Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Further Adventures in The Scarlands - part 13, No Quarter in a Storm

"I've been drinking far too much
Heave away, haul away
Fairwater's got me in its clutch
Hauled away to Thondia

Drinking's not my only vice
Heave away, haul away
Lost my ship on card and dice
Got hauled away to Thondia

My name was Ghalbakk I say
My name was Ghalbakk
But now I'm resting in the ground
In a grave in Thondia"

The crew's out-of-tune shanty drifted up on the wind to where Krashhart stood, on the roof of a ruin. The ruin was part of a small cluster of crumbling stone buildings that jutted up through the treetops in a ragged line like broken teeth. He watched a looming weather front as it closed-in on them rapidly, on a strong easterly wind.

Clouds had been gathering on the horizon all morning; threatening rain and worse. Just after noon the sky above turned black and took on a distinctly angry aspect as the cloud bank rolled closer and closer.

The inside of the cloud was illuminated for a split second and there was a distant rumble of thunder a few moments later.

The first of the Ironforged arrived through the trees just as the storm hit. Lightning flashed and hit a nearby tree with a loud crash and a cloud of sparks. The tree blazed and the shanty singing stopped.

"It ain't our first time out of harbour for a monstrous maelstrom, but I don't recall any like as bad as this!" Krashhart shouted to be heard over the wind.

Old Mudgob just nodded and ducked under cover.

The shaman peered out of the shadows as the wind picked up and lightning struck the ground just a few yards away.

"Which it shall be on that there day, the sky be coloured bright by night, a duel shall bring an age of falling stars and haul a kingdom to the deep." he muttered to himself.

Cargo advanced across the open ground and more lightning strikes flashed and boomed around him.

Krashhart got under cover too, under the remains of the roof above the ruin's upper room.

Flotsum and Yardarm Gark, returning from exploring to the east, spotted Cargo as they headed toward Krashhart and Old Mudgob. They looked at each other for a second, they both grinned then followed the ogor Maneater as quietly as they could manage.

Battendown also had an eye on Cargo but he was staying put, weathering the storm.

Out of the tempest Skargat suddenly appeared - he crashed into the ruins and attacked Old Mudgob. Krashhart swung down on a rope to help the shaman out

A very near-miss of grounding lightning fried Flotsum a little and made him swear loudly.

Battendown moved between trees behind Cargo, who didn't seem to have noticed him.

Flotsum and Yardarm had his full attention, Flotsum's pained yell had alerted him to their presence.

Leeway Ruk and Bulkhead Krug appeared out of the trees to the south, somewhat ahead of Battendown.

Barag the Maneater surprised Yardarm and Flotsum while they were watching Cargo. They had blundered into a trap!

Skargat viciously knocked down Old Mudgob but Krashhart brought the full force of the Gristle Grinder on the Tyrant and he was once more laid low!

Lugger Dag spotted a running gnoblar, but he was too slow to catch it, and it got away.

Braggoth Blackpelt clambered up the outside of the ruin and ducked into the safety of the upper room.

Barag and Yardarm hacked at one-another, and although both parried the majority of the other's cuts and thrusts, Yardarm gained a slight edge by being a dirtier fighter.

Watcha the gnoblar found himself in an unexpectedly ignored position and was able to watch the rest of the battle unfolding at a safe distance.

Flotsum charged at Cargo.

Blackpelt took cover from the punishing storm.

Watcha thought about taunting Lugger Dag but realised piping-down kept him alive.

Cargo legged it! He stomped off into the woods.

Yardarm Gark saw and opening, as he parried Barag's attack with his kutass - he wickedly chopped at Barag's leg with his boarding-axe and toppled the scarred Maneater.

But the storm grew in intensity once more and both warbands realised there would only be losers from this fight if they hung around. So they all withdrew, accepting that a stalemate had been reached.

Meanwhile the Swordfyshes of the Anchor-Watch had also been busy: Mainstay was overjoyed as he  found one of the Treasures of Gorkamorka - the Idol of Mork that Old Mudgob had been searching for. And Barnacle Nog found enough Blight Serpent Venom to coat a choppa while he was exploring the woods around camp.

~ ⦽ ~

Deployment: Death Spiral
Victory: No Quarter
Twist: Azyrite Lightning Storm

This was another fun game of movement and positioning, and I once more got caught up with the fighting and lost sight of the Victory conditions. I suspect Viktor might have too. We both ended the game with fighters spread out in every quarter of the board and no way of shifting each other's fighters out! I earned a hefty 6 Glory though, which is not bad for a draw! (Played a campaign game +3, Draw +1, Opponent's Leader taken down +1, Opponent's Reputation higher +1).

In the aftermath sequence Old Mudgob only received a flesh wound, so he made a full recovery.
My quest was completed - I already had a Progress of 8 out of 15, I rolled a 6 for Mainstay's exploration and got +2 for being the attacker in this game. I gave the Idol of Mork to Old Mudgob and moved his previous artefact, an Itxi Grub, to Leeway Ruk. 

Barnacle Nog went off to explore the woods, found Blight Serpent Venom. Mr Flea's Gut Wound was still bad, so he is staying at camp for a while longer. And I added Bulkhead Krug, an Orruk Brute with a Jagged Gore-hacka, to my roster.

Dramatis Personae

The Swordfyshes, a crew of pirate Ironjawz
  • Lord Krashhart - Warchanter Explorer
    Agile Warrior, 3 Renown, The Gristle Grinder
  • Old Mudgob - Weirdnob Shaman
    1 Renown, Idol of Mork
  • Kaptain Battendown - Ardboy with a cloak and a squig-parrot
    2 Renown
  • Lugger Dag - Brute, pair of Choppas (2 swords), red bandana
    2 Renown, Itxi Grub
  • Yardarm Gark - Brute with Pair of Brute Choppas (axe and sword), blue bandana.
    2 Renown, Carnosaur Elixir
  • Hook - Brute with a hook hand
    3 Renown, Blight Serpent Venom
  • Flotsum - Brute, pair of Choppas (axe and sword), blue bandana
    1 Renown
  • Leeway Ruk - Orruk Brute with a Jagged Gore-hacka, red bandana
    1 Renown, Itxi Grub
  • Bulkhead Krug - Orruk Brute with a Jagged Gore-hacka, broad-brimmed hat
  • Mr Flea - Ardboy Drummer
    Gut Wound
  • Dakmeff - Ardboy with a barrel on his back
    1 Renown
  • Barnacle Nog - Ardboy with a bag of bones
    3 Renown
  • Mainstay - Ardboy with red shoulder-plate and bandana
Reputation: 5
Glory: 14
Quest Progress: Treasures of Gorkamorka - Idol of Mork: Completed!
New Quest: Explore the Gnarlwood

Viktor's side of this adventure is here.

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