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

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.

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

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 3 - Drichean Cages

"You know where you are?  You're down in the jungle baby, you're gonna diiiiiiiieeeee......."

The lyrics bounced around in my head as we were preparing for our next Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game, the second one in the rule book titled: The Drichean Cages.  We ended up with five of our regular players plus one guest.  We placed three cages containing prisoners down the center of the table, placed treasures, and then drew for starting positions.  I was able to select a corner position which would give me at least one protected flank.  Across from Skorri was Heritor Griffin, to the right was Heritor Herndon, and diagonally to the right was Heritor Kragmar (guest player).  Further down the table were Heritor's Gregorious and Fortrywn.

One of the cages with prisoner and guards
You can find Lord Fortrywn's report here: Ghost Archipelago Campaign '18, Game 3: The Drichean Cages
Skorri's end of the table
Skorri's story begins here:

"GRIFFINNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!" Skorri bolts upright in his bed and immediately feels the pain in his head from his encounter in the jungle a few....not even certain how many days ago it has been.  He can tell he is on board his ship and that they are under sail.  Other than that, he is not sure how he got back to the ship, nor the status of his crew.  His hand went to his head and he could feel the bandages wrapping his head, as well as a steady throbbing pain.  Skorri laid back down on the bed and ran through the events that led to him being here.......

The sky was clear and a gentle, salt-laden breeze was blowing from the southeast.  Waves lapped gently again the hull of the ship as it pulled against the anchor chain.  Skorri and his crew climbed down into their boats to head to shore, once again following obscure passages written on moldy and decaying scrolls.  Hopefully this will be a productive exploration.  Anemone was busy praying to the Goddess of the seas and casting a few coppers into the water as a small sacrifice for good luck.

The boats slid into the white sand and the crew members nimbly leaped ashore.  Skorri consulted with Kukala and they quickly obtained their bearings.  Today's target was the rumored location of a map stone near a large waterfall.  Of course the rumor included the usual tale of a large beast protecting the area.  With Kukala in the lead, the crew headed into the jungle.
A view of the table from atop the waterfall
After an hour of hacking there their way through the thick jungle underbrush, the crew emerged near a small stream.  Far off to the right, a majestic waterfall could be seen.  Immediately to the front, about 100 meters away, four Drichean warriors can be spotted.  They appear to be guarding a small cage containing a prisoner.  From the way he was dressed, the prisoner appears to be crew member from a sailing ship.  A quick conference was held and Skorri decided it was worth the risk of freeing him to see if he had any useful information.
Skorri's crew
After moving slowly forward, Amras and Amrod find a good spot to snipe at the guards.  They both take aim at the nearest Drichean guard and let fly their arrows.  The guard is hit hard and falls to one knee, surveying the surrounding jungle looking for his assailants.  The other members of the crew move forward through the heavy brush trying to keep in cover.

Skorri notices movement in the brush behind the cage.  The way they appear to be sneaking up and keeping hidden makes him think its another crew, probably thinking of freeing the prisoner as well.  His thoughts are confirmed as he sees several arrows flying towards the Dricheans.

Further back in the brush, Anemone decides her talents aren't needed yet.  She thinks it would be helpful to hinder any other crews who might be in the area today.  Anemone calls forth to the denizens of the jungle and successfully casts Beast Cry.  Blue Boy spots something laying in the brush and rushes forward to check it out.  It turns out to be a small chest which he quickly picks up and places in his pack.  His job done, he turns to head back to the beach.

Skorri shoots at a Drichean guard and misses his target.  He is angry with himself and feels his blood burning as he Surges to shoot again - and once more misses.  Kukala and Amrod fare no better as both of their shots fail to hit their mark.

Anemone joins in by casting Wrath of the Waves.  The water from the nearby stream rises up towards the Drichean but looses momentum at the end, merely drenching her target without damage.
Kukala reels back as he is hit hard by an arrow from Griffin's crew (11 points of damage - ouch).
Off to the left, Chen lee moves forward to contest a treasure.  Unfortunately he doesn't last long outnumbered three to one and Griffin's crew claims a treasure.
Chen Lee challenges three of Griffin's crew for a treasure
The clear, sunny day suddenly starts to darken as low cloud begin to form.  Gregorius and his Storm Warden must be nearby (Cloud Cover was cast).  Skorri, still angry at himself for failing to hit with his bow, draws his sword and charges forward.  He slams into the Drichean guard, spins around and skewers him with his sword.  Skorri then turns to face the other guard.
Skorri takes out a guard
As he moves into better cover, Kukala hastily fires an arrow towards Griffin's crew but fails to hit anyone.  Anemone watches as Kukala pulls the arrow out of his shoulder.  She draws forth on her mastery of the power of the waves and casts Water of Life on him.  Kukala immediately feels better but is still far from being healed.

On the right flank, Hat Chet moves into the ancient ruins of an old temple and finds a small leather bag.  As he reaches down to pick up the satchel, he sees another crew member he doesn't recognize climb into the ruined tower.  He pulls out his hatchet and signals to Wu and Amras for some support.  Fortunately the interloper, seeing Skorri's three crew members, decide its not worth the trouble and climb back out of the ruins (He was a members of Kragmar's crew).  With their departure, Hat Chet decides it is time for him to get the treasure back to the beach.  Skorri didn't think too kindly of those who fail to properly recover treasure items.

Hat Chet claims a treasure
The clouds continue to thicken, further restricting line of sight.  Skorri moves into contact with the other Drichean guard.  A quick series of thrust, feints, and parries ends with the Drichean face down in the brush.  Skorri's feels the hairs rise on the back of his neck as his heritor senses alert him to a spell being cast his way.  His blood burns as he activates his Spellshield, immediately putting an end to Griffin's warden's attempt to cast Wrath of the Waves.  Amrod and Amras both continue their poor shooting form by missing everything they shoot at - Skorri takes note to schedule some target practice time for them.
Skorri takes out another guard
 Anemone cast Water of Life on Kukala again.  Kukala takes a quick shot at Griffon but the arrow flies wide.  Skorri thinks to himself that all of his crew's arrows must be defective.  But not those belonging to Griffin's crew, Chen Lee is dropped with a single arrow to the chest.  Amrod finally hits a target with his bow, cause one whole point of damage to Griffin - I don't think he even noticed.
Anemone reached into her tunic and pulled out a small bone whistle.  She blew hard but no one could hear any sound. A few moments later, a bone chilling roar rang out off in the distance - Anemone smiled, "Mangia bene amico mio."  (A monarch had been summoned by the Beast Cry spell and entered directly behind Gregorius' crew.  Beast Cry allows the caster roll at the end of each turn to see if a random creature enters the board)
The Monarch chases Gregorious' crew through the jungle
Visibility has been greatly reduced as the clouds thicken once again (Line of sight reduced to 12").
Griffin picks up a huge stone and Hurls it at Skorri.  Skorri ducks but the stone still glances off his shoulder causing some minor damage.  One of Griffin's crewmen charges into contact with Skorri.  Skorri goes through his thrust, feint, and parry maneuvers but is shocked when he feels the cold steel of the crewman's sword bite deep into his side (caused 9 pints of damage).  Amras sees Skorri is in trouble and charges into the crewman, momentarily distracting him.  Skorri takes advantage of this and strikes the crewman in the head, knocking him to the ground.  Amras then has to quickly duck as an arrow flies out of the brush.

Skorri takes out one of Griffin's crew
Kukala manages to hit Griffin with another arrow but it simply careens off his breatplate.  Anemone had witnessed the Skorri's fight and the wound he received.  Knowing Skorri would be weakened by his injury, she manages to cast Water of Life on him.

Skorri falls to Griffin's hurled rock
Skorri turns to thank Anemone.  In that same moment, hidden in a clump of jungle bushes, Griffin Hurls another rock at Skorri.  He fails to see it coming and the rock strikes his helm with a loud clang.  Skorri eyes roll up and he drops to the ground unconscious.

At this point, Amras entered Skorri's room, "Good morning Sir, I see you are finally awake.  We are heading to the nearest port."  Seeing Skorri's confusion, Amras adds, "Let me fill you in on what happened once injured."

Amras' Story

The battle with Griffin's crew continued without any quarter being given by either side......

Wu fights off one of Griffin's crew, inflicting a severe wound to his arm (9 points of damage).  Amras is hit hard in the side by an arrow (9 points of damage).  Ignoring the wound, he draws a bead on Griffin and with vengeance on his mind, lets an arrow fly.  His aim is on target but Griffin is saved by his armor.  Anemone, still stunned by seeing Skorri fall, draws upon her anger to successfully call forth the power of the water to strike a fatal blow against one of Griffin's crew.  The water rises up and crashes down on Griffin's crew member drowning him (Successful casting of Wrath of the Waves).
Anemone's Wrath of the Wave spell takes out one of Griffin's crew
Another Drichean warrior runs out of the jungle and takes up a position to guard to the prisoner in the cage (random creature).  The chances of releasing the prisoner had pretty much vanished but the remaining members of Skorri's crew were not about to let Griffin capture him.

Griffin Hurls another rock, this time the target is Kukala.  The rock hits his left arm, the shock causing him to blackout.  Later, when  he wakes up, he finds his arm had been broken.  That will take some time to heal (rolled Badly Injured on the Recovery table, will be sitting out the next game).  Amras and Amrod return fire but once again they both miss.  Anemone casts Water of Life on Amras, pushing it for 5 points of damage (which is okay since she is safely hidden behind cover).

Amrod dodges an arrow and is immediately attacked by Griffin's man-at-arms.  The man-at-arms easily bests him.  Anemone counters by casting Wrath of the Waves on the man-at-arms but the water dissipates just before it strikes, causing no damage.

The dead pile up around the prisoner's cage
Anemone watches as Griffin emerges from the thick brush where he had been cowardly hiding.  She quickly incants the words for Wrath of the Waves only to have Griffin activate his Spellshield ability and cancel her spell.  And while she was concentrating on casting, Griffin's archer managed to sneak around behind her and fire an arrow.  Amras was momentarily in shock as he sees the arrow bursts out of Anemone's chest, he knew right away she was gone.  She fell to the ground in a heap of robes (rolled a "1" for Anemone's recovery roll).  Anemone's death momentarily stunned the rest of the crew.

The roar of the nearby monarch galvanized everyone into action.  Griffin and his crew withdrew into the jungle carrying their wounded but leaving the prisoner still in the Drichean's control.  One of Griffin's crew looked like he was carrying a map stone.  Looks like the old scrolls were correct.

Amras and Wu rush to Skorri and quickly rig a stretcher.  Amrod groggily wakes up.  He moves to assist Kukala who is tenderly holding his broken arm.  He fashions a suitable sling for him.  They all pause momentarily beside Anemone, knowing that she had finished her last adventure.  A few silent prayers were said.  they then turned and headed towards the beach, and the safety of their ship.  They arrive to find Blue Boy and Hat Chet waiting for them.
Tiefer tries to take out an archer - spoiler alert - he fails
"I do not know what happened to Tiefer.  One moment he was there but when I looked back, he had disappeared.  We called out his name a couple times but didn't have any time to conduct a search for him.  We could hear the roars of a monarch nearby - no one wanted to stay and face that creature.  We waited at the beach as long as we could but he never showed up."

While the crew waited for boats to be rowed ashore, Chen Lee manages to stumble onto the beach before collapsing from a loss of blood.  The crew place him in a boat along with Skorri and Kukala and they all row out to the ship.  Their heads are hung low in the shame of being beaten so badly.  Even the two treasures they managed to recover brought no real joy as Amras realized Skorri's magic sword was not in his scabbard.  There'd be hell to pay for that (Skorri rolled a Close Call on the Recovery chart meaning he lost all items he was carrying).  They knew they would lose valuable time sailing back to a port to recover and refit.  But none of them would ever forget the name of Griffin.  His name was written into the book and underlined twice.  Retribution will be had.

"We did manage to recover a magic looking helm (Piscian Helmet) and 40 gold coins.  Get some rest, we'll wake you when we near the port," and with that, Amras got up and closed the door.

Tiefer had been slowly moving around to ambush Griffin's archer.  He charged out of the brush, knowing this would be an easy fight.  The archer wass startled by Tiefer's charge.  He spun around wielding his bow like a staff.  The bow struck Tiefer on the left temple with a loud crack.  His knees buckled and his newly acquired sword slipped from his grip (Superior Hand Weapon +1 Fight found during the last game).  Tiefer had a look of astonishment on his face as his eyes closed for the last time (rolled a "3" on Tiefer's recovery roll).

The end of game photo

What a great game as player's fortunes waned back and forth!  Skorri and his crew got spanked hard with 60% of them out of action.  The loss of Anemone will force a return to port meaning some of the few magic items will have to be sold off to make the trip.  She will have to be replaced so I have some decisions to make concerning what kind of warden to replace her with.  In hindsight, Anemone shouldn't have pushed that last heal, she would have survived the arrow hit.

Anemone's Beast Cry spell bringing in a Monarch on the other end of the table was great - not so much for Gregorious and Fortrywn but at the other end of the table, everyone was entertained.  The game was a bit unusual as the six crews seemed to be playing three separate battles, centered on the prisoner cages.  Little to no flank action - which was probably a good thing given the number of Drichean guards.  No one managed to get away with a central treasure (the prisoners).   Fortrywn came close but between "Hail Mary" crossbow shots and the Monarch devouring Gregorious' last crewman, he was denied his hard fought over prize.  When Skorri heard the story, he got a good chuckle out of the final outcome.

As for Skorri's tribulations this game - Griffin - we shall meet again......

"I'll chase him round the Lost Isles, and round the Ghost Archipelago, and round perdition's flames before I give him up!"
A view of the action between Gregorious and Fortrywn at the other end of the table

Monday, March 5, 2018

Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 2: X Never Marks the Spot!

The second installment of our 2018 Ghost Archipelago game was played on an 8'x3' table, with three Central Treasures evenly spaced along the center line of the table.  We had all seven players for this game.

I was lucky enough to draw for first pick of starting locations and choose a corner position to give me one safe flank.  Directly across from me and a bit to the right was the Heritor, Heritor, Herndon, and his Wave Warden;.  to my left was Lady Katheryne and her Storm Warden; and to my front left was Lord Fortrywn and his Vine Warden.  You can read Lord Fortywn's version of events here:  Ghost Archipelago Campaign '18, Game 2: The X's Mark the Spots

Skorri's Log

Skorri Drakenberg stood on the quarterdeck of his current sailing vessel, the Yacht Sea.  The old dhow had sailed a lot of miles but was still seaworthy, and suited his purposes - for now.  He was surveying a small island that some of the local tribal natives claimed held a mystical pool near a small temple.  The story did not match with any of his ancient maps.  Maps that had been handed down from one Drakenberg to another for several hundred years.  Regardless, he knew he had to land and check out the story.  Of course the other ships heading towards the island meant there must be some truth to the natives tale, at least that is what he told himself.  Skorri yelled to the shipmaster, "Make preparations to anchor."
A view of the table
Once ashore, Skorri and crew moves forward into the jungle.  Even though it was still early in the day, the heat was oppressive.  And the gnats and other bugs kept up an unceasing attack on the crew.  None of this seemed to bother Skorri, in fact he didn't even seem to be sweating, unlike everyone else.  After an hour or so of constant hacking through the dense vegetation, things started to clear a bit.  Skorri pulls out his telescope and scans the area.
An old overgrown temple
Way off in the distance, Skorri can just make out the columns of an old  temple rising out of the jungle.  He also detects movement in several areas of the jungle.  He decides he would not be able to make it to the temple and looks around the jungle closer to his crew.  He spots some likely areas to investigate; an old statue, a watch tower, and a small hut.
Hat Chet secures a treasure
Hat Chet rushes forward and picks up a treasure hidden in the brush under a fallen tree.  From his position, he could see a large stone in the middle of a clearing.  He pointed out that the stone had a carved "X" on the top.  The two bowmen moved forward to cover the area.  As this was happening, Anemone attempts to cast Beast Cry but bumbled the words and failed.
A treasure chest hidden on an old statue
Skorri surveys the area.. He points to a statue off to the distant right, "Tiefer, that looks like a small chest in the statue's arms.  Please go get it."   "You want me to climb something?" replied Tiefer.  "There's no water around Yes, go climb that statue" countered Skorri.  Obediently, Tiefer moves off towards the statue.

The skies start to darken as clouds move in.  It was clear a minute ago.  Must be a Storm Warden nearby. (Heritor Gregorious' Warden cast Storm Call)
Skorri moves forward with Blue Boy
Skorri moves forward to a small abandoned hut.  Peering inside, he notices a small urn sitting on the floor.  He Surges to vault through the window and picks up the urn.  Amrod takes a shot at Herndon's crewman and hits him for some minor damage.  Kukala shoots and misses one of Lord Fortrywn's crewman. 

Following Skorri's command, Tiefer heads over to the statue.  He starts to climb up mumbling to himself the entire time.  He easily reaches the treasure chest.  After a few minutes of clearing spider webs, he places it in his pack and starts to climb down.  Once down he heads to the rendezvous point.  Over near Skorri, Blue Boy shimmies up a small tower.  Halfway up he is struck by an arrow and falls to the ground, knocked unconscious.
Blue Boy climbs up an old tower
Blue Boy falls from an old tower
Amras sees the shot from Lady Katheryne's  bowman and shoots, slightly wounding the bowman.
In an attempt to hinder the other crews that are searching through the jungle, Anemone let out a huge yell, “Aah-eeh-ah-eeh-aaaaaah-eeh-ah-eeh-aaaaah!” (successfully casts Beast Cry).  Visibility continues to worsen as the storm clouds thicken.

Shortly after Skorri picked up the urn, one of Lord Fortrywn's crew-women ran into the hut, skidding to a halt when she saw him standing there.  Surprised as he was with  her brashness, he calmly pulls out his bow and takes a snap shot at her but the arrow flies wide of its mark.  Being a gentlemen, Skorri decides to spare her life.  He salutes and says "This is your lucky day" and jumps through the window, the treasure firmly tucked under his arm.
Skorri meets a member of Fortywn's crew
Skorri decides to spare her life and jumps out a window
The young crew-women has other ideas - like getting knocked out
Two more of Fortywn's crew challenge Skorri for his treasure
Skorri had barely landed outside the hut when he saw the young fool rush around the corner.  "Remember, you asked for this" said Skorri.  Not even bothering to engage her in melee, he struck her with a quick right cross to the temple, dropping her to the ground like a sack of potatoes.  Skorri didn't have much time to ponder the impetus nature of youth as  two more of Lord Fortrywn's crewmen came around the back of the hut and joined in the melee.  Skorri launched into a series of parries and ripostes against the other two crewmen.  They could tell they were outmatched but neither appeared willing to retreat.  Skorri easily broke through one crewman's defense, slicing him deeply in his left side.  As the crewman fell, Skorri could feel his anger getting the best of him.  His blood boiled as he utilized a Heritor ability to engage his third opponent.  The resulting Backswing seriously injured the third crewman, knocking him backwards a step or two.  The remaining crewman was the smartest of the three.  He quickly determined that retreating was a valiant option as he turned tail and ran.  As Skorri cooled down, he decided to let him go.  He moved to rejoin his crew.   Having observed part of the fight, Anemone successfully cast  Water of Life on Skorri, thinking he needed it more then he really did (recovered 2 points health), but better to play it safe.

One of Herndon's crew members goes down under a hail of arrows
Amrod and Kukala are covering the clearing containing the large stone.  Herndon's warden has cast Thorns twice to slow access to the stone. Amrod and Kukala have any thoughts of crossing "no mans land" to check out the stone, preferring to just take shots at Herndon's crew.  They both take aim at Herndon's crewman and let fly with their arrows - both miss the target.  At the same time, Herndon's crew has been popping of shots of their own as they slowly move forward. The storm clouds worsen again reducing visibility even more (down to 12 inches line of sight).
Herndon's crew pasy dearly to obtain the central treasure
Amrod finally gets a shot on target dropping one of Herndon's crew in the clearing beside the large stone.  Before he can do a victory dance, an arrow flashes out of the jungle striking him on his helm.  Amrod had visions of stars dancing before his eyes as he slumped to the ground.  Herndon's crew get revenge with a lucky shot.

A potion of alertness - Skorri never goes adventuring without it
Amras has spent many arrows trying to hit out Katheryne's  bowman.  He is living a charmed life as every shot has been deflected wide by the undergrowth.  He calls out to Kukala, "How about some help over here?"  Kukala moves up beside him and takes careful aim on Lady Katheryne's  bowman. As his arrow strikes home and his target falls to the jungle flow, he says to Amrad, "That's how its done."  The way looks clear for Wu to gain the top of the tower.  Wu quickly climbs to the top of the tower and picks up a treasure.  Kukala ducks as a crossbow bolt flies over his head.  Maybe its not a safe as he thought.

On a side note, Anemone's Beast Cry brought in a Cortiki and 2 tribal warriors directly behind Robin Duck's merry men (or merry ducks).  They had fun playing with him.
Wu gains the top of the tower and grabs the treasure
Up on the tower, Wu starts to climb down.  A few feet from the top, he is hit by an arrow, knocking him unconscious.  His foot gets caught in the crossbeams leaving him hanging upside down.  The treasure he was carrying slips from his hand and falls to the ground below.  Amras hears Wu cry out as he is hit and looks up - just in time to dodge the small chest that lands beside him.  He quickly picks it up.
Wu gets hit, falls, and drops the treasure
"SNAKE" cried Chen Lee just before he has his breakfast squeezed out of him
Chen Lee is attacked by a giant anaconda.  The snake wraps itself around him, squeezing so hard he passes out.  Skorri moves forward through the underbrush and attacks the anaconda, wounding it slightly.  He then calls forth his Heritor powers to Surge and strike the snake again.  This time he manages to cut off its head.
Skorri Surges to get two attacks on the snake, taking it out
Kukala hears someone running through the brush and impulsively decides to check it out.  He sees one of Lady Katheryne's crewmen lugging a treasure through the jungle.  With thoughts of revenge for Blue Boy, he gives pursuit but hearing Skorri's recall, quickly turns around.   Anemone cast Amphibious on Amras and they both move towards the rendezvous.
The victory pose
Blue Boy, Wu, Chen Lee, and Amrod were all able to make it back to the beach - for the most part unharmed.  All will be available for the next outing.

Back on board the dhow, Skorris takes inventory of the day's efforts.  The haul was four normal treasures:  115 gold coins, some Scalegrass, a hand weapon +1 damage, and a superior hand weapon +1 fight.  Skorri gained 215 experience and Anemone pulled in 130 experience.

The archery shoot out with Herndon's crew was mostly just a lot of failed die rolls.  Skorri lost two crewmen to Herdon's crew.  Herndon lost two crewmen to Skorri's crew and one to a skeleton - but he made off with the central treasure.  The cover provided by his vine warden's Brambles kept me from wanting to make a run for it myself;  but Skorri still managed to obtain four treasures.  The warden cast Amphibious on most of the crew throughout the game even though it provided no real advantage (except for experience points).

Overall a great game, made better by having everyone in attendance.