“Y’know, it’s just like the old days at the College…”
Johannes Oddleigh looked sideways at his master – it was the first time Thaddeus Daemoncall had mentioned the College of Magicke since his exile from those hallowed halls.
“Er, how d’you mean master?”
“Going on a field trip like this – proper research as opposed to rooting around for spell books and such.”
“Aye, I suppose it is…” the apprentice sighed. Field trips at the College never involved hunting down a massive slab of living granite that could pummel you into a bloody mist with it’s huge fists within seconds…
They had followed the trail of destruction to what was once an extensive pleasure garden of some sort. Crushed masonry lay scattered around the frozen ground amongst thick stone walls with massive holes punched through them. Pieces of smashed statues were strewn around in a grim mockery of the once-living examples they had recently had to sift through.
Suddenly a grating roar tore through the air. Past the ruined stonework they could just make out something large, noisily bashing it’s way along a random path of devastation.
“I hope you have your notebook boy,” chuckled the Summoner, before taking a swig from a small bottle and promptly disappearing…
On to part two of the Hunt for the Golem mini-campaign: the Field Research scenario. Thaddeus and his rival Lady Katherine must get close enough to study the Granite Golem, but avoid it’s tremendous wrath and leave it intact for future use.
I spread my warband along the board (well, mat) edge, with Oddleigh and chums on the right flank, his master Thaddeus in the centre with the bulk of the force and the slower, more heavily armoured warriors on the left.
Both warbands move forward cautiously, taking whatever cover they can find among the low walls and statues of the former garden. Halfinch the thief reaches a treasure chest and reaches out to grab it.
But it disappears! “Damn fool’s gold!” The Hobbit grumbles. Thaddeus, spying the monster up ahead, readies himself to get closer by drinking an invisibility potion. Hopefully the beast will vent it’s fury on Lady Katherine’s band rather than his.
Using a wall as cover, Lady Katherine’s apprentice moves forward on the right, accompanied by a warhound. Oddleigh sends Fluffy up to meet them before leaping up the barbarian in support.
Behind Lady Katherine’s lines an imp appears, attracted by the noise. Her Captain is on hand to splatter the critter back from whence it came.
The Granite Golem looks up from it’s destruction and roars angrily at the warbands. Who will it attack? Both bands had soldiers equidistant from the monster, so we rolled for it. Luckily for me it was an opposing ranger (carrying treasure to boot) that would feel the beast’s fury.
I knew that the leapt barbarian wouldn’t regain his composure in time to stop the opposing apprentice casting a spell, so Oddleigh decided to try mind controlling the enemy pooch. It worked, and before his opposite number could make a swift exit, Oddleigh had the controlled beast intercept her.
The barbarian looked on, confused as the warhound attacked it’s mistress. Unfortunately for her I rolled a 20. She goes down to the critical hit.
This left Fluffy to move towards the enemy, who were already moving back after wounding Halfinch and beating him to a treasure token. Fluffy also gets wounded but continues to advance.
Captain, knight and marksmen clank slowly up the left flank. With Lady Katherine’s band pulling back, it’s unlikely that they’ll make contact, but at least it keeps the pressure on.
Wounded Fluffy sees off an enemy soldier (another crit). By now an invisible Thaddeus has been able to study the Golem and only needs to cast a non-harmful spell on it to gain some more experience. However, before he can do that, disaster strikes…
The enemy ranger kills the Golem! The hulking brute had been swatting ineffectively at the ranger for some time, but it was the smaller fighter that got in the killer blow. Under the rules of this scenario, if the Golem is killed then both wizards earn no experience whatsoever!
With the primary objective being to study the now destroyed Golem, all that’s left to do is grab as much treasure as possible. This is made harder by the arrival of two wolves behind Lady Katherine’s lines...
...and a snow leopard on my left flank. The marksman is duly dispatched to deal with the creature. By now my opponent has four treasures in their possession whilst I have three.
Time to alter the score a little. While the enemy captain is putting down the wolves, Thaddeus breaks out another mind control spell and, once again empowering it to an unbeatable score, causes the enemy treasure hunter to do a u-turn and bring his treasure to his temporary new master.
The snow leopard gets the better of the marksman, but by now Lady Katherine and co. are quitting the field, leaving to shattered and now worthless remains of the Golem to Thaddeus. The secret runes inscribed on it’s massive body are now lost forever.
Another great game (with some admittedly fluky dice rolling on my part)! Despite gaining no experience due to the Golem’s demise (no doubt Lady Katherine will be having stern words with her ranger), Thaddeus gained the upper hand with four treasures to her three. Treasure rolls were not too bad either. FYI Giles' report is up on his blog here.
So the Hunt for the Golem mini-campaign comes to a premature halt and we look toward the next game, whenever that may be. Neither wizard can rest on their laurels, for something is stirring in the dark and the undead are restless…