Sunday, 12 April 2015

Song of Blades & Heroes - The Arkand Road.

Another game of Song of Blades & Heroes played at the club. Andrew followed up last weeks game with a scenario tracking the progress of the Band of Heroes as they try to get the surviving villagers from the village of Hock back to the safety of the closest town. Robafett and Neil took on the mantle of the good guys whilst I continued with the opposing forces harassing them.

The Heroes -

Lord Sevran      (Human Warrior)
Brother Nathan (Human Cleric)
Thanon              (Human Wizard)
Stantharg           (Human Barbarian)
Ceolord             (Elven Archer)
Helmgrim         (Dwarf Warrior)
Brakgrun           (Dwarf Warrior)

Rob & Neil discuss tactics as Andrew oversees.
Following the merciless destruction of Hock and the majority of the villagers either killed or turned into more of the undead army of Oliver, the heroes were able to gather the survivors and flee the ruins. Lord Sevran and his band of brothers undertake to return the survivors to a safer place and warn of the evil rising in the land.

We join the action as the Brave Heroes carefully lead the terrified villagers (and what could be salvaged of their belongings) along the Arkand Road. Stretched out along the road with high bushes either side of them, things seem too quiet for the parties liking...

Hearing the moans of the undead in the far distance behind them, Lord Sevran orders the group to reorganise and provide more protection for the villagers. Old Man Jonti takes control of the pony train and the others split into two groups of women and children at the front and the menfolk at the rear. The Dwarves Helmgrim and Brakgrun stay at the head of the groups.

Leading from the front, Lord Sevran and Stantharg (the Barbarian) scout forward along the road. As Stantharg ambles onwards, Sevran is suddenly aware of movement from behind a nearby tree. He breifly pauses to look through into the treeline...

...and before he can react a huge Minotaur bellows at them and comes crashing through the foliage!

Lord Sevran and Stantharg join combat but this is truly a fearsome beast and the two warriors are hard pressed.

Spotting the commotion ahead, the two Dwarves begin to trot forward to help their stricken comrades. Ceolord (the Elven Archer) slips through the bushes back onto the road from the grass land, hoping to get a shot on the creature.

With another roar the giant beast raises its axe with both hands and brings it down heavily on poor Stantharg...literally splitting the Barbarian in two! Covered in a shower of blood, this is too much even for Lord Sevran and he beats a hasty retreat. Witnessing this gruesome kill, the villagers descend into blind panic...Old Man Jonti cannot hold the pack ponies and is dragged screaming back down the road (no doubt to his inevitable demise at the hands of the pursuing undead), the rest of the Heroes are also in shock and flee back down the road.

Gathering his courage, Brother Nathan boldly steps up and calls to the villagers to "have faith" and follow him. He spots a path through the treeline and leads the group through.

They avoid the Minotaur as it waves its axe around in bloody joy.

Lord Sevran rallies the others and orders Ceolord to steady himself and take a shot at the Minotaur whilst it is distracted. He duly steps up, takes aim, then deftly shoots the beast through the eye!

With the immediate danger gone, Sevran sends the two Dwarves to protect the flank as he joins Brother Nathan with the rest of the villagers.

The group make haste past the old shrine. Ceolord can be seen in the treeline protecting the rear as he waits for Thanon (the Wizard) who is trailing some way behind them.

No further danger seems to present itself as the group of weary villagers continues to run across the grassland.

As Thanon and Ceolord try to catch up, a screech fills the air and two Bugbears leap from the trees, charging into Helmgrim and Brakgrun.

Helmgrim is almost caught by surprise as the two ugly things run towards him...

...and without warning, another three Bugbears appear through a gap, charging full pelt at the group of villagers. Ceolord spots them and runs forward, notching another arrow. Brakgrun joins his Dwarf friend and knocks one of the two attacking Bugbears to the ground, giving Helmgrim time to prepare to fight.

Meanwhile, Brother Nathan and Lord Sevran encourage the villagers to keep moving - they think they can outrun these assailants...

...and despite their fatigue, they are indeed able to do so, rejoining the easier route of the road and running for their lives!

Helmgrim and Brakgrun find themselves struggling against these two attackers and much to the horror of Brakgrun he watches as his friend is cut down in front of him.

Thanon has a moment of sheer terror as the three Bugbears give up on chasing the villagers and turn to face him! They appear better armed than the first two and one looks like the leader.

The first two Bugbears now round on poor old Brakgrun. He doesn't have a chance and is soon hacked down. Bugbears like Dwarf meat. Things are looking bad...

...but Thanon is at least able to outwit the three beasts bearing down on him as he flits past them! Ceolord has an opportunity to escape but the brave Elf opts to help the fleeing wizard. He shoots the Bugbear leader (Nerte) three times but his arrows have little effect against the well armoured creature.

The Bugbear leader, Nerte, decides he really likes the wizards 'purple dress' and endeavours to obtain it. His two guards rush the Elf who puts up a solid fight but is unable to stop their onslaught. He too falls to the ground unconscious.

Try as he might, Thanon is no match against three giant Bugbears. He lets out a quiet "oh..." as Nerte cracks him across the head with the flat of his axe...

Nerte and his vile band celebrate a good days hunting!
 ...and it is here we leave this sorry tale. Lord Sevran and Brother Nathan soon realise the threat has passed and allow the villagers to rest awhile. They wait as long as it feels safe but it is soon clear none of the other heroes will be joining them. He could only assume the worst and that all his companions were now dead. With sad resignation, he orders the party to pack up and continue their journey to Blackmarsh. He would re-equip, gather new followers and take the fight back to these foul creatures!

The Cast.
Another good game! The shock result of the gruesome kill by the Minotaur against the Barbarian almost threw the good guys into chaos a few turns in. They rallied and some nice shooting by the Elf removed the threat. It really got tense at the end as I realised I couldn't catch up with the villagers (my first objective) and Rob and Neil cleverly outmaneuvered my slow moving troops. The rear guard put up a brave fight but had a hard time of it and the big Bugbears gradually picked them off.

We deemed it a 'moral' victory for the Heroes as the majority of villagers were saved, other than poor Old Man Jonti and the ponies. As far as the battle went it was otherwise a resounding victory for the Bugbears, killing / capturing Thanon, Ceolord, Helmgrim, Brakgrun and Stantharg, for the loss of the Minotaur.

Stantharg is clearly dead but who knows the fate of the others. Are Thanon and Ceolord still alive? Did the Dwarves end up in the cooking pot? Will Lord Sevran and Brother Nathan have their revenge? And of course, what of the undead menace of Oliver's Army?

All these questions will hopefully be answered in following tales!

All figures from Andrew, with terrain from him and the club, apart from the ruined shrine.


Gordon Richards said...

Gripping stuff!

Ant Master said...

Good write up, next up we have the surviving adventurers heading back to get revenge.