A few weeks ago we played the ninth installment of our 2018 Ghost Archipelago Campaign. We used a home made scenario called “The Abandoned Mine” which was inhabited by a clan of vampires and their minions. Fortunately several of our players have extensive dungeon terrain sets which allowed us to set-up a 7′ x 3′ cavern layout. We drew numbers for starting locations with Skorri getting first choice. He chose a corner location to lessen the number of other Heritors he would have to face. As it happened, his two old nemesis’, Fortrywn and Griffon ended up to his direct front and his left side.
You can read Fortrywn’s account of the action here: Fortrywn’s Report Campaign Game 9
|A view of the Abandoned Mines|
|Another view of the mines|
His ship, Raven’s Beak, lay anchored off an uncharted island that boasted a fishing village with a decent sized bazaar. The previous day the helmsman had stumbled upon an old magnetic compass in one of the stalls. The thing appeared to work correctly so he paid an outrageous price to buy it (Ship upgrade Compass). At the stern of the ship, Skorri (Heritor) was examining the compass. Off in the distance he could make out the masts of several other ships, one appeared to look like Fortrywn’s garbage scow
Skorri sent his crew ashore for R&R as well as to procure supplies – and to spy on Fortrywn. Skorri and Agger (Warden) remained aboard to continue practicing some new abilities. Skorri had finally managed to master control of a latent Heritor ability that allowed him to speed up his movement for short periods of time (Gained Sprint by reaching level 15). Although he had to suffer through the blood burn as he mastered the ability, he knew it would be worth the effort in the future. Likewise, Agger was practicing another spell for calling forth beasts of the wild – Beast Cry. Even though he wouldn’t be able to outright control the animals summoned through his new spell, he hoped they might cause trouble for opposing crews. And who knows, he might be able to cast Control Animal on them if they threatened his crew. Agger had also build a kennel to house his pet fox that he found a week or so back (Ship upgrade Kennel – allows the addition of a warhound to the crew).
|One of the rooms with a vampire coffin|
Later in the day, Skorri was standing on the quarter deck watching his crew go about their daily duties to maintain the ship. Kukala (Hunter) makes his way up to Skorri, “Hey Boss, I caught wind of Fortrywn’s crew looking for information about an abandoned Drichean mine up in the hills. A couple of the lads saw some of his crew down in the market poking around and then rushing off quickly. They must have gotten a lead on some good treasure.” “Its worth checking out, nothing much else to do here. Gather the lads and we’ll discretely follow Fortrywn’s crew to the mine” Skorri replied.
|Fortrywn’s crew enter s the mine|
A short while later, Skorri and his crew were following the trail of Fortrywn’s crew. It led through the jungle, upwards towards a high ridge. Watching Fortrywn’s crew clear an entrance way, Skorri told Kukala to find another way inside. “No problem Skorri” he said as he faded into the brush. A short time later he returned, “Found it.” “Great. Lets move and get inside and see what my old nemesis is after. It must be a map stone, surely the Crystal Pool isn’t here.” said Skorri.
|Skorri and crew prepare to enter the mines|
As soon as the crew reached the hidden entrance, Agger pulled his Divining Rod out of his pack. He pranced back and forth near the entrance pointing the device one way and then another as the rest of the crew looked on in amusement. He finally stopped and told Skorri, “There, I think I moved some kind of treasure item closer to our location”. (The Divining Rod allows you to move a treasure up to three inches in any direction once all the treasures have been placed)
|Heritor Robin Duck and his merry crew of quackers|
“Well if you are through playing around, let’s get inside,” Skorri said as he led his crew underground. Prying open a narrow door, they entered the underground mine complex. Dust laid heavy on the rough stone floor as remnants of spider webs hung from the corners. An occasional whiff of bat guano drifts across the senses along with the a fetid stench of mold. No one appears to have walked these halls for some time, at least no one living.
Agger enters and immediately tries to discern if there are any beasts nearby who he could call to assist the crew (successfully cast Summon Animal). He can sense several animals nearby. He awakens a Snapping Turtle a short distance down in the abandoned mines.
|The archers scanning for targets|
Alaniel (Archer) looks down a passageway and sees members of another crew moving around. “That’s not Fortrywn’s crew. It looks like some of Griffon’s scurvy swabs.” He quickly shoots an arrow, hitting one of Griffon’s archers (caused 5 damage). The injured archer attempts to pull out his bow and return fire but an eerie mist seeks into the passage limiting his line of sight (Gregorius’ Warden cast Call Storm). The mist also prevented Amrod (Archer) and Kukala (Hunter) from firing at Griffon’s cursed crew.
|Griffon’s men off in the distance|
The Fox (Warhound) darts forward, rounds a bend, runs through a partially closed door and hides behind a large, burning brazier. The fire must be of arcane origins given the lack of any sign of living occupation. As the Fox entered, a large coffin in the middle of the room slowly creaked open. The putrid smell was almost overwhelming as a creature arose from within. As Skorri reached the door, the creature’s head turned in his direction. Eyes as black as coal stared out from its pale milky white face. Skorri pulls his bow and fires off an arrow. The arrow strikes hard but the vampire doesn’t appear to notice as it steps out of the coffin and soundlessly glides across the floor towards Skorri (Scenario rule – the arrow only does half damage resulting in a loss of 3 health). The vampire in on Skorri in a flash. He drops his bow and pulls out his sword which glows with blue light. The two engage in a series of attacks, feints, and blocks. In the end, they have both struck mighty blows upon other but neither have gained the upper hand (they tie with a 20 fight roll, Skorri takes 9 damage, the vampire takes 8)). They stand there staring at each other preparing their next moves.
|The Vampire awakens|
Meanwhile, Agger and Kukala move forward and turn down a passageway to the right. They see two large cave spiders. Agger quickly mumbles some words and one of the spiders moves away (Successfully cast Control Animal). With his hunters instinct, Kukala notches an arrow and hits the other spider in its weakest point, between its many eyes. The spider collapses into the dust (rolled a 19 +2 fight +2 for Hunter ability). “Where did the other spider go” Kukala asked. “I sent it to find my turtle and guard the tunnels” Agger replied. Kukala nodded and continued down the passageway. Agger, hearing the sounds of a sword fight, turned the other way, following Taucher.
|Two cave spiders appear at the same location|
Chen Lee (Crewman) moves forward towards an old rusting mining cart containing a load of long ago mined ore. Sitting on top of the ore is a small chest. As he does so, Alaniel sees Griffon emerge from the mist. With an arrow already notched, he pulls back, and releases. The swirling mist must have obscured his sight as the arrow flew wide. Griffon picks up a large chunk of coal ore and effortlessly tosses it at Chen Lee (Heritor ability Hurl). The coal struck him on the left side of his head, knocking him out cold (or is that coal…..sorry). Leaning around his boss, one of Griffon’s archers shoots at Alaniel but he aims poorly and misses. As he notches another arrow, Alaniel watches one of Griffon’s crew picking up the small chest. Carefully aiming, he releases his arrow. “Thuuuunnk”, a clean hit. The crew man sways for moment before dropping the chest back into the ore cart and falling to the floor of the passageway. Amrod also fires an arrow down the passageway but none of Griffon’s men are kind enough to jump into its path.
|Chen Lee moves forward|
|Chen Lee falls to Heritor Griffon|
Seeing Skorri locked in combat with the vampire, Taucher (Pearl Diver) and Hat Chet (Crewman) move forward to assist. At the same time, the Fox charges out from behind the brazier to nip at the vampire’s heels. With the arrival of the additional attackers, the vampire hesitates slightly. That is all Skorri needs as he swiftly swings his sword down, nearly cleaving the vampire in two (Skorri only rolled a 12 but with +5 fight, +1 from magic sword, and +6 for adds, he ends with a 25 fight). The vampire collapses to the floor. Seeing Skorri looking a little battered, Agger casts Water of Life to restore some of his health..
|Skorri engages the Vampire with some help|
Meanwhile, Blue Boy (Crewman) had been climbing up a series of handholds he found in the wall near the entrance. They led to a small wooden walkway. Once on top, he spies a small chest and moves forward to pick it up. Wu climbs up after him in case he needs help. Wu continues past him and sets up to block the walkway. As Blue Boy reaches down, an arrow pasts above his head. Fortrywn’s archers are letting themselves be known.
|Blue Boy recovers a treasure|
Out of sight, the cave spider and the snapping turtle have found a place to wait in ambush should any other crew try to sneak up on Skorri’s crew (It works because Fortrywn’s crew members decided to turn around, must have been arachnophobia….).
Wiping the gore from his sword, Skorri prepares to enter the large room. He can see a large coffin in the center begging to be searched but Skorri’s eyes are drawn to movement on an elevated walkway off to the right side. He quickly pulls out his bow and shoots an arrow which just nicks his target. He then notices the door across the room slowly opening; couple of faces peer inside. Skorri realizes he is outnumbered. As he backs out of the room, he sees the Fox scurry across the floor and through a side door. Agger follows Skorri and casts Water of Life on him again to heal the wounds sustained from fighting the vampire.
Meanwhile, back in the corridor with Griffon’s crew, Griffon’s herbalist tosses something towards Alaniel. The small bag hit the ground and burst open. Immediately, vines and other vegetation pops out of the ground and quickly grows to completely fill the corridor, all line of sight is blocked. Griffon’s crew is able to escape (Magic Beans).
|The Fox finds a treasure|
The Fox has entered a room containing another treasure. While he is sniffing around it, the door opens and one of Fortrywn’s crew women charges into the room. A scuffle ensues resulting in the Fox backing off after receiving a small cut in the left side. Agger’s cave spider scuttled into the room and pounced on he crew woman – or at least it tried. Fortrywn’s s crew woman was too fast and slew the spider with a quick thrust of her sword. Taucher joins in the fight and comes out on the losing end (takes 9 damage). The Fox catches the crew woman unaware and ferociously forces her back towards Taucher. Then Fortrywn kicks open the door and enters the fray. He pulls out his crossbow and unceremoniously puts a bolt into the poor animal, dropping him to the floor. Fortrywn then drops the crossbow and draws his sword. He charges towards Taucher just as Taucher takes down his crew woman.
|Taucher faces off against Fortrywn|
In the outer corridor, Analiel and Amrod are engaged in an archery contest with Fortrywn’s archers. Arrows fly back and forth at an amazing pace with few finding their mark. In the end, both crews lose an archer. Wu (Crewman) moves forward and engages the Fortrywn’s other archer in a defensive stand-off as neither crew member decides to attack.
Skorri hears the sounds of the melee and runs at full speed through the corridors to hep his crew. He bursts into the room and sees Fortrywn trading blows with Taucher. With a sharp burning sensation, blood runs from his nose as he Surges and swings his sword at his old adversary. Skorri was a bit too hasty as Fortrywn easily parried his swing and his riposte cut deeply into Skorri’s side (caused 13 damage, how did Fortrywn roll a 19?) making him take a step back to reassess the situation.
The snapping turtle finally makes it into the room and lunges forward, his powerful jaws just barely missing Fortrywn’s leg. In return, Fortrywn slices down at the turtle. His attack bounced off the thick shell and managed to cut through one of the turtle’s legs, forcing the turtle to stagger back a step or two. Taucher, weak from blood loss, maintains a defensive stance (refused combat).
|Skorri vs Fortrywn|
Following Skorri as fast as he could, Agger moves forward just in time to see Fortrywn strike Skorri. He immediately casts Water of Life (He will continue to follow Skorri and successfully cast Water of Life on him for the next three turns). Kukala manages to make it into the room carrying a small treasure chest he had pick up. Closing his eyes for a second, Skorri winces as he draws on his power of Intuition (allows him to automatically gain the first activation). He then motions to his crew to attack again. The snapping turtle hobbled back into contact as Kukala jumped on its back to engage Fortrywn.
|Skorri 18, Fortrywn 1|
With Fortrywn distracted, Skorri grins as he slices hard and quick at his unprotected side. The blade appears to cut deep (Skorri rolled and 18 +12 fight to Fortrywn’s roll of 1; Fortrywn’s armor of 13 makes it 17 damage). Before his eyes, Skorri can see the wound healing itself (Fortrywn used his Heritor ability Mitigation to reduce the total damage to 5). Skorri’s anger gets the best of him and his blood starts to burn. With a mighty Backswing, Skorri hits Fortrywn again in almost the same spot. Fortrywn felt that one as he fell to one side (caused 10 damage as Fortrywn failed his Heritor roll for Mitigation, which is good since Fortrywn shouldn’t have rolled for another Heritor ability since he had already used one during Skorri’s activation). While he is still reeling from Skorri’s strike, the snapping turtle clamps its jaws on his leg, nearly breaking the bone. Fortrywn again attempts to Mitigate the damage but fails. He slumps to the dusty floor (Turtle rolled a 20, +1 fight, +6 adds = 27 fight, +2 damage = 29 damage – 13 armor = 16 damage to Fortrywn).
|Skorri gets the best of Fortrywn|
Skorri smacks the turtle to make it let go of Fortrywn’s leg, “Leave him be. Taucher, grab that treasure,” he directed, as he peered out the door into the vampire’s lair. He saw one of Fortrywn’s archers in a stand off with his crewman Wu. He slowly and quietly moved up behind her. Spying a wooden chair, he grabs it and beans her on the head. As the chair shatters, the young archer drops to the ground. With that, Skorri signaled to his crew to withdraw from the abandoned mines. Pausing momentarily to pick up the fallen, they headed to the exit encumbered by three treasure chests.
|Skorri picks up a chair……..|
|and beans Fortrywn’s crew woman on the head|
Once back on ship, Skorri examined the day’s treasure. “I knew Fortrywn was after a map stone” he exclaimed as he unwrapped one of the fabled stones. They have proven hard to find. This was just the second stone Skorri had recovered. The other treasure consisted of Armor +1, some Fury Leaves, and 30 gold crowns. All of the injured crew members, including the Fox, would completely recover. Skorri decided to give the crew one more night in the village before raising sails the next day. He has a chain of small islands he wants to explore.
|End game photo shoot|
The game lasted for 10 turns, the longest GA game we have had thus far. This was probably due to the limited number of exit points which made it harder to get treasures and crew members off the table to end the game. Once more I faced off again Fortrywn and his crew (and his unlucky dice). This time I lost the central treasure and a treasure to Griffon by splitting my crew into three groups. Nothing good happens when you do that – just ask Fortrywn! Griffon and his Magic Beans prevented my archers from getting some more revenge upon him and his mangy crew. It was great tactic that I did not anticipate. Maybe next time…..