All Scars painting challenge – 58 days to go.

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by vobeskhan

B_L_Chaos_bikerWell buoyed by the great comraderie of my fellow All Scars I was actually eager to do some more painting this weekend.

 

I finished the second bike (with vehicle mounted plasma gun, though I usually play it as a melta) with its Agrax wash, before turning to its rider. Having already set the scheme I wanted to use on the first model this went much quicker and I found that while I was waiting for it to dry I had the urge to keep going….

…so I decided to tackle the squad leader and his ride. Just a few differences to make him stand out a little more – mainly on the bike itself. With its fairing mounted sword and sheath and pannier mounted trophy spike being the obvious differences I also changed the colour of the chaos badge on the fuel tank to gold rather than the usual silver (well, leadbelcher).

The marine helmet on the spike has been done in a basic grey  colour scheme, but following a conversation with a fellow All Scar I’m tempted to re-paint it in Salamander green in honour of the bike unit taking out said salamanders in our first Kill Team event.

Either way I now have 3 finished models out of the 12. 121 points out of my 785 total.

Bike 2 and Champion completed

Bike 2 and Champion completed

All Scars Vordrast Incursion Stage 1

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by vobeskhan

This weekend saw the beginning of the end for Vordrast. The planet has been the site of numerous campaigns, mini-tournaments and spin-off mini-campaigns for the Leicester All Scars, but this is the final countdown (cue 80’s rock tune and turn it up loud).

We’re seeing the planet off with my favourite type of event, a narrative campaign, and this time we’ve introduced several additional aspects – environmental effects, bonuses for winning, injuries for characters.

For the opening round I was to be facing one of our newer members, Matt, with his Space Wolves.  The banter had been building as I often see Matt at our local FLGS Tabletop Tyrants, sitting building or painting his figures. On the eve of battle I posted an army list to the Facebook page that we use.

This is what Matt will be facing tomorrow.1500pt Chaos Space Marines: Supplement – Black Legion (2013) v1, Imperial Knights: Codex (2014) v2 Roster (Unbound Army (Faction), Imperial Knight Detachment)) +++

+ No Battle Role (HQ) + (105pts)

* Dark Apostle (105pts)
(Beseech of the Dark Gods, Champion of Chaos, Demagogue, Independent Character, Zealot)
Bolt Pistol, Power Maul, Sigil of Corruption, Veterans of the Long War

+ No Battle Role (Troops) + (64pts)

* Chaos Cultists (64pts)
(Champion of Chaos)
9x Autogun (9pts), Champion’s upgrade (10pts), Heavy stubber (5pts), 10x Squad models (champion included) (40pts)

+ No Battle Role (Fast Attack) + (645pts)

* Chaos Bikers (185pts)
4x Chaos Biker (80pts), Mark of Nurgle (30pts), 2x Meltagun (20pts), Veteran of the Long War (5pts)
* Jaxxon – Chaos Biker Champion (50pts)
(Champion of Chaos)
Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs (5pts), Power Weapon (15pts)

* Chaos Storm Eagle Assault Gunship (FW) (290pts)
(Access Points, Assault Vehicle, Deep Strike, Transport (20 models capacity))
2x Twin-linked Lascannon (60pts), Dirge Caster (5pts), Hull-mounted Vengeance Launcher, Twin-linked Multi-Melta (15pts), Warpflame Gargoyles (5pts)

* Heldrake (170pts)
(Daemon, Daemonforge, It Will Not Die, Meteroric Descent)
Baleflamer

+ No Battle Role (Heavy Support) + (315pts)

* Chaos Spartan Assault Tank (IA12) (315pts)
(Assault Vehicle, Transport 25 models)
Armoured Ceramite (20pts) (*), Dirge caster (5pts), Quad lascannon, Twin-linked Heavy Bolter, Warpflame gargoyles (5pts)

Imperial Knights: Codex (2014) v2 (Imperial Knight Detachment) Selections:

+ Knights + (370pts)

* Knight Errant (370pts)
(Fear, Hammer of Wrath, Invincible Behemoth, Move Through Cover, Relentless, Smash, Strikedown)

 

However, this was total dis-information and not what I intended to take. It also caused several “WTF?” comments, especially the single troop choice when taking 2 assault vehicles. What can I say, the forces of Chaos have never been the most trustworthy and honest.

What I actually took was:-

Chaos Space Marines: Supplement – Black Legion (2013) v1 (Combined Arms Detachment) Selections:

+ HQ + (175pts)

    * Unsa – Sorcerer (175pts)
        (Champion of Chaos, Independent Character, Psyker)
        2x Additional Mastery Level (50pts), Bike (20pts), Mark of Tzeentch (15pts), Sigil of corruption (25pts), Veterans of the Long War (5pts)
        * Power Armour
            Bolt Pistol, Force Weapon

+ Troops + (495pts)

    * Chaos Space Marines (100pts)
        4x Chaos Space Marine (52pts), Flamer (5pts), Mark of Nurgle (15pts), Veteran of the long war (5pts)
        * Alvarez – Aspiring Champion (23pts)
            (Champion of Chaos)
            Bolt Pistol, Bolter, Close Combat Weapon

    * Chaos Space Marines (100pts)
        4x Chaos Space Marine (52pts), Flamer (5pts), Mark of Nurgle (15pts), Veteran of the long war (5pts)
        * Salazar – Aspiring Champion (23pts)
            (Champion of Chaos)
            Bolt Pistol, Bolter, Close Combat Weapon

    * Chaos Space Marines (100pts)
        4x Chaos Space Marine (52pts), Flamer (5pts), Mark of Nurgle (15pts), Veteran of the long war (5pts)
        * Kozik – Aspiring Champion (23pts)
            (Champion of Chaos)
            Bolt Pistol, Bolter, Close Combat Weapon

    * Chaos Space Marines (195pts)
        9x Chaos Space Marine (117pts), Heavy Bolter (10pts), Icon of flame (15pts), Mark of Tzeentch (20pts), Veteran of the long war (10pts)
        * Lodi – Aspiring Champion (23pts)
            (Champion of Chaos)
            Bolt Pistol, Bolter, Close Combat Weapon

+ Fast Attack + (535pts)

    * Chaos Bikers (180pts)
        4x Chaos Biker (80pts), Icon of Flame (15pts), Mark of Tzeentch (15pts), 2x Meltagun (20pts), Veteran of the Long War (5pts)
        * Tiggs – Chaos Biker Champion (45pts)
            (Champion of Chaos)
            Bolt Pistol, Power Weapon (15pts)

    * Chaos Bikers (185pts)
        4x Chaos Biker (80pts), Mark of Nurgle (30pts), 2x Meltagun (20pts), Veteran of the Long War (5pts)
        * Jaxxon – Chaos Biker Champion (50pts)
            (Champion of Chaos)
            Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs (5pts), Power Weapon (15pts)

    * Gemma – fiery old bird – Heldrake (170pts)
        (Daemon, Daemonforge, It Will Not Die, Meteroric Descent)
        Baleflamer

+ Heavy Support + (295pts)

    * The Meat Wagon – Chaos Spartan Assault Tank (IA12) (295pts)
        (Assault Vehicle, Transport 25 models)
        Dirge caster (5pts), Quad lascannon, Twin-linked Heavy Bolter, Warpflame gargoyles (5pts)

As usual following my Sons of Anarchy theme for unit and character names.

The battle didn’t go well unfortunately, Unsa and his biker buddies failed to tackle the enemy dreadnought and then lost in assault to it and fled – well they tried too. A handful of bikes failed to outrun a clunking mech – the indignity (rolling for the injury after the game resulting in ARM INJURY – reducing his Attacks and Ballistic Skill by 1 until recovered). This scored Matt a handful of points off the bat, first blood, slay the warlord, psychological warfare (in play all game due to the campaign rules).

My other biker unit didn’t fare much better, their meltas doing nothing to the landraider and then forgetting to assault it, when it disgorged its terminator cargo I was almost relieved to see them torn apart.

My saving grace was the heldrake, arriving on turn 2 and spewing its flaming bile over the grey hunters. Matt had several failed rolls to put the soulblaze out throughout the game much to my amusement. I was particularly pleased when it turned its attentions to the Long Fangs and took out the flakk armed missile launchers too.

The spartan traded lascannon blasts with the landraider, eventually coming off the worse, taking the last weapons that could harm it off the board. The objective cards continued to come out on the side of the Wolves and Matt soon built up an unassailable lead in VP’s, but my forces refused to give up.

We got to the end of the 6th round and the dice gods decreed that I had taken enough punishment, I hadn’t been tabled (for a change) still having Lodi’s squad relatively unharmed in their ruins and the heldrake circling the board in ongoing reserves.

Final score was 13-4 to the Space Wolves. After tidying away, I watched a few of the other games in play, thankful that my fellow darklords were generally faring better. overall result currently standing at 3-2 to the darkside with VP’s at 40-36 – there is one game outstanding, Ash’s Thousand Son’s are yet to face Edd’s Cromhaven Space Wolves – Edd needs to win by 4 or more VP’s to swing an overall victory for the light. Come on Ash! we’re rooting for you!

Stage 2 will be next month and I shall be facing more of the Emperors lackeys, this time in the form of John Salisbury’s Blood Angels. We’ve agreed to go large with a 3,000 point battle. We wont know the mission until Ash and Edd have fought but it will either be Tactical Escalation (lightside win) or Contact Lost (darkside win).

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D&D Enc Hoard of the Dragon Queen Session 5-6

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2014 by vobeskhan

DnD_HOD_300x300We continued our double session this fortnight down at Tabletop Tyrants, with the party approaching the cultists camp.

Sarah’s rogue scouted ahead, getting the rough lay of the land and easily dodging the kobold patrols. When she returned to tell everyone else they took a little time to organise their plans, though when they saw a group of rough-looking adventurer types sauntering into the camp unhindered they decided to try and blag their way in while Sarah once again stealthed around to the rear to get closer to a bound prisoner.

They had a couple of close calls with almost being recognised, but managed to move relatively freely around the camp and gathered most of the information available before deciding that they couldn’t risk trying to free the prisoner and headed back out of the camp under the guise of a hunting trip.

At this point one of the kobolds recognised Jack’s fighter as the one that Cyanwrath had butchered at Greenest and caused a commotion that began to attract a lot of attention. Luckily Lee’s paladin was able to convince all but the one kobold that it was mistaken “he robbed the gear of the corpse, all humans look-alike anyhow” but when the annoying kobold continued to call out Lee just back-handed it across the snout (rolling a crit!) and knocking it senseless, much to the amusement of its comrades.

With this unplanned distraction Sarah sneaked forward and freed the prisoner (they assumed it was the monk they had been asked to look for as he matched the description. After a struggle to start she was able to assist the weakened monk back up the cliff face and finally lead him around the plateaux to the rest of the party and they escorted him back to Greenest.

We took a quick break while the players were able to level up their characters before continuing with chapter 3.

Returning to the camp they were amazed to find that most of the cultists and kobolds had gone! Only a small group of humans remained and the heroes managed to blag their way in as returning hunters (they had brought a slaughtered cow from Greenest with them). They noticed that the cave entrance guards had moved into the cave itself and were partly concealed. Patrick sent his familiar, a sprite, in to investigate and although trying to be stealthy it rolled abysmally –  I rolled for the guards perception and they spotted the diminutive figure easily, ambushing it and obliterating him (it was only then that Patrick realised the sprite could have used its invisibility!).

Meanwhile the heroes were preparing to share food with the remaining handful of humans and Sarah had been despatched to gather some poo from the abandoned latrines to slip into the pot and try to poison them with it. While she was collecting her sample an ambush drake began stalking up to her but Daniel and Jack spotted it and the rest of the party were able to intercept it before it got to her. She managed to slip the extra ingredient in un-noticed but only one of the humans showed signs of feeling ill. Thankfully they began passing around several jugs of alcohol and were too intent on getting hammered to pay attention to the heroes.

Returning to the cave Patrick (having summoned another sprite) remembered to use its invisibility and sent the little helper in. It saw the pair of guards were now accompanied by a trio of armoured fighters and a handful of cultists deeper in the entrance. It also saw that the main tunnel continued down a staircase into further chambers, and then noticed a hidden narrow tunnel on the opposite side. It headed that way but the tunnel forked and was too dark to see any further.

Patrick recalled the sprite and the heroes prepared to enter the cave. Jack threw a torch in (being human he didn’t want to fight the dark) and that seemed to trigger the cultist into action. They surged forward and blocked the entrance, stabbing at the nearest heroes as they did.

The armoured guys and the dragonclaw guards eventually joined the melee at the entrance, the dragonclaws taking advantage of their pack tactics – although the heroes eventually overcame them Daniel was dropped unconscious (raised back by Jon’s healing magic) and Sarah was also stabbed almost to death.

The heroes moved into the cave properly and saw that the stairs led into a lower chamber that housed several groups of fungi with two distinct paths leading through them.

And that was where we had to leave it as time had unfortunately beaten us. Will the heroes venture further into the “nursery”? What has happened to Daniel’s beloved pony Sandal? Just how drunk are those humans?

All these questions and more will (maybe) be answered next time……

D&D Exp DDEX1-3 Shadows over the Moonsea

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2014 by vobeskhan

DDEX1-3

Yesterdayat Tabletop Tyrants we hosted our second of the D&D 5e Expeditions, and were joined by a fellow DM from Nottingham (though he originally hails from much further afield). We had arranged to each run either DDEX1-2 Secrets of Sokol Keep and DDEX1-3 Shadows over the Moonsea but the players had to choose which adventure they wanted to play without knowing which of us would be running which.

As it turned out I was running Shadows and 7 players had “signed up” for my table, while 5 (including Kurt from our hosting FLGS for his first ever game of D&D) would be playing Secrets with Shane.

CAM01315My table had a mixture of levels, with Rachel and Isabelle having totally new characters, Liam, and Emily being first level but close to second, Jon and David at second, and Adam having used the xp earned through DMing at Encounters to reach third level. So using the guideline in the adventure I classed them as a “strong” party.

They tried questioning Yip the madman (who tried to bite Jon’s face), then went looking for the Black Fist. The headed for the biggest dive in the city they could find, an establishment I named The Drunken Satyr (in honour of Jon’s 40k Tau army) and David’s druid became a cat and headed inside to see if any Fists where in there. He didn’t find any but did notice that one individual in the corner reeked of tuna. He returned outside, changed back into a dwarf and then headed back in to talk to the fishy man, who turned out to be an off duty fish monger and absolutely nothing to do with the story!

Eventually they sought out Alyed Burrel of the Fists (though I don’t think any of them picked up on the Brienne vibe) and got the information from her that led them to the gnome healer and a couple of their respective faction contacts (though we didn’t have any Order of the Gauntlet members), before taking advantage of the rooms provided at the Laughing Goblin and setting off the next morning.

The encounter with the broken wagon and the merchant went easy (though could have been even easier if they had a cleric with mending) and they got the information about the ferry landing and the warding off of evil sign from the merchant’s son.

The next encounter was amusing as Liam’s halfing ranger is riding a wolf (one that he “rescued” during Defiance) and his was the only mount to panic and flee at the beginning, running into the darkening woods with Liam gripping on for dear life.

The rests of the party were prepared to simply try and move carefully around the pups until Emily tried putting the mother to Sleep (which it really didn’t appreciate). The fight however was reasonably quick and one-sided, apart from the mothers initial attack taking David’s horse down, him failing a dex save to avoid being pinned and then shapechanging into a bear!

Eventually they found the ferry landing but rather than camp overnight they used the lantern to call Warsh’s ferry over and head to the island. There the girl makes a nuisance of herself while sort of guiding them around. Jon and Adam fend off the amorous advances of the crones, though Jon eats the soup and fails his save. They find the nameplate in the barn and match it with the log pages from the smokehouse (David, in massive frog form, battled Ulburto and killed him – eating the body without being seen).

Despite being advised against entering the wood (because of the beast) they go anyway and soon find the ravine and cave. While some of them investigate the contents of the chamber, Jon and Isabelle are confronted by the beast -I have to say this was a disappointing part, and even just a pair of characters were easily able to defeat it. Finding out the information in the chamber they return to the village to confront the villagers only to find them under attack from mini-skeletons and a glowing figure.

(At this point Shane’s table had completed their game and we had less than an hour till the store was due to close)

I felt a slight twinge of guilt as my next action was to have the invaders ally in the village attack Emily’s wizard and drop her unconscious. The others soon dealt with the  threat but not before Emily failed not only her first death save but the second one – with a natural 1! Her second ever game of D&D and she’d been killed.

Time was running short so rather than have the party row out to the ship I had the collision occur, the infernals swarm over it (a la Return of the King) before a handful came ashore and began attacking the heroes until Adam showed them the contract he’d taken from the cave and told them who the villagers were.

The heroes took the ferry back to the mainland as the screams of the dying villagers filled the night air.

Another great afternoons gaming had come to an end, I thanked my victims, oops, players for their indulgence and look forward to our next one in November.

Unfortunately with the time against us they didn’t get as much of the available xp as expected but I think that was mainly due to us exploring the RP aspects of the adventure more than perhaps we needed to. However as this led to great player interaction I’m fairly certain everyone was happy with that.

CAM01316

All Scars painting challenge

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2014 by vobeskhan

SAMCRO-legionFollowing on from an idea one of the All Scar’s newest members planted, the powers that be have issued a painting challenge.

Each member that wishes to take part pledges £10 and should they complete the challenge they get a share back at the end of the challenge. The actual challenge is to paint 750pts worth of models before Christmas. Though it’s been suggested that we use the last All Scars event before Christmas as the target (December 20th, Stage 4 of the Vordrast Incursion and the All Scars Christmas Party).

Now, I’m not the best person when t comes to getting motivated to put brush to model, but I saw this as an excellent incentive and so I’ve decided to join in.

My 750ptss will consist of my “core” units, Lord Morrow, sorcerer Unsa, and their respective 5 man biker squads (each sporting a pair of meltaguns and aspiring champions). Morrow and his boys as usual will be favouring Nurgle, whilst Unsa’s boys follow Tzeentch.

Not quite sure how I’m going to express their affiliations to the ruinous powers yet but I’m thinking along the lines of some of the illustrations in the Black Legion supplement where it shows some of the various dedicated troops.

Riders on the storm

This is how my bikes look at the start of the challenge, with only a handful even being primer/base coloured with black paint/spray. Several of my fellow challengers have already completed over 100pts a piece but I knew this was going to be a marathon, not a sprint.

Thanks to finishing work a little earlier today and having some pleasant natural sunlight streaming through the windows I decided to make a start on the first of my bikes. Using the basic colour scheme of my troops – silver trim over black, with metallic accents and the odd red details – I set too.

CAM01310I did my silver trim, used screaming bell for several accents, and mephiston red on the control panel. Then I used auric gold for the skull emblem on the fairing and vomit brown for the saddle covering, before using abaddon black to touch up any bits that needed it.

CAM01312 CAM01313 CAM01314I had to stop there due to failing light (I hate trying to paint under artificial light, especially on black basecoat) so haven’t started on the rider.

One of my fellow All Scars has suggested a wash of 1:1 Agrax Earthshade-Lahmian Medium to add depth, so I may well look into that as the saddle especially looks a little flat/bland.

I’ve even invested in some new bases (most of my bikes had the old GW plastic cavalry slotta bases) and I’m planning on modelling them to look like a road surface (thanks to some cork coming from another All Scar, and a great video tutorial he pointed me in the direction of).

CAM01309 road baseSo, after just under an hours effort I haven’t actually finished a complete model yet but I’m happy with the progress and now I’ve decided on how I’m doing them the next ones should be easier and I will post updates as we go.

Days remaining – 70

Models/points completed – 0/0

All Scars Battle Royale 2014

Posted in 40k, Gaming events with tags , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2014 by vobeskhan

BLToday saw the return of the our inaugural event – the All Scars Battle Royale down at Tabletop Tyrants.

600pt forces, maximum of 1 HQ, 1 EL, 1 FA, 2 TR, 1 HS, Forge World was allowed but no super heavies. Multiple opponents per table and playing a randomly determined Maelstrom mission.

I had intended on taking my usual biker based force but had a sudden desire to go “filthy” and wrote a list up of my Spartan with a 14 man CSM unit kitted for assault. Then I had another idea, this is what I took.

1 squad of 11 cultists with autoguns (1 with heavy stubber).

1 squad of 12 CSM including champion with power sword, a flamer, a meltagun, all with ccw.

1 Chaos Storm Eagle with tl-heavy bolters, 2 tl-lascannons, vengeance missiles, dirge caster, and warpflame gargoyles.

With terrible traffic and weather delaying a couple of the players I was placed on a table facing Tyranids, Nurgle daemons, and Necrons. The mission was “Steal the Loot” and we each placed a single objective marker (I think we all had them pretty much in our deployments, mine was on the top of the bastion with my cultists around it). I had my CSM mounted in the Eagle and held in reserve, riskier than I imagined as it turned out.

My objective marker turned out to be a targeting rely, handy considering my cultists terrible shooting ability. Though I didn’t get to use it for long, losing a couple of men to gauss fire from the Necrons and more to the approaching Nid termagant and tervigon. The losses made the remaining cultists flee the safety of the bastion, narrowly avoiding running off the play area totally – all before the Eagle had even arrived.

Luckily the Eagle turned up on my turn 3 just as the cultists were shredded by more Necron fire, I avenged them by taking down a deathglider (I don’t know what they’re really called but they look like Goa’uld deathgliders to me).

Turn 4 saw the Eagle come under fire but a successful jink meant no damage taken while the other three forces slogged it out over my former bastion. Unfortunately this meant that my firing was abysmal despite everything being twin linked.

Due to the time we all agreed to cut it after Turn 5, I knew I couldn’t win (being about 10 points behind the leader) and was ready to just zoom off the table when one of my opponents reminded me that I could drop to hover mode and disembark my troops. So I did, but rather than take out the nearby tyranid warriors and stop them claiming one of the objectives I wanted to take down the Nids other big beastie.

I fired the Eagle’s bolters and lascannons, scoring a single las hit that was saved, then the squad opened up. The flamer and meltagun failed to wound, then it was the 10 bolters all in rapid fire range, 20 shots, 15 hits …….. 1 fecking wound, and even that got saved.

As I was last in the turn order this ended the game – final score for our table was (if I remember rightly) Nids 14, Nurgle 10, Necrons 7, and me 4. Bottom on our table but 2 other players on the other tables fared worse than me so not bottom overall.

In hindsight I should have taken a more balanced list geared towards taking objectives, especially as the Tactical Objective cards have at least 3 cards to secure each numbered objective available. With regards to the game itself I should have deployed the CSM squad as well and left the Eagle unloaded (or even put the cultists inside it) but the game was fun anyway, and we all had a blast which at the end of the day is whats important.

Next up for the All Scars is the first round of the Vordrast Incursion, and I shall be facing one of our newer members Matt with his Space Wolves in a 1500 pt battle. It should be another good game.

In the meantime I’m continuing with the conversions of my Chaos Storm Eagle and Chaos Knight and hope to have a post about those soon. I’ve also recently acquired a Skyshield Pad and Bastion kit so will be looking at turning those into suitably chaotic versions.

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D&D Enc Hoard of the Dragon Queen Session 3-4

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2014 by vobeskhan

DnD_HOD_300x300Our second table has had to miss a few sessions recently with a spate of illness and other commitments, but my table played our next fortnightly double session last night at our FLGS (Tabletop Tyrant).

Where we had left off we had 4 out of 7 pc’s unconscious and waiting to recover. This left 2 of the warlocks and 1 fighter on their feet, how could this ever go badly (insert maniacal laughter). I had asked the players to make notes of what they needed when or of they reached the end of the chapter during the session so they could level up and then continue on to chapter 2 rather than cut the session short.

  • Matt – human warlock
  • Jack – human fighter
  • Patrick – human warlock
  • Jon – dwarf cleric (unconscious)
  • Lee – dwarf paladin (unconscious)
  • Daniel – dwarf fighter (unconscious)
  • Sarah – tiefling warlock (unconscious)/rebuilt to wood elf rogue upon level up

While their companions recovered, Escobar the castellan calls upon the conscious pc’s to come and man the battlements where they see one of the cultists commanding the dragon to attack the keep again, they notice that the dragon doesn’t really look like it’s relishing this task, though this doesn’t stop it blasting the wall and defenders with its lightning breath. Thankfully the 3 of them blast away with eldritch bolts and thrown spears/javelins and manage to do enough damage to drive the reluctant beast off. (During this time I had the other players roll for the attacks of the keeps militia).

Escobar was suitably impressed with this and gave the heroes his own potion of healing in thanks. Using this and the recovered paladin’s lay on hands they soon had everyone back on their (albeit unsteady) feet, Nighthill came to them and asked if they could capture prisoners so they could be questioned. They took a short rest and spent their hit dice before they saw a handful of militia charging into a doorway close to the main gate, investigating they found that enemies had breached the sally port and the defenders were trying to hold them back. They immediately took charge of the situation and commanded the militia men to focus on the drake while the warlocks and cleric blasted the kobolds. The fighters and paladin attempted to attack the acolyte but thanks to his Sanctuary they switched to the last few kobolds before one of them finally overcame the spell and knocked him out.

A brief discussion on how to secure the broken entrance resulted in Lee suggesting they pile the dead bodies (especially the drake in the doorway as the militia could use their halberds to fight over it until a more permanent solution could be made (I gave Lee an inspiration point for this).

They handed their prisoner over and asked that a work team be sent to seal the entrance. It was then that a huge cheer went up from the attackers outside. Taking to the battlements again they saw the invaders gather in a semi-circle around the main entrance and a draconic figure strode forward as a handful of townsfolk prisoners were pushed forward and to their knees. The figure offered to release the prisoners if a champion would face him in single combat, it didn’t take a lot for Jack to decide to step up to the plate. The rest of the heroes were ready to join in with boost spells etc should the enemies be lying and not release the prisoners, Matt even used his Scale of Bahamut to cast the Bless spell, but as Jack strode out the draconic figure ordered the prisoners released.

The 2 combatants circled each other until Jack made the first move, throwing his hammer (and missing) only to have the draconic warrior weighed in with its greatsword and cut the human down, then use an action surge before the body even hit the floor to blast its breath weapon into the body and fry it to a crisp.

With the cultists and kobolds cheering loudly the draconic figure simply walked away, his entire force following.

Recovering Jacks corpse (he was fully dead at this point – the players we suitably shocked at the brutality) Governor Nighthill announced that he had a way to revive their fallen ally should they wish (we gave Jack the choice of being revived or bringing in a new character – he chose revive) and did so.

This ended chapter 1, the players leveled up (Sarah rebuilt her character as a wood elf rogue) and we got chapter 2 under way.

Following the questioning of the prisoner Nighthill had found out that the invaders had a camp nearby and asked the party to seek it out, find out their numbers, and the motivation for the attacks as well as next targets. The cash reward offered was enough to entice them and they commandeered an extra pony for the journey, as they prepared to leave a ragged figure approached and begged them to find his missing master (a scholar who specialised in Dragon Cults that had been investigating the rumours of cult activity in the area) – the party realised that this guy might have more information on the invaders so said they would try.

Easily picking up the trail they follow for a few hours before spotting a campfire in a dell ahead. the rogue scouted and spots a handful of kobolds and a few cultists and reported to the others. The rogue and the fey warlock attempt to sneak around to the opposite side of the dell to try and catch the foes with a sleep spell – unfortunately the warlock was a clutz and the kobolds heard his approach. Calling for initiative proved even more bad news as he then rolled lowest of everyone.

The rogue shot a kobold before ducking back into cover, the dark pact warlock waited for the expected sleep spell, then the kobolds unleashed their slings at the fey warlock – and my dice were on fire (again) – out of 8 shots, 2 missed and 3 were crits! The warlock dropped faster than the sling stones that pelted him. The other warlock realised that the sleep spell was no longer an option and used his hex and bolt combo to drop a kobold. The human fighter charged in to the cultists, failed to hit them but they failed to strike back either. The dwarf fighter charged into the kobolds taking 1 down, the dwarf paladin smacked both the ponies and made them charge through the dell in hopes of at least distracting the kobolds, the remaining little reptiles used their opportunity attacks to slash at the dashing ponies (much to the chagrin of the dwarf fighter).

The rogue began to fire at the cultists, the kobolds (thanks to pack tactics) battered the dwarf fighter to the floor, and then to everyone’s surprise the dark pact warlock charged into the kobolds, black inky tentacles of power reaching out at them as he did so – and all of them failed their Strength saves (unsurprisingly) – I gave Matt inspiration for this.

The remaining cultists were soon dealt with and the fallen pc’s stabilised, thankfully they were only out for an hour and the party took the opportunity to take a short rest  before continuing on the trail.

By late afternoon the trail led into the foothills and the sharp-eyed rogue spotted enemies atop a rise overlooking a narrow pass the trail led through. While some traded ranged attacks, the fighters and paladin raced to the rise and began climbing – well, apart from the paladin who struggled to climb.

Eventually the 2 fighters engaged the small group of cultists and with their allies continuing to add ranged firepower tried to fight them – Jack chose to grapple one and try to throw him off, failed and so the cultist returned the favour. Despite the setbacks the heroes still killed the cultists without taking any casualties, and then spotted another figure racing up the trail on horseback – probably going to warn the main camp!

Matt leapt on to Daniels pony (the cultists bow fire had killed the other on the approach) and gave chase, blasting the fleeing cultist with eldritch blasts as they went. He was rewarded with seeing the figure slump forward onto his mounts neck before slipping from the saddle and under the thundering hooves. While the horse continued riderless, Matt recovered the body and returned to his companions.

That was where we left it for this week. Before our next gathering we have the 2nd of our Expeditions coming up so that should be interesting. I can honestly say that 5e is capturing the imaginations and being well received here. I’m loving it.

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