D&D summary for 28 & 29 August 2004

Return from rescuing the Priests of Essencia and churchgoers of Scant

1                    After stepping through a Dimension Fold into the church of Essencia’s manse, (at 7:30pm on 10 Planting CY 576) you once again set foot onto the cobbled streets of Scant after rescuing people and equipment from the Dark Elf fortress of Ul Drakken, some 7 days march underneath Scant. 

2                    Early the following day (8am - adventurers have to sleep in some times!),  Mick the Mimic is sent to Pogrom Island through another Dimension Fold.  Unbeknown to Crayon, a crafty dwarf has arranged to corner the market in chooks on Pogrom Island.

3                    The following day you advise the Scant military of the invading army that you know will be assembled in Ul Drakken on 19 Planting.  They (3 x Knight Colonels, 6xKnight Lieutenants, Reschen Amberlord & a guy in civvies in charge of homeland defence - you never did get his name…) advise that this is important enough to contact the Generals, who are currently at sea accompanying the Szeck of Onnwal to Pogrom Island.  The Szeck and Generals are about to conduct a Royal tour of Pogrom Island hosted by Barons Kidzje and Niahm to review the progress you have made and the Athorite mines in particular.

4                    But when Knight Colonel Louis MtBatten decides that the “Pogrom Repeating Ballista” will be best used in the defence of Onnwal, Crayon argues that they are the spoils of a private civilian reconnaissance mission.  Further, Crayon lies to the Colonel, saying that you have only 2 Ballista and that they are not the property of the military.  At this point Cardra asks for a quick private meeting with Crayon and convinces him to let the military have the 2 he has told them about.  Crayon apologised to the Colonel who was happy he had seen the error of his ways.

5                    Speaking through a portal device from somewhere near Pogrom Island, the Szeck and his Generals consider the important news.  They decide that as Knights of Onnwal, you will lead the counter-attack from the forces in Scant down into Ul Drakken to confront the armies of the Drow on their own soil.

6                    Several officers from the Army were appointed to you to act as liaison and set up everything the army requires to be in the field for 15 days.  In 24 hours, the following military units from Scant were assembled and placed under the Baron’s direct command:

(a)                120 human Halberdiers;

(b)               160 human Spearmen;

(c)                240 human Onwallish Pikemen;

(d)               120 elfish short bowmen; and

(e)                120 human Crossbowmen.

7                    In the mean time Cadra Sledgehammer, Knight of the Moon and Dwarven Advocate of Pogrom Island leverages his noble birth to ensure that his cousin, the clan chief of the Iron Hills Dwarves, also sends a force into the battle.  Cadra is granted temporary command of the elite Dwarven contingent of 120 heavy infantry, who are permanently stationed in Scant.

8                    Before proceeding, Crayon successfully raises Raphael from the dead, which he initially didn’t look too pleased about.  But after time to recover, he’s back to his brave self and interested in moving to Pogrom Island.

9                    Crayon gets 2,700XP and Cadra gets 2,600XP for role playing prior to mass combat.

The battle of Ul Drakken

10                The party led the Army (and some of the followers of Ballard and Crayon) through the closest cistern to the tunnel, and into the sewers, and thence down the tunnel built by the invading Drow.  At each tunnel intersection you leave a contingent of men with a priest of Essencia to guard them.  On your way through the cavern with the stone watch tower suspended in webs, you found that the bloody big spider that you guessed was there (and wanted to slay), was missing.

11                You met no creatures on your way to Ul Drakken.  However, your scouts report movement at the far end of the cavern with the fortress in it, still organising themselves.  They advise that the enemy has the following troops arrayed against you:

(a)                240 Drow with spears;

(b)               240 Drow with swords;

(c)                120 Orcs;

(d)               180 Drow archers;

(e)                100 Ogres;

(f)                 60 Trolls; and

(g)                the Fire Giant.

12                You quickly discuss the situation and decide on 3 unit commanders with a priest of Essencia in each unit to run messages.  The commanders to head each unit were

(a)                Ballard commanding the Pikemen;

(b)               Crayon commanding the Halberdiers; and

(c)                Cadra commanding the Elite dwarves.

13                Your unit commanders then assemble their troops in the south end of the cavern.  Almost immediately the Drow advance on your positions with screams of hatred, and a rain of arrows hits your Elfin archers even as they send a volley of their own.  Your archers take heavier casualties than the enemy though.

14                With several charges your armies clashed, although the Trolls halted their advance fearing to attack the Halberdiers.  The Halberdiers advanced and attacked the Trolls whose regeneration effects frustrated Crayons Halberdiers for a time.

15                Cadra’s Elite Dwarven unit block a group of advancing Drow and the two groups fought it out toe to toe.  Meanwhile the Fire Giant thought the forces of evil had the upper hand and challenged Cadra to a dual, thinking of a quick defeat of the surface dwellers.

16                Cadra bravely stood against the Giant in a scene reminiscent of “David and Goliath”.  The Giant was wielding a huge maul and wore spiked field plate armour, which Cadra’s senses told him was enchanted.  After taking a punishing hit from the Giant, Cadra’s fifth successive blow (no misses!) took the Giant square in the lower torso, knocking the beast to the ground.  However the critical force of the last blow was telling and the Giant was dead before it hit the cave floor. (8,000XP for Cadra)

17                Commanding the group of 240 Onwallish Pikemen, Ballard first took on the 240 Drow with spears and then led his unit across the field to engage the 100 Ogres.  Under Crayon’s charismatic leadership the battered Halberdiers were victorious over the Trolls.

18                The Giant’s death hit the Drow forces hard, and was the turning point in the battle.  Seeing their leader slain, the 240 Drow routed, fleeing the field.  Their dark commander narrowly managed to rally them for one more attack on Ballard’s regiment where they struck a serious blow.  Seeing this the Drow Archers peppered Ballard and his men.  All watched as if in slow motion as the last of the Onwallish Pikemen fell with Ballard at his side, fighting to the bitter end (Ballard was later found bloodied and dazed, still clutching one of the dead Pikemen in his arms).

19                A pincer movement by Crayon and Cadra sees the remains of the Drow army crushed, you won the Battle of Ul Drakken for the free peoples of Scant!

20                After the battle there are several important things attended to, including burying your dead in a Rock to Mud area in front of the middle fortress; Adestra converting the remaining rock bridge between towers to mud; collecting coinage and House pins etc from the dead (went to troops as plunder); Cadra collects the fire giant’s equipment (armour, cloak, helmet & maul); searched the towers for anything, but they had been cleaned out;

21                On 23 Planting, Ballard (who was delayed a day) lead the survivors back to the surface.  After finding the group of the 50 human spearmen who routed and fled the field, the following units made it back to Scant:

(a)                20 Elfish archers;

(b)               20 human Crossbowmen;

(c)                20 human Halberdiers;

(d)               80 of the Elite Dwarfish heavy infantry.

Return To Scant

22                Crayon offered to dimension fold the party back to his church in Scant and thence to advise the military command of your success.  Ballard agreed to go, but insisted on being dimension folded back so that he could march the remains of the army back to the surface.

23                At 10am on 23 Planting CY 576, in very spartan settings you find yourselves standing on one side of a large, and very long wooden table, and on the other side  sits a review board of 10 senior offices headed by General Wan Antonio Alveres, and seconded by Colonel MtBatten.  You give your detailed report on the battle etc, noting Crayon’s prophecy that the Drow will not return to Ul Drakken for at least 3 years.

24                The General says that the victory is pleasing and that you have shown yourselves to be adequate commanders.  He also indicates that men such as you are in demand, and that as Knights of Onnwal, you may be called on again to lead the Onwallish into battle.

25                You all proceed back to the Officer Mess for drinks.  For 2 hours the senior officers mingle with the rest of the officers and your group.  It’s obvious that Colonel Mt Batten still thinks that Crayon is an upstart, but as one of the junior officers later says, “you can’t please everybody!”.  The senior officers then retire and the mood relaxes. It turns out to be a quiet drinking session and you return to your assigned rooms mostly sober.

26                At 9am on 25 Planting you demonstrate the Pogrom Ballista to the Szeck, who seems somewhat distracted.  During the demonstration Crayon sees that the Onwallish engineer who has been studying is indeed Q Featherhammer, a past dwarven associate.  When offered unrestricted access to a Pogrom Ballista back on Pogrom Island, Q tenders his resignation from the Scant University where he has been lecturing.

27                Later that morning in a public audience, the Szeck congratulates you and announces your promotion as Knights of Onnwal.  Ballard becomes Knight Major and Crayon becomes Knight Captain.  After indicating their acceptance, Cadra and Palmerin are made Knight Lieutenants of the Knights of Onnwal.  You are each also given hereditary title to further lands in Onnwal (Andrew will discuss this at a later date - in Cadra’s case, he may wait until Kidzje is outlawed & get a quarter cut of Pogrom Island).

28                The Szeck also airs his dissatisfaction with Baron Kidzje and Baron Niahm, who were appointed to organise and conduct the royal tour of Pogrom Island in the absence of the other Barons on military duty.  These two were missing and did not conduct the royal tour as agreed.

29                The Szeck then publicly declares that if Barons Kidzje and Niahm do not present themselves to his court within one year to explain their actions, they will forfeit all lands and titles to the crown, and be declared outlaws in Onnwal.

30                As a result of the battle, promotions, and hereditary land grants, each player character involved in the Battle of Ul Drakken gains 20,000XP.  Each character’s followers present gains 2,000XP (see new rule at end of document).

31                Cadra set up and donated 4000GP to a war widow fund and received 4000XP for it, Crayon donated 4500gp to the war widow fund and got 4500XP for it.

32                Crayon presents 3 more Pogrom Ballistas to the military in Scant, noting that they came from the dwarves, the Colonel lifts an eyebrow.  4 Pogrom Ballistas are left in Sky castle, 3 of which the military in Scant do not know about.  It takes 6 months (and quite a few live chooks) to make templates for the components of the ballista in order to start producing them yourselves.

Return to Pogrom Island

33                On 26 Planting, before returning to Pogrom Island you hire a significant number of mercenaries to protect the Island should the coming sea battle not go your way.  You pay each unit more than they required, which makes the units interested in staying on after their “tour of duty on Pogrom Island”.  Along with the Onwallish Pikemen the Szeck has stationed with you, this makes the protection of the Island more secure.

34                Having troops on the Island turned out to be an expensive affair, the costs were:

(a)                240 veteran Onwallish Pikemen stationed on Pogrom                  960GP/month

(b)               120 recruit Onwallish Pikemen stationed on Pogrom                    240GP/month

(c)                180 Longbow men                                                                     see Artillerists

(d)               120 medium cavalry                                                                    see Artillerists

(e)                200 mounted archers                                                                  see Artillerists

(f)                 20 Artillerists                                                                              4,120GP/month
                                                                                                  for all above

(g)                cost to ship all men to Pogrom Island                                          1,560GP

(h)                cost to ship horses to Pogrom Island                                           1,920GP

(i)                  TOTAL COST of mercenaries                                                   5,320GP

(j)                 Cost to have all 1 month and return them                                     8,800GP
(noting that you can keep the Onwallish Pikemen if you want to pay them)

Kidzje & Niahm have disappeared

35                On the evening of 2nd Flocktime you return to Pogrom Island via one of Crayon’s Dimensional Foldings.  The Szeck was right, there is no sign of Kidzje or Niahm.  Sir Walter says that they were last seen a couple of days before the Szeck’s visit.

36                He tells you that he was studying some maps of the island in the war room when almighty hell broke out between Neferkare and Kidzje.  They were obviously having relationship problems before, but this time there was no make-up session.  After a substantial yelling and screaming session, Neferkare slapped Kidzje on both sides of his face, called him “outcast”, spat at his feet, and called down a pretty convincing curse on him.  She then assailed him in some strange language, slapped him on both sides again, and fled from the castle.

37                Kidzje abandoned his plans for a palace for Neferkare and statues etc and disappears.

38                There was a letter from Niahm with the bartender in The Picked Pocket requesting either her Portable Hole or the Bag of Holding instead.  After some discussion you gave the Bag of Holding to the bartender, who assures you Niahm will get it.  Apparently she is undertaking a deep under-cover mission that she might not return from.

Amphibious assault of Pogrom Island by the South Province

39                You took your fleet of 4 ships out to intercept the ships coming from the South Province.  You found that they have 3 ships in total, two Great Galleys carrying 250 infantry each, and a COG.  Your ships and the Province Galleys have 1 ballista mounted in the bow, while the Province COG had one Ballista at both bow and stern.

40                After an extended exchange of ballista shot, the PS(Pogrom Ship) Crayon sinks a galley, the PS Kidzje sinks a galley, and the PS Niahm sinks the COG.  In reply the Great Galley Ballard was sunk, but the rest of your ships (Carvel and 2 Longboats) return to Pogrom for repairs (costs 100GP per hull point per ship - this is yet to be deducted!).

41                On return Crayon finds that one of the two Galleons that he ordered in Scant some months ago has been completed and delivered to Pogrom Island.  The cost was 50,000GP, which Crayon used the Pogrom Island treasury to pay until he locates his funds (Andrew has to give details of Athorite sales).

42                On 8 Flocktime Cadra advises the party that he going back to his clan in the Iron Hills to get some more hammer training and to work on his religious observances.  He’s not sure how long it will take, but ends up arriving back on Pogrom Island on 16 Goodmonth.  While Cadra is away, Crayon spends some quality time with each of his disciples, enhancing their understanding of Essencia’s ways.  He had quite a few to talk to and enlists his first disciple to help in the holy task.  Its 22 Sunsebb when they finish.
[I’m not sure if Ballard or Palmerin will be able to train starting on this date].

43                In the mean time, Adestra travelled to the mountains that the Pale Ones were in to try and find any information that might help her unlock the secret to the Stone Circles that Kidzje had found.  On 22 Readyreat, Adestra arrives back on Pogrom Island with the information she needs.  She then completes the research that she has begun into making the spell to activate the stone circles.  By the time Crayon has trained his followers, Adestra has created the Lesser Stone Circle spell that allows travel on the same plane.  She has not yet successfully finished her research into the Greater Stone Circle spell that allows inter-planar travel.

44                While all this has been happening the Dwarfs have been extending the dwarven residences in the mountainside near the Athorite mine.  They now have ? rooms, including what functions?.

45                [other character’s building projects to be inserted here?]

Pogrom Island administration

46                Rod of Resurrection handed by Crayon to treasury & taken by Adestra on Necropolis adventure.

47                Mick the Mimic is moved from Sky Cathedral to Sky Keep treasury.

Menkarae’s plea (new adventure “Necropolis”)

48                Just as life looks like returning to normal (read boring), Menkarae arrives back from his extended sabbatical.  He has been continuing his search for a way for him and Neferkare to get home and thinks that it may be on this plane.

49                He was on the Wild Coast when a merchant recognised some of the names that he was describing.  This merchant had bought a map and written account from a dead friend (also a merchant) who professed to have crossed the Crystalmist Mountains and stumbled onto a place in the middle of the Dry Steppes called the “Triple Kingdom”, or “Khemit”.

50                When Menkarae showed a deep interest in this story, he sold the written account to Menkarae for 8,000GP (which was what Menkarae had unwisely told him he could afford).  After Menkarae had handed over the gems, the merchant showed him a map that his merchant friend had made to go with the written account.  The map referred to the burial tombs of royalty that Menkarae also thought he recognised.

[Menkarae gives you the merchant’s account piece of paper called “Blemish tribesman’s account”]

51                The merchant demanded an additional 5,000GP for the map, which Menkarae did not have.  Seeing the possibility of finally getting home, Menkarae promised to meet the price, after he had seen his benefactors (you).

52                Having heard his tale, and noting how enthusiastic Menkarae was, you review the written account, telling Menkarae how busy you are with your own affairs at the moment.  Menkarae pleads for you to help him in this final leg of his journey, asking that you give him 5,000GP to buy the map, and accompany he and his daughter Neferkare to Khemit.  He notes that Neferkare now wants to leave Pogrom Island and never come back.

53                Menkarae tells you that Neferkare is really a queen, but the throne was sized by an opponent when she was 5 years old.  Court magicians at the time opened a portal for Menkarae & Neferkare to go through.  After 6 years, Menkarae thought that the court magician must have been slain or defected, because they never saw him or their people again.  He then started searching for a way back and found his magical Sextant 4 years afterwards.  He has been using the Sextant to find “portals between worlds”.  He says that they will borrow treasure from a previous kings tomb (family member).  And that the curse won’t work on Neferkare because she is kin.

54                Having troops and ship builders to pay and other money problems, Crayon asks him if there may be some financial reimbursement for the time and equipment spent getting them there.  Menkarae says that the Triple Kingdom has abundant riches, but specifically offers riches from the tomb of a king that he will need to access once he returns to fund Neferkare’s ascension to the throne.  The price is initially set at 40,000GP each, but Crayon asks for more.  Menkarae reluctantly agrees to pay you 45,000GP each, saying that they may need to open another royal tomb to pay you.

55                Crayon Dimension Folds Menkarae back to the Wild Coast (an area Crayon has been to before) to buy the map and rendezvous 4 days later at the same spot for him to Dimension Fold back to Pogrom Island.

56                Upon returning, Menkarae shows you the merchant’s map that he purchased.
[piece of paper handed to players]

57                You mention Kidzje, and Menkarae says that Kidzje was an aberration of their kind, but would have been eminently useful and would have been well qualified to be Neferkare’s consort (he could not be named King, but would have been given a title).

Travel to Khemit

58                After days of favourable winds, you sail into Gyrax on Crayon’s Galleon, with the Pogrom Repeating Ballista covered by canvass.  Crayon flies around Gyrax with Adestra for 6 hours looking for stone circles, but they didn’t find any (big area to search).

59                After 35 days of sailing, including sailing up the river Javin, you arrive in Cryllor on 13th Fireseek CY577.  On the way through the area under the Sea Princes control, your ship was stopped by a roguish looking guy called Yellowbeard, captaining a ship that Amos recognised.  Amos agrees to have a drink with him in Monmurg and they are let pass.  Based on that conversation you get the feeling that Amos (called Trask by Yellowbeard), worked for the Sea Princes in the past.  Amos says he knows them, but pissed one off by making off with one of the Sea Prince’s women.  Sadly the woman died, so it was all for nought.  You encourage Amos to try and recruit Yellowbeard to the Pogrom Island Navy if he thinks he’s trustworthy enough.

60                On 13 Fireseek CY 577 you arrive in Cryllor.  You & Menkarae talk to a barge man and he tells you that it is an 11 day trip up the river to the capital of Sterich, Istivin.  Then a further 6 days from to the headwaters of the Davish River.

61                Your party gets to Istivin on 24 Fireseek CY577 & hears of a small army of beasts that has come down from the CrystalMist Mountains and have been attacking mining towns.  The criers let out the call to arms, and for the militia to assemble.  There is a unit of Heavy Cavalry in the marshalling area, and you hear word that they hope to meet a contingent of Dwarfs from the mountains, and are also to pick up some militia on the way.

62                After making your skills at war known, you are introduced to Captain Keeling, who equips you with light war horses, and welcomes your offer of help.  He makes you unit commanders in the contingent, and assigns you your men.

63                There is talk that His Magnitude, Querchard the Earl of Sterich is getting tired of sending reinforcements to Keoland but the military treaty compels him to come to their aid if required.  This is sapping his resources at a time when incursions from the Greenskins are becoming more frequent.  A good portion of the levies of Sterich must always remain on guard to the west.

64                You make the 2 ½ day ride up the major road in 2 days.  The riding is hard, but the men seem tough and quietly determined.  You hear that many a group of prospectors have entered the CrystalMist mountains for their famous richness in precious metals and gems.  Prospecting towns have been developing along the western border of Sterich, which forms the foothills of the CrystalMist Mountains.

65                For as long as anyone can remember, garrisons have been built and manned at key points along the foothills, part of the continuing battle to keep the greenskin hoards out of the rolling countryside of Sterich.

Andrew’s Rule Clarifications/Changes

66                I made a couple of new rulings on the weekend that I think should be permanent:

(a)                for followers to gain experience points for participating in battles, there is a corresponding 20% chance that they are also injured on the battlefield.  If they are injured, the DM rolls on the combat table on page 106 of the Battlesystem rules to determine the outcome.  In the worst case, this is “dead, body can not be found after battle”.

Ivan applied this rule to his followers, and found that Father Hank was indeed killed during battle, and unfortunately when they tried to resurrect him, he could not be brought back from the dead.

Scott is to determine if he wants any of his followers to have been in the combat.

(b)               In Battlesystem games, units that come in contact with each other must do so in parallel or at 90 degrees.  For game mechanic reasons, units may not come in contact with other units at incidental angles like 45 degrees.