Otanu of Eos: 5 – The Great Temple of Torgana

A continuation of my previous mini-campaign about Heliana the Priestess. I am using Ironsworn, PocketLands 1.1 and Scarlet Heroes for hex-crawling and further inspiration. I have created a D100 hex-based version of the PocketLands Discovery Table: D100Lands.

Previously: Otanu is the son of Avella, queen of the island of Eos. The priestess Heliana has forced Avella to embrace the True Cult; Otanu refuses to do the same and sails to the East, vowing to bring back to Eos the cult of the Old Gods. Otanu is a devotee of the war goddess Torgana; when he lands across the sea, he swears to offer 1000 gold pieces to the Great Temple of Torgana to get guidance from the Goddess. Otanu and his companions travel East to the city of Lavinia, where they free the son of Duke Darvus who had been kidnapped by rebels. Two of Otanu’s companions decide to stay in Lavinia. Otanu and the wizard Arakna leave Lavinia towards the temple of Torgana in the North. They find a dying priestess of the moon goddess Darna who was attacked by trolls; they find the liar of the trolls and recover the sacred ring of the priestess. They reach the ancient fortress built by the dwarf king Bigral. Inside the fortress, they are unable to stop an orcish priest from sacrificing a dwarf prisoner.

All episodes.

_____

Main character: Otanu, prince of Eos

Edge:2; Heart:3; Iron:4; Shadow:2; Wits:3.

Assets:
• Companion : “Kindred” (Arakna the Wizard) – Your friend stands by you. Skilled: When you make a move outside of combat (not a progress move) aided by your companion’s expertise, add +1.
• Path: “Herbalist” – When you attempt to Heal using herbal remedies, and you have at least +1 supply, you may choose one (decide before rolling). * Add +2. * On a hit, take or give an additional +1 health
• Combat Talent “Thunder-Bringer” – If you wield a mighty hammer… When you Face Danger, Secure an Advantage, or Compel by hitting or breaking an inanimate object, add +1 and take +1 momentum on a hit.

Health:3; Spirit:5; Supply:5; Momentum:1. Gold pieces: 730.

Arakna’s Health: 4/4

Background Vow (Extreme): rise an army to conquer the Island of Eos and bring back the Old Gods (Progress: 0.5).

Dangerous Vow: Offer 1000 gold pieces to the Great Temple of Torgana to get guidance from the Goddess (Progress: 6).

NPCs: Avella (Bond) :queen of the island of Eos, Otanu’s mother. Heliana: a priestess of the True Cult who forced Avella to return to the Cult; opponent of Otanu. Deshin the Dwarf and Willa the Warrior (Bonds): left Eos with Otanu and stopped in Lavinia. Duke Darvus of Lavinia (Bond): a pragmatic ruler who faces a conflict between his human subjects and dwarves he hired. Darvus Junior: Duke Darvus’ son, taken prisoner by rebels and rescued by Otanu. Tukun the wizard: a rebel vassal of Darvus captured by Otanu.


(I start this session with a little world-building about the religions I have met so far).

The Old Gods form a large pantheon with a god for each of the important aspects of life and the natural world. The gods we know of so far are Torgana (war), Darna (moon), Etaura (earth). The Old Gods are in an eternal struggle against Chaos; similarly, their worshippers fight worshippers of Chaos.

Chaos: wizards and chaos lords mess with demons and monsters. Their aim is overthrowing the existing kingdoms and gain power upon the whole world.

The True Cult is a newer religion coming from the West, across the sea. They claim that man and magic are the only truly divine entities. The Old Gods are not better than demons: they should all be destroyed and forgotten. The world should be ruled by the Cult as a single planetary organization.

Back to Otanu and Arakna’s journey towards the temple of Torgana:

Journey North-West from Bigral: C:8,8; A:4+3wits-1Woods. MISS + MATCH. (-2 supply = 3).
They follow a river; the woods give place to a barren region with a malignant feel.

Journey West; C:8,3; A:6+3wits-1wasteland; WEAK HIT. (-1 supply=2). Progress +1=7.
They are still in the wasteland, but they find a road leading North-West.

Journey C:3,9; A:4+3Wits(-1wasteland+1road). WEAK HIT. (-1 supply=1). Progress +1=8.
Following the road, they reach a more hospitable plain.

Resupply. C.7,10. A:4+3wits. MISS. (-1 Supply=0, UNPREPARED).
They cannot find anything to eat. They follow the road to the West.

(I arbitrarily decide to let them find a settlement: Elema). Size: 1-3 small, 4-5 medium, 6 larger than Lavinia: SMALL.

Sojourn: C.8,5; A:6+3heart. STRONG HIT. Unprepared cleared, supply=3. Otanu’s recovers his health (5).
They still need to collect about 300 gold pieces for the offering to Torgana. They ask to the villagers for places where there is hope to find treasure.

Scarlet Heroes dungeon oracle: Nonhuman settlement.
I roll a random Basic Fantasy monster: giants.
This will be a Formidable Infested Ruin delve.

The villagers say that there are rumours that treasure is hidden there, but the place is now inhabited again, some say.

DELVE Jaran, ruins of the palace of the giants

Can they enter from the main entrance? 50/50; YES.

  1. Delve WEAK HIT (Progresss:1). They enter directly into a large hall dominated by a huge sculpture. They trigger a bolt trap. Face danger MISS. Otanu takes 2 harm (Health:3).
  2. Delve STRONG HIT (Progress:2). They reach a mausoleum where they find a hidden chest (1d3x100-50=250 gp).
  3. Delve WEAK HIT (Progress:3). A giant bedroom that appears to have been recently looted.
  4. Delve STRONG HIT + MATCH. In a semi-collapsed angular tower, they find a prisoner. 1-3 human; 4-5 dwarf; 6 other: dwarf. Male/Female? Male. His name is Dotan. (progress:5).
    Was he captured by a giant? (unlikely) YES.
    Dotan says that dwarves are being captured and sacrificed: someone is probably trying to evoke a particularly powerful demon.
  5. Delve STRONG HIT. In a corridor, they find Dotan’s battle axe. (Progress:6)
  6. Delve WEAK HIT. Progress:7. In a pillared hall, they stumble upon 3 orcs (a Dangerous enemy). Battle: MISS. Otanu is wounded again (-2 Health=1).
  7. Delve STRONG HIT (Progress:7). A preserved vault.
    Locate objective: WEAK HIT. They find a huge chest that appears to be intact. Before they can open it, they hear the steps of the giant entering the ruins.

Escape: STRONG HIT + MATCH. While hastily making their way out of the place, Otanu spots a precious gem in the dirt. It is worth 100 gp, now they have a total of 1080 gp, enough for the offering!
I mark progress on the dangerous vow about the Torgana offering: Progress now 8.

Otanu SWEARS a formidable VOW to stop the evocation of the demon that causes the sacrifices of dwarves.

Challenge:8,9; Action;3+1Heart+1Dotan. MISS. (-2 momentum=1).
He realizes he knows too little about the situation. Hopefully, they fill find out more at the temple of Torgana.
This VOW comes with a thread: the actual evocation of the demon.

Otanu is badly wounded; they must return to Elema and TAKE A HIATUS. Health, spirit, supply=5. Momentum=2. The menace advances (+1=1).

When Otanu has recovered, Otanu and Arakna resume their journey North-East.

Journey C.5,8; A:1+3 Wits. MISS. They are attacked. Orcs? (50/50): YES.
Battle: C.8,2; A:6+4Irons. STRONG HIT.

Journey EAST, C:1,0; A:1+3wits. WEAK HIT. (-1 supply=4). Journey progress+1=9.
They find a road leading North-East.

Journey North-East, C:5,2; A:2+3wits+1road. STRONG HIT. Progress:10.

REACH DESTINATION: C:8,5 vs 10 STRONG HIT.
+1 momentum=3. Progress on the offering to Torgana dangerous vow: 10.

FULFILL YOUR VOW: C.6,7 vs 10. STRONG HIT. +2 Momentum=5.

The priests accept the offering of 1000 gold pieces.
Otanu can sleep in the most sacred room of the temple and Torgana appears in this dreams. Message from the goddess: Action / Theme oracle – OPPOSE PORTENT.

Torgana, as she appears in Otanu’s vision (Disco Diffusion AI)

The goddess is grateful for Otanu’s devotion. She says that they must deal with the menace of the demon, whose name is RALS. They must reach the Silver Mountains and return the moon-ring of the Darna priestess to the dwarves who originally made it. The dwarves can use the ring to stop Rals. In this way, Otanu will also be able to find new allies to take back Eos from the True Cult.
Background vow to take back Eos +0.5progress, now 1.
Formidable vow to stop Rals +1 progress, now 1.

_____

Current Situation:

Health:5; Spirit:5; Supply:4; Momentum:5. Gold pieces: 80.

Arakna’s Health: 4/4

Background Vow (Extreme): rise an army to conquer the Island of Eos and bring back the Old Gods (Progress: 1).

Formidable Vow: stop the sacrifices of dwarfs and prevent the evocation of the demon Rals (Progress:1). Threat: Rals appears in this plane of existence (Menace: 1).

Dangerous Vow: Offer 1000 gold pieces to the Great Temple of Torgana to get guidance from the Goddess (Fulfilled).

From Asona to the temple of Torgana

Otanu of Eos: 4 – Bigral’s Fortress

A continuation of my previous mini-campaign about Heliana the Priestess. I am using Ironsworn, PocketLands 1.1 and Scarlet Heroes for hex-crawling and further inspiration. I have created a D100 hex-based version of the PocketLands Discovery Table: D100Lands.

Previously: Otanu is the son of Avella, queen of the island of Eos. The priestess Heliana has forced Avella to embrace the True Cult; Otanu refuses to do the same and sails to the East, hoping that one day he will bring back to Eos the cult of the Old Gods. Otanu is a devotee of the war goddess Torgana; when he lands across the sea, he swears to offer 1000 gold pieces to the Great Temple of Torgana to get guidance from the Goddess. Otanu and his companions travel East to the city of Lavinia, where they free the son of Duke Darvus who had been kidnapped by rebels. Two of Otanu’s companions decide to stay in Lavinia. Otanu and the wizard Arakna get directions to reach the temple of Torgana. Along the way, they will find the ruins of the fortress of Bigral, ancient king of the Black Dwarves.

All episodes.

_____

Main character: Otanu, prince of Eos

Edge:2; Heart:3; Iron:4; Shadow:2; Wits:3. (4AD Level 2)

Assets:
• Companion : “Kindred” (Arakna the Wizard, 4AD Level 2) – Your friend stands by you. Skilled: When you make a move outside of combat (not a progress move) aided by your companion’s expertise, add +1.
• Path: “Herbalist” – When you attempt to Heal using herbal remedies, and you have at least +1 supply, you may choose one (decide before rolling). * Add +2. * On a hit, take or give an additional +1 health
• Combat Talent “Thunder-Bringer” – If you wield a mighty hammer… When you Face Danger, Secure an Advantage, or Compel by hitting or breaking an inanimate object, add +1 and take +1 momentum on a hit.

Health:5; Spirit:5; Supply:5; Momentum:5. Gold pieces: 640.

Arakna’s Health: 4/4

Background Vow (Extreme): rise an army to conquer the Island of Eos and bring back the Old Gods (Progress: 0.5).

Dangerous Vow: Offer 1000 gold pieces to the Great Temple of Torgana to get guidance from the Goddess (Progress: 6).

Bonds: Queen Avella, Deshin the Dwarf, Willa the Warrior, Duke Darvus of Lavinia

_____

Otanu and Arakna start a Dangerous journey to the temple of Torgana.

JOURNEY: Challenge: 9,9; Action:3+1(bond with Lavinia)+1road+3Wits; MISS and MATCH.

Pay the Price: a surprising event complicates your quest.
(I decide that this will be a side-quest and, because of the Match, the Journey is not Dangerous but Formidable.)

While following the road to the North-West, they find a smashed wagon. All the occupants are dead, but a woman who says she is a priestess of Darna, the Old Goddess of the Moon. She says they were attacked by Trolls, who also stole her sacred moon-ring. She asks for revenge and dies.

They follow westward the tracks of the trolls.

JOURNEY: Challenge: 3,4 Action:6+1(road)+3Wits. STRONG HIT. Journey progress: 1.

The road ends and they must cross a river in a forest.

JOURNEY: Challenge:8,2; Action:6+3wits-2(river, forest). WEAK HIT. -1 supply (now 4). Journey progress: 2.

They are at the foot of the mountains and find the lair of the trolls: an ancient mine.

(This will be a Dangerous Delve into an Infested Mine.)

The lair of the trolls: an infested mine

Briefly: at the entrance they fight the troll’s pet, a hyena. They go down a vertical shaft and meet a young troll, that they easily dispatch. After crossing an underground stream, they find two more trolls. Strong hit, on Locate Objective, therefore the Trolls are sleeping and only count as Dangerous. In the following battle, they kill the trolls but Arkana is lightly wounded. The only treasure they find is the moon-ring of the Darna priestess.

They resume their journey.

JOURNEY: Challenge:2,8; Action:5+3Wits-1(Mountains); WEAK HIT; Journey progress: 3. -1 supply, now 3.

They are still in the mountains, they must cross a river, but they also find a path to the North.

JOURNEY: Challenge:7,3; Action:2+3Wits-2(river, mountains)+1road; WEAK HIT; Journey progress: 4; -1 supply (now 2).

They are still in the mountains. They must abandon the path that turns westward.

JOURNEY: Challenge:6,4; Action:6+3Wits-1(mountains). STRONG HIT. Journey progress: 5.

They go across a flat wasteland, then they turn to the North-East.

JOURNEY: Challenge:5,7; Action:2+3Wits-1(mountains). MISS.
They can see Birgral’s fortress in the distance, but they must cross a dangerous river.

FACE DANGER. Challenge:1,5; Action:5+3Wits, STRONG HIT. They cross unharmed.

JOURNEY: Challenge:10,5; Action:2+3Wits. MISS. -1 supply=1.

The fortress was built on an island in the middle of a lake. They must find a way to cross the lake.
They are also short of supply and search the area for game or other food.

Bigral’s Fortress (Disco Diffusion AI)

RESUPPLY: Challenge:5,7; Action:2+1Wits, MISS. They find nothing and waste time. -1 momentum (now 4).

They explore the Northern shore of the lake.

JOURNEY: Challenge:3,4; Action:6+3Wits. STRONG HIT. Journey Progress:6.
They are in a wooded area, where they manage to resupply and rest (Health and Supplies fully restored). There is wood that they can use to build a raft and reach the fortress.

DELVE into Bigral’s Fortress, a Formidable Ravaged Stronghold

They cannot enter from the main portal, which is closed by dwarven iron gates. They manage to enter through a window on the West side.

  1. Delve: WEAK HIT (Progress: 1). They go through deserted dorms.
  2. Delve: STRONG HIT + Match (Progress: 2). A corridor. They find a secret passage.
  3. Delve: STRONG HIT. (Progress: 3) A hidden a storage room where they collect 100 gold pieces.
  4. Delve: WEAK HIT. (Progress: 4) More dorms. Otanu is tricked by a crumbling wall and is wounded (-1 health=4).
  5. Delve: STRONG HIT. (+1 momentum=6, Progress: 5). They drop upon some orcs and slaughter them.
  6. Delve: MISS. In the courtyard, an orc priest is getting ready to sacrifice a black dwarf. The scene is overlooked by 3 orc warriors (Extreme enemies).
    Battle: WEAK HIT. Arakna kills the priest with a lightning bolt spell, but the orc warriors kill the dwarf and seriously wound Otanu before he can kill all of them (Otanu’s health -3=1).
  7. Delve, MISS+Match, burn momentum to turn it into STRONG HIT+Match (Progress: 6). A chapel devoted to Torgana. Otanu recovers some of his health (now 3).
  8. Delve: WEAK HIT (Progress: 7). Path blocked by more collapsed walls.

They decide that it’s better to conclude their exploration before they meet more orcs.

Locate Objective: C:3,7 vs 7: WEAK HIT.

They are unable to find more treasure. I will not mark progress on the dangerous vow to offer 1000 gold pieces to Torgana.

ESCAPE THE DEPTHS: WEAK HIT (-1 momentum, now 1).

(Though the delve was not very rewarding, I am happy that I could get the distinctive flavour of this Infested Stronghold. I will experiment more with pure-Ironsworn dungeon-crawls).

_____

Current Situation:

Health:3; Spirit:5; Supply:5; Momentum:1. Gold pieces: 730.

Arakna’s Health: 4/4

Background Vow (Extreme): rise an army to conquer the Island of Eos and bring back the Old Gods (Progress: 0.5).

Dangerous Vow: Offer 1000 gold pieces to the Great Temple of Torgana to get guidance from the Goddess (Progress: 6).

Bonds: Queen Avella, Deshin the Dwarf, Willa the Warrior, Duke Darvus of Lavinia

Goldsworn 5 – The Corrupted Palace of Jean De Gamurre

[An Ironsworn pirate adventure set in the fictional Islas Nuevas archipelago]

Previous Events: The Danish captain Haf Moriensen arrives to the Roca Larga island from Europe on his ship, the Rebis. His goal is finding an Atlantean source of occult power hidden somewhere in the archipelago. Haf’s younger sister Miranda and part of the crew disappear from the ship. The Captain swears a vow to find Miranda. The girl has been imprisoned by Sir Alban Kinry, the English governor of the island: he will free her after the Rebis has secretly taken him to a nearby island and back. Haf agrees and the Rebis sails towards Isla de la Fuente. They are attacked by English pirates, but the Danish win the fight and capture their ship. Haf finds among the loot an alchemical book related with his mystical quest. When they reach Isla de la Fuente, Haf accepts to help Kirby recover his baby son Hermes from the palace of the French governor Jean De Gamurre.


Main character: Captain Haf Moriensen
Edge:+1 Heart:+1 Iron:+2 Shadows:+3 Wits:+2
Health:5 Spirit:3 Supply:3 Momentum:6
ASSETS
Path – WATERBORN Gather Information, Face Danger and Secure an Advantage at +1 when using water-related knowledge and skills.
Ritual – DIVINATION Gather Information by a blood-form of bibliomancy.
Custom – BATTLESHIP Mighty: Strike and Clash at +1 and to +1 harm in naval combat. Ship Health: 5
BONDS
Miranda (Haf’s sister) [oracle: a young and kind bandit, i.e. pirate]
Ithela (quartermaster of the Rebis) – an African warrior fond of bone amulets [oracle: a Dangerous and Artistic Hunter]
Morien (Haf’s father) a Danish occultist and merchant [oracle: Confident and Adventurous]
Other NPCs
Sir Alban Kinry – the jealous and stubborn English governor of Roca Larga
Brian Reese – an English pirate defeated by the Rebis


VOWS
Background Vow: – Epic. Seize an Atlantean source of occult power that must be hidden somewhere in the Islas Nuevas. Progress: 0.25
Dangerous Vow: Find Miranda. Progress: 4

________________________________________________________________

Haf uses his Divination skill to perform a blood ritual with Kinry: they want to know more of where the baby Hermes is.

Challenge:2,2 Action:2+1 Heart STRONG HIT and MATCH
Haf’s bibliomancy book shows a skull with a hour-glass: they are running out of time. They must act tonight. The skull in the engraving says that the baby is in the palace of the governor Jean De Gamurre, but it is guarded by the powerful sorcerer Father Solanas and his acolytes.

[This will be a Formidable Delve into a Corrupted Stronghold; in order to simulate the sense of urgency due to the divination response, I decide they will have to roll for their objective as soon as Progress=7; also, I will mostly use Edge in Delve moves]

At night, Haf, Ithela and Kinry reach the palace. A side entrance is guarded by a single man who is easily dispatched. They pick the lock and enter the building.

*1* DELVE C:2,9 A: 6+3Shadow=9 WEAK HIT Progress:1
They enter a storage room, but a second guard is in there!

FACE DANGER: C:7,7 A:4+3 MISS and MATCH
The guard is well awake: he runs out of the room giving the alarm. It doesn’t start well….

*2* DELVE C:6,8 A:1+1 Edge MISS
They enter a long corridor. A cleric in a purple robe stops their way.

BATTLE C:6,7 A:1+2Iron MISS
The cleric casts an invisible knife and hits Haf (Health -2, now 3). Ithela kills the cleric.

*3* DELVE C:4,5 A:4+1Edge=5 WEAK HIT Progress: 2
Another storage room.

*4* DELVE C:2,5 A:6+1=7 Progress=3 STRONG HIT Progress:3
Opportunity: they gain some insight about the place.
The room is dominated by the large statue of a native toad divinity. In the room, they find several purple robes similar to what the cleric was wearing. They will try to use them as a disguise.

*5* DELVE C:1,8 A3+3Shadow WEAK HIT Progress:4
Danger: they are caught in the open by a second cleric
Is the cleric fooled by the purple robes they are wearing? [50/50] YES
They move forward without speaking

*6* DELVE C:5,7 A:1+1Edge MISS
Another corridor. A servant armed with a sword.

BATTLE C:5,4 A:2+2 MISS
Ithela is wounded!

*7* DELVE C:1,8 A*6+1 WEAK HIT
Double Progress, now 5
Danger: they are attacked by a Thrall!

Battle: 3,7 A:3+2Iron WEAK HIT
Haf is wounded in the fight (Health now 1)

*8* DELVE C;8,10 A:1+1 MISS
Another mystic chapel with the statue of a chihuahua god
Danger: your way is blocked
The door shuts close. They waste time to unlock it.
I will roll for the objective when Progress=6

*9* DELVE C;4,7 A:5+1Edge WEAK HIT
Progress: 6
LOCATE OBJECTIVE: 2,6 vs 6 WEAK HIT

They have found the baby, but Father Solanas also is in this bedroom.

BATTLE C:1,8 A:1+2 WEAK HIT
Before vanishing in a cloud of black smoke, Solanas touches and kills one of the characters.
Ithena or Kinry? [50/50] Kinry is killed!

They ESCAPE retracing their steps.
C: 7,9 A:4+2Wits MISS
They are confronted by another Thrall: Ithena is also killed!

Haf leaves the palace and runs towards his ship, holding the crying Hermes in his arms.
I mark Progress:2 on the Vow to free Miranda. But Kinry’s death will have consequences….

Having witnessed the magics of Solanas also contributes to Haf’s Epic Background Vow of investigating the mysterious source of occult power in the Argipelago (Progress now 0.5).

________________________________________________

Current situation:
Health:1 Spirit:3 Supply:3 Momentum:6
“Health” of the Rebis: 5
Epic Background Vow: (source of occult power) Progress:0.5
Dangerous Vow (free Miranda) Progress:6

Keera the Sunderer 5: the great lake

An Ironsworn solo campaign, with battles fought with the Commands and Colors Ancients and Scenario-X boardgame rules. I have reduced armies to 10 units (instead of the standard 12 in Scenario-X) and set the end of the game to 5 victory points (aka Banners) instead of 6. Hex-Crawling is based on the Macchiato Monsters Map Generator by Eric Nieudan. See campaign set-up here. [This is a gaming campaign: please do not expect historical accuracy]


Previous Events: Keera is the leader of a Gallic clan: the Sunderers. She allies with the Wind-Riders, lead by Mogurix, in order to march South towards the richest lands that once were Gallic and are now controlled by the Romans. Keera swears to find the tomb of their mythical ancestor Dag. They advance slowly, with frequent fights against the Romans, in which the Gauls are always victorious. After a few days, the druid Beltros announces he must leave the clan to follow a mysterious quest: he names the young Anunna as his replacement.

NPCs:

Mogurix; the leader of the Wind-Riders, a clan allied with Keera’s Sunderers

Lavinia:  Mogurix’ wife. A Healer who was born a Roman but was adopted by the Gauls when a child.

Beltros: a Druid and the oldest member of Keera’s Sunderers. He disapproves the expedition South, believing that the risks of war should be avoided whenever possible.

Anunna: a young and honest priestess who replaces Beltros when he leaves he clan.people2_1200

 


 

Undertake a Journey: Challenge:5,6 Action:6+1=7 a Strong Hit! (progress on the journey towards the tomb of Dag: 2)
Keera leads the Gauls through a an increasingly marshy landscape. The area appears not to be inhabited: no signs of Roman presence.

Undertake a Journey: Challenge:6,4 Action:4+1=5 Weak hit (-1 Supply; journey progress now 4)

Undertake a Journey: Challenge:2,2 Action:3+1 Strong Hit and Matching Dice!
They reach the shores of a great lake. They meet some Etruscan fishermen which are quite friendly: they have heard rumours of the victories of the Gauls against the Romans and they are pleased with the news. They tell Keera that the tomb of Dag is not far from the Southern shore of the lake.
(journey progress now 6)

They proceed West, close to the lake. The area is still occupied by marshes.

_map

Undertake a Journey: Challenge:4,5 Action:2+1 Miss
After about one week of undisturbed advance, they make camp in an area with some sparse woods, but still adjacent to the marshes. A large Roman farm has been spotted and they plan to attack it early next day. But, once again, they are faced by a Roman army.

Keera deploys on the right flank, behind a small river (treated as marshes in CCA). Mogurix is at the extreme left, next to the woods. The Gallic camp is in the middle. One of the two Roman leaders is attached to a Cavalry unit, deployed in front of Keera. The second leader is at the centre, together with the Roman elite infantry.

[I am using a slightly smaller Commands and Colors board (10×9 hexes instead of 13×11) – I randomly rolled for the number of cards for each side (4 or 5) – the Romans have 5 command cards, the Gauls only 4 – the farm at the centre of the board is treated as clear terrain and worth a victory banner – the battle will end when one of the two sides conquers its fifth banner]

00.jpgLAT8

The Gauls advance more quickly, even if crossing the marshes causes some losses. The Roman cavalry lead by the general also advances, aiming at a clash with Keera.

06.jpgLAT8
Keera crossing the marshes, ready to face the Roman cavalry

The Roman cavalry is repelled and two Roman infantry units are destroyed; the Gauls occupy the farm, but not without losses [Gauls:3; Romans:1]

07.jpgLAT8
The farm is conquered!

With a classical pincer manoeuvre, Keera and Mogurix attack on both flanks the Roman units that were already damaged by the previous fights near the marshes and the farm. Each of the leaders destroys an enemy unit and secure one more victory for the Gauls [Gauls:5; Romans:1]. This is a strong hit (+2 Momentum).

08.jpgLAT8
Two more Roman infantry units are destroyed

Keera’s current situation:

Stats – Edge:1 Heart:2 Iron:2 Shadow:3 Wits:1
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:4 Momentum:2
Assets: Loyalist, Sunderer, Shadow-Walker
Vow: find the tomb of Dag in the South (Dangerous) – Progress:6
Background Vow: plunder a major Roman city (Extreme) Progress:0

Keera the Sunderer 3: the departure of Beltros

An Ironsworn solo campaign, with battles fought with the Commands and Colors Ancients and Scenario-X boardgame rules. I have reduced armies to 10 units (instead of the standard 12 in Scenario-X) and set the end of the game to 5 victory points (aka Banners) instead of 6. Hex-Crawling is based on the Macchiato Monsters Map Generator by Eric Nieudan. See campaign set-up here. [This is a gaming campaign: please do not expect historical accuracy]

Previous Events: Keera is the leader of a Gallic clan: the Sunderers. She allies with the Wind-Riders, lead by Mogurix, in order to march South towards the richest lands that once were Gallic and are now controlled by the Romans. But when the two clans are ready to move, they are attacked by a Roman army. They win the battle, but all their war chariots are destroyed.

NPCs:

Mogurix; the leader of the Wind-Riders, a clan allied with Keera’s Sunderers

Lavinia:  Mogurix’ wife. A Healer who was born a Roman but was adopted by the Gauls when a child.

Beltros: a Druid and the oldest member of Keera’s Sunderers. He disapproves the expedition South, believing that the risks of war should be avoided whenever possible.

people1000


The Sunderers and the Wind-Riders leave their plain they inhabited, moving South. They reach a lightly wooded region.
Undertake a Journey: C:4,8 A:2+1(Wits)=3 MISS

Pay the Price: The scouts report a Roman Legion camped near a farm. The battle appears inevitable and the best course of action seems to attack now, rather then risking being ambushed later.

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Mogurix and the Wind-Riders deploy on the left wing. Keera is at the centre with most of the Gallic warriors. On the right side, the field is hilly: not much action will happen here.

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The Gallic cavalry takes a hard blow and is forced to retreat

The Gallic cavalry is the first to take initiative: they destroy a Roman infantry unit on their first charge [G:1 R:0], but the Roman leader puts one of the attacking units to flight (two flags). Mogurix cavalry, now isolated, is completely destroyed [G:1 R:1].
Mogurix retreats and the damaged Gallic infantry on the left wing will soon be destroyed [G:1 R:2]. Keera and the Sunderers are advancing at the centre.

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Mogurix joins the warriors immediately on the left of Keera and the two leaders clash against the main body of the Roman infantry: they outnumber them, three units to four. This will finally grant four victory points to the Sunderers. In the first clash, a Roman infantry unit is destroyed [G:2 R:2].

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The Romans, however in clear inferiority, attempt a final attack, almost destroying Keera’s warriors. But the Gauls are not completely defeated: they fight back, destroy the two already damaged infantry units [G:4 R:2] and kill the Roman leader [G:5 R:2].

A clear victory for Keera! The Gauls can move on.

The woods are thicker now.
Undertake a Journey: C:5,8 A:3+1(Wits)=4 MISS
Pay the Price: [oracle] you are separated from something or someone

map03

Beltros leaves the clan. Why? [50/50 choice between A and B]
A: he has a vision where the gods ask him to stay alone in the forest
B: he vaguely hints to a quest he has to follow alone

Does Lavinia take the place of Beltros? [50/50 oracle] NO
Beltros indicates Anunna (a [oracle: young and honest] priestess) to replace him during his absence.

anunna.jpgRES

Pyros Island 4 – Lilith’s triumph

Commands and Colors Ancients solo campaign, with RPG elements based on Biviusand the free subset of the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) Deck. The campaign will end one one of two sides wins its third victory. See setup here.

 

Previous events: Neos, the son of the tyrant of Syracuse, has broken his marriage vow with the Carthaginian Bastet. His father exiled him to the island of Pyros (a Syracusan colony) where he became the lover of the ruler Zenon. Bastet and her mother Lilith attack Pyros to force Neos to marry Bastet or take revenge upon him. They occupy the Southern part of the island without encountering opposition, and defeat the Syracusan army in the Sika Valley. As the invaders push West towards the sea-side village of Ormiskos, they are defeated by Zenon, who also captures Bastet. Zenon’s proposals of an agreement are rejected by Lilith. Neos now refuses to fight: Bastet has been captured and he wants the battle against Lilith to be fair. The Carthaginian leader takes advantage of the situation and defeats Zenon at Lofos. She is now ready to attack Zenon’s stronghold at Kastro.


Story-telling prelude: the Carthaginian have put Kastro under siege. Something unexpected happens.

GMA: convince arrogant merchant
[I interpret this as “a convincing and arrogant mercenary”]
Cordolix, a Gallic veteran mercenary, deserts Zenon to join Lilith’s army. He tells her he has fought for the Carthaginian before, in Sicily, and he knows how superior they are to the Greek.

Has Cordolix freed Bastet and carried her with him? NO

How does Cordolix convince Lilith to let him lead her Heavy Infantry? [Two options a-la Bivius]
A. Cordolix seduces Lilith
B. Cordolix swears he will kill Zenon in battle

pyros
Cordolix, Lilith, Bastet, Neos, Zenon

Having found out of Cordolix desertion, Neos decides he will fight again. Each army will have two leaders.

names

The Cavarly of Neos and Lilith are soon engaged in a fight. The Syracusan prevails and Lilith is forced to retreat and join a Medium Infantry unit: both her cavalry units are destroyed [C:0 S:2]
Neos charges again, but this time Lilith battles back and forces him to retreat.

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Lilith resists Neos’ charge

At the centre of the battlefield, Cordolix and Zenon also engage in Combat. The first destroyed unit is Carthaginian Auxilia [C:0 S:3] and the Carthaginian infantry must retreat.

But Cordolix seems to want to fulfil his promise: he attacks Zenon and scatters both his Heavy Infantry and the Medium Infantry backup. Zenon is alone, retreating towards the fortifications of Kastro. [C:2 S:3]

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Lilith sees that the time is favourable and launches a Coordinated Attack. On the Carthaginian left flank, a cavalry unit tries to kill the fugitive Zenon, but fails. At the centre, Cordolix charges the Carthagenian infantry that had already been hit in the previous fight: he destroys two units. [C:4 S:3]
Lilith does the same on the right-flank, finishing two badly damaged Syracusan units [C:6 S:3]

Campaign score:
Carthaginian – Victories:3 Banners:21
Syracusan – Victories:1 Banners:14

This is the third victory for the Carthaginian, hence the end of the Campaign. Kastro falls, Lilith conquers the island of Pyros and frees her daughter Bastet.

How does it end for the main characters? [Again, a-la Bivius]

A. Neos marries Bastet, with whom he will rule on the island of Pyros. But he requires that Zenon joins in the government has his private counsellor.
B. Neos manages to escape: he cannot be found anywhere. Lilith sentences Zenon to death. Bastet marries Cordolix and the couple will now rule on the island of Pyros.

Great! Lilith and Neos can meet again in the future for a second campaign!

Pyros Island 3 – The Fall of Lofos

 

Commands and Colors Ancients solo campaign, with RPG elements based on Biviusand the free subset of the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) Deck. The campaign will end one one of two sides wins its third victory. See setup here.

Previous events: Neos, the son of the tyrant of Syracuse, has broken his marriage vow with the Carthaginian Bastet. His father exiled him to the island of Pyros (a Syracusan colony) where he became the lover of the ruler Zenon. Bastet and her mother Lilith attack Pyros to force Neos to marry Bastet or take revenge upon him. They occupy the Southern part of the island without encountering opposition, and defeat the Syracusan army in the Sika Valley. As the invaders push West towards the sea-side village of Ormiskos, they are defeated by Zenon, who also captures Bastet. Lilith still refuses any agreement and Neos now refuses to fight: Bastet has been captured and he wants the battle against Lilith to be fair.

Lilith thinks of trying the Northern route that leads from Sika to Kastro. The two armies meet again near Lofos.

Only the two leaders Zenon and Lilith take part to the fight. I rolled for some wooded area and I also included two camps: capturing one counts as a banner i.e. victory point. As usual, Zenon is attached to a Heavy Infantry unit and Lilith to a Medium Cavalry one.

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Lilith and the Carthaginian on the left; Zenon and the Syracusan on the right

Zenon’s infantry advances at the centre of the battlefield. The Carthaginian Cavarly tries to outflank him on both sides.

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But the Light Cavarly unit on the left of the Carthaginian army is first beaten by the Syracusan Medium Infantry and then destroyed by a Light Infantry ranged attack [C:0 S:1].

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On the opposite flank, Lilith is pushing forward with her Cavalry and three infantry units.

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Lilith leading forward her Heavy Infantry and Auxilia

Her advance pushes a Syracusan infantry unit out of the battlefield [C:1 S.1]. But she is now isolated, with only an Auxilia unit in support. Her Heavy Infantry, even more isolated at the centre of the battlefield, will be destroyed by Zenon [C:1 S:2]. The Syracusan army is close to the Carthaginian camp, defended by a badly damaged cavalry unit: yet the defenders repel an attack by the Syracusan Light Infantry and destroy the unit [C:2 S:2].

But Lilith is on fire: she clashes with the Syracusan cavalry. Her horsemen are initially dispersed, but they soon rally and destroy the Syracusan cavalry [C:3 S:2]. Her charge does not stop before she also removes a light infantry unit from the battlefield [C:4 S:2].

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Lilith pushes forward, while her camp is under siege

 

The Carthaginian camp is under continuous attacks, but it strenuously resists. The Carthaginian Auxilia near Lilith engage a fight with the Infantry at the left of Zenon: the Syracusan take considerable damage. Finally Lilith charges the two weakened units and destroys both of them [C:6 S.2].

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This was an outstanding win for the Carthaginians!

The Campaign score is now the following:
Carthaginian – Victories:2 Banners:15
Syracusan – Victories:1 Banners:11

With the next battle, Lilith will have a chance to win the campaign. She will launch an attack against Kastro, Zenon’s capital town.

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Pyros Island – Battle 1 – Sika Valley

A Commands and Colors Ancients solo campaign, with RPG elements based on Bivius and the free subset of the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) Deck. See setup here.

Previous events: Neos, the son of the tyrant of Syracuse, has broken his marriage vow with the Carthaginian Bastet. His father exiled him to the island of Pyros (a Syracusan colony) where he became the lover of the ruler Zenon. Bastet and her mother Lilith attach Pyros to force Neos to marry Bastet or take revenge upon him. They occupied the Southern part of the island without encountering opposition, but the Syracusan army will face them in the Sika Valley.


The two armies face each other. Zenon leads the main Syracusan body: he is attached to a Heavy Infantry unit. Neos leads the left wing: one Light Cavalry unit, one Light Infantry, two Medium Infantry.
The main body of the Carthaginian army, facing Zenon, is lead by Bastet, who is also attached to the Carthaginian Heavy Infantry. Lilith faces Neos on the right wing, with two cavalry and three infantry units.

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Lilith and Neos advance boldly and they are soon engaged in direct combat. Zenon awaits in reserve, launching his cavalry against Lilith. But the Syracusan horses are too isolated and one of the two units is soon destroyed.

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The fight between Neos and Lilith favours the Syracusan, but the Carthaginian leader is quick to evade the decisive attack and moves to a safer position.

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Lilith’s cavarly is badly damaged: she takes cover behind her light infantry

Bastet advances: her army is deployed in a solid line and occupies the centre of the battlefield. Zenon still does not join the battle.

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On the other wing, Neos’ cavalry has also been hit hard, but he holds his position. This will cost him the destruction of both his cavalry unit. Later, the Carthaginian cavalry will outflank and destroy an isolated infantry unit.

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Neon’s cavarly still in the front line

But the decisive fight is lead by Lilith’s infantry: they completely destroy the Syracusan right wing, finally conquering the sixth banner.

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The last Syracusan cavalry unit is defeated

Final score. Carthaginian:6 banners, Syracusan:3 banners

mapgraph


RPG interlude.
Does the scene involve Zenon? NO
Which characters are involved? Neos and Bastet

GMA: delay tender companion
Neos arranges a secret meeting with Bastet. He swears that he will marry her in a year, if the Carthaginian leave Pyros.
Is Bastet interested in the proposal? (unlikely: 25% chance) YES
But when Bastet speaks of the idea with her mother, Lilith says she is determined to see the question solved without further delays. Lilith proposes to lead the army by herself alone, if Bastet is not willing to fight against the Syracusans. Bastet immediately replies that she will do her part.

Pyros Island – CCA Solo Campaign – setup

[NB: this is a gaming campaign. Do NOT expect historical accuracy]

I recently discovered that the huge army lists from De Bellis Antiquitatis have been converted for the Commands and Colors Ancients boardgame. I do not have CCA, but I own another game using the same system: Memoir 44. Since the publisher of CCA (GMT games) makes the rules available for free download, I thought of creating a few paper minis, reconstruct the command deck on the basis of the description in the rules and use the Memoir board and tiles.

I will play a simplified DBA-style campaign set on an island, where each side initially controls three locations. The first side that wins three battles will be the winner of the campaign. I hope this simple set-up will allow me to master the rules and maybe try something more complex in the future.

Inspired by Sicily before the first Punic war, I decided to use these two armies from Scenario X:

29. Syracusan East Sicily 410-210BC
1xMC or HI (G), 1xLC, 1xHI, 5xMI, 1xMI or War, 1xAux or MC, 1xAux or WM, 1xLI
[I chose Medium Infantry instead of the Warriors]

39. Later Carthaginian 275-146BC
1xMC (G), 1xLC, 1xHI, 2xMI, 1xAux, 3xWar or LI or Aux, 1xEl or MC, 1xEl or LC, 1xLI
[I chose to have 4 Auxilia and no Elephants]


RPG/Story elements will be simply managed Bivius-style, mostly with a Binary-Random-Oracle. I will also use the free subset of the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) Deck for inspiration.

From the story-telling point of view, with respect to Memoir 44, CCA has the huge advantage of representing individual leaders. I will use two leaders per side, so I will have four main characters.

Who is the attacker? ODD:Carthaginian EVEN:Syracusan
ODD:Carthaginian

Two of the four leaders will be women. Carthaginian or Syracusan?
ODD ODD
Two Carthaginian women will fight against two Syracusan men.

I painted and named these four leaders:

characters
Left to right: Lilith, Bastet, Neos, Zenon

Zenon is the ruler of the Pyros Island.

Is Neos Zenon’s son? NO
Neos is the son of the tyrant of Syracuse. He also is Zenon’s lover.

Is Lilith the Carthaginian leader? YES
Is Bastet her sister? NO

Lilith is Bastet’s mother.

Why are Lilith and Bastet attacking Pyros? GMA: interrupt active purity
I interpret purity as referencing to virginity: Lilith is thinking of Bastet’s marriage

Neos was engaged with Bastet, but he refused to marry her. As a punishment, Neos’ father exiled him to Pyros. Lilith wants Neos to marry her daughter or die.

The Carthaginian attack was a total  surprise: the invaders landed at Paralia, in the Southern part of Pyros and could easily occupy the fishing village of Notos and the fortified hill of Frourio. Zenon has gathered his army and will face the invaders in the Sika valley.

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Cybela and the Iron Talisman – 1 Abon Setback

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG and the OnePageRules Grimdark Future Firefight skirmishing rules.
See setup here.

Previous events: The Duchy of Elfbrook has been attacked by the Duchy of Boarwood. Duchesss Cybela of Elfbrook is the best remotely-controlled-mecha-pilot around: she swears a vow to help defeat the invaders and rescue her friend Tahuta, who has snatched the Iron Talisman from the hands of the enemy but is now trapped in the Boarwood-occupied territory.

NPCs:

  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.

[I will use this map to track progress on Cybela’s vow. Progress will correspond to the liberation of occupied territory (marked by the diagonal lines)]

MAPSQ
Diagonal lines: Boarwood occupation

Cybela’s Mecha supports two infantry squads and two veterans (running men) in an action at the outskirts of Abon. Both armies want to seize both the gray car in the foreground and the oval white structure in the background. The Boarwood (blue) platoon includes a red giant, four veterans, a sniper (deployed on the oval structure) and a Weapon-team with a missile launcher.

900_setup

Turn 1: the missile-launcher targets the Mecha and hits! Since it is blast(3), it causes three hits and one of the puts the mecha out-of-combat. Two of the Boarwood veterans move towards the left side of the area and two to the right.

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Turn 2: The giant is hit and stunned. The veterans on the right are eliminated by one of the green infantry squads.  The other two engage in combat with the two green veterans, who then move towards the oval structure.

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Turn 3: the missile-launcher is effective again and completely destroys one of the green infantry squads. The sniper puts one of the Elfbrook veterans out-of-combat. The blue veterans advance undisturbed.

Turn 4: since the green army has lost more than half of its units, I check morale and the infantry squad decides to retreat. The only remaining green veteran has no option but to retreat as well.

A clean blue victory.
Cybela must Pay the Price. I will add some complication. Oracle: “reveal tool”.
Boarwood has carefully prepared their invasion: all squads will include a missile-launcher unit. I will also decrease supplies by 2: building new Mechas is expensive…

Current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:3 Momentum:0
Vow: retrieve the Iron Talisman (Troublesome) Progress:0
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0