Monday, October 22, 2018

Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 9: The Abandoned Mine

A few weeks ago we played the ninth installment of our 2018 Ghost Archipelago Campaign.  We used a home made scenario called "The Abandoned Mine" which was inhabited by a clan of vampires and their minions.  Fortunately several of our players have extensive dungeon terrain sets which allowed us to set-up a 7' x 3' cavern layout.  We drew numbers for starting locations with Skorri getting first choice.  He chose a corner location to lessen the number of other Heritors he would have to face.  As it happened, his two old nemesis', Fortrywn and Griffon ended up to his direct front and his left side.

You can read Fortrywn's account of the action here: Fortrywn's Report Campaign Game 9
A view of the Abandoned Mines
Another view of the mines
The Story
His ship, Raven's Beak, lay anchored off an uncharted island that boasted a fishing village with a decent sized bazaar.  The previous day the helmsman had stumbled upon an old magnetic compass in one of the stalls.  The thing appeared to work correctly so he paid an outrageous price to buy it (Ship upgrade Compass).  At the stern of the ship, Skorri (Heritor) was examining the compass.  Off in the distance he could make out the masts of several other ships, one appeared to look like Fortrywn's garbage scow

Skorri sent his crew ashore for R&R as well as to procure supplies - and to spy on Fortrywn.  Skorri and Agger (Warden) remained aboard to continue practicing some new abilities.  Skorri had finally managed to master control of a latent Heritor ability that allowed him to speed up his movement for short periods of time (Gained Sprint by reaching level 15).  Although he had to suffer through the blood burn as he mastered the ability, he knew it would be worth the effort in the future.  Likewise, Agger was practicing another spell for calling forth beasts of the wild - Beast Cry.  Even though he wouldn't be able to outright control the animals summoned through his new spell, he hoped they might cause trouble for opposing crews.  And who knows, he might be able to cast Control Animal on them if they threatened his crew.  Agger had also build a kennel to house his pet fox that he found a week or so back (Ship upgrade Kennel - allows the addition of a warhound to the crew).
One of the rooms with a vampire coffin

Later in the day, Skorri was standing on the quarter deck watching his crew go about their daily duties to maintain the ship.  Kukala (Hunter) makes his way up to Skorri, "Hey Boss, I caught wind of Fortrywn's crew looking for information about an abandoned Drichean mine up in the hills.  A couple of the lads saw some of his crew down in the market poking around and then rushing off quickly.  They must have gotten a lead on some good treasure."  "Its worth checking out, nothing much else to do here.  Gather the lads and we'll discretely follow Fortrywn's crew to the mine" Skorri replied.
Fortrywn's crew enter s the mine
A short while later, Skorri and his crew were following the trail of Fortrywn's crew.  It led through the jungle, upwards towards a high ridge.  Watching Fortrywn's crew clear an entrance way, Skorri told Kukala to find another way inside.  "No problem Skorri" he said as he faded into the brush.  A short time later he returned, "Found it."  "Great.  Lets move and get inside and see what my old nemesis is after.  It must be a map stone, surely the Crystal Pool isn't here." said Skorri.
Skorri and crew prepare to enter the mines

As soon as the crew reached the hidden entrance, Agger pulled his Divining Rod out of his pack.  He pranced back and forth near the entrance pointing the device one way and then another as the rest of the crew looked on in amusement.  He finally stopped and told Skorri, "There, I think I moved some kind of treasure item closer to our location". (The Divining Rod allows you to move a treasure up to three inches in any direction once all the treasures have been placed)
Heritor Robin Duck and his merry crew of quackers
"Well if you are through playing around, let's get inside," Skorri said as he led his crew underground.  Prying open a narrow door, they entered the underground mine complex.  Dust laid heavy on the rough stone floor as remnants of spider webs hung from the corners.  An occasional whiff of bat guano drifts across the senses along with the a fetid stench of mold.  No one appears to have walked these halls for some time, at least no one living.

Agger enters and immediately tries to discern if there are any beasts nearby who he could call to assist the crew (successfully cast Summon Animal).  He can sense several animals nearby.  He awakens a Snapping Turtle a short distance down in the abandoned mines.

The archers scanning for targets
Alaniel (Archer) looks down a passageway and sees members of another crew moving around.  "That's not Fortrywn's crew.  It looks like some of Griffon's scurvy swabs."  He quickly shoots an arrow, hitting one of Griffon's archers (caused 5 damage).  The injured archer attempts to pull out his bow and return fire but an eerie mist seeks into the passage limiting his line of sight (Gregorius' Warden cast Call Storm).  The mist also prevented Amrod (Archer) and Kukala (Hunter) from firing at Griffon's cursed crew.

Griffon's men off in the distance
The Fox (Warhound) darts forward, rounds a bend, runs through a partially closed door and hides behind a large, burning brazier.  The fire must be of arcane origins given the lack of any sign of living occupation.  As the Fox entered, a large coffin in the middle of the room slowly creaked open.  The putrid smell was almost overwhelming as a creature arose from within.  As Skorri reached the door, the creature's head turned in his direction.  Eyes as black as coal stared out from its pale milky white face.  Skorri pulls his bow and fires off an arrow.  The arrow strikes hard but the vampire doesn't appear to notice as it steps out of the coffin and soundlessly glides across the floor towards Skorri (Scenario rule - the arrow only does half damage resulting in a loss of 3 health).  The vampire in on Skorri in a flash.  He drops his bow and pulls out his sword which glows with blue light.  The two engage in a series of attacks, feints, and blocks.  In the end, they have both struck mighty blows upon other but neither have gained the upper hand (they tie with a 20 fight roll, Skorri takes 9 damage, the vampire takes 8)).  They stand there staring at each other preparing their next moves.
The Vampire awakens
 Meanwhile, Agger and Kukala move forward and turn down a passageway to the right.  They see two large cave spiders.  Agger quickly mumbles some words and one of the spiders moves away (Successfully cast Control Animal).  With his hunters instinct, Kukala notches an arrow and hits the other spider in its weakest point, between its many eyes.  The spider collapses into the dust (rolled a 19 +2 fight +2 for Hunter ability).  "Where did the other spider go" Kukala asked.  "I sent it to find my turtle and guard the tunnels" Agger replied.  Kukala nodded and continued down the passageway.  Agger, hearing the sounds of a sword fight, turned the other way, following Taucher.

Two cave spiders appear at the same location
Chen Lee (Crewman) moves forward towards an old rusting mining cart containing a load of long ago mined ore.  Sitting on top of the ore is a small chest.  As he does so, Alaniel sees Griffon emerge from the mist.  With an arrow already notched, he pulls back, and releases.  The swirling mist must have obscured his sight as the arrow flew wide.  Griffon picks up a large chunk of coal ore and effortlessly tosses it at Chen Lee (Heritor ability Hurl).  The coal struck him on the left side of his head, knocking him out cold (or is that coal.....sorry).  Leaning around his boss, one of Griffon's archers shoots at Alaniel but he aims poorly and misses.  As he notches another arrow, Alaniel watches one of Griffon's crew picking up the small chest.  Carefully aiming, he releases his arrow.  "Thuuuunnk", a clean hit.  The crew man sways for moment before dropping the chest back into the ore cart and falling to the floor of the passageway.  Amrod also fires an arrow down the passageway but none of Griffon's men are kind enough to jump into its path.
Chen Lee moves forward
Chen Lee falls to Heritor Griffon
Seeing Skorri locked in combat with the vampire, Taucher (Pearl Diver) and Hat Chet (Crewman) move forward to assist.  At the same time, the Fox charges out from behind the brazier to nip at the vampire's heels.  With the arrival of the additional attackers, the vampire hesitates slightly.  That is all Skorri needs as he swiftly swings his sword down, nearly cleaving the vampire in two (Skorri only rolled a 12 but with +5 fight, +1 from  magic sword, and +6 for adds, he ends with a 25 fight).  The vampire collapses to the floor.  Seeing Skorri looking a little battered, Agger casts Water of Life to restore some of his health..
Skorri engages the Vampire with some help
Meanwhile, Blue Boy (Crewman) had been climbing up a series of handholds he found in the wall near the entrance.  They led to a small wooden walkway.  Once on top, he spies a small chest and moves forward to pick it up.  Wu climbs up after him in case he needs help.  Wu continues past him and sets up to block the walkway.  As Blue Boy reaches down, an arrow pasts above his head.  Fortrywn's archers are letting themselves be known.
Blue Boy recovers a treasure
Out of sight, the cave spider and the snapping turtle have found a place to wait in ambush should any other crew try to sneak up on Skorri's crew (It works because Fortrywn's crew members decided to turn around, must have been arachnophobia....).

Wiping the gore from his sword, Skorri prepares to enter the large room.  He can see a large coffin in the center begging to be searched but Skorri's eyes are drawn to movement on an elevated walkway off to the right side.  He quickly pulls out his bow and shoots an arrow which just nicks his target.  He then notices the door across the room slowly opening; couple of faces peer inside.  Skorri realizes he is outnumbered.  As he backs out of the room, he sees the Fox scurry across the floor and through a side door. Agger follows Skorri and casts Water of Life on him again to heal the wounds sustained from fighting the vampire.

Meanwhile, back in the corridor with Griffon's crew, Griffon's herbalist tosses something towards Alaniel.  The small bag hit the ground and burst open.  Immediately, vines and other vegetation pops out of the ground and quickly grows to completely fill the corridor, all line of sight is blocked.  Griffon's crew is able to escape (Magic Beans).
The Fox finds a treasure
The Fox has entered a room containing another treasure.  While he is sniffing around it, the door opens and one of Fortrywn's crew women charges into the room.  A scuffle ensues resulting in the Fox backing off after receiving a small cut in the left side.  Agger's cave spider scuttled into the room and pounced on he crew woman - or at least it tried.  Fortrywn's s crew woman was too fast and slew the spider with a quick thrust of her sword.  Taucher joins in the fight and comes out on the losing end (takes 9 damage).  The Fox catches the crew woman unaware and ferociously forces her back towards Taucher.  Then Fortrywn kicks open the door and enters the fray. He pulls out his crossbow and unceremoniously puts a bolt into the poor animal, dropping him to the floor. Fortrywn then drops the crossbow and draws his sword.  He charges towards Taucher just as Taucher takes down his crew woman.
Taucher faces off against Fortrywn
In the outer corridor, Analiel and Amrod are engaged in an archery contest with Fortrywn's archers.  Arrows fly back and forth at an amazing pace with few finding their mark.  In the end, both crews lose an archer.  Wu (Crewman) moves forward and engages the Fortrywn's other archer in a defensive stand-off as neither crew member decides to attack.

Skorri hears the sounds of the melee and runs at full speed through the corridors to hep his crew.  He bursts into the room and sees Fortrywn trading blows with Taucher.  With a sharp burning sensation, blood runs from his nose as he Surges and swings his sword at his old adversary.  Skorri was a bit too hasty as Fortrywn easily parried his swing and his riposte cut deeply into Skorri's side (caused 13 damage, how did Fortrywn roll a 19?) making him take a step back to reassess the situation.

The snapping turtle finally makes it into the room and lunges forward, his powerful jaws just barely missing Fortrywn's leg.  In return, Fortrywn slices down at the turtle.  His attack bounced off the thick shell and managed to cut through one of the turtle's legs, forcing the turtle to stagger back a step or two.  Taucher, weak from blood loss, maintains a defensive stance (refused combat).
Skorri vs Fortrywn
Following Skorri as fast as he could, Agger moves forward just in time to see Fortrywn strike Skorri.  He immediately casts Water of Life (He will continue to follow Skorri and successfully cast Water of Life on him for the next three turns).  Kukala manages to make it into the room carrying a small treasure chest he had pick up.  Closing his eyes for a second, Skorri winces as he draws on his power of Intuition (allows him to automatically gain the first activation).  He then motions to his crew to attack again.  The snapping turtle hobbled back into contact as Kukala jumped on its back to engage Fortrywn.
Skorri 18, Fortrywn 1
With Fortrywn distracted, Skorri grins as he slices hard and quick at his unprotected side.  The blade appears to cut deep (Skorri rolled and 18 +12 fight to Fortrywn's roll of 1; Fortrywn's armor of 13 makes it 17 damage).  Before his eyes, Skorri can see the wound healing itself (Fortrywn used his Heritor ability Mitigation to reduce the total damage to 5).  Skorri's anger gets the best of him and his blood starts to burn.  With a mighty Backswing, Skorri hits Fortrywn again in almost the same spot.  Fortrywn felt that one as he fell to one side (caused 10 damage as Fortrywn failed his Heritor roll for Mitigation, which is good since Fortrywn shouldn't have  rolled for another Heritor ability since he had already used one during Skorri's activation).  While he is still reeling from Skorri's strike, the snapping turtle clamps its jaws on his leg, nearly breaking the bone.  Fortrywn again attempts to Mitigate the damage but fails.  He slumps to the dusty floor (Turtle rolled a 20, +1 fight, +6 adds = 27 fight, +2 damage = 29 damage - 13 armor = 16 damage to Fortrywn).
Skorri gets the best of Fortrywn
Skorri smacks the turtle to make it let go of Fortrywn's leg, "Leave him be.  Taucher, grab that treasure," he directed, as he peered out the door into the vampire's lair.  He saw one of Fortrywn's archers in a stand off with his crewman Wu.  He slowly and quietly moved up behind her.  Spying a wooden chair, he grabs it and beans her on the head.  As the chair shatters, the young archer drops to the ground.  With that, Skorri signaled to his crew to withdraw from the abandoned mines.  Pausing momentarily to pick up the fallen, they headed to the exit encumbered by three treasure chests.
Skorri picks up a chair........
and beans Fortrywn's crew woman on the head
 Once back on ship, Skorri examined the day's treasure.  "I knew Fortrywn was after a map stone" he exclaimed as he unwrapped one of the fabled stones.  They have proven hard to find.  This was just the second stone Skorri had recovered.  The other treasure consisted of Armor +1, some Fury Leaves, and 30 gold crowns.  All of the injured crew members, including the Fox, would completely recover.  Skorri decided to give the crew one more night in the village before raising sails the next day.  He has a chain of small islands he wants to explore.
End game photo shoot

The game lasted for 10 turns, the longest GA game we have had thus far.  This was probably due to the limited number of exit points which made it harder to get treasures and crew members off the table to end the game.  Once more I faced off again Fortrywn and his crew (and his unlucky dice).  This time I lost the central treasure and a treasure to Griffon by splitting my crew into three groups.  Nothing good happens when you do that - just ask Fortrywn!  Griffon and his Magic Beans prevented my archers from getting some more revenge upon him and his mangy crew.  It was great tactic that I did not anticipate.  Maybe next time.....

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.


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.
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
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

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.