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Dreamfish Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 2:02 a.m. PST

We do this from time to time.

Battle Reports, that is.

3rd edition Battle Reports.

If you are new to our internet shenanigans, then you might be interested in the events
at the Wyemm Seeyay>, or at Koles Lorr.
Very important, those, because those old enough to remember Wyemm Seeyay might
recognise some of the very same heroes and villains from that report in this one.

As always, we need to set the scene.

Prologue

"What do you mean 'pregnant'?"

King Domcome slowly creaked forward, fixing Lady Fasten Luuhs with his withering
stare. Seventy dwarves formed the court of the king and seventy dwarves now followed
the king's stare at the cause of the king's question.

"Pregnant! You know what pregnant means! There's a baby in here," Lady Luuhs barked
whilst patting her belly. "And you heard the rest as well the baby is his!"

The assembled court of dwarves gasped in unison as Lady Luuhs pointed a damning
finger at a dishevelled elf, his fragile body wrapped in chains and his head resting
on the executioner's block. Seventy pairs of dwarf eyes returned to the original
objective of this court session: the execution of an elven spy.

He was making furious shushing noises whilst he frantically shook his head.

"Haha," he squeaked, his voice strained. "She's such a kidder, ain't she?"

"Shutup!" hissed the executioner, thumping his leathered fist down on the back of
the elf's head.

As one, the dwarf heads swivelled back towards the king.

"So you mean to say that not only was this… thing caught spying in your chamber,
you're telling me that it forced itself on you and you now carry its child?"

The dwarven court exploded in outrage. Dwarves tore at their beards and clothes,
whilst others pelted the elf with semi-precious stones and any other bits of rubbish
they had on their persons.

"Hoo boy," whispered the executioner. "Before, we were just gonna execute you, but
now you've gone and done it…"

"I've gone and done it?" The elf squealed in indignation. "She's
the one that's gone and done it! My dad warned me about bloody dwarves! Ow!" He
winced as a piece of lupus lazuli bounced off his head.

The court slowly became aware of Lady Luuhs standing in the centre of the room,
with her arms raised.

"WILL YOU ALL JUST SHUT UP FOR A MINUTE?" she yelled.

Dwarves, caught in mid throw, stopped and stared. One, unable to contain the momentum,
toppled over, the sudden silence magnifying his crash to bomb-like proportions.

"He is NOT a rapist. He is NOT a spy!" Lady Luuhs glared at the court, daring anyone
to make eye contact with her. She turned and faced the king. "He is my lover! Willingly
did I share my bed with him! He is MY elf, and I love him! He is the father to MY
child… AND I FORBID YOU TO KILL HIM!" She had crossed the floor whilst shouting
and now stood nose to nose with the king, poking him in the chest with each word
she yelled.

King Domcome stared at Lady Luuhs, his mouth opening and closing like a fish.

Silence pounded in the room, the atmosphere drenched with tension.

The king looked at the elf. "I don't believe you. It's just a phase. You can't love
that."

"I can and I do!"

"He's got no beard!"

"I know! It's wonderful! His kisses are so sweet and tender!"

"He's got no belly!"

She looked up dreamily. "He is slender and muscular and so easy to grip!"

"He can't drink beer!"

"I know, but he drinks wine. Deep, red wine, passion made physical! Wine distilled
in the unquenched desires of-"

The king's eyes grew wide as he interrupted. "He's got POINTY EARS!"

She sighed. "Oh uncle, I could nibble on his ears all day-"

"ENOUGH!"

Lady Luuhs backed away terrified as the king launched himself to his feet, flecks
of spittle leaping from his lips.

"What about poor Sirrell Tonjon?" The king thrust his finger in the direction of
a small, nervous little dwarf. "The dwarf you've been promised to? Are you saying
that you've turned your back on this fine specimen of dwarven youth in order to
carouse with THAT HIDEOUS THING THERE?"

"Sirrell Tonjon? That dwarf there?" Lady Luuhs pointed at the unfortunate dwarf,
who appeared to be willing the floor to swallow him up. "Let me tell you about Sirrell
Tonjon, uncle. Sirrell Tonjon is gay! He's the gayest dwarf in this whole
bloody mountain range there are none gayer than him!" She flashed her eyes at
Sirrell before leaning in to close eye contact with the King again.

"Gay? He might have been gay once – I'm sure he was the happiest dwarf in all the
kingdom when you were promised to him, but look at him now you've destroyed any
chance of him ever being gay again. Look at him! He's furious!

The king spun around, searching out Sirrell in the crowd. Lady Luuhs cocked her
head to once side.

"Well?" barked the king.

"Er…" Sirrell mumbled. His eyes grew wide as he watched the king crack his knuckles.
"Er…yes. Furious! Furious! Totally and royally peeved! I mean…well…just…y'know.
Angry. Grrr." He looked down at his shoes.

"That it? Take your time son, we're all right behind you!" The king looked at Sirrell,
his eyes suddenly tender.

"Er…that's it for now. Definitely need time to… digest the news. Grrr. Raargh.
Fuming, I am. Just all fumey!"

King Domcome patted Sirrell tenderly on the shoulder whilst glaring at Lady Luuhs.
"Look at this poor boy. He'll have to go and become a slayer now. Think of him,
having to find his justice in those dark corridors as he hunts down trolls and giants,
seeking out a lonesome and painful death deep below the earth to atone for the shame
you've brought down on him today!"

Sirrell gulped. "Slayer? Me?"

Lady Luuhs snorted. "Slayer? Him?"

Seventy other dwarves whispered. "Slayer? Sirrell?"

The king looked around the room. "How else will he have justice? Although she has
brought shame on this clan she hasn't broken any laws. Unlike the elf over there."

"Let him execute the elf!" someone shouted.

"Ooooh" went the crowd. That sounded like justice.

"Give him the elf!" another cry went out.

Soon, the court were stomping the feet and chanting "Give him the elf!" Give him
the elf!"

The king raised his arms, bringing silence to the room.

"This is a good suggestion. Let the wronged groom wield the axe that severs the
head of the elf from its scrawny body. What do you say, m'boy?"

Sirrell was painfully aware of the eyes on him. In a way, he owed the elf a debt
of gratitude, now that he didn't have to marry Lady Luuhs. He looked up at the elf,
taking in the wild eyes and hair. Sweat running down his body. Steam was rising
from his muscular shoulders, causing condensation on the chains. Delicate hands.
Hazel eyes. Torn breeches-

"Sirrell? Sirrell?" King Domcome shook him by the shoulders. "Come back to us, lad.
You're panting. That rage must be burning up in you. You can go up there and take
that axe right now-"

"NO!" Lady Luuhs cried.

"NO!" Sirrell cried.

"N-no?" The king raised an eyebrow.

"No," Sirrell replied, still staring at the elf. "Bring him to my room first. Just
like that, in chains and all. I want to… um… punish him."

The king nodded slowly. "Dark, indeed, is your rage. Of course, as dwarves, we observe
respect of our enemy and only use torture when necessary." He looked over at the
elf. "In this case, I deem it sound for you to bring this elf to within an inch
of his life. You'll have to say a few Hail Fairy's once you're done, though."

"Hail Fairy? I can do that," Sirrell said.

"What?" started Lady Luuhs. "The only inch of life my poor elf is going to see tonight
is when Sirrell rams his-"

"TAKE HER AWAY!" yelled the king.

***

King Domcome shivered as the downdraft of the dragon's wings sent freezing gusts
of mountain air deep into his neck and joints. He groaned as he stood up, brushing
the snow from his cloak.

"Thanks for coming," he called out, once the dragon had settled. "It's been a while."

The king watched as the slender silhouette of the elf lord materialised into detail
in the greyness of the mountain fog. At first impassive, his pinched face broke
into a broad grin as he dropped to one knee and spread his arms wide. The two figures
hugged, armour clinking against armour as they patted each other on the back.

"My pleasure, Conker. I was amazed that you called. Besides, it's been a nice flight.
Always nice to go away from home. A bit like the old days, really. Although then,
we didn't ride the dragons…"

The dwarf grinned. "Conker. Ain't heard that one in a while. Yep, sometimes I still
wish we were out on the road, or in them dungeons again. Stuff was simple then."

The two swept some snow off a flattish stone, before setting down next to each other.

Lord Zinladyz, as the elf was known elsewhere, looked at the dwarf with concern
on his face. "I got your message." He held up an enchanted jawbone. "These iBones
are incredible, actually. Although mine's run out of mana at the moment."

The dwarf nodded. "Yeah, I get that all the time. It's because of the blue tooth."
He produced his own iBone, indicating the vacant spot where a tooth had once been.
"That blue glow really chews up the mana. Take it out, you don't need it."

"I'll keep that in mind. But back to the message what's been troubling our old
Conker, eh?"

King Domcome leaned forward, resting his elbows on his legs. "Well, it's like this."
The elf listened patiently as the dwarf described the situation, nodding as he began
to grasp hold of the unfolding events.

"…and now she's pregnant. I mean, it's not a crime, really. It'll mess things
up with the Tonjon family and there'll be all sorts of repercussions there, but
I can't actually prosecute anyone, because no actual crime has been committed. And,
as much as I wanted for her to meet a nice dwarf and settle down and such, I understand
that love is love. And she really, really seems to love this blood…er… cheeky
elf."

Lord Zinladyz nodded. "And, of course, there's this whole gay thing for the Tonjon's
to deal with as well. I didn't realise that was such a problem in the dwarven kingdoms."

"What, happiness? Why is everyone so surprised that dwarves can be happy?"

"Well, that's not what…oh. Right. You don't know about… Yeah, you're right.
Dwarves can… and should be happy. Let's leave the Tonjon's out of this, I think."

King Domcome nodded enthusiastically. "Thank you. Finally someone else gets it.
So back to Lady Luuhs. What do you think we should do with this smitten couple?
How would the elves react to this?"

For a while, the two sat silence, the only movement the cloudy breaths they exhaled
as they pondered the situation.

Eventually, Lord Zinladyz spoke. "Unfortunately, I think the elves would react much
the same way, should the situation be reversed. Unfortunately, not all elves have
had the good fortune of adventuring with dwarves such as your good self in their
youth, so they're a bit full of Bleeped text as well. I'd have to play the game like you're
doing. Sucks to be you."

"Yeah, thanks for that."

"But as I think about it, why don't we get them married to each other, arrange for
them to have a little cottage or something in one of the human lands, hidden away
from elves and dwarves, where they can live their lives out in peace? Formalise
the whole thing you know, arrange a bride price, get them a honeymoon, the whole
shebang. Get them out of your hold. Out of sight, out of mind, I've heard some humans
say before."

"Hmmm. I dunno. I don't want to condone this sort of thing, you know."

Silence again.

"I'll tell you what I'll do," Lord Zynladyz said, stroking his chin. "I know just
the thing to arrange for the bride price. I'll get some of the chaps to drop it
off close by. We'll try not to make it too friendly, you know, some appropriate
racial animosity, etcetera, etcetera. It should be enough to make it look as if
the elves have had to give in a bit and should help to restore the pride of the
hold a bit."

"You'd do that? Take the political hit, as it were?"

"For ol' Conker? Any day. Besides, that elf you've got locked up? That's one of
Vass Saleen's boys. His operation has been a bit sloppy of late, so it'd be good
to light a fire under his… well – derriere."

"That's good of you. I really appreciate that. Thanks."

The two figures stood and shook hands.

"That's my pleasure. Happy to help a friend out. Also, I brought something for you.
I bet you don't get much of this down in the mountains."

King Domcome looked up at the elf in awe. "No? Really? White Zinfandel? I don't
believe it!"

"Knew you'd like it. Here. I was kind of hoping you might have something to trade
for it?" said the elf, playful speculation in his voice.

"I still can't believe you eat this crap, but here you go," said the dwarf, handing
over his tins of spam.

The elf shivered in mock anticipation whilst rubbing his hands together. "Lovely!
Can't get this stuff anywhere else."

"Anyway," King Domcome said, "I really must get going. Who knows what they've been
doing down there whilst I've been away. They'll be bloody marrying goblins next.
I'll call you." He waved his iBone at the elf. "Don't forget the blue tooth."

"Catch you later, Conker," called the elf as he revived his slumbering dragon.

King Domcome watched as the shadow of the dragon descended the side of the mountain
to be swallowed by the mist.

"I wish they were all like him," he said. "Although, if he got a dwarf pregnant,
I'd have to knock his block off as well."

***

"What do you mean 'pregnant'?"

Lord Vass Saleen leaned forward slowly, fixing Lord Zynladyz with a questioning
stare.

"Pregnant! You know what pregnant means! He put a baby in a dwarf, no doubt through
the repeated thr-"

"They can have babies? Dwarves?"

"Yes. They can, and they do. And, your boy Sterone has achieved the same feat, with
the delightful Lady Fasten Luuhs, as I understand it."

"Testo would never do such a thing! I mean, carousing around the forest with dwarves
and whatnot. Boy doesn't have it in him."

"Actually, Saleen, so that we're clear. I'm not asking you what Testo Sterone would
do. I'm telling you what he has already done. Now I'm going to tell you
what you're going to do about it. I have no questions to ask you. Clear?"

"That's a question," Saleen muttered quietly.

"I'll pretend I didn't hear that. Because if I did hear that, I might have raised
your harvest tax to fifty percent. Good thing you didn't say anything and I didn't
hear anything." Lord Zynladyz calm voice did little to hide the menace of his intent.

"So this is what is going to happen. Testo is going to marry Lady Luuhs and take
up his responsibility as father to that child. I've already identified a lovely
little place for the two of them to stay, so they'll be well outside of both elven
and dwarven lands when the child is born. I think they'll be happy there.

"Part of the deal is that the father's family must pay a bride price. I want you
to arrange for a suitable escort of elves to pop down to the bridge over the river
Chai, and hand over Percolator. That is the bride price-"

"Percolator?" yelped Vass. "Percolator? Surely not! We need Percolator here!"

"No you don't. You don't even know how to use it properly."

"That's not true. We use Percolator to perk up the morning and evening watches.
They're much faster in their reactions with Percolator. It's ancient and incredibly
valuable. The little gritsuckers probably couldn't even switch it on! Can't we give
them something else?"

Lord Zynladyz sighed. "Look. I'm sorry that the price is so high for your family.
Trust me when I say you don't need Percolator. Elves shouldn't need anything like
that so it would be good to get your chaps used to not having it around.

"Anyway, I've arranged for the delivery to happen at noon a week today. Get to it!"

Lord Zynladyz turned his back and paced out of the room, leaving Lord Vass Saleen
fuming in his throne.

"I'm gonna kill that boy…"

***

Master B'tor steepled his fingers, looking over their elegant fingernails at the
hooded elf.

"So you're saying that Percolator will make my raiders faster than ever before,
and give them the ability to work through day and night without rest?"

"Yes, Master! Long have the wood elves hidden the secret of Percolator, but they
have let slip today that it is to be traded with the dwarves. Naturally, I thought
of you first when I heard…"

Master B'tor stroked his elegant chin. "Yes, that was good of you. You are a most
faithful spy. Your membership on my crew is all but assured."

"I need my raiders to be as effective as possible. Percolator does sound like just
the thing. Even now, I can see their astonished faces in Naggaroth when they ponder
our success. My only concern is that I don't have enough elves to snatch it."

"Master the same doubt crossed my mind. It just so happens that there are a tribe
of warrior orcs camped near our anchor. It is well known how violent the orcs are
and very keen to prosecute the dwarves at any opportunity. I realise they are
untrustworthy allies, but perhaps, just this once, we could engage them?"

"What's your name again?" Master B'tor asked as he looked deep into the cowl of
the spy.

"Sprayes, Master."

"Welcome to my crew, Seaman Sprayes. You have outdone yourself! Head ashore and
arrange for us to meet these orcs. We don't have much time!"

***

"So Seaman Squirtz here sez you's got a problem wit' dwarves?"

The elves looked at the monstrous shoulders of Rogaine, the orc captain. His massive
frame was covered in scarred skin so deeply green it was almost black. Standing,
their eyes were level with his, sitting.

"Sprayes. Seaman Sprayes. Not squirtz."

Rogaine ignored Sprayes, locking his deep-set eyes on Master B'tor. The silence
was punctuated by the sound of the waves rolling into the shore.

"That's right," Master B'tor said. "Normally, I have no issue with dwarves, but
it just so happens that they are expecting to take delivery of a possession of mine.
I want to intercept it before the dwarves make off with it."

"Sure, sure. I got no problems with dwarves either, 'cept when they gots my possessions.
Right now they gots my swords and my helmets and my shields and my beer and my gold.
I… understand your situation. What do you want me to do?"

"Well, Mister…er, Rogaine. I was hoping you would help us by beating the dwarves
into a tiny pulp whilst we retrieved my possessions?"

Rogaine scratched his chin. "What did you lose, anyway?"

"I lost a chest containing a family heirloom. It's about so big." He indicated the
dimensions of the chest with his hands.

"Okay, okay. I got time, so lets play the game. What's in the chest?" Rogaine
asked in a bored voice.

"I'm not sure you need to know, Mr Rogaine the deal I'm interested in is simply
to pay you to protect us whilst we recover the chest."

The orc captain cocked his head slightly, as if considering Master B'tor in a new
light. The orc took a deep breath, releasing the air slowly as he pondered the elf.

"Mister B'tor-"

"Master B'tor," the elf corrected.

"Master B'tor – I dunno how you all do business wherever you come from, but we's
making plans to be business partners, right. That means trust. Look there's only
a handful of you here on the beach there's loadsa boys here. If we wanted you
dead, you'd be dead. So you gots to trust us, see?" The orc leaned forward, cracking
his knuckles. "See, if I know what's in the box, then I know the risk me and the
boys is taking. Probably, whatever's in the box is some crap elf thing I couldn't
even fit around my big toe, so its probably safe, okay? So tell me whats in the
box?"

"It's hardly elven crap! It's an ancient elven relic! It is named Percolator
and brings with it the power to stay wake for days! " Too late, Master B'tor realised
the trap he'd fallen into. He shook his head. "In my line of work, that is a very
powerful thing indeed. " How did the orc do that anyway? They were supposed to be
as dumb as posts. "Only elves can use it anyway," he added, mumbling into his chest.

Rogaine checked his nails, digging carefully under each one for any possible leftovers.

"I thinks I heard of it before. Makes K'fe, don't it?"

The assembled elves gasped.

"No one has heard of Percolator before. How come you know about it?"

"I never heard of Percolator before. But I been aroun' and I heard of stuff. Like
K'fe gots the same power as wot you jus' said. Must be K'fe, is all. Had some
before."

Master B'tor cocked his head. "How do I know you won't want Percolator then?"

"Don't like K'fe. None of the boys do. You can feel it goin' through yer kidneys.
Keeps you awake at night, always goin' to the little boys room. Ain't no way to
be. Fine, if you lot want it, but we don't want none of it. Besides like you said,
its only for elves, right?" Rogaine winked at the elf.

"Where did you find this K'fe?" Master B'tor asked. "No one knows anything about
it!"

"Down in Tilea, I 'spect. They gots a chap… eh, called Barrista or summat like
that. Makes it real good, apparently. Cheap too. To be honest, its prolly easier
for you lot to just go there."

Seaman Sprayes leaned over and whispered to Master B'tor in elven. "He's just an
orc, Master. He has no idea what he's talking about. I mean, Barrista? Really? That's
the most made up name I've ever heard."

Master B'tor nodded. "Yeah, probably you're right. I can't believe the stuff is
just available to buy."

Rogaine watched the two of them, his face emotionless. "Look. I don't mind
you boys discussing in your cute little language an' all, but try not to do it in
front of the boys it's making 'em nervous."

The two elves took in the orc guards standing behind Rogaine. The hulking beasts
looked about as nervous as a pack of bulldogs staring at a mouse.

"Er…quite. My apologies, Mister Rogaine. We were just discussing payment options.
We were thinking of proposing our entire cargo of beer for you and your men. We've
heard that orcs don't have much use for gold."

"No you ain't. You's just hopin' we haven't got much use for gold."

"Um…lets get back to the beer?"

"Elf beer? Thanks, but no thanks. Jus' beery tasting Bleeped text, really."

"Oh dear. That is a pity we take many hundreds of years to brew it."

Rogaine shrugged. "Well, it sounds like you need a few hundred years more. Tells
you wot, we'll do the dwarves in for your silver shirt."

Master B'tor looked down at his mail vest. "I'm afraid I can't do that. This is
a family heirloom and is absolutely not for trade."

"Another family heirloom? . You weren't born yesterday everythin's for
trade. Look. I know we're orcs an' everyone always goes on talkin' about how thick
the orcs are: Blah blah blah. Look at that dumb orc. Walkin' around on his knuckles,
howlin' at the moon and drinking his own bathwater. Blah, blah, blah.
.

"We get that all the time. Thing is, I ain't dumb. I can see you need to get your
hands on this Percolator thing. You don't have the men or the equipment, or even
know where you're going. Me, on the other hand I know where to get beer. Way better
than that Bleeped text you're sailing around with. I know where the dwarves are and
I got the boys to fix the problem. I can help. For just that shirt? That's cheap,
elf. Cheap! So is it a deal?"

"This is Galvorn mail, Rogaine. Galvorn. It is worth more than the boat
and the entire crew. Even if you were able to get this, you don't have the tools
to change its shape in order to somehow even make this thing fit you, which it won't
regardless of what you do with it, because its just too hard. You're right we're
in a pinch, but we're not stupid either!"

Rogaine looked at the elf, a glitter of respect showing in his tiny red eyes.

"S'good. Good to know you gots a line. Can't trust a bloke wit' no line, y'know.
Still, we'll do it for the Galvorn. Nothing else."

Master B'tor's eye started twitching. "But it won't fit you! You can't break it
apart, or cut it, or reshape it in any way. Its useless to you!"

"Not true. Besides, I don't need to change its shape or anything. Simple story,
really: I used to have two gonads, now I got one. I wanna keep it that way for as
long as possible. Your silver shirt'll wrap me up nicely, see?"

Master B'tor choked. "W-what? You want to wrap my ancient and incalculably valuable
family heirloom around your left testicle? That's what you're asking for?"

For the first time in their meeting, Rogaine grinned. "Now you're getting it."

***

King Domcome watched as Morgrim Ironbeard descended to the courtyard to address
his men. It was times like these when he was so grateful that Morgrim had so much
experience especially with the dastardly elves.

"Vass Saleen?" Morgrim has asked. "I heard that name before. It was his lot that
we sorted up at Wyemm Seeyay, I think. Didn't realise they still had any appetite
for trouble after that."

"I can't begin to imagine what makes the elves tick, Morgrim, old boy, which is
what makes them so bloody dangerous. Remember, we're not attacking them unless they
try anything funny! All we want is this Percolator thing. Anyway, you know what
to do. Meet them at the bridge over the river Chai at noon…"

***

Morgrim beckoned Snorri Oneye over. The other dwarf's smile faded as he saw the
look on Morgrim's face.

Morgrim pointed over Snorri's shoulder. "What's that doing in here?"

Snorri turned to look in the direction of Morgrim's gauntleted hand. "Come now,
sir! It's not a what, it's a who. We all got the memo about equal opportunity employers,
remember? His name's Meedy Ochre. I thought he'd lend us a hand. Bet the elves wouldn't
offer any trouble with him on our side, eh?"

Morgrim put his arm over Snorri's shoulder, gently turning the dwarf around and
walking him away from the entrance to the hold.

"Snorri, son. You know that we send out hunting parties to kill giants, don't you?
You know about Giant Slayers? You know the really, really angry dwarves?
They like to kill giants. Giants like Meedy Ochre. There's a reason we do that.
Something to do with them being twenty feet tall and us being four feet tall. Where
the did you find him?"

"Er…he came with Nico, over there. They were looking for work."

Morgrim looked over at a small cluster of humans milling around in front of the
giant. Their leader nodded to him across the keep.

"So, because they were looking for work, you, filled with the milk of dwarven kindness,
elected to bring their poor, weary souls into our keep, so they could rest their
aching muscles, after which, we would pay them money to assist us in a cakewalk
mission? Do you really think we need the help?"

"He…looked really mean. I just thought he'd help. Besides, they don't want money.
They want beer. We've enough of that, right?"

"Ah, so the plot thickens. Your master plan for the security of our hold, our mines,
our families and our way of life was to invite a lonely giant and his hanger's on
into our home and then beer him up? That sounded like a good idea to you,
did it?"

Snorri swallowed. "Um…now that you put it that way…"

"Look. You're a good kid. Leading the Ironaxes is no easy task. Those boys respect
you. If you want to get ahead in the army, however, you're going to have to think
a little harder, okay? It's not all guns and axes all the time, right?"

Snorri nodded, looking down at his shoes. "Sorry sir."

"We're dwarves, so we've cut a deal, right? We're not like the other races we
mean what we say, so they're hired now. That said, you got a new job Meedy Ochre
and his mates are at the front of the column. You're up next. If anything happens
with that giant it's your problem, okay?"

Snorri brightened suddenly. "Does that mean we can baby sit the beer cart?"

Morgrim patted Snorri on the head, making sure Snorri's bare head felt every clanking
jolt of Morgrim's gauntlet.

"Atta boy. That's thinking, see? I like where you're going. Unfortunately, I'm pulling
rank on you. Giant's yours. Beer cart's mine. Dismissed."

***

Dreamfish Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 2:47 a.m. PST

Righto. Broadly speaking, we know some elves and some dwarves are about to come into conflict with some elves and some orcs. Time to meet the contestants!

The Gaming Line-up


The game is played remotely by four members of the Oldhammer Community. The participants have never met in person and all aspects of the game are processed through the internet. The tasks involved in running a Remote Game are divided among two players, a writer and a gamesmaster. The separation of tasks allows the GM to collaborate with the writer without exposing sensitive information to the players. The GM is simultaneously the host of the game. The host owns and arranges the gaming table and miniatures used within the game.
What follows are the profiles of the four participants.


Gamesmaster: Dreamfish

21st Century Warhammer 3 Stats:

  • Won: 1
  • Drawn: 0
  • Lost: 0

Location:

Assendelft, Netherlands

Gaming Experience:

Started playing and collecting Warhammer 3rd edition in the late 80's and progressed up through 7th edition. He has mostly been collecting and painting and never actually owned a board and scenery, up until recently. Dreamfish enjoys gaming, but finds the experimental nature of Remote Gaming and his role as Gamesmaster very rewarding.

Armies:

  1. Dwarfs
  2. Dark Elves
  3. Wood Elves
  4. Orcs & Goblins

Other Interests:

Games of all sorts, science & technology, martial arts, hiking and indigenous cultures…


Player A: Thantsants

21st Century Warhammer 3 Stats:

  • Won: 0
  • Drawn: 0
  • Lost: 0

Location:

York, England

Gaming Experience:

Started gaming with Heroquest in the early 90's and moved onto Rogue Trader and WFB 3rd ed. at secondary school. After a long gap of some 15 years or so he has since played several solo games of 3rd and 2nd ed., dabbled in the skirmish games, Skulldred and Havoc and run the Orc's Drift campaign. Games on the "to play" list – Warmaster, Mighty Empires and Man O War…

Armies:

  1. Hordes of Goblinoids, Undead, Chaos and Dark Elves
  2. Wood Elf, Empire, Bretonnian and Dwarf forces to oppose them
  3. Slaan, Amazon, Norse and (original!) Lizardman Warbands
  4. Various Warmaster forces along
  5. Dwarf, Orc and Dark Elf Man o' War fleets

Other Interests:

His two Labradors (one Chocolate and one Black), Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, clay Pigeon shooting, hill walking and general outdoors-y things, the Lake District, cake and the finest wines known to man…


Player B: Airbornegrove26

21st Century Warhammer 3 Stats:

  • Won: 0
  • Drawn: 0
  • Lost: 0

Location:

Illinois, USA

Gaming Experience:

I have been around war gaming my whole life. My father is big into historical gaming so have played various ACW, WW2, Napoleonics. I have always loved Warhammer but never actually played it much. Totally missed 3E. My Warhammer experience started in 5th grade when I bought issue 160. So mostly grew up on 4E. Really wanted to get into it though after reading most of your blogs. So thanks for the inspiration.

Armies:

  1. Empire
  2. Chaos
  3. Various small warbands

Other Interests:

Well besides helping run the family business. I weight train, paint as much as possible, search for old figures on ebay, and lets not forget Diablo 3.


Writer: Gaj

21st Century Warhammer 3 Stats:

  • Won: 1
  • Drawn: 0
  • Lost: 1

Location:

Nomansland (Wiltshire), England

Gaming Experience:

Started playing D&D in the late 80's and Warhammer in the early 90's, just catching the end of 3rd edition. Progressed all through until 8th edition, before electing to return to the 3rd edition. Gaj has started selling and trading his later edition armies to build up classic 3rd edition armies.

Armies:

  1. Undead – target: Terror of the Lichemaster
  2. Orcs & Goblins – target: Forenrond's Last Stand
  3. Chaos – target: Realms of Chaos
  4. High Elves – every player probably should have at least one 'good' army…

Other Interests:

eBay – grade 'A' addict. Games of all sorts. Board games, card games, drinking games, psychological games, video games…


Geographic Locations


As before, we have ourselves another old world vs. new world match up! Is this the opportunity for the US to claw back a draw, or can the UK once again overcome the Goliath of the west? In this match up, we have Illinois, ably represented by Airbornegrove26 vs. (the original) York, represented by Thantsants. You might have heard of him before.


The Armies

Orcs & Goblins – DA Swedicine Purfurds

Thantsants takes the task of leading the Goblinoid horde and their evil Dark Elf allies to capture the Percolator.



Dwarfs – Ironbeard's Conquerors

Airbornegrove26 takes the honorable task of leading the meeting between the Dwarfs and their Wood Elf allies to safe guard the Percolator.


Dreamfish Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 2:57 a.m. PST

The Gaming Set-up


The game will be played out on a 4' by 6' table, which is depicted below.


Scenario


The Percolator is carried in a small chest which is being transported in an elven warwain (a four horse chariot). The Wood Elf contingent has been tasked with protecting the warwain and the Percolator. The Wood Elves are descending into the Chai valley from the north. The chariot is not present in the Wood Elf army list, as this is a GM controlled unit – see the Rules below.

The Dwarves are waiting for the elves on the southern side of the river Chai and have set up camp. Of course, the Dwarves are here to collect the Percolator from the elves. Remember that Dwarves and Elves are uneasy bed-fellows (except, of course, for the ill-fated lovers Fasten Luuhs and Testo Sterone!). Players are reminded that Dwarves suffer Animosity towards Elves and that Elven characters may never join Dwarf units. In spite of their racial differences, the Elven contingent will require all the help they can get to transfer the Percolator to the Dwarves.

The Orcs and the Dark Elves have elected to separate their contingent commands and try to close in on the Percolator in a pincer movement as it crosses the valley. The Dark Elves approach form the west, with the orcs approaching from the east.

Although the overall purpose of the fight is to secure the Percolator, players are advised to take not of the victory conditions – the holder of the Percolator can still lose the battle! Capturing the Percolator whilst maintaining battlefield superiority is the key to overcoming the enemy in this scenario.


Rules


The game will be played using the Warhammer Fantasy Battles 3rd edition rules, and these House Rules. A GM helps the players interpreting or even making up rules if they are needed. 1

Chariot: The chariot transports the Percolator and is a GM controlled unit. The chariot type is heavy, equiped with scythed wheels, has no crew and is running amok. All normal rules apply for the chariot, with the exception that the GM determines all rules concerning damage, direction and capturing of the Percolator. The Percolator can be captured by a character in base-to-base contact with the chariot or at a distance by using magic (like the Move Object spell). The exact rules are determined on the spot.

Percolator: The Percolator holds magical powers for characters who control it. A character can use the Percolator to prepare K'fe, which enhances a characteristic of the character and the unit he's up to 1 point for the duration of one turn. Furthermore, units within 12" of a friendly controller may re-roll the result of a rout or +1 Ld on a rally test. To prepare K'fe, the character and the unit he's with must stay stationary for one turn. A preparing character and the unit he's with, may shoot and/or use magic. Preparation fails when attacked. K'fe must be taken at the start of the following turn and the player declares which characteristic is affected.

Baggage: The Dwarf baggage area holds 500 payment points for mercenary troops. 2 This is represented by barrels containing beer. It takes one turn to loot 250 points. Mercenary troops will automatically switch sides when the baggage area is captured. The baggage area is guarded by the War Engine Battery, instead of the normal alloted amount of civilians. The War Engine Battery must be placed inside the baggage area. The War Engine Battery is not taken out of battle, but must stay inside and protect the baggage area. 3

Scenery


  • Terrain is split in 6 zones of 2 by 2 feet
  • Hill rock faces, river and woods are difficult ground
  • River and woods count as soft cover
  • Bridges count as hard cover
  • Fly over hills and bridges on level +10 and woods on level +20


Objectives


  • Common: capture the Percolator; 300 VP
  • Common: eliminate opponent's general; 50 VP
  • Common: eliminate ally/mercenary commander(s); 50 VP for each commander
  • Common: control zones; 50 VP for each controlled zone
  • Common: capture unit standards; 50 VP for each captured standard
  • Orc: control or destroy bridges; 100 VP for each controlled or destroyed bridge
  • Orc: capture/loot opponent's baggage; 50 VP when being looted or 100 VP when captured at end of game
  • Dwarf: prevent bridges from being destroyed; 100 VP for each controlled and undamaged bridge


Deployment


Below a strategical overview of the battlefield and the available deployment zones. Some of the unit deployments are predetermined by the scenario and cannot be altered. The following conditions apply:
  • The Dwarfs start the game
  • The Orc Man Manger is operational at the start of turn 2


1. Although it is possible to fight a game without a Gamesmaster, it will be much quicker and far easier to fight with the aid of an impartial Gamesmaster (usually abbreviated to GM), see WFB3, p. 35
2. The points are used for mercenary payment, see WA, p. 125
3. Normally units deployed within the baggage area are taken out of battle, see WFB3, p. 103

KTravlos03 Nov 2012 4:02 a.m. PST

Wow this is really really cool

Dreamfish Inactive Member19 Nov 2012 5:36 a.m. PST

Turn 1


Righto we're away! Thantsants and Airbornegrove have said gentlemanly things to each other, issued some sort of virtual handshake under the stern virtual gaze of Dreamfish, the games master, which leaves nothing other then the business of describing the decidedly ungentlemanly acts that ensued.

These are they.

Again, because there are orcs on the table, of course, the thing we are faced with is animosity. I love animosity. You love animosity. Airbornegrove loves animosity. Thantsants… well, I think he might have a love-hate thing going right now with animosity. With more than half of the main combat units in his line failing animosity before they'd even moved, let us suggest that hate is the waxing emotion, with love distinctly waning.

Also, don't forget that the chariot is GM controlled, so all of the 'involuntary' movement is handled before any other movement. Fortunately for all involved, the chariot careens down the ramp, straight into the middle of the table.

So, catastrophe's determined turn 1 started like this:

Movement Phase


Thantsants moved those troops he had control over (that is, the dark elves…), whilst Airbornegrove enjoyed complete freedom of choice with his many and varied units. The Giant started wading across the river, whilst the gyrocopter pilot gunned the engine and drove the device into the air, becoming the first dwarf on the other side of the river.

Curiously, the wood elves elected to leave the chariot to its own devices, choosing instead to capitalise on the vantage point they had over the dark elves by nocking arrows to their bows…

Note the witch elves forming up into column in order to climb the cliff and take the wood elves on at their own level!

Actions

GM:

WL
Moved forward 8"
GF
Suffers animosity @ RGH, wheeled left 3.5"
RLR
Suffers animosity @ RGH, wheeled right 3.5"
CGC
Suffers animosity @ K3C, moved forward 3.5"
SBB
Suffers animosity @ K3C, moved forward 3.5", turned right

Airbornegrove:

I
Moved forward 3"
F
Moved forward 3"
S
Moved forward 3"
MF
Moved forward 3"
MO
Moved forward 3" @ difficult ground
TT
Flyed @ attack level, accl. 8", current speed 8"
KBP1
Wheeled right 4"

Thantsants:

WoP
Turned left, moved forward 2.5" @ difficult ground
SOC
Wheeled left 4"
MB
Moved forward 2" @ KBP1
SQC
Wheeled left 4"
RGH
Moved forward 6"
W
Moved forward 5"
K3C
Moved forward 3.5"
KYP
Moved forward 3.5"

***

"Nah, I still don't get it. Tell me again why's they got it in for Rogaine?"

Exlax sighed as he looked over at Immodeyum. "C'mon, orc how many times I gots to tell ya?"

"Look, I don't understand, okay? It sounded complicated."

"Well it ain't. It's like this -"

"Hang on,boys. Let's just stack these bolts up first and get the thrower in place," Prunjus said, waving his hands at the other two. They were new to his crew, so they hadn't really Had Their Jobs Explained To Them.

"We'll get it done in a minute," Exlax grumbled.

"No. We'll do it now. The reason how come the last two I had is gone an' I've been lumbered with you two is 'cos Rogaine Explained Their Jobs To Them so hard they died. Now I ain't gonna miss 'em, an' I ain't gonna miss you, but I ain't Having My Job Explained To Me by Rogaine again, see?"

With that firm warning, the crew lumbered the warmachine into place and readied it to fire. Almost on queue, Rogaine's powerful voice echoed across the valley below as he instructed the orc line to advance. In the distance, Prunjus and the boys could see elves descending into the valley, chasing a chariot being driven so fast it was hard to think of it as being under control.

"Rioght back to Rogaine now," Exlax said, leaning up against the bolt thrower. The crew looked down and watched as the orc line began the advance, before slowly starting to collapse in on itself.

"Bleedin' 'ell," Immodeyum muttered, watching with fascination as each unit flanking Rogaine's cavalry started folding in on him, their insults reverberating off the valley walls. "I knew they was upset, but they ain't even started yet!"

"How come? Tell me, orc what's goin' on?" Exlax whined.

Immodeyum held up his hands in a placating manner. "Now I don't know this, right it's all just rumours and some such, okay? You didn't hear none of it from me-"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Exlax huffed impatiently. "Come on, orc spill the beans!"

"So Gaversconne's been wanton' to take over from Rogaine for a while, right?"

"Right," nodded Exlax.

"And it turns out, that sneaky young Gaversconne's been seein' Rogaine's lady."

"He ain't got a lady?"

"Damn right she ain't a lady. Anyhow, Rogaine don't know it, cos if he did, Gaversconne'd-"

"What like a real girl?" Exlax asked, his eyes wide open.

"Yeah," said Immodeyum. "Like a real girl. Try an' keep up, okay?"

"So's anyway, Gaversconne's no doubt been trying to get 'is Fireguts to get all angry about Rogaine, which is wots happening down there, see?" Immodeyum pointed at the black orcs, who had wheeled about to face Rogaine's unit's flank.

"They look angry," Exlax said.

"They is. Apparently remember, all rumours, an' not from me, right he's told them Rogaine ain't no proper back orc 'cos he hangs out with regular orcs like them wots on the boars, right? Gaversconne reckons Rogaine should be headin' up black orcs. 'Course, he's worked out that's what he does, so he can't have that neither, right?"

Exlax had a pained expression on his face. "Er…right?" He scrunched up his face as he considered this last sentence. "Actually, not right. Who can't have wot neither?"

Immodyum shook his head. "Gaversconne can't have Rogaine trying to take over the Fireguts, right? Cos that's what Gaversconne does. What would Gaversconne do if Rogaine led his boys?"

"I should imagine he'd like a break, really maybe a bit of a holiday? I sure could do with a holiday."

"Yeah? You ever see a black orc take a holiday-"

"Sorry to interrupt, boys, but we'd better get on and shoot smoothing," Prunjus said, handing a bolt over to Exlax. "Otherwise the only holiday youse two is gonna see is when yer heads get to take a break from yer bodies courtesy of me."

"Fine, fine," mumbled Exlax, racking up the bolt. "What should we shoot?"

"Don't care," Prunjus grunted, setting himself onto the floor. He doffed his helmet over his eyes, reclined against a rock and said: "I don't care what you shoot, as long as you shoot something, okay? Every now and then, you shoot something. Wake me up if you have problems."

Exlax raised an eyebrow to Immodeyum. Immodeyum shrugged.

"Lets shoot that flying thing," he suggested.

Exlax nodded. Together, they wheeled the machine around, pointing it more or less where they anticipated the dwarves flying contraption to be, before releasing the bolt.

"That was an awful shot," Immodyum chuckled, watching the bolt sail into the trees on the other side of the valley.

"Don't matter," Exlax said. "Okay, so Gaversconne's riled up his boys to 'ave a go at Rogaine, right?"

"Yer, that's it."

"Wot about this lot 'ere?" Exlax pointed at the orc archers, who had just fired a volley at Rogaine's gruntas.

"Them lot's got no leader no more, see?"

"Oh, really? How come?"

"He was also seein' Rogaine's lady."

Exlax scrunched his face up again. "Hang on. So Rogaine's got a lady, but that bloke Gavin or something " he pointed at the black orcs, "is also sweet with her. But so's this new chap can't remember 'is name now-"

"Didn't say his name, dope. Don't matter, 'cos he's dead. Rogaine went proper spare when he found out. See this rope we's using for the bolt thrower? That's his guts."

"I wish I could meet Rogaine's lady. She sounds nice."

"Are you listening to me?" Immodeyum barked, tapping his finger on Exlax's forehead. These," he brandished the rope under the nose of the other orc, "are his guts!"

Exlax blinked, the rope so close to his face he was struggling to focus on it. A long silence followed.

Eventually, Exlax moved the rope away from his face. Immodeyum nodded, glad that the other orc understood.

Exlax looked down at the shouting orcs. Eventually, none had elected to attack Rogaine and his boys. His eyes drifted to the black orcs. Gaversconne was cheerfully hurling insults left, right and centre.

"Tells ya wot, though," he said. "That Gavin bloke don't look half bad fer someone who ain't got no guts no mo- OW! Whaddidja hit me for!"

***

Shooting Phase


Shooting was fantastic and bloody. Guns, arrows, stones every level of tech was involved. In the end, it was the dark elves who paid. The champions of O-deck, fine marines every one of them, were gunned down to <del>a man</del> an elf. In spite of these terrible losses, Seaman Sprayes elected to remain on the field, proving his valour, bravery and considerable confusion are second to none.

Actions

Airbornegrove:

KBP1
Shot @ SOC, killed 3
KBP2
Shot @ SOC, killed 1
BT
Shot @ SOC, killed 2
E
Shot @ SOC, killed 9
A1C
Shot @ RGH, killed 1
C
Shot @ RLR, killed 3, +1 heat point

Thantsants:

RLR
Shot @ RGH, killed 0
CGC
Shot @ K3C, killed 0

***

"I can't believe he made him a seaman!"

Seaman Sprayes, hearing the hushed whispers, held up his hand.

"Company Halt!"

The dark elves, drilled to perfection by the recently deposed Gimiya Hanjohb, stopped dead and stood to attention.

Sprayes looked at Gimiya. "They're talking about me again."

Gimiya sighed. "So take control. You are the commanding officer, aren't you?"

"Righto, I bloody well will-"

"Perhaps," Gimiya said, gripping Sprayes by the arm, "we should first consider the position we're in? Whilst it's not for me to question your judgement, you have called us to a halt at the bottom of a cliff crested by armed elves who appear to be planning to shoot us? I think we should spread out."

Sprayes offered Gimiya a pained expression.

"Look, I know how it is in the marines I've got to prove my worth I get it."

He fixed Gimiya with a withering stare before starting to shout. "So that is what I plan to do! I think there is safety in numbers! My orders are to huddle closer together! Use our shields to defend ourselves!"

Seaman Sprayes held his hand up again.

"Company …er… HUDDLE!"

Gimiya's jaw dropped. "Sir? Sprayes? Seriously? Huddle?"

The elves, not entirely sure what to do, all shuffled a little closer, allowing their shoulder plates to clink against each other encouragingly.

They looked at Gimiya, who shook his head.

They looked at Seaman Sprayes, who nodded his head.

Gimiya dejectedly pointed up to the sky.

"Shields! Up Shields! On Top! Y'know!" Seaman Sprayes screeched and waved, as he watched the cloud of arrows driving through the sky towards his spearmen.

The spearelves looked at each other. "Up shields?" once mouthed at another, just before an arrow punctured his neck.

The sudden cries of other elves suggested that the last order was not well understood. Three elves collapsed with arrows extended from their bodies.

"I'm telling you, Sprayes, we need to spread out!" Gimiya spat.

"And I'm telling you, Gimiya, we need to huddle up!"

Sprayes turned to face the unit.

"All of you! Listen to me! You need to huddle as close to each other as possible, okay? Nobody panic, I know what I'm doing!"

He watched as the spearmen squeezed themselves as close as their armour would allow, nodding his approval. "That's right. That's right. Nice and tight!"

Gimiya's eyes were daggers as he stared at Sprayes.

"You too, Gimiya get in there!"

Gimiya wedged himself against his peers, who shuffled apart a little to allow him in.

"Now shields up!" Sprayes yelled.

Gimiya Hanjohb raised his shield half heartedly. The others followed suit.

"Now you're getting it!" Sprayes yelled.

And get it, they did.

Sprayes jumped in terror as the unit his unit having finally followed orders, were suddenly eviscerated by a great boulder.

"Oshitoshitoshit!" he squeaked, pointing at the rock in a futile gesture whilst holding his other hand over his mouth.

Having huddled so close together, the stone had all but flattened the elves in the centre. The outer elves had all been pushed outwards by the impact and now lay face down, facing all the directions of the compass, like a newly opened flower.

"Oshitoshitoshit!" he squeaked again, looking around. Where the hell did that come from?

Suddenly, he heard Gimiya groan. Looking down, he recognised his antagonistic adviser. "Gimiya! Gimiya! Get up! Get the men back in line!"

Seeing nothing happen apart from some groaning on Gimiya's behalf, Sprayes took it on himself to try to lift Gimiya up, positioning him so that he was on his knees. his back rested against the boulder. Sprayes could do no better both of Gimiya's lower limbs were trapped by the stone.

"Oshitoshitoshit!" Sprayes gulped.

"You're telling me," Gimiya coughed, blood running from his broad grin. "At least we huddled together, eh? Shields up and all that-"

"Shut up! Can you walk? We need to get these men back on their feet!"

Gimiya's chest rattled as he coughed up his laughter. "I hate you," he muttered, before falling flat on his face, dead.

"Oshitoshitoshit!"

Sprayes ran around the stone, shaking the various elves.

All dead.

What would-

"Everything alright there, Sprayes?" Master B'tor yelled from his cold one.

"Sir! Yes Sir! Just trying to restore some order to the unit Sir! On your feet, you mangy lot!" this last directed at the hitherto breathing elves.

Master B'tor didn't stop, but spurred his cold one on past the squashed corpses. "They're all dead, Sprayes. Which is an awful pity, because I had high hopes for you and these marines. I fully expect you to avenge each and every one of these elves, okay? So, please find something useful to do before I kill you, hmm?"

Sprayes saluted the departing form of Master B'tor and his cold one, before issuing a vicious kick to Gimiya's head.

"Now look what you've gone and done! Bloody quitter!"

***

Reserves Phase


If you're new to 3rd edition, then you won't have heard of the reserves phase before. This was how march moves worked before they became march moves in later editions of Warhammer. essentially, any unengaged troops more than 4" away from the enemy are able to make another move. So everyone moved again. The witch elves, being engaged in the difficult business of climbing the cliff, are not eligible for a reserve move.
Perhaps the most interesting thing was Wineghum, the sneaky goblin shaman, goading his giant spider into spell casting range. By doing so, he also sneakily positioned himself between the black orcs and the boar riders, possibly limiting the impacts of animosity always nice to see teamwork, Wineghum!

Actions

Airbornegrove:

I
Moved forward 3"
F
Moved forward 3"
S
Moved forward 3"
MF
Moved forward 3"

Thantsants:

SOC
Moved forward 2"
W
Moved forward 5" @ RGH right flank

Magic Phase


Long has it been the lament of Dreamfish and myself that the magic phases of our reports have been nothing other than honorary mentions.

But no longer!

Wineghum, that empathic, caring, There's-No-I-In-Team-And-Besides-Why-Can't-We-All-Just-Get-Along-And-Kill-Them-Together-We're-All-Green-In-The-End-Right goblin shaman, cast a spell called Mystic Mist.

Now the spell pretty much does what it says on the tin. It makes a mist, which, coming out of nowhere, one might consider to be 'mystical'.
That's what it does.

No one blew up.

No one was disintegrated.

No one had to make initiative tests or be sucked into some cross-dimensional beast's maw.

All that happened was that the dwarf warmachines, previously having enjoyed a pleasant and clear day, were now surrounded by fog. Of course, fog does cause problems with seeing things, which will make it harder for the warmachine crews to find targets.

But whilst I say 'all that happened' as if to minimise and diminish the event, allow me to pause and magnify the event! For, what you have seen here, is a tactical spell! Games workshop stopped producing tactical spells from Warhammer 4 onwards. Curious, because I think they could sell some Games-Workshop Cotton Wool (tm) especially for use with tactical spells that involve mist or smoke. Oh well…perhaps in Warhammer 9.

The other interesting thing with Mystic Mist is that it lasts 1D3 turns. Now that we have a games master, that particular dice-roll was made in secret, meaning that only Dreamfish actually knows how long the mist is there for neither Thantsants nor Airbornegrove can 'bank' on their awareness of how long it might last because they don't know!

Actions

GM:

Magic Mist
Rolled 1D3 dice in secret

Thantsants:

W
Casted Magic Mist @ Baggage Area

Dreamfish Inactive Member30 Nov 2012 2:40 a.m. PST

Turn 2


In the last episode, we watched as the dark elves were pounded into the floor by the remorseless war engines of the dwarves, whilst the Orcs & Goblins imploded on themselves with animosity.

In turn 2, things are a bit more…straightforward.

Straightforward in that some of soldiers were afforded the opportunity to let the enemy know exactly how they felt about things and to clear the air a bit – discuss their differences, if you will.

With weapons.

Movement Phase


Only two units failed animosity checks this turn, giving Thantsants some modicum of control over his army this turn. Not one to waste opportunities like that, Thantsants directed Rogaine to hurl himself at the chariot! Not only that, but Master B'tor and the recently appointed Seaman Sprayes, filled with the hatred of a thousand years, climbed the hill before them at pace to introduce themselves to the wood elves at the top.

Airbornegrove, not to be outdone, responded by sending his brave commander to apply some discipline to the witch elves. The witch elves, always keen on disciplinarians, responded to the charge by holding.

With such an exciting set of opening moves, the remaining moves seemed positively mundane. Everyone else moved closer to everyone else. Of note, perhaps, would be dwarven left electing to step into the icy cold River Chai as they start trying to find their way across.

As with grand slam tennis (always a favourite with the orcs when they have the time), an observer would note the perfect unison with which Rogaine's Lamentable Regiment of Boworcs moved their heads as they watched the gyrocopted clatter overhead. As one, they slowly turned around, beady eyes firmly locked on the amazing flying machine, so dedicated to their new purpose that they hadn't noticed they were not facing the dwarven line anymore…


Actions


GM:

WL
Moved forward 8"
GF
Suffers animosity @ RGH, moved forward 3.5"
KYP
Suffers animosity @ SBB, wheeled right 3.5"

Airbornegrove:

KBP2
Shot @ MB, wounded 0
LTK
Charged @ WoP
I
Moved forward 3"
F
Moved forward 3"
S
Moved forward 3"
MF
Moved forward 3"
A2C
Moved forward 1.5" @ difficult ground
MO
Moved forward 3" @ difficult ground
TT
Flyed @ level +10, accl. 8", current speed 16"

Thantsants:

WoP
Holds
SOC
Charged @ KBP2
MB
Charged @ KBP2
RGH
Charged @ WL
W
Moved forward 5" @ RGH right flank
RLR
Turned around
K3C
Moved forward 3.5"
CGC
Changed formation to 6 files, moved forward 0.5"
SBB
Turned left




***
Meedy Ochre loved his job. He knew that other giants were employed in construction, or milling, or other intensive labour roles. Other giants were almost feral, just wandering around the mountains eating raw food and sleeping in caves.

For his part, he felt he had it pretty good: he'd had beer for breakfast, a small beer top up for tea just before the battle and he was looking forward to some beer for dinner. As a job, he got to mangle little people and eat anything he found. Nico Teehn was good to him.

In fact, the only part he didn't like was the complex business Nico referred to as the rules of engagement. The rules of engagement were dictated to all of Nico's chaps, but Nico always took Meedy through the rules again afterwards, just to make sure.

This battle's rules were complex. Just thinking about them made his head hurt. Scrunching his forehead in concentration, he rested up against a tree as he recalled what Nico had said earlier that morning.

***

"Got that, Meedy? Yeah? Okay – now you tell me what the rules are."

Meedy nodded slowly. He lifted his massive leg to make sure that Nico could see his knee. Pointing at the knobbly appendage, he said: "anyone lower than this gets crumped."

Nico smiled as he shook his head. "No, not quite. Try again."

Meedy, still holding his knee up, scratched his eyebrow and strained to recall the rules. A long silence followed. The giant swayed dangerously as his eyes explored the surrounding scenery, his brain furiously scrounging for any applicable fact that might satisfy Nico. Eventually, his gaze settled on Nico, quiet desperation evident all over his unshaven countenance.

Nico patted the big fellow. "Go on, buddy. Put the leg down. Both feet on the floor, then try again."

Meedy dropped the knee, his boat-like foot slamming into the ground. The impact seemed to jog his memory. Relief washed over his face.

"Ur," he grunted. This time he bent down and pointed to his knee. "Anyone lower than this gets crumped?"

Nico clapped. "Brilliant! That's not quite right, but we're getting there. Anyone lower than this – " Nico tapped Meedy's knee, " – is bad… unless?"

Meedy blinked, the question quite unexpected. "Ur," he speculated. "Unless… they're green?"

Nico winced and shook his head.

"No? Ur. No – wait. Lower than this" – he pointed at his knee again – "and not green, is, ur… dwarves. This time, dwarves good. Yeah?"

Meedy grinned as Nico clapped. "Yes – that's right. No killing dwarves! Lower than the knee and green – bad, okay?"

"Ur. Yeah! Gottit!"

"Okay, so what else?"

Meedy's face collapsed like a felled tree. "Oh? S'more, is there?"

Nico nodded. "C'mon, big fella – you can do it!"

The giant explored his chin with his hand as he consulted his overstretched brain. He looked hopefully at the beer barrel behind Nico.

Nico raised an eyebrow and wagged a finger at the straining giant. "Not until we got the rules clear. What else?"

"Aww, Nico…" Meedy whined.

"What else?"

"Gimme a clue, man!"

Nico thought for a second. "What about enemy higher than your knee?"

The giant stared at the sky as he chewed a nail. despair clouding his features. He shrugged.

"Okay, okay – what about ears?"

The giant snapped his fingers in delight, the connection made! "Yes – that's it! Okay, so if yer taller higher than this" – he pointed at his knee again – "an you got ears, you gets crumped!"

"I got ears and I'm higher than your knee. You gonna crump me?" Frustration seeped into Nico's tone.

"Gosh no! Not you or any of the others. Course not!" Meedy squinted as his memory dragged a fact to the present from the distant past. "Well, not on purpose, anyway!"

"Meedy! We need to get this right! Pointy ears – tell me about the pointy ears!"

Slowly, realisation dawned on the hulking giant. "Why didn't you say? Pointy ears is on our side!"

Nico breathed out slowly. I suppose I should take what I can get, he thought. "Unless?"

Unless? The giant was crestfallen. "Can't you just point like we did the last time?"

Nico patted the poor giant. "I know it's hard. I'm sorry – but we have to get this right. Remember the last time? They wanted a refund 'cos of that, so we need to get this right, okay? It's the last rule, you're nearly there!"

"Ur. Okay," muttered the sullen giant.

"So, pointy ears that are taller than your knee and…"

"Is it a colour thing?"

Nico nodded excitedly. "Go on…"

"Is it that purpley ones are bad and greeny ones are good?"

"High five!" yelled Nico, before instantly regretting it as he flew through the air…

***

Shooting Phase


Thrilled at the opportunity to see their warriors beat the stuffing out of the enemy, it appears that none of the heavy hitting stone throwers were able to find their mark. Still, in spite of that, the dwarves still caused the deaths of nine greenskins.

This was partly achieved by the dwarves taking a chance and firing through the mystic mist. The dwarves, having both long memories and what could only be described as 'a target rich environment', are able to broadly recall the rough direction of the large horde of orcs on the other side of the river, and place a cannon ball squarely into a unit of goblins.

Elves are renowned in classic fantasy for their shooting skills. This being a classic game of warhammer, you are right to expect the same of the elves fielded here – as, no doubt, did their respective commanders. But in a rare display of bilateralism, it appears that neither wood elf nor dark elf could bring themselves to slay their opposites. Perhaps we really are entering the age of forgiveness?

And last, but not least, the gyrocopter pilot, having already caused more confusion in the orc line, produces a bomb and a light. Unquenchable gravity, the erstwhile friend of the common orc, combined with said bomb and light to produce an explosive outcome for the orc archers!


Actions


Airbornegrove:

KBP1
Shot @ SQC, wounded 0
A1C
Shot @ K3C, wounded 4
MF
Shot @ W (spider), wounded 0
TT
Dropped bomb @ RLR, wounded 3
C
Shot @ RLR deviated @ CGC, wounded 2, +1 heat point
BT
Shot @ RLR deviated @ RLR, wounded 0
E
Shot @ RLR deviated, missed

Thantsants:

SQC
Shot @ KBP1, wounded 0
RLR
Shot @ TT, wounded 0
CGC
Shot @ TT, wounded 0
SC
Shot @ TT, wounded 0
MM
Shot @ E deviated, missed



Combat Phase


Something not often mentioned in warhammer canon from 4th edition onwards is the awful stench of the cold ones. So great is it that the Dark Elves kill their olfactory nerves with drugs in order to put up with the creatures.

I mention this because, of course, the Wood Elves have not had occasion (or desire) to do the same. Presented, as they were, with Master B'tor and his overexcited cold one, they were overwhelmed by the terrifying odour of the thing. Despite being pushed back by the slightest of margins, the Wood Elves fled in horror, only to be cut down by the brutal sea captain. Even Seaman Sprayes managed to stab a Wood Elf in the back!

Rogaine snatched potential victory from the Dwarves and Wood Elves by snatching the Percolator from the war wain in a daring high speed robbery – the ultimate outcome leading to the demise of the chariot and the separation of the chariot from its horses. Dwarven infantry, experienced in the unfathomable savagery of horses, watched with suspicion and no small level of discomfort as they realised the bloody creatures were on the loose again!

The Wood Elf captain cut a a heroic silhouette atop the hill as he skillfully defended it against the Witch Elves, pushing them tumbling back down the rocks they had climbed!


Actions


LTK vs WoP


Round 1

Modifiers
LTK
charged, higher ground
WoP
hatred
Attacks
A1 I8
LTK -> DE1 (1W)
A2 I7
LTK -> DE2 (1W)
Results
LTK
+1 (charged) +2 (wounds) = 3
WoP
0

MB vs KBP2


Round 1

Modifiers
MB
charged, hatred
KBP2
none
Attacks
A1 I10
MB -> WE2
A2 I9
MB -> WE2
A3 I8
MB -> WE3
A4 I7
MB -> WE3 (1W)
A1 I6
MB's mount <- WE2
Results
MB
+1 (charged) +1 (wounds) = 2
KBP2
+1 (ranks) = 1

SOC vs KBP2


Round 1

Modifiers
MB
charged, hatred
KBP2
none
Attacks
A1 I6
Seaman Sprayes -> WE4
A1 I6
Seaman Sprayes <- WE4
A1 I6
Seaman Sprayes <- WE5
A4 I5
Seaman Sprayes -> WE5
Results
MB
+1 (charged) = 1
KBP2
+1 (ranks) = 1

RGH vs WL


Round 1

Modifiers
RGH
charged
WL
none
Attacks
A1 I3
War Boar1 -> WL (1W)
A1 I3
War Boar2 -> WL (1W)
A1 I3
War Boar4 -> WL (1W)
A1 I2
Orc1 -> WL (1W)
A1 I2
Orc2 -> WL (1W)
A1 I2
Orc4 -> WL
Results
RGH
+1 (charged) +5 (wounds) = 6
WL
0

Round 2

Modifiers
RGH
none
WL
none
Attacks
A1 I3
War Boar1 -> WL (1W)
A1 I3
War Boar2 -> WL
A1 I3
War Boar4 -> WL
A1 I2
Orc1 -> WL
A1 I2
Orc2 -> WL
A1 I2
Orc4 -> WL (1W)
Results
RGH
+2 (wounds) = 2
WL
0




***

Strikneen looked over his shoulder. "No way, boss! No way we should take that!" His gaze settled on the positively vile Fireguts and their antagonistic leader, Gaversconne. "Did you hear what he jes' called us?"

He looked back at Rogaine to see what he planned to do about it. Rogaine seemed to have other things on his mind.

"Rogaine? Rogaine! Did you hear him? He called you a-"

"CHARGE!" Rogaine roared.

"No, he didn't call you a char… oh. Right, okay. You meant charge, as in charge at the elves, okay." Strikneen issued a savage kick to his boar as Rogaine and his boar riders thundered ahead of him in a cacophony of whoops, squeals and grunts.

***

Sebbast Iyanvettl grimaced as he watched the orcs issue chase. "Ready yourselves!" he yelled to the rest of the crew. Cracking the whip just above the rump of the desperate horses, he screeched the secret elven words he'd learned from his horse whispering master.

"Gerronwivit! Oritztheglufac toreeferya!"

Hooves pounded.

Heels kicked.

Whips cracked.

Riders whooped.

In the end, even the secret words of power were not enough to escape the wrath of the orcs as they descended on the hapless chariot.

***

Rogaine grinned at his elven counterpart as eye contact was made. Rogaine loved the chase. The only thing better was a high speed fight. He waved his sword in challenge and drew up next to the chariot.

***

How inelegant these creatures are, thought Sebbast, as he watched the silly bouncing of the massive orc on the squealing boar. How the gods tolerate these very stains on our existence I will never know…

***

Rogaine feigned a lunge with his sword, causing Sebbast to lean backwards, hanging onto the reigns to keep his balance. The effect was enough to slow the horses, giving Rogaine and his boys enough time to encircle the chariot, raining blow after blow on elf and chariot alike.

Suddenly, there was a gap in the elven defenses. Rogaine's eyes narrowed as he perceived the little chest bouncing cheerfully on the floor of the racing chariot. Pulling his boar right up to the chariot, inches away from its thundering wheel, he elbowed Sebbast out of the way, scooping the little box up into the air with the flat of his blade. Both the elf and the orc watched as the box arced up into the air.

Time slowed as a gnarled, dirty orc hand unfolded beneath the box. As it unfolded, a small flat piece of wood cracked against Rogaine's bare palm.

The pain was excrutiating. Whipping his hand back, Rogaine roared in rage as the box dropped back into the chariot.

But the elf, having slapped Rogaine's palm, was not done. He continued the downward motion, slapping the wood against the rump of Rogaine's boar. The creature started in fright, heaving straight into the chariot before falling beneath the wheel, taking Rogaine with it!

***

Sebbast sneered as he slammed his wooden ruler into the open palm of the brute. Years of being a school teacher had uniquely equipped him with the ability to deliver a critical strike to an unsuspecting hand, stopping mischief both in the school room and now on the battlefield. He grinned as he watched the shock spread across the giant orc's face: nothing that small had the right to hurt so much! They all have the same expression, he thought. Kids and orcs alike.

His undoing was capitalising on the next opportunity: as the orc leaned back, Sebbast carried his precision strike down to the boar, slapping its rump with a resounding crack. The boar pushed into the chariot, causing the orc to bash against the rail, before both rider and boar vanished from sight.

Now a chariot at high speed running into a stone, say, the size of a mouse, would cause a significant jolt to machine and crew. Were the stone a little larger, perhaps something like a load of bread, the wheel and chariot might lurch into the air – assuming the wheel survived the impact.

A chariot rolling over a rabid pig and his twenty-two stone master is a whole different kettle of fish. The entire chariot launched itself into the air, both wheels spinning freely. Casual observers would later remark that the chariot would have cleared four and a half feet at the highest point of its short flight.

***

Time ground to a halt as Rogaine perceived the sudden silence. Above him, a chariot flew. There was motion, but it was slow – so slow. The wheels turned slightly. There was a slow creak. Spraying sand and tufts of grass floated in his vision. From somewhere behind or below him there came an almost indignant squawk – was that Piggles? A semi-circle of slobber hovered in the air. Something glinted above him. Was it Percolator? He watched his bleeding knuckles slowly – ponderously – claw into the air.

His hand came away with a silver metal object.

***

Sebbast knew that the orc had gone under the chariot. That much was evident by the four foot leap the chariot had taken. His concern wasn't for the chariot landing; it was a good elven chariot and had been built from the boughs from one thousand year old silver oaks – it would be fine. His concerns were twofold: one – no part of his body was touching the chariot, and two – no part of the little box Percolator was in was touching the chariot. As his body tipped forwards, he realised that he would be fortunate – the chariot was underneath him and he'd land, painfully, back in it.

But as he tumbled, he perceived the box through his flailing legs. It floated gracefully backwards, its trajectory carrying it neatly to the orc leader, still rolling after being spat out from under the chariot.

***

Gripping the metal tightly, Rogaine rolled once more, this time reaching his hand out to steady his landing, meaning that he should stop on he's knees. He felt the jolt in his shoulder as his hand carried the impact of the hit straight through his massive frame. But he was upright.

His quick eyes caught sight of the elegant little box driving through the air towards him. Instinct kicked in. He'd played fullback on the tribes bugry team for years, and knew better than any other how to keep cool when catching a ball under pressure. Rising up from his knees and into the air in one swift motion, he caught the box squarely in his arms, hugging it to his chest before the thudded back into the ground.

***

Sebbast cursed. As he belly flopped into the chariot's base, he caught sight of the orc catching the Percolator. He registered the confusion on the orcs face as it held up a long silver object. Sebbast's eyes focussed on it – that looked strangely like a-

The air was rent with the sound of a splintering snap.

-like a locking bolt. For the axle. Where'd he get that from?

***

Rogaine, still clutching the box, squinted at the long bolt in his hands. Not the Percolator, then. Looking past the bolt, he made eye contact with Sebbast, lying as he was on his belly in the chariot. Just before the chariot flipped, Rogaine learned an elven expletive:

"Oh Faaaaaaaarrk!"

***

Reserves Phase


The reserves phase was everything you hoped it would be: troops in reserve moved.

Again, curiously, both Wood Elves and Goblins turned their backs on the fighting lines as they faced threats (real and potential) to their rears.

Oh, and two drug-addled, adrenaline fuelled, over-zealous goblin fanatics lurched forth from their containing unit as it moved into range of the Dwarf right flank. Each managed to add one entry to the obituaries in The Daily Chainmail.


Actions


GM:

WL
Skidded forward 3" @ rock
WLH
Moved 8" @ left bridge

Airbornegrove:

KBP1
Wheeled from the center 2" (complex manoeuvre)
I
Moved forward 3", changed formation to 5 files, failed 2nd manoeuvre
F
Moved forward 3"
S
Moved forward 3"

Thantsants:

F1
Moved forward 8" @ S, wounded 1
F2
Moved forward 9" @ S, wounded 1
W
Moved forward 5" @ RGH
K3C
Moved forward 2.5", halted within 4" of enemy
CGC
Turned around



Magic Phase


With the Mystic Mist still in place, Wineghum called on his darkest knowledge and summoned forth the dead to serve him. Unfickle sorcery cares not for its candidates, as the flesh shrived off the bodies of Wood and Dark Elves alike. The deceased float, crawl and run across the field to stand to attention before their new master…

And the dwarves shoot a fireball.

C'mon – its fantasy. There's gotta be a fireball, right? The dwarven left flank reveals its magic standard, but unfortunately, fails to inflict any casualties on the Orc cavalry.


Actions


Airbornegrove:

F
Shot fireball @ RGH, wounded 0

Thantsants:

W
Summoned 13 skeletons, 26 MP remaining



SCAdian07 Dec 2012 9:43 a.m. PST

question for you please:
What size bases are your Orcs on? 20mm or 25mm?

-Patrick

Dreamfish Inactive Member09 Dec 2012 2:36 p.m. PST

The Orcs are on 25mm bases. Why do you ask?

Cheers,
Dreamfish

Dreamfish Inactive Member17 Dec 2012 4:50 a.m. PST

Turn 3


Let's talk numbers:
1
failed animosity test
2
routs
3
explosions
5
charges
8
new arrivals
25
wounds
That's right. I said explosions.

Movement Phase


Thantsants and Airbornegrove showed no let up in their savage tendency, charging units at each other left, right and centre. 5 times, to be exact.

The most interesting set of moves, however? Right in the middle of the board. Having just secured the Percolator and destroyed the War Wain, Rogaine sees red as he commands yet another charge.

BUT…

…not before he cheerfully tosses the Percolator to Wineghum. Wineghum, enthused by all the excitement and the wholesale slaughter that has so far taken place, can't help himself when presented with the opportunity to take swing at the Gyrocopter as it flies overhead.

Now in later editions of Warhammer, flyers have this unusual 'hopping' behaviour, where they would drift over intervening soldiers before settling conveniently on the ground in front of the enemy.

In 3rd edition, flyers are… well, flyers. They can fly. So, although the Gyrocopter has been charged, it is able to raise its altitude to evade the charge. This is not a flee reaction.

Compulsory movement takes the War Wain horses into the River Chai and one of the fanatics into a bridge. That is into, not onto. Bridge: 1, Fanatic: 0.

And the orc line turns around and faces the enemy again.


Actions


GM:

WLH
Moved forward 8" @ difficult ground
GF
Suffers animosity @ RLR, wheeled left 3.5"

Airbornegrove:

TT
Flies away @ level +10
KBP1
Holds
I
Holds
S
Holds
LTK
Charged @ MB, moved 4.5"
KBP1
Wheeled 4"
I
Moved forward 1", wheeled right 2"
F
Moved forward 1.5", changed formation to 5 files, wheeled right 1.5"
S
Wheeled right 3", failed 2nd manoeuvre
A2C
Moved forward 1.5" @ difficult ground
MO
Moved forward 3" @ difficult ground
TT
Flyed @ attack level, decel. 2", current speed 14"

Thantsants:

MB
Holds
W
Took Percolator, charged @ TT
SOC
Charged @ KBP1, moved forward 5"
RGH
Charged @ I, wheeled 2" right, moved forward 3", wheeled 2" left (2nd manoeuvre), moved forward 4"
K3C
Charged @ S, wheeled within 4" of enemy, lost bonus
F1
Hit bridge and died
F2
Moved 10" @ left bridge
WoP
Moved forward 2.5" @ difficult ground
SBB
Turned right, moved forward 2", turned left (2nd manoeuvre), moved forward 1.5"
CGC
Turned around, wheeled right 1" (2nd manoeuvre), halts within 1" of SBB
KYP
Wheeled left 3.5"
RLR
Turned around
S
Moved forward 4"




***

Rogaine pointed at Wineghum. "You!"

Wineghum looked hopefully over his shoulder before realising there was no one behind him. "M-me?" he stammered.

"Yeah. You! Hold this, okay?" Rogaine tossed the little box to Wineghum. "I got stuff to do."

Wineghum watched as Rogaine grabbed his boar by its fur and climbed onto its back.

"What is it?"

Rogaine fixed the goblin with a malevolent stare. "It's mine, is what it is. You keep that in mind, hear?"

Before he could respond, Rogaine goaded the wild pig in the direction of his unit, barking orders at them as he led the charge towards the dwarves.

Looking left and right to see if anyone heard or saw anything, Wineghum determined it was safe to hold the little box next to his head and rattle it.

"Oooooh," he grinned…

***

Shooting Phase


BOOM!

Er….I mean, there are lots of explosions, as mentioned earlier. Sorry. I was just getting excited, is all.

Explosion 1: Deep within the mystic mist, the dwarves manning (dwarfing?) the red hot cannon throw caution to the wind and light the fuse. The cannon throws the dwarves to the wind as it explodes in an almighty ball of flame, the resulting mix of smoke, flame and mist appearing to onlookers as a raging upside down thunder cloud, as bits of dwarves and cannon are hurled into the air.

Explosion 2: Carrying on with the dwarves, it seems our diminutive adventurers like to equip their aeronaughts with bombs. As you can tell, health and safety hasn't been invented yet. This means that Wineghum, having so gamely charged at the Gyrocopter now finds himself directly under the thing and its lunatic pilot…

Both stone throwers fail to find targets.

Various archers are able to score some wounds on various other targets – including an astonishing shot from the mercenaries that hits the hapless Wineghum again!

Specific archers (that is, Rogaine's Lamentable Regiment of Boworcs) take umbrage at the frankly dishonourable business of lobbing bombs at their wizard from on high and take aim at the Gyrocopter. Despite the downdraft, the wooden frame and Torin's shiny metal helmet, an unknown orc is able to land a hit.

Which takes us to Explosion 3:

Being ever conscious of comedic tropes, Torin's last act saves us all from horrendous Black Orc Down puns by his skilfully avoiding the Black Orcs and making his final manoeuvre a controlled dive into the recently raised Undead.


Actions


GM:

TT
Crashed @ S, wounded 5

Airbornegrove:

A1C
Shot @ RLR, wounded 1
MF
Shot @ W (wizard), wounded 1
TT
Dropped bomb @ W (spider), wounded 1
C
Blows up, wounded 2
BCT
Lost 100 points, 300 points remaining
BT
Shot @ S deviated @ RGH, wounded 0
E
Shot @ W deviated, missed

Thantsants:

RLR
Shot @ TT (pilot), wounded 1
SC
Shot @ TT, missed
SQC
Shot @ F, wounded 1
MM
Shot @ MF deviated, missed




***

"I dunno, guys. I think it needs to cool down," Ethan Ohl said, frowning at the steam rising from the cannon.

"Don't be daft! We've got soldiers to support out there! Lets get her primed!" barked Benn Zheen.

"What? You can't even see what you're shooting at!" Ethan swirled his hand in the strange mist that had risen so quickly from the river.

"Don't matter – I can hear 'em. And I can smell 'em! Prime the cannon!"

"Yeah yeah! Let's shoot it again!" Dii Zhil shrieked in delight. "Bang bang! Haha!"

Benn and Ethan looked at the ugly dwarf as he popped up on the other side of the cannon.

Dii pointed his fingers like guns in the direction of the orcs. "Pow pow!" He winked at the other two dwarves.

Benn's eyes met Ethan's. "I thought you were watching him?"

"Yeah? And I thought you were watching him!"

"Why the hell would I be watching him? I was doing the range calculations!"

"Um…maybe because the powder's on your side?" Ethan jabbed his finger at the open barrel of black powder.

Benn sighed. "Dii? Dii?"

Dii finished ramming the ball down the barrel before looking up at Benn. "Yes?"

"Have you been… you know, eating the powder again?"

Dii grinned, his teeth and gums as black as soot. "No?"

"We've spoken about this before Dii. You can't eat the powder, okay? Not anymore. Understand?"

"Haha!" cackled Dii. "Sure, fine. Don't eat the powder. Got it, chief!" The dwarf saluted.

Benn turned to Ethan. "I worry about him, you know. I mean, should his eyes be looking in different directions like that?"

Ethan shook his head. "I don't think so. Maybe we should put that lid back on the barrel, huh?"

"Forget that – the cannon's ready – prepare to fire!"

"Haha! Yeah! Fire! Fire! Bang! Haha!" Dii shrilled as he danced towards the fuse.

"I still don't think that's a good idea."

"Fine!" Benn growled. "Then Bleeped text off and stand over there!"

"Fine! I bloody well will!"

Dii watched as Ethan wandered off into the mist. "Can I? Can I?" he asked, twisting his head as he leered at the torch in his hand.

"FIRE!" Benn barked.

***

"Cor! Look at that!"

Rogaine's Lamentable Regiment of Boworcs followed Sawdust's finger as he pointed at the double flash in the mist across the river.

A tiny figure soared into the air, its arms windmilling furiously. The barest echo of a shriek drifted across the valley as the explosion reverberated of the cliff walls.

"Cor!" the unit said in unison, as their gaze followed the figure as it plopped into the river, followed by a wheel and some other bits of wood and metal.

***

Combat Phase


Combat is brutal.

Master B'tor proves his superiority to his opposite number by stabbing, beating, whipping, biting, kicking and punching him until he dies.

Seaman Sprayes, so far out of his own depth that we can no longer measure it with any scientific certainty, loses. Fortunately for him, he doesn't die, he's just a little further out of his depth.

The enraged goblins, facing their hated foes, take a solid pounding. But, their hatred sees them through and they are able to win combat two rounds in a row! Unfortunately, Mill Kibarkid, the goblin champion, is unable to see this desperate battle, being dead as he now is.

Front and centre, and full of fantasy drama – Rogaine and his Grand Hare Line are unable to capitalise on their thunderous charge, crunching into an immovable wall of dwarves. In the wild combat that ensues, the dwarven hero Snorri Oneye gives his life to defend his unit, family, hold and the honour of Lady Luuhs. The redoubtable dwarves triumph in the end, sending Rogaine and his boar boys haring into the distance.


Actions


LTK vs MB


Round 1

Modifiers
LTK
charged
MB
hatred
Attacks
A1 I10
LTK <- MB
A2 I9
LTK <- MB
A1 I8
LTK -> MB
A3 I8
LTK <- MB (1W)
A2 I7
LTK -> MB
A4 I7
LTK <- MB
A3 I6
LTK -> MB
A1 I3
LTK's mount -> MB
A1 I1
LTK <- MB's mount
A2 I1
LTK <- MB's mount
Results
LTK
+1 (charged) = 1
MB
+1 (wounds) = 1

Round 2

Modifiers
LTK
none
MB
hatred
Attacks
A1 I9
LTK <- MB
A2 I8
LTK <- MB (1W)
A1 I8
LTK -> MB
A3 I7
LTK <- MB
A2 I7
LTK -> MB
A4 I6
LTK <- MB
A3 I6
LTK -> MB
A1 I3
LTK's mount -> MB
A1 I1
LTK <- MB's mount
A2 I1
LTK <- MB's mount
Results
LTK
0
MB
+1 (wounds) = 1
Free Hack 1
A1 I9
LTK <- MB
A2 I8
LTK <- MB
A3 I7
LTK <- MB (1W)

SOC vs KBP1


Round 1

Modifiers
SOC
charged, hatred
KBP1
none
Attacks
A1 I7
Seaman Sprayes -> WE2
A2 I6
Seaman Sprayes -> WE3
A1 I6
Seaman Sprayes <- WE2
A1 I6
Seaman Sprayes <- WE3
Results
SOC
+1 (charged) = 1
KBP1
+1 (ranks) = 1

Round 2

Modifiers
SOC
hatred
KBP1
none
Attacks
A1 I7
Seaman Sprayes -> WE2
A2 I6
Seaman Sprayes -> WE3
A1 I6
Seaman Sprayes <- WE2
A1 I6
Seaman Sprayes <- WE3
Results
SOC
0
KBP1
+1 (ranks) = 1

RGH vs I


Round 1

Modifiers
RGH
charged
I
hatred
Attacks
A1 I5
Rogaine -> Snorri Oneye
A2 I4
Rogaine -> Snorri Oneye
A3 I3
Rogaine -> Snorri Oneye (1W)
A4 I2
Rogaine -> Dwarf2
A1 I3
Rogaine's mount -> Dwarf2
A1 I3
Orc1 -> Dwarf3
A1 I3
Orc1's mount -> Dwarf3
A1 I2
Orc1 <- Dwarf2
A1 I2
Orc1 <- Dwarf3
Results
RGH
+1 (charged) +1 (ranks) +1 (wounds) = 3
I
+1 (standard) +1 (war banner) +1 (ranks) = 3

Round 2

Modifiers
RGH
none
I
hatred
Attacks
A1 I5
Rogaine -> Dwarf1
A2 I4
Rogaine -> Dwarf1
A3 I3
Rogaine -> Dwarf2
A4 I2
Rogaine -> Dwarf2 (1W)
A1 I3
Orc1's mount -> Dwarf3
A1 I2
Rogaine <- Dwarf1
A1 I2
Orc1 <- Dwarf3 (1W)
Results
RGH
+1 (wounds) = 1
I
+1 (standard) +1 (war banner) +1 (ranks) +1 (wounds) = 4
Free Hack 1
A1 I2
Rogaine <- Dwarf1
A1 I2
Rogaine <- Dwarf2
A3 I7
Orc1 <- Dwarf3
Free Hack 2
A1 I2
Rogaine <- Dwarf1 (1W)
A1 I2
Rogaine <- Dwarf2
A3 I7
Orc1 <- Dwarf3

K3C vs S


Round 1

Modifiers
K3C
<del>charged</del>, hatred
S
hatred
Attacks
A1 I4
Mill Kibarkid -> Borri Forkbeard
A2 I3
Mill Kibarkid -> Borri Forkbeard
A1 I3
Mill Kibarkid <- Borri Forkbeard
A3 I2
Mill Kibarkid -> Borri Forkbeard (1W)
A2 I2
Mill Kibarkid <- Borri Forkbeard (1W)
A3 I1
Mill Kibarkid <- Borri Forkbeard (1W)
A1 I2
Goblin2 -> Dwarf1
A1 I2
Goblin6 -> Dwarf1
A1 I1
Goblin2 <- Dwarf1 (1W)
Results
K3C
+2 (ranks) +1 (standard) +1 (wounds) = 4
S
+3 (wounds) = 3

Round 2

Modifiers
K3C
follow-up, hatred
S
hatred
Attacks
A1 I4
Mill Kibarkid -> Borri Forkbeard
A2 I3
Mill Kibarkid -> Borri Forkbeard
A1 I3
Mill Kibarkid <- Borri Forkbeard
A3 I2
Mill Kibarkid -> Borri Forkbeard
A2 I2
Mill Kibarkid <- Borri Forkbeard (1W)
A1 I2
Goblin2 -> Dwarf1
A1 I2
Goblin6 -> Dwarf1
A1 I1
Goblin2 <- Dwarf1
Results
K3C
+1 (follow-up) +2 (ranks) +1 (standard) = 4
S
+1 (wounds) = 1




***

Snorri Oneye glared at the charging pig riders. "Hold!" he grunted at the Steelaxes. As one, the dwarves set their shields forward, leaning into them, ready for the impact.

The boars squealed as they crashed into the dwarves. Dwarves and orcs cried out as steel found flesh – the enraged pigs indiscriminately gouging anything they could see.

Much to Rogaine's surprise, the dwarves held. Having nowhere to go, the boars had no choice but to halt, milling around in confusion. The orcs, completely unaware of the risk, continued hacking and slashing, but their wild blows were no match for the patient skill of the dwarves.

Kicking his boar hard, he forced the creature into the fray. In the emerging fracas, there stood a dwarf before him.

Snorri drew a finger across his throat as he lunged at the giant orc.

Rogaine and Snorri traded blows, sparks flying as their blades clashed.

He knows what he's on about, thought Snorri as he ducked just in time. It was his undoing.

The wily old orc had seen this many times with the dwarves. All too often, they would rely on their diminutive stature to defend themselves. If you could force one to duck, and you rode a boar…

…You could jump the boar over them and take their head off from behind. Which is exactly what Rogaine did. Having landed on the other side of the still-toppling headless dwarf, he turned to display his victory to the other orcs.

Except the cowardly Bleeped texts were running away.

What?

Something thumped against his back. It took a little while for his nerves to tell him it was an axe, but when they did, he bawled out in rage.

"Come back ya bastards!"

He jumped the pig out of the dwarf throng – so quickly that the axe was yanked out of the hands of a very surprised dwarf.

Rogaine galloped after the howling Hare Line.

"I'll kill every one of you sons'a'bitches! You better not come back! Do what yer told!!"

***

Reserves Phase


The orc left mobilises and drives towards the east bridge. The Firehammers cross the bridge, but find a vacuum in the wake of the Ironaxes and their routing of the orcs.


Actions


Airbornegrove:

F
Moved forward 3"

Thantsants:

SBB
Moved forward 3.5"
KYP
Moved forward 2" @ difficult ground
CGC
Moved forward 3", halts within 1" of RLR



Magic Phase


Wineghum, sensing the sudden need for a rearguard for the boar riders, raises more skeletons – creating a second unit of eight.


Actions


Thantsants:

W
Summoned 8 skeletons, 18 MP remaining




***

"Cor! Look at that!"

Wineghum shook his head as he watched the bloody orcs cheering at the downing of the dwarf flying machine. The thing had slammed into his recently raised undead, exploding spectacularly. It served the arse of a pilot right – of course it did. But couldn't the orcs have shot him somewhere else? Undead don't bloody grow on trees, do they?

He looked at his limping spider. Not only had dwarf machine managed to destroy his undead, but the thing had blown a leg clean off the spider. Seven legged spiders weren't outside his realm of experience, but the fact that the stupid creature had decided to play dead when it happened had really damaged his pride. It was one thing to be assaulted by a flying dwarf with bombs. It was another thing altogether to have one's spider curl up into a ball and roll onto its back with one still on it.

Still, one wouldn't last long as a wizard in the goblin walk of life if one allowed little set backs like that to get one down.

Wineghum shrugged and raised some more undead.

***

SCAdian17 Dec 2012 6:10 p.m. PST

"The Orcs are on 25mm bases. Why do you ask?
Cheers, Dreamfish"

I still play WH3rd and I noticed (after the fact) that some of my Orcs are on 20mm and some on 25mm. My Harboth's Orc Archers came on the 20mm three-to-a-stand bases and the characters are also on 20's. They're supposed to be 25mm according to the rulebook.
Of course that makes melee interesting as that means 5 dwarfs/men/elves have the same frontage as 4 Orcs….

I'm painting up Ugezod's Death Commando's this week.
Thank you for your answer,
Patrick

Dreamfish Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 7:10 a.m. PST

Turn 4


Thantsants and Airbornegrove, driven insane by your urgent cries for more blood, rampage through the fourth turn, causing death and mayhem in every phase. The body count rises, with the most casualties of the game so far.

Movement Phase


Finally, finally, finally – the mystic mist evaporates. The war machine battery shake their heads in sorrow as they perceive with their own eyes the cause – and the effect – of the explosion last turn.

The Wood Elves, having lost their leader to the cold blooded Dark Elf captain, flee in despair as he turns his attention and the attention of his fearsome and odorous cold one to them. Saved from certain death, Seaman Sprayes avenges his fallen comrades, instantly killing four of the elves through free hacks.

Over on the other flank, Meedy Ochre lurches from the forest, much to the horror of the orc left (yes, yes, the left as seen from Thantsants' point of view – its still on your right, dear reader). The giant bawls in the general direction of Kalpol and his boys before lumbering straight into them!

Also, unable to contain his curiousity, Wineghum, thinking as ever only in the short term, determines that it is safe to violate Rogaine's trust (seeing as how he's running away and all) and discovers the Percolator in chest that was passed to him…


Actions


GM:

Mystic Mist
Ended and disappeared
WLH
Moved forward 4" @ difficult ground

Airbornegrove:

KBP1
Routed
MF
Charged @ K3C, moved 4"
MO
Charged @ KYP, moved 5" @ difficult ground
A2C
Moved forward 1.5" @ difficult ground
F
Moved forward 2", wheeled right 1"
I
Reformed

Thantsants:

K3C
Holds
KYP
Holds
MB
Charged @ KBP1, persued @ KBP1, moved 10", wounded 2
SOC
Persued @ KBP1, moved 8", wounded 2
F1
Moved 4" @ chariot and died
RGH
Routed forward 13"
WoP
Moved forward 2.5" @ difficult ground
S1
Turned around
S2
Moved forward 4"
GF
Wheeled right 3.5"
RLR
Changed formation to 4 files, wheeled left 1.5", moved forward 2.5"
CGC
Changed formation to 4 files, failed 2nd manoeuvre
SBB
Moved forward 1", wheeled right 2", moved forward 0.5"
W
Prepares K'fe




***

Gaversconne watched as Rogaine chased his boar boys across the field. "Come back, ya bastards!" he yelled as he went by.

"See? Ain't worth it," Gaversconne snorted. "Won't catch me runnin' off like that! That's wot you get fer followin' a leader with only one ball!"

Miigrayne squinted as he followed Gaversonne's gaze. "Only one ball?"

Gaversconne's eyes bulged as he realised that wasn't a widely distributed piece of information in Rogaine's army. Assuming Rogaine came back and discovered this little …lapse… in Gaversconne's judgement, he'd be bloody fuming. And whilst it was all good fun to rag Rogaine in public and generally try to get in a scrap with the other orcs, getting into a one-on-one fight with the pyschopathic chieftan was another matter altogether. Had he just precipitated his own challenge to be chief?

"One ball?" an orc asked.

"Apparently so," another replied.

"Can't be," a third offered.

"How so?" Miigrayne asked.

"Well," said the third wise orc, "A feller's gotta have two balls to ride a boar, see? One on each side." He raised his hands and cradled to imaginary testes to display the point.

"Ah," said a fourth.

"Oh." A fifth.

"Or no balls at all, maybe?" queried a sixth.

"Or that, yeah." Number two again.

Number three nodded. "Or none, yeah. Just as easy to balance. But not one. Can't balance on a boar with one ball, see?"

"So we're sayin' he's got two balls or no balls, right?" Number seven was keen to clarify the point.

"Well – Gaversconne sez he's just got the one." Miigrayne said. The unit had stopped moving by now.

"Not possible. Two or none. You can tell by-"

Gaversconne grabbed number three by his neck before ramming his fist into the unsuspecting orcs face. "Will you lot listen to yourselves? Since when've orcs discussed each others nutsacks! SHUT UP ABOUT ROGAINE'S BALLS AND GET ON WITH IT!"

The orcs looked at each other as they started marching again.

"Orc's got a point, y'know. Orc's got a point…"

***

Shooting Phase


Finally able to see, the dwarf artillery company successfully kill one skeleton. Well – knock it over, or whatever one does to the undead that makes them just regular dead.

The orcs offer similarly dismal shooting, leading to an uninspired and quiet phase.


Actions


Airbornegrove:

A1C
Shot @ SBB, wounded 2
BT
Shot @ S2, wounded 1
E
Shot @ GF deviated @ RLR, wounded 0

Thantsants:

SQC
Shot @ F, wounded 1
RLR
Shot @ F, wounded 0
SC
Shot @ F, wounded 1
MM
Shot @ GF deviated @ RLR, wounded 0



Combat Phase


There's not much to say about the Wood Elves. Having routed from the fear of the Cold One, they are hacked down by the joint efforts of Master B'tor and Seaman Sprayes. This act completes the Dark Elf domination of the north-west quadrant and also removes the last Wood Elf from the table.

Unsurprisingly, Meedy Ochre pounds the orcs into the floor, crushing Kalpol first and then moving onto his standard bearer. Unable to do anything against him, the unit routs, only to be torn apart as the giant mauls the fleeing orcs. Both the Big 'Uns (Suderfed's Big Boys Brigade) and the little 'uns (Chamallow's Goblin Command) express huge amounts of empathy towards Kalpol and his boys, by turning and running as fast as they can away from blood spattered monster.

Surprisingly, the now leaderless Kibarkid's 3rd Company of Fine Spear win combat against the dwarves again – pushing them further back and routing Nico and his mercenary archers in the process!


Actions


MB, SOC vs KBP1


Round 1

Free Attacks
A1 I9
MB -> WE1 (1W)
A2 I8
MB -> WE2 (1W)
A1 I7
Seaman Sprayes -> WE3 (1W)

Round 2

Free Attacks
A1 I9
MB -> WE1
A2 I8
MB -> WE1
A3 I7
MB -> WE2
A4 I6
MB -> WE2
A1 I7
Seaman Sprayes -> WE2
A2 I6
Seaman Sprayes -> WE3 (1W)
A1 I1
MB's mount -> WE1 (1W)
A2 I1
MB's mount -> WE2 (1W)

K3C vs S, MF


Round 1

Modifiers
K3C
follow-up, hatred
S
hatred
MF
charged
Attacks
A1 I4
Nico Teehn -> Goblin8
A2 I3
Nico Teehn -> Goblin12
A1 I3
Human1 -> Goblin12
A1 I3
Human3 (std) -> Goblin4 (std)
A1 I2
Human1 <- Golbin12
A1 I2
Human3 (std) <- Golbin8 (1W)
A1 I3
Goblin1 <- Borri Forkbeard
A1 I2
Goblin1 -> Borri Forkbeard
A2 I2
Goblin1 <- Borri Forkbeard
A3 I1
Goblin1 <- Borri Forkbeard
A1 I2
Goblin2 -> Dwarf1
A1 I2
Goblin6 -> Dwarf1
A1 I1
Goblin2 <- Dwarf1 (1W)
Results
K3C
+1 (follow-up) +1 (standard) +1 (wounds) = 3
S, MF
+1 (charged) +1 (wounds) = 2
Free Hack 1
A1 I2
Goblin4 -> Human3
A1 I2
Goblin8 -> Human3
A1 I2
Goblin12 -> Human1 (1W)

Round 2

Modifiers
K3C
follow-up, hatred
S
hatred
Attacks
A1 I3
Goblin1 <- Borri Forkbeard (1W)
A1 I2
Goblin2 -> Dwarf1 (1W)
Results
K3C
+1 (follow-up) +1 (standard) +1 (ranks) +1 (wounds) = 4
S
+1 (wounds) = 1

MO vs KYP


Round 1

Modifiers
MO
charged
KYP
none
Attacks
A1 I3
MO <- Kalpol
A1 I2
MO -> Orc2 (std)
A1 I2
MO <- Orc2 (std)
A1 I2
MO <- Orc3 (mus)
A2 I2
MO <- Kalpol
A2 I1
MO -> Orc2 (std) (1W)
A3 I1
MO <- Kalpol
A3 I1
MO -> Orc3 (mus)
A4 I1
MO -> Orc3 (mus)
A5 I1
MO -> Kalpol
A6 I1
MO -> Kalpol (1W)
A7 I1
MO -> Kalpol (1W)
Results
MO
+1 (charged) +3 (wounds) = 4
KYP
+1 (ranks) = 1
Free Hack 1
A1 I2
MO -> Orc2
A2 I1
MO -> Orc2
A3 I1
MO -> Orc2 (1W)
A4 I1
MO -> Orc3 (1W)
A5 I1
MO -> Orc4 (mus) (1W)
Free Hack 2
A1 I2
MO -> Orc5 (1W)
A2 I1
MO -> Orc6 (1W)
A3 I1
MO -> Orc7 (1W)



Reserves Phase


A textbook reserves phase occurs, as uncommitted units consolidate their positions.


Actions


GM:

WLH
Moved forward 8"

Airbornegrove:

I
Moved forward 1", halts within 4" of S2
F
Moved forward 3"

Thantsants:

SQC
Moved forward 4"
WoP
Moved forward 4.5", wheeled right 0.5"
S1
Wheeled right 2"



Magic Phase


Wineghum, having spent the turn working our how the Percolator works, lazily places another Mystic Mist over the dwarven artillery battery. Content, he returns to the little fire as he watches the thing bubble away cheerfully.

The Firehammers respond by wrathfully claiming two orcs with their fireball hurling banner.


Actions


GM:

Mystic Mist
Rolled 1D3 dice in secret

Airbornegrove:

F
Shot fireball @ RLR, wounded 2

Thantsants:

W
Casted Mystic Mist @ Baggage Area, 13 MP remaining




***
Wineghum had struggled to read the magical symbols describing the use of the Percolator. He had correctly guessed how to grind the beans, but now that he had made the fire and positioned the Percolator correctly, he was at a loss as to how to mix the final part of the K'fe potion.

He was fairly certain that the little bags labelled 'Sugar' had to be part of the final mix, but looking at the pictures, he wasn't too sure what the right measurement was. Everything was linked to the spoon, but the formula proposed by the symbols just didn't make sense.

His brow furrowed as he scrutinised the instructions again:

Percolator + Water + Fire + Sugar + Milk + Spoon = Happy Face.

It just didn't make sense. The milk thing was weird too – the sigils seemed to propose that one could have the milk in some sort of frothy state – quite how one got it that way was beyond him, though.

He'd have to make a decision, though. The Percolator had filled up the little silver cup it came with. Lazy steam drifted over to Wineghum. It smelt good. But he knew from stories of other shaman that a half prepared potion could be the death of one.

He looked up, scanning the horizon for Rogaine. "Ah, Bleeped text. He's stopped running away. We'd better get this show on the road, then," he said to himself aloud.

Tearing open a sugar bag, he poured about half of it into the cup. He put the spoon in, just as the sigils suggested, before taking an experimental swig.

"Gah!" he cried, rubbing his eye. The stuff was bitter – not nearly as good as the smell suggested it would be. Also – he felt no different. something must be wrong. Understanding dawned on him – the spoon was part of the magic. it had slipped when it hit his eye, no doubt breaking the spell.

Wineghum turned to look in Rogaine's direction. One more try. What he needed was a way to keep the spoon in place. Clearly it was supposed to touch ones eye – that much was obvious. But how did one keep it in place? He looked at the instructions again.

That's it! The sugar! Perhaps, if one put enough sugar in, one could sort of wedge the spoon into it, thus holding it into place. He consulted the mystical formula again:

Percolator + Water + Fire + Sugar + Milk + Spoon = Happy Face.

It was hard to imagine a happy face with a spoon poking into one's eyeball, but sometimes magic was painful. No pain, no gain, as he had been lead to understand. He took a fistful of the little sugar bags, tore them all open and kept pouring sugar into the silver cup until he saw it form a pile above the K'fe level in the cup.

Carefully, he inserted the spoon in the sugar pile, just so, before taking another drink. He was careful to make sure the spoon lined up nicely with his eye. Here goes…

"Gah!" he cried, his eyes watering. The sticky mess crawled down his gullet at a snails pace. What a flavour! "Gah! That's the stuff!"

***

Rallying Phase


Finally, having strategically repositioned themselves on the safe side of two units of skeletons, Wineghum and Gaversconne's Fireguts, Rogaine gains control of his Grand Hareline and brings them to order.


Actions


Thantsants:

RGH
Rallied




***
"Hold on," Damasius said to the other Magi. "I'll go and ask them."

Gaspar frowned. "I dunno. They look kinda busy. We should just get going."

"Get going where? We're lost, remember?"

Melchior stepped forward. "Gaspar's right. I mean, I don't know, but my experienced eyes tell me that there is a fight going on down there, and I don't think those are the nice ladies you think they are. It's the swords, really. And the blood around their mouths. Just a hunch. We should just get outta here."

"What is with you guys?" flashed Damasius. "How come we never ask directions? Its easy to follow the star at night, but its not night time now, is it!"

"Hey!" Belthasar barked, moving between Damasius and Melchior. "This is the first time we've ever travelled together! Never seems a little thick, don't you think?"

Melchior folded his arms and glared at Damasius. "Yeah! A little thick, methinks!"

"You know what? I don't have to take this! You lot are fine to go wondering around in circles. I'm gonna go and ask them!"

Gaspar, Melchior and Belthasar watched as Damasius stomped off in the direction of the Witch Elves. He hesitated, before stopping and turning around.

"Cold feet?" Melchior asked.

"No. But could you hold this?" Damasius gave Belthasar the little chest he was carrying. "I'll be right back."

The other two Magi crowded around Belthasar as Damasius walked off. "Go on – open it. Let's see what he's bringing!"

Belthasar shook his head. "He's just over there, for crying in a bucket! I don't even know what you guys are bringing!"

"I've got gold," Gaspar said.

"I've got frankincense," Melchior said.

"Really?" Belthasar frowned at the little chest he was holding. "Gold? I didn't know it was quite so… important. I've was bringing Travel Scrabble."

Just then they heard Damasius scream. Looking up, they watched as the demented witch elves surrounded him.

Gaspar winced as he watched. "I didn't know that could… come off."

Melchior recoiled as he watched. "They're very good at chopping, aren't they?"

Belthasar flinched as he watched. "Elbows shouldn't… bend that way, should they?"

The three men watched until Damasius had stopped screeching and wailing.

"Well. Now there's just three of us. Travel Scrabble? Seriously?" Melchoir clipped Belthasar on the back of his head. "Do us a favour and take whatever Damasius was taking. What'll they think of us?"

Rubbing his head, Belthasar opened the chest. "Oooh. It's Myrrh!"

"That'll do," Gaspar snapped. "Take that and leave your stupid scrabble here."

"But I like-"

"Do it!"

Belthasar nodded. "Fine, I'll take the Myrrh. But I'm not leaving the scrabble."

The other two watched as Belthasar made his way back to his camel. Melchior leaned over and whispered to Gaspar. "What's Myrrh?"

Gaspar pulled a face and shrugged. "I dunno…but its gotta be better than scrabble, right?"

***

Dreamfish Inactive Member29 Jan 2013 3:25 a.m. PST

Turn 5


Turn 5 seems to be characterised by running.

Some units are running to get into combat. Some units are running to get out of combat. Some units are running just because other units are running.

Lots of running, then.

Don't be alarmed, bloodthirsty audience! There is still your fair share of stabbing, chopping and clubbing. And fireballs. Creatures have died in this turn. We've got that covered.

Movement Phase


Master B'tor, high on the adrenaline that only comes from wholesale slaughter, charges down the rocky hillside to have at the dwarves. His erstwhile companion, Seaman Sprayes, cannot make the 'gig' this time, as he is on foot.

Wineghum drinks deeply of his newly prepared K'fe, infusing his drug addled brain with the awesome power of the rare and powerful K'fe bean. In so doing, he boosts his undead minions, granting each of them an extra wound! Thus prepared, he orders them to charge the dwarves.

Nico Teehn and his boys, believing themselves to have satisfied their contract (to shoot at orcs, one supposes), continue to flee the carnage caused by Kibarkid's 3rd Company of Fine Spear.

The orc line, now clearly in the business of running relays as they change direction more times than a shoal of fish surrounded by killer whales, scatter to escape the wrath of Meedy Ochre, who is now short of targets as Kalpol's lot flee the field.

And…amidst the confusion, Rogaine forces his Grunta's to go back into the battle, this time moving behind the orc line, no doubt preparing for some sneaky outflanking manoeuvre!


Actions


GM:

WLH
Routed off the table

Airbornegrove:

I
Charged @ S2, wheeled right 1", moved forward 4"
MF
Routed forward 7"
MO
Reformed
F
Moved forward 3", holds

Thantsants:

S2
Holds
MB
Charged @ F, moved 13"
S1
Charged @ I, wheeled 1" left, moved forward 3", lost charge bonus
CGC
Routed forward 7"
SBB
Routed forward 7"
KYP
Routed off the table
WoP
Moved forward 5"
SQC
Wheeled right 2", moved forward 2"
SOC
Moved forward 5"
RGH
Wheeled right 1", moved forward 5"
GF
Wheeled left 1", moved forward 2.5"
RLR
Wheeled left 2", moved forward 2"
W
Consumed K'fe, S1 and S2 +1 W, moved 3" @ S1


***

Magic Item:Percolator

The Percolator is a silver, magical jug able to produce a powerful and invigorating potion, called K'fe. K'fe takes a whole turn to prepare. The unit must remain stationary whilst preparing K'fe. Preparation must be declared in the movement phase. Once ready, it can be imbibed by the creator and their unit, allowing any statistic (except for Cool) to be increased by 1. K'fe can be imbibed more than once (the effects are cumulative, but no statistic may be increased beyond 10), but it can only be drunk once per turn. Each time K'fe is consumed, however, the drinker(s) must reduce their Cool by 1.

***

Shooting Phase


Perhaps you get this feeling sometimes: you know when you've done something stupid, maybe in the car, or whilst carrying something heavy – and you think, I'll just press CTRL-Z (or CMD-Z for the bohemian users out there…). Then reality punches you in the face, because of course, in real life, you can't. I call these CTRL-Z moments.

I suspect that Seaman Sprayes experienced a CTRL-Z moment as he watched the flurry of quarrels sear across the field after he descended the hill.

In what turned out to be a good round for the crossbowmen as a whole, the 1st Company of Arrowheads manage to down two orc boar riders!

In retaliation, the orc stone thrower crew failed to hit their target – that being the last known location of the dwarven warmachines before the mystic mist came up. Unbeknown to them, however, they manage to kill three dwarves crewing the earthquaker.


Actions


Airbornegrove:

A1C
Shot @ RGH, wounded 2
A2C
Shot @ SOC, wounded 1
E
Shot @ RGH deviated, missed

Thantsants:

SC
Shot @ A1C, wounded 0
MM
Shot @ E deviated @ E, wounded 3


***

"Look – there's an elf running towards us," Beeyerbehl Lee grunted. "He's waving a sword. Requesting permission to fire, sir?"

Sergeant Reeyulale watched the elf careen down the hill. It wasn't terribly clear if he was running with the lizard riding elf or away from him.

"Hold your fire – how do you know its not one of our allies? For all you know, he's got the thingummy we came to get."

"With all due respect, sir, I have no idea if he's an ally or not, but he is waving his sword in what I consider to be a threatening manner and one that I deem to be a threat to the lives of my colleagues and I! I repeat – permission to fire, sir?"

"Denied! We have met the elves with the intention of establishing peace – I don't know where the other ones came from, but I don't want to be accountable for reigniting a war between our two great peoples!"

Beeyerbehl lifted his crossbow. "Sir, let us not forget that the whole reason we're here today is because one of those sons-of-bitches was caught knobbing Lady Luuhs. Your lips are still blue, sir. You know why? Because we just waded through the bloody freezing currents of the River Chai. Before that you woke up at two in the morning so you could force march to get here in time to meet these bastards, who don't even have the common decency to secure the area before trying to hand over their doohicky! How was your breakfast, sir? Oh, that's right, you didn't have any!"

"You had better watch your tongue, son, or I'll shoot you where you stand! We did those things because those were orders!" Reeyulale thumped his finger against Beeyerbehl's chest. "You're in the army now and that means you're in the business of following orders! You got me?"

Beeyerbehl blinked each time the sergeant's broad finger punched his into sternum.

Reeyulale glared at the unit. "No one shoots anything, alright! I'm just gonna have a smoke and decide what we- Bleeped text!" The sergeant patted his pockets up and down, before turning to look over his shoulder to look at the river. "Bleeped text me! I've lost my tobacco! I don't suppose any of you saw a yellow box…" he trailed off.

He followed the finger of Beeyerbehl as pointed wistfully at a little bob of yellow cheerfully drifting down the River Chai.

"Sonofabitch!" Beeyerbehl hissed through clenched teeth. "Son-of-a-bitch!"

Beeyerbehl shrugged. "It's the elves sir. Bad business all round. Permission to fire?"

"Bleeped text always happens when there's elves around. They're a bloody curse, they are!"

"Permission to fire, sir?"

Reeyulale snatched the crossbow from the other dwarf. "Denied!"

"I'm shooting the bastard myself!"

***

Combat Phase


Curiously, Kibarkid's lot continue to hold out against the Steelaxes, despite the fact that they are pathetic goblins and the Steelaxes are well trained, well equipped dwarves.

The dwarves are pushed back, introducing a 'weight' wheel – something that happens in 3rd edition that doesn't happen in current editions of Warhammer. In this case, the lines are now out of 'balance', with the 'heavier' unit causing the other to wheel backwards as they get pushed back. Its one of those careful situations where you may not want to follow up too many times, as you'll be out of position. In this case, neither unit has a choice, as they hate each other, but it is nice to see some of the tactical nuances introduced by the idea of push-backs and follow ups.

Also, the brave Master B'tor challenges Morgrim to single combat. despite riding a fearsome cold one and being quite a capable warrior, Morgrim sees the dark elf captain off – but not without being injured himself.

Another interesting element of 3rd edition that we don't see in the later editions is the idea of instability. Applying specifically to undead and daemons (and elementals – you won't see those in later editions!), this is a roll taken by unstable units to see how they react to tough situations, usually caused by magic or being defeated in combat. In later editions, where one subtracts the wounds suffered from ones leadership when determining what the score is to roll for routing (fleeing, child – fleeing), players would simply remove that number extra from the unstable unit. In 3rd edition, this is a dice roll against a table – the entire unit could be destroyed, or it could get casualties returned to it – possibly enough to return to its original strength.

Anyway, the dwarves pushed the summoned undead back – both units rolled for instability – one lost 3 extra figures – the other became completely ethereal – and therefore completely ineffectual!


Actions


MB vs F


Round 1

Modifiers
MB
charged
F
none
Attacks
A1 I10
Parried
A2 I9
MB -> MI
A3 I8
MB -> MI
A4 I7
MB -> MI
A1 I4
MB <- MI
A2 I3
MB <- MI
A3 I2
MB <- MI
A1 I1
MB's mount -> MI
A4 I1
MB <- MI
A2 I1
MB's mount -> MI
Results
MB
+1 (charged) = 1
S
+1 (standard) +1 (ranks) = 2

Round 2

Modifiers
MB
none
F
follow-up
Attacks
A1 I9
MB -> MI
A2 I8
MB -> MI
A3 I7
MB -> MI
A4 I6
MB -> MI (1W)
A1 I4
MB <- MI
A2 I3
MB <- MI
A3 I2
MB <- MI (1W)
A4 I1
MB <- MI
A1 I1
MB's mount -> MI
A2 I1
MB's mount -> MI
Results
MB
+1 (wounds) = 1
S
+1 (follow-up) +1 (standard) +1 (ranks) +1 (wounds) = 4
Free Hack 1
A1 I4
MB <- MI (1W)
A2 I3
MB <- MI
A3 I2
MB <- MI
A4 I1
MB <- MI

I vs S1, S2


Round 1

Modifiers
I
charged
S1, S2
<del>charged</del>
Attacks
A1 I2
Dwarf1 -> Skeleton4@S2 (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf1 <- Skeleton4@S2
A1 I2
Dwarf2 -> Skeleton3@S2 (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf2 <- Skeleton3@S2
A1 I2
Dwarf3 -> Skeleton2@S2 (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf3 <- Skeleton2@S2
A1 I2
Dwarf4 (std) -> Skeleton1@S2
A1 I2
Dwarf4 (std) <- Skeleton1@S2
A1 I2
Dwarf8 <- Skeleton2@S1
A1 I2
Dwarf8 -> Skeleton2@S1 (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf8 <- Skeleton3@S1
A1 I2
Dwarf4 (std) <- Skeleton4@S1
Results
I
+1 (charged) +1 (standard) +1 (war banner) +4 (wounds) = 7
S1, S2
+1 (ranks) = 1
Instability
S1
ineffective shadows
S2
skeleton 4, 3 and 2 died

Round 2

Modifiers
I
follow-up
S2
none
Attacks
A1 I2
Dwarf1 -> Skeleton4 (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf1 <- Skeleton4
A1 I2
Dwarf2 -> Skeleton3
A1 I2
Dwarf2 <- Skeleton3
A1 I2
Dwarf3 -> Skeleton2 (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf3 <- Skeleton2
A1 I2
Dwarf4 (std) -> Skeleton1 (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf4 (std) <- Skeleton1
Results
I
+1 (follow-up) +1 (standard) +1 (war banner) +3 (wounds) = 6
S2
0
Instability
S2
ineffective shadows

K3C vs S


Round 1

Modifiers
K3C
follow-up, hatred
S
hatred
Attacks
A1 I3
Goblin1 <- Borri Forkbeard (1W)
A1 I2
Goblin2 -> Dwarf1
A1 I2
Goblin6 -> Dwarf1 (1W)
Results
K3C
+1 (follow-up) +1 (standard) +1 (ranks) +1 (wounds) = 4
S
+1 (wounds) = 1

Round 2

Modifiers
K3C
follow-up, hatred
S
hatred
Attacks
A1 I3
Goblin1 <- Borri Forkbeard (1W)
A1 I2
Goblin2 -> Dwarf1
A1 I2
Goblin6 -> Dwarf1
A1 I1
Goblin2 <- Dwarf1
Results
K3C
+1 (follow-up) +1 (standard) +1 (ranks) = 3
S
+1 (wounds) = 1


***

If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself, Master B'tor had thought to himself as he watched the orc captain chase his porcine cavalry back to try and get them under control.

Embarrassing, really.

Anyway, things had progressed. Having butchered what must have been the elven commander and claiming the hill, he noticed that the dwarves were closing in with the orcs. In their ignorance, haste or arrogance, they had exposed their entire flank to his elves.

What a curious thing to do…

Now that Sea Biscuit, his terrifying and odorous mount, had warmed up on the corpses of the wood elves, it was easy pickings to simply launch himself into the tiny squad of dwarves that seemed to making up their rear guard. So this he did.

***

It was Sea Biscuit's slavering roar that alerted Morgrim and his men that trouble was at hand. The dwarves had seen the lone elf and his dragon like steed rampaging around on the hill, but it had been difficult to discern who was who. Morgrim had not questioned the presence of two different elven armies hell bent on killing each other – the gods above knew it was hard enough for other races to deal with the arrogant swines, so it made complete sense that they would have it in for each other.

But now this one had distinguished himself. Morgrim was a confident fighter, but not an arrogant one. He would never go running across a battlefield in this fashion – screaming like that was basically just asking to be shot. Still, this elf must have some skill – he'd survived the fighting on the hill and seemed eager for more – that sort of thing always wanted watching, as you couldn't trust anyone who wanted to fight.

"Step aside, fellers, I think I'd better deal with this one. Stay in formation."

The Firehammers new better than to question him. Without a word, they parted, letting him through to the back before closing ranks.

The elf seemed delighted that Morgrim had presented himself – a cruel grin spread across his face as he levelled his lance.

Morgrim grimaced. He knew the next bit was going to hurt, but it had to be done.

"Remember, son, everyone always things being short is some sort of disadvantage – let 'em think that. You use it to your advantage every time, you hear!" his dad would say.

His plan relied on two things – dwarven engineering, in the shape of his family Mithril, and his low centre of gravity – you can't drop something that's already on the floor.

Morgrim trotted forward, setting his feet firmly, his great blade in the air above his shoulder. He was expecting the lance to hit the left side of his chest – if he could take the impact, he'd have the stupid elf for sure.

He stared up into the maw of the cold one as it howled in for the kill.

The crack of his ribs snapping was eye watering. The other dwarves, still in formation, collectively winced as the lance crunched into Morgrim's mithril, locking into an armoured link, the shaft bending before the tip ricocheted off sideways under his elbow.

***

It was as if Master B'tor had charged a rock. The shock of the impact reverberated right through the lance and up into his arm and shoulder. Sea Biscuit reared up as the elf rolled backwards from the impact, staying in the saddle only by his desperate grip on the reins bunched in his left fist.

***

Morgrim's upward swing became a sideways swing as he tumbled backwards. The sword sliced through the air under its own weight – his right hand simply following the swing through – his left hand extended out behind him to catch his fall.

***

It was the rearing up that saved Master B'tor. A blow aimed at his midriff clove through his ankle, sending his now useless foot flying. Morgrim's bloody blade finished its journey as it clanked against the scales of the cold one, the impetus not enough to cut into the animal.

***

Sea Biscuit lashed around with his head, grabbing Morgrim by his elbow. Deep in the creatures simple mind a brief moment of shock cut through the bloodlust as it realised its jaws could not crush the little creature it now held. The moment passed as instinct won the day – where biting failed, shaking succeeded. The cold one shook Morgrim like a rag doll. The dwarf clanked back and forth as he punched desperately at the creature. His mailed fist found the creatures throat, the impact assisted by the impetus of being shaken.

***

Morgrim crashed into the Firehammers as the creature opened its jaws. It staggered sideways under the weight of the shrieking elf and it's sudden inability to breath…

***

Master B'tor propped himself and the blithering cold one up by stabbing his lance into the ground. His already aching shoulder carried the weight of himself and the cold one as he forced the creature to right itself. In that brief instant, he realised why it wasn't responding – his right foot was gone. There was nothing but a stream of blood where once a boot and stirrup swung. Fighting the urge to faint, he beat the stupid creature with his left foot, causing it to wheel around the lance. A sound kick caused the creature to launch itself roaring into the distance.

***

The Firehammers watched impassively as the cold one skittered away, fighting for grip as it tried to interpret the cockeyed instructions of the elf.

"You alright, sir?" one of them asked.

"Do I look alright to you?" Mogrim grunted as two of the dwarves helped him up. "That hurt like hell."

He hung his arm over the shoulder of Baye Conbutti, the youngest dwarf in the regiment. His breathing was laboured. "Sit me down, son – I – just need a – breather."

The unit crowder around him as Baye lowered him onto a nearby rock.

"Hey!" Morgrim barked. "You lot stay in formation! It's just- " Morgrim looked down to see the great rent that had been punched into his breastplate.

"-it's just a scratch."

***

Reserves Phase


The reserves phase is suitably dull, what with orcs moving towards dwarves and giants moving towards orcs. When it comes to picking the lesser of two evils, I know which I'd take…


Actions


Airbornegrove:

MO
Moved forward 6"

Thantsants:

WoP
Moved forward 3", wheeled right 1", moved forward 1"
RLR
Moved forward 4"
GF
Wheeled right 3"

Magic Phase


Wineghum, realising that the dwarves have overcome his summoned army, launches two fireballs at them, caring not whether his creations are seared into nothingness. A stunned dwarf is burned to a crisp as a result!


Actions


Thantsants:

W
Casted 2 Fireballs @ I, wounded 1, 11 MP remaining

Rallying Phase


Chamallow's Goblins and Suderfedd's Big Boys Brigade, running more or less straight into their determined and furious commanding officer, Rogaine, bring their headlong dash for safety to a halt – his 'soothing' influence and 'calm' demeanour being something orcs across the world respect…

The mercenaries fail to rally and leave the table.


Actions


Airbornegrove:

MF
Failed to rally

Thantsants:

CGC
Rallied
SBB
Rallied

Dreamfish Inactive Member11 Feb 2013 4:57 a.m. PST

Turn 6


Turn 6 is just chaos. Unmitigated, random, chaos. The dwarves suffer one casualty, whilst the orcs get the turn prize for killing the most… orcs.

Movement Phase


Master B'tor continues to flee after his stinging defeat by Morgrim. The dark elf crossbowmen know better than to question their captain and watch him pass by without a word.

The terrifying onslaught of Meedy Ochre is enough to send Suderfedd's (suddenly not so) Big Boy's Brigade running, but not fast enough to avoid a nasty beating for a couple of orcs. Looking to save face, Rogaine charges the giant with his boar cavalry, startling the stupid creature and causing it to rout.

Also, Wineghum's mystic mist dissipates, granting the dwarf warmachine crews cherished access to light and targets. Ethan Ohl, previously of the cannon crew, joins the Earthquaker crew and helps them tend to their wounded and prepare the machine to fire.

Over on the orc side, Rogaine's Lamentable Regiment of Boworcs watches as the goblins battle desperately with the Fireaxes and charge in to help. Well – not to help, as such, but just to hit dwarves. Certainly one of the top five activities orcs like to get up to.


Actions


GM:

Mystic Mist
Ended and disappeared

Airbornegrove:

MO
Charged @ SBB, pursued @ SBB, moved 12", wounded 2, routed
MF
Routed off the table
CC
Joined EC
F
Turned around, moved forward 3"

Thantsants:

RGH
Charged @ MO, pursued @ MO, wheeled left 4", moved 8"
RLR
Charged @ S, moved forward 3.5"
S1
Charged @ F, wheeled right 1.5", moved forward 4.5"
MB
Routed forward 14"
SBB
Routed
W
Moved 5" @ cliff face
CGC
Turned left
SQC
Moved forward 3", wheeled right 1"
WoP
Moved forward 5"



Shooting Phase


Unfortunately, the nigh-unstoppable goblins, having surprisingly and successfully pushed the dwarves back for two consecutive turns, are undone by their artillery support.

The orc man mangler crew, having selected the Firehammers as the target, fail miserably to land their stone anywhere near those dwarves, placing the stone instead on the Steelaxes. Firehammers? Steelaxes? I know, they sounded similar, didn't they? Easy to confuse the two, really.

Anyway, they kill a dwarf.

But they also manage to kill 5 goblins and 4 orcs. So Kibarkid's lot, having so far been the underdogs of the match, let up against the dwarves and flee in horror as they realise that the sky is falling in.


Actions


Airbornegrove:

A1C
Shot @ GF, wounded 3
A2C
Shot @ SQC, wounded 2
E
Shot @ CGC deviated, missed

Thantsants:

SC
Shot @ EC, missed
MM
Shot @ F deviated @ S, K3C, RLR, wounded 1, 5, 4
K3C
Routed




***

"Ow! Waddidja do that for!" Nayz Ulsprai squealed, rubbing his head where he'd been cuffed.

"Look wot yer gone an' done!" Pannerdol barked, jabbing his finger into the sky.

Nayz followed the distant rock as it descended into a cluster of greenskins close to the river. "Wosn't me," he whined.

"Was too! If yer'd been doin' yer job instead of gawping at the giant like some kid at a circus, we'd have been dead on! But we ain't, are we?" He looked at the ruckus that was ensuing. "Great – now they's runnin' away. Good job, genius!"

"Aw boss – s'only goblins!"

"S'only Kibarkid's lot, is wot it is. You wait 'til I tell 'im it was you wot shot 'im! You know he's a biter!"

Bennilinn, who was watching Pannerdol berate Nayz from the other side of the Man Mangler, instinctively reached his hand down to protect his crotch. There were many rumours of Kibarkid's reputed savagery – and none of them had any happy endings for anyone taller than him.

Ibupp Rowfenn also shifted uncomfortably at the mention of Kibarkid. Still, Kibarkid was all the way down there (and possibly dead – he might have been killed by Nayz, after all), so he moved on to the thing that was really concerning him.

"What's a genius?"

"It's a knob, like Nayz over here!" Pannerdol spat.

"But I ain't never seen a giant before! An' I ain't never seen Rogaine chasin' one neither!"

"Look – quit yer whinin' and thank whatever god that spawned you that you's got two balls, cos once Kibarkid gets ya…" Pannerdol snapped his teeth shut.

"Is that what happened to Rogaine?" Ibupp asked, addressing the crew generally.

"Wot, Kibarkid?"

"Yeah. He's only got one 'nad left, ain't he? Rogaine?"

Bennilinn locked eyes with Ibupp. "Nah…surely not?"

Nayz looked up. "Cor! Really? Kibarkid an' Rogaine?"

Ibupp shrugged. "I dunno. Alls I know is Rogaine is only half the orc he used to be, if you gets my drift-"

"As will you be if you don't get this damn thrower loaded! Get on with it, you gossiping wenches!" Pannerdol screeched as he rained blows down on any crew members he could reach.

***

Combat Phase


In what turned out to be a very quiet combat phase, the dwarves quietly dispatched pretty much everything they were facing. The now ethereal skeletons were clearly no match for the dwarven elites and winked out of existence.

Possibly a little stunned from the orc missile strike, the Steelaxes kill all but one orc, who finally reaches an understanding of his situation and runs away. In their mercy, the Steelaxes watch the little feller run off (Ed: don't dwarves hate all greenskins?).


Actions


S1 vs F


Round 1

Modifiers
S1
charged
F
none
Attacks
A1 I2
Skeleton2 <- Dwarf10 (1W)
A1 I2
Skeleton3 <- Dwarf5 (1W)
Results
S1
+1 (charged) = 1
F
+2 (wounds) = 2

I vs S2


Round 1

Modifiers
S2
none
I
follow-up
Attacks
A1 I2
Skeleton1 <- Dwarf4 (std) (1W)
A1 I2
Skeleton2 <- Dwarf3 (1W)
A1 I2
Skeleton3 <- Dwarf2
A1 I2
Skeleton4 <- Dwarf1 (1W)
Results
S1
0
F
+1 (follow-up) +3 (wounds) = 4

RLR vs S


Round 1

Modifiers
RLR
charged
S
none
Attacks
A1 I2
Orc1 (std) -> Dwarf2
A1 I1
Orc1 (std) <- Dwarf2 (1W)
A1 I2
Orc2 -> Dwarf1 (mus)
A1 I1
Orc2 <- Dwarf1 (mus) (1W)
Results
RLR
+1 (charged) = 1
S
+2 (wounds) = 2
Free Hack 1
A1 I1
Orc1 <- Dwarf2 (1W)
A1 I1
Orc2 <- Dwarf1 (1W)



Reserves Phase


There's nothing much to say about the reserves phase. Still, there is a certain beauty in the orc line and how it seems to have every direction on the compass covered…


Actions


Airbornegrove:

F
Turned left, changed formation to 4 files (2nd manoeuvre), moved forward 2.5"
S
Moved forward 2", halts within 4" of RLR
A2C
Changed formation to 4 files

Thantsants:

WoP
Wheeled left 1.5", moved forward 1", halts within 4" of F
SQC
Moved forward 1", failed 2nd manoeuvre



Magic Phase


Wineghum casts mystic mist again. The spell choice presents no problems, but the target does offer a mini-dilemma: cast the spell on his own man-mangler and try and save some of his army, or try and confound the approaching dwarves, who are getting awfully close now that he's run out of undead.

In the end, you can always rely on a goblin to save his own skin.


Actions


GM:

Mystic Mist
Rolled 1D3 dice in secret

Thantsants:

W
Casted Mystic Mist @ F and I, 6 MP remaining



Rallying Phase


Master B'tor rallies! Aching both physically and emotionally, Master B'tor has occasion to pause and reflect on things. A true captain, he elects not to leave his men (elves?) behind, and returns to the fray. Besides, how many feet does one need, anyway? Surely that's why we've all got spares?


Actions


Thantsants:

MB
Rallied




***

Master B'tor patted Sea Biscuit, using a gentle rhythm and the barest hushing sounds to bring the beast to a standstill. It offered an inquisitive growl as it turned to sniff at its master's bloody stump where once a foot had been.

"No, no," the elf said gently. "No eating for now. That's. My. Leg." He grunted in pain as the realisation of what happened flooded through his nervous system.

Slowly, he turned sideways and slid down the side of the cold one, making sure he had a firm grip on the rein. Sea Biscuit and himself had been through a lot together and many other cold one riders were jealous of his control over the giant lizard, but now was not the time to drop his guard. Cold ones responded to blood – and right now, he was the only one doing the bleeding.

Gingerly, he shifted his weight onto his left foot. He rubbed the beasts neck as he cooed and sushed, leaning up against it as he looked around. Finding a suitable rock, he dropped to all fours to secure the reigns under the boulder. Sea Biscuit should stay relatively calm here, he reasoned.

He crawled away from the cold one, getting himself to a safe distance in case something happened and the creature attacked.

"Right," he said to himself. "You've seen this done hundreds of times, right?"

Right. But you've never had to do it. And you've never had to do it to you.

He dug a small hole and pushed whatever leaves and twigs he could reach from his sitting position into it. He tore away the ruined trouser leg and bundled the bloody rags into the hole too, making up the base for a small fire. Finally, he pulled out his hip flask and poured most of the contents onto the cloth. He poured most of the rest of the flask onto his stump – shit, that stings something awful! – before pouring the final measure down his throat.

The whisky had been filtered for sixty years – even by elven standards, the stuff was smooth. What a shame he was going to burn it. He clacked his flint stones together, sighing as the liquor soaked materials caught the sparks and whooshed to life.

He stared at the base of the fire for a short while. The pain was there, but it was in the background now. Perhaps he didn't have to do this? He looked at his stump. Blood oozed through the haggard, dirty mess.

"Nothing for it, son," he'd heard himself say to his crew when this sort of thing happened to them. "I don't need crew with infections. Bite on this…"

Good point. He loosened his belt, folding it double and clutched it between his teeth. He pulled his dagger from its sheath. He trusted this blade. It was the sharpest thing he owned. Curiously, it had never drawn blood. Fitting, perhaps, that he should punish himself with it first – he had been an idiot, after all. He'd been far too eager to skewer the damned dwarf to realise the dwarf had a plan.

His eyes spotted a suitable stone just next to him. About the size of his hand and very heavy. "You'll do," he said to it as he picked it up. He stretched his wounded leg out, pointing his aching stump towards the fire. He settled the edge of his dagger against his shin, just a little higher than the wound. He held the stone up high.

One

He held his breath.

Two

He bit deeply into the belt

Three

He closed his eyes.

Now!

***

Sea Biscuit roared in fright as he heard his master's voice screech through bloody teeth. The creature wrenched at the reins, rearing and snapping.

"Easy, Sea Biscuit," he heard Master B'tor say. "Easy." The elf sounded… different. Weaker.

The cold one sniffed as it detected the smell of burning flesh. He looked at the fire, cocking his head.

"Here. Got. Something. For you."

Sea Biscuit's eye narrowed as it tracked the little chunk of flesh that sailed through the air…

***

Master B'tor nodded his approval as he watched the cold one snatched the chunk of leg he tossed out of the air. "Good boy."

The pain in the now shorter (but clean) stump was much worse the second time. "I guess that's because I knew it was going to happen," he grunted. He looked at the deep bite he'd left in his belt before wrapping it around his leg and binding it as tightly as he could.

Hurts like a bitch, that does. The burn was more painful than the cut, he reasoned. Absolute bitch!

Gently, he rolled onto all-fours, before tentatively raising himself upright.

You can do this.

He hopped closer to the cold one.

And again.

And again.

One more time.

Sea Biscuit seemed to be looking at him as if evaluating Master B'tor's worthiness to ride him. Elf and cold one stared at each other, neither gaze shifting. Slowly, Master B'tor brought his left hand around in front of him, pulling the creatures stare down to his hand with the movement. In that instant, his right hand shot out and punched the beast squarely on the nose.

"Behave yourself – you don't want another piece of this!" he growled as he grabbed the reins and hauled himself up onto the stunned creature's back.

He yanked on the reins and kicked Sea Biscuit firmly in the ribs, directing the cold one to run back towards the dwarves.

"Now. Let's go kill me a dwarf…"

***

Dreamfish Inactive Member05 Mar 2013 3:35 a.m. PST

Turn 7


Well. Turn 7. I got there in the end.

And what an interesting turn it is. In the last turn, it was still possible to discern lines – the nominal facing off of opposing force. That goes away in Turn 7. Because everyone runs away. Now its just skirmishing with units.

Oh, and the GM gets sneaky. Control of Master B'tor is 'revoked' and passes to the GM (Dreamfish). If he gets into command range of his units, Thantsants could lose control of the whole lot…

Movement Phase


Of course, to initiate lots of running away, one must initiate running toward. This the contestants do with great gusto, launching five charges between them. By the same toke, troops not specifically interested in the outcome of events (that being most of the orcs) flee. Rogaine loses Chamallow's Goblin Command and Suderfed's Big Boys Brigade to the table edge as they scream into the distance.

Rogaine watches as Meedy Ochre, deeming his task to be done, lopes off to the west in search of alcohol and Nico, who he hasn't seen for a little while now.

Kibarkid's Lot and the Lamentable Boworcs have also had enough, despite their heroic efforts, and flee from the Steelaxes – freeing them up to attempt a charge on the Gaversconne's Fireguts. Alas for stumpy legs – the exhausted dwarves surrender the greenskin target to the Ironaxes, who have the same idea – but have the drive, commitment and the requisite 6" to connect with their foe.

In a comedic slapfest, two units of crossbow… er… beings have at one another. Although the dwarves fail to connect, the obliging elves step up, so happily, they meet in the middle.


Actions


GM:

MB
Moved 7" @ SQC

Airbornegrove:

I
Charged @ GF, moved forward 6"
S
Charged @ GF, wheeled left 1.5", moved forward 4.5", unformed, holds
A2C
Charged @ SQC, wheeled left 1", moved forward 5", unformed, holds
MO
Routed off the table
F
Moved forward 1.5" @ half movement

Thantsants:

GF
Holds
WoP
Charged @ I, moved forward 8.5", wheeled left 1.5", unformed
SQC
Charged @ A2C, wheeled right 3.5", moved forward 0.5", unformed
RLR
Routed forward 8"
K3C
Routed forward 7"
SBB
Routed off the table
CGC
Routed off the table
RGH
Reformed

Shooting Phase


Now, when most of your shooters are involved in hand to hand combat, the shooting phase tends towards the dull.

But! Angry dwarves, having spent most of their turns lost in the mist with no idea of what's going on around them score a direct hit!

Perhaps a scoreline would help to explain the situation:

  • Earthquaker: 1
  • Man-mangler: 0
Not only do the dwarves succeed in destroying the orc warmachine, they bolt thrower also kills two of Rogaine's finest! And some goblins get shot. Meh.


Actions


Airbornegrove:

A1C
Shot @ K3C, wounded 2
BT
Shot @ RGH, wounded 2
E
Shot @ RGH deviated @ MM, destroyed MM and wounded 1

Thantsants:

SC
Shot @ S, missed


***

"Lemme guess – a rock fell outta the sky and smashed the arm, right?"

The other orcs blinked at Pannerdol. Nayz slowly pointed to the rock he was balancing on his shoulder. He had been about to lower it into the basket. His mouth opened and closed. "But…"

Pannerdol held a finger to Nayz' lips "Shht! Don't say nuffink! Whaddaya think – I'm some kinda idiot? I goes for a Bleeped text for thirty seconds and when I come back, yoose lots gone and broken Man Mangler! Then you- " he poked Nayz in the chest, "picks up a rock and act like nothin's happened! You lot make me sick!" Pannerdol's shrieked the last word at such a high pitch that his voice faltered.

Nayz just stood blinking. "But…"

"Aww boss!" Ibupp whined. "E's fer real! A stone dropped from the sky and smashed Man Manger! Honest!"

Pannerdol raised his eyebrows. "…and landed in right in the basket, just how we'd put a rock there?"

"Yeah! Now yer gettin' it!"

Pannerdol slapped Ibupp across the face.

"Rocks."
-Slap-
"Don't."
-Slap-
"Drop."
-Slap-
"From."
-Slap-
"The."
-Slap-
"Sky."
-Slap-
"Okay?" Pannerdol leaned in, thrusting his face into Ibupp's smarting face.

Both Nayz and Ibupp blinked. "But…" they said in unison.

"So's I don't care which of you knob heads broke Man Mangler. Pack yer stuff – we're leav- Hey! Who killed Bennilinn?"

Ibupp pointed at the rock, now lying in the split remains of the stone throwers throwing arm.

Pannerdol rolled his eyes and flung his hands wide. "Of course! It was the magic rock, weren't it! Mebbe we should all jes' worship it before 'e calls 'is mates and more rocks rain from the sky, eh?" He aimed a wild kick at Ibupp. "Pack it up! We're leaving!"

***

Combat Phase


Right, its been so long that I looked at turn 6, I can't even remember if this has happened before. But its worth knowing, so I'll mention it here.

In 3rd edition, when you charge a unit and you must wheel more than 22.5 degrees in order to connect, your unit becomes unformed. That means that if you are pushed back in combat, you will automatically rout.

Worth noting, because that happens twice here.

After some furious swinging, chopping and hacking, the crossbowelves see off the crossbowdwarves, who are unformed and thus flee back to the freezing River Chai. The elves, realising that hitting things for a living is much more dangerous than shooting things for a living, decide to restrain from pursuing the dwarves, choosing to reform instead.

The witch elves, flexing the supremely valuable tactical advantage of attacking an enemy in the rear, pretty much bounce like a ball, fleeing in exactly the same direction they came from, after the Ironaxes hand their (the dark elves, that is) arses to them. The big'uns also take delivery of their arses, fleeing in the opposite direction, leaving the bewildered and bloody dwarves stranded in the middle.


Actions


SQC vs A2C


Round 1

Modifiers
SQC
unformed
A2C
unformed
Attacks
A1 I6
DE1 -> Dwarf3
A1 I6
DE2 (std) -> Dwarf2
A1 I6
DE3 -> Dwarf1
A1 I2
DE3 <- Dwarf1
A1 I2
DE2 (std) <- Dwarf2
A1 I2
DE2 (std) <- Dwarf3
A1 I2
DE1 <- Dwarf4
Results
SQC
+1 (standard) +1 (ranks) = 2
A2C
+1 (ranks) = 1
Free Hack 1
A1 I6
DE1 -> Dwarf3 (1W)
A1 I6
DE2 (std) -> Dwarf2
A1 I6
DE3 -> Dwarf1

I vs GF, WoP


Round 1

Modifiers
I
charged
GF
none
WoP
unformed
Attacks
A1 I6
Dwarf5 <- WE1
A1 I6
Dwarf6 <- WE2
A1 I5
Dwarf5 <- WE1
A1 I5
Dwarf6 <- WE2
A1 I2
Dwarf5 -> WE1
A1 I2
Dwarf6 -> WE2 (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf1 -> Orc1
A1 I2
Dwarf2 -> Orc1
A1 I1
Dwarf1 <- Orc1
Results
I
+1 (standard) +1 (charged) +1 (wounds) = 3
GF, WoP
+1 (standard) = 1
Free Hack 1
A1 I2
Dwarf5 -> WE1 (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf6 -> WE2 (1W)

Round 2

Modifiers
I
follow-up
GF
none
Attacks
A1 I2
Dwarf1 -> Gaversconne (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf1 <- Gaversconne
A2 I1
Dwarf1 <- Gaversconne
A3 I1
Dwarf1 <- Gaversconne
A1 I2
Dwarf2 -> Orc2 (std)
A1 I1
Dwarf2 <- Orc2 (std)
A1 I2
Dwarf3 (std) -> Orc1 (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf5 -> Orc5 (1W)
Results
I
+1 (standard) +1 (war banner) +1 (follow-up) +3 (wounds) = 6
GF
+1 (standard) = 1
Free Hack 1
A1 I2
Dwarf1 -> Gaversconne
A1 I2
Dwarf2 -> Orc2 (std) (1W)
A1 I2
Dwarf3 (std) -> Orc1
A1 I2
Dwarf4 -> Orc1
A1 I2
Dwarf5 -> Orc5

Reserves Phase


And so, in the beginning of the turn, there were armies. Now, there are just teams. Of most interesting in this otherwise mediocre reserves phase is the sudden interest in Wineghum by both Master B'tor and Rogaine.

Two facts worth noting at this point:

  1. Wineghum currently holds the Percolator.
  2. Master B'tor is controlled by the GM now.
Wineghum feels a shiver down his back…


Actions


GM:

MB
Moved 7" @ hill
SQC
Turned left, changed formation to 4 files (2nd manoeuvre), moved forward 4"

Airbornegrove:

I
Turned around

Thantsants:

RGH
Wheeled right 0.5", moved forward 5.5"


***

Rogaine sighed. They just don't make orcs like they used to. He understood that the other orcs had run – they were just orcs. But watching Gaversconne lead the three surviving black orcs in an all out rout depressed him. Sure, Gaversconne was an unrivalled plank, but he was still a black orc. Actually, if he was running, he probably wasn't. Half-orc pussy!

All the more depressing was that it looked like it would come down to him to sort it all out again. As usual.

"Right boys, its been a good scrap fer me. Coulda been better. Not so much for you lot, though. We'd have been all over this field if not for you lot running off like that." He waved a hand at the two orcs lying on the floor, connected as they were by a giant bolt. One was still twitching. "That's what running away gets you. As it stands, we're gonna have to go. But not before I get my Percolator."

"Let me tell you how its gonna be," he growled at the remaining two. "We're gonna get Percolator off Wineghum, right? If I gets there and look around me and you ain't right here next to me," – the imaginary spot he pointed at seemed very close to him – "I'm gonna find you. Then I'm gonna pull the bulgy bit outta yer throat. Then I'll take yer nuts in my fist and ram them so far up yer arses that they'll pop out where the bulgy bit was. Then I'll make yer swallow 'em through yer mouths. By doing that, I'll have made a noose around yer jaws, which I'll use to drag you sons-of-bitches all the way back to camp, where I'll skin what's left and stew the lot. Are we clear?"

The others swallowed, emphasising the sudden value of the bulgy bits in their throats. A nervous nod followed.

"Good. Move out!"

***

Magic Phase


You might remember this scene from the Wyemm Seeyay – a poor wizard, under pressure, fails their intelligence test because they don't many magic points. Poor Wineghum, suddenly feeling very small as he watches the Witch Elves flee past his position, loses concentration and fails to cast anything useful.


Actions


Thantsants:

W
Failed to cast, 5 MP remaining

Dreamfish Inactive Member02 Apr 2013 2:13 a.m. PST

Turn 8


Wait.

What's this?

Turn 8?

Turn 8 indeed. Please stand by whilst those new to oldhammer finish convulsing after their aneurysms.

…and we're not done yet.

The eighth turn was short and brutal. Again: lots of running. Shortly, you will see a picture describing the moves. There are words on that picture. Six of them are "Flee!" Four of them are "Charge!"

Anyway, this is how the turn started:

Movement Phase


The Dark Elves, still under control of the GM at this stage, charge the newly revealed Firehammers as the Mystic Mist that had confounded them so last turn dissipates.

The Ironaxes line Wineghum up for a charge, but their stumpy little legs fail them at the last moment! Failing their charge, the dwarves find themselves stranded between what might be described as a rock and a hard place, where rock=Rogaine and hard place=Wineghum. Both declare a charge!

Now let it be said that the dwarves are renowned for being doughty, stoic and thoroughly reliable – when it comes to the two legged variety of enemy. Wineghum's giant spider, having twice as many legs as the already terrifying horses the dwarves are so suspicious of, scared the Bleeped text out of them.

The dwarves flee.

Unfortunately, the same stumpy legs that got them into this mess failed to get them out of the mess as both chargers make contact. Rogaine and his Grand Hareline cull three of the little Bleeped texts with their free hacks.


Actions


GM:

MB
Charged @ F, moved 8"
SQC
Charged @ F, wheeled left 1.5", moved forward 6"

Airbornegrove:

F
Stand & shot @ MB, grenade deviated and missed
I
Charged @ W, unformed, routed
A2C
Routed, moved 3" @ difficult ground
S
Reformed

Thantsants:

W
Charged @ I, persued @ I, moved 7", wounded 1
RGH
Charged @ I, persued @ I, wheeled left 2", moved forward 6", wounded 2
GF
Routed, moved 7"
RLR
Routed, moved 8"
K3C
Routed, moved 7"
WoP
Routed, moved 10"



Shooting Phase


Well – there's not really much to say about the shooting phase. Both the dwarves and the orcs have missile units fleeing. Coupled with the orcs running out of war machines as they have been, they orcs can only offer a poor and desperate bolt thrower shot that swings wide of its mark.

The dwarves, however, claim some scalps by continuing their barrage on the orc artillery positions, killing three. To add insult to injury, a black orc is shot in passing.


Actions


Airbornegrove:

A2C
Shot @ GF, wounded 1
BT
Shot @ SC, missed
E
Shot @ SC deviated @ SCC, MMC, wounded 1, 2

Thantsants:

SC
Shot @ S, missed



Combat Phase


Unfortunately for the Ironaxes (compromised as they are by fleeing) are unable to offer any real resistance to Rogaine or even Wineghum. The dwarves are savaged and dispatched. There were no survivors.

Filled with hatred for Morgrim, Master B'tor wastes no time in engaging the dwarf leader. Vivid manifestations of rage and wrath – sparks fly as the two smite each other. In the end, Master B'tor overcomes Morgrim, scoring a wound on the beleaguered dwarf.

Ultimately, the Dark Elves win the fight, but are unable to rout the dwarves. The elves wrap around, trying to press their advantage home.


Actions


W, RGH vs I


Round 1

Free Attacks
A1 I5
Rogaine -> Dwarf4
A2 I4
Rogaine -> Dwarf4 (1W)
A3 I3
Rogaine -> Dwarf2 (1W)
A1 I3
W -> Dwarf3 (1W)

Round 2

Free Attacks
A1 I5
Rogaine -> Dwarf1 (1w)

MB, SQC vs F


Round 1

Modifiers
MB
charged
SQC
charged
F
none
Attacks
A1 I10
Parried
A2 I9
MB -> MI
A3 I8
MB -> MI
A4 I7
MB -> MI
A1 I6
DE2 (std) -> Dwarf11 (1W)
A1 I6
DE3 -> Dwarf8
A1 I6
DE4 -> Dwarf4
A1 I4
MB <- MI
A2 I3
MB <- MI
A3 I2
MB <- MI
A1 I2
MB <- Dwarf2 (std)
A1 I2
DE4 <- Dwarf4
A1 I2
DE3 <- Dwarf8 (1W)
A1 I1
MB's mount -> Dwarf2 (std)
A4 I1
MB <- MI
A2 I1
MB's mount -> Dwarf2 (std)
Results
MB, SQC
+1 (standard) +1 (charged) +1 (ranks) +1 (wounds) = 4
F
+1 (standard) +1 (ranks) +1 (wounds) = 3

Round 2

Modifiers
MB
follow-up
SQC
follow-up
F
none
Attacks
A1 I9
MB -> MI
A2 I8
MB -> MI
A3 I7
MB -> MI (1W)
A4 I6
MB -> MI
A1 I6
DE2 (std) -> Dwarf10
A1 I6
DE3 -> Dwarf8 (1W)
A1 I6
DE4 -> Dwarf4
A1 I6
DE9 -> Dwarf10
A1 I6
DE10 -> Dwarf9
A1 I6
DE11 -> Dwarf2 (std)
A1 I4
MB <- MI
A2 I3
MB <- MI
A3 I2
MB <- MI
A1 I2
DE11 <- Dwarf2 (std)
A1 I2
DE4 <- Dwarf4
A1 I2
DE10 <- Dwarf9
A1 I2
DE2 (std) <- Dwarf10
A1 I1
MB's mount -> Dwarf2 (std)
A4 I1
MB <- MI
A2 I1
MB's mount -> Dwarf2 (std)
Results
MB, SQC
+1 (standard) +1 (follow-up) +1 (ranks) +2 (wounds) = 5
F
+1 (standard) +1 (ranks) = 2




***

Blimey! He's back.

Morgrim planted his feet firmly as he watched Master B'tor lower his lance.

The elf clearly didn't get the message the last time.

Morgrim's ribs still ached with every move and his breathing was laboured. There was no chance of him repeating his previous stunt of taking the lance in the chest.

The commander of the dwarves shook his head. He hated cavalry. But, it'll have to be the lizard, he thought.

With slow deliberation, Morgrim unclipped the pouch on his belt and removed a hand grenade. As the elf kicked the cold one into action, Morgrim casually leaned back and lit the grenade on the cigarillo of one of his dwarf colleagues – this other dwarf nodding in agreement.

Don't fail me now, he thought as he kissed its side.

Using a gentle underhanded throw, the grenade floated through the air, only to bounce awkwardly off a tiny pebble and ricochet down the gradual slope of the field towards the river. Excellent dwarven engineering had produced an almost perfect sphere – exactly the sort of thing that would roll down an even slope well – even with the slightest momentum. So it was that the grenade rolled some fifteen or so feet away before exploding spectacularly and harmlessly.

Morgrim cursed as he watched the dramatic figure of the dark elf punch through the smoke and dust, his murderous intent clear.

We'll just have to do it the hard way, then.

He raised his sword to shoulder height. He could feel the elf searching his face, trying to make eye contact – trying to penetrate the dwarf with his hate and anger. But in order to survive this encounter, Morgrim knew he'd need to concentrate. The real fight here was now with the lizard. Once the lance was out of the equation – well, that was a different story.

***

Master B'tor relished every uneven bounce of his cold one mount. Cold ones lacked the simple elegance of horses, but the enormous comfort taken from their long strides compared to the violent bouncing of a galloping horse made it much easier to focus on the fight.

He knew better than to expect the dwarf to try the same tactic as the last time. He had felt the impact on the dwarf and could not believe the dwarf had not taken serious injury in that fight. That both had returned to fight each other was very respect worthy, he thought. He was proud he had overcome the loss of his foot and in a way, he was proud that the dwarf still stood – about to receive his just desserts.

But too late did the elf understand the dwarf's plan. Closer and closer came the tip of the lance, until the dwarf darted right into the path of the cold one. The lance, already dangerously close to the ground, tracked the dwarf right up until the shaft clattered into the raging beast's shoulder, kicking the lance out sideways and down. It was all Master B'tor could do not to stab the thing into the ground and vault over the bloody little dwarf.

***

Morgrim launched himself straight at the head of the cold one, which regardless of its owner's desires was planning on meeting him halfway. It's great teeth snapped shut on the inbound blade, stopping the swing completely and causing all parties to come to a halt. Pulling the sword down, Mogrim twisted the head of the cold one sideways and started pulling the creature around. The stupid creature, enraged as it was, didn't think to let go of the blade, but tried to shake its head in order to free it up. It was long past the point of feeling pain as its blood started to run freely through brutal teeth.

***

Master B'tor clicked his teeth in frustration. The dwarf was using the stupidity of the cold one and his diminutive stature to keep the creature's head in between himself and the elf. B'tor dropped the lance in favour of his more versatile sword, which he poked over his left arm in a desperate attempt to find the dwarf.

***

Morgrim suddenly understood the old saying of 'swinging a tiger by the tail.' Whilst he wasn't altogether sure what a tiger was (that being a key element preventing him from understanding the proverb before), he was fairly sure that once one stopped swinging the proverbial tiger around, it would be both angry and capable of divesting the swinger of his life. So it was with the cold one.

As if on cue, the cold one suddenly let go of the blade, pink foam scattering from its torn lips as it shook its head. Morgrim skirted anti-clockwise around the left as the elf guided the creature in a full clockwise turn to the right.

Morgrim easily parried the dark elf's blade as it shot directly at the dwarf when the two came abreast again, before swinging at the elven commander's sword arm. The blow was clumsy and passed under the limb – the elf displaying no effort at all in his evasion.

***

Master B'tor smiled as the dwarf blade sailed beneath his arm. He hadn't expected it, but he could capitalise on it. He released his grip on the reigns, allowing them to slither through his open hand, creating a slack unwise for the riding of cold ones. But he followed this up by throwing his balance over to his right, allowing him to apply all his now unsupported weight to his sword arm.

Gravity took hold. To everyone else, it would look as if the elf was falling from the lizard. Master B'tor twirled the sword in his hand – the blade now pointing down.

The blade bit deep into the exposed flesh where Morgrim's shoulder met his neck. Catching himself in at the very last second, Master B'tor's left hand snapped shut on the reigns, stopping his fall. He pushed down on the blade, causing it to bite even deeper, but also allowing him to force himself upright against the solid bulk of the dwarf.

Blood sprayed as the blade came free.

***

For the second time in his career Morgrim felt the sting of a blade pass through his shoulder, caused by an elf on high. The sheer surprise of the event caused his legs to fold under him, leading him to sit clumsily on the floor. Worse was the warm burst of blood that followed the withdrawal of the blade, splashing his cheek and into his left eye.

He cried out in pain and shock as he watched the cold one skitter away, before turning to face him once again.

***

Magic Phase


Hang on – where's the reserve phase! I expect a full report!

Ah. About that. Although reserves form a huge part of the manoeuvrability aspect of 3rd edition, units cannot reserve move if they're subject to compulsory movement or within 4" of an enemy unit. At this stage, anyone eligible for reserves just had no interest in going anywhere.

As for magic, Wineghum passes his intelligence test and is able to cast Strength of Combat – a personal effect spell that increases his strength by 1.

Don't look at me like that – +1S is very valuable, you know. At least its not Mystic Mist.


Actions


Thantsants:

W
Casted Strength of Combat, +1 Strength, 4 MP remaining



Dreamfish Inactive Member13 May 2013 1:44 a.m. PST

Turn 9


We grind on. Things are much more… focused now. We know there are other orcs and dwarves and elves and whatnot. But we cast our casual gaze to the middle of the field, where, as fate would have it, all the stars of the show have conglomerated within 12" of each other.

Is that the subtle giggle of destiny I hear?

Movement Phase


The Steelaxes, having been stung by the goblins earlier in the fight, prepare themselves for vengeance and charge Rogaine and his remaining boar boys. Wineghum, not normally one to launch into combat, succumbs to his firm hatred of dwarves and their like, and goads his giant spider into a clumsy flank charge. Fortunately for the dwarves, they pass their panic test.


Actions


Airbornegrove:

S
Charged @ RGH, Changed formation to 4 files, moved forward 5"
A2C
Routed forward 6"

Thantsants:

RGH
Holds, unformed
W
Charged @ S, moved 1"
GF
Routed forward 7"
RLR
Routed forward 8"
K3C
Routed forward 7"
WoP
Routed off the table



Combat Phase


So it seems that there was some confusion just before the combat started. Too late did Dreamfish realise that the Firehammers, being +4 shock elites, actually have two attacks. I see your raised eyebrow. You clearly have an appreciation for the fact that bigger numbers are better than smaller numbers, but because of the lateness of this post, you're not entirely sure what the impact of this is on the game right now. Am I right?

Of course I'm right. No worries, I'll explain.

In turn 8, the dwarves were actually pushed back by the dark elves. Dreamfish looked at this situation and realised that the dwarves would most likely have pushed the dark elves around, not the other way. This was also evidenced in the first round of combat – the dark elves managed to draw the combat. Now one can't go around battlefields crying over spilt milk – that sort of thing is just not done. But, compensation was required, so Dreamfish processed an extra set of attacks for the dwarves, which meant they were just able to overcome the dark elves, causing them to be pushed back (and followed up by the dwarves).

Dreamfish then granted Morgrim the right to step out of that follow up, so that he could remain in the epic challenge with Master B'tor, which, frankly is the thing we're really interested in. This is the sort of thing games-masters can do – they can change rules for the good of the game. You really should look into getting one.

So, the final state of affairs for the dark elves was that they were pushed back by the dwarves, leading to them being completely annihilated as they fled whilst their two leaders continued to express their feelings for each other through the medium of swordplay.

Not far from these two, Rogaine and his lads meet the charge from the Steelaxes. Ensconced within that fine body of dwarves is the young Borri Forkbeard, who issues a challenge to Rogaine.

Rogaine, as you may have noticed from earlier turns, struggles with anger management issues. He happily accepts the challenge before cleaving Borri in two with his wicked blade. The other dwarves and orcs acquit themselves suitably, but in the end, the remaining boar riders are all slain. Despite this, dwarves are also killed, leading to Rogaine and Wineghum getting a free hack when the dwarves rout. Unfortunately (if you're supporting the dwarves, otherwise please use the term 'fortunately'), that is enough to 'retire' the Steelaxes from active duty.


Actions


S vs RGH, W


Round 1

Modifiers
S
charged
RGH
none
W
charged
Attacks
A1 I5
Borri Forkbeard <- Rogaine
A2 I4
Borri Forkbeard <- Rogaine
A1 I3
Borri Forkbeard -> Rogaine
A3 I3
Borri Forkbeard <- Rogaine
A2 I2
Borri Forkbeard -> Rogaine
A4 I2
Borri Forkbeard <- Rogaine
A3 I1
Borri Forkbeard -> Rogaine
A1 I3
Dwarf4 <- Orc1
A1 I3
Dwarf4 <- Orc1's mount
A1 I3
Dwarf3 <- Orc2
A1 I3
Dwarf3 <- Orc2's mount
A1 I3
Dwarf4 <- W (1W)
A1 I1
Dwarf3 -> Orc2 (1W)
A1 I1
Dwarf5 <- Spider
A1 I1
Dwarf5 -> W
A2 I1
Dwarf5 <- Spider
Results
S
+1 (charged) +1 (wounds) = 2
RGH, W
+1 (charged) +1 (wounds) = 2

Round 2

Modifiers
S
none
RGH
none
W
none
Attacks
A1 I5
Borri Forkbeard <- Rogaine (2W)
A1 I3
Dwarf3 <- W
A1 I2
Dwarf2 (mus) <- Orc1
A1 I2
Dwarf2 (mus) <- Orc1's mount
A1 I1
Dwarf2 (mus) -> Orc1 (1W)
A1 I1
Dwarf3 -> Orc1
A1 I1
Dwarf4 -> W
A1 I1
Dwarf4 <- Spider
A2 I1
Dwarf4 <- Spider (1W)
Results
S
+1 (wounds) = 1
RGH, W
+3 (wounds) = 3
Free Hack 1
A1 I5
Dwarf2 (mus) <- Rogaine (1W)
A1 I1
Dwarf3 <- W
A1 I1
Dwarf3 <- Spider (1W)

MB, SQC vs F


Round 1

Modifiers
MB
follow-up
SQC
follow-up
F
none
Attacks
A1 I9
Parried
A2 I8
MB -> MI
A3 I7
MB -> MI
A4 I6
MB -> MI
A1 I6
DE2 (std) -> Dwarf9
A1 I6
DE3 -> Dwarf8
A1 I6
DE4 -> Dwarf4 (1W)
A1 I6
DE9 -> Dwarf9
A1 I6
DE10 -> Dwarf7
A1 I6
DE11 -> Dwarf3 (std)
A1 I4
MB <- MI
A2 I3
MB <- MI (1W)
A3 I2
MB <- MI
A1 I2
DE11 <- Dwarf3 (std) (1W)
A1 I2
DE10 <- Dwarf6 (1W)
A1 I2
DE3 <- Dwarf8 (1W)
A1 I2
DE2 (std) <- Dwarf9
A1 I1
MB's mount -> Dwarf3 (std)
A4 I1
MB <- MI
A2 I1
MB's mount -> Dwarf3 (std)
Results
MB, SQC
+1 (standard) +1 (follow-up) +1 (wounds) = 3
F
+1 (standard) +4 (wounds) = 5

Round 2

Modifiers
SQC
none
F
follow-up
Attacks
A1 I6
DE1 -> Dwarf4
A1 I6
DE2 -> Dwarf3
A1 I6
DE3 -> Dwarf2 (std)
A1 I6
DE4 -> Dwarf1
A1 I2
DE4 <- Dwarf1
A1 I2
DE3 <- Dwarf2 (std) (1W)
A1 I2
DE2 (std) <- Dwarf3
A1 I2
DE1 <- Dwarf4
A1 I1
DE4 <- Dwarf1 (1W)
A1 I1
DE3 <- Dwarf2 (std)
A1 I1
DE2 (std) <- Dwarf3
A1 I1
DE1 <- Dwarf4
Results
SQC
+1 (standard) = 1
F
+1 (standard) +1 (follow-up) +2 (wounds) = 4
Free Hack 1
A1 I2
DE4 <- Dwarf1 (1W)
A1 I2
DE3 <- Dwarf2 (std) (1W)
A1 I2
DE2 (std) <- Dwarf3 (1W)
A1 I2
DE1 <- Dwarf4 (1W)
Free Hack 2
A1 I2
DE1 <- Dwarf5 (1W)
A1 I2
DE2 <- Dwarf6 (1W)

MB vs MI


Round 2

Modifiers
MB
none
MI
follow-up
Attacks
A1 I9
MB -> MI
A2 I8
MB -> MI
A3 I7
MB -> MI
A4 I6
MB -> MI
A1 I4
MB <- MI
A2 I3
MB <- MI
A3 I2
MB <- MI
A4 I1
MB <- MI
A1 I1
MB's mount -> MI
A2 I1
MB's mount -> MI
Results
MB
0
MI
+1 (follow-up) = 1




***

Morgrim nodded to his captain as they exchanged glances.

"You go after them, I'll deal with him," he shouted, pointing at the dark elf general.

Both he and the elf had become separated from their units during the encounter. The elf closed in again, seemingly indifferent to the cries of his elves being cut down as they fled from the Firehammers. Morgrim trusted his dwarves not to interfere in their fight now – it was a personal challenge.

Sparks flew as the elf's blade clattered off his own. Parry. Parry. Mind the lizard. Swing. Sneaky thrust? Ah, no luck there. Parry again.

The elf was proving hard to pin down. The lizard held most of Morgrim's attention – he kept letting the creature bite his armour in order to get an opportunity at the elf, but he just couldn't turn those opportunities into successful blows.

***

Master B'tor was having as much trouble trying to hit the dwarf. His raging lizard was barely under control now. Every time an opportunity to strike presented itself, the blasted creature was in the way, ineffectually savaging at the dwarf like an excited dog with a bone. But there was nothing for it – he couldn't dismount now and besides – he didn't have the time. The damned dwarves had routed his crew and would no doubt be closing in on him. He needed to kill this dwarf and he needed to do it quickly.

"Out the way, retard!" he barked, thumping the neck of his mount with the pommel of his sword.

***

Rallying Phase


The Arrowheads, finding themselves cold, wet and hungry, but ultimately safe on the south of the river, relax and rally.


Actions


Airbornegrove:

A2C
Rallied



***

Rogaine looked down at his challenger. A wounded boar thrashed and squealed, its lifeless rider jerking like a broken marionette against the other dead.

The dwarf was still breathing, but Rogaine could see there was no pain. This was a curious dwarf – his beard had been dyed blue. In this case, the dwarf had not been a worthy adversary, so he warranted no eye contact or special treatment.

He can die by himself.

Surveying the battlefield, the orc general could see the battle was all but over. The dwarves still held a nominal line along the south bank of the river, but they were too far away to be of consequence now. They didn't appear to be mobilising, which suggested they also realised the show was over.

Rogaine tugged on the rein, bringing the boar to face the two last combatants. A bloody dwarf versus a bloody elf. Although, technically, he was working for the elf, he had not been impressed with the performance of the elven force.

If your boys don't perform, its your fault, not theirs.

And they hadn't performed. He watched as the dwarf commander's bodyguard formed up again, having confirmed that all the elves they had overrun were dead.

Of course, he'd have to accept that his boys hadn't performed well either, but he had plans to remedy that. Because that would be my fault. Any of the orcs that hadn't been killed were in line for a serious arse kicking that night. So many orcs had run away that he wasn't sure if he was at a battle or a marathon.

The groan of an orc came to his ears. He looked around and saw one of his boar boys struggling to get up. A quick lash of his cruel scimitar separated the orcs head from his body.

"That's for running away earlier. Don't do it again."

Looking back at the lone combatants, Rogaine made a decision.

What the hell. I'll just kill both of them.

***

Dreamfish Inactive Member17 Sep 2013 5:07 a.m. PST

Turn 10


The final turn. In modern editions of Warhammer, one could have played twenty separate games of warhammer in the number of turns we've taken to complete one.
But what's the rush?
Lets think of this as a glass of Ladybank Single Malt, as opposed to a bottle of Budweiser. The right thing to do is to enjoy it slowly. No one will judge you here.

Movement Phase


There are not many events to discuss in this turn. Of course, if you've been tracking the past nine turns, you might have noticed how all the heavy hitters seem to have conglomerated in the middle of the field. Perhaps we can make something of that?
And so Rogaine does. Both he and his unusually aggressive shaman charge the two combatants. There are now seventy levels worth of characters in combat!


Actions


GM:

MB
Holds

Airbornegrove:

MI
Holds
F
Reformed

Thantsants:

W
Charged @ MI, moved 5"
R
Charged @ MB, moved 6.5"
GF
Routed off the table
K3C
Routed off the table
RLR
Routed off the table




***

Rogaine grabbed his boar's neck hairs in an upward wrench, causing the excitable, squealing beast to a halt. Forcing its head towards Wineghum, he commanded it to jog slowly to the shaman and his spider mount.

"Good to see yer still around, shaman," Rogaine growled.

Wineghum blinked. He opened his mouth to reply, but no words came.

"You still got the box?" the orc grunted, barely audible, his eyes never leaving the wild combat between the elf and the dwarf.

Wineghum nodded furiously.

"I SAID: HAVE YOU STILL GOT THE BOX, IDIOT?"

Wineghum jumped, his spider flinching with him. He's not looking at you, idiot. He can't see you nodding to save your life, now, can he! Say something!

"Er, Siryessir! I mean, Yessiryes! Sir! Yes! Sir! Totally didn't open it, Sir! It just -" Wineghum's brain finally caught up with his mouth. SHUT UP! He didn't ask if it was open, did he?

Wineghum gulped as Rogaine's eyes swept over him.

"Good. I've just got to go and sort them out." He waved at the two combatants. "Then I'm back to get that box, hear?"

The shaman nodded again, adding a quick yelp of affirmation when he realised Rogaine was looking at the combat again. "Box safe with me! Yes Sir! Don't you worry 'bout a thing!"

"Then stay here!"

***

Wineghum watched in morbid fascination as the orc barrelled into the frenzied fight before them.

Then slay her? Slay who? Is that really what he said, Wineghum wondered? He looked around. Who was 'her'? There were no women where Rogaine had just pointed. Just an enraged melee of lizards, dwarves and elves – and from where he was standing, it looked like they were all losing.

He must have meant the elf. Sometimes, they look a lot like girls, don't they?

Wineghum shook his head. His heart was still pounding from the sudden interrogation from Rogaine. He hadn't dared tell Rogaine he'd opened the box, let alone used the contents. The black look of undiluted murder on the orc general's face was enough to suggest that anyone who disobeyed any orders from this point onwards was going to be very, very sorry. He would have-his-job-explained-to-him-in-no-uncertain-terms.

And that was usually fatal.

Wineghum swallowed. Beads of sweat formed on his head. On the one hand, attacking the hateful elf and his crazy steed was almost certain death. And it was an elf, of all things!

On the other hand, disobeying Rogaine was almost certain death.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and, well, another rock. Landslides, really. Cliffs, come to think of it. Stuck between two sheer cliffs each with two landslides and a couple of rocks on top.

It was hard.

It wasn't fair. How was he supposed to protect the box for his lord when his lord ordered him into a no win situation? Stupid orc!

He prodded his spider with his axe.

"Let's go," he muttered, wincing. "Let's hope he's killed them all by the time we get there, eh?"

***

Rogaine's first target was clear: Master B'tor. His entire force appeared to have been decimated, he had been arrogant and patronising in his negotiation and frankly, he was just an all round git. Rogaine hated dwarves too, and this wasn't to suggest the dwarf would get off any lighter, but at least they were honourable and respectable.

There's something to be said for honour, both on and off the battlefield.

And from his perspective, Rogaine was about to say that something to the elf. In no uncertain terms.

***

Master B'tor clanged off another strike from the dwarf with a desperate swing of his sword. He was tired now and felt like he was losing to the dizziness. He gave a futile pull at the reigns, trying to pull the cold one out of the fight, but the damned creature savaged at the dwarf's armour as if it had never tasted blood – the problem was the blood it was tasting was its own.

He lashed out again, sparks flying as his blade connected with some armour, but that strike didn't stop the dwarf either. Too late, he realised the upward thrust of the dwarf, jabbing straight for his midriff.

But the pain never came. The massive, bloody head of the cold one knocked the sword aside as it tried in vain to get a grip on the dwarf.

The move was so sudden Master B'tor tumbled sideways from the beast in the opposite direction.

***

Morgrim had no idea what had just happened. He knew he'd been parried and he felt the blow on his arm. He was sure he was onto a winner with his upward thrust, but suddenly he was flying through the air. He grunted in frustration as he flew away from the elf, who, it seemed, was also airborne.

***

No! Ohno! Nonononono! This can't be happening! Wineghum's eyes bulged as he calculated the trajectory of the dwarf general.

It was going to hit him.

Up until then, things seemed fine in the savage spectacle of the elf and the dwarf (and the soon-to-be-added-orc). Rogaine seemed hell bent on the Master B'tor, which pleased Wineghum no end and caused him not to goad the spider quite as vigorously as would have been required for an all out charge.

May as well let the orc do his work, after all.

But then Master B'tors cold one stepped in. The bloody thing finally got a grip on the dwarf commander and started shaking him about like a starved dog with a rat. That action then led to the cold one losing grip on the commander, who was temporarily relieved of his obligations to the laws of gravity.

And that action led to the bone crunching introduction of Morgrim Ironbeard to Wineghum.

***

Master B'tor held his sword above him, waving it slowly in some vague defense against the sniffing head of the giant lizard.

"Sea Biscuit!" he grunted. "Bad boy! Look what you've gone and done."

He shook his head – he knew Sea Biscuit was too far gone to respond to any commands now. What a way to go. Eaten by your own cold one. What would the others say about him now? He closed his eyes and lay back.

What happened next was not the tearing asunder of his rib cage, though, but an eye popping crack and the grunt of both the cold one and…Rogaine? Master B'tor blinked up at the orc, who was recovering from what was evidently a head butt. A wild glance to his left revealed an equally surprised cold one, sitting on its haunches and shaking its head.

"Th-thanks," he stammered, lifting himself up onto an elbow.

"Don't mention it," Rogaine said as he calmly lopped Master B'tor's head off with a sweep of his scimitar.

***

This is ridiculous, thought Morgrim as he dived to the ground to avoid the clacking fangs of the giant spider. Why can't everyone else just bloody well fight on foot, like normal soldiers? Lizards, spiders, boars – I don't get paid enough for this Bleeped text!

He gained his feet behind the spider, only to be banged on the head with the stupid goblin's skull staff. He lashed out, slicing the staff in two, but narrowly missing the goblin's face, before barrelling into the spider, trying to knock it over.

Such a thing might have worked against the clumsier, more heavily set cold one, but a spider? Even giant spiders are nimble and sensitive. The spider darted to the side, spinning in the same move, mandibles raised to strike as Morgrim ran straight past.

***

It was all Wineghum could do to hang on. He saw the dwarf run by, sword raised. Slowly, he took in the new scene unfolding before him, and while doing so, he gently pulled the spider back. It scuttled backwards, mandibles still raised, but it seemed as relieved as Wineghum not to be getting involved in what was about to unfold.

***

Morgrim stopped. What towered over him was a giant orc – one of the biggest he'd ever seen. Behind the orc, the cold one lizard savaged at what remained of the elf's carcass. The orc's boar ran squealing and grunting into the distance, released from service.

This was their commander.

The orc held his scimitar down, allowing elven blood to run down the blade.

"My name is Rogaine." it said quietly, speaking an old dwarf dialect.

"My name is Morgrim," he replied in the crude words of the orc race.

***

Rogaine grinned.

Finally! This was the promised fight. One-on-one – the real measure of martial skill. Sure, he liked running the common muck down as it ran screaming from him, but the opportunity to fight a real warrior? That was rare these days.

He felt his back stiffening around the rent the dwarf axe had left, the warmth of the blood now fading. Hot breath thrust from his nostrils, swirling the sweet smell of evening dew with sting of blood and steel.

His ears pounded with the rush of blood as his heart raced in anticipation.

He charged.

***

Morgrim could see his Firehammers reforming in the distance. They would not be close enough to help him now. He wiped a mix of sweat and blood from his brow, grateful for the brief respite of combat.

It would have to do. He fiddled with his shoulder straps, taking some time to readjust his armour ,which had been twisted and bent quite badly by the stupid lizard. It still wasn't comfortable, but it was better.

Morgrim sighed.

Here he comes…

***

Rogaine loved the fact that the dwarf was so much quicker than he looked. This was swordplay at its best – fast, furious and unrelenting. He loved the twisting, the near misses, the sheer exhilaration of knowing that his very life was on the brink.

Clang, swish, clatter, dodge.

He barked in triumph as slapped the dwarf's sword away from what was almost certain disembowelment. He grunted in delight when the dwarf twisted his sword away, forcing him to follow the blade away or risk losing grip.

Smart. Very smart.

Blink, dive, clank, woosh.

The two separated, panting.

***

Morgrim felt his wrists click as he fought to gain control of his two handed sword. If he survived this, he'd be in bed for a week, because his muscles were so sore from straining against the orc beast.

Swash, ding, clatter, duck.

Everything he tried, the orc seemed to be able to anticipate. Even things that should have worked – the orc tripped, but was lucky enough to slip whilst trying to stand again, leading to his fortunate avoidance of decapitation.

But the orc was also brutally tough – blows that Morgrim landed, albiet on armour, would have stopped a lesser orc and certainly caused some of the bigger ones to pause for thought – but that wasn't happening here. Perhaps he was just getting too old for this?

Zing, roll, clink, thrash.

The two separated, panting.

***

Wineghum shuffled nervously as the regiment from which the dwarf general had emerged formed up to watch the fight. Rogaine seemed to be holding his own, but the goblin wasn't about to take any chances. He was ready to run at the first sign of trouble…

***

Rogaine slapped Morgrim's blade away with his own, clearing the way between the two for what would have been an opportunistic head butt, but for the fact that the orc was nearly twice as tall as the dwarf. Too late, Rogaine realised his mistake as he staggered past the dwarf trying desperately to keep his balance. Morgrim, more from weariness than anything else, slammed his blade in a wide swing directly into the armoured chest of the orc – the blow nothing but ineffectual noise.

Rogaine did crumple over the blade, though, trapping Mogrim's sword as the orc dropped to his knees.

Morgrim blinked at his empty hands, before frantically searching his belt for his dagger.

Shing! Morgrim gripped and pulled at the dagger – just in time to receive the full force of Rogaine's even more opportunistic second headbutt – this time at just the perfect height.

Blood sprayed from both heads as the impact of bone on bone rang over the battlefield.

Rogaine dropped to all fours, catching himself from toppling over.

Morgrim's eyes rolled up into his head as he dropped backwards.

***

The Firehammers started forwards, ready to slaughter the orc, when, to a dwarf, they stopped – the giant orc had picked Morgrim up by his throat, rested his blade against his chest, and stared in challenge at the oncoming dwarves.

"I am not like other orcs," the brute said slowly, surprising them with the quality of his dwarven dialect.

"Your leader has fought well and will not die here today."

"What will you do?" one of the dwarves called out.

Rogaine bent the head of the unconscious general over his open hand, shaking the dwarf roughly. Blood and spittle accompanied three teeth as they dropped into his bloody fingers.

He sorted the teeth with his thumb. Normal. Gold. Gold.

Rogaine gently laid Morgrim down on his back, placing the normal tooth on his chest. He stood and addressed the Firehammers, showing them the two golden teeth.

"I will take these as my trophy. My name is Rogaine, and I have defeated Morgrim."

With that, he turned his back on the dwarves, sheathed his scimitar and strode from the field.

***

Combat Phase


And so it is done. Four warriors enter. Two warriors leave. A very fitting conclusion to the final combat phase.
What follows here is a more mechanical version of the events above. Of course, the above is to tell a story, whereas the below tells events as they happened. Of course, Rogaine never 'officially' dismounted and it is important that you know that both Morgrim and Rogaine scored a killing blow on Master B'tor. Dreamfish randomised which was the one that did him in, and it turned out to be Rogaine.


Actions


MI vs MB, MB vs R, MI vs W


Round 1

Modifiers
MI
follow-up
MB
none
R
charged
W
charged
Attacks
A1 I9
Parried
A2 I8
Morgrim <- MB
A3 I7
Morgrim <- MB
A4 I6
Morgrim <- MB
A1 I5
MB <- Rogaine
A1 I5
MB <- Rogaine's mount
A2 I4
MB <- Rogaine
A2 I4
MB <- Rogaine's mount
A1 I4
Morgrim -> MB
A3 I3
MB <- Rogaine
A1 I3
Morgrim <- Wineghum
A2 I3
Morgrim -> MB
A4 I2
MB <- Rogaine (1W)
A1 I1
Morgrim <- Spider
A2 I1
Morgrim <- Spider
Results
MI
+1 (follow-up) = 1
R, W
+1 (charged) +1 (wounds) = 2

Round 2

Modifiers
MI
none
R
follow-up
W
follow-up
Attacks
A1 I5
Morgrim <- Rogaine (2W)
Results
R, W
+1 (charged) +2 (wounds) = 3



Dreamfish Inactive Member01 Oct 2013 2:28 a.m. PST

Epilogue


Sirrell grinned as he realised the elf was awake and its eyes were locked on his body. He pouted at the elf, before slowly and sensuously undoing the knot on his gown. His grin widened into a broad smile as he registered the morbid terror in the elf's eyes – now unable to look away from the vast expanses of pasty dwarf flesh as the gown fell.

Sirrell half turned to show his back to the dwarf, reaching down and slapping his exposed buttock. He flicked his hair and looked away from the elf before inserting his thumb into the top of his red leather y-fronts, stretching the garment away from his waistline and allowing it to slap back into place.

The elf, eyes wide with utter horror, shook as he fought his chains, his protestations muffled by the red leather ball that had been stuffed into his mouth. His eyes goggled as he watched Sirrell begin gyrating to some internal, unheard music, like some giant corkscrew being twisted into a cork. Down he went to his feet, before slowly dragging his hands up his body. Now a spin, arms out. The elf, helpless and stunned, could do nothing but stare aghast as the hateful little dwarf pranced about before him. Thumb into the y-fronts again. Slap!

Suddenly the dwarf stopped, resting his right hand on his jutting hip. He locked eyes with the elf.

"I'm a little tea pot, short and stout!"

"Lfhdt mfft grro yff ffffkn frrk!" screamed the elf, his voice and muscles straining against the chains.

"This is my handle and this is my – "

Click.

Sirrell stopped dead. He caught the brief motion of the elf glancing over at something behind him, before its terrified eyes found their way back to him.

"What the hell are you doing?" growled a voice behind him.

"Gaaah!" he squealed, leaping into the air before spinning to face the voice. "Aahhh! Aaaahaaaa! I – uh… Aaaah." He ran his hand through his hair as he stared at the pistol pointing at him. "Hahaaa. Lady Luuhs. Uh. Um. How did you find us? This – isn't – what it looks like, you know."

Lady Luuhs cast her eyes around the dungeon. Curious chains hung from the wall and from what appeared be a leather covered throne against the wall. An assortment of different whips lay on a table next to an open chest, its contents hidden by what appeared to be a studded leather vest carelessly draped over the top.

"I'm not sure I know what this looks like, Sirrell. I've never seen anything like it before. Perhaps you'd better put your spout away before the teapot gets broken, hmm?"

Sirrell flashed a queasy smile at the pistol. He reached down slowly and adjusted his y-fronts.

"You've not answered the question. What are you doing?"

Sirrell squirmed, clasping his hands together. "Er. It's – it's an interrogation technique. Yeah. I'm, you know, interrogating it."

"Him."

"Er, yes, that's right. Him. Dead right. Haha."

"And how were you proposing that he answer you with whatever that is in his mouth?"

Sirrell deflated as he stared fixedly at the damning ball wedged in the elf's mouth. "Well. That's, um, that's obviously what the problem has been all along!" he cried, waving a finger in the air. "No wonder he's not answering the questions! Lady Luuhs – where would we be without you and your keen eyed observations, eh?"

Lady Luuhs raised an eyebrow. "See that chain hanging from the wall – yes, that one with the neck brace – why don't you be a good boy and fasten that around your scrawny little neck?" She waved the pistol towards the cold, rusted chain.

Sirrell grimaced and sighed, before brightening up quickly. "I've been a naughty boy, haven't I?"

Lady Luuhs said nothing.

"I mean – very naughty. Punishably naughty, yes? Because you can always use that wh-"

"You've got three seconds to lock that chain around your neck before I redefine your concept of pain."

"-ah. Right you are," Sirrell said, scarpering for the chain, the echo of which clanked around the stony room.

"Honeybunch!" gasped the elf as Lady Luuhs wrenched the ball from his mouth.

"Oh Smoothie!" she cried, kissing his forehead. "Stay here, sweetie – back in a moment!" she sang as she danced over to the wall that Sirrell was now attached to.

Testo coughed, watching with satisfaction as Lady Luuhs punched the red ball into Sirrell's mouth.

***

"Them ribs'll take a while," Cuttan Paest said, snapping his case shut. "Obviously, I can't help with the teeth – no doubt you'll buy some new ones anyway. The other cuts and stitches," he pointed at Morgrim's shoulder, "will probably heal quite quickly. Plenty of rest, really."

"Thanks Doc," Morgrim grunted, dropping is head back onto the pillow. He could not recall lying on so comfortable a bed as this one – his body felt like it had been awake for a thousand years.

"One other thing – I'm sorry to have to say it, but light beer only -"

"Aw Doc-"

"Don't want to hear it. Light beer or no beer. Doctor's orders!"

"I hate you, you know."

"I hate you too, buddy. Get well soon," Cuttan said as he stood up, smiling kindly at Morgrim.

"Cheers, Doc."

***

"Waddaya mean, escaped?" King Domcome hissed through clenched teeth.

Berni Ycklestone cringed before the king, his whole body wincing in anticipation of some physical retaliation. Arrayed behind Berni stood the full membership of the dwarven court, none daring to breath.

"Well?" demanded the king.

"Uh. Well, you know. Like, not there, really. Imagine an elf all changed up, right? Then. er…just imagine, well, chains. Y'know, without the elf. Escaped. Empty chains."

"And Lady Luuhs?"

The dwarf court experienced a collective intake of breath.

"Lady Luuhs. Lady Luuhs," Berni mumbled, as if trying to remember where he'd left his keys. "She's, uh, not – not here right now."

"Not here right now?"

Berni shook his head, his eyes taking in everything in the room except the enraged figure of the king.

"But she'll be back later, because you know where she is, right?" King Domcome's bare whisper was like a cold wind blowing over an open grave.

All seventy members of the court grimaced before shaking their heads. Of course they didn't know the answer, but – they knew the answer.

"Haha," laughed the page nervously. "I'm, er…that is, we – are sure she'll be back. Sure. Maybe she's just out-"

"You've lost her, haven't you?"

Berni looked down at his shoes and nodded.

King Domcome fastened his hans behind his back as he paced up and down the throne room, the sound of his heels shattering the thick silence.

"Sirrell's still there, Your Majesty," Berni offered after a while.

"What, you didn't set him free?" snapped the king.

"He, um, didn't want to be set free, as such. He felt that he'd – well, he thought he'd been – what's the phrase he used – naughty. He felt his actions contributed to this state of affairs. So we left him. He seemed safe and we are more concerned about the elf. And Lady Luuhs, of course."

"Of course."

Berni coughed, unsure of what else to say. Silence descended. Everyone stood rooted to the spot. THe king scowled.

After what seemed like an eon to the nervous court, he looked up at the court. "Why don't lot you lot just Bleeped text? Not you," he barked, grabbing Berni by his collar.

Some courtiers blinked, others stared with mouths agape.

"GET OUT!"

They got out.

***

Testo looked down at the rushing water. "Are you sure?"

Fasten patted him on the hand. "They'd never think we'd go this way. A couple of decades ago, a worker fell in there and was never seen again."

The elf stared at Fasten, waiting in vain for her brain to catch up with her suggestion. Realising that eventuality was unlikely to materialise, he prompted: "That suggests that if we jump in there – " he pointed at the rushing torrent beneath them," – then we wouldn't be seen again either."

"Exactly!" Fasten beamed.

"…Because we'd be dead."

"Oh! I see wh-"

"Yeah," nodded Testo.

"No, no – you think the bloke that fell in there died?"

"That's what you said."

"No, I said he'd never been seen again. Except by me, that is." Fasten winked at the confused elf.

Testo sighed. "We don't have time for this. What happened to him?"

"He popped up on the shore of Oresohn's Well. It's a mountain lake in the northern reaches of the range, quite close to the Wyemm Seeyay, actually. Maybe two days travel?

"Yeah, but was he okay? Popping up is no indication of good health. That looks cold and really, really rough."

"He was fine. All fine. Look, we don't have any other choices. I brought some helmets."

"What about baby?" Testo's voice softened as he gently rubbed Fasten's belly.

"He, she, or they will just have to cope. We'll make it, I promise." She reached up and pulled Testo's face down, planting a tender kiss on his forehead. "You ready?" she asked, manoeuvring him into position for the two of them to jump.

He nodded. They took each other's hands and started counting down.

"Wait!" he shouted, stopping their jump at the last moment. "What happened to the dwarf who fell in before. How come no-one ever saw him again?"

"Oh, he became the mayor of Wetchit. Still is today, I believe."

"Why didn't he come back, though?"

Fasten gripped Testo's hand firmly, yanking him over the edge with her.

"Because he couldn't who he was!"

***

"You're going to do two things," Kong Domcome growled at Berni. "You're going to go and fetch Browning for me. And then you're going to bring me my travelling cloak, my hammer and my iBone. Yes?"

Berni swallowed. "Browning, cloak, hammer, iBone. Got it."

"You've got ten minutes."

***

Browning sauntered into the throne room, scratching the side of his head. Berni scampered in behind him, bearing the king's possessions as demanded.

"Browning!"

"Your Majesty," the slayer said, bowing deeply. His grand blue mohawk brushed the floor. "Barney here sez you wanted me?"

"Berni," Berni said, raising a finger in objection.

"It seems I have a love struck dwarf whose bride-to-be has eloped with an elven spy as a result of her pregnancy with said spy. The love struck dwarf is even now chained up in a dungeon somewhere below us because he feels he's played some part in this… charade. I thought you might be able to help him. He's clearly beside himself with grief."

Browning nodded slowly, lines of sorrow evident on his face. "This'll be Sirrell, then?"

The king nodded.

"Poor kid. Didn't deserve it at all, really. So you think he'll take the vow?"

"I don't know, but he sounds pretty broken up about it. If I was him and I was in this situation, I think I'd take the vow. I think its what his family would want. And probably it'd be good for him. You know, refocus the mind a bit. From my own experience I can tell you that trying not to get eaten by a troll kind of puts things in perspective."

"That it does," Browning grinned. "That it does. I take it Barney knows where Sirrell is?"

"Berni," sighed Berni.

"He'd better do, because I've got to go and sort out the rest of this mess with the elves." The king took his things from the page before ushering them from his throne room.

"Right, Barney. Let's go see Sirrell,"

"Bern-"

"Do you mind if I call you Barnes? Lovely name, Barnes." Browning said in a cheerful voice.

"Yes. I. Do," grunted Berni.

"Browning put his arm over Berni's shoulders. "Excellent Barnes! We should hang out sometime…"

***

"Conker!"

Lord Zynladyz stood up, reaching out to greet King Domcome as he trudged through the snow.

"I came as soon as I got the call."

King Domcome dropped onto a frozen tree stump, huddling close to the fire Lord Zynladyz had prepared.

"Not as young as I used to be," grunted the dwarf.

"You could just get over yourself and get a dragon, you know? I'd get you an egg if you asked," the elf replied.

"Nah. I haven't ridden anything up until now and I don't see a reason to start. Besides, a brisk mountain walk – gotta be good for you, right?"

"Brisk?" Lord Zynladyz raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, okay, so its colder than my mother-in-law's heart, but we had to talk. Good call on the fire."

The elf sat down opposite the dwarf. Both huddled close to the crackling fire.

"It's a bad business, what happened in the valley." King Domcome said, pulling a pipe from his pocket.

"Yeah. Vass isn't taking it so well."

"Vass?"

"Vass Saleen. The minion who 'offered' the bride price. Testo's one of his, you see."

"What I don't get is the other elves. Who were they? Why'd they hit your column?"

Lord Zynladyz shook his head. "I'm sure it hasn't escaped your notice that not all elves are as sensible as us. Some of them are in open rebellion against the natural order of things – others have settled into piracy and crime. It wasn't always this way.

"Rogue elves?"

"We call them Dark Elves. Because they are unenlightened, you see. Crafty Bleeped texts they are too."

King Domcome puffed on his pipe while the elf poked the burning logs distractedly with a stick.

"Whiskey?" said Lord Zynladyz suddenly. He poured a tot into an ornate silver cup he produced from his cloak before offering the flask to King Domcome. "Keeps the throat warm."

"Sure, why not?"

The two sat in silence, staring at the fire.

"My concern – and the concern of my hold, really, is that we don't know if these were renegade elves or not, so what it looks like is that some elves tried to stop some other elves from paying the bride price. Sort of as if this Vass Saleen fellow you mentioned wasn't so keen on the marriage plans we had set up."

"I thought you might say that."

"It's not that I don't trust you, of course." King Domcome looked up and met Lord Zynladyz' eyes. "We go back a long way. But we don't know Saleen. And to have a marriage proposed by the elves broken up like its been down at the River Chai – well, the hold is angry, you understand."

"I understand." The elf' held the dwarf's gaze. "You think they'll want war?"

The king shrugged. "Hard to say. It's not like our two people ever really got on. I think it depends on whether or not we can find Lady Luuhs and your elf Testo."

The elf raised an eyebrow. "You lost them?"

"It looks like Lady Luuhs broke him out. We can't find either of them. Problem is, those orcs are still out there. We killed a lot, but they're like fleas in a carpet out there."

"What are you saying, though? If we find the couple, your hold won't prosecute a war?"

"I'm saying we might be able to avert a conflict if we can produce a happy ending. Right now, it seems the happy ending is the heroic dwarves save the little child form the evil elves who clearly betrayed one of their own in order to prevent a marriage they didn't approve of. Failing to achieve their goals, they then betrayed one of their own patrols leading to the deaths of both dwarves and elves."

Lord Zynladyz sighed. "Yeah. It does kinda look like that. The problem is, it sounds like that happy ending means the baby and mum live happily ever after in the hold, whilst young Testo presumably has an accident in a mineshaft somewhere or rots in a prison cell. To Saleen and his elves, they'd have to come and save the poor elf and the child, you see."

The dwarf shook his head. "I remember when our biggest problem was trying to find a safe place to sleep whilst pillaging a ruined dungeon…"

Lord Zynladyz smiled. "Good times."

"Good times indeed."

"Well, it sounds like we'd better go and find our wayward parents-to-be. Perhaps they'll have an idea of what to do, seeing as how they're now the most politically correct of our people?"

King Domcome nodded. "Maybe. I got no other ideas."

"Want a ride down on the dragon?"

"Eh? No, no, no. Tough political climate, is all. right now with the whole elves and dwarves thing. Not cause I'm afraid or anything, you understand."

Elven eyes smiled. "I understand. I'll take a few passes with the dragon to see if I can find them. I'll call you if I get them."

"Ditto. Good to see you again."

"And you, my friend. Good luck in the hold."

"Yeah – good luck with Saleen."

***

"Now that has slayer written all over it!"

Sirrell looked up to see who was addressing him.

Browning looked the dwarf up and down. "Barnes – "

"Berni."

" – I think Sirrell and I are gonna need some time to talk. Why don't you scuttle back upstairs and organise us some sandwiches or something? And beer. Look at the poor boy – he's distraught!"

Browning watched as the Berni stomped out of the cell, swearing under his breath. "That kid needs to lighten up. But enough about him." Browning pulled an old wooden stool from a corner and positioned himself in front of Sirrell, still chained to the wall.

"Leather y-fronts. First time I've seen that, but sure, its practical. Gotta protect the nuts, right?"

"I don't wanna be a slayer," Sirrell moaned.

"Why? You look the part. Distraught. Angry. Naked. I got what you can't get anywhere else."

"Yeah? What's that?"

"Oblivion. Wholesale oblivion. Imagine wrapping your hands around the throat of that elf. Imagine you could do anything you liked to him. Make him pay. Now, just imagine doing that to trolls, ogres, giants and anything else stupid enough to cross your path whilst you hunt him down. Slaying is easy."

Sirrell shivered as he contemplated doing to a troll what he planned to do to the elf. "It just wouldn't be the same," he bleated, before he could stop himself.

"You say that. In the beginning, yeah, its not the same. But as you learn about your anger – how to channel it, how to control it – how to be anger – it becomes the same. Maybe sometimes a bit too samey, but the nice thing about slaying is its usually short and sweet."

"Um, could you unlock me now, please? I, er, I think I've suffered enough now. And I really need to take a slash."

"What? Oh, yeah. Sorry." Browning looked up at the lock. "You have the keys?"

"You should find them on the-"

"Bleeped text that, I'll use the axe."

Sirrell's eyes bulged as the axe clanged into the chains holding his hands above his head. A shower of sparks descended onto his exposed shoulders as the chains came apart.

"WHAT THE F-"

"Whoah!" Browning cheered. "Did you see the sparks?"

"SPARKS? Did you see my bloody hands, you moron!" Sirrell screamed, rubbing his wrists where the chains had bitten in. "And the damn chain hit me on the head!"

Browning patted Sirrell on the shoulder. "That's it, boy. Feel the anger! Very slayer! Although," he said, standing back from the growing puddle under Sirrell. "Wetting yourself? Not very slayer."

"Gah!" squawked Sirrell, leaping from the puddle. "Damn it all! I don't want to be a bloody slayer!"

"Poppycock! D'ya reckon your more of an axey slayer or a hammerey slayer?" Browning held his axe as if to measure Sirrell for size. "Hey, wait up. Where you going?"

Sirrell ran. He had no idea which way to go, but he just needed to get away from Browning. He could hear the thump of the slayer's boots behind him, but he was smaller, more agile and, he strongly suspected, much more used to running.

"Bleeped text!" cursed Browning, huffing to a halt after a brief but frantic chase. He rested his hands on his knees and panted, vapour forming on his breath. He looked at the split in the tunnel. "Which way did he go?"

***

Sirrell stared at the waterfall. Before him, the thunderous torrent swept past him into the inky darkness of the cavern. There was no other way to go.

It can't have come to this, surely?

"Careful out there, boy!"

Sirrell spun, nearly slipping on the wet grating he stood on.

Browning stood at the cavern entrance, barely lit by the paltry effort of the lone torch on the wall.

"You thinking of jumping? You don't have to prove yourself to be a slayer, you know."

"What? WHAT! I'm not trying to bloody prove myself. I. Don't. Want. To. Be. A. Slayer." Sirrell spat.

Browning edged closer, setting one foot on the grating. Sirrell stepped back, his heel searching for the edge. "Well then what are you doing out there? You're going to get yourself killed. And if you're gonna do that, may as well do it being a slayer."

"Just leave me alone!"

Browning rested on his axe and scratched his chin. "Is this about the axe or hammer decision? Because if you're a sword kinda guy, we can do that too, you know." Browning's eyes explored the ceiling as he recounted the various different weapons that he thought would be acceptable for slaying.

Yeah. It has come to this after all. Anything is better than this.

Sirrell fixed Browning with a disdainful stare. He's not even bloody looking at me. Sirrell closed his eyes and launched himself backwards, the icy hands of the torrent snatching him down into the darkness.

"…or maybe a flail?" Browning looked around in confusion. "Eh? Where's he gone?" Browning peered over the edge through the grating. "Silly Bleeped text. Maybe he as a mancatcher sort of guy. Hmm. Maybe I'd have jumped too if I was a mancatcher user." He shook his head as he turned to leave.

"Shame, really."

***

How Sirrell survived he never quite understood. It was actually a wonderful feeling knowing he was without a shadow of a doubt going to die – it clarified so many things in what he now realised was his short and pitiful life.

So surviving came with a certain amount of disappointment.

Here I am, lying on the windswept shore of a freezing mountain lake in nothing other than some leather y-fronts which smell of pee, having just failed to kill myself by jumping into an unfathomably deep underwater river to try and avoid committing suicide by becoming a slayer.

And I thought things couldn't get any worse.

Sirrell pulled his knees up and wept. At first, it was the gentle mewling of mild loss, but as the tension in his body released, his ribs started shaking with great, racking sobs. He cried until there were no more tears. He didn't feel the cold as night came, nor did the cold let him feel the scrapes and bruises he'd sustained on his brief underwater journey. Eventually sleep came.

Sirrel started up with a snort.

"Huh? Wha-"

Looking around, he wiped the sand from his face as he blinked at the sharp sun, its gentle rays just beginning caress his body with warmth.

"A Bleeped text. " He shook his head. "Not a dream. It's true: I can't even actually kill myself properly."

He stood up, he's legs shaky. One trip through a high speed underground river followed by a night sleeping rough in the freezing mountain air is hard on the ol' body, he thought.

"Perhaps I can jump off something else around here and get the job done properly…"

He looked around, his eyes catching a series of indentations further up the shore. Not seeing an immediately obvious route to accelerate his demise, he thought there'd be no harm in investigating. Perhaps a nice meal before he offed himself would be in order?

He trudged up to the marks, shaking his head to clear it up for the analysis task ahead.

Footprints. They're footprints. Two pairs, if I'm not mistaken.

He shrugged and started after them. Nothing else to do around here.

***

The footprints led Sirrell down a pleasant little mountain path, easy to navigate and with a suitable declination – nothing too challenging, for which the dwarf was grateful.

Soon, the sun was shining and its rays, together with the effort of walking and the lower altitude, did wonders both for Sirrell's body temperature and his mood. The footsteps seemed fairly recent and although he nearly lost them once or twice, were relatively easy to follow.

His mind frequently wondered if he was following the trail of Fasten and Testo, but each time he did, his rational centre informed him that no pregnant woman would take that sort of chance with a child. He still wondered at his own survival – was he set aside for something else? Something more than being a slayer, or a tailor (as he was back in the hold)?

At around midday he found himself in a forest clearing. He hadn't realised it, but he had been walking along a forest track for some time – he wasn't sure when the mountain had stopped and the forest had started. It was here that he snapped back to his senses.

The footsteps got all messed up. Other recent footprints all criss crossed in the middle of the clearing. The thing that snapped his senses back into place, though, was the sheer size of them. Evidently there had been other man or dwarf sized creatures – their footsteps were evident. But what was the thing that had a footprint the same size as his entire body?

Fear gripped Sirrell as his good humour drained from him. His eyes darted wildly around the clearing, frantic to find the owner of the footprints. Or better yet – to prove that the owner was not to be found.

The clearing offered no threat. Pleasant sunshine shone through the surrounding trees and the forest on all sides seemed welcoming and pleasant. Sirrell felt the panic subside as he realised that whatever had happened here, the massive perpetrator was no longer in the vicinity.

So what had happened here? Curiously, none of the footprints left the clearing. The trail he'd been following led straight to the middle, where the giant feet and some other normal feet all conglomerated, before just… disappearing.

Sirrell scratched his head.

"It was a dragon."

Sirrell yelped, leaping in fright before slipping in the sand and doing the splits. He toppled on to his face.

"Dragon, wagon! Wagon, dragon!"

Sirrell pushed himself on to all fours, wincing at the new found pain in his thighs. He stopped as he came face to face with a dancing yellow goblin.

"Hee hee," it cackled, dancing away from him with its arms spread wide.

He scanned the clearing again. His heart stopped as his gaze came to rest on the cloaked figure sitting on a boulder at the distant entrance to the clearing. The cloak revealed heavily armoured legs and an ornate scabbard, but nothing else.

The figure spoke. "Two elves, a dwarf and a dragon. Don't see that every day. And now a dwarf in leather underwear. This is the most interesting day I've had in a while."

Sirrell groaned as he dragged himself to his feet. The curious goblin came dancing out of nowhere and offered him a cup.

"Er, thanks," he said, looking down. "Is this wine?"

"Fine wine! Wine fine!" giggled the goblin.

"You're safe for now, little dwarf. You can drink the wine." The stranger's appearance was incongruous with the gentle female voice Sirrell heard speaking.

Sirrell shrugged. "Can't get any worse," he said to no one in particular. He drained the cup.

"Wow," he said. "Wow. That is good. Oh wow." Sirrell felt as though all of his aches and pains were like water in a bath and that the plug had just been pulled. Even as the sensational wine cooled his throat and worked its way down into his belly, his hurts, both physical and emotional, seemed to evaporate.

"I, um, I don't suppose I could have another?"

"We can have more wine later, Mr Dwarf. For now, I was thinking we should get to know each other a little more."

The figure stood and stalked over to Sirrell, the movement supremely elegant and yet disturbingly clumsy at the same time. Sirrell noticed that the speaker appeared to have a deformity – a severe hunchback, perhaps? Something unusual about the shoulders, certainly.

"What is your name, Mr Dwarf?" it prompted.

"Sirrell," he blurted. Fear clamped its iron hard claws around his heart. "W-what's yours?"

The figure stopped next to him, resting its gauntleted hand on his shoulder. Far from the impact Sirrell expected, the touch was gentle, almost tentative.

From under the cloak, its head appeared, covered in a plain but impenetrable armoured grill. The creature stood on the left of Sirrell, but he noted with alarmed discontent that its head seemed to slither over his right shoulder.

"My friends call me Ellen. Will you be my friend?"

***

"C'mon, you big softie. Time to go."

"I'm not ready yet," Morgrim mumbled to his wife. "Let the next guy go ahead of me."

"There are none left. You've let them all through. You're the last one. It's your turn now."

Morgrim's eyes pleaded with his wife. "You promise you won't let go?"

She smiled as she held is hand. "I promise."

A nurse appeared around the corner. "Mr Ironbeard?"

"No," he said.

"Yes?" said his wife.

"The dentist will see you now."

***

Some time later.

Testo smiled down at his son.

"Like this, daddy?"

Testo nodded. "Bring your right hand a little closer to the axe head. That's right. Now you drive it down, straight into the middle of the wood, okay?"

The axe fell, splitting the wood clean in two.

"Good job, son," Fasten said, as she wandered around the side of the cottage.

The muscular boy beamed as his mother hugged him.

She looked up at his neck. "Still itchy, is it?"

"You've got to stop scratching it, son. Otherwise, you'll never get used to it."

"Aw dad- you don't understand – you don't need to shave, you know."

"I know," Testo said, coming over to hug both of them. "I know."

***

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