Monday, September 30, 2013

Savage Hyboria Forgotten Islands: Episode 4 "The Tomb of Voltannox" Part 2

 It was around mid day the day after they arrived on this strange island when the party decided to set off to explore the ruins shown on their map and find out what they could about the Tomb of Voltannox.  Dalla and Ahmed had elected to stay behind and guard the camp and the raft while the others trekked through the jungle.  Though they planned to be back by the next day they took extra provisions along in case they were delayed.
 As they were about to set out a lone Argossean warrior stumbled into the village.  Fearing he might be a scout for a larger force they party formed up and drew their weapons.  The Argossean  threw down his weapons and surrendered.  The man was so exhausted he nearly collapsed.  Alenna broke ranks and rushed to his side.  "Quickly!" she said "If we don't help this man he may die soon!".  They made a place for the man to rest inside their shelter and brought him food and fresh water.  Alenna tended to the man using her healing skills to aid him.  The rest of the party help Alenna fetch things to make the man more comfortable or to help her tend to him.  Heimdall even cleaned and repaired the mans clothing and equipment.  The Argossean slept for several hours until it was almost dark.  When he awoke he told the party that he was a member of Captain Melampos's expedition.  "I hoped to find Captain Melampos here with our ship or at least some friendly villagers who might be able to aid me.  We were lucky when we landed here that these natives were friendly and open to trade.  They did however warn us that we should not go into the ruins.  If only we had heeded their words we might have..." He trailed off.  "What are you called man?" asked Heimdall.  "They call me Racket.  Or at least that is what they call me here."  the man answered.  The man then related a tale very similar to the account written by Captain Melampos.  He also mentioned that he was the one who picked the locks that allowed them to enter the tomb.  "We seek this tomb as well and we could use someone who knows how to get in.  Will you help us?" asked Heimdall.  "I would not wish to go back to that place for all the crowns of the world" the man answered "But I doubt that is going to dissuade you from going and seeing as how you and your friends are likely my only way off this island I will help you.  However I must tell you.  I have been wandering around the jungle for weeks trying to find my way back here and I have completely forgotten where the tomb lies.  We will have to travel to those accursed ruins again and that will not be easy".  "Very well we will leave in the morning" said Heimdall.  
 They followed a clearly marked trail out of the village into the jungle and in no time came across a river.  It was clear that there had been a bridge at this point at one time but it was long gone.  "I think there was a ford a bit further north" Racket said.  A large crocodile sunned itself on the opposite bank.  Rozlynn looked into the murky river water.  "It's so dark" she said "Almost like a mirror".  Heimdall saw movement in the water just in front of them.  Instinctively he pulled his fellow AEsir back from the shore just as a massive crocodile burst from the water and snapped at her.  At the same moment the crocodile on the opposite bank slid it's massive bulk into the water.  Rozlynn regained her composure and brought her massive blade down in a sweeping arc.  It connected but could not penetrate the creatures armored hide.  Still the creature was dazed for a moment but only a moment.  With another lung it clamped it's powerful jaws onto the AEsir woman's leg.  Blood gushed from the wound and Roxlynn almost fainted from the pain and blood loss but with supreme effort she stayed on her feet.  Mon Tau raised his bow and aimed at the swimming beast.  He knew it would be a tough shot since the creature was mostly submerged and swimming quickly.  His first shot struck the creatures left foreleg and although it slowed the animal it did not stop it.  His next shot however stopped the beast cold.  The arrow entered the creatures right eye socket and continued into it's brain pan.  The massive beast rolled on it's back as it floated down the river.  Heimdall brought his blade down on the one still clamped to Rozlynn's leg.  Again his blow could not penetrate the creatures hide but it was hard enough to stun the beast which released it's vice like grip on the woman's leg.  The beast opened it's mouth again to snap at Heimdall but Racket stepped beside the northman and dispatched it with a quick spear thrust.
Alenna tended to Rozlynn's wounds and after they rested for a while they continued north along the bank.      
 When they reached the ford they noticed the tracks of several creatures along the bank.  Again they saw crocodiles on the opposite shore but they were prepared for the ones lurking below the surface.  These beast were much more aggressive however and the three on the opposite bank immediately jumped into the water and began swimming towards them.  Proving his Hyrkanian skill Mon Tau killed one of the beast before it made it across.  Four of the creatures remained and they attacked the party.  Although the powerful creatures attacked relentlessly they were all dispatched in short order with no further injury.
The ford would allow them to cross most of the river but they would have to swim a little to reach the opposite bank.  As none of them were good at swimming Heimdall took out his rope With the rest of the party holding the other end he was able to make it to shore and tie the rope off on some heavy brush.  Aziz tied the other end about his waist and the party used the rope to get through the swift current.  Alenna was the last to attempt to cross before Aziz but as she was making her way her hands slipped and she immediately went under in the deepest part of the current.  "My lady!" Aziz screamed as he jumped into the water after her.  Aziz managed to grab Alenna and the rest of the party pulled them to safety.    
 Again they headed down they path which was now becoming more and more overgrown.  They had not gone far when when Roxlynn said "Something is comming!".  A dozen large rodents and two giant rats charged at them through the brush.  The giant rats had strangely glowing green eyes.  Surrounded the party pulled itself into a defensive circle as the animals charged them.
 For the most part the rats were easily dispatched by the party although it took some time to kill all the creatures.  Some of the party received minor injuries for being knocked over by the swarm of rats. One of the giants however put up a hard fight.  Again Rozlynn was wounded by the creature but finally four of the party were able to bring it down.

Several hours passed as the party cut it's way through the dense jungle.  The AEsir led the way cutting a path for the rest of the party to follow.  Twice they had to stop and rest when Aziz and Racket became fatigued.  It was late afternoon when they could eventually make out some of the taller towers which stuck up higher than the rest of the ruins.  "With any luck we will be there before dark" Heimdall explained.  
 Suddenly Rozlynn saw movement from the corner of her eye.  She looked to see a large black cat stalking them just a few yards away.  Then she saw another approaching them.  "Panthers!" she cried.  At that moment two hidden creatures pounced from the bushes.  Raka was knocked off her feet by a charging cat but her quick reflexes saved her as she was able to put her shield up just in time.  Another cat had pounced at Racket but he managed to step deftly aside to avoid it's charge.  From behind them they heard an unnaturally loud growl.  Charging out of the brush was a panther as large as a lion with oddly glowing green eyes that reminded them of the giant rats they had encountered earlier.
 Mon Tau killed one of the beast with an well placed arrow.  Rozlynn dispatched another with a devastating blow from her great scimitar that cut the animal in half.  Heimdall killed one of the cats with a mighty buffed from the pommel of his blade and then stepped to intercept the giant.  One of the cats knocked Aziz to the ground but Alenna ran the creature through saving the man who had saved her from drowning earlier that day.  The massive cat was all that remained.  Even surrounded by the whole party the beast was difficult to slay.  It dodged blow after blow and countered with vicious attacks of it's own.  Eventually the beast was brought down after a hard fight.  Fortunately no one in the party was seriously hurt during the attack.  
 The party pressed on and reached the edge of the ruins just before dark.  The ground was paved with large flagstones littered with dead fall.  Many of the dark stone buildings were crumbling and most were being overtaken slowly by jungle growth.  The party had only just entered the ruins when they saw a large group of ghouls charging them.
"Shieldwall!" Heimdall cried.  As the party drew itself into a fighting formation Rozlynn and Racket killed shot two of the creatures down.  Mon Tau killed another two with his accurate fire.  Heimdall hurled one of his belt axes into the crowd and felled another but still they came.  
 A moment later the rest of the foul creatures slammed against the party's shields.  Mon Tau continued to rain death on the undead beast who fought with an insane fury.  One of the creatures lashed out with it's clawed hand and slashed Racket in his upper arm.  Though the blow was not lethal the Argossean fell to the pavement paralyzed.  Rozlynn was stunned by a nasty backhand from one of the beast.  
 Despite their ferocious attacks the party began to beat the twisted fiends back.  Several more were killed by blade and arrow but this did nothing to abate their unnatural blood lust.
Rozlynn regained her sense and rejoined the fighting but one of the creatures slashed at Raka slicing the Vendhyan woman across her mid section with an apparently mortal wound.  Raka's eyes rolled back in her head and she fell to the ground bleeding profusely.  Alenna rushed to her comrades side even as the battle continued around them.  The rest of the ghouls will killed quickly as Alenna worked to save Raka's life.  With her skill she was able to save the woman but it was clear that Raka was still badly injured.
Heimdall found a small building that still had an intact roof.  "We should take shelter here and wait till day to continue" he said.  
With a solid roof over their heads the party settled in for the night.  Alenna continued to attend to Raka until she could do no more to help her.  At the moment they felt secure in the small stone building but they could hear strange cries as night fell.  They had survived the jungle but would they survive the ruins?

To be continued......

Notes:  Well no matter how hard you try or how well you plan you just can't do much when the party had a run of good luck.  The players scored many critical hits and frequently did massive amounts of damage even sometimes killing my wild cards with a single blow.  Still they did not come through completely unscathed.  Raka and Rozlynn both suffered some serious wounds throughout the journey and the entire party got to see how nasty the ghouls could be.  All in all I think they are in a good position but they still have quite a few dangers to face before they even reach the tomb.     

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Savage Hyboria Forgotten Islands: Episode 4 "The Tomb of Voltannox" Part 1

 A week had passed since the pirates joined the former slaves on what they were now calling "Lighthouse Island".  With Raka the Vendhyan's talent for learning languages the entire party was able to learn enough of the Argosian tongue to communicate basic ideas.  This aided them greatly in making plans for their mutual survival.  The language of Argos was chosen because according to the pirate member of the party it was the most common language spoken among the pirates and that even some of the natives had learned it in order to trade with the pirates.
Once they had gotten comfortable with communicating with each other they decided to investigate the island marked on the treasure map they had found in the abandoned camp earlier.  It was decided that they would all leave Lighthouse Island after burying their cache of weapons and supplies under the flagstones of the ruined lighthouse.  Even though they journey to the island was expected to last only a few hours they packed a weeks worth or provisions.  Heimdall convinced their prisoner Aziz to join them.  Aziz was more than happy to trade loyalties and explained that he was only working for Balooka because he was indentured to the slaver.  Ahemed and Dalla scoured the beach looking for anything that might help them on their journey.  They found several oars and a small sail that had washed ashore from shipwrecks.
When they had finished their preparations they set out at night to better avoid encounters with slavers and pirates.  It was also agreed that they would sail around the eastern edge of the island chain to their destination which would make a slightly longer journey but would help them avoid the island that Balooka was camped on.  Dalla was the most experienced sailor among them so it was she who manned the rudder.  The wind was blowing in a favorable direction and they made good time.    
 They had just reached the next island to the north and east when several fish men of the same type they had encountered earlier attacked them.  Being powerful swimmers the creatures were able to jump from the water directly onto the deck of their raft.  Only the massive mutant in their party had to crawl aboard.
Rozlynn immediately cleaved one of the smaller fish men in half with a mighty blow then moved to help Heimdall with the larger beast.  The massive creature lashed out at her with his club and dealt her a serious wound.  She returned the favor with a slice from her weapon.  
 The raft pitched and swayed as the battle was joined.  Heimdall raised his scimitar and with a mighty blow split the mutant's skull open spilling it's brains out on the deck.  It's lifeless body sank back beneath the waves.  The rest of the warriors fought desperate against the vile creatures killing several but as they killed one it seemed another would hurl itself from the water onto the deck.
 Eventually however the creatures were all killed an no more sprang at them from the ocean.  Mon Tau, Dalla, and Rozlynn had all been wounded in the fighting.  Alenna skillfully bound their wounds such that they were able to continue on their journey.
The rest of the journey passed uneventfully although they encountered some rough waters it was nothing they could not handle.  
At last they arrived at the island where they could see several small huts at one point along the southern shore.  They could see no lights or fires at this small village nor see any signs of life so they landed their raft on the beach and crept into the village to investigate.
It was dark and it was difficult to tell but it seemed as if the village was abandoned.  They decided to light torches so they could get a better idea of what had happened.  Inside the huts the crude belongings of the villagers had been scattered and broken.  They also found dried blood splatters in all of the huts.  In the hut at the center of the village they found some Argosian weapons and shields and another scroll case.
Inside the case was they rest of their map along with an account written two month previous by a Argosian pirate captain named Melampos.
The account described his expedition to the island and their search for the "Tomb of Voltannox".  He described how the natives at the village had warned him not to venture to the ruins because of all the evil spirits that resided there.  He described the dangerous trek through the jungle that cost him some men and of the ruins where he found and account of the Acharonian Priest King Voltannox.  He described how he lost several more men that night when they were attacked by "beast" who dwelt in the ruins.  When he had finally found the tomb he described that he had only a dozen men left.  Inside the tomb however he lost more men to ingenious traps and horrible monsters which caused him and his men to flee for their lives.  There were no more entries to describe how the account ended up back at the village.
The party decided to wait until morning to investigate further.  What they found in the morning did nothing to settle their fears.  They discovered the tracks of strange dogs in and around all the huts.  The track were at least as large as a wolf but strange.  It seemed as if these creatures had attacked the villagers and drug them from their huts into the jungle for some strange purpose.  Heimdall also noted that it appeared that each of the creatures was injured in some way due to the unnatural disposition of their tracks.
Despite the obvious dangers the party decided to press on to the ruins to see what they could discover about the tomb and it's treasures.

To be continued.....

Notes:  Well this was a short session but I had planned that this particular adventure would probably take three session to resolve.  The next session will probably involve the trek through the jungle and exploring the ruins while the final session will involve exploring the tomb itself providing the party survives. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Savage Hyboria Forgotten Islands: Episode 3 "Forgotten Pirates"

 The former slaves had been marooned on their island for about 6 days.  They had plenty of provisions for their small party and had captured a raft from the slavers who had attacked them a few days before.  In the early morning Heimdall sat atop the lighthouse looking for potential threats.  To the east he saw a man walking through the jungle towards his location.
The Aesir climbed down from his post and woke his companions.  "Someone is coming" he said.  As they hid in wait a man came into the clearing near their encampment.  He was strange looking with golden skin, dark hair, and almond shaped eyes although he was dressed as a pirate.  The man was armed with a cutlass but had no other weapons or equipment.  Heimdall stepped from his hiding spot "Hold there man!  State your business here!".  The man stepped back surprised but quickly regained his composure.  He spoke "Northman I do not speak your language but I intend you no harm".  The stranger spoke in broken Aqualonian as he set his cutlass on the ground and held his hands above his head.  Heimdall looked over his shoulder and gestured to his companions to come forward.  Alenna spoke in her native tong "Good sir tell us who you are and from where you came.  We may have a common purpose."  "I am Mon Tau and I am Hyrkanian although I was most recently in the employ of Captain Lycurgus an Argosian pirate who sails these waters.  Last night I led and ill fated mutiny against Lycurgus and was forced to jump overboard near this island with several of my fellow mutineers.  I seek only to find any of my companions who may have survived and find a way off these cursed islands" the stranger explained.
The former slaves conferred with each other for a few moments.  Alenna again spoke for the party "We shall help you find your friends stranger for we are also seeking a way off these islands and we are sorely in need a allies".  Mon Tau bowed and spoke "I would forever be in your debt".
Heimdall, Alenna, Rozlynn and Mon Tau set out to search the island for the Hyrkanian's shipmates.  The Vendhyan woman Raka stayed behind to guard their supplies and their captive slaver.  The party headed south down the eastern bank of the island.  After a short time they came across a trail that headed west into the jungle.  Following the trail they came across a makeshift encampment and decided to investigate.
 Heimdall carefully looked into the tent but quickly jumped back and drew his weapon as a massive green snake surged from the tent opening.  The creature lashed out viciously at the northerner attempting to catch him in his jaws.  The Hyrkanian had to duck as a massive tail lashed out in his direction.  The snake thrashed about and snapped at the humans with it's powerful jaws as they fought against it.  Rozlynn attempted to shoot at the snake with her bow but decided it was too dangerous.  Wielding her two handed scimitar she charged into the fight and with a massive swing cut the creatures head completely off.
With the snake dead the again resumed the search of the camp.  Heimdall and Rozlynn examined the ground around the tent.  Although the two Aesir did find human tracks the surmised that they were all at least a few weeks if not a few months old.  Inside the tent they discovered an Argosian short sword as well as a bow and arrows.  Mon Tau claimed the bow and arrows and none of the others objected.  They also found a scroll case that contained a piece of parchment with maps on both sides.  There were several notes jotted on each side of the parchment.  "This is in Argosian!" Mon Tau explained.  "It is difficult for me to read but it appears to be a treasure map.  Look here on this side.  This is a map of the Islands we are currently residing in.  That small island that is marked is not far from this one.  This other side then must be a map to some kind of treasure.  Ah I can make out something about the "Tomb of Voltannox".  Perhaps this is something we could investigate later".  The others nodded in agreement.  "For now we should keep searching.  Rozlynn and I found a trail that heads further west" Heimdall pointed to the path.

 Not far down the trail the castaways spotted a bloody body lying on the ground.  "That looks to be old Deon who fought with me against Lycurgus" Mon Tau said.  As they approached the badly mauled body it was clear the old man was dead.  Suddenly four large black panthers pounced from the bushes.  Alenna screamed as one of the big cats tore into her shoulder.  The priestess fell to the ground bleeding.  
 The rest of the party fought against the deadly cats.  Rozlynn dispatched the one that had attacked Alenna while Heimdall killed another but the two remaining cats did not retreat.  The party was hard pressed to defend itself when without warning two more combatants entered the fray.  A man and a woman charged from the jungle and helped to kill the last two panthers.  For a few moments everyone was tense as they scanned the jungle for further threats.  Mon Tau broke the silence "Ah Ahemed and Dalla Oledatter I see you survived!" he spoke in Argosian to the two strangers.  "These are some of my fellow mutineers and friends" he explained.
Everyone exchanged greetings except Alenna who was still unconscious.  Heimdall and Rozlynn carefully attempted to revive the priestess.  Fortunately Alenna came around within a few minutes.  Alenna bound her own wounds and prayed to Mitra to heal herself.  While Alenna was resting the rest of the party ate some provisions that they had brought along and decided to head to the western beach then continue south to look for other survivors.
 No sooner had they reached the western beach when they noticed a boat sitting just off shore.  Another group of the same pirates who had allied themselves with the slavers had landed and was heading up the beach towards them.  There were seven pirates on the shore while another stayed behind with the boat.

 The pirates charged at them swinging deadly looking flails.  Heimdall, Alenna, and Dalla charged straight in them while Ahemed moved stealthy through through the edge of the jungle and then pounced on one of the pirates in a surprise attack.  Mon Tau and Rozlynn stood at the back and shot at the pirates with their bows killing two of the brigands before they even reached the others.
The fighting was brief and brutal.  The pirates quickly realized they were outmatched.  Some of them tried to flee but were either cut or shot down as they tried to reach their boat.  The final pirate, deciding there was little he could do to help his friend sailed away to the northwest.

 At the southern tip of the island they discovered another small ruin.  These appeared to be different in construction and even older than the lighthouse where they had made camp.  After pushing away some of the moss they discovered carving with strange writings and depictions of odd beings that appeared to be fish like but with arms and legs.  None of them could understand the writing and Alenna said that none of the strange symbols were of any religion she was aware of.
Suddenly they all heard strange gurgling cries that came from the beach.  Erupting from the waves they saw a party of bizarre fish people charging up the bank towards them.  Two of them wielded rusted cutlasses while another possessed a strange book.
 The fish men attacked with reckless fury.  Four of them set on the party while the one with the book stood at a distance and began chanting.  Three powerful bolts of green light sprung from his outstretched hand hitting Heimdal, Mon Tau, and Dalla sending them reeling in pain.  As the fight continued the fish man struck out again with his sorcery injuring others.  Moments later an even fouler monster sprang from the waves wielding a massive club.  The thing was horrifying and strange.  Clearly similar to the fish men but mutated to a much more massive and horrid proportions.
Shouting a war cry Dalla Oldatter charged the hideous beast.  The Vanir warrior woman ducked a massive blow from the monster and then ran her longsword deep into it's chest.  A look of shock crossed the face of the twisted beast and it sank back into the surf with a weak yelp.
In short order the rest of the fish men were dispatched.  With many injuries from the fighting the party decided to return to their camp at the lighthouse where they could eat, rest, and examine the map they discovered.

Notes:  This adventure actually happened about a week ago but some of the players took their character sheets and I didn't have the names of all the characters involved so I held off publishing it until I did.  There are now seven characters in the party which will make it a challenge to come up with suitable encounters for especially since I use painted miniatures for everything.  In fact in this adventure many of the encounters were a bit too weak although the party made several good rolls.  The mutated fish man was suppose to be a greater challenge but Dalla took it out with one massive critical hit.  These things happen in games sometimes and fortunately the monster was not some important NPC I wanted to survived.    

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Battle of Station 42 (A 4000 point No Limits battle report for the Station 42 War)

Hell Knight forces on the western edge of the spaceport
 Over two months ago a company sized force of the Hell Knights mercenary company assaulted and secured Station 42 a vital space port on Titania.  During the fighting our "Flyspy" news drones were captured by agents working for the Smith and Wilson Agriculture company the Hell Knights employers.  It has taken TNN some time to recover the images taken by our drones so that we could cover the events that happened during the battle.
A Hell Knights X93 "Vampire Bat" combat drone eliminates a militia sniper
 In the weeks following the battle Smith and Wilson Agriculture conducted a media blackout while the Hell Knights instituted strict martial law on the spaceport.  All of this was done while government officials in Titania City turned a blind eye.  The renegade Planetary Guard commander "General" Drake led the Titania forces.  
Hell Knight hovercraft speed to support their left flank.
 The Hell Knights arrived early in the morning and reached the western edge of the spaceport unopposed.  Most of their troops arrived in fast moving hovercraft but a few units of scouts and snipers had infiltrated deeper into the facility.
Rosie's robotic troopers marching out of her workshop
 In addition to Drake's troops the well known local mechanic and roboticist known only as "Rosie" fielded her own personal mech and 15 robotic security bots.  This came as a bit of a surprise to the locals but if this bothered the other Titania forces they didn't show it.  
Rosie's Battlemech destroys Hell Knights infantry units
 Also on the side of the Titania forces were the local NOVA Securities officers and some snipers and light vehicles from the local militia.
Armored units from both sides exchange heavy fire
 The most intense fighting of the day happened around the local "Klancy's" convenience store.  The Hell Knights took up positions inside and around the building as Titania forces closed on them from the east and south.
A Hell Knights "Incubus" mech outmaneuvers Rosie's heavier mech
 The Hell Knights fielding an extremely agile Incubus class light Battlemech.  This unit not only inflicted serious casualties against the Titania infantry and light vehicles but it also proved very difficult for the slower moving Titania forces to catch up with.  Using jump jets the mech was able to continually fire then flee before enemy firepower could be brought to bear.
Planetary Guard tanks burn near NOVA Securities office
 The Planetary guard tanks proved difficult to destroy but after suffering literally dozens of hits each both were finally destroyed in the vicinity of of the NOVA Securities station.
Hell Knight armored units speed past the remains of a "Guardian" class battlemech
 In addition to loosing their tanks the Planetary guard also suffered the loss of the Guardian class medium Battlemech while it was trying to root out the entrenched mercenaries in and around Klancy's.
The remnants of the Titania forces prepare to retreat from the field
After suffering the loss of most of their heavy fire power the combined Titania forces withdrew from the field.  Both side suffered heavy casualties reported as nearly 50%.  In addition to loosing their tanks and mech the Titania forces lost all of their militia light vehicles.  The Hell Knights lost two of their light transports, a light hover tank, and a heavy combat drone in addition to several casualties.

This has been Alphonso Marks for the Titania News Network.  

Additional photos from this battle can be found at this location: The Battle of Station 42 

Notes:  Unfortunately it has been so long since we fought this battle I was unable to do a play by play like I wanted.  I think we took over 70 images and I edited about 30 which you can see in the flickr gallery.  This was a massive battle with over 120 models on the table.  It took two long session and about 8 or 10 turns to play out.  We still plan on several more battle and one large final battle before we call it quits on this campaign.  We hope to wrap things up by the end of the year.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Small sailboat WIP.

I've got the Sailboat mostly finished.  I still have to finish painting it but I've got it far enough along to use in the game today.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Small sailboat for Forgotten Islands Campaign

I'm working on a small sailboat for the Savage Worlds Hyboria Forgotten Islands campaign.  It's a simple construction and should be suitable for a small party for island hopping purposes.  I'll probably be making several boats of this size in addition to some larger ships.
I'm pretty happy with the way this one turned out.  I've done fancier ships in the past but I have a lot to build for this campaign and don't have the time to make really complicated models.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Savage Hyboria Forgotten Islands: Episode 2 "Allies"

 Three days after being shipwrecked on a strange island chain near the Black Kingdoms Heimdall and Alenna spot two bodies laying on a sandbar just off shore.  Though the bodies appear to be dead they decide to investigate.  After gathering some; healing supplies, water, and food the castaways drug a large log into the surf.  Using the log as a flotation device they paddled out to the sandbar. They discover the bodies of two women lying on the sand.  One is fair skinned with light colored hair and the other dark skinned with blue black hair.  "That one has the look of my people" Heimdall explained gesturing towards the fairer skinned woman.  Both women were armed with short swords and the dark skinned woman had a round shield.

 Using her healing skills Aleena determined that both the women were alive but unconscious.  She reached into her makeshift pouch and produced some strong smelling herbs which she then waved under the nose of the fair skinned woman.  The woman stirred and awoke.  "Where am I?  What happened?" the women spoke in the AEsir tongue.  "We don't know.  Are you a slave?" replied Heimdall.  "Yes... Yes I was a slave.  We escaped last night.  This woman, I don't know her, she helped me.  She could speak the slavers language and she tricked the guard" the woman explained.  Heimdall related what she said to Alenna.  Moving to the other woman the priestess used the same technique to revive her.  "Do not be alarmed.  We are also escaped slaves.  We want to help you" Alenna said, in Aquilonian, as the woman awoke.  Surprisingly the woman replied using the Aquilonian tongue.  "Praise be to all the gods!  I thought I was dead for sure".  

 The women explained that after they had escaped they tried to steal one of the slavers boats but it was too heavily guarded so they stole some empty barrels they used to keep themselves afloat.  They tried to head north to another island but the current and a storm blew them south instead.  Neither of them could remember washing onto the sand bar.  Both women were exhausted by their ordeal but uninjured.
"Looks like we have company!" Alenna exclaimed pointing out towards the open water.  Several miles away to the north there was a small sailed vessel heading their way.  "The slavers have found us!" the dark haired woman said.  Quickly the four escaped slaves paddled for shore using the log again as none of them were skilled swimmers.  Alenna slipped from the log but Heimdall was able to catch her with his free arm.

After reaching the shore Alenna and Heimdall helped the exhausted women to the old well house where they could take refuge and hide.  The two then crept up a small hill so they could observe the beach more easily.  The slavers had landed their large raft on the beach.  There were eight of them and a strange looking dog of some sort.  The dog and it's handler quickly found their sent and about half the party began tracking the escaped slaves.

 Alenna and Heimdall fell back toward the runes as the slavers followed their previous trail.  Alenna prayed to Mitra to hide them from the slavers as they ducked behind some dense foliage.  The slavers were approaching the well house when Heimdall and Alenna sprung apon them attacking the two slavers in the back.  Both found their mark with blows that sent the slavers reeling but neither were killed.

 The slavers regained their feet and fought back with vigor.  Neither side could gain the advantage and though heavy blows were traded there were no injuries.  The dog attacked Alenna stunning her and knocking her back.  Seeing that things were going poorly the AEsir woman charged from the well house and attacked the dog with a ferocious battle cry.  The dog turned and made a strange laughing sound then lunged at the woman but was immediately impaled by a strong thrust from the Nordheimer.

 The fighting continued.  Heimdall dispatched one of the slavers with a vicious slash from his scimitar.  Both Heimdall and Alenna had been wounded but were still on their feet.  Unfortunately the AEsir woman miscalculated a lunge against one of the slavers.  The slaver dodged aside and her blade sunk deeply into Alenna's thigh.  Alenna screamed then her eyes rolled back in her head and she passed out on the ground.  Seeing this the other woman joined the fight.  

The sounds of battle had drawn the attention of the slavers waiting on the shore.  Three more slavers charged Heimdall one of them armed with a massive two handed scimitar.  Heimdall dispatched one of the men with a thrust to his guts however the slaver with the great scimitar came down hard on the AEsir's shoulder and cut deeply through muscle and tendon and bone.  Heimdall let out a yell then fell to the ground.  The dark skinned woman was also knocked down by the slaver tracker.

Two of the slavers turned and ran back towards the beach but the man with the massive scimitar remained.  He was a skilled fighter and did not show the fear his comrades displayed.  It seemed as he would easily dispatch the escaped slaves but with one wild slash the AEsir woman cut him across the throat nearly taking his head clean off.  With a shocked look the slaver fell to the ground dead.

Raka could hear the other slavers arguing in Stygian, the language that they used, from the beach.  She was uncertain as to what they planned to do but she knew that they had only barely managed to win their fight against these slavers.  Gesturing to the fair skinned woman to help her she began to drag the Aqualonian woman away from the site of the battle.

Rozlynn understood what her companion was trying to do.  She took hold of the AEsir man and grasping him under his arms she began to drag him away.  He was heavy but fortunately she had experience with this kind of thing.

Though badly wounded both Alenna and Heimdall regained consciousness just a short time after the battle.  Though it took some time Alenna was able to use both her magic and healing skills to heal her companions.  Although exhausted from the days events they all agreed that the slavers would likely return in greater force just as soon as they could.  Raka and Rozlynn introduced themselves.  Rozlynn was and AEsir who had been captured by the Vanir who had sold her to Balooka.  Raka claimed to be from Vendhya a land far to the East.  She had been a slave many years and had traveled through many lands before ending up in the slave markets of the Barachan Islands.

Raka told Heimdall and Alenna that the slavers had established a camp on the small island just a mile or so to the northwest.  At the camp they had recaptured about forty slaves and thirty guards.  They had one large sailboat and two smaller rowboats and the raft they had built from salvaged wood.  Balooka was alive but only a few of his officers had survived.  She believed the slaver who wielded the great scimitar was one of his top men. She also explained that the slavers knew this chain of islands was inhabited both by natives and pirates and the slavers also claimed some kind of monsters inhabited some of the islands.  Blaooka had spoken of trying to hire the pirates or buy a ship from them so that they could escape the islands.  

The four decided to return to the ruins.  There was no sign of the slavers.  Only the body of the strange dog remained.  Raka called the dog a Hyena and explained that it was a kind of wild dog from the deserts.  The slavers used them for tracking down escaped slaves.

Certain that the slavers would return within the day Heimdall began digging pit traps around the ruins.  The women sharpened wooden spikes for the traps coating them with rat dung from the rats nest in the tower as a kind of impromptu poison.  Heimdall also made four crude javelins.  Having made the best preparations they could each of them took up hiding positions and waited.

Eventually the slavers raft returned in the late afternoon.  There were seven slavers aboard and another hyena.  There were also five barbaric looking warriors aboard armed with flails.  Four of the slavers came ashore and all of the warriors.

 One of the slavers and the hyena began making their way towards the ruins with the five warriors.  The hyena and it's handler discovered several pit traps as they move along cautiously.  The animal would catch the sent and alert.  Heimdall began to wonder if the effort of digging all the traps had been worthwhile.

 Rozlynn attempted to sneak closer to the enemy but three of the warrior spotted her and immediately charged.  One of the warriors however fell into a pit trap and impaled himself on the caustic spikes.

Heimdall threw one of his javelins at the slaver but it was deflected by the mans leather armor.  Alenna and Raka charged out from their hiding places and attacked the others.  The combat was short and brutal.  The three men were cut down by the women and the hyena was killed by one of the AEsir's javelins.

Rozlynn was fighting for her life.  Wielding the great scimitar she had taken from the earlier battle she dispatched the two warriors quickly enough but before she could rejoin her friends three more slavers charged her from an adjacent hill.

 Heimdall, Alenna, and Raka rushed to Rozlynn's aid.  As they charged into the fray three more slavers came over the hill.  Rozlynn wielded the massive blade wildly and although the slavers attacking her were able to evade her blows they kept their distance.

The three slavers on the hill joined the battle.  One of their number fell victim to another pit trap falling head first onto the spikes.  Alenna rushed to Rozlynn's side and cut down one of the slavers just as the AEsir woman dispatched another.  With a savage blow Heimdall split the skull of another spilling his brains onto the ground.  The final slaver threw down his arms and begged not to be killed.

After taking the final slaver captive they tied the man up and left him in the ruins.  Taking the slave'rs raft they circled the island to make sure they slavers had not landed another force somewhere else.

The day had been and exhausting battle for survival.  Even though they had won a great victory against the slavers they knew that Balooka's men would return.  They also knew that the slavers had allies.  Their captured man told them that Balooka had hired the warriors from the pirate city on one of the larger islands to the west.  The knowledge that the slavers had recaptured many slaves meant that they might also find some allies of their own if they could free them.  They knew that no matter what happened there was still far more fighting ahead of them.

Notes:  This was quite a grueling session.  The first battle almost ended in the recapture of the players by the slavers.  I had added a slaver officer because I was expecting two more players but I had forgotten how powerful I had made him and did not scale back the encounter enough.  Had it not been for a very lucky damage roll on the part of Rozlynn's player this session would have been quite different.  I now have four players and may potentially gain another three or four which will make for a fairly large party which will also lead to larger encounters.  I've got a lot of projects to get wrapped up for this campaign.