After the disaster of Treyine, Einar and his men travel East towards the lands of the Black Dwarf. During winter they cross the north frontiers of Hykar and Mirish, avoiding all possible contact with unwanted patrols until they reach their destine.
It is Spring of 897 and it has passed more than a year since Einar started his quest to find a sword of power to build his own kingdom, but they finally arrived.
The land of the Dwarfs is dominated by great dark mountains and desolated wastes. They start searching for anybody or anything which may help them to find what they are looking for, but they find nothing and keep moving towards the heart of the country. After a month of travelling Eastwards, Rialto's senses warn him that a group is approaching by the road behind them. As they are in unfriendly territory and also they have to "borrow" the sword, Einar decides to set his group in ambush.
As soon as Einar arrived at the Black Dwarf territory, I rolled in the Quest Table to see if he has found the item of his quest. I roll 5 and 1 which meant there was nothing there. Einar's party then move inside the country and again I rolled the dice but this time I got 6 & 6! The object was finally found and I had to go to a Raid encounter. I rolled again and the Raid was to have place at a village; as I did not know how a Dwarf village is nor had any suitable building to represent it, I chose to play the Raid in the wilderness and changed the raid for an ambush.
I'm playing with 10 mm. miniatures in a 60 x 60 cm. board and with all distances halved and rounded up. As usual, all the pictures are clickable.
After being hidden in the rocks for almost two hours, they finally spot a caravan of Dwarfs led by what it look some kind of priest or sorcerer, wearing ceremoniously a long sword sheathed in a barbarously jewelled scabbard, the sword of his quest!
Now, according to the rules my party was of 120 points of CV and this means that I had to fight against 60 Dwarfs approximately, which was absurd; Einar alone worths 40 points of CV so go figure. Therefore, I decided to use the How many of them chart from LOA instead, in which they use a number of figures instead of CV; but as 6 figures was going to be too few to fight against, I used the Hardiness of each character as a number of figures; so Einar's party had a total of 16 "figures".
As soon as Einar sees the sword he jumps on his feet and let the Dwarfs spot him. The Ambush is spoiled.
The Dwarfs came down the road and when they were near the ambushers I rolled to see how the ambush worked. I rolled 5 dice for the Dwarfs and 3 dice for Einar's party (Tiku had dropped her Rep down to 3 in the last encounter). The Dwarfs passed 2d6 more and the ambush went off early and surprise lost. Ambushers were revealed and Activation dice were rolled with the battle going on as normal.
Einar's party activates first but only Rialto and the archer accompanying him. Rialto casts Fear me! and the Dwarf caster tries to intervene. The Dwarf caster tries his best but fails miserably, suffering backlash and remaining dazzled until his next activation.
Rep of Dwarf caster was yet to be determined, so I rolled to see which was and I rolled 3 and 1. The Rep was 4, not very good. He lose by 3d6 more in the test of magic, but saved his life by a hair's breath and only resulted Dazzled. Rialto produced Dread on the first eight Dwarfs with his spell.
Then, the nearest Dwarfs react and charge Einar, Fafnir and Tiku, but two of them stop in the last moment due to the dread Rialto casted upon them. Einar easily parries his opponent and Tiku kills hers outright, forcing the nearest disciple of Null to retreat.
Two Dwarfs at the bottom and armed with harquebuses, fire at the far archer, who covers behind the rocks and returns fire, killing one of them and making two more to retreat.
The Dwarf caster keeps Dazzled, holding the magic sword with his arms and incapable of doing anything else.
The Dwarf caster finally recovers and tries a spell, but is intervened by Rialto and Dazzled again. Now the rest of the Dwarf warriors charge en masse but are rejected once more as Einar and Fafnir kills one warrior each, while Tiku with her two swords holds for the moment. The harquebusier misses.
Fafnir kills another warrior and Einar defeats their leader, the Big Bad, producing some break offs and routs from the battlefield. Then Rialto spells Blinding light and all the remaining Dwarfs get Dazzled; Tiku takes the opportunity to kill her blinded opponent.
The archer fires and hits without further effect.
Rialto casts now Steel Wind and perforates the poor unarmoured Dwarf caster, converting him into pink mist. The remaining Dwarf with harquebus routs and Einar slays the last of the Disciples of Null.
Piece of cake. Mission accomplished, return to base.
Indeed it was an easy encounter, but this was mainly due to the Fear me! spell that Rialto casted in the first turn. More than half of the Dwarfs had dread and failed tests of charge, crisis, leader lost, etc. as well as having worse performance in melee. Then it came Blinding light and the remaining Dwarfs were helpless and doomed. Also, the Big Bad resulted to have only Rep 4 and the Dwarf caster did not have a high Rep neither.
So Einar finally got his magic sword to to become king, according to the prophecy made on his childhood. He passes it to Rialto to check it and he explains to the group that the sword has a name, Soul Reaver. This sword is evil and greedy of souls and carnage; it will help to conquer a throne, but not to rule it. The sword produces terror in the enemies of the wielder; it also adds +1 to impact when used in melee, and +2 against magical creatures and +3 against Daemons. Once a month, the wielder has to roll 2d6 against his Rep; whenever he passes 0d6 he will move one step towards Black Moon worship. So for example, if Einar who is now Twilight alignment, passes 0d6, he will be Rising Moon, and if he fails again then Full Moon. The sword attracts evil.
After designing the sword I proceeded to roll for the Einar's party advancements: Einar raises his Rep to 6 and Social Standing to 8, Fafnir also raises Rep to 5, but Tiku falls to 2 (something must be happening to this wild creature). Rialto raises his Hardiness to 3 and the archer downs his Rep to 3.
After the ambush and looting the corpses, Einar and his friends decide to move directly northwards to the lands of the Orcs as fast as possible to avoid retaliation, and also as the shortest and safest (avoiding the Dark elves) route to the Border Kingdoms where to find their own army, castle and lands.
I will see you all in the next episode of Einar's days of high adventure!
Ballads of War 1x16 & 1x17
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