Thursday, 5 December 2019

Shadows of Commorragh - part 27, game 7

Dark Things in Dark Places

"Little one. Let me tell you the tale of Yrule in the lair of the Ur-Ghuls. I know not why he went in search of them, but Yrule went hunting the hunters in the underbelly of Low Commorragh.

Oh no, my little feral darling, my celadon sweetling, no no. This part of the tail does not concern the Bleaksouls directly. These events unfolded while Morghdrax and his friends were being picked apart by the Shards' dark lancer. But keep in your mind's eye the memory of those bodies in the shadows at the bottom of the stairs.

This part of the tail is just about a fool-hardy Ynnari lord and his search for who-knows-what in the abandoned places, that should left abandoned."

~ 🜩 ~

Dramatis Personae

The Void Phoenixes
  • Yrule Vivithrax: Thanarch (Strategist)

The Ur-Ghul Pack
  • Ss-hurk, Leader -I
  • Hus-hus, Combat -II
  • Shosh-ffs, Zealot -III
  • Guh-thuss, Scout -IV

I watched the pack of Ur-Ghuls from the shadows, sniffing the air at the southern edge of the Temple of Khaine. They went skittering and hooting through the darkness, calling to one another as they gathered around the Ynnari they mistakenly thought they hunted. They snuffed and huffed and tasted the air and crept through the archways and over broken stones.

~ 🜾 ~

The pack leader, kept his kin close and they moved effortlessly through the familiar ground of their lair.

The creatures rocked their heads from left to right as they moved, tracking the Ynnari's strange and foreign scent.

They hissed and capered in the gloom.

Yrule silently watched them come.

Through arcane skill the Ur-Ghuls could not sense my presence. But I would not tarry long, regardless.

On metal-feathered wings he flitted and glided, soared and wheeled. Danced across the towers and spires, the ruins and wreckage did he. Then he dropped to the Voidfall Tower and looked down on the ruins of the Temple of Khaine.

In the dim viridian light and myrtle shadows things moved.

One Ur-Ghul scouted around the main doors to the temple.

Another Ur-Ghul hissed at the Thanarch in frustration as the Ynnari took wing once more.

Yrule landed gracefully on the dry, dusty altar.

He was immediately pounced on by two of the hungry troglodytes.

A third scampered quickly across the loose paving slabs.

The fastest of the Ur-Ghuls dragged it's fetid claws across Yrule's armour. The Thanarch struck back and the beast howled in pain and recoiled.

Yrule took wing once more but the dragging claws of the Ur-Ghuls slowed his flight and he was entangled and wounded by the spines of the Barbed Venomgorse as he touched down.

The Ur-Ghul pack saw that he was trapped and closed in on him at speed.

The first to get to him was the pack leader. It was unnervingly fast but the Thanarch was a fraction faster and he inflicted grievous wounds on the beast. But it was not a fatal blow and the creature struck back.

The other Ur-Ghuls bounded into the fight.

They raked and clawed and slashed at Yrule and they rent his armour asunder. Blood flowed and the Ur-Ghuls hooted and howled in glee.

Yrule was no coward.  It is not so, nor was it ever so. But it was clear now that he had to escape. He leapt upward and spread his battered wings and disappeared from my sight into the gathering darkness. Be bold, be bold, but not too bold.

His objective unobtainable, the risk in attempting to achieve it now far outweighed the benefits. He sailed up and up and was gone.

~ 🜃 ~

This mission was Army of One, from Commanders.

Viktor had a hidden agenda - I knew the three ways in which he could win the game, but I didn't know which of those three he had secretly rolled. 
  1. Escape the board on my table edge
  2. Kill the Ur-Ghul Pack Leader
  3. Destroy the single Objective Marker

So I was kept guessing until a turn or two before then end of the game! He rolled a dice in secret and covered it with the vortex marker from our last game, keeping it on the edge of the board until he was ready to reveal it. This was a great source of tension for me, and the only way a single model can prevail against steep odds for Viktor.

Viktor's version of this tail is here.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Shadows of Commorragh - part 26, game 6

Spiralling Down

"Oh little one, do not despair, Lady Anielyn's rage was not aimed at the Bleaksouls. Lady Anielyn's rage was not aimed at all in fact. The flames of her vexation were shared wide and far and engulfed many and most who dared come near her at this time.

But the Bleaksouls did suffer; they were cast into that fire and burned. The Lady Anielyn told them they may no longer count on her patronage. So, in desperation, they tried to harvest the soul-energy released from the Sorrowshards by Excrucia's resurrection.

But I have said before: My stories do not oft have a happy resolution. It is not so, nor was it ever so.

The Sorrowshards were in turmoil. The paradoxical energies contained within them was ever on a knife-edge but since Excrucia's kin had used it in desperation and without the proper ritual preparation it had become unstable and dangerous. Standing on the dais was become dangerous, but some may think the risk worthwhile.

Lakbyrn, Ravneth and Morghdrax stepped out of the Webway Portal, and clung to the shadows. They looked about themselves, wary that others may have similar hopes. But unaware that they were expected, anticipated.

Mazrayth the Shards' Sniper and Idarax their Comms Wych watched them calmly from the roof of the ruin. They tracked the Bleaksouls through crystal sights.

Ravneth and Lakbyrn risked the Sorrowshards, but it was a Dark Lance shot that felled the Bleaksouls' Scout, not the tumultuous soul-energies!

The other Bleaksouls ranged out of sight, in the lee of the dais.

Hekatrix Kaerathir stood in the viridian gloom, and watched them cower.

Zendril the Sslyth and Des'rashi the Wych joined their leader.

Morghdrax unwisely stepped out of cover and the Dark Lance punished him.

The other Bleaksouls raged and fired at the Shards as they charged into combat with them.

Blades flashed in the emerald twilight and the combatants span and danced about one another. The fighters leapt and slashed and parried and lunged. The duel moved up the stairs and into the vortex of the Sorrowshards.

Yariaq tried to use a Webway Portal to ambush the Shards' sniper but he became lost in the labyrinthine sub-dimensions and found himself emerged from the wrong egress point.

The Dark Lancer wracked up a fearsome tally of kills.

Jaenis made it to the ruins where the sniper lurked but when she heard the scream as Bahreneq was impaled by the Sslyth she and the other Bleaksouls realised the day was lost and the slunk from the battlefield with curses on their lips.

~ 🝁 ~

Mission: Escalating Conflict (from Elites). This game was hard on the Bleaksouls. Very hard. David's Sniper/Comms combo, armed with a Dark Lance, destroyed everything that appeared in it's scope! David scored 3 soul points and secured the objective. I didn't get any kills so it was a very convincing victory for David!

David's version of this adventure is here.

Soul Points (for the campaign):
The Bleaksouls 16
The Shards 8
The Void Phoenixes 4

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Shadows of Commorragh - part 25, game 5

Make them talk!

"Good morning little one, how did you sleep? Are you ready for another chapter of my tale?

Lady Anielyn was displeased, yes so she was. She needed more information about Drachon Daisan's schemes and plots so she ordered the Bleaksouls to capture members of the rival gang and question them sharply, and their stories might be used to barter for their lives.

And so the Bleaksouls ventured out into the darkening streets, near the base of the Obsidian Spire, not far from the River Khaïdes. The stolen suns were lost among the angular towers of the Dark City's trading districts overhead.

They felt no fear there. They were not afraid. It is not so, nor was it ever so. For their enemy was bloodied and cowed, fleeing from their ferocity. They were full of swagger and self confidence.

Fire from a grav weapon platform stabbed out into the shadows. Yariq leapt easily out of the scorching crimson beam's path. He loosed a few splinter pistol shots in return, aimed vaguely at the Ynnari carrying a flamer.

The Shards brought a new friend with them; Zendril the Sslyth.

Mazrayth, the Shards' Kabilite Gunner and Sniper, fired his Dark Lance at Morghdrax. He thought he hit his target but the Bleaksouls' Hekatrix escaped with just singed hair.

Fachean fired at Yariaq, but they missed once more.

The Bleaksouls sprinted through the cerulean gloom, baying like maddened dogs. Taunting their foes.

Lakbyrn the Parched stepped through a shimmering webway portal...

... and traversed most of the plaza in but a single step.

The Void Phoenixes thought they had him trapped. The Parched hunched his long, hooded cape around his withered frame, looked around furtively...

...then hurried into the darkness beneath the broken walkway.

Bahreneq, Ravneth and Jaenis lurked behind a Cauldron of Souls.

Mazrayth aimed his Dark Lance while the other Shards moved into position.

Zendril the Sslyth and& Derash the Wytch Fighter moved through the Shrine of Khaine.

Mazrayth fired his Dark Lance at Morghdrax but missed.

Excrucia charged Morghdrax. Blades sang in the dark and Excrucia's Banshee howl stunned the Hekatrix.

Zendril and Derash charged Excrucia!

Bahreneq moved into the ruins overlooking the Sorrowshards.

Ravneth and Jaenis fired on Thresyn, the Storm Guardian Gunner with a Flamer. They were wary of it's wicked flames.

A bitter combat developed as the warbands closed in on their targets.

Hekatrix Kaerathir moved toward Excrucia and Morghdrax.

The Void Phoenixes realised that the fight was quickly going to turn against them. Though a decisive strike from Morghdrax failed to get through her armour.

Lakbyrn appeared from the darkness beneath the walkway.

Lakbyrn's dagger flashed in the twilight and Excrucia fell! 

Shouts echoed across the ruined streets.

Uless was wounded...

...and she fled to the safety of the Sorrowshards, dragging Excrucia with her.

Uless called her kin back.

Halt’har the Guardian Defender fell back to the Phoenixes.

Bhanlhar laid down covering fire with his grav-platform weapon.

Mazrayth's Dark Lance floored Uless!

The Shards celebrated the kill.

Morghdrax was laid low by Zendril the Sslyth.

Lakbryn impaled Derashi.

Zendril turned on Lakbryn, thirsting for the souls he had claimed!

Hekatrix Kaerathir was rounded-on by Ravneth, Jaenis and Bahreneq!

Yariaq crept out of the shadows for the first time. He hoped no-one would notice his temerity.

Zendril the Sslyth was wounded by Lakbyrn, and the Parched managed to survive her counter-attack by shear blind chance!

Bhanlhar was sniped by Mazrayth, ending the barrage of fire.

The day grew short and the cries of the wounded and dying began to attract even more unsavoury attention. As the warbands withdrew into the night a strange light burst from the Sorrowshards and needled up into the air. A thousand discorporate voices howled, shaking the withered souls of all who heard. The Bleaksouls looked up at the ominous illumination and marvelled at it, even as it faded.

~ 🝁 ~

But don't go yet, little one! My tale is nearly done, there are but two chapters left. You would not like to miss the end."

~ 🜑 ~

The mission for this game was "Take Prisoners". There were 3VP for each captured enemy Leader and 1VP for each captured enemy non-leader. But a model was only "captured" if it was taken Out of Action while there were no friendly models within 2" and there was an enemy model within 1". As a result of this surprisingly tight set of scoring conditions nobody got any VP!

Soul Points (for the campaign):
The Bleaksouls 16
The Void Phoenixes 4
The Shards 5

Viktor's version of this tale is here, and David's is here.