Monday, 20 February 2017

Wreck the Casbah

To look at, the Casbah was just like any other Trow: ungainly and unglamorous cargo ships that plied the Meregile River, ferrying basic goods between the great magical city and the various coastal settlements and outlying islands that served it.

Only a very keen nautical eye indeed could see through the plain, weather-worn planking and ragged, oft-repaired sails to the reinforced bracing, hidden weapon racks and sleek hull structure below the waterline…

Captain Harkul watched as another vessel passed by, it’s helmsman hailing the Casbah like one tradesman to another. Harkul returned the salute, satisfied that once again he had slipped past the outer forts and their inspectors, and could safely drop anchor and get rid of yet another consignment of unsavoury cargo.

“Here they come Cap’n!”

Harkul turned, scanning the river bank as a group of robed individuals rowed a small boat towards them. He didn’t trust these fanatics, for he was sure that’s what they were. Certainly they paid well – very well – but his instincts told him that whatever magical contraband was that he had collected from the strange oriental junk he had rendezvoused with some miles out to sea that morning, it didn’t bode well.

Still, no doubt the authorities would cotton on eventually – they always did in the end – and by that time he would be long gone, lying low somewhere further south with a sackful of gold until everything sorted itself out.

“Heave to and lower the ladder then!” he hissed. “Let’s get this done - I don’t like how the sky is bruising...”

He watched as his surly crew went to work.

“And be quick about it, lest I drink all that rum that’ll-“

Somewhere deep within the centre of Felstad there was a loud ‘crump’ and everything went white…

And cold… very, very cold…

With the Thaw of the Lich Lord scenarios looming on the horizon I need to look at some of the more problematic terrain required, including the shipwrecks for the Battle on the River scenario.

Not being willing to buy model ships just for one scenario, I decided to scratchbuild some bits. I’m not an expert shipbuilder by any means, so hit on the idea of making a wreck in sections so that it could be spread out across the board.

I also decided to make it look like the river had frozen around the ship above the waterline, meaning that I only had to do the decking and such.

The decking is made from plasticard, scored along with a saw to give the impression of planking. The uprights are cut off bits of MDF, while the wooden slats along the hull are strips of cardboard. The rest are just bits scavenged from the bin.

I’m very happy with this, and will no doubt make a few more bits to scatter around the river.