Friday, 30 July 2021

Animosity III - The Prime Dominion, part 16


~ ⦽ ~ 15

Betrayed! (Again)


The Cleavermaws left Iscarion as quickly as they could and Illyana Draketooth directed them to Ciradyl Tower to meet up with Captain Bodrin Bok and the crew of the Selachii.


The Selachiis were battered and furious at their defeat by the Ruyalar and other mercenaries. Many of their friends had been captured or killed in the battle of Iscarion Docks. Mogrum hoped their bloodthirsty mood would serve him well in the scheme the Baron had talked him into joining, and make them eager to help. But Draketooth had absolutely no intention of aiding them.


As soon as she was among her loyal friends again she turned her back on the Cleavermaws and ordered the Selachiis to kill them.


Illyana strode away to find more of her fleet and the Selachiis stepped between her and the orruk pirates.


The Cleavermaws were shocked. But not that shocked.


The Quartermaster charged. His massive boarding axe caught the Baron a glancing blow.


Two aelven librarians from Selanar City had been kidnapped by the Selachii and tried to use the fight with the Cleavermaws as cover to escape.


Some of the Cleavermaws decided to "rescue" them!


Lost Uzzog placed himself strategically behind the front line and started healing Cleavermaws wounds. It was a slow process to knit wounds back together for so many of the crew at once but it would keep more of them in the fight.


The librarians found themselves in the middle of the fighting!


Bodrin Bok brought more of his crew into the battle.


Deadwood thought he had chosen a safe route around the battlefield but he was wrong.


Mogrum floored the Selachii facing him.


Deadwood gave the terrified buccaneer a couple of thumps.


Slugga took a few hits but his kutlass found its mark.


The Baron and the Quartermaster exchanged blows in a flurry of attacks, counter attacks, parries and blocks.


One of the Selachii grabbed an escaping aelf.


The Baron finally smashed his gauntlet into the Quartermaster's face.


The fight was bloody on both sides!


Mogrum blasted two of the Selachii with beastial Waaagh! magic...


Including Captain Bok himself.


Sludga went to catch the Selachii who grabbed the Assistant Librarian.


Lost Uzzog repositioned himself so he could help the most pirate orruks. Bosun Higgs nabbed the Librarian and bundled him away.


Uzzog's magic kept the orruks going; their wounds healed even as they fought.


The Baron smashed another Selachii down.


The tide was turning in the Cleavermaw’s favour.


Sludga unleashed a furious assault on the musician and freed the Assistant Librarian.

+++

Kaptain Mogrum hurried the crew back to the Cleavermaw, taking the Librarians along with them. He didn't know why the Selachiis had kidnapped the aelves but he wasn't going to leave perfectly good "loot" just running about the place. 

He did know that they probably hadn't seen the last of Illyana Draketooth though. 

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Animosity III - The Prime Dominion, part 15

~ ⦽ ~ 14

The Best Laid Plans

The Cleavermaw raced over the towers and domes of Iscarion, already being pursued by city guard patrol boats. So much for "flying casual"!

As the ship approached High Tower the crew frantically took-in sails and the helmsman threw her into a hard turn. Something fell off the stern.

The orruk pirates in the forecastle hurled their grappling hooks a little too early and the ropes instantly snapped taught, swung the Cleavermaw hard around the tower and brought the ship to a sudden and abrupt stop. Half the crew were sent tumbling across the deck.

Mr Sludga and the Baron leapt across the dizzying gap onto the stone balcony just before Kaptain Mogrum had gathered the Waaagh! energy needed to blast the doors open, so when the green lightning bolt arced into the timbers they were forced to dive for cover as splinters of wood the size of their arm exploded outward. 

The two hulking orrks stumbled to their feet and turned toward their boarding party who were still aboard the ship, looking confused and worried. The Baron laughed and shouted at them to follow or they would miss the fun!

The boarding party shrugged and jumped. Most of them made it across the narrowing gap between ship and tower but one or two missed their footing and plummeted down, hundreds of feet to the street far below.

The Baron charged into the prison tower and started kicking open doors as the first guards arrived. The boarders fell upon them with dark glee.

They fought their way down spiral stairs until they located the cell of Illyana Draketooth, to their surprise they found her conscious and healthy. It took the lives of three orruk boarders for Mr Sludga to convince her they were a rescue party.

She was still sceptical but followed the orruks back up to the shattered balcony but to their shock and horror the Cleavermaw was nowhere to be seen! (The patrol ships had got too close and Mogrum had ordered the grapple lines cut and sails unfurled then cast Breath of Gorkamorka to speed the ship away.)

Draketooth was ready to slaughter the Baron and the pirates but the Cleavermaw reappeared around a distant building, with a trio of fast guard boats tight on her tail. Mogrum had the crew hang heavy nets over the gunwales - Draketooth and the boarding party leapt for them as the ship raced by, close to the tower.

Mogrum cast Breath of Gorkamorka again and the Cleavermaw careered away into the clouds with several planks, one of the nets and a sail tumbling down behind in her wake.


+++

Draketooth raged at Mogrum on the quarterdeck as the ship rocked in a gentle wind, anchored in the lee of a small metalith island. She was not happy with his plan in the slightest and was damned sure none of her surviving fleet would be either.



Friday, 23 July 2021

Animosity III - The Prime Dominion, part 14


~ ⦽ ~ 13

The Umbral Corsair

When the Cleavermaws heard the news that a huge fleet of pirates had attacked the Iscarion Docks they knew it was the hand of Captain Illyana Draketooth at work. They had done their best to avoid her and her crew since their first unpleasant meeting, soon after they arrived in the Prime Dominion. The Witch Aelf was a fearsome character and she had not taken kindly to the pirate orruks plans to take advantage of the unfolding mayhem - it stepped on the toes of too many of her plans. If Kaptain Mogrum had chosen to join her fleet it might have been a different matter but none of the Cleavermaws were keen on that idea.

Mogrum and the Baron stood on the roof of a battered building in the slopes of the Taranth Mountains. Mogrum sighed deeply and rubbed his temples. The Baron was still talking as he peered through his brass spyglass, but the splitting headache made it hard to follow his rambling story.

“... and they said they put her in High Tower. She was injured but recovering, helped by their aelven magics no doubt. Her fleet was mostly destroyed and those that weren’t has been scattered to the four seasons.” the Baron rambled on and on.

Mogrum focused as best he could.

“You know I'm a sucker for insane multi-stage plans,” he said at last “but this has got to be the most insane one we’ve ever tried.” the Baron chuckled, Mogrum continued “We will have to fly casual over Iscarion - right over the heart of the damned city itself. Heave-to at High Tower and open the walls with some of the old green lightning (that’ll fall to me I suppose), grapple the tower and haul the ship in close. Then the crew will have to board the tower (you and Mr Sludga will have to go over the gunwales first, of course). Find Illyana and probably carry her back to the ship. We’ll have to loose the grappled and make all sail in an instant then both Uzzog and I will have to call the Breath of Gorkamorka in turns, to speed us away, afore the skyvessel patrols work out what we’ve done and catch up with us.”

The Baron nodded with a huge toothy grin “Yes! The simple plans are always the best, eh?”
Mogrum shook his head in disbelief.

“That is only the first part of the damn plan though mate.” There’s still the matter of the actual heist what we need Illyana’s ships for. They want a whole lot of fighters to be airborne for it, and her ships are the only ones I trust to get them there in time. Them Overlords are just too damned slow.”

The Baron waved this concern away “A mere trifle!” he laughed. Once she is freed they will flock back to her.”

“She hasn’t actually agreed to help y'know? Are you sure she can be convinced to be a part of it? She ain’t our biggest fan and I dunno what is in it for her.” said the Kaptain.

“Oh now mate, don’t you worry about that part. I once rescued her from the jaws of a Kharybdis that was trying to eat her. So she owes me a favour.” said the Baron with a twirl of his waxed moustache.


~ ⦽ ~




Illyana Draketooth. Leader of the pirate fleet that attacked Iscarion Docks in turn 1 of Animosity III campaign, The Prime Dominion.

She is made from a Witch Elf, from the Dark Elf Blood Bowl team, with Drukhari Wych hands and knives.







Friday, 16 July 2021

Animosity III - The Prime Dominion, part 13


~ ⦽ ~ 12

A Spark in the Twilight

The Cleavermaw sailed low over the forest, the tohnasai tree were just starting to turn yellowy-brown here, as summer edged into autumn. The wind was on their stern and the ship only had a scrap of canvas set, to keep their speed down. The Cleavermaws lounged about on deck - there was work to be done, but nothing urgent: the repairs to the hull needed materials they didn't have. Two orruks stood lookout, one in the crow's nest and one on the figurehead. The helmsman and Lost Uzzog were alone on the quarterdeck, watching the thaumaturgic compass more than their surroundings. The now-familiar rhythm of Tamnaeth's Tower showed strongly in the crystal dome of the compass.

As the sky slowly dimmed and twilight approached, the lookout at the masthead started out of his thoughts as a light twinkled on the skyline. He squinted at it for a moment then grabbed his spy-glass. He swept the horizon for a minute or two, then found the light again. Just above the trees against the darkening sky - it could be the running lights of a skyship, or maybe the cabin lights.

"Light-ahoy! Hard-off the starboard bow!" he cried.

The deckhands jumped to their feet and into the rigging, all eager to see what the lookout had spotted. The ship leaned a little, with their combined weight on one side.

Kaptain Mogrum came on deck and Uzzog briefly told him the news.

"Where's Mr Sludga?" the Kaptain asked.

"Ummm," said Uzzog, awkwardly "drunk again boss."

Sparks fizzed around Morgum's fists. One of the deckhands noticed, nudged his neighbour and whispered "Look out mate, kap'n's about to go Mork again!"

The news spread like wildfire through the crew and they all suddenly looked very busy and professional.

Mogrum took a deep breath and barked orders to prepare to come about and make more sail. When all was ready he gave the nod to the helm and the ship made a wide turn toward the distant light.

+ ⦽ +

After half a turn of the glass Mogrum called up to the lookout.

"Crowsnest?"

"Aye boss?"

"What d'you see?"

The lookout stared through the brass spy-glass again and called down to the deck.

"It looks like a long, thin aelf-ship kap'n!"

The crew's eyes sparkled piratically as they looked at one-another, grinning. An aelven sky-ship would furnish them with all the materials they needed to make the ship trim again. Even if there was no cargo aboard they would strip the timbers from her and patch-up the holes in the Cleavermaw's ragged hull.

If there was cargo (and in autumn that was most likely) then that would make a welcome bonus for everyone.

~ ⦽ ~


The aelven ship gave them the slip among the tiny metalith islands but Mogrum had a feeling he knew where they were hiding.

After making landfall on small island in the Ruven Gulf, off Lhoris, the Cleavermaws searched the coast and soon found the aelven crew hastily unloading their cargo.


One of the Iscarneth shouted a warning to his company and they instantly grabbed weapons.


Several of the Cleavermaws fired their heavy overloaded pistols and the air was filled with black-powder smoke, but the autumn winds quickly swept it away..



The Iscarneth leader Taeral, a Nomad Prince, pointed at Kaptain Mogrum and spat insults; haughtily swearing that all pirates would be put to death.



The Baron told the Cleavermaws nearest to him to grab some of the cargo. He wanted to to show them how his magic gauntlet (that he called Sigmar's Bane) would work.


The Rangers fell upon the orruk pirates with shocking speed. The Baron asked the Warden if he wanted to "dance".


The orruks got lucky with Lost Uzzog's Waaagh! magic fizzing about them.


Taeral leapt into the air and seemed to blur he moved so fast toward Mogrum.


One of the Rangers charged in to support his Prince, but Mogrum ran him through. Mr Sludga laughed as he set about himself with his great kutlass - Drake's Toof.

~ ⦽ ~

The Iscarneth fell back toward their ship leaving the Cleavermaws holding three out of the four lots of cargo. The pirates didn't hang around incase the aelves summoned reinforcements.

Mogrum wondered to himself if the cargo had been left as an aelf trick, a distraction to save their ship...

Animosity III - The Prime Dominion, part 12

~ ⦽ ~ 11

Heading Downwind

Wind thrummed through iron-taught rigging as the Cleavermaw raced over the shimmersea with Noctis on the port bow, but small in the far distance. The speed they were able to achieve running downwind, even this far from the darkening orb, was exhilarating to the whole crew but Kaptain Mogrum was weary of travelling in the summer regions and posted extra lookouts from the watch who would normally be taking their turn below decks. He paid-off the discontent this might have caused with the promise of extra rum at the end of the day, and a reminder that the hand who first spotted a prize would have first pick of the loot out of her.

Uzzog studied his charts and the log book, checking his calculations a third time. He stuck his pencil behind his ear and looked at the Kaptain, he knew he must pick his moment carefully and not speak if the boss was in a foul mood. After watching for a few minutes and seeing that no one who spoke to him was thrown overboard or blasted with green lightning he mustered his courage and approached.
"Kap'n? A word?" he said.

Mogrum rounded on Uzzog and the shaman flinched, but he wasn't exploded so he took that as a good sign.

"If'n we keeps on this heading for another day we'll sail clean through summer and we'll be close on autumn in no time." said Uzzog, trying to sound like he wasn't nervous. He swallowed hard when the Kaptain nodded but said nothing.

"But that will take us mighty close to Ciradyl Tower... and you know who's a-hiding there. I ain't sure the hull will take the stress of any hard manoeuvres until we’ve had a time to make more repairs." the shaman blurted.

Mogrum appeared to think about this for a few minutes, and Uzzog felt every single grain of sand fall through the hourglass next to the helm.

Finally the Kaptain said quietly "It ain't no consternation to us, Uzzog mate, we are over Idrelec waters and we has a letter of marque. If we sees another vessel we can heave-too and chat all friendly-like with 'em. We ain’t going to be battling no one today or tomorrow."

Uzzog's brow furrowed for a moment, as this concept settled in. He wasn’t sure if the Kaptain was just placating him, or if he really wasn’t worried. The extra lookouts were at odds with his words… he wasn’t about to argue though. He tugged his hat and backed off, returning to the comfort of his thaumaturgic compass and maps.

~ ⦽ ~

Picking up this old project again for Animosity III, since the Cleavermaws are sailing around the Prime Dominion I thought they should have their skyship ready for action before the end of the campaign!

I bought some black plasticard and started "repairing" the hull. I cut it into irregular strips and scored them with a knife for a woodgrain effect.

I found an old Orc weapon and replaced the figurehead's hammer with a much more thematic cleaver, and added a few more bits-box parts to detail the stern and the deck.

I need to sort out extending the mast a little and add a sail or two.








The Cleavermaw in flight!