the piles of bones next to an old pillar.  They head that was trying to avoid getting stabbed or cut by the multitude of bone shards covering the temple floor.  As they arrived beside the chest, one of Fortrywn's crew stepped out from behind the pillar and unceremoniously cut down Chen Lee (hard to beat a 23 fight roll).  being surprised by seeing companion so easily defeated, Wu skidded to a stop.  Unfortunately, the scattered bones made for poor footing.  Wu slipped and thumped his head on the stone pillar.  He was out cold.  Fortrywn's mangy crewman bend down and picked up the chest.
Chen Lee and Wu challenge for a small chest
Chen and Wu are defeated and lose the chest

Taucher (Pearl Diver) and Hat Chet had been cautiously moving along the outside wall of the temple.  As he peered through a small archway, Taucher spots Fortrywn's Hunter.  She was looking the other way and appeared to be waving to someone out of Taucher's line of sight.  He immediately rushed forward and thrust his spear at her midsection.  The Hunter let out a scream as the spear caused a nine inch gash.  As she stumbled backwards, a screamer monkey pounced down on her head.  Thinking her neck was a banana, the monkey bit down hard.  As the Hunter dropped to the ground, the monkey chittered and jumped up and down on her in what looked like some kind of strange victory dance.  Meanwhile, Hat Chet discovers a small chest in the weeds beside one of the columns.  He quickly grabs it and heads back.

Kukala watches as Fortrywn turns and tosses the chest to one of his crewmen.  Fortrwyn then whirls around and strikes at Kukala with a speed you wouldn't expect from such an old man.  Fortrywn's sword puts a gash in Kukala's arm (7 damage).  "A little assistance please" he calls out in pain.  Alaniel (Archer), Blue Boy (Crewman), and the crocodile all turn and move towards Fortrywn.  Step by step they move closer (cue music from a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western).  Even though there are three crew members plus the crocodile, Skorri's men respect Fortrywn's Heritor skills.  Agger mumbles some words and points at the crocodile (cast Beast Strength, +1 fight).  With a feeling of strength rushing through it, the crocodile burst forward at Fortrywn, its jaws snapping tight around his leg.  The crocodile caused a lot of damage as it flailed about trying to bring Fortrywn down (roll plus adds = 28, -13 armor = 15 damage).  The other crew members joined in thrusting and slashing at the out numbered Heritor.  Kukala watches closely as Fortrywn parries and counters.  Seeing his opportunity, he thrusts his two-handed sword into his side.  Fortrywn falls into the mass of bone shards.  The crocodile continued to ravage Fortrywn for a few more seconds until Agger directed him to chase after the rest of Fortrywn's crew.  Alaniel, Blue Boy, and the crocodile move off across the temple floor.  Kukala salutes Fortrywn before following the others.
Skorri's crew takes down Heritor Fortrywn
Having finished off the Hunter, Taucher glances about for another target.  He spies Fortrywn's Warden hiding behind a pillar.  He stealthily moves closer and suddenly jumps around the pillar thrusting forward with his spear.  The spear catches her in the shoulder just as the monkey landed on her back.  The monkey bites and claws at the young Elf taking a piece of her pointed ears (6 damage).  The young Elf went into some kind of fit as she started to flail her arms wildly about.  Taucher stood back as he watched the monkey go flying off her back and land on the pillar.  Kukala ran through the piles of broken bones and skidded to a halt beside Taucher, "Skorri says to finish her off and help recover the chest".  With a screech, the monkey landed on her back again.  Kukala made a couple of feint strikes with his dagger to distract the Warden as Taucher thrust his spear forward again.  This time he lifted her off her feet as he caught her cleanly in the chest.  The Elf dropped to the ground in jumbled heap (Taucher rolled a 20 plus 7 adds for a 27 which became 28 damage due to his +1 damage weapon).  Taucher leaned down and checked on the Warden, she was still breathing.  But he knew she'd be in a lot of pain latter, especially when she looked in a mirror and saw her ear was now human looking.

Skorri's crew defeat Fortrywn's Warden
Skorri was watching Fortrywn's crewman run away with his treasure.  "What is everyone doing?" he thought to himself, "Guess I have to do everything".  Skorri drops the urn he was carrying as he called to his Warden, "Agger, come fetch this".  Without waiting for a reply, he moves forward to get a better shot angle as he drew his bow.  He tracked the crewman as he was cautiously picking his way through the graveyard.  He released and watched his arrow strike the crewman in the upper back.  He stumbled but kept going.  Kukala turned from the fight with the Warden and took a snap shot at Skorri's target but the arrow flew wide.

Disappointed by Kukala's poor bowmanship, Skorri moves forward again to get a clear shot.  He notches another arrow and shoots.  The arrow found its mark while in mid stride and the treasure thief dropped the chest as he tumbled forward to land in the grass (rolled a 15 +5 for a total of 20).  As the treasure carrying crewman fell, Skorri spied another one of Fortrywn's crew standing near the chest.  Surging, he quickly drew and shot another arrow.  "THWACK".  It hit her dead center, sending her tumbling to the ground (rolled a 19 +5 for a total of 24 - Skorri's dice were hot, Fortrywn was not amused!).  Blue Boy moved forward and claimed the chest which the rest of the crew moved forward to protect him.
Skorri - one shot, one kill...times 2
While all that was happening, Agger picked up the urn dropped by Skorri.  As he straightened up, he noticed a shadowy figure burst out of the jungle near him.  It was a Spirit Warrior.  He almost messed his pants remembering the beating the crew had taken from one these creatures during the last outing.  Agger turned and ran as fast as he could carrying the urn yelling out "Help, I need help".

Skorri turned to see what Agger was yelling about - it was a Spirit Warrior.  The same creature that had decimated his warband a few weeks ago.  Skorri turned, drew his sword, and moved to protect Agger.  The Spirit Warrior slashed at Skorri with a powerful blow.  Even though he managed to blunt the attack, the heavy sword still bit into his shoulder (causing 9 damage).  Skorri fights back using every technique he has learned over the years but once again the Spirit Warrior gets past his defenses with what appeared to be a fatal blow.  Kukala and Alaniel are moving to assist when they see Skorri struck down.  But Heritor's are hardy individuals.  As he went down on one knee, Skorri's blood burned more intensely then ever before and he managed to stand back up, staring defiantly at the Spirit Warrior (Skorri took 9 damage which would have been fatal since he only had 7 health remaining; he utilized Ironskin, reducing the damage to 5, plus 1 more for using a Heritor ability.  Skorri ended with 1 health point left).  Kukala and Alaniel rushed into the fight, engaging the Spirit Warrior from behind.  Between the two of them they managed to banish the foul creature.

The rest of the crew was preparing to chase down Fortrywn's crew when Kukala sounded out with the recall sign.  Being well trained, the crew obeyed the command and let the remainder of Fortrywn's crew escape into the misty jungle.  They revived Wu and Chen Lee who only had superficial wounds.  Skorri, supported by Alaniel, turned and headed towards the beach.
The after game picture
Back on board the Raven's Beak, Skorri was recovering from his wounds, confident that his Heritor constitution would have him up and about in no time.   He called for Kukala, the ship's Quartermaster, to come into the cabin so they could examine the loot:  two small chests, a sealed urn, and two pieces of unblemished ivory around 14 inches long.  Inside the two small chests they found a total 105 gold coins.  The urn had to be broken open; inside was a short sword of superior craftsmanship (+1 Fight).  The two pieces of ivory were judged to be worth around 50 gold coins.  Kukala made note of the gold in his ledger.  It was decided the sword would be given to Taucher for taking out Fortrywn's warden.  Skorri hoped Fortrywn and his young Warden were not badly injured but he did authorize increased rum rations for his crew to celebrate besting his old opponent.

Epilogue


It was another great and exciting game - although probably more exciting for Skorri then for Fortrywn.  Fortunately for Skorri, Fortrywn split his crew forcing him to fight most of the fights outnumbered (except for that one incident where I lost two crewmen in the same fight but who wants to talk about that.....).

Another run in with a Spirit Warrior was almost the doom of Skorri as he was left with only 1 health.  Fortunately that was when the game actually ended as the remnants of Fortrywn's crew left the table.  I embellished the story a bit at the end to provide a better narrative.
3D printed Erithereans (from Thingaverse), Boarman is a pre-paint


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 7: The Stone Circles


A couple weeks ago we got together to play the seventh game in our Ghost Archipelago campaign: The Stone Circles.  We had six of our regular eight players in attendance.  Instead of the layout described in the book, we decided to make the entire table deep water and the hills became islands.  We added several more islands and some floating vegetation to the table.  Lord Fortrywn's report can be read here:  Game 7 - The Stone Circles
All the crews ready to get started
The Story
"Captain, 2 fathoms," rang out from the First Mate as he sounded out the depth.  "Plus its getting a bit tight for maneuvering."

Skorri gazed out from the quarter deck at the small islets, protruding rocks, and clumps of vegetation.  It did look like navigating much further into this collection of islands would be difficult.  Plus it made sense to be able to sail out quickly in case of trouble they couldn't handle. "Thank you Mr. Wu.  Helmsman, please come about and drop anchor.  Prepare to lower boats."

The crew scurried about their duties while Skorri scanned the numerous small isles and rocks that made up this unchartered cluster of islands.  An ill-wind blew across the deck causing Skorri to shiver for a moment.  Hopefully that was not a portent of things to come.  As he strode towards his cabin to gather his gear for going ashore, he observed his crew doing the same.

In short order, Skorri and his crew were in two boats rowing into the watery maze of islands.  All he had to guide him was a torn page from an old diary that mentioned clues to the ancient fountain might be found within a circle of standing stones on a hill of spirits.  The area they were traversing may have once been above water and the islets may have been hills.  But today it was just a large marshy area containing hundreds of small island.

After several aborted stops that turned out to be large stumps covered by vines and moss, Chen Lee pointed towards a small island a couple hundred meters away, "Stones."  Skorri's gaze turned in the direction indicated.  Sure enough, that looked like several standing stones.  "Head that way" he told his crew.
Skorri and his crew approach the standing stones
As they slowly approached, Skorri could hear the faint echoes of other commands being given off in the distance.  It appeared other Heritors were here as well.  Skorri constantly scanned the shores of the small island they passed, ever alert for signs of danger.  He did spot something on a small island off to his right.  He softly called to the other boat, "Blue Boy, go check out that object.  We'll be back to pick you up."  Without hesitation, Blue Boy (Crewman) dove in and swam away.

The two boats continue to row forward.  As they get closer, Skorri notices two things: what appears to be a large chest in the center of the stones; and the dregs of Herndon's crew approaching from the other side of the island.  His blood immediately starts to boil as he Surges forward in an attempt to beat Herndon to the chest.  With a tremendous leap, he lands on the shore and rushes forward.  almost immediately, a semi-translucent figure appears  beside the chest.  Skorri draws his sword and engages the creature.  He feints a thrust and quickly changes to a slash that appears to cut all the way through the creature (Attack causes 10 points of damage).  He spins around and attempts another sword slice (a third action due to the Surge).  This time the creature anticipated his move.  Skorri feels an icy claw rake his left arm leaving it cold and numb (Skorri wounded for 9 damage).
Skorri wins the race to the central treasure
Seeing the Skorri dash forward and engaging what appears to be an undead creature (Spirit Warrior), Agger (Beast Warden) moves forward to assist.  He points his staff towards the algae covered water as mumbles a spell.  Droplets of water leap forward and land on Skorri.  Feeling returns to Skorri's arm and the chill mostly dissipates (Successful casting of Water of Life).

The sun light is suddenly blocked out as clouds quickly gather overhead reducing visibility (Someone cast Call Storm decreasing line of sight to 16 inches).  Herndon and his crew can be seen coming ashore and moving towards the stone circle.  Spotting each other, the two crews engage in an archery contest.  Arrows and crossbow bolts fill the air but initially none of them find a target.

Visibility continued to degrade (Line of sight reduced to 14 inches due to Call Storm) as more and more of the two crews moved forward.  Arrows and bolts were flying thicker than the mosquitos.
Chen Lee (Crewman) lets out a yelp as an arrow clips the side of his leather cap.  He spins around and drops to the ground.  First blood to Herndon and his crew.  Spotting one of Herndon's crewman leaning out from behind a tree, Alaneil (Archer) takes aim and releases his arrow.  He watches as it strikes Herndon's crewman in the shoulder.  Following the flight of the arrow, Kukala (Hunter) let loose with an arrow as well.  It flies straight and true as he watches the crewman fall into the brush.

Skorri is still locked in hand to hand with the Spirit Warrior.  He is able to thrust his sword into the creature's chest causing it to vanish into a wisp.  Not knowing if the creature was killed or merely banished, Skorri reaches down and scoops up the chest. 
Action in the stone circle get intense
Taucher (Pearl Diver) reaches a chest that he spotted lying under a large bush.  As he bends down to check it out, several arrows strike by his feet.  Dancing around to avoid getting hit, he slips and bashes his head on the small iron chest.  The last thing he sees is a flash of stars as he slumps to the ground.

Another Spirit Warrior materializes beside Skorri.  Wu and Amrod spring forward to assist their Heritor by distracting the creature.  Their intervention was sufficient.  Without any fancy moves, Skorri kills the Spirit Warrior with a single thrust to the chest (rolled a 20 +10 adds for a total Fight of 30).  Skorri then backs out of the stone circle to take cover behind one of the standing stones.  Herndon and his crew continue to demonstrate their fondness of ranged weapons as they release arrows and bolts in all directions.  Fortunately, none find their mark as the clouds get a bit darker and ground fog starts to accumulate (LOS reduced to 12 inches).

Out of the brush, a rabid looking dog charges Hat Chet.  He fends the creature off.  Seeing the animal attack Hat Chet, Agger points at the dog and speaks the magic phrase to Control Animal.  He then mentally sends the animal an image of dog bones hidden in the pockets of Herndon's crew.  The dog runs off and immediately tries to chew a hole in the pants of one of Herndon's crew members.  The crew member whacks the dog on the head knocking it out cold (luckily PETA doesn't exist in the Ghost Archipelago).  Watching the event unfold causes Agger to chuckle.  Hat Chet turns to watch the dog run away only to be cowardly coldcocked by one of Herndon's crew.

Skorri's hunter and his two archers demonstrate that they do not know how to accurately shoot a bow - they missed every target.  While Amrod is pulling another arrow from his quiver, unbeknownst to him, another Spirit Warrior rises from the ground behind him.  The Spirit Warrior lunges forward striking Amrod in the back.  The icy touch immediately crumpling him to the ground.  In an attempt to avenge their fallen comrade, Kukala and Wu charge into contact with the Spirit Warrior.  Too late they realize they are outclassed.  The Spirit Warrior parries each of their attacks and his counterattacks knock both of them unconscious.
Skorri's crew watches as Herndon's crew runs away
Meanwhile, Skorri had been watching one of Herndon's crewmen dragging a chest through the undergrowth to a boat.   In order to get into a better shooting position, Skorri Surges, moves to a firing position, shoots and takes down the crew member carrying the treasure.  He then shoots again and wounds Herndon (5 points of damage).

Skorri is forced to watch as his foe and his crew escape into the fog with their treasures.  Herndon waves just before his boat fades out of view.  Skorri and Agger look around and realize that, other than Blue Boy who swam to another island to recover a treasure, they are the only two left standing.  They move around and check on their crew members.  Wu, Hat Chet, and Chen Lee have serious wounds which Agger treats by casting Water of Life to stabilize them.  The others only have minor bumps and bruises.  Eventually, Skorri gets everyone into the two boats and they slowly make their way back to the Raven's Beak to recover.
The butcher's bill was quite high.  Spirit Warriors - not cool.
Epilogue
Although they have little to show for their effort this day (105 gold coins and a Superior Dagger +1 Damage), Skorri is still proud of how his crew forced Herndon to turn tail and run off the island.  Skorri will still be recording Herndon's name into the book beside his other nemesis Griffon.  And he will be scheduling archery practice for all his bow users.
The right boat contains the survivors. the left boat contains the casualties
Commentary
The game was one of the shortest we have played, only six turns.  The nature of how we modified the scenario to accommodate six players and making the terrain mostly water led to the game evolving into three separate and distinct sub-games.  Other than the crew directly opposite, there was no interaction with the other crews.  For Skorri, all of the action was on a single island except for Blue Boy who went to another island that I think was overlooked by Griffon who was on Skorri's right.  We'll have to think changes out a bit more as we work to modify the remaining scenarios for our eight player group.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 6: The Blood Totems


A late report.....

A few weekends ago we got together for the sixth game in our Ghost Archipelago campaign.  We had  7 of our regular 8 players.  The scenario was the Blood Totems from the GA rulebook.  Skorri ended up surrounded by four other Heritors: to the left was Griffin (Skorri's arch enemy from early in the campaign), to the right was Kragmar, to the left front was Fortrywn (a noble adversary) and to the right front was Gregorious.

Skorri started the game with a new Heritor ability, Intuition, and Agger started with a new Warden spell, Beast Strength.

You can read Fortrywn's report here:  The Blood Totems

A view of the table
The Story
As Skorri paced back and forth on the deck of his ship, Raven's Beak, Kukala approached and said "We've spotted the island, right where the old crone said it would be."  Skorri grunted to himself, "That was money well spent - hopefully. This island doesn't appear on any of the known navigation charts. It remains to  be seen if the rest of her tale is true - ancient totems surrounded by loot."

Skorri bellowed to the crew, "Prepare to go ashore."

After a short paddle through a mild surf, Skorri and crew found themselves on a narrow stretch of sand.  The jungle came almost all the way to the water's edge.  As soon as the crew entered he jungle, it was like being smacked in the face with a warm towel.  Not to mention the musty decaying smell of he vegetation.  Skorri told Kukala (Hunter) to lead the way as the crew slowly picked its way through the undergrowth.
Another view of the table
After an hour or so of pushing through the jungle, they came to an area criss-crossed by several low ridges.  Stopping to survey the area, Skorri and crew noticed several totems or idols scattered throughout the area.  They were overgrown and seemed to exude a faint hum of power.

Skorri moves forward toward the nearest totem.  As he got closer he feel a slight tingling of his blood.  Additionally he noticed a small stone set in the ground immediately in front of the totem.  Feeling uncomfortable and wanting to move away as quickly as possible, Skorri Surges to move the stone.  As he does so, he is hit with a blood burn of twice the normal intensity (Successful use of the Surge ability, takes extra damage due to the totem's negative effect).  He struggles with the stone for a moment before managing to pry it up (succeeds with his Will roll against the totem), revealing a small treasure chest.  In an attempt to escape further pain, Skorri moves towards a nearby ridge.  As he climbs up, he sees a monkey totem hidden in a small copse of trees.  Blue Boy moves forward behind Skorri and retrieves the uncovered treasure.  He then heads towards the beach with the treasure safely tucked into his backpack.
Blue Boy recovers a treasure
Agger decides to Summon Animal to hinder the other Heritors and detects the approach of a large snake.  He mentally vectors it to seek out and attack Herndon's crew.

Taucher has also spotted a totem.  He moves up a small hill to check it out followed by Hat Chet.  The rest of the crew all move forward looking for more totems.  Hopefully they are all guarding treasures.
Skorri and Chu Wat recover a treasure
Skorri makes it to the top of the hill.  As he nears the monkey totem, he again feels a tingling sensation.  He decides not to use one of his abilities as he reaches down and grabs hold of the stone in front of the totem.  This time the stone easily moves aside revealing another small chest (successfully engages the totem with his Will).  Chu Wat following his boss, reaches down and picks up the treasure.  Out of the corner of his eye, Skorri spots movement in the brush off to his left.  He points out the opposing crew to his young Warden.  Looking in the direction indicated by Skorri, Agger identifies Fortrywn's crew.  Remembering the kerfuffle from the last excursion, Agger anticipates some trouble.  He quickly Envenoms one of Skorri's arrows as the clouds begin to thicken (One of the other Wardens cast Call Storm).

After carefully checking out the totem, Taucher grabs a tree limb and uses it to pry up the stone foot piece (successfully uses his Will against the totem).  While Hat Chet recovers the revealed treasure.  Wu also manages to overcome a totem with his Will.  Yen Lo picks up the treasure.
Taucher and Hat Chet near a totem
Across the jungle, Herndon's Tomb Raider sees the large snake and moves to attack it.  Bobbing and weaving, the snake avoids the sword thrust, striking him on the arm.  The large snake then follows up with a lightning quick lunge at the Tomb Raider, its fangs sinking deep into his neck.  The shock from the strike and the effects of the poison takes the Tomb Raider out of action.  As he slumps to the ground, the large snake surveyed around for his next victim.  But before he can react, he is shot down by several archers.
Skorri's crew heading towards a totem
As he turns to move down the ridge with the treasure, Chu Wat just barely dodges an arrow from Fortrywn's archer.  Skorri spotted the archers shot.  With a single fluid motion, he unshoulders his bow, notches an arrow, and snaps fires back at him.  His arrow is hindered somewhat by his target's leather jerkin but the arrow embeds itself with minor damage.  However, the poison starts to takes affect immediately and the archer doubles over in pain.  "That'll teach the cheeky fellow" he thinks as Skorri glares at Fortrywn's archer, daring him to make a threatening move.  After a few moments the archer decides its better to run away and live another day.  After the near miss, Chu Wat also decides to quickly run out of the enemy archer's line of sight. 

Fortrywn's crew
Agger, detecting that his summoned snake has died, quickly casts Summon Animal again.  This time a slow moving snapping turtle heeds the call.  With a chuckle, Agger once again directs the animal towards Herndon's crew.  The snapping turtle withstands three volleys of arrow, each one bouncing off its tough shell.


Taucher spots two skeletons heading toward him and Hat Chet.  He moves forwards to engage them both to protect the treasure.  He skillfully fights them both but no one takes any damage.
Kukala has spotted one of Gregorious' thieving crew dragging a chest through the jungle.  He waves at Agger to get his attention.  Agger understands his intention and casts Envenom on one of arrows.  Kukala takes careful aim and releases his arrow.  The arrow flies straight and true....and then strikes a tree limb.  The crewman vanishes from sight as Amrod tried to get a shot off as well.
Kukala and Amrod take shots at Gregorious' crew
Taucher was still engaged with the two skeletons.  Suddenly he started to jump around, slapping at his armor.  It seems a bumble bee got inside his leather jerkin.  While he was distracted, the two skeletons whacked him on both sides of his head at the same time.  He immediately forgot about the bee as he crumpled to ground.  When he recovered (slung over Wu's shoulder), besides the two bumps on his head, he had 4 or 5 bee stings.  The crew won't let him forget this incident for some time.
Taucher fighting two skeletons - Spoiler Alert - He loses.....
Determining that Fortrywn and his crew are not a threat, Skorri looks around to assess the status of his crew.  Several crew members are hurrying back toward the beach carrying treasure.  He then spies Taucher being unceremoniously taken down by the two skeletons.  Skorri charges into contact.  The slow lumbering movements of his opponents allows him to easily beat one of them into a pile of bones.  Pumped up and little peeved at Taucher being being bested, his blood boils a bit as he Backswings at the remaining skeleton.  Its head flies off into the jungle.  The headless skeleton stands there for a couple seconds before falling to the ground.  Sensing Skorri using his abilities once again, Agger cast Water of Life on him to heal the damage caused by using his Heritor abilities.
Skorri takes down two skeletons

Skorri sounds recall and notices his crew starting to head towards the beach.  Wu stops to sling Taucher over his shoulder.  Sensing that the snapping turtle has met its fate, Agger can't resist casting Summon Animal one more time.  As he hears the buzzing of a giant wasp, he giggles as he sends his pet towards Herndon's crew one more time.

Skorri waits until the last of crew has withdrawn before he fades into the jungle.  Another successful foray to one of the Ghost Archipelago islands results in four treasures recovered (one of them was the central treasure).
The crew and its booty

Epilogue
A very successful game but little action the part of Skorri's crew.  Even though he was surrounded by four opposing Heritors, there was never any danger to his crew.  Except for the action with Fortrywn's archer - but that was really no danger :-).  If it hadn't been for the skeletons, Skorri may have fallen asleep.

The recovery of the four treasures resulted in 240 gold coins.  With the existing gold in Skorri's treasury, a quick return trip to port might be in order to replace the archer he loss a couple expeditions ago.

I will just barely get this report posted before our next campaign game which is just 2 days away.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 5: The Abandoned Watchtowers



We recently finished game 5 of our 2018 Ghost Archipelago campaign.  We only had 5 of our normal 8 players due to real life stuff getting in the way.  The scenario this time was the third scenario in the rule book, The Abandoned Watchtowers.  With having five players, we only set-up two towers.  After setting up treasures, we then drew for starting locations.  As is my preference, I was able to choose a corner position to protect my flank.  I happened to end up opposite Fortrywn with Herndon to my left (To read Fortrywn's report, click here Fortrywn Game 5).  The other two Heritors at the far end of the table were Kragmar and my mortal enemy, Griffin (his name is still in the book from Game 3).

Starting positions for the Heritors
Skorri's Story

On board his dhow, the Raven's Beak, Skorri sat under an awning discussing where to search next with the recently recovered Kukala (Hunter; missed last game due to injuries).  Trying to sail through the mysterious islands of the archipelago in search of the fabled Crystal Pool was problematic.  The dense fogs, narrow channels, shallow reefs, and seemingly shifting isles made navigation difficult at best.  The old journal he has from his grandfather is oft times confusing.  Its either a secret code written by a genius, or just the ramblings of a half-mad old man.  And the handful of maps it contains are really just fragmented drawings with few landmarks.  He had only found one map stone and it did not match anything in the journal.  "Skorri, come take a look" rang out from the crow's nest.  Skorri and Kukala stood up and moved to the railing.  Skorri pulled out his telescope and took a look at the nearby island. A pair of old watch towers could be seem off in the distance, rising up out of the jungle.  Skorri decided they would make a good area to search, "Heave to and make ready to go ashore" he called out.  The ship came to a halt, the anchor dropped, and the sails were furled.  Two boats were lowered and the crew climbed in to start rowing to a small, secluded beach.
A watchtower has been spotted
It was a hot and humid as the crew set off from the beach and headed inland through the steamy jungle vegetation.  The buzzing of various insects became a constant irritation.  Kukala (Hunter) took the point position as they headed towards the ruined watch towers.  Skorri and crew moved forward through the undergrowth until one of the watch towers came into view.  From the architecture and the various runes carved into its stones, Skorri was unable to determine who might have built these watchtowers.  Nor could he ascertain why there were two of them built so closely together.  Off to the right, he could see the ruins of two smaller buildings.  These looked like they may contain clues to the mysterious towers or hopefully information to guide him in his search for the elusive map stones. 
Skorri's crew prepares to move out
Moving up, Skorri scans the jungle vegetation.  Off in the distance, he ccould make out another crew heading his way.  From the foppish attire of their leader, he knew that had to be Fortrywn.  Remembering the last outing at the Floating Hulks, Skorri decides he will keep the majority of his crew in a close group, except for his archers.  He sends them to look for a place to provide cover for the others - and to harass Fortrywn's crew.  Kukala (Hunter) whispers, "Based on the way the birds are being disturbed to our left, I think another crew is over there and moving towards the tower."  "Amras (Archer), keep a watch to the left.  Let move out lads" replies Skorri.  He then heads around the first ruin and moves toward the second one, Blue Boy and Chen Lee follow him (Crewmen).

Kukala spies a screamer monkey on top of the nearby watch tower.  Knowing these creatures have a tendency to draw other animals with their howling, he carefully draws his bow.  Taking aim, he releases an arrow.  It flies straight and true, hitting the monkey in the chest.  The monkey falls out of sight. Agger (Beast Warden) mumbles the words to Summon Animal.  Off in the distance he hears the "bzzzz...bzzzz" of a giant wasp.
Amras and Amrod prepare to fire on opposing crewmen
A wall of Brambles springs up to the front, blocking movement.  Fortrywn's warden must be nearby.  Yen Lo moves towards one of the small ruined structures in search of treasure or other information.  Amras and Amrod (Archers) notice some of Fortrywn's crew moving towards them.  They draw their bows, move up a little, and let loose arrows.  And both fly wide of their target. The sunny day suddenly darkens as dense cloud cover begins to move in reducing visibility (Call Storm was cast by Kragmar's warden).
Skorri picks up a treasure
Skorri continues his move to the small ruined building.  Once there, he spots a treasure chest in the rubble.  He feels a twinge of pain as his blood start to boil as he Surges to pick up the chest.  Blue Boy and Chen Lee move up to protect their Heritor as they hear the sounds of Fortyrwn's crew moving nearby. Kukala spots one of Fortrywn's crew slinking through the jungle and takes a snap shot at him.  His arrow strikes home but the crewman gets away.
Skorri's crew claim a treasure
Agger casts Envenom on Amras' arrow to enable the two archers to take out two of Fortrywn's crew members; preventing them from picking up a treasure item laying in the brush.  Amras shoots and misses (The poisoned arrow always misses).  Amrod shoots and hits the treasure thief for some minor damage. Agger's summoned wasp makes a bee-line (or is that a "wasp-line") for Fortrwyn's archer.The cloud cover starts to sink down, making it harder to mark targets (14 inch line of sight).

A Wasp attacks Fortrywn's archer
Skorri drops the treasure beside Blue Boy who picks it up and fades into the jungle, heading towards the beach.  Skorri moves to a window and spots some movement in a nearby jungle area.  Knowing it is not one of his own crew, his blood burns through his veins as he Surges to take a quick shot at the unknown target.  He hears the arrow strike home with a loud "TWACK", someone is hurting for certain (10 points of damage).  Seeing Skorri's shot, Kukala takes aim at the same target.  He pulls back and releases.  His arrow flies straight and hits his target.  Kukala is surprised as the target falls into the grass and rolls into view, it turns out to be Fortrywn's young warden. Agger again cast Envenom on Amras's arrow, and again he misses his target.
Kukala takes out Fortrywn's Warden
The wasp buzzes around the archer looking for an opening.  The archer frantically swings his dagger to and fro and manages to nick one of the wasp's legs (1 point of damage).  Another of Fortrywn's crew moves in to gang up on the poor beast.  The wasp becomes incensed and without any hesitation, grabs the crewman with its forelegs and drives his stinger deep into his chest, killing him.  The wasp turns as a sword bounces off his tough chitin shell.  A third member of Fortrywn's crew has joined in the fight.  The archer sees and opportunity and cowardly stabs the wasp in the back.  Somehow he found a seam between the chitinous plates and his dagger sunk deep.  The wasp spasmed, his wings beating so fast it almost knocked the two humans off their feet.  Then the wasp seized up and dropped to the jungle floor.  Fortrywn's crew then ran like scared rabbits into a nearby patch of jungle.
The wasp attacking Fortrywn's crew
Skorri moves twice to get line of sight on Fortrywn's crew.  He then Surges to take a shot but he  misses his mark due to the reduced visibility.  Kukala tries to climb over the barrier of Brambles but the barbs and vines catch his clothing and he is unable to free himself.

Agger hears the hissing of a snake slithering up behind him.  He turns and his heart skipped a beat or two - he sees an anaconda heading straight towards him.  He quickly speaks the magic words for Control Animal.  His success causes Agger to smile as he sends the creature off to protect the left flank.

Amras and Amrod continue their cycle of shooting and missing.  Return fire is more accurate as Amras is hit by an arrow from Fortrywn's Hunter (4 points of damage).  Skorri moves forward and takes a shot at Fortrywn's elven crewman.  His miss causes his blood to boil as he Surges to shoot again.  This time his shot is on target and the crewman slumps to the ground.  Seeing Skorri moving forward, Agger casts Envenom on Skorri's sword.  He might need it.

Skorri and crew chase after a treasure
Kukala is finally able to free himself from the Brambles and takes a shot at Fortrywn.  His arrow strikes straight and true but is deflected by Fortrywn's armor.   Seeing Fortrywn's crew on the verge of escaping with the stolen treasure, Amras draws another arrow and takes careful aim.  He holds his breath for a moment and releases his arrow.   Amras watches as the arrow strikes his target and takes out Fortrywn's crew-woman.  Amrod lines up his shot and lets it fly.  The arrow strikes the other crewman in the chest.  The crewman falls to the ground.  Finally a successful round of shooting by Amras and Amrod.

Amras is then charged by Fortrywn himself.  He tries to block his attack using his bow.  Although Amras successfully deflects his thrust, he is forced to stumble backwards a few steps.  He is then struck hard in the chest by an arrow fired by Fortrywn's Hunter.  Dropping his cleaved bow, Amras falls into the jungle vegetation, never to rise again (Rolled a 1 on the recovery table).


"NO!!!", seeing Amras fall, Skorri charges into to combat with Fortrywn, his sword glowing green with venom.  Chen Lee also charges forward to support his Heritor.  Skorri's strike sees his sword bite deep into the side of Fortrywn's breastplate, releasing its deadly toxin (Skorri roll: 19 + 8 vs Fortrywn roll: 18 + 5).  Fortrywn is so badly wounded (14 points of damage) he can barely retain his footing as he feels the effects of the poison oozing through his body.  Vengefully, Skorri lets his blood burn as he attempts a Backswing.  He must have been blinded by the anger of seeing Amras fall as his backswing fails to connect (He takes 3 points of damage for failing a Heritor ability). 

Skorri and Fortrywn cross swords
Agger sees Skorri in pain and quickly casts Water of Life on him.  Skorri feels the effect of the spell restoring some of his health as he takes up a defensive posture against Fortrywn's counter attack.
Meanwhile, seeing the treasure chest get picked up, Amrod and Taucher move to engage in combat against Fortrywn's Pearl Diver.  With a great display of swordsmanship, neither side can gain an advantage as the Pearl Diver does a good job of holding off Skorri's crewmen..

Seeing that he is outnumbered, and over-matched by Skorri's superior skills, Fortrywn calls upon his Heritor abilities and executes an Evade.  He successfully spins around behind Chen Lee.  The two exchange blows with Chen Lee taking a cut to his arm as he is forced back out of combat.  Noticing that Chen Lee is safe for the moment, plus seeing the venom starting to have an effect on Fortrywn, Skorri decides to disengage.  He turns to leave, as Fortrywn hurls profane insults at him.  Ignoring him, Skorri rapidly moves to assist Amrod and Taucher with fighting Fortrywn's pearl diver.  As he reaches the melee, he ignores the pain and Surges to engage his opponent.  His momentum allows him to deflect the pearl diver's thrust.  He then twists his blade to the left and strikes him hard with the flat side of the sword against his temple.  The pearl diver collapses into the vegetation as he loses consciousness, the chest tumbling to the ground.  Skorri directs Amrod to grab the treasure and fall back.  He does so and quickly fades into the jungle (i.e. Runs off the table).
Skorri and crew capture a treasure - from Fortrywn
Off in the distance, the roar of a Monarch can be heard (A random creature roll).  Not wanting to hang around to catch a glimpse, Skorri quickly whistles the recall signal.  Before he departs, he turns and raises his sword in a salute to Fortrywn, "You lost today old boy. But that doesn't mean you have to like it.  Better luck next time."  He and his remaining crew then start to move back towards the beach.
Post game photo opportunity
 Epilogue

A good game for Skorri and his crew recovering three treasures, even though he did lose one of his Specialists (Amras the Archer).  No really worth heading back to port to just replace a single Specialist - I hope.  We'll see how the next game plays out.

Keeping the crew mostly together with covering and harassing fire from the archers seemed to work well this time around.  The summoned wasp helped out also diverting Fortrwyn's crew's attention for a while.  Skorri was aided by Fortrywn splitting his crew into three teams.  Of course focusing on Fortrywn did allow Herndon to have a pretty much free attempt at the central treasure on top of the tower.  Herndon did have to contend with a couple half-hearted attempts by both Kragmar and Griffin but didn't get any pictures of that action.  Maybe next time I can get some action shot from the other end of the table.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 4: The Floating Hulks


My gaming group completed Game 4 of our 2018 Ghost Archipelago Campaign - The Floating Hulks.  We modified a solo scenario titled "The Floating Hulk" written by Joe McCullough (author of Ghost Archipelago) and published in the November 2107 issue of Wargames Illustrated.  For the game we had six of our regular players, two players being unable to attend.

In order to make the scenario usable by our group, a few changes needed to be made. Fellow campaign player Chris Palmer, and myself, worked on re-configuring the scenario so it would be playable by a group of 6 players, not just one.  We decided to make it a large "island" of derelict ships, kind of like a ship graveyard, that had all gathered together amongst some jagged rocky outcroppings, forming one large intertwined mass.   We then multiplied the mainmasts, with the central treasure and the nests of Talonjacks to a total of three; so there would be one for every two of our players.  We then assigned a Shark to be just outside the starting zone of each player.  We also upped the number of total Sharks and Talonjacks that could be brought into play during the game, and created a specialized Random Encounter Table that contained only Aquatic creatures, and some creatures one might find on derelict ships; like Pirate Skeletons, Swamp Zombies, and Sea Rats.  Also, a special rule of the scenario requires anyone trying to climb from one of the small boats onto one of the ships to make a special Move Roll with a target number of 12.  We decided to include climbing from the boats onto the rocks, climbing from a ship to a ship, or climbing from the sea onto one of the ships or rocks; figuring everything was a rocking, tossing, slippery deathtrap. (This paragraph blatantly copied from Fortrywn's blog entry which you can read here - Ghost Archipelago Campaign '18, Game 4: The Island of Floating Hulks)

Skorri was lucky in being second in selecting his starting location.  A corner position was picked to protect one of his flanks from the other Heritors.  In the end, he ended up facing Fortrywn directly across from him, Kragmar to his immediate right, and Molly Malone to his right front.  Further down the table were Herndon and his arch-enemy Griffin.
 
 
Skorri's Story
Looking out from the bow of his ship, Raven's Beak, Skorri Drakenberg scanned the horizon.  His thoughts flashed back to the activities of the past couple weeks.  After recovering from his encounter with the Heritor Griffin, Skorri had to conduct a bit of recruiting.  First, he had to find a new warden willing to join his crew (His previous warden, Anemone, didn't survive the last outing) and a new pearl diver.  He sent members of his crew out to inquire around the port town.  In the end, there were not many wardens available for hire.  Skorri settled for a young Beast Warden named Agger.  While he looked like a kid, he seemed to be a skilled magic user, and well versed in all things dealing with wild animals.  That might come in handy in the jungles Skorri planned on trekking through in search of the map stones to lead him to the magic fountain.

A view of the table with the various ships entangled with each other

Several of his crew came back with tales about a floating mass of lost ships that was recently sighted.  Skorri conferred with Kukala (Hunter) who was still recovering from a bad wound.  It was decided that they would sail towards the sea of lost ships before heading back into the archipelago.

Here, it is said, you will find a few rocks jutting out of the depths, eternally waiting for some unsuspecting ship to gut itself, spilling sailors and cargo into the ocean.  The area attracted a large number of sharks and other denizens of the deep, anxious to feed on the poor sailors whose ships met their doom on the rocks.  But not all the ships drawn into this morass were sunk.  Many were merely trapped here by the whirlpool like currents which causes ships and other debris to collect in a single area and became entangled.
A view of the dwarven ironclad

As they approached the area known as the Sea of Lost Ships, "Sails to the port and starboard" rang out from the crow's nest.  Skorri turned his looking glass left and right, scanning the distant, looking for Griffin's ship.  None of them seemed to be flying personal banners or flags.  That means they are most likely other Heritors, they tend to be a secretive bunch.

All of the ships looked like they had been here for quite some time. Skorri couldn't detect any movement on the decks of the stranded, derelict hulks - manned only by the ghosts of their doomed crews.  He did spot several flying creatures with long, deadly looking beaks flying around the top masts of several of the ships.  "Those are called Taloned Jackclaws, or Talonjacks for short.  They like to grab you and drop you in the water." volunteered Agger.
Another view of the ships
Afraid of becoming entrapped with the mass of rotting ships, Skorri directed his crew to heave to about a half mile away.  Adding his ship to the floating mass was not part of his plan.
Skorri's crew in their boats approaching "The Floating Hulks"
Hopefully there would still be something of value waiting to be plundered.  And with that thought in mind, Skorri loads his crew on three small boats and they set off towards the entangled mess of old ships.  As they move forward, Taucher spots a shark swimming towards the boat.  Skorri directs his archers, Amras and Amrod to shoot it.  They both take careful aim and let fly their arrows. Amras strikes home but Amrod's arrow glances off the shark's tough skin.  Skorri sees that the extra archery training has not paid off yet.  He stands up and draws his bow.  His arrow flies true and strikes the sea creature in the eye.  The crew cheers as the shark turns belly up and slowly sinks beneath the waves.

Directly across from Skorri's crew, on the other side of the mass of ships, the sounds of a fight can be heard.  Mostly screams and a lot of splashing noises.  Sounds like Fortrywn's crew has run into a bit of trouble.  Skorri smiled at the thought.
Skorri's crew moves forward
The boat containing Skorri's new warden, Agger, moves forward towards the nearest ship.  On top of the mast, he sees a talonjack.  Agger calmly incants the words to Control Animal.  He thought he had been successful but the creature shrugged off the effects (Successful casting, the Talonjack resisted).  The Talonjack spotted the crew and made a diving attack.  The flight was cut short as Hat Chet swung his ax and severed the bird's head with a clean cut.  As the ship's cook, Hat Chet says "Keep the bird safe, that's supper."

Skorri and Taucher swim towards the black hulk
With the shark dead and sky starting to become overcast (Molly Malone's warden cast Cloud Cover), Skorri directs his newly recruited Pearl Diver to follow him towards the black hulled wreck off to the left.  He checks to make sure his Piscian Helmet is secure before he dives in; Taucher jumps in right behind him.  Amras climbs up on the abandoned ship, carefully timing his jump with the up and down rocking motions of the two ships (Need a Move roll with a target of 14 to successfully move between ships).  Once on the other ship he slowly surveys his surroundings.  There are several ships entangled together.  On a nearby ship he notices another crew climbing aboard, he recognizes Fortrywn's archer.  He takes aim at her and let's fly.  The shaft flies straight as an arrow.  With a loud "thwack" it strikes the opposing archer in the back, dropping her to her knees (Hits Fortrywn's archer for 10 points of damage).  While silently congratulating himself, strands of seaweed shoot up from the rotting decking and weave themselves around his bow.  Amras quickly cut them away but the damage had been done.  His finely crafted bow had a slight warp to it (Fortrywn's Warden cast Warp Weapon, -1 damage).

Amrod successfully jumps to a another nearby ship.  As he lands, Agger casts Envenom on his bow.  Blue Boy runs over to a pile of trade goods and roots around.  He finds a small chest that he places in his backpack. Yen Lo attempts to jump between two ships.  His foot lands on a pile of moldy kelp causing him to lose his balance.  He unceremoniously lands in the water.  Hat Chet fares better and makes the move to an old Dwarf ironclad with ease.  As he lands, he finds himself staring down the barrels of two old, rusty cannon sticking menacingly out of a turret.  He decides to start climbing up to the crow's nest on top of the turret to get a better look at the other hulks.

Meanwhile, Wu and Wat Lee have been rowing towards an old longship.  They make it there and climb aboard only to find they are not the first to board.  One of Kragmar's crew members is already there - and it seems he has discovered a treasure chest.  Two against one, this should be easy pickings.

As the clouds continue to drop lower, further reducing visibility (14" LOS), Skorri and Taucher swim around to the black ship.  They can see several members of Fortrywn's crew aboard.  They both attempt to climb up the hull but Taucher cannot find a footing in the slimy algae covering the hull.  Skorri almost makes it to the top before a piece of rotting timber sends him splashing back into the water.  Fortrywn's warden looks down and sees Skorri in the water.  Skorri hears her chuckle as she intricately waves her hands as only a spell caster can do.  Skorri feels tendrils of kelp twirling around his sword.  His strength is sufficient to break free of the plant but he notices the balance of the weapon had been affected (Fortrywn's warden cast Warp Weapon on his sword, -1 Fight).

Skorri and Taucher try to climb aboard the black hulk
Agger has now successfully climbed aboard the dhow.  He decides to provide the crew some assistance by attempting to cast Summon Animal.  He successfully called forth to the nearby creatures and could soon sense a large snake approaching.  He should be useful to distract Fortrywn's crew.

Out of some hidden hole, Amras sees a mangy looking rat jump on Amrod's back.  He moves forward, "Hold still, I've got it" yells Amras as he pulls his dagger and takes a swipe at the rat (The real rat, not Amrod).  Luckily for Amrod his aim is good and the rat flies off into the water.  Amrod says "Thanks" as he takes aim at one of Fortrywn's crew.  The gentle rocking motion of the ship was just enough the throw off his aim.

Over on board the longship, Wat Lee and Wu engage Kragmar's crewman.  Between the two of them, they manage to beat him back from the treasure chest.  During their scuffle, the clouds have descended far enough down that they are like a fog surrounding the mass of ships (visibility is 12" LOS).
Skorri and Taucher climb aboard the black hulk
Finally, Skorri and Taucher are able to find enough secure handholds to climb aboard the ship.  Once on board, they notice an entanglement of kelp and seaweed suddenly emerging from the rotting deck of the ship (Bramble spell) cutting them off from Fortrywn's crew, one of whom is carrying a small chest.  Skorri Surges to pull out his bow and take a snap shot but fails to hit his target.  Taucher jumps as a large snake slithers it way aboard the ship.  He holds his breath as the snake moves towards Fortrywn's crew (Agger's Summoned Animal), "Good thing I'm wearing my brown pants."
At the top of the mast of the ship Amrod has boarded, Agger spots another Talonjack.  He casts Control Animal but once again he feels the creature resist his charms.
A wall of brambles springs up to block Skorri and Taucher
Amrod spies Skorri on board a nearby ship, along with one of Fortrywn's crew.  He slowly takes aim at Fortrywn's crewman and pulls back on his bow string.  With a careful aim, he successfully hits him with a poisoned arrow.  "That should help out the boss some" he thought.  (Being hit and successfully damaged by a poison arrow reduces the number of actions from 2 to 1)

On the longship, the fight intensifies.  Wu and Wat Lee team up to take down Kragmar's crewman.  Unfortunately, Wu's attack is parried and Kragmar's crewman takes him out with a clever riposte.  While Kargmar's crewman is slightly off balance, Wat Lee's thrust takes him in the side and drops him to the deck.  As the opposing crewman falls, Wat Lee sees a large crab rear up out of the water, two massive claws snapping in his direction.  He manages to avert the crab's attack and drives it back (caused 1 point of damage).  Just as he thinks all is well, a giant shark leaps up and swallows him whole before disappearing back into the murky water (End of game Recovery roll for Wat Lee was a 2).
Wat Lee just before he is swallow whole by a shark
Back at the black hulk, Skorri looks at Taucher, "We have to climb over, don't let him get away" (talking about Fortrywn's crewman carrying the treasure).  He watches as Taucher carefully makes his away across the tangled mess of kelp vines and seaweed.  Taucher then charges into contact with Fortrywn's crew.  The crewman turns around to confront Taucher and sees Skorri easing his way through the brambles.  Skorri also charges towards the crewman, drawing his sword along the way.  He then feels his blood boil as he Surges to attack the crewman.  The crewman frantically tries to defend himself from the onslaught but he knows he is no match for the Heritor's skills.  Nicked and bleeding from several small gashes, the crewman tumbles into the water below.  Taucher manages to grab hold of the small chest before it too falls into the water.  Just as he grabs it, an arrow nicks his arm (1 point of damage).

Skorri and Taucher fight a crewman for a treasure
Skorri wins, Taucher grabs the treasure, the crewman falls into the water
On the dhow, Agger reaches out mentally to control the Talonjack.  This time his mind is stronger and he feels the animal bending to his will (Successful casting of Control Animal).  Agger directs the creature to fly over to the dwarf ironclad and attack any non-friendly crewman he finds.  The Talonjack flies over to the ironclad and attack's one of Molly's crewmen carrying a chest.  Agger feels the bond with the Talonjack break as the crewman manages to easily overcome the creature.

On the ironclad, Hat Chet found a treasure inside the crow's nest.  He pulls it out and drops it to the deck of the ship.  Yen Lo waves as he runs over and picks it up.  He then jumps back into the crew's small boat.

Taucher says, "Its faster to swim over to the dhow " and jumps into the water.  Skorri agrees and jumps in also.  He lands beside Fortrywn's crewman who is floating in the flotsam.  Skorri quickly checks on his condition to make sure she doesn't drown herself.  Seeing that she will recover, as long as she not eaten by a shark, he climbs aboard a small seaweed covered raft.  Spying one of Fortrywn's archers on a rocky outcrop, he once again Surges to shoot an arrow in his direction.  Even though it was a snap shot, the arrow strikes its target in the chest.  Without waiting to see the outcome, Skorri turns and follows Taucher.  During this time, the large snake slowly slithers towards the archer.  The archer looks from Skorri to the snake, trying to decide which to shoot.  He decides on the snake and puts an arrow into its thick body.  Ignoring the pinprick, the snake continues its way up the rocky outcrop in pursuit.
Amras getting ready to claim a treasure
TWACK  No he's not......
With the agility of a monkey, Amras quickly climbs to the top of the mast.  After hauling himself onto the upper spar, he notices a treasure sack stuffed inside the crow's nest.  Amras called down to Amrod and Skorri, "I found something."  As he leans over to pick it up, he fails to see the arrow speeding his way.  The shaft embeds itself in his back pack.  The force of the strike spins him around, arm flailing in an attempt to regain his balance.  In the end, Amras tumbles into the water below.  The impacts knocks the breath out of him and he floats there trying to recover his senses. 
Random creature captures my chair.  I think Fortrwyn paid him to distract me
Over on the longboat, Hat Chet watches as another of Kragmar's crew is taken down by the giant crab.  "YES" he cries out but then realizes his mistake.  The crab's antenna-like eyes swivel in his direction.  Before he can react, the crab scuttles across the deck, its claws menacingly clicking together.  Hat Chet dodges the crab's initial attack and leaps upon its back.  Deftly performing a balancing act, he swings his axe down hard, striking the crab between its eyes.  As crab's legs collapse, he thinks "Too bad I can't get him back to the kitchen."  Hat Chet, seeing the treasure chest laying on the deck, triumphantly runs towards it.  He has to negotiate a mound of unmoving bodies but he manages to reach the chest.

Seeing Amras fall, Skorri's keen eyes scan the nearby ship for the perpetrator.  Through the light fog, he could just make out the silhouette of Fortrywn's archer standing at the rail and reaching for another arrow.  Skorri climbs aboard the ship and pulls out his bow.  Grabbing an arrow from his quiver, he pulls back and lets it fly.  He watches in dismay as the arrow skims off some rigging and misses its target.  Uncontrollably, Skorri feels his blood boil and Surges to fire another shot.  This time the arrow flew straight and true as Skorri watched the offending archer fall out of sight.   
Hat Chet just before Fortrwyn's Warden charges
Hat Chet picks up the chest, pausing a moment at the carnage all around him,  and then moves to his rowboat.  As he is getting ready to climb down, he hears the pitter-patter of small feet on the deck.  He quickly turns just as Fortrywn's warden swings her sword.  He ducks under her swing, deflecting it with his axe as he spins to face the diminutive young girl.  "Go home little girl" he says as he makes an overhead swing at her.  To his surprise, she manages to deflect his aim.  Instead of smacking her on the side of the head with the flat side of his axe, the momentum forces the axe to slice downward along her leg before embedding itself in the toe of her boot.  The young warden loses her balance and her head strikes the deck with a hollow thud.  She's out cold.  With little effort, Hat Chet pulls his axe out of the decaying decking.  "That'll leave a scar" he thinks.  Hat Chet turns to carefully climb down into the rowboat with the hard fought over treasure (five crew and one warden were taken down trying to recover this treasure - Kragmar lost three, Skorri lost two, and Fortrywn lost his warden).
Hat Chet trying to escape with a treasure
Skorri climbs up the mast towards the crow's nest.  As he nears the top, he hears the flapping of wings and looks up to see another Talonjack settle on top of the crow's nest, and his treasure.  With a burst of energy, Skorri climbs the final few feet to the top and draws his sword.  With some fancy sword play, he manages to feint to the left before twisting his sword into an upward swing that severs the Talonjack's head.  Feeling a bit of pain as his blood heats up, Skorri Surges forth to pick up the treasure.  He drops the treasure to the deck below and quickly climbs down.  He then signals to his crew to climb into their boats and return to the ship.
Skorri fights off a Talonjack and secures a treasure
Back aboard the Raven's Beak, Skorri saw to the welfare of his injured crewmen.  Wat Lee was the only crewman who did not make it back.  He authorized a double ration of rum and they drank a toast in honor of Wat Lee - "May he give the shark indigestion."  He then headed into his cabin to look over the day's haul.  Incredibly, five treasures were recovered:  Ring of Will, Jade Figurine (Crocodile) w/30 gold, Superior 2-hand weapon +1 damage, Magic hand weapon +1 Fight w/10 gold, and a Water of Life Potion and some Scalegrass herb.  The magic hand weapon would be a welcome replacement for the sword he lost last time.


Epilogue
Well, another enjoyable and action packed game that kept me on my toes for all 9 turnsModifying the solo scenario into a multi-player version turned out better than we thought.  Plus it helped that the group happened to have a good number of ships to use as the floating graveyard.

Skorri and crew took advantage of Fortrywn's first turn misfortune of losing three crewmen to a single shark.  With that and Molly Malone occupying his attention on his flank, they secured five treasures.  And only loss three personnel in the process.

When I recruited a new warden, I decided to change from a Wave warden to a Beast warden to try some different (Plus I had one of the new Wiz Kids pre-paints I wanted to use).  I'm hoping his spells will be a benefit to the crew.

Already looking forward to the next game.......
A final view of the table showing Kragmar's snd Molly's crews