Saturday, 25 January 2020

Dark Skies Over The Harrowmark - part 3 The wreck of the Gryph-hound

No one remembers why the Gryph-hound went down but she was lost with all hands in the malignant forest many years ago and it was months before a passing sky-ship found the wreck. It was already overgrown and rotting on the forest floor. The forests of the Harrowmark are a dangerous place for a sky-ship captain who does not know his trade!

Edit: I've been asked a few times for paint recipes for the wreck and the anchor:

It's a Playmobil anchor, with the hollow middle filled with greenstuff that I "dimple" textured. I painted it with Typhus Corrosion (over a dark grey base) then washed it with 10-1 Lahmian Medium / Ryza Rust, then a wash of Agrax Earthshade.

The timbers of the wreck are just sprayed black undercoat, zenithal spray Mechanicus Standard Grey, drybrushed Ushabti Bone, washed with Nuln Oil. The green mossy stuff is Plaguebearer Contrast paint. The barnacles are painted Wraithbone then Skeleton Horde Contrast.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

The Harrowmark Twisted Oak - part 4, game 1

The Sorcerer

A heavy bank of roiling fog had settled upon Wortbad for days. The Rotmoons had hidden in taverns, huddled by fires to stave off its cloying cold and damp. El Doctoro was impatient to start their expedition into the forests but the preparations were going slowly. Something was howling in the fog... something big.

When the fog finally started to dissipate Kapitán da Leeva climbed to the top of Deathwatch Tower to scan the newly visible horizon with his brass spyglass. He did a full circuit of the sky just above tree tops, looking for passing sky-ships, before he started to look at the woods closer-in. Out of the receding mists a number of shrouded figures loomed into view. They moved in a strange way and, to start with, da Leeva couldn't work out why they seemed wrong. Their stilted, jerky movements looked unnatural, almost like they were puppets on string. Then as they moved toward the town and out of the fog he realised why: they were not living men; they were dark-magic-animated skeletons! 

He took a silver coin out, turned it over and returned it to his pocket. Then started yelling orders at the Rotmoons, rousing them from their torpor and hurling abuse at them until they started appearing at doorways and arming themselves. When he was sure they were starting to move in the right direction he turned and ran down the stairs to join them.

~ ~ ~

The animated dead champions known as Tollich, the Gor and two nameless skeletons lurched out of the receding fog.

Percy Percy, Bold Rikk and Bortagno rushed to intercept them, heavy black powder pistols primed and ready.

Dragante, Pez and Deestro were not far behind.

Kalyustar, Rhegar and a number of skeletons appeared through the gates of a Garden of Morr. Bortagno roared his name - recognising an old and familiar enemy, behind the lines of a new warband.

Tollich rush forward, spurred on by sorcerous energies from Kalyustar, and attacked Bold Rikk.

Dragante stood guard by the signpost that marked the edge of Rotmoon territory.

The Gor took possession of another objective.

Percy Percy and Pez made toward the Gor.

Kalyustar urged his minions forward from the graveyard and through the trees.

As the Rotmoons pushed forward they failed to notice their exposed starboard flank...

Bortagno smashed into Tollich and scattered his dry bones among the tree roots.

Bold Rikk and Percy Percy both blasted Krunti with their heavy pistols and the skeletal duardin fell in a cloud of sulphurous smoke.

Deestro shot Rhegar, the halberd-armed skeleton champion, then Dragante charged him through the smoke.

Kalyustar unleashed a wave of necromantic energies at Dragante, the big orruk roared in pain.

A hideously mutated wolf-beast appeared from the forests...

Da Leeva rushed out of the tower to join his crew in the forest, with Geedo and El Doctoro in tow. They saw that a large group of skeletons was trying to encircle the Rotmoons!

Percy Percy was horrified that he hadn't noticed them earlier! A large band of skeleton warriors lurched out of the shadows beneath the trees.

Kapitán da Leeva took stock of the situation and started barking orders.

Rhegar focused the death-magic energies within his desiccated form and smashed Dragante down!

The mutated wolf-beast pounced upon Kalyustar and his minions.

It shattered one of the skeletons with a blood-curdling howl.

The Rotmoons watched with a mixture of horror and joy as the beast smashed into the skeleton warriors.

Bortagno charged a skeleton and hacked it in twain with his kutlass.

El Doctoro summoned magics that strengthened orrukish muscle and sinew, shielding them from harm.

The Kapitán charged a skeleton, it lunged at him with a spear but he turned it aside with his kutlass and hacked it to splinters then stamped on its skull.

Heavy pistols cracked and banged, lead shot whizzed through the forest, it chipped bone and shredded rotten clothing.

Percy Percy fired at close range and the skeleton fell to bits!

Pez was set-upon by the Gor, Keinrich and a nameless skeleton! But he survived, even against those odds!

Deestro shot Rhegar through the skull.

Percy Percy blasted a damaged skeleton to bits.

Both warbands pulled back from the fight - the Rotmoons did not want to tangle with the wolf-beast and the Cursed Company were running low on skeletons!

~ ~ ~

This was a great start the the campaign! 

Deployment: Encircle
Victory: Drawn and Quartered
Twist: Bloodscent

The game ended as a 6:6 draw, as both of us scored 2 victory points each turn. We both grabbed two objectives in the first turn and, try as we might, neither of us was able to change that balance over the next two turns.

Narratively it felt "right" as we have established a border between our territory!

Thursday, 16 January 2020

The Harrowmark Twisted Oak - part 3

Into the woods again

The light of Hysh was low in the sky and ruddy. Bad tempered crows filled the air with their unfriendly racket and a cold wind twirled dead leaves in tight spirals. Although the Harrowmark was locked in a perpetual Autumn, the weather seemed warmer than usual. Something was changing.

Guttural voices echoed through the shadowed bowers of the haunted woods. A crowd of bad tempered orruk pirates strode through the trees toward the unfortunate village of Wortbad. Some of them muttered arguments with their shipmates, others just glared angrily at the world in general.

With the Rotmoon safely tied-up to the Skyship dock - the closest thing to a shipyard that existed this side of the jagged Everdark Peaks - Kapitán Alunzo da Leeva and some of the Rotmoons returned to Wortbad in search of supplies for their expedition into the malignant forests. They had left half a dozen orruks making repairs to the ship, but they needed raw materials that were not readily available. The planks and ropes they could salvage from ruined houses and nearby shipwrecks were poor quality and decidedly mundane and unmagical - they badly hampered the Rotmoon's sailing qualities, she was sluggish and unresponsive to the helm now.

The rumours of a magical tree growing in the deep forests gave El Doctoro the Shaman the idea of using its timbers to make the Rotmoon sky-worthy again. The Shaman had a fairly good idea of where the Oak might be, from its effect on his navigational instruments, but he also knew they couldn't just go blindly stumbling through the Harrowmark's baleful forests. There was work to be done.

Viktor and I got together for a "Session Zero" and set up the Harrowmark scenery and lighting in his gaming room. We plan to start playing our custom Warcry campaign next week. Exciting times!

He has posted some info about the campaign mechanics and NPCs here.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The Harrowmark Twisted Oak - part 2


The jury-rigged Rotmoon limped over the tangled, malignant forests. The hard-pressed crew of orruk sky-pirates were all exhausted and even more argumentative than usual: they had fought-off two Crypt Flayers before breakfast and narrowly avoided a collision with a black skull-formed rocky outcrop in the fore-noon. A few crew-members had been pushed overboard since then.

Kapitán Da Leeva, first mate Bortagno and El Doctoro stood on the aft-deck and stared at a filthy and dog-eared map they had spread out on the top of a barrel. Unseasonably strong winds had pushed them off course by three and a half miles and forced them through the rocky areas area far further south than the course they had plotted. Their maps and charts were old and inaccurate, all the compass bearings were reversed since the Necroquake, which added an extra layer of calculations needed to navigate over the Harrowmark's horrible forests. They didn't even get on with the first layer of calculations very well.

Even taking all this into account, something seemed to be throwing out their navigation. The thaumaturgic compasses both seemed to be off by a few points; it like something powerful was pulling at them. El Doctoro the Shaman took measurements with a ceraunostant and drew lines on the chart, he muttered to himself as he tried to calculate the source.

He straightened up and jabbed a gnarled finger at the parchment. “Whatever it is, it’s somewhere here-around.” he pronounced confidently.

The other two orruks looked closely at the area of the map around the Shaman’s finger. “Nothing is there, but only forest!” said Bortagno, incredulously.

“Something new is come into to the forest,” said El Doctoro “something newer than the map.”

The Kapitán scratched his chin and thought for a minute, “We’ll take a look, it might be worth something.” he said with a grin and a piratical glint in his eye. He nodded to Bortagno who turned to the deck and started shouting orders to change course.

~ ~ ~

Our Warcry campaign is about to start and I am going to continue the story of the Rotmoons. 

Their ship, the Rotmoon, is battered and broken and badly in need of proper repairs. El Doctoro has heard the rumours of the Twisted Oak and he wants to cut it down, saw it up into planks and use the timber to repair their sky-ship - what could be better to repair a flying ship than magical wood? He urged Kapitán Da Leeva to make sail through the area where the rumours suggested it might be, knowing that it would be hard to find and that navigation around it would be difficult. He hasn't been entirely honest about what he expects to find there...

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Dark Skies Over The Harrowmark - part 2 The Rotmoon

The Rotmoon

The orruk pirate sky-ship that crashed in the forests of the Harrowmark, triggering the adventure known as the Harrowmark Run. The Rotmoons eventually recovered the wreck of their ship and careened it in the woods. They made make-shift repairs but the lack of a dock and proper equipment, meant that they could only cobble-together the two halves of the ship with found timbers, from houses and other shipwrecks. They sailed it back to Wortbad slowly and carefully, knowing that any collision or tight manoeuvres would tear her apart.

~ ~ ~

This only took me 19 months to paint! The Dark Skies project finally got me to take it off the shelf and get working on it again. The weathered timbers colour are all sprays, dry-brushing and washes and the spot colours were mostly Contrast Paints.