Posts Tagged ‘privateer press’

Privateer Press September Releases

Posted on August 28th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

Warmachine: Khador: Iron Fang Uhlans: Cavalry Unit (5) $99.99 S   Serving as the forward fighting arm of an Iron Fang contingent, Iron Fang Uhlans are often the first to ride into the enemy. These mounted Iron Fangs fluidly ride together and meld classical horselord cavalry tactics with the shoulder-to-shoulder fighting formations customary of Iron […]

Iron Kingdoms Roleplay – Session Twelve

Posted on August 24th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up you can find earlier sessions and background material in here. The stats of the player characters can be found here should you be interested and the rest of the ‘Brotherhood of the Rail’ mercenary companies NPC’s backgrounds can be found here.

This weeks attendees would be Captain Sebastian LaCroix (Toms character), His Lieutenant Rafaldo Scorgiani (Steve’s character), Martin’s Priestess and ‘Spiritual Advisor’ character Danika Jansen, and we’ll be re-joined by Andrews new Pygmy Troll character Toborg Lugosh after the unfortunate brutal execution of his last character Bradick Davalos. My Ogrun ‘Bosh’ Skullsplitter will be again temporarily moved to NPC status as I’m GMing for the next couple of sessions. Harry couldn’t attend this week (after changing his mind twice resulting in two rewrites…) so the Mechanik Bragg Halvard (Harry’s character) will be conveniently unavailable for the events of this mission…which takes some create writing when your all on a bloody train together…


Note – As I was GMing and obviously had notes and intro bits written down I’ve just pasted them into this article directly so they’ll be in a ‘reading to the group‘ style. This’ll save me a lot of time writing out everything again and hopefully wont effect your reading enjoyment too much bouncing between the two styles of writing.

Mission Twelve – ‘A Very Important Passenger…
It’s time for the Brotherhood of the Rail to get back to their contractual obligations…

Introduction
With the bandit leadership eliminated and the area of Ternon Crag now experiencing an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity it has been deemed time for the Brotherhood to return to it’s more traditional guard duties. Bosh has still yet to fully recover from multiple stab wounds and projectile related injuries sustained covering the Brotherhoods retreat in the bandit camp as their subsequent defence of the narrow pass during their escape prevented the immediate attention of the those wounds and several were more severe than first thought.

With the terrain now mapped out and the defences of the enemy camp known, quantified and significantly reduced after the battle at the pass a second mission is arranged but this time purely to ascertain if any further build-up has occurred rather than for any offensive purposes. Sebastian has sent Toborg as part of this recon but whether this is a reward for his few moments of usefulness in the previous mission or a punishment for not being able to tell the difference between the five cant for ‘cut’ and ‘pull’ is somewhat debatable. Additionally responsibility for Toborg has been delegated to Rafaldo by Sebastian. The camp has been found to be abandoned completely and obviously in some hurry as much equipment and the bodies of most of their dead have been left behind including hat was left of their giant warleader. The body of the mysterious female leader is however missing…

The rescued girl Dora has been unofficially ‘adopted’ by several of the Brotherhood staff and officers due to having no family in Ternon Crag and there being little in the way of facilities there that deal with orphans. The next stop being Llael is also somewhat unsuitable and even the completely indifferent Sebastian would rather she was raised in neither a war zone or by ‘filthy Khadoran scum’. Several attempts have been made to allocate her sleeping quarters though she invariably ends up finding her way to one of the officers quarters. Generally this has caused few issues other than one particularly awkward moment involving Sebastians own rooms but at least he always now remembers to keep his door locked when he has visitors. On an unrelated note Sebastian has made it known that any-one who enters his quarters without knocking from now on will be shot on general principle…

With the next stop on the new ‘frontier’ line being travel into the contested territory of Llael it has been decided that a test trip is going to be necessary in order to fine tune the somewhat laborious task of ensuring that all appropriate passes are in place and to sort through what will no doubt be a tedious and difficult time dealing with the Khadoran border authorities. Fortunately the main station has been prudently built just outside the border of Khadoran Llael and ‘free’ Llael with separate lines entering each. Plans for an adjoining line between the two are currently pending based on how well (or not) the initial journey’s are. The obvious downside to all this is that the first few runs will be far less profitable than would be liked.

Marcus has been busying himself ensuring that the fortress is supplied with the necessary resources and manned adequately in the Brotherhood’s absence and several meetings have been scheduled between him and Sebastian to discuss the finer points of these shared responsibilities. Marcus has also somewhat conveniently ‘remembered’ where the rest of the wine and alcohol shipment was and this revelation seemingly occurred about three seconds after the bandit issue was deemed resolved.

The few new recruits bought back by Rafaldo have been implemented into the appropriate Brotherhood units and several requests for membership have also been received from some of the recently trained trolls.

After some discussion it’s decided to supplement the Brotherhoods Artillerists with four of the Trollkin trained at the fortress and to take on three or four of the scouts (one of which was Toborg). Responsibility for the fledgling scout force has been delegated to Rafaldo by Sebastian possibly as a punishment for his nearly disastrous actions during their assault on the bandit camp. The various Pistoleers are also formed into a single unit rather than being deployed as individuals to support other units but to all intents and purposes now act as Sebastian’s bodyguard. Though some of these recruits weren’t all that useful on a train journey it seemed that the Captain is looking at the long term future of the Brotherhood as a mercenary force outside of it’s main contract.

During these final operational tweaks and preparations Marcus makes a somewhat unscheduled appearance at the fortress just before one of the officers ‘routine’ meetings with some news.

As you’re no doubt aware the first few of these journey’s to Llael are going to barely be profitable and are ‘more a less’ a fine-tuning exercise” “However we’ve come across some good fortune with the first of these” He pauses briefly One of our major investors has decided to utilise the service in order to facilitate moving some cargo plus one of their family members and his entourage to his hunting lodge just outside of Llael which is (as luck would have it) only a short distance from the rail line’s route” “This means that we can both ingratiate ourselves with a figure of some importance as well as making an unexpected profit this trip

Act One – ‘Helstrom’

Your man ‘Bosh’ has worked for Jonas and his family in the past so I took the liberty of sending him to act as an escort till he reaches the station and Jonas has requested his services for the duration of the trip” “I saw no reason to refuse the request as Bosh will obviously be on the train anyway and I doubt such light duties will task him despite his less than optimal state of health…and Helstrom was most insistent…he is as I’m sure you’ll appreciate used to getting his own way.

His family has considerable influence so I’m sure there’s no need to remind you all that this honoured guest is to be given every consideration and his safety, happiness and well being are your primary concern

Editors Note – I handed out some notes at this point to those playing humans with some basic information on what their characters would conceivably know about the Baron and the Helstrom family based on their backgrounds. This was necessary as I’d made the Baron and his family up from scratch for my own needs but had made them out to be of some significance in the Iron Kingdoms. How much of the information they made public and what they kept to themselves was of course up to them.

Background Note – Sebastian
The gentlemen you are to be transporting (one ‘Baron’ Jonas Helstrom) is somewhat of a legend in duelling circles having been victorious in some two hundred duels with both pistol and sword as well as allegedly being involved in almost double that amount of less formal ‘outside the city walls’ disagreements. There are however some rumours of less than reputable tactics during these duels of honour though it’s possible these are just tales told by those jealous of his prowess or disgruntled family members of those killed.

Background Note – Rafaldo
The Helstrom family is well known in shipping circles for it’s large and well defended fleets of ships and has a reputation for reliability and security. Some however have made a point of casting aspersions upon them due to how few incidents of piracy that they have to deal with when compared with their rivals misfortunes. It’s more than likely however that these are just the kind of slanderous lies that successful business men often have said about them by jealous or less successful rivals.

Background Note – Danika
The name of the Helstrom family is well known as a generous benefactor of the Morrowan Church and has been responsible for funding the construction of many elaborate temples and sponsoring many charitable events and efforts. There are those who have levelled accusations against the family that these acts are simply to cover up scandalous acts committed behind closed doors but it’s far more likely that these are just lies spread by jealous members of other churches who would rather the funds be making there way into their own coffers.

‘First Impressions…’
Given the importance of their passenger the Brotherhood officers wore their finest dress uniforms, priestly raiment’s or least stained engineers leathers as appropriate and those used to dealing with the aristocracy were unsurprised by his followers desire to pander to their leaders whims as relative status was important to such people. Toborg had also dressed for the occasion and was wearing his finest and shiniest cow skull helmet. While looking at this crowd of hangers-on Sebastian noted that there wasn’t any-one who looked like they’d be high enough rank to be ‘seconds’ for the purposes of duelling as clearly the crowd of followers were mainly sycophants or ladies selected for their beauty.

A number of crates are being loaded onto several cargo carriages and most of these are quite mundane. The mundane ones show all the signs of containing normal supplies such as food, ammunition and other routine items. However there are three extremely interesting ones. These three are just over six feet square and seemingly have mechanika as part of their construction. Runes can be seen faintly glowing at several points and very occasionally these flare brightly before fading to their original dull glow and are all been loaded into the same carriage. Bragg’s newly modified ‘jack is also being loaded aboard the train in the engineering section with the two company laborjacks.


There is also considerable activity at the station centred around a tall, well built man of aristocratic bearing in exquisitely decorated tailored plate armour. He is surrounded by a considerable entourage of toadying hangers-on, well dressed guards and a group of young attractive ladies dressed in expensive and subsequently completely impractical outfits in the most up to date fashions. Somewhat out of place at who you presume is Jonas Helstrom’s side is your fellow officer ‘Bosh’ who is wearing the fairly clean tabard occasionally forced upon him by Sebastian. He is seemingly in some debate with the most decorated of Jonas’s own bodyguards (presumably their Captain) who is emphasising his point by periodically poking Bosh in the chest with a gauntleted hand. This debate reaches a climax as ‘Bosh’ somewhat less casually than you would normally expect hoists the guard several feet off the ground one-handed by the collar of his uniform before hurling him a mere ten feet across the station platform. The entourage waits a moment for the Baron’s reaction and once it’s evident that he finds the incident amusing they all join in with the laughter and finish about a second after he does before he ushers the humiliated guard captain away with a dismissive gesture. Bosh says something to Jonas and after a moment he nods in a somewhat disinterested manner before Bosh begins walking towards you all. The rest of the entourage makes a path for him…

Sebastian and his officers had been hoping to talk to ‘Bosh’ before their meeting with the Baron in order to better prepare themselves for it but it seems like they would have to wait until later to do so…

Baron Helstrom seemingly has become interested in you all and is walking over followed by a gaggling horde of sycophants, hangers on, two of the lady companions and other apparently essential personnel when those of the aristocracy travel.

The Baron is dressed in expensive, high quality armour which has the tasteful decoration one would expect from the actually wealthy rather than the over the top examples you generally see on those who simply aspire to such things. Around his neck is a particularly beautiful symbol of Morrow fashioned from a variety of rare materials. He has a similarly high quality mechanikal sword sheathed at his waist and a pair of pistols holstered in somewhat unusual holsters on each thigh seemingly designed for quickness of draw. These pistols are also clearly mechanikal in nature.

Sebastian being quite interested in pistols noted that the Baron’s weapons are heavily modified mechanikal versions of Radcliffe Firestorm’s. Even as a standard weapon this type of pistol is vary expensive so owning mechanikal versions shows considerable wealth and resources.

The officers introduce themselves using all the appropriate etiquette for the situation and manage to do a more than adequate job of creating a positive impression of both their own mercenary group and by extension the rail service. Some meaningless pleasantries are passed back and forth before Baron Helstrom gets to his actual reason for approaching them.

So I hear from your man ‘Bosh’ that you’re in charge of my protection and that of my humble belongings on this trip and after some debate with my own guard captain he has put forward the argument that I leave the security of the train in your no doubt capable hands.” “I have agreed in principle but with the exception of any routine patrols you may deem necessary my cargo and private carriages will stay under the protection of my own personnel” “I presume you have no issues with this entirely reasonable proposal?

Sebastian and his officers agree to the Baron’s demands, exchange a few more of the bits of conversation that etiquette requires before going back to their relative tasks. As soon as is reasonably possible after the journey begins Sebastian, Rafaldo and Danika arrange a meeting to which they invite Bosh using a plausible excuse of ‘coordinating the activities of Baron Helstrom’s people and that of the Brotherhood’s own’ in order to see if they can gain any useful information from him given that he’s worked for him in the past. He’s initially reticent to divulge any personal information on Jonas Helstrom because as he points out “You wouldn’t want me telling your secrets to a future employer of mine now would you?“. However after the imbibing of a generous quantity of Trollkin ale that Sebastian had put aside and some subtle reminders of the dangers they’d shared in recent months Bosh opened up somewhat though was still unwilling to discuss specific ‘tasks’ that he’d performed for the Baron while in his service. The main areas that they were interested in were the reasons for the Ogrun’s assault on the Guard Captain, whether his reputation as a duellist was overblown and if the rumours of corruption were true or just vicious gossip.

Bosh informed them that the debate was over the guard captain attempting to decide where the Brotherhoods own guards were stationed and Bosh telling him that all decisions about such things were Sebastian, Rafaldo or another officers decision and nothing to do with any Captain other than his own, The ‘Captain’ was also unpleasant to the female Ogrun labour Korune Krell that the Brotherhood employ to manage the rail workers and loaders when the cargo was first being looked at and as the only female Ogrun the three Brotherhood Ogruns have any dealings with they are understandably protective of her therefore with all honesty Bosh was looking for an excuse to hit him anyway. It was also obvious to Bosh that this was simply the Captain of Helstroms guards trying to exert his authority as in his opinion Jonas Helstrom couldn’t care less where the Brotherhood guards are stationed as long as (with the exception of routine patrols) they stay out of the carriage’s containing his own belongings.

On the specific subject of Jonas Helstrom his hobbies are somewhat predictably hunting, whoring and duelling…though not necessarily in that order of priority. Sebastian raised the subject of the absence of the seconds normally required by professional duellists and Bosh revealed that two of the toadying sycophants actually are far more professional than their outward demeanour would suggest. Helstroms Seconds are Bryson Ellsworth (a stocky fellow, tending to fat, whose also an expert swordsman) and Everett Keller (a tall, slim, pistoleer who favours a single pistol but is also quite handy with a rifle.). He also mentions that Jonas prefers head shots as he says that “any fool can unload a dozen rounds at some-ones chest and hit occasionally” a sentiment that Sebastian agrees with. In Bosh’s opinion Jonas is exactly as good as people say he is with both pistol, paired pistols and a sword as he’d seen him kill with all three combinations of weapons. Bosh also is of the opinion that the Baron is no more or less corrupt than an other member of the aristocracy he’s dealt with though some of the rest of his family are utterly ruthless in their business dealings and that crossing them is unwise in the extreme.

Sebastian is also understandably curious about the female members of the entourage given his ‘hobbies’. Bosh isn’t particularly interested in human females so his knowledge of the majority of them is limited to matching names to Sebastian’s somewhat superficial descriptions. The only one he knows well is the ‘slightly older red-head attempting to look younger via the skilful application of make-up’ (Sabina) who has been part of the Baron’s group for a significant period of time and is the only consistent member of a normally rapidly changing group of débutantes. The others are Alexia (a tall skinny blonde), Daria (a shorter more athletic blonde), Emma (a curvaceous red-head), Juliana (a petite, young looking raven-haired girl) and Tressa (a dark skinned woman with curly black hair) none of which Bosh had met before today.

Editors Note – The vague descriptions of the ladies are indicative of Sebastian’s superficial attitude to women rather than any personal real life attitudes we might have before any-one gets all offended ;-)

Act Two – ‘Predator…’
You are all awakened by the sounds of screams from the cargo compartment containing the ‘unusual’ crates.

Sebastian, Danika, Rafaldo and one of the new scouts (Toborg) are first on the scene. Toborg had been nearby as he had been tasked by Rafaldo to subtly check out the unusual crates so was lurking in a nearby carriage.

The carriage is a scene of devastation. Three of Helstrom’s guards are dead (one has been brutally disembowelled, another’s body lies dead against one wall with his chest crushed and the third’s head is now rather inconveniently facing in the wrong direction). The rest have been hurled around the carriage and are in various states of unconsciousness including one who is leaning against one of the unusual storage crates…a crate which is now open. One of the carriages exterior loading doors has seemingly been opened with considerable force without the lock being disengaged first and is therefore twisted out of shape….cold air is blowing into the carriage from outside…

Rafaldo and Danika attempt to administer medical care to those injured though only Rafaldo had any success managing to save several including at least one who should by all rights have died from his wounds though Danika had little success with both of the guards she attempted to heal succumbing to their injuries despite them not initially seeming to be that serious. While this was occurring Sebastian and the Pygmy Troll scout had a look inside the open crate…

Editors Note – Many double ones and double sixes were rolled for medical tests…

The unusual container smells like something between an animal habitat and a prison cell. A bed of straw is in one corner, various open military ration containers are nearby and a pile of excrement is in one corner. Rather unusually given the circumstances there is a weapon rack on the far wall of the crate though this is currently empty…

The weapon rack looks like it once contained a spear and a shield of some description given a quick analysis of the placement of the hooks as this configuration is the same as was used to store their fellow officer Bosh’s extensive collection of spears and shields Sebastian was fairly sure of the conclusion. While having a closer look at the crate itself he also noted that the runes on the crates mechanikal parts were very similar indeed to those on his on mechanikally enhanced pistols specifically those for ‘Silence’ and ‘Cold’. He decided to summon their engineer Bragg to give the crate a closer look but before he could give the order for Toborg to fetch him their guest made an appearance.

At this point ‘Bosh’ enters the carriage with Helstrom just behind him, followed closely by two of the female members of his entourage in states of partial undress. The usual circle of hangers on are conspicuously absent with the exception of a portly man and a tall thin one from what they had initially deemed to be toadying sycophants but that they now knew as Helstroms duelling seconds.

Well that’s inconvenient…” Is Helstrom’s only comment.

Using a fairly respectful but direct tone Sebastian made some specific enquiries about the former contents of the crate. The Baron informed them that various creatures were acquired for him to hunt at his lodge and he generally liked them to remain a secret until the contents were released in order to ‘keep things interesting’. He had recently asked the big game hunter who acquired most of his entertainments for something more challenging and with some intelligence as the last few hunts had been over quite quickly indeed. Meanwhile Rafaldo and Danika had been attempting to learn what the surviving guardsmen had seen but their combined descriptions amounted to ‘Tall, lean, powerfully muscled humanoid with hairless grey skin’. The musings were soon to be interrupted however.

You hear the unmistakable sound of artillery fire from one of the roof stationed weapon teams. It appears to be from the team between your current location and the engine section…

Bosh stayed with the Baron while the others moved to investigate. One of the artillery teams had seen something moving extremely fast, climbing along the side of the train carriages they shot at it and missed blaming alternately the difficult angle of the shot and the speed of the target. It was obvious that rather than leaping from the train as they previously thought the creature was still on the train. Securing the passengers was now a priority.

There’s a noise coming from the direction of the engine that starts off as a squealing noise, followed by a grinding one and then…nothing…The train begins to slow…

This time they advanced weapons drawn knowing that the mysterious predator had not left the train presumably due to the speed it was travelling at or more worryingly seeking revenge for it’s incarceration.

Hayli the engineer is lying unconscious on the floor, bleeding from a gash on the side of the head, while her Gobber assistant and Bragg lie in similar crumpled heaps next to opposite walls both have obvious impact related injuries they all appear to be breathing. Braggs injuries are particularly severe and he is lying in a pool of a variety of his own bodily fluids.  The same ‘still breathing’ diagnosis cannot be said for another of Helstrom’s guards who was apparently spending some downtime in the engine compartment and is currently lying in a pool of his own blood. There’s a gaping wound in his side though the most notable feature is his head….or lack thereof, his sword is still clutched in his hand so seemingly he had time to draw his weapon…just not to use it. The train engine has been torn apart, components are bent, cogs shattered and even to the casual observer several pieces appear to be missing…

Bragg is stabilised as best as possible but it’s obvious that he won’t be much use to any-one for quite some time if he survives at all so the focus moves to attempting to revive Hayli as they are in desperate need of an engineer. Given their somewhat vulnerable position Danika suggests moving every-one into a few easily defended carriages in case the creature attempts an assault of some kind. This initial plan is quickly implemented while a more permanent solution can be agreed upon.

With the passengers now fairly safe and Hayli well enough to be of assistance some further investigation is in order before a plan can be worked out. Hayli’s assessment of the engine is that it will need at least eight hours work to repair and though finding the missing parts would be very helpful indeed she can probably make do with parts from the more advanced of their three ‘jacks. Not wanting to make their best heavy weapon inoperable the plan to dismantle Bragg’s prized and extensively re-built Warjack is vetoed but she is given permission to use any of the spare parts that Bragg had accumulated if they would help in any way. Before the repairs were started she was also tasked with a quick investigation of the transport crate and her worrying conclusion was that it looked like the power source had been sabotaged. It seems that there were internal threats as well as external ones so Brotherhood soldiers were placed on guard by the remaining two storage containers to prevent further incidents. Danika was also informed of the potential threat of traitors aboard the passengers but resisted her usual impulse for ‘creative interrogation’ given the status of their guests.

While this was going on Rafaldo took it upon himself to further question the surviving guards from the initial assault. As he had saved their lives they were more than willing to give any assistance they could. His first question was quite pertinently “Did any-one show any interest in or approach the crates during the journey?“. Between the survivors a list of potential suspects was complied including The Guard Captain Scarle Versh, Bryson Ellsworth and Everett Keller from the Barons entourage of followers, Juliana and Sabina from amongst his female ‘companions’ and the Ogrun ‘Bosh’. Rafaldo pretty much immediately eliminated the Ogrun from the suspect pool as his personal code of honour would prevent from acting against some-one he was tasked with protecting or members of the Brotherhood whom he was allied to…plus in his experience if ‘Bosh’ wanted some-one dead he’d just kill them himself…

Act Three – ‘The Hunt’
Now that the other crates were secured the investigation however was deemed secondary to their primary purpose of defending the train from potential attacks while the repairs were under-way. Helstrom was quite keen to hunt the creature utilising Brotherhood members and his remaining guards in the usual roles of beaters and the like though he’d rather wait until daylight to do it. He did however reveal that he had some equipment that might be of use if they were planning to hunt at night.

Danika who had the ability to see perfectly in the darkness due to her priestly magical talents took the two Brotherhood Rifleman up to the roof of one of the central carriages to see if there was any sign of approaching danger and hopefully she’d be able to pass some targeting directional information to them. It also gave her a good tactical location from which to pass magical blessings to those who needed them as well as to utilise some recently awakened offensive abilities which centred upon herself.

Editors Note – By ‘recently awakened’ I of course mean ‘recently bought with experience points…’

Bosh, Toborg and the other newly recruited scout were tasked with finding any kind of trail to follow. This proved difficult and it also became apparent to Bosh that the two scouts though no doubt talented in other areas were less than expert in the field of actual tracking. After some considerable time and effort tracks were discovered but the trail left by whatever this is has been expertly concealed and considering the speed at which it was moving this is a considerable achievement. In there opinion tracking the creature with any kind of speed would be difficult indeed. Baron Helstrom handed Sebastian a strange device which consisted of goggles with unusual lenses and an attached power source that when worn enabled the wearer to see in night as if it was day (or a close approximation) and also had another of these mechanikal wonders for his own use.

With a starting point found the Baron and Sebastian formed the guardsmen and brotherhood members into a rough semi-circle with themselves at the centre and the scouts just ahead in an effort to drive the creature towards them. Rafaldo had also moved to the top of one of the carriages from which he could use his powerful offensive magic’s should an enemy approach within range. Danika thought she could see some unusual movement in a small group of trees some way in the distance and shouted directions to the hunting party. Sebastian sent Toborg ahead to investigate but kept the other scout and Bosh with him and Helstrom. The was was illuminated with flares as Toborg approached cautiously and as he moved forward detected several faint tracks leading towards the trees which he followed until he was almost in the forested area. Some fortunate sixth sense urged him to look upwards and this almost certainly saved him from death at the hands of the monster above him. He quickly turned and ran back towards the hunting party and it as clear to them from his actions that there was something there so the order to open fire as given. Massed gunfire from train mounted chain-guns, rifle and pistol fire, magical blasts and any other ranged weapon fire available tore the trees to pieces but even at such a distance it was clear that they’d hit nothing…


Danika spotted a burst of movement as the creature exploded from cover and circled around passed the front of the train. It became apparent to her that the creature had lured them to one side of the train leaving the opposite unguarded and if it got back into the train there would be little chance of stopping the monster before it created horrific carnage. She shouted for the others to return to the opposite side before casting a spell that would harm any enemies that approached her and as she was right over the passenger carriages hopefully this would go some-way to putting the creature off it’s attack…hopefully…

Toborg being small and agile enough to get under the train rather than need to find a gap between the carriages moved beneath it and readied his rifle, Sebastian and the Baron ran towards a gap between the carriages with Bosh a moment behind and the rest of the guards scrambling to react. Danika shouted directions to the riflemen, artillerists and Rafaldo but their shots were again wide of the mark or in Rafaldo’s case out of range. The creature continued to circle at the extreme of weapon range as Sebastian, Helstrom and Bosh emerged on the far side of their stranded transport and added their weight to the fire-power with seemingly no effect. Now having seen the creature more clearly Baron Helstrom informed those nearby that he believed it to be an almost legendary creature called a ‘Totem Hunter’. The little knowledge he possessed was that Totem Hunters are enigmatic humanoids who hunt the creatures of western Immoren and wear trophies of their many kills. They are not native to Immoren and have more than likely come to the continent from across the sea, possibly from Zu, in search of new game. A Totem Hunter usually selects a creature as its quarry and hunts it relentlessly until it claims its trophy and anything that interferes with these hunts is immediately chosen as the totem hunter’s next target. It appears that in this case it had yet to select a target.

Realising that they needed to draw the creature closer Sebastian came up with a risky plan. Holstering his pistols Sebastian advanced from cover and drew his sword and advanced in the direction of the circling predator before making what any intelligent creature would perceive as a direct invitation to combat. Seemingly the creatures instinct to claim a trophy outweighed it’s common sense or more worryingly that it believed it could survive a direct assault as it turned and charged across the rough terrain in an evasive and seemingly random series of jumps and acrobatic manoeuvres. Seeing his plan had succeeded the Brotherhood Captain dropped the sword, drew his pistols and opened fire while backing towards the cover of the train. In an unusual experience for him several of his shots missed though the ‘cold’ enchantment on one of his pistols paralysed the hunter for an instant before it shook off the effect and continued forwards powering through Danika’s fiery defensive spell taking only superficial hits from ranged weapons as it did so. It would be upon Sebastian in a second as he stood little chance of outdistancing the foe…

Danika cast her spells of protection on those in range. Helstrom’s own pistol fire was preternaturally accurate with every bullet hitting home but it was Rafaldo’s concussive blast that stopped it in it’s tracks sending it flying backwards though it was delayed only for a moment before acrobatically rolling aside and regaining it’s footing. Several more shots hit home while the predator was vulnerable and it was at this moment that Toborg decided that a shotgun blast would stand more chance of hitting than his rifle had up to this point and opened fire…without bothering to warn his Captain that the shot was coming though by some miracle the shot missed him and hit the creature causing more superficial wounds. Realising that once amongst those only skilled with ranged weapons this hunter would outclass them considerably Bosh charged in…

Both giants went at each other with their respective pole-arms and shields but Bosh found himself in the unique position of fighting an opponent that matched him in skill and strength but also was by far his superior in defensive abilities and speed. Once the momentum of his charge was spent he found it increasingly difficult to do any damage at all and despite the grievous wound that his first attack had inflicted it was becoming increasingly likely that even wounded as it as it would eventually gain the upper hand. Observing the combat Sebastian concluded that he couldn’t hit a vulnerable spot with the two in such a frenzied melee and would need to get in close and after a moments consideration leapt into the swirling melee and avoiding the whirling blades put one bullet through the hole in the Totem Hunters armour made by Bosh and another through it’s forehead killing it instantly. A round of applause could be heard from the Baron as he acknowledged the victory.

Very entertaining” he said seemingly pleased with the outcome “I was hoping for the killing blow to come from my own weapons but the quality of the show more than made up for that minor disappointment” “Would you like to take a trophy to commemorate the victory?

Not wanting to seem rude Sebastian accepted the offer but said that he usually delegated trophy taking to Bosh. Helstrom sympathised with the desire to avoid getting messy and concurred with Sebastian stating that he too usually delegated the job of ‘extraction’ to one of his underlings. With the danger now removed the passengers were once again allowed back to their appropriate quarters though it was decided to triple the guard on the remaining two creature transports just in case. Hayli was making good progress with the engine repairs while Bragg was still in poor condition after the vicious assault he’d experienced and would be of little help for some time. Sebastian chose this time to subtly broach the subject with the Baron about the sabotage of the equipment and was given free reign to seek out the traitor on his behalf. He also confiscated and had Bosh render useless Toborg’s shotgun…


Act Four – ‘A Different Kind of Hunt…’
Rafaldo had already extracted a list of potential suspects from the guardsmen and had narrowed it down to the captain of Helstrom’s guard Scarle Versh, Bryson Ellsworth and Everett Keller from the Barons entourage of followers and Juliana and Sabina from amongst his female ‘companions’. Sebastian decided to divide up the interrogations with him and Dankia interviewing the female suspects, with the men being dealt with by Rafaldo and Bosh. Toborg meanwhile was despatched to see if he could find where the Totem Hunter had hid the engine parts.

First the seconds were spoken to and using a mixture of inspired oratory from Rafaldo and threats of violence from Bosh they discover that one of Helstroms seconds (a former naval man) has a drinking problem but in Rafaldo’s opinion this is unlikely to make him a traitor as many former sailors are heavy drinkers. They also gain some gossip in that of the two female suspects the younger brunette is pretty naive and easy to manipulate but the older red-head maintains her position in the entourage by indulging Helstroms more…interesting preferences rather than via anything sinister. The Guard Captain has also been recently turned down for a significant promotion due to being required to accompany the Baron on his hunting excursions. Rafaldo took an almost instant dislike to the Guard Captain and decided that it would be a good idea if Bosh interrogated him more…forcefully…he also decided he’s probably best get approval before he did…

Sebastian decided that before the interrogations began in earnest he’d see what information he could gain from the rest of Helstroms companions before specifically interrogating Sabina and Juliana. Flirting with the female members in an attempt to get some gossip was not difficult as they were as Sebastian expected pretty competitive with each other so extracting bitchy gossip was fairly simple. He discovered similar information to Rafaldo on the subject of Juliana in that she was quite naive and also that Sabina had established her position long ago as one of Jonas Helstrom’s travelling companions and had kept this place despite much competition from younger hopefuls. It is also a joke amongst them that Juliana was effectively ‘sold/lent’ to Jonas by her own family when he took a shine to her in return for business concessions so isn’t exactly happy in her position and they use a variety of artful euphemisms for stupid when describing her. In addition she and has been seen chatting to the Guard Captain on more occasions than might be considered normal.

After a brief consultation between them and with Helstroms approval they decide to focus their attentions on Juliana and the Guard Captain. Between Sebastian and Danika’s combined methods of interrogation they discover from Juliana that the Captain was turned down recently for a cushy guard job at the family estate and blames being away with Jonas on ‘hunting trips’ all the time for some-one else sneaking in and getting the job instead. Apparently he convinced Juliana to help him with a plan that would help them both…

The Guard Captain broke under the far more forceful interrogation methods favoured by Bosh combined with Rafaldo’s own verbal gifts of coercion. He revealed that he told Juliana how to sabotage the crate assuring her that the thing inside would go after Helstrom and no-one else after he discovered what it as through bribery of the supplier and she believed him because she’s not smart. He just wanted the ‘hunting trips’ disrupted badly enough so Helstrom’s family would put a stop to them and he could get back and reclaim the position he thinks he deserves in the Helstrom’s household…

They then faced the dilemma that the Guard Captain would no doubt inform on Juliana if they only assigned the blame to him and they’d both be punished and more than likely executed due to the deaths caused. Bosh suggests that the Captain could ‘die from his injuries’ or be ‘killed while trying to escape’ and therefore a edited version of the story could be relayed instead…every-one got the distinct impression that he’d quite like an excuse to kill the Captain rather than having any feelings about saving the girls life. Rafaldo also suggested that Danika could pull the ‘Priestess of Morrow’ card and offer to administer justice themselves. Given Helstroms families professed Morrowan sympathies he might go for it and then it would be up to Danika to administer punishment as she saw fit.

Epilogue
Sebastian passed onto Jonas the news that despite the severe injuries inflicted upon him during his interrogation the captain of the guard had apparently attempted to escape from custody forcing Bosh to brutally hack him to pieces in self defence. Realising that the Baron might launch his own investigation and find out that Juliana was involved they informed him of her part in the plot though they greatly reduced the scope of her guilt. Danika offered to take her on as an acolyte so she could make up for her transgressions through service to Morrow and Helstrom agreed as to be honest he had grown somewhat weary of her and this seemed like a good way of off-loading her on some-one else. Sebastian spent much of the remainder of the journey with the Baron’s entourage…or more specifically certain female members of the entourage though Jonas seemed to have no objections. He and Sebastian were apparently kindred spirits in a number of areas.

With the train repaired the journey could continue and the rest of the journey was thankfully uneventful. The Baron was met at the meeting point by a small army of servants to move his belongings to his lodge and his horde of followers (with the exception of Juliana and his deceased Captain) disembarked. Bragg was recovering well and could yet again take on his normal duties in a few days. The train then continued to the station outside Llael for the Brotherhood to await instructions for their journey into the dangerous and unpredictable land that Llael had now become…

Back To Reality
Quite pleased with how this session went as there were a lot of directions the PC’s could have gone in and I was slightly concerned that they’d come up with something wacky that hadn’t occurred to me. The role-playing was also quite excellent this week though in the interests of full disclosure the hunt for the traitor part was done via personal messages afterwards as we were running out of time during the actual session. Every-one got three experience points for this session using the parameters outlined in the rulebook.

Andrew (Toborg’s player) was particularly cursed with bad dice rolls and was only one more bad roll away from losing another character as the Totem Hunter would have cut him in half had he failed to notice it. However almost killing Tom’s character Sebastian with a shotgun was all his own work, lol.

Games Mastering duties will be taken over by Andrew for the next few sessions and hopefully he won’t kill off any of the NPC’s that I’ve specifically created for later missions I’ve already written…but that’s the downside when you have rotating GM’s.

Also any feedback readers of these features have would be much appreciated as I rarely get any comments yet nine hundred people read the last session, lol.

    Privateer Press: Upcoming Warmachine Deneghra, The Soul Weaver Previewed

    Posted on August 18th, 2015 under , , , , , . Posted by

    Privateer Press: Deneghra, the Soul Weaver takes 
to the skies to terrorize her foes. Atop her nightmarish winged necromechanikal mount she blots out the sun, casting a long shadow over those destined to die by her command. She gathers the souls of those slain in her presence, twisting them to her malevolent will. Such is her mastery that she can send these tormented spirits to empower her machines or tear their essence apart to weave a torrent of withering magic.
    This wargame news feed is kindly supplied by Wargame News and Terrain.

    Wargame News and Terrain is a growing wargame news blog featuring new miniature releases, wargame promotions, miniature reviews and terrain tutorials. To check out all of our news posts filled with amazing new miniatures and much more. Check us out over at http://wargameterrain.blogspot.com

    Iron Kingdoms Roleplay – Session Eleven (Part Two)

    Posted on August 10th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

    For those of you who haven’t been keeping up you can find earlier sessions and background material in here. The stats of the player characters can be found here should you be interested and the rest of the ‘Brotherhood of the Rail’ merce…

    Iron Kingdoms Roleplay – Session Eleven (Part One)

    Posted on August 8th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

    For those of you who haven’t been keeping up you can find earlier sessions and background material in here. The stats of the player characters can be found here should you be interested and the rest of the ‘Brotherhood of the Rail’ merce…

    Confessions of a Warmachine Noob: The First Game

    Posted on August 1st, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

    Warmachine Khador vs. Cygnar

    After a few attempts I managed to arrange my first game of Warmachine. Since then I’ve played a couple of times against different opponents, each time using my Khador Battlegroup. Before I get into my opinions about the games I want to write about my experiences joining a new group. It’s

    The post Confessions of a Warmachine Noob: The First Game appeared first on Creative Twilight.

    Battle Report – Warmachine – eStryker vs. High Reclaimer – Robot Rampage Ep 04!

    Posted on July 25th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

    The Undercity: Iron Kingdoms Adventure Board Game

    Posted on July 23rd, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

    The Undercity: Iron Kingdoms Adventure Board Game $94.99   Evil lurks beneath the city of Corvis. Burdened by the growing tide of corruption, the desperate and undermanned City Watch turns to a mercenary company for help investigating a rash of smuggling activity and strange disappearances. But beneath the soot-filled streets of the metropolis a sinister […]

    Privateer Press: The Undercity Miniature Boardgame – Terrain Tiles and Miniatures Previewed

    Posted on July 22nd, 2015 under , , , , , . Posted by

    Privateer Press: Evil lurks beneath the city of Corvis. Burdened by the growing tide of corruption, the desperate and undermanned City Watch turns to a mercenary company for help investigating a rash of smuggling activity and strange disappearances. But beneath the soot-filled streets of the metropolis a sinister plot unfolds, greater and more dangerous than anyone has dared imagine.
    Join the Black River Irregulars and delve into the treacherous Undercity in this fully-cooperative adventure board game for 2-4 players. As you brave the decaying labyrinth of tunnels and caverns sprawled beneath Corvis, you’ll need to work as a team and utilize your hero’s unique strengths to battle the Undercity’s deadly denizens and expose the dark conspiracy festering in the city’s underbelly. If you’re tough and smart, you’ll gain valuable experience and equipment you need to destroy the evil threatening Corvis. Fail, and death will be the least of your concerns. Coming in August.

    This wargame news feed is kindly supplied by Wargame News and Terrain.

    Wargame News and Terrain is a growing wargame news blog featuring new miniature releases, wargame promotions, miniature reviews and terrain tutorials. To check out all of our news posts filled with amazing new miniatures and much more. Check us out over at http://wargameterrain.blogspot.com

    Iron Kingdoms RPG – ‘Bosh’ Skullsplitter Character Model

    Posted on July 20th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

    Peoples levels of immersion differ with RPG’s but what’s quite common across all of them is having a model that represents your character or in some cases a piece of artwork that does the same. For those of you with an interest in RPG’s the background …

    Iron Kingdoms Roleplay – Session Ten

    Posted on July 16th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

    For those of you who haven’t been keeping up you can find earlier sessions and background material in here. The stats of the player characters can be found here should you be interested and the rest of the ‘Brotherhood of the Rail’ mercenary companies NPC’s backgrounds can be found here.

    This weeks attendees would be Martin’s Warrior Priestess Danika Jansen, the Mechanik Bragg Halvard (Harry’s character), Bradick Davalos (Andrew’s character), My Ogrun ‘Bosh’ Skullsplitter with Captain Sebastian LaCroix (Toms character) temporarily moved to NPC status as he’ll be GMing for the next few sessions. Steve was unable to attend due to work commitments so Lieutenant Rafaldo Scorgiani (Steve’s character) will be conveniently absent…


    Note – Tom was GMing and obviously had notes and intro bits written down so I’ve just pasted them into this article directly so they’ll be in a ‘reading to the group‘ style. This’ll save me a lot of time writing out again things he’d already got written and hopefully wont effect your reading enjoyment too much bouncing between the two styles of writing.

    Mission Nine – ‘Traitors…’
    After the encounter with the Skorne the Brotherhood have much to do…

    Introduction.
    The atmosphere in the fort is tense after the skirmish with the Skorne forces. Sebastian calls a meeting to plan to bolster the defences and organise resupply. 

    Rafaldo is chosen to make the trip back to Rail Company HQ in Corvis to explain events and request additional support.  Bragg and the other engineers are tasked with repairing the damaged door and shoring up the rest of the fort. Dankia and Bosh are given control over the current “ground” forces putting them through drills and ensuring they are ready for any further attack. Meanwhile Sebastian leads the ranged forces in targeting drills and orders range markers be placed on the approach to the fort. Bradick moves to the newly finished armoury to begin preparing alchemical defences for use in a siege, having impressed Sebastian with his use of his alchemical knowledge. 

    A number of days into preparation Sebastian calls the officers (including the newly promoted Bradick) to a council that has been arranged with the local Steelhead’s Division. 

    The officers gather in the Innowt Inn to meet the Steelhead delegation. 

    Editors Note – It’s possible that Sebastian actually has an office…but I doubt he knows where it is…all meetings are therefore in the ‘Inn’ as that’s where the booze is…

    Act One – ‘A Somewhat Shaky Alliance…’

    The leader of this particular Chapterhouse of the Steelhead Mercenary Company was the infamous Stannis Brocker so some measure of diplomacy was needed in the debate not to mention the fact that the men under his command numbered some four hundred mercenaries including a significant number of cavalry as well as highly trained Halberdiers and Riflemen. Though if truth be told many of these men were on long range patrols and committed elsewhere so significantly fewer were currently available for military action. Stannis offered to make a selection of his troops available as a rapid response force for the bargain price of three hundred gold crowns…a week…

    Though the reputation of Stannis was respected by most of the Brotherhood his chief Lieutenants condescending attitude had already managed to irritate Bosh considerably and his occasional uninvited political opinions had also failed to endear him with either Danika or Sebastian. After asking for a moment alone to discuss the offer it was decided that with funds in short supply and the Steelheads being unwilling to accept the usual promissory notes used by the Transcontinental Rail Company they would use some of the dubious ‘gold’ they had access to via the ‘Old Thorn’ and just plead ignorance should the subterfuge be noticed later. Without access to ready cash and unwilling to use their own personal resources it was the only solution…though obviously was a dangerous strategy indeed…

    Editors Note – After blowing our funds on fancy weapons recently ‘Bosh’ and ‘Sebastian’ only had ten gold crowns between them so the others would have had to use their own money and try to recoup the funds from their employer later. They decided they didn’t want to…sometimes greed get’s you into trouble…If your confused by the ‘gold’ reference then you need to read this mission here.

    After coming to an agreement with the Steelheads the mood in the fort eases a little. Reports come in from all over Immoren of escalating war. The clash in the Thornwood is the most bloody as conflict still rages over the border. However reports of a growing tide of the less civilised nations of Immoren to the north add even more fear to the wait.

    Preparations were discussed in order to give the fort the best chance of surviving a more sustained assault. Amongst the measures decided upon were the stationing of a Trollkin with each artillery piece in order to enable them to be moved rapidly should they face attack from multiple directions and the teams were further divided in order to enable both Chain Guns, all three Deck Guns and their two newly salvaged Light Cannons to be utilised simultaneously. Bradick went to the fortresses workshop to make some bombs as he could manufacture such improvised items quickly whereas grenades would require housings built and then set himself to work on some interesting poisons for the coating of weapons.

    Extra defences such as spike filled pits and the like were also started but it was debatable whether they would be completed in time if an attack happened within the next few days though the Trebuchet that Bragg was working on would more than likely be operational…if somewhat short of significant ammunition…

    Three weeks after the initial skirmish with the Skorne Empire the newly trained Troll scouts return from a routine mission with dire news. A vast host of strange creatures are advancing out of the Blood Marches. Their banners indicate them to be Skorne but many of the creatures under their employ are alien to the terrified Trolls.

    After a steadying drink of Troll ale and some surprisingly reassuring words from Bosh the scouts managed to give a somewhat better description of the opposing forces though surprisingly the smallest was actually holding up the best and gave the most useful descriptions. Though ‘something as big as a Dire Troll but with armour and some had guns’ and ‘like a big Bison but scarier’ weren’t exactly precise they at least gave some indicator of scale. The approximate numbers were also (if accurate) representative of a force that they couldn’t possibly defeat or even slow down for more than a few days.

    The relatively reliable Troll (well Pygmy Troll to be exact) also stated that most seemed to be heading North toward the place they knew as the Castle of Keys and that a much more human force seems to be making camp on the edge of the wastes. Sebastian’s favoured Gobber messenger ‘Geoff’ was sent to relay this knowledge to their ‘allies’ the Steelhead Company. These preparations were interrupted however by the arrival of an unexpected guest…

    Act Two – ‘The Traitor’
    A warning is called by the scouts on the walls, a lone figure approaches. He is heavily armoured and carries a large two handed sword and his appearance is ragged. Under one arm he carries a box.

    Hail Brotherhood. I come to parley. I would much rather do so in the comfort of your fine fort, I am sorely parched and some fresh water would be a gift from Morrow himself.

    The human members of the Brotherhood were well aware of the identity of the approaching man though even the others had heard of him by reputation alone. Bradick vocally expressed his opinion that he should not be allowed into the fortress but was overruled by his Captain. Bosh and Sebastian went out to meet him and allowed him access on the condition that he powered down his armour and left his weapons with the guards at the entrance. Surprisingly the man seemed to have no more difficulty moving in the armour even without power flowing through it. The visitor was escorted to the Inn that serves as office and meeting room for the Brotherhood more often than not.

    A fine fortress you have here, built on the old Cygnaran design, sturdy a good choice.” He seems distracted as is lost in thought, “And fine water I thank you for it

    He looks around intently at the gathered officers, “Many of you know who I am and I shall keep it a secret no longer, I am Asheth Magnus, commander of the armies of Vinter Raelthorne, true king of Cygnar and emperor of the Skorne. I have been tasked with acquiring the services of your company as well as the stronghold in which we now stand.” He sips “It seems our allies underestimated your strength, something which I will not do.

    He reaches down beside him and pulls up the box he was carrying, Curiously it appears to be wax sealed, he slides it over the table.

    With no-one being in any particular hurry to open the container Bosh reaches over and breaks the seal reasoning that anything that would harm them would also harm their guest so he was unlikely to have bought a bomb or the like with him as well as pre-empting the inevitable “Bosh open that box” order. Somewhat surprisingly inside the box is the decomposing head of the human ‘diplomat’ sent to negotiate with the Brotherhood before the Skorne attack.

    Magnus smiles to himself, “As you can see, Both King Vinter and myself take failure seriously especially from those of our number a little too dedicated to the Skorne. We present this as an apology. We ask you to consider our offer” He pulls a folded piece of paper from his jacket. There will be no negotiation on this, our offer is final and given only once. We value your strength and believe it could be an asset when we move on Western Immoren. Think on it. I will be awaiting your reply

    At this point he slid a pair of alchemists flares over to Bradick each a different colour with a label on each one….green for yes…red for no…

    The offer was equivalent pay for all members of the Brotherhood, plus a raise of ten gold a week said raise to be paid as a retainer until they were required though how they would be paid this on a weekly basis was not mentioned. They would remain autonomous until a time of calling where the company will be tasked with infiltrating Western Immoren and beginning a guerilla campaign to take and hold a chosen city dependent on Magnus and Vinter’s requirements at the time. Also at this time there will be a hundred crowns bonus per man should the city be taken. Ranking positions in Vinters administration will be offered to those in Brotherhood command positions.

    The importance of this decision could not be underestimated. Refusal would result in a battle against Magnus’s forces that they had little hope of prevailing against especially with those forces being led by a Warcaster of his power and skill though agreement also had significant consequences too.


    Editors Note – The in character discussion that followed lasted about forty minutes of real time though some of this was out of character explanations to me about background material of which I was unaware having an appalling lack of Warmahordes knowledge compared to the rest of our group. It would be impossible for me to relay every back and forth of the debate so I’ll just list the core arguments of each persons character below. It’s also worth mentioning that we’re arguing from the points of view of what our characters know (Or think they know) rather than what might necessarily actually be fact from the point of view of the current canon. I really wish I’d have recorded the conversation now as it included some sterling bits of role-play…

    Sebastian and Danika being both former inhabitants of Llael were of the opinion that such a disaster would not have happened under the previous administration and that should their homeland ever to be freed from Khadoran oppression then a strong Cygnar was most likely to accomplish it. Danika also put forward the opinion that Vintner had been accepting of all religions so her own church would not necessarily be effected by his return to power and a promised ranking position in his administration could help her consolidate some of that power in the right place. Though not specifically stated out loud it was obvious that Sebastian wouldn’t turn down a position of power should it be offered as long as the position didn’t involve any actual work.

    Bosh and Bragg had few opinions on what human should rule what kingdom as few showed any real regard for their none human subjects though Bragg having witnessed the savagery of the Skorne expressed a modicum of concern about how that brutality might be inflicted upon a civilian populace. Bosh on the other hand had no sympathy for those unable to defend themselves and had been tasked with defending the train, this fortress and the brotherhood to varying degrees and a pact with Magnus and his master would accomplish all these things. His only real issue was that his Ogrun code of honour would prevent him from acting against certain targets due to promises made and the terms of their Mercenary Charter. Of course without knowing their potential targets that is an issue that could be dealt with at the time.

    Bradick was the only one who had significant objections to the arrangement and argued that any one allied with Skorne was dubious, the rightful ruler was the rightful ruler and shouldn’t be deposed on a whim and that Magnus had shown himself to be untrustworthy on multiple occasions. There was also the risk to innocent lives should they be tasked with targeting a heavily populated area and a myriad of other issues ranging from variations of those already listed to other relatively trivial ones. He also claimed that he had had many political discussions with Rafaldo and firmly believed that should he be here he would also vote no,

    As the arguments began to become somewhat circular it was decided that a secret ballot would be conducted…rather unsurprisingly the result was four to two even with Rafaldo’s vote proxied as a ‘No’…the decision was made…

    Editors Note – If there’s ever an RPG equivalent of the Oscars then the ‘commitment to character’ award would be going to Andrew…you’ll see what I mean shortly…

    Sebastian slid the green flare over to the alchemist Bradick and asked him to launch it indicating their response to Magnus’s offer and he seemingly left to follow the given order. After some thought the Captain also sent Bosh to ensure that the task was indeed carried out…perhaps he should have done so immediately rather than delayed…

    Quickly examining what equipment he had in his portable alchemy kit Bradick tried to find anything that could be used to alter the colour of the chemical in the flare from green to red but the closest he could discover was the vaguely orange hue of the chemicals used to create his rust grenades and he set to work. Mixing chemicals on the move with improvised ingredients was a near impossible task but somehow he managed to come up with a workable mixture and altered the flares contents from a green to a somewhat orangey red and launched the doctored flare into the sky. The sense of satisfaction of a task well done was somewhat ruined by the sudden emergence of three foot of Warcleaver from the centre of his chest…

    Editors Note – PC’s killing each other is generally considered a no-no in RPG circles but this was a special case…it was also an exemplary bit of role-playing by every-one involved…

    We had an out of character discussion before this pivotal moment where I pointed out that traitors were generally executed and that from a character point of view ‘Bosh’ would realistically kill ‘Bradick’ on the spot as soon as the flare was launched. Andrew agreed that this was an entirely reasonable viewpoint but was 100% committed to his characters actions. With this decided we continued with the traitor (or hero…depending on your pint of view)’s dramatic demise…

    Act Three – ‘Whose Side Are We On Again?’

    As Bradicks body slid from the blade of the cleaver Bosh quickly realised that they were only minutes away from a disaster from which they were unlikely to survive and quick action was required. Taking inspiration from Magnus himself he came up with a plan…

    The sudden commotion from outside in the courtyard bought every-one to their feet though there passage outside was blocked by the emerging form of the Ogrun Bosh carrying the severed head of what appeared to be their alchemist Bradick Davalos. Every-one then immediately leapt to exactly the correct conclusion about what had occurred outside. “I’m going to need that box” he said pointing at the container that was currently the home of the decapitated head of the Skorne’s human ambassador…

    Moving as fast as he could Bosh ran from the fortress in an attempt to catch up with Magnus before he reached his army and reported that the offer had been refused. If Magnus was surprised by the sight of an Ogrun carrying the box he’d previously delivered to the fortress he showed no sign of it.

    Yes?

    Bosh explained as briefly and succinctly as possible that their collective opinion had been subverted by a traitor in their midst and that the situation had been resolved permanently. He then offered the traitors head to Magnus in the hope that he would take this as a sign of their good faith as if he didn’t Bosh was about to have an extremely short and one-sided battle against an army of Skorne that were currently waiting their commanders order to attack.

    Fortunately the gesture was suitably well received and the Brotherhoods confirmation of the terms was accepted albeit in not quite the method originally intended. Unfortunately as one disaster was averted another was about to take it’s place…

    A large contingent of the Steelhead Merceneries had apparently come to certain conclusions of their own and had decided that the Brotherhood were now their enemies and had launched a pre-emptive attack on the recently repaired fortress. Bosh barely made it back from his impromptu meeting before artillery fire began to pound their current homes western wall. It seemed that the Steelheads were far better equipped for siege warfare than the earlier Skorne force had been.

    Brotherhood artillery weapons were quickly relocated and engaged the charging enemy with rapid fire bullets, cannon rounds and shells supported by massed rifle fire felling many before an enemy shell tore a chunk out of the wall forcing some of them to relocate and incapacitating several others as the battlements crumbled beneath them. Artillery fire was again exchanged between the two forces as well as other ranged weapons as they grew closer with a second and third shell widening the breach in the wall even further with this causing several more of the walls defenders to be incapacitated and perhaps even killed as there was no time at the moment to check through the rubble for survivors.

    Bosh and his fellow Ogrun Men at Arms formed up ready to defend the breach from assault while Danika yet again managed to get her favourite beast of burden ‘Gerty’ to accept her as a rider and awaited the moment to charge. The recently trained Trollkin ranked up ready to support the others in any manner they could. Bragg commanded his ‘jack to pick up it’s trusty improvised spear and joined them also. Danika then yet again used her priestly magics to enhance the hardiness of the defenders and those who had experienced the effect from their experience with the Skorne were once again grateful. With their own troops to close to the fortress to risk catching with ‘friendly fire’ the enemies long range artillery ceased fire so Sebastian and the other close range weapon users moved onto what was left of the wall to give covering fire. Deciding to prevent their foes from entering through the now gaping hole in the outer wall Bosh, his fellow Men at Arms and Danika charged through.

    ‘Gerty’ soon gathered considerable momentum but as such mounts were never intended for human riders Danika could only hang on and hope for the best as the now unstoppable creature crashed into a wall of Stellhead Halberdiers killing over a dozen though unfortunately the impact was so great that Gerty was now fatally skewered on a myriad of blades. Danika barely managed to leap aside but was now alone in the midst of the remaining force…

    The enemy cavalry had lost a considerable of their number to uncannily accurate artillery fire and a few more to the various pit-traps and other precautions around the fort, It seemed that the decision to make the Brotherhoods artillery mobile was a fortuitous one as it now allowed the survivors of the attack on the wall to relocate and renew their onslaught against the attackers.

    Seeing the danger that their priestess now found herself in the Ogrun redirected their charge to allow her time to leap behind them to relative safety and rather than attack herself Danika instead cast another blessing that rather than assisting all the defenders generally enhanced Bosh’s skills specifically. With this additional boost Bosh seemingly couldn’t miss and each uncannily accurate blow cleaved an opponent into pieces, His fellow Ogrun were also reaping a terrible toll in enemy lives.

    Editors Note – The rather useful spell is called Solovins Boon and allows you to roll an additional die to hit and to damage before picking one to remove thus making the chance of a terrible dice total a lot less likely…of course it does still happen sometimes…

    Seeing that the attack was now faltering Bragg moved his ‘jack through the breach before the gap was plugged by a wall of Brotherhood troops and Trollkin support both covered ably by gunfire from the battlements directed by Captain LaCroix. The newly configured machine (Whom Bragg had taken to calling ‘Ruby’ for some reason) carved through cavalry with it’s spear while un-horsing other riders with his free hand with Bragg occasionally emerging from the cover it provided to kill any targets of opportunity. With Danika’s considerable abilities making the Brotherhood forces far more difficult to hurt than their level of armour would indicate, the unexpected appearance of a warjack and with the attack spearheaded by a wall of blood-stained Ogrun shock troops who seemingly killed with every strike the opposing infantry began to falter. The Brotherhood’s leadership had gained considerable experience in utilising their respective abilities to create something greater than the some of it’s parts and had passed these skills onto their rank and file admirably. Realising that this would be where the battle would be decided the leader of the attack gathered together his remaining cavalry and charged into their midst.

    Stannis’s obnoxious Lieutenant hurled his cavalry into the Ogrun and it was debatable whether it was the Ogrun themselves or the mounted officer who was most shocked that only one of the defenders fell to a vicious blow to the head. Bosh and the enemy leader met head on while all around them the fight had turned into a myriad of small combats though surprisingly it was the Brotherhood rather than the Steelheads who had maintained the best discipline. Seemingly a multitude of recent victories had poorly prepared the Steelheads for the possibility of defeat…

    Despite Sebastian’s casual attitude in many areas there was no doubt about his ability to command and inspire troops as he quickly restored order to the few pockets of chaos in his own lines and organised fire teams to pick off the now rapidly decreasing numbers of enemy infantry. The fact that he had yet to miss with a single shot of his own was motivating his pistoleers to greater and greater feats of their own.

    With Danika now in the centre of the engagement her aura of protection covered nearly the entire of the defenders and the faint glow of the runes of magic glittering across many of the the troops around was helping moral considerably.

    Bosh shrugged off the third and fourth strikes from the Lieutenants bodyguard with retaliatory strikes turning each one to ragged corpses and with his immediate guard dealt with could finally give the commander his full attention and promptly reduced his horse to two halves though a no doubt adrenaline boosted burst of speed prevented the rider from suffering the same fate from a second blow. However the third of his attacks was too much for even the veteran tearing through his armour and leaving him nearly dead. A second wave of his men attempted to drag him to safety…and paid for the attempt with their lives. At least their deaths spared them from witnessing the final brutal dismemberment of their leader at the hands of a disturbingly cheerful looking Ogrun,,.

    Leaderless, demoralised and having suffered one of their worst defeats in recent years the remaining Steelheads attempted to escape with the Brotherhood in pursuit. The enemies artillery opened up again but unexpectedly the shells landed amongst their own retreating forces…it seemed their were consequences amongst the opposing mercenary company for what was subsequently discovered to be an unauthorised action…It seems the Brotherhood of the Rail was victorious once more…

    Editors Note – I’m sorry if any of you are fans of the Steelhead Mercenary Company but they really, really picked the wrong people to mess with on this particular occasion, lol.

    Aftermath.
    As was surmised the attack had not been authorised by Stannis which was fortunate as had he been involved himself then the attack may have met with more success. It also looks like the fortress would need repairing…again…

    Unfortunately some of the Brotherhoods casualties had passed on before medical attention could be given. Those with minor injuries had been given medical care by those with basic training though the more serious wounds had been treated by their resident medic Rosaleen. Several of the mercenaries thought beyond help had in fact been saved by the skilled surgeon including the fallen Ogrun Kuluk who now owed the good doctor his life twice over…

    It was also with some considerable sadness that it was discovered that Sebastian’s faithful Gobber assistant Geoff had been executed by this (apparently) rogue Steelheads element before their attack. Bradicks death on the other hand passed completely un-mourned though his equipment was saved should a less traitorous successor be discovered for him and the decapitated corpse of the traitor had been impaled on a spear alongside the entrance of the fortress in order to emphasise the fate of those who turned against the Brotherhood…It was also noted with some amusement that it was the shortest lasting promotion that any of the officers could recall…

    Well at least nothing else could go wrong…

    Back to Reality

    Editors Note – As with last time this session overview comes courtesy of our GM for the session rather than me.

    So this session was an odd one. I messaged the guys a few days before we began telling them to prepare for something out of the ordinary.

    My original idea had been for a big climactic battle but once I’d done the skirmish with Skorne I realized any large scale combat would need miniatures and a map. At this point we may as well just play Warmachine. It also meant they guys had nothing to do in character other than constantly roll dice. After some problem solving and a lot of research I came up with the Magnus ultimatum. 

    I really enjoyed running the session, even if it was a little more driven by my narration. The guys stuck to their character amazingly and while GMort has cut down the in character decision it was about forty minutes of pretty thought out debate and discussion of history and feelings.

    The Steelhead engagement was thrown a little awry by Bradick but it was the ultimate in character act to end the discussion. It lead to combat being a bit messy and the last part of the session felt like a come down but it was still enjoyable.

    As for experience anything less than three was an insult (one for showing up, one for team work and one for role-playing), Bradick (or whom ever he now is) got a little less due to the extreme lack of teamwork, but I’m sure we’ll throw a perk at his new guy.

    I really like the Iron Kingdoms as a setting and look forward to my next GM stint. 

    Privateer Press: New Warmachine and Hordes Miniatures Previewed

    Posted on July 11th, 2015 under , , , , , . Posted by

    Privateer Press has previewed these new Hordes and Warmachine miniatures.This wargame news feed is kindly supplied by Wargame News and Terrain.

    Wargame News and Terrain is a growing wargame news blog featuring new miniature releases, wargame promotio…

    Iron Kingdoms Roleplay – Session Nine (Part Two)

    Posted on July 7th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

    For those of you who haven’t been keeping up you can find earlier sessions and background material in here. The stats of the player characters can be found here should you be interested and the rest of the ‘Brotherhood of the Rail’ mercenary companies NPC’s backgrounds can be found here.

    Those looking for Part One of this adventure specifically can find it here.

    This weeks attendees would be Lieutenant Rafaldo Scorgiani (Steve’s character), Martin’s Warrior Priestess Danika Jansen, the Mechanik Bragg Halvard (Harry’s character), Bradick Davalos (Andrew’s character), My Ogrun ‘Bosh’ Skullsplitter with Captain Sebastian LaCroix (Toms character) temporarily moved to NPC status as he’ll be GMing for the next few sessions…


    Note – Tom was GMing and obviously had notes and intro bits written down so I’ve just pasted them into this article directly so they’ll be in a ‘reading to the group‘ style. This’ll save me a lot of time writing out again things he’d already got written and hopefully wont effect your reading enjoyment too much bouncing between the two styles of writing.

    Mission Eight – ‘Foothold…’ (Part Two)

    Introduction.
    The officers of the Brotherhood have left Corvis behind with the resources required to enable their employers in the Transcontinental Rail Company to build their fortress in the Bloodstone Marches. After stopping a Trollkin revolt and foiling an attempt to start a Thamarite cult locally they are confident that the area is secure…perhaps overconfident in fact…

    News has recently reached Ternon Crag of an aggressive move by Cryxian forces into territory held by Cygnar and a large number of the barracks in the area containing those loyal to Cygnar have marched to assist in what may turn into a sizeable conflict. This has thrown the area into panic and some local troublemakers are bound to try to take advantage in some way. The are also now far fewer patrols of the outskirts which could possibly leave the fortress open to unexpected avenues of attack.

    In light of the potentially increased threat level the training of the Trollkin recruits for military roles has been prioritised along with the more directly military aspects of the fort such as firing points and access routes to key defensive locations.

    A unit of ten Trollkin had been equipped with armour and heavy weapons and trained in their use by Bosh and his fellow Men at Arms, another five with the most expertise in wilderness survival had been equipped as Scouts and Pathfinders, six were trained with assisting artillery teams with loading and moving of field weapon pieces (though they were also now more than capable of firing the weapons themselves should they need to) and a further ten had been given employment as labourers on a permanent basis.

    A second wave of recruits were also being trained in various areas of expertise but wouldn’t be ready for some time. Many of the brotherhood members were taking advantage of the downtime to upgrade their equipment and weapons through the somewhat elaborately named Pip ‘n Pop’s Trade Emporium & Satisfyingly Hospitable Palace of Bits, Bramble and All Around Useful Things where a surprisingly extensive range of items were available. Preparation was no in place for most issues of a military nature.

    However the first issue to crop up wasn’t to be military in nature at all…

    Act Three – ‘All that Glitters…’

    Rumours of a gold mine in the hills has created a great deal of attention locally over the last few days and has caused much tension with many prospectors and landowners all claiming ownership of the land upon which it stands. Getting bored of constant requests for assistance Sebastian decides to send his greediest most trusted officers to go and sort out the problem. Rafaldo was given more specific orders to claim the mine in the name of the Transcontinental Rail Company by any means he deemed necessary…

    As they got closer to the location of the gold mine they passed many prospectors on their way to try and claim the treasure for themselves and a surprising number appeared to have official looking documentation giving them rights to the land on which it stood. As they arrived it was obvious that an individual with some authority had claimed it first as a line of mercenary guards were blocking the entrance and several elaborate tents had been set up nearby. Outside one of them an elderly yet strangely distinguished looking man was sitting in a comfortable chair surveying the scene with a somewhat self satisfied look on his face…Rafaldo went to talk to him while the rest assisted with crowd control.

    The gentlemen turned out to the infamous ‘Old Thorn’ and claimed that the mine was his as it was on his land though he was open to offers if they wished to purchase it from him. He also claimed that the previous owner had emerged with a gigantic nugget of gold, sold the mine to him as he was ill equipped to mine it further and had left with his small but not inconsiderable fortune in gold soon after.

    Rafaldo as an experienced negotiator was somewhat dubious of this extremely convenient story and asked permission to investigate the mine and ascertain if this was really the treasure trove that he was being told of. Bradick stated that he could easily test to see if there was indeed gold in the mine with some simple alchemical procedures and together they entered the mine. Many of the prospectors were growing more agitated and aggressive by this point but Bosh, Danika and Bragg made an imposing enough barrier so that they soon quietened down…

    Bradick found several veins of ‘gold’ close to the surface and they were suspiciously pure looking but after some testing with various equipment from his travelling alchemical kit they turned out to be a substance similar in appearance to gold often used by tricksters to fool the unwary. The substance had the advantage of being easy to smelt so could often be turned into coins and ingots close enough to blend in with quantities of the genuine article. As long as the coins weren’t alchemically tested the ruse would fool most people. The mine itself was therefore worthless to any-one not willing to engage in an elaborate and long term con trick. Rafaldo and Bradick left to report their findings to the ‘Old Thorn’.

    After a rambling yet very convincing speech about how genuine the gold was, how they must be mistaken, a repeat of the ‘man with the nugget’ story Rafaldo began to notice holes and inconsistencies in the various stories and he soon managed to unravel it completely as it becam obvious that the ‘Old Thorn’ himself had filled the mine with spurious gold and spread the tales of it’s discovery. The ‘Old Thorn’ then changed tack completely and offered to cut the Brotherhood and by extension the Transcontinental Rail Company into the con in return for a share of the risks. After a long debate an agreement was made about the percentage split, their relative responsibilities with an additional assurance that the spurious coinage would not make it’s way into the payment for any goods purchased from their respective parent companies. Having gained possession of the ‘Gold Mine’ for all practical purposes Rafaldo considered his task complete and summoned the rest of the group to return to the fortress.

    Interlude

    Another few weeks passed uneventfully and the fortress was now complete for all practical purposes. The ‘Old Thorn’ was keeping his side of the agreement and profits from the mine were making there way into the companies coffers, word had spread throughout all the local villages and businesses of the terrible consequences of involving themselves with Thamarite cults and relationships with the Trollkin of Krieltown were at an all time high due to the mutually beneficial relationship established several months previously. The new troops stationed at the fortress were now fully trained and ready for action. Sebastian announced that the completion (or near enough) of this mammoth undertaking should warrant a celebration of some kind and a party was arranged. Much Troll ale was imported for the occasion though several people who had experienced it before stuck to more traditional beverages.

    Many hangover cures would no doubt be required the following day however the wake up call they were about to receive was an extremely unpleasant one…

    Act Four – ‘Skorne’

    The newly trained scout force had arrived back at the fortress with worrying news. A force of warriors was advancing on their location and this small army matched the description of a warlike race known as the Skorne though seemingly had allies that appeared to be human in appearance. Many of the Brotherhood had heard of these enemies but none had actually encountered them but knew they had a reputation as an extremely violent and uncompromising opponent that few people had faced and survived. It was also rumoured that they were allied with the fallen former general Magnus and this would explain the reports of their human allies. Word was sent to the Steelhead chapter-house but their barracks was almost exhausted of troops due to the current situation in Cygnar…

    The opposing force stopped some distance from the new stronghold. Even at such distances it was obvious that these new enemies had considerable resources at their disposal. Giant one eyed creatures seemingly held only in check by smaller beings with whips and restraints behind them bellowed and paced apparently anxious for battle, human artillery teams were on each flank ready to advance to suitable firing positions and rows of strangely armoured warriors stood behind then in ordered ranks.

    A smaller contingent of these warriors advanced and Sebastian decided to venture out with a guard of his own to attempt to negotiate with them under a flag of truce. The arrogance of their negotiator was startling and he seemed to presume that they were there to surrender and demanded that the gates be opened and he be allowed to station a force there. As someone with bitter memories of invading forces attempting to take what was rightfully his Sebastian was understandably less than diplomatic with his counter proposal. Seeing that a none violent solution was out of the question he offered to settle the dispute by putting up a champion of his own against any representative of their’s they thought worthy. This second attempt at resolution was equally fruitless as the Skorne ‘negotiator’ seemed adamant that none of his own warriors would lower themselves to consider them equal to any warrior from the fortress. At this point Captain LaCroix’s patience level was reached and the parley promptly broke down. With full warfare now unavoidable the respective parties returned to their own lines and prepared themselves for battle.

    The artillery teams Trollkin assistants moved the deck and chain gun artillery pieces into position and prepared the ammunition suppliers while the gunners quickly ran through the other necessary checks. Riflemen moved to firing points on the walls, Pistoleers and other dedicated close combat specialist made ready to protect these ranged troops should any Skorne make it over the walls while the Trollkin Men at Arms accompanied by Bosh prepared for any potential breach of the gates though his own Ogrun Men at Arms were on the walls with their Battle Cannons adding to the fire from the artillery crews. Danika had managed to coerce one of the Bison to accept her as a rider again though it was still doubtful whether she could get it to charge into combat, Rafaldo and Bradick had positioned themselves on the walls above the gate ready to bombard the enemy with magic and grenades respectively while Sebastian had joined the close range troops on the walls ready to repel any breachers of the walls. Bragg had readied his jack which had been completely rebuilt using parts from a salvaged Charger light warjack and was now far more a machine of war than previously and had based himself between the main entrance to the fortress and the closest access to the fortress walls ready to defend either where necessary.

    The Cyclops charged forward accompanied by what appeared to be their handlers and quickly outdistanced the rest of their fellow Skorne while the human artillery teams prepared their weapons with the other Skorne troops following behind the monstrous Warbeasts in the lead.

    In a moral denting piece of lucky shooting one of the enemy artillery teams put a hole straight through the forts main door but Bragg swiftly moved forward to improvise a repair. The Brotherhoods own artillery teams returned fire and killed one of the advancing Cyclops while the riflemen targeted the opposing artillery crews and killed several spoiling there attempts to further damage the main door. Several explosive shells from the Ogrun Battle cannons landed amongst the advancing horde wounding one of the Cyclops and reducing several other Skorne to shattered corpses. Suddenly as if from nowhere a strange black smoke began to appear in front of the advancing Skorne hampering the Brotherhoods attempts to hit them with their ranged attacks. Many of the Skorne had now nearly reached the walls and more worryingly the charging Cyclops were now very close to the main gate…

    Bradick launched several grenades in the approximate direction of the worryingly close Skorne as they emerged from the strange cloud of smoke and tore the closely packed enemies at the points of impact to pieces with the resulting shrapnel wounding more, Bragg made further attempts to reinforce the main gate to their stronghold with debatable levels of success while Rafaldo attempted to use his powers of influence to take control of one of the beats handlers hopefully slowing them down.

    Unfortunately the Skorne’s willpower was too strong and the control attempt failed however Rafaldo’s second more directly offensive spell had greater success killing the whip wielding beast handler dead. Other fire-power from the walls caused more damage to the advancing army but it was insufficient to stop them reaching the fortresses perimeter walls. Bradick dropped a pair of incendiary grenades into the troops below the walls and set several on fire though the actual damage was minimal it at least disrupted their attempts to scale the walls.

    With them now in range of his guns Sebastian opened fire into the crowd indiscriminately as there were seemingly no targets of strategic significance. Those Skorne troops not attempting to put themselves out had hurled grappling hooks over the ramparts and were climbing upwards and being too close to hit them with artillery fire the crews drew melee weapons and readies themselves for the assault. Some ropes were cut in time and their owners plummeted to their deaths taking some of their comrades with them. Unfortunately not enough were stopped and now the enemy was on the walls and the gates were near collapse due to the relentless assault of the remaining Cyclopean attackers.

    Editors Note – Trying to describe things based on the characters knowledge rather than your own is sometimes tricky. Every-one role-played this really well with only one ‘used the name of the thing that your character wouldn’t actually know’ incident which considering how much Warmahordes knowledge was sitting around the table at the time was still pretty impressive.

    Eager to test their newly acquired skills and weapons the Trollkin advanced upon the enemies upon the walls closely followed by Bragg and his newly upgraded ‘jack and butchered many of their Skorne enemies. Those on the walls not occupied with repelling the invaders continued to pour ranged weapon fire into those opponents still on the ground and finished off the artillery batteries weapon crews amongst some others.

    Bradick broke free of the chaos of combat in order to drop one of his alchemical creations on the Warbeasts below before they could enter the fortress. This particular creation had the effect of weakening enemy armour and would hopefully give the defenders an edge against them. Danika used her priestly powers of magic to bolster the armour of all those close to her and though the sudden appearance of the runes of protection startled many of the defenders Bosh briefly explained to the recipients that this could well be the difference between them surviving the onslaught or not having experienced the benefits on several occasions himself.

    Sebastian killed the last of the first wave of Skorne but a second had managed to gain access to the battlements at a number of other points and the beasts had finally smashed through Braggs earlier improvised repair and were now in the fortresses courtyard…On the walls the situation was at a tipping point. Braggs warjack seemed to be having trouble manoeuvring on the battlements and was unable to repeat the early successes and only killed a single enemy…a feat that Bragg duplicated. Several more invaders fell in combat but who was gaining the upper hand seemed difficult to determine.

    Seeking to disrupt the enemy Rafaldo attempted to use his powers of sorcery to overtake the mind of the enemy commander but his powers were similar enough in scope to Rafaldo’s for them to effectively neutralise each other (Rafaldo also suspected that he was being somehow assisted though) though this did prevent the opposing mage from utilising his powers to aid his fellow Skorne. Danika somehow managed to convince the Bison to charge into the fray and wounded the closest cyclops and Bosh killed a second and severely wounded a third. The other troops seemed reluctant to engage in a similar charge into the enemy but still caused some damage and prevented Bosh and Danika from being flanked…

    The second wave of interlopers was similarly repelled from taking the walls but by now the defenders were near exhaustion and many had severe and potentially fatal wounds. Sebastian was quick to restore moral and as many of the troops had seen him kill so many of the Skorne attackers they trusted his reassurances that they could prevail. This version of events was further reinforced by the sight of the Skornes human allies abandoning their positions and retreating. The creature wounded by Danika retaliated with a mighty blow that would have no doubt incapacitated or killed her if Bosh hadn’t put himself between them and absorbed the brunt of the attack before receiving a second strike from the monster he had severely wounded a moment ago which he survived only due to the extra protection provided by Danika’s earlier spell. The effect of Bradick’s corrosive grenade was also waning and the remaining Skorne troops had become somewhat more tricky to eliminate. With the walls now clear Bragg ordered his ‘jack back to the courtyard and it promptly impaled the wounded cyclops on a large hooked spear it was using as an improvised weapon. Bosh shrugged off the wounds and made himself ready to return to the combat.

    Editors Note – The ‘Shield Guard’ Ability and ‘Revitalise’ Feats came in particularly useful in these circumstances. This is also a good example of how complimentary abilities across different characters are very useful indeed as Bosh took the hit for Danika but took less damage due to the Aura of Protection that she’d cast and keeping her in a condition to maintain it…in fact there are quite a few good examples of teamwork in this battle now I think about it…

    With the unusual smoke clearing now a strange figure could be seen directing the battle and had moved closer in order to assist his force to gain victory at this pivotal moment. Rafaldo yet again engaged the mage in an arcane duel but was unable to control him but yet again suitably diverted his attention from supporting his own troops. Danika finished off the final mighty Warbeast and this freed Bosh to seek a new opponent. As luck would have it the Skorne commander was still focussing his attentions on Rafaldo and so was ill prepared for a charging Ogrun to emerge from the fortress and he was obliterated by a strike from Bosh’s mechanikally enhanced war-cleaver.

    The direction-less Skorne survivors were shown no mercy and were brutally slaughtered though unfortunately several of the humans who had retreated earlier were now beyond pursuit…It remained to be seen whether this was would be cause for concern…and knowing their luck it probably would be…

    Back to Reality
    Editors Note – This one has been written by our GM as his opinion of how the session went is obviously a bit more relevant than my own in this case.

    This mission was an intriguing one to write for a couple reasons. Firstly I was unaware when I began writing my section of the campaign just how much information PP have released on their world. As an old D&D player in the days of  Faerun, I was really keen to use some of this information as it would make my life easier but I love dipping into a richly written world.

    Secondly Gmort and I have been trying to introduce the less experienced members of the group to a few role-play staples. For this mission i chose to use a random encounter table. This was less for dropping enemies or traps on the group but more so even I had no idea when or if certain event would occur to shape the next session.
    While a rewarding way to play a session it can really tax a GM if you don’t have a good set of notes for each event or a few fall back options (A list of names is helpful as is a handful of generic enemy stats.)

    I put myself through this to attempt to show the passage of time, the session took place over about a month “in game” as the fortress needed building and traditionally that doesn’t happen overnight. The sequence of events played themselves out rather nicely, and it was a great benefit to the group that the Skorne raid came at the end of the session.
    It was also a nice session in that everyone got involved. Rarely does this group end up leaving any players out but naturally some people have more to do than others in most sessions, the nature of the events rolled though meant all the PC’s got a chance to shine

    XP was an interesting one. I decided to go for 3 each in the end (which at this point is a level) largely due to the extreme nature of the Skorne threat but also the groups role-playing was impeccable and even more than usual they really worked as a team.

    I’m now off to finish writing the REAL battle. See you next time…

    CW

    Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

    Iron Kingdoms Roleplay – Session Nine (Part One)

    Posted on July 6th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

    For those of you who haven’t been keeping up you can find earlier sessions and background material in here. The stats of the player characters can be found here should you be interested and the rest of the ‘Brotherhood of the Rail’ mercenary companies NPC’s backgrounds can be found here.

    This weeks attendees would be Lieutenant Rafaldo Scorgiani (Steve’s character), Martin’s Warrior Priestess Danika Jansen, the Mechanik Bragg Halvard (Harry’s character), Bradick Davalos (Andrew’s character), My Ogrun ‘Bosh’ Skullsplitter with Captain Sebastian LaCroix (Toms character) temporarily moved to NPC status as he’ll be GMing for the next few sessions…


    Note – Tom was GMing and obviously had notes and intro bits written down so I’ve just pasted them into this article directly so they’ll be in a ‘reading to the group‘ style. This’ll save me a lot of time writing out again things he’d already got written and hopefully wont effect your reading enjoyment too much bouncing between the two styles of writing.

    Some of the background has been published by Privateer Press before but our GM only kept the approximate location, some place names and a few characters.

    Mission Eight – ‘Foothold…’ (Part One)
    The officers of the Brotherhood have left Corvis behind with the resources required to enable their employers in the Transcontinental Rail Company to build their fortress in the Bloodstone Marches…

    Introduction.
    You spend a few days of well earned leave in Corvis as the final arrangements are made for loading and transporting the supplies to the proposed fort site. The higher ups in the “Brotherhood” take this time to attend to personal business and exploring a little of the city of ghosts.

    On the last day in the city Sebastian rejoins the company. He is seen stepping from a beaten looking carriage along with two of his favoured pistoleers (Lilianna and Nivin), Amelie and Geoff the gobber. Quickly a meeting is called of the officers. 

    A well dressed but dark eyed figure sits in the corner of the meeting room. Monsieurs et madame allow me to introduce Mr William Darling. Mr Darling stands giving a gentle bow “No relation
    Sebastian continues, “Mr Darling informs me that our little fort is not so little any-more, and that we have a great deal of interested parties vying for our favour. Bien you have all done very well. I for my part had hoped to secure the land the for fort but circumstances being what they are, I was delayed a little longer than expected so we are now at the mercy of the “Old Thorn”.

    Sebastian outlines the state of Ternon Crag and why the frontier town has been chosen. The group are provided with a somewhat out of date map of the area and talked through the changes…

    The fortress is being built on a site formally occupied by an old tower now long abandoned. The Transcontinental Rail Company has built a station for it’s new ‘Frontier Line’ over the old docks and ferry. The other smaller docks to the north has been acquired and demolished in order to remove any immediate competition. The ‘Old Thorn’ is apparently a man of significant local influence who owns much of the land in the area and by some unfortunate oversight some of the new fortress has been built upon land still owned by him.

    The mission is deceptively simple, aid the Cygnaran’s to police the Crag and work with the local population to ensure the border and the rail line are kept safe. There are several issues locally that may need addressing sooner rather than later and the Brotherhood are seemingly ideal candidates for the job.

    Act One – ‘Trouble with Trolls’

    Before they have a chance to settle in at all news arrives that the local troll population had been running amok in town protesting a perceived lack of respect for them and their culture as well as anger at apparent intrusions into territory they insist is theirs. These incidents have moved from simple protests into vandalism, destruction and some acts of violence ranging from brawls amongst themselves to threatening of the local populace. With a population of over three hundred to deal with it’s decided that a diplomatic option will be attempted first…

    South Crag
    With the exception of a few notable large landholders, such as “Old Thorn” and the town’s few successful farmers, most of the South Crag is considered less desirable real estate, though newcomers to the Crag have a slightly different perspective than old timers—given the well crafted Town Hall that was recently built in this part of town.  This stretch of land is far more exposed to the elements of the Marches and has less stable ground for permanent construction.  Newcomers, river panners, and other poor wretches reside in the South Crag, often abiding the ramshackle housing that must be repeatedly kept up against the wind and shifting soil.  A few profitable plots of farmland have been carved from the elements here and to the south, protected by retaining walls, providing important local produce for the town, which relies heavily on imports.  Even the best farms in Ternon Crag are considered frugal in Cygnar, and require considerably more labour to yield decent crops.  Most houses are wooden single-story affairs, with the occasional second story denoting some level of affluence.

    The camp is fairly well guarded though is in need of some repair and consists of a circle of well constructed but basic huts with a meeting place in the middle.

    The aforementioned guards were very basically armed and Krieltown has definitely seen better days. After a brief conversation with the guards the group were escorted to the Kriel’s leader whose name was Denrik Ironmouth and who resided in what apparently passed for the towns main meeting hall. Though better decorated than the rest of the camp, Denriks hall was still fairly primitive. The Brotherhoods Trollkin engineer Bragg was getting some distinctly unpleasant looks and the odd derisory comment from the other trolls as they passed. It seemed that the Trollkin population had a less than positive impression of those who left the Kriels and joined ‘civilised’ society.

    As Bosh’s negotiation skills mainly involved inventive threats of violence, Danika’s required that the other person was chained to something or tied to a chair, Bragg was seemingly not looked upon well by other Trolls and Sebastian was absent the discussion was left to Rafaldo who had shown considerable skill in this area in previous encounters.

    Editors Note – ‘Social’ Skills are an interesting aspect of the Iron Kingdoms rule system. You still have skills such as Negotiation, Intimidation, Seduction and the like but the ‘parent’ stat varies based on the context. So Bosh the Ogrun could use his STR (Strength) score plus Intimidation when attempting to ‘persuade’ some-one to ‘lend’ him their carriage, whereas Sebastian might use INT (Intelligence) plus Oratory when trying to inspire a group of ordinary citizens to march on the town hall. In the above situation Rafaldo has the best mix of base stats and appropriate Skills to get the job done…

    Rafaldo listened to Denrik’s grievances and offered the chance of gainful employment at a fair rate of pay in the construction of the fortress as well as implying that there would also be work available for Guards, Scouts and the like later on should they agree to cease their current less than sociable actions. Though Denrik agreed in principle to the plan he pointed out that there were a group of militant former Kriel members who were planning more significant violent actions in the near future and they were unlikely to listen to reason and were outside his influence. They had made a camp for themselves by the graveyard which was situated in the outskirts of the town past North Crag. Danika enquired about transport and was informed that the Kriel had a large herd of Bison that they were willing to loan to any of the Brotherhood brave enough to attempt to ride one…

    North Crag
    This district is the heart of Ternon Crag, serving the commercial needs of the town, mines and expeditions into the Bloodstone Marches.  It also serves as home to most of the town’s permanent residents, including all the shopkeepers and craftsmen.  With few exceptions, anyone with any clout in the town lives in the North Crag, often looking down on those to the south or outskirts as hopeful transients.  Most of the buildings are set close together, with the occasional narrow alleyway running between them.  A few businesses, like The Gold Standard, boast a second story, while others have fenced in the area behind their buildings.

    Though normally riding a Bison was nearly impossible for any-one not a Trollkin, Denrik offered to provide some older, more docile ones that would basically just need pointing in the right direction. This seemed reasonable except that only Danika had any experience whatsoever riding anything let alone a bloody bison. After some basic instruction, application of thick rope and some assistance (and quite a lot of sniggering) from the other Trolls their unusual transport was ready to go. The passage through the North Crag was uneventful as was the initial journey through the outskirts…

    The Outskirts
    The Outskirts of Ternon Crag serves as the gateway to the various mines and claims beyond its reach. It includes fewer permanent residences, but a number of temporary mining camps.  These are used by those who cannot afford to build in town or prefer to stay closer to their claims. “Old Thorn” owns most of the best land, though his actual residence is in South Crag. Some Trollkin refugee groups have settled in this area, including those who are reluctant to join the Krieltown.  This area also includes the town’s graveyard and Flophouse.  The area has also been settled by a number of families with tribal roots who have integrated into the town and mostly given up the traditional ways of their ancestors.  This includes northern Idrians, Sinari, and Radiz, who have found good work in the Crag, albeit for meagre pay.

    The ‘camp’ consisted of about ten tents apparently salvaged from a variety of military sources and those Trollkin that can be seen wandering around the immediate area are far better equipped than the ones in Krieltown. Armour is far more common here and weapons and equipment (presumably acquired in their recent raids) are stacked in piles by each tent. Two large Trollkin guards notice the strange group of Bison ‘riders’ in front of them and start shouting rather expressively in their own language towards the camp. Bragg is sent ahead accompanied by Rafaldo (who hangs back at a sensible distance) to attempt some form of negotiation but his overtly direct approach and civilised appearance seems to infuriate them more and one of them strikes him in the chest. The blow seems more a gesture of dominance than a killing blow and Bragg responds in kind though his own blow is less effective and a second attack from the Trollkin soon follows. Seeing exactly how the situation is inevitably going to play out Bosh moves forwards and demonstrates far more effectively how intimidation is done and the aggressor backs down though several more of the renegades step into position…the largest of them lets out a deafening cry and all his followers grabbed their weapons and prepared to attack…

    Bosh charged the leader whose war-cry had seemingly invigorated his fellow raiders and though the Trolls great resilience saved him from being sliced in two by the first blow it was insufficient to save him from a second .One of the two first encountered guards met a similar fate though his comrade was luckier only receiving a glancing blow from Bosh’s combat shield. Rafaldo used his magical powers to attack several more, killing some and knocking others to the ground. Bragg sought to make up for his earlier shortcomings by charging into the fray while Bradick lobbed grenades over his comrades into a second wave of Trollkin attempting to turn the tide of battle with a counter-charge and succeeded in blasting several too pieces though the Trolls innate resilience saved several more from death. Danika then decided to see if she could make a Bison charge…apparently she could…

    Editors Note – The new ‘Unleashed’ rulebook is very specific on who can and can’t ride a Bison and the answer is Trollkin and even then only Trollkin that are specifically trained to ride them (there’s a ‘Trained Rider (Bison)’ Skill). However our GM let Danika’s player get away with the charge on the basis that an old and slightly belligerent Bison probably wouldn’t need much encouragement to move forward quickly and get stuck in and any tied to it would probably follow…if the enemies had needed steering towards then I doubt it would have been allowed, lol.

    …Danika barely managed to control the stampeding Bison but kept her balance well enough to strike down several surprised opponents as she barged through them and several slow enemies were crushed beneath them as an added bonus. Bosh carved his way through any remaining foes of note though between the charging Bison, Rafaldo’s magic and Bradick’s bombs the leaderless rebels made significantly easier targets than they had initially.

    The Trolls had accumulated little of real value and had seemingly been most focussed on acquiring weaponry and materials with which they could make armour. Bragg made himself a suit of well fitted armour by selecting the choice parts from that previously owned by the dead and dying and Bosh suggested that they strap the rest of the trolls armoury and equipment to the Bison to use as a good will gesture when they returned to Krieltown. Despite this taking a bit of extra time they all agreed that it might help to reinforce the idea that they were genuinely going to make good on their initial offer of help to Denrik and his followers though Danika pointed out that providing arms and armour to a group that was recently causing problems might create issues later…

    Denrik was suitably satisfied that the renegades (and potential threats to his leadership) were eliminated, the many gifts also helped his mood considerably and the few of his tribe who were unsure of the arrangement initially were at the very least now able to see that the Brotherhood apparently kept it’s word. They were then all invited to a celebratory feast in honour of the new truce and as a night-time journey back to base was somewhat unappealing they gratefully accepted.

    Bragg also discovered that the previous negative attitudes to him had lessoned due to his association with the victory and several of the female kin were far more friendly than they’d been previously…the vast quantities of alcohol may have also been a factor. Bosh was just happy to have ale in appropriate sized containers and food in more suitable proportions and both he and Bragg had an excellent time and judging from the headaches the next day so did the others…

    Taking advantage of the overall good humour in camp, Danika asked if they could take some Bison with them as they’d proven useful and having a considerable herd available Denrik Ironmouth let them keep the ones they had used most recently. Bosh and Bragg also were generously given some barrels of troll ale to take with them…

    Interlude – ‘Reporting In…’
    The fortress was just over a third of the way through it’s construction and was already impressive. The walls were quite high now and the main gate area was almost completed though scaffolding was still up in many locations and workers were everywhere. After a few enquiries they were directed to a set of barracks and rooms very advanced in their construction process and rather inexplicably a totally completed tavern area. Sebastian’s priorities were clear if somewhat self serving.

    Sebastian had apparently decided that the tavern was also a perfect base of operations and judging from his somewhat inebriated condition had ‘based’ himself there almost permanently since his arrival. He was also accompanied by the pair of Pistoleers that currently passed for his personal bodyguard due to Bosh being almost permanently used for other duties.

    After giving their report to Captain LaCroix they were informed that they had been provided with personal quarters due to the length of time they were to be based in the area and that the barracks and training areas were also in a usable state. The officers quarters were the ones closest to the tavern of course.

    Bosh suggested moving some of the Brotherhood to defend the incomplete fortress including the artillery crews, some of the rifleman and the rest of the Ogrun Men at Arms as well as conducting some basic military drills in the event that the worse was to occur and Sebastian agreed…possibly because it didn’t involve him actually leaving the tavern to accomplish…

    Act Two – ‘The Graveyard’
    Building work on the fortress was advancing steadily and the addition of the Trollkin labour had sped up the process considerably. Trouble from the Krieltown was now none existent as the Transcontinental Rail Company and the Brotherhood had kept their word in the areas of providing work for them in the construction of the fortress. Having impressed everyone with their strength, resilience and willingness to work it was decided to train a quantity of them as Men at Arms and as Artillerists (primarily as loaders) in order to fulfil their second promise of long term employment for some of the Krieltown inhabitants.

    Though there was much to be optimistic about there were also disturbing rumours reaching the fortress and other places in the Crag of menacing figures appearing around the graveyard, groups of strange figures chanting in the early hours of the morning in the same area and other signs that led to an obvious conclusion…a conclusion that was especially obvious to any-one who had encountered such groups before. There was a distinct possibility that this was a Thamarite cult and that access to the graveyard had been made simpler by the Brotherhoods removal of the troublemaking Trollkin that had formerly had their camp nearby.

    Having learned from their previous encounters with such enemies it was decided that it would be nice to be the ambusher rather than the ambushed for a change and so the Brotherhood planned to make camp nearby during the hours of daylight so they would be ready once the suspected cultists arrived for their nocturnal ceremonies. As the least conspicuous (and lowest in rank) the job of lookout was given to Bradick who as added ‘cover’ was given the job of pretending to be a grave-digger…a task marginally complicated by virtue of him having one wooden leg…

    Editors Note – If you decide to give your character a wooden leg expect GM’s to fill campaigns with rooftop chases, treks through the mud and tightrope walks…

    Some-time after darkness had fallen Bradick spotted cloaked figures moving in the graveyards central area through his trusty spy-glass and returned to inform the rest of the group who approached the area as stealthily as they could manage. The cult seemed to consist of about ten individuals of which one was obviously the leader and another was armed with a rifle though the body language of most of the others seemed to indicate extreme nervousness. Only the leader, rifleman and two or three of the cloaked figures appeared to be confident in their current activities.

    Rafaldo then decided to attempt to use a recently learned spell to control the mind of the Rifle wielding enemy and use him to attack the leader of the cultists. This would hopefully neutralise one of the threats temporarily and another permanently. After a brief clash of wills Rafaldo gained control of the enemy and forced him to raise his weapon, aim and fire a shot at his leader. It turned out that he was an expert shot and being caught completely unprepared his target was killed instantly throwing the rest of her followers into panic. The Brotherhood then charged and having considerable experience in such circumstances they quickly wiped out the few closest cultists while Bosh incapacitated rather then killed several for later questioning. The few survivors of the initial assault turned and ran.

    Having bad experiences with escaping cult members Bosh decided to track the escaping survivors and left the two prisoners in Danika’s capable hands. The trail was easy to follow and being confident enough in his own abilities he set off alone. The remainder of the cult had set up camp in a nearby oasis and had barely even gathered there meagre belongings together as Bosh caught up with them…

    A search of the bodies revealed little of value and even less that could be used for identification of their origins. The decapitated corpse of their leader had a small notebook containing various information on Thamarite ceremonies in general and ones on necromancy in particular with a few names and addresses presumably of her followers scribbled in the rear. Of the two survivors only one seemed unemotional about his capture, the other (a young girl) was alternating between crying loudly and sobbing quietly. Danika decided to ‘interrogate’ the unemotional one first and utilising a combination of her medical knowledge, interrogation skills and a recently acquired familiarity with torture techniques extracted from him the names of all the members of the recently formed Thamarite cult. Fortunately the entire of them had been at this meeting and several were apparently just curious adolescents with more curiosity than sense.

    The sobbing young lady was apparently one of the latter and in a surprisingly uncharacteristic act of mercy Danika let her go…after explaining in explicit detail the consequences of seeking out such forbidden knowledge in the future and urging her to pass this message on to any others she may encounter. To emphasise the point the first interrogated survivor was brutally executed in front of her before her release.

    …Bosh returned to the graveyard some time later with two more prisoners in tow and some additional bloodstains on his armour. Having used up her quota of mercy on the girl, Danika executed the two escapees on the spot and Bosh made a mental note not to bother taking prisoners in future unless specifically asked. He also realised that he recognised the rifleman as one of the bounties from Corvis that was also wanted dead by Draegyn. Realising that revealing this now would result in another splitting of profits he decided to keep the knowledge to himself and deal with the situation later.

    With the Trollkin bought into the fold and the local cultists dealt with the local situation seemed to be under control…I’m mean…what else could go wrong?!?!?

    Aftermath…
    Bosh slipped from the compound later and returned for the body of the rifleman with the bounty on his head…well…what was left of him at least. With a few well placed bribes and the odd threat here and there he arranged for the body to be shipped back to the militia office in Corvis and for a message about his demise to be sent separately to Draegyn.

    The subterfuge would eat into his profits a little but nowhere as near as much as a six way split would have done. He knew for a fact that the others had their own sidelines so he didn’t feel guilty about keeping the profits to himself as he knew that Raafaldo and Sebastian had twice split mission expenses between them, He’d spotted Bragg pocketing a pouch of gold from one of the offices during their search for the Thamarite cult in Tarna and had once been forced to sell a bag of bloody clothing that Danika had acquired from a pile of dead bodies…hardly the actions of a priestess…

    Besides which he’d need the money to maintain his equipment now they were coming up against more worthy opponents and he was apparently going to be at the front of every combat situation they were in…which he was actually fine with…it was just a job with a lot of wear and tear on his equipment…

    To Be Continued in Part Two…

    Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

    Confessions of a Warmachine Noob: Painting the Khador Battlegroup

    Posted on July 6th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

    Painted Privateer Press Warmachine Khador Juggernaut

    Within the hobby there are few things that feel as good as arriving home with a new toy and diving right into it. I make it a rule to never buy more stuff for my hobby unless I’m ready for it so when I brought the Warmachine Khador Battlgroup home I was able to indulge myself […]

    The post Confessions of a Warmachine Noob: Painting the Khador Battlegroup appeared first on Creative Twilight.

    Sunday Round-Up

    Posted on June 28th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

    Not a terrifically busy week on the blog…I did an unboxing of one of the starter sets for the Digger Corps faction for the Macrocosm game which can be found here, wrote up the latest of our Privateer Press Iron Kingdoms RPG’s which can be located in …

    Wayland Games: Hot Deals Clearance Section – Up to 50% Off

    Posted on June 28th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

    Wayland Games: Massive sale, there are loads of items in the Hot Deals category that can be bought for anything up to 50% off! Take a look over here if in need for miniatures!Welcome to Wargame News and Terrain, a wargame hobby blog dedicated…

    Iron Kingdoms Roleplay – Session Eight

    Posted on June 26th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

    For those of you who haven’t been keeping up you can find earlier sessions and background material in here. The stats of the player characters can be found here should you be interested and the rest of the ‘Brotherhood of the Rail’ mercenary companies NPC’s backgrounds can be found here.

    This weeks attendees would be Lieutenant Rafaldo Scorgiani (Steve’s character), Martin’s Warrior Priestess Danika Jansen, the Mechanik Bragg Halvard (Harry’s character), Bradick Davalos (Andrew’s character), My Ogrun ‘Bosh’ Skullsplitter with Captain Sebastian LaCroix (Toms character) temporarily moved to NPC status as he’ll be GMing for the next few sessions…


    Note – Tom was GMing and obviously had notes and intro bits written down so I’ve just pasted them into this article directly so they’ll be in a ‘reading to the group‘ style. This’ll save me a lot of time writing out again things he’d already got written and hopefully wont effect your reading enjoyment too much bouncing between the two styles of writing.

    Mission Seven – ‘A Strange Choice for Diplomacy…’
    The officers of the Brotherhood have left Tarna behind and have journeyed to Corvis where they have been given yet another ‘interesting’ task on behalf of their employers…

    Introduction.
    Your journey to Corvis while far from dull as you traverse the newly created “Frontier line” is largely uneventful. Nerves are tense aboard the train, for those who have seen action in the war especially, but all the crew feel nervous as you approach the city of ghosts. 

    Mere hours from the station Sebastian calls the higher ups in the Brotherhood for a meeting. The office is unusually tidy and in place of the usual charute butts and empty bottles bullet casings and charcoal stubs lie on the side table.

    Sebastian directs attention to a map on the table, the charcoal etched parchment shows the area around Corvis, and seems have been created by the captain himself. “You all know why this company was created,” Sebastian pauses and moves to pour a drink, “we are the military arm for the Transcontinental Rail Company, however as the Railway expands the company has greater need of foot holds of it’s own across Immoren. Our liaison in Corvis is to task us with building such a stronghold in the Blood Marches. However before this can occur we will need to generate a considerable number of resources.  Corvis is the last bastion of civility (albeit barely) before the desolation of the wastes, you are tasked with acquiring the resources necessary.

    I myself have business within the city so I have made arrangements for you too meet with an old colleague (passes note to Rafaldo). In my absence the Lieutenant will be in charge. Our success in this venture will directly correlate to the resources you are able to provide us. Use your wits, bargain what you must within reason, trade in any favours you have. Adieu


    With a curt nod Sebastian exits the carriage. 

    Editors Note – Each person in the group was passed a note by our GM with some information on it relevant to their characters. Mine had information relating to bounty hunting opportunities in the area. The others apparently had some information about contacts they may have in town based on their respective character backgrounds…

    The city of ghosts in a strange city built across the Black river where it meets it tributary the Dragon’s tongue. As a result large parts of the city are built over water and in many places bridges and travel by foot are the only way to reach certain locations. The Newly built station lies on the western bank of the river. scaffolding still clings to the building and a small army of gobbers and local builders see to it’s finishing touches. 

    The group were provided with promissory notes on behalf of the Transcontinental Railway allowing them to make moderate uses of the companies money and resources as well as having access to their usual available requisition-able company items. The aforementioned contact information from Sebastian was given into Rafaldo’s care and a plan of action was debated…

    Rather than overcomplicate issues it was decided that they would reach out to their own respective contacts and representatives of organisations they were members of or affiliated to in turn and see what help they could get with the minimum of effort and then after that if other resources were needed they’d start contacting others in order to fill any shortfall. In practical terms this meant the church of Morrow, the Order of Fraternal Wizardry and the contact provided by their captain.

    The Temple of Morrow.

    The temple stands proudly atop a small hill in the eastern quarter of the city. The region shows little of its former prosperity with many of the former town houses now little more than tenements teeming with refugees and immigrants. The proximity to the church and it’s charity draws them here, and the increased guard presence from the nearby watch barracks makes the locals feel safe.

    The holy palace itself lacks the lustre normally associated with the lord of goodness and light, yet still the building is a true wonder it’s dome rising high above all other buildings in the quarter.  Two mighty warjacks stand stoically guarding the entrance but they appear to have seen better days. 

    Having no interest whatsoever in human religions and knowing that Danika is more than capable of looking after herself Bosh decides to wait outside the temple while she and the others go and discuss matters with the local priest who introduces himself as Barden Kerr.

    The priest is full of tales of woe about the terrible state that the town of Corvus is in. There are many refugees seeking assistance at the temple and the amount of charity required far outweighs their ability to help and this has had the knock-on effect of increasing levels of crime and gang activity in the area. There has also been an unusual phenomenon of terrible nightmares experienced by many people across the entire city of ghosts. Despite the strain on the church currently the priest offers financial assistance and allocation of building materials towards the building of the new fortress on the condition that it is dedicated to Morrow. He also hint that some military aid might be available should the overall situation in the area be improved in some way but that currently such resources are needed to ensure the safety of the temple. Additionally he responded to enquiries about possible labour sources with a warning about the untrustworthiness of the local union of labourers. Danika then came up with an interesting alternative solution to the labour issue…

    Danika put to the priest the idea that those refugees and destitute individuals around the temple might be willing to provide some labour in exchange for food and blankets as these were resources that the rail company had in more than sufficient quantities. She reasoned that this would alleviate some of the pressures on the Morrowan church, help occupy the refugees as well as instil some pride back in them. She also implied that any who showed particular promise might gain long term employment. Seeing the wisdom in this idea the priest assured them that he would implement the scheme as soon as possible. Danika also gained access to the temples library for herself thrown into the deal as they would apparently be in Corvus for some months as well as getting her primary weapon and Bosh’s blessed in exchange for the promise of dealing with the nightmarish atmosphere currently haunting Corvus…

    With access to additional building materials, free (or relatively free) labour and the possibility of military support Danika and the rest felt that they’d gained all the assistance from this location that they were likely to get and it was time to move on.

    The Fraternal Order of Wizardry.

    The headquarters of the Order of Wizardry is apparently open only to those with magical powers so Rafaldo asks Bosh to wait outside and being even less interested in magic than he is religion he happily obliges and instead waits at the nearest tavern. The story here courtesy of the orders representative Benedict mirrors that of the Morrowan temple including references to the terrible nightmares suffered by much of the populace and the ever present issues of gang violence, poverty and the massive influx of refugees as well as a bizarre increase in suicides and disappearances.

    The expected haggling over favours in return for aid results in an offer of magical assistance but as with the priests the expected payment is the removal of whatever is currently haunting the city and Benedict suggests that they begin their investigation in the area near Filcher’s Crossing. There’s is also the offer of significant financial aid directly in proportion with the level that the cities issues can be dealt with. Seeing the same opportunity for personal gain as Danika did with her Church, Rafaldo negotiates himself the potential for access to some higher magical learning should they succeed in their task.

    Now with the possibility of magical help in addition to the material, labour and spiritual guidance provided by the church it seems that progress on the new fortress could be sped considerably and it’s defences would also be supplemented. Now it just remained to be seen what Sebastian’s mysterious contact could add to the mix.

    Draegyn.
    The back alleys of Corvis are no place to wander uninvited. Scarred faces leer from windows and raised voices can be heard from all around, either arguing or revelling. The closer you come to Draegyn’s offices the quieter the city become, almost as if it respects the man.

    A red stained door stands out in the dim street, a stylised pistol etching has been made across the wood work. 

    The door is answered by two Ogrun ‘Men at Arms’ wearing armour and carrying halberds. It’s possible that they would have been quite imposing to any-one who didn’t routinely accompany Bosh Skullsplitter. The group is escorted to an office at the top of a flight of stairs where a man with the air of one used to being obeyed is sitting casually behind a desk.

    The Llalesian sent you then? You ain’t his usual crowd at no mistake. What can I do you for?

    Bosh was well aware of the reputation of the gentlemen with which they were now dealing and judging from the attitudes of his fellow Brotherhood officers several of them must also have recognised him. When some-one is known as ‘The Black Bastard’ you can gather fairly quickly that he’s not some-one to be trifled with.

    After some careful and unusually polite (by their normal standards at least) negotiations Draegyn offers access to a few of his contacts in exchange for chief import and export rights through the new fort and a favour he can cash in later. He also implies that there will be far less unfortunate incidents befalling the project should he be one of it’s supporters.

    Rafaldo also asked for some enquiries to be made relating to some family issues though what these were he was keeping between the contact and himself. It seemed that he had somehow gained the impression that Draegyn might have access to information useful to him and had seemingly made some side deal for the information.

    Editors Note – It may seem that we’re a bunch of self centred assholes but we don’t actually screw over our fellow Brotherhood officers…very often…we just don’t always announce to every-one when we find something valuable, lol.

    As the others were leaving Bosh also enquired if there was any ‘work’ that he might want doing while they were in town and was given a short list of names together with unfortunate events that Draegyn would be happy to have befall them ranging from the unpleasant to the permanent. Bosh promised to look into arranging the specified accidents as soon as they’d sorted out the more immediate issues of the potential source for the nightmares, suicides and disappearances given to them by Benedict at the Order of Wizardry.

    Editors Note – Bosh has a somewhat flexible attitude to hurting, maiming and/or killing people as long as they’re not his current employer or their immediate allies.

    Act Two – Filcher’s Crossing.

    The world below Corvis is even more astounding than the city above. Great catacombs and sewers systems snakes their way beneath the streets. Filchers crossing is a small fords across the river shallow enough for row boats and even strong swimmers and as such is favoured by the lower class of the city as a method for crossing the Black. It is also the entrance to the under-city. 

    The mouth of the under city is a great archway carved into the natural limestone of the bank. The tunnel beyond stretches to an eerie underground horizon. The only visible sights are the walkways along each side of the sewer inlet and a few of the city’s support struts each elegantly carved in stone with gargoyles and grotesques leering all around.

    After the usual debate over how to approach the upcoming investigation it was decided that we’d hire a water going raft capable of supporting the weight of us and a laborjack which Bragg would go and borrow from the three we had available back at our base of operations. This would give us some extra armoured support should the worst occur and some help with obstacle removal also. As this was going to take a bit of time Bosh took the opportunity to journey to the local town militia office to see what bounties were available should he have any spare time available to him later.

    As it turned out there were four criminals currently with bounties posted for them and in a happy coincidence two of these were also on Draegyn’s list of targets. This rather usefully meant that with a bit of careful planning Bosh could get paid twice for them with the other two being a job for afterwards. By the time he returned to the muster point so had Bragg and they all set off to explore the under-city…

    The Under-City.
    The raft was easily large enough to hold the group, their equipment and the laborjack though several of the group noted that Bragg had bought one of the companies generic ‘jacks rather than his own…apparently he was unwilling to risk his own equipment on the trip underground…

    Also pretty much everyone with the exception of Bosh was filled with a feeling of trepidation and dread upon entering the underground tunnels. Once they’d all settled down a bit the sailing duties were shared between Bradick and Rafaldo and off they all went…

    Editors Note – Many Willpower tests were failed and re-rolled at this point and at regular intervals from this point onwards. Bosh isn’t actually much higher in Willpower than the rest…he just rolled better…

    After some time several of the more observant Brotherhood members noticed movement around the edges of the boat and when they moved to take a closer look something leapt from the water slashing at those closest to it before leaping upon the ‘jack on deck. It quickly to grew indistinct and ghostly before seemingly melding into companies recently borrowed laborjack…A moment later it began to move…

    Having never encountered anything like this before the group had no idea how to deal with it so defaulted to their usual tactic of hitting things as hard as they could…

    Blows against the insubstantial form of the controlling creature seemed to be completely ineffective though hits against the ‘jack seemed to cause some minor damage to it via some kind of unexplained connection. However the damage being passed on was so trivial that the laborjack itself would be destroyed before the creature controlling it. Bragg then attempted to use his ‘jack marshalling abilities to regain control and after a hard struggle the strange wraith’s was forced from it. Despite this small victory it soon became apparent that only the weapons blessed by the priest earlier were capable of harming the strange monstrosity and eventually Danika and Bosh managed to destroy it despite it’s shield of intangibility. Before the thing could be examined it evaporated away into nothing more than a cloud of noxious gas…

    Editors Note – Obviously it was a Machine Wraith but our characters had never encountered one so wouldn’t have been able to identify it as such. It did explain why we were allowed access to blessed weapons earlier though…

    Rafaldo and Bradick struggled to regain control of the now out of control raft while Bragg re-established control of the recently rebellious ‘jack. The area they were travelling through began to show signs of unusual modifications. Strange glowing cables protruded from the walls, odd coloured liquids were mixed with the water and the atmosphere became more depressing and oppressive. Suddenly without warning Bosh turned and swung his Warcleaver at Bradick but a moment before cleaving him into two pieces seemed to gain momentary control of himself and dropped the weapon…unfortunately the momentum of the blow still struck him with considerable force and sent him sprawling across the deck before the Ogrun fell to his knees and promptly evacuated his stomach of his last meal…and possibly the one before as well…Something very powerful had evidently made it’s base in the under-city…

    The further they advanced the more on edge they became and had to stop on several occasions for Brotherhood members to pull themselves together before they could move on. After several more pauses they reached a point where they’re forced to abandon the transport and move along on foot…

    Editors Note – Willpower tests apparently hated us all that day…

    Some distance head they arrive at a door with several strange symbols on it’s centre that none of them recognise. Before any-one can investigate two creatures burst through the door and charge towards them…

    These adversaries might once have been human but now their pale but muscular bodies were riddled with strange sockets and tubes, their hands had been replaced with primitive but effective melee weapons and their heads were concealed behind strange metal masks covering their entire skulls. At least the investigators now had an opponent they could tackle head on and managed to butcher these new aberrations in short order without even needing Bosh to strike a blow. They were filled with a new found confidence…if this was the best their enemies had to offer then they should have little problem clearing this city beneath Corvus…this confidence was soon to be shattered though…

    The area ahead was filled with strange machinery whose purpose was a mystery even to their engineer Bragg. Beyond the clutter was another door though this one was far more heavily constructed and was quite clearly designed to prevent entry by even the most determined interloper. Bradick however seemed confident that he could destroy the locks with an acidic concoction of some kind and proceeded to attempt to create something potent enough to weaken or destroy them…

    As the doors locking mechanism was destroyed the door itself burst open and a pair of monstrosities that dwarfed those previously encountered emerged through it. Some distance behind them three leather clad figures could be vaguely discerned…

    Bosh charged into the first of the gigantic creatures and struck it a blow that would have reduced most opponents to paste or split them in half. Imagine his surprise when the creature not only didn’t die…but didn’t seem to notice the wound either…

    The others also charged in but most of their blows deflected from the monsters armour or did no damage at all and their predicament was further complicated by blasts of magical energy projected towards them by the shadowy figures lurking in the background. Realising that they couldn’t do much damage to the abominations Rafaldo attempted to distract those he perceived to be their controllers with a concussive blast of magic and Bradick hurled an incendiary grenade over the melee but it unfortunately fell short of them though it’s possible the flames might be inconveniencing for them albeit slightly. The creature not engaged by Bosh seemed slightly less well armoured and Danika, supported by Braggs ‘jack were making some progress against it after enhancing her abilities with a magical blessing which she also cast upon the Ogrun Bosh. Rafaldo’s constant barrage of magic was also succeeding in keeping them all off balance and minimising their ability to use their own magical abilities in return.

    With the benefit of Danika’s blessing each of Bosh’s blows struck home and every wound bit deeper than before, the mysterious leather clad opponents were reduced to a single member and despite several wounds the Brotherhood were close to victory and then almost simultaneously killing blows were struck upon their remaining opponents with the oppressive atmosphere clearing almost immediately upon the death of the last of their mysterious opponents…

    In order to prove the success of their mission Bosh gathered up as much evidence as possible of their assailants (and took a few souvenirs of the encounter for himself to commemorate the first worthy opponent he’d fought since joining the Transcontinental Rail Companies mercenaries) while Bradick helped himself to some of the chemicals scattered around with the others investigating the cavernous laboratory in which they now found themselves. Undoubtedly the masses of equipment had some use to those they had killed but none of the party could ascertain what that purpose was. Seeing no further point in remaining longer than they had to they departed to report the success of their operation to those parties who might be interested and grateful.

    Epilogue.

    After an uneventful return journey they reported their success to the Morrowan temple gaining additional support and the promised military aid, Draegyn was also suitably impressed that their was one less threat to his position to be concerned about and finally the Order of Wizardry in addition to the promised support also was willing to pay well for the salvaged evidence of the neutralised attackers from the under-city. Bosh took Sebastian’s share to hand to him later despite some vague implications from his colleagues that he didn’t really warrant a share as he wasn’t actually there to help.

    Danika also informed the Menite Temple of their findings as despite their religious differences she felt they should be made aware of what was going on beneath the city…or possibly it was her way of proving the superiority of her own temple over theirs. Either way they seemed grateful for the information…regardless of it’s source or the intent behind it.

    It seemed like the aid required for the building of the fortress was complete and as many of the cities factions as possible had promised their support. Now if the others would just leave him alone for a bit Bosh could get some bounty hunting done…and unlike the last time hopefully not have to split it four ways…

    Back to Reality.
    This was an interesting mission overall and the diplomatic parts were a nice change of pace.

    The amount of time we’re spending in this city (as far as our characters are concerned at least) is to allow every-one time to acquire equipment that can only be bought in large cities or that needs time to be built as up to this point there was no way for us to spend money on such items due to only being in each locality for a few days.

    I (for example) have purchased some mechanikal equivalents of my existing gear and I believe several of the others are using the time to justify learning abilities and spells that require time and resources to gain.

    I’m quite looking forward to Tom’s next stint at GMing during this campaign…

    Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

    Unboxing the Retribution of Scyrah All In One Army Box

    Posted on June 26th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

    As promised on our Facebook page when it arrived, here is an unboxing of the recently released All In One Army Box for Retribution of Scyrah from Privateer Press. Inside it is a full 35 point army consisting of 1 Warcaster, 2 Warjacks, 2 units of troops, a troop command unit and 3 solos.

    It is described as a limited release box aimed at either new players or veterans wanting to start a new faction, so it won’t be around forever. I picked up mine from Element Games for just under £90.

    The first surprise for me was that all of the plastics were still in their own individual boxes. I had expected it to be similar to a GW Battalion Box in which you get a load of sprues and half a dozen sheets of instructions. The Metal models were split into three blisters – Warcaster, Halberdier Command and then the three solos.

    Also loose in the box were a mini rulebook, two double sided hints and tips sheets for the faction and the metal minis unit cards which are useful, seeing as the Warcaster in the box – Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn – isn’t in the faction book.

    Now onto some slightly more detailed pictures of the content.
    First up are the Houseguard Halberdier Officer and Standard Bearer. These guys attach to a unit of Halberdiers to give them some buffs. I don’t mind admitting that the first guy reminds me of both a Sontaran and Juggernaut from X-Men with that helmet.

    Next up is the Warcaster – Issyria herself. She comes in multiple pieces, though thankfully the long floaty cloak bit is all one piece. She also has some legs, but I forgot to get a snap of them.

    Now we have the solos, starting with the Houseguard Thane

    The Arcanist

    Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios Mercenary – She falls under the Mercs faction and can be used by a number of others but thanks to her Retribution Partisan rule, she effectively counts as a Retribution mini the same way the others do instead of counting as a Merc.

    On with the content of the plastics boxes. These are the first boxes I’ve picked up from a company that is virtually sprueless. In fact, there was only one small sprue between the four boxes.
    Since taking the pictures, I’ve completely forgotten which ‘jack was which, but both boxes have options to build one of three different ‘jacks. I did a little dry fitting and it seemed to go together ok. While there does appear to be some clean up required, it doesn’t look particularly strenuous.

    The other ‘jack, with the only sprue out of the 4 boxes. 

    and now for the infantry. Most have a solid body, with arms and head separate.
    Instead of shaking the entire bag of Halberdiers out, I decided to just pull out a small handful of bits – Halberds, Shields and packs are separate to the torsos. One thing I did note is that all of the infantry and characters come with slotted bases, yet all of them have had tabs removed, meaning a filling exercise is needed to use the bases as they are if you don’t plan on adding a base topper. 

    Finally, the Houseguard Riflemen. These are mostly three piece models, with rifles and packs separate, though some do also have separate heads.

    Overall there is plenty of stuff in the box and as a newcomer to the game, it certainly seems a good place to start and get a few games with before mixing and matching other units into the force.

    Privateer Press July Releases – it’s like Christmas!

    Posted on June 24th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

    Warmachine: The Protectorate of Menoth: Anson Durst, Rock of the Faith: Paladin Warcaster $24.99   Anson Durst is the rock on which the enemies of the Protectorate break, a bulwark to the faithful who weathers tides of violence to keep blameless Menites safe. He earned his epithet fighting alongside the theocracy’s defenders to repel wave […]

    Sunday Round-up

    Posted on June 21st, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

    A moderately productive week this time around.My change of shift pattern didn’t mess me up quite as badly as I thought it would and I managed to get unboxings done of the latest Malifaux crew release of Ironsides ‘Troubleshooters’ starter set and one o…

    Wayland Games: Massive Sale Launched – Up to 50% Off – Ending Tonight

    Posted on June 21st, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

    Wayland Games: Lets start the weekend early and kick off with a massive sale, there are loads of items in the Hot Deals category that can be bought for anything up to 50% off! In addition if you spend over £100 you can get 5% off with code HOTDEALS15. All of these offers end at 23:59:59 on Sunday 21st June.
    Take a look over here if in need for miniatures!
    Welcome to Wargame News and Terrain, a wargame hobby blog dedicated to supply you with your daily wargame news, straight from the source. We also have an extensive collection of reviews and tutorials so take a look now.

    Iron Kingdoms Roleplay – Session Seven

    Posted on June 19th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

    For those of you who haven’t been keeping up you can find earlier sessions and background material in here. The stats of the player characters can be found here should you be interested and the rest of the ‘Brotherhood of the Rail’ merce…

    Wayland Games: Massive Sale Launched – Up to 50% Off

    Posted on June 19th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

    Wayland Games: Lets start the weekend early and kick off with a massive sale, there are loads of items in the Hot Deals category that can be bought for anything up to 50% off! In addition if you spend over £100 you can get 5% off with code HOTDEALS15. All of these offers end at 23:59:59 on Sunday 21st June.
    Take a look over here if in need for miniatures!
    Welcome to Wargame News and Terrain, a wargame hobby blog dedicated to supply you with your daily wargame news, straight from the source. We also have an extensive collection of reviews and tutorials so take a look now.

    Wayland Games: Massive Sale Launched – Up to 50% Off

    Posted on June 18th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

    Wayland Games: Lets start the weekend early and kick off with a massive sale, there are loads of items in the Hot Deals category that can be bought for anything up to 50% off! In addition if you spend over £100 you can get 5% off with code HOTDEALS15. All of these offers end at 23:59:59 on Sunday 21st June.
    Quickly grab your bargains here
    Welcome to Wargame News and Terrain, a wargame hobby blog dedicated to supply you with your daily wargame news, straight from the source. We also have an extensive collection of reviews and tutorials so take a look now.